Archive for July, 2010

MIM and Blaze Bayley

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Meeting musicians is always an enjoyable experience for me because they have seriously contributed to the happiness of my life. Apart from my opinions of them formed by admiring their musical talent, I really have no idea what they will be like as people. There is a tendency to get the wrong impression of anyone in the spotlight, so interviewing in the way that I do, just conversational style, can be very revealing as to the person behind the fame. Like I would with people I meet everyday, some I connect with, some I don’t.

When Blaze walked into the Gallery for his interview I was already concerned. There was a mix-up which meant that no one was at the Gallery when he arrived. There is nothing worse than not being there when your star turns up to be interviewed! I was mortified and apologised, but it looked for all the world like I pissed him off and now I was screwed. Well, nothing could have been further from the truth. The camera went on and right from the first question Blaze was very open, very interesting, and very entertaining. I could hear his appreciation of his Midlands roots as he told his stories about growing up in the area, getting into his first band, and just plain working hard to achieve his goals. He was great and one of my favourite interviews. His passion for music and his fans really was evident. Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Blaze, I hope you’ll watch the interview. With the projects I am planning with MIM, Blaze’s attitude was very inspiring.
He even gave me a real-life example of a ‘Spinal Tap’ moment. When the cameras stopped rolling, we chatted a bit about fame and the odd response people have to it, Blaze saying that image takes over the real person in many cases. He told of a band that had a smoke machine on stage that went into total over-drive and none of the musicians could see what they were doing. He heard the guitarist turn to the crew backstage, and practically crying, said, “I can’t see! I can’t play! What should I do? I can’t see my fingers!” The next thing he heard was a stern voice shouting back, “Stop crying! We’re supposed to be hard!”

I’ve asked Blaze to help out on some of my projects, and I hope he says yes. In the meantime, you can see the leather jacket that he wore for the making of his first album and tour, and a t shirt, on display at the exhibit this September. He handed them to me before he left and said, “I don’t want to see them on Ebay!”

Great stuff. View a couple more photos and excerpts from the interview on our Flickr page:

Annie x

“What kind of fan are you?!”

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I recently received an interesting email from someone requesting information about a situation with a musician. It’s not unusual because people look at my website and see that I have contact with certain musicians and/or their management, and ask if I can help with their enquiry. I don’t mean to be unfriendly or unhelpful, but I want to say to anyone who happens on my blog or my website with enquiries about musicians: I don’t give out any information about the musicians I deal with for MIM projects. If you are looking for contacts, in my experience, you will make them if you have business they want to discuss. I know some fans are happy to give out contact information, addresses, or tell about what they know or have discovered after talking to whoever about whatever, I’m not. Aside from the fact that I have been asked specifically by some contacts not to do this, I wouldn’t anyway. This response from me prompted the rather surprised and slightly annoyed question, “What kind of fan are you?!”

Well, that’s a legitimate question. What kind of fan am I? It’s maybe easier to say what kind of fan I am not. First of all, I am not a ‘reporter-type’ fan. I am not going to be digging for information on musicians and then publishing it on this site. The only things I want to write about here are things associated with MIM activities, and very occasionally, about something the musicians themselves are currently talking about or doing and are happy for it to be in the public domain. I’m not looking to be the breaking news site, again unless it is MIM-related. I had one person say to that, “That’s because you don’t know anything.” Well, you reckon? OK then, no need to come ask me any more then. Easy.

I am not a ‘hint, hint, hint-type’ fan. I’m not going to be the one who gives heavy hints about what I know but in the end just can’t reveal, or can only say stuff like, “My sources/contacts/people say big news is coming,” or “I’ve heard the most amazing news about so and so, but I just can’t tell you.” In truth I don’t understand this anyway. If it cannot or should not be revealed, why say anything at all? Why even hint about it? I have my theories as to why some engage in this behaviour, but you don’t need my theories. You decide why.

I am not a ‘tell-all/gossip-type’ fan. I am not going to write every last detail of every conversation or email, or endlessly speculate. I don’t think everything is necessarily bad from the ‘tell-all/gossip’ camp, it’s just that I don’t want to be the person that had a conversation with a musician and then they go on my site to read about the MIM charity updates and see what they were wearing, drinking, eating, how they moved, every word of what they said, who they were with, or have to endure gossip about their private lives or situations…you know, a huge load of too much. It amazes me that some fans speak with such authority about people they have met casually 25 years ago, or never met at all – in truth people they don’t know a thing about. But if you do happen to know or work with anyone famous, you surely understand discretion is much appreciated by those whose every move is hounded and written about. If you want to do them a good turn, realise some things are inappropriate to reveal or discuss. Not always wrong, but often not expedient. Inappropriateness is defined differently by everyone; but for me it mostly means: Shut up about stuff Annie. How will this make me look to the people I am talking about? How will it make them feel?

So, what kind of fan am I… a fan that wants musicians and people associated with them to feel extremely comfortable working on charity activities I organise. To me, that means I cannot be any of the above. Erring on the side of caution works for me, and I have seen that it works for them as well. At the end of the day though, it comes to this – I have to look at myself in the mirror and be happy. Being so cautious seems to irk some fans, and I am sorry for that. But I have to sleep at night.

If you are a reporter-type fan, a hinting around-type fan, a tell-all/gossip-type fan, and that works for you, OK. I’m not telling you what to do by any means. I thought about what kind of fan I am, and what kind I wanted to be, and you know, I’m just sayin’… maybe you should think about it too.

Annie x