Artists You No Longer Enjoy After Meeting Them In Person

Have you ever had an artist’s work spoiled by their personality?

I can think of 2 science fiction writers whose books I once enjoyed, but I can no longer read their works because they were such jackasses in person, at a WorldCon.

There is also a singer/songwriter who I loved until I saw him in concert, and now I can’t even listen to him anymore.

Names on the sci-fi writers? Also, the singer?

Harlan Ellison was an ass when I met him, but I expected him to be an ass, so I wasn’t disappointed.

I experienced this once with SF author Brian Stableford. He was a total jerk to me in a Q/A session after a talk he gave. What is it about SF writers, I wonder?

Chris Farley and David Spade. Both arrogant jerkfaces that I could tell (granted it was brief). Although frankly I didn’t care for them beforehand either. Mostly very un-funny.

Right, Harlan Ellison was as advertised, but the biggest ass I’ve ever met in my life was Larry Niven, who reduced me to sobbing and seemed to relish it. Also David Brin apparently felt threatened by a new, young writer who was getting a lot of attention, so he was a total jerk, publicly insulting the new writer and making self-aggrandizing comparisons. I threw out my original copy of Ringworld from the seventies, and won’t ever enjoy reading him or Brin again.

The singer was Ray Le Montagne, who I adored listening to, but in concert, his “soulful, sensitive” sound was purely technical, he had no connection with the audience, and ended up raging against a member of the audience who was talking. I don’t blame him for it, but it was ugly and in the absence of any other connection, very off-putting. Now when I listen to him it feels like he’s faking it.

David Brin.

He was perfectly polite, but so ill-informed on various subjects he pontificated about, I couldn’t face another of his books.

After discovering some unflattering things about various artists whose work I liked I decided to simply enjoy the books/music/movies/pictures/whatever and not attempt to meet these people or find out much about them outside of their commercial work. I don’t have to like the producer to like the product.

I have no problem with enjoying authors with political view different than my own, unflattering rumors, etc. But when the artist’s directly-observed actions work against my enjoyment, I find it hard to conjure up the interest in them again.

Yeah, if I only read/watched work from people I agreed with 100% I’d be very unentertained indeed.

I thought this thread was about those artists where their actions were so offensive/outrageous (even if only on a personal level) that it *did *break through into our enjoyment of their work. At least, that’s how I’ve responded.

And Mel Gibson. I wish I could ignore his history enough to enjoy Chicken Run again.

ETA, never met mel - sorry.

Peter Max.

I used to like his psychedelia style and use of color until the shop I worked at took him on a a client to make color separations of some of his stuff.

Then I discovered what an unpleasant person he was, what a hack artist he was, and how cheap he was.

Industry standard at the time for fine art reproduction was to have 4x5 transparencies of paintings shot under precise lighting. Max would give us 35mm slides that he shot himself, often done outside in bright sunlight, and almost never parallel to the camera lens (so the images were never squared). Large canvases would often have the fingers or the entire hand visible of whatever hapless assistant was assigned to hold it. Then we’d spend days trying to recover detail from the 35mm when we enlarged them to poster size from such small originals. Not to mention that he’d sometimes shoot Kodachrome, sometimes Ektachrome, sometimes Fujichrome, which made getting uniform color a nightmare.

Finally, he hated paying his bills; more often than not he’d offer to trade original paintings in lieu of cash.

And he had stinky breath.

I too was berated by Larry Niven (at I-CON Stony Brook NY in the late 80’s or early 90s’). I didn’t stop reading his works but it really shook my worldview to learn that someone whose work i enjoy could be an unpleasant person.

Brin, on the other hand, was nice to me, gladly autographing a book he had co-written with Gregory Benford (who had already signed it). He was suffering from a nasty cold at the time, so maybe it put him in a mellower mood.

Although I was never a “fan” of* Alice in Chains*, I had no real distaste for the group. However, after spending some time with the lateLayne Staley I found him to be one of the most unlikeable people I ever met. Actually, he was the most unlikeable person I ever met.

The Layne Staley thing makes me sad. Any more specific details?

Kevin Smith was a real asshole to my stepson at a film festival.

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a real disappointment at a con in the early 90s in Omaha, NE. The con was primarily a gaming con (D & D, Shadowrun) with panels on various topics like anime, science fiction, and guest authors.

The fact they were even able to get MZB was pretty cool. I had just read The Mists of Avalon and was convinced MZB was awesome. (I was in my early 20s. Don’t judge me. ;)) I went to the panel with one of my gaming friends, who hadn’t really read any of her stuff but hey, MZB.

I think she was late to her panel. And then she comes in, wearing this awful, pedestrian outfit. Like, polyester pants and a crappy blouse. You would think, hey, big writer, dress up a little nice for your fans. Apparently not.

Then in the course of her talk she proceeded to rant about how pen-and-paper RPGs (like D & D) were for morons and her own brand of live-action, dressed up role-play was far superior.

Seriously? You want to bring up something divisive like this at a gaming con? After they’ve **paid **you to come and speak?

Plus she sounded annoyed to even be there! Just a crabby middle-aged lady. I wanted to think that maybe we just caught her on a bad day, but…

I never read anything by her again. :frowning: Such a bummer.

I saw Marion Zimmer Bradley many times in the 1980’s and 1990’s. She had a stroke in the early 1990’s and couldn’t get around well after that point. I can’t imagine that she would have been worth the trouble to listen to during that time:

She never dressed well. During the 1980’s, she was indulged by her fans, who took her and her books too seriously. She didn’t really have any deep theoretical thoughts. She was simply someone who could turn out a lot of reasonably good books fairly quickly. Eventually she herself became a little turned off by her fans.

I once told a friend who was one of her fans that I didn’t like the cultiness of her fandom. He told me that however they may have acted, Bradley herself had had a hard early life and was lucky to have survived it. She grew up in poverty, was beaten by her father, and raped by her first husband. She survived it and became a prolific author.

Some web series I used to read and enjoy (I liked it enough to send a paypal donation to the author one time). The author started up a side story that I read, but didn’t really care for. I posted a comment about one thing a character did that I found hypocritical, basically saying I didn’t like this main character of the side story because of it – and the author’s reply to me was to wish me dead (the ‘you should die in a fire’ type of thing). I figured I’d never post a comment again, but still read it. And yet, I have to this day, years later, not felt like reading it again, even though I did enjoy the main story quite a bit.

(I can’t remember the title, though I’m sure it would be easy enough to find if it weren’t for the reluctance caused by the incident mentioned above. The author’s name was Alex something I think? It was one of those college type stories, with a lot of romance and some fantasy elements, too much h, but inventive writing and interesting character development, and a nice knack for keeping up with daily updates that is the downfall of many similar type stories)

Christopher Reeve was the meanest, most arrogant asshole you never wanted to meet. He put the ick in prick. If there is ever an old Superman film on TV, I can’t change the channel fast enough. His Superman co-star, Margot Kidder, was a roaring nutcase when I met her (although I have heard since then it really was a case of bipolar/depression and hopefully she is on medication now). So yet another reason all those old Superman films make me flip channels so quickly.

Back in the '80’s living here in DC, you could go to Redskin Park and after a practice get autographs from most of the players, including marquis players like Theismann, Green, Manley, Monk, etc. They’d make friendly chit chat and you would generally get a really good feeling about most of them. Even Jack Kent Cooke and Joe Gibbs would press the flesh a bit and make a joke or two with you. My dad worked at a local auto parts store and sold parts to John Riggins would who would hang out and have some manly banter with the guys at the counter.

However, these days things are very different. You can’t get near a professional athlete, and if you’re a female the only way you’re getting near them is well… you know. They have their cell phone glued to their ear so they don’t have to talk to a cashier and have an entourage that “protect” them from the masses. One of my best friends had a very unfortunate and lame encounter with Chris Cooley at a local bar, and she came away with the sense that he was, in fact, an enormous tool. And not in the good way.