July 12: Axl Rose Was Arrested For Inciting A Riot

A night to remember

On this day in 1992, Axl Rose was arrested for inciting a riot at a Guns N’ Roses show the previous year. 

Known as the Riverport Riot, the incident took place on July 2, 1991 during a show at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre, formerly the Riverport Ampitheatre. While the band was performing “Rocket Queen” Axl Rose called out a fan who was taking pictures of the show. 

Security couldn’t get to the fan so Rose took things into his own hands. He jumped into the crowd and tackled the fan. He eventually got the camera, but not before striking multiple fans and security members. After being pulled out of the crowd by crew members, Axl grabbed a microphone and said, “Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home!” before slamming the mic on the stage and walking out. 

Slash announced, “He just smashed the microphone. We’re out of here,” and the rest of the band followed suit. 

Angry with the band, the audience started a riot that lasted 3 hours. 

Axl Rose was charged with inciting the riot but could not be arrested as he was overseas continuing the Use Your Illusion Tour. 

The band later shared that their security team had made four requests to have the camera removed but the venue’s security team did nothing. During the same show, the band was hit by bottles from the audience, the venue did not confiscate weapons upon entry and there were no drinking limits. 

Axl Rose Gets Arrested For Inciting Riot

On July 12, 1992, Rose returned to the US. He was arrested as soon as his plane landed at JFK Airport. During the arrest, Bryn Brithenthal, the singer’s publicist told reporters that “there was no need for all of this … The prosecutor was told by his agent and spokesman that when he returned, he would come to St. Louis to turn himself in to face the warrant this week.”

Rose was held in custody for 10 hours while he cooled off. He was then let go on the promise that he would fly to St. Louis later in the week to stand trial. 

On the way from prison to his hotel, he told MTV News that he had been staying away from St. Louis while a deal was made between his representatives and the prosecutors. The agreement included 2 years of probation. 

A year later, the judge ruled that Axl Rose was not directly responsible for inciting the riot. Rose was, however, found guilty of property damage and assault, resulting in probation and a $50,000 donation to local organizations. His probation was amended so that he could associate with felons in his band. 

In addition to the sentencing, St. Louis banned Guns N’ Roses from playing in the city. It wasn’t until 2017 the GNR would return.

Upon releasing Use Your Illusion I & II, GNR included a message in the liner notes that said “F*ck You St. Louis!”  

Other Notable Rock Events From July 12

1954 – Elvis Presley signed on with Sun Records. 

1958 – The Quarrymen, which later evolved into the Beatles, recorded a vanity disc. The band was made up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John “Duff” Lowe, and Colin Hanton.

1962 – The Rolling Stones made their first live appearance. The debut performance took place at the Marquee Jazz Club in London. At the time, Mick Avery, who later played for The Kinks, was on drums and Dick Taylor, who would go on to play with The Pretty Things, was on bass. 

1964 – The Beatles played at the Hippodrome Theatre in Brighton. On the way to the show, George Harrison crashed his E-Type Jaguar. The accident was a minor one but shattered the car’s glass. Passers-by collect broken pieces to keep as souvenirs. 

1968 – The Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz married Samantha Juste. The song “Randy Scouse Git” was written about her. The two divorced in 1975. 

1970 – Fritz, a band led by Stevie Nicks, opened for Janis Joplin. 

1979 – Minnie Pierton died of breast cancer at 31. She sang with rock influences like Stevie Wonder, Etta James, and Muddy Waters 

1980 – Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John topped charts in the UK with “Xandu.” 

1983 – Chris Wood died of pneumonia at 39. He was a former member of Traffic and worked with artists like Jimi Hendrix and John Martyn. 

1983 – The Edge, guitarist for U2, married Aislinn O’Sullivan. The two separated in 1990 after having 3 daughters together. 

1988 – Playgirl’s list of sexiest rockers includes: George Michael, LL Cool J, Bryan Ferry, Michael Hutchence (INXS), Richard Marx, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bret Michaels (Poison), Larry Mullen Jr. (U2), Robert Plant, and Terence Trent D’Arby. 

1996 – Jimmy Chamberlin, the drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins, was charged with drug possession following the death of fellow band member, Jonathan Melvoin. 

1997 – An interview is released where George Harrison takes aim at modern artists like U2 and Spice Girls. 

In the interview, he said, “Bono and his band are so egocentric. The more you jump around, the bigger your hat is, the more people listen to your music. The only important thing is to sell and make money. It’s nothing to do with talent.” Of the Spice Girls, he said, “The good thing about them is that you can look at them with the sound turned down.”

2000 – Carl Fredrick Reutersward sculpture was unveiled in memory of John Lennon at Trafalgar Square in London. 

2008 – Earl Nelson of Bob And Earl died. The duo were the original singers of “Harlem Shuffle,” which was covered by multiple artists, including the Rolling Stones. 

2008 – Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones moves in with an 18-year-old Russian cocktail waitress after leaving his wife. 

Rock Birthdays

1943 – Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac (Keyboard)

1950 – Eric Carr of KISS (Drums)

1960 – Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum (Guitar)

1977 – Dominic Howard of Muse (Drums)

On This Day In History – July 12

July 12 has witnessed several notable rock events throughout history, highlighting the significance of this date. It serves as a reminder of the rich and diverse tapestry of the genre, with notable events ranging from the emergence of legendary artists to the release of groundbreaking albums. 

These historical rock events on July 12 have contributed to the evolution and enduring legacy of rock music, captivating audiences and shaping the cultural landscape.