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Sunday, February 12, 2012

The death of Whitney Houston and an original observation about stars - not made by me

Waking up to the news of the death of Whitney Houston, my mind went back to a 1973 film about Elton John I saw recently. At the time it was made Elton was already a big deal but on the surface he was still the comparatively modest figure who had played piano with Long John Baldry. The Monstrous Years were still to come, to be followed by The Therapy Years and then The Belatedly Domestic Era which we're living through at the moment. In those days I don't think we really knew what modern stardom could do because it hadn't really been invented.

Anyway, Dick James, who had been The Beatles publisher and was the man whose record company put out Elton's early records, is interviewed in that film and he says something that struck me as one of the most perceptive comments on superstardom that I've ever heard:
All artists can deal with adversity. I fact they thrive on it. I've never met one yet who could deal with success.