25 years ago today, Axl Rose was a wanted man. On July 12, 1992, the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses was arrested after his plane landed at JFK International Airport in New York. He was booked on an outstanding warrant calling for him to be extradited to St. Louis for trial. He had been charged for his part in inciting a riot that took place after the band left the stage.
WATCH: ST. LOUIS INCIDENT UNFOLD
The concert took place on July 2, 1991 at Riverport Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis as part of the “Use Your Illusion Tour”. Rose had an issue with a fan in the audience filming the stage so he launched himself at the person and assaulted them. Upon being returned to the stage he said “Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home!” and dropped the mic to the stage. This left his fans… a little upset. Ok, a lot upset. Riot-worthy upset.
During said riot that followed, about 60 people were injured, 16 people were arrested and the amphitheater suffered an estimated $200,000 in damages. Officials estimated that about a quarter of the 15,400 people there took part in the carnage. Wild!
WATCH: AXL ROSE TALKS WITH MTV ABOUT THE ARREST
Axl, who had been out of country on vacation, had planned on giving himself up after returning to the States. However, after a year of trying to bring him in, authorities were upset and unwilling to wait any longer. The singer’s publicist, Bryn Bribenthal, had this to say, “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.”
Making his way through the amassed press on his trip into custody, Rose alleged that “the prosecutor reneged on a promise” before spending the next 10 hours in custody. Axl said his time in custody was great. “I basically spent my time writing autographs for the cops,” Rose said, “And talking with them about rock n’ roll. I mean, all these cool cops, they were telling me about when they went to Woodstock and everything. It was great. New York cops are the best.”
While his love for New York cops may have grown, his hatred for St. Louis became pretty engrained after the event. With him adding nasty notes to his album liners and even burning a St. Louis Cardinal’s cap in his video for “Don’t Cry”. Unfortunately the hat burning got cut from the final released video but Y’know… I don’t think he did cry about it.
WATCH: DON’T CRY