Category Archives: advice

Chris Benoit Thoughts, Part 2

As promised, I’m continuing my thoughts here…

I’ve watched my share of “talking head” shows over the past week.  It’s apparent that a lot of people are talking – but very few are listening.

After each new note is posted regarding the investigation, media-types seem to fall over themselves to proclaim THAT as the primary cause.

For instance, the first guess was steroids.  It HAD to be “roid rage!”  A professional wrestler committed a heinous act, so it could NOT have been anything else besides steroids.  Well, nothing about this tragedy implies rage and Benoit passed a recent WWE-sponsored drug test (which may or may not be as legit as you’d want it to be).

Next, it was the fact that Daniel had Fragile X Syndrome that sent Benoit over the edge.  Well, new evidence shows that he DID NOT suffer from that.

This was followed by the evil doctor.  We’re still not sure what went on there.

The thing is, I’m guessing there was not just one thing here to cause this tragedy.  There were probably numerous things going in Benoit’s head, perhaps different substances coursing (or not) through his body.

It’s sad to hear about all the troubles that Benoit had…how erratic his life had become, and apparently, had been for quite some time.  But since he presented himself to his fans and coworkers in a stoic, put-together way, he was not given the help he desperately needed.

If some good can come of this, I hope that it alters the sports entertainment landscape to protect the physical and mental well-being of it’s performers.

Perhaps WWE scales back from 4-5 live events a week to 2-3.  Perhaps they can offer health insurance to their wrestlers.  Perhaps they can have guidance counselors available.

I’ve studied the history of the genre a little bit.  The vast majority of superstars used to travel constantly, but within a smaller region.  Today’s Superstars roam the globe with no break, expected to perform in front of tens of thousands in the arena, in addition to millions on television.  The pressures and rigors — and the stakes — have never been higher.

Happy Passover!

To all my Jewish bretheren and sisteren: dried fruit!!!

You’re So Money… (The Swingers Post)

Perhaps one of the best scenes in one of the best movies (Swingers) of our generation…

Bad man.

American Idol Guidelines – The Cardinal Rules of Song Selection

OK, friend.  The time has come for the Cardinal Rules of American Idol song selection.  This season’s competitors REALLY need a refresher course on these key guidelines.

I. Under no circumstances should you attempt a Stevie Wonder song.  Ever.  (Caveat: Unless you can pull it off.)  Stevie done well is a career-maker.  Stevie done poorly is a terminal mistake.

II. Other singers that are off-limits: Mariah Carey, Celine Dion,  Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson.  I know you think you sounded good singing “Dreamlover” or “Genie in a Bottle” or “Man in the Mirror” at your high school talent show.  But you stunk, compared to them.

III. Singers that are risky, but not off-limits: Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Eddie Vedder.  Again, avoid them if you can, unless you have the golden pipes.

IV. Do not cross gender lines early in the competition.  This one is simple. Guys, if you’ve heard a guy sing the song in a popular, successful version, go for it.  Same applies for the ladies.  But if the only guy to attempt to sing a song is Michael Bolton, stay away!  (Prime example: Antonella Barba’s butchering of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” last week.)

V. Sing songs with actual hooks.  Seriously, if there is a song that as a teeter-tottering or middling chorus, don’t sing it!  Doesn’t make them great songs.  Just means it won’t connect with the audience or show your talents.  Remember, this list is designed to help you!  Case in point, the girl who sang “Brass in Pocket” last week and Katherine McPhee’s KT Tunstall cover.  Two great songs that just didn’t fit in the context of American Idol.

VI. Choose with Cajones.  Don’t sing a Journey classic unless you are prepared to have Randy tear you apart.  Never make fun of Paula’s escapade with a coyote/wolf/rapper.  Don’t mess with See-moan unless you can back it up.  Yes, he was behind the Teletubbies.  But he has more money than you will ever dream of.

VII. Be Yourself.  Know why Chris Daughtry was so good?  He gave every performance his own spin.  Sure, he didn’t win the competition, but his song and album topped the charts for weeks.  Over the course of the show, he built a musical brand that connected with the audience–a brand that was featured on his album.  Simple, no?

So there you have it, the Seven Cardinal Rules of American Idol Song Selection.  Follow me, kid, and you’ll go straight to the top!