The Who top rock's hall of shame

A history of trashed hotel rooms, exploding drum kits and drugs binges earns the band top spot in a BBC poll
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Their on-tour indulgences and guitar-smashing antics created the template for a generation of bands. Now The Who have been recognised as the kings of outrageous behaviour in a BBC poll released this week.

Their on-tour indulgences and guitar-smashing antics created the template for a generation of bands. Now The Who have been recognised as the kings of outrageous behaviour in a BBC poll released this week.

They beat off strong competition from Ozzy Osbourne and Jimi Hendrix thanks to a record that includes on-stage punch-ups, prodigious drug-taking and, it is often claimed, driving a Rolls-Royce into a society swimming pool.

The list of 10 favourite moments of "rock excess" has been compiled by the BBC digital station 6 Music from thousands of listener votes

Second position went to the duo KLF, who earned their place for apparently burning £1m in cash on the remote Scottish island of Jura as an "art" stunt. Other antics from the publicity-hungry pair - Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty - included leaving a dead sheep outside the Brit Awards party in 1992, having already fired machine-gun blanks at the ceremony's audience.

"Prince of Darkness" Ozzy Osbourne, the ex-Black Sabbath singer who found a new lease of global fame with his family in the MTV show The Osbournes, takes third place after three decades of punishing his body with a mammoth chemical intake.

He earned his place on the list with a 1982 incident. His wife Sharon had confiscated his clothes to stop him going out drinking, but he solved the problem by donning one of her dresses to head to the bars of San Antonio, Texas. Hours later he was arrested for urinating on the Alamo.

Morrissey is fourth in the chart, not for any bad behaviour on his part but thanks to a wag in the audience for his band, The Smiths. During a rendition of the track "Meat is Murder", the vegetarian campaigner was hit in the face by some sausages. "Part of them got in my mouth. It was horrible. I had to run off the stage and heave," he recalled. "Eating meat is the most disgusting thing I can think of. It's like biting into your grandmother."

Jimi Hendrix was ranked fifth for setting fire to his Fender Stratocaster in Miami in May 1968.

The Who's incendiary drummer Keith Moon was at the cutting edge of the mayhem in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was responsible for many of the most notorious tales, such as the demolition of toilets with "cherry bomb" fireworks, and the detonation of his drum kit, permanently damaging the hearing of bandmate Pete Townshend.

"Moon the Loon", as he became known, showed his appetite for destruction early on by wrecking the drum kit at his audition. His bandmate, bass player John Entwistle, once remarked that tales of Moon's behaviour seemed "really funny when it comes back as legend, but when you were there it was a pain in the arse".

The drummer died in 1978, aged 31, after overdosing on drugs used to treat his drinking. He once arrived at a tennis match in a tank dressed as Rommel. He was also notorious for driving his Rolls-Royce into a swimming pool. The tale, however, is thought to be apocryphal and seems to have stemmed from Moon accidentally backing into a pond.

Hall of shame

'Moon the loon' The Who drummer Keith Moon spent a drug-fuelled lifetime wrecking apartments, hotel rooms and reputations. His top tricks included blowing up his drum kit and dressing as a Nazi. He once arrived at a tennis tournament in a tank.

Money to burn KLF are as well known for their stunts as for their music. They famously claimed to have set £1m of their own money ablaze on a Scottish island, an event filmed for posterity in the name of "art".

Prince of darkness The one-time Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne, whose stunts include biting off the head of a bat on stage and urinating against an American monument.

Hot rocker Jimi Hendrix could play with his teeth but astonished audiences by setting his Stratocaster guitar on fire in Miami.

Misery man Morrissey, the gloomy Smiths singer, had even less to smile about when fans hurled sausages at the ardent vegetarian on stage.

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