I see Kevin Spacey is finally bringing his biopic of Bobby Darin to the big screen. I have mixed feelings. I'm a huge Darin fan, and I'm glad someone else cared enough to work on this. On the other hand, I'm a little jealous. Of course, I wanted to play the part. And let me tell you, I was born to play it, except for the fact that I'm not an actor, and look nothing like Darin. My one small link with Mr. Darin, is the singing voice, as those who have heard it--Mr. Wheaton, the insurrectionist, et. al--will likely attest. "He sounds like Bobby Darin," they will say. Well...Bobby Darin, Bobby Darin strangling a cat...you hear what you want to hear. But it's what made me a fan in the first place. I always wanted to sing like Sinatra, but I always ended up sounding like Bobby Darin. In my youthful ignorance, I couldn't appreciate the latter. Sinatra was the president of the Rat Pack. Darin was the model of Potsie from "Happy Days." Or so I thought. But I began to listen to Darin. Really listen. I discovered that he died young. Not a whole lot older than I am now. The more I learned about him and listened to his music, the more I realized just what a shame that was.
And Darin was cool in his own way. If Sinatra was Marlon Brando, the master, the one who indelibly changed his field, and eventually outlived his image, then Darin was James Dean--the upstart, the one who lived the business completely, but far too quickly. He was the young Elvis who never had a chance to get old and out of shape, to forget lines. In a business where image is everything, he will always remain youthful.
If you get the chance, go out and get yourself a copy of Two Of A Kind, an album of duets by Darin and Johnny Mercer. Technically...musically, it's a good album, but that's not why you'll like it. What makes this album special is that it's...well, fun, for lack of a better word. You really get the sense that these two guys are just having a blast laying down these tracks and that they'd like nothing better than to get you involved.
I guess in the end, I'm looking forward to the movie. I hope all of you will go out and see it, too. And Spacey? It better not suck.