Better than sex?

Statue in the Park de Amour – Lima Peru

A friend of mine, who used to be in an infamous rock band, once told me adoration is a powerful drug and highly addictive. Being an intelligent and insightful person he broke free of the enchantment of the stage and the accompanying entrapments of fame and moved on to greater and more interesting things connected with the music industry.

When his band ascended the popularity charts in their particular music genre, they brought out new merchandise including a notorious tee shirt for sale, which shocked the catholic world. The ensuing media frenzy, ban on tee shirt sales and criticism made them all the more attractive to rebellious teenagers. After all what is more appealing to the spirit of rebellious youth than something that outrages the kinfolk?  It was the equivalent of a publicist’s wet dream and the banned item of clothing was on every rocklette’s Christmas list (and a few A list rock legends).

Despite all the attention, the bands popularity in England was subdued (cult as opposed to main stream) compared to the large following they acquired in Scandinavian countries. This, however, this did not stop die hard rockers from recognising him as we walked around our adopted home town York in the UK. Straggling behind us, pointing and whispering to each other as they tried to decide if it was really ‘him’, they trailed along in our wake. It was like a scene out the pied piper story. My friend loved every moment – it just freaked me out.

My friend’s proclamation that adulation is addictive resounds everytime I hear of celebrities courting and manipulating the media in order to stay ahead in the fame game. His words came back to me again the other day I sat down to watch the last episode of a music game show and listened to a reformed rock group play the final curtain call. Why do ageing rockers with croaky voices feel the need to reform after their often very acrimonious and public splits? I get it if it’s just about the love of music, but the cynic in me has to ask if the need for a recognition hit, a limelight fix, a power rush or just a good old ego massage is more important to them.

My friend also told me that being on stage in front of hundreds of people  hero worshipping the group and screaming his name produced incredible highs as dizzying rushes of adrenalin surged around his system.  “All those people wanting you – better than sex” he said. Heady stuff indeed, personally I prefer the intimacy of another person over the obsessive love vibes of a few thousand, but then as I’ve never been famous what would I know!

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