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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Only teenagers envy rock stars' lives

Some music fans reckon they're not interested in the scandal of a musician's personal life. I'm not like that. Only 10% of my interest in Beware of Mr Baker was in what it revealed about the music - Cream was his idea, he invited himself into Blind Faith and nobody had the nerve to say they didn't want him, he earned five million out of that 2005 reunion and spent it.

The other 90% of the appeal is the opportunity to watch a man with a breathtaking lack of interpersonal skills. Baker sits smoking in a La-Z-Boy recliner on his farm in South Africa, moaning about the fact that he's bound to lose the place because he spent all the money that was supposed to see him through to retirement, bitching about most of the musicians who have played a part in his career and refusing to discuss most of his ex-wives.

When you first watch rock documentaries you're young enough and starry-eyed enough to envy everything about the people who star in them.  Because you admire their music everything they say about anything else seems so smart. Forty years later you might envy them their talent, but you no longer envy their lives. Not one little bit.