October 18th, 2006

In Your Face, Simon Callow: VDB Officially Changes Blog Handle to “Vermont Idol”

by Philip Baruth

They wanted only to help a good man become Governor. They wanted only to Rock the Scud. But they found fame, and fortune, and heart-ache, and eventually redemption.

the scudNate Freeman and Marianne Donahue, two politically active types, each with a musical gift. Each penned a song for Scudder Parker, though Freeman called his an “anthem,” and Donahue liked to think of hers as a “jingle.”

And they sent them to VDB, because they knew that we care too.

(You’ll find those now-famous tracks here.)

Then, this morning, they woke up to find their lyrics splashed across of the Rutland Herald. In fact, Darren Allen’s story about their political ditties ran on the web as the Herald’s top story of the day.

Within the next few hours, their lives would be turned upside down. By 9 am Nate Freeman had the number one album in the country, and he had agreed to perform at this year’s Super Bowl XLI event.

By 10, Freeman had developed a deep addiction to pain-killers (so-called “hillbilly heroin”) and had constructed a sprawling, gaudy 21-room mansion in Northfield called “Nateland.” However, some 11 minutes ago Nate found rehab, and as of this writing he is leading a clean, sober existence, and working on a stirring anthem for T.J. Donovan.

For her part, Marianne Donahue spent this morning fighting vicious rumors that she had become visibly anorexic since the Herald piece catapulted her into the limelight. And when it rains it pours: she and her husband Andrew began to feud over her lavish new tastes in sports cars and fitness trainers, and they separated, divorced, remarried, and are now — at a little before lunch time — again deliriously happy.

american idol is deadAnd therein lies the moral of today’s Herald story.

Yes, VDB has now replaced the flagging “American Idol” franchise as the launching pad for the nation’s musical dreams. Yes, doing good works — like getting active on behalf of your chosen candidate in the last weeks of a tough election — may be rewarded with good karma.

But celebrity is a harsh task-mistress. Before you email us that hot tip, snarky photo, or MP3, make damn sure you’re prepared for the consequences.

You make damn sure you’re ready to be a star.

Because we bring the noise. And once it starts, baby, nobody knows when it’s going to stop. VDB out.