Fame and fortune
Hi there, pop fans!
Smile, smile, smile
It's all over
I have got the furious needle
It must be a traumatic experience to be blasted from a £l5–per–week factory job into the orbit of £100–plus stardom and then splash down again into the factory after only a few months. Similarly, it must also be a terrific strain on the human ego to discover that, not only has one been blasted into a stardom orbit, but that one is going to remain there for some years.
To find oneself in the position to retire young and also with time and loot to go up and own the whole gamut of diabolical kicks must also have its drawbacks. Like the Devil, the entertainment biz also claims forfeits. To obtain a fortune ones must take a chunk of fame. Having got this little lot you find that somewhere along the line you have forfeited your freedom. Going down the pub, getting on a bus, going shopping, seeing a movie and eating out, all become hazardous sorties. True, you can afford your bodyguards to ward off besiegers of your luxury apartment: you can also afford all the drink you require, to ride about in a chauffeur–driven Rolls, to have wide–screen movies, and the best food in the world. Is this a fair exchange? I think not.
The realisation that one has gained fame and fortune only to lose freedom does peculiar things to a guy and helps to explain some of the strange things that our 20th century stars get up to. They lose touch with the real world outside. They only see and talk to their buddies and/or sycophants and read Press reports. Soon reality and fiction become confused and they begin to believe their own publicity. “Without a doubt,” they tell one another, “we have a severe attack of the dreaded genius! Even when we defecate it is a work of art! Let’s make a movie! Let’s write a book! Let’s write poetry! Let’s paint a picture!” In fact, let’s do anything rather than attempt to master the thing we are making our money out of—music.
Just how much of this extraneous rubbish would we be subjected to if these unfortunates were not in the enviable position of being able to finance their own whims and fancies? Precious little is my guess. Don’t be too hard on them, though: remember that they are deprived of their freedom. So the next time you come face to face with one of these self–indulgencies and the headlines waver between “Outrage!” and “Genius!“, just try to imagine yourself in their position. Think of it. No pub! Gawd–enough to make a fella make a horror film!
There is a school of playwrights that revels in writing plays that have no definite ending. The idea, I am told is to demand audience participation and give enough of the story and characterisation to allow audience imagination to furnish a suitable ending.
This presupposes that the audience has an imagination. All too frequently one hears irate viewers and theatre–goers saving that the play was silly, as it didn’t end. The fiend in me makes me want to try this with music. How marvellous to write a real swinging build–up arrangement and leave the score unfinished about 15 bars from the end. A bloody great dominant 7th chord, then . . .nothing!
Copyright © 1969, Kenny Graham. All Rights Reserved