Dear Justin Bieber,
We’ve never spoken. In fact, you almost certainly have no idea who I am, but I feel I have an obligation to you, as a male in the prime of my life, to initiate a – well, for lack of a better word – an intervention. I’m worried about you, Justin.
Allow me to elaborate.
It was announced last week in the U.K. tabloid The Sun in that you’d purchased a $160,000 customized Range Rover with a Cosworth engine, leather interior and a sound system worth $100,000. You made this purchase, The Sun reported, to impress a lady. “Justin loves his motors even though he’s barely old enough to drive,” an unnamed source said. “His girlfriend Selena Gomez will be well impressed with his latest. It’s the business.”
Justin, it was a crushing revelation. I was just getting around to having respect for you. It had been reported a few weeks ago that you’d impregnated a 19-year-old groupie backstage and I was thinking, “Okay, finally, this guy is becoming a rock star. Maybe I’ll download My World 2.0.” But faster than you could say Never Say Never, the woman in question dropped her paternity suit. And now comes the news you’re buying cars to impress your girlfriend. It’s devastating.
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud your autophilia. There’s a great history of cars and guitars. Janis Joplin drove a 1965 Flower Power Porsche. Roy Orbison had a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray ragtop. Metallica lead vocalist James Hetfield has the “Shampoo” Car – a mind-blowing 53 lavender Buick Skylark. These cars were all once on display in Detroit at the Ford Museum. If the exhibit comes back, why not have a private jet take you for a visit or, if you’re feeling adventurous, order your millions of fans to carry you there by hand. You’ll see that these musicians weren’t trying to impress anyone. They were trying to express themselves. That’s what car culture is all about.
That’s why I’m writing. To let you know that this self-destructive “buying-cars-to-impress-people” cycle has to stop.
Justin, your automotive behaviour is impacting on me in the following negative ways:
1) I suppose I’ll start with the term “girlfriend.” Justin, you’re a 17-year-old pop star, you put up with autograph hounds, stalkers and press invasion. Now, why on earth (aside from the barrels of cash) would anyone willingly choose this life? Here’s a hint: so they don’t have to have a “girlfriend.” They do it so they can have “girlfriends.” Duran Duran’s breakout video wasn’t called Girlfriend on Film it was called Girls on Film. Sworn to fun and loyal to none. That’s how real rock stars roll. They’ll be plenty of time to have a “girlfriend” once you release your first greatest hits album.
2) You allegedly bought a car to impress a woman. Among male drivers there are two schools of thought on this one. A) Women are attracted to guys with cool cars. B) Cool cars attract women. To this list I’d add C) Women (people in general for that matter) are attracted to a lot of things but the one thing that attracts them more than anything else is a guy who doesn’t give a damn whether they’re attracted to them or not. Fact: Spending $160,000 to impress one kind of kills your chances at item C.
3) You bought a Range Rover. Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that you could win a girl’s love by buying a car. That women are really that facile. We’ll all drop a hit of acid and pretend life is that simple. But Justin, you bought a Range Rover. A Range Rover! That’s not the car you buy to impress a cute 19-year-old singer. That’s the car you buy to impress your stepmother’s high-functioning alcoholic neighbour. You’d have a better chance of impressing a 19-year-old singer if you bought a Toyota Sienna and spray-painted the words “Property is Theft” on the side.
Justin, you are obviously a car lover. You bought a Cadillac CTS-V and had it customized to resemble the Batmobile and were subsequently given a warning by a Los Angeles police officer after cutting him off. You own a Ferrari, which earlier this year was involved in a minor collision with a Honda Civic. Kudos! This is all good rock-star-worthy behaviour.
I think what you really need is a road trip. A few months back, I read that a 1958 Volkswagen Beetle said to have been owned by Journey frontman Steve Perry was up for sale.
Here’s what I propose. First, buy the Beetle.
Now, download a copy of Journey’s Greatest Hits and, thus armed, take a drive from Los Angeles up to San Francisco, making sure to enjoy the 380-mile Pacific Ocean coastal drive on Highway 101. Along the way, stop to enjoy all the recreational pastimes that California has to offer (there are many).
If you do it properly, this drive should take 3-1/2 weeks. When you get to San Francisco, drive to the Hog Island Oyster Bar and then look out onto the bay while you eat three dozen oysters followed by one of its legendary grilled cheese sandwiches. If you’re drinking by then, drink a bottle of Robert Sinskey 2010 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. If not, buy a fellow diner a bottle and watch him drink it.
By this time, your singer girlfriend may have left you and your career as a teen heartthrob may be over, but you will no longer care and I, for one, will be impressed.
Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy