Top Ten Thursdays: Top 10 Musicians Who Have Served Time in Prison | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Top Ten Thursdays: Top 10 Musicians Who Have Served Time in Prison

Many famous musicians have spent a day or three in jail for driving

drunk, holding drugs, or something really stupid. But only the select

few have spent a serious stretch of time in prison, which brings us to

David Allan Coe. The original country outlaw performs Friday at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale.


confirmed Coe did time at Ohio State Penitentiary and he has famously

claimed to have been on death row for killing a man who attempted to

procure a blow job from him -- this has not been confirmed or proven

false. Although Coe is a redneck renegade who penned "Take This Job and

Shove It," recorded the 1970s smash "You Never Even called Me By My

Name" and recorded an album with the members of Pantera, he's by no

means the greatest recording artist to do hard time. Here's a highly

subjective list of the greatest musicians who worried about being some

bulky dude's bitch.

1. Chuck Berry

One of the great pioneers of rock 'n' roll -- if not the greatest --

spent 1959-63 in prison for violating the Mann Act, which prohibits

pimping and "white slavery." Basically, it appears Berry got busted

because he was a black man with a ton of white teenage fans. No saint,

though, Berry had already done about three years behind bars from age

18 to 21 for carjacking, a crime he admits to committing in his

autobiography. In 1979, Berrry returned to the Big House -- via tax

evasion -- for four months.

Chuck Berry performing a sizzling "Johnny B. Goode" in 1958. Clip

includes great quotes from Keith Richards, Gregg Allman and Dickey


2. Fela Kuti

Afrobeat inventor and political radical Fela Kuti served 20 months in a

Nigerian prison for pretty much being a wildly popular figure who

opposed the military government.

Kuti on keyboards/vocals leading his killer band through "Teacher Don't Teach Me No Nonsense."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Wade Tatangelo

Latest Stories