I don’t know how these things get started on Facebook, but I got hooked in. Someone started this Doppelgänger week so I thought I’d think about all the arbitrary people I’ve been compared to. Not always physically, but more often than not, yes.
Here’s my post:
A parade of biracial people, black musicians and a surprise.
My Doppelgängers and people I’ve been compared to.
Jennifer Beals – In high school, “You know, don’t take offense, but you kind of look like Jennifer Beals”
Lisa Bonet – Later, “You know, don’t take offense, but you kind of look like Lisa Bonet”
Tracy Chapman – “Hey, you’re kind of like a male Tracy Chapman.” At least I made a lot of money off that when I got signed to EMI Publishing.
Jeffrey Gaines – But Jeffrey got the big record deal. The same Chrysalis guy was at both of our shows a lot during the time.
Lenny Kravitz – When I put a band together, I got this all the time. I had a couple musicians that overlapped, so it’s not entirely unexpected, but we probably sounded more like the Counting Crows. The funny footnote to this was my friend Sam in college (who really just wanted to play bossa nova guitar) kept trying to convince me to try his friend Lenny out as a bass player, but I was convinced that Sam was the bassist for me, so I never met Lenny then.
Terrence Trent D’Arby – “He’s kind of like Terrence Trent D’Arby as a happy go lucky kid,” someone wrote in the press somewhere.
Slash – That’s pretty easy from this photo.
Kristoff St. John – Oh and there was this time when I was auditioning for movies, and people used to call me his name every once in awhile. He got buff, I stayed skinny (well sorta).
Michael Jackson – Of course.
Tom Petty – This is a joke…sort of. I put this in for arbitrariness of this all. The story is that a record exec I knew from the eighties and I bumped into each other at the baggage claim one day after my first CD came out. This was a record I did with Jeff Trott and some of the other folks that were playing with Sheryl Crow at the time. We’d put the CD in his 90’s era trunk changer. And as we listened he said, “This would be really great…if you looked like Tom Petty.” Then we got to track 7 of my 6 song EP. Yeah, the discs had switched and what came out was a Boyz to Men sort of clone. The exec turned to me and said, “Now here, it sounds like you’re on to something!”
I mean I can see the resemblance in some of these people, but mostly I think it was just that there wasn’t enough biracial or even bicultural representation in the culture as I was coming up. That’s why I’ve told the stories I do throughout my career. Some of these Doppelgängers have been my friends over the years, which is kind of funny after they felt like a thorn in my side as I was younger. But we usually had a real instant affinity when we met. Maybe that vibe contributed to the comparisons…