Music Blogs

10 Outrageous Music TV moments

  • By MisterCharlie Author Avatar
  • 7 February 2012


Nothing beats a good shocking TV moment. It’s what the idiotbox is made for— MIA giving America the finger at Superbowl?  Meh. Small fry. Not even a Richter 3 on the offensivometer. For true knuckle chompingly bad moments you need to look to the pros: the maniacs, drunkards, junkies, fuck ups, numbskulls and pranksters of pop who’ve- intentionally or not- bitch slapped the schedules with some off-script mayhem. Whether they’ve utilised baffling incompetence, inventive expletives, rampaging ego, or just straight up insanity, today we celebrate the musicians who drop clangers while the cameras roll.

And before you get too judgemental, imagine the stoopidist thing you’ve ever done, then imagine someone filmed it. Brrrrrr.

10. Shaun Ryder on TFI Friday

In at number 10, it’s big Shaun. Back in the 90s the Chris Evans fronted TFI Friday used to broadcast a raucous mix of music and chat live every Friday night. It took one Colombian sponsored performance from potty mouthed scallywag Shaun Ryder to change that forever. Having already been told to watch his language in an earlier interview, Ruder (sorry, couldn’t resist) took to the stage to perform the Sex Pistols classic Pretty Vacant with his then band Black Grape. Realising that the Pistols original needed a bit of spicing up, Shaun stuck in as many ‘fucks’ as he could, whilst the watching Channel 4 execs suffered multiple aneurisms. Ryder was banned from ever appearing live on the channel again, and TFI Friday had a delay built into its broadcast from then on in. Good work swearing drug nutter!

9. Really, really bad miming

Now I think we can all accept that sometimes miming is gonna happen. I’m no stickler, sometimes the show is more important than the song, whether it be David Guetta pretending to DJ, or Madonna lip synching her way through her Superbowl set. It’s just a fact of this cheesy unit shifting hell we know as showbusiness. But the thing about miming is; IT’S REALLY EASY. CHILDREN DO IT. ANYONE CAN DO IT. So when the miming goes tits up you have to really worry. Taking joint honours in our number 9 slot are All About Eve and Ashlee Simpson, both of whom have been captured in some of the most unforgivably cack handed lipsync fails this side of Milli Vanilli.

First up, check out this priceless footage of All About Eve from Top of the Pops. The song is playing.  The lights are up. The band aren’t doing anything. Not a thing. They’re sitting there grinning uncomfortably, slightly shuffling. It’s the essence of What The Fuck??? made real. At first you think- Wow! This is some mad protest! They hate having their artistic integrity undermined by being forced to mime so they won’t play the game! All About Eve, you are amazing!! Then they start singing, and you realise there’s just been an almighty cock up. Downer. Incomprehensibly, this performance actually helped the song rise in the charts. I guess England loves a loser.


It all goes wrong for Ashlee from the off as well—here she is on Saturday Night Live waiting to mime along to one of her ‘hits’. Some joker in sound plays the wrong track and whooopsie! Ashlee and her session musician band suddenly find themselves trapped in the headlights of utter public humiliation... The band manfully try to pick up the beat, while Ashlee- pro that she is- launches herself into a bemusing jig that owes a lot to Rumplestiltskin’s mating dance. The show must go on, eh Ash. Ever graceful, she afterwards blamed ‘her band’ for playing the wrong song. Safe.

8. Kanye West vs Taylor Swift

Aaaahh Kanye. Now some people (OK, a lot of people) think you’re a teensy bit of a wanker. And they might even use this clip of you grabbing the mic off skeletal country warbler Tayler Swift to prove it. But they’d be wrong. Kanye’s infamous interrupting of Swift’s mind numbing award acceptance patter at the VMA’s is actually (and I’ll stand by this) the mark of a great man. Imagine if you had a friend like Kanye, and any time you lost out to some no mark fool, he got up and let his voice be heard. NO. He’d say. David in accounts shouldn’t get the promotion –Rick in HR is the BETTER MAN. David should SHUT UP. Wouldn’t that be great?


7. Jarvis Cocker at the Brits

The BRIT Awards has had a fair few shockers in its time- Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox giving new nuances to the phrase ‘pigs ear’ whilst presenting in 1989, and unlikely anarchist pop stars Chumbawamba soaking Two Jags Prescott in ’98 both spring to mind- but the tippity top spot for ludicrous BRIT carrying on is easily won by the spontaneous bum waggling of Jarvis Cocker during his ‘assault’ on Michael Jackson in 1996. St. Michael was putting in a typically restrained performance of Earth Song, you know the drill; choir of adoring children, a glowing, holy light show and Jacko in a variety of messianic poses--  all of which wound up Pulp frontman Cocker so much he leapt to the stage and did a kind of simulated fart move and flapped his shirt about. As protests go it was hardly Baader Meinhof territory, but it was enough to enrage Mike’s ‘people’ who had Cocker arrested and charged with assault. As you can probably guess from watching the clip, the charges were dropped. MJ fans still visit the Youtube footage to pour rage and hate on Jarvis to this very day. If that energy could be harnessed for good we could probably restitch the hole in the ozone layer. Which would Michael have wanted more huh?


6. The Michael Jackson baby dangle

And a bit more of MJ. First I should make it clear that I freakin’ love Michael Jackson. Even the dodgier later songs are wicked in my book, but really- and I say this as a devoted fan- he occasionally seemed one moon short of a walk. When The King of Pop decided to show off his new born son to the world by dangling the infant over an impossibly high balcony- and kind of spannered the child’s foot in the process – the world reacted with shock. What has possessed Wacko to risk his child’s life? The media asked- Has he lost his mind? They demanded. However I think the appalled masses missed two very important points:

  1. This is Michael Jackson we’re talking about. He created an entire style of dance. He even invented, and patented, a shoe that allowed him to slant to a previously unimaginable angle (see the Smooth Criminal video). His entire body is a precise, highly tuned temple of sound. He’s performed a bazillion gigs around the world to pin point chronological perfection, down to the very last step. What I’m getting at is- He probably knows how to hold things.
  2. He’s got a jetpack. Baby drops, he’s just gonna go swooping after that sucker.


Still, as parenting goes, it definitely errs on the ‘social services have been called’ side. He probably had about 30 other replica versions of the baby in a backroom of Neverland though, so no harm done.

5. Whitney Houston & Bobby Brown 4EVA

Whitney and Bobby. Truly a love story for the modern age. Once the crack ravaged couple let reality TV intrude into their life they swiftly proved their worth as a highly efficient factory of Oh no they DIDN’T moments, putting any other celebrity kaner to shame. Pete Doherty can’t even come close. Heartbreakingly I can’t find the footage of Bobby detailing how he pulled impacted poop out of Whitney’s constipated colon (he calls the offending stool a ‘Dooty Bubble’. The fact that he’s even got his own pet name for hardened caka is just mindboggling). To be honest though, any single episode of Being Bobby Brown makes deeply uncomfortable/exploitative/hilarious watching depending on where you stand on the whole having-a-conscience thing. Less car crash TV, more brutal motorway pile up TV.


4.Courtney love vs Madonna interview

Courtney comes in for a lot of stick, and basically most of it’s justified. Yep, she’s trashy, she’s out of her gourd on drugs, she hasn’t recorded a good song for ages, she’s really annoying in her quest for publicity, and her husband felt happier swallowing a bullet than waking up to her Xanax happy face for another day. But if it wasn’t for most of these personality traits she wouldn’t pull off things like this moment of magic. Watch Courtney gatecrash a really dull Madonna interview, firstly by throwing shoes and makeup at an insanely uptight Madge, then by slurring incomprehensibly to the interviewer. See how much Madonna hates sharing the limelight—the rumour is she got the presenter fired from MTV after this performance- and see how little of a shit Courtney gives. I’m trying to think of a current star who’d drunkenly wind up Madonna like this, and d’ya know what? I can’t think of one. Not one. Shame on you pop. 


3. Amy Winehouse with Charlotte Church


And now onto the late, great Amy Winehouse. Her performance on Charlotte Church’s chat show is not to put to fine a point on it, fucking terrible. Does anyone remember the Police Academy guy who spoke like Animal from the Muppets? Why Amy would take him as a starting point for vocal phrasing is beyond anyone. The thing is, no matter how much Winehouse brutalises Beat It, no matter how far from the melody she lurches, or how spasmodically she delivers the lines, she is still- at all times- a million times more entertaining to watch than Charlotte Church. That’s what being a star is. Even when your crap your great. This makes number three because we miss her. 

2. Jamiroquai gets OWNED.

OK, so this didn’t actually strictly happen on live TV, but (and it’s a big but) it’s at number 2 because it’s flipping amazing. Pure camcorder gold. Witness 90s disco dwarf JK throw his tiny weight around, haranguing photographers and abusing passersby in the most obnoxious of manners. Every ounce of his itsy witsy body is screaming LOOK AT ME! I AM A BIG MAN! Finally he’s getting his own back on all the shits, on anyone who ever picked on his diminutive stature or mocked his crap taste in hats. Everyone is.going.to.pay. And it’s working ! Sweet Jesus, it’s working- he’s looking the nuts, well ‘ard, its all going to plan

- that is, until one harassed photographers snaps and gives him the sweetest headbutt ever captured on camera. We’d never condone violence- this is a work of art. I can watch it again and again and again. Beautiful.



1. Sex Pistols destroy civilisation on Bill Grundy

It’s got to be number one, because of sheer cultural impact. Who would have thought that four letters could cause such havoc? Grundy was a pissed precursor to Terry Wogan, the Pistols were teenagers having a laugh and England was a country that thought Showaddywaddy was an acceptable band. What a mix. After Steve Jones called Grundy ‘a fucking rotter’ – and it’s often forgotten that Johnny Rotten had said ‘shit’ half a minute before- all hell broke loose. Civilisation as we know it collapsed. The ravens fled the Tower of London, the hands of Big Ben whirled manically backwards, and, to a thunderous apocalyptic fanfare, the great beast Satan himself arose from the bowels of the Earth, consuming all who lay before him with fetid brimstone-stinking gulps. Apparently. I’m a bit hazy on the history if I’m honest with you.

Legend has it that some moron was so outraged at the rude words fouling up his living room that he kicked in his telly in a moment of shoot-the-messenger disgust. I’d love to find that guy now. He’s probably ramraiding PC World in an attempt to kill the internet.