Does a person’s personal life affect the manner in which his/her music is perceived? The past few days have seen this question pop up in my brain frequently. The king of pop is dead, his legions of loyal fans exhort the media and the masses to show some respect for his genius as an artist. Most people are unable to detach Michael’s apparently sub-human behavior from his musical talents.
Ironically most musicians look at their music as an expression of who they are. The vibrant music of the 70’s and 80’s come to mind. Lennon’s fervor against the war seeped through into his music. He used his music as a weapon against the US government who found him an annoying threat and tried their best to get rid of him, deportation being one of the means.
Jimi Hendrix wasn’t as vocal as Lennon about the war, but some of his songs do come to mind, namely machine gun and his version of the national anthem. The rolling stones’s notoriety and misbehavior lend more color to their music.
My perspective on this topic is subjective. If I like an artist’s personality and message, I might give their music a try; on the other hand if I like a person’s music, I might ignore their character flaws. In the end, music is the winner.