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Medusa
03-08-2007, 12:33 PM
Remember them? Well if not Google does, so take a look.

They looked the part, but apparently they couldn't sing for toffee! So what have they got to do with anything in here?

Well, I was just wondering, why is it that people who can't sing are not allowed to have someone do it for them, while people who cannot write are getting publishing deals on a daily basis by getting someone else to do the work for them?

The bookstores are full of 'celebrity' autobiographies that we all know could not possibly have been written by the person whose picture is on the cover.

Music and literature are two branches of the arts, and yet different rules apply. If the same rules applied then only real writers would be published. If writing by proxy were banned perhaps more hard working writers would be able to get their work noticed.

I'm not knocking ghost writers here; on the contrary I believe they should be acknowledged for their talent. However, most ghostwriters would probably prefer their own work to be on the shelves at the bookstore, in their own name, without somebody else taking the credit for it.

Is that being picky? I don't mean to offend anyone and I hope I haven't. Unless you are a 'celebrity' reading this, in which case...

Interested to hear your views.

veinglory
03-08-2007, 01:34 PM
People are legally allowed to use "ghost-singers", but lying about it and being exposed causes a precipitous drop in sales and end of career.

Medusa
03-08-2007, 02:24 PM
Ghost singers... is there only me with a vision of Casper on stage? :)

Troo
03-08-2007, 04:49 PM
I thought the truly peculiar things about Milli Vanilli were:

- They were godawfully ugly. Why would anyone choose THEM to mime for them?

- Whoever WAS singing was actually very bad. Surely if you want someone to mime for you, it's because you yourself can actually sing, but want to avoid the limelight for another reason?

Essentially they were hideously ugly, terrible lipsynchers miming to out-of-tune caterwauling sold as "singing". How in the hell did ANYONE get away with it for so long?

scarletpeaches
03-08-2007, 04:51 PM
I wonder the same thing about so many 'singers' these days.

Dantes
03-08-2007, 06:30 PM
I understand your point. However, celebrities who have their memoirs ghostwritten are already famous for some other accomplishment or for being in the public eye, etc. The celebrity did not spring to stardom on the claim of authorship.

Millie Vanilli were famous for the very act they weren't performing. Famous on a lie. There is a slight difference I think. If not apples and oranges then green apples and red apples.

Maryn
03-10-2007, 11:23 PM
Good point, Dantes.

Personally, I'd like to see ghostwritten books credited to the real writer, with "As told by/to" or something like it. His or her name could be really tiny and the celebrity's huge, but I still want it on there.

Interesting to note that while actors and musicians rarely wield the pen themselves, some comedians do write their own books. Jerry Seinfeld, Sandra Bernhardt, and George Carlin talk about it in their live performances.

Maryn, fond of stand-up

JohnB1988
03-10-2007, 11:35 PM
My only connection to M. Vanilla was coming back from the beach and discovering that someone had shoved one of their CDs through that half-inch window gap I’d left so the car didn’t explode in the Florida sun. Odd sort of vandalism, but it was easy to clean up.

maestrowork
03-10-2007, 11:59 PM
People sing for celebs all the time (in movies, etc.) But they don't deny that. The problem arises when you pose as something you're not. Celebs who have their books written for them (say, Clinton, or Pamela Anderson) usually tell people they have ghostwriters.

Azure Skye
03-11-2007, 01:12 AM
I wonder the same thing about so many 'singers' these days.

Yeah. Someone needs to "ghost sing" for Britney Spears and a few others.

benbradley
03-11-2007, 02:56 AM
Remember them? Well if not Google does, so take a look.

They looked the part, but apparently they couldn't sing for toffee! So what have they got to do with anything in here?

Well, I was just wondering, why is it that people who can't sing are not allowed to have someone do it for them, while people who cannot write are getting publishing deals on a daily basis by getting someone else to do the work for them?

The bookstores are full of 'celebrity' autobiographies that we all know could not possibly have been written by the person whose picture is on the cover.
...


The big difference, it seems to me, is that writers aren't asked or expected to write in front of a live audience that immediately reads and judges what they write. Even though the exact words may be from the ghostwriter, the ideas expressed are (allegedly) from the named author. There seems to be less deception involved in ghostwriting than in the Millie-Vanillie singing example.

I recall that Jenna has ghostwritten books, I've read a recent post or two from her about ghostwriting, so you might look. Who knows, she might pop in here in between diaper changes.

Actually, a comparison might be a bad singer/good songwriter hiring a good singer. The main difference is than in singing and songwriting, people usually receive the proper credits.

I read the first "Tekwar" novels by William Shatner. I've wondered if 1. He really wrote them (and presuming it got a lot of editing, at what point should an editor be given some credit for authorship), 2. how much of the name William Shatner influenced the decision of the publisher to publish it (would it have been published if he had submitted it under a pseudonym).

PeeDee
03-11-2007, 03:37 AM
The big difference, it seems to me, is that writers aren't asked or expected to write in front of a live audience that immediately reads and judges what they write. Even though the exact words may be from the ghostwriter, the ideas expressed are (allegedly) from the named author. There seems to be less deception involved in ghostwriting than in the Millie-Vanillie singing example.



Well, they aren't expected to, but it's dan fun if you get the chance. Just ask Harlan Ellison. :D

Jamesaritchie
03-11-2007, 05:28 PM
Remember them? Well if not Google does, so take a look.

They looked the part, but apparently they couldn't sing for toffee! So what have they got to do with anything in here?

Well, I was just wondering, why is it that people who can't sing are not allowed to have someone do it for them, while people who cannot write are getting publishing deals on a daily basis by getting someone else to do the work for them?

The bookstores are full of 'celebrity' autobiographies that we all know could not possibly have been written by the person whose picture is on the cover.

Music and literature are two branches of the arts, and yet different rules apply. If the same rules applied then only real writers would be published. If writing by proxy were banned perhaps more hard working writers would be able to get their work noticed.

I'm not knocking ghost writers here; on the contrary I believe they should be acknowledged for their talent. However, most ghostwriters would probably prefer their own work to be on the shelves at the bookstore, in their own name, without somebody else taking the credit for it.

Is that being picky? I don't mean to offend anyone and I hope I haven't. Unless you are a 'celebrity' reading this, in which case...

Interested to hear your views.

In nonfiction, at least, who the heck cares who writes the book? Nonfiction is about the story, the information, not about the author.

For fiction how can you possibly know whether the person on the cover is capable of writing a book? Sometimes they can't and couldn't, but very often than can and do.

Paris Hilton aside, here's nothing about being a celebrity that means a person lacks talent. Especially when it comes to actors and politicians. There have been a great many actors and politicians who were incredibly talented, and who wrote novels every bit as good as anything out there.

eldragon
03-11-2007, 06:11 PM
I watched a documentary on Milli Vanilli years ago, and it's actually a sad case. The guys were used as a marketing gimmick, basically. Some big music producer liked their look, and gave them big money to join him. Since these guys were basically living on the street, they, of course, eagerly grabbed the contract and the dough, truly believing they had made it.

Since the two guys couldn't sing well enough, (but one can sing, because he was doing some accoustic work in the documentary I watched,) their voices were overdubbed by two other people's voices.

So now we have 4 unhappy people - the two guys who really want to sing - and two people who are singing and not being recognized for their talent.

By the time Milli Vanilli hit the scene - the voiceovers were common, and while they didn't like it - they also didn't know what to do. They were living it up royally - with lots of girls and money and cars, etc. Whenever they complained, they were asked if they liked being rich and famous, and were promised that the voiceovers were just temporary.


When they were exposed - the time the recording stopped playing and they were standing there on stage not knowing what to do - it ruined them.
.

One of the guys commited suicide. This commercial experiment ruined them both personally and professionally, and they had little to do with it.

From Legacy magazine:



Milli Vanilli



Aside from Ashlee Simpson, Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, a.k.a. Milli Vanilli, are the most infamous lip syncers of all time. Before they became the faces of hit singles like “Girl You Know It’s True,” “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You,” and “Blame it on the Rain,” Pilatus and Morvan were both aspiring models and break dancers, with no singing abilities. In 1990, the deceptive duo won a Grammy award for “Best New Artist.” Months later, high on fame and cocaine, Milli Vanilli decided they wanted to actually sing on their next album. They pressured their producer, Frank Farian, to let them sing, and after a record of “Girl You Know It’s True” skipping during a live MTV performance, Farian reached his breaking point. He spilled the beans about the fakers and Milli Vanilli became the only group ever to have to return a Grammy. Upon hearing the oh-so-shocking news, many former fans of Milli Vanilli applied to Arista Records for rebates for fraud damages. Morvan now lives in New York and is pursuing an acting career. Unfortunately for Pilatus, he did not see the potential light at the end of the tunnel. After several run-ins with police, he was found dead in a hotel room in 1996 after mixing pills and alcohol.

For anyone who suggests that these guys from the streets of London created Milli Vanilli - I say, not possible. Neither appeared to be very business savvy, and I think they were the ones who were used.

Shadow_Ferret
03-11-2007, 06:57 PM
I never understood the anger and outrage over the whole Milli Vinilli thing. So they couldn't sing. So they weren't what they claimed. But didn't these people pick up the albums because they enjoyed the MUSIC?

How did their enjoyment of the music change once they learned that Milli Vinilli were fakes? I mean it was the same music. If you enjoyed it should it really matter who sang it for real?

Maybe they should have taken a page out of "Singing In the Rain" and brought out the real singers and said, "Here's the real voices behind Milli Vinilli!" And maybe kept on the non-singers as dancers.

I mean, I didn't get all bent out of shape when I learned The Archies or The Banana Splits weren't real. I still liked their music.

And as far as ghostwriters writing celebrity "auto-"biographies. So what? Aren't people just really interested in the lives of the celebrities? Doesn't matter who wrote it.


The bookstores are full of 'celebrity' autobiographies that we all know could not possibly have been written by the person whose picture is on the cover.
But how do we know this? Is it assumed because they are an actor that they couldn't possibly do something as sophisiticated and intelligent as string a few words together? How arrogant of us is it to make that assumption? "Only us real writers can write, everyone else is a faker."