The parallels between Dylan and Avicii become even more uncanny when you consider their late-phase shitshow periods. In 1966, at the height of his fame, Dylan got bucked off a motorcycle and wound up with a broken neck, subsequently ditching his touring schedule and holing up in upstate New York to spend time with his wife and children. He wouldn't tour again until 1973. As time has passed, Dylan scholars have questioned the severity of the motorcycle accident, suggesting that more than anything, Dylan was just exhausted from touring, writing, making a film, and recording new music. He'd taken to amphetamine use just to keep up with his schedule, and its effects had clearly taken its toll: pictures of him from that period show a gaunt speed freak, with freakishly intense eyes and tiny pants. It's likely if Dylan hadn't wrecked his bike, he would have been facing severe burnout from drugs and exhaustion.
Do the whole superstar DJ thing long enough, and it stops feeling like an endless tour and more like a forced march.
Look at Avicii, and you can see a man with the weight of the world's most widely-mocked genre on his shoulders.
After Avicii plays his final show on August 27 at the Creamfields Festival, a whole lot of people are likely going to be cut off from a major source of revenue, including booking agents, publicists, managers, roadies, stylists, and dudes who professionally sneak drugs through airport security. It's going to really fucking suck for them. If only there were a way to keep Avicii the brand running strong, while giving the tired, tragic Tim Bergling some well-deserved rest. I'm joking, of course, but I get the distinct sense that someone else—perhaps his puppetmaster-esque manager Ash Pournouri—has had this same thought, and they weren't joking at all.
Avicii is the platonic ideal of the post-music musician—the Artist as Brand.