Axl Rose’s wild rock and roll antics – from biting security guards leg to ‘riot

Axl Rose performs at Lisa Marie Presley memorial service

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose is known for being one of the wildest performers in rock and roll music.

He certainly has had no shortage of controversial incidents while performing on stage with his band Guns N’ Roses, who are performing at Glastonbury this year.

He is said to have reportedly attacked the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger with a fearsome push, called out Kurt Cobain to fight him at the MTV VMAs, and even came to blows with the late David Bowie.

Axl, 61, seemingly has mellowed in recent years, having commented: “I could beat my mic stand into the stage, but I was still in pain.

“Maybe fans liked it, but sometimes people forget you’re a person and they’re more into the entertainment value.

“It’s taken a long time to turn that around and give a strong show without it being a kamikaze show,” he told Rolling Stone.

However, back in 1991 when the band were performing their classic track Rocket Queen from their debut studio record Appetite for Destruction, Axl was fired up with the sound of Slash’s distinctive guitar sound and took issue with a crowd member with a camera.

Taking a break from his screaming he quite calmly, by contrast, repeatedly declared: “Take that! Take that!”

Then, the carnage ensued as he finally yelled, “I’ll take it God damn it”.

The outburst left the St. Louis crowd stunned, and after Axl delivered a quick hook, he wrapped up what became known as the ‘Riverport Riot’ by slamming: “Well, thanks to the lame-a** security, I’m going home.”

This left fans not best pleased, and they joined the photographer in voicing their disapproval. In the end, several reportedly stormed the stage and smashed up equipment that Axl claimed to be worth an exorbitant amount.

The ‘Riverport Riot’ led to 65 people being injured, including 25 police officers, and saw an arrest warrant made for Rose.

The warrant was later delayed until the rockstar returned from the band’s European tour dates, when he settled on two years probation as punishment.

Rose later discussed the incident and claimed to have seen a biker from a local gang called the Saddle Tramps taking photos on a contraband camera, which he claims security turned a blind eye to.

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He told Louder Sound in 2019: “The security guys knew exactly what was happening and they were doing everything they could to let that guy go, which fuelled my fire to make sure that didn’t happen.”

In June 2006, Axl spent almost a day in a Stockholm jail cell after biting a security guard in the leg at his hotel and smashing a mirror, police said.

He also caused damage to the Berns Hotel, where the scuffle took place, police spokeswoman Towe Hagg said.

Rose was released from police custody after he signed a statement admitting to minor assault of a security guard and damaging hotel property, police spokesperson Towe Hagg said.

Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad ordered Rose to pay a fine of 40 000 kronor and damages of 10 000 kronor for hitting the guard and biting him in the leg.

Hagg told The Associated Press that Axl was drunk during the confrontation and was not questioned by police until after he had sobered up.

“He was deemed too intoxicated to be questioned right away,” she said.

It was unclear what caused the fight, but Swedish tabloids said the guard had tried to intervene when Axl started arguing with a woman in the hotel lobby.

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