“Evil, why have you engulfed so many hearts…
Evil, why have you destroyed so many minds…
Leaving room for darkness, where lost dreams can hide.”
As nights grow longer, days fall shorter, and the crisp October air chills, the presence of evil lurks about. Whether it’s down a silent alley, squashed underneath our beds, or behind that lonesome trash can rattling in the wind, its power is felt and understood. Sometimes, though, evil surfaces when we’re least expecting it — like, say, in our music.
Songs, albums, artwork, music videos… they’ve all frozen our bones in the past. Where they all lead to, however, is what we really should fear: the musicians. More often than not, it’s the songwriter that draws the most ire, spreading terror outside of their music and into our world, where we can only shake our heads in disbelief (and sometimes disgust).
That’s why for this year’s Halloween season Consequence of Sound is leaving it up to you, the reader, to seek out said evil yourselves. Over the last week, our staff has pared down a list of eight names from 60 possible suitors; those we feel could rub shoulders with the very oogiest of boogeymen. Who is the most evil? Who stares deepest into our souls? You must decide.
Fortunately for you, the decision is as simple as a one-click vote on each match up. We’ll provide our arguments for each name, and you’l have one week to decide until the next bracket begins the following Thursday. If all goes according to plan, the final victor will officially be feared on October 31st.
So, lock your doors, bolt your windows and turn off the lights… and then vote.
Phil Spector vs. GG Allin
Phil Spector is a mad genius who could never lose that lovin’ feelin’. Unfortunately, the objects of his affections tend to be high powered firearms and femme fatales that refused to just be his baby. The 73 year old producer extraordinaire and innovative mind behind the wall of sound recording technique is currently serving 19 to life for the fatal 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson within his palatial estate. Spector argued that this scenario of ultra violence was not murder but instead an accidental suicide brought on by Clarkson’s fondness for “kissing his gun.”
Regardless of which story you believe, Spector’s outlandish behavior, violent mood swings, predilection for bullets have all been part of his modus operandi for decades. Never content to just let it be, Spector placed a heavy amount of drive into years of shooting up recording studios, bullying artists to achieve musical perfection, and donning preposterous wigs to cover scars left over from the 700 restorative cranial stitches he suffered in a 1974 car accident. If that’s not a supervillain origin story then I don’t know what is. –Dan Pfleegor
Born Jesus Christ Allin, after his father claimed the Son of God visited him in a dream, GG Allin, the Madman of Manchester (New Hampshire), was anything but anointed, unless of course you’re talking about covering oneself in blood and fecal matter. Called “uncontrollable, uncompromising and vicious” by his own band members, Allin fronted various acts all with subversive or shocking names: The Jabbers, The Cedar Street Sluts, The Scumfucs, and The Texas Nazis.
Addicted to heroin and alcohol, Allin took to consuming laxatives as he regularly began defecating on stage during his performances, often rubbing the feces on himself or throwing it on the audience he consistently attacked. His mantra? “With GG, you don’t get what you expect—you get what you deserve.” Every Halloween, he threatened to kill himself (only to get arrested every year), until he finally did, albeit by an accidental overdose of heroin, in the summer of ‘93. –Len Comaratta
Chief Keef vs. Courtney Love
At only 18 years old, Keith Cozart, a.k.a. Chief Keef, has a rap sheet that’s longer than his discography, having been arrested for heroin distribution, pointing loaded guns at cops, violating his parole, and going two times the speed limit with too many passengers in the car. The Chicago emcee was also investigated in connection with the murder of Lil JoJo, a fellow local rapper who was part of a rival gang, following a series of tweets that mocked his death.
With promising cosigns from artists like Kanye West and Birdman, the “I Don’t Like” rapper has a lot of time and plenty of opportunities to save face, but he’s yet to show any interest in doing so. In the meantime, his own Glory Boyz Entertainment label continues to grow, leaving us to speculate where the career of this troubled rapper/security risk might end up. –Pat Levy
Widow to Kurt Cobain, former Hole singer, and freight train of madness Courtney Love has derailed countless times in her long-storied career. Her erratic personality and litany of substance abuse problems have created a sordid melting pot of chaos, which has boiled over from bad to really bad to out of control. In the past, she’s lost custody of her child, Frances Bean Cobain, attempted suicide multiple times, and attacked celebrities and fans both verbally and physically.
Reckless, tragic, and unpredictable don’t even begin to describe Love. Google her name and “crazy moments” and you’ll find more than a dozen lists all with various jaw-dropping stories, from being accused of killing her daughter’s pets to almost bashing a journalist’s head in with Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar. In the words of Johnny Carson, it’s all “wild and wacky stuff,” but whether or not she’s pure evil…well, that’s up for debate. Personally? She’s an anti-hero I’ve fallen in love with. –Michael Roffman
Chris Brown vs. Gary Glitter
Chris Brown beats women, lies about doing community service, and picks fights with Frank Ocean. Chris Brown throws chairs and pounds his chest and tattoos Rihanna’s mangled face on his neck. Chris Brown hates you, yet you continue to love him. Well, not you probably, but there’s whole Tumblrs devoted to women saying Chris Brown could “beat me anytime.” And that’s why Chris Brown isn’t just vile, but frustrating. He’s essentially a James Ellroy villain made manifest, the kind that doesn’t just get away, but continues to thrive in spite of his crimes.
In lieu of contrition, Brown layers on the braggadocio, conveying all the signs of a sociopathic narcissist. Sure, he’s owned up to the deteriorative nature of the public’s blowback, but only in how it affects his career. It’s humanity the public wants, but humanity’s the last thing Chris Brown is willing to show. Oh, and last weekend he bragged about losing his virginity at the age of eight. So there’s that. –Randall Colburn
“Rock and Roll (Part 2)” – also known as “The Hey Song” and best recognized as an overplayed stadium anthem that sits comfortably beside “We Will Rock You” in the pantheon of tunes that appeal to base instincts – emerged from the glammed up and twisted mind of Gary Glitter in 1972. Glitter was a man of few lyrics who hid something sinister behind his sculpted eyebrows and shiney stage jackets. The whispers of impropriety that followed Glitter for decades finally came to the public’s attention after a busted hard drive of child pornography was discovered by a PC World store employee. Glitter faced a bevy of kiddie porn charges in his native U.K. and also had his cameo being ripped from the final theatrical cut of Spice World.
Hey Now! The troubled singer took to the lam, embarking on a world tour to escape the authorities. But this twisted hideout across southeast Asia merely netted Glitter a string of even worse offenses as he engaged in sexual assaults with underage victims in Cambodia and Vietnam. Glitter was caught and served time in a number of countries, but oddly enough he is free at the moment and announced plans to record a new album. I hope I speak for all Earth’s citizens when I say “Gary, give it up and go away. The world doesn’t need a “Rock and Roll (Part 3)” and we could all stand to lose a man who harbors such sinister urges.” –Dan Pfleegor
The Eagles vs. Insane Clown Posse
The long-running gag about The Eagles is that they’re literally one of the biggest-selling bands ever, yet no one cops to liking them, save for the irate cab driver from The Big Lebowski. But that doesn’t make them evil. No, the band’s sinister nature has little to do with the music itself and everything to do with the false morality of eternal group dictators Don Henley and Glenn Frey (good-natured Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit come off more as naive henchmen than bad people). The duo has always seemed preoccupied with being “important” artists, a humorless outlook that, over time, has mutated into pretension and coldness.
For proof, look no further than the recent Showtime documentary, The History Of The Eagles. You’ll see them talk shit about the punk ethos and flaunt stone-faced greed without batting an eye. Frey is especially proud of his ruthless business savvy, puffing his chest with machismo as he lays out the financial terms of the landmark 1994 reunion tour. He fondly remembers saying “I’m not gonna do it unless Don [Henley] and I make more money than the other guys.” Lead guitarist Don Felder naturally took issue with the arrangement, so Frey gave Felder’s lawyer an ultimatum: “You either sign this agreement before the sun goes down today…or he’s out of the fucking band.” It sounds like a quote from a bad Western, a genre the Eagles have always associated themselves with. But while Henley and Frey may have considered themselves outlaws blazing a trail through the American badlands, their only connection to real-life desperadoes was their love of drinking, banging lots of women, and taking other peoples’ money. –Dan Caffrey
Few bands can assert a claim to being evil on more fronts than Insane Clown Posse. Yeah, they’re thuggish bros in clown makeup, which fits the bill from the standpoint of gimmicky showmanship. But in an ugly case of art imitating life, Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, and others associated with the Posse’s crew have often stretched their seedy antics beyond the realm of entertainment value.
The duo were hit with a handful of battery charges in the late ’90s, and more recently they’ve been left to fend off accusations of sexual harrssment from a former publicist at their record label, the gross details of which have been aired out online for the world to see. Sure, it’s just an accusation at this point, but it still doesn’t do anything to clean up the band’s ugly image.
Of course, there’s the whole annual Gathering of the Juggalos, too. A hellhole of a festival that only sinks closer to the Earth’s core each year. –Ryan Bray