On a fateful night in 1991, William “Stump” Stephenson was taking photos of Guns N’ Roses at a concert in St. Louis, despite photography being prohibited at the show. Axl Rose called for security to get the camera and eventually jumped into the crowd himself. After being pulled back on stage, Axl announced, “Thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home!” and departed, following which some 2,500 fans staged a riot, resulting in an estimated $200,000 in damages.
Last night, Guns N’ Roses returned to St. Louis 26 years later, and Stump was in attendance. You can see a photo of him below. Axl Rose said at last night’s show, “Ladies and gentlemen, my partner in crime, as we return to the scene of the crime…Slash.”
Axl said it’s one year from being half his life ago, that he and Guns N’ Roses were last in St. Louis.
Stump discussed GNR’s reunion in a FOX interview last year. He said, “No pun intended, but I think it’s a riot.” He said Axl Rose should have welcomed him taking photos at the 1991 gig. “If you want to be a celebrity and be in the limelight, autographs and pictures are part of that,” Stephenson said. “If you don’t want to be a celebrity get on the couch, get out of the way. There’s somebody that wants that job.”
Security guard Eric Molos was right in the middle of the 1991 riot, and he discussed it in a new FOX article. He was the man Axl Rose jumped over to get into the crowd.
“Everybody was having fun,” he said. “It looked like a good crowd, everybody was dancing in the aisles and having a good time.”
Molos said there had never been any real trouble at any of the concerts he worked until that night.
“Next thing you know, I didn’t even hear him say ‘Get that camera and take it,’ I just saw him dive right over my head and it was on at that time,” he said.
Molos said he turned to see Rose in the middle of that crowd on the floor and was startled at first because he had never thought about what to do in a situation like that.
“By the time I got to Axl, he was already standing up and just grabbed him and pushed him back toward the stage with his security guards,” Molos said. “(Axl) went up, threw the mic down, and said he was going home.”
That’s when security managers told the guards to get on stage and protect the equipment.
Molos said he could see the tension building in the crowd the longer time passed.
“Slowly but surely, bottles started flying, a couple pieces of whatever they were throwing came up on stage, and we started backing up, and finally Maryland Heights police told us to abandon the stage.”