The rock and roll lifestyle is not known to follow the rules. As a rule, this only means the destruction of a hotel room. Some musicians went one step further. These hard-boiled criminals have influenced some of the most famous pieces of music ever recorded while doing heinous acts. Her talent is undeniable, but these 10 composers would have been better off spending more time in the studio than in prison.
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10th The cult that created Fleetwood Mac
Before Fleetwood Mac made cocaine-soaked pop, they made cocaine-soaked, gritty blues. Fleetwood Mac was co-founded by Jeremy Spencer and had early success in America with his single “Albatross”
In 1971 the band had more pressing concerns. The Bob Welch group recruited for one member to end the stage of the American tour. The years led by Welch were a transitional moment for the deed. The band discarded their bluesy sounds and switched to a more polished style. The new mood brought them their first Top 40 album. Disagreements and arguments eventually led to Welch’s fall. In his place, Mick Fleetwood hired old friends Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who conquered the 1970s.
9 When Hall met Oates
Hall and Oates are rarely associated with gangland violence. Because of their hits, the biggest threats they face are human-eating slingshots. Before they were the most successful duo in American chart history, they were two separate musicians looking for performances.
In 1967, everyone entered the Battle of the Bands of the Adelphi Ballroom independently. Daryl Hall sang doo-wop vocals for the Temptones. John Oates played with the Masters. Without realizing that Battle of the Bands was just a metaphor, loud fans attacked each other in the stands. Brotherhoods associated with the rival gang pulled out knives and weapons. When shots were fired, Hall and Oates decided together that neither could do that. The two ducked into a service lift. They talked about music and studying at Temple University. In 1971 they jointly produced masterpieces of the blue-eyed soul.
8th Motorhead’s revenge
Hawkwind took a lot of drugs. You don’t write a meandering futuristic prog rock without a little help. Band member Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister played on the first four albums and was the supplier of the band. After he was arrested for transporting amphetamine across the Canadian border, he was thrown out of both roles.
Kilmister braised in a cell for hours. He waited anxiously for his bandmates to save him. Finally they jumped him. It wasn’t a comrade; They just couldn’t find a replacement in time for a show in Toronto. Kilmister left the band to take revenge.
His sabotage plan was twofold. First, he would sleep with the women and friends of his former bandmates. With the exception of singer Dave Brock’s wife, the mission was accomplished. Second, he would start his own band. This subsequent band, Motörhead, became one of the most important bands in heavy metal history. He got his revenge.
7 The Fightin site by Merle Haggard
The outlaw country was more than just a name. For Merle Haggard, it was a self-defeating lifestyle. Haggard spent his youth in and outside of youth institutions. His ever-growing rap sheet with minor crimes culminated in a botched robbery. Haggard set off to steal dinner after hours and mentally prepared to drink. While the restaurant was full of customers, he tumbled drunk. He was arrested immediately. After being unruly against other inmates, he was brought to San Quintin.
In the infamous California prison, Haggard made friends with his fellow inmate James “Rabbit” Kendrick. Kendrick confided in Haggard that he had come up with an escape plan. Haggard was gung-ho to break out. Kendrick advised Haggard not to participate. Instead of risking everything in a doomed company, Kendrick convinced Haggard to commit to his musical endeavors. When Kendrick broke out, he shot an officer. Kendrick was executed when he was arrested. If he had accompanied Kendrick, a pioneering country artist would have died unrecorded. Instead, he took Kendrick’s advice and sang only about crimes.
6 A family affair
The Black Mafia Family had enough money. Their three main hubs of cocaine trafficking have earned millions of dollars annually. The Kingpin brothers, Demetrius “Big Meech” and Terry Flenory, needed a front for their operation. In order to hide the real source of income and collect a little more dough, they founded the record label BMF Entertainment. With this random decision, they created a new genre of music.
BMF Entertainment had only one legitimate customer, Bleu DaVinci. The rest of his list consisted of emerging rappers in the Atlanta area, including future breakout stars Fabolous and Young Jezzy. The drug trade funded promotions for actions related to the label. The premiere of Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Jezzy’s debut album, was both a showcase and an opportunity for the rapper to build connections in the community. Despite their intentions, Let’s Get It became the basic text for trap music, an offshoot of southern hip hop. Popularized in Georgian crack dens, the style has since become the dominant sound of hip-hop over the decades.
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5 Charles Manson freaked out
In July 1969, on orders from Charles Manson, Bobby Beausoleil broke into the house of music teacher Gary Hinman. Beausoleil tortured Hinman for three days until he was stabbed to death. Days before the Tate murders, Hinman was the first death of the family’s killing spree.
Before the murder, Beausoleil was a guitarist in the psychedelic rock band The Grass Roots with Arthur Lee (not to be confused with the more successful Grass Roots). Beausoleil was kicked out and replaced by Bryan MacLean. Following Beausoleil, Maclean and Lee changed the name of the band to Love. Beausoleil’s departure promoted the partnership between Lee and MacLean to create one of the most influential rock groups of the 1960s, especially with the highly acclaimed album “Forever Changes”.
Beausoleil fell out of love and became friends with Frank Zappa. He sang Backup on Zappa’s first album “Freak Out!” “Freak out!” is welcomed as the reason for the idea of a rock concept album. It was the record that most inspired the Beatles to record Sgt. Pepper. While members of the Manson family heard the Beatles’ songs, the Beatles heard a song by a member of the Manson family.
4th The samurai kidnappers
Everything Les Rallizes Denudes did was mysterious. The lead singer Takashi Mizutani is an enigmatic hermit who only occasionally appears in public. Their songs refuse to release real albums and exist as rare bootlegs. Even their music is structureless, equally chaotic and ethereal. Only two facts are certain. The first is that their music inspired leagues from imitators. The second is that her bass player Moriaki Wakabayashi hijacked a plane and flew to North Korea.
On March 31, 1970, the Red Army confiscated Japan Airlines flight 351 to Fukuoka. The communist faction wielded samurai swords and pipe bombs and took the 122 passengers and 7 crew members hostage. The 9 hijackers stormed the cockpit to force a flight to Cuba. With just enough fuel to cover the first 45 minutes, the hijackers landed the plane. The authorities swarmed out the plane on the tarmac. The hijackers held the plane for three days until they promised to release all hostages in exchange for the crossing to Pyongyang, North Korea.
National reporting drew attention to their band member’s previous discography. As a strictly underground group, most people had never heard of the band. The kidnapping exposed the group to international legions of new fans. Alternative acts like Sonic Youth and LCD Soundsystem appreciated the band’s influence.
3rd The Mynah Jailbirds
The Mynah Birds shaped music history without releasing a single album. Like any great rock’n’roll story, it starts with a drunken street fight. 15-year-old Ricky James Matthews, an expatriate from America, fled to Canada to avoid the design. Three hooligans cornered him in a botched robbery. Levon Helm and Garth Hudson, who soon became members of the legendary Canadian band The Band, saved him. Hudson and Helm loved Matthew’s sociable personality and introduced him to other members of Toronto’s music scene, including the Mynah Birds.
With Matthews as front man, the band found mediocre success. Neil Young, steeped in his R&B rock’n’roll, joined the band. In 1965, The Mynah Birds traded bass players with the local band The Sparrows. In return, Bruce Palmer joined The Mynah Birds. After Nick St. Nichols joined The Sparrows, they changed their name to Steppenwolf.
This last lineup hired Morley Shelman as her manager. Shelman secured an audition for Motown Records. Matthews, concerned about entering Detroit, told Shelman that he was a refugee. Producer Berry Gordy signed the group. When the Mynah Birds didn’t receive the label’s advance, they confronted Shelman. Shelman blew all the money on heroin. You fired him. In retaliation, he told Gordy that Matthews was on the run. When Matthews was arrested, the band broke up. Palmer and Young traveled to Los Angeles to found the Buffalo Springfield protest folkie outfit. After leaving prison, Matthews returned as a Motown songwriter. In-house genius Stevie Wonder suggested that Mathews needed a more powerful stage name. Wonder suggested to Rick James.
2nd A colonel of truth?
Colonel Tom Parker was undoubtedly a crook. The only question is for which crimes. With manipulative contracts, Parker took advantage of Elvis Presley throughout his famous career. Parker’s backroom deals controlled every aspect of the King of Rock and Roll’s life and cheated millions of legitimate winnings. Parker always got along with noise.
Parker’s first conversation as a carnival barker. He made a name for himself with a sadistic routine in which he shocked chickens with electrical wires. He had to keep moving. He was on the run.
Andreas van Kuijk was born in the USA illegally. Parker, an immigrant from the Netherlands, has never sought naturalization in America. Some speculate that his hesitation was due to the murder. The evidence is sparse. In the days before van Kuijk left his home, a local shopkeeper was beaten to death. The only real clue that linked Van Kuijk to the cold case was an anonymous letter, written decades later, that reaffirmed his role in the murder. The murderer’s identity is unlikely to be clarified. There will be no riddle as to why van Kuijk fled the same month in 1929 without telling his family or friends about it or traveling with his ID. He landed on America’s coast with no money. Whatever his motivation to desperately leave the city, he would soon find wealth that could only be achieved by shameful means. Maybe he already had experience.
1 Lead shaped belly and took life
Music literally saved Lead Belly’s life. In 1918, he killed a man in a fight. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison and apologized to Governor Pat Neff. Neff, moved by Lead Belly’s musicality, freed him. As a freelancer, Lead Belly made a name for himself on the Jim Crow markets and mainly performed in black venues.
In 1930, Lead Belly ended up in prison again after another fight. Touring folklorist Alan Lomax visited the infamous Angola Farm prison during Lead Belly’s tenure. On behalf of the Library of Congress, Lomax distributed Lead Belly’s songs with national recognition. Artists such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Credence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, ABBA and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were inspired by the Bluesman. George Harrison summed it up bluntly: “No lead belly, no Beatles.” Lead Belly murdered his way into the history books.
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About the author: Nate Yungman is neither a musician nor a criminal. If you have comments, you can send him an email. If you want to read more of his stuff, you can follow him on Twitter @nateyungman.
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