My friends and I play this game every so often wherein one selects a celebrity and sets up a hypothetical situation that he or she might be encountered in. It's then up to the rest of us to decide whether we would in fact engage in said situation, or simply decline. If the situation is accepted, the selector then declares the fate of this encounter, usually with disastrous results. Since this description sounds about as fun as a night of Philip Glass karaoke, I'll just give you an example:
Barry Bonds shows up at your house at 3:30 in the morning. He's shirtless and obviously distressed. You can hear sirens in the distance. Lots of them. Do you let him in?
Most would say no. For the adventurous soul who admits the home run-hitter into his abode, the outcome is revealed:
Bad move. He immediately places you in handcuffs. You are led to the living room and forced to listen to a three-hour lecture on the nature of the inside fastball. At the end of the ordeal, Mr. Bonds steals your cats.
It goes on like this. But I noticed recently that we usually use figures from the world of sports and film, and rarely popular musicians. It might have to do with the obtuse nature of lyricism and music--the personalities of many singers (and especially the instrumentalists) remain sort of foggy; their music speaks for them.
So I sat down and decided to dream up what I think would most likely be the result of encounters with several famous music figures.
There's a lot of restless pacing. I'm standing around repeatedly offering a glass of ice water or maybe even a cold beer. Mr. Weiland keeps looking at me with mascara-streaked eyes. I think he's been crying. Hours later, after he's locked himself in my bedroom and refuses to come out, I notice the bathroom sink running. The tears were fake.
The longest afternoon of my life. I forget who it was that said "A man should never be terrified in his own home." Well, terrified doesn't begin to describe it. And I've never seen so many dogs in my life. All breeds, not just the scary ones: everything from Pit Bulls to Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The man must really like dogs. It's not just a gimmick. [Note: By even writing this in jest, I am afraid of retaliation from Mr. X. I'm that scared of him.]
We chat about Chapel Hill for a good six hours. I keep getting the impression that Mr. Folds has better things to do; he keeps checking his watch and making like he's getting up from the couch. I firmly but gently push him back into a seated position. I repeatedly ask him about the line in that one song that refers to the Chick-Fil-A in University Mall. He eventually begins to cry. The tears are unfortunately real.
Upon entering my apartment, he smiles and gives me a high five. I don't think he's been washing his hair very often, but with that sort of enthusiasm I let it slide. Out comes the tequila. Oh boy! Fourteen shots later I'm slurring something very pro-David Lee Roth and he's just standing there motioning for another high five. I wonder if Mr. Hagar is even fluent in English or was he just incredibly lucky with all those Van Halen tunes?
Right off the bat, I explain to Mr. Martin that while many of my peers are remarkably derisive about the music of Coldplay, I've always been partial to them. He doesn't seem to hear me, walking straight into the kitchen. He proceeds to make the biggest damned sandwich I have ever seen in my life. I wonder inside if he's going to share. Amazingly, he eats the entire thing while watching the Mets encore on SNY. I'm ignored the entire time. After letting out a staggeringly prolonged belch, he leaves. I burn all my Coldplay CDs that evening in the back alley.
What began as a fun invitation to dance in the living room becomes a Bataan Death March marathon of hip shaking and shoulder popping. I can't feel my extremities. The neighbors can't hear my screams over the blaring pop music coming from the stereo. As Shakira smiles blankly at the ceiling and continues dancing, I try to remember what the guy from Quantum Leap did to kill those cyborgs in that one episode. Hope wanes.
Paul Simon and Carly Simon
Are they related or something? They really seem to have a sibling bond. It's kind of creepy, actually. Not nearly as creepy as that mind-bending persuasion technique they used. We drove all over Queens all afternoon, robbing banks. I always knew they were evil. Mr. Simon wields an Uzi yet speaks like a 1930s gangster. I'm very confused. I still kind of dig that 59th Street Bridge song, though.
Couldn't see anything. The room was too smoky. I think I made out a cornrow at one point, but it might just have been the corner of the bookshelf. Very polite, though.
Now this is huge. Bono sort of transcends music celebrity; he's a statesman practically, an ambassador, a liaison between the rich and powerful and the impoverished. He's also covered in a ridiculous amount of bling. To boot, he's got on the most hideous looking Larry Bird throwback jersey I've ever seen. The purple-tinted shades make it worse. I would love to hear more about the struggles in Darfur and the AIDS crisis in developing nations but I certainly wish he'd curse less. Every other word is the F-bomb.
Well that's how I see it happening, at least. Which music celebrities would you like to meet, and how do you think they'd behave?