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I’ve always flirted with fame, you know. Well, to be honest, I’ve always flirted with pretty much anything, but that’s not entirely relevant here. Sadly, up until recently, my brushes with fame have been infrequent, and never lasted long. The same is also true of my…no, that’s not relevant either!
I seem to keep bumping into famous people you see. It all started with a brush with (then) Southampton Football Club Manager Lawrie McMenemy in a hotel in Spain in the Summer of 1976, when I fell over my own feet and he picked me up. My parents were mildly impressed. I was two, so I just bawled.
In 1990, I walked past most of the cast of Grange Hill at Charing Cross Station, where we were on our way to a Guns ‘N’ Roses gig. Then, upon walking out of the MacDonald’s, we see a limo pull up, and a bunch of long haired guys get out, go inside, and start making complete idiots of themselves at the till. Not knowing who they were, we sent a member of our group to ask the limo driver, to find they were one of the bands we were going to see. A process of elimination resulted in it having to be Soundgarden. Don’t everyone say “who?”, please!
Then there was my one and only appearance on TV! Sunday Grandstand on BBC2. It was the May of 1992, as I recall, and I’d gone to the National Basketball playoffs the week before with some friends. The following week, as I sat down to watch the event from a different angle, there I was! I mean, you couldn’t actually tell it was me, but I knew! When they widened the camera angle to take in the crowd during a game break, I could see myself over the opposite corner of Wembley Arena. I knew it was me, dancing and clapping my hands to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, as we were the last group before all the empty seats, and I was the only one wearing a white t-shirt (a Detroit Pistons one I’d bought that day, that I sadly had to throw away a couple of years back), so that figure HAD to be me!
I went to the same school as Mick Jagger, too, you know! Of course, he left about 30 years before I got there, but I was still at the same school. It now has a Jagger Block, too. Aptly enough, that’s the performing arts suite!
I’ve met sports stars, you know! I’ve got autographs from quite a few of the 1992 Pilkington Cup winning Bath rugby union team. That was the day before the aforementioned basketball appearance that has so far, failed to get me recognised in the street. Even by me! I served Richard Hill, of Saracens and England rugby union teams, as well as a lot of the (then) Spurs Football Club youth side. Many of the kids I served hamburgers to as spotty teenagers (that’s them, not me!) are now international footballers, you know.
I’ve met authors, too. I’m pleased to be able to call John Van Der Kiste a friend, and I met Jeffery Deaver earlier this week. He’s now the most famous person to spell my name wrongly, which he did signing my copy of “The Coffin Dancer”. I’ll let him off, though, as he’s actually quite a nice chap. If you’re wondering, he got it mixed up, and dedicated the book “To Iaian”. Bless!
But it’s recently that I’ve started to have what could recently be called “My Fifteen Minutes”. And, ironically, given that I made a habit of bumping into people, it’s all my own work. Quite literally.
I’ve been featured in Sainsbury’s Magazine for 3 months in a row now. I’m quite proud of that, as apparently it’s a feat not achieved before. If you have any of the Sainsbury’s Magazine editions from March, April or May of this year, go to the letters page. In each of those editions, there is a reply to a customer’s letter which starts “Iain Wear, Customer Service Manager says…” Well, that’s me. And there was no ghost writing going on, I wrote the replies myself!
But, as if that was not enough, I got myself featured in a magazine that people may actually read! For, yes, April’s X-Ray magazine features yours truly. And not just my name this time, oh no! Page 87 of April’s “X-Ray” magazine is graced by my picture, too! Sadly, the wording underneath isn’t mine, although they are my words. At least, I think they are. I do believe, and this is what makes me realise I’m now famous, that I was misquoted. Oh, and they spelt my name wrong, too!
Rather embarrassingly, however, it’s part of a feature entitled “Who the hell goes to see Def Leppard?”
It was February 27th, this year. I was down at the Brixton Academy about to see Def Leppard play live for the first time in 11 years. It was the last date of their tour, and I was excited as a bull in a china shop. Or something like that, anyway. I’d turned away from the t-shirt stand, clutching slightly over £100 worth of purchases, and had found a quiet corner to stuff them into my bag and ruin the suit I had in there, having gone straight to the gig from work.
This completed, I straightened up to find two women standing over me. This definitely isn’t a normal occurrence, so I was naturally curious. They introduced themselves as being from “X-Ray” magazine, and said they were doing a review of the concert, and they were looking to speak to a few fans to get their thoughts on it, and why they were there. They’d figured I was a fan as I was one of the few there wearing an older tour t-shirt. I figure the fact that it still gets worn more than 10 years after being holed in a car crash says something about my liking for the band. Probably that I should get out more…
They asked me a few questions, and took a few photos. I did some pretty stupid poses, and I’m actually quite glad they didn’t use any of those ones. I ended up with a cheesy grin, but compared to the bloke whose picture was next to mine (Dave from Worthing, who my colleague thought was a woman for a short while) I actually came out of the whole experience looking relatively normal.
I dashed off to find my friends in the crowd, and told them what had happened to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the gig, and promptly forgot all about it. Until a day about 5 weeks later, when I got a text from Fran, saying “Did you know you’re in ‘X-Ray’ magazine?” Well, I knew it was a possibility, but not that I was actually in it! Of course, this was at 9.30 pm on a Thursday evening, so there was no way I was getting a copy of the magazine in a hurry. I’m sure she did that on purpose, you know. I must admit to my enthusiasm dipping when she told me the title of the feature, though.
But the following morning, I was in the WHSmith’s at Liverpool Street faster than you could say “I’m going to be late for work if I stop and buy a magazine”. But there was no way I was missing out, so I stopped, and I was late. And there it was. Page 87. Me. My ugly mug. Suddenly, I am in a national magazine, that anyone can buy. Naturally, I was straight on the text message to let everyone know!
It’s me! In a magazine! Famous for 15 minutes…
I’ve now been immortalised on the internet, too. You can see the article on my flatmate’s website at http://members.lycos.co.uk/fashtali/posse/news.html, which isn’t quite clear, but gives you an idea.
In the meantime, I figure that if everybody is to be famous for fifteen minutes, I’m owed another fourteen. So I’m going looking for them…