American Idol Winners Feud? David Cook Calls Out Caleb Johnson On His “Real Rocker” Remark (VIDEO)

American Idol winners feud?

During his encore at a concert in Kokomo, Indiana Saturday night (Aug 16), David Cook responded to comments made by current American Idol winner, Caleb Johnson. In a recent interview with Yahoo Music, Caleb said that the the American Idol season 7 winner wasn’t really a rocker.

“David Cook…he’s like pop rock. He never really did stuff like Zeppelin or Rush,” Caleb said to Yahoo.

Of course, those who follow David know that while he can do a straight up theatrical version of “Music Of the Night” from the Broadway musical,  Phantom of the Opera, (as he did brilliantly on the show) he is, at heart, a committed rocker. And, in fact, Led Zeppelin covers have been part of his concert repertoire for years.

Check out the video below, beginning at the 9:17 mark. David never calls out Caleb by name, but make no mistake. David calls him out.

“…I read somewhere that somebody said that I wasn’t really rock. I read that. So, we’re going to do this next song in an attempt to prove him wrong.”

“Because I would like to think that we are not any one thing!” David says before he noodles  a bit of the guitar riff from Bill Withers “Use Me.”

“That’s the only part of the song we know,” jokes the singer before declaring that “We CAN play the entire part of this next song.”

Here, David and his band launch into a blistering cover of “Rock ‘n’ Roll/Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, proving that he’s no stranger to “HEAVY, SOULFUL POWERFUL AND CONVICTED” rock and roll. Heh.

After ripping through the cover, David chuckles, “So, if you see that person…I guess let him know.”

BOOM! Your turn, Caleb!

As an aside, also part of the encore, David dedicates “Heroes” to his good friend and fellow season 7 Idol, Michael Johns, who passed away two weeks ago from a blood clot to his ankle.

The intro begins at the 4:41 mark.

“I do want to say before we play these last few songs,” says David, “The Idol family lost one of our own…I want do want to say…Rest In Peace to my good friend, Mr. Michael Johns. We miss you. We love you.”

David continues with the tribute. “I honestly would not have made it through whatever that process was without him. I’m going to miss him a lot.”

Video via Kristen8108

Rock n Roll/Whole Lotta Love

David dedicates “Heroes” to Michael Johns

About mj santilli 33683 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. Good for David. I’ve always considered Caleb an egotistical ass and he’s not doing/saying anything these days to dissuade me of that notion.

  2. I wouldn’t call this a feud, just a gentle poke from David to Caleb.

  3. I don’t think David really needed to acknowledge a negative remark from somebody as insignificant as Caleb. It gives him more credence than he merits.

  4. JMWO, but… real rock(ers) can NEVER be discovered on a “cheesy” pop TV show… real rock is born in a garage and grows organically… it sweeps through the masses like a plague… cautiously kept OUT of the media until it can’t be held back any longer…

  5. Team Cookie over here. The best part was he backed up his words with great rock and roll musicianship, not put downs of the other guy. If Caleb has to try to denigrate others to elevate his own cred his future is pretty dim.

  6. This is an enchanting myth, but it hasn’t been a full statement of the case since Malcolm McLaren recast half of the band that eventually became the Sex Pistols to help him sell fetish wear.

    All bands end up dancing with the machine at some point in order to get noticed; it’s not that some tidal wave of listeners demands to stand up and be counted. Even in the age of the internet, the biggest independent breakout successes have an audience of the hundreds of thousands (and more often tens), not the millions. It takes playing the game to get ahead.

  7. Whatever it’s about, if you give me a choice between David and Caleb, it’s Cookie all the way.
    Pretty sure if Alex or Jena released an album, it’d sell more than 5K the first week.

  8. David was always diplomatic about things like this, but when he first addressed the WGWG label back in 2012, going so far as to say it “pissed him off” (I believe it was in Shirley Halperin’s long video interview with him after the debut of “Last Song…” on Idol), he’s gotten a bit more outspoken. I say good for him — especially since he mentored Caleb this past season and David mentioned that Caleb actually talked with him quite a bit about D’s time on the show. David even called him a “fellow rocker” on the show (IIRC, correction welcome if wrong). I can see how Caleb’s words in the article would annoy David enough to say something, all things considered.

  9. Not only can he rock, but David showed that he can play the guitar too. Caleb forgets that in Season 7, the kids didn’t get to pick their own themes, much less songs. He’d have been in serious trouble if he’d been on Idol during one of those earlier seasons..

  10. He also forgets that it took him what, four tries to get on the show at all? The Swedish producers had a lot to do with his success, because one of their Sweden Idol winners was a metal singer who is now fronting a very successful Swedish metal band. They were more open to Caleb’s style of rock than producers were in previous seasons.

  11. Just because David couldn’t do a lot of rock performances on Idol doesn’t mean he isn’t a rock artist. Blame that on the themes being so narrow. Anyway Caleb’s rock performances never convinced me. I liked whenever he slowed it down like with his performance of “Faithfully” and coincidentally he performed that the week David mentored.

  12. im a big fan of david..bought all of his cds…have followed him throughout idol and after…im also a big caleb fan. I really think caleb doesnt choose his words correctly..but he has alot of talent.

  13. Well maybe this ‘feud’ will get both their names in some entertainment news. I’ve become convinced that 99% of these kinds of stories are just PR for one or both sides. (So tired of seeing a new ‘controversy’ involving the reality K family every week being put out as ‘news’ when in fact it’s just advertising for their sinking reality show.) Back to this ‘feud’…maybe they’ll get a little publicity…wouldn’t hurt.

  14. Caleb has vocal talent, and I enjoyed many of her performances on the show, but he’s pretty one note to me. David was and is a musically versatile singer who also is a classy guy — way classier than Caleb.

    Further affiant sayeth not.

  15. the thought did cross my mind that the whole thing is a PR stunt… collaborative, even…

  16. Ha. This is the Idol equivalent of the papa lion cuffing the overconfident cub on the ear with a sheathed paw. Cook is rarely this pointed in his banter but he’s often topical and generally humorous. This was obviously delivered with a wink and a chuckle, and the cover speaks for itself.

    Loved the dedication of “Heroes” to Michael Johns. Touching and so appropriate to that friendship.

  17. I’m not a Caleb fan, but please get your #s straight. According to HDD, Caleb’s album is predicted to sell 9-11K in its first week. And TBH, Alex would sell less than that and Jena probably would as well. None of them have any buzz.

  18. Well Caleb is supposed to be promoting his album. But of course all people have been talking about is it’s predicted low sales. As for David he has the right to say what’s on his mind regardless of someone telling him to respond or not.

  19. That’s the way I remember it, too. To me, that makes it even worse what Caleb said, he can’t claim he doesn’t know that David did rock because they did speak about it on the show. It isn’t as if he never met David or never discussed it.

  20. Thing of it is, Caleb is an equal opportunity insulter. He even insulted the city of Los Angeles (like a desert, buildings and dirt).

  21. Caleb is a tool. I never voted for him and I still don’t get how he won but that’s my opinion. For me, he is arrogant and most likely no real staying power. I’ll continue to throw my $$ toward David, PR or not!

  22. only thing is, the media obviously doesn’t care about Caleb, given how little coverage he’s gotten. And David doesn’t exactly get much press these days, either. So it’s unlikely anyone outside of the Idol bubble has even heard about this

  23. I’m not so sure this is really a feud, but it was Caleb that fired the first shots. I think what Caleb said was very disrespectful. I think what David did was a very classy way to respond to this. I’m definately on David’s side. I did like Caleb’s voice on the show, and even listened to the stream of his album and liked it, and thought I would buy it but I won’t now.

    I think the fact that Calebs music isn’t really that much harder rock than David’s is the final straw. If Caleb was truly doing hard rock or metal, he would have more merit to say he was the first hard rock winner. This just takes credibility away from him.

  24. If it is, maybe it’s on Calebs side to convince people he’s the first rock winner. I really don’t think David Cook would do something like that, since he’s always been very respecful of former contestants, especially the rock ones.

  25. *sigh*
    My 2 cents. Neither one is Hard Rock, IMO, but Cook is at least a class act and Caleb, well, is not.
    Bottom line, outside of the bubble, no one will care.

  26. “Real staying power”? Caleb wasn’t even popular on or immediately after the show. He had no popularity to begin with to maintain. lol

  27. When one is an obnoxious oaf like Caleb, pretty much 99% of the population is classier than he is. lol

  28. dude should worry about his first album even getting to what David Cook’s 2nd post Idol album did

  29. To be honest, i genuinely expected Jena to win just because she had the potential to be more current. I honestly don’t know how Caleb won either.

  30. I liked Caleb on the show too, and I listened to his album on Spotify. To me, it sounds more like Shinedown than any classic rock (one song is even very similar to Shinedown’s “Miracle”). The whole “real rock” thing is played out; just because you don’t perform old school melodic rock doesn’t mean you’re not in the genre — especially when Lorde gets nominated in rock categories these days.

  31. I know I will buy Alex’s album. And Jena? It depends if it is more like say Jefferson Airplane or Melissa Lou Etheridge or if it is more like Katy Perry Pop. Can’t stand the latter. I will say that the original song she sang on the show (can’t remember the name) I loved very much. As far as David Cook, I love his voice and music, and I resonate with the person. As far as Caleb, No thanks. He has a great voice, but musicality isn’t there for me. Nor is the heart.

  32. Jena is too current to be more popular than Caleb with the particular age demographic that is the majority of the Idol audience.

  33. The other point of Caleb’s interview was just as disillusional: That the power do his performances on tour made the audience’s eyes bleed. As they have never seen or heard such power? All I have heard from this tour was empty seats, small venues, and back tracts in lieu of a band. If Caleb can’t see in front of him, no way he can acknowledge or see anyone or thing that came before him.

  34. This Loud Morning sold 46,000 copies in its debut week. Caleb’s record will, unfortunately, not even sniff that total in his entire run. This “feud” is pretty much a complete nonstarter.

  35. Whoops. Sorry the internet can be untrustworthy with the numbers. I’ll edit the original comment.
    As for the whole Alex/Jena thing, I don’t wanna get too off the subject of the thread, but at least according to the iTunes recordings (and I know they don’t mean much after the show) those two’s genres are more mainstream and accessible than ’80s nostalgia rock. TBH just more commercial and marketable.
    Although I won’t assume, considering they don’t have albums.
    You know what? Let’s just get to Season 14 already. XD

  36. Good point, but at the beginning of the season at least they seemed to be trying to get some of that younger demographic back, so I expected her to win regardless, if you catch my meaning. ;)

  37. Does anybody know why Caleb thinks As Long As You Love Me is not “pop rock”?
    The song sounds kinda bubblegummy to me. Fits right into an “angst-fueled tween film”
    Although David’s songs have a ballady feel to them, they’re less pop than Caleb.

    NOTE: Haven’t heard Caleb’s full album, so a summary of the other songs would be appreciated!

  38. My only thought is that it was written by the singer from The Darkness, who were considered a “legit” throwback classic rock band. But ALAYLM sounds like 80s hair metal, which I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy to hear either because that genre is also derided by ‘real rockers’.

  39. I am so happy to hear Cook talk about Michael Johns. So sweet to dedicate a song to him too.

    About whatever Caleb said…mehh nothing he says means anything to me. Cookie was such a class act on his season, not to mention truly talented. Everything going on with his brother and his own health scare after one of the shows and how he wanted to keep all that private, my respect for him grew more and more. All Caleb did this year was screech the same song every week, and then constantly stick his foot in his mouth by comments he made on the show or interviews and Twitter. He can stay delusional all he wants about being a real rocker and that Cook isn’t. Cook is six years out of the show and still touring and making music. We’ll see where Caleb is in six years…

  40. “This is the Idol equivalent of the papa lion cuffing the overconfident cub on the ear with a sheathed paw. Cook is rarely this pointed in his banter but he’s often topical and generally humorous…”

    That was exactly the vibe I got very clearly from the intro chatter last night, ladymadonna. And truly, Johnson’s attitude is not reflecting well on the franchise. As girlygirl says, “I wouldn’t call this a feud, just a gentle poke from David to Caleb.”

    David has often told us that he doesn’t tale himself seriously – but he takes his music very seriously. For anyone who thinks he is all concerned about ‘rock cred’ as Johnson seems to be? – think again. Check this pair of pictures, also from last night. A little girl in the audience gave him her novelty glasses – and he crammed them onto his large cranium and wore them to sing “Declaration” – with some crazy vocals. That kind of connection with the audience is something Johnson has yet to accomplish. IMO.

  41. I met Caleb and he’s actually very nice and interacted with the fans at my show . He’s very outgoing. But I LOL at either of them being called so called rockers when they both tried out for a very POP based show. A real rocker would never try out for Idol.

  42. Maybe they should start a new reality show: “Desperate Idol Winners Of America”. Hire some scriptwriters for some truly shocking and scandalous plots and just maybe they can save American Idol as the show would basically become a casting show for “Desperate Idol Winners …”. Their inability to sell music would this way become a positive.

  43. Interestingly, my first thought when I listened to clips from Testify was that “this sounds like DCTR”. So yeah, good job Caleb on being a “real” hard core rocker. Whatever.

    I liked DCTR. So maybe I should buy Testify eh? Haha

  44. “Here, David and his band launch into a blistering cover of “Rock ‘n’ Roll/Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, proving that he’s no stranger to “HEAVY, SOULFUL POWERFUL AND CONVICTED” rock and roll. Heh.

    After ripping through the cover, David chuckles, “So, if you see that person…I guess let him know.””

    And while you’re at it, let Caleb know that DC and his band have been killing this cover since 2011; right around the time Caleb failed to make Idol for the 2nd time.

  45. Well. Real. Or … “credible”. Or … “authentic”.

    As demonstrated by Credible Cardle and Authentic Arthur from X Factor UK, “credible” and “authentic” just isn’t the way to describe yourself if you audition for a TV reality talent show.

  46. Maybe so, but the appearances of Queen, Kiss and Slash to name a few certainly show that “real rockers” aren’t afraid to perform on the show to boost their own signals. So I would think that would add a bit of realness to any rocker in any genre or sub-genre of rock, which are all ‘real’, who decides to give it a shot and do the same for themselves.

  47. And actually, Chris Cornell is very respected in the rock community, probably more so than Justin Hawkins. So….

  48. Funny you should mention that because Jesse Kinch from Rising Star seemed to indicate that he’ll be doing Cornell’s version of Billie Jean on the show tonight. He’s the rocker on that show and they wanted him to be more current instead of doing classic rock. Oh, the irony.

  49. That’s where Caleb’s comments lose credibility to me, because his music really isn’t hard core rock either.

    And personally, even if the albums are a similar sound, I feel that lyrically and musically DCTR is a much stronger album, that has come to mean a lot to me, and I don’t see that happening to me with Caleb’s, even if I did buy it.

  50. It’s a mix of DCTR and Shinedown’s most recent one (one song even sounds a whole lot like SD’s “Miracle”). There are actually two songs that seem to be a stab at a “Permanent”-esque moment (just strings, piano and voice) but neither have the lyrical weight of “Permanent”. If you are on Spotify it’s worth a listen there and if you like melodic hard rock, you’ll probably enjoy it.

  51. The final season should be all x-amount of winners battling it out for the ultimate crown. Will silence all the fan wars once and for all!

  52. He’s considered to be one, supposedly by the rock community, and he shouted “give metal a chance” when he was on Idol but I have to yet to hear any rock music he’s released since Idol which doesnt count singing covers of rock songs in concert. His CD’s aren’t any more rock than DC’s or Caleb’s IMO.

  53. Very true. If this had happened during Idol’s biggest years, a feud between two winners of a similar fashion would have been big media news. Not so much now. And even during the year of his reign D tried to stay out of the tabloids as much as possible (and managed to mostly do that save for a couple of odd stories that were questionably valid at best, and reports on Adam’s passing).

  54. Caleb needs serious media training and a PR person who is not faint of heart. Because I actually like his album and voice but his personality is threatening to ruin that for me.

  55. He is, and there are some rock musicians who gave him the time of day which was kind of unheard of, including the lead singer of Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue’s side project, Sixx:AM. Nikki also played songs from Durbin’s first album on his radio show (I heard “Higher Than Heaven” on it a few times). Some of his first album including the opening song “Higher Than Heaven” are heavier than anything on either Caleb’s or any of D’s albums. But I’d still consider all three of them rock and neither any more real than the other, IMO.

  56. In reply to your note, I’ll c/p my reply to hayes from up top:

    It’s a mix of DCTR and Shinedown’s most recent one (one song even sounds
    a whole lot like SD’s “Miracle”). There are actually two songs that
    seem to be a stab at a “Permanent”-esque moment (just strings, piano and
    voice) but neither have the lyrical weight of “Permanent”. If you are
    on Spotify it’s worth a listen there and if you like melodic hard rock,
    you’ll probably enjoy it.

  57. This is so true fallBackIntoMe . I really enjoy calebs album..but he needs some serious training in the media area on what and what not to say. I have to say that i like his voice. No matter what you say about cant deny he has a great voice.

  58. If you were to ask me who the most obvious rock person is from Idol, it would be James.

  59. Yes. So is Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, Allison Iraheta, Siobhan Magnus, Nikki McKibbin, Paul MacDonald, Michael Johns, and probably quite a few more. But they didn’t not included in Caleb’s little manifesto. In fact, I have yet to hear/read of him giving any credit to those who came before him on the show. I could be wrong, since I only hear about him when he has his foot in his mouth.

  60. Now David’s former lead guitarist Devin Bronson is adding his 2 cents tweeting: “Tell me how the “real rock” idol guys album did this week. I’m curious”.

  61. Until he learns some tact, I’ll stay with listening to his music and far away from reading/watching any interviews. It may be the only way I am able to enjoy his music if he carries on as he is currently. :/

  62. HTH is definitely heavier as is Outcast. Back For More and Liberate were heavier as well.

    I’m not saying one is more “real” than the others just heavier. James has always been booked by an agency that books harder rock and metal acts. His new management’s other clients are almost all harder rock/metal acts. (My guess is he is heading back in this direction, we’ll see.)

    But more importantly as far as I know, no other “rocker” from Idol had this kind of rock media coverage during and after their run on the show….

  63. “Oh, the irony.”

    Heh. Especially if he uses DC’s shortened version of Cornell’s arrangement . I’ll have to check that out, and compare. Is that show also limited to 90 seconds for their songs, so they have to cut it down?

    I’ll add that to the archives; since 2008
    (DC really started something), someone has attempted that song on a reality TV show somewhere in the world – often several in one year. I think it’s getting close to two dozen attempts so far, most of them using the shortened arrangement DC did for the show, not the studio version.

  64. I believe with the slacking audience on American Idol, the show should be canned, and reinvented into a new show called PistvAmerican Idol or AI Rehab…a ll the AI also means can do a stint on the show. Jlo can be the Den Motger and Keith and Harry musical counselors. And for the Die Hard AI fans, put out DVDs on the best years only.

  65. It’s been a minute since I listened to James’ first album, but overall I definitely would say he’s heavier on that one at least. The newer one is a bit more modern but I hope he returns to that first album’s sound eventually.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to infer re: “real”; I worded that badly. I was trying to say I just feel they’re all equally talented despite varying genres of rock. My bad, apologies :x

  66. I think they may play a bit longer, I’ve never actually timed it but it does seem like they’re able to use a bit more of the songs. TBH, Jesse is very talented and has a great rock voice. He came on as a classic rocker but pulled one modern rock song “7 Nation Army” out of his hat two weeks ago. Upon going back to a classic song the judges said he needed to be more current, though his tweet said he knew he wanted to do the Cornell song “from day one”. I feel like D’s version probably has resonated enough that it’s the impetus for at least some of the people who have done it on other shows.

  67. Whoah. Devin can be sort of scathing – a man of decided opinions – and he and David are good friends. Not surprised he added a comment, but …partisan warfare is not necessary here. IMO.

  68. No need to apologize :) I agree with you.

    I also hope he returns to a heavier sound, but more modern than the first record. There are a lot of new hard rock bands breaking lately and I’m really digging the modern heavy sound they have. I hope James puts out something next as cool as these new acts.

  69. I actually didn’t think he would speak out about something like this. It actually kinda sounds like a sarcastic remark. I’m surprised he might know about Caleb’s album sales. But I see what you’re saying. I mean I know that us fans of David will say something on social media, but I don’t expect his friends like Devin or Andy or Monty to say anything about it.

  70. I’m not a big David Cook fan, but I think Caleb needs a tee shirt that says “Foot, Meet Mouth”. He seems to have a knack for doing that.

  71. David Cook is a talented ARTIST, also smart and classy. Caleb seems more like a wannabe bombastic showman and I’ve not seen much class from him. Has he ever said anything complimentary and appreciative of David? David Cook has done a lot for the Idol franchise (during and after Season 7) and Caleb should show some respect for that.

    It’s hard for me to get interested in an album that was completed in 3 weeks. But I’m not going to make fun of Caleb’s sales. I’d rather see Idols do well. I’m sad about what’s happened to Idol.

  72. That’s awesome :) And he is fairly well known as a rock guitarist also.

  73. That’s true. It’s safe to say he’s probably most known for playing with Avril Lavigne.

  74. Awwww. I loved that Devin said something. Why not? We all are. He’s defending his friend and joining in the conversation. I don’t see a problem. Just like if Caleb’s fan would make statements to defend their favorite rocker. It’s not like he named Caleb and made some rude, scathing remarks, which even David would hate.

  75. At least Caleb wasn’t stuck with a cheesy song about magic rainbows, which is #2 best selling coronation song and Cook’s best selling single. This drama rama is the most news either of these guys will get this year. Both are as relevant as Winner #7 outdated comb over.

  76. I saw a performance of AI Season 7 tour, with David Cook the winner. It was a very large arena that was packed. Don’t think Mr. Johnson has that type of crowds coming to listen to him. David Cook has shown himself to be a class act and well, I’m not sure about the current winner.

  77. There’s a lot of performers that can’t sing a lick and are “relevant” and many more that can actually sing and are not so much. For my money, I prefer the latter. As long as they are happy and making a living doing what they love, then it’s good. Such a shame so many in this world don’t have that luxury.

  78. Maybe my idea of rock musicians is different, but Bo Bice collaborated with Richie Sambora, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed with him on the finale, Constantine was invited by Brian May of Queen to sing on a Queen tribute album, and Daughtry collaborated with Slash on their first album. In fact the latter, as far as I know is the only songfrom someone on AI that cracked the Top 10 on the actual Billboard ROCK chart and got actual rock airplay so I think, IMO, rock musicians actually did pay attention to Idol even early on.

  79. No, you’re right and thanks for pointing that out. I do think they’re a little more accepting now than they were in Idol’s early days and I definitely think they started that. I definitely remember David saying he watched Daughtry’s audition before he went in front of the judges for his and he’s given props to Bo as well. He’s always made note of them, so I think it stands out that Caleb seems to think he’s the “first”. Maybe Bo and Daughtry didn’t win, but they most definitely paved the way.

  80. Well, I form my opinions based on my understanding of how the industry operated in the past and how it has changed (or not changed) in the present. And the idea that “real rock” is “held back” from the media until something forces it to their attention doesn’t track with a lot of earlier history, and certainly not the era of consolidated media empires. Media drives mass attention; not the other way around

  81. Really? I may have to check that out. Or, hopefully there will be videos because I probably will be watching something else. But, rock on Mr. Kinch.

  82. I agree with all you said. I was a big big fan during the season and voted my fingers off for him. I even stood by him through his PR nightmare with the retard comment. Since the end of the show, I followed him on social media. He became so annoying that I cannot stand him now. I didn’t buy the album and don’t plan to. I’ve unfollowed him as well.

    He not only needs PR training, he needs a thesaurus. I wanted to stick a fork in my eye every dang time he posted using the words awesome and amazing. Gah.

  83. Not to take anything away from any of those you mentioned, but my point was always about rock media/press/industry coverage, not other rock musician’s seals of approval or if they paid attention to Idol.
    (Btw, Mick Mars actually played for free on James’ album. Nice guy.)

    Also, I think James is the only rocker from Idol to ever play Rock on the Range or to be nominated for a Golden God Award (the Grammy’s of Hard Rock/Metal) for Best Vocalist. But I could be wrong since I didn’t watch the earlier seasons of Idol.

  84. I know, I was responding to FallBackInToMe’s post about rockers acknowledging Idols before James. I watched Idol from the first season and I find that Bo and Constantine often get overlooked by fans who didnt watch that early on.

  85. Caleb did compliment two idols that he admired. Daughtry and Adam. He said they were two of his favorites from Idol. He said Adam blew the roof off the place every week and the he was a rock star. He also name checked Daughtry and Adam as two of the successful idols along with Carrie, Kelly, and Jennifer H. on several occasions. When Adam was just starting out, he name checked Cook as his inspiration several times. Once when Adam was being interviewed by, I believe a French publication, they said that he changed the game on Idol. Adam said he felt it was Cook in season 7 who should get the credit. Who knows why he did not pick Daughtry or Bo. Bottom line is, these guys have their own opinions of who they liked and no fan angst will change that. But Caleb made the mistake of saying he was different because he was the first rocker to win. That set him up to be asked over and over again about David. Even if you think you are the best, the most unique or whatever, it is better not to voice it. If the media thinks you were a game changer, you don’t need to say anthing. You will be rewarded with heavy media interest, extra opportunities, buzz and nice bank account.

  86. Here’s a better link to my video of Rock ‘n Roll and Whole Lotta Love. I love the way David responded to Caleb’s comments without naming names and I sure hope Caleb sees this. That wasn’t cool of him to say that about David when he took the time to give him really good feedback as a mentor on Idol. Don’t speak if you don’t know the facts! It just made him look even more arrogant.

    Also, here’s a better video of the Michael Johns mention.

  87. I actually don’t care that much either. This is all being discussed only because of Caleb’s comments about David.
    The whole thing is so pointless and stupid, IMO. Caleb should be concerning himself with his own career. He’s in for a rude awakening very soon.

  88. Just one persons opinion, but David Cook has more class in his little pinky than Caleb Johnson will ever have. IMO, Caleb was being disrespectful by making a statement like that. A lot of people will make neg statements about others in order to promote themselves and make themselves look better. Comparing David to Caleb is like comparing Apples to Oranges. David Cook is the best and only “rocker” that ever came out of AI. Enough said.

  89. IMO Bo, Daughtry, Cook and Adam are at least as rock as Caleb. Cook and Adam are so versatile that they don’t stick to just the rock genre maybe that’s what’s confusing Caleb since I would say he’s more of a one trick pony.

  90. Did you forget about all of Daughtry’s success and the fact that Adam is touring with one of the best rock bands of all time?

  91. He’s definitely not the only rocker to come out of Idol, Daughtry and Bo Bice, and Constantine Maroulis, all came before him and he’s acknowledged that.

  92. Neither of those guys won, so it’s very convenient to dismiss Cook’s bona fides considering that *he* did win. If Caleb was to give Cook credit than that would make Caleb “second” in his view.

  93. That’s the thing with David, he does acknowledge the others before him that did rock, and even says that he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did on the show if it wasn’t for them. Adam Lambert has too. That is why Caleb’s statements bother me, because if it wasn’t for David being on the show, it is doubtful that Caleb would have been either.

  94. What Cook did wasn’t just to add rock to the show, it was that he was able to rearrange songs that weren’t necessarily rock into rock songs. Daughtry did this too though.
    The difference to Adam was that in S7, they were given more creative freedom, and that’s why he thought he could show what kind of artist he was on the show.

  95. But Caleb had not won when he picked Daughtry and Adam as his favorites. CJ had Daughtry and Ruben. Sam, P2. Jena, Jordin and Carrie. Don’t remember Jess. But Alex picked Adam as a standout for him. I was shocked he did not pick a wgwg lol. But still, David being recognized as a rocker and/or successful winner will not hinge on Caleb’s opinion.

  96. So not true, he is not the ONLY rocker to come out of AI and I think he’d be the first to admit that. Him saying that would be a Caleb douche move.

  97. I was going to post something but I think I’ll just go with what you said. You articulated what I was trying to say better than I ever could :)

  98. David’s response was cute, with just the right amount of humour. I really didn’t detect any antagonism. Unlike the typical celebrity feud, Cook avoided saying anything critical or personal about Caleb. He could have easily made fun of Caleb’s tendency to use his guitar as a prop, or a number of other things, but he kept the focus on himself, which is why I definitely wouldn’t see this as the start of any kind of feud.

    I also like that Cook doesn’t feel the need to define himself as a “rocker”, and instead acknowledges that we can be more than one thing (which he did in his usual cute and self-deprecating way). I haven’t followed Cook in such a long time, but this clip reminded me of why he will probably always be my favorite Idol winner.

  99. Caleb’s fans can say whatever they want, just as David’s fans can. But, if Caleb’s band members join in, that’s taking the whole thing to another level. I’m on Team David in this debate, but I think Devin’s tweet was mean-spirited. As far as I know, DC hasn’t posted anything in writing. He just made a light-hearted observation before performing some rock stuff. No big deal at all. Devin’s being bitchy and snide. It takes away from DC’s classiness.

  100. Did you forget about Chris Daughtry or Bo Bice? Both of whom were on Idol before David Cook and both of whom would fall under the broad category of “rocker”? Or James Durbin? I’m sure there are others, as well.

  101. Caleb doesn’t have any band members right now. . Unless you mean his ex-bandmates.

  102. Devin is an adult. He can make his own choices. As Cook’s guitarist, Caleb’s comments can easily be extended to him as well. While his comment is not something Cook would post I hardly think they rise to the level of something he should be asked to censor.

  103. Caleb Johnson has a severe case of foot in mouth disease. There’s much more to being a “rocker” than screeching and throwing your Meatloaf do around.

  104. David’s a rocker but because of his actual talent, he could sing ANYTHING and be good at it. David is also a class act.

  105. No, I was being hypothetical. I honestly didn’t see a “feud” here. Which is why it seems silly for band members and friends to participate.

  106. Where in my post did I say he should be censored? Devin is most certainly an adult. That doesn’t mean what he says isn’t annoying and eye-roll worthy. Cook had a choice to either completely ignore what Caleb said in the interview or appeal to his most die-hard fans by using it as a humorous intro. Neither would be wrong, though the former would be the classiest way to go. He chose the latter, and it worked just fine. Now, along comes Devin who also wants to appeal to that same portion of the fan base. But, his style of doing so is a little ickier, a little more “F-U man!” A little more desperate.It takes it to a different level. I don’t like it.

    I’m not a fan of Caleb, and I don’t like how he presents himself in interviews. But, he’s hardly the evil-doer Cook’s fans seem to want to believe him to be. He’s an inexperienced kid stumbling his way through the early PR process. So what? Cook and his band should be so far above that crap that it’s off their radar.

  107. Saying Devin should not have posted what he did is basically saying he should censor his opinion. He has the right to his reaction to a public, uncalled for, insult. It is not the same reaction as Cook’s because they are different people. He still has the right to his own reaction.
    And both of them have the right to defend themselves against an unfair statement about them professionally. Everyone has the right to defend themselves. Neither of them is making a big deal about it but they certainly have the right to react.

  108. “I’m a real rocker”, Caleb Johnson = “I’m a real boy”, Pinocchio.

  109. A little late to the fiesta (Inside joke,) but Yahoo Music has a story up about this now.

  110. No tour draw alone =’s walk a little more quietly among (Winners & Top Favorites who made real buzz & PACKED in screaming tour audiences before you). Not cool OR REAL trying to make yourself “higher & mightier”.

  111. I have the initial post-Idol album for David Cook, James Durbin, and Caleb Johnson. If we’re fighting over the “real rocker” crown, I would give it to James (for MOABD) . . .

  112. I’ll never understand why Daughtry’s success as a rock artist is always forgotten. I guess probably a combination of his music not being nearly as rock as it once once and also some people simply not watching that far back.

  113. If you are correct that James is doing a course-correction and is moving back toward hard rock/metal, then all I can say is “YAY!” I loved MOABD, but I HATE his second CD. (I picked up a copy when I bought Danny’s second CD.)

    I had heard that mid-way into his second CD, James moved to a more mainstream/commercial sound. I wouldn’t necessarily have had a problem with that, IF the change had been well-executed. It was not. Not trying to make his fans feel bad, but of all the Idol CDs I’ve purchased over the years, “Celebrate” is the worst. I doubt I will ever listen to it again.

    What were they thinking? Does anybody knows whose idea it was to change direction? I’m thinking Wind-Up, not James, who actually was getting a bit of traction in his chosen genre.

  114. “I really think that the term real rocker is so subjective that arguing
    over whether someone is a rocker or not, is a moot argument”.
    Exactly! Elvis Presley and Bill Haley were real rockers in the 50s.

  115. Having the right to do something doesn’t mean a particular action is wise. There’s something to be said for staying above the fray. For one thing, a nonreaction puts Caleb in his place — that the nonreacting party doesn’t deign to respond sends the message that what has been said isn’t even worth responding to.

  116. “…the term real rocker is so subjective…”

    Whenever I hear the term applied in that way, I always feel as if I am in the middle of a “No True Scotsman” joke, and I get an incredibly powerful urge to be cutting and sarcastic. I have to go away until my better angels triumph. Mostly.

  117. If someone could define rock or pop, or elucidate the difference between soul and urban (or even define them), or explain why something is HAC rather then AC, or when music becomes “adult” rather than “disney”, or explain why glam rock, psychedelic rock, alternative rock, metal, punk, surfer rock, southern rock, or garage rock aren’t “rock” in its pure form then I’ll have a point to discuss. As it is Caleb is just a Horses’ arse talking through the wrong orifice and Cook is in no way “feuding” with him.

    And unless someone is into American Idol trivia this is such a non-story from the Cook side…though Caleb is digging his grave deeper and faster every time he opens his mouth.

  118. I agree that the real rocker argument is subjective. The only reason it is an issue at all is because that is the term Caleb used. Maybe it is subjective to him, and his opinion, but he would have been better not to say this publically against another winner. It comes across as (or actually is) an attempt to one-up someone else.

  119. Devin Bronson is no longer with David’s band, though. He hasn’t been for about a year. So whatever he says is no reflection on the band.

  120. Caleb was asked about his favorite Idols, not his opinion of who the best “Idol rockers” were. Nobody’s “bona fides” had anything to do with it.

  121. But no one is fighting for the one crown. One is saying the other isn’t in the group. (And his excuse is ignorance yet he keeps saying it.)

  122. And I (along w/many other fans continually on his site) say that Celebrate is a ton of talent also. Opinions. He can return to heavier music or keep it mixed up for all types of fans—his choice.

  123. I think they’re all rockers. I just think it’s ridiculous when one of them claims the others aren’t “real rockers,” because they aren’t performing the same exact songs in the same exact way as they do. Pretty soon — the way the rock world is defined — will end up being one guy in his basement playing guitar hero!

  124. “One is saying the other isn’t in the group.” That’s what’s not right for him to do.
    We have a favorite(s) but there’s been fantastic performances pointed out throughout the yrs. of Idol (male & female). “One of the best” is a compliment for select favorites imo.

  125. I shall never understand why some new Idols slag the old ones. Odds are you end up offending a potential fan and customer. You aren’t likely to gain many new fans by claiming to be the first at something (especially 13 seasons in), but you are likely going to turn off some.

    Does Caleb seriously think that some Rock fan who never watched him on Idol is suddenly going to buy his album based on some Yahoo interview? They aren’t even going to read it. You know who will read it? Idol fans.

    Don’t piss in your own pool.

    Cook’s response was classy.

  126. David is a class act. I just luv him. Caleb has a lot to learn.

  127. The good news for Caleb is no rock fan outside of the bubble knows about this or cares.
    Unfortunately, this is also the bad news, since no rock fans outside of the bubble know he exists since he has had zero rock media coverage.

    Is the glass half full or half empty? lol

  128. I suspect that when Johnson’s team came up with his talking points, everybody had forgotten Cook, and they’ve been backing and filling ever since because they know admitting that would blow up worse.

    Johnson’s team is also fairly stupid to have sent him out with the hard rock bloviation and two of the most rockless tracks on the album. But all it takes is seeing Idols Live to realize TPTB are getting shits and giggles out of undermining their winner.

    Neither of these dudes has enough rock cred outside the Idol bubble to be worth fighting over. In another two years, the entire singing show genre will be dead and all the alumni will have more important things to worry about than whose rocks are bigger.

    On the other hand, Cook should be a lot more entertaining, now that he’s demonstrated willingness to participate in fanwars.

  129. My guess is because he broke when Nickelback was very popular, with a similar type sound and it is well known in rock circles that Nickelback is considered a “joke” band. (Good thing he isn’t roped into that category as well.)

  130. It seems James and other non-winning rock alumni are off the hook, lol.

    Actually, I’d love to hear his opinion of James since he beat him out in S10 for the “token rocker” spot that year.

  131. Something else thats overlooked is Daughtry got Grammy nominations in the rock category the first year they really broke out huge. IIRC they got rock album and rock song for Its Not Over. Even if the rock world chooses not to think of them as rock I think Idol fans also forget too.

  132. I actually wished I had watched that season. Daughtry isn’t my thing, but he always seemed like a classy guy as well.

    But I think what gets nominated as “Rock” at the Grammy’s (Lorde? lol), was the basis for the harder rock world creating the Golden God Awards.

  133. Durbin would probably be harder to sting, anyway, since he’s always been up-front about his sophomore album being pop-rock and about seeing that as a necessary compromise.

    He’s also had his day as the dude who gets walloped by another Idol’s larger fanbase over any statement that might be seen as inadequately awestruck by Bigger Idol’s bubble legacy, so he has reason to know that nobody wins these wars.

  134. Oh you should YouTube season 5. That was truly AI in its glory days (and even as a Daughtry fan his shock boot was one of THE best moments ever on Idol just for the reactions alone lol) I feel like the basis for rock has gone waaay down since. I think Daughtry was up against people like Springsteen and The Foo Fighters. Do the Grammy’s still have Hard Rock and Metal categories? I know when it was more popular they still did.

  135. I think they do still have a Metal category, which Halestorm won for best performance a few years ago, (who I actually consider hard rock, lol)

    The Grammy’s are so out of touch with current metal and hard rock, the nominees are really laughable, and they don’t even show those awards anymore on the telecast. I think that’s why the hard rock/metal world finally said f*ck you and created their own award show voted on by their own peers (so IMO, getting nominated and more so winning means way more inside that community).

  136. and I disagree… but that’s what opinions are alllllllllll about… no?

  137. lol. I remember that well. I think a childhood of bullying really helped him deal.

    As for the reasons behind the “pop-rock” album, he still doesn’t throw anyone under the bus about that even though we all know it was the late, great Tom Lee’s call to remake his album.
    During that podcast with Jericho last Friday, he still takes the fall saying it was his idea because he has such a “varied fan base”, and this album was for that other half.

    (Now I want the next new music for the hard rock half James!)

  138. He’s probably also secure in the knowledge that at this stage of the pop culture lifecycle, nobody even remembers the back-and-forth between two AI alumni more than a month or two after it happened except for a handful of ride-or-die fanwarriors, so he doesn’t have to deal with it in the media ever again.

  139. Thank you Caleb, this is he first time in several years that David Cook has shown some life and appears to be interesting. He practically disappeared after he dropped his first album and did that never ending tour.

  140. Well, I think they’re based on sharing examples and data that buttress one’s opinion so that other people can understand one’s perspective, and incorporating counterevidence into one’s own opinion about the situation, but I understand that’s sometimes a novel approach on the internet.

  141. Off the top of my head – since his first album:
    *rapeled down a 40 story hotel for charity
    *participated in his first marathon for charity
    *performed a King’s X song that got their fans so enthusiastic that the King’s X drummer showed up at his next gig
    *had the King’s X drummer and Steven VanZandt show up and perform with him at a NYC show
    *participate yearly in Race for Hope Charity in Washington D.C. along with Steve Case the C.E.O. of AOL/TimeWarner
    *write a song that is on the Country charts right now

    There are many other things that have kept him active. I think indirectly referring to Caleb is not very high on the list of entertaining things he has done.

  142. I don’t hold Cook responsible for everything his friends say, but let’s be honest: Bronson may well have played on tracks on this next album and may be tapped to play on future tours. If Skib, or even Tiemann, said something, it would still be “team Cook” regardless of how long they’ve been away from actively touring with him.
    Tweets are the easiest to screencap and take out of context, so for that reason alone, people should avoid using them. Bronson would have done better to leave it alone and let Cook’s performance speak for itself (in as much as it could be a contained statement instead of a vehicle for observers to start a meta-narrative).

  143. I think Bronson should have left it alone, but I don’t think his motivation was so much “desperately trying to appeal to the base” (because that would run counter to many previous tweets) as much as “general pissiness” (which would not run counter at all). Neither is a good motivation, but the headspace is different.
    But, as I said below, such is the reason for not tweeting, because it takes things out of context and lets people assume all sorts of things about the motivation behind it.

  144. If it were a debate, or a lawsuit, where there were a clear winner decided , I might engage…. but as it is… neither of us are going to convince the other… so I’ll avoid the futility.

  145. Hey, it gives something for Johnson’s die-hard fans to drag up when Cook’s next album opens at 8,000 or so.

    Now that industry relevance is barely a thing for reality-show winners, fanwars and popcorn is all that’s really driving interest any more. Devin Bronson has done his bit to keep the train going.

  146. Even so, I don’t think it reflects badly on David. It doesn’t mention David or Caleb by name, and could be seen as a legitimate question to those that don’t know the story.

  147. He’s always been too caustic in his humor which is why I don’t follow his twitter account and have no desire to start.

  148. A non reaction can be seen as either accepting the situation, or not knowing about it. This way, the situation is addressed, and hopefully puts Caleb in his place, because this isn’t the first time he made statements like that, and if he does have any hope for success in the industry he does have to learn what not to say.

  149. There are a lot of his fans who actually like Celebrate, but obviously not the harder rock fans. The guy has always been in a tough spot because he does have such a ” wide varied fan base”.

    But James had a whole over version of the album completed in late 2012/early 2013, produced by James Michael that was scrapped by the then senior A&R, Tom Lee at Wind-up (he has since been replaced, btw).
    He pushed for a more mainstream, commercial album and literally told James to “go write some other radio friendly songs”.

    Where James is heading next is really not exactly known. His 3 yr. management contract with 19M expired in May, in June he signed with new management that handles hard rock/metal acts, so that’s why I feel he may be heading back more in that direction. We’ll see.

  150. The idea that a highly edited mentoring session for a reality tv show proves they are bffs forever and will never feud is sort of funny. lol.

  151. Especially when we know, from what Cook told fans at a subsequent show, that Cook asked TPTB to edit out how hard he was on Sam Woolf — he was well aware that what story the editing tells doesn’t have to be what actually happened.

  152. I think that’s an exceedingly generous reading of the tone, but I suppose all things are possible.

  153. Eilowny, can I ask you something? Have I seen you on other message boards before? Your name is familiar and where I think I’ve seen your comments maybe I’m wrong but I thought you are (or were) a fan of David. Not that I’m mad that you’re kinda dissing him, I’m just curious.

  154. You’ve probably seen me around here, these past four years or so.

    I’ve certainly posted positive things about Cook’s music, which is probably what you recall. Liking the music doesn’t mean blanket approval of the musician’s every action. :-)

    In this case, Cook apparently forgot that at this stage in his post-Idol journey, he was having to go along with TPTB (something he’s mentioned to fans) and cut Johnson no slack on what was admittedly an idiotic boilerplate statement. He played to the cheap seats of his own fandom by issuing a smackdown of a less successful Idol who never got (and will never get) the benefits Cook got from winning.

    If Cook had just ignored Johnson, there would have been ZERO negative impact to his career and the whole thing would have been forgotten in 24 hours.

  155. I don’t think it is meant to show they are bff, but that Caleb had met David and that he knew they both did rock, and a similar type as well. That makes it harder for me to believe that Caleb wasn’t aware that David did a similar type of music that he does. Also it makes it more disrespectful to me because David tried to help him.

  156. Ok I respect your opinion. I understand David didn’t have to respond. It’s true that normally he’s not that type of guy. For example right after he won he spoke out about the Chris D comparisons but brushed it off pretty quickly. I guess this was something that in his mind he felt the need to speak out about it. Someone else commented here that maybe his people told him to respond but I don’t believe that. I don’t think he’s the type of guy to let people put words in his mouth. He never mentioned Caleb by name. When I first heard that David had said something about it I honestly didn’t know what he was talking about but obviously I caught up. I know certain fanbases are extremely rabid but I don’t think David’s is. Especially compared to Adam’s.

  157. “Johnson’s team is also fairly stupid…”

    I believe you may have that right – frankly, Johnson’s team would worry me. If I were a fan.

    If they forgot about DC, they seem to be candidates for the “Short Attention Span Theater” cast, or else they don’t do any due diligence. David was right there in April, mentoring Johnson and saying nice things about him, and by May, when Johnson won, they have forgotten all about it – or the opportunity to use that goodwill for their client? (April 9 to the end of May? Yep, Short Attention Span.)

    Instead, lets alienate the fans (more than once) of the only Idol winner who has supplied us with nice quotes. Who needs to get an interview and let him talk nice about the Season 13 Winner? Oh no, instead – we could pith off EVERYBODY – and then go on Yahoo Music blogs and confirm that ‘yes, we meant to do that’. Yeah – that’ll get attention. And Johnson goes right along with the plan – so it’s a good match.

    “Fairly Stupid” is very kind of you, I think. I’ve already seen two sources suggest that this may be collusion to get press coverage for Johnson – because at least that makes a twisted kind of sense out of these choices…

    But I’m thinking the team really IS that blockheaded. SMH.

  158. Heh. I know what you mean, jan – I was wondering if folks were hesitant to challenge DC to that Ice Water Bucket thing in case he were to challenge them right back, – to run a marathon or rappel off of a 365 ft building for charity – that could be more daunting than sousing one’s head in ice cubes! *Snerk*

  159. Right, and the thing is, if Caleb had referenced David correctly and respectfully, he could have even drawn some Cook fans in, but instead he’s pushed them away from him by making these type of statements. I don’t see how anyone from management would like that.

  160. Instead, there will *still* be zero negative impact to his career (because again, the media will have whirligigged to something else by the next promo cycle, and in the extraordinary circumstance that someone does say something, he’ll simply softshoe about not being put in a box, which is both a long-term narrative and consistent with the actual response), and otherwise the whole thing will be forgotten in 72 hours instead.

  161. Lyndsey specifically made the point in her piece that because they had nice things to say about each other in the clip, it meant they couldn’t feud.

  162. If they forgot about DC, they seem to be candidates for the “Short Attention Span Theater” cast, or else they don’t do any due diligence.

    I think that’s pretty accurate. Right after Johnson’s win, his fans were all on about “first RAWK winner,” and it was babble in the bubble (including mine) that was saying “but what about Cook?”

    This is the team that chose the weakest song on the album — and one of the three least rock — as the single.

    Remember, people in charge think it’s a good idea to put Johnson in the middle of an empty stage, with nobody to interact with, and have him sing power ballads. The entire launch seems designed to expose Johnson’s weaknesses and minimize his opportunities to showcase his strengths.

    If he wants to say excoriating things about TPTB after he parts ways with Interscope and 19, I have no objections. I think, in their way, they mistreated him as thoroughly as they did Candice Glover, only more through active humiliation than through neglect.

    Characterizing pop-rock as “not real rock” is asinine… but Johnson’s statement did get me to do some closer looking at Cook’s Idol and post-Idol career… and while he has some harder rock as deep tracks and live covers, “pop-rock” is a pretty fair characterization of what most people would see. Pop-rock was most likely to sell in the music market of the time — which is why I defended that slant in 2011 and still believe it is highly justifiable. There’s nothing shameful about taking one’s music in a direction that is commercially viable, and there’s nothing shameful about that direction including pop-rock. There was absolutely nothing in Cook’s oeuvre or artistic decisions that needed defending.

  163. Well see, I don’t know anything about Johnson – but in six years, I haven’t seen DC feud with anyone – and that’s the best logic for why he wouldn’t feud now.

    (Which I still can’t characterize this as – outside of the click bait article titles – there is no feud – although I see plenty of “Let’s you and him fight” from people who have something to gain if they do.) So if Johnson wanted to create that kind of PR, he would have to start it – and he would have to push it. Which he did.

    The question still is – why would he want that kind of PR instead of an ally against TPTB? “Scratch my head” about that one – whatever short term gain his team thought would accrue – instead of adding to Johnson’s fan base, or even casual supporters? – makes absolutely no sense.


  164. “I suspect that when Johnson’s team came up with his talking points, everybody had forgotten Cook…”

    Well, it’s no wonder Caleb’s interview talking points are so effed up. He and his team have the savvy and attention spans of gnats if they can’t even remember people who were featured for a full Idol episode and mentored CJ during his own season, especially since Cook’s mentoring was quite highly praised. lol.

    “Cook should be a lot more entertaining, now that he’s demonstrated willingness to participate in fanwars.”

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but it’s my opinion that one amusing song intro at one concert does not indicate participation in anything except showing a sense of humor.

  165. Until the next fanwar gets under his skin… or somebody else forgets one of his “firsts” or records…

  166. I don’t know anything about Johnson – but in six years, I haven’t seen DC feud with anyone

    Again…totally missing my point

    (Which I still can’t characterize this as – outside of the click bait article titles – there is no feud

    Never once…not once…said there was actually a feud.

  167. “There’s nothing shameful about taking one’s music in a direction that is commercially viable, and there’s nothing shameful about that direction including pop-rock. There was absolutely nothing in Cook’s oeuvre or artistic decisions that needed defending.”

    Exactly. In the period around DCTR, David even SAID he wrote Pop/Rock. – There have been progressions from the Axium Post Grunge Rock to the Analog Heart Alternate Rock, to today – where he explains to audiences that he was raised on a diet of Country and Classic Rock – so they might get a little flavor of both.

    Artificial distinctions notwithstanding, they are all under the Rock umbrella – – No “True Scotsman” logical fallacies need apply. Johnson trying to create an exclusive and exclusionary club for himself doesn’t make it so – and doesn’t make other artists ‘not Rock’.

    He’s a sh!t stirrer – full of ‘stuff’, as usual. IMO.

  168. Jan, I’d like to add these points to your list:
    *Sold 46K copies of his sophomore album in drop week (I’m not sure of the overall sales total, but I believe it’s approximately 130K+). Many artists would love to be able to dream of selling that number.
    *played 52 headlining/co-headlining concerts in support of that 2nd album, including shows in Philippines (2), Indonesia and Singapore.
    *played 62 headlining concerts (to-date), while between albums, including a military European tour.
    (114+ headlining concerts – not bad for a guy who “disappeared”.)

  169. I don’t know where you get the “first” meme regarding DC – he’s NEVER mentioned that anywhere. That might be a fan thing but it’s not his. Maybe you have some confusion regarding fan chatter vs. what he actually said, that happens a lot around here.

  170. Wasn’t the issue in contention whether Cook was the “first rock winner”?

    If it’s simply whether Caleb Johnson is the only Idol who sings Led Zep… plenty of others have done that, and so far, Cook’s the only one who’s reacted.

  171. No, the thing David said was that a person had said he wasn’t a rocker. You might want to look at that clip again. ;) Also, Caleb had said that David didn’t do Zep (he didn’t specify when).

    Now fans …. that’s a different story.

  172. Ah, Subtext.

    I can translate that, I think. It was not necessary for DC to like Johnson as a person or to really get along with him or to offer him advice as a mentor – and no guarantee that he would say nice things?

    Yes, well I have seen that ‘careful choice of words’ in operation with a few other people – call it good manners or diplomacy, or whatever. Never once suggested they were BFF. I said that there is no history of feuding – to extrapolate to future behavior.

    Whatever ‘actually happened’ that we can’t know for a fact – correlation does not imply causation. A stronger indicator of future behavior is past behavior – not random occurrences.


  173. Well, Cook got it wrong. Johnson’s stuff about Cook not being a rocker was specifically in the context of who was the first rock winner. That’s why it came up. Johnson said “Me first rawk winner!” and the internet responded “what about Cook?”

    This still begs the question of why Cook cared. It’s like two chihuahuas yipping about which of them scares the mail carrier more.

  174. Because that’s clearly the conclusion to be drawn from public statements of six years running? The n in that sample isn’t statistically valid, which you know.
    And even if we were to take this one incident as proof that he’ll respond to any criticism with a bit of on-stage banter in the future, there likely won’t be more AI alumni or media to pick up on it for much longer.

  175. No, it was the fact that Caleb said he (Cook) wasn’t a rocker. Plain & simple. So he gave his intro & sang Zep. Not so complicated at all. If viewers want to read more into that, it’s on them.

  176. Since the only thing that David talked about in that Intro Banter to the Led Zep Medley was that he AND the band were not just one thing, but they were certainly Rock – IDK where this bit about records, “firsts” and fan wars is getting dredged up from. It has the shape and form of an assumption – but I’ll keep an eye out for any quotes that could support that assertion – odd as it may seem.

  177. Oh, it’s a terrible N. But it marks a behavior change from Cook being self-confident and above the fray to Cook playing along with fanwars. I’d be pleased if he didn’t stoop to that again, but I doubt my opinion counts, since I think he shouldn’t have stooped to it in the first place.

  178. “Wasn’t the issue in contention whether Cook was the “first rock winner”?

    No. Not at all. And it wasn’t about playing Led Zeppelin, except as an example. He could have picked any of the Rock covers they do.

    In the video – which it is nice to have so we can QFT – David said:

    “I read somewhere that somebody said that I wasn’t really Rock. I read that.”

    And that was the issue.

  179. I think it marks a response tailored to one specific circumstance, which for various reasons might be a little more amusing to him than pretty much any other circumstance. That’s all.

    I don’t think he had to do it, but I also don’t think it rose (or stooped, if that’s your preferred verb) to the level of the personal so that I’d care that he did. I’d need to see either more examples or a more pointed tone for that to be a sign of a behavioral change.

  180. If you think “Cook got it wrong”, I guess there must have been something that made it an easy “mistake”. lol. To quote MJ’s OP at the top of this thread:
    “In a recent interview with Yahoo Music, Caleb said that the the American Idol season 7 winner wasn’t really a rocker.”

  181. Cook misunderstood, then. In the video of Johnson’s interview with Lyndsay Parker, Johnson says “me first rawk winner.” Parker responds “David Cook rocked pretty hard.” Johnson goes all “but he’s pop-rock, pop-rock, alt-rock.”

    The issue in contention was who was the first rock winner — that’s the only reason Cook’s rock-ness came up at all. Since Cook himself claimed to be pop-rock at the time of DCTR, I fail to see why this all required a response from him, other than that he relied on fan accounts and understood something else entirely to have been said.

  182. More than anything, I think Caleb’s comment reflects an ongoing fixation with defending the show against the accusation that all the winners are the same kind of WGWG year after year. The marketers tried to come up with some way to have him to differentiate himself to the media, and I guess this was the best they could come up with. It seems the strategy is to deal with the problem they wish they had, and expend as little effort and capital as possible, to the point of laziness and incompetence.

    As has has already been pointed out, rock vs. pop rock is kind of a meaningless distinction that splits hairs between different flavors of rock and ignores the question of commercial viability. It probably wasn’t meant to offend, but clearly wasn’t thought out very well, being both oblivious to idol history (a capital crime in the eyes of true fans, who are likely the only ones paying attention any more), and setting Caleb up to put his foot in his mouth by discussing past winners in anything less than a glowing light (which they should know by now, he does so well).

    I kind of feel bad for Caleb, though he did deserve a friendly jab from Cook for this. However oblivious Caleb may be and whatever role he has in what’s coming to him, he’s fulfilled his contract and done what was asked of him with little or no complaint. He released an album in 3 months, went on tour without a live band, is following the lame-brained marketing plan they put in place, and taking ownership of it all. And for his trouble, he’s stuck with a lot of decisions that aren’t serving him very well and will likely take the blame for a disappointing season and disappointing sales.

  183. Oh, it’s becoming quite clear that Cook didn’t have the time in his busy day to watch the actual video (in that same thread) and see the context, but simply ran with a first impression.

    I’m starting to think I’m one of a very few people outside Johnson’s fandom who did watch that video. He’s a yobbo, but he’s not nearly so evil as he’s painted.

  184. More than anything, I think Caleb’s comment reflects an ongoing fixation with defending the show against the accusation that all the winners are the same kind of WGWG year after year. The marketers tried to come up with some way to have him to differentiate himself to the media, and I guess this was the best they could come up with.


    Johnson’s entire media campaign consists of having to say egregiously stupid things because TPTB have put him in a position where more-or-less those things have to be said.

    He’s got to tout how churning out an album in three weeks was a great idea, how performing to backing tracks is a great idea, and how he’s different from all other winners when he’s the exact “type” Idol’s core audience could be predicted to go for.

    I think he should have pushed back on the “first real rock winner” talking point when it was given to him and insisted on “first X style of rock winner.” I think that was probably do-able and would have been worth doing. The rest of the vast sea of stupid he’s gotta swim in, though… I think he’d need better management to do more than splash around and occasionally make whale blow-hole noises.

  185. Yes, there’s a question mark there, but the title of the blog post does suggest the possibility of a ‘feud’.

  186. “However oblivious Caleb may be and whatever role he has in what’s coming to him, he’s fulfilled his contract and done what was asked of him with little or no complaint.”

    At least publically …. ;)

  187. Yikes! Way to try to intimidate someone into total submission. One should never, ever utter a word in their own defense? If so, they are the reason why anyone might criticize them in the future? Some Idol fans are gonna trash everything and anything their non-favorites do. It is not because the person once very appropriately stood up for themselves.

  188. I, for one, took MJs whole headline to be a somewhat facetious starting point for a complete non-story that has little traction outside of the Idol bubble.

  189. But Cook has never been a doormat. He is diplomatic and gracious. But he will correct misinformation. I don’t see this as a change. He bantered before a song like he does many times in every concert. This was a current topic so he referred to it.

  190. Actually, I kind of like the idea of “Johnson trying to create an exclusive and exclusionary club for himself” … all by himself. Then maybe the old ladies, r*tards, hookers, and “real” rock fans won’t have to put up with him any longer.

  191. The thing is the type of rock that was considered pop rock had an alternative rock sound, and was this way through the time of DCTR. Post Grunge was still popular then. Caleb’s type of rock would have been considered pop rock in the 80s, but not now. That is one of the reasons (among many) that David’s music was more commercially viable, because it was still considered pop rock at the time.

  192. I’m not sure, because the first distinction would be that Caleb didn’t play guitar on the show. And if they were trying to differentate him why put him with a guitar on his album cover.

    Also, if he was trying to separate from other WGWG winners, why single out Cook? It had to be that he was really considered the first rock winner. If he had said he was more rock than Kris, Phillip, Lee or Scotty, then he would be correct.

    I also think if Caleb were really doing hard rock or metal, his statements wouldn’t bother me so much, because this is a common attitude especially among metal artists.

    And I really hope these statements were not on the advice of management because it would be very bad pr if it was.

  193. In all fairness, the hookers he was referring to were probably his band mates (band was named Elijah Hooker) so I think they’ll still be around.

  194. Awww poor David. So heartfelt what he said about Michael Johns. How awful must be to loose a great friend just like that.

  195. Johnson shot himself so thoroughly in the foot with the r-word remark that he no longer gets any tolerance even for normal stuff like saying he’s proud of his album. IT WAS THAT STUPID.

    The album’s not actually that bad, though — it’s cheesy and OTT and sounds like a jukebox in a dive bar playing classic hits one doesn’t quite recognize, so being huge in the current market was never going to happen, but it’s also kind of fun in its own way.

    Honestly, I found him very likable in person, much more human than in his interviews. But he’s dug himself a very deep hole in the Idolsphere.

  196. No, he did make statements about having cocaine and hookers in an interview before his Idol hometown visit.

  197. I know that – but I’m throwing out the idea he could have been making a play on words with the “hooker” thing. I’m thinking it’s one of the band’s private jokes.

  198. Even if it was a private joke, he still shouldn’t have said it because it could be easily misunderstood by the public.

  199. 8/19/14 – Bo Bice adds his comment about the ‘Kokomo Intro’ today:

    >>Bo Bice ?@OfficialBoBice 7m
    Amazing what some folks will say after a few months of shimmer isn’t it @thedavidcook U R not only rock, Ur a rockin spirit brother.

    This is the kind of support that Johnson and his “Team” are alienating with his “PR Plan”.

  200. Love this from Bo, and I remember he was a huge supporter of David’s from the get-go.

  201. Love, love Bo. Talk about the epitome of classy! Bo was bringing rock to the AI stage before Caleb was even old enough to audition.

  202. Yes, Bo is an unfiltered dude, with a cool approach. He was vocal about his support of David on the show too..

  203. Oh oh, he’s now asked the Devin question too. Only he named names.

  204. Over a few years, I made a pretty thorough study of Cook’s facial expressions and intonation. When he was watching and meeting Caleb I originally got a feeling of bemused tolerance as if he was saying “Son, you have no idea what you are doing here or what you are in for.” It was covered but Cook has always been expressive which makes watching him and his performances such a pleasure. Did anyone else see that?

  205. Don’t you think he could have just been looking for something to say before his Zeppelin songs that would make it more interesting. He has never been known to be unkind to people.

  206. Appreciate Bo’s support of David. Bo is actually my first Idol favorite when I started watching AI. Was hoping that he win over Carrie. He’s the original AI rocker IMHO.

  207. And let’s not forget the “make old ladies cry” moment during David’s mentoring session.

  208. I don’t get why Idol didn’t just lie at the point and say she won. Would have been better for the brand.

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