Thursday, February 25, 2010

RIP Jean Flowers

I've blogged before about The Killers and how much I enjoy their music. They've been touring for what seems like years, promoting each of their four (yes, I am counting 'Sawdust') albums with full world tours.Their recent 'Live at the Albert Hall' got voted the best live DVD of the year - in short I think they and their songs are just great and I still remember when I saw them last July at the local French festival (that night when I had my back ache* that then got worse after a wet evening watching them and Springsteen and wishing I could sit down properly).

They were due to play some concerts in Asia and Australia last month, the closing dates of their 14 month touring schedule. A few days before they were due in China the band issued a statement saying that the Asian and possibly Australian leg of the tour were now cancelled due to the illness of a close family member. The rumour mill went wild - were they splitting up? Had Brandon decided to go solo? Lots of very negative press reports were issued and I can totally understand the fans being disappointed but some of the vitriol that was out there was way out of order.

It seems that once you are famous you are just out there at the mercy of those reporters that like to think the worst of people. It happens to everyone in the public eye - we put you there and you owe us a full and frank explanation of your behaviour at all times.

Last week, when it was revealed that Brandon Flowers's (the singer and lyricist) mother, Jean, had died from brain cancer a week or so earlier, a lot of backtracking was done. From a close and loving Mormon family, Brandon had quite rightly felt unable to stand on a stage singing whilst his mother was close to death. However the band did fulfil the final two Australian concerts last weekend and he was even able to sing the song he wrote about his parents falling in love 'Dustland Fairytale'. So, breaking up - NO, but the band are taking a justified break from touring now. As and when they reappear in Europe I'll be seeing my concerts in the UK - I don't have a strong enough back for festivals these days.

*it's taken my back ages to get better - I've had 15 sessions of massage (the doc gave me a prescription for 20) and am keeping five in reserve for when (or, more optimistically, if) it
gets bad again.


Steve said...

Poor bloke. The death of a parent is a monumental crisis to deal with when you are guaranteed privacy let alone when you've got the media slavering at your heels.

Berowne said...

FF: "...we put you there and you owe us a full and frank explanation of your behaviour at all times."

Yes, I felt that at the famous Tiger Woods confessional press conference. The guy owes an apoloty and explanation to his family, but to golf fans and the public generally?

Berowne said...

H'mm. I seem to have written "apoloty." That is ancient Greek for "I'm sorry." :-)

the fly in the web said...

Difficult isn't it?
Would issuing a statement that his mother was ill and that took priority have been sensible, or was it that such a statement would have infringed on hisd mother's privacy?

Nora Johnson said...

Such a thoughtful & reflective post, dear FF, as usual.

Think we're getting yr fierce wind & rain here. btw The rain in Spain DOES NOT fall mainly on the plain - but here on the coast. Another, er, Greek myth exploded!!


Angie Muresan said...

Just shows how critical and negative we are. And I just love it how we believe explanations are owed. Many years ago I dated someone famous, and I saw first hand how the constant worry of the public's opinion weighed on him. They are just people who happen to entertain us for a living. That is their job. It isn't who they are.

Jennysmith said...

Thats very sad, FF. Not very good on modern pop groups tho'. Hope you are well xxxxx

e said...

I'm sorry for Brandon Flowers loss, which is hard even when the media aren't on one's heels. He and the band deserve a break as well as privacy. Simply becoming publically known does not mean the public should be privy to every detail of another's personal life.

That said, I'm going to check out his music. I hope his mother had a peaceful passing.

e said...

I also meant to say I hope your back stabilises. I do stretches for mine, which helps quite a lot.

Molly Potter said...

Yes that line is a good way of putting it - 'we put you there...etc
There are many young people aspiring for fame (and fortune) more than in the past? I suspect it feels great to have people paying you so much attention at first but it must soon become irritating and in times, like you have described - a potentially inappropriate and highly insensitive intrusion.

lady macleod said...

Sad story about the young man in the band. The press does indeed feed the public appetite concerning celebrities, and sometimes they cross the line.

I'm sorry to hear about your back and glad it's better.

I have posted something for you over on my 'other' blog. Do let me know what you think as I"m a bit nervous about this new territory. Thank you for the cyber push ;-)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Glad the massage sessions have made a difference. Crossing fingers that those remaining sessions aren't necessary!

Lulu LaBonne said...

Great that your back's better - hope it stays that way and you won't need those reserve massages.

Maggie May said...

Theres a lot of pressure put on these stars and obviously it would be very difficult to go on stage & sing while a mother was close to death. poor chap.

Hope the massage helps to keep bad back at bay. Have you tried a chiropractor?

Nuts in May

LadyFi said...

Good post - so thoughtful. I agree: when a parent is very ill, you want privacy. People should respect that.

Ayak said...

I don't think back pain ever really goes away. I had problems before my recent fall, so obviously it's worse now. Some days I actually think it's better...that the pain has finally gone...then the next day it's back again. Glad to hear the massage has helped and hope you don't need to use the other 5.

French Fancy said...

Steve - it must be awful; fans have known for a long time that she was very ill - I don't know why the press weren't better informed

Berowne - I'm one of these people that think that professional and private lives of celebs should be separated. In other words, just because a footballer or golfer cheated a lot on their wife - why should it affect them playing their sport any more?

tfitw - I - and lots of other very keen fans - knew she was very ill. Why some of the journalists didnt check these facts before printing stories about the gigs cancellation - well, why am I surprised?

Nora - the wind here has been tremendous but now the sun is brightly shining

Angie - yes, we do forget that all these people that are adored so much are still family men/women with their private lives. We don't have a right to know everything

Jen - the Killers are fabulous - you've probably heard some of their music without even realising it. Lots of their riffs and opening bars are now featured during lots of tv programmes and Jude Law's recent advert for some after shave featured one of their songs

e - their music is fabulous, really top class melodic poppy rocky music - although I think technically they are classed as an Indie Band

Molly - Everything I have ever read or heard about BF makes him sound very shy. He gets dressed up to go on stage in elaborate jackets which help him assume the persona of a rock star.

Hello LadyM - ooo - must check out your sexy page

CT - oh me too - I found stripping off - even in front of a woman - quite hard to do

Lu - thank you sweet one

Maggie - I won't go and see anyone just like that - years ago I had to have a spinal fusion following a prolapsed cervical disk and the surgeon said it had been made much worse by an osteopath who had been treating me.

fi - absolutely, rock star persona or not, they should just have left him and the band alone. They are a very hard working group, always on the road; the press should have realised that there had to be a good reason for the cancellations

Ayak - well I hope Mr Ayak's massages helped you

Debs said...

Poor chap. Grieving is difficult enough to do when you're left alone to do it.

Glad to hear your back seems to be a little better.

French Fancy said...

Thanks Debs

Ken Devine said...

I'd forgotten about him being a Mormon. I remember you saying so some time ago. I still haven't checked out the bad is that for a music fan?
They obviously did the right thing in pausing. She looks so young.
I'd also forgotten about your back but am really pleased it's getting better.

Gonna check out The Killers.

French Fancy said...

Ken - I don't know why I love their music so much but I really do. some of the lyrics read like such beautiful poetry and the melodies have lots of hooks to pull you in.

He is the spitting image of his late mother - she was very pretty and he is gorgeous!

A Super Dilettante said...

My heart goes out to Brandon. What a blow it must be to lose his mother. His mother was very good-looking. Brandon definitely takes after his mother's good looks.

French Fancy said...

ASD - yes, he's written a couple of songs about death, poignant and sad (as one would expect really) the guitarist (Dave) lost his mother to cancer a few years ago and the songs were for her, although Mrs Flowers cancer had been diagnosed by then so I should imagine he also had his mum in mind when he wrote the lyrics (and the band wrote the music)

He is very very good looking - he has a perfectly formed face