Fame = Get Out of Jail Free card

By Carol Anne Szel

And yes, he was not the first and he will not be the last.  Why am I starting in the middle of a thought? Because I can. Similarly, although it’s much more subtle but brought to us for our entertainment these days,  celebrity happenings are in our face in minutes.  Because they can.  The hordes of media outlets  satellite their ways onto our computers,  iPods, Blackberry’s, on our 3D TVs, and literally any form of electronic device around follow a star’s every step.  And we watch. We are beaten into a state of must-see television where the latest celebrity gossip lands as the first news story each evening at 6, followed up by something not deemed urgent.  Like Lindsay Lohan being released from jail to go to rehab.  Oh yeah, they are also in the final stages of plugging up that pesky oil leak spewing crud out into the Gulf.  LiLo skipping out after serving a few days in jail is more crucial breaking news.  We are led by an elite set of human beings who are held on a whole other plane than the rest of us with a whole different set of rules.  Namely, they don’t live by the same ones as the rest of us.  Because they can.  They are issued a Platinum laced Get Out Of Jail Free Card whether they’re musical superstars,  corrupt and idealized politicians, television reality stars, big time film actors, or even high-profile debutantes.

Before continuing on in giving Ms. Lilo any more of the very undeserved attention she so relishes in, let me wind back in time to 27 years ago today.

David Crosby made great music.  I mean, GREAT music.  I mean, REALLY GREAT MUSIC. But he also got busted with pot and pills and a pistol in 1983 and wound up in a whole mess of trouble. After basically napping for his entire 1983 trial in a Texas courtroom, Crosby was sentenced to eight years behind bars.  Nine months later he was set free.  Good news for his music fans, myself included.  Questionable justice for the rest of the people in the jail cell next to him who served their time.

In 1986 Boy George, who has since garnered more drug busts than song hits, was arrested for possession of heroin on a night when the other two in his party of three overdosed and died.  He on the other hand, checked into rehab.

Paul McCartney had one of his many encounters with drugs in his now infamous 1980 drug arrest in Japan when he was found packing pot in his suitcase. (By the way, McCartney was almost denied a Visa to travel to Japan since he had racked up a couple of earlier drug arrests in Europe.)  With Tokyo’s zero tolerance law, Paul was facing a 5-7 year stint in the not-so-regulated confines of a Japan jail cell.  After a couple of days in a detention center,  he was released after his wife Linda flew her father and high-powered lawyer Lee Eastman into Japan to lend a hand. Paul and Linda stood on the steps of the Tokyo jail headed home. Lesson learned? Four years later in 1984 Paul and Linda were taken in for possession of cannabis in Barbados.  Taken in and let out shortly after.

I’m not saying I didn’t cheer when Paul winked for the cameras when they asked if he’d given up drugs. I most certainly did.

Back to the celebration commemorating August 5, 1983, and what will be celebrity justice long beyond August 5, 2010, which begs the question.

As far as time served in the face of convictions within the bubble of celebrity, why does doing time never see the light of day?

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One thought on “Fame = Get Out of Jail Free card

  1. This is so true and such a sad comment on the state of our judicial system. The elite do have that ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card…Charlie Sheen just got off, Lindsay will have to kill someone to even raise an eyebrow and then she will write a book about it. What the hell has she even done to deserve our attention. Was in a couple of ten movies. My God….this is so insane. It sends all the wrong messages to the general population. She is obviously a sick girl and needs help as does the creeps that surround her but at some point these ‘special people’ need to be held accountable for their actions and if that means real jail time, so be it.

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