Quack Addicts

Where does Ryan Adams fit in among the great meltdown artists of yore?

Grace Slick: 1978, Germany

Meltdown: Jefferson Starship's European tour was not going well. At the Lorelei Festival, their first show in Germany, fans rioted when it was announced that singer Grace Slick was too sick to perform. The next night, in Hamburg, the band probably wished Slick was still ailing. Drunk as a skunk, she took the stage in a Nazi uniform, goose-stepped around the stage and taunted fans about losing World War II, pausing occasionally to insert a finger or two up the nostrils of puzzled German men, whom she called a bunch of Nazis.

Aftermath: Slick quit the band immediately after the show, and the group staggered on without her through the rest of the tour. "I think she created punk rock that night," recalled drummer John Barbata, but sadly, the rest of her career was anything but punk. In 1981, she rejoined the band, dropped the "Jefferson" and unleashed some of the worst and most unaccountably popular rock of all time. "We Built This City," in particular, was voted the worst song ever by Blender last year, and it's safe to say that no other creative decline will ever compare.

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