People often define something or someone to be outrageous (it’s really just a synonym for brave) when they witness something unusual. Often they forget, that something unusual not always adds up to be something abnormal. Normality, as ‘society’ defines it for us, is a state of mind which has conditioned us to follow customs without questions, without asking ‘why’. And if anyone actually has the guts to question said normality, you will surely read about him in an article, like the ones mentioned here. So, here’s top five ‘outrageous’ musicians of all times for you.
5. Syd Barrett.
Drawing inspiration from Jimi Hendrix might be influencing. In an interview, this co-founder of Pink Floyd had stated, “Hendrix was a perfect guitarist. And that’s all I wanted to do when I was a kid. Play a guitar properly and jump around.” He was ostracized from Floyd due to his unconventional and erratic ideas about how music should be and he was even termed as ‘an endless pit of insanity’. In spite of his bouts of schizophrenia, catatonia and psychedelic drugs, Syd gave the music industry songs that make progressive rock lovers shudder even after half a century after its release. ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ was written as a tribute to Syd Barrett.
4. Whitney Houston.
Ironically, all good musicians (rather, artists) have composed their best work when they were wasted. Instinctively, drugs or opium created an environment that wasn’t really there; it somehow channeled utopia in the musicians. Houston had been under strong drug and cocaine use throughout her career. Her failed marriage to Bobby Brown worsened her emotional state, and as records state, she had drowned in her bathtub while being heavily intoxicated, in February 2012.
3. Mariah Carey.
What she did in 2001 strangely inspired all other musicians who like performing wearing very little or almost no clothes. The failure of her movie Glitter had somehow gotten under her skin so much that she made a surprise appearance on Total Request Live, wearing almost nothing and pushing an ice-cream cart. After a quite sensuous strip-tease, she had even added, “Every now and then, somebody needs a little therapy.”
2. Michael Jackson.
Even for director Martin Scorsese, the unexpected ‘scotch-and-torso’ grab during the live performance of the song “Bad” was shocking. His cosmic surgeries (which began as a replacement for a broken nose) didn’t really end and gave us a whiter and whiter person each day. On top of that, he had a habit of constant show cancellations, mostly at the last moment. (Also he actually named his child Blanket, so that’s pretty scary)
1. Freddie Mercury.
Farrokh Bulsara never looked back. He referred to Mary Austin as the love of his life, but he also lived in an extensively loving relationship with Jim Hutton, till he died. The fact that he was an immigrant didn’t hinder him for a second, and he lived on to be the most outrageous man anyone could have ever known. Long hair, jewellery and dresses were thought to be made just for women, but then entered ‘Queen – Your Royal Majesty’. Freddie taught us to be unapologetically ourselves; strangely it’s been almost 60 years, and we’re still talking about him, aren’t we?