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Mike Randle

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Fame plays tricks on the brain
June 27 2009

I have never been famous nor have I ever been rich. The closest I ever been to “feeling” rich was when I went to an after party with Rusty for a film we’d contributed music to. The film’s producer threw the cast a party at his Hollywood Hills home that overlooked the entire city. We were invited by post production to the screening and then everyone headed off to the party.

I couldn’t believe the house I was standing in and the view. There were all these Hollywood people, actors, etc. So I mingled in and basically tried to make it known that I had contributed music to the film. Yes, that would get me some attention from some of the pretty gals there. And guess what? No one gave 3 flying wonks that I had some music in there. As a matter of fact one guy thought I was there to serve snacks! So, my illusion of pretending to be rich didn’t go so well.

So, in some ways, I can say that I have been very blessed. I have shared the stage with some very talented people and I have done MANY performances with a legend in Arthur Lee. Two of my biggest musical heroes are Arthur Lee and Alex Chilton. Both different. Both could be difficult. Both born in Memphis. Both quite deep fellows.

So I have spent considerable time around ‘pop stars’ and the like and one thing that I’ve always come away from is that NOTHING is free. You may THINK someone is getting a free ride and living the life but in reality the Star pays the price 10 fold. Its the “Star” that may have to stay after a show till 2am thanking people and then getting up at 6am to do an interview with a radio station.

Genius types push themselves and have standards set for themselves in ways most people can not comprehend. They can’t fathom going onstage in pain or looking/ appearing less than 100%. So it comes as no surprise that Michael Jackson was pretty much a walking pharmaceutical.

Most people can handle pressure. Most people, however, don’t have hundreds of people working for them and most people aren’t $400 million in debt. That’s A LOT of pressure. And drugs can interfere with/numb your clarity.

I think thats what happened to MJ. The madness and the music gets to you when you live your life off the wall.

Its all so sad, innit? Both Sky Saxon and Michael Jackson were preparing for their respective extraordinary tours, each setting sails to be once again thrust into the limelight with their proper places as unique & not to be missed. Where Sky Saxon was open and celebratory about the California 66 Revue tour, Michael Jackson was terse and somewhat dazed in his UK announcements.

At the end of the day, you CAN’T take it with you. The Hearse does not pull a Uhaul trailer. We have to make the best of everything while we’re here and it pays to have zero enemies. Fame, like a nice paint job, fades eventually. No amount of drugs can replace fame or youth. All we have is each other, right?

So lets get on with it, the underlying theme. If you’re with me, let me see a show of hands…

Mike Randle

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