I'm a live wire...
Get up, get up, get busy, do it...

You know I'm no good...

I was talking to RBJ a week or so ago and he questioned me about my Top Singles of 2007 list. For the most part, he liked the list and the selection, save for one... The Polyphonic Spree (calm down, Bec! Don't strangle him yet!). He wasn't sure how I could like what I believe he referred to jokingly as a "musical cult."

Well, "cult" might be a bit strong, but I can understand where he's coming from. The very concept of a few dozen people in flowing robes or otherwise matching uniforms singing and traveling together and all that jazz could be seen as borderline choir/cult or, at the very least, a modern incarnation of the Partridges or Osmonds.

I responded that what they do in their own time is their business and it's been a personal philosophy of mine for some years to separate artists from their personal lives. I found out the hard way that if you worry about an artist's personal life, it will ruin your appreciation of what they do professionally.  Or, at least, I try. It doesn't always work.

It dates back to when a friend and I saw Oliver Stone's movie The Doors. While Val Kilmer did a brilliant job of portraying the poetically blubbering mass that was Jim Morrison, I hated the film. At the time, my friend and I were going through a classic rock discovery phase and The Doors were high up on our list of loves. After watching Kilmer's portrayal and reading books confirming his behavior, I had the worst time listening to The Doors. I had to stop entirely. Cold turkey. Sold all my music and got rid of anything else I owned. I just couldn't do it anymore.

It was a good three years before I began listening to The Doors again. But it was only after I was able to mentally distance myself from the movie and the stories. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And I try to keep doing it to this day.

Amy Winehouse? Great singer; freak of a person.

Kanye West? From many accounts, a bit prima donna-ish, a conspiracy theorist, and a whiner, but a fantastic rapper and poet.

Russell Crowe? Need I say more?

I don't want it to look like I'm picking just on the three of them as there are plenty of instances of this in the great entertainment machine. These three were just the first ones I thought of. C'est la vie.

It's sad I have to do separate the personal and professional lives of artists, but if I don't, I'd never be able to see a movie, watch a TV show, or  listen to an album anymore. Then what do I have left? Working out at the gym with a dead iPod. Oh wait, that happened to me this week. Sucks.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I overheard this one at work... "Oh man! I misspelled 'intelligence'." D'oh!

Comments

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Dagny

I have no problem with musical artists with ummm interesting personal lives but actors are another thing. I have not been able to watch a Tom Cruise movie since the whole jumping on the couch thing.

diane

I tend to think that truly great artists of any medium probably grow up as pariahs from the get go, so I can excuse the bizarre behavior that results. Although I really was heartbroken when Beck became a Scientologist. :(

Hilly

Wow, Dagny said what I was going to say. I guess I expect musical artists to be crazy but once I've seen an actor be nutso...I hate it.

Tom Cruise is out. I have a really hard time watching Brad Pitt now simply because of his cheating ways, etc etc.

sizzle

i feel that way about woody allen. love his work, not so supportive of his personal life choices. but still, he's brilliant in many ways.

suze

I think I may have to take your philosophy to heart. "Stronger" came on the radio the other day and I said to Mike: "I really like this song but I don't want to because I dislike Kanye West so much..." And Mike told me that it was good that after so much time together I could still surprise him by coming up with even new, more neurotic things to say. "Separate the artist from the music, Susan," he told me. Perhaps he's right...

metalmom

I don't have a problem with public vs. private most of the time. I think that if Tom Cruise had put out a good movie since the couch-jumping debacle I would still like him. Unfortunately, I'm with Dagney and Hilly.

Personally,I LOVE Quentin Tarantino movies, but when he shows up on the screen, my food wants to show up in my lap!

kapgar

Dagny, yeah, Tom Cruise is one instance where I haven't been able to separate them either. I haven't seen any of his films since then nor have I watched any DVDs of his movies.

diane, Beck is a Scientologist??? You don't mean Beckham, do you?

Hilly, I still watch Pitt, but am with you on Cruise.

sizzle, I guess I never would've been able to watch any of his films either considering Soo Yung or whatever his daughter-lover's name was. But I still watch some of his movies.

suze, a wise man, your Mike. Tell him I'm right there with him.

metalmom, Quentin can have that effect, can't he?

Karl

Yep, you definitely need to put the person and their art away from the person and their personal lives. More now than ever.

Bec

You've just reminded me to load their new album onto iTunes!

That's an overtheweekend job though as I have got to clear out all the Christmas ones and lots os others - I'm going to be ruthless... and get rid of as many as 10.

kapgar

Karl, they get progressively worse, don't they?

Bec, Radiohead's new one is fantastic! Happy listening!

sue

I'm kind of like that. It bothers me when I hear of some long-term hollywood marriage splitting up and one of them was cheating - where I thought "at least HERE'S one that WORKS!" Call me fickle. I try not to let it influence me, but I think it does...

kapgar

It's hard to remain completely detached all the time. Even I have problems with it.

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