Kurt Cobain was arrested by Aberdeen, Washington police in May 1986 and charged with trespassing while intoxicated. The misdemeanor bust was not the Nirvana founder’s first brush with the law. The musician had been arrested in Aberdeen a year earlier on a vandalism count.
John Osbourne (aka Ozzy Osbourne) was arrested by Memphis cops in May 1984 and charged with public intoxication. According to the police report, Ozzy was “staggering drunk” when nabbed on raucous Beale Street.
Music legend David Bowie was arrested in upstate New York in March 1976 on a felony pot possession charge. The Thin White Duke, 29 at the time, was nabbed along with Iggy Pop and two other codefendants at a Rochester hotel following a concert. Bowie was held in the Monroe County jail for a few hours before being released. The above Rochester Police Department mug shot was taken three days after Bowie’s arrest, when the performer appeared at City Court for arraignment.
Janis Joplin was arrested in November 1969 in Florida and charged with disorderly conduct after yelling obscenities at police officers during a Tampa concert. Charges were later dropped after it was ruled that the singer’s actions were an exercise of free speech.
Jimi Hendrix was arrested at Toronto International Airport airport in May 1969 after customs inspectors found heroin and hashish in his luggage. Hendrix, who claimed the drugs were slipped into his bag by a fan without his knowledge, was later acquitted of the charges.
Johnny Cash was arrested in October 1965 when U.S. Customs agents found hundreds of pep pills and tranquilizers in his luggage. The Man in Black–who was returning by plane from a trip to Juarez, Mexico–spent a night in the El Paso jail, and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count. Cash paid a $1000 fine and received a 30-day suspended sentence.
Frank Sinatra was arrested by the Bergen County, New Jersey sheriff in 1938 and charged with carrying on with a married woman (yes, you could get popped for that back then). The charge was later changed to adultery, and eventually dismissed.