Pity poor McKayla Maroney. At the 2012 Olympics vault event, the golden girl and world champion was top pick to spring away with an individual gold medal on vault. Well…it didn’t happen that way. After a stratospheric twist in the air—I think NASA has photos of her next to Mars rover Curiosity—Maroney landed with a sliding kerplunk.
But you know what? Fuhgeddaboudit. That kid still has a gold medal and is still world champion: Rock Star.
Me, on the other hand? For all the thrill of victory and inspirational Olympics stories sniffed out (and manufactured) by the media, I can’t help tasting the smallest amount of sour grapes over my own missed opportunities.
But in celebration of all that we never were and never will be, here’s a winners list of losers at being real rock stars.
Okay, maybe this is the wrong guy to start out with, because Captain Kirk = Rock Star. And Shatner’s kooked out renditions of Rocket Man and Mr. Tambourine Man are legendary kitsch. But he seemed like, you know, he was actually trying when it came to covering Sinatra. It’s okay, Bill. I’ll give you two fist pumps for no fear.
I know she doesn’t care what the hell I think, but Scarlett as singer is…adequate. Maybe I just don’t go for this kind of thing. You know, the otherwise-talented-girl with the almost-there-but-mostly-quirky voice (hello, Zooey Deschanel.) Nico ruined all that for me a long time ago. Still, Johannsen is slated to make a “comeback” on a Serge Gainsbourgh tribute album. I’d say that Charlotte is rolling in her grave, but she’s not dead. Plus, her dad would probably have liked the idea of the Johannsen cover. He was that out there.
Yeah right, who? I happened on Kurt’s video while tooling around the internet . Kurt ended up winning the World Idol contest, but during one round a judge said something to the extent that Nilsen would be a shoe-in for Middle Earth Idol. I thought that was incredibly cruel. I also never laughed so hard in my life. I’m sure Nilsen is big in Japan or raking in euros hand over fist, so what does he care?
If there is a rock star award for totally failing as a rock star, it goes to Rebecca Black. Poor Rebecca Black. That’s right! It’s not fair to become famous in spite of being a terrible artist. Just ask Kristen Stewart. Still, Katy Perry took notice and redeemed Black. Kind of. Sort of. Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t on the phone yet.
For me, the fateful moment when it all slipped through my hands was in eighth grade during a guitar lesson with Mr. Bindi. We finally decided to try some rudimentary jamming out to Led Zeppelin’s Misty Mountain Hop. About midway through the song, I could see the light go out of Mr. Bindi’s eyes. And somewhere out there, without knowing why, Jimmy Page had a gas attack.
So, you know, in the words of Antonio Salieri—the guy who wasn’t quite Mozart—”Mediocrities everywhere, I absolve you! I absolve you all!”
How about you? When was the moment you knew you weren’t going to be a rock star? Or an Olympic champion? Or even a sho0-in for the school talent show?