Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

September 16, 2015

Random Legends: Scouring for Candidates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — John Jones @ 8:00 pm
Bono the Legend!!!

Bono the Legend!!!

So, as I seek to find people who fit into a certain brand of Legend, I have decided to start asking people around me about what they think makes someone legendary.

Being in West Texas and in Lubbock mainly, I always hear the name Buddy Holly thrown out there as a legend who died before his time.  It’s like a given out here.  He is the first name that comes out of people’s mouths 99 out of 100.  I wonder why.

Nothing against old Buddy – I know how his style influenced a lot of other musicians and I know that his songs are all pretty cool.  But, is that enough to make him a legend?

Does talent, plus popularity, plus an early death equal LEGEND?

If so, then Buddy Holly is one for sure.

I recently asked a Texas College professor who is familiar not only with my search for legends, but who is also from the days when Buddy Holly lived and breathed.  (I met this guy a while back while we were sharing a Midland extended stay suite – you meet the most fascinating people who are on temporary assignments…)

“Is Buddy Holly a legend?” I asked simply.

He responded, “Well, lots of people consider him one, but not me.  I like his music and he was a cool fellow if you like young men who could rock it out with the best of them.  But still, legend is a big time label to drop on someone so young, don’t you think?”

I paused and considered my own stance on Buddy H.  I also enjoy some of his music, but I had to agree with this well-educated instructor of young minds.  The label of Legend is too big for a guy like Buddy.  So I said back to this Texas college professor (who is also a millionaire in the oil business), “I’d put him in the music hall of fame for sure.  But I don’t think he qualifies for legendary status.  I’d probably be strung up if I said that in certain circles in Lubbock.  But, you’re right.  His death was a tragedy, but a few good songs and some influence on a tiny part of life does not a legend make.”

The professor just smiled at me and finally continued, “I don’t even think Elvis is a legend.  People loved him and still do.  He is an icon.  But not a legend.”

“Okay,” I say.  “Then what singer would you say crosses past talent and icon status?  Is there anyone you would consider a legend?”

I was shocked by his answer – more because I hadn’t thought of it myself than because I disagree.

“Bono is a legend,” he said.

I nodded my head.  “You got it.  He is.  He has made great music and influenced others in that industry, but he has also changed the actions of governments so that the oppressed and needy have been helped on a large scale.  He is a legend.”

Older people, like this Texas Colleges professor, keep proving to me that wisdom can be found if you just ask the experienced to weigh in on stuff.

What say you, readers?

Do you think Bono is a legend for crossing industry lines to effect the world?

Who else in the music business would you consider more than an icon?

Who else is a world-shaking legend?

I’ll see you next time.

September 9, 2015

When you have to move from the Big City…

Los Angeles is big.

It sprawls.

It takes fifteen minutes to get to the grocery store and the groceries you get there are 3x more expensive than smaller cities.

Traffic can be a beast even when there is no wreck – When there is a wreck, forget moving – put on an audio book trilogy or learn some Russian via your iPhone Rosetta.

The air quality is bad.

Rent is high.

The people are by and large desperate and hopeless.

But, the weather is typically nice.

And despite the above mentioned junk, there is culture to be had, great diverse food to be eaten, nearby beaches which are next to awe-inspiring waters, nearby mountains which are next to amazing skiing runs, and the ever-hope that what was “almost” yesterday can become “yes” and “victory.”

I used to live in that city and while it was hard, it was fun.  It had energy.  And as long as the credit cards kept spending (avoid the cc declines), I could go and do some cool stuff with creative people.  As well, I could write about the interesting people, places and things I saw and I was rarely left with a creative block.

But then I had to move away from the big city.

I had to move to West Texas for a while to take a job.

West Texas is cheaper.  People are nice.  They seem to be focused on being polite and to actually care about you.  They all seem to work in normal settings and call this area “a good place to raise a family.”

I wasn’t going to be raising a family in West Texas.  I wasn’t going to be there long enough for a gestation period to happen.  I was assigned here for three months and was given the choice to rent a a short term apartment, crash with people my boss knew, or jump into short-term housing (corporate housing or short term furnished housing) in Lubbock, Amarillo and/or Midland.

I chose Lubbock short-term housing for one month.  Then Amarillo short-term furnished apartments for the second month.  And for the third month, I went with corporate housing in Midland.

And let me say this:  While I experienced a dearth of culture, high, dusty winds, wild accents, no mountains, no ocean views and some writer’s block, I actually loved my time in West Texas.  I know this might sound weird, but I think my month-long stays in the three different ‘extended stay’ locations made all the difference in the world.  Living in well-appointed settings and next to ‘neighbors’ who were in transition made me think a lot about life – about being in short-term settings alongside others who had their own reasons for choosing this type of housing.

There were friends to be made in my month long stays and I definitely made friends I’ll never forget.

I’ll tell you about these legendary friends who lived with me in legendary quarters in future blogs.

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