4-Year-Old Celtics Fan Video Sends 26-Year-Old Song Up the Billboard Charts
Crack open that creaky old vault known as the “long-term memory,” and see if you can recall this video of Celtics fan Jeremy Fry, who caught the attention of the Celtics jumbotron back in 2009 and didn’t let it go. Video of Fry putting on an impromptu performance to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” went internet-viral lo those four long years ago. Fry enjoyed some notoriety, a presence on lists like “Most Distracting Sports Fans,” and an excellent icebreaker at cocktail parties for the rest of his life. And that was that.
Until this week, when Fry’s performance got a revival, thanks to Youtube user Jose Duran who reuploaded it with the title “One Man Dances Like Nobody’s Watching While Everyone Is — He’ll Crack You Up!” (For the record, it seems obvious that Fry does know that everyone is watching. He’s mugging hard for the Jumbotron love.) For some reason—it’s best not to question the internet’s whims—people took interest. Duran’s video alone has 17 million views. If you’re having trouble gauging what kind of impact that kind of attention has, hear this: The Billboard Hot 100 List this week features “Livin’ on a Prayer,” a song that was #1 on that same list in 1987, at #25, almost certainly because the viral Fry video got the song in people’s heads. So, um, sorry Lana Del Ray. Tough luck Selena Gomez. You got beat by a man who once guest-starred on Ally McBeal. (Ask your mom, Gomez.) This seems like it defeats the stated purpose of the Billboard Hot 100, but a new algorithm that includes digital sales and streams of songs in ranking them against one another propelled Bon Jovi to the front.
So yes. An event at a four-year-old Celtics game has sent a 26-year-old song racing up the charts, proving our theory that the internet is just a random ricochet of old information mashed up in new forms to entertain the bored masses, stuck at their desks, clicking on cat videos. America really does appear to believe we’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got. Life is basically just one big “I Love the [Decade]” retrospective on VH1, recycling pop culture references in an eternal, random flow of meaninglessness. It’s all a tad overwhelming. But take my hand, we’ll make it. I swear.