The 10 Worst Parents in Rock

An exclusive excerpt from Dategirl's new book.

In honor of Father's Day, we're running an exclusive online excerpt from Dategirl columnist Judy McGuire's new book, The Official Book of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Lists (Soft Skull), detailing the worst parents in rock 'n' roll. Read it and appreciate the fact that you weren't born a Beach Boy.

1. Ann Beverley. Sid Vicious' mom wasn't exactly June Cleaver. Instead of bringing her only son cookies and milk, Sid's old pal Jah Wobble reports, "I recall seeing him use a syringe to inject drugs with his mum. I was 16; it was a shocking and stark image to behold. To me, at that age, your mum was someone who left your tea in the oven, not someone who you banged up drugs with." Beverley kicked Vicious out of the house when he was 16, allegedly telling him, "It's either you or me, and it's not going to be me. I have got to try to preserve myself and you just fuck off." The two later reconciled and, as a symbol of her love, mommy stuffed her snatch with dope and smuggled it into prison for him.

2. John Phillips. Shooting drugs with your kid is one thing, but John Phillips took it several steps further. When Mackenzie Phillips was only 10, he taught her how to roll joints. At age 17, he had her snorting coke. A year later, he raped her while she was unconscious after a drug binge. And so began a 10-year-long sexual relationship which Mackenzie has finally stopped labeling "consensual."

3. Murry Wilson, father of Beach Boys Dennis, Carl, and Brian. Murry Wilson was one sick fuck. The drunken dad was extremely violent with his kids, scaring them by removing his glass eye when they were young and then progressing to beatings as they got older. He beat Brian so brutally with a 2x4 that it caused permanent deafness in his right ear. The most notorious of Murry's punishments was when he forced Brian to defecate onto a piece of paper that he then shared with the rest of the family. No wonder that when Murry pulled the croak in 1973, Brian and Dennis were AWOL from the funeral.

4. Joe Jackson. Freakshows like LaToya and, most famously, Michael Jackson aren't just born, they're created. And whether it's drugs, booze, or just plain crazy, Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson (not to be confused with the British pop star) is one creepy motherfucker, brutally beating his cash-cow brood whenever they missed a note. Marlon Jackson recalls one instance when Joseph held young Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks." When Michael died he made sure that his father was left out of his will, which may or may not explain Joe's bizarre self-promotion efforts at the BET Awards honoring Michael, just three days after the singer's death.

5. Michael Jackson. He dressed them like freakshows, dangled them from hotel windows, and gave them the crappiest collection of names ever. And while none of them bear even a passing resemblance to him, at least Jackson left them well-off when he died. Which is a good thing, because they're going to have some serious therapy bills.

6. Courtney Love & Kurt Cobain. They shot heroin while she was pregnant with Frances and then bragged about it to a Vanity Fair reporter, whom they later sued for libel. The two apparently continued to do drugs nonstop until Kurt finally killed himself when his daughter Frances was only a year and a half old. Over the years, Courtney has slipped in and out of lucidity, bashed a fan on the head with a mike stand, and starved herself to fit into couture. In 2009, custody of Frances was transferred to her paternal aunt and grandmother, and shortly thereafter the sensible 17-year-old filed a restraining order against her mom.

7. Hank Harrison, Courtney Love's dad. Did Courtney ever have a chance of being normal? Her father Hank once told a reporter, "Kurt [Cobain] would probably be alive today if he hadn't met her." Courtney says Daddy dearest fed her LSD when she was only 7 and disappeared from her life for years, until resurfacing to assure the press that his daughter had actually hired someone to kill Cobain. Nice!

8. Vernon Moorer, father of country singers Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer. When Shelby was 17 and Allison was 13, their alcoholic father murdered their long-suffering mother and then turned the gun on himself. Allison later sang, "I take a pint of whiskey and crack open its lid/I drink the bottle empty just like my poor daddy did/I take after my family, my fate's the blood in me/No one grows old in this family/We are a dying breed." Happily, the two are still alive and making music.

9. Marvin Gaye Sr. When singer Marvin Gaye became hopelessly addicted to cocaine in the early '80s, he probably thought moving in with his minister father would be the right thing to do. Unfortunately, the senior Gay wasn't very Christlike, consumed by jealousy over his son's success. On April 1, 1984, the two had an argument that ended when Dad shot and murdered his son.

10. Pete Doherty. The surprise here isn't that Pete Doperty is a bad dad—the shocking thing is that someone willingly not only had sex with the pustule-peppered rocker, but chose to have a child with him. Actually, two different women did so, though Pete only sees one of his sons. As for the other, Pete told a reporter, "Poor little fucker. My sister sees him all the time, so there's affection as a family for him."

dategirl@seattleweekly.com

 
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