Are Backstage Massages a Write-off?

The vagaries of musician tax returns and other conundrums.

As we're all painfully aware, Monday is this year's tax deadline. For the average 9-to-5 shmoe, that means scrounging through a pile of employment forms, bank statements, and gas receipts for stuff to write off. Of course, some people try deducting every receipt in the house, from so-called business meetings (lunch at Scores) to electronics (the webcam is for what, exactly?).

For those employed by the music industry — more specifically, in the celebrity industry — April 15 is a chance to let your creativity shine. When your job description includes dealing with tabloids, entertainment reporters, and the occasional lawsuit, the sky's the limit for what you can deduct. (Really. 'NSync's would-be cosmonaut Lance Bass tried writing off the troposphere before his flight got canceled.) So as you rack up your last-minute deductions, Outtakes offers this list of rock star write-offs to keep in mind for next year.

Henry Rollins Hank spent a good chunk of last year's income on his upcoming autobiographical film, Dude, Where's My Neck? The cost was split equally between production and nutrition, with nearly $7,500 of the film's budget going to weight-gainer's fuel, energy bars, and supplements we've never heard of (gluten-free glute boosters?)

Aaron Settipane
Fergie, lightning rod of the Great Humps-Lumps Debate
Fergie, lightning rod of the Great Humps-Lumps Debate

Yanni It's no surprise the New Age music maven spends a pretty penny on French manicures and hand massages. After all, during the recent domestic dispute case brought on by his girlfriend, Yanni's attorney argued that the keyboardist would never do anything to hurt his hands. In fact, Yanni said he grabbed the woman only after she kicked him in the 'nads. However, according to the receipt he submitted from a local store called Guard Your Goods (pictured), the Manalapan resident must have foreseen the attack.

Fall Out Boy — As headliners of the Nintendo Fusion Tour, Fall Out Boy has its Game Cube merch covered. But for PS2 games, they have to pony up to Sony. Just don't tell Nintendo. There could be some serious, um, fallout.

Scott Stapp — The former Creed singer and current has-been filed an interesting receipt from last November — boxing lessons totaling $311.

50 Cent — In 2005, the rapper was busy working on his first (and hopefully last) movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He must have been really busy. According to a Waldenbooks receipt, 50 bought a copy of Screenwriting for Dummies a good month after the film came out.

Wayne Coyne — The Flaming Lips' lead man is known for rolling on top of his audience in a giant, plastic orb. Some may think it's just a stage gimmick, but Coyne's Netflix rentals prove otherwise. To wit: The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, The Billion Dollar Bubble, Bubble Trouble, The Bubble People, and Bubble Boy. We're guessing he's seen this year's Bubble.

Axl Rose — He's still working on his taxes from 1994. But they'll be done by the end of this year. He swears. — Jason Budjinski

Horn Dog

Dear Pussycat Dolls,

Did you get the messages I left? I mean, I left like 20 of 'em. Forty-two to be exact. It's like you've chosen to pretend away that amazing night we spent together, the six of you swiveling your hips and swinging those invisible lassos over your pretty little heads. Sure, it was just a music video. On TV. And I was the only one naked. But, come on, what I felt was real.

Then again, what would you know about reality? You're a sextet of sex-selling sex kittens who make a living off the promise of sex. Personally, I don't mind at all, but... well, I can see why others might find it odd that a six-member girl group really has only one singer and the backup singers don't sing. Carmit, Ashley, Jessica, Melody, and Kimberly, I'm talking to all five of you, so listen up now. Have you ever considered maybe, you know, actually singing, since that's how you're being marketed? Doesn't it feel odd to jiggle around under the pretense of being musically inclined when you're really just hot and — I'll give it to you — great dancers? Then again, that's what the Pussycat Dolls were originally known for: Neo-burlesque dancing. And hell, Britney duped people into thinking she can sing. Who can fault you for doing the same, right?

I can forgive the rest of the group for cashing in on their assets, but you, Ms. Nicole Scherzinger, don't get a free pass. Didn't the collapse of the WB's prefab Popstars band Eden's Crush teach you anything besides how not to name a pop act? The point is, you're talented. You can actually sing. While nailing any one of the other P-Dolls would be more than enough to brag about, I'd actually bring you home to meet Mom and Dad. Though I'm a little worried about your willingness to do anything for a buck — like fronting this equally prefabricated mobile strip club. It makes me worried about letting you hang around my male friends.

You sing, "Don't cha' wish your girlfriend was hot like me/Don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me." Well, duh. But what I don't wish is for her to be a gold-digging hussy. That evening we spent together was great. I'll forever remember your "Don't Cha'" video and how it made me feel. But I expect more from a video vixen. At least Tera Patrick doesn't bullshit me about who she really is.

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