35 of 365: A bit more on sex and drugs and rock and roll

Yesterday I blogged about actors and rock stars being spoilt brats and after I’d posted it, I was thinking about other stuff I could have added.

In September 2013, Rihanna came to Australia for a concert tour. Her first Australian concert was in Perth on the 24th, then in Adelaide on the 26th.

She’d managed to piss off her Perth fans by rocking up forty minutes late, but that was nothing compared to how she treated her Adelaide fans. My hairdresser went and she told me Rihanna was nearly an hour and a half late and when she finally decided to put in an appearance she staggered on stage, drunk. (Friends of friends who had backstage passes said it took 4 people to drag her out of the limo. She was kicking and screaming and refusing to budge!)

Naturally enough, the audience were pretty peeved with her so they booed and instead of apologising or explaining, she yelled at them, “Do you know how long it takes to get to this fucking country.”

Gee, so sorry to inconvenience you. It must have been tough in first-class Rihanna. Or maybe you did it harder in a private jet? And didn’t you stop off in the Philippines first for one concert on the 19th? That’s not that far away. Less than a seven hour flight. And five days off between gigs is pretty cruisey.

Spoilt brat!

Anyway …

She got started and for about the first 15 minutes her back-up singers did all the work. After running off-stage and puking, she came back and finally bothered to do her job.

Most of the people in that audience would have had to work a good 8 hours or more to be able to afford a ticket to see her perform for about 2 hours. Rihanna, on the other hand, collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for one-quarter of an average day’s work.

Why was she drunk? Why was she late? Why was she so full of contempt for her fans?

If us average Joe’s rocked up to work drunk, we’d be fired. But people like Rihanna don’t get fired. They just use the old, ‘I’m an artist’ excuse for bad behaviour. They have people who gloss things over for them. People who clean up their messes. And if all else fails, a quick stint in rehab gets people back on-side.

By the end of the concert, according to news reports, she was already forgiven. No wonder she doesn’t give a shit and will just be late and drunk again. Fans will put up with anything. They’ll still buy her records and see her in concert. The money will continue to flow in.

Rihanna’s one of the lucky ones. She’s living her dreams. She’s made it. There are thousands of people in the world who would dearly love just a small piece of what Rihanna and her ilk have. So many people strive to fulfil their artistic dreams and never do. They take rejection after rejection, knock after knock.

Why does success come to some, and not others? And why to those who end up soaking themselves in booze and snorting or injecting half of Columbia’s drug crops?

When you’re an artist who dreams of working in a field that nurtures your soul, and that dream continually eludes you, it seems unfair to witness those who have achieved their ambitions treat it so glibly.

It is a big deal to be successful in your chosen field – artistic or otherwise. And to take it for granted is, to my mind, an insult to everyone out there who hasn’t been so blessed.


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