Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fame is fleeting

I started out writing this to make a point, and I'm not even sure what the point is.

The Bros in the day (Phil, left)
The facts are that Phil Everly is dead.  He and his brother Don formed the singing duo that took the high harmonies from traditional country, bluegrass and gospel and melded them with a rock and roll beat to give us eternal songs such as:
Bye Bye Love
Wake Up Little Susie
All I Have To Do is Dream
('Til) I Kissed You
Let it Be Me
Cathy's Clown
So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)
Walk Right Back

and others that are known far and wide across the generations. It's ironic that two men whose voices blended so well did not get along at all.  "We've only had one argument, but it's lasted 25 years," Phil used to say.  They did not speak at all from 1973 - 1983, reuniting to make an album with a song Paul McCartney wrote for them ("On The Wings of a Nightingale").

It's not a stretch to look and listen to the Everlys as creators of a style that will last forever in music.  Country-rock, and Beatle-style harmony can be traced directly back directly to Phil and Don, so their legacy is secure because they developed their talent and worked at their trade for a long time, even though each man shared the stage with a brother he couldn't stand.

Famous for seven months
On the other hand, Don's daughter Erin Everly gained fame in 1990 for marrying talented oddball Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N' Roses, for a few months.  Really!  She filed for an annulment in January, 1991, and is now, 23 years later, auctioning off priceless artifacts such as love letters written by Axl to her, and the flannel shirt he wore in the "Welcome To The Jungle" video.

This shirt could be yours!
Guns N' Roses were a talented group, but they sounded like a thousand other bands, famous and non-famous, while no one else quite sounded like The Everly Brothers.  Phil is gone, Don remains, and Axl Rose, Erin Everly, and the rest are left to their own obscurity.  Someone will buy that stinky old flannel shirt, and that will be that.

Maybe that's the point after all.

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