Yes, I read an article about Justin Bieber in GQ.
But the way his life is built around him is going to make that very difficult. There’s too much riding on his “brand” for him to get dinged and knocked around and punched in the face, to suffer—and to bounce back from—the kind of traumas that make a child into an adult. My mission was to make a man out of Bieber. The label’s mission is to make a man out of Bieber. The only person who isn’t ready to make a man out of Bieber is Bieber. He wants to be 18. He wants to be a swaggy bro—he seems incapable of being anything else—and that’s as it should be. Manhood can wait.
Being plucked out of obscurity via a YouTube video and thrown in to modern celebrity would make just about anyone insane. If Bieber can make it through the next 10 years without some sort of serious breakdown it’ll be a testament to his family upbringing or to the best therapists money can buy.
I’m not becoming a Bielieber or buying any of his music anytime soon. What I am is a fan of music and the people and industry behind it.
Which got me thinking.
As great as it might be to have near instant access to your favourite musicians and artists through Twitter, YouTube videos and other social media – what made the bands of the past so great, in part, was the mythology and story created by good writers who crafted something better than 140 character tweets written by a PR team.
I’m a huge U2 fan. But it wasn’t their music that drew me in to becoming a fan(atic). I liked the music. It wasn’t until reading U2: At the End of the World by Bill Flanagan that I really became a fan. Reading the story behind the music and the concerts, written by a great story teller, turned me into a real fan of the band.
So not that a single GQ article is going to make me a Bielieber. But it’s part of the tradition of building a musician and an artist through storytelling. If Bieber can make it through the next 10 years, maybe I’ll be buying his comeback album after he goes through rehab and therapy.