Here is an enormous down.
Back in 1995, while I was still a young scribe in the Living Dept for The (Nashville) Tennessean, I pitched the story of Dreaming in English, a local rock band that was generating quite a bit of buzz. The idea was to hang with the guys for a week—see what their lives were like; how it was to be young and struggling in a country-dominany town; what sort of musical journey the five members were on.
And it was, without question, great fun. The band was led by two guys: A guitarist, Roger Nichols, who was funny and gregarious; and a singer, Ty Brooks, who very much reminded me of a young Phillip Bailey. I was young and impressionable and thrilled to be hearing music for free. So the piece was certainly far from hard-hitting.
Anyhow, after repeatedly telling the editor, Gloria Ballard, how exciting the story would be, I was told it would run as the section front on an upcoming Sunday, and that I could devote, oh, 3,000 words to the project. Man, did I ever work my ass off on this one. I kept bugging the members for more and more info; attended far more performances than need be; looked for all angles and thoughts and meanings into the music of Dreaming in English.
At long last, the piece ran. Exciting day! I actually drove to the nearest convenience store and paid for a copy. Layout—great! Headline—great!
“Hey Jeff, it’s Roger Nichols.”
“Just wanted to thank for you the story. It’s terrific, and we’re all thrilled.”
“I’m so happy.”
“There’s just one thing, but, really, it’s not a big deal.”
“Uh … OK.”
“Really, it’s not a big deal at all. I don’t even know if it’s worth mentioning.”
“Roger, I can handle it.”
“Well,” he said, “Ty’s name is Ty Banks.”
PS: Side note: Though Dreaming in English is long dead, I remain a huge fan on the song, “Where’s the Sun?” Highly suggest giving it a listen.