Rock stardom is practically synonymous with a lifestyle of reckless partying and debauchery. Therefore, it’s no surprise that life in the limelight comes with a few stints in jail — along with accompanying mug shots.
Everyone from David Bowie to Kurt Cobain has a mug shot in their history. Some even have multiple arrests on their rap sheets, including the Doors’ Jim Morrison and Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose. Here’s a list of 11 worst Rock star mugshots in the past and cause of arrest are included…
Jimi Hendrix was arrested at Toronto International Airport airport in May 1969 after customs inspectors found heroin and hashish in his luggage. Hendrix, who claimed the drugs were slipped into his bag by a fan without his knowledge, was later acquitted of the charges.
An 18-year-old Axl Rose posed for the above Lafayette, Indiana police mug shot in July 1980. This was one of the first of many misdemeanor bust for the future Guns N’ Roses frontman.
Music legend David Bowie was arrested in upstate New York in March 1976 on a felony pot possession charge. The Thin White Duke, 29 at the time, was nabbed along with Iggy Pop and two other codefendants at a Rochester hotel following a concert. Bowie was held in the Monroe County jail for a few hours before being released. The above Rochester Police Department mug shot was taken three days after Bowie’s arrest, when the performer appeared at City Court for arraignment.
Janis Joplin was arrested in November 1969 in Florida and charged with disorderly conduct after yelling obscenities at police officers during a Tampa concert. Charges were later dropped after it was ruled that the singer’s actions were an exercise of free speech.
Jim Morrison posed for this mug shot following his 1970 conviction in Florida on misdemeanor indecent exposure and profanity charges. The singer was busted after he exposed himself during a March 1969 concert in Miami. As seen here, Morrison, who was photographed by Dade County’s Public Safety Department, testified on his own behalf at trial.
Frank Sinatra was arrested by the Bergen County, New Jersey sheriff in 1938 and charged with carrying on with a married woman (yes, you could get popped for that back then). The charge was later changed to adultery, and eventually dismissed.
Johnny Cash was arrested in October 1965 when U.S. Customs agents found hundreds of pep pills and tranquilizers in his luggage. The Man in Black–who was returning by plane from a trip to Juarez, Mexico–spent a night in the El Paso jail, and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count. Cash paid a $1000 fine and received a 30-day suspended sentence.
Kurt Cobain was arrested by Aberdeen, Washington police in May 1986 and charged with trespassing while intoxicated. The misdemeanor bust was not the Nirvana founder’s first brush with the law. The musician had been arrested in Aberdeen a year earlier on a vandalism count.
Mick Jagger posed for the above mug shot in 1967 after being arrested in England on a narcotics charge. Jagger, 23, was busted after police, acting on a tip, raided the country home of fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards, who was also collared. Jagger, photographed at a Brixton jail, spent a few nights in custody before making bail.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler posed for the above mug shot in March 1967 after Yonkers, New York police busted the future rock star, then 18, for pot possession.
John Osbourne (aka Ozzy Osbourne) was arrested by Memphis cops in May 1984 and charged with public intoxication. According to the police report, Ozzy was “staggering drunk” when nabbed on raucous Beale Street.