Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History New Music, episode 1015: The most dangerous artists in rock

One of the most attractive things about rock is that it’s often dangerous. From the very beginning, rock has been about rebellion, a disregard for the rules, and thumbing its nose at the status quo. Rage against the Machine summed it up nicely with their song “Killing in the Name”: “F-you, I won’t do what you tell me!”

There’s an edginess to rock that’s addictive. Most of us live pretty normal lives, so there’s something cathartic seeing rock stars live out our wildest, most reckless impulses and fantasies. Rock stars get to do what we wish we could.

When we go to a show, there’s always that hope we’re going to see and experience something a little unhinged, unpredictable, and primal. Between gigs, we like to soak up the gossip and stories of bad behavior from books, biopics, and social media.

The music is fine. But we also want spectacle both on and off stage. It’s all in good fun—until it’s not.

There are limits to what we think is okay. Legal lines can be crossed. And there are aesthetic, ethical, and moral areas that are just off limits.

But here’s the thing about some artists: They don’t care. They live in their own reality where the normal rules of society just don’t hold. We might see behaviors that are thoughtless, selfish, overly audacious, negligent, self-destructive, incredibly violent, and downright criminal.

For some, this is a lifestyle. For others, their dangerousness relates to illness, out-of-control passions, and, in some cases negligence and misadventure.

In short, there’s a subset of rock stars who are genuinely dangerous, not to themselves but to others. And once we start seeking out these people and examining their actions, what we find can be terrifying on a series of different levels.

Songs heard on this show:

  • Housemartins, Happy Hour
  • Muse, Knights of Cydonia
  • Sid Vicious, Steppin’ Stone
  • As I Lay Dying, Nothing Left
  • Iggy and the Stooges, Louie Louie (Live)
  • Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen
  • Three Doors Down, Kryptonite
  • Lamb of God, Walk with Me in Hell
  • GG Allin, Murder for the Mission
  • Les Rallizes Denudes, But I’m Different
  • Hanatarash, Housedust

Eric Wilhite has a playlist for us.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38403 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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