For many musicians, the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap hit close to home because they'd lived out their own versions of the mishaps the fictional titular band struggled with in the movie. Over the years, we've collected dozens of Real-Life Spinal Tap Stories. Fittingly, many of them take place onstage, with equipment failures and wardrobe malfunctions, but there are also some behind-the-scenes problems and even a few that deal with various bodily functions. We've collected our favorites below in 17 Hilarious Real-Life Rock Star 'Spinal Tap' Stories.

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AC/DC Get Stuck in Traffic

It took a second for AC/DC singer Brian Johnson to decide which story to tell us (when you're in AC/DC, you log a lot of them), but eventually he and guitarist Angus Young remembered the immediate aftermath of a Scandinavian show on the Black Ice tour, where the band ran to the bus in an effort to avoid getting stuck in traffic. They got there in time and started to move, but instead of turning right, the bus turned left - directly into the line of stuck traffic.
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Duff McKagan Can't Stand Up

Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan said he had about "1,011" Spinal Tap moments, but there's one in particular that stood out. He was wearing a large belt with big crosses sticking out of it, and somehow - the details have been lost to time - he found himself on the grated stage. Unfortunately, the crosses latched onto the grates, preventing McKagan from getting up. An assistant had to come out and remove the belt so he could stand up.
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Brian May Narrowly Avoids Hydraulic Death

During his brief stint fronting Queen, Paul Rodgers would get a nightly opportunity to revisit his Bad Company past with their namesake song. The singer would go below the stage, where a piano on hydraulics would bring him up as he played among the smoke and lasers. One night, guitarist Brian May didn't see where he was and fell into the opening, landing on the end of the piano. The crew had to stop the lift as the roadies pulled him out before he got crushed. Throughout it all, May kept his guitar in tune and never stopped playing. "He was a trooper, I have to say," Rodgers mused. "He didn't miss a beat or anything."
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Motley Crue Took the Long Way to the Stage

While trading stories from the road with Joe Perry and Slash on his radio show, Nikki Sixx flashed back to a night tour when Motley Crue lived out their version of one of This Is Spinal Tap's funniest moments: when the band gets lost backstage in Cleveland. Motley Crue had been using Shout at the Devil's opening track, "In the Beginning," as their walk-on music, playing it from a cassette. But a locked door meant they had to take a different route to get to the stage, which took longer than the song. But the soundman kept the tape running into the next track, "Shout at the Devil," which was Crue's opening stage song. The band eventually got in place and began their set by playing along with the tape. During the same radio show, Perry remembered Aerosmith spending half a million dollars for a moving ring in the '80s that lasted only a few days because it didn't work as well as they'd hoped. Slash added that he loves the movie but refuses to watch it while on tour or in the studio ever since a gig went awry after he watched it before a concert.
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Foreigner Get Stuck, and Tommy Shaw Reveals Too Much

Foreigner's Mick Jones recalled in 2014 how, during the Head Games tour, the band would enter the stage from below via a hydraulic lift. It frequently got stuck on the way up, and all the fans would see were the members' heads. Singer Kelly Hansen talked about being a little over-enthusiastic at the Nashville concert where the Rockin' at the Ryman video was shot, leaping higher than usual at the start of "Juke Box Hero" and landing "flat on my ass" with the microphone landing in the crowd. After the show, they re-shot that part and edited the two parts together. During the same 2014 interview, Styx's Tommy Shaw remembered a gig at a convention in Las Vegas where he was making all sorts of rock-star poses while wearing leather pants. But then a pregnant woman in the front pointed out to him that his pants had split, and he wasn't wearing underwear. He quickly ran off to the side and had the wardrobe malfunction sealed up with gaffer's tape.
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Jim Morrison Goes Missing, Then Opens With the Wrong Song

During their stint as the house band at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, three members of the Doors were ready to go onstage when they realized Jim Morrison hadn't shown up. Guitarist Robby Krieger recalled dispatching the other two to Morrison's place, only to find the singer hiding under the bed, strung out on acid. They threw him in the shower and brought him down to the club in time for the next set, when he insisted on opening with "The End," their usual closing number. According to Krieger, that was the night Morrison first sang "the Oedipal part" of the song, which upset the owner, a devout Catholic, so much that he fired them.
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Heart Need Two Buckets

A bout of the flu once struck longtime Heart guitarist Craig Bartock in the middle of a tour. But rather than cancel the show - singer Ann Wilson said that can happen only when she gets sick - they worked out a system where Bartock would signal the others to cover for him between songs, either with acoustic numbers or jokes, while he went to vomit into two buckets that were placed offstage for his use.
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Judas Priest Nearly Struck by Lighting

Guitarist Glenn Tipton remembered a dangerous incident when one of the chains on a lighting rig above the stage broke. "Missed the drummer by inches," he said. "Swung right across the stage and back, and missed us by a miracle. And eventually it slowed down and stopped. We carried on with the number, as true professionals do." Singer Rob Halford remembered the fans screaming "yes!" as the crew feared the band would be killed. Although it was scary, Tipton laughed it off years later by saying, "I think it blew Rob's hair off."
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REO Speedwagon Share a Dressing Room With a Puppet

Five years after This Is Spinal Tap was released, REO Speedwagon closed out a tour of Mexico by sharing a stage with a ventriloquist act. Worse, frontman Kevin Cronin recalled, there was only one dressing room. "We're all sitting there going, 'God, this is bullshit. What are we doing here?'" he said. "I swear to you, all of a sudden from behind one of our road cases pops the ventriloquist’s dummy. He goes [in a Spanish accent], 'This is bullshit. This is bullshit.'"
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Where's Ted Nugent?

Ted Nugent once told us that he likes to move his bowels just before he takes the stage. One night in Japan in 1979, his road manager didn't realize the guitarist was in the bathroom and started up the tape with Nugent's walk-on stage music and introduction. "There’s some things in life you can’t stop midstream," Nugent recalled. "The lights go down, the band hits the stage and I’m nowhere to be found, cause I’m still in the bathroom."
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Tom Scholz's Crash Landing

One of Boston's many tours featured Tom Scholz playing a pipe-organ solo on a platform that was raised with hydraulics. After it failed to bring him down one night, he came up with a different method for his next tour that involved grabbing a rope and swinging out over the audience. But the stunt required being in the right place as Scholz neared the stage. If not, he'd crash into a metal structure that kept the organ in the air. Naturally, that's exactly happened one night.
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Jethro Tull's Zippers Don't Work

For Jethro Tull's 1973 tour in support of A Passion Play, the band walked onstage wearing large rabbit costumes before lining up and unzipping each other to begin the show. But, as frontman Ian Anderson recalled, they failed to rehearse this and, on the tour's opening night in Buffalo, two of the zippers jammed and the roadies had to use box knives to free the band members.
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Meat Loaf Gets a Golden Shower and a Broken Nose

Mickey Thomas of Starship remembered being pelted by bottles filled with urine at the 1988 Reading Festival, but Meat Loaf, who played later in the day, had it worse. After being hit with a bottle, he walked off the stage. Promoters tied to get the crowd to promise to stop throwing things so that Meat Loaf could finish his set. "They get the band back out," Thomas remembered. "And Meat Loaf walks back out onstage center stage and grabs a mic, and before he can sing one note, a bottle hits him right in the nose and breaks his nose."
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Max Weinberg Upsets the Boss

Less than a year into his tenure as the drummer in the E Street Band, Max Weinberg learned what happens if you stop paying attention to Bruce Springsteen. In August 1975, the band was playing the Bottom Line in New York's Greenwich Village when the drummer noticed an attractive woman in the crowd and began playing to her, in hopes of hooking up after the show. What Weinberg failed to realize was that Springsteen gave an impromptu cue. "I was the only one that missed the signal to stop," Weinberg said. "He finally stopped me by taking the drumsticks out of my hand and then pretending to choke me. ... I have never taken my eyes off [him] since."
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Mike Portnoy's Attempt to Show Off Backfires Painfully

Mike Portnoy brought up a painful memory that took place at a Dream Theater show in Munich in 1997. With the main set coming to an end, he decided to show off by playing the fastest drum fill he could manage. But in doing so, he dislocated his wrist and looked down to see it turn blue. He tried to put it back into place by banging it against a tom-tom, but he was unsuccessful. A roadie had to come out and ice up the wrist while Portnoy played the rest of the set, including an encore, one-handed.
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Head East Get Unplugged

On the strength of 1975's "Never Been Any Reason," Head East found themselves playing larger and larger venues, including a 10,500-seat one in St. Louis. Record-company staff flew in from New York and Los Angeles for the event, and the band's manager acquired a neon sign featuring its name. As the sign rose above the stage as Head East were about to play their hit, the plug fell out, according to keyboardist Roger Boyd. They plugged it back in, but that caused Boyd's synthesizer to "freak out," as it made a weird noise in front of their biggest audience as well as the label VIPs.
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Richie Kotzen's Guitar Goes Airborne

One of the most embarrassing things that ever happened to Richie Kotzen onstage took place in Costa Rica. He was facing his drummer when he decided to spin his guitar around like a Hula-Hoop. But the strap broke, sending the instrument flying into the audience. Kotzen didn't bring a spare guitar on that tour, so the gig ended a bit prematurely. The person who caught the guitar did return it, but it was damaged from its flight.
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