Rock's Worst Career Moves

Bob Dylan's Christmas album is just the latest in a long line
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2009 5:15 PM CDT
Jerry Lee Lewis holds his second cousin and third wife Myra Brown in his lap at a press conference in London, May 23, 1958.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Bob Dylan’s decision to record a Christmas album is certainly ill-advised—“fans may have stuck by him throughout the musically self-destructive late '60s, the God-bothering late '70s, and the Grateful Dead-collaborating-Madonna-imitating mid '80s, but surely even Bob's fans have a limit,” writes John Matthew Hall for the Independent. But Dylan’s not alone; Hall offers up the worst disasters in rock and roll careers, from John Lennon to Michael Jackson:

  • Jerry Lee Lewis: “Things were going pretty well for Jerry Lee Lewis until 1958”—when he secretly married his 13-year-old cousin.
  • David Bowie and Eric Clapton: “One of the 10 rock and roll commandments appears to be Thou Must Have Leftist Political Leanings, so when musicians make blatant right-wing statements, you can expect their career to suffer at the hands of alienated fans.”
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Boss fired the E-Street Band in 1989; “cue an immediate slump in commercial appeal, muted critical response, and accusations he was ‘going Hollywood.’”
  • Paul McCartney and John Lennon: Both went downhill as soon as they started making music with their wives—or, in Lennon’s case, “hanging around in bed instead of making music.”
  • Michael Jackson: Martin Bashir’s 2002 documentary “not only confirmed rumors of Jackson's increasing eccentricity but also managed to reignite the debate over his relationship with children,” and the singer never recovered.
For the complete list, click the link below.

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