Stage falls: They happen to even the best rockers out there.

Sometimes, they’re hilarious. However, there are times when a tumble will literally have you scream, “OH, SH*T!” out loud.

A great example of this happened to Tom Morello during Rage Against The Machine’s July 23, 2022 show in Toronto. The guitarist took a nasty spill from the stage, but the incident wasn’t really his fault. A fan ran up on the stage, and when security tackled the fan, Morello was taken out in the process. Singer Zack de la Rocha briefly stopped the show to make sure his bandmate was okay. Fortunately, Morello popped back up and was clearly not fazed. He then proceeded to whip the crowd up into a frenzy. After all, this was a Rage show. 

Among the stage falls that can be classified as “funny” is this one from Kirk Hammett during a May 2019 Metallica show in Milan. Mid-solo on “Moth Into Flame,” Hammett slips on his Wah Wah pedal due to heavy rain that was passing through. He wrote in an Instagram post showing the slip, “It rained so much I felt like I was playing guitar in the shower.” (Side note: Please never play your guitar in the shower! It seems like a terrible idea. However, peep Hammett’s “guitar face” just before slipping on his Wah Wah pedal. Dude was feeling it during that solo!)

And then, there’s Steven Tyler. The Aerosmith frontman has fallen off the stage a lot in his storied career. One of the worst times occurred in 2009 when Aerosmith played Sturgis. In the clip below, you can see Tyler walking toward the end of a catwalk and bust a few of his trademark moves before falling of the catwalk, much to the shock of the crowd.

Per Rolling Stone, Tyler was then airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for head, neck and shoulder injuries. Understandably, the show was cut short. After all, it’s kind of difficult to do an Aerosmith show without the Demon of Screamin’.

Rolling Stone noted that during this 2009 Aerosmith tour, Tyler injured his hamstring two months before the Sturgis incident, which resulted in seven shows being postponed. Also, guitarist Brad Whitford missed a significant chunk of that 2009 Aerosmith tour after he needed surgery for bumping his head while getting out of his Ferrari. (Rock star problems, amiright?)

Without further ado, here’s a look back at some of the nastiest stage falls over the years, ranging from funny to painful.

  • 1. Axl Rose (1989)

    Axl Rose has fallen on and off stage a lot. Here’s some grainy footage from a Guns N’ Roses show from 1989, which looks frightening. (Side note: Axl has a long history of just wiping out on stage, period. Seriously, Google it!)

  • 2. Axl Rose (2023)

    Honestly, we should just call Axl Rose “Timex,” because he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The singer’s latest fall happened during GN’R’s June 30, 2023 show in London. Axl is singing the first verse of “Bad Obsession” while walking backwards toward the drum riser. He falls but quickly recovers. You can even see him smile as he gets back to the verse, almost as if he’s having a laugh about falling on stage…again!

  • 3. James Hetfield

    On September 4, 2017, Papa Het fell into a hole on stage during Metallica’s show in Amsterdam. Thankfully, he was okay, but it certainly could’ve been worse. At the very least, we’re sure that hurt. For anyone that bruises easily, you would be so screwed after this fall.

    😮😮😮 JAMES turns away from his mic and walks right into the hole...😮😮😮SEP 04 2017AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDSZIGGO DOME

    Posted by MilanicaChannel on Monday, September 4, 2017
  • 4. Vince Neil (2021)

    This was a scary one. Neil was performing a solo set in October 2021 when he fell through a small gap between a speaker and the stage that resulted in a four-foot drop onto a cement floor. He was taken to a nearby hospital and, fortunately, didn’t sustain any serious injuries.

  • 5. Vince Neil (2024)

    Sure, this fall from Vince Neil wasn’t nearly as bad as the one from 2021. However, face-planting during “Wild Side” is a surefire way to suck the cool right out of you. Again, we’re all glad he was okay, but what a bummer! This is like the equivalent of a normal person randomly tripping when walking down the street.

  • 6. The Edge

    Another fall that could’ve been a lot worse was this misstep by The Edge on opening night of U2’s 2015 “Innocence and Experience” tour. He literally walked off the edge of the stage! You can’t make this up!

  • 7. Dave Grohl

    Who could forget this moment? Dave Grohl’s major fall off stage during a 2015 show in Sweden may have resulted in a broken leg, but it gave us the Foo Throne. We’ll just chalk this up to taking the good with the bad. Plus, he had THE BEST reaction to falling off stage, too. Even in tons of pain, Grohl manages to be the most charming mofo in the room! What a king!

  • BONUS: Krist Novoselic

    Alright…so this isn’t a proper stage fall, but as far as stage injuries go, Krist Novoselic’s bass toss at the 1992 MTV VMAs is always worth mentioning. Seriously, what was he thinking? Even if he had done the stunt before, why take such a risk on live television. Obviously, it didn’t pay off. He’s super lucky the bass toss didn’t go worse.

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