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The Bootleg Mark Chapman 

By Alan Metcalfe



Help me Mrs Medlicott, I don't know what to do.  I've only got three bullets and there's four in Motley Crue.  So goes that well known Wirral folk tune which, in essence, suggests that it would be no bad thing to discharge a firearm in the specific direction of the eponymous American rock band.


'Stars' are everywhere, aren't they?  I take several magazines, at home, including 'Heat', 'Now', and 'What Knickers?', and all of them are filled with celebrities.  People are strange, though, as, whilst we apparently love to know what the assorted A, B, or C-listers are up to, we are invariably cynical of them, their dosh, and their lifestyles.  Normally, though, our distaste is limited to a verbal diatribe along the lines of; "Sting and Tantric sex?  Fuck off.  All it means is that he doesn't shoot his load for hours.  The Geordie prick".  For example.  In extreme circumstances, though, this antipathy, jealousy, or whatever, becomes something much more sinister.  I'm thinking John Lennon, I'm thinking Jill Dando, I'm thinking Versace, I'm thinking Ziggy off Big Brother (oh, sorry, scratch that last one.  I was glancing at my 'to do' list as I type).


But do the likes of murdered Beatles, assassinated TV presenters of hearts, and minted 'fashion' designers deserve to be cut down in their prime, simply for being better looking or considerably richer than the fuckin' loony tunes who decide to take them out?  What are 'stars' like in 'real life'?  Well, being a mate of the bloke who does the PA, I have met a few pop-star types, and they're a bit of a mixed bag.  Moreover, as I go about my business, I have bumped into a few 'celebs' in my time.  Here then, is a hastily constructed list of the stars of sport, stage, screen, or publishing, who I have (or who associates of mine have), at one time or another, had the good, or bad, fortune to meet.


Stephen King - Author

Not me, but my cousin, this one.  Being a big fan of the myopic billionaire, a relative of mine once wrote to him with some 'constructive' feedback on King's latest novel.  In fairness, a reply was forthcoming, from the king of horror, telling my cousin to 'Fuck Off'.  Which I thought was magnificent.


Paul Heaton - Pop Star

I met the Housemartin / Beautiful Souther, backstage at the Hillsborough Justice gig, '97.  One top bloke, that.  No side to him, and we talked about t'Blerds chances in the upcoming play-offs, before he strolled out to deliver a blistering set.


Steve Harkness - Association Footballer

A mate of mine made it through the refereeing ranks, to officiate on the line in the Central League.  The pug ugly one-time Liverpool player was playing left back, and berated my friend, the liner, for the entire match.  Eventually, my associate had had enough of this miserable twat, and shouted back, "not in the first team anymore then Steve?', before keeping his flag down when 'Harky' had pushed up to catch Dean Windass offside.  Linesman 1 Harkness 0.


Fiona Richmond - Actress, apparently

Walking through Church Street, Liverpool, in 1980, I was attracted by a queue coming out of 'Top Man'.  I joined it, as you do, and found that it was a 'pa' by some woman I'd never heard of. She was giving out photos of herself, though, and, as she was showing a bit of tit, I decided to get one.  A photie, that is, not a tit.  


Frank Skinner - Comedian

Another back-stage encounter thanks to my being a mate of the bloke who does the PA.  If there's a lovelier feller in showbiz, than Frank, then I've yet to meet him.  Really nice chap, and seemed genuinely delighted that I was the only person in the country who loved his critically-panned sit-com 'Blue Heaven'.


Rik Mayall - Comedian

A lad who played for our Sunday team was the handyman at one of those hotels in Sevvy (maybe the Alicia).  Anyway, he got called to someone's room, to fix a telly, and found it was none other than Riche Rich himself.  Another nice bloke, so the feedback went, despite my mole pretending to eat the telly, 'just like Vyvyan'.


Liverpool Popstars

Being a hanger-on of some repute, I have had brief encounters with most of Liverpool's rock glitterati over the years.  Whilst my evidence - based on only one meeting - is clearly flawed, I can broadly split them into two camps (with apologies for those who may just have been having a bad day).  In the 'alright 'im' corner, there are the likes of Peter Coyle, Mick Head, Pete Wylie, Peter Hooton, Tommy Scott, and Kevin Rowan out of 'Our Kid'. Coming under the 'what a cunt' demographic, though, Holly Johnson and Ian McNabb of the Icicle works both score pretty highly I'm afraid.  The Zutons all seem pretty lofty, too, especially that sax bird.  John Power, and Digs Deary, also seemed to want to fight me. And that Nicky Wire's a tit (even though he claims to live in a council house or something).


General Round Up

Kenny Dalglish, sound.  Craig out of Big Brother, sound.  Andy McCluskey out of OMD, alright s'pose.  Paul Humphreys out of OMD, probably the nicest, most genuine popstar I've met.  Nigel Blackwell, sound but cautious (especially if you want to be his 'Johnny Rogan').  Roddy Frame, you just want to cuddle him.  Terry Hall, very polite.  Ian Broudie, quiet and good mannered. Journo's Paddy Shennan, David Prentice and Des Kelly (Mr Carol Vorderman), sound.  Bill Shankly, lovely feller.  Pat Nevin, see Roddy Frame.  John Motson, invited me up onto the gantry when I was ten, lovely bloke.


Anyway, sorry to interrupt this riveting list (ahem).  Just had a text to say that Darius Danesh is playing at the Empire, in 'Chicago'.  I'm off to wait outside, with a copy of 'Swine' and a knowing smile  . . . . .









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