Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special A Mighty Wind Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental full-frontal design specialist Fah Lo Suee and I are heading off to Juno, Alaska, where we'll be hosting a charity fete to pick names for former Governor Sarah Palin's next kid that would be predictive of the little tyke's future career. In the running at the moment are Tarp (Yankee Stadium groundskeeper), Tripe (Wall Street Journal editorial writer) and Turk (Oily Levantine), although that last one makes no sense to me.

In any case, posting by moi will more than likely be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little project for us all:

Post-Beatles Pop Star Who is (or Was), Indisputably, a Huge Asshole!!!

Self-explanatory, obviously, but I've decided not to nominate anybody based solely on their politics. My feeling is that the name of this blog is PowerPop, not Pissed-Off Lefty or National Review Groupie, so out of a decent respect for the opinions of our diverse readership, I myself won't be dissing...oops, almost gave the game away there.

That said, if the rest of you guys feel the need to trash our Pop Star betters for no other reason than their ideological proclivities, feel free. My hands are clean.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is:

5. Leo Sayer



Never buy an album from a man who looks like he should be singing the lead in Pagliacci.

4. Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)



C'mon, you knew I was going to do this. Billy Corgan: His pretentious cueball noggin, his orchestra and his chorus.

3. Ed Kowalczyk (Live)



What was I saying about pretentious cueball noggins?

2. Mike Love (The Beach Boys)



For a zillion obvious reasons. Honorable mention: Occasional Beach Boy John Stamos, who's so big an asshole he actually cheated on Rebecca Romijn.

And the numero uno braying jackass in pop music indisputably is...

1. Neil Tennant (The Pet Shop Boys)



An entire career based on his seething resentment of the fact that nobody took his favorite disco records as seriously as he did. What a jerk.

Awrighty then -- who would YOUR choice(s) be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinemania -- theme: best or worst movies with a single letter or initials in the title -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, it would give both myself and management a nice warm and fuzzy feeling if you could see your way to going over there and leaving a comment. Thanks!]

48 comments:

Gary Oxford said...

Glenn Frey
James Hetfield
Sting

Gummo said...

Sting
Yoko Ono
Sting
Bono (whenever he's not making music)
Sting

NYMary said...

Morrissey. Feh.

And Sting, of course.

I liked that one Live record--Throwing Copper, I think--but they lost me when I read that he found a guru on the internet. Also, fully half the band was named Chad. I am not making this up.

The Phantom Creep said...

Why did I know that Sting was going to be the runaway favorite?
:-)

Sal Nunziato said...

AXL ROSE makes Sting look like Gandhi

steve simels said...

I think it is worth noting that Axl Rose's real name is Bill Bailey.

Think about it...
:-)

Feral said...

Many musicians have had their moments, e.g. Pete Townshend. But consistancy is the key here.

Miles Davis was a renowned prick, but tops for me right now:

Ted Nugent - Asshole and wingnut in one!

Michael said...

As much as I love his music, James Brown was a true asshole, but he's not post Beatles, so I nominate Sir Paul McCartney just because.

minusp said...

Ted Nugent, definitely
Charlie Daniels
Sting

Some whiny emo ass whose name I blessedly can't remember - 90s

steve simels said...

Some whiny emo ass whose name I blessedly can't remember -

Heh heh.
:-)

Brooklyn Girl said...

Collective assholes, at least for a brief period: INXS. Perfectly nice guys, I'm sure, but who would choose to replace a lead singer (especially one like Michael Hutchence) by holding a reality show competition (albeit an entertaining one)? Of course, the real asshole turned out to be the winner, who blew the gig and is now back living in his car.

Runners-up: Anthony Keidis (dude, it's time to get some long pants) and Flea, whose head is someday going to pop right off.

Brooklyn Girl said...

And yes, I spelled Kiedis wrong. So sue me. :-)

Anonymous said...

Joe Jackson. Not a bad musician, but an insufferable dick.

Also, a moderately popular indie artist, who shall remain nameless, whose winning personality in all likelihood cost him the fame and fortune his talent deserved.

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

I'd have to say anybody who's appeared on American Idol. And Bjork.

Gummo said...

So you think Bjork is a bjerk?

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

And I'd like to second the nominations of Ted Nugent and Joe Jackson, Jackson just for the famous story about him recording an album of new material live with an audience but not letting the audience make a single fucking sound. What exactly was the point then, except to make everyone involved utterly miserable?

Marcellina said...

The singer from Depeche Mode is a contender.

steve simels said...

BTW, I suspect the aforementioned whiny emo ass with the name nobody could remember is probably the guy from Dashboard Confessional.

Culture of Truth said...

Mick Jagger!

John Hillips!

I mean, c'mon!

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

Oh - I forgot....Billy Idol. And David "I'm So Above It All - & You, Too" Byrne.

And, yes, Gummo - Bjork is a bjerk.

Culture of Truth said...

Those dudes from Oasis.

From what I hear, total dicks.

Culture of Truth said...

Sting's sendup of Billy Idol's sneer on SNL was hilarious.

Speaking of which, 2 Live Crew, though I guess they're not pop stars.

dave™© said...

Don Henley, who wrote "Dirty Laundry" because he was pissed off the LA TV news had the audacity to show up at his house when the sheriff came to remove the two teenage girls he was fucking after snorting coke with them. Beat THAT, Roman Polanski!

Nigel Tufnel said...

I understand that Mike Love is a gigantic douchenozzle, so there's that.

I contend, however, that the word "execrable" was coined to describe the song "Kokomo", so Steve did an outstanding job of choosing the right video to illustrate his pick.

Anonymous said...

Not indisputable, I'm sure, but I've had major issues with Paul Westerberg post-Tim. The Mats had good reasons to boot B Stinson, but it started with that and leads up to current version of Paul with the shades, reclusiveness and shilling for pop success. Should have stood by his Bob.

Gummo said...

How could I forget Robbie Robertson?

Great guitarist, great songwriter, but supposed to be a complete & utter dick who treated his bandmates horribly.

Brooklyn Girl said...

David Lee Roth. Those pants? TMI.

Tommy Lee. For Pam Anderson alone.

Gene Simmons. Not only a flaming asshole, but dude, cut your fucking hair already. And that shoepolish black isn't fooling anyone.

And hopefully, this time my grav will show up! :-)

Brooklyn Girl said...

And the queen of them all:




Madonna.

steve simels said...

I'm not up to date on Westerberg, but at this point, if he's bitter and wants to cash in, I don't have a problem.

He's already given so much to the world I can't begrudge him., frankly.

David said...

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has an ego the size of a giant floating pig, anecdotal evidence suggests.Billy Joel always rubbed me the wrong way, and I recall a friend telling me years ago about a Phil Collins concert in which Phil had the audience serenade him with "Phil, you're fucking great." Now that's an asshole.

Peter said...

whose winning personality in all likelihood cost him the fame and fortune his talent deserved.>>>

That's what they say about me. And they're right.

Robertson? yeah. They call him Snobby Robbie.

Leo Sayer? I opened for him once and he was nice to me, although he gave his band a lot of grief.

Al Kooper.

Steve Stills.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't you, Peter. Everyone who has ever dealt with him has the same thing to say: "Great singer, good songs, but sheesh! what an asshole."

I'd say who it is (Simels knows for sure), but he has the annoying habit of scouring the Internet for mentions of his name, and berats anyone who speaks the truth about him. Which, now that I think about it, could be kinda fun...

Libby Spencer said...

Ted Nugent for sure, not just for his politics but because he's a talentless hack who used hatemongering to further his career.

But I'm giving my prize to Loudon Wainwright for personal reasons. Love the guy's music, but he once publicly embarrassed me by making me move at a small club. I mean the place was jammed so I sat on the ticket takers stool, which was off to stage right but not ALL that close and he literally stopped the show and wouldn't play until I moved because "he was freaked that I was going to rush the stage." I mean, as if he's such a effing sex magnet or something. Even the local newspaper reviewer mentioned obliquely how strange that was.

Love his tunes, but the guy is weird as shit. Don't find him the least bit attractive - that way.

steve simels said...

I'd say who it is (Simels knows for sure),

I actually have no idea...

Unless it's somebody I used to work with...
:-)

Anonymous said...

He's an institution, to be sure, but I hear Paul Simon can be a nasty little piece of work.

Anonymous said...

good noms all, but aren't we overlooking the crushingly obvious Thom Yorke? i mean, weeping miserably because he has to sign autographs for the punters. we should all have such problems.

and he's not a musician, but Robert Christgau is a dreadful human being

Gary Oxford said...

All these assholes make me want to inject some positive vibes into this thread. I haven't met many prominent rock musicians but easily the nicest one I ever met was Bill Berry, the original drummer from R.E.M. I bumped into him on Sunset Blvd. one January day back in 1986 or so, and he couldn't have been more pleasant or tolerant of my gushing fanwankery.

whiny asshole emo guy said...

Can't we all just get along?

Peter said...

Yeah, Roger McGuinn is a sweet guy. I did a 20-minute phone interview with him and afterwards he asked how MY music was going.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

FWIW: Folks say Stephen/Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) should be high on any list of Rock Assholes...One of the good ones was Warren Zevon...

Dave said...

Garth Brooks drives me up the wall -- he has retired more often than Liza Minnelli -- he's the ultimate narcissist.

I think you are right to separate the political from the asshole-quotient, Steve. Ask the (mostly young, left-wing) folks who work for Larry King or Chris Matthews whether they would rather swap them out for Pat Buchanan. They would.

Anonymous said...

Miles Davis, James Brown, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Neil Tennant... Thank God for the assholes is all I gotta say.

Anonymous said...

Hey, ALL of my heroes have always been assholes, or at least for a time! (Miles, Mingus, John Lennon, Bobby Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Howlin' Wolf, Neil Young, and the list do indeed go on...)

Louis Reed was a real cheese-headed dick when I encountered him at an author event 'bout a decade ago. Alice Cooper screwed some old friends of mine out of some songwriter royalties. David Thomas was really horrible to the staff of a local club before a Rocket From The Tombs reunion show. And Chubby Checker was a colossal penis when I interviewed him 'bout 15 years ago.

NICE musicians that I've encountered, however briefly? Ray Davies, Richard Thompson, Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Levon Helm, and saints Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone. RIP.
- bill buckner

Anonymous said...

steve simels said...

Unless it's somebody I used to work with...:-)



See? I said you knew who it was!

Anonymous said...

David Thomas once had what seemed a major breakdown at an in-store performance I worked, because the CD being promoted was playing when he entered. He recovered during performance ("There! I'm normal again.") and apologized afterward. He was so lovely by then I easily forgave him. Likewise, every Pere Ubu performance I've seen, he starts off tense, fussing about the sound usually, but he loosens up and gets over it.

For small audience/ginormous ego factor, though, you can't beat some classical artists. Madonna at least earned her right to be an asshole.

David said...

Re: Steven Tyler; It may be true that he's been an asshole, but I once encountered him on a rainy Sunday morning heading east down 8th Street and he was gracious as could be. When I told him my first concert was Aerosmith at MSG in 1976, he said, "And it totally blew your fucking mind, right?? He shook my hand, and it made my morning.

peorgie tirebiter said...

But hey, West End Girls was not a bad song.

Alex said...

You know, I'd always heard that Sting was an insufferable asshole, but when I saw the Police on Elvis Costello's Spectacle series, I was astonished by what a gigantic douche Stewart Copeland was. (Who'd have thought that Sting was only the second-most assholish guy in the Police?)

Anonymous said...

About three years ago I interviewed a fairly sucky band for a print mag. They had had not a lot of success at that point, but somehow had absorbed all of the cockiness of 70s megastars. They broke up not long after the piece ran. They were called "Mon Frere" and as they petulantly explained to me, it's pronounced MON Frere. http://bit.ly/sjzad