What happened to getting high with groupies and leveling hotel rooms? Perhaps that's all part of a rock star lifestyle in the rearview mirror. Because these days, fame in the music business seems inseparable from constant, worldwide touring, non-stop social networking and connectivity, and endless recordings and collaborations... just to stay relevant. The result seems to be that artists are working themselves to extremes, even at the highest levels of success.
Certainly, it's hard to pinpoint the exact reasons for incidents like these. But all of these performers are relatively young, with incredibly demanding schedules.
Rick Ross suffers his third seizure, forcing the cancellation of a scheduled concert in Guyana.
Late last year, following an initial bout of seizures, Ross blamed his tireless work ethic. "It was a case of me not getting enough rest, enough sleep," Ross told BET's '106 & Park'. "Being the fastest-growing label in the game, wanting to be the number one label in the game, it comes with a lot of sacrifices and in my case it was sleep. I would get two hours of sleep and keep moving."
Lady Gaga throws up several times during a performance in Barcelona, before continuing to perform. Gaga was rumored to have the stomach flu at the time. That closely followed a similar incident in Romania, in which Gaga stepped offstage to vomit, then also continued the performance.
Lil' Wayne suffers a pair of seizures, one forcing an emergency landing (like Ross). Dehydration and migraines have been cited as contributors, with Lil Wayne also blaming an intense work schedule for the problem (though certainly, other issues could be at work...)
(pictured atop: Wale)
jerk Thursday, November 01, 2012
hangovers suck, don't they... the poor things
jw Thursday, November 01, 2012
I don't know of any popular artist who's putting out "endless recordings and collaborations." CCR put out 7 albums in 4 years. The Beatles put out 12 in 7 years. Hendrix put out 4 in 3 years & had an incredible amount of unreleased material recorded. Some rapper moseys into a studio & does a guess verse on a recording & all of the sudden he's overworked?
Metallica played 224 shows in 14 months after the black album was released & then they went right back into the studio. And you didn't hear them whining about it.
Having a hard time feeling sorry today's pampered superstars.
spassky Friday, November 02, 2012
CCR, The Beatles, and Metallica also didn't have to feed the media cycle that goes with any tour appearance or public release these days. (Oh yeah, and that whole the Beatles didn't tour after 1966 thing...)
It isn't the touring schedule that is getting today's stars-- it's the publicity and their contractual obligation to participate in it that drains them.
I'm sure this can be especially disconcerting when profit margins are getting slimmer and slimmer.
I'm wondering if the author of this included Cat Power having to cancel part of her tour due to sickness, if you would still be simply associating this type of behavior from 'superstars' (the only type of musician featured in this article). [ref: http://pitchfork.com/news/48414-cat-power-may-cancel-european-tour/]
jw Monday, November 05, 2012
lol. The Beatles HARDLY quit touring because it was too "hard." They almost got stuck in the Phillipines when they turned down an invitation for breakfast w/ Imelda Marcos & rioting ensued. The Vatican had issued a protest against the band because of Lennon's comments about them being bigger than Jesus. And when they played, there wasn't a sound system loud enough at the time that they could hear themselves over the fans. Things were pretty insane, & the circumstances surrounding their retirement from touring were pretty special.
But they played thirty-seven shows in twenty-seven days in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand in mid '64. In Lenon's post-Beatles Rolling Stone interview, he talked about how they routinely had to entertain the children of dignitaries whereever they went, on top of all the press they did, & they felt like circus monkeys or something along those lines. PLUS they were filming movies, in addition to their music output.
To suggest that any artist is busier than the Beatles were is ridiculous.
Regarding Cat Power, I'm no doctor, but I don't think you pick up autoimmune disorders from radio interviews. She's already retired from touring a couple of times. I hope she get's better, though, she's had a rough go at it. I don't think that's at all the same thing that Justin Beiber puking onstage during his lipsyching performance.
Vernon Wednesday, November 07, 2012
It's true the Beatles and other artists you've mentioned had a tireless work ethic. The constant demands on them were also a factor for them turning to heavy drugs. It wasn't just the 60's counter-culture drug LSD (McCartney admitted to doing lots of coke and Lennon became hooked on Heroin around the time of the White album sessions.) Over exhaustion can lead to many health risks in any high performance occupation. Being any kind of successful artist is dangerous because it's not just performing a task it involves going into your soul and drawing from influences around you. You have to balance it out.
Dave D. Friday, November 02, 2012
I've had some strenuous, difficult jobs.
I dug ditches and postholes, swung a hammer for a few summers.
I was a deckhand on a tugboat, out in nasty weather at all hours, facing certain drowning death with one misstep.
I taught English for years to ungrateful 7th and 9th graders (thankfully, some of them were grateful...you know who you are).
I worked (and still work) with the major labels and music publishers to license music for digital music services.
I've also toured the world playing music and selling millions of records.
Being a rock star was far and away the most physically and emotionally demanding job I've ever had. It took years off my life -- after a few years of heavy touring, I was physically skeletal and emotionally destroyed. I saw it destroy peers and acquaintances.
This is an incredibly dangerous job. Think about it. If you were one of the top artists of the last few generations, odds are very likely that you or one of your bandmates would be dead by 30 or at least by 40. Just run down the list, starting way back...this is only a small sample: Robert Johnson, Charlie Parker, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Randy Rhoads, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Michael Hutchence, etc., etc., etc.
I once extended this list to 100+ names and found that if you were a top tier success in music your chances of dying before 30 were 25%, rising to 35%-40% before age 40.
Not to mention those damaged and destroyed but not killed along the way.
You're better off being a logger or a crab fisherman.
guest Friday, November 02, 2012
so why do people want to be slaves to the machine even in this day??
Visitor Friday, November 02, 2012
Read Marc Lewisohn's "The Complete Beatle Chronicle". It'll wear you out just reading what 7 years of their lives entailed & don't forget that they also recorded some ok music too. Boo hoo for Rick Ross, Lada Gaga and the rest of the overworked entertainers.
visiting Friday, November 02, 2012
when nivek ogre from Skinny Puppy/Pigface used to leave the stage to vomit, then come back to finish the show, we called him a junkie.
now it's "stomach flu"
Sequenz_ Monday, November 05, 2012
Awesome to see aa Skinny Puppy reference. Those industrial days... haa