celebs who write about the celeb life

Plenty of filthy-rich, mega-successful, draw-the-opposite-sex-like-flies celebrities (Dylan and Springsteen come to mind–there are scads of others) have continued to write for decades after it was no longer true about being poor failures who mope around broken-hearted 24/7–they’re good songs, mind you, but it seems to me that a true artist would be able to write just as meaningfully about the odd perspective of success as well as failure, too.

What are the best examples you can think of, of a (song- or other) writer depiciting the celebrity blues? Admitedly it would be off-putting to some of their fans to sing “Oh, I’m so rich I don’t care about your pension tanking…” but it just seems too rich a field not to mine, since I’m sure success has its problems too. (Like never knowing if a woman would have liked you if you weren’t a celeb, and like that.) Links, if you got 'em, please.

Not a singer, but try Taki in the Spectator.

Might not be quite what you’re looking for, but there’s “The Entertainer” by Billy Joel.

I am the entertainer, the idol of my age
I make all kinds of money when I go on the stage
You’ve seen me in the papers, I’ve been in the magazines
But if I go cold, I won’t get sold
I’ll get put in the back, in the discount rack
Like another can of beans

Joe Walsh - Life’s Been Good.
An ironic song (“My Maserati does 185; I lost my license, now I don’t drive”), but definitely fits the OP.

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam has done this a number of times. (He was somewhat infamous for being the Frowniest Rock Star in the mid-90s.) Nothing of the “Boo hoo, I have so much money” variety, but he has written songs that refer to some of the problems of fame like not being sure if you can trust your friends, having to deal with the expectations of strangers, and feeling that your life and art are being exploited for money by others. See especially “Blood” off Vs., and “Not for You” (rehearsal for 1994 SNL performance, couldn’t find the album version) and “Corduroy” off Vitalogy. There’s also “Lukin” off No Code, which describes a real incident involving a mentally ill woman who stalked him for years and managed to break into his house more than once.

Aside from the exploited for money thing these are all problems that a non-celebrity might face, but they were largely inspired by the downside of fame.

I saw Steve Martin in concert a few months ago. It wasn’t a stand-up event, he was playing bluegrass on the banjo, but he did still make some jokes.

“You know, it’s great to be out on tour. Get on the bus with everyone else and as you travel, you’re telling stories, jamming, coming up with new songs. It’s really a great bonding experience so they tell me when I call from my jet.”

Essentially, every joke he made during the whole thing was about being rich, doing this simply as a hobby, and making it quite clear that the other guys were just his employees. Even though they were all clearly religious, after the got done singing a hymn, he made them sing the Atheist Song.

All this from the guy who wrote The Jerk. :smiley:

The Kinks did a couple – “Moneygoround,” about the difficulties even a rock star has with getting the money he’s due, and “Summer Afternoon,” about a rich man who’s broke because he couldn’t pay his taxes.

“Taxman” by the Beatles is the lament of a rich person (“That’s one for you nineteen for me” only applies to the highest tax brackets).

“We’re an American Band” by Grand Funk talks about some of the perks of rock stardom.

Most of the studio half of “Everybody’s in Showbiz” is Ray’s cynical take on the life of a rock star.

10cc’s “Worst Band in the World”:

We’ve never done a day’s work in our lives
And our records sell in zillions
It irrigates my heart with greed to know that you adore me.

Also, the Pet Shop Boys’ mordantly witty “Yesterday When I Was Mad”:

And afterwards we posed with competition winners
And argued about the hotel rooms and where to go for dinner
And someone said “it’s fabulous you’re still around today -
you’ve both made such a little go a very long way”

This is the worst example of anything ever.

“The Ballad of John and Yoko” is another Beatles song about being rich and famous.

Also on the Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround album there’s “Denmark Street”, which is a pretty cheerful song about getting a recording deal despite the fact that the bigshots hate your music. “Top of the Pops” is another mostly upbeat song about watching one’s single rising on the charts, but includes the lines “And now I’ve got friends that I never knew I had before. It’s strange how people want you when you record’s high, 'cause when it drops down they just pass you by.”

The Who’s “How Many Friends” off The Who By Numbers is about not being sure who your friends really are, which could apply to many people, but the last verse is explicitly about being a rock star. It describes mistrusting others in the music industry (“We talk so much shit behind each other’s backs”) and feeling angry about hearing others say things about you when they don’t know what you’ve really been through (“So how come they can sum us up without suffering all the hype we’ve known”).

It makes me worry that I’m either badly misunderstanding the OP or badly misunderstanding the song when I wonder why I’m the first person to mention Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine.”

I think cranky ruminations over how hard it is to be in a rock band are pretty common (eg, every other Mott the Hoople song). I can’t think of any notable songs about celebrity from a first-person perspective that present its positive aspects (and being rich and famous can’t be a total drag, right?). Outside of hip-hop there are damn few artists who ever seem to cop to their own lives of privilege. Joni Mitchell is really the only one that I can think of. I guess hair metal bands, probably.

Mudhoney’s 1992 “Overblown” is about being fed up with the whole overhyped grunge scene. The singer (Mark Arm) says he thinks it may be time to leave Seattle because “Everybody loves us, everybody loves our town” and later describes this love as creepy. Most of the song seems more about making fun of other rockers (legend has it that it was a dig at Soundgarden and the video for “Outshined”, although I think Arm has denied this) than complaining about Mudhoney’s own success, though. The line “You got a sack full of candy, all I got was a rock” actually seems like a complaint that Mudhoney wasn’t more successful.

Yeah, it’s the life.

Britney Spears Piece of Me is all about negative media attention she gets.

Fergie - Glamorous, about how great it is to be rich and successful.

I know there are a few hip-hop type songs about the rich, party lifestyle, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

A few years ago I saw an interview with Iggy Pop where he said he felt a lot of the joy had gone out of “white” (not sure if he used that word, but you get the idea) pop music, and that the only musicians left who seemed happy and excited about making albums – and the money, sex, etc., that goes along with that – were rappers.

Not first-person by the rock star, but “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits addresses it.

I think at least half of all rap-songs would qualify. Hell, even the ones that are writen by artists who are not that successful.