Screaming Trees Infamous Bar Fight

Why Screaming Trees Got Into a Fight Before David Letterman

Back in 1992 the Seattle band Screaming Trees appeared on David Letterman’s late night show to perform their hit song ‘Nearly Lost You.’ 24 hours prior the band was involved in a brawl. Check out the full story below

Now back in 1992 The Screaming Trees appeared on David Letterman’s late night show before he went to NBC about a year before he moved to CBS and went head to head with Jay Leno. Now two things seemed to be out of whack with  the performance.. To start with their drummer Barrett Martin isn’t on stage with the band and  if you look closely frontman Mark Lanegan was sporting a black eye.So what happened? Well stay tuned to find out. Now the Screaming Trees were soon earning a reputation for being unpredictable and volatile thanks in large part to frontman Mark Lanegan who was struggled with addiction. He would sometimes walk off stage during the middle of a show or  he’d destroy equipment. And according to drummer Barrett Martin that reputation really started following their appearance at a local danish festival in the summer of 1992. The band’s bassist Van Connor would recall that frontman Mark Lanegan was pretty hammered that night. Now during the song Changes Come Lanegan was struggling to sing so he would throw the mic stand and sit on the drum riser and continue to drink. The rest of the band meanwhile would wait for him to come back and sing the rest of the song. Another mic stand would be brought out for Lanegan but  the mic wasn’t working. Add to that the monitors weren’t working either, Lanegan was visibly upset and would successfully knock over one monitor and the stage crew at one point even tried to stop him from doing any more damage ‘To no avail. Lanegan then proceeded to one end of the stage and threw one of the TV cameras destroying it . Now  keep in mind those camera’s cost about $50,000 now the security guards start throwing punches at Lanegan but they couldn’t stop the frontman. And Lanegan would get his hands on another monitor and he would throw it on top of one of the local tv stations camera’s and break it..Now one of the mic stands would also hit an audience member breaking his glasses. And The band’s  manager had to call the band’s insurance company in the States tell them that they broke over  $100,0000 in equipment and injured a fan. So what did his bandmates do?Well they started destroying their equipment as well including their guitars and drums. Lanegan fearing he’d be arrested was hurried off stage. He’d head back to the band’s hotel and put on a disguise. And here’s a clip of the entire incident. 


But that night on Letterman. There were no incidents, well there was an incident that happened 24 hours earlier. The band found themselves in a bar fight in New Jersey. And Barrett Martin would recall It was the four of us. Van and I and Mark and one of our roadies against 10 of them. These New Jersey hoods. They had no idea who we were. When all the thugs realized they weren’t going to take us so they just walked away. And the next day we were one Letterman And Lanegan’s got this huge black eye and my arm was in a sling so they had Steve Forona play the drums and during the Letterman appearance Dave would say I think i’m scared of you guys and even pointed fun at bassist Van Connor’s weight during a food segment before the band went on stage. Letterman would hold up a ham and say this is trail mix for The Screaming Trees.  . Now the band would mark their first performance on Letterman by playing their biggest hit ‘Nearly Lost You.’ That concludes today’s story guys.  Thanks for watching. Be sure to hit the like and subscribe button. And as always if you have suggestions for future topics let me know in the comments section below. Take care.