Interviewing rock & roll stars is not easy. They are a wild, usually egotistical bunch who often live outside the boundaries of acceptable human behavior as dictated by societal norms and generally accepted “common sense.” For example, it may seem like common sense that once should not be nodding off on heroin, unable to speak, and wearing a shirt with a swastika on it during an on-camera interview. But for Sid Vicious, this seemed like an okay thing to do, and so he did it. Here’s that, and nine other rock & roll interviews gone terribly wrong.
Heroin is a hell of a drug. Donning a swastika t-shirt, nodding off, and unable to speak in any kind of comprehensible language, Sid Vicious was clearly in no shape to be giving an interview. At least he tried?
Sensitive subjects + drugs = fantastically bad interview. I think the thing that makes this interview so awkward is not only the subject matter that clearly has Doherty uncomfortable, but the fact that when he tries to respond, his on-the-spot thinking is put to the test but isn’t entirely…wait, what were we talking about?
As Lou Reed states in the interview, he loves journalists, but it doesn’t really show here.
When an interview starts off with the old there’s-something-on-your-shirt gag, you know it’s probably not going to be very productive. Iggy was particularly spastic this day, and although he seems to be genuinely trying to focus in on the interview, he just couldn’t contain his excitement.
Another case of “We don’t want to be here. We hate you.” At this point, he may have dropped the Johnny Rotten name, but he definitely didn’t leave the attitude behind.
The host wanted to talk about Brown’s recent trouble with his wife. He was accused of assaulting her with a lead pipe and firing a gun at a car she was in. But Mr. Brown didn’t want to talk about this. Not because he was mad or upset—quite the opposite. Brown was feeling particularly good about himself this day. Watch as he randomly breaks out into song, talks about his love-making skills, and avoids giving the interviewer any comments on what she really wants to talk about.
This was supposed to be a Madonna interview, then Courtney Love starts screaming in the background and Kurt Loder invites her up. Madonna says, “No don’t, please,” but it was too late. Then things got really, really awkward, even with Kurt Loder trying to hold everything together.
We don’t blame someone for not knowing anything about Killswitch Engage, but you would have thought this kid might at least hit up their Wikipedia page before interviewing them. He knows absolutely nothing about these guys, is a jittery mess, and tries to cover it all up with humor. It didn’t go over so well.
Even NPR, who published this interview, admitted that it didn’t go so well, calling it “possibly the worst interview in the history of electronic media.” It’s not that the members of Sigur Ros were drunk, rude, or angry—it’s just that the soft-spoken Icelandic group had absolutely nothing to say.
Billy Bob Thornton’s Band
When Billy Bob and his band The Boxmasters went to do an interview with Q, they requested that the interviewer NOT mention Billy’s acting career. Oops. Billy Bob is already an odd character, but when he gets offended, shit gets very, very strange, and severely awkward.