"Real Life" is a song written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Ashley Gorley, Ross Copperman, recorded by American country music artist Jake Owen. It was released as the lead single to his upcoming fifth studio album American Love, but was scrapped in a restructuring of the album after it stalled at number 17 on Country Airplay for several weeks. Owen told Billboard and Rolling Stone that the idea for the song came when he discussed his favorite artists with songwriter-producers Shane McAnally and Ross Copperman, mentioning Sublime and Sugar Ray in particular, he said that he wanted to record a song that differed from his usual beach-related themes, such as "Beachin'" or "The One That Got Away", that he wanted McAnally and Copperman to give him a song about "real-life situations". McAnally and Copperman, who produced the song, wrote it with Josh Osborne, it features "relentless acoustic rhythm" and "strange gang vocals and a series of odd-but-familiar images from small-town America: prom queens in plastic crowns, amateurish bar bands and rude Waffle House waitresses."
According to Owen, the song is thematically about how "In a world of materialistic things, everybody is looking for what they don't have, as opposed to looking for what's real and what you have right in front of you. That's what'What We Ain't Got' touched on…'Real Life' is about what we've got and what's real to us." Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave the song a positive review, saying that "Sonically, the arrangement complements the languid, kind of adolescent nature of his lyric and delivery. Owen’s brand of nostalgia isn’t poignant. He’s more recalling the rebellious nature of youth in a way that’s more specific to suburbian kids that country kids. That’s not to say his songwriting team is lazy with the lyrics — they make clever references throughout “Real Life” and rely on specific, yet somehow universal stories." The song debuted on the Hot Country Songs at number 27 and Country Airplay at number 29 on its released. It debuted on the Country Digital Songs chart at number 6, selling 29,000 copies in the week.
It peaked at number 17 on both Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay for charts of August 15, 2015. The song had sold 274,000 copies in the US as of October 2015; the music video was directed by Jeff Venable and premiered in June 2015. NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick appears in the video
Leslie Cantwell is a UK Space Historian renowned for his extensive knowledge of the Apollo Space programme and space-related artifacts. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is best known for his extensive collection of original memorabilia including his collection of large-format images signed by most of the Apollo astronauts. For a while he acted as an advisor to the London Science Museum Space Department regarding the Apollo 10 Command Service Module better known as Charlie Brown on and has written various articles on the subject of space travel and space art that of Apollo 12 moonwalker, Alan Bean; the London exhibitions of his large-format Apollo mission images captured the interest of many new devotees of the Apollo programme, a large collection of his work is on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere, Kansas. Cantwell was born in Sutton, Surrey and after leaving school at an early age, drifted into the IT sales industry, setting up his own company in 1982. Nowadays his company and various interests occupy his time but allow him opportunities to travel to America to attend events and meetings with the Apollo astronauts.
The Leslie Cantwell Collection is considered by space industry experts to be the largest and most important of its kind in the world, celebrates the golden age of space travel. The collection is a montage of autographs and official NASA photographs including images of all six voyages that Man made to the moon; some of the images are original Hasselblad photographs and many of the photographs were taken in space by the astronauts themselves. Walter Cunningham, Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 7, has said of the photographs, “These are rare and unique pictures from a unique time in the history of the world.” The photographs themselves are an awe-inspiring reminder of the magnitude of the achievement of the US space program in the 1960s and 1970s of putting a man on the moon, but what makes the collection so unique is that each bears a handwritten inscription by the astronauts who made history which, in Cantwell's words, give the images “the personal touch of a moonwalker who fulfilled the dream of man over millennia, writing in his own hand a segment of mission transcripts, poetry, or his own comments”.
The combination of imagery and poetry takes the photographs beyond visual art and captures the glory of one of the most milestones in the history of Man. The collection originates from a single photograph given to Leslie Cantwell by the Apollo 15 moonwalker, James Irwin, in Hanover, Germany, in 1981. Irwin was there to promote his book, offered to sign a picture for Cantwell, which he inscribed with the words, “with love from the moon.” When Cantwell returned home the photograph was consigned to the attic to gather dust. Cantwell is an avid reader of renaissance literature and poetry Dante's ‘La Divina Commedia’. When, by chance, he rediscovered Irwin's photograph amongst his possessions ten years he happened to be reading ‘Paradiso’ and, contemplating the photograph, he was struck by the fact that many of the lines relating to the poet's ascent into heaven could be applied to the astronauts’ forays into space. For example, “I’ve been in the heavens … and I’ve seen things which cannot be told by anyone who’s not been up there.”
Dante refers to himself as ‘the vessel of Apollo’. Lines from Kipling's ‘The Secret of the Machines’the-secret-of-the-machines evoked the paradox of the audacity of the missions and their precariousness: “But remember, the Law by which we live, We are not built to comprehend a lie, We can neither love nor pity nor forgive, If you make a slip in handling us, you die!”. He is quoted as saying. “All the noise, the arc lights, the technology, Man’s audacious venture in relation to this image” For Cantwell, it was the touch paper for a passion that would lead him to amass an enormous number of photographs, from which he painstakingly selected images that, appropriately inscribed, he felt would portray not only the magnitude of the US space program but the absolute transcendence of the astronauts’ experience of looking down from space. He always thought their sheer daring is awe-inspiring, he says, “The early astronauts were the greatest explorers ever. They left the planet and went up into the Dark Unknown, knowing that in all likelihood they might not return.”
As the collection grew, Cantwell sent the images to Venice to be enlarged to a 16” X 20” format. He says, “Some of that imagery is breathtaking and an 8x10 would do it no justice. I needed ‘room to work’, the placement of the inscription, the colour of the pen and other details were all relative to the quality of the finished article. Furthermore, the actual signature, following the inscription formed the fusion required to bring the image to life thus making it more meaningful to the viewer.” Cantwell made countless trips back and forth across the Atlantic, travelling extensively throughout the United States to meet and converse with the Apollo astronauts, with many of whom he developed a special rapport that would enable him to understand the “men behind the mission”. Amazingly, he was able to persuade all but one of the twelve men who set foot on the moon to inscribe the images, including Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Gene Cernan, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt, amongst others. Only Neil Armstrong refused (for years he has turned down Cantwell's