Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Songs Remain the Same

People like to read biographies of famous people, but do you
know what I find the most fascinating part of these life
stories? I always like to see how their lives were before they
became famous. Whether it is a great musician, or an actor, a
politician, or a successful business person, I always like to
know what their lives were like when they were still "normal"
people. I like to put myself in their place as they plodded
along in their day to day life, imagine the things I would be
feeling if I were in their position. They may have been working
hard towards their goals, and working just a bit harder than
most of us do.

I like to imagine what kind of lives famous people would have
had if they had not attained their goals...what kind of jobs
they would be doing. There are lots of things in life that
happen to us that we have little control over, and I believe
that no matter how talented or aggressive a person is, there
must be a certain element of luck involved for them to truly

I would bet that for every really successful actor, musician,
singer, or entertainer in the world today, there are probably
hundreds, or maybe even thousands of people who are just as
talented, and some even more talented than these success
stories...but there can only be so many "famous people" on
earth, and in order for them to be celebrities, there must be a
large class of "normal" people. Perhaps these extremely
talented "wannabees", who are just as good, just never work
hard enough, or pursue their goals long enough. Maybe they
just were never in the right place at the right time.

However...talent is a subjective term, especially these days,
when every young actor on the Disney Channel suddenly
becomes a 'singer'. Sure, these young folks can carry a tune,
but so can I. But none of them are 'great'. In fact, to me, all
the young female singers all sound exactly alike. I guess
I have to ask myself, do we really NEED another singer?
Is there a global shortage?

I guess the Tweeny-boppers love them, so you can't fault the
Disney Channel for catering to them if it is making them money.
I have watched these Disney Channel series (my daughter is in
7'th grade), and I can admit that some of those shows are
mildly amusing, and I honestly can't deny that these young
actors and actresses have talent. But should they be making CD's?

Now you take American Idol. I am not a fan, but I have seen it.
Yes, some of them really sing well. But again...hmm...how can I
put this...
If you are going to stand out among the glut of singers already
famous in this world....you have to be GREAT! AWESOME!
Give me chills and goosebumps when I hear you sing. Stand out
among all the other great singers you have ever heard.

For example...Robert Plant. Great singer? Maybe. Can he carry
a tune? Absolutely. He also has great range. But when you hear
him sing...the peculiar sound that he has...whether you like Led
Zeppelin or not, when you hear him sing, you KNOW you are
hearing someone with a very different and original sound.

I am in awe of musicians who play complex movements perfectly
and smoothly, especially during live concerts. Any band that
sounds great playing live music are truly great musicians, and
worthy of the fame they receive. Anybody can be made to sound
good in a controlled environment such as a recording studio, but
if you sound great live, you have true talent.

I am, however, a true believer of the line that "if you want
something bad enough, you will get it." To truly "make it", I
would have to work as hard as the success stories do. Even
then, there is no guarantee...most actors or rock bands struggle
for many years before they hit it big. What if they had given
up just a short time before their "break" came? And what about
the people who struggle, and then give up... there is no telling
what could have been around the very next corner.

I'll bet that really successful people today have made many
sacrifices to get where they are, and in a strange way, when we
pay to see a movie or buy a CD, we are really just rewarding
them for their hard work.

Peace be with you.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. Alot.

  2. I'm the same as you Joe, as I always find the part before the person became famous the most interesting bit. It's good to see the drive and determination and find out what really makes them tick.

    Great post. Glad I stumbled across your blog!

    Kate x

  3. Funny I am reading a book right now about Mary Todd Lincoln. I am rather enjoying learning about who she was before she became Mrs. Lincoln.
    I am over all the crappy pappy pop music. It has never been my thing. Today it is all about marketing in music, TV, and movies. Are they "marketable" to the age demographic that will buy not only the music but the posters, and the t-shirts and the lunch boxes. Cash Cow! Ugh... ok I am done ranting...
    Loved your post