See What It Can Do For You
What is your greatest fear? One of my closest friends in Park Slope (who just happened to be from Belgium which explains a lot) said that he had a fear of people with two first names. At the top of the list was Lisa Lisa, with or without the Cult Jam. Second was Tina Louise. Third was Rose Maire. I was never sure if it was Rose Marie or Rosemarie.
We've moved on from the era of two first names to three names, with the middle one not being a real middle name but either a second first name or a precursor last name. True middle names are accents not actual names. (Mine, for example is Lynn.) Bobby Lee Gentry is a perfect example of a nice progression of first, middle and last names. I think it was Jan Michael Vincent (Almost three first names, depending on your perspective) who got things on the wrong foot. Of course, we would then have our share of the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Tommy Lee Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hello! Three first names), Mary-Louse Parker (Don't even get me started on hyphens), Haley Joel Osment (or was it Haley Kate Osmond, some fifth cousin of Donny and Marie?), Neil Patrick Harris and Edward James Olmos. It makes one long for the days of Nico, Brickhouse, Odetta and Lambchop. Singular names are so grounding. The Rock is not a singular name but a pretense. When I go by JunkThief, I fear it's a pretentious hybrid with that big capital T sitting in the middle like a shrink trying to reconcile a conflicted couple.
Do you know who was the first singularly name superstar? I really don't. I want to say Nazimova but I'm not sure.
UPDATE: Not that I want to get in an argument with The Angry Young Man, but based on this 2008 photo of Tina with Sylvia Miles, for a 75-year-old woman she does not look that "pathetic". Sylvia, of course, continues to amaze us with her eternally youthful and ageless beauty.