Rock and roll and jail time are not uncommon bedfellows, and many famous musicians have found themselves behind bars for various reasons. From drug offenses to assault charges, here are ten famous rockstars who have spent time in jail and the reasons why.
While their music has brought joy and entertainment to millions, these famous rock stars have also had their fair share of legal troubles. Despite their personal struggles, they continue to be celebrated for their contributions to rock and roll history. Rock music is known for its rebellious and edgy nature, which is why many of its greatest icons have found themselves behind bars. Here are 20 famous rock stars who have been in jail and the reasons why.
In 1967, Jagger and fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards were arrested for drug possession after police raided Richards’ home in West Sussex, England. Jagger was sentenced to three months in jail, but the sentence was eventually overturned on appeal.
Along with Jagger, Richards was arrested for drug possession in 1967. He was sentenced to one year in prison, but the sentence was later reduced to a fine and a suspended sentence.
In 1982, Osbourne was arrested in San Antonio, Texas for urinating on the Alamo Cenotaph. He was subsequently banned from the city for a decade and sentenced to 20 days in jail.
In 1980, McCartney was arrested in Japan for possession of marijuana while on tour with Wings. He spent nine days in jail before being released and deported.
In 1984, the Motley Crue frontman was involved in a car accident that resulted in the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
In 1998, Lee was sentenced to six months in jail for spousal abuse after assaulting his then-wife Pamela Anderson.
In 1987, the Motley Crue bassist was arrested for heroin possession and spent several hours in jail.
In 1992, Rose was involved in a brawl with a neighbor and was subsequently arrested and charged with assault. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation.
In 1976, Bowie was arrested in New York City for possession of marijuana. He was released on $2,000 bail and later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct.
In 1976, Pop was arrested for drug possession in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to probation and ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation.
Janis Joplin was a hugely popular rock star in the late 1960s and early 1970s, known for her powerful voice and emotional performances. However, she also struggled with drug addiction, which led to several arrests. In 1969, she was arrested for using profanity on stage during a concert in Tampa, Florida, and spent a night in jail.
Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, was known for his wild and unpredictable behavior on and off stage. He was arrested several times for various charges, including indecent exposure during a concert in Miami in 1969. Morrison was sentenced to six months in jail but was released on bail while his case was appealed. He died in Paris in 1971 before his appeal was heard.
Kurt Cobain, frontman of the iconic grunge band Nirvana, struggled with drug addiction for much of his career. In 1993, he was arrested in Seattle for trespassing and vandalism. He had broken into an abandoned warehouse to spray paint graffiti on the walls.
David Crosby, a founding member of both The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has had several run-ins with the law over the years. In 1982, he was arrested for cocaine and firearm possession and spent nine months in a Texas prison.
John Bonham, the drummer for Led Zeppelin, was known for his hard-partying ways both on and off stage. In 1977, he was arrested for assault after a fight with a promoter at a concert in Oakland, California. The charges were later dropped.
James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” had a long and storied career in music but also had several brushes with the law. In 1988, he was arrested for drug possession and weapons charges after leading police on a high-speed chase. He spent three years in jail before being released on parole.
Scott Weiland, frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, struggled with drug addiction for much of his life. In 1995, he was arrested for buying crack cocaine and sentenced to one year of probation.
Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, has had a long and successful career in music but has also had several run-ins with the law. In 1978, he was arrested for possession of marijuana and spent a night in jail.
Bon Scott, former lead singer of AC/DC, was known for his hard-partying lifestyle and his powerful vocals. In 1975, he was arrested for marijuana possession in Melbourne, Australia, and fined $250.
Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles, was arrested in 1973 for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He spent the night in jail but was released the next morning.