Friday, March 4, 2011
Fame and Fortune - I'm all over the Internet
I knew I'd hit the big time recently when I noticed Paris Hilton sporting a photo of me at one of the national award ceremonies! No, seriously... What do you mean, you didn't see it? Okay, so maybe even I was a little surprised, but here it is, in all its glory. As you can see, it's my latest CD that I've just released and so far the publicity has just been amazing. They told me not to give up my day job, but what the heck, I guess maybe that's not so important anymore.
I've had a lot of detractors over the years who said I couldn't sing. Well, what do they know? Ever since I did karaoke in Taiwan in 1989 I knew I had a very different voice than most folks. Who could have foretold then though, how those few Chinese songs would make it so big?
I think it was during 1992 at an old pub in Bournemouth that I really hit my stride. I remember the strained look on several of the customers' faces as I belted out my rendition of "Don't let the sun go down on me" on that cold winter evening. I've never seen the pub as crowded as it was that night, people jammed up against the door, not daring to leave and experience the 20 degree weather outside. Oh, I was glad the tele-prompter was working that evening.
Things came to a head in late 2000 during a visit to a nightclub in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, after a local bouncer made off the cuff comments to me that my hair looked a little gray to be gracing the establishment. I informed him I was actually a circuit karaoke star back in England and that impressed him greatly. Unfortunately the decision to put me up on stage probably wasn't a good career move on his part as I later heard he had returned to a farm outside Rio and was milking cows with his sister. It did however, seal my place in Brazilian folklore and almost certainly led to the recording deal in late 2008.
So, there we have it. You can go out to the stores now and experience my unique growling sounds in glorious Dolby stereophonic whateverness. The album has limited availability in America from what I have heard, but is stacked five deep on the shelves of Moldovia.
One of the interesting side-effects of my rise to fame has been the unexpected celebrity fan base. Just last week during a photo-call at Selfridges in London, Victoria Beckham showed off my photograph to an unsuspecting press group. Apparently they had asked who she listens to in the car when taking the boys to soccer practice and she mentioned that "the music of John Cox gets them especially psyched up to play." I guess that's a good thing!
On other fronts, the launch of my music career has unexpectedly collided with the launch of my guru lifestyle book release. Entitled "How to stay happy, Even when your life sucks", the book has led to a number of unexpected outpourings of love. At an apartment complex in Florida several people have even set up a makeshift shrine where devotees of the teaching can come and pay homage on a daily basis (see below).
I am hoping that I can cross-pollinate the music CD and the book, for even greater public awareness. Who knows, the teachings of my book may well become something that every down and out can use to lift themselves to greater glory. I have already been contacted by a number of social-marketing executives (why do they all call themselves CEOs?) who have recommended that for "just $19.99 and a sign-up to their latest MLM course" (whatever that means) I can experience 16,000 extra followers in 30 days. Amazing! They even mentioned merchandising too. At first I didn't understand what they were talking about but they had a couple of t-shirts printed up and I can understand the attraction a little better now.
Actually, just around the corner from that apartment complex in Florida, right in the middle of a parking lot, there is a guy who is hoping to cash in on things on an even bigger scale. He is convinced that by making a graffiti drawing of me he can attract worshipers to his own "patch of space" and sell books and CDs on commission. I told him "to go for it"; he seemed a nice guy.
So the tour of suburbia is now complete. It's been a hectic few days. Quite honestly, I don't know what all the fuss is about. I'm just a normal kind of guy after all. So maybe the book is kinda interesting, but the CD is certainly not up to Madonna's standards (even though I'm sure I saw someone just like her wearing my t-shirt somewhere!). A little old Jewish lady told me that was a good thing and she rubbed my nearly bald head. I'm still trying to work out if that had some kind of significance. Pete from the pub told me she just liked touching short hair, but I'm not so sure. I made a note to send her a copy of the book anyway.
This morning I got the video in from my agent. Well I say agent, actually he's just some guy that insists on taking 10% of everything in return for sending me things. Anyway, the video he sent me was pretty cute. Apparently they had some billboard thing of me running in a couple of big cities, promoting my book.
Actually it was quite funny. Far more people had seen the photo of me and Paris and wanted to know where the CD was. You just can't please everyone can you?
On a more disturbing note, I hadn't realized that fame brings with it its own share of psychos. Some woman from Bethlehem, PA had bought up every piece of memorabilia from my 1998 tour of Taiwan (I hadn't even realized there was any) and made some huge scrapbook devoted to idol worship.
Her next door neighbor told police she chanted loudly and played some kind of growling music every night, right up until the early hours. Eventually she flipped out when she heard there wasn't going to be a follow-up CD and the neighbor had to call police. They found her surrounded by posters and photos of me, mostly arranged in some kind of 'stalking collage'. The officer that contacted me told me "I had had a lucky escape." I told him "thank you" and put the phone down. I didn't really understand what he was talking about. Still, I think it's always nice when the police are looking out for you.
Anyway, that's about all the major news I have today. As I mentioned earlier, the last few days have been a little hectic and out of control. I'm looking forward to being able to return to normality and get out of the spotlight a little.
Well, wouldn't you know it. Just as I was putting the finishing touches to this article I got a call from that guy who says he's my agent. Apparently some dude in Piddletrenthide, England found a picture of me dating back a hundred and twenty years. I don't know how it can be me though; I told the guy I only just turned 50.
He emailed me a photo he'd taken from the book (see below) and I have to say, it does actually look fairly convincing.
It wouldn't be so bad, but the book is actually about convicts that were deported to Australia in the nineteenth century. Maybe that explains my love for Marmite and Vegemite. Then, to make matters worse, this guy from Piddletrenthide finds yet another book with a picture of me in it, but this time he's accusing me of being a wizard.
Just what is going on? I have never even done any magic. Well, apart from the time I got out of my homework by pretending I had the measles, but that was a very long time ago.
Anyway, most of the media coverage has died down a little now, thank goodness, although I did just get a call from some woman asking about doing an 'author signing' at a Barnes & Noble in Lexington, Missouri. I told her "I didn't think so," and hung up the phone. Heck, I don't even know where Lexington, Missouri is. The price of fame...
Things I have to write, just because:
Disclaimer: The blog post above is a complete work of fiction and is not meant to imply anything otherwise. Blog post reprinted from a previous blog I kept - apologies to anyone who has read this before!
Pictures: Photos were produced on the PhotoFunia website. Stop by and try it. It's a lot of fun.
Thanks for indulging me...