Billy Mays III: Pitching his experimental sounds all around St. Petersburg
This spring, experimental St. Petersburg musician Billy Mays III launched a spate of performances in unconventional venues — bookstores, galleries, yoga studios — designed to integrate his music into the fabric of a bustling and creative city. Instead of a tour, he dubbed it an "ambient installation series" — savvy marketing that, so far, seems to be working.
And if Mays' name rings a bell, that might come as no surprise.
His father was the late, legendary TV pitchman Billy Mays, the OxiClean king with the Brillo beard and bright blue button-up. "HI, BILLY MAYS HERE," he'd roar in infomercials hawking Mighty Putty, Orange Glo, the Awesome Auger and a zillion other gotta-get-it widgets. Mays' memelike appeal made him a cult figure and reality TV star before he died at his Tampa home in 2009.
Today, Mays III is pitching something, too, though it's not as easy a sell as the Hercules Hook or Vidalia Slice Wizard.
"I could have taken my dad's path," says Mays, 30, who performs under the name Infinite Third. "I've been asked to pitch products in his way. Over the years, I was like, No, no, no, I'm a musician, I'm an artist. Now I'm finding more and more that I'm becoming a pitchman, but in art. For my art."
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