Five infamous monuments named after musicians of questionable moral character
How do you honor a musician when awards and certifications aren't enough? By naming something in his honor, of course -- be it a bridge, a street, an asteroid or even a whole day after the guy. But in naming something after a musician, it's easy to forget that while in some cases the music may deserve it, the value and character of the musician may not, at least according to some people.
Just look at the current debate raging about whether or not renaming a bridge after Kurt Cobain in Aberdeen, Washington, his hometown, is deserved or not, considering his history of drug abuse and the way in which he died. This isn't first instance in rock and roll history in which something is named after a musician with questionable moral character. Here are the top five other things named for such musicians.
5. Jerry Lee Lewis Drive in Ferriday, Louisiana
Jerry Lee Lewis had balls -- whether they were great balls of fire is a different story altogether -- and there's no better example of this than when it was revealed that Lewis had married his first cousin, Myra Gale Brown, who was only thirteen at the time. Creepy? Yes. Ballsy? Yes. Deserving of a street named after him? You be the judge.
4. Hank Williams Sr. Memorial Bridge in Spanishburg, West Viriginia
Although Hank Williams Sr. may have been so lonesome he could cry, he is revered, like others on this list, for having a lasting impact on music. It's too bad he had such a tough go at it in later years and up to his death in 1953, getting into bar fights and struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, which, it has been debated, caused his heart problems and eventual death in the first place.
3. James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
James Brown doesn't like electric company repairmen apparently. According to a police report, Brown attacked one with a knife in 2000. He was also accused of abusing Tommi Rae Browne, whom he had been living with in 2004. And in 2005, Jacque Hollander alleged Brown raped her 27 years earlier. It's no wonder the bridge named after James Brown in Steamboat Springs is so controversial.
2. 18132 Spector, an asteroid named for Phil Spector
He may be one of the most widely revered music producers with a signature sound, known as the Wall of Sound, but Phil Spector and his many accomplishments have been overshadowed by his conviction for the murder of Lana Jackson began. When Spector was found guilty in 2009, after two trials for the case, he was sentenced to nineteen years to life, and his legacy was forever tarnished. But hey, at least he has an asteroid named after him.
Ike and Tina Turner
1. September 2, almost named Ike Turner Day in St. Louis, Missouri
Rock has a lot to thank Ike Turner for -- his song "Rocket 88" is considered by some to be the first rock and roll song ever, and he discovered Anna Mae Bullock, better known as Tina Turner. When Tina divorced Ike because of his alleged domestic abuser ways, her career then took off while his flopped. So when St. Louis had considered dedicating a day to Ike Turner to commemorate his influence on music, it's no wonder Mayor Francis Slay denied the request. Sure, we could understand a bridge or an asteroid -- Ike and Phil Spector were friends, after all -- but a whole day for Ike Turner? Aw, hell no.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.