We're backstage with teen idol and pop sensation Justin Bieber.
When I saw last Tuesday that ABC News Nightline would be doing a segment that night on teen singer Justin Bieber, I must admit that I was of two minds about actually watching it.
The first was the old default attitude that I grew-up with as a guy coming of age in the 1970's, one that had usually proven so accurate, which was that if 95% of a singer's fan base consisted of young teenage girls, with posters in their bedrooms of unicorns, or, if they were REALLY wild, posters of unicorns AND whomever the singer/group was -Bay City Rollers, perhaps?- chances were pretty good that most self-respecting teenage guys would NOT respect them as an artist.
History is replete with examples proving this music & social theorem so there's no point in my
kicking that can all over again.
And certainly every news video I've seen of Bieber over the past year prior to last Tuesday, if I even paid attention to it, showed that his fan base was... well, about as expected, albeit perhaps with less unicorn posters these days, and in the U.K., probably also including posters of girl group, The Saturdays. http://www.thesaturdays.co.uk/
On the other hand, for all of Bieber's apparent popularity, and knowing who he was, I'd never actually listened to one of Bieber's songs, since I don't actually listen to Miami's FM radio stations and couldn't name one of his songs to save my life, though I could, to save my life, name the entire Dolphins' or Orioles' 1972 roster, or recount key plays, good and bad, from closely following the Dolphins since 1970 and the Hurricanes from 1973, in-person at the Orange Bowl, complete with commentary on the sights and sounds around me.
Yeah, if my life depended on it, I could even tell you which teams baseball Hall-of-Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched for and why the legacy of his greatness and toughness can never be challenged.
Or tell you that the semi-fictionalized biopic on him, starring Ronald Reagan and Doris Day, was much better and more accurate than 75% of the sports-themed films made in the past thirty years. http://www.tcm.com/video/videoPlayer/?cid=319902&titleId=12906
But Justin Bieber, well, he might as well have been the 2010 Slovakian contestant for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Except, of course, that I might've actually heard of THEM, for reasons that I've previously discussed here in discussing my music interests and education, such as it is.
In fact, in a March 7th post about Timoteij, I even included the original version Kristina Pelakova did of Horehronie, this catchy song that I was humming to myself over-and-over
after first seeing the national entry video.
I found myself humming it while stuck at red lights or in check-out lines at stores, which, living around here, means that I was doing a LOT of humming.
And once it's in your head, that's it -it's there forever.
But then who doesn't love great singing with flutes and drums?
That post of mine five months ago also included an interesting fan video of the song that featured a scenic travelogue of that part of central Slovakia, with its verdant hills and beautiful mountains, which, then as now, seems so very, very far from here and our gridlocked traffic next to oh-so ugly buildings.
Here's Kristina Pelakova performing Horehronie at Eurovision in Oslo back in May with her dancers and musicians.
(I mentioned in March that a former housemate of mine now work for the U.S. State Dept. in Slovakia, so I'm a little more conscious of things going on there than I was before.)
On the other hand, any thirteen-year old kid who has the self-confidence to pull a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey when he meets and auditions for one of his idols, Usher, can't be all bad.
I will give him props for that!
And at sixteen, for better or worse, he seems intent on ignoring YES Men and is going to do things his way, however that winds up in the end years from now.
Kudos to the kid.
Chris Connelly bio: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4853214
Kristina Pelakova: http://www.eurovision.tv/event/artistdetail?song=24973&event=1503
Background on the song, Horehronie, and the effect of it.