Wednesday, July 18, 2007

after watching the latest installment of the '7 up' documentary series last night i am reminded of something i was thinking about the other day as i pondered the rock egomania i have encountered in my life. for those of you unfamiliar with the '7 up' series, it is a series of docs about a group of people whose lives have been chronicled every seven years; starting at age seven then fourteen, twenty-one etc. with the current one being '49 up'. it is a nuanced and complicated portrait of human life. which brings me to the rock egos. let me start by saying that what follows is NOT about perry farell. he doesnt fit this category. but i have personally experienced this syndrome most often, but not exclusively, with lead singers. now i know that i am smarter than the average bear. and when i was younger i got alot of info from the world that supported that notion. it is easy to stand out in the rock world if you are interested in educating yourself and reading etc. but thankfully, i have had the good fortune to spend a good deal of my lifetime not being the smartest guy in the room. and not only has that made my life richer, but it has kept me aware of the limits of my brain. what i have often seen is reasonably bright people get a crazy amount of success, and believe that it was their special power that brought them that success; they are smarter than... or more creative than...etc. but at the same time there is a part of them that knows they are not as powerful as they pretend. and that is where they operate from. their power must remain unchallenged for them to continue to rely on this frail self image and so you see them remove anyone who might be considered an equal. so often their best 'friends' are their make up person or their videographer; obsequious and often on the payroll but always powerless and unchallenging. people who are willing to eat it when the boy-king (or queen) needs to re-assure himself of his power by intimidating his lesser companions or having a tantrum. his world view is therefore able to get more warped and further removed from reality with no one to help inform him of this distance and, of course, no one to blame but himself. life doles out hard lessons to almost everyone. during those times, some of us learn some difficult truths about ourselves and our world while some just insulate themselves more and more from those truths and instead choose to fire their friends.