How Axl Rose Got Guns N’ Roses Banned From St. Louis After Starting A Riot And Getting Arrested

Even though rock is known as a genre that stands for defiance, anarchy, and rebelliousness, there’s one band that was sometimes a little too rude, and that was Guns N’ Roses. Fronted by one of the most unhinged and uncompromising lead vocalists of rock history, Axl Rose, the band was known to be a troublemaker.

Although numerous riots have broken out throughout their career there are three that have given Guns N’ Roses the moniker ‘the most dangerous band in the world.’ The worst one took place in 1988 at England’s Monsters of Rock festival during which two fans were trampled and crushed to death during the band’s set by the slam-dancing crowd.

The second one took place in Montreal in 1992 during the Guns N’ Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour. James Hetfield got burnt on stage after malfunctions with pyrotechnics which lead Metallica to leave the stage early. After a long delay which angered the crowd, Guns N’ Roses got on stage but as the stage monitors were not tuned in properly, Axl Rose got frustrated and cut the performance short saying that his throat hurt.

The riot that broke out was so big that 10 audience members and 3 police officers were injured, and the police made almost a dozen of arrests. This brings us to the third biggest riot in Guns N’ Roses career which was instigated by the one and only Axl Rose and got the band kicked out from St. Louis until 2017 when they played there during the Not in This Lifetime… Tour.

Why Did Axl Rose Attack A Fan While Performing In St. Louis?

Guns N’ Roses were going to get on stage on July 2, 1991, just outside St. Louis, at the Riverport Amphitheater. The band already had a pretty bad reputation considering Axl Rose’s onstage and backstage antics, but this performance would come to be known as their most outrageous one yet.

The set was actually running smoothly and both the band members and the audience were enjoying an amazing concert. However, everything changed when GN’R started performing ‘Rocket Queen.’ Apparently, the band had asked the amphitheater security to ensure that no one was taking photos but there was one person who was holding a camera and recording.

After spotting the person, Axl asked the venue’s security to take away the camera, and after the unsuccessful attempts by the guards, Axl got really frustrated and said he’s going to deal with it himself. He jumped into the audience, had a pretty heated confrontation with the fan, assaulted some audience and security members, and then got back on stage and shouted ‘Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home!’

How Did The Riverport/Rocket Queen Riot Begin After Guns N’ Roses Walked Off Stage?

After Axl Rose exclaimed that he’s going home, he threw down the microphone and proceeded to get off the stage. Shortly after that the other band members also left the stage in an angry manner. As you may have guessed, this led to a huge riot, dozens got injured, and police offers were unable to calm down the angry crowd.

The estimated damage to the amphitheater was between $200,000 to $300,000 and dozens of audience members got arrested. In fact, Axl Rose got charged with four counts of assault, one property damage, and was fined $50.000. However, he was arrested a year later as the band had left the United States to continue with their European tour.

You can watch the whole incident below.