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February 25, 2007 5:45 PM   Subscribe

The 50 Craziest Pop Stars Ever - unsurprisingly, there is some crossover with the 50 Most Awesomely Dead Rock Stars.
posted by madamjujujive (51 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
There's a hell of a lot more to that Chuck Berry story involving toilet cams and carefully edited close-ups, and another tape of him getting a Cleveland steamer.
posted by 2sheets at 5:52 PM on February 25, 2007


Tee hee. Mental illness is teh funny.
posted by psmealey at 5:54 PM on February 25, 2007


Wow, it was pretty great to see Euronymous on a list of crazy pop stars.
posted by griphus at 5:56 PM on February 25, 2007


Glad to see my crazy scale of "1 to Micheal Jackson" is still valid.
posted by Mitheral at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


What would be crazy is not having Jacko at the #1 slot.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:30 PM on February 25, 2007


Miles Davis: Jazz icon tried to beat drugs. Succeeded in beating wife.

Break out the misogynistic zeugmas - this here's some cutting-edge analysis.
posted by bibliowench at 6:48 PM on February 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


38. "Crazy Moment: Santana recorded 1972's Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles: Live! in Hawaii's Diamond Head volcanic crater."

Whoa, recording in a long dormant crater. That is craaaazzzzy!
posted by o0o0o at 6:52 PM on February 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Best, of course, are some of the artist's actual quotes: for example, Little Richard's classic "I had to scream like a white lady!" The list makes for some fun reading, for sure.

I object, however, to Sun Ra's inclusion. Sun Ra was not crazy. His claim to have come from another planet and all was simply a brilliant, career-long act of performance art: the creation of an artistic persona, an identity within which he could shape and present his visionary musical ideas, and could be free as an artist, and as a black man in America.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2007


Crazy Moment: Euronymous ate a piece of Dead's brain and used pieces of the skull as jewelry.

This guy is number eight. I'm just sayin'.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:14 PM on February 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


keith Moon only made 27? Kids today. I suppose I should be thankful Roky Erickson and Skip Spence got their due, since along with being utterly fucking bananas they also cut some great records.

(they forgot Wild Man Fischer, though. Amatoors)
posted by jonmc at 7:17 PM on February 25, 2007


MJ and Jerry Lee are sooooo obvious. So many names I expected to see instead. Phil Spector? (Does he count as a "pop star"?) Screamin' Jay Hawkins? Gary Glitter?

Still, some of it made me giggle. On Adam Ant: There's nothing "new" or "romantic" about waving a gun around, mister.
posted by Brittanie at 8:58 PM on February 25, 2007


They need a list like this for writers
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 9:24 PM on February 25, 2007


Before I look ahead to see who number 1 is, here's my prediction: Michael Jackson!
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:44 PM on February 25, 2007


2sheets, I could have happily lived the rest of my my life not knowing what a Cleeland steamer was.

flapjax at midnight, I agree about Sun Ra! I always thought he was brilliant. But I guess there is a fine line. Still, there are a few people I would have put on the list in his stead: James Brown was pretty nuts. (I think he is still awaiting burial, poor soul.) And maybe Shane MacGowan, although his is probably just garden variety alcoholic, tho he may have crossed the threshold over into wet brain dementia by now ... and Brittanie, good call on Phil Spector - he should definitely be on this list!
posted by madamjujujive at 10:00 PM on February 25, 2007


Nailed it.

Jackson is in Vegas now looking for work, and to the casino owners he is radioactive. No one will even talk to him.

Seems his siblings are broke, too. The new plan is to reconstitute the Jackson Five and go on the road, along with Janet.

And he's converting to Islam.

Watching the trainwreck of Jackson's life is just sad. He's a grown man (it says here) and is responsible for his own fate, but how in hell has he managed to screw things up so badly?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:12 PM on February 25, 2007


They need to update the list a little. Britney's been working the crazy awfully hard lately. Poor lil' Cue Ball deserves to be bumped a little higher, I'm thinkin'.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:18 PM on February 25, 2007


Ohhh, I forgot about MacGowen. Good call. Also, is Sun Ra's only offense is claiming he's from Saturn then where's Bootsy?
posted by Brittanie at 10:22 PM on February 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Watching the trainwreck of Jackson's life is just sad. He's a grown man (it says here) and is responsible for his own fate, but how in hell has he managed to screw things up so badly?

Think of all the child stars who rocketed to megastardom before puberty. How many do you know of ended up sane? Fame is a curse, not a blessing.

I'm still trying to figure out how Jodie Foster managed it.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:49 PM on February 25, 2007


TOTALLY off topic... when I lived in LA, Jodie Foster & I exercised at the same place and were on the same workout schedule for a while. I became awestruck by her... she's so dedicated and intensely concentrated that she actually exercised while wearing her glasses. She was so intensely focused that she brought out my competitive spirit and I always worked out much harder when she was around. Then one day I thought to myself "WOW... You're working out next to the woman that Mark David Chapman shot Reagan to impress." That kinda blew my mind.

Anyhow, moral of the story... the impression I got is that (child actor past aside) Jodie Foster is an admirably smart & collected person who has her shit seriously together, in a way that few people do in general. (Unfortunately, her ability to kick ass was not transferable to me by breathing the same air. Damn.)

posted by miss lynnster at 11:26 PM on February 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


she's so dedicated and intensely concentrated that she actually exercised while wearing her glasses.

People usually wear glasses when they want to see. That might explain it.
posted by bob sarabia at 11:52 PM on February 25, 2007


It's a pretty boring list. Lots of the supposed evidence of craziness is actually the sort of thing you'd expect to show up if you gave a lot of (generally) young, unmarried, uneducated, inexperienced people an endless supply of adoration, servants, drugs, money, and freedom. It would be very weird if some of them didn't turn out to be wife-beaters, drunks, drug addicts, gluttons, suicides, or kiddie fiddlers. Keith Moon, judging by the evidence they give here, was just a kid who slipped his chaperon. Jackson, supposedly the craziest, shows some restraint considering what he could have done -- unless there's a "monkey" catacomb at Neverland we don't know about.
posted by pracowity at 12:12 AM on February 26, 2007


My best counter-example is Ron Howard. He's been married to his high school sweetheart for 31 years and they have 4 kids and one grandkid.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:36 AM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yes, well of course it would be very weird if some of them didn't turn out to be boring family guys, too.
posted by pracowity at 1:04 AM on February 26, 2007


jimmythefish writes "This guy is number eight. I'm just sayin'."

I was thinking the same thing. It was all kind of a letdown after him. They obviously had some sort of placement algorithm based on balancing batshitinsaneness and popular awareness. All automated.

Also, who didn't expect Jackson to be number one? He doesn't really deserve it, Euronymous being a point in case, but he really is the easy choice. Very lazy. Either dig up some quote from an innocuous pop star and place it out of context or just say Mandy Moore and not explain it.
posted by brundlefly at 1:32 AM on February 26, 2007


Man, Blender is just rerunning the same shit over again. It's a fun list, but before getting too far into it I realized I read almost every story or quote in there in Blender multiple times before. Had to do a double check to make sure it was a new article!
posted by yellowbinder at 1:48 AM on February 26, 2007


Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes only makes the dead list, not the crazy list? She burned down Andre Rison's house!
posted by jeffmshaw at 1:48 AM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can't tell whether this makes me want to do less acid, or more acid.
posted by tehloki at 3:35 AM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


miss lynnster: I'm even more dedicated and intensely concentrated than that. I routinely wear my glasses while reading. Sometimes even just walking around I'll have my glasses on or contacts in. I am a dedicated and intensely concentrated person.
posted by DU at 4:22 AM on February 26, 2007


Viv Stanshall wasn't on the crazy list? Well he just better be on the dead list is all I'm saying...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:34 AM on February 26, 2007


Those were both good reads. Even though it is cool to see GG Allin and Euronymous both on the list, I'm not quite sure I would label each as "pop stars".
posted by punkrockrat at 5:50 AM on February 26, 2007


Miss Lynnster,

Twas John Hinckley who had a vision, not Chapman...

Hinckley Had a Vision/the Crucifucks

Can you believe we're being plagued by religion still?
These Christians aren't about to give up.
It's the same countless fools go on and on and on and on and...
Closest thing to witches I've ever seen,
Let's get out the gas and set them on fire!

Aw, teach me how to pray, good Christian.
If it works you'll all be dead.
We'll see the secret to salvation,
For me it's when you're dead, you're dead, you're DEAD.

I can't believe they're serious,
Superstitious spastic fools.
They live for everlasting life,
And ruin my life here on earth.
They must be SO intelligent,
To know so much more than me...
I wanna take the president,
Chop off his head,
And mail it to them in a garbage bag.

Hinkley had a vision,
Hinkley had a vision.
posted by AJaffe at 5:50 AM on February 26, 2007


On Brian Wilson:

He spent three years in bed convinced that Phil Spector was coming to shoot him.

What's so crazy about that?
posted by dgbellak at 6:47 AM on February 26, 2007


Too many of the "crazy" list were just stars who did more drugs than their brains could handle. From the whole list, only Euronymous, Syd Barrett, Peter Green and Brian Wilson strike me as particularly deserving of being on it, having exhibited behavior that verged on being insane and not just weird or drug-addled. Michael Jackson might make you wonder at times, because he's gone beyond eccentric and into unstable territory.
posted by graymouser at 7:02 AM on February 26, 2007


Ok, I guess I should've been more specific because what I said obviously sounded ridiculous to some of you. Just trust that I do have a brain in my head & that I would've have said "she wears glasses" as though it's an unusual thing if it wasn't. I do pilates. You are sometimes hanging upside down & crap like that. And I wear glasses myself because I'm blind. It was not something I ever saw anyone but her wear glasses while doing. Nobody does.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:00 AM on February 26, 2007


Okay, before the pilates enthusiasts start picking that last post apart, I'll do another disclaimer. "Nobody else that I personally have ever seen at any pilates studio I've worked out at, including my blind self or any trainer, wears glasses while working out." YMMV. Whatever.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:03 AM on February 26, 2007


Oh! And oh my LORD you're totally right about Chapman! I need to stop posting when I'm sleep deprived & not checking names! Duh.
::slinks away to do pilates. without glasses::
posted by miss lynnster at 8:05 AM on February 26, 2007


Too many of the "crazy" list were just stars who did more drugs than their brains could handle.

No question that drug abuse can lead to severe depression, which can cause people to do some very odd and destructive things to themselves. But I don't think doing drugs (other than PCP, which few would do by choice) can actually give you schizo-affective disorder. IANAP, so I could be wrong.

One thing I have wondered about, though, is if merely leading a self-indulgent lifestyle where you are surrounded by a coterie of sycphants and enablers who cater to your every whim can have long term negative psychological effects. Certainly not helpful in the character building department, but mental illness?
posted by psmealey at 8:05 AM on February 26, 2007


psmealey:

I don't mean that they did drugs and went crazy; just that their bad/dumb behavior was caused more by drugs than mental illness. Though I'm sure drugs didn't help any people with things like personality disorders, the majority are probably "sane but so high it didn't matter at the time."
posted by graymouser at 8:14 AM on February 26, 2007


These lists are all fun and stuff, but Shaun Ryder deserves a spot compared to many others on the list.
posted by juiceCake at 8:17 AM on February 26, 2007


Miss Lynnster,

No worries -- just a good excuse to track down the song lyrics! (And by the way, Doc Dart from the Crucifucks was pretty damn crazy...)
posted by AJaffe at 8:53 AM on February 26, 2007


psmealey writes " is if merely leading a self-indulgent lifestyle where you are surrounded by a coterie of sycphants and enablers who cater to your every whim can have long term negative psychological effects. Certainly not helpful in the character building department, but mental illness?"

I think it's often like being in a reality sensory deprivation tank. You don't have a firm grasp of reality because you never experience it. Reality is always buffered by your people and your money.
posted by Mitheral at 9:12 AM on February 26, 2007


Bootsy, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Shaun Ryder, Wildman Fischer, Chick Corea (here as a standin for all Scientologists)...

Just a handful of the ones they missed. And Britteny? That's weak-sauce pandering to kids who only know the tabs.
posted by klangklangston at 9:45 AM on February 26, 2007


And no Prince? Hell, even Mingus was known for threatening stabbings, and Buddy Rich was a lunatic to work with (as evidenced by the tour bus tapes). There's too much "And wow, he did some coke and acid" and too little actual nuttery.
posted by klangklangston at 9:49 AM on February 26, 2007


But I don't think doing drugs (other than PCP, which few would do by choice) can actually give you schizo-affective disorder. IANAP, so I could be wrong.

They won't do it to everyone, but for a percentage of people even marijuana is enough to bring out full on mental disorders like schizophrenia. I did a mental health rotation on a locked down ward and at least half of the people there were perfectly fine as long as they didn't smoke dope, as soon as they did they went off their various nuts.

It's not hard to believe that some of these pop stars have a similiar body chemistry.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 10:18 AM on February 26, 2007


While these lists can get tired, props to the list for mentioning Jaz Coleman.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:52 AM on February 26, 2007


But no Jaco Pastorius...
posted by klangklangston at 12:26 PM on February 26, 2007


They need to update the list a little. Britney's been working the crazy awfully hard lately. Poor lil' Cue Ball deserves to be bumped a little higher, I'm thinkin'.

Funny, she got promoted since this was posted here. She's number 6 now. I suppose someone's on the ball.
posted by General Zubon at 12:54 PM on February 26, 2007


Oh ... and #6 is one step 'crazier' than Syd Barrett, according to Blender. Just thought I'd point that out.
posted by General Zubon at 12:57 PM on February 26, 2007


Britney's less likely crazy than spoiled, poorly educated, overly indulged and now, postpartum.

If Sun Ra makes the list, why not ? from ? and the Mysterians, of 96 Tears fame? He's not just from outer space, he's from outer space, lived with dinosaurs and claims immortality. So many teardrops...
posted by Dreama at 5:47 PM on February 26, 2007


How could I forget my secret boyfriend '?'? Forget the cool factor — being one of the first "alternative" Hispanic musicians in history. Beware of the Blog recently did a write-up on his life and struggles as of late — his house burned down last month. Sadly, he's not as adorable now as he was in the '60s, with the bug-eyed shades and super tight jeans. Sigh.
posted by Brittanie at 7:29 PM on February 26, 2007


No Wesley Willis? That sucks a dirty llama's dick.
posted by Opposite George at 9:41 PM on February 26, 2007


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