5 things you need to know about fame

as you know, i hang around with famous people all the time (being famous and all), so today i’d like to offer my 5 things you need to know about fame.

before i start the list, i would like to point out that there is an enormous difference between famous people and celebrities. celebrities are those obnoxious people who turn up everywhere and you have no idea what they actually do or how they became famous. these include everyone from big brother, kim kardashian, paris hilton, kevin federline and peaches geldof. it seems that these days it is enough to just to be a famous person’s daughter, boyfriend or drinking partner. just appear on as many red carpets as you can, party all night every night, take your top (or better still your knickers) off on every occasion, get done for drunk driving and go out with someone famous. or get adopted by someone famous. or pretend to be friends with someone famous. famous people do not necessary have talent or if they do, you might not like or appreciate it, but they are famous for actually having done something other than the things mentioned above.

  • famous people like fame. you might be under the impression, if you read most tabloid/rag magazines, that people like princess diana and britney spears don’t really like the attention they get/got. this is total crap. do you think that any person in their right mind would pursue an entertainment career from the age of three if they didn’t want the spotlight? and if lady di didn’t want fame, what the hell was she thinking when she got married to the old plant whisperer back in 1981?
  • famous people are like you, only richer, thinner and with better teeth. they still have to sleep, eat and go to the loo but they have an entourage to help them do it. they do not wake up in the morning looking like they do in the magazines. many have endured years of painful surgeries and treatments, daily workouts and starvation diets, armies of stylists and hairdressers to look like that. it’s enough to send mere mortals screaming back to bed. the difference is that when famous people scream and run back to bed, we call it rehab. when you lot do it, it’s called being bone-idle.
  • famous people like awards. these days, it seems to be the protocol to be humble and self-deprecating at award ceremonies, thanking those that “made this possible”, saying “this award really belongs to so and so” or actually (god forbid) turning one down! no, no, no, no, no. the truth is, famous people really want to stand up there and give this speech: “i am very happy that you finally recognised my enormous talent and gave me the award i deserve. it is perfectly obvious that my performance in ____ was better than _____’s in _____ and thank goodness you weren’t too stupid to see it. i worked my sexy butt off with this award in mind, so well done to me. now that i know you love me more than anyone else, i will get off the stage and go and get drunk. see you next week/month/year when you reward me again for my outstanding gorgeousness and immeasurable talent.”
  • famous people like to be asked for their autographs. why else would they be eating, drinking or sunbathing in the “it” places? if you didn’t want to be noticed by hordes of fans, why don’t you pop down to the local fish and chip shop with no make-up on to get your dinner. or call the local chinese take-away and enjoy a chicken chow mein in the comfort of your own private cinema?

would you honestly look twice if this girl stood next to you in tesco?

or if this girl was crossing the road in front of you?

no. but if you recognised them in their extraordinary ordinariness and asked them for a signature, they would be flattered don’t you think? i certainly would be.

  • famous people do, in fact, die. yes, it may come as a complete shock to you but they do. michael jackson has indeed “ceased to be”, princess di has “kicked the bucket” and elvis presley (even the king himeself) has “shuffled off ‘is mortal coil”. what remains is hype, exaggeration, wishful thinking, disbelief maybe, fanaticism and magazine/newspaper/film/record and book sales. the truth is that famous people are flesh and blood. infinitely more special and deserving than everyone else but flesh and blood nonetheless. sorry about that!

chefs and musicians

not many of you will know this about me but i’m utterly addicted to celebrity cooking shows. i could watch hours of top chef, top chef masters, hells kitchen, the f word, no reservations, jamie’s kitchen, conviction kitchen, iron chef, kitchen nightmares… etc etc etc. i’ve even been known to watch rachael ray and emeril. i also follow quite a few celeb chefs on twitter.

now before you say “what a sad bugger”, let me attempt an explanation of my ever-growing fascination with chefs. what strikes me (and has been commented on many times) are the similarities between cooking and making music. Many top chefs admit to an obsession with music and quite a few dabble on the other side in their spare time. for example, hubert keller is a dj, rocco dispirito is an avid guitar player, jamie oliver is a half-decent drummer, johnny ciao worked in the music industry for 20 years before becoming a chef, ainsley harriot was a musician of sorts, marco pierre white looks and acts like a rock star and of course, jerome “chef” mcelroy (south park) is isaac hayes.

i am fascinated by the art of cooking. the creative process. the way each individual chef can take the same ingredients and come up with an entirely different result. i am fascinated by the fact that everyday, sometimes mundane, observations can influence a dish. food critics often take the joy and fun out of eating by talking about “flavour profiles” and “palettes”, in much the same way as music critics take the joy out of music by talking in pretentious terms.

so here’s my top 10 similarities between chefs and musicians

  1. we have to practice and often experiment on friends
  2. we put a bunch of known stuff (ingredients/notes) together in different ways to make something new
  3. we often get it wrong
  4. technique counts for a lot but passion makes the difference
  5. we tend to be egotistical, obsessed and are given to swearing a lot
  6. we love what we do even when no-one is watching
  7. fame can ruin us
  8. we care about presentation
  9. we both tend to over-indulge in the alcohol department
  10. we tend to be fairly vocal about fellow musicians/chefs that we dislike

if you can think of more, i’d love to hear them in the comments.

i don’t have much in the way of “knife skills” at the moment and most ingredients that i see being used on these shows are either hideously expensive or impossible to find in greece but who knows… perhaps i’ll become the diva cook if being in a band doesn’t work out.

right… off to watch iron chef

venue mistakes

i read yesterday that paul weller (he of the jam who i absolutely loved back in the day) played the royal albert hall. now i know it was mr weller’s show and not the jam and i actually like him on his own, but the royal albert hall? i know, i know, tons of famous bods (including hendrix, sting jay z and the kaiser chiefs have played there but i find it odd. for me the royal albert is for ballet and classical music and eric clapton. not for the bad boys and girls of rock and roll. call me old fashioned but i like my bands up close and dirty. i understand stadium rock even though i never go. i can’t see the point of paying hundreds of quid to go and see bands and only being able to see them on a big screen. yeah, yeah, it’s the atmosphere bla bla and there are so many fans that they wouldn’t fit in a normal rock venue. i get it.

but the royal albert hall? it’s sedate and polite and nice. all the things that music shouldn’t be. especially not for someone who used to be in the jam. i like my rock idols to stay on the edge, to remain rebellious. but sadly, they either go the way of bono and paul weller (and countless others) or they self-destruct by the age of 27.

i do take my hat off to bowie and the rolling stones who have managed to survive this gentrification of music and have stayed (in my opinion) as exciting as they always were.

ps: i have a particular hatred of the royal albert hall because of the last night of the proms. this is when the hooray henrys and henriettas, let the peasants into their inner sanctum to get pissed and sing land of hope and glory. gives me shivers just thinking about it.

pps: in mr weller’s defence, he did live stream the gig and bruce foxton joined him on stage for the first time in 28 years

u2 postpone tour

from the bbc

U2 have pulled out of the Glastonbury Festival and postponed their US tour after Bono had emergency surgery to save him from possible paralysis.

The singer, 50, had a back operation on Friday after suffering an injury while training in preparation for the tour.

Neurosurgeon Joerg Tonn said: “The surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis.”

Bono, who must recuperate for the next two months, said he was “heartbroken”.

i was going to say “i know how you feel, mate” but that would seem a bit big-headed but in some small (but very diva-like) way, i do. when i was a wandering thespian, our company toured up and down merry england. one of the classic, another day, another city, kind of tours. on the day of a big premiere in london, i sprained my ankle. sounds pathetic but i was ordered not to perform for two weeks. did you know it takes longer to recover from a bad sprain than a fracture in some cases? the show i was in was a highly physical one that we trained for by running 5 miles in the morning, followed by a two hour physical training. anyway, our director had to stand in for me and i travelled with the company but was unable to perform. it was the most intensely frustrating and yes, heartbreaking time.

the desire to get up on stage is a strange and indescribable fish. it’s not as simple as people make out. that performers want to be loved (although that’s very nice too). it’s more like a need. like there’s nothing else you could possibly want to be doing other than that. nothing. the stage is where you are at your happiest. where you feel the most fear and overcome it. where you feel the most vulnerable. where you feel the greatest power you possess. it’s the greatest high that i have ever experienced. no amount of alcohol (drugs might be different… i don’t know) can make you feel like that.

so, although i haven’t been a fan of bono or u2 since their “war” album, they have my sympathy.

i know how you feel…