Friday, June 20, 2008

10 Ways Musicians Piss Off Their Fans

We've all come in contact with that drunken guy at the party (hell, perhaps you've been that drunken guy) who corners you and makes you listen to a song that's "changed his life." Because music has this ability to really affect its listeners, the creators of said music are often worshipped or idolized. This fan worship can often go straight to the musicians' heads, and can cause them to do things that are considered to be very schmuck-like by their fans. Frankly, these things have the ability to piss us right off and, to put it politely, can make us think uncharitable thoughts. Very uncharitable. Such as the recent incident at the Bonnaroo Music Festival where Kanye West didn't play his set until 4:45 in the morning, making fans wait 2+ hours! Mmhmm - schmuck-like, indeed. (In response to this, one fan told Kanye to "S my D.")

So what follows is a list of things that musicians have done that has caused outrage and scorn among listeners and, if you get right down to it, are pretty asshat things to do.

Canceling Shows

Listen, we get that crap happens, and that the odd show cancellation is unavoidable and completely understandable. But, if Kanye West can perform a show ONE WEEK after his mother died, we don't want to hear any of your hangover/laziness excuses. (I'm looking at you Justin Timberlake. Clearly, the Smirnoff Ice has, once again, proven to be too much for you.) Anyway, if your fans take the time out of their schedules to buy tickets to your show, the profits of which helps support you and your cool rock star lifestyle, and you can't even bother to show up, well, you can just colour them not pleased.

See also: Avril Lavigne

Refusing to Play Old Hits

There's a reason that you're popular, and it's because you've written some songs that make the people's hearts sing. So, really, most of us don't care how many times you've sung that same old song, if we want to hear Like A Virgin, then dammit Madonna, you best be playing it.

See also: Radiohead - Creep

Letting Record Distributors Conduct Pissing Wars with Your Music

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is content protection software used to lock up digital media. Basically, what this means is that if you buy CDs from certain labels, they won't work on your iTunes. Instead of stopping pirated copies, it interferes with the legal usage of your purchased music. So, really, although this isn't technically the artists' fault, the only losers in the whole scenario are the fans. If we want to have the CD and the mp3 we have to buy the music twice. Screw that noise. Musicians should be putting the kibosh on this whole situation, and figure out a new way to distribute their music so their fans stop getting the short end of the stick (like Pearl Jam did with Ticketmaster...ah love). Thank God the music industry is now offering some DRM-free options.

See: Nickelback

Retiring Over and Over and...Over Again

Often fans pay a lot more money to see a show when they know it's the "last" tour. If you continue to have a "last" tour every two years, frankly it gets to be a little annoying. It gives the impression of being a tad money-grubbing, and let's face it, most of the time you aren't improving your sound at all. (In fact, it might even be on the decline.) Sometimes, it's a better idea to just put the horse out to pasture. It's more gentle and quick that way.

See: Celine Dion, Cher, Jay-Z, 50 Cent

Being Extremely Egotistical

Thinking that you're the greatest thing since sliced bread is fine. Continually reminding anyone who will listen is not. When Noel Gallagher from Oasis said, "With every song that I write, I compare it to the Beatles. The thing is, they only got there before me. If I'd been born at the same time as John Lennon, I'd have been up there," I think we all grow a little purple with rage. Granted, Oasis is a good band, but it's beyond irritating to hear someone say they'd be better than a band they were clearly inspired by.

See also: Kanye West, Axl Rose, P. Diddy, Brandon Flowers

Becoming Wussies

Can I just ask what the hell happened to Aerosmith? I mean, Dream On, Sweet Emotion, Same Old Song and Dance...genius. Then we get Don't Want to Miss a Thing. What the hell is up with that? Listen - experiment with your sound, do what you got to do to mix it up a little, but don't become complete and utter wussies. How might you know if you've become wussies? When your biggest fan base switches to soccer moms and wedding singers, you just know that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. At that point, fix the situation as it's become embarrassing for us to watch.

See also: Bon Jovi, Rob Thomas

Ignoring Who Your Fans Are

Nothing pisses your fans off more than when you say or do something that is contrary to some of the cores of their beliefs. For example, whether or not Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks was correct in what she said about George Bush, the fact is that a huge number of her fans were southern, Republican and extremely patriotic. Sooo, of course they were going to get riled up - it wasn't exactly a surprise. Musicians have just as much right to free speech as anyone else, but if you want to keep your album sales up, you might want to do a little research into the likes and dislikes of your fans.

See also: Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears

Money Grabbing

Everyone should get paid for their work, but there's no need to be obscene about it. There are some artists that charge ridiculous amounts for tickets to see them in concert (i.e. Barbara Streisand has charged $2,500 for certain shows). Hello? That's the price of an old car or a mortgage payment or two. There's really no need to charge that much money for a concert, and it's a big indicator to fans about where their favourite musicians' priorities are.

See also: Madonna, Miley Cyrus

Becoming Uselessly Drunk or High Before a Show

As Amy Winehouse has proved time and time again, it's not a great idea to get so inebriated before a show that you can't perform. Fans tend to get a little angry when they've paid a lot of money to see a show, and the musicians in question makes a fool of themselves on stage. We're not there to watch a drunken ass grope blindly around the stage, cause if we wanted that we could have gone to any bar and seen that show for free.

See also: Pete Doherty

Be Metallica

If there's one thing Metallica knows how to do really well, it's raising the ire of their fans and of music lovers everywhere. Metallica is considered to be mostly responsible for the shutdown of the beloved Napster, and in fact printed out a 60,000 page document of all users sharing their songs. Lars Ulrich became the spokesperson for the RIAA, and frankly, annoyed the crap out of people everywhere. Metallica now plans to sell some of their music on the internet, but it's not really receiving a very positive response as people have long memories. When it came down to MP3s or Metallica, most people chose MP3s, and they haven't forgotten that it was Metallica that made them make that choice.

Photographs Courtesy Getty Images

Posted by Colleen

Original here

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