James Dean, John Merrick,

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Liambeiwai

New Member
China-Chinese
Hello,my friends, it's my first post in this forum.
I am an English learner and I like listening to English songs. The problem is when I listened to the song Rockstar by Nickelback, the sentence" somewhere between Cher and James Dean"puzzled me. James Dean is mentioned in lots of English songs, but what does it mean?
Again in the song If I had a million dollars by barenaked ladies, John Merrick is mentioned. Who is or was he? Even my American teacher didn't understand this then.
I am looking forward to your help.
 
  • MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    James Dean= a hollywood star of the 1950s. Best known for the movie "Rebel without a cause" John Merrick= The character ( a real person) in the movie " Elephant Man"
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    James Dean's star was rising when he was killed in a car accident. He was one of those people that attracts others as to details concerning their private life, as well as his short-lived professional career. Because of that, he is remembered as an icon and somewhat of a mystery. ('What would have become of him if he had never been involved in that accident!")

    John Merrick had more recent fame, not only because of the movie, The Elephant Man, but also because Michael Jackson tried to buy his remains awhile back.
     

    James Stephens

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    This is too interesting not to speculate.

    Cher, despite her considerable talents in several fields, is a cultural icon who is admired chiefly for her eternal sequined and beaded glamour. As a sterotype, she is as superficial and as uncomplicated as a Barbie doll.

    James Dean, on the other hand was tragic figure, deep, brooding, full of angst and unrealized potential.

    To be beween Cher and James Dean suggests to me a star who shares the characteristics of both. He is slick on the outside, but he has issues.
     

    James Stephens

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Thank you, GenJen. Facinating articles -- some stuff I knew about Dean, and a whole lot I didn't know about Merrick.

    "a million dollars by bare naked ladies" and John Merrick was mentioned. How interesting it would be to know the full context of that. According to the link you provided, Merrick earnestly desired to be in the presence of women who would not be repulsed by his appearance, evidence his request to be placed in a hospital for the blind.
     
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