Thursday, August 28, 2003

Fame, fortune and friends

Who's the most famous person you know? I started thinking about my connections to fame recently because of my friend Dave, who very well may become the most famous person I know before too long. More on that in a minute ...

I can't say my links to fame are impressive.

Of people I'd say I truly know and am still in touch with, there's really just my good buddy Lee, the elder statesman of the Baton Rouge rock scene and currently guitarist for The Myrtles. But right now he's probably as famous as being the graphics guy at LPB than as a rocker. Things are going well for The Myrtles, so who knows? He could be a good fame connection someday.

Lee's little brother - Sal Barbier - is actually damn famous in skateboarding circles. His signature "23" shoe is the best-selling skate shoe in history. I knew Sal when he was 12 and saw him skate for the first time. But I haven't seen him in about 13 years.

My stepfather is somewhat famous as a ex-TV newsman back in Baton Rouge, and my dad gained great infamy 22 years ago in Louisiana as a political fugitive (my stepfather - before he was my stepfather - actually won a Peabody award for a piece he did on my father. Sound f'ed up? Remember that my best friend's uncle is also married to my sister ... gotta love Louisiana).

Otherwise, there's Steve Jacobson, who was "Steve, the van guy" in Slacker and Bill Davis from Dash Rip Rock. Get past that and it's pretty much my journalist buddies who are "famous" to a very, very slight degree.

Anyway, these are not particularly great ties to fame. The wife, having grown up in Music City, USA, has somewhat better tales. She went to school with Johhny Cash's son and Barbara Mandrell's daughters and a friend of hers dated Reese Witherspoon's brother. Closer, but still not very impressive.

So I'm banking on Dave Poche.

Not ringing any bells? There's no reason it should, unless you live in New Orleans and have a kid under 8 years old.

See, Dave - once just a simple architect - is now one-fourth of The Imagination Movers, New Orleans' hottest and hippest family music act (actually, they probably refer to themselves as something other than "family music act". I have no kids, so I don't get the IMovers).

That's Dave second from the right.

Despite his twice-over fatherhood, Dave's still a fairly cool guy. If I hadn't known him for 23 years or so, I'd not think so from that picture, of course.

The Movers have only been around for a few months. When Dave sent out his first email about this project - entitled "Dave Poche humiliation alert" - I found the Imagination Movers website, which was nothing more than a cartoon image of the four guys. I swear to Moses I just sat and stared at it in bewilderment for a good 30 minutes.

My first inclination was to mock. After all, this was my buddy Dave. I could tell some stories, but Cap'n Ken's is linked off Google, so I shant sully his reputation here.

But it didn't take me long to realize that, even if I personally have no use for the Movers, this could be some powerful stuff. The boys are in talks for an Imagination Movers TV show on one of those kids' networks, there are people from other states talking their CD up on Amazon, and the guys do actually have some catchy songs.

I bought Dave's CD and Lee's CD in the same order from Amazon (yes, I'm keeping that receipt) and I showed the Movers' disc to some parental-types up here at the office. Without exception I heard the same question: "Are they like The Wiggles?".

Apparently The Wiggles are the standard-bearers of the "kids music that doesn't suck" market. So when I saw The Wiggles' show on the Dish last weekend, I took a look.

Wiggles = ass clowns. Lame, unimaginative music and "dance" moves that could have as easily fit in a Chris Guest/Michael McKean/Harry Shearer project as a serious act.

And then I knew. If The Wiggles are the current gold standard of kids' music, The Movers are gonna be freakin' huge.

So good luck, Dave. I'm counting on you to be "my famous friend".


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