Your Take: Time Off for Bad Behavior?

Ken Morton, Jr. | October 13th, 2012

Over the last few weeks and months, a couple of country music’s major players have gotten themselves in trouble with some of their actions.

Randy Travis has been in the headlines for all the wrong things. Rolling Stone covered it in their magazine:

Plano police told the AP that Travis got involved in an argument between a woman he knows and her estranged husband in a church parking lot. Although nobody was hurt in the incident, Travis and the woman both received citations for the Class C misdemeanor of simple assault.

It was a relatively low-key incident compared to the events that brought the Grammy-winning singer into the public eye on August 7, when Travis was found lying naked in a North Texas road next to his 1998 Trans Am, which he had just crashed into some construction zone barricades. When police detained him for driving while intoxicated, Travis threatened to shoot and kill them. He was charged with DWI as well as felony retaliation or obstruction, and released on $21,500 bail after spending the night in jail.

In a separate incident, photographers caught Jason Aldean kissing and being a little too friendly with former American Idol alumna Brittany Kerr. The photos made the rounds on the internet and made the front page of Fox and ABC News sites. Aldean then made the following statement on his Facebook page:

The truth is that I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar. I left alone, caught the bus to our next show and that’s the end of the story. I ultimately ended up embarrassing my family and myself. I’m not perfect, and I’m sorry for disappointing you guys. I really appreciate being able to work through this privately with my family and for all your continued support.

Give us your take: do the indiscretions of musicians have any impact on your listening habits? Do personal ethics affect your buying or listening habits? Do you care about their personal lives or just the music they play?

  1. Ben Foster
    October 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

    In general, I only care about the music they play. I tend to mentally seperate the artist’s music from the artist’s behavior, because I think great art is great art regardless, and I wouldn’t want to deprive myself of enjoying great music because of what the artist does behind the scenes or in their personal lives (which I don’t really consider my business).

    Of course, I suppose there’s a chance an artist might do something that disgusts me enough to sap my listening enjoyment, but I can’t think of any instances in which that’s happened. I was never much of a Jason Aldean fan to begin, but I still listen to Randy Travis, and I still listen to LeAnn Rimes even after her infidelity and subsequent divorce.

  2. Mike Wimmer
    October 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Depends on what the crime/incident/controversy is about obviously. In general however I tend to lean mostly towards just listening to their music and ignoring the rest.

    The Jason Aldean thing, while I’m not much of a fan, was funny to me only because his record label and management team had built him up to be this family man and that really tore down that idea. It really made it clear what a joke the hyper sanitized images of most artist really are.

  3. Andrew
    October 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    For me it’s all about the music, with Eric Church being a great example. Every time the guy does an interview he gives me another reason not to like him, but the music is good, so I’ll still listen.

  4. Paul W Dennis
    October 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    There are things someone could do to get me to stop buying the music and perhaps even purge my collection of their music – such as really sadistic behavior or being a child molester – barring that I just fudge the music itself

  5. KC
    October 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Like others have said, an artist’s behavior doesn’t usually affect my willingness to listen to their music.

    I do think it affects my willingness to see them in concert. I probably wouldn’t want to see Randy Travis now because I couldn’t be sure he would be in control of his behavior on stage. I wouldn’t want to watch a show by someone who is drunk. I think it would affect my enjoyment of the show a little also if I knew that the person on stage was a jerk to everyone when off the stage.

  6. Thomas
    October 14, 2012 at 4:59 am

    …what would be the appropriate dress to get terminally rid of a crap motor like a 98 trans am anyway?

    fair enough, naked looks a little sparsely dressed on first glimpse, but who wants to ruin his best jeans and boots for something like that.

    he didn’t lie in the middle of a crossroad, did he?

  7. Adam Sheets
    October 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    As a big fan of Johnny Paycheck, I must take the position of Charles Barkley that it’s not the job of a celebrity to be a good role model or even a good person, but rather to entertain the people who buy their music, watch their movies, etc. In other words, O.J. Simpson the individual belongs in prison, while O.J. Simpson the football player belongs in the Hall of Fame. The same method applies to musicians, in my opinion.

    No matter what Randy Travis has done this year or what he may do in the future, he released “Storms of Life” in 1986 and it’s one of the best country albums of the decade. As for Aldean, I don’t stay away from his music based on how he conducts himself when he is offstage or out of the studio, but rather on how he conducts himself when he is.

  8. Rick
    October 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    It will surprise no regulars here to know that with me its primarily about politics. If a music artist is an “outspoken” public supporter of Democrats (and especially Obama), then they go on my “Sh*t List” until such time they “see the light” so to speak (a rare thing indeed). If they keep it to themselves then I don’t care so much, but artists who actively support politicians and policies that are destructive to this country aren’t going to get a dime from me! If they choose to announce to the world that they are political “useful idiots”, then that is their right but I’m sure not going to support their foolishness.

    (Come on Ken, I’m not doing any name calling here, well not much anyway…lol)

    Apart from politics any behavior that harms other people (and I’m not talking break-ups here) or is morally offensive can also land artists on my “Sh*t List” in a hurry! In the case of Randy Travis his actions just make me feel pity but in no way affect my listening habits.

  9. Redd Dirt
    October 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Rick, if you were having a heart attack would you first ask the paramedics their political party affiliation before you allowed them to treat you? Crickey!

  10. Jon
    October 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Really. Because, after all, entertainers and paramedics have basically the same jobs – only the outfits are different – and aesthetic enjoyment and staying alive are indistinguishable. Sheesh.

  11. idlewildsouth
    October 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

    For me, as a practicing Christian, I feel that my faith gives me certain guidelines as it pertains to “condoning” lifestyles, and so that does come into play when making these decisions. That being said, there’s no real blanket answer for me. I typically sort of play by the heart, depending on how I feel led.

    For instance, assuming I listened to Jason Aldean, his most recent transgression probably wouldn’t keep me from listening to his music. There’s nothing in the music, specifically, that glorifies doing something inappropriate while married. Since the music doesn’t glorify something I think is wrong that he happened to get caught doing, and my bible says grace is for everyone, even those that sin in front of everyone, I’m willing to give him a pass on this misstep and let him and his wife work through it. Others, though, might have songs that have content offensive to me, in which case I won’t listen to it.

    As far as politics go, I am also a pretty hardcore conservative, but as long as someones politics are well written into their songs, and when they speak of them elsewhere they are respectful, I can appreciate the art and be ok with them not agreeing with me.

  12. Adam Sheets
    October 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I really don’t care about an artist’s politics, but it is a pet peeve for me if an artist actively campaigns for either a Republican or a Democrat as if both aren’t equally at fault for the problems our country has faced for the past 150 years or so. But I try not to let the ignorance that they probably see as well-intentioned have an effect on my overall view of them.

  13. Sam G.
    October 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I don’t pay much attention to an artist’s political leanings or personal habits, and my favorite singers range from people who walked off the stage because he smelled marajuana smoke to someone who tried to eat a Beach Boys album while on an LSD trip.

    The only person whose behavior has really turned me off their music is Hank Williams Jr., and that was more for his pretty blatant racist and homophobic comments than it was for his political views.

  14. Adam Sheets
    October 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I have to disagree regarding Hank Jr. What I always loved about his classic period (roughly 1975-1986) was his outspokenness on various topics, some that I agree with him on, some that I don’t. Then he lost that for a long time and seemed to be little more than a Monday Night Football spokesman and Kid Rock’s redneck caricature sidekick. I love his new record because it feels like a return to form with Bocephus saying exactly what’s on his mind, whether it’s on anyone else’s mind or not.

  15. Redd Dirt
    October 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Really. Because, after all, entertainers and paramedics have basically the same jobs – only the outfits are different – and aesthetic enjoyment and staying alive are indistinguishable. Sheesh.

    I was being facetious.

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