In the mid-1970s there was a show on television in the afternoons called The Gong Show:
It consisted of wacky act coming on live TV and being judged by a wacky host and a wacky audience on their relative merits. If their merits did not live up to the hosts standards he would bang a huge gong and the contestants would be taken off of the stage with a big wooden hook.
Those that made it through their performance without getting the gong sometimes when on to fame and fortune in the entertainment world.
I watched this show religiously after returning home from school in that era. I just knew that I had the talent, I had enthusiasm, I had the drive, I had the Moxie to make it big on the gong show!
Around that same time, a friends cool mom turn me on too the 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. I had heard Elton John’s Greatest Hits before but this double album, not necessarily a concept album, but a fantastic creative effort by one of my favorite musicians, really turned me on my ear:
Putting two and two together I sheepishly called my friend’s mother on the phone one afternoon. “Would there be a way I could borrow your Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album? I’d really like to study it and learn the song Bennie and the Jets because I want to apply to perform on The Gong Show.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life!” she said “…there’s no way I am loaning you my Goodbye Yellow Brick Road record!”
It was probably for the best… there was no way I could pull that off!