What does that song mean?

Five Artists Who Have Reached "The Tyson Zone"

Posted Jun 14th 2011, 15:24 by Penguin Pete

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons coined the term "The Tyson Zone". This darling little idea, borne of the Age of Information, is that certain celebrities reach a plateau of eccentricity, having done so many crazy things for so long, that one can be expected to believe any story in the news about them, no matter how bizarre. It's named, of course, after boxer Mike Tyson, who, what between the ear-biting story, the rape conviction, the pigeon-racing reality show, and picking a fight with a gorilla at a zoo, has more than earned the gonzo celebrity prize.

The Tyson Zone isn't an honor to be thrown about lightly. A given celebrity has to have so many crazy stories about them running for so long that if you woke up tomorrow and found out that they were really from outer space, you'd go "that explains it!" Here (we're restricting this list to currently living performers), we pay our dues to the music performers who have earned their own place in this media Valhalla...

Axl Rose

Headline we expect to see next: "Axl Takes Back 'Chinese Democracy', Says 'Wait! It's Not Finished!'"

The news so far: Legendary career-long spat with Slash. Got into a fight in a hotel in Stockholm, Sweden where he bit a security guard's leg and shattered a mirror. Has had to deny claims of racism and bigotry over "One in a Million". Once jumped off a stage to attack a paying audience member who was filming him. Starts a lot of riots at concerts. Oh, yeah, and there's that fifteen-years-between-albums business...

R. Kelly

Headline we expect to see next: "R. Kelly Opens His Own S&m Dungeon In Thailand"

The news so far: Has brawled at a Louisiana health club after which one victim needed 110 facial stitches. Convicted in 2002 of sex with a minor after the video surfaced. Arrested for child pornography in 2003. Sued by former employee in 2006 who claimed assault and false imprisonment. Married another pop singer when she was 15. And then there's the whole pee thing...

Flavor Flav

Headline we expect to see next: "Flavor Flav Revealed To Actually Be A Batman Villain From Gotham"

The news so far: A rap sheet stretching back to 11th grade: served time as a juvenile for robbery and burglary, assault conviction brought by then-girlfriend and lost kid's custody, charged with attempted murder for shooting at his neighbor in 1993, charged with domestic violence again along with drug charges, and most recently jailed on traffic warrants in 2002. Also been in and out of drug rehab multiple times. Dispute with business partner over financial scandal involving a chicken restaurant chain. Oh, and there's that damned clock he wears everywhere...

Courtney Love

Headline we expect to see next: "Courtney Love Climbs Empire State Building, Bites Planes"

The news so far: First marriage to an "amateur acid maker" in 'Frisco in the '60s. First shoplifting conviction at age 14. Worked as a stripper abroad (while still not yet 18). Married a transvestite. While at Lollapalooza, punched another singer in the face, pelted her with candy and lit cigarettes. Widow of most famous suicide in modern rock. Series of arrests and drug charges throughout the 2000s. Stood on David Letterman's desk and flashed the crowd during an appearance. Has pulled some dramatic stunts involving leaving suicide letters for people to find. Sued for defamation by fashion designer over Twitter posting. And probably three more stories by the time you read this...

Lindsay Lohan

Headline we expect to see next: "Lindsay Lohan Spontaneously Explodes Because There's Nothing Else Left To Do"

The news so far: For starters, only makes this list because she's just barely done any singing, being too busy otherwise, but she's tried a little bit of everything. Ah shucks, she tells the story better than we can, so here's her eHarmony profile.


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