As a huge rock ‘n roll fan, one of my favorite stories this week is about how the rock band Motley Crue is suing its managers for $20 million. Among the reasons cited? Giving terrible advice, a.k.a. telling drummer Tommy Lee that being on reality shows like Tommy Lee Goes to College and Rockstar: Supernova were good career moves. C’mon now – like nobody else thought it had disaster written all over it (esp. the college one)! I saw this article on Rolling Stone online that lists the four music lawsuits they’d like to see (read the full article for details):
1. Every Hard Rock Fan Alive v. The Van Halen Brothers
2. Chuck D v. VH-1’s “Flavor of Love”
3. Stewart Copeland v. Sting and Puff Daddy
4. Bob Dylan v. The Grateful Dead, and vice versa
Instead of lawsuits, for fun I thought I’d try to come up with my personal list of Unforgivable Career Moves in music, entertainment or otherwise. Please feel free to share yours!
Axl Rose’s rebirth of Gun ‘n Roses: Just because you own the name doesn’t give you the right to tarnish the history of one of The Best rock bands of all time. At its height, Guns may have been able to successfully replace original members Izzy and Steven Adler, but take away Slash and Duff McKagen after a 10+ year hiatus, and factor in an old, fat Axl who’s still as volatile, and you get big flop. This goes to show that a rose by any other name does NOT sound as sweet.
Johnny Damon becoming a New York Yankee: As a proud member of the Red Sox Nation West, I have to include this one. Just six months after saying he could never play for the rival Yankees, Johnny D. sold his soul, shed his trademark long hair and facial hair, and donned the pinstripes for $52 million for four years (the Red Sox offered $40 mil for four years). He may have gotten an extra $12 mil but his batting average is lower than in his last years in Boston, he still only has ONE World Series ring (and the way the season is going, he shouldn’t expect a second one this year) AND he’ll go down as one of the biggest traitors in baseball history. Fans and sportswriters used to say he resembled Jesus; now they call him Judas.
Michael Jackson post-Bad: I’m not sure what happened after he released Bad – perhaps it was five too many plastic surgeries or the marriage to Lisa Marie Presley or maybe he switched managers or producers – but he just got plain weird and his music suffered! Up until that point, he was just an eccentric and shy guy who loved going under the knife. Then there was the whole children sleeping in his bed thing, the “marriage” to his nurse and not to mention his children… and then he went to Dubai or something… I. Don’t. Get. It.
James Frey redefining the word “memoir”: Blame the author or blame the publisher for not verifying the facts, but James Frey’s life fell into A Million Little Pieces after it was proven that parts of his “memoir” were made up or exaggerated. The New York Times Bestseller was about his experience overcoming alcohol and drug addiction treatment – which was a fact – but some of the details were false, including his criminal record and the role he played in a train accident. The truth got out and got everyone from Oprah to Larry King talking. As a result, Frey was dropped by his literary manager and lost a two book, seven figure deal with his publisher. Hey, there’s a lot in my past I’d like to rewrite too but no matter how many times I could tell the story, it would always be fiction.