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How Much Fame...Is Too Much?

Awhile back I read an article on Yahoo! News about Ringo Starr. The former Beatle is apparently sick and tired mail.

If you send an item for Starr to autograph, say a shirt or book or CD, it will be trashed. Starr says he is "too busy" and to not bother him.

This wouldn't be such a big deal except that Starr previously said he would personally read every piece of fan mail and always provide an autograph when asked. Now, I know a lot of you don't give a cup of Earl Grey tea about Ringo Starr - but that isn't the point. The point is this: at what point does an artist become so famous he can shrug off fans?

I know famous people are busy. I also know they don't have the same burdens as the rest of us. Someone like Ringo Starr, or Nikki Sixx, or Jon Bon Jovi...don't have to worry about keeping a job to pay the mortgage, to pay a student loan, to buy food. These famous musicians don't have to work (unless it is their decision) 12 hours a day to stay afloat.

The thing is, I honestly expect nothing...from anyone. That goes for my parents, my husband, my friends...and famous musicians. I believe you go your own way in life, do the best you can and just plug along. That said, if I'm standing backstage and some musician walks by that I want to speak with (and honestly, I don't seek many out) then I'll approach him or her. I rarely ask for autographs because I think they are worthless, but I do like photos. I add them to my Myspace page and it gives me a story for this website. Still, I never expect anything from a musician - but if I'm turned down rudely, it's on. Look, I think musicians (the famous ones of course) need to get back to basics and learn that if fans quit buying concert tickets and albums their careers are done. If not for fans, musicians are just a group of talented people...looking for temp work at the local staffing center.

What do you think about musicians that shrug off fans?

Photo credit: I didn't take the photo of Ringo above. It's from the George Harrison fan forum. I certainly hope the Beatles don't sue me as I don't have any money anyway. No copyright assumed.

Reader Comments (7)

I realize everybody has a "bad day", musicians included.But when they are a constant obnoxious asshole towards fans,then there is a problem.As in, they've lost sight of what got them to their lofty perch in the 1st place,and hopefully Karma will catch up to them and the'll soon be playing 50 seat clubs in the bowels of no where again for gas money....
October 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGary
There isn't a point when an artist reaches a point where they are 'famous enough' to shrug off fans - there's just a point when they're either into it or they aren't. Artists are no different than anyone else in that respect - how about that guy or girl at work or school that treats everyone as beneath them? There's a lot of people that just can't be bothered with the burden of being polite, or recognizing that the things that they do have a profound effect on others. I've met the people that you referenced (except for Ringo), and I've found them to be, generally speaking, polite, friendly and engaging. I've heard that JBJ has changed greatly over the years, but when I met him, he made sure that every fan had an autograph or picture or handshake before he went into the hotel. Those are the kind of things that leave lasting impressions - as are the impressions of people like Stephen Pearcy, who I wouldn't piss on if he was on fire.
October 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
First of all you cant Compare Bon Jovi or Nikki Sixx to Ringo Starr.Ringo Starr is one of the must legendary musicans that lives today, I dont care if Ringo Starr or Bob Dylan dosent anserw my fanmails or read them.
But if someone like Jani Lane, are too busy to read, he can f*ck off!
October 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVince
Ringo Starr used to hang around with legendary musicians. I don't believe he ever was one.
October 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Ringo gets a pass...he was a BEATLE!
October 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Lou.
Leave him alone! He's a senior citizen! Have you seen him drive? He's always driving all the way on the left side..

..what? In England, they drive on the left side? Sorry. Ringo was a great drummer and was exceptional at keeping a tempo. Lennon's sarcasm, however, was even better when someone asked him if Ringo was the best drummer in the world. Lennon said, "He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles." Of course, they courted him back to finish the White Album.

I suppose when you're getting their up in age, one should be able to relax and take time for his or her self. However, I do feel that if you keep putting yourself out there by releasing an album, then please have some respect for your fans and sign my life size replica of you as the character Atouk from the movie Caveman and please send it back in the postaged paid crate if you would. Thanks Ringo!
What I heard of this story was that he had always been very gracious in signing anything a fan would send to him. Then he saw a lot of those items he'd autographed on ebay. That was when he drew the line (so to speak.) It's hard to determine true fans from money seekers. If this story is true, more power to him. I think it was very generous of him to sign something sent to him and return it. I don't think many would do that. Good or bad, love him or hate him, Sweet Lou is right - he's a Beatle.
November 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermom2ross

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