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Bill Lamb

David Cook and the Issue of Pop Star Privacy

By March 25, 2009

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This past Sunday David Cook, last year's American Idol winner turned pop star, addressed on his MySpace site an issue that is an ongoing concern for any pop star thrust into the glaring spotlight. The issue is concern about the lengths that some fans will go to in attempting to gain access. Addressing this fan behavior directly always comes at the risk of alienating those who otherwise adore the performer. Below is a segment of David Cook's comments.

"I have to address some behavior that has become disturbing. We pride ourselves on being accessible to you as fans, but in contrast, we do enjoy what little privacy we can muster. To that end, the efforts by some fans to find our hotel rooms, call our hotel rooms, attach things to our bus, etc., is something I have to condemn."

The response to Cook's comments have been mixed from fans. I throw my voice into the matter and believe that his response is not only appropriate, but it is carefully thought out with an attitude of caring for continuing a positive relationship between fan and artist. Read the complete comments here.

Photo by Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Comments

March 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm
(1) Jenna says:

Very interesting issue, and I think that I agree with very reasonable take and your bottom line.

March 25, 2009 at 1:41 pm
(2) Mindy says:

My biggest issue about being a fan of David Cook is that he is one of the most appreciative & caring artists out there & that is really, one of the most appealing things about him- besides his voice-obviously!! The things that are being said about his blog, is so unfair, especially due to the nature of the issue. He was politely asking for some space & respect..that’s IT !!! He is just a guy that has the guts & self respect (and respect for his band!)to put this plea out there….period.

March 25, 2009 at 3:28 pm
(3) ANONYMOUS says:

These “fans” are crazy, and should have been called out on this stuff long ago. But Oh, I forgot – with Cook and 19E, itís all about milking these cows dry of every red cent, enabling them at every turn to stalk and cross the lines of good judgment and common sense, and letting them trample all over your dignity and credibility as a real artist just to sell a million CDís, and some crappy Ford cars and soft drinks. Right – money talks, and this kinda BS is allowed to walk – all over Cook, and the more rational fans who just want a chance to see him in concert without a lot of this kind of idiotic and psychotic behavior swirling in their face.

Cook isnít blameless in this whole matter either – heís a grown man, is supposed to have been more ďmatureĒ and experienced and better equipped to handle the trappings of winning IdolÖ Where were his and 19 E’s cojones when these fans were tossing panties and sexual lube on stage during what was supposed to be the “family friendly” AI summer tour? Where were they when these fans were bringing in sexually suggestive signs and posters into these same family friendly shows? People from the other fanbases were complaining about this behavior then, but it fell on deaf ears apparently – didn’t want to stop that money train.

Cook and 19 E have sold out his credibility as an artist to play along, for this long, with these wackos for the bucks, and this bell canít be un-rung now. Nice Job Team! Waiting for the Book! What a scary mess, but one of his and 19Eís own making. I pray that it doesnít escalate into a real tragedy.

March 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm
(4) Tom says:

Read all about this fiasco of hypocrisy and crazy at Idletard :

http://www.idletard.com/blog/archives/6528#comments

Cook is a joke as the reigning American Idol – an admitted agnostic on a show that skews heavily to the family friendly Christian demographic, now complete with a fanbase of psychotic and delusional cougars who have made him a laughingstock. His band members are enabling these fans by telling them where they are going to be after gigs, and allowing these freaks to hang around them and buy them drinks. Idletard has been a real eye opener, and comes closer to the truth of this matter than any Idol friendly MSM article you will read.

March 25, 2009 at 3:32 pm
(5) Magnum says:

Why do you think he REALLY opted to do a college tour, a freaking LOW RENT LITTLE college tour, as his first solo tour? To attract a different audience than the “cougar” and now apparent nutjob bat**** crazy one that propped him up on Idol, and was an embarrassment evidently to him, and the record label.

They just didn’t have the testes early on to come straight out and lay it on the line. Come on – if this college tour isn’t a wake up and smell the coffee moment to these delusional folks, and a shot across the bow to the remaining fans in his base that he is trying to move beyond you, there’s no hope any of you will ever get it. He and 19E have played the fans all like a violin, or thought they were, until the sordid little details of this crazy fan behavior hit the mainstream press. Now Cook is playing the CYA card, as well as 19E, but it’s too late… the damage is done, and no one will look at him or his fans in the same way again. And you bet your ass it will be a cold day in hell before he spends any significant time with any of the remaining fans.

March 25, 2009 at 3:34 pm
(6) The Big Show says:

Cook sold out the minute he saw these SAME fans doing all kinds of disgusting and repulsive acts on the summer tour and didn’t speak up about it THEN. As the American Idol winner, he represents that franchise, and evidently it was more important to turn a blind eye to it, in order for 19E to keep the money coming in, and to string these disgusting people along long enough for them to buy his CD… He is not a good representative for what I feel to be an American Idol – it’s supposed to be a family friendly show and tour, but how family friendly is it when the winner and 19E condone panty and condom tossing on stage, in front of young kids? It is disingenuous and hypocritical for him and 19E to all of a sudden have a problem with what they have enabled. Get over yourself Cook.. you wanted it, you got it – now deal with it like a man.

March 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm
(7) Brenda says:

I’m reading these comments from people who don’t know what they are commenting about! Cook was addressing a small group of people who “allegedly” attached a gps tracking device to his tour bus and were following him and the band to rest stops, toilets, restaurants and hotels along the way. This same group has been doing this at every one of his tour stops at colleges since February. They have been stalking his hotel rooms and calling the rooms late at night. So for “anonymous”, “Magnum” and “The Big Show”, This isn’t about fans swirling panties around, or carrying signs with lewd wording, as you are talking about in your post—-This is scary stuff, serious stalking and attaching a gps device to a bus is illegal and dangerous. Their behavior was much worse than has even been mentioned here; it got pretty vile from what I’ve read and only from this same little group of women. So Cook was addressing them and them only. Get your facts straight before you just start jumping on the hater bandwagon because you were never a fan in the first place. pulease!

March 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm
(8) Sam says:

I completely agree with Cook and I think most of his fans were extremely happy that he wrote this message. Just becasue you are famous does not mean you have to put up with stalkers. Cook enjoys a very good relationship with his fans and I’m sure something seriuos must have happened for him to post that message. Stalking is a dangerous matter and writers who are condemning him for trying to stay safe are irresponsible. I can’t help but think of Selena and what happened to her when a fan became too obsessed. I believe that the comments posted in #4 and #6 have been posted multiple times at different sites. Someone’s been very busy….

March 25, 2009 at 10:33 pm
(9) Rascalete says:

David doesn’t deserve to have to put up with a stalker. There is no excuse for calling his hotel room, knocking on his door or whatever happened with the bus.Following they to rest stops and bathrooms. If you are mad becasue he won American Idol don’t blame him, blame the 12 million voters that made that decision. It has nothing to do with this type of fan behavior. I think people are making a big deal about him addressing this issue. He did the mature and right thing by posting the Blog and stating some boudries. Let’s give him a break and move on to the next concert.

March 25, 2009 at 11:38 pm
(10) No Class says:

He is sounding like a whiny little bitch, and his fans are sounding no better. He had plenty of opportunities to nip this crap in the bud, and didn’t. This “vile” behavior isn’t new people – it was on display for everyone with eyes to see during the Idol Tour. But you FANS chose to let your lust for a karaoke singer overrode respect for other artists fans who were turned off by that disgusting behavior. Your fanbase has cultivated a rep for being classless, tasteless, vulgar and arrogant, did you know that? And these so called “fans” being called out aren’t that far offbase in behavior many have come to EXPECT from David Cook’s fans. So don’t come crying on this blog and expecting any sympathy for Cook, or yourselves. You created this monster, and now you have to live and deal with it.

March 26, 2009 at 1:29 am
(11) Donna says:

Finally a writer with common sense. Thank you for reading his blog and understanding it. He is not complaining about his fans or telling them to ‘buzz off’ like some of the articles mention. He is one of the most appreciative artists that I’ve ever come across. Just because he doesn’t want to be stalked he is a jerk? Please! People need to learn common respect and decency. I applaud him for his blog.

March 26, 2009 at 9:07 am
(12) Lena says:

From what I understand David could have just stop meeting fans after the shows, he could have got some bodyguards to with him all the time so the fans wouldn’t get near him.. but instead of that he decided to send a message to his fans. With that he showed that he respects them, and that he wants to keep his good relationship with his fans which is only possible if some people don’t ruin for it the rest. I applaud David for that.

Today I woke up to the news of Shawn Johnson and her stalker. This subject is as important as it was 40 years ago, and it’s a shame a few people think David (and other artists) shouldn’t complain about stalkers and should deal with it just because they’re famous. I couldn’t disagree more with that. If that guy had killed Shawn, would they justify it just because she’s famous and having crazy fans is part of it?

I don’t understand what being agnostic has anything to do with it, but I guess many people hate David for that.

March 26, 2009 at 11:27 am
(13) Tammy says:

It is sad to think so many people think they can behave however they want and no one should say a word. David is truly gifted as artist. He seems to be a sweet and caring man. He is living his dream. I am really happy for him. I do not think that anyone has the right to intrude. There is a difference between a fan and a fanatic. I am a fan. I love his love is music and will continue to listen to and support his career.

March 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm
(14) Jennifer says:

LOL at Tom. Oh yes Tom, if you read it on an internet blog it MUST be true! It MUST be! Just like that Nigerian Prince who is going to send me a million dollars. Any…Day..Now.

Of course, I won’t go into how you have posted this exact same post on about two dozen entertainment boards.

Golly Gee, could it be possible the YOU just might be the author, desperately attempting to garner attention for yourself through a celeb. Gosh, that sounds a bit…stalkerish…

March 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(15) Bernadette says:

To all the people that think that david cook should not complain about having crazy fans trying to find out his hotel room, have you guys ever heard of stalkers! or do you guys know that stars have been stalked, I think these fans are going a little to far come on now he is a very talented singer with a great voice,but he is still a person that needs to be respected and to have privacy. In my opinion what he said on his myspace was very cool! he doesn’t need these crazy fans trying to stalk him, in other words trying to be a groupie!!!

March 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm
(16) Jeff says:

It is absolutely appropriate for David to mention the disturbing occurances. He was very respectful and he knows that most of the fans are also respectful, but there are always those few that need to be reigned in for their selfish behavior. It is those people that can ruin it for the respectful fans by making the artist inaccessible due for security reasons.

March 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm
(17) John says:

I remember seeing a video of him coming out of a building and a fan tried to get him to sign a guitar for his daughter I think and he pushed it I think and made a remark like I don’t have time. Then another video of him outside the venue on the AI tour and he got mad because fans were asking for Jason Castro and he threw a sharpie up in the air and went inside. He is just a spoiled brat and doesn’t want to deal with situations like he should.

March 27, 2009 at 3:12 am
(18) Jelynda says:

He’s best be glad someone is showing interest in him, cause judging from that video of Declaration, Dude is fugly as hell, and can’t sing worth a crap… How in heck did this dude win American Idol?

March 27, 2009 at 8:25 am
(19) Beth says:

No Class, Magnum, The Big Show, Anonymous and every other stupid moronic screen name you keep creating. Get over it. Seriously. You’re seeking attention…much like David Cook’s stalkers. Go get a job and become productive in society and get off your computer.

March 27, 2009 at 8:58 am
(20) KJL says:

To John: “for his daughter”. Is his daughter’s name, EBAY by chance? Give me a break.

March 27, 2009 at 9:30 am
(21) Maria says:

John, please get your facts straight. Posting something followed by “I think” is irresponsible. And the video in question is on YouTube so you could have re watched it to see what actually happened. He didn’t push it away and didn’t say I don’t have time.

I fail to understand the vitriolic comments made here. If you’ve got this much emotion pent up about one person (or is it the AI franchise?) maybe you ought to see someone (like a therapist)to find out why you’re wasting your life (and toxifying your body) hating a complete stranger.

I applaud David’s well-measured request and drawing a line in the sand for apparently clueless fans. And fans still bring inappropriate signs to shows. First amendment y’all. Not condoning such juvenile behavior.

March 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm
(22) Angela says:

Oh John, your opinion is just so way off base from reality.

I can point you to hundreds of videos on youtube of David interacting with fans with charm, grace, and kindness, giving as much time as his schedule permits to connect back face to face with people who have come to see him.

Don’t believe me? All you have to do is go to youtube and type in “David Cook signing autographs” and “david cook meeting fans” or similar searches. Additionally, I could point you to literally thousands of pictures on virtually any photo hosting site.

Is David Cook perfect? Of course not, he’s a human as anyone else with all of a human’s emotions and foibles. Being human it’s likely that he’s as patient or as cranky as anyone else. Being human he probably reacts to how he’s treated by others.

But there is simply very, very little evidence to support your contention, and a preponderance of evidence to support the opposite.

March 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm
(23) Valerie says:

Though I’d rather change the words “pop star” to “rock star,” I agree with your statement of “…his response is not only appropriate, but it is carefully thought out with an attitude of caring for continuing a positive relationship between fan and artist. ”

This man has been nothing but accommodating to his fans, no matter what the circumstances. From the Idol tour until now, he’s always made his best effort to spend time with each fan who wanted it…and for that, I’ll always admire and respect him both as an artist and as a person. I just hope that others will continue to do the same.

April 6, 2009 at 9:48 am
(24) Irritated says:

Thank you for that, Mr. Lamb. Finally, somebody “gets” what David is trying to say.
Lol Jennifer. I was thinking the same thing, when I saw Tom’s post. Either that, or he’s another upset Archie fan (I’ve seen a few of those posting.) who is outraged that his favorite Idol didn’t win. No offense to the “Nice Archies”..not talking about you all.

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