Chasing Fame or Cheating Fame?


Hello Good People who read this blog...

I am writing because I am about to work on some music projects and I do so reluctantly, due to the amount of work involved, but also because on a subconscious level I am troubled by concepts of “fame” and my relationship with it.

As a creative person, working on “creative projects” involves dealing with other people’s reaction to what I do,and if I ever needed to be successful enough to earn a living from music, a certain amount of compromise and chasing exposure would be required.

It seems that many young people I know are getting into acting, modelling, music, with “fame” as the eventual desired outcome and goal.  As a young person, I also daydreamed that from my music I might be accomplished enough to be famous and in my fantasy to have the respect,  power, and recognition that came with fame.

So I am writing this maybe to try to understand my relationship with fame. I don’t chase fame, I avoid it.

There have been many incidents in my life where it seemed like I was “cheating fame” in the same way people “cheat death”. Maybe I sound crazy but I think that the whole issue of fame and recognition by large numbers of people , is a worthy concept to examine, however clumsily I do this.

In our largely secular society, many seem to aspire to be famous when previously they might have wanted to go to heaven , or  might have wanted a good career and a respectable role within their social group, a happy marriage , a solid home.

It seems to me that chasing fame is a very ” conformist” thing to do, wanting to be accepted by the masses surely means having to “play the game” on some level, follow a passing fashion, please your media patrons. I feel deeply sorry for young people now who chase fame. I think this is a result of the media environment and social codes they grow up with, largely a modern phenomenon from the ever-growing forms of mass media, including my blog!

If you want to get to the truth it’s best to rely on real life experience  than theory, so sorry to bore you again with my life!

As a child I was lucky enough to grow up in Chelsea in the 1960s and 1970s surrounded by famous people. For instance,I remember seeing a Rolls Royce every day with the number plate “BOW 1”  with David or Angela Bowie and sometimes their son, being driven around.  A close relative of mine worked for Bowie and told me a few stories. What struck me the most, was that I was not allowed to know the address of where Bowie lived, he had to change his phone number at least once every six months and this number was also kept strictly secret. On the one hand you have this superstar parading around Chelsea in a Rolls Royce, and on the other you have someone desperately trying to get away from people,not the paparazzi but his fanatical fans.

I grew up in the age of Beatlemania, it was a new religion, there seemed to be a lot less famous people than now, their fame seemed greater and more enduring  because almost everything  in the sixties was groundbreaking.

An  exception to this sense of cultural revolution was the soap opera about a Midlands Motel called “Crossroads”. I think it was mostly acted and broadcast “live” which explains a lot.

I saw actors from Crossroads, my mother’s favourite TV programme, wandering about the King’s Road. I later found out that one of the scriptwriters  was staying in our guest house incognito, he would come and write there,  even his own family did not know where he was disappearing to.

In the supermarket I remember seeing my absolute heroine, Emma Peel, except of course it was the actress Diana Rigg an altogether different person. I so wanted to be “Emma Peel” when I grew up, witty and intelligent, free, and able to karate chop herself out of dangerous situations. As a child I assumed the actress was indeed that person, shopping in Sainsbury’s.

My concept of fame was pretty warped by these and many other events.As a young child, I found the idea of becoming famous exciting, like somehow my innate shyness and all my defects of character, all problems in life, would disappear just by being famous.It seemed entirely possible to become famous in London if you were in the right place, at the right time, doing something creative.

My parents hated the whole thing. My mother would complain that racing police cars had kept her up all night because the Rolling Stones had  another debauched party. My parents respected God, the upper classes,all authority figures, classical music and literature and aspired to be educated and posh. These new TV and music celebrities and the whole new culture with its shocking fashions seemed outrageous to them.

As an adult,I have had famous people around me , including my ex-partner who will read this, who like it or not, had a certain amount of fame, which was never intended.

As a musician “fame” is difficult for me, it is a barrier, it is not something to be aspired to. I aspire to use my creativity to heal my frame of mind, do the best I can, to be innovative, because I love being experimental at times, to express myself honestly, to create things from some compelling intuitive idea, derived from processing everything I hear or think about . I struggle to do anything creative which will eventually be exposed to others and must match certain technical standards, I am not naturally talented. I essentially create stuff for myself first and secondly to reach out to a few others and see if anyone is on my wavelength. However the idea of great success and fame is still there lurking in the background like a bad smell.

What would my life be like if  suddenly my phone was constantly ringing with people wanting to be my friend? What if I wanted to walk around London and be left alone?

This is a mainstream pop tune , but my intuition says it’s the right one for this post, plus I love the production on this track: Maybe Tomorrow by The Stereophonics (2003)

What if I were so successful that other people’s salaries depended on my producing  something that would sell to the greatest amount of people? What if  I got ill from the work schedule and stress? How much would I have to conform and compromise? What if I got bad publicity for something and people started to hate me? I don’t even like going on stage, I like to do a good gig but I don’t like to face a crowd of people.

So fame may be a result of hard work in the arts, of  being a perfectionist and successfully communicating something that needs to be expressed and that will contribute to the evolution of culture. But fame in itself is terrifying to me, even if you do enjoy it, once you are up there and dealing with the stresses, you either have to maintain it all, hopefully without resorting to overwhelming addictions, or choose to go back to obscurity ( if the media will allow it!).

The environment young people are growing up with now is so much crazier than mine.

Anyone can be famous,without even working at it too much, there are more opportunities to be famous than ever before and yet fame seems more transient than ever. What kind of warped morality are young people growing up with?

I don’t think it’s so bad to want to grow up and be a Beatle or Emma Peel, but what if you want to be one of the women on “4 Music” dancing round a pole?

I don’t like the mass media and I hate the music business, but in a recession even I may have to learn to deal with it, in the hope of  getting some kind of exposure to my music and getting paid for it. For me the whole process of writing, composing, lyric writing, recording and sound editing  is a very private and solitary occupation, occasionally involving others if they are on the same wavelength, but the land of mass media and fame is as alien to me as Planet Zog.

I have written so much about myself and my ego, but this was done with the purpose of opening  a dialogue about how fame personally affects us, how it affects those closest to those who  become famous, and how much it can control our choices in life, and the lives of generations to come.

Now I have thought a bit more about fame and my relationship with it , I realise that my true reason for doing music or anything creative has been for my own healing, and sometimes to bond with others, not for money or fame.

Love & Peace

Born2rant

The Police harasses some terribly nice middle-class white English people in possession of terrorist crayons.


Hello Good People who read this blog ( this is a revised version of earlier entries. I do this sometimes when I think of extra things…sorry if it is irritating)

To begin some more meditative music to generate peace in the world

I forgot how completely amazing this piece of music was until  I just listened to it again:

Yes it’s got to be Steve Hillage “the Glorious Om Riff” from the “Green” album ( 1978) , quite appropriate for this post. (If you listen to this wearing headphones you get the full ping-pong  synth effect .)

Om!

My son sent me this film ( below this little rant) showing the police trying to disrupt an environmental climate camp which is organised totally legally.

I don’t think the police should meddle in politics. I think they should just be there if the public needs them in an emergency, when they are being violated, robbed, burgled etc..

Who is instructing the police to violate, rob, burgle and occasionally kill the public?

Once the police start to harrass people for their politics isn’t that what a police state is?

This is how Wikipedia defines a police state:

“The term police state describes a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.

The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.[1]”

Here is the little film my son sent me :  “Investigating the Police” from the Kingsnorth Climate Camp last August. Crayons, felt-tip pens and chalk sticks are confiscated as dangerous weapons that could be used for writing political messages on banners.You may find some of the images of police violence in the second half of this film disturbing.

In many way it is reminiscent of the Battle of the Beanfield and other incidents of police violence. I heard many accounts of police violence over the years from friends being taken in the back of the van and given a “good kicking” for being alternative .

All the private “kickings” were illegal but now there is legalised harassment and violence against the public evident in this film. (if you can’t see this film and you have “No Script” on your computer, enable “blip.tv”)

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1878593&dest=-1]

They have given the police way too much power and surprise, surprise,  they are abusing it. In this film the police can legally force someone to be searched who is not wearing anything suspicious or behaving in a suspicious or agressive way.

If you refuse to be physically searched then they can legally, make you lie on the ground and set seven police officers on top of you and legally press your pressure points to inflict pain.

Some of the scenes in this film are of innocent people being violated legally by the police. Can you honestly say that the nice protesters in this film were a threat to anyone?

If the actions of the police were illegal then at least we could put a stop to it.

Compare and Contrast the wikipedia definition and the film clip!

What do you think?..Do you think? or do you just party?

A musical interlude:

Here & Now another band from the Gong rock family tree. I saw this band 10 trillion times in the late seventies and throughout the eighties. The first time I saw them was at Meanwhile Gardens with “Blank Space”and possibly  “The Androids of Mü”, Grant Showbiz was doing the desk.

Here is Here & Now with “Floating Anarchy Radio”

Here’s Here & Now playing in 2005. In the foreground on synth, Joie Hinton ( ex-Eat Static/Ozrics/O’Roonies etc…I was once told that he played for Steve Hillage as a teenager..not sure about this).

Today I am also a bit concerned about the police deciding about whether or not MPs should be arrested for fiddling their expenses.

Of course I think the MPs should pay back the money they fiddled and made to live on a council estate for a year with only income support and housing benefit to live on.

However I don’t agree with the principle that the police can arrest the democratically elected government. That really would make us  a police state.

It would be better for democracy if the government itself forced every single dodgy MP to resign and pay back the money and be fined.

I don’t see that happening because the ones at the top are the dodgy ones!

Some more excellent music. I love Egg.

Weird difficult and complex music is never boring or pretentious as long  as you can either tap your foot to it or sing a bit of the tune in the bath.

This track is one of my favourites and  has some of those appetizing complex bits!

According to Wikipedia ( my font of all knowledge for today) Steve Hillage plays on this track:

“Wring out the Ground” from “Civil Surface” by Egg (1974) …yep a couple of minutes in, that’s got to be Steve Hillage!

Love and Peace

Born2rant ( voting Green in European Elections ..will stop editing and revising this post now promise! 16/5/09)




Disappearing Acts, Bad Trips and Hawkwind


Hello Good People who read this blog

Matthew Wright  ( fan of Hawkwind and Here & Now and plain-clothed hippie)
of Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff has been back on the TV since Monday . It’s nice to see he is still alive, raising contentious issues and alternating between making my blood boil to making me cheer at the tv in agreement ( this is a bit sad but I hardly watch any tv so I’m allowed).

Where did he go?  He apologised for saying “Nice One” all the time saying he’d been on holiday with someone saying ” Nice One” repeatedly. Hmmm …I have an image of a dodgy guy in a hat with a can of lager in one hand and a spliff in the other prancing about winking and nudging Matthew Wright saying “Nice One Mate”. I  hope Matthew comes and comments again on this blog to tell us. However since his reappearance on his show there has been a slight decline in numbers coming to visit this site as they were all coming here to find his whereabouts.

I have had a sudden drop in my energies the past few days partly due to an illness but also my body feels it’s getting dark early and it’s time to hibernate just when I have a load of new commitments.
The people around me seem to all be in gloomy and depressed moods and I want to go back to Solfest quick!

I am going away for a little bit to a place without computers and so I must say farewell for a week or more as I will be too busy.

Keep your comments coming.

I am trying to contact Carlyle Reedy ( see the Notting Hill Crypt interviews) on behalf of one of the contributors from Holland but I have just found out that she really is a recluse and does not have email or a computer. I will carry on trying to get a message to her by friend or pigeon. She only lives a minute’s walk away from me but I still have not met her. That’s London for you! You can just disappear..in smoke.

So I’ll leave you with a bit of Hawkwind and Robert Calvert’s brilliant and resilient lyrics.

( *a big OOPS! postscript : Robert Calvert did write great lyrics but I think Dave Brock wrote the lyrics to “Psychedelic Warlords“silly me! It’s been bothering me all weekend but I couldn’t get to a computer to change it. Well I try to be trustworthy in my info..and fail.”Urban Guerilla” is written by Robert Calvert.  That’s another of my favourites. All complaints should be put in writing to the comments section)

This is “Psychedelic Warlords” from the album ” Hall of the Mountain Grill” which until a couple of years ago was a cafe in the Portobello Road close to the tube train  bridge. Now they’ve made everything posh and glamourous they have removed it’s rougher edges inhabited by Hawkwind and many bikers, punks and other creative lunatics including the Hall of the Mountain Grill!

Please listen to the entire album in my absence .I won’t put all the tracks up here linked from youtube because you should buy it. But buy it on vinyl with the original picture of the front of the cafe and photos  of them on a climbing frame etc..on the inner sleeve.

These images of the inner sleeve are borrowed from http://ac1drock.blogspot.com/

because basically I can’t be bothered to scan my own copy and it’s late.

See little Tolkein-like riddle referring to Portobello Road and Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove and the cafe.

The guy in the ace of spades t-shirt on the climbing frame is Lemmy sorry it’s a bit blurred.


Hall of the Mountain Grill ( 1974)
Psychedelic Warlords

It’s my favourite Hawkwind album even though it reminds of a terrible time I had once .I ate some dope cake probably 28 years ago, that was extremely strong ( opiated and mouldy black) and I had a bad trip that lasted on and off for a week ( don’t eat dope cake kids!) . The first night I was listening to” Psychedelic Warlords” and was convinced that the music had turned me into some kind of egomaniac vengeful all-knowing weird God.

But then who hasn’t ? ( Oh, so I’m the only one? No I think dictators and certain politicians, some academics, some  religious leaders and various ego-massaged famous people must feel like they are all-knowing egomaniac Gods  without Hawkwind or drugs).
Well I’m over that now and can listen to Psychedelic Warlords and enjoy it again. I now never eat dope cake unless it is in tiny quantities and with huge amounts of caution.

Back in a few days.

Love and peace
Born2rant ( occasional egomaniac)

The Unexpected Disappearance of Matthew Wright


Hello Good People who read this blog

Now please forgive me for writing about a well-known tv presenter in spite of my anti-media roots but I have my reasons.

Recently Matthew Wright has discussed in a positive way alternative lifestyles, squatting of long-term derelict buildings owned by property investors abroad, on Friday he had criticised his fellow-panellists vehemently for not understanding how our freedoms have been eroded, and had spoken out against the 42 day detention law without charge . He explained the possible repercussions of this new law in layman’s terms on a show which would reach many people who may not watch other types of more high-brow political programme.

Please see clips below ( unless “they”channel 5 or others! remove it from the internet…spooky paranoia is setting in!)

On Squatting:

Ben the Squatter was brilliantly eloquent and reasonable advising people to fix property rather than damage it and not to occupy buildings unless they were abandoned long-term. He remained calm in spite of a lot of hysterical criticism from some members of the panel and came across well.

Alternative Lifestyles Part One

Alternative Lifestyles Part Two including ex-Frestonian Antonia calling in and describing the Frestonian community at length:

Please see his comments at the bottom of the post entitled

Freaky Coincidence?The Wright Stuff with Matthew Wright

from June 5th...he has left three comments in all. He is not a friend or employer of mine by the way but he has somehow found my blog! I was watching his show with interest for some time as he seemed to be challenging key issues in our society.He is not paying me to write this stuff I have no vested interest except wanting to support someone in the mainstream media who speaks out for our freedom and alternative lifestyles in spite of a lot of opposition. I don’t always agree with all he says by any means but he defends our right to certain freedoms.

Anyway on Friday when he and Tony Robinson discussed with passion this new 42 day detention law, he also announced with great excitement that he would have David Davis ( Tory MP causing a by-election by standing down as he wants a referendum on this new law) on the show.

I thought he said “next week” I may be wrong.

He also said he was trying to get Kelvin MacKenzie on as they were not allowed to have just one side on the TV and it had to be balanced politically. He seemed pretty excited about it all.

It sounded quite ambitious but promising. They were also commenting on how we are gradually turning into a police state like in the years building up to Nazi Germany and must do something about it now.

I didn’t manage to catch the first couple of minutes of this morning’s show, so maybe I missed something but basically he’s not there he has been replaced by Kay Adams who has filled in for him before. She announced that Matthew Wright won’t be in all week.

So what has happened to Matthew Wright? please see footnote*

Choose from the following options

a) He is suffering from stress after challenging the police and government so effectively on live TV or been so harrassed that he needs a break

b) The producers or someone is telling him to cool it, that he can’t have a serious political debate on a morning show and to go off on holiday for a bit

c) He has been detained for 42 days under the new detention laws

d) He couldn’t get either David Davis or Kelvin MacKenzie on the show and wants to save face ( I think this is unlikely!)

e) He has got some genuine sudden illness/emergency /bereavement which they announced in the first minute of the show and that I missed.

f) He was arrested at yesterday’s “Stop the War” anti-Bush demo by walking down Whitehall which was forbidden.

g) He actually announced that he was going on holiday last week and I missed it totally and am just being a paranoid silly person due to my experience at the park on Friday ( see previous post)

So Matthew if it is censorship I assure you that you can come here to rant in my comments section along with anyone else with something constructive to say.

We need people in the mainstream media to challenge some things and get people thinking.

Any thoughts from anyone? Did I miss some announcement?

Matthew if you read this and I got it all wrong put me right! Hope you are ok both Matthew and all my readers. Don’t let the paranoia take over it’s not the way to be.

Love and Peace

Born2rant

P.S. If I go missing please someone come and find me !

Footnote * Of course I could end up with egg all over my face and blog and missed him saying he was going away on holiday last week. But if some one knows of this let us know. I reckon he’s at home listening to Hawkwind with his pipe and slippers.

Ok officially I am freaked out!


Hello Good People who read this blog

Ok I don’t know what is real or not real anymore! Apologies that this is all about me mainly!

I’ve just come back from my gig . It went well but I got slightly paranoid having unleashed my possible whereabouts online. I was even more paranoid from stage nerves but that’s another thing. There were quite a few hippies there including my old friends from the acoustic/poetry scene. But there was also a guy who looked very familiar to me and I was going to speak to him after performing , although I think I said something to him as he sat on a crate outside having a fag. Now I’m not sure but I think it was Dave Brock ( of “Hawkwind” for the unenlightened).

He left early before I performed and so I didn’t get to talk to him. I have never met Dave Brock before and I am not very good at identifying people. So if it WAS you Dave do you think you let us know ?

As a creative person I struggle to keep my feet on the ground and not let my imagination run riot but I’d like to know just for the record, if possible. Please.

If not he bloody well looked like Dave Brock!

Secondly and with more concrete evidence on my side, I have two comments left for me by someone claiming to be Matthew Wright from The Wright Stuff. However it could just be someone messing with my head! I will regard them as if they are from Matthew Wright and say thanks very much for getting in touch and I hope to be a verbose hippie feminist member of your panel one day if I somehow get better known for my songwriting as an old subversive woman!

I will reply to his comment in the comments section. I need to reply to quite a few comments.

I abandon my blog for months and my live performing for years and all of a sudden it’s all going on!

Some guy from a heavy metal band on some documentary , can’t remember which one ,said something on the lines of this : ” Playing the guitar is like eating chocolate you eat it and eat until you can’t eat anymore because you’re sick of it .Then you have to just stop for a long time and then one day you pick up the guitar again and go back on tour until you get sick of it again.”

Well I’m like that with my music, my writing and all my creative projects. The thing is once I’ve fallen down the big dark hole and then after some time gone back up to the surface to my project it’s always a brilliant experience. This is what is happening to me right now.

So sorry this is all about me.

I’ll put some music on to entertain you since I just played at a Kevin Coyne tribute gig it only seems fair to put him up here. ( I am having trouble with this let’s see if it appears later) In the meantime since I can’t embed it please follow this link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnyiVW-uywM

Night night all you hippies, friends, ex-boyfriends, MI5, Matthew Wright, Dave Brock and people pretending to be all the aforementioned!

P.S. June 8th the guy I saw on the Frestonian photos on the Tony Sleep site could be the same guy I’ve met on the acoustic scene , there is some confusion over this at present, Matthew Wright’s comments were authentic, but it was just a Dave Brock look-alike at my gig.

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