Saturday, January 25, 2014

So, Your Kid Wants to Be a Rock Star...Plus Waylon and Willie and Distraction By Critics

As promised in my previous entry, I've finished the piece I wrote in the wake of Justin Bieber's arrest. You can read it here, or access it from the Features page of

It's an article I've had in mind for years, but it never came together until Bieber's arrest pushed me into finishing it. Its original title was "Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Rock Stars," a takeoff on the song recorded by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (written by Ed and Patsy Bruce). Corny title for an article, I know--that's why I killed it. It referred to an old industry joke that pops into my head whenever a rock star does something stupid.

Readers, I have to tell you...This whole Justin Bieber thing enrages me. To say I'm so tired of seeing this happen to young celebrities doesn't even begin to cover it. That's why it took a few days for me to post the article: I needed to calm the f*ck down. (Some rewriting was in order, too: the line, "My, what a great big ego you have" probably wouldn't have gone over too well with the party it was directed toward.)

Even if you don't have kids who want to be in the industry, I hope you'll read it.
There are things in it that have needed to be said for a long time, that no one is saying. It will probably piss some people off, and I'm fine with that.

By the way...When I point you to an article, I'm directing you toward the content of it--not saying it's my best writing. This blog and the writing style of my articles on are slightly cleaned-up versions of the way I actually speak when I'm talking with friends. As most people do when they speak, I use fragments and and begin sentences with "And" or "But". In writing for this blog and, I come up with wild punctuation combinations to convey the rhythm of my speech. I also use the words "a lot" a lot because unfortunately, I say it a lot. ;-) (Hey, It takes a lot of work to write this "badly"!)

I mention this to get ahead of the critics who may try to shut off a discussion that needs to be had. Whenever I write something that pisses someone off, the response is something like "poorly-written." It's a petty way of creating a distraction--often orchestrated by someone's publicist--to change the subject and focus the attention on themselves.

You're too savvy to fall for that, however, so when you see something like that, just consider it an inside joke amongst ourselves and have a good laugh. My friends and I do. Years ago I used to have dreams about hitting them over the head with my well-worn copy of A Grammar Book for You and I...Oops Me while shouting "Page 258!" so that's progress.

Meanwhile, here's Waylon and Willie singing "Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys."

I hope your year is going fab so far,


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Justin Beieber's At It Again: Another Michael Jackson? Plus, When to Worry About Pissing People Off

I wrote this the other day while watching coverage of Bieber's latest antics.--RR
So, Justin Bieber got arrested yesterday.

Justin's been making a lot of bad-boy news lately. Am I surprised? No. One day he sped through my neighborhood before actually getting caught at it. I recognized his very recognizable car on the news a few days later, when he did get caught.

How innocent that all seems now...Except that I knew then that we'd be here now.

I have much to say about all this...I wrote it, but as always when I write quickly, it needs to breathe first before being posted. Stay tuned...

It will probably piss some people off.

"OMG!!! You're pissing people off! Are you sure you want to...???" 

People. It's the music industry. Pissing people off comes with the territory. If you can't handle people getting pissed off at you when you say something, you probably shouldn't be in the business. (Or any business, really. Or perhaps you might want to consider life in a solitary cave, because at some point, someone will be angry with you.)

As a business strategy, trying to avoid having people pissed off at you is one thing. (Particularly when stockholders are involved.) But on a personal level, there are far more important things in life to worry about than random people getting angry at you. (Should you go out of your way to behave in a way that's likely to piss people off? No. That would make you an obnoxious a**hole.) But I digress...

Someone just texted to tell me Justin posted photos of a side by side comparison of himself waving on top of a car, with a picture of Michael Jackson waving on top of a car. This confirms my first thought the other day when I awoke to hear Justin had been arrested for DUI:

Michael Jackson all over again. Except, Michael was much older when he really started to unravel. Michael made it to 50.

If things continue at this pace, Justin won't have that luxury. And he's nowhere close to having Michael's legacy.

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