[Dixielandjazz] Re: Fame

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 26 14:50:19 PST 2003

> "John Farrell" <stridepiano at tesco.net> wrote
> Ah, the fleeting mantle of fame and the self-delusion of many who strive for
> it. I do hope that the following will not be construed as unkind sour
> grapery, it is simply my take on a few aspects of fame.
> Steve Barbone said :
> "We are fortunate enough to be relatively famous in our territory. Our
> players get recognized walking down the street."
> Fame, like pregnancy, is an absolute condition - you either are or you are
> not, a person cannot be relatively pregnant or relatively famous.

Where is that written?  Most probably more than 50% of the world's people do not
know who anybody we could mention is, so therefore nobody can be be famous in the
absolute sense of the word. It would seem that some relativity needs to be stated
in order to impart any sort of real meaning to it.

> As for
> being recognised walking down a street in one's home territory, I'll bet
> that happens to most listmates but it does not confer fame upon them.

Our home territory is Philadelphia USA Metropolitan area. Some 5 million people.
When we get recognized on the street, and people stop us to chat, in the City of
Philadelphia, I would say that is different from the experience of most
listmates. And I'm talking about relative fame as described above.

> Frank Sinatra was famous, so were Al Capone, Julius Caesar and the Beatles.
> Go to darkest Africa, ask the people there if they have heard of Mohamed Ali
> and you will almost certainly find that many of them have. Now ask them if
> they have heard of Steve Barbone, John Farrell etc. - Q.E.D. - that's the
> real test of fame.

If that is the test, or say China is the test, then nobody is famous because
everyone mentioned by John is virtually unknown in both places. Now of course,
one could argue that "unknown" is an absolute condition and one either is or
isn't. ;-)

For example, is it fair to say that among the young, OKOM is "relatively
unknown"? Certainly it is not "unknown" because there are a few people in that
group who know about it. Nor is it "known" in any sort of absolutist definition
of the word.

In any event, why are we hung up on chasing mice when the elephants are running

Steve Barbone

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