Thursday, July 08, 2010

Today's Blind Items

This A list singer/writer/musician is working on a secret documentary. Nothing really juicy. More like his impression of the world. In every city he goes to, he puts on a disguise, goes downtown, and plays music on a street corner and asks for money. He plays his songs but does nothing to let people know it is him. It all gets filmed. No one really pays attention to him or even thinks he is anything special. He then films himself on stage in front of 25,000 people singing the same song and the crowd reaction.

90 comments:

Shmooey said...

whoever it is, this is a great psychosocial study.

RocketQueen said...

Gotta be Mayer. Only his ego would dream this up.

Cheryl said...

This sounds like something John Mayer would do.

MontanaMarriott said...

Hmmm McCartney?

Karmen said...

Joaquin Phoenix? I kid! Seriously, when is that mockumentary coming out already?

allisony said...

john mayer! for sure.

mngddess said...

I thought of someone like Prince....

L00nyBin said...

Don't think it's Mayer b/c his facial expressions would be a dead giveaway!

La Doña said...

How about Ben Folds? He did all those really great Chatroulette piano videos? Seems similar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHrvpgA9XtI

Carrie L. said...

My first thought was Mayer but I agree with L00nyBin, that face of his is a giveaway unless he managed to cover it up somehow.

Priscila said...

At first, this sound an interesting idea, but if you come to think of it, it is actually stupid....if i understood correctly, by saying he plays in a way to let no one know it is him, i assume he plays as good as any street musician, namely he does a lame version of a well known song....being honest, it has been a while since i really enjoyed a street performance.

What i am trying to say is, if the point is to show how just the music should really matter, and not all the publicity machine, and how we are shallow for not opening our eyes to the beauty of a song, just because a strange looking man is playing at the streets, i say it might be an honest film....as longif he doesnt perform as a regular street musician would *at least the ones we have here in Berlin...

Jim said...

Dave Matthews

hollase said...

Reminds me of when Joshua Bell did this in a subway a few years ago.

twister said...

This is McCartney. He's on tour now. He's been doing this since he was a Beetle.

Shmooey said...

Jim, I thought of Dave Matthews, too.

A few years ago (about 6 yrs) he went busking in Leicester Square.

Then one of his favourite guitars was stolen, and he went on Crimewatch to appeal to the thief to give it back.

pomme said...

BONO

L said...

Roger Waters

No Disrespect said...

I remember seeing an MTV news special years ago where Mayer did something similar...

Angela said...

John Mayer is mostly famous in the US. In Europe, he means nada.
McCartney's face is too famous: somebody would recognize him within a minute and a crowd would gather. And he attracts more than 25,000 people a night when he's on tour.

There was a talented British artist called Badly Drawn Boy who busked an entire day in London, shooting a video for his next single with hidden cameras, and got something like £5 from the crowd.
Bob Dylan (who's definitely A list as singer/writer/musician) has done several visits as a tourist. He spent for instance an afternoon in Liverpool doing the Beatles tour, he spent some time in John Lennon's house as a child and left before he could visit McCartney's as he had a concert to give. The guys at the box office for the visit recognized him and wanted to organize a private visit. Dylan refused and did the regular visit with a bunch of people. Nobody actually noticed him. Which is quite ironic for a tour during which people take tens of pictures of John Lennon's bed or kitchen while they had the real Bob Dylan five feet away from them.

Patty said...

I was thinking McCartney as I read the blind. Could her really go unnoticed on the street?

Shmooey said...

@Angela: "John Mayer is mostly famous in the US. In Europe, he means nada."

True. If it weren't for CDAN and Gawker, I would not know he existed.

And still haven't heard a single song of his.

Merlin D. Bear said...

McCartney?
Not on a bet. I honestly defy anyone over the age of 15 who couldn't identify Sir Paul based on voice alone.
Mayer? Possibly.
Dave Matthews? Most likely.
Musically relatively well known, visually, not so much, and probably easier to work a disguise than the others.
Just my 2 cents.

Stacy said...

Jason Mraz.

selenakyle said...

Mayer. I purposely have not looked at y'all's answers yet to see if we're all on the same page!

nancer said...

this is really fascinating. i don't think it can be mccartney or dylan. way too identifiable. i'm thinking maybe somebody older who a lot of people may not recognize.

it has to be someone that people wouldn't immediately know just by their voice.

sun08 said...

I agree with the McCartney guess. He does a good job of mimicking others singing voices so maybe he is changing his up as to not be as easily recognized.

nunaurbiz said...

No clue but OT: I'm in love!

heatherhug said...

@hollase, that was my immediate thought, the Joshua Bell experiment in the subway. This BI is a rip-off of that, but still sounds interesting. For those who care, here's the Joshua Bell video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw

KellyLynn said...

My husband and I both think this is Dave Mathews. I don't think this is ego-related. It's more like an anti-ego-related thing.

The Nightmare Child said...

This reeks of Bono.

BlahFrickinBlah said...

I like the Jason Mraz guess. He could blend easily with a disguise.

girltrav said...

Instantly thought of Sting, then I scrolled down...

Ivan said...

So what is this documentary supposed to illustrate? That people on their way to work/school/shopping/whatever don't stop to smell the roses? Or that the musician's fans are suckers for paying top dollar for what's been given away for free? I'll still probably rent it anyway...

Jessica said...

KellyLynn said...

My husband and I both think this is Dave Mathews. I don't think this is ego-related. It's more like an anti-ego-related thing.

===
That's exactly why it WOULD be Mayer. His whole schpiel is he's a regular Joe, when everyone knows he's not. He plays the tortured musician thing, then tweets pics of rooms in his mansion filled with a million dollars worth of equipment and says something stupid like "anybody know how to work this?"
This is exactly the reason he gets the douche title so much.
And I totally think it's him.

weezy said...

Would Lenny Kravitz or John Legend draw a 25,000 audience?

ardleigh said...

I could see Sting doing this as a pschological study of fame.
The mindset being:
'How much would you pay to hear me in an arena? If I preformed the songs for free on the street (in diguise) would you even care?'

blondegossip said...

Like the Dave Matthews guess but his voice is very distinctive-so he'd either have to change his voice or have a really good disguise-all possible but gives me pause...

blondegossip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

on a limb here -- what about kenny chesney? he filmed a documentary while he was on his last concert tour. maybe this is some sort of follow up experiment?

Donna said...

Lenny Kravitz! Love him!

Tenley said...

In 2008 a virtuoso violinist, Joshua Bell -- one of the best musicians in the world -- went into a D.C. metro station (subway) incognito and for 45 minutes played one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million. The Washington Post reported that people rushed by not even glancing at him, one little boy wanted to stop and his mom kept tugging him with her hand. He did wind up collecting some money by the end. The night before, he had sold out a theater in Boston with the seats averaging $100. It was one of the most fascinating things I've ever read.

sunnyside1213 said...

Sounds like it could be fun. hane no clue who it is.

Cindy said...

My first thought was Sting too, though I would certainly recognize him on the street (not sure if non-fans would though).

lionsden said...

Jack White

Kara said...

Sting did this when I lived in London. He did it IN London. No one recognized him and his face and voice are quite recognizable. Particularly over there. I heard he did it a few times.

Could be him.

Kara said...

Sting did this when I lived in London. He did it IN London. No one recognized him and his face and voice are quite recognizable. Particularly over there. I heard he did it a few times.

Could be him.

Mark said...

like the Sting guess. other guess was Bono. both of em have huge egos

John Mayer A-list? B-list probably..

busybee said...

Chris Isaak does this with his brother sometimes. I would so love to see this docu if it was him!

MadLyb said...

Mayer.

DNfromMN said...

You guys are missing the "writer" part of this blind. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting it as not being just a songwriter.

Hasn't Jimmy Buffett written a couple of books?

Kimberly said...

I don't understand why most of you think this is ego-driven. If anything, it sounds like the musician wants to make a point: sometimes the person performing on the street could be talented (or lucky) enough to make it and sell out stadiums.

I prefer to use my rose-colored glasses on this one.

And I have no clue who this is...but kudos to him.

TinselSass said...

I agree with Kimberly... a huge ego wouldn't risk not being recognized as most huge egos have no sense of humor about celebrity - or their egos.

I vote for Jack White. Or weirdly, Jared Leto (although he doesn't really rank as A list...).

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

If you're not actually looking for/expecting to see a particular musician (actor, celebrity, whatever), it's entirely likely that you'd completely miss them if you saw them on the street. Plenty of people were buskers on the way up (the Violent Femmes were "discovered"by the Pretenders while playing outside the latter's venue, and were invited to be the opening act that very night; Tracy Chapman used to play the Harvard Sq. subway station; and Mary Lou Lord pretty much made her name/career playing at Park Street T in Boston...OK, so she's not as famous as the others, but she's still making a living as a musician), and it's not surprising that some people might want to try busking just for shits & grins. Having blathered all that, ;-) my guess would be someone like Jason Mraz, who really does kind of look like a generic hipster & so might go unnoticed in a crowd.

kathrynnova said...

this was already done in new york by joshua bell, the violinist.

Sasha said...

I was thinking Mayer It reeks of his "Look at me. No, look away. But no, not yet" schick.

But I could see it being about a legit musician a la Sting or (maybe) Ben Folds. I'd recognize Ben's voice in a crowded subway in rush hour, but I'm just like that :)

kathrynnova said...

er, i mean, dc.

Sarah said...

David byrne

Sasha said...

Oh, I do like the notion of David Byrne...

Mango said...

My first thought was Mayer, but Dave Matthews is an excellent guess, also. In addition he has a background in acting and I'm sure he would love the chance to put on a bit of a disguise and play himself a little bit differently. (However the manner in which he holds his guitar is a dead giveaway.)

Of course Mayer and Matthews would have vastly different reasons for attempting a project of this nature.

Mango said...

My first thought was Mayer, but Dave Matthews is an excellent guess, also. In addition he has a background in acting and I'm sure he would love the chance to put on a bit of a disguise and play himself a little bit differently. (However the manner in which he holds his guitar is a dead giveaway.)

Of course Mayer and Matthews would have vastly different reasons for attempting a project of this nature.

Selock said...

I think this is a really cool idea but I will be annoyed if it is icky John Mayer.

Which means it probably will be.

Selock said...

@Sasha It would be amazing if it was Ben Folds but you're right...his voice is way too unique & distinctive. Love him.

Nadja said...

When I read it I thought Sting, but Bono's a good choice to. I think those two would have world-wide recognition (or non-recognition). And I agree with a few other, if anything it sounds like a non-ego thing. More like "do really like me or just because you think your supposed to" thing.

Miss X said...

Personally, I love this idea. Don't have a clue who it is, though.

kfitzpa said...

What about Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows? He could play this role easily.

Mary said...

only his fans would be at his show. so of course they will be loving his music. maybe the average person on the street wouldn't be impressed?

Not that i have any clue who it is...

TinselSass said...

So not Bono... he's shifted into ego realm in the past few years. Totally a bummer but true.

jbarinsd said...

I don't see John Mayer drawing a crowd of 25K.

obitguy said...

Eddie Vedder

the young and hungry girl said...

MANGO--i am a major dave fan, but i didn't realize that his guitar holding is unique. can you please elaborate? thanks so much!

Ms.Leigh said...

i could definitely see mayer doing this, and he could pull it off. i think he's smart enough to know not to make the same faces on the street that he does onstage.

brilliant if it's paul mccartney. actually, i think it's brilliant regardless of who it is. what a great idea for a doc and i'd def. watch it!

libby said...

My first thought was my absolute hero, Ben Folds. Only b/c his stuff is not familiar to the general public, but EVERY one of his concert goers knows EVERY word.
25,000 is about right for his larger shows.

The only problem is that without a piano on the street, would he play on guitar? That's a puzzler.

Nice to see so much Ben love in the comments here.

Cindy said...

Sting is a published writer, even though its his memoirs.

Mariana said...

Moby has been known for doing this kind of things. It's been on the news in the past that he pretended to be a busker and no one even recognised him...

Gray Bar said...

My first thought was Neil Young - his music's easy to perform on the street, he's made several concert films, and he already looks like a homeless guy so wouldn't need much of a disguise.

My second thought was James Taylor. Almost every street musician plays his music so people wouldn't think twice about hearing his songs, and he's got a huge tour going on right now with Carole King. I'm going with JT.

annie b. said...

love the eddie vedder guess! while visiting seattle recently i was informed by my friend that eddie works one night a week as a stocker in a local grocery store. he's a down to earth guy who works there to keep his ego in check. this could totally be him.

__-__=__ said...

Tenley & others - That was a great video in the DC subway however, commutes in DC are brutal. 3 hours a day to commute is about normal there, including a Metro ride or not. I'm sure everyone would love to stop and smell the roses but reality says that anyone with any kind of a life just cannot. In a situation like in the video we're all just slaves working for the machine to survive. We have homes, families, dogs, whatever. It's a sad state of affairs.

Lisa said...

Sting.

Melody the First said...

Macca is always doing a film or documentary of some kind. One of the kids-in-law is an amateur filmmaker, too. This sounds very much like a McCartney thing (and I agree, it doesn't sound like an ego-driven project and more the reverse). He's also well-known for taking the subway. As someone else mentioned, he's an excellent mimic. And he's a published writer (a book of poetry, a children's book, and I'm sure others). This sounds very Macca-ish to me.

crila16 said...

I'm going to say McCartney. He's an A list writer, singer and musician. He's also a legend. John Mayer is most definitely not an A list singer. He's more of a B lister, and that's in America only. They don't know him in Europe, so he can't be A list. Mayer couldn't fill a stadium.

Stacy said...

@crila16 Are you kidding? While I despise John Mayer and don't think this blind is him, he has been selling out ampitheatres nightly this year, and that's after all thsoe racist comments came out.

mngddess said...

I don't think this is necessarily ego driven. I think it's an interesting psychological experiment. And John Mayer and Sting are both Librans. Librans are quirky enough to do something like this..

Lisah said...

I'm on the Dave Matthews train. This is totally something he would do and not because he has a huge ego. He is just a down to earth, regular guy. It also wouldn't be too terribly difficult for him to disguise himself. And, DMB is currently on tour.

@ the young and hungry girl: the most distinctive thing about the way Dave holds the guitar is the way he holds his left hand. Most guitar players hold the neck of the guitar in the palm of their hand, bending back up toward the strings at the fingers or mid palm. Dave tends to hold the neck of the guitar with his left thumb only, bending at the wrist, with his palm usually not touching the neck of the guitar at all. He's self-taught, so nobody ever told him to do it the "right" way. He's actually developed a significant carpal tunnel problem as a result. (Yeah, I know WAY too much about DMB...)

B626 said...

Is J.Timberlake touring anywhere?
He's more A List than any of thes other guesses.

Liza said...

Can I just say that it is refreshing to have a BI that isn't about drugs or cheating :)

Also, I love all the guesses and think it could really be any of them. I am gonna go with McCartney though.

Chris said...

I just read something on another page this morning...I think it was Dlisted? They guessed John Tesh, and that sounds exactly like something he would do.

Alli said...

I don't think it's Bono as he has just had back surgery, U2 had to cancel their headlining of Glastonbury.

My first thought was Chris Martin. It is the sort of thing he would do, he's very unstarry and very normal (even though he's married to Goopy) and I guess he could busk anonymously.

ardleigh said...

Still thinking it's Sting.
He has written more then his bio.
He has written a few books:
ROCK STEADY: A Story of Noah's Ark
SHAPE OF MY HEART (Art & Poetry)
JUNGLE STORIES: A fight for the Amazon -he co-authored

He wife Trudie produced a documentary before about the Peking students who protested June of 1989. One of their good friends is Michael Apted.

MCH said...

I think the Mayer one is a good guess although almost of your guesses are. I'd like to see this documentary! ESP if it's DM or BF!

Donna said...

Did you see yesterday's (July 8) random photos? There is a pic of Sting's daughter "on the street" (that is what it says) with a guitar case. I think Sting might be the correct answer!