Hot Stuff! The Absolute Worst Rock Injuries of All Time!

Today marks the anniversary of Detroit Super-Star, Alice Cooper fell off the stage in Vancouver Canada in 1975 and broke his ribs. Being a rock star can seem like fun and games, girls and booze, but there are some dangers involved with live performances. Imagine ten of thousands of bodies all pressing against a stage while pyro-technics are going off! Sweat and alcohol flying all over. Broken bottles and angry mosh-pits. Tons of cables and electronic musical instruments. Someone is bound to get hurt sometimes. Let’s find out about some of the worst rock injuries!

One of the events that stood out from my young life was the infamous Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial fire incident. And this event was not even live! It was a commercial for Pepsi. It was supposed to have a crew and a safe set, yet MJ still got hit by a pyro-technic firework flare from behind, and his hair caught on fire. He actually danced for a few moments before anyone even caught on and put out the fire.

In most cases, these injuries involve fire or a fall. Our fascination and the extra impact a little explosion creates will not be going away anytime soon. These pyrotechnic displays are generally run by very skilled professionals but even they have to work with lighting, crowds and other people not following specific fire safety guidelines. Many of these lists of injuries happened in the 70s and 80s. Because so many of these injuries occurred in the past have helped improve the safety of all future shows.

There is no one particular style of music that collects all the injuries. There are recorded injuries and canceled shows because of those injuries all across the industry. Here are some of those rock injuries.

  • James Hetfield - Inferno

    Back to the issue of fire, in the dark, and poor communication led to James Hetfield getting a face full of flames. According to, in 1992 Metallic played in Montreal when this pyrotechnic accident occurred. James and the fire just met somewhere in the middle and injuries happened. The extent of the injury sounds horrible, but James survived and healed.

  • Alice Cooper - Noose Issues

    Shock rock legend, Alice Cooper is no stranger to going out of his way to create terror and awe. And what’s more terror-inducing than a live hanging? In this case, however, a hangman’s noose safety wire broke and actually began to hang Alice during a rehearsal for a show. He fell to the ground and was slightly injured, but fortunately survived the accident. The Loudwire interview plays out the event slightly differently than most articles.

  • Ace Frehley - Electric Rock

    I’ve heard of several rock stars keeping a show going no matter what happens, but Ace Frehley is legendary! While performing in Florida in 1977, Ace completed an electrical current between his guitar and a metal railing as he walked down some stairs. After several moments he was able to break free but collapsed to the floor. After a brief rest period of 10 minutes, he returned to finish the show. Subsequently, after that, KISS bought new shock-proof electric guitars.

  • Frank Zappa - Smoke on the Water

    Frank Zappa had a weird year in 1971. According to, He was assaulted by a fan in London and shoved off stage into the orchestra pit, 13 feet below. After recovering from those injuries he returned to Switzerland where the now infamous flare gun was fired and burned down the venue. Which would later be written about in the song “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.

  • Dave Grohl - The Show Must Go On

    Dave Grohl always seems like the coolest guy. From his humor to his seemingly random appearances. He is a real showman. And he proved that even more in 2015. While playing a show in Gothenburg, Sweden, Dave fell from the stage into the security pit. He was rushed to the hospital with a broken leg. But he returned later and was placed in a chair and played for two more hours! This video is crazy. A paramedic is nursing his foot while he busts out tunes.

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