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Celebrity autobiographies almost always start
with a Defining Moment that, while often unimportant in the scope of a
career, somehow evokes the
star's essential character. For Sonny Bono, forever in Cher's shadow,
it's an incident that occurs
during his campaign for mayor of Palm Springs: a desert matron inquires
about his past with Cher, and he
tries to make a case for his individual validity. For Geraldo Rivera,
chronic newsroom renegade, it's when he's fired from ABC.
Tesh's autobiography is due out soon--and it's impossible not to wonder: what will his Defining Moment be? Waiting for elevators, stalled in morning traffic, I find myself contemplating the possibilities. Maybe it will be the time he received the first order for his self-produced Tour de France soundtrack cassette: that was certainly a significant incident, with its portent of a full-fledged musical career and its valence of canny self-promotion. (The cassette did not actually exist yet; to see if anyone would buy it, Tesh advertised its availability in a bicycling magazine.) But maybe it will be some other time, some mild humiliation resulting from his role as E.T.'s host, narrated with gracious self-deprecation to convey the limits that come mixed with the perks of newz-guy eminence.
Or maybe Tesh will break with tradition and not even include a Defining Moment at all.