Happy Halloweekend from Kanye’d By The Bell!
All for one. But, one for all?
In 1993, three titans of adult contemporary would put their differences aside and forge the type of bond that is unknown to mere mortals.
Armed with an appreciation and deep respect for British people, Canadian Bryan Adams invited Rod Stewart and Sting to help him celebrate life through song in the name of recording a chart-topping smash for the full length feature film, The Three Musketeers.
The collaboration would force Adams to mask his contempt for a similar, yet superior, raspy-voiced vocalist, Rod Stewart, and a master of the Kama Sutra, also known as Sting. The result of their collaboration marks a significant milestone, but seldom revisited moment, in their careers.
Unfortunately, things weren’t necessarily copasetic off the top for these laryngitis-ey large vocalists. No, indeed. In fact, it is almost shameful to highlight the hazing and outright bullying on set between this triumvirate. But we must bring these indiscretions to light, so that future generations may learn valuable lessons. I present to you, casual reader, the following evidence:
- The verbal jabs begin almost immediately, when the fashionably late Rod Stewart refers to the Police front man as, “STRING.” Not once, but twice! Unforgivable.
- Next, Rod Stewart openly mocks “String’s” attire, but Sting immediately fires back with a jab to Stewart’s hair. A member of Stewart’s entourage is caught in the crossfire.
- Perhaps in a displaced retaliatory effort at 00:54, Sting mocks Adams’ inferior raspiness directly to his face, just as Bryan Adams is about to begin the opening verse of the song. Oh my goodness! Things are getting nasty.
- During the guitar solo, the trio decides to retreat and take solace around a table of wine catered by females with ready-to-serve bosoms. All is quiet at this point. For now.
- It is a miracle firearms are not drawn at 4:08. This short-lived peace treaty is nearly violated when Sting disses and dismisses Bryan Adams by presenting him the option to ‘gimme five’ only to immediately initiate the ‘down-low/too slow’ trickery regularly practiced by con artists and money launderers. Luckily, Adams decides violence is not the answer.
Truthfully, there are actually four singers found in the video: Sting, Bryan Adams, and two versions of Rod Stewart. Of course, there is cream-colored oversized sports coat Rod Stewart. But, more importantly, there is also black shirt with ruffles Rod Stewart, who clearly is the king of life.
The trio’s efforts were not in vain. The song was number one for three weeks in 1994. Also in 1994, my grandfather was in the bathroom and doing number one for what felt like three weeks before physicians diagnosed his enlarged prostate.
In third grade I invented an apparatus to assist young children in pouring heavy gallons of milk without any assistance from adults. At the time, children across the country were being bamboozled by the notion that they could easily pour their own milk, and subsequently grow up to be the Chicago Bulls’ publicity director or a state senator. Yet, when parents or guardians returned from the local grocer, milk gallons might as well have been coated in molten lava with a rattlesnake handle. These essential vitamins and nutrients were seemingly atop the Andes’ highest peak, in the middle of the Serengeti, or in the town square of the City of Gold. Deep within the catacombs of my heart, I knew nothing was insurmountable. Especially since I had already mastered the ability to open the refrigerator door and draw ninjas being eaten by sharks.
It was class project time at school and everyone was assigned to invent something. From my vantage point, there was nothing left that the world needed. We had it all! The needs of the earth were sated, and additional contributions would be a boundless waste of time and disrespectful to all of our current possessions. Furthermore, five gentlemen from Sayreville, New Jersey had recently plugged any remaining holes, which may have existed. These individuals had taken care of the earth’s remaining basic need to rock. Hard. They even took a video camera into their recording studio so we, at home, could actually witness them at work.
As you can see, they even thought to get technical and showcase the keyboard, guitar, bass, and drum tracks SEPARATELY. Then, they decide, “Let’s do it again. One more time from the top.” Perfectionists! This was an inspiring example of the work ethic I needed to emulate.
During this time in my life, I took part in a nightly ritual of consuming three cookies and a glass of milk while watching “The Donna Reed Show.” None of these three elements was more important than the other. Yet, should one brick be removed, the entire foundation of the evening would crumble. My evening entertainment was, in fact, mirroring our government’s system of checks and balances. Yet, there was one significant difference. Retrieving cookies and turning on the television were the simplest of tasks, but pouring a full gallon of milk without any spills was a death wish, Charles Bronson style. There had to be some way to integrate my love of Chewy Chips Ahoy, 2% milk, and Shelley Fabares into a worry-free ordeal. Wait a minute! I got it! A seamless independent delivery system by which all children would covet thy refrigerator’s heaviest container in a mass-produced revolution of the dairy, child care, dessert, and telecommunications industries!
Now that I had my bazillion-dollar idea, I needed to get focused and garner support from those around me. Let’s face it; being able to independently retrieve one’s own milk may not be in the Bill of Rights. But neither are holograms, fair-trade coffee, or good penmanship. Yet, Americans still recognize and strive for greatness and that’s exactly what I would do. I was singlehandedly about to change the course of history and I needed to stay relentless, yet compassionate, because those are the qualities of an effective leader and team-builder.
At this time, the U.S. economy was booming and startup materials were bountiful. Truly, I had more wire clothes hangers and scrap pieces of wood than Alex P. Keaton had sweater vests and readily quotable consumer confidence index figures. With the help of some adults who presented themselves as trustworthy, a prototype was created. I was transfixed by the simplicity of the structure. What it was lacking in bells and whistles it made up for in perfected pours of the udder’s liquid fireworks.
Judgment Day arrived for our inventions. Apparently, the perfection within Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey” album did not block any of my peers’ creative abilities or sway them from attempting to create something new for the world. I marveled at their intellectual prowess and bountiful solutions to problems, perhaps, more commonplace than the one with which I had struggled. Ingenuity and innovation are the lifeblood of progress in our civilization. And thus, the marketplace would have plenty of room for all of our quality inventions. Fortunately, the judges saw fit to remove any and all barriers to dairy cravings from the youth. My milk-pouring apparatus was selected to appear in the local “Invention Convention.”
It was a small step forward, and one that would virtually have no impact on my life whatsoever. I don’t recall anything else happening with it after that. It’s just as well. After all of that milk I consumed, I grew stronger and began pouring those gallon jugs on my own.
I was proud to be a man. Just like Bon Jovi.
Milk does not appear in the “Born to Be My Baby” music video. But, I’m guessing when Jon, Tico, Richie, Alec, and David drank a tall glass at the end of the day, they could write the book on what it means to have the perfect pour.
Here are some things from my life that are neat this week:
- My Droid
- Being told by someone at work they would gut me and mount me on their wall in their new home
- Kelly Clarkson
It is hard to describe that special feeling when you realize life has meaning again.