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THE SPIRIT SPEAKS »
FAME FAME FATAL FAME
FAME FAME FATAL FAME
I'm not famous. Alicia Keys, Joseph Goebbels, Spiderman are famous. I'm not even as famous as that Asian bloke who got kicked off first in the second series of big brother. But it's all relative. One time when we played Portsmouth I met a person who was so in awe of me that I was frightened for him. He was a pleasant young man, dapperly dressed in a vintage tweed suit with a bit of a fifties quiff, standing by the merch stand. When I complimented him on the elegance of his outfit he jumped, clocked me with a startled look, and mumbled ' Oh! th...thank you v...very much' like he was John Hurt in the Elephant Man.
I asked him what he thought of the gig.
'Oh God...it was...it was...unbelievable.... It was so...oh god. Oh God.'He seemed to be hyperventilating, puffing out his cheeks, and blowing like he'd just unsuccessfully competed in a triathlon.
'Um, are you alright mate?'
'Oh...yes... I can't believe it. Oh God.'
I attempted to put the poor chap at ease; I asked him what he got up to (he was a Literature student) and what other bands he was into. He told me he was very keen on Nick Cave, Gallon Drunk and the Flaming Stars.
'Ah yes! The Flaming Stars...I know the singer, Max Decharne, he's a good bloke...'
This was too much for him. His eyes went wide as saucers, and he had to grab the arm of a nearby chair for support.
'What! You know Max Decharne!!! Oh. Oh. Oh.'
All the wind went out of him, as if he'd been punched in the stomach. At this point I started to become genuinely concerned. I had to sit him down and get him a glass of water.
Coming round from his delirium, he groggily asked me
' Do you.... do you really know Max Decharne?'
'Yes son.' I kindly replied, 'I really do.'
This seemed to console him, and he smiled happily to himself. Then he looked tentatively up at me through the fronds of his quiff and said
'Will you sign my poster?'
"Of course. What’s your name?'
He had to think for a while... then it came back to him:
A strange look came over his soft, trusting face...
'Can I ask you a question?'
'Er...yeah, sure, fire away!'
He paused, like he was afraid of the answer.
'Do. Do. D...do you like Morrissey?'
'Oh yes. Of Course! You've got to love Morrissey; he's one of the only genuine pop poets of our generation, apart from Mark E Smith and Courtney love...'
A devilish look came to his eye.
'Oh oh that's GREAT cos my girlfriend says she hates Morrissey and I think he's a genius and we had a big argument about it but she loves the Alabama 3 and if you write on my poster that you love Morrissey then maybe we won't split up.'
Suddenly I saw that the trajectory of the boy’s romantic destiny was in my hands. I had the The Power of minor celebrity. And with Power comes responsibility.
In a sparkly gold permanent marker I wrote
'To Darren, Morrissey Rocks! Love Spirit x'.
I liked Darren, and I hope things worked out with his girl. He might have been a bit ridiculous, a bit asthmatic, but he gave a fuck. He cared, about music, about clothes, about his girlfriend; so much it was nearly killing him. Maybe there's not so much to do in Portsmouth, but if there were a few more Darrens in London, it might not be so terribly cold.
(c) Orlando Harrison 2008