**Happy Release Day**
I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the unique Dear Mr Pop Star, which features humorous letters to pop stars about their songs with genuine witty replies.
About the Book
For nearly 10 years, ‘Team Philpott’, as their followers fondly refer to them, have been on a quite bonkers crusade, writing good old-fashioned letters to pop and rock stars (sometimes even sent to their home addresses with prior consent!), either picking up on genuine ambiguities within their lyrics or often deliberately misunderstanding them for comedic effect.
The letters are eminently publishable in their own right, mixing sharp wit, confusion, and mundane daily chores with trips to the shops, daytime telly, Derek’s legs playing up, and unarguable logic in relation to questioning the offending chart hits under scrutiny. What makes this project especially deserving of attention, however, is that it has achieved a feat never before attempted or probably even thought of. With the missives online for all to see on what was becoming a hugely popular website, the artists quite unexpectedly started to reply, writing back in just as witty and articulate a fashion, politely pointing out exactly where the original letter went wrong…or right.
Also, crucially, nearly all of the responses were procured via ”the back door of the industry”, via roadies, mutual fans, cousins of bass players, and even other famous participants telling the artists directly of the Philpotts’ written pressing inquiries. This marvellous online community, which stretched as far afield as Europe, Canada, Japan, the U.S.A, Australia and Stoke, even cultivated and organically evolved the whole surreal venture by offering up willing stars that the authors would probably not have thought of corresponding with themselves, establishing contact through personal connections.
‘Dear Mr. Popstar’’ proudly features 100 of the best letters and responses from famous and legendary names spanning the whole pop and rock spectrum, all relishing their involvement and revealing their own, in many cases, hitherto unknown humorous sides within what could well be the most interactive dialogue compiled between music stars and their audience ever undertaken. Of course, it is not always possible to reach certain targets, hence many unanswered observations are also included, as they were considered too amusing not to be.
Ultimately, this book explores how when a song is released into ‘the wild’ the artist loses all control over it, especially pertaining to its interpretation. It is also testimony to the community spirit capable of being created over social media and how positive and fun it can be.
Dear Middle Of The Road,
Re: ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’
I write pertaining to the sudden disappearance of both this momma and papa on the very same night.
Sadly, not in the same sense as your June 1971 chart-topper, it would appear that they have been the subjects of a ‘hit’, most likely either gang or Mafia-related. That the now orphaned infant is referred to as Little Baby Don, implying an early initiation as the new Godfather of a flourishing crime empire, only serves to confirm that its parents are not far, far away, but more likely sleeping with the fishes.
Furthermore, it is feared that ‘mama singing a song’ could have been misinterpreted, unless of course the panicked mole was singing like a canary, to use the slang term for providing valuable information to a non-allied third party.
Derek and Dave Philpott
Dear The Philpotts,
Our secret has been rumbled. No one was meant to know. I hope the ‘Fuzz’ do not read your epistle.
Since the ‘disappearance’ of our guardians, we have been continually dominated by ‘Baby Don’ screaming for immediate sweets, fizzy drinks & popcorn. He threatens lots of terrible consequences if we do not appease him and agree to his demands.
He even threatens to write a follow-up to ‘Chirpy’… what a terrifying thought… sometimes it makes us want to lie lengthways in the literal interpretation of our band name.
We have no option but to agree to his increasing demands!
Ian ‘Tweedle Dum’ McCredie, MOTR
About the Authors
Derek and Dave Philpott are the nom de plumes of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a small family and, crucially, a worldwide social networking community. Neither they, or anybody assisting with the creative aspects of this project had any connections with the music, entertainment, media or publishing industries whatsoever at the time of its commencement. Despite these humble origins, however, they now find themselves in the bizarre but enviable position whereby many pop stars and people within these circles are their friends “in real life’” (whatever that means!). Many artists consider “getting a Dereking” as a badge of honour, and, as one has participant succinctly put it-
‘’This is an ingenious and extremely inventive concept. You have given us a platform to answer questions that have been asked of us for years by our fans, and respond on a public platform of immense fun. You’ve created a weird and wonderful world loved and admired by 1,000s of people worldwide, and you have your own army of loyal fans. That pretty much makes you part of ‘us lot’ now!’’
A Selection of Testimonials
“Having not had that many hits in my 40 years in pop, I assume this is possibly the last I’ll be hearing from you…still, it’s been fun!”
Henry Priestman, The Christians
”Thank you for your letter. It has changed my life. I folded it up and used it to stop my coffee table from wobbling”
Stan Cullimore, The Housemartins
”I have passed your letter on to my lawyer, a restraining order will shortly be in place. Let that be the end of it. What wonderful madness”
Glenn Gregory, Heaven 17
”Thanks for a madcap slant on the serious lyricist; as for myself, I am from a very musical family – even our sewing machine was a singer.”
Phil – Paper Lace (original)
I can only repeat my response to your last enquiry on this subject: I’m sorry, but I am NOT interested in purchasing your book, “comic” though it may be. I trust this puts an end to the matter, and I will have no need to write you a third ti– oh, wait a second, I might have gotten…Congrats on your new book!
Eagerly awaiting my copy, I remain as ever,
Berton Averre, The Knack