An Australian hotel tagged in an overnight graffiti spree by Justin Bieber says it gave the Canadian pop star permission to spray paint the wall.
“He asked, and we said YES”, the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast says on its Facebook page next to a picture of the colourful spray can artwork.
Bieber landed himself in trouble after photos and video footage showed him nonchalantly spraying cartoon faces in fluorescent paint on the wall at the Surfers Paradise hotel early on Wednesday following his first Brisbane show.
Gold Coast mayor Tom Tait said the council would order the QT Hotel to get rid of the graffiti.
However, the hotel reckons it’s a coup to have the star paint “a piece of art in appreciation of his stay”.
“This piece of art is now available to be viewed by fans of the artist and we believe that it is a wonderful addition to the colourful Gold Coast arts scene,” the hotel said.
The graffiti was on private property and not accessible from public land, a hotel spokesman said, which meant the council had no authority to get rid of it.
It said in a comment on its Facebook page that “we absolutely gave approval”.
The singer has been given two options by the mayor to make amends.
Tait wants Bieber to either clean up the mess himself or perform a free concert at an upcoming Christmas carols event.
“The last thing we want is to have graffiti glorified and more young people thinking it’s a cool thing to do,” he told AAP.
“I know he’s got beautiful eyes. I’ve got some goggles for him, and some gloves because I know he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty,” he said.
A photo of the group’s artistic offerings was even posted on Instagram.
Comment is being sought from Bieber’s management.
It is understood the singer will make a statement shortly.
A PLACE IN ROCK HOTEL HISTORY
Bieber’s decision to adorn the Gold Coast’s QT with his spray-paint graffiti art might signal a return to form by rock stars in hotels.
The QT are probably happy to keep Bieber’s blobby figures by the tennis court, even if Gold Coast City Council wants them painted over.
Given his fondness for spray cans, Bieber might find it hard to book into so much as a youth hostel for the rest of this tour.
But the incident adds to the popster’s street cred and shows he has the potential to act like a real rocker.
In recent years, stars have tended to be very boring in hotels, rarely wanting more than blackout curtains and a good night’s sleep.
Yes, Demi Lovato said in a 2012 interview that trashing a hotel room was “the most rock ‘n roll thing” she had ever done, and Britney Spears was reportedly banned from the Chateau Marmont in 2007 for smearing food on her face and disturbing fellow diners.
But it’s nothing like the wild old days, when hotel managers would flinch whenever a pop star checked in (or, in the case of Michael Hutchence and Whitney Houston, checked out).
Led Zeppelin’s Jon Bonham rode a motorcycle – his 25th birthday gift – up and down a corridor of the Los Angeles Continental Hyatt House Hotel, which was nicknamed “the Riot House”, courtesy of incidents involving televisions dropped from windows by Keith Moon and Keith Richards.
Back then, big bands would rent entire hotel floors.
That might explain Led Zeppelin’s notorious “Mudshark incident” at the Edgewater Inn, in Seattle, Washington, in 1969. The hotel was so directly on Puget Sound that guests could fish from their windows. (Pay attention: this is relevant.)
Word soon got out that a groupie had had pieces of mudshark, or possibly a red snapper, stuffed into her vagina. It’s hard to see how this was anyone’s idea of a good time, but apparently the woman involved didn’t complain.
There continues to be debate about which people and fish were involved (John Bonham probably, but red snapper isn’t indigenous to the area).
In 1973, Led Zeppelin were banned from the Edgewater Inn, apparently after 30 mudsharks were found under beds and in bathrooms and closets. For good measure, they also threw around some beds, televisions and china.
Way to go, Bieber.
The Who’s drummer Keith Moon made a habit of blowing up hotel toilets.
In 1967, while celebrating his 21st birthday at the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan, he blew up the loo, and started a food fight by throwing a cake into partygoers.
Soon fire extinguishers were being emptied, and Moon broke a tooth.
He later said he topped it off by backing a Lincoln Continental into the pool, but there’s a question-mark over this.
There’s no doubt about the exploding toilets, however.
Moon started in 1965 by flushing cherry bombs down S-bends. He later used sticks of dynamite: “All that porcelain flying through the air was quite unforgettable,” he said.
And Moon was thorough. He once insisted his limousine return to the hotel because, “I forgot something”. He vanished inside, and minutes later a TV hurtled out the window. Moon got back into the car and said, “I nearly forgot.”
The Who were allegedly banned for life from Holidays Inns, but Moon wasn’t inconvenienced for long, dying in 1978 aged 32.
Rock’s hotel incidents haven’t rated since.
Neil Smith, the Alice Cooper drummer, reportedly sent a two-metre high Coca-Cola vending machine flying. Amy Winehouse threw a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise at a Berlin hotel wall, and got into such a fight with her husband at London’s Sanderson Hotel a repaint was necessary.
Johnny Depp (who plays mean guitar) and Kate Moss were found in a trashed suite at New York’s Mark Hotel after reports of shouting and smashing.
Depp initially blamed an armadillo for the damage, but paid over almost US$10,000. (Roger Daltry, formerly of The Who, was staying in the room next door and scored Depp and Moss 1 out of 10: “The Who could have done the job in one minute flat.”)
Michael Jackson dangled his baby son Blanket (aka Prince Michael II) over a fifth-floor balcony at Berlin’s Adlon Hotel in 2002. The king of pop later said he’d been “caught up in the excitement of the moment”.
Three years later, Jackson reportedly opened the door to a housemaid at London’s Dorchester Hotel while dressed as Mickey Mouse, which is odd but not very rock ‘n roll.
Marilyn Manson generated the following headline in 2012: “Marilyn Manson trashes family friendly hotel with sex toys. Shock rocker even left pizza on the ceiling.”
But on the whole these days if a rocker is escorted off a hotel’s premises, it’s because of fan behaviour. Bieber had to leave the Langham in 2012 because Beliebers were besieging the London hotel and its switchboard.
Nicki Minaj tweeted in 2011: “We’ve officially been kicked out of the hotel! Lmaoooooooo.” Dozens of fans had earlier invaded London’s Dorchester to look for the star, got into fights and sprayed graffiti in the lifts.
Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Oasis and Poison all had hotel moments. Ace Frehley, of Kiss, stuck furniture to a hotel ceiling while on tour, allegedly with the help of four roadies. (Other bands claim to have managed the same feat.)
AC/DC are always mentioned in connection with hotel bad behaviour, but Angus Young told Rolling Stone in 2001: “I never wrecked a hotel room in my life! If I’m gonna sit there and throw a TV out the window … if it’s a good TV, maybe I should just take it home.”