Keeping our heads to the skies

Jack Baruth on our home-grown emulation mode:

It’s worth noting that every man has a desire to emulate, or imitate, other men whom he admires. All of us start off with heroes both near and far. I do a lot of things because my father did them. I’ve written some original music but when I pick up a guitar on a whim I tend to play the music I admire. I want to sing like Robert Plant — and he wanted to sing like Johnnie Ray. John Mayer riffs on Hendrix who in turn riffed on Ike Turner. Mayer, by the way, is responsible for this great quote: “It’s my failure to sound like my heroes that’s allowed me to sound like myself.” Which makes perfect sense. We start by emulating our heroes and end up becoming ourselves. Very few of us ever completely lose the habit of hero worship, but most fully-formed men reach their mid-thirties with an internal compass to obey rather than a masculine north star to follow.

Being well past my mid-thirties, I’m about as fully-formed as I’m going to get, and my internal compass flutters from pole to pole without giving any proper directions. (Does this make me the World’s Oldest Fangirl? I haven’t a clue.) And I would dearly love to hear Robert Plant cover a Johnnie Ray number.


  1. Roger Green »

    13 June 2019 · 8:12 am

    Johnnie Ray always reminds me of “Come On, Eileen” and “The Late Great Johnny Ace” – or vice versa

  2. CGHill »

    13 June 2019 · 5:41 pm

    Seems reasonable to me.

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