By Jake Paine
Music fans know the old adage: “death sells.” Sadly, just as in film, literature, and the visual arts, when musicians leave us, their albums and merchandise tend to leave the stores, selling faster than ever before. With children, record labels, band-mates, spouses and downright strangers as culprits, here are some especially unique, rather shameless exploitations of rockers like Kurt Cobain, rappers like Biggie and Tupac, divas like Whitney Houston, and more.
Rock and roll is built on tall tales of larger than life figure who do it ALL! They play louder, party harder, live faster, and cram more into their years than we can hope to in even a dozen lifetimes. When these legends die, they live on through their famous escapades and most importantly through their music. But what if they live on for a totally different reason: they’re not actually dead in the first place?
Let’s face it: A reunion of the Doors as we’d like to see it won’t be happening anytime soon. Due to the tragic death of lead shaman Jim Morrison in 1971, it would take some pretty heavy duty paranormal activity (or maybe holograms) to truly bring the four points of the diamond back together to make music once again. But the 2002 formation of keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robbie Krieger with The Cult‘s singer Ian Astbury has struck a sour note with Doors drummer John Densmore, and the both the legal and ethical repercussions are still being felt over a decade later.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
As I’m sure you know, summertime is a great occasion for music-filled road trips.
I’ve already gone on a couple, and while enjoying music on CDs (yes, I still represent the format), an overstocked iPod, and FM radio; I observed the following:
Hit Song/Bad Lyrics
Though I respect Sia as an artist and songwriter, every time I hear her following lyrics on Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” I wince in agony: If I took you home, it’d be a home run. Ouch.
(A few weeks ago I was on a 1970s music kick, so the next four observations will reflect that era. Groovy?)
Last week on That Metal Show, we were joined by TMS alums Frank Hannon (Tesla) and Michael Schenker (Eddie Trunk’s idol), as well as Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), who talked about Pearl Jam holding out on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame until another band gets it. Find out what band they’re holding out on and watch the entire episode online, here.
This week, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy from The Cult stop by to discuss the band, their future, and their newest album, Choice of Weapon. Ian gets candid on his time playing with The Doors and how he almost played Jim Morrison in a movie. See Ian and Billy from The Cult as well as Doro Pesch (Warlock) on an all new episode of That Metal Show this Saturday at 11 p.m. ET/10 CT on VH1 Classic. Read more…
“Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment today. The cause has not yet been determined. For those who have followed her longstanding battle with depression, eating disorders and substance abuse (a constant source of fodder for tabloids), this sad news may not come as a huge surprise. In August of 2007, Amy came close to death after overdosing on a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy and cocaine – and later that year was found wondering barefoot outside in nothing but a bra and jeans. These incidents were preceded by Amy’s marriage in May of 2007 to Blake Fielder-Civil, who was quoted by a British tabloid as saying he introduced Amy to heroin and crack cocaine. Earlier that same year, Amy performed for VH1 Unplugged. Blake and Amy divorced in 2009.
The singer dominated the 2008 Grammys with five awards for Back to Black, her sophomore album, winning in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Known for her singular voice and unorthodox retro look (tattoos, extreme cat-eye makeup and beehive hairdo), Amy is said to have paved the way for artists who wouldn’t previously have fit into the mainstream. Lady Gaga, for one, famously told AOL: “Because of Amy, very strange girls like me go to prom with very good-looking guys. She’s a different kind of woman. I don’t believe that what I do is very digestible, and somehow Amy was the flu for pop music.” Regardless of whether this is true, Winehouse certainly seemed to pave the way for fellow British songbirds Adele and Duffy, both of whom share Amy’s ’60s soul vibe.
In June, YouTube videos surfaced of an intoxicated and discombobulated-looking Winehouse forgetting her own lyrics and getting booed off stage in the first stop of a European tour, which subsequently had to be canceled. Amy was reportedly working on a third album. She joins a long list of musicians who have died at 27. A phenomenon known as The 27 Club, Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain are among those who died at the same age. Let her legend begin.