Wayne's World: Musical Acts that Share My Name and Make My Life Awkward

Well, Lil Wayne postponed his Phoenix show at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion. And all the talk of skateboarding accidents and makeup dates cannot make up for that simple fact--at least to Weezy's fans. They spent days and months looking forward to that special date, August 24, only to have their hopes dashed.

Well, guess what. August 24 happens to be my birthday and my name happens to be Wayne.

In honor of that coincidence and to give the Lil Wayne-loving public something to mull over in their free time, I came up with a somewhat-contrived and very abstract idea that kind of involves the rap artist.

I am going to write about all of the musical artists and acts that somehow involve my unique name, Wayne, and how they have caused me some sort of discomfort or embarrassment during my lifetime. Call it Wayne's Pain if you're trying to be clever.

Is this blog self-serving and a bit egocentric? Perhaps. But it may also turn out to be pretty hilarious when you consider the facts of the matter.

First off, I have never--in my entire life--met someone else named Wayne. It is a moniker so old fashioned and so unique that no elementary or high school teacher has had to refer to me as "Wayne S." It just never happened. Not in work. Not in school. And not in my social life.

But if the name is so rare, then why does it seem that more than a few musical artists use the label? And, to be more direct, why do they always seem to invade my life. It feels like anytime a "Wayne" artist does something trendy or stupid or infamous, I have to hear about it.

It is like my name is so rare that people I come in contact with feel compelled to keep me in the loop on all news considered "Wayne." Don't ask me why. It is like the outside world thinks we are all part of some Wayne Fraternity, where one member's actions reflect on the group.

Wayne. My blessing. My curse.

Well, here are a few artists and situations that have affected my life over the past decade or so simply because of my first name.

Lil Wayne People have actually been calling me "Little Wayne" since long before Weezy rose to fame. This probably has to do with my diminutive stature and slight frame. However, it was only once I entered high school--when Tha Carter was one of the hottest albums around--that people began to call me "Lil Wayne." When you consider the fact that I was primarily a pop punk kid that hated rap in early high school, you begin to understand my bewilderment. I would walk into a random classroom to jock chants of "Yo, it's Lil Wayne" followed by a plethora of raps and lyrics completely unknown to me. Yeah, those completely confusing episodes really helped me through those extremely awkward pubescent years.

Fountains of Wayne Oh, was someone talking about awkward high school moments? How about walking into English class every day to the sound of a random crackly teenage voice crooning, "Stacy's mom has got it going on..." Yeah, that was a blast. It wasn't enough that the song was plastered all over the radio, or that I hated it, and MTV played the video non-stop, and I hated it--but now I had to hear it from every goddamn "comedian" that thought he was being original. Sure, the song is kind of catchy, but it is also generic, irritating and utterly mind numbing. I am so glad that the band faded into obscurity or else I may have been tempted to do something drastic. The members of Fountains of Wayne would not have wanted to run into me in a dark alley between 2003 and 2004.

Wayne Gretzky

Alright, he has nothing to do with music. But can you imagine what kind of shit I got hockey-themed shit I received with a name like Wayne Schutsky. Trust me, you can't.

Wayne Newton Due to the fact that he appeals to a majority senior audience, I never really received any Newton-flavored hazing. That is until the plastic-faced monster utterly horrified viewers during the 2007 NBA All-Star game with his croaky performance. After that waxy performance, I had the pleasure of enduring a few months of various monstrous renditions of "Viva Las Vegas" during lunch and PE. Once in awhile, I am still privy to a spontaneous performance of "Danke Schoen"--a la Ferris Bueller--when someone realizes what my name is.

Wayne Brady While I know this guy from both Whose Line is it Anyway? and The Chappelle Show, I am still kind of unaware what his musical accomplishments are. Based on Whose Line, I know that he has some pipes and probably sang show tunes, but I have never actually seen an album or song with his name attached to it. Regardless, I can only assume that the two instances in my life when a person called me "the whitest black person I know" must be Brady references in some way (because I am white). Otherwise, they were complete nonsense.

I know, I know. There are much bigger problems in life. I should consider myself lucky.

I have a pretty original name shared by a select few. I just can't help but think that my awkward moments and adolescence might have been a bit easier had these artists chosen a different moniker. Usually, I would keep these thoughts to myself. But when the planets align and Lil Wayne schedules and then cancels a concert on my birthday, well, those are signs no writer can ignore.

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Wayne Schutsky