2017’s 21 Most WTF? Classic Rock Moments
The year 2017 had no shortage of WTF moments, as the following list confirms. From crazy revelations of infidelity to even crazier copyright ideas, from wild conspiracy theories to White House intrigue, the past 12 months gave us plenty of opportunities to exclaim those three stunned letters in exasperated confusion. Check out 21 of 2017's Most WTF Classic Rock Moments ...
KYLIE AND KENDALL JENNER'S WTF T-SHIRTS
A combination of bad publicity and threats of legal action quickly doomed an out-of-nowhere line of apparel by Kylie and Kendall Jenner that featured the reality TV stars' faces superimposed on top of classic rock and hip-hop acts like the Doors, Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. Sharon Osbourne tweeted out a picture of the shirt featuring her husband and wrote: “Girls, you haven't earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know … lip gloss.” Jeff Jampol, who manages the Doors, and Voletta Wallace, the mother of Notorious B.I.G., sent cease-and-desist letters to the Jenners for unauthorized usage of their images.
GENE SIMMONS' WTF COPYRIGHT IDEA
Gene Simmons discussed but then shelved his widely ridiculed effort to trademark a universally recognized devil-horn hand gesture. He initially filed the register the gesture, commonly made by countless rock stars over the past several decades, with a claim that he'd first made it in 1974. Given this widespread usage, its close identification with Ronnie James Dio and the fact that it holds a variety of meanings in different cultural and/or linguistic contexts, the Kiss co-founder's efforts to secure any type of ownership over the hand sign prompted immediate public scorn. Dio's widow Wendy called the idea of the trademark "disgusting," arguing Simmons had "made a complete fool of himself."
JUDAS PRIEST'S WTF HALL OF FAME REJECTION
Frontman Rob Halford shared the contents of Judas Priest's rejection notice from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, hours after the announcement learning they hadn’t become part of the Class of 2018. The latter concluded by saying: “If you are touring or simply traveling nearby, please visit our museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Our six floors of exhibitions tell the remarkable history of rock and roll and how it changed the world. You're part of that story and we'd love to share it with you." Radio host Paul ‘Neanderpaul’ Marshall quipped: “So, they basically sent you an invite. You got a Groupon from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
WASHINGTON'S WTF MEATLOAF REFERENCES
Meat Loaf suddenly became a debate tool during a discussion by the U.S. Senate banking committee on changes to the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law. The proposed updates are part of a larger new measure called the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act." Brown took specific issue with the name. "As Meat Loaf tells us, 'Two Out of Three Ain't Bad,'" Brown said during opening remarks on Tuesday in Washington D.C. "But this bill doesn't even meet the Meat Loaf minimum." Apparently, there are lot of Meat Loaf fans in the U.S. Senate. Brown's comments ended up unleashing a lyrical avalanche, as three other senators reportedly cited him while discussing the act.
SHARON OSBOURNE MAKES WTF OZZY REVELATION
Sharon Osbourne says she discovered that husband Ozzy Osbourne wasn't having a single affair, but was instead seeing five other women at the same time: “Some f---ing Russian teenager, then a masseuse in England, our masseuse out here and then our cook," Sharon revealed. "He had women in different countries. Basically, if you’re a woman giving Ozzy either a back rub or a trolley of food, God help you.” The initial revelation that he’d been seeing hairstylist Michelle Pugh for four years nearly ended Ozzy's marriage; Sharon left their Los Angeles family home for a time. Osbourne' wife eventually returned to him, although Sharon publicly wondered, “Can I ever trust him again? I don’t know.”
MEGADETH ENDURE GRAMMY SNAFU
The good news: Megadeth won their first-ever Grammy. The bad news? Their walk up to accept the award was soundtracked, for some reason, by Metallica's "Master of Puppets." The song was released in 1986, some three years after Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine was fired by Metallica. Later, he offered a hilarious swipe at the Grammy night band: "Ah, you can't blame 'em for not being able to play Megadeth." Mustaine didn't address the mishap from the podium, as he accepted recognition in the Best Metal Performance category for “Dystopia,” the title track from Megadeth's latest album. "It only took 12 tries to get this," he said, referring to Metallica's studio catalog. "Last time we were here (after releasing 2011's Thirteen), we were talking to Kenny G, and he asked me how many times we'd been here. '11 isn't that bad,' he said. I asked him, 'How many times did it take you?' And he said, '21.' I was, like, 'Oh my God. If it takes 21 times, I don't know if I will live that long!'"
MARILYN MANSON'S WTF TRIBUTE TO CHARLES MANSON
Marilyn Manson created a backlash when he commemorated the death of Charles Manson by posting a cover of the mass murderer's 1970 track "Sick City." Paul Stanley was among those who lashed out after Manson shared a YouTube clip of his previously recorded version of the song: "[It's] pathetic when somebody [whose] career never really took off is desperate enough to try for publicity by connecting himself to the news of a murdering scumbag’s death," the Kiss singer said. Born Brian Hugh Warner, Manson came up with his stage name by combining Charles Manson's last name with the first of actress Marilyn Monroe.
WTF, BEATLES FANS?
Are the Beatles becoming less popular? A surprising report by Digital Music News seemed to confirm it. Looking at data provided by Google Trends, they concluded that the band had 70 percent fewer searches between January 2004 and the present. The graph included all searches related to the band. According to the chart, interest has been declining steadily, although there was a major spike – its highest placing in 13 years – in September 2009. That corresponds with when the Beatles reissued their entire catalog and released a special version of the Rock Band video game. The article did not acknowledge, however, that unauthorized uploads of Beatles songs have been removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement over the past few years. The official Beatles YouTube channel only has 28 videos.
A WTF ELVIS PRESLEY CONSPIRACY THEORY
Is Elvis Presley is secretly still alive? The fittingly named Evidence Elvis Presley Is Alive Facebook group provided compelling new evidence. They pointed to livestream footage from Presley's 2017 "birthday proclamation" event, held Jan. 8 at the singer's Graceland estate, that supposedly offers proof of some beyond-the-grave shenanigans — specifically images of a burly bearded man standing in the background next to what appear to be security guards. The footage started making the rounds with a variety of publications, including NME and the U.K.'s Su tabloid. Their headlines suggested the man in the background might be Elvis, while the Presley Is Alive group actually seems to believe it's his stillborn twin Jesse ... who is also apparently secretly still among the living.
SCORPIONS FEATURED IN WTF BASEBALL MOMENT
The Atlanta Braves played Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" over the P.A. system between innings of their game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. But there was one major problem: Miami, and the rest of Florida, were preparing for the arrival of an actual hurricane, the devastating Irma. The musical misstep was immediately derided on social media, but it may have been an innocent mistake rather than an attempt at trolling the visiting team. This 1984 hit is apparently regularly played at SunTrust Park, as it is in many stadiums. Plus, earlier that day, the Braves organization announced that any Florida residents who have evacuated to the Atlanta area as a result of the impending storm can attend the game for free. A "Braves official apologized, said 'Rock You Like a Hurricane' is on home playlist [and added that the song] should have been pulled," Clark Spencer, who covers the Marlins for the Miami Herald, said during the game. It "won't be played again this series."
EX-KANSAS SINGER'S WTF BANDMATE
Political junkies are no doubt familiar with Jay Sekulow as a lawyer and conservative talk show host who joined the legal team of President Donald Trump. But his resume also has a Kansas connection. Turns out, he founded a self-named band that features singer John Elefante, who fronted Kansas for a spell in the early '80s. John Schlitt, who spent 20 years as the lead singer of Christian rock band Petra, is also in the group. Elefante joined Kansas in 1982 when original lead singer Steve Walsh left. He was in the band for two studio albums, Vinyl Confessions and Drastic Measures, producing radio hits in "Play the Game Tonight" and "Fight Fire with Fire." This lineup of Kansas broke up after recording one new song, "Perfect Lover," for a 1984 compilation.
VAN HALEN'S WTF INSTAGRAM FEUD
Wolfgang Van Halen called out an Instagram user for pretending to be his dad, Eddie Van Halen – and he’s warned fans not to fall for the scam. He said someone had set up an account with a name similar to Eddie’s real one, and accused the faker of being a woman called Vanessa, based in Boston, who was apparently somehow trying to steal $40,000. “This account has being going around and messaging people pretending to be @eddievanhalen (no underscore),” Wolfgang said. “If you’re following @_eddievanhalen (with an underscore) you’re following the wrong account. Notice how it doesn’t have a verification check? Go report this account, everyone!” He then posted an image of a one-sided conversation he’d had with the unidentified user: “Oh hey, Dad! How’s it going?! It’s me. Your son. You obviously know that because you’re totally my dad.”
SIRI'S WTF RENDITION OF 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY'
Siri may not have Freddie Mercury's killer voice, but she recognizes a classic when she hears it. Read her a snippet of lyrics from Queen's behemoth hit "Bohemian Rhapsody," and she'll pick right up where you left off. A Journal of Musical Things made the discovery by feeding Siri – Apple's voice-activated intelligent personal assistant – the brief line "I see a little silhouetto of a man" from the classic, densely layered A Night at the Opera track. In turn, Siri "sang," or at least spoke in time, the rest of the song's lyrics.
STUDENTS THREATENED BY EX-ALLMAN BROTHERS STAR'S WIFE
Dickey Betts' wife was charged with aiming a rifle at a group of students who were rowing near her backyard on Bay Preserve in Osprey, Fla. Donna Betts, 61, faced 18 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, "causing a well-founded fear coupled with the ability to produce great bodily harm and/or death," according to Sarasota County authorities. A county judge ordered a $180,000 bond for Betts, calling the whole thing a "bizarre situation," the Herald-Tribune reported. The Sarasota Crew were taking part in their daily practice on Monday when Betts appeared on her dock nearby, armed with a 30-30 Winchester rifle. She reportedly warned them to stay away from her property before threatening to shoot. Police say the entire thing was captured on a cell phone. Strangely, Betts is said to have thrown the rifle into the water at the end of the cell-phone video. She then called 911, saying that "the crew from Sarasota High School have destroyed her life and she has had it," according to WWSB.
KID ROCK'S WTF FAKE SENATE RUN
Kid Rock staged a fake Senate run, later saying he enjoyed watching the media “losing their s---” over it all. The suggestion that he could run as a Republican candidate surfaced in February as a rumor, but he then took it further – despite having no real intention of taking up politics full-time. "It might be one of the dumber things I've ever done, but it was a f---ing riot," Rock said. "Man, some of the s--- that went on was unbelievable." Still, he also expressed sorrow for those who offered genuine support for such a bid, and openly wondered if he'd face “repercussions” for the stunt. "Every time we'd do something, just watching the press losing their s--- over it was hilarious," Rock added. "There were times we couldn't stop laughing."
BOB DYLAN'S WTF SITCOM CONCEPT
Seems Bob Dylan, after taking in a string of Jerry Lewis movies, contacted Seinfeld writer Larry Charles with an idea for a slapstick-fueled sitcom – starring Dylan himself. They pitched it to HBO and the execs agreed to produce their series, despite the fact that Dylan reportedly spent the entire time with his back to the participants, staring out of the office windows at the city below. Dylan then suddenly changed his mind once they got back to the elevator after the meeting. "Bob says, 'I don't want to do it anymore. It's too slapsticky,'" Charles remembered. "He's like not into it; that's over. The slapstick phase has officially ended."
THE WHITE HOUSE'S WTF 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY' CONNECTION
President Donald Trump's appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House director of communications had people in a Queen state of mind. In fact, the similarity of his surname to the word "scaramouch" resulted in a massive spike in people trying to decipher the middle section of "Bohemian Rhapsody." Merriam-Webster reported that searches for a definition of "scaramouch" rose 8,185 percent after the White House announced Scaramucci's hire. The dictionary got in on the joke, saying "there was no evidence" that the hedge-fund manager "performed the Spanish dance known as the fandango."
BEACH BOYS' WTF CONCERT CANCELLATION
Concerts are cancelled for reasons large and small. This one, we'll mark down as large, indeed: A Beach Boys show in Oklahoma was cancelled when a tornado hit the venue. The group was actually performing when the twister ripped part of the roof off the Riverwind Casino in Cleveland County. Miraculously, no injuries were reported. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma's governor, was inside the benefit and said she "looked up toward the balcony, and there's this huge flood of rain coming through the roof into the concert hall." Designated as an EF1 tornado with winds up to 110 MPH, it also took down power lines and trees throughout central Oklahoma. The casino said they were given no time to evacuate Beach Boys fans before the storm was upon them. Riverwind was closed for several days as repairs continued.
STEVEN TYLER'S WTF DUST UP WITH RIC FLAIR
Wrestling star Ric Flair said he had sex with something like 10,000 women in his life, prompting an incredulous response from Steven Tyler. "You know what?" shrugged Tyler, "the guy's full of s---." Whatever Flair's level of conquest, the Aerosmith singer says he bested Flair. "Oh, I got him so beat," Tyler quipped, between signing autographs. Pointing out that rock stars have an easier time of it when it comes to securing companionship, he ultimately backed off when pressed to offer a specific lifetime number, saying he was "too busy getting high" during the band's wildest years.
TED NUGENT'S WTF ROLLING STONES INSULT
Apparently touched by the holiday spirit, Ted Nugent went on pre-Christmas posting spree that included a swipe at Ron Wood. Seemingly out of nowhere, he claimed the Rolling Stones guitarist was a prime example of why people shouldn't use drugs. The comments were actually sparked by an article in the Daily Mail that showed Wood and his wife Sally at the London premiere of the musical Hamilton. Nugent said: "Hmmmmmm ... I'm almost 70 and I don't look like someone threw me in a wood chipper!" he wrote. "Couldn't be a lifetime of drugs and alcohol and tobacco, could it? Treat your sacred temple & gift of life with reverence."
LENNON MURDERER'S WTF LETTER
Mark Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon, said he has been forgiven by Jesus in a letter that was sold to a private buyer. Reportedly 25 years old, letter was addressed to a Chapman pen pal known only as "Michael," and sent from the Attica Correctional Facility where Chapman has been held since Lennon's December 1980 murder. "That is why he chose to die, to shed his blood so that our sins – even mine – could be forgiven," Chapman wrote. "That is why he came. I wanted you to know that you, too, can actually KNOW and FEEL this Savior. For he truly is one. I know. Twelve years ago I shot and killed the rock superstar John Lennon, formerly of the Beatles. There is a book that explains my motivations for this heinous crime, but let me say here that it was a horrible occurrence, I have never forgotten it.” Chapman was convicted in 1981 after shooting Lennon four times in the back as he and his wife Yoko Ono returned to their apartment in New York City.