Music History: Axl Rose Was Arrested 25 Years Ago For Inciting Riot

Music History: Axl Rose Was Arrested 25 Years Ago For Inciting Riot

Music History: Axl Rose Was Arrested 25 Years Ago For Inciting Riot

Ultimate Classic Rock pointed out that today marks the 25th anniversary of Axl Rose’s famous arrest. On July 12, 1992, the rocker was famously taken into police custody upon landing in New York City at JFK International Airport. The reason? An outstanding warrant stated that he was to be extradited and stand trial for his involvement in a St. Louis riot the previous year. The band was immensely popular at this point, just a few years after Appetite For Destruction had catapulted them into international acclaim. However, the sudden fame and the rockstar lifestyle made frontman Axl Rose somewhat volatile and unpredictable.

On that fateful night in St. Louis, Missouri, the band performed at the Riverfront Amphitheater. The first roughly hour and a half of the band’s lengthy set went off without an issue, but while the band was performing “Rocket Queen,” Rose spotted a fan snapping photos in the audience. He demanded that security confiscate the camera, and when they failed to comply quickly, he took matters into his own hands. The vocalist jumped into the audience and found himself in a scuffle with the shutterbug. As he was pulled away, he began an angry and somewhat explicit rant. While we won’t repeat it, let’s just say he was less than pleased with the venue’s security staff. This prompted him to cut the remainder of the performance short.

The angry atmosphere that was seemingly fueled by the singer’s attitude permeated the crowd. Their realization that the show had been cut short led to frustration, and things turned ugly. The Riverfront Times recently recounted the crazy antics displayed that night, and interviewed several key figures involved with the event. Physical altercations broke out, swat teams came in, hoses were used for crowd control; the scene was absolute chaos.

Though his arrest the following year made headlines, it seems the circumstances were considerably calmer behind bars. “I basically spent my time writing autographs for cops,” he said of the experience. “And talking with them about rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, all these cool cops, they were telling me about when they went to Woodstock and everything. It was great. New York cops are the best.”

We’ve got footage from an old MTV interview regarding his arrest below:

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