Today on Blogcritics
Home » Top Ten Worst Rock Stars

Top Ten Worst Rock Stars

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

One David Thorpe at Something Awful wrote an article on his picks for 10 worst rock stars, brought to our attention by brother Blogcritic Casper. I found it unsatisfying (Bono?) and just not real cohesive, so I figure on taking a crack.

What kind of criteria makes the list? It’s not the worst musicians. Most of these guys have turned out at least some outstanding work to have garnered our attention in the first place.

It’s obviously fairly subjective, but I’m looking for characters who would make me feel embarrassed to admit being a fan of rock music. This probably means that they embody particularly bad and stupid stereotypes of rock and roll. This is the kind of person who’s into rock music. You think stuff like this is worthy?

For example, Michael Jackson doesn’t make my list, as personally disreputable as he has become. He’d either be on top of the list, or not there at all. Partly, I still tend to look at his fall as tragic rather than merely stupid. In any case, he has a really unique storyline with his own idiosyncratic style. Whatever else you might say about Michael Jackson, he’s not a stereotype.

On the other hand, Jackson does in his own special personal way embody one of the top characteristic combinations of personality here. Looking at the list, several of them exhibit a kind of willful self-destruction as vehicle for narcissistic self-fulfillment.

So here we go, with the 10 all time worst, most embarrassing schmucks in the history of rock:

10) Madonna: The woman made some good records early in her career, but the cheap idea of being continually scandalous gets really old coming from this middle aged mother. The thing with Britney, for example. That wasn’t shocking or challenging to an audience, it was just dumb schtick.

9) Courtney Love: She has the same kind of tired out of control dope thing going as Weiland. She manages to make it rather worse with the dreaded combination of being the professional widow.

8) Axl Rose: Of anyone on this list, Axl definitely has the most musical accomplishment. Whatever else he does, he wrote “Patience” and “Sweet Child o Mine.” But he also became increasingly and wilfully hostile and self-indulgent chemically and in his insistence on abusing everyone around him. He ran off his bandmates over artistic differences. The difference turns out to be that the other guys want to make records, Axl just wants to be a dumb drunk. He’s pretty much that whiny little bully Dwight Yoakam character from Sling Blade.

It’s long past time for Axl to die some stupid senseless drunk traffic death and put us all out of his misery. He’s probably never going to put out the stupid Chinese Democracy thing, and who cares now? He’s become an embarrassment to white trash.

7) Marilyn Manson: This idiot acts as a reductio ad absurdum for all the Black Sabbath evil devil schtick. Worse, he reflects horribly on the influence of my beloved Alice Cooper. Of course, Alice Cooper didn’t require cursing or nudity to make his points, let alone blowing a guy on stage.

It’s not just that the guy wouldn’t know a real song if it bit him in the ass, but that he doesn’t really even WANT to be musical. He seems to utterly disregard the very idea of actual MUSIC. He’s more interested in hanging out with Anton Levay and any kind of “shocking” faux-intellectual nonsense. He’ll do anything to maintain his stardom, anything except learning how to write a song or play an instrument.

6) Scott Weiland: This guy just plays the drug thing out to a pure stupidity. Keef being a junkie was one thing. He was in control. He played with it when he had some downtime, then cleaned up and got back to work. Plus, he wrote “Satisfaction” and “Brown Sugar.” That’ll get you a lot of slack.

Weiland, on the other hand, insists on ducking out of court-ordered detox. He stops for a minute, then he gets picked up going nuts in the street.

5) Rick James: He has done more than almost any other guy to discredit the rock and roll idea of “partying.” He managed to make it look not just dumb, but abusive, ugly and unfun. The superfreak gets to represent for, among other extremely disreputable traits, the proud abuse of women by musicians.

4) Jackson Browne: This fool acts as the reductio ad absurdum of the whole “social consciousness” nonsense that Dylan brought in from the folk movement. Dylan was smart enough to abandon that after a couple of albums, but Jackson Browne is the patron saint for the moral pretensions of pop singers who think they’re saving the world with their superior sensitivity.

Also, Elvis Costello rightly nailed him as the prime example of the “F**k me, I’m sensitive” school, which nicely sums up a particularly annoying kind of cheap come on.

3) Johnny Rotten: This idiot acts a reductio ad absurdum of rock and roll rebellion. He was never really any kind of musician, but in combination with the meager talents of his bandmates managed one blast of creative moment, Never Mind the Bollocks. Being a one-shot is no crime. It’s one more moment of greatness than most will ever achieve.

However, rather than having some onstage suicide that would have been the logical climax of his career, the guy has hung around making records and tv appearances for decades with absolutely nothing to hawk but pure, dumb belligerence. He’s disrespectful and defiant of everything and everybody. FU, and FU, and FU! This is supposed to impress us how?

2) Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne: They are Spinal Tap, minus the wit and the catchy songs. They took the little devil thing that Mick Jagger played with for a second, reduced it to a lumbering schtick, and made a career out of it. These are not musicians, but a particularly witless strain of vaudevillians.

1) Jim Morrison: The Lizard King wins hands down. I wish we could re-incarnate him back from damnation’s cellar just so I could slap him around for those albums of his poetry, for starters.

He had a special combination of screaming pretension and childish narcissm expressed as wilful self-destruction that we were all supposed to find fascinating as some kind of Deep Statement. His utter disregard for other people drained away any empathy you might otherwise feel.

This guy was too smart to really think he was some significant artist, but puffed himself up with wilful self-delusions of genius. In fact, breaking on through to the other side really just meant getting drunk and dead. The End.

Powered by

About Gadfly

  • Shark

    Just ten?

    Bob Dylan – for being an unoriginal fake Everything, pawning off pretentious BS (Tarantula et al) as “poetry”, and doing that Christain thing and the underwear commercial, just fer starters…

    Billy Joel – for his entire body of work, but especially “Uptown Girl”

    Alanis Morisette – self-indulgent angst for idiots, and for inspiring murderous misogynistic tendancies in all of mankind; BTW: if Scott Peterson’s lawyers were really smart, they’d blame one of her songs. “Not-Guilty! By reason of insanity!”

    John Mayer – the way he sings like Dave Matthews

    Dave Matthews – the way he sings like John Mayer

    Micheal Stipe – a pretentious idiot from a bad garage band that got really lucky — otherwise he’d be working in a Taco Bell or an independent book store owned by a lesbian couple with too many cats

    EVERYONE from the Jackson Family — no explanation needed

    Jewel – took the advice of record execs, got a makeover, and went off the “Artistic Roll-Call” forever

    Elton John – Broadway. Toupee. Enough?

    Phil Collins – Disney. Soundtracks. Die, motherfucker, die!

    Ringo Starr – For milking the Beatles connection for forty years without an ounce of talent.

    EVERY RAP “singer” — greed, bling, violence, sex, rape, murder, killing, da hood and other down and dirty ghetto ideals delivered by a millionaire with the IQ of a Nike shoe. Fuck em’ all — and don’t you know Frederick Douglass and M.L. King are rollin’ in their graves to imagine what their brothers did with the freedom and equality they helped to earn for the future.

    Geez, there are soooo many…

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    I should have guessed you’d include Black Sabbath.

    Suppose I’d better name a few

    Yngwie Malmsteen. He might have considerable technical skill as a guitatist, but he can’t write songs for shit, and his inflated ego won’t let him collaberate with anyone else. And in every interview I’ve ever read, he comes over as a total asshole. Remember that “You’ve unleased the f*cking fury” tape?

    Phil Collins. I can’t forgive him for destroying Genesis. Now shut up and play the drums.

  • http://expatcat.typepad.com felix

    Freddie Mercury. I know many people place Queen at the top of their rock pantheon, but I’ve always felt that a gay guy in tights prancing around the stage singing “Scaramouche! Scaramouche!” was not one of Rock’s Finest Moments.

  • godoggo

    One of the problems with this question of course is that in rock and roll the worst is often the best and vice versa. I don’t remember who it was who (Lester?) called Morrison a “compleat asshole,” but I agree, and love his stuff regardless (although I get irked a bit when people rave about what hot musicians his band were, and seeing Densmore’s attempt at “jazz” last week didn’t help at all.

    I must say though that, annoying as he’s become in recently, Mr. Rotten was no one-shot; the first 2 PiL (or however you capitalize it) albums were pretty great, and the 3rd wasn’t too shabby. I’ve never heard the one with Tony Williams, Steve Vai and the bassist from the Art Ensemble, but how bad could it be?

    Bono. Doesn’t anybody but me think his music’s crap? Anyways, he seems to share pretty much all of the Jackson Browne sins you listed (although I don’t believe he’s shilled for Nader). Actually, like Springsteen, I think the best thing he could do would be to devote himself fulltime to political activism.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Yngwie, yes, a vote from here, what an obnoxious prat, also, Ian Astbury from The Cult (wobbles between demanding he not be treated like a rock star and then throwing a tantrum when he isn’t treated like a rock star, and now that he isn’t, somewhat difficult. Plus y’know that scene in Rock School where Jack Black tries to stage dive and crowd goes all Moses on him? I’ve seen that happen with Astbury, after introducing a song “about your civil rights and shit”).

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    I think someone just learned what “reductio ad absurdum” means at the latest Ayn Rand Club/Dungeons and Dragons Chapter of Indiana meeting.

    Many of these are good suggestions from you all, particularly Jim Morrison being #1. There’s no question the thought he was a significant artist — his arrogance was exceeded only by the density of his skull in keeping out any vestige of taste, nuance, or original thought. What a douchebag he was. I also like the choice of Jackson Browne and the Elvis Costello quote about him.
    The others on Al’s list don’t belong.

    KISS and Gene Simmons belong on that list, probably right near that top.

    Dylan probably doesn’t belong on the list of WORST rock stars, but I’ve written a few things on here about how the Dylan hagiography from brain-dead yuppies sickens me since he’s a pretentious hack. John Mayer and Dave Matthews probably belong. The others on Shark’s list probably don’t belong.

    Alanis is interesting to me. If you ever hear her interviewed, she’s the most pretentious, rambling, idiotic, vapid, self-obsessed, psycho-babbling, pseudo-hippie bimbo who ever opened her mouth. She’s an absolute idiot who mangles the English language and uses weird, stilted phrasings for her lyrics and song titles and perhaps the most akward, geeky performer to ever hit it big in American pop. She’s also a poseur non pareil. However, she’s interesting to watch. She’s so goshdarn earnest in her hippie nonsense that her trainwreck music almost makes you believe she’s not the manufactured pop tripe she started as at age 13 in Canada. Hearing her talk and hearing many of her lyrics makes my skin crawl and gives me that feeling I get whenever I hear someone’s bad, lame “poetry,” but I think she really believes she’s baring her soul and being insightful. I don’t think she’s quite as cynical, calculating, and openly dismissive of her audience as some of the others you list (like Gene Simmons). Plus, she got lucky and has written one really good song (“Thank You”) and a couple of OK songs (the grandly illiterate “Ironic” and a couple other pop throwaways on that stupid album). She means well.

    Jewel is like her dumber, snaggle-toothed, Alaskan kid sister. Her idea of irony and self-referential commentary in that “Intuition” song evokes Maddona’s worst moments: an opportunity for self-critical awareness passed up in favor of faux post-modern wink-wink “I’m so smart for knowing I’m a sell-out” garishness.

    Marilyn Manson is a thousand times smarter than Alice Cooper (who probably does belong on that list). I don’t care much for his music — which was always kind of a bastardized, dumber, more metal version of popular industrial rock like Nince Inch Nails and Ministry — but I think Manson’s take on shock rock had some element of irony to it (the jokes about drugs, the music industry, and the mindlessly decadent lifestyles of the “rock stars” of the 1970s and 1980s). I also think he’s a really bright, tremendously articulate guy — anyone who’s seen “Bowling for Columbine” knows what I’m talking about.

    The Sex Pistols are vastly overrated in the history of punk, but Johnny Rotten belongs nowhere near that list.

    Bono’s a pretentious asshole who has a Messiah complex and U2 is perhaps the most vastly overrated band with the lamest, most soulless GOP frat-jock fan base in all of rock history, but he doesn’t belong on that list. U2 is still a good band that wrote some great riffs, even if their excesses make it impossible for me be a fan of theirs. And I liked Marty Dodge’s story on here a week or so ago where Bono admits his lyrics were shit on many of his albums. Once in a while, you’ll get an honest moment from him that reminds you he’s human and not some bad caricature of the self-important rock star.

    I have no idea who or what a Malmsteen is.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A.. Booey

    I don’t think John Mayer has enough self-confidence or alpha male bravado to think of himself as a rock star (another reason to hate his teddy bear blandness), so I wouldn’t put him on that list. He’s still the artist I hate the most in pop music today, though.

    That is all.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Actually Alanis is Jar-Jar Binks. But, sekerit dirty confession, I really like her records, even though, I know in my heart of hearts, they are dumb.

    “I’m drunk and I’m horny, I got my cock in my pocket, and I think I just boosted a taxi cab”.

  • Mrs. Jones

    I realize the late Rick James did some bad things to others while high. But he did give me “Super Freak” as a respite from the Journey/Foreigner/Billy Squier dreck that reverberated through the dorm my freshman year. So I’ll cut him a little slack.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Jim Morrision at #1. Thank God. for all the good oliver stone ever did, like, um, saying about war is hell and all, he almost blew it by trying to convince the world that Jim Morrison was anything but a pretentious prick.
    My defences – Marilyn Manson is indeed an incredibly intelligent fella. His last two records left me a little cold, but i could listen to him yacking all day. This idea that he plays up the “devil” thing is nonsense. I rarely hear him talking about such nonsense, and when it does, he does it with the intelligence with which he yacks about most everything else. The religion to which Manson has alligned himself doesn’t actualyl believe in “the devil”, y’know?
    As to Alanis, i have found myself over the last while listening more and more to Jagged Little Pill. I don’t care what anyone says, barring the gut-wrenchingly awful Ironic, that right there is a great fucking album, is what.
    And this badmouthing Dylan is a grave act of ridiculousness.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    oh, and as to Scott Weiland- Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop is one of the best albums of the 90’s. A psychadelice pop masterpiece. That right there cuts him all the “slack” he needs.

  • http://www.kolehardfacts.blogspot.com Mike Kole

    Al- You might be surprised to learn that John Lydon (aka Rotten) has strong libertarian sympathies. On his short-lived internet radio show (name escapes me), he interviewed Virginia Postrel and Declan McCullagh, among others.

    Sorry, Booey. You won’t know who these people are because you are not part of the ultra-cool Ayn Rand/Dungeons & Dragons Club like I & Al are.

    I’ll put Phil Collins and Marilyn Manson on my list, too. Shock rock was thoroughly passe after 70s punk. I’ll add David Lee Roth and the elderly Ozzy.

  • Eric Olsen

    hmm, interesting. I would have to separate the asshole from the rock star and as a result agree with almost none. So there. I agree that Jackson Browne fell down social consciousness/hypocritical fuckface hole when he beat up women like Daryl Haha while pontificating on every manner of lefty causes, but he was very solid musically all through the ’70s; everyone knows Axl is a worthless fuck but he was a good rock star for a while, okay for about 10 minutes; but holy cow man, Madonna is the great female Rock Star of all time, Ozzy is the lone trnscendent metal icon, John Lydon was great not once but twice in tw different incarnations, Rick James was a brilliant persona, Marilyn Manson is a classic rock star and has stuck around much longer tha nanyone would have expected, Soctt Weiland is just a stupid junkie but a pretty good singer, Courtney Love is THE iconic female punk, and Jim Morrison is one of my favorite rock stars of all time, the very definition of a Rock Star.

    All of these people may be damaged sacks of shit but almost every one of them is/was a great Rock Star, which is not the same thing as a human being

  • Shark

    I have to agree with Eric et al. on Morrison.

    He epitomized “Great Rock Star”; poetry, (w/references to Rimbaud), leather cock-filled pants, numerous arrests, drank blood and lots of booze, was incredibly handsome, and died young — in Paris, no less!

    Jeez. What’s not to like?

    And Booey, you seem to be pretty smart, but lost all musical credibility with:

    “…The Sex Pistols are vastly overrated in the history of punk.”

    That is all.

  • Shark

    And Godoggo sez: “Bono. Doesn’t anybody but me think his music’s crap?”

    Hallelujah. Yer not alone.

    (Although ‘boring’ would be my choice over ‘crap’)

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    I thought someone might comment on that. Only someone who didn’t grow up with punk rock would object to my statement there.

    I was going to add “vis a vis the Ramones and, especially, the Clash” to the end of that sentence but I decided not to in order to take a stand on the Sex Pistols. While I value their broad, general attitude of rebellion and the cartoonish anarchism of the Sid Vicious cult, their politics were never quite as intelligent and nuanced as the Clash nor did they ever write as infectious or energetic a piece of pop thrash as the Ramones on their worst day. Steve Jones has talked about how the big secret of the Sex Pistols was that they put fiery lyrics to huge mid-tempo guitar riffs and I don’t know that the Pistols were quite as innovative technically in diverging from the classic rock traditions punk was a rebellion against.

    That being said, I still love Never Mind the Bollocks (which was maybe the 2nd punk CD I ever owned) and I even liked a lot of PIL’s stuff. I’m not sure that the Pistols’ one great album holds up in comparison to the longevity and productivity of the Clash and Ramones, though.

    There’s no question in the “official” media history of punk that the Sex Pistols have always gotten the most hype and attention, often to the neglect of the Clash (who, unlike the Ramones, didn’t gain popularity in the States). People forget, though, that the Ramones came first and that the Clash did it far, far better. The Sex Pistols were about the image of rebellion and the product of “punk” as much as the music. I’m fine with that, but I don’t think they’re nearly as influential among punk musicians as the Clash and the Ramones have been. Hell, you could even make the case that bands like Wire (a very good band) and the Buzzcocks (an also overrated band that isn’t equal to the Pistols) have been as influential as the Sex Pistols have. Plus, the Ramones and the Clash were just far more fun and authentic than the Sex Pistols ever were.

    So yes, the Pistols were very important in making punk big to the mainstream. John Lydon has been a wonderfully talented provocateur and self-promoter, even if he’s become a bit of a media cartoon himself for quite a while now. Whether that’s a good thing is debatable. But there’s also no question that their place in punk rock has been vastly overrated.

    That is all.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    regarding the sex-pistols and the overrated and so on. Here in The Northern Ireland folks got petrol bombs through their windows on account of Sex Pistols posters being up inside. I never heard of such reactions against even Clash memrobilia.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    Black Sabbath should be separated from the later version of Ozzy and be nowhere near a top list of individual worst at anything (except at maybe staying clean and sober). And Ozzy with Randy Rhoads was the height of his solo career! However, both Sabbath and Ozzy now are an advertisement for kids don’t do drugs, they still have influenced countless other rock bands.

    And what other frontman kneeled down and sniffed ants with the boys from Motley Crue?

    C’mon Al, lose the Sabbath grudge. We’ve been down this road before and the material is used.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    This week’s “Rescue Me” used Courtney Love as an example of what harm adoption does to kids.

    And didn’t Ian Astbury front a Doors necro-gig this summer?

  • Shark

    Booey on my objection to his dismissal of the Sex Pistols:

    “…I thought someone might comment on that. Only someone who didn’t grow up with punk rock would object to my statement there.”

    heh.

    I was listening and playing punk before you were born.

    Punk.

  • http://www.paulieworld.com/blog Paulie at The Commons

    What about Boy George? Totally bad.

    Everyone should own Jackson 5’s Greatest Hits.

    The Doors, while overrated, had theri moments. Kreiger on “When the Music’s Over (Live Version from Box Set” is frigging out of control.

    Dylan has written some very excellent stuff, and his live act has been very, very good for about seven or so years.

    Anecdote: I was in a club in Baltimore watching Zevon. Alanis was in her heyday, and Warren was ragging on her as a one-hit wonder. He kept saying, “just wait ’til she’s forty and the goons in the audience are yelling, ‘play that BJ sone.'” All this while, of course, some goons in the audience are yelling “Werewolves.”

    Too funny.

  • ansor

    Madonna one of the ten worst? I think you meant to put her in the ten best. I just saw that woman in concert in London last month. AMAZING! Anyhow, I think Michael Jackson should top the list. He is no “genius” like people make him out to be. Quincy Jones was behind his biggest hits. Not to say that Michael isn’t talented by himself..but everything he did after Bad made him go from one of the best rock stars ever to one of the worst rock stars.

  • http://karino.proboards19.com the Fantastic Ejir

    YES! It’s about time that somebody came out and pointed out Jim for teh drunken buffoon he is. THe Doors end up soundinglike any other second-rate psychadelic band that no one remembers. He was not a poet, just a drunken buffoon who made a few decent records.

    I also agree with your evaluation of Marilyn. I love Alice Cooper’s quote about not using nudity or profanity in his act because “that would be too easy.”

    Johnny Rotten? Punk rock consists of stoner kids professing how much they “know” aobut how governmetn works. I do like some punk bands, (the Raomones, the Clash, Patti Smith, and the Descendents are a few) but despite their ramblings, in the end it just comes out nonsense.

    but as to the earlier comment on Ringo? How could you not like Ringo!?! He made the witty comments, and did come up with some cool percussion lines even if he wasn’t all that skilled. (I’ve been playing for just under 2 years and I can EASILY imitate any of his beats)

    Alos, you gotta put on Rush. Thye are proof that having some of the greatest instrumentalists ever can still leave you with a crappy act. The Beatles instrumentation was just over mediocre, and they produced some of the finest music ever made in the history of mankind.

  • SusieQ

    Bily Squier – This guy is the epitome of “A-hole”. Not to mention “Prick”. Prancing around in that “Rock Me Tonite” video in that “Hey, look at me, I’m hot” sort of way. *rolls eyes* Is he really that conceited. I hear he treats groupies like dirt. Not surprising.

  • Matt

    Re: Billy Squier: True, but there is also another “Squire” in question that you forgot to add: Chris Squire of Yes. I was passing through London not too long ago and I was hanging out in a pub and it was right before my eyes that I saw Chris and his lady (Scotty I’m quite sure.) “getting it on” right there in plain view of other pubgoers. She had on a leather mini that was “next to nothing” and Chris was burying his face in her crotch! And she was enjoying it! Both people are disgusting. They deserve each other.

  • Matt

    By the way, did any of you know she used to be an exotic dancer before she and Chris met?! This must be how Chris met his women from past relationships.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Al, hhhmmm…interesting choices. Just as a matter of crieria, who are your top 10 best rock stars?

    Matt, good story about Chris Squire. He is an amazing prog. rock bassist. But anyway, good for him. Who needs to see a movie? the theater of life provides some great scenes. Reality, stranger than fiction. He is English…

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Howdy Douglas. I’d forgotten this two year old story. Let me see if I can give a brief idea.

    Again, I’m thinking about this as forces of personality here rather than who was absolutely the best musician. Looking the other direction for what musicians would most make me proud of being a fan of this music, I’m going to look for people who are at least acting like they intend on having their shit together personally and artistically.

    I’m exactly NOT looking for miserable little lost boys like Cobain, or people so desperate for significance that they delude themselves with ridiculous pretensions. I’m looking for real men and women, not miserable children.

    Paul Simon would go right at the top of the list. It’s not just that he’s so talented, but that he exhibits such self-discipline to continue growing and learning. He’s actually considerably more aggressively rock in his sound than in his early days, but he keeps studying and learning new tricks. He’s a serious grown up who spends his time stretching the creative boundaries of the music rather than coming up with more dumb celebrity gossip headlines.

    Elvis Costello comes to mind as being the other most obvious exemplar of this type of forward thinking, though he did indulge a bit of self-destructive foolishness in his first couple of years. But he had the sense to straighten up and fly right, and focus on creating music.

    Mick and Keef are certainly high on my list as personalities. Yeah, Keef in particular has obviously been rather overly indulgent in drugs, but they’re real men who are steering their own ships and enjoying their success. It must be FUN being Keith Richards. Few things annoy me more than miserable SOB rock stars who don’t get any satisfaction no more how much professional success they get.

    The real great and obvious role model and textbook example of a cool rock star though has to be Frank Zappa. He’s the greatest example of really flying the freak flag and MAKING it work. He was a total professional, a mature family man, a sound businessman- and a complete left-field avant garde freak. Beautiful. THAT’S how you do it.

  • Vern Halen

    Who owns punk on CD? It’s not punk unless it has that scratchy vinyl quatity.

    Morrison’s not #1 – it’s Axl, fer shure.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Al, I see. That is a good system for star personality ratings. I would imagine that Eddie Vedder would be a good up and coming example. You know, the Heart ladies, Ann and Nancy Wilson, are pretty down to earth people.

    with that criterea, let me think. Then there is that fine line of actually having a personality. The outrageous personality with humanitarian aspects, those are the ones to find….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=Boxclocke Boxclocke

    I agree with most of the list, though I’d take Madonna off of it (in part because I don’t hate her, and in part because she’s not a “rock star,” per se), and I’d replace her with Ted Nugent. And then I’d bump him up to at least seven.

    Kudos for the number one choice, though.

  • Mike Hawk

    Seriously all the great popular rock musicians are as near novice musicians as one can be and still be able to play through a 3 chord song. Refering to them as professional musicians is an insult to all professions and to the word professional itself.

    Technically they are professional entertainers, and instruments are their props. They should all be on the list except for Michael Schenker.

  • Jaco Prins

    By far and away the most outrageous, is a customer that went by the name GG Allin. This guy’s live shows usually didn’t last two songs, because he actually threw the audience with his own excrement….nuff sed!

  • Gerard a-with a spike right through my Head

    I’m not sure about your use of “nuff sed!” Jaco, because you’ve explained the whole situation pretty well…

  • Jaco Prins

    Sorry Gerard ou boerseun…

  • Jaco Prins

    Gerard is ‘n Poes!

  • MARIANNA JANE CLOSE

    Saturday 6th January 2007
    elliott smith:
    hey baby! i’m your man!:

    drink-up baby! i can make you forget! that smart 6 foot 4 gorgeous harvard med student genius and prime beefsteak-jock!
    drink it down baby! smoke some crack!
    let’s fuck! yeah baby!
    i’m the kewl emo sensitive -type!
    spinning you a tackyshite-line-i just wanna good-time baby!yeah! i just wanna fucking good time!
    i’m cheap baby!
    i’m a dime a dozen!
    shitty little rock star!
    i’m gonna go far baby!
    i got dreams!
    i wanna be a movie-star on the silverscreen!
    i’m fucking steve mcqueen!
    i’m so smart baby!
    what’s a radcliffe girl like you doing here in my shitty little bed!?
    you’d be better-off dead,baby!
    better-off dead!
    oh baby!
    the pain is all-mine!
    i’m just killing-time baby!
    killing-time!
    i been abused baby!
    tha’s why i am a shitty little lowlife user baby!
    yeah baby!
    the world owes me a living!
    i’m doing the taking! and you are doing the giving!i’m full of shit baby!
    just another crappy sack of shit-stinking dogshite crossed your path
    don’t laugh baby!
    i’m emo-kewl sensitive!
    don’t laugh!
    selling you a sack of dogshite!
    wanna syringe of smack baby!?
    let me jack you up baby!
    hey you are a work of art!
    can i take a picture of your pxxxy!?
    to show my crappy thick- as-dogshite- emo-kewl friends!?
    i like to brag about my shitty one -night stands!
    it makes me feel like a real-man!
    yeah baby! i’m a real-man!
    i think i even fought in vietnam!
    ‘cos i like to fuck whores baby and throw them a shitty dollar!
    then i brag-about it ‘cos i am emo-kewl!
    i’ll write a tackyshite gobshite thick as dogshite crappy song to immortalise you-oh you whore!let’s fuck some more!
    hey baby!
    i’m your man!
    i’m jim morrison!
    i’m crappy -tackyshite-whore lou reed!
    whatever you want baby!?
    candy man is here to please!
    oh don’t go baby!
    in the cold morning light!?
    now you know i am just another pathetic lying lowlife thick as dogshite crappy shitty little rock star pathetic cheesey talentless-hack dumb as dogshite vain shitty little scummy narcissistic piece of shit sack of total dogshite!
    don’t go baby!
    did i disappoint you!?
    oh fuck baby!
    now i’m gonna have to write another cheap soulless tackyshite gobshite-song!
    about how you done me wrong!
    boo-hoo hoo
    sob sob sob sob
    i need to get a life and a friggin’ job-baby!
    maybe down muckburgersz ‘n’friesz!?
    do they take pathetic soulless shitty little losers and shitty little gold-digging whore liars!?
    i could do the night-shift!? from 8 till 8!?
    figure 8 baby!
    figure 8!
    how kewl is that baby!?
    4 + 4!?
    are you sure you want to get the fuck -away from me baby-as fast as you can baby!?
    don’t you want another shitty crappy lame shitty crappy -fuck once-more!?
    are you sure,baby!?
    are you sure!?
    oh! sob!sob! sob!
    she walked-out and slammed the door-in my face.
    oh marianna!
    i wish i’d never seen your beautiful face!
    and your genius!
    it’s a fucking disgrace! on the human-race!
    it’s not fucking fair baby! as beautiful as you are!
    to have a brain the size of fucking einstein!
    it’s not fucking fair !
    you make me feel really thick- as- dogshite dumb!
    oh! boo-hoo hoo baby! i’m gonna crawl into my shitpit and suck my thumb!
    sob!sob!sob!
    where’s my crack!?
    i just wanna fucking lie in my shitty little shit-stinking bed of shit piss and vomit
    and die die die
    oh why!?
    is this happening to me!?
    is it something i said!?
    is it something i did!?
    i am better-off dead.yes i am a pathetic shitty little lowlife narcissistic thick- as-dogshite crappy little rockstar and i am better-off dead.
    i’m going back to my shitty little bed.
    don’t cry for me!emo-kewl kidsz!
    don’t slit your wrists over-me!
    i’m just a superficial sack of dogshite crappy little shitty little thick- as- shit lowlife crappy shitty little rockstar, you see!
    so don’t cry over poor-little-mee!emo-kewl kidsz!
    don’t cry for me!
    oh go -on then!
    it really massages my ego bloated with vanity!
    oh! what did i do to deserve this shit!?
    make my own shitty little bed of shit-now i got to lie in it!?

    song by elliott smith

    hey baby! i’m your man!

  • MARIANNA JANE CLOSE

    Saturday 6th January 2007

    Elliott Smith- if you are desperate you can steal this little song and publish it under your name!How cool is that!? I am giving it away!
    Ciao baby!
    God! What a total fucking sack of dogshite cretin he turned out to be.
    Chuck-yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
    All is forgivn Darling!
    Please i am begging you sobbing my poor little bruised -heart-out!Please!Please!Please!Chuck-yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
    Come-Back to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    (Chucky is my Ex-Boyfriend 6 foot 4 HARVARD JOCK MED SCHOOL SENIOR AGE 23 YEARS OLD-HE BROKE-UP WITH ME BECAUSE OF MY OWN -STUPIDITY!I GOT EXTREMELY PARALETICALLY AND FOOLISHLY DRUNK-COMOTOSED- PRACTICALLY AND ENDED-UP SLEEPING-OVER AT SHITTY LITTLE ROCKSTAR ELLIOTT SMITH’S SHIT-PIT OF SHIT-CHUCKY FOUND-OUT ABOUT-IT BECAUSE SHITTY LITTLE ROCKSTAR ELLIOTT SMITH BOASTED ABOUT IT AND CHUCKY BROKE-UP WITH ME AND NOW I WANT HIM BACK.)
    I WANT YOU BACK CHUCKY! I WANT YOU BACK! 4 ALL ETERNITY!PLEASE DON’T LEAVE-ME CHUCKY! PLEASE!PLEASE!PLEASE! CHUCK-YYYYYYYYYYYY!
    I CAN’T LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE/IF LIVIN’ IS WITH-OUT YOU OU OU OU.
    SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB.PLEASE-EXCUSE-ME WHILST I GO AND EAT A BOWL OF STRYCHNINE MY MOTHER BOUGHT TO KILL THE RAT IN THE GARDEN WITH.
    OH!CHUCKY!HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME!? OVER A PATHETIC THICK -AS-SHIT!SHITTY LITTLE SCUMMY!LOWLIFE!SHITTY LITTLE STUPID CRAPPY LITTLE ROCKSTAR LIKE ELLIOTT SMITH!?
    HE MEANT NOTHING TO ME!NOTHING!
    OH CHUCKY!
    LOVE-OF-MY-LIFE!
    CHUCK-YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!COME-BACK TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Al, I was drawn to this article by the preceding comment by Ms Close who seems to be suffering from some bizarre, time-delayed reaction to Elliott Smith.

    Sorry if I’m being too picky but I can’t help observing that your #s 4, 5 and 10 aren’t actually rock artists at all…

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Ms Close, where have you been for the last three years?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Chris, I suppose you could argue with the parameters of what constitutes a “rock star.” Perhaps you could call them “pop stars” instead, but a lot of the abusive nonsense that’s getting folks on the list is distinctly “rock and roll” behavior, such as Madonna’s taboo-breaking.

    Jackson Browne ran with Warren Zevon, and his social-consciousness shtick was thoroughly grafted onto the rock tree by Dylan. He’s tended to be a bit of a weenie sometimes, but “Running on Empty” was certainly perfectly legitimate rock and roll.

    And I don’t know why Rick James wouldn’t be considered rock. Why, because he was black? He certainly ACTED like a rock star, in the very worst possible meanings of the word.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Hi Al, I lost this thread for a while but wanted to put this to you:- The dilution of what it means to be a rock star is all part and parcel of a weakening of musical culture as it loses its “revolutionary edge” from the 60s, 70s and 80s and becomes an ever more ubiquitous part of our brave new world.

    That’s why the R’n’R Hall of Fame admits artists from Motown, vocal groups call themselves bands and you (and others of course, nothing personal against you) can write about Madonna et cetera as rock stars…

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Chris, I reject your whole idea of what constitutes a “real” rock star, your whole idea of what constitutes the “revolutionary edge” of “rock” music.

    First off, the real thing here is actual music. You seem to be arguing based on a very narrow idea about some ridiculous extraneous ideas about “rebellion” or some such. But based on the musical traditions, the classic Motown artists are front-and-center premium rock stars. Smokey Robinson (to purposely pick a genteel figure) is just as legitimately a “rock star” as goddam Jim Morrison.

    In what way would Jimbo be a rock star and Smokey not? Smokey was obviously a much more accomplished musician on multiple levels working in and expanding the boundaries of the blues and r&b that form the basis of the actual MUSICAL part of rock. What, Smokey’s doesn’t count as a rock star cause he wasn’t engaging in ridiculous acts of faux rebellion against The Man?

    In short, your ideas of what constitutes being a “rock star” seem really shallow and arbitrary. There’s a lot more to rock music than cheap teenage rebellion. Remember for starters, that rock and roll came from GOSPEL music as much as any other tradition. See the gospel segment of the famous Elvis Presley 1968 NBC special for review.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Al, in your haste to pull out your pistol, you have entirely missed my point.

    My point was, and remains, that neither Madonna nor Smokey make rock music so by definition cannot be rock stars. Regretfully therefore, you are simply further displaying the corruption of terms I was pointing out.

    If you don’t perceive the fundamental changes in the nature and character of rock that I refer to, well, that probably explains why you persist in thinking that the White Stripes are so, er, creative. Ha Ha!

    I didn’t say anything about “cheap teenage rebellion”, I was trying to draw a distinction between increasingly blurred terminology, nothing more, nothing less.

    Incidentally, I was a soul fan way before rock (not counting Bill Haley like R’n’R from the 50s) ever existed. I was a baby Mod and used to dance all night to soul music in my first ever flash suit and dream of being 16, old enough to own a Lambretta! The raw power of Rock and all it brought with it, including losing my virginity, was still several years away.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Christopher, is it that I’ve missed your point, or that I’ve rejected your point as unworthy? I’m not corrupting the term “rock music” but simply using it in a more catholic manner. I reject your limited world view of what constitutes “rock music.”

    Your little invocation of the “raw power of Rock” speaks to the narrowness of your outlook – as if that little range of raw power or rebellion was all there is to it. There’s a whole range of musical styles and artists who might be described as “rock” or “rock and roll.” Then there are all the kinds of things that might be thought of as rock and roll behavior.

    You are frequently a little slow on the uptake, so let me try to dumb it down just a little bit more. I’m saying that you are expressing a very shallow idea of what rock music is. There is far more to the dreams and musical aspirations of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and their successors than “raw power.”

    In short then, if you’ve got an idea of “rock” music that says that REM are rock stars but that Rick James wasn’t, that is totally a reflection of the shallowness of your understanding – not of the music or the musicians.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Al, as you seem to be combining a massive sulky chip on your shoulder and extreme churlishness with a simple inability to comprehend what I’m saying, I’ve decided on humanitarian grounds to withdraw from interacting with you until such time as you re-establish the ability to understand what is being written and respond appropriately.

    I wish I could say it’s been fun, but your over-bearing arrogance and shallow hostility are simply too tedious and depressing to endure. From now on, I shall simply ignore you, probably to our mutual relief…

  • MARIANNA JANE CLOSE

    Friday 2nd Fbruary 2007

    Oh do get a Life you parasitical pathetic sacks of total dogshite. These total-imbecilic-talentless-hack-morons are vermin-scum-they are all users and abusers who write trite shite so-called poetry any retard in high-school could write half-drunk.They are pathetic sadcase losers and you are pathetic for even indulging them in their pathetic-dogshite.
    Say it isn’t so shitty Elliott Smith!?Say you weren’t just one more pathetic user and abuser lowlife sadcxxt vermin-scum parasitical-prostitute piece of total soulless dogshit smeared on a shitty LA sidewalk!?Say to me-or get your shitty family and shitty friends to tell me i am so wrong about you!?
    Say it isn’t so-shitty Eliott Smith!?
    Say you didn’t really write those crap trite,shite soulless shitty lyrics of dogshite on shitty “Figure 8″?
    I have been holding -out for so -long trying to tell myself you didn’t write those pathetic piece of crap shite trite soulless superficial lyrics of total-dogshite or give a shit about such a soulless shit4brains vermin-scum parasitical-prostitute hag ho dogbutt-ugly shitty little user abuser piece of total dogshite vermin-scum evil willing me to commit suicide she is so evil-piece of total-dogshite angelina gobshite dogshite voight?Just die you piece of total-dogshite-voight you sad sack of total-dogshite-vermin-scum-parasitical-whore.
    Please tell me it was just some kind of sick-joke, shitty Elliott Smith?
    Surely you are not that superficial and that soulless and that pathetic and that shit4brains stupid?
    I don’t want to believe it shitty Elliott Smith-i really foolishly thought you were different-but you are not are you?You are just a total sack of dogshite vermin-scum parasitical-prostitute piece of total-shit user and abuser- shit4brains talentless-hack writer of shite,trite dogshite lyrics who is as soulless and superficial and conceited and narcissistic and arrogant and stupid as sack of total-dogshite vermin-scum parasitical-prostitute vile foul shitty-gash shit-stinking piece of total-dogshite-ho-piece of shit shit4brains vermin-scum hag ho talentless gold digging -whore smelly old rancid runny slimy turd-angelina dogshite gobshite voight.Aren’t you shitty Elliott Smith?
    I held-out for so-long telling myself it wasn’t so-shitty Elliott Smith-but it is so isn’t it?Do you think your shitty abuser-family and shitty abuser- friends could just let me know for sure you are dead you pathetic sack of total dogshite?So i can be rest-assured i never have to see your vile evil superficial soulless shitty dogbutt-ugly hag ho whore dogshitty piece of total-shit- face round my door?
    Thanx.

    Yours sincerely,

    Marianna Jane Close

  • E man

    what the heck are you guys talkin about?? Bono is awesome, Jim Morrison should be stricken from the list and put Nick jonas in his place. Axl Rose is also another that is waaaayyyy off. Actually listen to these peoples music before you start to say their crappy!

  • E man

    And OZZY OSBOURNE ON THE WORST LIST????? Jesus! What DO you listen to?

  • E man

    Freddie Mercurey or however you spell it shouldent even be thought of on this list. I’ll give you crappy stars:

    Elliott Smith
    EVERYONE from Coldplay
    EVERYONE from Slipknot
    EVERYONE from Disturbed

  • Ignatzh

    You forgot Flea, a titanic asshole if ever one walked the planet.

  • Elaine

    Re: Bily Squier: Can’t speak for what he was like in his “glory days,” but I have met him a few times and he was a complete gentleman. Very well-mannered and polite, and just plain nice to everyone. He does have a somewhat reserved personality, but I hardly think this qualifies him as “the epitome of A-hole.”