I say this because advice in the infancy phase of one’s learning is usually free of guile; anyone inclined to be threatened by the ascendancy of another usually do not possess this quality when the neophyte starts asking questions.
But then you have the aspect of apparent and burgeoning talent. What was once the roadside bystander in our competitive Super Mario game is now the odious, tailgating Luigi to our malevolent Bowser: bananas out of the side car. And fast.
I’ve always wondered whether Neil Schon was in line to audition for Journey when the guy in front of him was flailing away at million-mile-an-hour pentatonic licks. Neil turns to the guy and says,
“Word has it they’ve found their guy. I think I’m heading over to the other call out.”
“Oh? Who’s looking for players.”
And off went that other guy.
Furthermore, I am almost certain that film director Kenny Ortega was acting as some sort of nefarious , career-marauding Trojan Horse when he talked Billy Squier into making this video:
Musicologists of any reasonable mental stability will tell you this literally marks the waterloo of Squier’s career. Ortega was the third director chosen for this gig, and the images of Squier, writhing around the bedroom floor in a pink tank top like some effeminate, Howard Stern doppelgänger—over his own and his management’s— reservations—caused his ticket sales to evaporate. This, despite the fact that the song itself had previously taken him to #1.
Icarus sat amongst us.
And all of this because no one wanted to challenge the conventional wisdom of the great oracle that walked down from Mt. Cognoscenti.
I would also posit that Michael Jackson’s face could’ve been prevented by the recalcitrance of ONE rogue friend.
Same goes for Bruce Jenner. Wheaties must now default to the Mary Lou Retton box for any reminiscent iconography, if they want to do so without guffaws from the Statler and Waldorf balcony.
The man credited with revitalizing the Philadelphia 76ers wasn’t immune to bad editorial decisions. And you can’t tell me, the hyper vigilant and overly-energetic Pat Croce didn’t sit in a room with his publishers and beg them to “please, PLEASE don’t run this goofy cover that makes it look like, of all things motivating that could come out of my mouth, the world worst mixed metaphor is my kinetic magnum opus“:
And no, I haven’t read the book. But I’ve read enough like his to guess that his overview would be similar to those of others whose successes are traced out. My guess is—again—killer advice to the neophyte. Try to gain bargaining leverage in the NBA, and you might find him a little less conciliatory.
This is why I’m a bigger fan of the testimony than I am of straight advice. And the difference between those can match the variance ratios of that which lies between a fireworks stand and an I.E.D. Both are a blast. But one is meant to kill you.
Oh, and to any that simply got a laugh from my metaphoric, Neil Schon side road: Billy Squier is still out there, flailing away in the margins.
Kenny Ortega went on to direct High School Musical.
Yep. It was a conspiracy.