5 Controversial Moments in Rock ‘n’ Roll
5 Ozzy Osbourne Bites the Head off a Bat (1982)
Back before he became domesticated on reality television, Ozzy was a notoriously controversial rock star. Much of his infamy stemmed from an incident in which he allegedly bit the head off a dove in a concert. Actually, that story isn’t quite true. He bit the head off a bat at a concert. Unlike the “Shark Episode,” there was an auditorium full of witnesses. Osbourne claims the incident was a simple case of mistaken identity. According to the “London Telegraph,” Ozzy thought the bat was a rubber toy. The incident predictably drew the ire of animal lovers worldwide.
4 The Led Zeppelin Shark Episode (1969)
Led Zeppelin was partying with some groupies at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle. The hotel was located right on Elliot Bay and its guests actually could fish right out of the windows of their rooms. One of the legendary musicians caught a fish. According to Zeppelin biographer Stephen Davis, another member of the band (whose exact identity remains unconfirmed) disrobed a groupie and proceeded to stuff pieces of shark into…you really don’t want to know. In any case, the story became an urban legend with many variants and has spawned decades of lurid speculation.
3 Altamont (1969)
2 Dylan Goes Electric (1965)
Folk music is often known for being peaceful and calming. That was not the feeling of the crowds who attended the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Dylan’s unannounced switch from acoustic to electric guitar caused the crowd to boo him mercilessly. Allegedly, folk audiences believed the change was a betrayal of the music’s acoustic purity. As “Wired” notes, the problem may have had more to do with a poor sound system. The Butterfield Blues Band played electric at the same festival without incident.
1 Jim Morrison Arrested for Indecent Exposure (1969)