Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mindy McCready, 1975 - 2013

As I've previously noted, in the 1990s I joined a Yahoo! group that talked about country singer Mindy McCready. During the 1990s, McCready news focused on music. During the next decade, it seemed to focus on everything EXCEPT music.

I last wrote about McCready in October 2008, when she was scheduled to serve a jail sentence on a drug conviction. This post followed an April 2008 post that included the following:

But by the time I started to write the Ontario Empoblog, the story began to unravel. By August 10, 2004, I was blogging about her arrest for OxyContin prescription fraud. I followed up on August 16 and August 29, and subsequently (February 4, 2005) reported on McCready's plea and community service.

By May 6, 2005, McCready had been arrested again, and charged with drunken driving.

Then the story started to get weird.

You may recall that April 2008 was the time that McCready's relationship with Roger Clemens hit the news. Clemens denied it. (Of course, Clemens has denied a bunch of stuff.)

After October 2008, I hadn't blogged about McCready any more. I hadn't heard about her late 2008 suicide attempt, although I recall reading about the whole custody issue with her son in 2011. But I hadn't been paying attention to the McCready news over the last month.

That's when the story started to get weird. Taste of Country:

[I]n January...her boyfriend and the father to her youngest son was found dead at a home the couple shared in Arkansas. Initially reported as a suicide, officials later suggested they weren’t sure about the cause of his death and would wait until autopsy reports were returned.

McCready tearfully denied any involvement in David Wilson’s death during a ‘Today’ show appearance on Jan. 29. Ex-husband Billy McKnight soon filed several motions with regards to his son with McCready, 6-year-old Zander. The singer entered a treatment facility and had her two children taken from her, but was released a short time later.

Now reports are coming out that McCready is dead of a gunshot wound. The current assumption is that it was self-inflicted.

When I first heard about this on Google+, there was a discussion about whether Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab show was inflicting pressure on the people who appeared on it. The thread mentioned a number of Celebrity Rehab people who are dead today.

Mark Smith (who started the thread) offered the following comment:

I don't blame the show for their deaths by any means, but I do blame the show for exploiting their addictions for ratinigs. It's sad but people love to tune in to see a train wreck, and MTV finds people close to the edge to pay for them to attend their "Celebrity Rehab" shows.

Sadly, I suspect that McCready would be dead today even if Dr. Drew had never ventured beyond KROQ radio. The death of a loved one via presumed suicide can put all sorts of pressures on you, especially if you're fragile to begin with.

It's hard to recall, but at one time it was all about the music.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


If you say the word "Budokan" to an American of a particular age, a particular image is conveyed.

To many middle-aged Americans, "Budokan" conveys images and sounds of Cheap Trick, or perhaps of Bob Dylan, or perhaps (for older folk) of the Beatles, the first rock artists to perform at this particular Japanese venue.

But Budokan (actually, "Nippon Budokan") was not originally designed as a place for real guitar heroes to hang out. It was initially built for the 1964 Summer Olympics to function as a martial arts hall. But when you have a venue that holds over 14,000 people, you end up finding other uses for it, ranging from martial arts to professional wrestling to all sorts of musical acts (the stage at Budokan has not only held the Beatles, Cheap Trick, and Bob Dylan, but also Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber).

More information here.