Once Upon a Time… (or Lies, the Internet, and Rabid Fans)

posted in: Various Musings | 5

I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. I heard two of this particular band’s songs this morning on the same radio station, less than two hours apart, and that happened after talking to two different friends about this same band yesterday. I told both friends at different times that this band will never get another dime from me, so I think these are signs that it’s time for me to spill my guts in writing.

I ranted about this particular band on Facebook a little less than a year ago when a rather nasty situation went down, and part of me wondered if the whole story “breaking” wasn’t just a publicity stunt. You know the old saying, “no publicity is bad publicity”? I’m not going to mention the actual band name—one, because I don’t want to be accused of slander and two, because I don’t want to give them any more publicity than they deserve. Instead, I want to talk about what pissed me off so badly, what happened that made me choose to not support them anymore from that point forward. And, just so it’s clear before anyone gets emotional and fired up (it’s happened in the past over this stupid damn topic!), let me emphasize now that I am choosing to not support them because of a lie, not because of any misdeed—because I realize that mistakes happen, and I’m willing to forgive them. Hell, I’d even forgive them now if the lying band member simply fessed up. But I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Anyway, enough rambling. On with today’s post.

I follow rock and metal news fairly closely, but it’s merely coincidence, because I love my bands and follow them on social media and the like. When something’s trending about a band I follow, I usually can’t avoid it. It just so happened that on a particular day last year, there was a trending story about the lead singer of a popular hard rock band having been arrested a few months earlier for a domestic violence incident. I thought it odd at the time that something that had supposedly happened months earlier was just then leaking to the press, but I didn’t worry about it and went on with what I was doing online. However, later on, one of the band’s guitarists posted a tweet that caught my attention. It said something similar to this (again, names have changed to protect the guilty and this is not an actual quote):

I don’t know what’s more ridiculous, that John’s a karate expert or that he’s married! The shit the media makes up…

For some reason, that got my attention, especially because all kinds of fans rallied behind the guitarist blindly without ever researching the facts. That and I hate hearing about domestic violence. The tweet got me curious and so I decided to dig. It turned out that several media outlets had reported, without Mr. Guitarist’s theatrics, that something had happened, but it wasn’t long before I found the original article in question. It was based on court papers filed in the lead singer’s city of residence. The article itself was highly questionable but I am nothing if not a researcher (I debunk a lot of bullshit, because the internet’s full of it and people blindly believe what they read), and I researched the shit out of it. Why it fascinated me so, I couldn’t tell you, but a couple of hours later, I was armed with the facts:

  1. John, the singer, was not married but had been living with a woman for close to two decades. They had a daughter together. And, although they had never actually married, the woman was filing for legal divorce (done in cases of common law marriage) because of an incident… You see where this is going, don’t you?
  2. Said incident occurred in their city of residence but in a hotel room rather than their home. Apparently, they’d been arguing and fighting (not unheard of with couples), and he’d grown tired of hearing her yelling and had forcibly tried to quiet her. The police arrived at the scene and escorted him away in handcuffs.

What I found most interesting about the aftermath was that “John” (yes, that’s not his real name) never uttered one word about the incident. Now, you know what? I can respect that. What happened is his own personal business. It’s none of mine—and what occurred between him and his common-law wife is between them.

But “Dan” the guitarist (also not a real name) had taken to the streets, so to speak, drumming up support for his friend by lying.

What? Did I say he was lying?

Why, yes. Yes, I did. And I tweeted him back that day, telling him I didn’t appreciate his sleight of hand. I then had to block at least one of his rabid fans (an ignorant ass, mind you). But let’s break it down, lest you think I’m taking it too far by telling you I will never give them a dime again. Let’s look at the tweet once more:

I don’t know what’s more ridiculous, that John’s a karate expert or that he’s married! The shit the media makes up…

Hmm. Okay. So the article didn’t say John was a karate expert and, in fact, never said he’d used karate on the woman. Dan was embellishing. The article had said that he’d been beating on the woman when, in fact, the police records merely said he was trying to make her shut up. Yes, he was trying to shut her up physically, but he wasn’t using fists to do it. The article got it wrong technically but correctly in spirit. So shame on Dan for trying to make it seem like John was an innocent little lamb. He’d never hurt a fly (but watch out, spider!).

Married. Okay, Dan, so they never walked down an aisle in wedding dress and tux, uttering vows and donning rings, but they had been living together for years and years and years, had a daughter together, and she had to divorce him. DIVORCE him. Because they were considered legally married by the courts. That’s how it works. You set up house together and eventually you’re hitched!

The bottom line? Dan was lying to his fans by playing cutesy with the facts. Rather than say, “Yeah, my man crossed a line and is sorry for it,” he instead tried to wreck John’s “old lady’s” reputation by making it all look fabricated (maybe Dan prefers that moniker better than “wife”?). It’s bad enough that John lost control and got violent with a woman, nearly killing the mother of his child, but for another person to play loose and sketchy with the facts angered me more than you know.

Guess what? If Dan had grown a pair and admitted to me on Twitter that he was full of horseshit, I’d rethink my stance, but I don’t think that’ll ever happen. Those guys feel untouchable now—lots of money and fame and so they can skirt the law. That’s fine, and I know they won’t feel the pinch of a lack of my twenty bucks every time a CD comes around (not to mention merch and concerts). But I don’t care. It’s the principle…and if we all put our money where our mouth is, imagine the impact that we’d make. At least I can sleep with a clear conscience.

Just to reiterate: Domestic violence is NOT okay. And lying about what did or didn’t happen, skirting the facts so you’re technically telling the truth? That only makes it worse. Shame on you, “Dan.” Shame on you. I wonder what your mother thinks.

5 Responses

  1. I’m in your corner Jade. Never feel bad about outing a Bastard who lays hands on a woman with ill intent,or having a Bud who thinks lying about it is acceptable. Maybe if the Band Mates were forced to take an Ass-Beating from a much stronger Person they would get a hint what it feels like to try an bully someone into submission. I feel the same way when I read of all the Professional Sports figures who, even when confronted by video of their actions, try to blame the victim for their being an abuser. Your money and my viewership can go to another Band or Team.

    • Agreed. You hear about that happening in sports a lot–and if they’re a good player, everyone wants to turn a blind eye. Glad to know I’m not alone. Thank you.

  2. Pauline Santoro

    You go Jade. I know the incident and the band. Like you I have nothing to do with them any more. I too hate domestic violence but liers even more.

    • Amen, Pauline, amen. It’s just sad that they can’t own it and attempt to be better people.

  3. […] I can’t support that kind of ego.  This guy…you can Google his name along with the word “rude” and you’re going to get over 50,000 results.  Articles, YouTube videos, you name it.  My friends, you’ve heard me say it before–I love music and I support the bands I listen to with my money.  This?  I can’t support.  I will not EVER give this man my money ever again.  Yeah, my twenty bucks for a CD now and again isn’t going to cut into his retirement fund but it’s the fucking principle.  I can sleep at night knowing I’m not contributing to his megalomania. He apologized to the fan via an interview and that’s great.  I’m glad he did.  But I don’t believe he was sincere.  I think he did it because it was a big deal–it made the news in a big way.  So, for now, I’m sitting on the sidelines just waiting, because megalomania has no cure, and I don’t buy it for a second.  If, in ten years, I hear he’s volunteering to help at the site of a devastating hurricane or sending money to help homeless families…and no longer acting like an asshole, then–maybe–I’ll begin supporting him again.  Till then, I’ll have to catch his songs on the radio.  Damn shame too, because his band is amazing.  But his ego overshadows it all and I can’t support that.  And it’s not the first time I’ve blackballed a band for bad behavior:  Once Upon a Time… (or Lies, the Internet, and Rabid Fans) […]

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