Rocker Downtime: Playing the Odds & Losing

  • By Josh
  • August 11, 2016
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Musicians are often associated with addictions to alcohol or drugs. The music industry has its issues with substance addiction, but the public is not aware that gambling is also a major concern. While gambling has a lesser effect on user’s health compared to drugs, the financial repercussion causes significant issues. Musicians are faced with significant amount of stress. They work long hours under uncomfortable conditions to perform flawlessly for each show. To destress rocker downtime is sometimes spent playing cards with the crew. Most of them started with innocent card games like poker or blackjack. The rush they get from winning is so pleasurable that they need to gamble often to experience it. Until such time, gambling developed into addictive behaviour. Musicians with gambling problems did not notice they are spending extraordinary amount of time and money gambling.

Gambling is easier today than ever before with the use of digital technology. Online gambling through mobile phone allows musicians to gamble regardless of where they are. Bookmaker free bets trap unsuspecting musicians into gambling habits. Playing poker in casino is also a big problem among musos. The amount of money these musicians spent playing the odds and losing could have left them poor if they don’t earn enough money to support their vices. Gambling is still a great concern for musicians today. Repeated losses cause anxiety that lead to depression and substance abuse. Here’s our list of musicians with gambling problems:

Gladys Knight
The Empress of Soul revealed her gambling problem in her book Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story. She chronicled in the book her struggles on gambling addiction with baccarat that lasted 10 years. A high-stake binge cost her no less than $45,000 in one night. She turned to Gamblers Anonymous to get help and put an end to her gambling addiction.

Rapper Shawn Carter also known as Jay-Z describes himself as a formidable blackjack and poker opponent. This high roller rapper has a huge appetite for gambling. In 2008, it was reported that he lost $500,000 during a high stakes poker game in Las Vegas.

Lemmy or Ian Fraser Kilmister in real life is the Motorhead’s bassist who wrote the Ace of Spaces. Lemmy is a gambling addict; he loves to spend the evening playing the slots. In the documentary Lemme: The Movie, the singer can be seen parked at a slot machine. He’d sit in front of the one-armed bandit all day pulling the lever. He’d just play and play with a Jack and Coke in one hand and the lever of the one-armed bandit in the other.

Rene Angelil
Former singer and Canadian manager who later married Celine Dion is a professional poker player. He is qualified to play at the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. It was a joke that Angelil is always gambling away their money his wife Celine needs to turn out concerts with a residency. At one time Caesars Palace disclosed the casino losses of Angelil. In 2005 and 2006 he lost $230,000 but it was offset by his tournament poker winnings amounting to $259,079.

American rapper Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. made the headlines in 2011 with an alleged bankruptcy due to gambling addiction. His manager Slim claimed that the rapper blew all his money on various casinos playing poker. Nelly travelled the poker circuit; he is frequently seen in a number of World Series of Poker events. There was also a time when he went to Monte Carlo to play in a major live event of poker.

Scott Ian
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian started playing amateur poker game while touring the US in his bus. Today, he is a celebrity poker musician who won VH1’s charity poker tournament. He also secured a seat in the Aruba Poker Classic.

50 Cent
Rapper, singer-songwriter Curtis James Jackson III also known as 50cent is openly seen playing poker in different casinos. His love for gambling is not limited to casinos, he loved sports betting too. In 2012, the rapper wins $500,000 after wagering on sports betting. His love for gambling is also evident on his songs. He used a betting-based metaphorical verse in his track titled “What you got” where he said “I got a gambling problem. I bet you n*** I’m gonna be back bustin…”

Playing the odds and losing will not be a problem if these musicians have Bono’s discipline. U2’s vocalist is one of the world’s wealthiest rock stars who enjoy taking his chances at blackjack and roulette. Bono play the odds but remains thrifty in his gambling activities. He normally plays blackjack with his band members in casinos cheapest table. He only gives a $125 limit to himself and his band members. He always picks up the tab for his party as long as everyone limits their bets to a total of $125 each.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll: Still Driving Bands

  • By Josh
  • July 26, 2016
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The world has always considered rock bands as the perfect example of having liberty. There’s sex, drugs and of course, rock ’n roll; hence, most band members are stereotyped as someone who only cares about women, their music and adrenaline-pumped fun. Partly, that may be true considering that rock music is usually conceived when there’s drug and sex. This article takes a discourse on rock band’s three major aspirations: sex, drugs and rock ’n roll.


Sex is the oldest product on the planet. In fact, sex stories about rock band members are fairly common. For instance, musicians and band members are always pictured as having sex with their fans after their gigs or in backstage. But in reality, none of these happen that explicit. You can’t blame fans who usually go gaga over their favourite rock artists. More often than not, their over fanaticism is conveyed in various sexual forms.

In the United Kingdom, there’s a band called Rockbitch that is notable for their performances. During their acts, they usually play nude or integrate sexual acts and Pagan rituals. They would also occasionally throw a “Golden Condom” and the person (regardless of gender) who seized it will get to have sex with them. According to them, their goal is to “destigmatise women’s sexuality and sex.”


Even before, drugs seemed to be an integral part of rock ’n roll. Today, even if the link between rock music and drugs is fading, the use of cocaine, heroin or marijuana among rock artists are still common. But, when did it all started?

In 1937, criminalisation of the use of marijuana is pushed in Congress. According to the Director of Federal Bureau of Narcotics that time, the “satanic music” of minorities and entertainers in the United States is a by-product of the use of marijuana. Since then, recreational drugs have been associated with rebellious music. In fact, some of the most celebrated rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Steven Tyler, have been linked with excessive drug use.

Rock ’N Roll

The term roll is used in the Middle Ages and refers to sex or having sex. On the other hand, rock pertains to spiritual awakening and was later on used in reference to music with rhythmic beat. As years go by, rock ’n roll is ascribed to rock artists and musicians and also as an expression.

According to interpretations by some, rock ’n roll means playing freely or as you please. It literally goes back to the exemplification of the world about rock music: liberty. Like other artists of different genres, rock musicians use their music as an outlet of their feelings or as a means of expressing themselves.

Musos in Poverty: Don’t Let Debt Destroy Your Band

  • By Josh
  • June 20, 2016
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According to a report that delved into the economic situation of musicians, artists and other creative professionals in Australia (film not included), a huge part of their number are living in extreme poverty. To barely get ends meet, 56 percent of the respondents had to juggle two jobs while 7 percent had to manage their time for their three jobs. Sadly, those who were not lucky enough to survive in the industry walk out from it or get disbanded. There are a lot of reasons why this happens: financial crisis, time constraints, limited gigs, lack of financial assistance and poor financial yield, among others. Based on the same report, 15 percent of the respondents had to hang on for at least three years before actually earning decently. On the process, they incur debts and lots of it.

Don’t let your arrears of the past several months (or years) destroy your band or discourage you from pursuing your career. It is time to manage your debt and seek debt help from professionals. Here are some tips on how you can at least prevent acquiring debts without compromising your music:

1. Run it like a business.

When you treat your band or your music like a business, you are serious to not let it go to waste. In doing so, you will make compromises. For example, you have an important personal plan for tomorrow but you were given an opportunity to play for an event that will be held on the same day Postpone your personal plan and go perform on the show. Making decisions that is good for the business is the sine qua non in running a business.

2. Recognise your financial challenges.

Among the major anxieties of musicians are credit card debt, overspending and dreading about not having enough money. To help you get on with it, ask for help on how you can save for retirement, make investments or manage your finances in general.

3. Get a hold of your credit status.

In case that you need to apply for loan for emergency expenses or renting a new place, knowing your credit status will help you make a wise decision.

4. Monitor your expenses.

If you are having a hard time managing your debt, try to monitor your expenses. Be aware of the cash that flows in and out of your pocket. Get rid of the things that you can live off of it. The money you’ll get to save from this should be used in paying off your debts.

5. Come up with a doable budget plan.

If you really don’t want to go broke, create an attainable budget plan. Don’t worry; it’s not as overwhelming as you think.