aNewDomain — Stephen Paul, aka “Esteban,” is a guitarist famous for being famous.
He rose to fame by selling guitars on the Home Shopping Network. And they were shitty guitars, too. People cut their hands on them. Esteban’s concert dreadnaughts weren’t the right kind of guiars for the learners he was selling them to. But people did buy them, and they bought his instructional DVDs and CDs, too. Rightfully, Esteban became an HSN salesman star.
Esteban’s not a real Flamenco guitarist, though. I mean, the guy can play guitar okay. But what he’s playing really isn’t Flamenco.
Here’s the real Malaguena in real Flamenco style, below, without piles of instruments and without amps.
Flamenco eschews lots of instruments, electronics, amps. But watch Esteban’s “Malaguena” version.
The real problem with this guy is dishonesty. For starters, Esteban has touted himself as an award-winning musician, although the majority of his awards are related to his flogging guitars on HSN. Two years after he first appeared on cable back in November 1999 he was selling 56,000 guitars a week. .
The award-winning musician’s “awards” came courtesy of the 2004 Electronic Retailing Association Gala Awards, which honored him as Best Male Presenter for an Infomercial and Best Live Shopping on-Air Guest.
What’s worse, Esteban sells himself with an endorsement from the legendary and revered musician, the late Andrés Segovia. On his promos, Esteban is billed as “one of the few guitarists in the world to earn the coveted endorsement of legendary master, Andrés Segovia.”
But that endorsement apparently came from an autograph Esteban got from Segovia for a book jacket. Inside the book, on a scrap of paper, Segovia wrote:
To Stephen Paul, who loves the guitar and the guitar loves him.”
It’s the sort of vague thing someone who didn’t know you might write inside the cover of the book they were signing to make you feel good, far short of an actual endorsement. I have a signed copy of one of existentialist Kirk Schneider’s books from when I fanboyed him at a conference. The autograph says he values my “paradoxical silence.” It’s cool. I mean, I love Schneider (pictured at right), and he thinks I’m okay, too, I guess. But I don’t wave the book around at meetings as an endorsement of my skills as a psychotherapist.
That would be dishonest.
And then there’s Kim Davis wandering around the news-scape, sucking still more oxygen out of the room by claiming the Pope endorsed her.
That isn’t dishonest, it is fucking dishonest.
The Pope and his handlers aren’t talking about Davis’ claims, it seems. A meeting happened, yeah. But the only reporter covering the Pope’s comments on Kim Davis was, you guessed it, Kim Davis.
She is promoting herseld now with vague commentary that might have been given to anyone. Like the signature inside my copy of Schneider’s The Rediscovery of Awe. Or the thing Esteban uses to claim he’s a musician.
Do I sound bitter?
Yeah, fine, I’m bitter. I got one of those concert dreadnaughts second hand. Mine didn’t fall to pieces, but I couldn’t play it. The action was way too high. It made me think I was a terrible guitarist.
As it turned out, when I traded it in for something decent, I am a passable guitarist.
And I don’t know what Kim Davis is selling.
That’s the thing. What’s she going to do with her so-called endorsement from the Pope?
Will she convert to Catholicism and start a crowdfund campaign to start an unplayable concert dreadnaught production company?
Or … remember the family pizza people who said they wouldn’t bring pies to a gay wedding, which led to death threats, a store closure and then winnings of some $800,000 U.S.? Maybe that is the plan here.
Or maybe there’s a tell-all book deal in the making. Or a biopic. In all seriousness, producers of The 700 Club ought to be interested, don’t you think? Let’s see if we can get her a deal!
Maybe if we pay her enough she’ll go away.
For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Dias.
Cover image: Countryschatter.com, All Rights Reserved; image two, of existentialist Kirk Schneider: EHInstitued.org, All Rights Reserved; image three, of the Indiana Pizza place: TalkingPointsMemo.com, All Rights Reserved.