Legendary (to French people) pop singer Serge Gainsbourg was never any stranger to odd behavio(u)r. But the line between strange and crazy is a fine one. Take, for example, the time he appeared with Whitney Houston on what amounted to the European version of The View and said, and we quote, "I want to fuck you." Strange? Sure. Crazy? No, it was 1985, who didn't want to nail Whitney Houston in 1985?
No, the Whitney incident was downright boring compared to Gainsbourg's single "Lemon Incest." There is nothing inherently strange about singing about incest, we suppose. Aerosmith had a huge hit that was about incest ("Janie's Got A Gun"). But it's not like anyone thought any differently about Steven Tyler because of the song.
OK, bad example
But to sing about incest with Joe Perry on lead guitar is one thing. To sing about it with your daughter on co-lead vocals, that's some whole other shit altogether.
And that's exactly what Gainsbourg did on "Lemon Incest," a duet with his quite young daughter Charlotte. It's at this point that our European readers will scold us for being "dumb Americans" who "misunderstood" the song. And hey, that may be. Or maybe Europeans just have hotter kids than we do. Whatever the case, it's hard to read these lyrics without getting a bit of the heebie jeebies:
The love that we will never together,
Is the most beautiful, the most violent, the purest, the most intoxicating,
Exquisite outline, delicious child, my flesh and my blood,
Oh my baby my soul,
Incest lemon, lemon incest
But surely, seeing the video for the song will dispel any misunderstandings about the meaning of the song, right? What father doesn't croon about incest over sleazy electronic music while laying shirtless in bed with his kid? In a perfect world, fucking all of them.
Speaking of Whitney ...
It takes a lot to out-crazy Bobby Brown. But time and again, Whitney rises to the occasion. In a stunt that Bobby couldn't dream up in a hundred crack-filled years, Houston traveled to Israel in 2003 to spend time with a cult group known as the Black Hebrews. Her reasoning for the trip? To find inspiration for her upcoming Christmas album.
Hanging out with Jews to get inspired for Christmas? Hey, why the hell not? But the group, on the surface just a run-of-the-mill religious group, is purported by some to be more like a cult. Given their unorthodox policies of polygamy (men are allowed seven wives) and, much more ominously, strict vegetarianism, it's not much of a stretch.
"Crack is vegetarian, right?"
According to some former members, the group believes so heavily in discipline that, not only have children died while being beaten by their parents, but adults are also beaten for failing to abide by the laws of the group's settlement. Adults who have fallen ill due to the strict diet imposed on them have refused medical attention due to their refusal to visit "heathen doctors" in Europe and American.
Needless to say, Houston was sold. By the time she left, Whitney was referring to Israel as "my land." And Bobby was probably on the hunt for six more wives. What a bunch of lucky ladies!
Legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector is one of those guys who is batshit insane, but you'd never know it from his calm, reassuring exterior.
You can't judge a book by its cover.
The above photo is what he looked like when he showed up to his trial for murder charges, looking as sane as possible to impress the jury. Anyway, what is so surprising is how successful he managed to become while spewing the crazy on damn near everyone around him.
Like the time he put a loaded gun to Leonard Cohen's head. Or that one time when he fired a shot in the studio while he was working with John Lennon. Or all of the other times he allegedly pulled guns on the artists he worked with. But if one incident takes the cake over all of them, it would be the time when Phil allegedly held The Ramones at gunpoint, while working on their End of the Century album.
According to bassist Dee Dee Ramone, while in the studio Phil pulled Joey Ramone away for a private meeting. Dee Dee went off in search of the pair, at which point he says Spector emerged at the top of a staircase, waving a pistol around.
After Dee Dee objected to, you know, having a gun pulled on him and shit, he told Phil he was leaving. That he did this instead of, say, diving behind a piece of furniture while screaming, indicates that the sight of Spector with a gun wasn't all that uncommon.
At that point, Spector allegedly pointed the gun at Dee Dee's chest and motioned for the rest of the band to return to the piano room. Then, with the band captive in the locked room, he sat at a piano and made the band listen to him sing "Baby, I Love You."
Until 4:30 in the morning.
But on the bright side, at least nobody got shot in the face!
When not writing for Cracked, Adam can be found rocking insanely hard at ScenicAnemia.com
If you enjoyed that, let Adam tell you about The 9 Most Unnecessary Greatest Hits Albums of All Time or allow him to ruin any illusions you might have had of a non-perverted Brian Adams with 6 Famous Songs That Don't Mean What You Think.