Does a musician's personal life affect your opinion of the music?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Baloo Pasquariello, Jun 29, 2022.

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  1. Baloo Pasquariello

    Baloo Pasquariello Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Battle Ground WA
    I just posted a vid of La Cienega Just Smiled by Ryan Adams on my FB page. Immediately (like 10 seconds in) got a comment from a FB friend, "I wouldn't listen to his music, the man is a pig. Except for 16 days".

    It never even occurred to me to not listen to his music because of his personal life. Does that kind of thing affect your opinions?

    (Also, not sure why his principled stance would allow for "16 Days", but whatev).
  2. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    Of the music? No, good music is good music. Of the person? Certainly. I can make a willful choice to not purchase a persons/bands music for what ever reason, but it wouldn't make me think a song I formerly liked was crap or that a new song they just released was anything other than what it is, something that appeals to me, or not.
  3. For the most part no, but I might not go see them live.
  4. Honestly, that's a weird conversation and I've got mixed feelings on it all.

    You obviously don't want to support a guy who does abhorrent things, but it's not like that data is always so publicly available.

    My sister used to really like a band and it came out that the singer was convicted recently for some really scumbag stuff. Of course she doesn't support what the guy did, but she didn't know at the time. Of course, once you know I think there's a bit of a responsibility to do better going forwards - but this case is pretty simple. Some musicians I've listened to are literal violent criminals - plenty were into drugs, plenty weren't, and some have doctorates and speak out against violence and even moshing at concerts. Wasn't Merle Haggard in jail at some point (honest question, I'm not a country fan)?

    What about guys who held some really questionable views that may have been a bit more par for the course at the time? Do they get a pass? Now what if those guys are worshipped by people who still hold similar views and use it as a kind of shibboleth to find each other? What if those guys didn't actually hold questionable views, but just parodied them for outrage, and said same shibboleth people are espousing the music for the same reasons as before?

    Honestly, IMO and IME, this sort of question has an answer that varies from person to person and applies differently to different artists as well. But I would say, I wish I could tell you what's completely right here when we're also wearing shirts and shoes made by people for starvation wages who probably had so little choice in their job prospects that they may as well have had none. There's almost nothing you can do to be completely clean - and yet saying that basically sounds like an excuse to do nothing about it, and that's clearly not the answer.

    Edit: I suppose, to sum it up because I can never be brief - do what you can, when you can, but don't beat yourself up about not knowing about some artist being a scumbag - just decide whether or not you support them going forward and don't take the sanctimonious too personally - we're all just trying to make a slightly better world than the one we're living in, sometimes the delivery just isn't the best
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
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  5. marchone

    marchone Since 1951 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    No, for the most. Learn to compartmentalize.
  6. LastJaguar


    Oct 10, 2019
    How about John Phillips? I love their contribution to music, but I can’t listen to the Mamas and the Papas anymore.
  7. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    imtheslime, DwaynieAD and Hues like this.
  8. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    I'd pick my facebook friends more wisely.

    I have 3
    ratdoc, Ibanezer83, Virwill7 and 6 others like this.
  9. I am a straight white male. I have never partaken of any illegal substances.
    But I still like Elton John., Queen, and Willie Nelson. I could not care less about a person’s personal proclivities. I like what they produce musically or not. But it has nothing to do with their life choices. As long as they are not trying to harm children, or trying to recruit me into their inner circle, I don’t care!
  10. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'll certainly not financially endorse (by attending concerts, buying their music) any musician who's views or actions I find unacceptable ... nazism, rape, paedophilia, for example.

    I may accept that they've made good music, but I'm not gonna support them.
    RustyG, Rohanski32, Plake and 34 others like this.
  11. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    It would have to be something pretty perverted and hurtful to others to bother me too much. I'm well beyond seeing musicians, movie stars and athletes as idols or role models. Too many of them will disappoint with their behavior, philosophies or politics.
    exidor, Rob Curry, Cskala and 17 others like this.
  12. ShadowGroover


    Aug 16, 2020
    Yep, for sure. Musicians that have been violent towards women and/or children are no longer listened to in my home, or are excluded from my playlists and band set lists.

    For example, I have been unable to listen to trombonist Frank Rosolino since he shot his sons, murdering one, and then killed himself. Used to love his playing. Now when I think of him it still makes me sick.

    Another example is funk singer Rick James. He kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted, and abused several women. Refuse to listen to his pathetic voice ever again.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
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  13. I like a lot of narcissistic ar$3hole’s music.

    I don’t care about personal lives unless it involves the mistreatment of women and children.

    In those cases they are expunged from my memory.

    Like the Lost Prophets.
  14. J Wilson

    J Wilson

    Apr 22, 2022
    An Undisclosed Location
    Provided they're not pushing some agenda I just can't go with in a very public way that's impossible to ignore, their private life and whatever they think or believe in is their business. I'm just buying some tunes, not marrying or adopting them.
  15. Katoosie

    Katoosie Chocolate is the best Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    Yeah this. I remember one band I listened to, the singer ordered a hit on his wife but he didn't know the guy he was talking to was an undercover cop... Yeeeeah. Total scum.

    Never listened to their music after that, even if I somehow liked it at the time. The whole thing soured the music for me and every time I listened to them, I thought of this. I try not to support stuff I can't "stand behind"
    J_R, imtheslime, bigjames and 3 others like this.
  16. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    You’re talking about a pretty wide spectrum of things! From generalised “rock n roll” bad behaviour or conflicting views to behaviour that is actively harmful and dangerous to others (not saying there is necessarily a distinction between these, just giving examples).

    i think most people draw a line somewhere in the middle.

    For me, i find it hard to separate the art from the artist, as songs, performances etc are an expression of that person (or they are supposed to be).
    Rob Curry, J_R, GregC and 3 others like this.
  17. MDStingray


    Nov 5, 2012
    yes - I loathe R.Kelly - to name one. Will never allow myself listening to his music.
    Rob Curry, imtheslime, Cskala and 8 others like this.
  18. Only if it’s Ted Nugent
  19. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    As a principle, I will not listen to music or read an interview of a criminal. Same in real life, I stay away from people from other side of the law.
    I like to get basic info about author when I like some music, it puts it into context.
    Cskala and bigjames like this.
  20. truand85

    truand85 Zig Zag Wanderer Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2021
    Phoenix, AZ
    Depends. Like most people pointed out, for me there's a line drawn.

    R Kelly for example is not someone I would endorse or ever buy anything with his name on it, music or otherwise. Doesn't mean I can't recognize the musical talent.

    Eminem is another one. Can't stand the guy, to the point where I have no interest in hearing his music, but I still think he's talented.

    Charles Mingus? Ray Charles? Johnny Cash? Kurt Cobain? I still buy records.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2022

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