NOTE: This post first appeared on Medium.
I’ve been Brian Adams my whole life. In fact, my name feels about as common as John Smith. There were three of us at university, half a dozen in Boston, and countless others here in San Francisco. And we all have one thing in common: a hatred of Canadian rocker Bryan Adams.
Thanks to his catchy hits and ability to always make a jean jacket fashionable I cannot escape his influence. It’s especially tiresome when I need to use my name. Every time I make a reservation the host wants to know if I am the “real” Bryan Adams and reporters want to know if I spell my name with a Y. I don’t. Who in their right mind does?
Those who don’t think before they speak want to know if I was named after him. That might actually be a compliment that I look young. I’ve developed a tic that appears only when I notice a cashier taking the time to read the name on my credit card. But the worst is when I’m introduced to an outgoing person who finds no shame in serenading me with memories of their “first real six-string.” (The Kevin Costner Robin Hood years nearly sent me over the edge.)
Do others go through this? I went to high school with Robin Williams and Elizabeth Taylor but I don’t remember hearing “Nanoo Nanoo” in the hallways or jokes about diamonds. Don Johnson cut my hair for years and not once did someone ask where Tubbs was. Even my vegetarian friend Dave Thomas manages to duck any square burger jokes.
It’s not all bad news though. I had a plane held for me once although when I came up to the gate there was a look of disappointment that swept across the faces of several airline workers.
At least I can imagine that some poor bastard is also named Christopher Walken and must endure stilted sentences every time he needs a quick answer.