I’m starting to think that everyone is born with the same amount of cool. Everyone from James Dean to Warren Buffet to William Hung. The same amount of cool to last a lifetime. The differences are in when and how they burn through it…
Think about it. For those of us in our late 20’s…. remember that guy in highschool that was the super cool kid? Yeah the guy giving new kids swirlies and pushing nerds into lockers? Yeah. That guy.
Where is he now? That’s what I thought.
He burt through that cool faster than a freight train, and was all out by the time he hit 21.
That’s what I call the QUICK FLASH.
This is also true in the world of music. I remember very early in my touring days, I had a conversation with an audio crew guy on a tour. I was asking (foolishly) if he had ever wanted to be a musician before he became an audio tech. His reply was…. “Jon, you know what I want? To have a job…. and the truth is…. bands come and go, but a good audio guy will always have work.”
It struck me then that he had a valid point. There’s always gonna be a new cool band or artist hitting the scene that everyone’s talking about…. but a few short years later their careers could be over. Any decent crew guys working for that artist could then move on to whatever new cool band or artist is hitting the scene, and continue to have work. The super cool bands of yesterday are stuck trying to figure out what the heck to do with their lives now. They burnt out their cool too quickly! The crew guys are smart enough to do the slow-burn with their cool.
Even amongst bands, being ultra-cool can sometimes equal a pretty short career.
Remember Owl City? For one summer, that stuff was EVERYWHERE. I really liked it, actually…. but when anybody hears Owl City now, the first comment is… “Oh yeah, the summer of 2009 was fun.” Whenever he gets around to a follow-up record, people may or may not be all that interested.
Bands like Dave Matthews Band however? They slow-burned their cool.
Nobody would pretend that DMB are the newest, trendiest, hippest guys in the biz. But they make music that has connected with people over the years, and they are still one of the most successful and profitable touring bands in the world. Any musician would be crazy not to appreciate the kind of career these guys have had.
See? SLOW BURN.
I think it is possible to balance the two….
Some people (BRUUUUUUCE!) can ride this fine line into the sunset with a bag of gold and an entourage of friends. I’m always impressed with cool people that seem to last the test of time. Generally, they don’t think of themselves as cool…. and they are NEVER trying very hard to BE cool. They just are.
And THAT is the ULTIMATE SLOW BURN!