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to think that there is a tipping point where the virtues of 'art' are eclipsed by the depravity of the artist? Pete Doherty etc....

(19 Posts)
Northernlurker Sun 19-Jun-11 21:38:48

This is a sad and interesting piece about the deaths in circles connected with Pete Doherty. without question he is glamourising a very particular drug fuelled life style. And yet his music is still played and he has gigs to do assuming he's not in prison. Amy Winehouse was drunk on stage yesterday. Many, many other artists have staggered betwen gigs and bars. At what point should promoters etc say no?
Or aibu and anything goes as long as it sells?

hiddenhome Sun 19-Jun-11 21:41:54

Anything goes as long as it sells.

This is what people want.

Onemorning Sun 19-Jun-11 21:44:10

YAB a bit U.

I'm not a fan of PD's work at all, but it's a stretch to make him responsible for glamourising a certain lifestyle. There's long been a connection between the music industry and people getting off their heads. IIRC Jimi Hendrix died of drugs in 1971, I'm sure that happened to stars even before then. Keith Richards is idolised and treated with some awe because of the sheer quantity of drugs he's alleged to have taken.

I think promoters will stop promoting artists when punters stop paying. It's cynical, but that's capitalism...

In addition, where do you stop? Who decides what is 'moral'?

NormanTebbit Sun 19-Jun-11 21:49:06

I can't see PD as an artist or even musician.

Amy winehouse reminds me a little of Karen Carpenter. I wish someone would take her far, far away and tell her it's ok to never sing again.

Northernlurker Sun 19-Jun-11 21:51:25

There are two issues aren't there. The effect they have on everybody else - and yes how far are the responsible for that? And the effect they have on themselves - and how much damage shyould they be allowed to inflict? I agree though 'where do you stop'?

That said I cannot be anything other than very uncomfortable with the image of 'stars' moving between binge and gig and prison and then back to gig without any sort of sanction.

FreudianSlipper Sun 19-Jun-11 21:52:58

well he is joining a long list of musicians who have drug or drink problems, jimi hendrx, eric clapton, john lennon, nick drake, kurt cobain, janis joplin, cat power, keith moon, jim morrison, elvis presley, billie holiday,

all the have had drug problems it is nothing new. some claim it helps them write their best songs/pieces of music its their body their choice, i feel sorry for anyone that has a drug or drink problem

i hate the thought that i love the music of a man that was emotionally and physically abusive to his wife but he wrote some of the most beautiful songs ever (john lennon)

Tyr Sun 19-Jun-11 22:06:10

I think it's a case of anything goes, if the results are good. I'd raw the line at Gary Glitter but he was shit anyway so it's a bit of a moot point. Part of the problem with this is that the media feeds on decadent lifestyles and people keep reading.
Keith Richards might be notorious for his drugtaking but the real reason for his fame is the songs he has written with Jagger and the Stones. If all he had ever done was take industrial quantities of drugs, you wouldn't have heard of him.
How many people find Cliff Richard and Val Doonican interesting reading?

RufusTFirefly Sun 19-Jun-11 22:37:54

Billie Holiday had good reason to numb her pain with drugs and booze.

She was a horribly damaged woman, starting from her awful childhood (raped at ten, turning tricks by her early teens). She smoked a lot of weed, but no hard drugs until she met the first fucking waster, Jimmy Monroe who got her on smack. Followed by Joe Guy, an indifferent trumpeter who scored for her. Her men beat her and stole from her. She thought she deserved no better. She wasn't interested in good men who treated her well - and there were some.

Racism was ever present and she suffered terribly when on tour with a white musician, Artie Shaw. I don't think he did enough to protect her. She left his band when she was made to go to her room at an hotel in New York by the freight elevator. An so on, and so on. Every day of her life. Other singers, not half as good as she was, got the plaudits and the gigs. Finally the cops took her cabaret card away because of her drug conviction so she couldn't sing anywhere that served alcohol. I think that was the final straw. She drank to stem her cravings for heroin, and died of liver failure at the age of 44. She had wrecked her voice by then.

What excuse has Doherty got then? Or is he just a spoilt, degenerate little arsehole?

Amy Winehouse is hugely talented but I don't expect her to last very long. She's killing herself and it's a tragedy. I wish she'd stuck to the jazz clubs where there isn't so much pressure (and getting off your face is very much frowned on).

BitOfFun Sun 19-Jun-11 22:39:13

Well, DP eclipses his art with depravity all the time. Suits me down to the ground grin

twolittlemonkeys Sun 19-Jun-11 22:44:37

Don't get me started on PD. One of the deaths he is connected with is that of the brother of a someone I knew well at school sad

Northernlurker Sun 19-Jun-11 22:59:25


There are clearly episodes in some artists lives that lead them in particular paths and also so much fuel the power of their art - it's very depressing when that consumes them or other people.

Punkatheart Sun 19-Jun-11 23:04:09

An academic approach to all art requires that you separate the art from the person - then assess the work. Coleridge and other poets were junkies. Byron was a horrific womaniser. And so forth. But when they are gone - it is the work that stands.....

I am a writer but so far I have failed in the depravity stakes. Any suggestions?

Northernlurker Sun 19-Jun-11 23:06:34

I'm not sure how possible it is to do that seperation. The problem I find is that the beauty of the art justifies the apalling behaviour - anything goes as long as it's good as somebody said below. And yet........the art does stand alone doesn't it <<<aaaarrgh head explodes>> I'm off to bed!

DuelingFanjo Sun 19-Jun-11 23:11:26

There was a story in the Daily Fail about the kid Freddy McConnel yesterday. About ow is parents blamed Peaces Geldof for his death. Yet it was clear he was a very troubled kid and the parents wanted to blame someone, and dare I say it seemed to quite like the publicity.

Personally I don't think Pete Doherty is any kind of genius or talent at all. He's been bigged up but is just a grubby self-publicist with a nasty drug habit.

CRS Sun 19-Jun-11 23:14:07

I remeber at university studying the concept of "the death of the author", so (I think) the work is the thing and not the creator of the work - so does it matter if the author exists or not? Very hazy on details now. Does it matter, for example if, say, "The Bell Jar" was written by Sylvia Plath, or by a man with no mental health issues?

FreudianSlipper Sun 19-Jun-11 23:15:05

does someone need an excuse to become an addict? yes billie holiday had the most terribly sad life and she became self destructive, but anyone who become self destructive on such a level it is terribly sad. would anyone want to swap their life with pete doherty i am surprised he is still alive but i very much doubt he will be in ten years time

artists have always been more experimental with drugs, maybe its their mindset, maybe its because they have the money who knows but it is not something new

NormanTebbit Mon 20-Jun-11 11:21:40

I think they traced the families of people suffering schizophrenia and found those with the illness were related to others who were very creative but did not have the illness. There is a 'mindset' element to I think.

But also there are alot of sharks in that business, people have alot if time and money and access to drink and drugs and quite often boyfriends/ girlfriends happy to enjoy the lifestyle too.

mayorquimby Mon 20-Jun-11 12:03:47

I really couldn't care less what musicians/artists do in their personal life. Either the results are good or they're not. I don't think it's about one justifying the other.

Tyr Mon 20-Jun-11 15:06:36

Punkatheart Sun 19-Jun-11 23:04:09

An academic approach to all art requires that you separate the art from the person - then assess the work. Coleridge and other poets were junkies. Byron was a horrific womaniser. And so forth. But when they are gone - it is the work that stands.....

I am a writer but so far I have failed in the depravity stakes. Any suggestions?


Have you tried selling your soul?

I agree about separating the two although one informs the other. I doubt Coleridge would have written the "Ancient mariner" without opium.
A really extreme example is the Victorian artist Richard Dadd. Have a look at the "Faerie wedding" and the "Faerie-fellers master stroke" painted in Bethlehem asylum after he murdered his own father. I wonder if a sane person could have painted those.

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