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Old 03-11-2003, 08:17 AM   #1
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Trust the art, not the artist

A nice motto to live by? Maybe. It's just a thought, hardly original, that's always tended to roll around in my head when the lives and activities of rockstars, writers or other creative folk are discussed.

And of course it goes both ways. The nicest bunch of people in the world might record music that is utter shite. Bono might be (is) a great humanitarian, but it won't colour my opinion if the next U2 record stinks.

A racist motherfucker who beats his wife might write a song that makes you cry.

As I say, hardly an original idea, it's all been said before. But maybe it bears repeating. How many original ideas are there under the sun, anyway? At my last calculation, approximately 9,567.

So steal this thread! Use it for your bang-and-clatter-ish pleasure!
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:57 AM   #2
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Re: Trust the art, not the artist

Quote:
Originally posted by Zedbetty

And of course it goes both ways. The nicest bunch of people in the world might record music that is utter shite. Bono might be (is) a great humanitarian, but it won't colour my opinion if the next U2 record stinks.
That's kind of what I was telling a friend who thought that Bono didn't have the right to write spiritual songs, etc. because he's not exactly living the life of a real Christian. Okay, this comment might better belong to TGIS forum, but anyway, I told her, what amazes me most of the time is the sheer artistry of U2's works...sometimes more amazing than the message of the songs.

Quote:
A racist motherfucker who beats his wife might write a song that makes you cry.

That is so true.
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:19 AM   #3
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I like the Manic Street Preachers. Should say enough, that.

(Seriously, I find myself influenced by the artist quite a lot of the time. I can't think of concrete examples at the moment, though.)
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:35 AM   #4
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Would the lovely and debonair Eminem be a suitable example here? Michael Jackson perhaps? Oasis even?

On the other hand, Bono and U2? Cos gosh darn it, if they aren't the swellest guys around!


I kid....dont flame me everyone.

What would happen though, if it were suddenly annouced that U2/Bono weren't writing their lyrics and someone who was generally despised was responsible? Lets say.....Sco...no, I dont want to start a war in here, I dunno, Barbara Streisand? Would the music be as good as it was pre-knowledge???

Unoriginal musing # 8374
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:39 AM   #5
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Good thought to have. I'll need to ponder that.
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Old 03-11-2003, 07:03 PM   #6
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It's all interesting, and a fine point. I guess what sparked it off was the whole Pete Townsend thing. Now, it's good that he is apparently innocent (I kinda assumed he was). But if for the sake of argument he was another Gary Glitter, would that make the music the Who left behind any less great? If Charles Manson actually did write Helter Skelter, would it make it a bad song?
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:14 PM   #7
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can you justify not listening to the doors cos you don't like jim morrison?

i don't do drugs and don't like the idea of seting my guitar on fire or playing it with my teeth, but does that mean i can't like jimi hendrix?

i hate it when people say "oh so and so is bad, don't listen to them, they do/did this...". if all of the people in my favourite bands were total assholes, i wouldn't think i'd stop listening to them. the reson i was listening to the music in the first place was because i liked the music, there really isn't room for taking into account the drummer's moral values as displayed in this fight with so and so on this date reported by these sources...

it's just as bad as liking a band because you think the band members are hot, and you really don't give a fuck about the music...
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:16 PM   #8
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No, it wouldn┤t make the music of The Who any less great.

Trust the art, not the artist, well said. Often enough artists don┤t really appreciate that the interpreter - or consumer at this point - includes the facts he knows about the artists life in the interpretation of the artists piece of art.
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:15 PM   #9
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:31 PM   #10
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Of course it's all academic for me. I don't even like the Who. lol.
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:43 PM   #11
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deep, exactly what point are you trying to make? cos just posting that can be taken either way. unless THAT was your point...

i'm not trying to sound like a jerk, i'm just wondering. i can't think of a super-nice way to phrase it, sorry...
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:01 PM   #12
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I think it was the beach boys that recorded a song charles manson wrote. Many people will not listen to the music of Richard Wagner because of his politics.

When I read this thread. The most extreme example I could think of was the art (the painting I posted) and the person who painted it. The person who painted it is universally hated. I have heard some say his paintings were pretty good. If a medical researcher found a cure for cancer, but he was a serial killer the cure would still be a wonderful discovery.

I did attend a Wagner opera once I thought it was good.

Anyway, separating the art from the artist. The art never did any harm to anyone The artist may have been despicable. This country had no problem sneaking nazi rocket scientist into the U S to use their art/science to our advantage.

If seeing a painting by AH bothers you I am sorry. I believe it was painted many years before had any power to do his terrible deeds.
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:57 PM   #13
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it didn't bother me. i was just interested in hearing what you had to say.
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:34 AM   #14
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Deep is getting at my point exactly, though I would be a bit wary of putting science and art in the same breath, not quite the same thing. Still, fair point.

There aren't actually that many extreme negative examples, but I tend to get just as irritated by the extreme positive examples, ie. 'U2 and Bono have done lots for world peace and various similar causes, therefore U2 are much greater because of this'. I don't buy that notion. Bob Geldof is/was a great humanitarian for organising Live Aid, and he didn't even believe in the power of pop music. And his own music is mediocre at best. And U2 are one of a goodly number of fine bands in the world today, distinguished mainly (in the public eye) by the extracurricular activities of the members. Thing is, it will all be forgotten some day. So I reject the notion of interpreting artwork too strongly in light of who created it. It might shed a bit of light on the work but it doesn't really alter it. You can say oh well, so and so wrote that song because this or that happened to them, but the same song would be just as good or bad if they wrote it because they just sat down and wrote it. So to speak.

Of course this all ties in with the myth of the suffering rockstar, ie. you don't have to live a desperate life on the edge to create credible music. Then again, if you do, no shame in that either.
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:37 AM   #15
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Someone shut me up if I become boring... just musing out loud, at length.
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