A QUICK disclaimer: I'm not a particular fan of Good Charlotte, KFC, Vodafone, The Voice or any of the myriad of corporations and products that endorse or are endorsed by Joel Madden.
Having said that, I did have to admit to feeling the faintest bit of sympathy for the guy when a media storm erupted this week around the heavily tattooed, crazy-haired rocker and his teensy weensy little bag of green leafy material.
I suppose Joel's role on The Voice - or as a fried chicken salesman - means he has to tone himself down a little - to go easy on the drugs, alcohol and other rock-related shenanigans in order to keep the responsible mums and dads at ease.
But only five grams of grass, Joel?
Have the music stars of today gone soft?
With international music stars the calibre of Good Charlotte, a quick search of a hotel room by the in-house cleaners could reasonably be expected to uncover large quantities of things far less natural than a bit of mary-jane.
Imagine the sheer horror that would have met any one of the poor cleaners who had to inspect Pantera's room during the Cowboys From Hell period.
There was a time when rock stars didn't have to apologise for such behaviour.
Imagine what Keith Richards would be like now if he'd gone easy on the whiskey - among other things - and opted for clean living?
What if Johnny Cash had given up wearing black and loading up on speed in favour of drinking tea and wearing sky-blue turtlenecks?
What if the Red Hot Chilli Peppers had written Sunday With The Kids in The KFC Drive-Through instead of Under The Bridge?
Is there a moral to this story? Maybe a loose one: the best music of the past 50 years was written by people who had seen some pretty hard times. If my memory serves me correctly, Good Charlotte's big breakthrough was a whiney little rant called Little Things.
Probably says a lot.