Originally Posted by Pollyanna
DMC, one of my points is they need not be tortured. Sometimes they are simply not interested in living a quiet life into a ripe old age. It's their call. There are many ways to live a life. Was John Bonham's approach worse than spending a life in an unhappy marriage in quiet suburban angst before ending up stuck in a nursing home with dementia?
It's a fact of life that not everyone gets their act together and they pay the price either through having a short life or a problematic long life. Some are damaged. Some are foolish. Some are just hedonistic and pay the ultimate price for reckless behaviour that many others get away with, ie. sometimes it just depends on how the cards fall. Some have mental issues.
At times reckless personality traits can be inseparable from an artist's breaking of boundaries in their creative pursuits. There are plenty of bipolar people who refuse to take lithium because it robs them of their creativity, and bipolar people are well represented amongst high achievers in the arts through their brilliance during their manic phases.
Other great artists are more capable of separating their personal life and creative work. Good for them - they have it all. Some people really do have it all. Lucky them!
I'm not inclined to judge. As I said, there are lots of ways to live a life and we rarely know the full story behind people's issues, just snippets the journalists give us. Some people who appear to be throwing away the keys to the kingdom were irretrievably damaged in early life and were never going to get it together.
I am inclined to judge. So are you and everyone else and that's OK. When you congratulate an artist for a long honorable life of contribution, such as Joe Morello, that's judgment. It cuts both ways, at least for me.
As for John Bonham, ask his young son what it was like growing up without a dad because his dad choked on vomit partying in a motel room. Was his marriage that
bad? If you have a public life, you have a public death. They are free to destroy themselves and others are free to discuss it.
As for whether or not they fit the definition of "tortured" and how it plays into their creativity, I just have to shrug on that. If they enjoy family, fame, fortune and creative expression and still work hard to destroy themselves, then that leads me to judge their life negatively. Maybe their creative work still stands but I and others may ridicule them personally for their their gluttony, stupidity and lack of control. Sometimes we collectively do that in advance in a really egregious case, like Charlie Sheen.