Dan Kennedy is a funny ol’ bastard, a student of the self-depricating spiel and effortlessly epic scoop.
The former advertising schmo has written a humorous account of his time in the world of big fat record companies; Rock On: How I Tried To Stop Caring about Music and Learn to Love Corporate Rock is a Klosterman-esque tale of sadness and self pity.
Although there are moments that don’t matter and stories that wouldn’t cut it in The New Yorker or Spin, the McSweeney’s author does offer a series of unique anecdotes such as the moment he tried to impress Duran Duran.
Monday morning here in my new tastefully decorated normal adult-size office, and at the moment there’s a pop star standing with a big grin in front of my door. OK, so maybe Simon LeBon was a pop star twenty three years ago, if you want to get all tecnhical. Okay, fine, so he’s not standing in front of my door because he needs to talk to me so much as he’s standing there having his snapshot taken with the guy who works in the office next to mine…
I’m deeply confused when, for no reason, Simon LeBon takes the initiative to get up from his seat at the conference table and extend his hand to me, which makes some small gland somewhere inside of me shoot into my bloodstream, which triggers a warning in my head to keep it together and not say something stupid. I just stick to the very first thing that pops into my head and and say: “I’m Dan Kennedy.”
…Then there’s a fourth guy and he’s not reaching his hand out, so I make the effort since my adrenal glands have tightened into a series of twitches that tell my brain to shove my arm out in front of me. And in a slight variation of my last greeting, I tell him I’m a big fan of his. “Heybigfan. Of You.”
So I’m locked into staring at this guy’s face trying to recognize him. Wait which one is he?Okay, think about the Rio video from ’82, where they’re all on the yacht that’s racing across the ocean. Who is this guy though? Was he maybe in the boat’s galley fixing lunch or something?
Soon chairs are shuffled, everyone who isn’t upper level brass is asked to leave… On my way down the hall, a product manager walks by having just exited the same meeting.
“I can’t believe I got to meet Simon LeBon. I got a picture with him. Did you see that?,” he asks.
“Yeah. Hey, who was the guy with the short black hair sitting to the left?”
“I think he’s their manager. Or maybe road manager, I’m not sure.”
All I can think is: Well, whoever he is, he knows he’s got a big fan.