Why don’t rock stars trash hotel rooms anymore?

In London, the K West has become the 21st-century equivalent of the Columbia – the Hyde Park pit-stop that was so rock’n’roll Oasis wrote a song about it.

The era of stars treating hotels as a combination of drug den, brothel and racecourse (Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham once rode a motorbike down the corridor of Los Angeles’s notorious Continental Hyatt House – one of the more printable Zep hotel stories) has been superseded by a much more businesslike attitude. These days, Saffer says, what your typical act wants is blackout curtains so they can sleep during the day, a late check-out (ditto) and somewhere safe to park the tour bus.

Polystyrene balls? If Bonham were still here, he would surely tell the artists of today they just aren’t trying. In the hedonistic 60s and 70s, hotels were more than just a home away from home – they were places where musicians did things they wouldn’t dare do at home, and throwing TVs out the window was practically de rigueur. In his 1974 book Billion Dollar Baby, Chicago Sun-Times writer Bob Greene’s account of a month on the road with Alice Cooper, there’s a pungent description of a wrecking spree instigated by drummer Neal Smith at a motel in upstate New York. After trashing several rooms, Smith ended the evening by toppling over a 7ft-high Coke vending machine. The damage came to $5,000 – a hefty whack in the early 70s.

via Why don’t rock stars trash hotel rooms anymore? | Music | The Guardian.

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