Eddy Antonini is an Italian musician and composer, backbone of the band Skylark.
Here is what he has to say about fame:
“Fame is probably one of the words most used in our present times together with mum, dad and love.
Fame is a dream for thousands of people.
Well, when I started in the early 90s it was everything but fame. I was nothing more than a home classical pianist, with no professional ambition, no goal of making a carrier in the music business. And I had an inner passion for Rock just as millions of teenagers at that time (now is different: everybody is a rock star…) just to enjoy someone else’s production.
It started by chance, mainly because of a random meeting with an editor in chief of one of the most relevant music magazine in Italy. One day this guy called me and asked me for help because he needed a concert review as his writer had let him down. From then, I joined the magazine and the more I was entering the music world from that door the more I was feeling the need and the will to record a simple demo tape of my unprofessional works as amateur. Another key factor was that, every day, I had contact with top producers, sound engineers, record companies and so, in few months, the idea of making a demo turned into an album and the album got a decent distribution; in few weeks we were noticed by the international press and an independent record company signed me (us) for a following up. It was wonderful, but nothing connected to Fame yet, just the possibility to give emotions to other people and live the experience in a wonderful way. Those things became the new engine and aim of the whole project.
I did not know how much I wanted to carry on that way but, in reality, a part of me started seeing and considering only the beginning of a never-ending story. However, like I said, nothing related to Fame or money; except from, perhaps, the desire to make some cash to cover up for new instruments and better equipment.
Unfortunately it did not last: few more months and every step was only conceived in order to sell one more copy, attract one more kid to your concerts, getting a better deal with record companies, promoters and endorsements. All in the name of Fame, to establish it, to preserve it, to widen it…more and more and more. Everything was different in just a couple of years and I was lucky: it might happen even faster.
So, it was not music anymore, from that moment it has been only for Fame, definitely more for Fame than Money which was not the biggest issue but only a secondary consequence. If you consider and examine this point carefully this is a complete nonsense as it would be more reasonable trying to turn your “hobby” into a real profession and, so, being able to make a decent living. Trust me, nowadays is totally the opposite and you can see people accepting any kind of cheap and second-rate job just to grasp a bit of money and keep its dream, here called Fame, alive.
Of course we have not been the worst band in the world, we have had moments or songs in which the artistic side has bounced back as the main spot, but nothing 100% free: it could have been a chords’ sequences, lyrics that you do not want to write, studios where you do not want to go or sound you do not want to have.
I’m not afraid to admit that at one point Fame becomes like the most dangerous drug: you would steal, you would betray friends, you would stab someone in the back, you would deny your principles, you would justify the most terrible actions that you might do only to keep your place on a stage, upgrading to a larger one, entering or remaining in a chart.
And without a way out: every time the thought of giving up had crossed your mind you would always have found a fake good reason to carry on. For Fame. All about Fame.
Still now, I cannot deny that when I am in Japan (the only country where in some cities I might be considered a celebrity), and I am stopped by a stranger in a hotel lobby, to take pictures, shake your hand or get an autograph, well, it is still a good sensation. Even if you are tired, devastated because of work or jet lag and for the first whiles it feels like a disturbance, the morning after the good vibration will surround your body and mind. Like a flame. It is the misleading good effect of The Fame, the outcome who provokes the addiction I mentioned before. The drug that should be banned but cannot be banned, especially in this modern era where, if we are not able to get consideration we think we deserve, we will compensate counting the friends’ numbers on social networks and how many of them declare to enjoy our useless posts.
At least I am aware that flame above does not mean anything and cannot give me long lasting pride or happiness. Therefore, I sometimes skip sign sessions or, after a concert, consciously decide to choose the backstage instead of a walking in the main hall to meet some fans “by chance”. But I have also to admit that is not always like this.
I am actually undergoing a process of introspection and self-awareness in order to save myself from Fame and this process led me to the decision of giving up for real. This is what I will surely do, no matter what, after the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of my band in 2014. After that, I am sure a lot of work will remain to set my mind, but it will be the first step to reenter in the real world, if the real world still exists, and try to be free: we always talk about freedom but we have this wrong tendency of becoming slave of something.
So the biggest question is: for what? Do we really need someone who gives us this kind of affection? Someone that if you disappeared from the media would, in the end, forget about you and/or probably avoid you like you had become a virus?
We want Fame because is an easy thing, because it is only “take” (apparently). We want Fame because we are afraid to Love, because Love is “give and take” and no one of us, of course apart from very rare exceptions, is available to give anything anymore.
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