Hearne: What ‘The Boss,’ Sarah Palin, Charlie Sheen, Macaulay Culkin & Paula Abdul Have in Common

Let’s have a little fun, shall we?

Check out entertainment industry lawyer and blogger Bob Lefsetz sobering takes on some of your favorite music and entertainment industry icons:

On Charlie Sheen

If you’re on TV as an end unto itself, you’re close to the end. Just wait for cancellation or the termination of your contract. An analogue is Charlie Sheen. He’s only good as a TV star, he can’t go back on the road, his cable show gets him paid but he’s fallen off the radar screen, he’s never on TMZ or Radar. Charlie made the mistake of not knowing who he was. And not knowing that everybody’s got a boss. Hell, that’s the goal of being a rock star, to have no boss, which is why when you whore yourself out to corporations, you’re in trouble. A rock star’s only boss is his audience. And when done right, your audience follows you, just ask Neil Young.


On Paula Abdul

Being famous for being famous doesn’t pay that well. Certainly once you’re past your peak. Just ask Paris Hilton. (As for Kim Kardashian…just because she got her ass through the door, don’t think it hasn’t shut closed, that this paradigm isn’t dead.) Abdul’s always looking for someone else to make her a deal. Today’s rock stars are their own corporations. If you’re looking for someone else to give you a check, you’re barely different from Paula Abdul. As for the starmakers who created her public persona… Jordan Harris hasn’t been heard from in eons, and even Jeff Ayeroff has faded into the woodwork.


On Macaulay Culkin

His only press is emaciated pictures and rumors that he’s dying. If you think you want to be a child actor, just look at him, he was the biggest.


On Bon Jovi

Selling nostalgia. He’s too afraid to be edgy, so he’s on the scrapheap.


On Bruce Springsteen

Only the fans care. Because he gave up his mystery. Once upon a time Bruce was the repository of all our darkness, our pain and frustration. If he’s still that guy, he won’t show it. Now he’s the ringmaster, the court jester, it’s all about sheen and no substance. And if you’re arguing with me I feel sorry for you, it means your head is so buried in your own crap that you can’t dispassionately see the landscape. Keep your day job, because you’ll never be a bigwig. Winners know when to leave their passion at the door. That’s businessmen, artists are all about passion. No passion, no artistry.


On Tom Wolfe

Spends nearly a decade writing a book that is essentially dead on arrival. Reviews might not mean anything in music, barely more in film, but in literature, they’re everything, because it takes so long to read a damn book! Wolfe missed the memo. Who he once was is king once again. He should be writing a constant stream of essays, being in front of your audience is everything today.


On Warner Brothers Records

Home to the artist through every generation until the last one, now remade in the Atlantic image it’s the home of evanescent hits. Only it hasn’t got any. It’s too late to resuscitate it and it can’t be merged with Atlantic, not yet anyway, it’s in a death spiral.

On Jerry Seinfeld

Stay in the public eye long enough and the truth is revealed. Larry David was the talent. Jerry’s losing cred every day. If you think his talking in cars videos were worth watching, you’re probably still playing video games on your Nintendo Entertainment System.


On Nokia

Do you know anybody with a Nokia phone? Those who’ve still got ’em aren’t admitting it.

On The People Saying The Web Is Bad

Probably hanging with those who hated Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. The Web is here to stay. And only ignorant bastards like John Mellencamp are too stupid to realize it’s not 2003 anymore, and that if you’re fighting piracy, if you’re looking to Google for cash, you’ve never used Spotify, you don’t realize music is free on Windows 8 and you didn’t read Google’s numbers and don’t know mobile is a huge threat to the company. If you’re not living in tomorrow, you’ve got no chance today.


On The Rolling Stones

On a victory lap where people truly hope someone dies on stage. It’s akin to NASCAR, people watch to see the crashes. Then again, there’s a healthy dose of nostalgia for an era so long ago that even the Stones can’t replicate those tunes, never mind the energy. If the press were smart, they’d ignore the story. But the press is dumb.


On Jim McMahon

Can’t remember his Super Bowl victory. If you don’t think football is gonna go extinct, rather soon, you still think people know who the heavyweight champion is and you’ve got no idea what percentage of kids play soccer.


On Sarah Palin

The laugh is on us. She and her family got rich. The more you bitched how ignorant she was, the fatter her wallet became. Now even Fox doesn’t want her, but she doesn’t care! She’s lived the American Dream!



The new can go extinct. Hell, just watch Zynga!


Uh, so much for pop culture icons, right?

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26 Responses to Hearne: What ‘The Boss,’ Sarah Palin, Charlie Sheen, Macaulay Culkin & Paula Abdul Have in Common

  1. Jim says:

    Interesting read. If you want a good look at the lunacy of the Republican political machine, look no further than Sarah Palin. I’m not excluding the Dem’s and all their foibles, but Palin is the poster child of the right-wing fanatic’s total infatuation with style over substance. The fact that she is border line retarded and still mananged to make millions is probably more of a commentary on the American people than it is on her.

    HC: I’m with you

    • Craig Glazer says:

      Agreed, let me get this straight, Charlie Sheen worth an estimated 400 million and climbing is now A NO SHOW? WTF, HOW MUCH more recent press do you want..he is still everywhere, the guy needed a break…same old thing here, they love you on the way up and hate you when you peek..so they love the fall, so ‘loser us’…never was people….the child star is mostly not a biggy cause he is gay and can’t deal with it…thus the drugs and booze od’s…

  2. Rick Nichols says:

    So the moral of the story is this: be careful what you wish for. Fame is fleeting at best, and the riches of this world cannot buy love, happiness or immortality. One should strive, then, to be comfortable in his own skin, make friends whenever and wherever possible, develop a wide range of interests, enjoy the simple gifts of life, and cherish fully each and every day he’s given on this granite planet.

  3. Gully says:

    When’s the last time you saw Bruce live? Still the best live concert around. Intellectuals (and pseudo-intellectuals) can toss out verbiage with no substance, but Bruce (and band) can take you to a different level. Actually, if you were to substitute Madonna for Bruce, then it would make sense.
    BTW, it’s “winners use the door”. Here’s the whole line:
    “Windows are for cheaters chimneys for the poor
    Closets are for hangers winners use the door”

    • Jim says:

      Only the best live concert around IF you like Bruce. Personally, I wouldn’t walk across the street to see Bruce and if he were at my house I wouldn’t go home. That is no commentary on Bruce. He’s just not my cup of tea. Never has been. Musicians and politicians. Everyone can’t share the same opinion of good and bad.

  4. Pat McGroin says:

    I never drank the Springsteen Flavor-Aid.

  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    I got to experience Springsteen when he was still doing open mics and such. I bought Greeting From Asbury Park at Tiger’s Records, purely on the cover. Then Manfred Mann started covering his songs too.

    When Landau came on the scene, he took Bruce out of rock n roll and tried to make him a modern-day Woody Guthrie. IMO, the music suffered.

    Rosalita is arguably the best rock n roll song ever. Perfect amount of cowbell.

  6. gerald bostock says:

    This commentary was pretty inane. Does anybody not know that the Rolling Stones are old? People close to celebrating 50-year anniversaries are old.
    Are we surprised that Bruce Springsteen, after at least 37 years as one of the biggest rock stars in the world, no longer has any mystery?
    Oh, and here’s bulletin–a once powerful record label is now floundering…maybe because record sales have plummeted in what is now an online file-downloading world.
    The only thing he left out was that newspapers are having a hard time.

    • Craig Glazer says:

      My point exactly, you can never really win…if you die…well he had more left too bad…if you live, he’s a has been…no winning.

  7. mark smith says:

    Not a Palin fan, but if you think she is a mouth breather just this side of retardation, you are dumber than you think she is. As for here relationship with the GOP, she re-energized the base, fired up the Tea Party people, and helped usurp 60 seats from the libs in the house. so whats that say for the Dems? Dumb she aint. Crazy, maybe a little.

    • Jim says:

      The fact that Tea-Baggers get fired up over Palin speaks to the intelligence of the tea-baggers themselves. I have to admit the chick ain’t hard to look at. But, put her mouth and brain on some overweight, bulldog-looking woman and she never would have left to chilly confines of Wasilla. Never.

      • the dude says:

        Eh, I think she looks like Peggy Hill from King of the Hill but if you are into the school marm glasses thing then more power to ya.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Palin was trained in the media. She is a performance artist and the depths of her thoughts will barely wet your feet.

      She is a walking, talking, performing representation of how propaganda works.

  8. chuck says:

    Springsteen, Bono and a host of musicians sure humped their azzes to South Africa when it was so, so clubby and chic to help folks end Apartheid, but now that white folks, 4,000 of them so far as the toll keeps rising, are being murdered, raped and destroyed, not a fu**in peep.


    It’s always easy to follow the crowd in Hollywood, and Springsteen, Bono and the cabal of pusillanimous pukes who ran their mouths and followed the that same crowd are now, silent.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      South Africa is the prime example of what happens when decent folks allow criminals and murderers to run your country. I am of course speaking of the Boers. Of course the Dutch practically invented the slave trade. In a very real sense it was Dame Karma biting them in the ass.

      There are some very legitimate reasons why a lot of people hate white folks.

      Pretty powerful folks if just saying I Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City can remove a corrupt government without firing a shot.

  9. Pingback: Hearne: What 'The Boss,' Sarah Palin, Charlie Sheen, Macaulay … — Sarah Palin - Palin Fail

  10. PB says:

    Sobering takes…really? The Stones are old…Springsteen is no longer cutting edge…MaCauley Caulkins career on the skids and who the hell would even bother to waste keystrokes on Paula Abdul? Yeah, Lefsetz really exposed those cultural icons. Spewing cliched criticisms that could have been pulled from almost any blog over the last 5-10 years. Is that what he and worse, you for cutting and pasting, been reduced to? Don’t you already have Kelly Urich for this kind of crap?

    Irony is strong in this case, dissing these “icons” current relevance when it would seem that KC Confidential is where many former KC-area “celebs” come to die. Almost can’t wait for the forthcoming Mancow post denouncing all the pussy NYers/Jerseyites for their post-Sandy problems.

  11. Lou Brown says:

    Hey, at least Macauley Culkin was nailing Mila Kunis for years, so he’s got that going for him.

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