Pop stars talk about what it's like not to be famous anymore

Originally published at: Pop stars talk about what it's like not to be famous anymore | Boing Boing


Honestly, if I had to be famous, I’d want to be unrecognized years later. People might recognize your name, so you’d still get the occasional conversation about it, but you wouldn’t be constantly followed, photographed, and harassed everywhere you go.


I always thought the best way to be famous would be as a voice actor. You could go about your life in public just like anybody else, but if you ever craved a little public adulation you could just start wowing the kids with your famous cartoon voices.


What I have seen of “fame & fortune” leaves much to be desired, and a lot to run away from at full gait. No thank you.


June Foray was a treasure of a woman who voiced many, many iconic cartoon characters. (My favorite fact was that she started voicing “granny” for the Warner Brothers cartoons at age 38 or so and kept doing it until she was 96). But even with her long legacy she still wasn’t famous among all demographics. In her later years I once saw her at the LA book festival trying to entertain a young audience by doing the voices of Granny, Natasha and Witch Hazel, but it was clear that most of the kids present didn’t have any idea who those characters were. (I was certainly entertained though.)


I can only imagine…


This was the story in the article that got me, about Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners:

But, Rowland tells me, “I just knew that I couldn’t write the same songs again, and so I never even tried.” Their new music took on an increasingly introspective tone, mournful and ruminative; not ideal for radio, in other words. The band were dropped, they split up, and the singer found solace in drugs. Whatever money he’d made was soon lost, and before a stint in rehab came the need to sign on: a profound humbling. At the dole office, his fellow unemployed recognised him and broke into a rendition of Come On Eileen, half hoping he’d join in. “I could have done without that,” he notes.

Can you imagine? Ugh.


These artists rendered the scene’s godmother abruptly superfluous.

Suzanne Vega the scene’s godmother? Strangely, I can recall female folk singers who made quality material prior to 1987

edit: especially strange line considering Joan Armatrading is mentioned in the article


I used to joke that everyone should get to have a number one single, so that all of us could be millionaires and set for life. I’ve come to realize that most of the people who pursue music (or acting) as a career and achieve success, clearly do it for more than just the money. When fame flees, it must be terribly crushing to one’s sense of self and self-worth.


I have tickets to see Vega live on May 2nd, in a very small venue indeed. I suspect it will be as much fun as seeing Sonny Landreth there two weeks ago. No longer filling huge houses may be hard on the ego but I appreciate the chance to hear an artist I love in a space where there aren’t thousands of other people.


June was also the voice of “Talky Tina” on the Twilight Zone.


Seaton is the chairman of the Ladder Association training committee, alerting builders to the dangers of working at altitude without sufficient protection.

I can see where a formerly famous pop star might be able to bring his experience to this new job, in a figurative way.


As Ozzy once put it, you should be nice to everybody on the way up as you never know who you’ll meet on your way down.


I like that line about stardom only lasting three years. I like the implication that anyone still a star after more than three years has become someone else.


right? i love her, but i kind of remember her as being concurrent with Sinead and the rest they mention. and she certainly wasn’t first.


The thing is that there is no manual for how to cope with fame. So you’ll get some, otherwise likeable young person, who has done one good comic book, one good film, one good record, suddenly told that they are a genius, who believes it and who runs out laughing and splashing into the billows of celebrity, and whose heroin-sodden corpse is washed up a few weeks later in the shallows of the tabloids. -Alan Moore


I’ve dated one person who was moderately famous as a singer at a young age. From knowing them and their friends (some in the same boat), there was nothing to recommend it to me and lots of reasons to avoid it. I’d rather be able to go places and do things bothered by and photographed by nobody.


On the other side, it’s fun to hear about musicians like Thomas Dolby who excelled in other endeavors after his pop music career slowed down. Same with Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden who went on to become a commercial airline pilot and a world ranked fencing athlete…while still filling venues with Iron Maiden.


This discussion reminded me of a song from an early Harry Nilsson album, “Mr Richland’s Favorite Song.”


Tom Lehrer walked away from fame and potential fortune after relaxing two albums and doing one big tour. He moved to California and became, I believe, a high school math teacher. If you contact him for biographical information he will tell you say whatever you want, he doesn’t care. There was one guy who he eventually talked to but I don’t know if any publication ever came of it.
If you don’t know his stuff, definitely try it out. Once Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize Lehrer said “political satire is now dead.”