Tag Archives: martha wainwright

don’t meet your heroes

One very hot evening in 2007, special k and I went to a free concert on the banks of the Hudson River, just up from Ground Zero.

We saw some people play who were not too shabby, and then Martha Wainwright played a solo set, just she and her guitar. It was magical.

Then I decided to go up to the stage and join the smallish crowd waiting to meet her.

Bad move.

She wasn’t very nice, or communicative – and in her defence, she had just flown direct from a particularly muddy Glastonbury festival. I don’t even care that she wasn’t nice, it really has nothing to do with me.

I just took this from it, as I had three years earlier when i met Sime Nugent: Don’t Meet Your Heroes!!!

I recently had the opportunity to see Terry Pratchett speak. I have read almost every book he’s ever written, and I think he’s absolutely phenomenal; there is so much to learn from reading him, about writing. But this is how I thought it through:

It’s his books I love, not him. I can keep loving them, and getting everything I get, without ever coming into contact with him.¬†Ditto Martha. It’s her music I love, and who she is doesn’t enter into that.

The desire to know everything about these people is insidious though. (Er, yes. See the entire tabloid industry.) As I said yesterday, I’ve fallen in love with Matt Smith’s Doctor Who.

Not to be confused with falling in love with Matt Smith.

Because as soon as I see photos of him, the man, the actor, it diminishes who he is on screen. It adds another layer to it, that has nothing to do with it. He isn’t written, in real life.

So next time you feel that need to know more, which is so easily fed by google and the like, just pause for a moment to consider what you really love.