Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm sorry that you didn't get the fake, fake...real..I don't even know what you're going for anymore.

There is, in certain circle, a thing known as 'the cover band'.

Related to (but not exactly the same thing as) an impersonator, a cover band devotes themselves to replicating the music of some other band.  The difference mainly lies in the fact that while an impersonator generally invests entirely in pretending to actually be the celebrity in question*, the cover band often has a layer of self awareness, replicating the music and styles of the original band but not usually going so far as trying to look, dress, or appear exactly like them.  There are several Pink Floyd cover bands out there that don't even have the same number of members as the original band.  Although, to be fair, at any given point in their history the actual members of Pink Floyd probably wouldn't have been able to tell you how many members were in their band either.  (the trick is never being sure when Nick Mason counts.)

*The obvious exception to this being El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, who has a cult of personality all his own.  If you've never been so see an El Vez show you should definitely do that because no attempt to describe it here is going to do it justice.  Suffice it to say that at one point in the show El Vez might grab a young lady's hand in the front row, kiss it, and say, 'And now my ninas, I must go and change into something a little more...shiny.  But in the meantime, the Elvettes will entertain you with an interpretive dance!' and it sort of makes sense.

As part of my day job, I recently became involved in coordinating a large number of people who wanted to go and see 'The Fab Four', which as you probably guessed is one of 453 groups out there pretending to be the Beatles.  They do a reasonably good job of the standard evening, working their way through the albums, haircuts and outfits of The Beatles from 'Meet the...', to 'Abbey Road.'

As a curious side project of this, a significant chunk of them paid additional money for a meet and greet with the band before the concert.  Which means that they were going to actually have a chance - for an additional donation - to meet someone who wasn't Paul McCartney.

But hey- It's for a good cause, and they were meeting the musicians that they were about to watch perform which is always nice, so what the Hell.

The problem came a day after the concert when we received an angry call about the meet and greet.

The caller in question was calling to complain because he was convinced that that hadn't been the real fake John Lennon.

Where do you even start with that?

He wasn't saying that that wasn't the fake John Lennon that he watched play the Beatles Catalog for the rest of the evening.  He wasn't saying that the guy wasn't a good John Lennon.

His argument was that that hadn't been the 'real' fake John Lennon.

Taking that at face value, if that wasn't a real fake John Lennon then it must, by force of argument, have been the actual John Lennon (he being the only John Lennon that could not be legitimately described as 'fake', and let me assure you that if that had been the case it would have been significantly reflected in the ticket price.

Or was his point that there are hierarchical layers of 'John-Lennon-ness'?  Am I, in some ethereal, intangible and yet measurable way 'Less' John Lennon-y than, say, Michael Buble?  More John Lennon-y than Ted Cruz? (and who isn't?)  Is all identity an illusion?  Are we all, on a profound level, tied together in our not-John-Lennon-ness?

Ironically, I think John would probably have really enjoyed this discussion.

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