@

I am freaking right out.

The news is coming at me from so many directions, I can hardly absorb any of it. It’s like drinking water from a fire hose. As soon as one story runs, three more update, clarify, and supplement it.

And no, the subject is very likely not who you think it is.

It’s Christina Aguilera.

You see, she had too much to drink.

In the wee hours of March 1, 2011, a car in which she was a passenger was pulled over by the police and the driver, her male companion, was taken into custody under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Police assessed Aguilera to be “extremely intoxicated,” and took her into protective custody, where she was “cooperative… and not belligerent in any way whatsoever.” The finger-waving pop goddess was then booked for public intoxication. A few hours later she sobered up, was released, and although California sure could use the money, she will not be prosecuted.

Admittedly, 2011 has been a work out for Christina. First, she flubbed a line while singing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, breathing life into late night monologues all over the planet. I’m not sure I could even breathe in front of 111 million people without screwing it up, let alone sing a song that for vocalists is the equivalent of breaking the 4 minute mile. But she swung, she missed, and she apologized.

Now it appears that her judgment is a bit suspect after she hopped into the passenger seat of a car driven by her liquored-up boyfriend.

Still, the essence of this “scandal” is that a platinum-selling artist got drunk and went home.

That’s it.

And yet, over two thousand stories popped up on the Internet like a flash mob herpes attack. “Will Her Career Survive?” “Boozing Worries at an All-Time High!” “Pink Jokes About Christina on Twitter!”

This is a gag, right?

I have no problem with Christina Aguilera- her music’s not my cup of tea but she’s got killer pipes and I’m the last guy in the world to begrudge someone a drink. Party on, Christina.

It’s the media coverage that galls me. Why is there any interest in this at all? A pop star got shitfaced. Isn’t that what millionaire musicians are supposed to do? Even if she drove her Rolls Royce into a hotel swimming pool while smoking a crack pipe and hurling racial slurs at cops, this level of media scrutiny would be too much.

Where’s the handgun? Where’s the syringe? Where’s the dead hooker? Getting tipsy shouldn’t even chart on American music’s “Bad Behavior Top 100.”

If this “crime” has so thoroughly captivated the entertainment world, then we have arrived at an appallingly saccharine era in the recording industry. Either nothing is happening in music or the media has an awfully short memory.

Of course, it’s the latter. To that point and to add some context to the discussion, here are five of music’s most notorious criminals and their dirtiest deeds, (done dirt cheap).

 

 

5.  Peter Grant- Manager, Led Zeppelin

The manager of Led Zeppelin was an ex-bouncer and former wrestler named Peter Grant, who weighed in at over 300 pounds and who accepted zero shit from anyone. He also managed Zeppelin precursor The Yardbirds, Bad Company, and an assortment of other acts. But it was his bone-crushingly violent stewardship of Led Zeppelin that earned him his fearsome reputation.

Grant’s heavy-handed tactics first served him in the early Sixties when he would act as tour manager for American acts touring the UK. When one promoter made the ill-advised choice to try to rip off Little Richard, Grant stepped in and savagely beat the promoter backstage until police arrived, at which point Grant reportedly turned and whipped the six cops who had come to restrain him.

Grant reserved a particularly intense loathing for bootleggers- people who would secretly record Zeppelin shows then sell the shows underground. He would prowl through concert crowds and violently assault anyone he found bootlegging the show, then demolish their often-sizable equipment with his bare hands.

One time, Grant visited a record shop “undercover” and asked the owners if they had any Zeppelin bootlegs for sale. When one of the men produced a number of such albums for purchase, Grant exploded with rage, hammering the vendor until he broke the man’s arm, then taking the records and leaving.

Peter Grant’s hallmark incident occurred backstage at the Oakland Coliseum in 1977, when a security guard made the mistake of slapping 11-year old Warren Grant, Peter’s son, after catching Warren removing a wooden plaque from the Zeppelin’s dressing room. Grant dragged the guard into an office and viciously beat him up while the tour manager stood guard outside. Charges were pressed, Grant pleaded no contest and settled out of court.

Grant eventually became a diabetic cocaine addict who died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 60. Few people believe Led Zeppelin could have achieved the success they did without Peter Grant.

 

4.  Jesus Christ Kevin Michael “G.G.” Allin- Notorious punk rock and spoken word icon

Born Jesus Christ Allin (for real), the only Christ-like thing that G.G. (short for “Jesus,” which his baby brother had a hard time pronouncing), ever did was die young. His mother eventually changed his name to Kevin, but “G.G.” stuck for life.

As a musician, his lyrics hew to the usual anti-authoritarian and nihilistic themes and he recorded acres of original material. But it was G.G.’s onstage persona that earned him his odious reputation. He spent much of his live shows nude, often cutting and maiming himself in horrific, blood-spilling demonstrations. An alcoholic and heroin addict, he rarely bathed and would frequently take laxatives before his shows so he could defecate onstage. Let your mind wander about what happened after that.

G.G.’s shows were so intensely violent that they were routinely stopped before or shortly after they started. He was arrested scores of times for assault, drug charges, and indecent exposure, spending prodigious amounts of time in jail, hospitals, and institutions. He spent a two year stretch in prison after pleading to lesser charges stemming from the torture of a groupie, which he claimed had been consensual.

Light years from the picture of mental or emotional wellness, G.G. famously vowed to kill himself onstage on Halloween night but because he spent most Halloweens in jail, he was unable to fulfill this terminal promise.

He died of a heroin overdose in 1993. Thinking he was sleeping, people took pictures of themselves with him, unaware that he was going through cardiac arrest and into the great wild beyond.

 

3.  Jerry Lee Lewis- Rock legend and composer/performer of “Great Balls of Fire”

Easily one of the most ornery men in the history of rock and roll, Jerry Lee Lewis made the kind of international headlines that are usually reserved for war, assassinations, and discovery of alien life.

Lewis began a heavy drinking career at age 15, but that is where his similarities to Aguilera end. He capped off the dissolution of his first marriage by getting married again. To a thirteen year old girl. Now, this alone would raise more eyebrows than Flavor Flav in the Vienna Boys Choir, but the scandal really took shape when it was revealed that the thirteen year old girl that he married was also his cousin.

The hard-drinking incestuous pedophile eventually broke things off with his cousin, later re-marrying. Of course, he re-married while still married to his child bride, thus adding “bigamist” to his roster of epithets.

He is reported to have blown half a million dollars on Demerol during a painkiller addiction (at one point overdosing), and attracted the heavy hand of the IRS, who socked him for nearly $4 million in back taxes. He was also sued for failure to pay child support.

Known as “The Killer,” Lewis went through six marriages- four times divorced and twice-widowed (both wives’ deaths under suspicious circumstances in some camps). He also shot his bass player (who survived) and was apprehended at Graceland where he was found waving a gun and claiming that he was there to kill Elvis Presley, of whom he was intensely jealous. In fact, of Presley’s death, Lewis remarked, “I was glad. Just another one out of the way. I mean, Elvis this, Elvis that. All we hear is Elvis. What the shit did Elvis do except take dope that I couldn’t get ahold of?”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has gone on to receive a galaxy of awards, inductions and honors. He still plays and records music to this day.

 

 

2.  Varg Vikernes- Founder of Burzum; “The Most Notorious Metal Musician of All Time”

You cannot get any farther away from Christina Aguilera’s music than black metal.

With its most propulsive and sinister movement originating in Oslo, Norway, black metal is a violent sub-genre of heavy metal that is marked by shrieking vocals, distorted guitars and Satanic, anti-social themes. The genre is nefarious for the crimes committed by members of its seminal bands, and no figure in the history of black metal stands taller than Varg Vikernes.

Varg started his musical career as a solo project called Burzum and eventually joined the band Mayhem in 1992.  Mayhem was one of the founders of black metal and its guitarist, Euronymous, is widely regarded as the movement’s founder. Varg recorded a few bass tracks for their new album before paying a visit to Euronymous one night, brutally stabbing him to death.

While Vikernes still insists that he killed the guitarist in self-defense, Norwegian prosecutors argued that the 23 stab wounds to the victim (two to the head, five to the neck, and sixteen in the back) suggested something a bit more along the lines of murder.

In addition to the murder charge, Vikernes was linked to and convicted of the burning of four historic churches in Norway, earning him a 21-year sentence- the maximum allowed by law.

While in prison, Vikernes (pictured here immediately upon his guilty verdict being read), began identifying himself as a Neo-Nazi and became involved with the Heathen Front, espousing elements of Odinism, National Socialism, and Paganism.

In 2003, he failed to return to his low-security prison after being granted a short leave. He was later captured in a stolen car that contained firearms, some large knives, a gas mask, camouflage clothing, a laptop, a GPS, various maps and a fake passport. This earned him an additional 13 months on his sentence.

Vikernes was released in 2009 after serving almost sixteen years of his sentence. He was placed on probation and has returned to making music.

 

 

1.  Marion “Suge” Knight, Jr.- Founder and CEO of hip hop mecca Death Row Records

Suge (short for “Sugar Bear”) Knight is as bad as they get. Founder of the most important label in hip hop, Suge built an empire on equal parts business savvy and pure, unfiltered menace. Standing at an imposing 6’4″ and weighing over 300 pounds, Suge enjoyed a successful college football career before turning to a career in music.

Starting out as a bodyguard for artists like Bobby Brown, the Compton native and Bloods gang associate began his run in 1987, when he was arrested for auto theft, carrying a concealed weapon, and attempted murder. He received probation after pleading no contest.

He founded Death Row after liberating Dr. Dre and other artists from their obligations to Ruthless Records, a competing label run by N.W.A.’s Eazy-E. Suge reportedly conducted the re-negotiation with led pipes, baseball bats, and some very persuasive associates. These business tactics served Knight well in the following years, earning the respect of hip hop nation and the attention of American law enforcement.

Death Row went on to sell millions of albums from some of hip hop’s most legendary artists, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur, who was gunned down in a 1996 Las Vegas drive-by. Many, including Snoop Dogg, have accused Knight of orchestrating the hit, although he has never been charged. Likewise, Knight has been implicated in, but never charged in the murder of Tupac’s east coast rival, The Notorious B.I.G. a year later.

Suge has since weathered more misfortune than Job (although he most certainly looks way more bad-assed than his Old Testament counterpart).

In 1996, he went to prison for a probation violation for which he served five years.

In 2003, he was sent to prison for another violation after thumping a parking lot attendant who probably thought twice about filing a civil suit.

In 2006 he filed bankruptcy, eventually selling Death Row later that year to Global Music Group in 2008.

In 2008 Knight was arrested on drug and assault charges that August, when police found him waving a knife and beating his girlfriend outside of a Las Vegas strip club. He was released on bail and his girlfriend, scheduled to testify against him in on the assault charge, went missing soon thereafter. She has never been found. Charges were dropped a couple weeks before Christmas due to the prosecution’s “witness problems,” according to Knight’s attorney.

One of the more colorful incidents that color the mogul’s legend is the story of how he acquired the rights to the Vanilla Ice hit “Ice Ice Baby.” It has been alleged that an outmatched and profoundly intimidated Vanilla Ice signed away his lucrative rights to the song after Knight allegedly dangled the milky rapper by his ankles from a 20th floor hotel balcony. While Vanilla Ice disputes that he was hung from the balcony, he acknowledges that Knight took him out to the balcony where certain business was conducted, culminating with Ice signing over the publishing royalties of his musical cash cow to Suge Knight. Apparently Suge made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

 

And so, to music and entertainment media all over the world, I ask you, please leave Christina alone. If you are looking for dastardly deeds, colorful villains, and tales too unbelievable to be true, I suggest you spend less time hiding in the bushes of the Chateau Marmont and more time scouring the darker alleys. I can guarantee that somewhere backstage, on a hotel balcony, or in the deep recesses of the Scandinavian forests, there is something far more interesting underfoot.

 

 

 

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JOE DALY writes for a number of publications, including the UK's Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazines, Outburn, Bass Guitar Magazine and several other print and online outlets. He is the music and cultural observer for Chuck Palahniuk's LitReactor site and his works have been published in several languages. When he is not drafting wild-eyed manifestos, Joe enjoys life in San Diego's groovy North County, teaching music journalism, doing yoga, running, playing guitar and spending tireless hours in deep and meaningful conversations with his beloved dogs, Cabo and Lola. You can check out his rants at http://joedaly.net and follow him on Twitter: @JoeD_SanDiego

105 responses to “If You Want Blood, You Got It: The Bad Boys of Music”

  1. Dana says:

    Ha! I was flummoxed by the considerable outrage from the “media” about poor drunk Christina. They did a segment on Good Morning Charlie Sheen* about her the other day, and you would have thought she’d at least run over a pedestrian with all the tsking. As I recall the stories receiving the most coverage: 1.) Charlie Sheen; 2.) Libya 3.) Christina and 4.) Euthanized dog in dumpster that won’t die, is adorable and has a shamrock on his butt. _<)\m/

    Well done, JD! You the man.

    *stolen from Mo Rocca via Twitter

    • Joe Daly says:

      Franks! Yeah, it’s maddening but not surprising that the media continues to show such a lack of originality. Quick to point out and condemn the obvious, followed by trite searches for meaning beneath the consequences. Yaaaaaaawn…

      I think the really interesting takes are happening in the blogosphere, where editors and advertisers do not have the access or authority to shape or corrupt the opinions expressed. The mainstream sit safely inside their glass houses with their hands tied, labeling all of their kettles black.

      Thanks for the Mo Rocca tweet!

  2. Just when this story needs a little perspective, here comes Joe Daly! Love it. I wonder how many of these “spiraling out of control star” scenarios unfold the way they do because the media wrote the narrative first.

    • Joe Daly says:

      Cynthia-

      So very true- it’s like the media take the ball and run with it, writing the ending as the events are only beginning to unfold. It’s like moving the finish line in a road race to make sure the race finishes the same way every time.

      Looking forward to your take on the body of work of Charlie Sheen. Surely his film credits, considered outside of the shadow of his bad behavior, are worthy of the consideration of a well-heeled film buff as yourself!

      • Heh. You know? That’s tempting. I think I’ve mentioned in another post how many times I’d seen Platoon. I *still* know every line.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Good Lord, I totally forgot about Platoon when I wrote that comment.

          I’m embarrassed to say that I have seen Men at Work probably fifty times. I recorded it on VHS about 20 years ago, and it became one of those go-to movies I’d pop in when I couldn’t find anything on television to watch. I will say that Men at Work was an example of Sheen’s comedic chops, which weren’t that bad. I can’t think of any other Sheen comedies that I liked though.

          I will keep the ol’ fingers crossed that I might get your thoughts on this subject. I have a feeling it would blow up like a Norwegian church on Odin’s birthday.

  3. Art Edwards says:

    What? No Yngwie?

    Great idea, Joe. So fucking true.

    Here’s a funny one about Mike Ness of Social D:

    While on the road with his band, Mike was so jonesing he stole and sold his own band’s drum set for heroin money. He got caught, the drums were retrieved. Then, later that night, he stole and sold his lead-off band’s drum set for heroin money. Now, that’s hooked.

    • Joe Daly says:

      Art-

      Ooh- Yngwie would have been nice! I figured that I nailed the Scandinavian contingency with Varg, although Yngwie makes for a decadently meaty subject, eh?

      That is a fantastic Mike Ness story! Thanks for sharing that. I’ve always been a fan of his. Got to give him credit for perseverance. No wonder he was such a fan of Hank Williams.

      I was going to include a “Dishonorable Mention” list and now I’m glad I didn’t- it would have been incomplete without that story. Thanks for the comment!

      • Art Edwards says:

        The list of RnR pricks goes on for quite a while. We might blow TNB bandwidth if we list them all.

        • Joe Daly says:

          We might blow TNB bandwidth if we list them all.

          Too true. I think we’d probably blow it up before we even left punk rock. We could assign one genre to each writer, and we’d still need to take on more authors. Think about the country outlaws, junkie folk singers, German industrial badasses, hair metal ne’er do wells, and as Sean mentioned, the seedy underbelly of jazz.

          I’m still chuckling at your Mike Ness story, btw…

    • Reno Romero says:

      Yngwie! Oh, shit! Yeah, Joe, no neo-classical wankings from that arrogant prick?

      • Joe Daly says:

        Reno, do you mean to tell me you’re not an Yngwie fan?

        You and Art are dead on- he could have had his own column. I saw Rising Force back in the 80s, before I had even heard of the term phrygian. It was one of the first concerts I ever saw, and I remember thinking, “Wow- do all musicians look so bored when they play live?”

        • Yngwie Malmsteen? There are legendary bad boy stories about him!? Good lord, I know nothing.

        • Reno Romero says:

          joe:

          no, joe, back in the day i was a HUGE yngwie fan. hell, i even saw him in concert last year some time. that was like the 7th time i saw him. he sucked and me and my buddy (he calls the shots at the house at house of blues, vegas = free tix) left after five songs. no, i loved his work with alcatrazz and to this day think “no parole from rock and roll” is a seminal heavy metal album. in those early years i collected all things yngwie (me and my friends called him ding puss): import albums, bootleg gigs/videos. to this day i have some of his shit he recorded with him singing. songs like “merlin’s castle.” his voice blows but you can hear what would become a pretty bad guitar player. did you know his “rising force” album was up for a grammy? no shit. he was great back then. now? i heard a tune a while back on the net and it was shit. he’s stuck in the 80s and needs to get the fuck out. but he was AT ONE TIME a very glorious guitar player that spawned many fuckers like me. back in my garage days i’d do ding puss covers with the lips and all. but that’s another story entirely. ok, bro, keep rocking.

          far beyond the sun,
          reno romero

        • Art Edwards says:

          Hey, that beer’s getting warm. Put it in the phrygian.

        • Art Edwards says:

          Yes, Yngwie love-in!

          I am a viking
          I’m going off to war
          And I’ve got death upon my mind

          (Insert phrygian lick)

          Here’s a link to my blog, where I recount my fan letter to Yngwie, the only fan letter I’ve ever written.

          http://artedwards-layindownthelaw.blogspot.com/2007/01/fan-letters.html

        • Joe Daly says:

          Art-

          I am not the least bit surprised that you had a phrygian joke ready to dust off. Well played! I think that from now on, I’m not going to do anything unless I can do it in a phrygian manner. I’ll walk my dogs in phyrigian mode (laughing at anyone walking their dog in locrian… hah), and prepare all meals in a phrygian manner. I’m pretty stoked. I better get a kickass metronome or I’m screwed…

          And now I’m off to read your fan letter to Yngwie. This sounds awesome. Thanks for the (phrygian) link.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Reno-

          Are you a Jason Becker fan? I saw a shredder tribute to him a looooong time ago, and it was amazing. Tony McAlpine, Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrell, Marty Friedman, etc. Anyway, I found a great video of Jason Becker covering “Black Star,” back when Becker was up and running. Pretty cool vid.

          So wait- Yngwie was so bad that you left after five songs? Why did he suck so bad- did he sing?

        • Reno Romero says:

          cynthia:

          they only malmsteen story i know is when he was arrested in florida for either beating or keeping his wife hostage. i don’t think there were any charges on the bloated swede, but he was taking downtown and questioned. i did see some footage of the fuzz putting ding puss in a cruiser. heh.

        • Reno Romero says:

          joe:

          becker was great. there were a lot of “shredders” on the shrapnel label i liked. greg howe was one of my favorites. he did the neo-bullshit but had some jazz stuff under it as well. wait! i really liked tony macalpine. i thought he was real tasteful and melodic. his lines are like vocal lines.

          yeah, i left after five songs. or something like that. i believe i wrote about it on TNB. in fact, i know i did i just can’t get the title. anyhow, real quick: of course, he was fucking goofy on stage doing stupid hand gestures and all that other bullshit that buffoon is known for. he kept flipping the guitar over his shoulder and missing full-on bars of music, etc. then during “i am a viking” he totally disappeared off stage. now, being a musician of a million gigs and going to millions of concerts i didn’t understand what was up. equipment issues? nope. broken string? nope. come to find out ding puss was backstage blow drying his hair!

          my buddie’s employees were laughing their asses off watching this jerk-off tease his fucking mop circa 1986! can you believe this shit, joe? well, it happened. wait! i met yngwie once, too. he was nice, but his singer was a douche. ahh, rock and roll.

        • Okay, that’s a fairly bad bad-boy story, re. wife kidnapping, Reno. Thanks for filling me in! Saw him on That Metal Show not long ago and was thoroughly depressed. There’s something really depressing about musicians who try to maintain the look they had during their heyday even though its some 20 years later. Only Lemmy can get away with that. Besides, blow drying takes it’s toll, man.

          Hands down worst guitarist I ever saw live (and don’t you dare laugh at me), Warren DeMartini. His roadies had to prop him up on his speaker stacks like the dead guy in Weekend at Bernie’s. I don’t think he was actually playing.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Cynthia-

          First off, you’re dead on about Lemmy. He can do whatever the hell he wants and still look pretty cool. The new documentary about him is amazing. I was able to score an advance copy, and it’s a very well done rock doc which I highly recommend. 🙂

          Warren DeMartini? You mean that proud son of San Diego who gave Ratt their trademark sound? No shame!

        • dwoz says:

          I strapped on my bass and took my dog for a walk. I opened the dorian of the house Ionian, making sure to locrian it. My neighbor, a total aeolian, yelled at me to get the washer and phrygian off my porch or he’d call the cops. Whatever. Put a lydian on it, sucker or I’ll lay some harmonic your minor. My other neighbor, a cute mixolydian that works down at the irish pub, waved out her window at me as I walked by. She makes my pentatonic.

        • Joe Daly says:

          DWoz- that must have hurt to type, let alone conceive. But that certainly tips the scales in favor of a good chuckle.

          buh-dump-DUMP

          [cymbal crash]

          (taking a page out of Greg Olear’s book.)

  4. Irene Zion says:

    Joe,

    I know nothing about music.
    I wish I could comment brilliantly here, but I can only comment disappointingly.
    Please tell me when you write about something I have a clue about, huh?
    (How come our gravitars are gone?)

    • Joe Daly says:

      Irene-

      But what about crime? Surely you have an opinion on arson. Would you be pro-or anti-church burning? What about extortion, tax evasion, or murder?

      Of course, if you have committed any of the above, I would recommend you not discussing those exploits here. They could possibly be used against you. And if they were, you can believe that I would be the first one on the courthouse steps holding a huge sign saying “FREE IRENE ZION!”

      • Irene Zion says:

        Okay, Joe,
        I stand firmly against arson and church burning and extortion.
        I don’t believe the government should be taxing us except for essential services like the protection of the country from outside forces and to make roads and other infrastructure. Period.
        I think the world would be better off if some people were killed, but I’m not for murder, there’s a difference.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Okay, Joe, since I cannot seem to see the glaringly missing NOT in my comment, I admit to being inattentive.
          The government should NOT be taxing us except for….

        • Joe Daly says:

          Irene-

          I agree with your views on arson and church burning. Extortion, too. Well, wait- now that I think of it, there are probably some instances of justifiable extortion. I’ll get back to you on that.

          Love your take on taxing as well. As someone who is faced with the very real possibility of never recouping his contributions to Social Security, I agree that we need to revisit our approach to taxation.

          I used to be pro-death penalty in certain limited situations, but then after I went to law school, I found myself changing my position. It’s all academic for me though- I can’t say what my thoughts would be if someone close to me were the victim of a capital offense. I would be in favor of a “disappearing button,” that we would use to make such villains disappear- maybe to another planet. Or even an island somewhere, like the one in Lost. If we could ever find it.

        • Irene Zion says:

          If someone hurt someone I love, not by mistake ,
          I think I should have the right to extinguish his lights.
          Just saying.

        • Joe Daly says:

          The law in many states agrees. I would like to have that right too, if someone did that to one of my loved ones. I may or may not exercise it, but I’d like to have the option. At the end of the day, I’m a pretty vengeful guy, so I suspect my academic restraint might not hold up. But I’ll cross my fingers that it’s a decision that neither of us ever have to make.

  5. Oh, man, this is awesome. You toss G.G. Allin into pretty much any post and it’s going to make my day, but there’s so much extra dirt to go around. I love seeing Peter Grant get his sweaty polyester due.

    And I totally agree with your Aguilera take. Drunk, passenger, cooperative. Went home and went to sleep. Superbowl? Missed a line singing a very difficult song A Capella in front of half the world. Burn her in Prada effigy!

    One small criticism: My man Charles Mingus was a thousand times the badass Suge Knight ever dreamed of being. Just sayin’. Actually, my man Billy Tipton was as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Tipton

    • Joe Daly says:

      Peter Grant sprung to mind right away. He was like the anti-Christina- a massive, swarthy, brawling, uncouth tsunami of a man with the single-minded focus of making Zeppelin the biggest band in history. And he pretty much did it.

      Due to the subject matter and length of the article, I didn’t get into how effective he was as a business man. Not only did he launch Swan Song, but he negotiated titanic deals for the band and kept their songs from being released as singles, to preserve their album-oriented approach to their music. Ultimately his greatest asset might have been his decision to leave all creative decision to the band, and just back them up no matter where it took them.

      You make a powerful case for Mingus. Not a jazz aficionado, I am woefully uninformed in the dastardly exploits of the jazz crew. While I’m aware that heroin and theft are hallmarks of that hallowed genre, I had no idea how deeply deranged Mingus was, nor had I even heard of Billy Tipton. Here I was, getting ready to do a little bit of editing today, and now you’ve got me off searching the internet for more info on those two. Which, I now realize, will be far more fun than editing. Thanks for the comments.

  6. Quenby Moone says:

    Our girl Amy Winehouse is a far better candidate for bad girl destruction than any of the former Mouseketeers. I would put her in a modern-day rock goddess category, on the strength of her wandering the streets bare-foot, drunk, in her bra accosting strangers. Let’s not forget she married a junkie who got thrown in the clink. Often ditching her shows altogether, even when she made it onstage she would throw up in the stacks, sing a song without remembering her own lyrics and walk off.

    She gets major points for reminding us what rock legends look like… I expect big things out of this girl.

    Though she appears to be cleaning up a bit. Which, truthfully, I have to congratulate her. But still. Xtina? Amateur hour.

    • Joe Daly says:

      Yes! Quenby, you are dead on with Amy. Not only did she go all wacky on the junk, but she proceeded to write a song making fun of rehab, even as she staggered across stages with big splotches of cocaine across her nose.

      Amy has fit more badness into her relatively short career than many of the Sixties supergroups combined. To be fair, as crack wasn’t available before the 80s, we’d have to grade prior bad actors on a curve. Sort of like factoring interest into monetary sums from decades past.

      Xtina is getting crucified for doing what half of my neighborhood did on Saturday night- getting drunk and going to sleep. Ugh!

      • Quenby Moone says:

        I have to give Amy props for not having handlers hide her utter wasted-ness from view. I think the major problem these days is the musicians who have the money to hide their depravity from the rest of us: who knows what darkness lurks in the well-scrubbed faces of today’s musicians? I think there’s a whole lot of publicists who are controlling our access to our modern-day Jim’s and Jimi’s and Keith’s.

        But good ol’ Amy just wore her self-immolation like a badge of pride.

        • Joe Daly says:

          I think there’s a whole lot of publicists who are controlling our access to our modern-day Jim’s and Jimi’s and Keith’s.

          I wholeheartedly agree. To be fair, there have always been those players- from Elvis’ protector, Col. Tom Parker, to Peter Grant, to Lou Pearlman, who made millionaires out of overproduced boy bands, then ripped them off.

          You’re right that with Amy W., what we see is what we get- unvarnished and unedited. The nice thing about that is if she pulls through and makes a hellacious comeback, no one but she can take the credit.

        • dwoz says:

          Oh, I have to disagree!

          At one point a few years ago, I made the comment to some music industry friends of mine, that “…if I ever need a publicist, I am, hands down, going to hire Amy Winehouse’s publicist. That girl is in the news, front page of Google news more than George Bush, and he just started a frigging war.”

  7. Becky Palapala says:

    I think it’s sort of a slow news decade. Something in the zeitgeist.

    The 80s and 90s were a grittier. Punk/alt/metal brought a general appreciation for all things derelict, filthy, disturbing & dysfunctional (among other things, “heroin chic”). Now there’s just a different breed of musician in the spotlight. Now, it’s hip to be healthy and responsible and so on. Or not hip, maybe, but at least not cool to flaunt your degeneracy.

    Still, I think any time a once-bubble gum diva fucks up her media-generated responsibility of being a “role model” and other dubious pop-culture honors, people are going to break their fingers wringing their hands about it.

    I once knew a guy who would wrap himself in razor wire onstage, with predictable results. I’m pretty sure turning yourself into a walking biohazard in a public place is illegal somehow, but no one in that metal scene seemed to care much about it.

    I wonder whatever happened to that guy.

    And holy shit, Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive.

    • Joe Daly says:

      I think it’s sort of a slow news decade. Something in the zeitgeist.

      Amen to that. Since when is it surprising that people lose their minds and act crazy every once in awhile? You’d think it was a new thing.

      You make a great point with the bubble-gum diva observation. It’s just not realistic to think that these mini pop princesses will stay untainted and mistake-free after they get their hit. As soon as they get some fame, and as you note, when people start putting them on role model pedestals, a cottage industry of dirt gatherers and haters come out of the weeds. They eventually get caught doing something socially unacceptable, and then as you say, everyone starts wondering what went wrong. Shenanigans!

      Razor wire really hurts. I can’t even walk past it without cringing.

      And yeah, Jerry Lee outlasted them all. He and Keith Richards need to market on a longevity plan for baby boomers.

  8. Reno Romero says:

    joe:

    you know, i don’t really get all the press over aguilera. sure, she got tanked and foundered around on the side of the street buzzing on hooch and whatnot. big deal. oh, some drunk chick on the side of the road? where’s the story. this past weekend there was some drunk chick on her porch across the street. what gives? puleez. like you, i don’t pay much attention to these types, with the wagging finger, and all that contrived business. but she’s easy on the eyes and does know how to sing so she gets my vote.

    g.g allin was hysterical. back in the day i had a video of that fucker. it was brilliant. sure, he was a moron, but his concerts were nothing short of hilarious. he pissed, shit, spit, on stage. but he set the bar when he told his brother to jack him off when he finally made it to the casket. the pictures are heavenly: a dead allin and his brother smiling with HIS brother’s dead cock in his hand. awesome. bitchin’. cherry.

    i have nothing for those other folk. other than suge knight is a fat talentless slob.

    keep them coming, joe. funny and insightful as usual. let the music play.

    • Joe Daly says:

      this past weekend there was some drunk chick on her porch across the street.

      Dude, I laughed out loud at this. So true. What’s the horror in getting drunk and stumbling around a bit? Hell, if that’s what the media are looking for, I can point them to San Diego’s Pacific Beach on a Friday evening. It will be like an all-you-can-eat news buffet. “Man punches man while drunk!” “Sailor arrested for drunk driving!” “Girls drink jello shots and sleep with strangers!”

      G.G. was indeed a character in every sense of the word. So glad you mentioned his wake/funeral. I’ve seen that video on YouTube, and knowing the backstory, it’s actually sort of funny. You know it’s what G.G. would have wanted- his whole face dead and bloated, jock strap on, and bottle of booze by his head. I think the funniest thing is that the people in the room don’t seem to be put off by the presence of a dead body.

      Thanks for the comments, man!

      • Matt says:

        Ah, good old PB. The two years I lived in that ‘hood were certainly interesting.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Ah, good old PB. The two years I lived in that ‘hood were certainly interesting.

          People have this image of San Diego being a happy, if not sleepy little surf paradise. Little do they know that San Diego contains Pacific Beach- the angriest place on earth.

        • Matt says:

          Prior to my foot getting all screwy I used to take long bike ride from my pad down and around Mission Bay, Mission Beach, PB, and the southern chunk of La Jolla. Last time I did it I stopped for a breather near the Crystal Pier. It was a nice day, and as I sat there watching the waves I found myself thinking, “Wow, I kind of missing living down there.” I hadn’t even finished the thought before a group of obnoxiously drunk fratboys with matching crew cuts passed by me and completely ruined the moment.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Yeah, that’s about par for the course. When I first moved here, I was super stoked to hang out in PB and enjoy some lazy sunset cocktails and marvel at the peacefulness of it all. Then I realized that the entire area is overrun with chuckleheads with their oversized flat-brimmed hats cocked off to the sides, sandals with white socks, and chests puffed out towards anyone sharing the sidewalk with them. Between the hammered frat boys, wannabe surfer thugs and jar heads blowing off steam, PB is a pressure cooker of drunken aggro.

  9. Gloria says:

    …like a flash mob herpes attack. I was invited to that party once.

    The media coverage of Aguilera’s “antics” is sickening, to be sure. I recently switched my yahoo news feed from entertainment to local news, just so I would have to see her or Sheen or any other damned person whose life is none of my business for a while. I couldn’t imagine being a celebrity. Not on that level. One thing I love about being a writer is that even the most famous of us aren’t subject to that level of public scrutiny. Most people couldn’t even say what most writer’s look like in certain terms.

    Fucking intriguing stuff, man. Right on.

    And, yeah — the Jerry Lee Lewis thing always boggled my mind.

    I think this issue (the Aguilera/Spears/Hilton press vs. the five listed here) is a boy/girl thing. I do. I do, I do, I do. Say what you will.

    • Joe Daly says:

      One thing I love about being a writer is that even the most famous of us aren’t subject to that level of public scrutiny. Most people couldn’t even say what most writer’s look like in certain terms.

      This is huge. While some might be quick to mention James Frey’s notoriety, the fact is that most writers disseminate their craft with little chance of blowback. Critically, the columnists who are so quick to excoriate public figures for their missteps get to fire their arrows from the safety of anonymity. You could pass one throwing up in front of a church on a Sunday morning, and no one would have any idea who they were.

      I think this issue (the Aguilera/Spears/Hilton press vs. the five listed here) is a boy/girl thing. I do. I do, I do, I do. Say what you will.

      You could be right. I need to turn that over a few times. Guys definitely seem to get some more leeway, but they get dragged through the mud as well. To wit, Charlie Sheen, Pete Doherty, and Mel Gibson. But maybe you’re right that the frequency or intensity of media assaults on men are less than women. Hmmm…

      • Gloria says:

        Ok, I take it back. I was just shooting from the hip.

        http://omg.yahoo.com/news/the-strangest-celebrity-meltdowns/58003

        Everyone is crazy.

        God forbid my life and my actions/decisions/impulsiveness should EVER be subject to public scrutiny. ***shudders**

        • Joe Daly says:

          Everyone is crazy.

          I’m pretty much an optimist, yet I believe this.

          Yeah, my chances of being elected for any sort of public position flew out the window long before I hit college.

          I’m surprised no celebrities have hired a private eye to follow around the columnists who most actively condemn their missteps. Wouldn’t that be great revenge? Follow around some gossip columnist hack, collect all the dirt on their own drug use, affairs, and financial misdeeds, then take out a full page ad in Variety. I don’t know if that would solve anything or if it would be more like throwing gasoline on a fire, but it sure would be fun to see.

  10. Matt says:

    I’ve made the deliberate choice to ignore celebrity gossip news (as much as I can, given the way it forces itself on you like a drunken varsity linebacker trying to score with his prom date), and my life has honestly been better for it since I did so. The whole Christina thing is a total non-story; yes, it’s not a great who of judgement to get into a car with a driver who has also been driving, but beyond that, who gives a fuck? Every university in the country has a campus full of students who do the exact same thing – or worse – on a nightly basis. Her “slut phase” from the early 2000s was much more controversial, in my honest opinion. And interesting to look at.

    For some reason, I was under the impression that Jerry Lee Lewis had died somewhere along the line. I have no idea where that came from.

    Back when I was still working nightclubs, I spent an evening hanging backstage with Snoop Dogg’s tour manager (who later – no lie – tried to hire me), and he told me that the Suge Knight/Vanilla Ice story is more or less true; it wasn’t exactly ankle-dangling, but there was leverage over the edge of the balcony involved. Given the acrimony between Snoop and Suge at that point, I don’t quite know how much credence to give that, but still. Interesting to have an insider’s perspective.

    • Joe Daly says:

      Matt-

      You’re a smart man to avoid celebrity gossip, and your serenity is surely a major beneficiary of this decision. Yeah, college campuses are hotbeds of drunken misconduct, date rape, drugs, and fisticuffs, but it’s way easier to point the finger at someone who’s popular and try to knock them down a couple pegs. Sad but true.

      Great insider angle on the Vanilla Ice/Suge deal. I mean, when VI comes out and admits that he signed over the rights to his retirement plan, for very little in the way of consideration, one must assume that there was some intimidation in play. By that point, I think anytime Suge Knight did any business anywhere, it would be safe to assume there was some intimidation in play.

      Good qualification though, with the Snoop thing. He still blames Suge, but the people who say that Suge had nothing to do with the hit are quick to point out that if police had any evidence that he was involved, they would have busted his ass. His old cell mate swears that he ‘fessed to the Biggie hit, but of course, that and a token will get you on the subway…

  11. Dana says:

    I just realized that the link in my comment didn’t post…

    In case anyone was wondering what Vanilla Ice is up to these days:

    http://www.hgtv.com/the-vanilla-ice-project/show/index.html

    • Joe Daly says:

      That’s awesome. I remember seeing some episodes of the Surreal Life, thinking at first how well-adjusted he seemed to be in view of his colorful career and post-career mishaps. Then about two episodes in, he started going cuckoo for Coco Puffs (not literally), throwing tantrums, assaulting inanimate objects, and generally carrying on like someone who let go of reality a long, long time ago. When he’s in chill mode, he seems like a decent, thoughtful guy, but in those manic episodes, it’s scary how easily he seems to explode.

  12. Awesome piece! Since when did we decide pop stars should be role models anyways?

    I love the way you boil down music history to the stuff everyone wants to hear. I think this saved me from reading a stack of rock biographies.

    I was trying to remember the details of that story about Gibby Haynes after 5 hits of acid and a bottle of Jack Daniels. All I remember is it culminated in Blixa Bargeld kicking him in the head..

    • Joe Daly says:

      I was trying to remember the details of that story about Gibby Haynes after 5 hits of acid and a bottle of Jack Daniels. All I remember is it culminated in Blixa Bargeld kicking him in the head..

      That’s right! Holy crap, that was a fantastic story. I thought he kicked him in the prunes though when Gibby ran onstage. I need to get Googling. No way around it though, that story immediately eclipsed Pete Townshend kicking Abbie Hoffman off the stage at Woodstock.

      Thanks for the comments. It’s certainly mind boggling that we try to lay the “role model” tag on a group of people who generally are so far removed from the day-to-day realities of their fellow citizens, that it’s amazing we speak the same language.

      • Art Edwards says:

        Gibby liked to crap in buses…as in, not in the toilets in buses. Your gig’s over, you’re coming back all sweaty to your bus, and HELLO!

        I wouldn’t have toured with the Butthole Surfers for a million dollars.

  13. James D. Irwin says:

    Christina Aguilera sings a great version of Live with Me on Shine a Light with the Stones. It’s slightly disconcerting to watch her covort around with Jagger… but hey, that’s rock and roll…

    Peter Grant was awesome.

    As was this piece.

    Have Celtic stopped playing Rangers every week yet? Or is it just the one. long game? I can’t tell anymore…

    • Joe Daly says:

      JDI-

      I’ve never heard that version- I need to check it out. She’s got a hell of a voice. It would be nice if people just let her do her thing. If she started killing people or burning down national landmarks, then yeah, I’d understand some uproar.

      I wish I had more room to deal with Peter Grant. Can you imagine having that guy in your corner? The band understandably loved him and why wouldn’t they- he pretty much made them the millionaires that they are. Poor guy had just gotten his life on track a bit when he checked out.

      Have you ever read Richard Cole’s book? I’ve always been intrigued, but I’m afraid it would be way too slanted, and thus suspect.

      Celtic beat Rangers again a week ago. That’s four in a row for Rangers without a win. Predictably, the Ranger supporters now want an inquiry into Neil Lennon’s conduct after Diouf attacked him during the last match. Ah, the old firm…

      Btw- no idea how Dundee’s doing.

      • James D. Irwin says:

        Her voice works pretty well with it. There are many things that one can say about that girl, but no one can say she can’t sing.

        Peter Grant seems to be one of the few high profile band managers who are high profile because they were violently protective of their band, rather than trying to screw them over or work them into the ground.

        I don’t think I’ve read that book. I don’t really like reading biographies of memoirs from my favourite bands. I never find myself that interested. Then again I’m someone who like alot of music alot, but not to the extent some people do.

        I’m the same with sports books actually, with a few exceptions.

        I’ve not been paying much attention to any football recently. I’m just vaguely aware it seems to be an Old Firm derby every week, and the Hibs managed to avoid losing recently…

        • Joe Daly says:

          Great call on that Xtina collaboration with the Stones. She sounds great with them. It’s funny, but while I love the Stones, I’ve never thought of Mick as a great vocalist. Yet he can harmonize pretty well with female vocalists.

          For anyone interested, here’s the Xtina/Stones collaboration that James mentioned:

          Live With Me

          Incidentally, here’s “Gimme Shelter” deconstructed, where you can here Mick’s isolated vocals, along with the harmonies. In fact, all the instruments are isolated- it’s amazing:

          Gimme Shelter- deconstructed

          Two more Old Firms before the year end. Gers have two in the hand, and they’re down five, so it will be a race to the finish. Loved watching the Liverpool v. Man U match. Am I alone in detesting Berbatov?

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Mick isn’t technically a very good singer. I think Keith or Ronnie Wood said that none of them are very good at what they do, but it all comes together.

          And there best stuff is blues or country rock, where the voice doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact it’s better for not being so great.

          Miss that Man U-Liverpool game.

          I hate Berbatov because he left Spurs just as we were getting good… he was such a lazy player and at Man U he isn’t. Bastard.

        • Joe Daly says:

          That’s a fantastic summation of the Stones. Their best music has the dual characteristics of being catchy without being show-offy. Sticky Fingers is my fave Stones album, although Exile is a close second.

          For a guy who can’t act, Berbatov sure does a lot of it. Plus, he’s always got the long sleeves and the gloves. Isn’t he from Bulgaria? You’d think he’d be playing topless.

          Forgot he came from Spurs. That’s the worst- when a guy dogs it for your home team, then becomes Charlie Hustle when he’s playing with the top of the table.

  14. D. R. Haney says:

    A few points.

    “Either nothing is happening in music or the media has an awfully short memory.” You say the latter, and you’re right, but the former is true too, at least in terms of outstanding new rock & roll bands. That all died about five years ago, and I can’t help but think the iPod is partly to blame. But that’s a point I mean to pursue elsewhere later, at length.

    Re: Jerry Lee being a “pedophile” — is that really true? We apply that word easily these days, it seems to me, but bear in mind that in some states (many below the Mason-Dixon line) thirteen-year-olds were legally allowed to marry not so long ago (and that may well still be the case). Loretta Lynn, for instance, married at thirteen. Meanwhile, I don’t believe that Jerry Lee’s other wives were underage or that he was ever implicated in another scandal involving a young girl, and if he were truly a pedophile, I think allegations would have had to have arisen at some stage.

    Per Art’s comment about Mike Ness, here’s a story, taken from a band bio on the web, about the Cro-Mags, who had (and apparently continue to have) some of the most rancorous dynamics in rock & roll history: “Harley wanted Bloodclot to jump in Parris’ window one night, ‘fuck his ass up,’ inject AIDS-infected blood into him, and steal his videos of Cro-Mags footage (which he had refused to give to Harley).” True or not, that’s pretty…well, it surely speaks for itself.

    Did you and I not recently have a conversation about Varg Vikernes? It’s come up so often that I can’t remember. Anyway, here’s a link to the piece that led me to read The Lords of Chaos, which I’m sure you’ve read also: http://www.nypress.com/article-8822-black-metal-nation-what-do-norwegian-dirtheads-and-richard-perle-have-in-common.html

    As for your introduction (and overall thesis), yeah, it’s pitiful, the kind of thing that lately produces outrage, or at least a lot of ink or bytes. These are very repressive times, though I don’t think most realize it, and that’s an underlying theme of BFL and a favorite topic of conversation, or it was a favorite topic before I got bored with hearing myself jaw about it.

    • Joe Daly says:

      >>but the former is true too, at least in terms of outstanding new rock & roll bands. That all died about five years ago, and I can’t help but think the iPod is somehow to blame.< < I'd say there's a mess of truth to that as well. I'm sure there are loads of factors feeding into it, but I think the top two are: 1) the move away from album-oriented rock and into the single- you get no flavor of a band's personality or overall sound if you just listen to the one song you download; and 2) the ease with which bands can produce music for sale has diluted the pool exponentially, making it harder for unique bands to be noticed. I don't think either of those points are terribly revealing, but I think they're two of the leading culprits. Re: Jerry Lee- you're right that in the deep south, it wasn't entirely out of character to marry at that age, but by the same token, it is what it is. He obviously knew there was something inherently unacceptable, if not wrong, because he tried to pass her off as 15 to the press. I guess the question is whether the definition of pedophile includes the requirement that the person engage in a pattern of abuse, or whether a single incident is enough. That story about the Cro-Mags is amazing. I mean, talk about bad behavior- that is top of the class stuff. I think you and I did recently talk about Varg. I loved Lords of Chaos and kept it handy for the research on Varg. I actually wanted to include Euronymous in the list, given the fact that he cannibalized his lead singer, but I figured two black metal guys were enough. I'm off to read that article as soon as I submit this comment. As far as the thesis goes, you make an interesting point that most people might not realize how repressive our times are. I agree.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        I reread that piece after sending you the link, and, you know, I think it holds holds up. I don’t know if you got a chance to look at it (and I’m by no means trying to breathe down your neck), but if not, it’s a comparison of the Black Metal and Bush regime philosophies, as extrapolated from a pair of book reviews.

        I’ll return later with more (he warned).

    • Joe Daly says:

      So I’ve had one read of this piece, and it’s pretty much on, I’d say. It’s funny because there’s a notable similarity with punk. Both movements started out as extensions of rebellion against larger social institutions, and both found branches extending into National Socialism, small as those branches might be, compared to the larger movements (what’s common in black metal isn’t necessarily common to the rest of metal).

      I think that part of it, at least in the BM movement, is that ideas take time to be accepted by society, but eventually many things once-radical are now mainstream. So in order for a movement to continue to be ahead of the curve (thus rebellious/anti-social), they have to keep getting more extreme. With black metal, that seems to be the case- heavy music became rebellious music, morphing from cartoony Satanic themes to national heritage movements. Eventually, you had the national socialism that came to (corpse) paint much of the black metal movement, where anything other than a white Scandinavian was persona non gratis.

      This article is pretty dense and contains a bunch of ideas that I need to turn over again. I’m giving it another read this afternoon.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Well, punk was thought to be superlatively extreme when it arrived, so it naturally attracted extremists, not just of the neo-Nazi stripe but anarcho-leftists, undeclared puritans, take-it-the-max fashionistas, and the usual Caligula types who’ve been associated with rock & roll and its various offshoots from pretty much the beginning. The founding ideology of punk was broad enough that it could lend itself to multiple interpretations, and it was broad in part because it was half-baked. The ideology of any youth culture is going to be half-baked (half at best) because it’s, after all, the product of youth.

        I don’t know that the neo-Nazis, or white supremacists or what have you, came in at some point in the Black Metal movement (could it strictly be called a movement?) so much as that the Black Metal intelligentsia began, of its own accord, to move in a neo-Nazi direction. Black Metal didn’t, to the best of my knowledge, develop the kind of multiple offshoots that punk did. It stayed small, so that many people have never heard of it, while, by now, probably every first-world grandmother has heard of punk.

        • Joe Daly says:

          I don’t know that the neo-Nazis, or white supremacists or what have you, came in at some point in the Black Metal movement (could it strictly be called a movement?) so much as that the Black Metal intelligentsia began, of its own accord, to move in a neo-Nazi direction.

          That’s true to some extent. Euronymous, the guy most popularly acknowledged as the “father” of black metal, was a die hard communist- a vocal supporter of Pol Pot and Stalin. He was also a theological Satanist- which I think puts him in the very small percentage of metal musicians who really do believe in or practice Satanism.

          So black metal took off under the influence of a communist leader. Vikernes only aligned himself with Nazis after prison. At least publicly- his actions might have been aligned with them before. But the chicken/egg question does arise here, and I think that in this case, while they seemingly emerged hand-in-hand, I think the music came slightly ahead of the doctrine.

          I use “black metal” as both a sub-genre and a movement. Musically, it has enough distinction to be classified as its own deal. But I feel it’s a movement on a larger scale because of the actions that gathered under it. It was more than music for many black metal guys- it was the National Socialism that was just as vital to them as the actual music. Beyond the music, they were anti-Semites, homophobes, and anti-religion, often attacking symbols of those institutions. So to me, that makes it a movement, although I understand it’s a matter of semantics. I wonder if it’s any different than a guy who shows up at a Ted Nugent concert with a Second Amendment t-shirt, bitching about immigrants taking jobs.

          I agree that black metal didn’t develop as many offshoots as punk. I think this is because musically, it had already been distilled pretty far. There wasn’t much left to split out. The black metal offshoots are more ideological than musical. For example, the sub-sub-genre of National Socialist Black Metal sounds exactly like straight up black metal- it’s just the focus of the lyrics that differ. While as you note, punk has shitloads of offshoots that actually sound different from each other. They can all sing about the same government, but the sub genres will be distinct.

          And yeah, you’re probably right that every grandmother by now has heard of punk. Many of them were probably right there in the thick of it back in the day.

  15. There was, er, a band…Welsh, I think, in the early ’90s, and they wanted a manager. They placed an ad in the NME (New Musical Express, as some of you probably know), asking for “a Peter Grant type”. Who answered the ad and became their manager? Yep. Peter Grant.

    • Joe Daly says:

      Steve-

      This is the feel good story of the summer. That rules!

      At the end of the day, there’s not a person on earth who couldn’t use a Peter Grant.

  16. Simon Smithson says:

    Until Aguilera’s doing unspeakable things to a groupie with a tube of luncheon meat, she ain’t got shit on the kings.

    Speaking of kings, and badassery, have you ever seen this, my pimping amigo?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Qo74_L3vo

    • Joe Daly says:

      Word. Aguilera hasn’t even entered the time zone that contains the zip code of the neighborhood where one of the third cousins twice removed of the co-worker of one of the king’s uncle lives.

      And yes, my Pimptastic Brother, I have indeed seen (and own) that movie. Spectacular in all regards, just the premise of Elvis Presley being alive in a retirement home had me sold. Have you seen it? If not, I’d be happy to slide it on over to you.

      I have to believe that Bruce Campbell’s biggest regret is that he’s going to be too old to play you in the first movie they make about you.

      • Simon Smithson says:

        You best believe I’ve seen it. And was a big, big fan.

        Aw, shucks. I think Billy Zane has the same regret about you, my pimpin’ brother from another pimpin’ mother.

        • Joe Daly says:

          We should just send a joint and/or open letter to those two guys saying,

          “Clock’s ticking, boys- get busy pimpin’, or get busy dyin’…”

        • Simon Smithson says:

          One of my favourite lines ever was from Cracked.com’s idea to cash in on the current zombie craze by leveraging The Shawshank Redemption into a sequel featuring undead versions of all the characters. They called it Shawshank 2: Get Busy Dyin’.

        • Joe Daly says:

          I’d love to see Shawshank 2, with all the dead characters coming back. The Warden could be doubly evil, and the hole in he back of his head would look pretty fly. Maybe the band of Shawshank refugees, a rag tag assortment of both guards and prisoners, could escape to the Green Mile prison, meeting up with the survivors there, where they could all make their last stand.

  17. Jeffro says:

    I remember when I first got into punk when I was 13. G.G. Allin was one of the first guys I heard about, particularly his vow of suicide on stage.

    I have one to add to the list: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Speaking of dirty deeds done right: the guy supposedly fathered 57 children. He was like the Shawn Kemp of R&B and shock rock ‘n roll.

    • Joe Daly says:

      JP, great call on Screamin’ Jay. A friend of mine contributed drums for him on one of his final albums, and he was apparently as spooky as they get, and deathly afraid of the devil. You couldn’t even mention the devil around him, or he’d freak out and rush you the hell out of there. I’d say that one would have to have done some fairly colorful deeds to live in that kind of fear of Satan.

      Shawn Kemp as Screamin’ Jay is the analogy of the day. Well played!

  18. Greg Olear says:

    Nice work, man. Really interesting stuff. Aguilera is a third-rate Amy Winehouse when it comes to…well, everything, pretty much.

    • dwoz says:

      disagree.

      When I finally heard Winehouse sing, after MONTHS of intense media saturation, I was like…”damn…there was a REASON that this singing style faded out 30 years ago…”

    • Joe Daly says:

      Thanks, Greg. I agree that Christina is to Amy Winehouse what independent films are to bowling.

  19. dwoz says:

    I think when Jerry Lee Lewis divorced his cousin, HE called it alimony, but the COURT called it child support.

  20. J.M. Blaine says:

    My favorite album of all time
    is Jerry Lee Lewis Live at the Star Club.

    My favorite book is Hellfire by Nick Tosches.

    Favorite isn’t the right word.
    Biblical.
    The weight.

    This was awesome.

    • Big Nick Tosches fan. Sonny Liston. Plus, opium. Cut Numbers. Big.

    • Joe Daly says:

      The first Tosches book I read was Country:
      The Twisted Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll

      It was amazing. I was in a furious Hank Williams
      phase. The three CD boxed set
      had just been released (had I known the ten
      CD “definitive” one was forthcoming, I still
      would bought the three CD one because
      I’m impatient like that), and it was a great
      companion to reacquainting myself with
      the country legends.

      Now I have to read Hellfire.
      Thanks, JMB.

      P.S. Did Jesus really have long hair? If you have
      answered that question, I have not seen it.

  21. J.M. Blaine says:

    We did a feature Christmas week with
    Joe Bonamo who wrote a killer book
    about Jerry Lee & AC/DC.
    Tried to TNB to excerpt them both but…
    Worth reading.

    You have to read Hellfire.
    Read the Tosches story about Swaggart too.

    *
    Yes,
    He was a Nazarene.

    • Joe Daly says:

      Man, I was so bummed
      out over AC/DC: Maximum Rock
      and Roll
      that I’m afraid to
      read another book about that
      band.

      Remember how Lucy
      would get Charlie Brown to
      try and place kick the football and
      then pull it out just when he swung
      his foot, causing him to fall
      violently on his coccyx?

      I’m afraid that will happen to
      me emotionally if I try to read another
      book about AC/DC. The above-
      referenced book was just that
      bad.

      I am, however, open to the JLL
      book. He’s never let me
      down.

      *

      I had no idea that long hair
      was a Nazarene thing.

      I did however recently see
      a cross with what I believe
      to be an erroneous inscription
      over the top.

      It read “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Iudorum.”

      It bothered me on a couple
      of levels.

      • Dana says:

        “It read “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Iudorum.”

        It bothered me on a couple
        of levels.”

        What cho talkin’ about Willis?

        • Joe Daly says:

          What cho talkin’ about Willis?

          They use a “J” for Jesus, but not in “Iudorum.”
          It’s strange that they would use J incorrectly
          in “Jesus” but not then erroneously use
          it in “Iudorum.”

          I think the generally accepted Latin way
          is “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum.”

          “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”

          I.N.R.I.

          or

          J.N.R.I. if you go to this church in Anaheim.
          Maybe they spell it “Janaheim.”

  22. pixy says:

    dear joe daly:

    you evoked my favorite jerry lee lewis line ever: “What the shit did Elvis do except take dope that I couldn’t get ahold of?”

    he’s so fucking awesome that it makes my face hurt from the inside. the only thing that makes everything he did/does slightly palatable is that he doesn’t give a flying funt about having done it. there’s no shame at all in that man and its kind of refreshing. 🙂

    speaking of faces, i miss yours! i’ve been getting the yen to indulge in some of your zen-ness, lately, but didn’t want to seem like i only use you for your rock garden.

    • Joe Daly says:

      “What the shit did Elvis do except take dope that I couldn’t get ahold of?”

      I myself would have had this same resentment. I still sort of do. I mean, he got to wear cool clothes, take good dope, and rock a plate of peanut butter and banana sandwiches everyday. What’s there not to envy?

      Come visit San Diego and rock me like a hurricane. Now, dammit!

      • pixy says:

        desperation and a needed haircut may take me down to the SD at the beginning of april. if it happens we can rock a sixer of o’douls like no ones bidness!

  23. J.M. Blaine says:

    I’ve got nothing but respect
    for the cultural importance
    of Elvis but when it’s all said
    and done, he’s not even in the same
    league as Lewis.
    Who is?

    JLL took more pills, drank more whiskey
    shot more guns and chased crazier women
    than Elvis, Cash, Hank and Waylon combined.
    And he’s still going.

    Listen to Star Club.
    Read Hellfire.
    Whole other league.

    • Joe Daly says:

      I love the line from the Drive-by Truckers
      song called “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac” that
      says: “Mr. Phillips was the only man
      that Jerry Lee still would call ‘sir.'”

      Speaking of Carl
      I saw him at SXSW in 1997
      and it was amazing.

      He smiled a lot.

      I do want to see JLL live, but not
      sure if I’ll ever get the chance.
      I wonder if he smiles.

      Thanks for the tune and reading
      recommendations. Can’t get enough
      of either.

  24. Richard Cox says:

    I so much want to be a snob about celebrity gossip, and then I have to remember I wrote not one but two posts about Tiger Woods when his personal life was under the microscope. I was a big fan of the guy’s golf game and swing, and I used that as my defense when writing about him, but I did comment about something other than just golf, so in the end I was just one more voice in the the fray.

    But I do think the world would be a better place if every celebrity magazine and television show and web site suddenly went out of business. I can sort of understand teenage girls reading this stuff, but the rest of us should be ashamed of ourselves. Haha.

    Then I think…What’s the difference between Us Weekly and Behind the Music? Why do I think it’s okay to watch the drama of being in a band on VH1 but not reading about Britney Spears on TMZ?

    At least the Classic Albums series focuses mainly on the music itself. I’m not a big fan of Metallica but I loved that episode. Thanks again for the link.

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