Today marks the 50th anniversary of The Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda" reaching no. 1 on the Billboard charts. Although the song is of course a favorite of Boys fans, it's noted by more engaged followers of the group for its famous recording session. During the recording of the vocals, the father of Brian Wilson and the rest of the Wilson brothers, Murry Wilson, burst into the studio to lambast the group for what he perceived to be a lack of enthusiasm. The reel kept rolling as frontman Brian tried to calm his father down, and now copies of that version are coveted by those in-the-know.
Murry was one of the most notorious parents in music history, working on his sons' behalf as a manager and coproducer, but ultimately making their lives worse because of it. He manipulated his children and reportedly hit Brian upside the head with a 2x4, causing the legendary musician to lose his hearing on that side of his head. Needless to say, many have blamed Brian's self-destructive habits and unhealthy obsession with music on Murry's callous handling.
Here are five other notorious parents in the music industry. Listen to the last ten minutes of the video below to hear Murry come increasingly off of his track.
If you want to look at a family in entertainment that's seen the highest peaks and the lowest valleys, you look at the Jacksons. And no one has any doubt that father Joe Jackson is the cause of it all. On one hand, the legendary careers of Michael, Janet and the rest of the Jackson are partially thanks to his management. On the other hand, everything that went wrong for Michael—his self-image problems, his uncomfortable relationships with children, and ultimately his fatal dependence on medication—can all be traced back to Joe. Michael would, later in life, describe his father as a "mystery even now," relating tales of how his father would beat the boys senseless for bad rehearsals, how he would carry out affairs, and otherwise be a pox. The nation had about enough when Joe showed up to the BET Awards in 2009, where Michael was being honored posthumously, and promoted the new hip-hop group he was organizing.
We hate to make guys with the name Joseph look bad, but there's another problematic father by the name of Joe who worked for a while as the manager for his daughter Jessica. He began gaining notoriety as Jessica's fame peaked with the popularity of Newlyweds, her show with then-husband Nick Lachey. Joe made pulled no punches when explaining her popularity with America during 2004: "Jessica never tries to be sexy. ... She just is sexy. If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she's sexy in both. She's got double D's! You can't cover those suckers up!" This is a man speaking about his daughter. We can't possible imagine how his other daughter Ashlee must feel, listening to her father praise her sister's blonde, big-chested assets. Probably self-conscious...dangerously so.
Marvin Gaye Sr.
It's always rough to hear about a child, celebrity or not, separate from their birth parent. That's often better than the alternative however. Soul icon Marvin Gaye was never appreciated by his father, even after he struck it rich with Motown. Eventually, when Marvin Sr. did move in with Marvin and his mother, it sure wasn't because he had suddenly taken a liking to his youngest son. Gaye wanted so desperately to connect with his father that he took him into his home and eventually trusted him with a new Smith & Wesson as a birthday present. Not too long after that, an argument led to Marvin Sr. killing his son with the very firearm he had given him and admitting to police at the scene that "I didn't dislike him."
Don't worry guys, it's not just fathers that have awful effects on their children's' careers. Tiffany was one of the hottest rising pop stars during the '80s, topping the Hot 100 with singles "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Could've Been." Could've been is right. Following the smash success of the album Tiffany, her mother Janie Wilson and stepfather tried to insert themselves into her career, attempting to block control from manager George Tobin, leading Tiffany ultimately to apply for minor emancipation at the age of 17. The court didn't allow it, but her grandmother agreed to take her in after witnessing how crazy her mother had become. Those events most likely led to Tiffany's career burning out, and she never enjoyed much success on radio again.
We're going to preface this by saying that we've got no proof to suggest that Dennis Graham is anywhere near as bad as the aforementioned examples we've listed. At the same time, we're always very suspicious of fathers who come out of the woodwork when their children end up becoming celebrities. Graham of course is the father of Aubrey Drake Graham, and although he's patched things up with his son in recent years (much more credit due to Drake for that generosity than vice-versa), it also seems that Dennis is jumping on the hip-hop train to capitalize on the fame of his son. We're kind of glad that Drake had to bail on the guest verse he was allegedly going to deliver for Dennis' track "Kinda Crazy."