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Rock Stars Who Have Done Time

Bad behavior is pretty much encouraged in our rock stars. So it’s fitting that many of them have paid the price for it, having spent time in jail or prison for their crimes and misdemeanors. Their offenses range from disturbing the peace to drug possession to, gulp, murder. Some learned from their youthful indiscretions, never to run afoul of the law again; some are repeat offenders who’ve spent almost as much time behind bars as they have onstage. Either way, we bet these Rock Stars Who Have Done Time look kinda rad in orange.

Zak Hussein, Getty Images
Zak Hussein, Getty Images

Ian Brown



In 1998, almost a decade after the Stone Roses‘ mega-influential debut album was released, frontman Ian Brown got into an argument with a flight attendant that ended with him pounding away on the cockpit’s doors. Actually, it ended with him being hauled off the plane and charged with threatening behavior. Brown spent two months in prison for his outburst.


Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

Pete Doherty



Like the Rolling Stones before him, troubled Libertines singer Pete Doherty has had plenty of run-ins with the law over the course of his career. His most infamous incident stems from a break-in of a bandmate’s apartment, which, naturally, occurred when he was high out of his head on heroin. He served two months of his six-month sentence.


Scott Gries, Getty Images
Scott Gries, Getty Images

Steve Earle



Alt-country singer-songwriter Steve Earle’s career was moseying along just fine in the ’80s until he hit a wall with his drug abuse. In 1994 he was picked up on the streets of Nashville looking like a transient and holding heroin. While on bail, he was busted again. He was sentenced to a year in a Tennessee correctional institute but spent only 60 days there before entering rehab, getting clean and jump-starting his career.


Express, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Express, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Sid Vicious



The Sex Pistols‘ notorious bass player Sid Vicious was bad news from the start. Even within a band of dedicated troublemakers, he stood out. So when his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, was found dead of a stab wound in the hotel room they were sharing, he was promptly arrested. While on bail, Vicious was arrested again — this time for assault. Upon release, he celebrated with a lethal dose of heroin and died in his sleep.


Samir Hussein, Getty Images
Samir Hussein, Getty Images

Eddie Vedder



In 1993 Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder was hanging with some pals in New Orleans when things got a little out of hand. It culminated in a 5 a.m. street fight that concluded with Vedder being hauled off to jail on charges of public drunkenness and disturbing the peace. He ended up spending the night, or what was left of it, behind bars.


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