The line between rock star and cranky toddler can be a fine one; deny them their candy and you've got tears welling up and naughty words being shrieked at ear-bursting decibels. Every once in a blue moon, though, a rational thought will pipe up from said rock star, and it deserves a little bit of notice from the general public.
That's what happened here, courtesy of Garbage front woman Shirley Manson. In response to the reports that Beyonce has banned photographers from her concerts, presumably to keep photos like those less-than-flattering Superbowl stills from hitting the press circuit, Manson had this to say about the idea of controlling press photos on her Facebook page a few days back:
There is something about the way the media and Beyoncé are publicly duking things out currently that bothers me so much I can't stop thinking about it...She banned photographers from the pit.
The ultimate checkmate in her mind no doubt. However in doing so it feels to me like some kind of an apology. As though she's ashamed of photos that portray her as anything less than perfect. As though in not being perfect at all times she is failing us and herself.
At seeing the aforementioned "unflattering" press.......why she didn't flick her famous mane and say "Blow Me" is anybody's guess.
The entire Facebook post is here if you'd like to read it, and it's pretty awesome. It also got me thinking: there have been quite a few instances in recent music history that didn't deserve the tantrums they received. What they really deserved were the words "blow me.
And here they are, in a list. The Top 10 moments an artist should have said "blow me."
10. Ryan Adams and the "Bryan Adams" Heckler During a 2006 concert in Nashville, Ryan Adams, whose name sounds quite similar to ol' Bryan Adams, got fed up with a heckler in the audience yelling for him to play "Summer of '69." Ryan (not Bryan!) hopped down into the audience to find said heckler, pulled $28 out of his wallet to cover the cost of the ticket, and refused to continue to play until the comedian had been removed from the venue.
I mean, dude. I'm sure that's annoying, and probably the equivalent of somebody yelling "Freebird" on repeat, but your name seriously rhymes with Bryan's. Just tell 'em to blow you and keep on playin', well, whatever it is you play that isn't "Summer of '69."
9. Justin Bieber's London Photog Freakout The Biebs has long been making a name for himself in the tantrum department, but it was a recent stint in London that had the world wondering just when little ol' Justin became such a Billy Badass.
Following his March 2013 release from a London hospital after a stage at his concert collapsed, Bieber was met by some relatively hostile words from a photographer who was aiming to get the money shot, during which he called el Biebs a "fucking little moron." Instead of pulling up his big-boy pants and getting in the car, Bieber jumped back out and threatened to "fucking beat the fuck out of (him)," prompting his security to push his tiny frame back inside the SUV.
It's one of those times where the Biebs would have looked like much, much less of an ass if he'd just said "blow me" to that papparazzi. I mean, that would have made me laugh. But him bucking up to some real adult just made me scared for his Gumby-esque physique.
8. Ashlee Simpson's Weird SNL Jig We all remember the 2006 Saturday Night Live snafu heard 'round the world, thanks to Ashlee Simpson's weird jig-like dance and ill-timed backup track. But why, oh why, did Ms. Simpson feel it necessary to continually justify the entire embarrassing situation with her repeated cries about acid reflux? If Britney can lip-synch and still sell out concerts, screw it. Shoulda told 'em to blow you, Ms. Simpson.
7. Wavves and Ecstasy/Valium/Xanax Meltdown After Wavves (not the Wavves) front man Nathan Williams went on a tripped-out rant at a Barcelona music festival in May 2009, the words "blow me" would definitely have been fitting. During Williams' rant, he bitched at drummer Ryan Ulsh and the audience, courtesy of a cocktail of his pill friends known as Ecstasy, Xanax and Valium, all of which he had allegedly consumed that night simultaneously.
The Barcelona audience was none too enthused with the lack of musicality coming from the stage, answering Williams' music/improv mess by throwing bottles and shoes and heckling the band. Turns out drummer Ulsh wasn't too enthused, either, emerging from behind the drum kit to pour a full beer over Williams' head in an act that would be the only to receive applause during their set.
Now, I'm not suggesting that what Ryan did should have been toned down and replaced with just the words blow me; I just think those words might have been a nice touch to the beer shower -- just to make his feelings on Nathan's rant abundantly clear.
6. Kings of Leon and the Bird Shit Rain An infestation of birds at a St. Louis amphitheater in July 2010 forced the members of alt-rock mammoths Kings of Leon to evacuate the stage after only three songs after being hit repeatedly by bird shit. Here's how bassist Jared Followill, self-proclaimed germophobe, put it to his mom:
I was attacked, Mom, but not by humans.
I'm pretty sure they lost many a fan after that whole "canceled concert due to falling bird shit" fiasco, and I'm not quite sure why they didn't just tell the birds to blow them and keep playing. There's no way the pigeons had that good of an aim.
5. Mariah Carey's HSN Hissy Fit Mariah Carey's 2011 Home Shopping Network appearance to hawk her rhinestone wares was not the first time she'd made a strange HSN appearance; it was just the first time she'd issued such a clear understanding that she would be edited into looking even crazier than normal by Internet sites such as Gawker. She spent the latter part of her appearance challenging them to tune in to her subsequent appearances and even giving them "editing points."
As self-aware as she seemed, it would have been much more Mariah-ish to unleash the diva and simply tell them to blow her, rather than to issue any sort of challenge. No help was needed on making those appearances look any weirder than they already were.
4. Faith Hill's Junk-Grabbing Rant Country crooner Faith Hill had her package-protecting moment in 2007, when a rabid fan grabbed hubby Tim McGraw's goods. She chastised the fan with this little rant, stating, "Somebody needs to teach you some class, my friend. You don't go grabbin' somebody else's -- somebody's husband's balls, you understand me? That's very disrespectful."
I personally think it would have been more effective to use the words blow me, while remembering that as handsy as those country girls get, she's still the one with dibs on those McGraw balls.
3. Courtney Love's Brazilian Breakdown Love's 2011 SWU Festival rant in Brazil was certainly not the first time she's unleashed the insanity, but it was the first time she's said that the Foo Fighters were "gay" because a fan held up a picture of her late husband Kurt Cobain. I know; she never makes any damn sense at all.
After a fan held up a photo of Cobain, and after Courtney stripped off all of her clothes onstage, the ex-Hole singer went on a prolonged rant about the members of the Foo Fighters, and, of course, Dave Grohl. Love had this to say as her reasoning for the stupid ass rant:
When people come to me and say, "I love Nirvana." I wasn't in Nirvana. However, I do own Nirvana... with my daughter and because of tax laws I have to give money to his sister, Kim Cobain, and (Kurt's mother) Wendy Cobain.
It would have been wise for Ms. Love to simply tell the show of affection for Cobain to blow her if it bothered her so much. However, given the never-ending antics from that one, chances are that little bit of rational thought won't happen. Therefore, if I were Dave Grohl or the rest of the Foo members, I'd tell her to blow me and handle it that way.
2. Axl Rose's Camera Rant Good ol' Axl. You knew it was coming somewhere on this list, I'm sure. At a 1991 Guns N' Roses concert, Axl stopped the show after noticing a (banned) video camera in the audience. Security didn't jump nearly as quickly as Axl would have liked, so he took matters into his own hands, exchanging blows with the fan in a heated grab for the camera.
Axl stormed offstage, prompting a stadium-wide riot by the audience, and he was later arrested for inciting that riot. Charges were subsequently dropped, but Rose isn't one to let things go nearly as easily. He made sure to hide "Fuck you, St. Louis!" in the Thank You section of Use Your Illusion I and II.
Dude, next time just tell 'em to blow you, and wait for security. Then there'd be photographic evidence of how your concerts didn't always suck. (Yeah, I said it. Feel free to rant in the comments now.)
1. Fiona Apple's Press Tantrum At a sold-out concert with nearly 3,000 fans in attendance at New York's Roseland Ballroom, the infamous Ms. Apple had an epic meltdown over what she said was "being unable to hear herself." She complained about the sound, crying and staring off into the VIP section of the concert while saying, "You know, I just wanted to do real well in New York, but fuck! I can't hear myself!"
She proceeded to storm off the stage after about 40 minutes, but not before yelling at the journalists in the audience, telling them not to pan the show in their reviews.
Ms. Apple, you should have just told the journalists to blow you. After all, what the heck do they know about music, anyway?
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.