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Old 06-17-2011, 07:49 AM
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Unpleasant people in rock


I keep on hearing what a nasty, vicious, unpleasant man Van Morrison is. Richard Carpenter hasn't had a good press, and Roger Waters, by his own admission, has been a grumpy old bastard - an opinion shared by many others.

Who else in the music world is - or is supposed to be - a thoroughly unpleasant person?
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:00 AM
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Axl Rose
Alex and Eddie Van Halen
Glenn Danzig
Gene Simmons
Lars Ulrich

Last edited by x-ray vision; 06-17-2011 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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Need examples of their behaviour please, or this will be an uninteresting thread.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:39 AM
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Dave Mustaine (Megadeth): at least according to Kerry King (Slayer).

Any by golly, if Kerry King says it, it MUST be true!

ETA: every interview I've seen of Dave, he ends up coming across as an ass - and I have always had a crush on him! Plus, if you google it, Dave always makes the top 10 list for "jerks in rock/metal".

Last edited by otternell; 06-17-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:39 AM
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Most rock fans have probably heard of multiple examples of the unpleasant nature of the rockers on my list except maybe for Danzig. Here's an example of Danzig being a dick and then getting what he deserves (video has foul language):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEehtlKVKps
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:41 AM
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Noel Gallagher is one shining example.

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The most infamous of Gallagher's controversial statements was in a 1995 interview with The Observer, where he expressed a wish for Damon Albarn and Alex James of rivals Blur to "catch AIDS and die"
Honestly, I couldn't care one way or the other as a person's private life should be, well, private. If they're asses, fine, I can be too. Frankly, it's more unfortunate that the bigger their egos got, the worse their music became.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:46 AM
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Back to my "all Dave, all day" channel: he's even got a wikipedia site about how much of a jackass he is. Do I win the thread?
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:14 AM
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quote:In 1978, Nugent began a relationship with seventeen-year-old Hawaii native Pele Massa. Due to the age difference they could not marry so Nugent joined Massa's parents in signing documents to make himself her legal guardian, an arrangement that Spin magazine ranked in October 2000 as #63 on their list of the "100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock"/endquote

link

Sid Vicious was a tool of McLaren, and I reckon latter is the bigger asshole. Keeping in mind that Sid killed someone. Malcolm is a major fucking cunt.

In a similar story, Elvis was the world's fool, but the wife substitute that made him do it was Tom Parker. I pick Tom Parker as the great whopping cock of the arrangement, you may disagree.

Gene Simmons because he's really good at being Gene Simmons. Which is bad.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:30 AM
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I don't have any links but I do recall interviews with people who've worked with him and they all say that John Mellencamp is a tyrant. Impossible to work with / for, nothing's ever good enough, and if it wasn't done his way, it was done wrong.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:36 AM
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Lou Reed is famous for being a horrible dick to interviewers.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:42 AM
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Roger Waters, by his own admission, has been a grumpy old bastard - an opinion shared by many others.
Yes, but I don't care!
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:46 AM
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I don't have any links but I do recall interviews with people who've worked with him and they all say that John Mellencamp is a tyrant. Impossible to work with / for, nothing's ever good enough, and if it wasn't done his way, it was done wrong.
I saw one of his concerts on TV a few years back. He constantly insinuated that his band was not as good as him. I'm thinking there was not a lot of "dwelling in the pocket" with that group.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:58 AM
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Not to be unpleasant, but I think the head-scratching would be more prevalent if the thread were about "Pleasant people in rock" instead. As it is, I predict two or three pages before the wind goes out of the sails.

The stories of trashed hotel rooms alone might spark dozens of instances to appear.

If not, then the outlandish demands for this and that oddity in the dressing room might add another large group of replies.

Seriously, who are some pleasant Rock Star types?
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:19 AM
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Seriously, who are some pleasant Rock Star types?
In terms of serious superstars, Dave Grohl has the rep of being the Nicest Guy in Rock(tm).

In terms of douchebags - didn't Jim Morrison sit for the illustration in the dictionary for that one? Reading the book No One Here Gets Out Alive, he couldn't come across like a bigger narcissitic, damaged idiot.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:35 AM
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For unexpected dickishness, I offer Jonathan Richman. How could a guy whose songs sound almost like a kid's album be such a jerk at his shows and in interviews?

Pete Buck of REM's 'airline incident' may be the most famous example of his bad behavior, but he's been nasty to a friend of mine in the music industry.

Some people apparently don't deal with being on the road well.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:36 AM
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Most rock fans have probably heard of multiple examples of the unpleasant nature of the rockers on my list except maybe for Danzig. Here's an example of Danzig being a dick and then getting what he deserves (video has foul language):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEehtlKVKps
I don't have anything in particular against him, but I could watch that video 20 times a day and still find it funny.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:36 AM
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Not to be unpleasant, but I think the head-scratching would be more prevalent if the thread were about "Pleasant people in rock" instead. As it is, I predict two or three pages before the wind goes out of the sails.

The stories of trashed hotel rooms alone might spark dozens of instances to appear.

If not, then the outlandish demands for this and that oddity in the dressing room might add another large group of replies.

Seriously, who are some pleasant Rock Star types?
It's sort of being done here. It's what inspired this.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:40 AM
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In terms of serious superstars, Dave Grohl has the rep of being the Nicest Guy in Rock(tm).

In terms of douchebags - didn't Jim Morrison sit for the illustration in the dictionary for that one? Reading the book No One Here Gets Out Alive, he couldn't come across like a bigger narcissitic, damaged idiot.
I've just started reading Keith Richard's Life, and someone who has finished it said that he comes out of it uncaring and narcissitic.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:41 AM
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Gene Simmons
I could not agree more. What a sanctimonious, royal twa* that guy is. I heard a radio interview with him on NPR where I wanted to reach out and throttle him. He thinks he's god's gift to humanity. He came off so badly in the interview that he wouldn't let NPR release it--but here it is on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXMpo6rrUcI
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:46 AM
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It's sort of being done here. It's what inspired this.
So it is! I even posted there (Billy Graham! ). I just wanted to say "Hi" to you and thought this might work. It did!
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:49 AM
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I've just started reading Keith Richard's Life, and someone who has finished it said that he comes out of it uncaring and narcissitic.
I thought he was quite likable.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:50 AM
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For unexpected dickishness, I offer Jonathan Richman. How could a guy whose songs sound almost like a kid's album be such a jerk at his shows and in interviews?

Pete Buck of REM's 'airline incident' may be the most famous example of his bad behavior, but he's been nasty to a friend of mine in the music industry.

Some people apparently don't deal with being on the road well.
Mr. Stipe isn't the most pleasant man either.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:51 AM
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So it is! I even posted there (Billy Graham! ). I just wanted to say "Hi" to you and thought this might work. It did!
It certainly did. Hi right back at ya! Long time since we met in a thread. Back when we were whippersnappers, still in short trousers.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:53 AM
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From what I understand is Jim Morrison of the Doors was polite and friendly when he wasn't drinking. The problem was he drank a lot..saying it was cheap, legal, readily available and that being Irish he was supposed to.

There has to be a reason why a lot of Jeff Beck's groups didn't last very long. And Jack Bruce also.


For managers there are a whole lot besides Colonel Parker. Albert Grossman (Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Peter Paul and Mary), Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin), Allen Klein (Rolling Stones).

David Crosby and Stephen Stills always struck me as drug-addled dicks.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:59 AM
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I've just started reading Keith Richard's Life, and someone who has finished it said that he comes out of it uncaring and narcissitic.
No way - the problem is that you find yourself wanting to hang out and have a beer with him - there's a reason that Captain Jack Sparrow seems like he'd be fun to have adventures with. But then he refers to the women cloying onto him as "bitches" or blithely describes an event where you know he was a main actor - e.g., problems with Brian Jones - and you temper your view of him as a fun rogue.

Jim's Son - as for Jeff Beck, well, yeah, he is high-maintenance. I don't get the impression that he is overtly, proactively dickish or hostile, but more that he is, well, high-maintenance and not really the guy you want running things. He is a diva in every sense of the word - he is this finely-tuned vehicle for interpreting music - but, like Aretha Franklin, when you are that pure of an artist - when your instrument is that unique and superior - it is not surprising that your view of yourself may get a little skewed

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Old 06-17-2011, 11:00 AM
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Roger Waters always SEEMED like such a surly, ornery, humorless cuss that, when I saw the documentary "Which One's Pink," I was astonished at how charming, funny, warm, self-aware, open and just plain HUMAN he was. Maybe he's mellowed a bit with age, or maybe I misjudged him somewhat.

A long time back, I maintained a brief correspondence with a music critic who told me that David Lee Roth is a real creep. Dave's public persona is very goofy and happy-go-lucky (and I always LIKED that public image), but he has a major mean streak and and likes to bully people around.

Last edited by astorian; 06-17-2011 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:07 AM
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Fans who saw the Rush documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage” probably got a better feel for drummer Neil Peart than they ever have before. On the whole, he comes across as a smart, funny, and perfectly decent man. But as he himself acknowledges, he often comes across as a sourpuss because he’s an introvert and isn’t comfortable with strangers- even NICE strangers.

A fan who spots Geddy Lee or Alex Lifeson in public then races up and gushes “ I LOVE YOU,” is likely to get a smile, a handshake, maybe a photo or an autograph. A fan who does the same to Neil Peart is likely to get uncomfortable silence, even a cold shoulder, and come away thinking, “That guy is a real jerk.”

Is that fair? Probably not, but that’s life in show biz.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:11 AM
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It certainly did. Hi right back at ya! Long time since we met in a thread. Back when we were whippersnappers, still in short trousers.
Right you are. We need to get another three-way going with Chez Guevara and see what other sacred cows we can barbecue.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:33 AM
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A bit surprised no one's mentioned Brian Jones yet. By all accounts, he had a pretty serious personality disorder and was an inveterate woman-beater.

Then there's John Phillips -- learning about his ickiness has actually somewhat spoiled my pleasure in listening to the Mamas & the Papas (and that's not something that usually happens with me).
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:43 AM
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Billy Corgan has the reputation for being difficult, to say the least.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:52 AM
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... Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin)...
That's who first came to mind for me, although admittedly I don't remember details about whatever accounts I read.

Ritchie Blackmore, while maybe not an ass certainly came across as unpeasant enough. In his Straight Between the Eyes tour at the Hammersmith he'd never look at or acknowledge the crowd, just sulking off in a corner and obviously unhappy to be there. I understand that wasn't unusual.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:25 PM
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Fans who saw the Rush documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage” probably got a better feel for drummer Neil Peart than they ever have before. On the whole, he comes across as a smart, funny, and perfectly decent man. But as he himself acknowledges, he often comes across as a sourpuss because he’s an introvert and isn’t comfortable with strangers- even NICE strangers.

A fan who spots Geddy Lee or Alex Lifeson in public then races up and gushes “ I LOVE YOU,” is likely to get a smile, a handshake, maybe a photo or an autograph. A fan who does the same to Neil Peart is likely to get uncomfortable silence, even a cold shoulder, and come away thinking, “That guy is a real jerk.”

Is that fair? Probably not, but that’s life in show biz.
Yep, this is the one I was coming here to say. I've read Peart's various books about bicycling across Africa and riding his motorcycle across the US and Canada--he seems to have a really good insight into himself, and he doesn't apologize for the fact that he "can't pretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend." He doesn't attend meet-and-greets, and refuses to do the social thing at concerts, but from all accounts he's actually quite cool and funny with his friends.

I would like to meet him, but even if I saw him in public and recognized him I would never approach him because I know how much he hates it and it makes him uncomfortable.

So kind of unpleasant, yeah, but I think justifiably so. He's not a narcissistic jerk like some "rock stars."
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:51 PM
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Prince
Miss (Diana) Ross
  #34  
Old 06-17-2011, 12:54 PM
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Billy Bob Thornton.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:05 PM
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Ritchie Blackmore, while maybe not an ass certainly came across as unpeasant enough. In his Straight Between the Eyes tour at the Hammersmith he'd never look at or acknowledge the crowd, just sulking off in a corner and obviously unhappy to be there. I understand that wasn't unusual.
I've gotten the impression that he's a much happier camper now that he has married a young hottie, started dressing up like Robin Hood, and given up the heavy metal in favor of Renaissance Faire tootling with the missus.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:15 PM
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I have personally witnessed Billy Corgan being a complete asshole to an adoring fan. I initially dismissed it as him being tired after the show, but others in the room confirmed that he was like that all the time. Shame really. I think he's just short of brilliant, but what a douche.

On the flip side, Eddie Vedder was so surprisingly cool. I had heard he could be a little standoffish to fans backstage, but I must have caught him on a good day. He was gracious and shook everyone's hand and posed for pictures with everyone back there.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:43 PM
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Mr. Stipe isn't the most pleasant man either.
I've heard plenty of stories about Stipe and (especially) Mike Mills being dicks after shows, sexually harassing everything in sight, but everybody I know who's ever met Peter Buck has said he was super nice and willing to chat with fans.

I've met Paul Westerberg twice, once with The Replacements and once solo, and he was a total asshole both times. If you weren't a cute chick, he had no time for you, though he would make time for a snotty remark or two.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:49 PM
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In terms of serious superstars, Dave Grohl has the rep of being the Nicest Guy in Rock(tm).
I suspect that Louise Post and Nina Gordon might take issue with that, since he is the alleged catalyst for the ending of their friendship and the breakup of Veruca Salt.

Quote:
In terms of douchebags - didn't Jim Morrison sit for the illustration in the dictionary for that one? Reading the book No One Here Gets Out Alive, he couldn't come across like a bigger narcissitic, damaged idiot.
I always got was that he was a hell of a nice guy until he started drinking and hitting the drugs, then he became wildly unpredictable. Most of the books I have about him tell the story that way.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:54 PM
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My ex spotted Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chilli Peppers) in Studio City, tried to say something friendly to him, and told me he thought Navarro was going to fling his cigarette at him.

On the other hand, I've personally met Voltaire (musician, not the philosopher!) and you couldn't ask for anyone sweeter or friendlier. He's also very VERY handsome and gives good hugs.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:02 PM
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Jackson Browne. Any man who beats a woman so bad she ends up in the hospital is one I would consider very unpleasant.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:24 PM
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Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot. In the "Behind the Music" show on the band, one of its members said they succeeded in doing the impossible: uniting the disparate heavy metal community by DuBrow getting them to all hate Quiet Riot.

Among musicians several generations ago Ethel Merman and Al Jolson were abrasive.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:34 PM
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For unexpected dickishness, I offer Jonathan Richman. How could a guy whose songs sound almost like a kid's album be such a jerk at his shows and in interviews?
That is the exact opposite of my experience. I have seen Jojo perform maybe a dozen times and have chatted with him before or after the show at most of them. He's a bit of a strange guy but I have found him to be nice, charming and to genuinely enjoy talking to fans. I have never seen him be anything close to a jerk at his shows.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:06 PM
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John Lennon wasn't a nice guy, for most of his life, by his own admission. He was, I am given to understand, getting better later on, but...that arc was truncated, rather forcefully, not long after his 40th birthday.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:18 PM
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Fans who saw the Rush documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage” probably got a better feel for drummer Neil Peart than they ever have before. On the whole, he comes across as a smart, funny, and perfectly decent man. But as he himself acknowledges, he often comes across as a sourpuss because he’s an introvert and isn’t comfortable with strangers- even NICE strangers.

A fan who spots Geddy Lee or Alex Lifeson in public then races up and gushes “ I LOVE YOU,” is likely to get a smile, a handshake, maybe a photo or an autograph. A fan who does the same to Neil Peart is likely to get uncomfortable silence, even a cold shoulder, and come away thinking, “That guy is a real jerk.”

Is that fair? Probably not, but that’s life in show biz.
Even an introvert can learn to graciously smile, shake hands, and offer a fan thanks and well wishes. Being one myself I know this to be true -- not to say that I have any "fans," as such. You might not come off as an engaging personality, but you aren't doomed to come off as a "real jerk" just because you're an introvert.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:21 PM
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Axl Rose is a complete dick. Back in the GnR days he took every one for granted from the fans to his band mates.

He would ( and still does) make people wait for him, he thought it was cool to have 15 000 people 'fans' wait two hours for him to come on and perform. If they were scheduled to play at 8PM they'd come on at 10PM. Then there would be no guarantee he would finish the set any percieved slight would end with him walking off stage or assualting some one in the audience because he didn't like what they were doing.

The guy is a total narcissist, hid band mates walked on eggshells around him to get things done. He eventually forced the rest of them into him being the official member and owner of GnR turning the rest of the members into hired hands basically.

What they should of done is got together and kick him out of the band.

He also reduced royalties for Steven the drummer at the time to the lowest paid member because as he put it, its drumming any one can do it. He's basically a spoiled little shit that throws a tantrum if he doesn't get his way.

He also threatened to beat up Courtney Love backstage at an awards show.

The list goes on.

EODM recount their very short tour with them and why they told him to go pound sand.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:23 PM
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David Crosby and Stephen Stills always struck me as drug-addled dicks.
Crosby left/was kicked out of the Byrds while they were working on The Notorious Byrd Brothers. When the LP came out it featured a photo of the remaining members looking out of the windows of a stable; looking out of the last window was a horse. Crosby felt that they had done that as a swipe at him. Roger McGuinn denied it, saying "If we'd wanted the horse to represent Crosby we'd have turned it around."

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Old 06-17-2011, 03:29 PM
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That is the exact opposite of my experience. I have seen Jojo perform maybe a dozen times and have chatted with him before or after the show at most of them. He's a bit of a strange guy but I have found him to be nice, charming and to genuinely enjoy talking to fans. I have never seen him be anything close to a jerk at his shows.
I'll second that. Jo Jo has always seemed gracious to the audience at the 4-5 shows of his that I've seen.

However, he does piss off many of his fans off because of his refusal to play old favorites at concerts. He never plays Roadrunner live, to my knowledge, and that's just sad because it's really one of the top 10 greatest rock 'n' roll songs of all time, IMHO.

I saw him in mid-May during his latest tour, and about halfway through the set he mentioned between songs that he's obsessed with staying fresh, and said that's the reason he doesn't play the old favorites. And there was a bit of an apologetic tone to his voice.

But anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that in his concert before the latest one in May, he did actually play Pablo Picasso, albeit with a somewhat modified arrangement.

I realize that this post is entering hijack territory, so let me say that, um, Steve Tyler's ex-wife sure thinks he's a jerk.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:35 PM
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Missed editing window, so Ill clarify. By ex-wife, I meant Bebe Buell, who is not an ex-wife, but an ex-girlfriend.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
John Lennon wasn't a nice guy, for most of his life, by his own admission.
I think he blew hot and cold. Nowadays it seems fashionable to focus on his assholish side, probably in reaction to his being practically canonized in the years following his death.
  #50  
Old 06-17-2011, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjepson View Post
A bit surprised no one's mentioned Brian Jones yet. By all accounts, he had a pretty serious personality disorder and was an inveterate woman-beater.
Even Charlie Watts, who has always seemed to me to be quite the gentleman, said that "Brian Jones was not an easy person to like."

Be that as it may, I've also read that Charlie and Bill felt sorry for Jones as Mick and Keith grew more openly contemptous of him (perhaps with good reason), and as it become increasingly obvious that he was circling the drain.

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