The allure of rock and roll in the early days always came back to the rebellious nature of rock stars. As much as people like Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl have gotten by on their relentless charisma, this was a genre made for the rebels of society, who would constantly push the envelope of what you could do in a live setting. Just because you have good songs doesn’t always equate to tasteful behavior though.
Both in and out of the spotlight, these artists have been known more in infamy these days for their antics than their songs, either through going on massive public tirades or not being able to keep their bands together long enough for people to actually care. Then again, you have to understand that a lot of this is actually an act.
Just like they do onstage, these people know how to play the game, and are more likely to get noticed in the media more for shock value than anything else. Sometimes it’s about poking fun at the uptight parts of society, but you also have people that have never really been all that liked even when they were on top of the world. The goal was to ruffle some feathers most of the time though, and given how the world reacted to these artists, we gave all of them exactly what they wanted.
10. Morrissey - The Smiths
No one who really got into the Smiths back in the ‘80s were going to them to be happy or anything. When you listen to the words behind songs like There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, you can feel the little bits of heartache in every line, as Morrissey talks about the kind of love that can be too much for many people to take. That’s only a fraction of some Smiths’ songs, and sometimes you get tricked into listening to a sermon.
From the back half of their career to the beginnings of his solo work, Morrissey has turned into one of the more deplorable men in the music industry, oftentimes known for going on massive tangents about his controversial world views. This man has never been known to mince his words, and has gone so far as to call anyone who isn’t vegetarian murderers, to the point where he won’t perform at any venues that serve any meat based products.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, from calling out those in power to having a fairly narrow worldview about what was going on during the height of the pandemic just a few years ago. With all that baggage, you can sort of see why the holdout for a Smiths reunion has been going on for years now. Johnny Marr might be the rock and roll spirit of the group, but it’s hard to reason with someone who doesn’t really seem to like anybody.