To even the most casual of baseball fans, Mark McGwire's admission that he used steroids wasn't particularly shocking. All you had to do was watch any of the 135 home runs he hit between the ages of 34 and 35 (some of still haven't made their way back into Earth's atmosphere) to know something was amiss. Also, there was that time he hoisted an armored truck above his head in Pittsburgh. That probably should've been a dead giveaway.
And while the scourge of steroids in baseball is well documented, there are frighteningly few reports on their role in the world of music. But make no mistake about it, steroids — and all performance-enhancing drugs — have found their way into the recording studios and tour buses of some of the biggest names in the business. Over the past decade, we've seen artists bulk up at an alarming, seemingly unnatural rate. We've seen previously unobtainable records fall with ease. (Who can forget Pete Wentz clubbing 53 homers in 2007?) And frankly, we're amazed no one has made an issue of this before. (And yes, we're aware of this report, but we're rolling here.)
So in an effort to keep the sacred game of Rock and Jock Celebrity Softball pure, we've decided to name names. McGwire's mea culpa might not have been shocking, but it gives us an opportunity to shine a light on this sordid subject. So here, for your witch-hunting pleasure, are 10 artists we suspect are on the juice. Proof? Who needs it when you've got pure suspicion?
He has spent most of the last decade working on his much-anticipated Detox album, and, in the process, somehow got totally jacked. He appeared at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards looking very much like a boulder in a blue sweater. Seriously, just look at those traps.
Dude went from the skinny Prince of Darkness to the really buff Prince of Darkness seemingly overnight. Fans pointed to his clean-livin' ways, but seriously, nobody gets pipes like that without some serious PED use. Then again, when you're married to someone who looks like this, perhaps getting ripped is just the next logical step.
A few years ago, he got so bulky so quickly that people began to wonder how he even fit in the studio. When whispers of his PED use began to spread, he cycled off the stuff and showed up at the 2009 American Music Awards sporting what was rather accurately described as "a pack of franks on the back of his neck." Fittingly, McGwire's neck was subject to the same critique following his live interview with Bob Costas.
Okay, so dude was pretty jacked even back in the Misfits days, but he's been so ripped for so long now that we can't help but be suspicious. At age 54, he's still rocking, and now bizarrely resembles Wolverine (and we all know that Adamantium is a banned substance).
LL Cool J
He's always been a workout fiend, but over the past decade, LL's bulked up at an alarming rate, and now looks like he could devour entire planets. Is he just a gym rat, or something more sinister? We'll let you decide, though keep in mind that, by his own admission, his head "is like a shark's fin," which seems to point to some serious experimentation with growth hormones.
Exhibit A: The cover of his 2005 album The Massacre, on which Fiddy looks positively cartoonish. Exhibit B: The fact that he used to look like Snoop Dogg's skinny cousin. It begs the question: Just what is Formula 50?
Five decades of hard living, or an insatiable lust for PEDs? At 62 years old, the Iggster's body is still rock hard (as for his face, that's an entirely different matter) and when his contemporaries are slowing down, he shows no signs of letting up any time soon.
The diminutive wailer for New Jersey spazzers Dillinger Escape Plan is ripped enough for a man five-times his size, and though he's denied using steroids (he chalks his physique up to "eat[ing] a lot of protein and work[ing] out a lot"), we're still not entirely convinced. Then again, positively destroying the stage on a nightly basis has to have some benefits, right?
Who? He used to play guitars for Alice Cooper, and was probably the first dude in rock to ever juice. For proof, check out this entry on his Wikipedia page: "Roberts is notable for his 'Rambo'-like physique, and his usage of an electric guitars shaped like a machine gun." Also, watch this video from his 1987 stint as "Headbanger's Ball" host and tell us this guy wasn't on the stuff.
He's both a musician and a baseball player. That should be all the proof you need.
UPDATE: I don't often do this — mostly because I usually don't do things this dumb — but I'm making an apology.
I wrote this blog post inspired by the news of Mark McGwire's less-than-shocking steroid admission, one that named ten musicians who I (jokingly) suspected to also have been on the juice. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Turns out it wasn't.
Because one of the musicians I mentioned — Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato — was genuinely offended by what I wrote, and he took to his Twitter account to let his displeasure be known. At first, I didn't understand why he would be so upset. I mean, clearly, the entire blog was meant in jest. But then one of my co-workers summed it up pretty neatly for me: "You'd be pretty pissed too if someone made jokes about you cheating on your wife or being a crappy journalist."
So I contacted Puciato and apologized. I explained to him that the reason I didn't attempt to reach him for comment on the post was because I genuinely thought he would understand that it was an (admittedly pretty stupid) attempt at humor. I asked him what I could do to make it right. He said that he was "done with it" and accepted my apology, told me to move on and "be more aware in the future."
I thought about it overnight, and decided to write this blog post. Not because I have any interest in continuing the story, or because anybody ordered me to do it. No, I'm writing it because I actually feel bad about what happened. Believe it or not, I've been doing this for almost 10 years now, and I've always taken pride in the fact that I do my job the right way: I contact sources, I ask for comment, I verify facts. I am a reporter, even in an era when reporting genuinely doesn't mean squat.
So, Greg — and, really, anyone else who I offended with yesterday's post — I'm sorry. I didn't do the due diligence this time around. I wrote something that was potentially damaging, and pretty irresponsible. My intention was not to suggest in any way that anyone on my list has every actually used steroids. Rather, I was attempting to poke fun at a pretty ridiculous situation, and, in turn, only created a more ridiculous one. It won't happen again. Please don't kill me.