Monday, January 31, 2011

Sex, Drugs and rock & roll.  Lets Party.  NOT  Why not?  Because it is no longer a good career move for an entertainer.  The Grammy awards are coming up on February 13th.  Some of the previously well known bad boys have gone to rehab to recover from their druggy days and it shows in their craft.  In the 70’s everyone was having free sex( before the aids epidemic)  drugs were everywhere (before we did not understand a word Ozzy Osbourne said) now we have Amy Weinhouse and Eminem.

Eminem has 10 nominations and the top selling album of 2010, with 3.4 million copies sold.  This album is very different from his previous albums in his change in lyric topics.  His lyrics now sound like quotes from group therapy.  One of his rap songs say, “I’m wallowin’, self-loathin’ and hollow. Bottoms up on the pill bottle. Maybe I’ll hit my bottom tomorrow,”  This may be the most successful album ever to deal explicitly with getting sober.  There is the album called “Recovery”: the rehab album.  Eminem’s last album was called “Relapse.”  If you are old enough to recall the whole Woodstock event.  Rehab or recovery was definitely not in anyone’s vocabulary at that time.

A lot of bands and singers had a resurrection in their career after they cleaned up.  When Eric Clapton kicked alcohol and heroin just before he released his album “Journeyman” his solo career boomed. The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ commercial break-through came in 1991 after lead singer Anthony Kiedis kicked narcotics addiction as he sings about it in  “Under the Bridge.”  Look at Metallica (also known as “Alcoholica”) went through group therapy that included rehab for singer and lyricist James Hetfield, the band produced “Death Magnetic” to great success.  Pop or country singer Bonny Raitt and Steve Earle survived their struggles with substance abuse as well.  So do we have to get totally messed up, then clean up to be successful now?

We know all this because there is no where to hide for entertainers.  There are stalkers like TMZ or anyone with a cell phone taking a picture of you and sending it out immediately on U-Tube or even the artist themselves Twittering ’’I’m going to jail now or I just entered rehab.”  In the 70’s we didn’t even know what rehab was. 

Also, at the Grammys is R&B singer El DeBarge, nominated for the song “Second Chance,” a reference to his comeback effort after serving jail time on a drug charge.  These redemption stories can double as a marketing message and is turning into a ticket for cold cash.    These guys take their stories to the social media now.  You have Grammy-nominated country star Keith Urban rehashing the details of his addiction on the Oprah Winfrey show and dragging his movie star wife out Nicole Kidman for extra marketable umph stating how she helped him too.  Let’s all throw-up together.

I love Keith Richards, of the Rolling Stones who is not a member of the “Celebrity Rehab” school.  This iconic druggy  for nearly 50 years is still riding high and flaunting it.  He has a book “Life” on the bestseller list that opens with the band member holding a varied stash of marijuana, peyote, pills and cocaine; getting arrested in Arkansas to be let out in time to perform a concert in Dallas.  That’s the stories of rock & roll.

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