I am fascinated, because I don’t quite understand it, by the moment when I decide an artist’s personal life makes it impossible for me to enjoy his or her art. Like this morning “I Love the Way You Lie” came on and at the same time that I was thinking “Wow, that’s a good song,” I realized I was turning the channel. It kind of took me aback.
I think it’s an intensely personal decision and reaction when an artist’s behavior becomes something you just can’t get past, so please don’t think I’m dogging on anyone if they still love Eminem. Instead, I’m just wondering what it is that makes a person, in this case me, turn the channel one morning, when any other morning she’d be watching.
It’s funny. I remember being so into Guns & Roses as a kid. I can remember, as I’ve told you before I’m sure, sitting in Chorus in middle school when Taryn Berta sneaked up to the tape player while Mrs. Wise was out of the room and dropped her tape in and out came the opening strains of “Welcome to the Jungle” and I was blown away. I knew I was hearing something you were not supposed to tell adults about.
But by the end of high school, I bought the Use Your Illusions albums, but I remember being… frustrated… I guess that it sounded so… big, pretentious, I guess. And then there was Nirvana. And once I heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” I just couldn’t bring myself to continue to love Guns & Roses.
Eh, maybe that’s not the same as Eminem. Just that I remember being so newly in North Carolina and sitting in the parking lot before heading into work listening to “My Name Is…” and just laughing with delight, like, yep, here’s something delightfully weird. And now, I’d rather hear something else.