One Writer's Most Profound Musical Man-Crushes

Categories: Whatever

Photo by Jim Bricker
Childish Gambino at House of Blues last month
The Man Crush. It's what made John Wayne an American icon. When The Duke was riding, it wasn't entirely acceptable for another man to admit an overwhelming fondness for him or his true grit. But, c'mon -- those movie theaters screening his films weren't exactly teeming with women.

Nowadays we men are much freer to acknowledge there's something we admire so deeply about, say, George Clooney. We just wanna hang with him, gabbing over whiskeys and staring deeply into that woman-slaying grin all afternoon.

Look, I'm an old, happily married, hetero male who is entirely comfortable admitting there's something about guys like Humphrey Bogart and Bruce Willis that I find extraordinarily appealing. No shame in my game. And women do this sort of thing all the time -- and have for a while now -- because they're typically not so insecure or foolish as to attach sexuality to every semblance of admiration for someone, male or female. It's nice to see us XYs catching up.

So here are some of my man-crushes of music, which I tried to limit to active artists. Don't even get me started on Jim Morrison and Otis Redding.

Donald Glover's alter ego comes off as perverse and misogynistic, so it would be interesting to know what he'd think of a middle-aged man crushing on him.

He's got a boyishly charming face, he's hilarious and best of all, he's a wordsmith. His rhymes are frequently funny and frequently despicable, which is a quandary for many. I mean, you can't really get behind a lyric like "e.e. cummin' on her face, now that's poetry in motion,..." but you have to admit, it's a lot smarter, and therefore far more interesting, than "skeet skeet."

I know the Piano Man is geriatric, but my man-feelings for him started way back in high school. And, although it infuriates me that he has time to run a satellite radio program but not write new music, I still can't help but love the guy.

My wife bought us third-row seats for "The Bridge" tour, nearly 30 years ago. I hand-slapped my rock god as he ran along the edge of the stage singing "You May Be Right." I missed the rest of the song for staring at my palm the next several minutes.

Moments later, during his mike-stand-twirling schtick, the stand slipped from his hands and came crashing down on my wife's head. He looked right at her and said, "Are you okay? I'm sorry." Without wondering whether she'd suffered a concussion, I excitedly screamed at her, "Billy Joel just spoke to you!"

Google Image any five photos of Juanes right now. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Case closed.

List continues on the next page.

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