Queens of the Stone Age put on a hell of a live show, and nearly everyone that sees them leaves happy. We say “nearly,” because a photographer at last night’s KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas show was assaulted by singer/guitarist Josh Homme, who kicked her in the face during their performance. Photographer Chelsea Lauren, who shoots for Shutterstock, told Variety that Homme walked over to where she was and went out of his way to kick her camera.
“Josh was coming over and I was pretty excited, I’ve never actually photographed Queens Of The Stone Age before, I was really looking forward to it. I saw him coming over and I was shooting away,” she said. “The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard. He looked straight at me, swung his leg back pretty hard and full-blown kicked me in the face. He continued performing, I was startled, I kind of stopped looking at him, I just got down and was holding my face because it hurt so badly.”
She adds that she kept shooting the show, capturing Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse, before seeking treatment at Cedars Sinai. She said that a social worker, as well as some that saw the video, suggested she press charges.
Homme’s kick wasn’t the only way the frontman behaved erratically, though. He cut his forehead with a razor and continued to play bloody, and also called the crowd “retards,” as well as saying “fuck Muse,” about the evening’s headliner. Insulting a radio station’s crowd, particularly the biggest alternative radio station in the country, is a good way to get dropped from the station, and it’s pretty much a given that you don’t talk shit about other bands, either. At this point, there’s been no official statement from Queens of the Stone Age.
UPDATE: Homme has made a statement via the band’s Twitter account:
— QOTSA (@qotsa) December 10, 2017
Um, OK, but does being “lost in performance” include calling the audience “retards?” It’s a pretty half-assed apology that seems like it only came after his actions got traction in the mainstream press.