Men At Work leader and frontman Colin Hay posted an open letter on his Facebook page to troubled pop star Justin Bieber. Although Hay never achieved the type of global teen sensation fame that Bieber now enjoys — Men At Work’s success was a whirlwind for the singer. Men At Work was a massive hit out of the gate scoring 1982 Number Ones for it’s debut album, Business As Usual and it’s first two singles, “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under.”
Colin Hay’s open letter to Justin Bieber reads in full:
Dear Mr. Beiber,
I am using you as a distraction, I have a show tonight, and I should be practising my pentatonics. I will, in a minute.
It would seem that your antics of late have caused comments from many, and predictably, those with the least amount of talent, lash with the harshest tongues. It happens. Your kind of success has always been precarious.
In the early 80s, I had monumental commercial success with my old band Men At Work, and although time and circumstances were different, some parallels can be drawn.
Our first album Business As Usual sold over 10 million copies, was number 1 on the Billboard charts for 16 weeks, until Michael Jackson’s Thriller knocked us off. Good company indeed.
We were kings for a couple of years. It was explosive. When the dust settled, I was alone. I looked around and everyone had left the party.
My acoustic guitar was sitting in the corner, and luckily for me, it waited patiently till I eventually picked it up. For only in creative endeavor and service to others, do we receive by default, some salvation. Nothing else is important, everything else is distraction, like this note to you. But I felt compelled to write to you, albeit indirectly.
I don’t know you, but I care about you, as you are a little one, like all of us, and in the end we all cry for our mama. The person holding your diet coke and slice of pizza is not necessarily your friend, and when your entourage shrinks, whether by design or circumstance, be glad, and just breathe.
We know you can sing, dance, and apparently are quite handy with a spray can. But, we haven’t really heard you speak. Only time will tell if you have something to say.