Greed, betrayals – scandalous biographies

Reading one of our Swedish tabloids…. On today’s news is the Swedish king’s former mistress from the pop act Army of Lovers – Camilla Henemark, also known as “La Camilla“. 

Nobody gave a fuck about her for years. Now she sees her opportunity to get her ass back in the spotlight with the help of an autobiography where she exposes every celebrity that she’s somehow been “involved” with.

It’s been all over the news because she supposedly had an affair with the king of Sweden – and now she’s giving us the details – woo hoo. They were throwing sushi at eachother, rolling around on the floor, whatever whatever. Too much info. 

 

My question is… Why do I need to know this? To me it’s just as uncomfortable as listening to a stranger’s private conversation on the bus. It’s none of my business. Your food-fights are between you and the other person. whether it’s your neighbor or the King of fucking Sweden.

Why is this considered useful information for anyone else – at all? All this nasty crap is beginning to bug me. La Camilla is far from the first or the only one who’s done this. 

Another one that comes to mind is a Swedish rock journalist who I used to admire and look up to when I was a teenager. I’m not so sure that the respect I once had is so intact anymore.

A while back he wrote his memoirs – and made sure to include all the dirt and nasty details he could think of about the “rock stars” he had gotten close to throughout the years.

When asked about it, he said that it’s all cool, he had asked all the exposed artists if they were okay with it and according to him they’ve all been absolutely thrilled about being hung out to dry.

So, he’s basically cashing in on the fact that he’s been a part of the industry and was lucky enough to see and hear all those “juicy” things. It’s of course HIS choice how he chooses to portray himself, but how much of a choice was it for the people mentioned in the bio?

Now he’s written an unauthorized biography about Yngwie Malmsteen, kind of saying that it’s the only way to get “the truth” as Yngwie himself doesn’t like NOT being adored.
Well – that last part I actually do believe, because Yngwie is kind of “special” that way. :) 

The point that I’m gettig at here is that it’s become a trend to expose other people for your own benefit.

It’s been done many many times, especially by groupies whose only claim to fame is that they’ve fucked guys who managed to do something with their lives and got famous for their music. So – a blowjob or a few orgies is all it takes to make a groupie a celebrity. Easy.

People haven’t evolved since they were cheering at gladiators killing eachother in a ring or watching witches being burned at the stake.

Someone else’s misery is enjoyable to so many. As much in 2012 as in 2012 B.C.

Groupies are one thing, seems that some of them are only doing it to get themselves a bit of the spotlight (although, I see a big difference between the “old school” groupies such as Pamela DesBarres or Bebe Buell and the modern groupie chicks ). 

But… when it comes to people who have been close to a band – such as managers, crew people, girlfriends, wives, journalists…. To me it feels like it’s an unwritten rule that if you’re part of the circus, be cool about it for christ’s sake. It’s like any other kind of friendship – where’s the loyalty and the integrity when you go public with the things you’ve seen when being a part of the rock’n’roll package??

That old saying “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is a rule that applies to the world of music as well. Whatever happens on tour….

None of these “authors” would like their own dirty laundry on display – the difference is that the celebrity can’t hit back with the same weapon, because nobody gives a shit about….a nobody. 

It’s an abuse of power that’s really disturbing, when people who have had the opportunity to get to know someone in the entertainment-industry, suddenly decide to dig out all those secrets that were supposed to be kept private – and turn it into public entertainment.

I’ve been betrayed by friends, people I trusted, and it’s a horrible feeling. For most of us it doesn’t become public knowledge. As a celebrity you’re always risking that. It blows when some make rock stars or movie stars targets for these “reveal it all” sort of books. It’s fucking crap and I lose respect for the people who do it. They would sell their mother if they could benefit from it. 

This might be a stupid example because it’s on a totally different level than the Yngwie or the “I screwed the king”-thing, but two years ago I had an idea to write a book about the time spent with Jon Oliva’s Pain. It was supposed to be something from a different perspective as I’m not a groupie so it would be written from an angle that people might not be used to.

But after maybe 50 pages or so, I gave up. It just didn’t feel right. Where do you draw the line between privacy and what’s okay to expose in public?

These people welcomed me into their life on the road, shared whatever was theirs with me – food, bus, whatever, and most of all, they always welcomed me with open arms everywhere. And most of them are still my friends. 

Not that there was any “Motley Crue” sort of dirt to expose, but just in general – what would they be cool with and what would be stepping over boundaries…? It wasn’t as obvious as I had thought when I first began. I just ditched the whole thing.

I’ve written about “rock stars” for 25 years now. I admit that I made some mistakes, especially when I was younger, because I was so eager to build myself a career and show that I was as tough as the journalists I thought were cool at the time. I wanted to get to the top, no matter what.

I was thrown into this crazy circus as a teenager and was schooled in the world of tabloids. Whatever made a good story was okay, no matter who you hurt in the process or how much of an ass you had to be to get the scoop. I used to think that was true. I don’t anymore and I haven’t for many years.

Photo

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This (article above) from the early 90’s was my wake-up call.
Sebastian Bach called one evening, as a friend – not an interview. They were off the road and in the studio, recording for what was to become “Slave To The Grind“. After the call I figured it was a “world exclusive” as they weren’t doing interviews at the time. So I turned the private call into a sensation article for the biggest music magazine in Sweden – OKEJ.

I felt horrible shortly after seeing it published, it was so wrong. Guess you don’t learn your lesson unless you’ve already screwed up. I talked to Baz about it after, apologized from the bottom of my heart. He took it a lot better than I had, to him it was just publicity and he was cool with it. However, I NEVER did that again, goddamn awful…!

If an editor in chief wants me to dig up the dirt on someone, to sell a few extra copies of a magazine, he can count me out. Find someone else to do it. I want to sleep at night with a clear conscience – I’m not in this business to be an asshole and I’m not in it for the money either. I got in it for the love of music when I was a teenager and to this day it’s still the sole reason why I’m still here.

I’ve seen and heard plenty of shit throughout the years (especially hanging with Skid Row in their heyday, you can imagine…) but I’ve deliberately left out the worst and juciest stories. Those I’m taking with me to the grave.

I was there because someone trusted me and enjoyed my company as a friend. And regardless what happens, that’s what I’ll remain. A friend doesn’t go writing books about things that were once said or done in confidence.

Everything is of course always subject to your own evaluation and judgement. I’ve written about stuff that I thought was funny or just as a piece of trivia, but nowadays I’m definitely not interested in remembering the eighties and nineties for the sake of causing a “sensation”. 

Fuck that. It’s tasteless and greedy and it just shows that the people who write these books really have no morals whatsoever. Could be that the people they’re writing about are total pigs and “deserve” being exposed, but at the end of the day, it’s not about who other people choose to be. It’s who YOU choose to be. It’s always about oneself, not others. 

It’s one thing to write your autobiography, but leave the nastiness out of it and don’t make decisions for someone else what should or shouldn’t become public knowledge. There’s already a Metal Sludge, the world doesn’t need more of that.

 

One comment

  1. CB

    This is nothing new, but it has become ‘normal’ with the ease of communication these days, and everyone not just wanting, but expecting attention, good or bad. I check Blabbermouth regularly for info on bands I like, but for every one bit of news I find worthwhile, there’ll be 50 about non musical drama and anything to get hits and sell advertising.I always admired your accounts for their detail and vividity, without gossip and negative crap, unless it was part of YOUR travels. You focus on the music, the positives of that, and you still do it better than anyone.

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