Bands on Fire

3 minute read

You enter the stage, the lights go on and in front of you are thousands of fans chanting your name in unison. You begin singing their favorite song and as the lights dim, hundreds of lighters start to go off. The fans begin to sing along, it’s the most magic moment of your life until your idiot of a bassist ruins it all by catching fire. As silly as it sounds, bands and singers have caught fire many times, on or off stage. Here are six cases of musicians who were literally on fire.

Gene Simmons goes ablaze

Good ol Gene will do anything to entertain his KISS fans; he’ll even put kerosene in his mouth and spit it out on a torch. That’s a recipe for disaster and Gene must be a great cook as he’s caught fire a dozen or so times doing it. There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here kids:  If at first you don’t succeed, stop trying.

Rammstein frontman loves to burn

While most people don’t particularly like setting themselves on fire, Till Linderman loves it! Granted he’s also a crazy German. How does he do it? It’s pretty simple really; he pours gasoline on the stage, lights up a match and plays in the inferno. Well at first he did anyway, now fire, flames and sparks are a customary part of his performances. Many have questioned the authenticity of the so called “accidents” since he is a licensed pyrotechnician, but tell that to the burn marks on his arms, legs and his crispy little ears. Here’s a sample of his work:

Wyclef Jean on fire at Woodstock

As part a tribute to the late Jimi Hendrix, Wyclef played the star spangled banner at Woodstock 99. He then set his guitar on fire but didn’t realize that he should have probably let go at some point. The result was roasted set of fingers. Here’s a Woodstock performance that didn’t suck:

Tre Cool from Green Day

For someone with a name like Tre Cool, the man seems to have bad luck with fire. He’s burned himself twice on stage, both times on his leg. Hey Tre, maybe if you didn’t set your drum kits on fire, your lower limbs would stay cool. Oh that pun was definitely intended. Here’s a video of him lighting up his drum set for no reason:

The Michael Jackson Pepsi incident

Back in the day, when Michael Jackson was still black and relevant in the music industry, he was asked to do a promo for Pepsi. As he began singing to the tune of Billy Jean, one of the special effects went haywire and the sparks from the firework display burned MJ’s hair. He was taken away in a stretcher and assured his fans that he was okay. We don’t have a video of the incident but here’s the actual commercial; Hey is that Carlton Banks in the red jacket?

Metallica’s James Hetfield catches fire, Axl Rose is a dick

Believe it or not, Metallica was once less popular than Guns 'n Roses. In fact, in 1994 they opened up for Axl and Slash in Montreal. During one of the planned explosions, James was a tad too close and suffered second degree burns. Metallica left the stage after promising to return in a couple of months to finish what they started. Axl, being the jerk that he is, refused to come on stage early. He then cut his own set short due to vocal problems. The fans had no such problems as they got quite vocal when they began to riot.