500 Words with Adam P Hunt- Seperating Art From Artist

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Adam P Hunt is a freelance writer who has previously written for The Library Journal and Premier Guitar Magazine. We are so happy to have him join us here at Guitar Radio Show.com.

 

500 Words by Adam Hunt Separating Art from Artist

Any student of popular music will tell you that there have been some out and out weirdoes that have been involved with pop music. Sexual deviants, alcoholics, drug addicts, child molesters, racists, murderers, thieves, plagiarists, philanderers, you name it pop music has had them all.

Chances are a lot of the popular acts you know probably aren’t very nice people and being a bad person and being a great musician aren’t mutually exclusive.

At what point, however, does a person’s behavior become so egregious to warrant you issuing a personal listening ban of their music?

I can’t draw that line for you and it’s up to listeners to make that distinction for themselves.

There are several artists I like that have engaged in some pretty questionable behavior. Not to name names but one artist immediately comes to mind. He’s struggled with a well-publicized drug addiction and he’s had multiple dalliances with a telephone book’s worth of super models but he’s a great musician and songwriter.

While I do think it would fun to hang out with him for an afternoon I’m not sure I’d trust him with the keys to my car.

“Cackle, cackle… Thanks for the keys mate… Cackle, cackle… Do you know anywhere I can get some more 1916 Helsleck champagne? Patti and I have run out of Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Jouet and we’re just looking to keep the buzz going.”

“Sorry about the cigarette burns on the steering wheel of your Celica. The last time I through a butt of my Davidoff cigarette out of the window there was a riot of people trying to pick it off the street. Cackle, cackle… “

Recently a favorite musician of mine just had an affidavit filed against him by his wife accusing him of child abuse. This guy has the reputation of being taciturn, combative, vindictive, and has habitually withheld royalties to people signed to his record label and former band members.

In other words, he’s just a peach.

A little while ago I was chatting with a buddy of mine about Mr. Peachy. My buddy got a tattoo of the band that Mr. Peachy had cofounded and he was feeling a lot of regret about that decision.

Being the helpful guy I am I suggested he should get some cover up work done and send Mr. Peachy the bill.
I know where I draw the line where it comes to what I define as unacceptable behavior and there are some artists whom I used to like I believe have crossed that line and as a result I no longer listen to them.

By some accounts composer Richard Wagner was a pretty nasty individual but he made great art. One contemporary critic said of Wagner, “Wagner isn’t a musician, he’s a disease”.

Sure, Mr. So-and-So may be a better musician than I ever will be, or sell more recordings, or whatever but I’m not going to support them if I feel uncomfortable with their behavior or if I find their opinions offensive.

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