Regardless of my music, I have often gone by my first name only. It stands independently, well enough. How many other Brockas do you know? When i call and make a dinner reservation, I’m internally like ‘do you really need my last name!?’ Not to sound like a narcissist but come-on man! Can’t it be a singular pronoun like Cher, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé? I would like to eventually be able to market myself as such, yes, admittedly.
If I were to say “Elton”, you may immediately assume Elton John. Rightfully so, it’s 3 syllables; it rolls off the tongue well. Also, how many Eltons do you know? There is a cadence to names, labels, advertising, marketing. What can we easily remember…
When you roll through your cell phone rolodex, how many repetitions do you recognize?
I know 5 Michaels, 5 Steves, 5+ Johns…at some point I became a frat guy and started going by everyone’s last name.
It’s funny when I’m referred to by my last name.
I do find it fraternal, and extremely formal (name cards at a banquet dinner), and terribly professional (impersonal) when I am announced by my full name.
I know that my father wanted a boy, and I know that I won’t have children; so I am the last to carry on my family name. It’s poignant, it’s heavy, it’s sad. I understand legacy and the desire to continue being, and my father’s initial despair…
Any guy I’ve ever dated, I’ve internally digested what my name would sound like attached to their last name in matrimony (as any female will admit!!!) I also decided long ago I would only attach it to my own last name and not rid myself of the last label, familial definition I know. Aristocracy has been known to run out of letters in the alphabet with the lengths of their’s!
The bigger question instigating this post is actually about maiden names. Why do some divorced woman keep those of their divorcee? I understand why a widow would keep her married name. She was never officially divorced. Severance was forced upon her. It is her last attachment -such as being a female heir with no desire to procreate, I am the last thread to my last name.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my name as I try to get a grip on what my music and brand objective is. And though my mother still carries my father’s last name, even though they divorced when I was 3, I want to adopt her original maiden name.
It is apart of my history, a link in the chain, a branding that was etched before I could consciously debate it…and as we grow older and wiser, we are better at accepting things. Steele. I am Steele. If you know even an inkling about me, this suits me well. I am solid. I am hardcore. I am steal. I am steel.
Isn’t there always a pain or a sadness attached to history? But isn’t there also an excitement, a new revelation in the learning?
Just recently in the media, Ben Affleck didn’t want to associate himself with a family member having once owned slaves, and he asked PBS to not disclose this info in its program specifically about uncovering our ancestors! What a douche. Is he such a weakling that he can’t even acknowledge history? Is he such a liberal that he can’t even have the balls enough to say ‘I don’t agree with this, but the circumstance existed’? The past is the past, asshole. You either own it and carry it, or you leave it behind. That’s the joy and benefit of living in the present: the currency of choice, no longer a lifestyle or behavior to live in. Etching a new path.
We often take for granted our name, but there is a lot to live up to. And there is even more we can turn it into -this is the heaviest thing we carry: who we are, what we are leaving behind.