Legend Who Got Axed from Slayer Show and Swam Back Is Now on Beer Can

He didn't make it back into the show, but the image of him swimming is now part of a new Budweiser label design.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
left: Tom Araya of Slayer performs at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center with flames in the background; Right: a 25th anniversary commemorative can for Toronto's Budweiser Stage
Photo by Keith Griner/Getty Images; Screenshot via Vimeo

Last May, a Canadian man named Chris LaRocque got a little drunk at a Slayer and Anthrax show at Toronto's Budweiser stage and found himself booted from the venue. As LaRocque told Exclaim! at the time, he was "pretty bummed," so he attempted to sneak back in by swimming through the waters of Lake Ontario, which surrounds the venue. "I was worried about getting my junk in the water and freezing," LaRocque told Exclaim!


It was so cold, however, that LaRocque didn't make it back into the show; he was treated for potential hypothermia instead. Still, the valiant effort was captured by Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, who shared a picture on Instagram of LaRocque swimming in the lake while wearing an Anthrax shirt. That picture made the rounds on plenty of news sites.

The act didn't go unnoticed by Budweiser either, because as LaRocque pointed out on Facebook on Sunday, his image is now displayed notably on a new beer can label. LaRocque told VICE in a message that he was alerted to the design's existence by a friend who attended a Blink-182 show at Budweiser Stage this weekend. "I was excited, anxious, a bit pumped up when I saw it. Had a hard time sleeping that night," he said.

As Canadian music magazine Exclaim! has reported, the new can celebrates the venue's 25th anniversary by showing off notable artists who have performed there, including Pearl Jam and Toronto-local Drake. LaRocque's stunt was clearly memorable enough, since it made the label right below an illustration of the stadium and the commemorative logo.

"So, I guess I made it on a beer can lable [sic]," LaRocque wrote on Facebook. "I wonder if I can get free beer?" Given his seeming surprise, the comments are a mix of excitement and suggestions that LaRocque ask for likeness rights. For now, he added in a comment, a representative from Budweiser has reached out to him for further correspondence.

While LaRocque is excited about the can, there's a little annoyance, too. "I am honoured to be on it but I am kind of annoyed that originally [they] kicked me out, banned me for a year, then used my image without permission or any sort of notification," he told VICE.

Now, we're not the people making the decisions here, but jumping into a freezing-cold lake just to see a band seems like an act worthy of a six-pack or two, on the house.