An idea so simple that it’s surprising that it’s not been done before. What’s it like when you’re no longer hugely/fairly/semi famous? It’s presented as a pretty straight collection of articles/interviews with an impressive range of artists from proper superstars (Robbe Williams), indie types (Alex Kapranos, Lloyd Cole, Wayne Hussey, Shaun Ryder), oldies (Joan Armatrading, Leo Sayer), as well as teeny-pop types and plenty more.
There’s no real attempt made to find patterns or draw overarching conclusions. Some stories tell of an abrupt fall of a cliff, others a long, slow managed decline and while some have a redemptive arc, not all of them do by any means. But the author has a nice easy to read style and it’s pretty funny in places. Sad in others.
One thing is pretty clear – it’s not easy. And it can’t have been easy either to get many of these interviews and while this is thankfully far from a tabloid-style take-down or hatchet job, there’s plenty of evidence, both explicit and implicit, that a fair few of these post fame and success lives have been a struggle. There’s a lot of ‘I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been’ or ‘It’s just about the music not the fame and fortune’ which don’t always sound terribly convincing. There’s also been, unsurprisingly, a lot of drinking and drugging. Plus multiple partners and numerous children. As well as a few happy endings thankfully.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
The music press.
One thing you’ve learned
It certainly helps to have made a shit load of cash before the fame and success come to an end.