Why Slipknot's Corey Taylor Once Got Arrested At The Viper Room

Certain musicians tend to divide fandoms (and brands) for a host of reasons. Corey Taylor, vocalist for Slipknot and Stone Sour, is without doubt one such person. Dislike for Taylor tends to boil down to him displaying a cocky, brash, obnoxious attitude decades ago, a reputation that hasn't really gone anywhere since then. And while it would be a mistake to judge an individual by the worst or most drunk of their actions, there is indeed an incident in Taylor's past that matches the poorest of people's opinions about him — at least in a juvenile, dumb kind of way.

The setting for the incident in question is that most notorious of Hollywood celebrity hangouts: the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard. Known as a druggy, seedy, mob-tainted hotspot, many people might recognize the club as the spot where young actor River Phoenix died from an overdose in 1993. Lots of shenanigans — some serious, some not — have gone on at the Viper Room over the years. Johnny Depp, for instance — one of the Viper Room's previous co-owners — got involved in a lawsuit in the '90s that ended in the Depp's business partner, Anthony Fox, vanishing before he could testify against Depp. Fox was never found.  

Thankfully, Taylor was never involved in anything so grim. He did, however, get super drunk one night near the Viper Room, break some glass, get arrested, and pay $500 to avoid charges. By now, the incident has faded into obscurity.

Getting trashed and chucking shot glasses

At this point sources for the story of how Corey Taylor got arrested at the Viper Room are scant, to say the least. It happened while the group was recording their career-defining 2001 album, "Iowa," and they entered the studio in January that year. This would likely put Taylor at 27 years old — young enough to do things dumb enough to fit the story. In fact, the tale comes almost exclusively from Taylor himself almost 10 years later in 2011 article on Spin, and from a slightly modified version of the tale reported on Metal Hammer nine years later in 2020. In other words, we should take the whole tale with a big, big grain of salt. 

As Taylor told it, the story began on an unnamed date and time at the Rainbow Bar & Grill a short walk down the street from the Viper Room. Taylor saw one of his "heroes there, a guy I just worshipped," as recounted on Spin, who was "being really unpleasant." So naturally, Taylor got trashed and started chucking shot glasses at the unknown hero in question. Taylor got kicked out of the venue, and the venue called his manager the next day to say that if he dropped by the restaurant and acted that way again he'd be "banned for life." At the time Taylor told the tale he apparently hadn't yet been banned from the premises.

A shattered window and a quick arrest

As Spin recounts, Corey Taylor switched to "we" when he described going down the street to the Viper Room. He was "already hammered" and "jumping parking meters" when a friend dared him to put his foot through a nearby, big, plate glass window. On Metal Hammer, Taylor clarified and said that the window belonged to "this beeper shop." 

Taylor, it turns out, did exactly as dared — while wearing shorts, he added — and then turned around to see a cop at a nearby stoplight. As he described in both accounts, he simply walked over to the cop and put his hands on the hood of the cop's car. In both versions he also said that some people came out of the Viper Room, started mocking him, and he started "start spitting at them and cursing them" (per Spin) because "I don't give a f***" (per Metal Hammer).

In the Metal Hammer account Taylor was in the middle of putting on an orange jumpsuit when the beeper shop's owner called the police department saying he'd agreed to not press charges if Taylor paid for the damages. So, Taylor went back to the scene of crime, forked over $500 of some crumpled, disgusting bills out of his pocket, and that was that. The Spin account added that the following morning he woke up confused and "basically naked" with "some girl in my bed." There's no word on whether or not Taylor actually made it into the Viper Room the night prior.