Twitter Match: Michael Bolton vs. Michael Bolton

Long-time readers of our blog will likely recall our three-part interview with software testing expert Michael Bolton, which remains one of the most popular installments of our Testing the Limits series. You can read the interviews here, here and here.

Naturally, the first thing we asked him about was the subject of sharing a name with Michael Bolton, the famous singer. See his funny response below the fold.

Anyway, Michael Bolton (the testing expert) was recently featured in a Toronto Star news story for not relinquishing his Twitter handle to Michael Bolton (the singer).

Here’s a hilarious excerpt:

Michael Bolton remembers the day he discovered Michael Bolton.

It was 1985, and he was in a record shop in Sudbury.

“I remember thinking two things,” said the 50-year old software consultant from Toronto. “‘Oh my God, I hope he’s not successful’ and ‘If he is my life is ruined.’”

As Michael Bolton unbuttoned his denim shirt and let his long hair blow in the wind for 90s music videos, the Toronto Bolton dealt with the repercussions. Every time he rented a car, there was a pause, a laugh, a comment.

And now, more than 25 years later, there is another wrinkle in the forced relationship: Twitter. Toronto’s Michael Bolton signed up for Twitter first, and he’s not willing to relinquish the username @michaelbolton, even if it means receiving random messages about his lovely voice or requests for autographs.

Classic. We generally don’t take sides on this blog, but this is one issue where we simply have no choice. Michael Bolton, we’re with you!

As mentioned, here’s what Michael told us back in early 2010:

uTest: You’ve been a thought leader in the testing space for a while now, but people still seem to get you confused with Michael Bolton (the singer) on Twitter. Ever thought about creating a tester alias? Or have you considered asking him to change his name since “he’s the one that sucks.” Assuming you (and our readers) have seen Office Space, I bet this joke never gets old.

MB: Yeah, it never gets old.  Try renting a car with this name.

A couple of things on that. First, Office Space captures very well what it’s like to have my name. Second, it’s not his real name; he changed it already. Way back when, before Office Space, I was working in tech support at Quarterdeck Canada.  American callers would occasionally turn north when there were long phone queues in Santa Monica. On one call, when I introduced myself to the customer, he laughed. “Really? That’s your real name?” “Yes, really,” I said, expecting one of the usual jokes. He said, “You know, it isn’t his real name. I used to be his bass player.”  The singer’s real name is Bolotin, but according to the bass player, there was no hope that radio DJs would ever pronounce “Bolotin” right, so he changed it.

So whose side are you on?

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