April 27, 2016
Source: Creative Commons
While Prince is a little too strange to safely generalize from, Tom Petty (“American Girl,” “Free Fallin”“) is a fairly representative rock star.
Petty is a redneck from the Florida panhandle. When Mike Judge was looking to cast a voice actor for a hillbilly character, Lucky, for King of the Hill, his showrunner explained that Lucky is just like Tom Petty, only not successful. Eventually, they wound up with Petty himself doing the voice.
But, as Petty explains in a recent biography, although he was a redneck, he was always an artsy redneck. In junior high he was into growing his hair long, writing poetry, playing music, and romancing girls. He was uninterested in the sports beloved by his salesman father, an ex-jock who”d punch him around, fearing his son was gay.
But Tom grew up to seldom lack for female companionship (such as Stevie Nicks), even though he looks like the Mad Hatter in John Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland.
The rock-star mode actually can be a coherent, even cunning heterosexual package for skinny young men who are never going to be the captain of the football team.
Tony Montana explained the conventional male path in Scarface:
In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.
But that’s not for everybody. Indeed, how well did it work out for Tony Montana?
An alternative evolutionary strategy is: Don”t compete with the jocks to be the big man on campus in the usual masculine pursuits of athletic glory or business success. Instead, bypass conventional male vs. male competition and specialize in the arts that appeal directly to girls.
But that raises the question: From an evolutionary standpoint, what’s in it for women? One answer is that it can make for attractive children, such as Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv.