It’s not so much a stereotype as an unalienable fact to say that rock stars in general are a different breed. They’re crazy, wild, enigmatic souls that are often hard to tame and keep away from the headlines.
While Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx’s antics might have provided great material for the Netflix film The Dirt, they hardly helped the band’s commercial reputation. Behaving well and staying out of the headlines might be frowned upon by some, but it’s a sure fire way of having a successful, profitable career.
A rock star with a good reputation can make serious money from commercial endorsements, putting their name to all manner of things like cars, clothing ranges and many more. Some, like Kiss for example, even have their own slot games – and they’re not the only ones. There are a whole host of online slots themed around your favourite rock stars, so if you’re a true fan of music, it’s your duty to check them out.
Let’s take a look at three rock stars who have challenged the stereotype and built solid reputations.
Paul David Hewson – AKA Bono
Better known around the world as Bono, the Irish singer has been entertaining rock fans for over 40 years as the lead vocalist in U2. The band have released 14 studio albums in that time, selling an estimated 170 million records worldwide.
Sure, there are critics and fans that would like to do down the importance and reach of U2, but they have undoubtedly been one of the best bands in the world for well over two decades. The Irish group have rarely made the headlines for the wrong reasons, with Bono being key to that.
The frontman has dedicated himself to activism and philanthropy for the past 30 years. After being inspired by Live Aid, Bono visited Africa with his wife Ali Stewart and was compelled to start his own charity work in earnest.
Over the years Bono has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of Christian relief charities, although controversy has reigned over how much of his own wealth he has donated. In 2018 it was reported that the singer only donated $25,000 of his personal wealth to his own charity in an article entitled ‘Bono’s endless hypocrisy’.
But overall, it’s hard to argue with the fact Bono’s a pretty good guy.
The 50-year-old rocker is one of the most famous musicians in the world, and has been the lead singer of the Foo Fighters for the past 25 years. Prior to that Grohl has sat behind the drums for some of the biggest names in the industry; Queens of the Stone Age, Tenacious D, Pearl Jam and most notably Nirvana.
Nikki Sixx infamously died for two minutes after suffering a heroin overdose, later releasing Kickstart My Heart with Motley Crue in homage to his brush with death. The closest that Grohl has come to something similar was in 2009 when he was admitted to hospital with chest pains brought about by drinking too much coffee.
The Foo Fighters frontman is a vocal critic of drugs after seeing the negative impact that they have had on his former friends – notably his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain, who was addicted to heroin prior to committing suicide at the age of 27. In his teenage years Grohl dabbled with cannabis and LSD before completely giving up narcotics at the age of 20 having never tried cocaine, heroin or speed.
Dave Grohl spoke about having a ‘normal life’ in this interview on BBC Breakfast
Grohl has used his profile to promote liberal causes. In 2012 he played My Hero at a Democrat Convention in honour of then President Barack Obama. Grohl has also been a big advocate of LGBT rights since the 1990s when along with the other members of Nirvana he performed at a fundraiser that was fighting Oregon Ballet Measure 9.
All in all Grohl is a pretty good guy apart from his 2000 DUI in Australia for driving a scooter after drinking one too many beers. For a rock star though, his life has been pretty tame.
Sir Paul McCartney
The former Beatle was part of the biggest band in history. Whilst there is some consternation from rock fans over whether or not The Beatles were actually a rock band or a pop band, one thing is clear…
The Beatles were certainly classified as a rock band when they first appeared on radio sets around the world in the 1950s. Their music has inspired a multitude of budding rock stars and allowed young musicians the freedom to express themselves.
Like most rock stars, Sir Paul McCartney has had his issues most notably with drugs, but in fairness he was performing during the ‘rise of the hippies’. Many rock stars were smoking cannabis in the 1960s and McCartney was no different. In fact such was McCartney’s love for the drug that he and his band mates took out a national advert in The Times Newspaper calling for its legalisation in 1967.
His allegiance to the legalisation of cannabis did not adversely affect his career to the extent that it did for other artists. McCartney’s reputation as a ‘do-gooder’ has remained intact for decades, thanks to his numerous charitable donations, fundraisers and movements.
Despite Sir Paul McCartney’s activism and good work this ‘song’ is still an affront to music…
McCartney has a long history of performing at charity events, including Ferry Aid, Band Aid, Live Aid and The People of Kampuchea. Sir Paul is also a vegan, having initially being vegetarian since the mid-1970s. At the turn of the millennium McCartney publicly wrote to the Dalai Lama encouraging him to forego meat and switch to veganism.
In recent years McCartney has also supported movements to ban fracking and fox hunting in the UK. Such is the extent of McCartney’s philanthropy that many people seem to have forgotten that he was one of the most famous rock stars in the world.
In 2015 he collaborated with Kanye West and Rihanna on the song FourFiveSeconds. That led one Kanye fan to write on social media: “props to Kanye for giving up and coming artists like Paul McCartney a chance in the industry.”
There’s no doubting that today’s rock stars are a little less notorious from the ones of the late 20th century. You don’t hear much about crazy parties and wild dressing room stories featuring the likes of Chris Martin, for example. So perhaps Bono, Grohl and McCartney may have had more influence on the world of music than they’ve previously been credited for – transforming a whole generation of music stars into do-gooders.