I thought that I’d always like to be famous.
Having been in bands as a performer, player, musician, singer, hitting and strumming an assortment of instruments, I felt that it was only a matter of time when I’d be discovered and move from simply being a musician to a star closely followed by a legend.
I had auditioned for Top of The Pops and had singles that I’d either written or played on that qualified for an appearance. I’d been involved in many TV shows as musical director getting many name-checks and mentions.
I had produced several ‘stars’ and become known for certain productions that were hits in various countries but still, the personal status of stardom illuded me and I remained ordinary, rank and file, unknown.
I fell in love with and married a famous, working actress who had appeared in many TV dramas and was about to become a household name by becoming a Blue Peter presenter. Maybe this would rub off on me?
My first daughter was a Blue Peter baby who had become very familiar to all the TV fans out there up to her third birthday by appearing on regular daytime TV. Would this help?
Years later I toured with her as her guitarist. This would do it surely?
I joined a band with Cliff Richard. Playing piano and keyboards, sometimes as musical director and other times as a composer/ producer I was certain this would help not only the bank balance but my fame. Was this the route to recognition?
I clearly remember shopping in a local supermarket with my named wife, wondering why the fame fairy hadn’t touched me with her magic wand and turned me into a celebrity.
This lady came out of nowhere and stopped me; “You’re Dave Cooke aren’t you?
“Yes” I replied getting ready to sign her shopping trolly. “How do you know?” I asked.
“Oh it’s just that I know your father”…… and she moved on to the meat counter.
Little did I realise at the time that I was being spared from a life of torture that not only would have been a burden but prevented me from doing the things I really had to do, wanted to do, liked to do without anyone stopping me or having an opinion.
Now in these days of meaningless celebrity status where you only have to appear on a third-rate blind dating show or advertise knitted tractor seat covers wearing a skimpy bikini, the idea of being well known is utterly pointless and very unrewarding.
Asking quite a few kids what they want to be when they grow up, one familiar answer is always “Famous!”
Doing what should be the next question but fame seems to have taken on a property of its own that doesn’t take into consideration what it is you’ve done to become famous or any degree of hard work to reach it.
I’ve been lucky to work with some great celebrities whose talent and ability has shone further than their star status. Equally I’ve worked with those who think they’re special simply by being famous with no talent whatsoever. Their fall from grace is faster than their perceived rise to fame.
For me I am glad I remain un-starred. I can’t imagine anything worse that being restricted in everything I do, not able to go out without someone throwing a pen and paper in your face or worse, being attacked because they think it’s cool to insult you.
I want my music to be the stars. They are the jewels that shine and produce the rewards. And they’ll last much longer than me. That’s really why I started Topline.
Don’t seek out fame or celebrity status. Instead, seek out excellence, talent, great products and the ability to move people with your gifts and not your latest social media hairdo!