Today I have a (hopefully) humorous story about how one can know if they REALLY are famous! What is "Famous"? There's lots of definitions... But here's a simple three-step test to see if you have become REALLY famous.
You need to fulfill all three qualifications to be truly famous.
The First Qualification of Stardom!
You start getting people who bash you and/or threaten your life.
Sure, you have a hit song or you are a Hollywood in-crowd or starlet. But are you really famous? Well, you ain't famous unless some people hate you and begin to obsess over you.
People diss you on Social Media? Meh... People disparage you in articles or on TV? Well, that's getting there. People stalk you or threaten your life? That's it! You must be famous if some nutcase cares about you so much to obsess over you like that!
Now, you can be famous and live in fear for the rest of your life! Well done!
I remember many years ago, Pamela DesBarres came to Japan to promote her best selling book "I'm With the Band" (the true stories of the life of a groupie superstar). World famous DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the Roq), asked me to take care of her in Japan, so I did... Rodney had only told me her name was "Miss Pamela." I picked her up at the airport.
Being an idiot, I didn't know that her last name was pronounced, "De-bar" I thought it was pronounced "Des-Bar-res." So, while we were riding back to Tokyo in my car, she started telling me about what she did and why she was in Japan. As I drove, I started thinking, "Wait a minute! I've heard of you!" (This confusion about famous Hollywood people used to happen with me a lot when I was hanging around Rodney). Then she handed me the book, I looked at the cover, and I knew exactly who she was!
About that same time, the comedy and satire magazine, "National Lampoon" had done a satire of "I'm With The Band" and had a hilarious article lampooning Miss Pamela's book. The article, with funny photos and story, was entitled something like, "I'm With the Brass Quartet" (or something like that). This was really coincidental because I just so happened to have that particular magazine with me in the car and I showed it to her.
She didn't like it at all. But I told her, "No! This great! When you get made fun of or people bash you, that means you've 'made it!' It means you've become so famous that everyone knows who you are and so people can make fun of you. This is a real status symbol!"
It's true. People don't publicly bash people who aren't famous, there's no point in that. People publicly bash famous people; because then everyone gets the joke. It's one of the three qualifications for true stardom.
The Second Qualification of Stardom!
People walk up to you at restaurants and say, "Are you somebody?"
They say, "If you wanna be professional, act professional." If you wanna be a star, look and act like one.
A long time ago, I was with that same famous DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer, at Canters restaurant in Hollywood. It was in the daytime before his show.
Rodney was being visited by many musicians who wanted to sit with him and chat... I felt it was my duty to be a sort of adjutant for Rodney and so, as people walked up to our (his) table, I would stand up and block them (politely) and ask them, "Can I help you?"
Later, Rodney was sitting there with somebody super famous (I think it was Phil Spector but can't remember well) when some lady walked up (I think she was a tourist). I stood up and did my duty and asked how I can be of assistance to her. She pointed at Rodney and said, "Is he somebody?"
I was surprised and said, "Uh, yeah. Everybody is somebody!"
She then said, "No, I mean is he famous?"
I replied, "He is the most famous disc jockey in the world." The lady then scowled and quickly turned and walked away uninterested.
I should have told her "That's David Bowie!"
Rodney Bingenheimer has that "look of 'somebody.'" He has two of the qualifications of true stardom.
The Third Rail is the Ultimate Sign of Fame
Forget the Academy Awards, Grammys, Oscars, MTV Music Awards, Tony's, Peabody & Sherman's! The true pinnacle of success, the peak of the summit, the plastic pickles on the cheeseburger, is when a Chinese company makes a Halloween costume of your likeness for sale to the public.
Laugh if you will, but it is truly the ultimate honor... Lots of people have won Oscars or Grammies or whatever. Few. Very few have been made into Halloween costumes.
Every year, I see these costumes on sale here in Japan. Of course, there's the usual: Donald Trump, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley... But also in this year's Top 100 selling costumes, there's Heather Chandler, Severus Snape, Ziggy Bowie and, surprisingly, Uncle Fester from the Addams Family...
But this morning, I saw something that dropped my jaw! My dear friend, movie director, Stephen David Brooks is now a Halloween Costume! Wow! Move over Sylvester Stallone and Arnie Schwarzenegger! I haven't seen you two loser's costumes in a long time.
There's a new kid on the block! Movie director, Stephen David Brooks!
All hail the new king!
Here is his costume on sale: https://www.cosplay.com.hk/comics/Celebrity/Stephen+David+Brooks
Really. What an honor, eh?
So, now, Stephen David Brooks enters that same hallowed Hall of Fame of where few have walked: there is a plastic costume of him on sale in Asia!
Well done, Stephen! I hope that Hong Kong company is paying you good royalties!
NOTE: Stephen David Brooks is a multi award winning director of the movie Flytrap. You can read all about him here: SMC Spotlight Series No.1 | Stephen David Brooks 'Flytrap' Director & Writer Exclusive Interview starlightmusicchroniclesspotlight.com/smc-spotlight-series-no-1-stephen-david-brooks-flytrap-director-writer-exclusive-interview/