Sometimes a rock star announces to the world that his moment is over in such a colossally clueless way that it feels transformative. Such was the case with Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, who was caught by a photographer backstage wearing a t-shirt with the proto-Westboro Baptist slogan "AIDS Kills Fags Dead," which he claims someone handed to him after he took off his own sweat-stained shirt after a Row gig in 1989. Unfortunately for Bach, Revolver magazine subsequently ran the photo, and then Kurt Loder spoke out against Bach's bozo move on MTV. The singer pleaded poor reading comprehension, but he didn't help his defense very much when he yukked to MTV: "But let me just state this â€” I do not know, condone, comprehend, or understand homosexuality in any way, shape, form or [laughs] size."
Bach also blundered into a shitstorm of bad press when he hit a 17-year-old Massachusetts concert-goer in the face with a bottle and then leapt into the crowd, punching her and another fan (after Bach himself was struck with a bottle), before being dragged back onstage by roadies. He was charged with two counts of assault and battery, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count of mayhem. The injured girl was treated for "severe facial cuts and bruises."
Bizarrely, Bach spent the latter half of the 1990s on Broadway â€” including, fittingly enough, playing the title role in Jeckyll & Hyde. He also played in a short-lived band called the Last Hard Men with Smashing Pumpkins' Jimmy Chamberlain, the Breeders' Kelley Deal, and Jimmy Flemion of Milwaukee's inscrutable alt-pop provocateurs the Frogs. Coincidentally, the Frogs' 1989 album It's Only Right and Natural satirically advocated for a "new gay supremacy movement" in songs like "Dykes Are We" and "Been a Month Since I Had a Man." PHILIP SHERBURNE