Sad tune behind a Twins revival
My friend Hans, a veteran music executive, was in despair when he heard the nearly defunct Canto-pop duo Twins, is being revived. A lover of quality music, Hans was incensed. He had thought his pal Edison Chen Koon-hei, as he puts it, had sunk that sampan for good. Their scheduled resurrection will start next month with a new concert series.
I am no expert in music, and Hans has decades of experience in the business. But some behaviour is universal and readily recognisable, like the inability to take losses. Now, it appears the desperate campaign to revive Twins is a classic example of investors who find themselves in dire situations and refuse to face reality. Twins' managers seem to suffer what some traders call Get-evenitis. Twins' career has been the epitome of how local pop stars are manufactured in the past two decades. Pick any slightly cute youngsters. Give them a makeover, create an artificial fans' base and the appearance of having sponsors and advertisers. Our commercial media - which has recently attracted the attention of the ICAC - will fall in line, playing their so-called music as if it is really popular; and the paparazzi will pursue their every move. And, voila, you have real fans who buy their CDs, and advertisers, especially the government, who line up to hire them. You only need a few successes from this low-cost star-making formula to compensate for all the other forgettable and regrettable acts.
But Chen was the 'black swan' event that no one could have predicted. Stars today are truly ephemeral creatures. Our idol-makers need to learn to cut their losses.