|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The Riverport Riot was a riot which took place on July 2, 1991 at the Riverport Amphitheatre (now named Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre) in Maryland Heights, Missouri (near St. Louis) during a concert by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. It is also known as the "Rocket Queen Riot."
During the band's performance of "Rocket Queen", the 15th song in the set (counting drum and guitar solos), lead singer Axl Rose, in the middle of the chorus, pointed out a fan who was taking still pictures of the show, saying "...Hey, take that! Take that! Now, get that guy and take that!" When security was unable to deal with the person, Rose decided to confiscate the camera himself, saying "I'll take it, god damn it!" and then jumped into the audience and tackled the person. After taking the camera, striking members of the audience and the security team, and being pulled out of the audience by crew members, Rose grabbed his microphone and said "Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I'm going home!", slammed his microphone on the stage and left.
The sound the microphone made sounded to some fans like a gunshot. After Rose left, lead guitarist Slash quickly told the audience, "He just smashed the microphone. We're out of here." This infuriated the audience, setting off a riot in which dozens of people were injured. The footage was captured by Robert John, who was documenting the entire tour for the band. Rose was charged with having incited the riot, but police were unable to arrest him until almost a year later, as the band went overseas to continue the tour. Charges were filed against Rose but a judge ruled that he did not directly incite the riot.
Rose later stated that the Guns N' Roses security team had made four separate requests to the venue's security staff to remove the camera, each of which were ignored, as well as that other members of the band had reported being hit by bottles from the audience and that the venue's security had not been very strict altogether, allowing weapons into the arena and refusing to enforce a drinking limit. Consequently, Use Your Illusion I and II's artwork featured a message in the 'Thank You' section of the album: "Fuck You, St. Louis!"