As he approaches 60, Bruce Willisâ days of starring in films where he shoots people in the face could be coming to an end. Heâs kicked ass and heâs chewed bubble-gum, but now itâs time for him to focus on what nobody believes he does best: caterwauling with his white guy blues band in front of an audience of credulous Die Hard fans.
For some, including Bruce, itâs a relatively carefree path from the movies to the music business. Although acclaim may rarely be bestowed upon an actor turned recording artist, there will always be a boisterous hoard of unquestioning fans to snap up concert tickets and albums.
However, as Keanu Reeves no doubt pondered many times during his stint as the bassist of his former band Dogstar: would anybody be interested in the music if it wasnât being made by celebrity?
In the case of Eddie Murphy this seems unlikely. Fancying himself a singer, in 1993 the comedian released a hilariously flamboyant music video for his single Whatzupwitu, featuring a recently white Michael Jackson.
Several years previous to this, during an oddly homophobic segment of his seminal comedy special Delirious, Murphy had said: âFaggots aren’t allowed to look at my ass when I’m on stage.â? Yet with the release of Whatzupwitu, it appeared that the Nutty Professor star had completely changed his stance on homosexuals.
Unmistakeably, both the song and the video were gayer than a book of Allen Ginsberg poems, with Murphy assuming the role of the sort of man who lurks around public toilets asking visitors, âWhatzupwitu?â?
Russell âThe Voiceâ? Crowe, on the other hand, had bigger plans for his music career. He didnât want to just make the people dance: he wanted them to thinkâhaving apparently lost interest in punching them.
It was with Croweâs rock anthem âOne Good Yearâ? that he claimed to be looking for grace, despite âgrace not being easily foundâ?. But aside from being a plea for simple elegance (something that Iâm sure Crowe knows a lot about) âOne Good Yearâ? was also the actorâs impassioned attempt at writing one good song, despite sounding much like a dehydrated
Springsteen dying in a ditch.
Corey Feldmanâs attempts at entering the music business were perhaps less polished than Croweâs, although they were certainly no less sincere. Like Murphy, Feldman just had one question he wanted answered: âWhatâs Up With The Youth?â?
Judging from Feldmanâs performance in this Howard Stern-hosted nightmare, Iâm guessing that cocaine was certainly a major ingredient of what was up with the youth on that night. It may also provide an explanation for Crispin Gloverâs “Clowny Clown Clown”, which is enough to emotionally scar a person for life.
Nevertheless, given the choice between Glover and Feldmanâs insane musical endeavours and Zoe (or Zooey rather) Deschanelâs insufferably twee She & Him, itâs hard not to choose the former.
Exuding all the enthusiasm of a Virgin Media call centre employee, She & Himâs music sounds as if itâs been designed by the H&M marketing department in order to shift units of leggings. But unfortunately, it is true that in terms of record salesâand in some cases critical acclaim â She & Him are something of a success story.
Even so, in my mind thereâs only ever been one truly great actor turned recording artist, and thatâs William Shatner. For decades the world has stood by, overwhelmed at the manâs immense artistry. He has consistently released thought-provoking recordings, and has done for spoken word what Stravinsky did for classical music.
If I had to choose, Iâd say that his most astonishing achievement to date is still his electrifying rendition of Bob Dylanâs Mr Tambourine Man. But thatâs not to say that Shatner is by any means past it, as he proved recently when he performed this brilliantly animated version of Cee Lo Greenâs âFuck Youâ? on Lopez Tonight.