I've been off the radar for the last few days because I received my copy of Andy Taylor's Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran and have not been able to put it down until about fifteen minutes ago, when I just finished it.
I know, you're all sick of me writing about what I'm sure appears to you as my overblown obsession w/ what was no more than a teenybop 80s boy band. (I mean, I'm pushing forty, for chrissake!) I'll not use this forum to argue otherwise, but I'll talk about what the book means to me as a writer and a person.
If I was going to be a snobbish literary critic, then I would say that the writing is not that stellar. It could even be ghost-written, for all I know (although I'm willing to bet he penned it), but that's not the point. I liked the writing just fine given the rhetorical situation. It's the story, obviously, that captures my interest, and the sense of nostalgia that comes w/ it, although that nostalgia is so re-contextualized from this up-close-and-personal POV. For me, as witness, that can only be a good thing, because now it recontextualizes my own recollections. And it humanizes the band all the more for me now. Back when I was fifteen, I needed them to be more divine because I needed them to rescue me. But now, I need them to be more human because I am all grown up and can stand on my own two feet. (Although I like that they still give me a musical lift.)
As a writer, it makes my own memoirs about my life w/ the band that much more vivid and meaningful to me.
And it takes me back to this idea of fame.
I have no idea if a writer ever achieves as much celebrity as an actor or a pop star (aside from Stephen King, maybe), or if they get caught in the same roller-coaster ride as the pop stars, et al. But I do know that I don't want it. And yet, it seems to be a double-edged sword. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I want the critical and monetary recognition for my work. I obviously want my books to sell and for people to tell me that they liked it. But to live such a hedonistic lifestyle? To be so cut off from what I know as a normal existence? To be stripped of one's privacy (don't I have enough to worry about w/ someone stealing my identity or the gov't looking at my library list)? Count me out. I don't want to be Oprah Winfrey, or Stephen King, or Andy Taylor, or any other high profile star. I just want to make a living from the creations I love to make.
And I have to say, while I'm sorry my brothers never got to show the world the magnitude of their musical talent, never got to rub elbows w/ Clapton and/or McCartney, etc., I'm glad they never got sucked into that lifestyle either. Because as much as I was enthralled reading Andy's story, I wouldn't want to be reading one of theirs.