Fayner Posts: Some deal with fame better than others. While Tom Hanks, pretty much the greatest actor of his generation, is a humble man who seems to appreciate those around him that aid to his greatness, a person like Paris Hilton who possesses less appeal than both Joey Buttafucco and John Wayne Bobbit combined and only gained notoriety due to her family’s hard work and wealth, acts as if fame owes her one for making "Paris Hilton" a household name.
And being a reporter having to interview famous people, I’ve come to expect anything in terms of what they demand, what they restrict and what they reveal. What started as a joke with Van Halen back in their heyday, the need to demand outrageous things just because you’re famous has grown and grown and grown into the obsurdness it is today. Read what VH singer David Lee Roth wrote in his autobiography Crazy From The Heat below…
The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say "Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . ." This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: "There will be no Brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation."
So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.
With everything from Stevie Nicks demanding a piano in every hotel room during Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk tour to Mariah Carey refusing to walk up or down stairs during a gig, it seems that to be a pop icon means to be greedy and over-the-top.
Even pseudo-stars, once they get even a taste of acclaim, lose their care-free attitude and retreat behind a wall of PR minions and agents and publicity folk to hold tight their celebrity for as long as possible.TheRealLukeFord of www.lukeisback.com glory, for example, will only grant interviews via email with a strict rule that he can refuse to answer any question he deems inappropriate to his lifestyle. Sure, fine, whatever, but this comes from a man known for screwing with porno people’s livelihood for almost ten years by cornering them, sticking a tape recorder in their face and asking them (usually while drunk) tough personal questions with his harmless Aussie accent and cheap suit jacket in hopes of crashing to the ground their career.
What is always interesting to see is how famous siblings deal with fame. The band Oasis, which includes brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher, shot to the top of the music heap in the mid-1990s. And while guitarist Noel, the brains and talent behind the band’s success stood quietly in the shadows, his brother and singer Liam, injected by the "Frontman" illness, took rock star to a whole new frontier by headbutting fans who ask for autographs, skipping important gigs and even threatening to crush a photographer’s testicles.
Long story short, fame does different things to different people…or even different pets.
This is Dick Bandit, Taylor Rain’s eldest puppy, a Red Nose Pit Bull. Bandit has taken his fame very well; he always stops to meet fans and sign autographs, he answers all mail personally on his fan page http://www.myspace.com/dickbandit and not once has he made stipulations during our many interviews together, instead possessing a candidness not seen from a public figure so beloved in a very long time.
and then there’s Smokie…
Smokie, Bandit’s little sister, is an egotistical Blue Nose Pit Bull cut straight from the same "Hollier Than Thou" cloth as J-LO and Britney Spears. It took several weeks for Smokie’s "people" to call us back to schedule an interview. A lawyer from Smokie’s camp visited us days ago with a 12 page list of what is allowed and what is not during the interview. Here is a few from that list.
1) At no time will interviewer make direct eye-contact with client.
2) Interviewer must feed client shrimp, veins removed and tail first, before every question is asked.
3) Interviewer must bring with him to location two porno stars – Jesse Jane and Kirsten Price – for Smokie play Tug-O-War with using the tail of an endangered Black Footed Ferret. Interviewer pays all expenses of porno stars and agrees to leave them with Smokie for a total of four hours after interview is completed, also at interviewer’s expense, at which time they will drive around singing show tunes while Smokie hangs in the back seat with her head out the window.
4) At no point shall Smokie be referred to as a dog, a puppy, a canine, a hound or a pooch. If this demand is not met, the interview is over.
So that’s what I was dealing with when I reached Smokie’s Malibu retreat Tuesday afternoon at the scheduled time. I was met by my dog Rhiannon, who now acts as Smokie’s Director of Publicity and official biographer following her belief that sitting at my feet for hours on end for the past eight years while I wrote makes her a qualified writer as well. Her teeth are capable of injuring me, so I chose to let her do as she pleases.
"Smokie is running late," Rhiannon barked. "Have a seat."
I waited for over two hours. Finally, Smokie surfaced from a back room with Tommy Lee and Leo DiCaprio in tow. She quickly noticed me and pulled Rhiannon to the side, whispering and pointing and scratching her ear for a few minutes. Then she and her entourage retreated back into the back room. Rhiannon took a deep breath and approached me.
"Listen," Rhi panted, "Rule #77A of the interview contract clearly states that you must provide a satisfactory supply of Pup-Peroni Lean treats for her to chew on. As you can see, you’ve only brought the regular kind. Here is a print out of what the correct package looks like in case you’re too dumb to figure it out."
"Okay," I said. "My mistake. Anything else?"
"Yes. Smokie says that she insisted on Jesse Jane and Kirsten Price to be present. We can see that Kirsten has made it, but we are concerned that you’ve not taken us seriously as Jesse Jane appears to have not made it."
"Jesse’s plane was diverted because of a possible terrorist threat at LAX. She’s stuck in Phoenix."
"Tough Milkbone cookies," Rhiannon growled. "The interview is rescheduled for tomorrow at four in the afternoon, providing you’ve complied with all our rules beforehand. Failure to do so shall result in a serious bite from Smokie. I suggest you follow though."
At that point Smokie’s bodyguards/parents, Felony and Trigger Happy from Game Over Kennels escorted me out of the mansion and down the sprawling driveway to my car. Seeing what they look like below, you would have done as they asked.
Better luck tomorrow…