Jesus Christ, Rickman’s gone too. My dad went to school with him. My dad went to school with a bunch of famous people, including Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and three quarters of The Who.
“Daltrey was a twat.”
There’s a satisfying air of plausibility about that statement.
The kids I went to school with only ever really got in the papers for GBH. Although, for three months, I did live in the same student hall as Jamie Cullum. He was a lovely little chap. One night we got drunk and went to a student union karaoke night together. University is full of these forced social situations – pretending you’re best buds with some asshole you’ve known for 48 hours.
Of course, Cullum killed it by busting out a Sinatra number. I did Atomic by Blondie. The compere – some prick called “Stumpy” – cut it short, so I stole his trademark yellow beanie off his bald head and ran out the door. I didn’t see Cullum much after that. Got barred from Stumpy’s Karaoke, too.
Such is life.
So what I wanted to talk about today is fame. I’m finishing off a short story, which is a meditation on that very subject. Working title is The 27 Club, and although there are a few books with that title already, mine has way more severed limbs in it.
So fuck it.
The 27 Club.
Something that’s been on the rise for the past few decades is fame for fame’s sake. And it’s all a little crass. The gossip pages of the tabloids. Kim Kardashian. Callum Best. Heat Magazine. Fucking Buzzfeed. Made In Chelsea. Selfies. Instagram.
What’s the allure?
Do people equate fame with financial success? I’m pretty sure Kevin Bacon (RIP The Following, sad emoticon) would disagree. You know why he’s doing those phone adverts? Poor sod lost all his money in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. You can be as famous as Footloose and still have sweet F.A. in the bank.
And Pamela Anderson – bankrupt in 2012. Rumour is she barely stayed afloat.
So why do you want to be famous?
To fuck off the kids who used to bully you at school?
The height of fame for me came in 2004 (see header pic for visual reference – I still own that tie) when two girls spent an afternoon lurking outside the flat I shared with a bandmate. Freaked me out. They followed us around Hackney Tesco. Lost them somewhere around the poultry section, ran back home and double-locked the door.
But my point is: Fame. It’s ugly. It brings out the worst in people. Which means it’s an absolutely wonderful thing to write about.
I would expand on this – shit, I intended this to be a fifteen-hundred word epic – but some asshole is talking very loudly behind me about football. It’s been a long, long week. Insomnia reared its ugly head on Wednesday. I’ve been catching-up ever since. And this new job has meant that I have to actually use my brain in the daytime for things other blogging and writing first drafts.
On the plus side, my cheeks are sunken, which makes my cheekbones look nice. Actually, thinking about it, I’m off to take a couple of selfies and upload them to Instagram. How many followers does one need to get sent free clothes? It’s got to be at least 200.