Five Badass Things You Didn't Know About Kenny G
Today is the 58th birthday of one Kenneth Gorelick, better known to the world as Kenny G. Now, when I say the name Kenny G you probably picture a man whose smooth jazz saxophoning is perfect for the uptight squares of the world, but who simply cannot hang with the truly badass musicians that you like. He's all right for a lame guy, right?
Photos by Craig Hlavaty Kenny G sells this poster at his concerts because why the hell wouldn't you?
Well, get ready to have your minds blown, because Kenny G is several shades more awesome than you would ever believe.
5. He Can Hold A Note Longer Than the Running Time of Most Television Shows
Pick your favorite TV show of all time. Mine's Doctor Who and each episode without commercials runs around 42 minutes. Now, picture yourself playing a single note on a wind instrument throughout that entire episode without stopping once. Kenny G can do that.
Using a technique called circular breathing where through intensive concentration a player breathes in through the nose while simultaneously exhaling through the mouth, Kenny G was able to play a single, uninterrupted e-flat at the J&R Music World in New York City in 1997. The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes this as the longest single note ever played. No matter what you think of his music, that is a truly badass physical accomplishment.
Speaking of physical accomplishments...
4. He's Basically the Best Golfing Musician in the World
Lots of musicians play golf. Alice Cooper famously used the sport to deal with his alcoholism, and every single biography you'll read about the horror/glam-rocker will include that fact as an amusing side note. However, Kenny G makes Cooper look like an amateur.
Gorelick actually took up golf before music, and made the school golf team while not quite getting into jazz band. Eventually, that evened out and for two decades Kenny G set aside the sport for music. Once he picked up the clubs once again, though, it quickly became apparent that he was just as gifted in that realm as he is playing the sax. In 2006 Golf Digest ranked him No. 1 out of all the musician golfers then playing the game.
Of course, that's not his only hobby.
3. He Flies His Own Tour Plane
There are just some jobs in the world guaranteed to automatically remove the underwear of any person who asks you what you do. Astronaut, for example, or President of the United States. Pilot is up there too, and Kenny G is one. He takes out his de Havilland Beaver for an hour or two nearly every day.
More than that, whereas most musicians with 75 million albums sold under their belts wouldn't even be willing to drive their own car from the airport, Kenny G co-pilots his own leased Learjet on tour.
There are rock stars out there terrified to get on a plane and end up the next Buddy Holly, but not Kenny G. He takes mocking God in a metal cylinder full of jet fuel and turns it into his morning commute on the way to a gig. At this point if you told me he rode a unicorn home, I would totally believe it.
Story continues on the next page.