Vanity, vanity…

A light hearted rant about pride (mine to be specific)

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If you’ve read a few of my blogs you might be aware that I play in a band, a classic rock covers band. We do have some original material as well (and I actually prefer our originals) but it’s hard to get paid gigs with original material, so we play covers, and enjoy the experience.

The guitarist in our band also takes care of designing posters for our gigs. I can do it too, but he’s got much more flair than I have, and I happily leave it to him. There is one aspect, however, that I struggle with, and that’s the slogans he comes up with that he puts in the posters. He doesn’t always put a slogan in, and some of his slogans I like, but overall they can be pretty corny.

He’s just put up a post on Facebook for our next gig. Looks good, and we’ve already had a few positive comments about it. But in this poster he has used the slogan “the classic rocksters “.

Shudder. I wince even writing it here. Now, I’m not going to tell him I hate it (though I may try and find a subtle way to suggest he use something else in future). And I’m not going to suggest he make any changes. He took the time and effort to do it, and it is promoting our band and the gig, so I’m not going to pour cold water on it or show a lack of appreciation for his work.

But I just can’t bring myself to share the post with my friends! I assume all of you are familiar with how Facebook works, but in case you aren’t, the only people who will see the post is those who have “liked” our band’s Facebook page, or those who we choose to on-share it with. I routinely on-share the band’s posts to all my friends to get wider promotion for the band. Not this time.

Which is a pity because it otherwise is a good post. We just had some promotional photos done recently which came up well, and it’s the first time he’s used one of them as the backdrop. So I feel quite sheepish in admitting that I don’t want to share it, and I’m a little bit surprised at how much I don’t want to!

To some extent, image is a really important thing for a band. Its not just your sound , its the image you create. But on top of that there is the vanity of the performer.

You see, I just don’t want to look daggy. Who does? And I think, adding to that, as I get older the last thing I want is to act or sound like some crusty old dude. It’s embarrassing that I can be so vain, but there it is.

If I had to, I’d suck it up and get on with it. But I just don’t want to! I want to look cool, I want to use slogans that make us sound cool (if I was clever enough I’d insert some classy slogans in here right now as alternatives, but I can’t think of any). What doesn’t help is that I have a lot of younger friends who are musicians too, and in my mind’s eye I see them smirk and snigger at a band that describes themselves as “classic rocksters”.

It’s ridiculous really. I mean, all of us in the band are in our 50’s, and whilst even a lot of young people these days get into classic rock covers, our target market is still most likely the older generation. So why not give in? Maybe “classic rocksters” fits our target market. Maybe they’ll love it!

And I know I shouldn’t be too concerned with what others think (a topic I often visit in my posts). So what if it’s cheesy? I might even be able to get a laugh out of it (now there’s a thought). Face it, Terry, in the absence of something better don’t let your pride get in the way. But my, how I’m squirming on the inside.

Have you ever been in a situation in which you were embarrassed to have to do something? I’m sure if we were being reasonable we’d all tell ourselves to get over it and move on. But for now, what the heck, let’s be unreasonable and stamp our feet and say to ourselves we’re not going to do it. Then, once we’ve had our little tantrum, we can straighten our clothes, smooth out the wrinkles, collect our thoughts, take a deep breath, and just get on with it.

Life’s too short (and yes I’ll probably share the post with my friends but I still don’t want to!).

Author: Terry Lewis

I'm a guy in his 50's who thought it might be fun to write about day to day issues - the stuff that life is made of. It's helped me think and develop some deeper perspectives. I enjoyed it so much I thought I might start posting it in a blog, and here we are! I intend to mix it up as much as I can. I am a thinking kind of guy so the majority of my posts will probably have some kernel of truth or (hopefully) wisdom nestled in there somewhere. But I also hope to have some light hearted posts as well. Too much thinking can make life pretty dull! Anyway, hope you like it.

4 thoughts on “Vanity, vanity…”

  1. Although I don’t find the phrase as corny or off-putting as you do, I can completely relate to how you feel: CRINGE. It’s almost a visceral reaction, isn’t it? And it can be a toughie to bring up too, without making it seem personal — because in a way it *is* personal, like all creative work. But maybe one workaround may be to offer to collaborate with your talented guitarist friend. Something like, “I’d love to contribute to the posters, too. How’s about we brainstorm and come up with a tagline together?” Perhaps you’ll find that he’s actually relieved because he knew it wasn’t his forte.

    As for your question at the end: How funny you should ask. I’m meeting this afternoon with a freelance colleague to explain to him that — even if we know the client well, and although said client has a wonderful sense of humor, and even though everyone knows you’re joking — “I don’t give a f**k” is not an appropriate response to a work-related email. Ever. He’ll probably tell me I’m being too uptight, but that’s OK. We all set our standards differently, and I intend to stick to mine.

    Anyway, good luck to you with The Case of the Embarrassing Promotional Poster, Terry!

    1. Thanks Heather. I must admit when I posted it I wondered if I was over reacting and if people would agree it was corny or not (“What’s he getting all worked up about?”). But that was my reaction, and quite a strong one too, which I thought was both amusing and worthy of further investigation!
      All the best with your colleague this afternoon!

      1. I didn’t at all get a sense of, “Wow, Terry is really losing his mind over this poster,” ha ha. I think most of us can relate to those times when we know our feelings are a bit out of proportion perhaps to the situation at hand, but we just can’t help it. Like you, I pay special attention to those moments because sometimes they signal something deeper. And also like you, the way I often process such events is by writing about them. I won’t be writing about my colleague, though — at least not here — because professional decorum forbids it. But in his case it may be more effective anyway if I simply bite him to make my point, because words don’t seem to be getting through. 🙂

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