Eight Crazy Tour Cancellations


Yesterday it was confirmed that veteran US prog band Kansas had cancelled their European tour citing ‘security concerns’ as their reason, while many of their fellow countrymen are still happily touring the globe. This leaves UK rock festival Ramblin’ Man Fair now searching for a replacement headliner for their Prog Stage, while Kansas, currently on tour in the States, haven’t announced any replacement dates, nor, at the time of writing, further US dates to replace the European tour.

The move was, perhaps predictably, met with a wave of cynicism and ridicule from angry fans on social media when Prog magazine broke the news yesterday. But it’s not the first time bands have cited eyebrow-raising reasons for cancelling concerts and entire tours. The security angle was used back in the early 90s by some US bands during the outbreak of the first Gulf War. And here we look at a raft of other tour-shy bands who’ve made similar, bizarre claims…


In 1987, Aerosmith were to tour the UK with Guns N’ Roses as support. But the former pulled out, leaving GN’R to takeover as headliners. When asked what happened, all Steven Tyler could offer by way of an explanation was to say, “Someone in Sweden fucked up!”. Nobody ever found out what he meant.


In 1988, Mötley Crüe cancelled a planned UK tour during the winter months. The band were at the height of their decadent lifestyle, so when Mick Mars offered an explanation as to why the tour had been pulled what he said seemed almost reasonable. “There’s too much snow on the roof!” he stated of their chosen venues. You can imagine the kind of jokes about ‘snow’ and ‘noses’ that abounded!


Cinderella and Slaughter teamed up in 1991 for one of the hottest tours of the year. Well, it should have been. But when the first Gulf War broke out, Cinderella decided they could be a target for a terrorist attack, so they chartered a private plane and flew back home, with Slaughter having no option to accompany them. Of course a private plane would never draw any attention to the band!


The Plasmatics were all set to play Hammersmith Odeon in 1980. But on the day of the gig, the GLC (Greater London Council) decided the band’s habit of blowing up a Cadillac onstage was too dangerous. The band even offered to to put the whole crowd in the balcony, to minimise the risk of injury. But, the powers that be refused to accept this compromise. Result: no gig!


In 1982, The Clash were all ready for a UK tour. Well, that is apart from Joe Strummer. On the eve of the tour, he disappeared, necessitating the cancellation. He wasn’t located for six months, when he was found living in Paris, and having grown a beard. To this day, nobody really knows what was going on.


Just weeks before staring an eagerly anticipated European tour, Neil Young was happily making himself a ham sandwich, when he sliced off the top of his left index finger. This led to the tour being cancelled. Still, he showed his sense of humour by admitting, “It’s macaroni and cheese from now on!”


You’d have thought he would have known better, but in 2006 Keith Richards fell out of a coconut tree in Fiji, and got a blood clot that required surgery. This led to he Stones postponing the start of their European tour. Why was he climbing a tree? It’s Keef, so why would you ask such a daft question?!


It was only one gig, but in 1972 Led Zeppelin had to cancel a show in Singapore, because their hair was too long. Seriously, the authorities at the time told the band they were in breach of local law by having long hair. They weren’t even allowed off the plane, but had to fly on to Australia.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021