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 A Boyband’s Lesson - Don’t Quit Playing

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Mary-Eve
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Mary-Eve

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PostSubject: A Boyband’s Lesson - Don’t Quit Playing   A Boyband’s Lesson - Don’t Quit Playing Icon_minitimeMon 16 Jun - 15:58

Credit goes to BSBandACsKaoticWorld
Thanks to SC Brat & Proud Of It
A Boyband's Lesson - Don't Quit Playing




Mediocrity is the lot of most humans. Only a few rise to heights of accomplishment or recognition; most of us have to just do our jobs and go home, in the hope that we didn't make anything worse today. If we're wise, and lucky, we learn to find our joy in small moments and inner peace.

But what of those folks who have achieved some level of greatness only to find themselves one day reduced and discounted? How do they manage?

I'm thinking of the Backstreet Boys.

No, really.

Brian, AJ, Kevin, Howie and Nick were once leaders of their pack. They were early stars of the boy-band craze in the 1990s, an era that eventually gave us Justin Timberlake (via 'N Sync), Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) and Robbie Williams (Take That). Rich, famous and in demand, all three of them.

But nobody from the Backstreet Boys has ever broken through in any remotely similar fashion, Nick's brief MTV reality series notwithstanding.

Why haven't they?

Years ago, in Israel, I worked at a record company that distributed the Backstreet Boys' music. Though my tastes tended to the more shredded end of the radio dial, I would call up too-cool-for- school DJs and argue that BSB stood apart from the rest of the gruesome boy-band thing.

"These guys are really good," I pleaded, genuinely. "Have you heard them sing a capella?"

Those were some gorgeous voices. Backstreet harmonies could tingle the spine, and in a genre where dancing counts, their moves were tight as a tick. Legions of girls heard the call: In their first decade, BSB sold in excess of 60 million albums across the globe. They were the cream of the boy-band crop, and they spent years fighting to rise to the top.

Now cut to 2008, and with a new album to support, Backstreet is touring again. Among the stops: the Minnesota and Indiana State Fairs. Wait.

What? The state fair?

Yes, some state fairs are trying to change their image, booking bigger, more au-courant acts. But still. It's a state fair.

Sure, the Boys had a crooked manager, but so did Elvis. Sure, AJ battled addiction, but so did Eric Clapton. Sure, they lost a member on the way (Kevin left in 2006), but so did R.E.M. (Bill Berry left in 1997). And sure, BSB doesn't really belong in that pantheon, but neither do Bon Jovi or Jennifer Lopez, and nobody's telling them to stop thinking they're stars.

To be at the absolute top of your profession, and then (through sheer bad luck) find yourself so far off the radar as to not even warrant mean-spirited late-night jokes, how on Earth does that feel? Is it pathetic to trot out "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" on state fair stages? Or is it just possible that it's honorable to keep doing your job?

Every day, we make choices about how we're going to live. If we're responsible, we pay our bills; if we're lucky, we get to pay our bills by doing what we're good at. That's what BSB is doing.

And the Backstreet Boys are hardly the only ones trading on old glory. New Kids on the Block recently decided to give it another whirl, and they're even older than BSB.

In 2004, I happened to run into three of the Boys at O'Hare International Airport. Brian (my personal BSB crush) and AJ weren't around, but there stood Nick, Howie and Kevin, larger than life, contemplating their meal choices at the Terminal 5 food court, no one but me seeming to know who they were.

I introduced myself as someone who had worked for them in the distant past, and each was sweet, charming and delightful. The ever-dreamy Kevin, miles taller than me, looked down into this middle-age mom's eyes, smiled warmly and said, "Have we met before? Because you look familiar."

I well nigh swooned.

Looking at their touring schedule,Ravinia, I can't help myself: I hope Kevin comes back. And I hope they're happy.

I hope the state fairs don't get them down, and that the Backstreet men look out into the loveliness that is Ravinia on a summer night and grin with the sheer joy of getting to sing. I hope they have many joyful moments, and much inner peace.

And if today's boy-band sensations, the Jonas Brothers, find themselves in a similar place 15 years from now, I hope they, too, find peace and joy.

Simply sticking with something you love: a job, a mate, that weird hobby no one understands, might not rise to the level of greatness, but I suspect it may go one better. It may be a life well-lived.


PS: Traduction sur demande !

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Sandra
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PostSubject: Re: A Boyband’s Lesson - Don’t Quit Playing   A Boyband’s Lesson - Don’t Quit Playing Icon_minitimeMon 16 Jun - 19:02

Merci. Very Happy
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