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The Best Of 2014: Ice Bucket Challenges

This year millions of people threw buckets of iced water over their heads, in the name of ALS. Many hallowed names in the rockstar community – from Dave Grohl to Def Leppard – wanted to join in. Here are our favourites...


Grohl’s faithful adaptation of that prom scene is the daddy of kooky celeb ice bucket challenges – no pig’s blood in sight. Whoever knew that novelty fundraising and bearded Sissy Spacek impersonators were so compatible?


Real men don’t piss around with washing-up bowls and a few ice cubes. They get thrown, by two Washington Huskies, into a bath of iced water. American footballers + Guns N’ Roses bassist = very hench ice bucket challenge.


This was never going to be understated. The massive crowd, Paul Stanley’s spectacularly over-the-top speech, the ALS sufferer brought on stage, Joe Elliott’s T-shirt bearing the command ‘FUCK CANCER’… Both admirable and exhausting.


The back gardens, the self-conscious grins… Ice bucket challenges were getting a tad predictable. Enter Primus nut-job Claypool, in a pig mask, playing a double bass. “That’s some cold-ass shit,” quoth the pig man, post-dousing.


As a 19-year-old guitar virtuoso, Becker was diagnosed with ALS. At 45 he braved a bag of ice on his head (his tracheotomy tube prevented the full water bucket treatment). Wittily done, and quietly poignant.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.