The ten most noteworthy music publicity stunts
7. Imperial Stars stop traffic
The video for Orange County band Imperial Stars' song "Traffic Jam 101" looks like it could've been directed by the same auteurs that brought us Rebecca Black's "Friday," and the lyrics are about as good. Maybe that's why the band thought they needed an extra push in the publicity department. They set up their gear on a truck in the middle of the 101 freeway, and blocked traffic for hours as they played their hearts out. They were no doubt equally passionate as they later pleaded no contest to a felony count of conspiracy and three misdemeanors. They were sentenced to three years probation and 35 days of community service, which, hopefully, did not involve playing any of their music for people.
6. The Beatles play on a rooftop
The 1970 documentary Let It Be captured the Beatles rehearsing, recording, fighting with each other and playing an unannounced show on the roof of the Apple building in London. After discussing multiple possible locations worldwide for the surprise live set, the Fab Four agreed that walking upstairs together was about as much time as they felt like spending with each other. The performance stopped traffic, summoned the police and ended with John Lennon uttering the immortal line, "I'd like to say 'thank you' on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!"
5. U2 play on a rooftop
John Lennon once caused a stir by claiming that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." U2 frontman Bono -- often mistaken for Jesus -- wasn't about to let the opportunity go by to prove his band's similarly divine place in history. In reference to the Beatles' Let It Be rooftop stunt, U2 played an impromptu set on the roof of a liquor store in downtown Los Angeles. The performance was documented in the music video, "Where the Streets Have No Name," and shows the band almost getting arrested by police. U2's manager Paul McGuinness later admitted that the police were actually quite cooperative with the project, and that the conflict was played up for dramatic effect.