Mitch Kenitzer is changing his name
No, that’s not my sister-in-law’s cousin who lives in Paducah. It’s 1/3 of what Three Bridges used to be until … well … whatever. He’s going solo. And apparently decided, what better way to launch a solo career than to change his name. So now he’s Mitchel Jon.
I emailed a friend about this earlier today and her reply was simply: “Mitchel, Joni.” I laughed. But no matter, this seems like a tremendously bad idea. I can understand changing your name at the beginning of your career, but whatever his name is, this guy is solidly in the middle of a professional life that, at least right now, is beholden to an industry in which more than a few fans remain skeptical about changing from cassettes to CDs. And this makes changing your name a good idea, why, exactly? According to Not Mitch Kenitzer:
For as long as I can remember, pronouncing and spelling my last name, Kenitzer, has been a problem for anyone outside of my home turf of North Dakota. [snip] I simply decided that I didn’t want promoters, pastors, music ministers and most of all fans, to be embarrassed when they tried to pronounce, or should I say, mispronounce my name. You can’t believe how many ways people have tried to pronounce “Kenitzer”. There are at least a dozen ways to phrase it.
I’ll take his word for it, but in trying to fix one problem, he’s created two much bigger ones. First, for the next 20 years he’ll be either be “Jon Mitchel” (which is a risk you take when you rechristen yourself with two first names) or “Mitchel Jon … formerly Mitch Ken… uh… snitzer who used to be with those Three Bridges.” And of course we can expect a tiresome set of lame name jokes to go along with all this.
But more urgently, he’s just erased every bit of name recognition that he built up as the best vocal part of 3B and could have otherwise used as the basis for his solo career (and of course I’m leaving aside the question of whether the world needs another Christian-music soloist right now). How does he expect fans to jump on board with this new name thing when even his record company used his OLD name in the headline of the press release they send out about it?
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