An entertainment adage holds that one should “never meet your heroes” (or “never meet your idols"). A hero on a stage or a movie screen can be very different in real life. It’s not known where the adage began.
“It doesn’t pay to meet your idols” was said in 1988 by Albert Goldman (1927-1994), a biographer of Lenny Bruce, Elvis Presley and John Lennon. “I started understanding that adage about how you shouldn’t meet your idols because they’ll only disappoint” was cited in print in 1993.
Google News Archive
27 September 1988, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Biographer hold to unmasking Lennon’s dark side” by Larry McShane (Associated Press Writer), Magazine, pg. 35, col. 2:
“It doesn’t pay to meet your idols. Just enjoy them; don’t try to see the reality,” Goldman said. “My books are a cold dose of reality.”
26 April 1993, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Born to babble: Bocephus is listener-friendly on latest CD, but not in person” by Michael Corcoran (Country Music Critic):
Hank Williams Jr. has a scar down the middle of his cranium that makes his bald head look like the Liberty Bell with sunglasses.
Man, I wish he wouldn’t have taken his hat off. But he did, and then I started understanding that adage about how you shouldn’t meet your idols because they’ll only disappoint.
31 March 1994, Rockford (IL) Register Star, “Biographer of Elvis, Lennon dead at 66” (AP), pg. 2B, col. 6:
Goldman said he had started work on the book with a positive opinion of Lennon. He said he concluded after much research that “it doesn’t pay to meet your idols.”
5 February 1995, The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL), “You may call me Mister Goulet”:
A wise person once said that you should never meet your idols in the flesh.
Google News Archive
27 December 1995, Manila (Philippines) Standard, “Wings’ Steven Weber tries new flight patterns” by Stacy Jenel Smith, pg. 26B, col. 5:
The movie was “a lot of fun to make and a dream come true. Mel Brooks was one of my heroes growing up—the King of Funny. They say never meet your heroes because they’ll never live up to your expectations,” says Weber, “but Mel did.”
Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz
By John Kander and Fred Ebb, as told to Greg Lawrence
New York, NY: Faber & Faber
Frank Loesser once told me en passant, “Don’t ever meet your heroes. Chances are it will be a very disillusioning experience.”
(American songwriter Frank Loesser, 1910-1969—ed.)
Empire of Dirt:
The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music
By Wendy Fonarow
Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press
There is a mantra among music journalists and professionals, “Never meet your idols,” that is born of experience. Most professionals have been disillusioned at one time or another.
Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
By Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
A journalist friend once said: “Never meet your heroes, they are always a disappointment.”
Never meet your heroes: How Aldrin killed my Buzz
by: By Claire Connelly, Technology Reporter
April 19, 2012 5:59PM
. Space geek’s dreams checked by temperamental astronaut
. Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, but says no to moonwalk
. Refuses to sign copy of autobiography for the kiddies
THEY say never meet your heroes. And they’re right.
For me it was Buzz Aldrin - the man who has been to the moon and back and whom I had worshipped since I was a child.
There’s an old adage which warns, “Never meet your heroes,” lest you discover them to be human and they disappoint. http://fangirlcandy.tumblr.com/post/43620879949/theres-an-old-adage-which-warns-never-meet-your …
8:38 PM - 9 Mar 13
New York City • Music/Dance/Theater • Saturday, September 07, 2013 • Permalink