Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Road To Moose Jaw

Relax folks, the makers of AutoTune are still on the lam...

Willie Nelson, Jagger and Richards, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash, the Grateful Dead and now...

Justin Bieber.

With the arrest this morning of the fictional pop creature, the drug bust ranks of those connected (some in ways more dubious than others) with the music world just grew by one.

Let the hand-wringing begin.

Apparently, little Spreidel was pulled over by Florida cops for drag racing at 4am local time, allegedly doing 60mph in a 30mph zone.

Bieber, described in the arrest report as having a "flushed face, bloodshot eyes, and the odor of alcohol on his breath", was then taken into custody where he was fingerprinted and photographed-- which brings to mind an immediate question:

Is Miami the only police jurisdiction that offers airbrushing with it's mug shots?

The 19 year old is also alleged to have made a statement confirming the booze, as well as copping to having smoked marijuana and taken some prescription medication; and god, I really hope that last one is the roll-on testosterone supplement for impotent old guys...

After several hours in custody, Bieber was released on $2,500 bond, waving to fans as he made his way to the now-requisite black Cadillac Escalade before being whisked away, one assumes, to a different dimension populated by the usual retinue of ass kissing sycophants, lawyers and some really open minded unicorns.

So, what's the play now? As we speak, Bieber is in a precarious situation, career-wise. His transformation in the past two years from doe-eyed moppet into straight up doe-eyed moppet thug has surely eroded some of his original fanbase-- that is to say music-hating parents looking for safe drivel to spoon feed their ADHD tweenie hellspawn.

Mom jeans and absentee Dad can't be at all thrilled with Biebs going all shirtless P90-X, staying up past bedtime, smoking the devil weed and hanging with Jim Henson's Gangsta Babies, can they? Sure, rich kids smoking weed and pretending to be all gangsta is pretty weak dickless stuff; but, those 8 year olds and their parents do wield some pretty heavy buying clout.

So, does Bieber-- already near the end of the typical teenybop life cycle as it is, do the whole 'I need treatment and I beg forgiveness' route in an effort to appease/save what's left of his fanbase; or, does he play the hard card to impress his little crew of ass licking trust fund homies so as not to lose his gated community street cred?

My guess is he's gonna choose the latter; but, most likely, he's fucked either way.

Here's what I mean: If Bieber tries to go the public sympathy/rehab PR route to salvage what remaining love the wee ones have for him, it's gonna take awhile to rebuild that bridge, if it happens at all. And, in the unlikely event he does succeed at this, what will he be? A guy in his 20's still aiming right at that 8-12 year old fan base-- sort of like a super creepy version of Wooderson from "Dazed And Confused".

If, on the other hand, he decides to be "street Justin" to look hard and impress his cronies, what's really for him there? Barring some sort of deal at the crossroads level revelation of a shocking amount of talent, he's really unlikely to find himself a solid older audience base. Sure, he could drop both the kiddie pop and fake hip hop guises and try and reinvent himself as some sort of sexless, crooning Andy Williams of the future; but, remember, old people are old.

They're not necessarily stupid-- and no one wants to hear something called "the Biebs" inflicting himself on "Stardust" or "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", now do they?


I've been trying to think of teen idols in my lifetime who have successfully transitioned past the training bra set into long, successful careers-- artistically or commercially (it's up to you).

Beatles and Stones aside, only two come immediately to mind:

Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

Jackson's adult career started off incredibly (1979's OFF THE WALL, 1982's THRILLER); but, after that, despite continued chart success, he became known more as a freakshow. Timberlake may be less influential; but, it seems unlikely his life and career will head down such a dark path as Jackson's.

So, will Bieber be either of those two?


Lacking both Jackson's innate talent and Timberlake's sense and savvy, Justin Bieber will do what he can to keep his name going for as long as possible before simply fading away. Like MC Hammer he'll try gangsta rap, with similar results. Then, he'll grow a grubby beard, claim he's always "been a rocker at heart" and front some shitty band that makes Matchbox 20 sound like Black Sabbath, before finally settling into a little musical theater troupe on the outskirts of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Sleep well tonight Tony DeFranco, Scot Baio and Leif Garrett. Sometimes the system really does work...

1 comment:

M Simmons said...

"Gated-community street cred."

You're still in my Top Ten of scribes, Checkmensch.