Ton y Bourdain is gone … but not completely.
Tony lives on as a lifestyle brand. And so, the auction of his personal effects was a big event. And his personal endorsements still have power to get attention.
Here, for example, is a playlist of his fav tunes.
BTW, they are pretty cool!
Aspiring writers take note! Tony was very cagey in creating this brand even before his first big book (Kitchen Confidential) hit the market. And he never deviated from the brand (the attitude). He knew that it was the key to his fortune.
His problem — and I am speculating here — may have been that he took himself just a tad too seriously. He lost track of where the brand ended and the real person began. BTW, if so, he would not have been the first branded personality to do so.
I am reminded of the famous exchange that Cary Grant had with a fan. Grant was off the set, coming out of a hotel when a fan shouted at him from across the street, “I wish I were Cary Grant!!!!!” Grant stopped, turned and answered, “I do too.”
But at the end of the day, Reggie Leach (Cary’s real name) was not Cary Grant the brand. That was just acting. That was jut a brand. The real person was buried beneath all the trappings. And probably was a nice guy. But we know very little about the real guy. And yes, like Bourdain, Grant suffered form severe depression.
Yes this is a cautionary tale. We can get trapped in less than real story lines if we allow ourselves to be trapped in them. Consider the old zen line “… When one thought arises, another follows. When the first thought springs from enlightenment, all subsequent thoughts are true. Through delusion, one makes everything untrue.”‘
Believe in brands if you will, but be prepared to jump out of their grip if your “true self” beckons. And what is that? The weird thing is that unlike a brand, your true self is not a fixed thing at all!. It