With today’s media culture putting pop stars on pedestals and turning divas into deities, I recently saw something quite out of the norm. Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer had asked for all autographs, letters and potentially anything that threatened to be mildly annoying to him, to be discontinued (of course this is old news, but it still hit a key). What was odd about this is the dis alignment Ringo had with the media which most people aspire to nowadays.
News and pop culture is symbiotic, one cannot last without the other. Our so called “stars” work their way into the limelight; through talent or otherwise (Kardashians, we are looking at you) and to do so they need to wade through the world of front page take down stories and the “He short-changed me at Nandos” stories from the derogatorily dubbed, gold-diggers. If bad news is good news, the famous line in the media, why do celebrities shy away when they stumble into the glare of the tabloid cameras or into another die-hard mob?
Are we wrongly invading a helpless person’s privacy for being good at punting a ball or is it right for Celebrities to only use the media as a resource to boost their profile- how dare the newspapers publish something negative!
It has gotten to the point where a star’s notoriety can be masked through PR agents and arguably, stay above the law if bumping into trouble. “Beliebers” clamoured for Bieber’s freedom via the social network, Instagram for example. However misdirected it may seem to be, fans seem to be the go to nitro boost for a fallen star or a current artist; you would be hard pressed to not find a star without a awkwardly named attempt at building a fanbase.
Even in the days of the Ringo and co, their fans were collectively called Beatlemaniacs or Apple Scruffs. Which leads back to my first question: Why does he want to avoid those same fans? He still wants to stay in the public eye if his Grammy performance and inter-Atlantic tours are concerned so is this finally a trend away from this fan dependence?
The blasé way he shunned his formerly beloved Liverpool like a recent divorcee may suggest such a thing. Without engagement with his fanbase will he have one at all, judging by his declining career it may suggest so.