David Bruce: The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3 — Education, Fame


• René Soames studied with voice teacher Gustave Garcia for 18 months, after which time Mr. Garcia advised him to go into business since he would never be a singer. Mr. Soames was upset by this verdict and wondered why Mr. Garcia had waited to tell him that until after he had spent all his savings on voice lessons. Fortunately, Mr. Soames kept on singing and made a career for himself singing Elizabethan music.

• Gary Valentine, a founding member of Blondie, became infatuated with the Beatles — like millions of other kids — after seeing them in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show. In the 4th grade, for the last half-hour on Fridays his teacher allowed Gary and other students to pretend to play cardboard cutouts of guitars as they lip-synced to the latest British Invasion single.

• Even as a young teenager, Victoria de los Angeles sang well. Her father worked at the University of Barcelona, where young Victoria would go into the classrooms after class had let out and sing. Sometimes, the professors chased her out because their students preferred to listen to her than do their own work.

• When Giulio Gatti-Casazza was manager of the Metropolitan Opera, he was asked, “Who is a good voice teacher?” He replied, “That is an easy question. It is that teacher who is lucky enough to have an exceptional pupil.”


• Danielle Arsenault is the hot chick in the Detroit band Crud — she calls herself the *ss of the band. Crud gleefully takes advantage of her hotness — with her permission — by using her image on its T-shirts and posters. She calls the band’s fans “h*rny,” which frontman Vinnie Dombroski agrees is the fans’ most defining characteristic. Often, male fans will push their girlfriends onstage so that Ms. Arsenault can spank or do other things to them. Perhaps the band will become more than regionally famous one day, and perhaps it will bring in a bigger income than it did in early 2008. The income would be welcome, but excessive fame can be a problem. Ms. Arsenault says, “I like the level we’re at right now because I don’t have to work too hard. But I wouldn’t mind working a little bit harder if it meant making a lot more.” She adds, however, “I don’t want to not be able to go out of the house without makeup. I want to be able to go to the grocery store with a hangover and not get my picture taken.”

• How do you know when you’re a singer-songwriter who is beginning to make it? Having a song played on the TV series Grey’s Anatomy is one way, and Australian singer-songwriter Missy Higgins has done that. Being chased by the paparazzi is another, but in Australia you’ve got to be really famous to be chased by the paparazzi and Ms. Higgins hadn’t become that famous as of April 2008. However, her songs are sung on Australia’s version of American Idol, and her songs are sung in Australian karaoke bars. In addition — and this is fabulous — she says, “I actually saw myself in a crossword in Australia, and I thought that’s amazing — it doesn’t get any better.”

• Rock ’n’ roll pioneer Bo Diddley was never as famous as many other rock ’n’ roll pioneers. In part, this was a result of a bad decision he made in 1955, when he made his one-and-only appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, a TV show that created stars long before American Idol. Mr. Sullivan wanted Bo Diddley to play a big hit by Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Sixteen Tons.” Mr. Diddley agreed, but when the cameras started broadcasting him on the show — live — he played the song “Bo Diddley” instead. Mr. Sullivan was not happy, and he never invited Mr. Diddley on his show again.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3 — Buy:

The Paperback




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Music Recommendation: Nick Logan — “Natalie”


Music: “Natalie”

Artist: Nick Logan

Artist Location: New York, New York

Info: Nick Logan is a musician and composer based in New York City.

Short songs without words for fans of Chopin and Mendelssohn.

Price: $1 (USD) for track; NAME YOUR PRICE (Includes Free) for 10-track album

Genre: Classical.


Nick Logan on Bandcamp