We live in a 24/7 pop culture obsessed society, where magazines post paparazzi photos of celebrities buying groceries in an attempt to show that they are boring, just like us!. Only hotter and richer.
NO FUCKING WAY! Next you’ll be telling me they cry themselves to sleep at night! JUST LIKE US!
And with the increased exposure of those in the limelight, it’s easier than ever for the public to discover who, deep in their heart of hearts, is a self-serving douchebag. That goes doubly for musicians.
I heard this dude once straight up ate a dude, I saw it on TMZ
We’ve had all sorts of career jeopardizing douchebaggery come out recently. We have artists who are mma let us finish or who have apparently racist genitalia, and every once and a while, these acts leads to someone fucking up their career faster than a Nevada Senator at a brothel.
Unless she didn’t have a family, and it can be like she never worked there
As we’ve all seen from every college party we went to that ended with some frat kid with a hemp necklace taking your girlfriend up to his dorm room to serenade her on his acoustic guitar with a song he wrote “just for her,” a lot of musicians are douchebags. So it’s no surprise when a popular artist ends up being an asshole.
But we are a forgiving society, and it’s tough to really fuck things up enough to mess up your image, or your career, irreparably.
Sure, Kanye interrupted a hot white chick (wait, how old is Taylor Swift? *checks Wikipedia* Okay, we can say that) after she got an award, but when he releases his next well reviewed album, it’ll still sell. Kanye’s been crashing award show stages for years, it’s at the point where people are starting to wonder if it’s all some sort of elaborate, calculated joke, like a hip hop version of Andy Kaufman. And sure, John Mayer said his penis is like a white supremacist, but he’s a douchebag with a guitar who became famous for being a douchebag with a guitar. And he’s still got over 3 million followers on Twitter. Their careers won’t be affected by it, not in the long run.
The following douches weren’t so lucky. What douches.
5. Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins)
Did you know: Smashing Pumpkins is a term for a douchebag act done by teenagers on Halloween. It describes the act of playing groundbreaking, influential music for 12 years before quitting. And after a few years, on Halloween, half of those teenagers come back and kick you in the testicles?
I’m gonna do a reverse Shyamalan on y’all- the twist that makes me come off as a total asshole will come at the beginning of this article. Billy Corgan apparently has a whole slew of mental disorders- depression, OCD, suicidal thoughts, you name it. And normally, that’s something that’ll stop me from from adding an artist to the list. Sure, Daniel Johnston once turned off the engine of a plane and threw out the keys mid-flight, but it’s okay because A- no one died and B- he has some severe mental disorders.
But Billy Corgan is a douche who rises above. This has (probably) not always been the case. The Smashing Pumpkins were pretty sweet for a while. Thousands of teenagers in the 90’s probably lost their virginity while playing The Pumpkins on a stereo as background music. And if not thousands, at least hundreds. Some day you will get to know someone, as a friend or a lover, and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” was the song they were deflowered to. Just think on that shit. Plus, hell, he was on the Simpsons once. I can’t imagine a douche being on The Simpsons.
“Do you wanna hear about douchebags, or do you want to see me hit some dingers?”
And you can’t blame him for the in-fighting that led to the breakup of The Smashing Pumpkins. That happens. And you can’t blame him for Zwain, he even admits that was a bad idea after the fact. In fact, the crazy level of douche that hit Corgan didn’t really happen until he decided to “get the band back together.” You know, the reunited Smashing Pumpkins? With only two of the original members? Which is no longer popular (possibly probably because of the douchebaggery of Billy Corgan)?
Holy hell you could make a time line of the shit this man pulled. Almost immediately, he starts going to the media to blame former members of the band for the band’s break up, then he did the whole “corporate sell out” thing by selling four separate versions of his albums to the large retail chains (because fuck the Independent music stores that made the band popular in the first place).
Oh and here’s a video of Billy Corgan inviting a heckling fan on stage, and then telling him “Oh by the way, I like that song you wrote- ‘take your dick out of my ass and stick it in my mouth'”
All I’m saying is, I’ve seen nuts punched for less. And if you ever wonder why the band is apparently no longer releasing albums, and just posting songs online like a high school band with a cassette demo, part of it might be that Billy Corgan’s ego has gotten so huge he’s no longer writing good music, and instead is focusing on Jessica Simpson and professional wrestling. Oh and he’s writing a memoir now? Great, just fucking great…
4. Nathan Williams (Wavves)
Did you know: “Waves” is a term to describe a disturbance that diffuses through space and time, generally due to a transference of energy. And if you add an additional ‘v’ to that word, it becomes pure gibberish, likely as a douchey attempt to to appear original or ‘edgy’?
Let me post a hypothetical. Close your eyes, and imagine that you are in a two person band…wait, shit, you’re reading this, so don’t close your eyes. Just imagine that you’re closing your eyes, imagining that you’re in a two person band. Now, imagine you’re the guitarist, and you have a drummer. You had a bedroom project that suddenly exploded after some favorable press on the blogosphere. That’s pretty awesome right? You feel like a million bucks! Great!
You could buy like four million pixie sticks with that!
You feeling it? Great! Now take a cocktail of Valium and Ecstasy right before a show in Spain. Now, it’s okay that you’re in a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language, you’ll be fine! Wait, what? The sound check isn’t going so well. It seems that the Valium and the ecstasy don’t really mix that well, they sort of do opposite things. Hey, why is the crowd yelling at you? Shut the fuck up, crowd! Yeah! Yell that at them! That sounds right! “Shut the fuck up, crowd!” What, now your drummer, the other member of your two person band, is giving you shit? “Fuck you, man!” Yeah, that’ll show him! You’re on ecstasy, man! That sounds about right actually, you should tell the crowd that. “Ooooo I’m on ecstasy!”
Weird they didn’t seem to like that. Wait, what the fuck? They’re throwing shoes and bottles at you? Bottles, you can understand, but why shoes? How will they walk home? Are Spaniard sidewalks somehow impervious to debris? Are they blissfully released from the horrors of sidewalk gravel and small shards of glass? You want to walk barefoot in a jungle! Oh shit, you’re singing! you’re wayyyy off key! This set is going awful, why are you feeling so lethargic yet sensual!? Oh right, the Valium and ecstasy…
Wait the drummer is leaving? Come back, motherfucker! You should say that, you should fucking say that, into the microphone, so everyone can hear it. “Come back, motherfucker! We’re not done yet!”
You think he just threw a drum stick at you. Yeah, he probably did.
You are Nathan Williams of Wavves, in this scenario. This actually happened. Nathan Williams took a cocktail of Valium and ecstasy, bitched out a crowd and his drummer, and had to cancel the rest of the tour. Then Ryan Ulsh, half of his band quit. Yes, Wavves are still around- Ulsh was replaced by two former band members from a slightly more self-destructive band- Jay Reatard. Did you click on that link? If you did, it’d tell you he died like, a month and a half ago, from an alcohol and cocaine overdose. But they left before Reatard’s (real name, James Lee Lindsey, Jr.) death. Why did they leave? Because Reatard pissed on them (link nsfw, unless you work at a place that wants you to see a video of a band member getting pissed on during a concert).
That’s basically like dumping Scott Peterson for O.J. Simpson. At least O.J. got away with it.
At least the glove didn’t fit?
3. The Gallagher Brothers
Did you know: The British insult, “Ponce” was based off of the name of Spaniard Ponce de Leon, and has evolved to mean “The Gallagher Brothers from Oasis, or anything relating to them”?
“That’s right, it is all here in this large book, entitled ‘The Oasis Douchebags’. Of course you believe me, I have an English accent.”
You know it’s a bad sign when a musician has a separate Wikipedia segment for “controversy”, and it’s two thousand fucking words long! That’s Noel Gallagher, one half of the dysfunctional musician brothers that are Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis. These guys are like the Bash Brothers of Britpop douchebags. Which is actually a fitting metaphor, since apparently when they’re not making over-hyped music in the 90’s they’re beating the ever-loving shit out of each other. In an L.A. concert in 1994, Liam changed the lyrics to a song to insult Americans (spoiler alert, Liam Gallagher hates Americans.). So, Noel, being a good big brother, did what every adult brother would do in that situation. He threw a fucking chair at him backstage. A chair. I’ve seen wresting on TV before, I know for a fact that those sons of bitches hurt.
“You’re stupid and I don’t like America and…OUCH WHAT THE FUCK, NOEL?!?!?”
In 1996, Liam (you know, the singer of the band) pretended to be sick for an MTV Unplugged performance, since he didn’t like playing acoustic sets. That’s a dick move. So, when his brother had to take over for vocals, like any supportive brother feigning an illness, he heckled Noel from the balcony during the performance.
Since Noel is the one who is more in-your-face to the media, he gets a lot more focus as the “King Douche” of the band, and gets bum rushed by audience members at concerts. Plus, apparently, he’s friends with Chris Martin. Fuck Chris Martin.
THIS IS A FRUIT NOT THE NAME OF A CHILD YOU PONCE!
But Liam is just as bad as Noel, if not worse. Noel dissed Jay-Z and Blur, and swears like a goddamn sailor (or elitish writer) in interviews, and gets the giant “controversy” section full of idiotic quotes he’s made, but the “personal life” entry of Wikipedia for Liam reads like a Cliff’s Notes of crazy.
Like this. Only about crazy.
Liam Gallagher hates Noel Gallagher. He also hates Americans, and Australians (for some reason). I’m just going to assume he hates all people from countries that start with A. Because that’s the kind of guy Liam Gallagher is.
“Oy, Algerians be a bunch of ponces, bollocks wanker!” ~ Liam Gallagher
He also doesn’t like The Rolling Stones. He respects them, but thinks “their songs are a pile of crap.” He feels that “Americans want grungy people, stabbing themselves in the head on stage.” And he claims that he once had a conversation with God. Sure, you’re thinking, “But that was the 90’s. People were too blinded by the neon colors and their coke withdrawals to form rational sentences back then.”
“The fashion was bad, the constant bloody noses were worse”
How about this then. This year, the band won the 2010 BRIT Award for the best album of the past 30 years (Two questions. 1- Are you shitting me, 2010 BRIT Awards? 2- Who makes a “best album of the last 30 years” category? Do you have to give it to Oasis again next year? Who won last year? Just saying). Liam’s acceptance speech involved him cursing into the microphone before throwing the mic and the award into the audience. We at Elitish would like to think that the award was shaped like a giant broadsword, which was promptly caught by Bruce Campbell after he appeared magically in the crowd, but that’s just pure speculation.
Shit just got real, 2010 BRIT Awards
Needless to say, the band has broken up and gotten back together more times than I have with my hypothetical ex-girlfriend, who in my mind basically is a version of Natalie Portman that keeps cheating on me before begging for me to take her back.
You try saying no to that
Noel’s quit the band recently, this time for good (in theory). But if you were ever wondering why Oasis was pretty popular in the United States in the 90s before they became a “oh right, I remember listening to Oasis” band in the Aughties, I’m pretty sure it’s because their douchbaggery held them back. Except in England, where they were hugely popular for far longer- probably because the English love their douchebags. For example…
2. Pete Doherty (The Libertines, Babyshambles)
Did you know: that there is a picture of Pete Doherty using Kate Moss as a tourniquet? Have I seen it? No. But just hearing that sentence makes you believe that it probably exists. That’s how fucked up Pete Doherty is.
Is…that it, or…?
Holy shit, you guys. Trying to categorize and describe the various levels of douche that Pete Doherty has reached is like trying to piece together the horrible things you’ve done when you’ve sobered up after a five day bender. Is Pete Doherty a douche because he does drugs, or do drugs make Pete Doherty a douche?
Well, probably the latter, but it’s semantics at this point, isn’t it?
The Libertines were a legitimately good band. Good, gritty Brit Rock. They had two albums. Admittedly, their best album was when they were all on drugs. I’m not endorsing drugs, but… I mean, you do like Jimi Hendrix, right?
That guitar is motherfucking on FIRE, I want to do EVERYTHING the way he does it!
The second album of The Libertines? After they decided to clean up, you know, get off the drugs? Still pretty good. Until someone fucked that up, and took so much drugs that it actually forced the band to break up. Guess who.
Did you guess Pete Doherty? How did you know!?
Yeah, Pete Doherty likes his drugs. He likes his heroin (oh Lord how he likes his heroin). He likes his crack (Seriously Pete? You live in a 9 bedroom house, yet you can’t afford to go to straight Cocaine like an honest to God member of the upper class?). He likes his pot, and he likes his ketamine (I had to link that last one, because I’m assuming many of you are unaware of ketamine as a recreational drug). And sure, we can judge him for that. Because as Mr. Mackey taught us, drugs are bad, mmkay?
This guy’s rap sheet is longer than my…well, let’s just say it’s long. In 2003, he broke into the flat of Carl Barât, a member of The Libertines (his own fucking band!) and stole a laptop and some guitars. He was accused of robbery and blackmail in 2005. He broke his parole and went to prison in 2008. To quote his own manager, “The only time I can be sure he’s not doing heroin or crack is when he’s in rehab or prison or asleep.” He actually had an implant put inside his body so that he couldn’t take in opiates, and his manager implicated that he just went around that to find other drugs that would get past the implant.
In 2009 Doherty was again arrested for driving dangerously while drunk, while in possession of heroin. AND HE GOT RELEASED. He only had to pay a fine, despite having twenty-one previous drug offenses, and six motoring offenses.
Oh it gets worse.
After being released, he was immediately re-arrested for possession of heroin. He was also involved in a hit-and-run accident that left someone in critical condition. His manager (you know, the one who implied that Doherty was finding ways to override his brain implant, I’ll say that again, override his brain implant) had already gone to court regarding the hit-and-run incident.
At this point, what is the last thing you’d want to have happen for your court date to deal with these charges? If you said, “Well, I guess I’d not want to have heroin fall out of my pocket while I’m in the fucking courtroom” than congratulations. You’re not Pete Doherty.
That’s right. Heroin. Fell out of his pockets. In the courtroom. And that wasn’t even enough to get him arrested again- he just had to pay 750 pounds, and 85 pounds in court costs.
So the ultimate act of douchebaggery that Doherty has performed? Teaching us young, impressionable children that you can get away with just about anything, as long as the NME likes your music.
Oh, and here’s an extra ray of sunshine for this story. He has an illegitimate child.
1. Phil Spector (super producer)
Did you know: It is against the law to shoot someone in the fucking face?
Yes, he’s sort of in a different category than the rest of the artists listed here. While all the above artists have made music, well, you know, recently, Spector’s heyday was before I was born. Plus, he was known primarily for his behind-the-scenes production work, and, oh right, he kills people. But I checked the “music lists that attempt to be humorous” guidelines, and it says right on the first page that if you ever have a chance to put a picture of Phil Spector in your article, you have to. That’s not something I just made up, that’s the law. Also, I mean, look at this fucker!
“I’ve got bullets for days” ~ Phil Spector
He invented the wall of sound production technique. He produced 25 top-40 hits between 1960-1965. He worked with girl bands, The Beatles, and The Ramones. He was introduced to the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer in 1989. He shot this woman in the fucking face. In the face. In the face!
IN THE FACEEEEEEE
Normally shooting a pretty woman in the face is enough to warrent the “douchebag” label. Hell, it’s more than enough to top this list. But let’s go through the gloriously tangled web that is the enigma trapped in a labyrinth ensnared in a puzzle that is Phil Spector. He was accosted at a men’s urinal at the age of 18 and peed on by four men (…funny how urinating on people is becoming somewhat of a motif in this article), which led to him keeping a hired bodyguard from then on out. During his sessions with John Lennon to do an oldies cover album, Rock and Roll, he got into a bender fight (“I can drink more than YOU!” “Fuck that, I can drink MORE THAN YOU!”) with Lennon, and eventually started waving a gun around, shooting it in the air, and running off with the session tapes (which took months to retrieve).
He had a wife, though. So take comfort in the fact that, Ronnie Spector, 2007 Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductee, fell in love with him, and helped him calm down and help teach him to take comfort in the joys of wedlock.
Oh, nevermind, he installed a coffin with a glass top in his basement telling her that’s where she’d end up if she tried to leave him, and then locked her in his house for years without letting her leave.
And do you like the song by The Ramones, “Baby, I Love You”? Well you’re an asshole if you don’t. Spector forced the band to play the opening chord for eight hours, and when they tried to leave, he held them at gun point until they finished the song to his liking.
Was Spector an incredible douchenozzle? Well sure. But at some point, you know what you’re getting into when you hire a producer who looks like…well, this.