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The Vines Frontman Arrested for Allegedly Punching His Mother

The Vines' Craig Nicholls

Add another sad twist to the strange saga of the Vines. Way back in 2002, the fuzzed-out Australian guitar-poppers drew acclaim from SPIN and other magazines alongside a “new rock” movement including the Strokes, the White Stripes, and the Hives. The Vines were even the subject of SPIN’s March 2004 cover story, but then their sophomore record flopped, the band almost split up, and frontman Craig Nicholls was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

Now, the Sydney Morning Herald reports (via Spinner) that Nicholls was arrested on Saturday over an alleged incident at home. Police reportedly said the 35-year-old singer punched his mother twice in the head on Saturday afternoon and resisted arrest, leading police to use pepper spray. “He tried to evade police and [a] violent struggle ensued,” one of the police is quoted as saying. “A police officer suffered grazes, cuts and bruises to both elbows and knees and was treated at St George Hospital.” Nicholls stands charged of five offenses, including domestic assault, stalking or intimidation, resisting arrest, and assault causing bodily harm.

The Vines’ released their fifth album, Future Primitive, in June 2011. A SPIN review contended that some songs on 2008’s Melodia “prove that Nicholls’ talent isn’t entirely wrapped up in his ability to wreck a stage.” But by November 2008, the band had canceled shows due to Nicholls’ mental condition. Whatever the results of the criminal case, it’s awful to hear that Nicholls has gotten to this state, and our thoughts especally go out to his family, who presumably never imagined the Vines’ “Get Free” would become so literal.