Being a pop star must be a discombobulating experience. One minute you’re miming into a hair brush in front of your bedroom mirror and, next thing you know, you’re miming into a microphone on national television.
What comes next is the worrying bit. Once you’ve got the attention of thousands of people, the media wants your opinion on all kinds of things. Early on, it’s not too taxing: what’s your favourite film? What do you have for breakfast? Why did you call your album The Damage My Parents Did To Me?, etc. Later, however, it becomes a whole different story. Suddenly, you’re being asked for your slant on the The Middle East Crisis, whether God exists and, if your house was burning down, whether you would you save your wife or your mother.
At this point, two different types of personality emerge - the more intelligent chaps who shy away from the deeper questions, instinctively aware that they’re just pop singers. It’s the others that are really scary - the ones who actually start to believe that what they think about life’s profundities is important.
Sting and Bono are probably the two most famous proponents of this pompous approach. Unfortunately for the latter he once tried his preaching on the good people of Glasgow at a gig and it wasn’t a good idea.
Apparently, the diminutive singer began to clap his hands very slowly and very deliberately above his head on stage, pausing for dramatic effect between each strike.
‘Every... time... I... clap... my... hands... like... this... a... child... in... Africa... dies...’
A couple of seconds of bemused silence fell over the crowd, who’d only come to hear With Or Without You, before a lone voice broke the spell.
‘Well stop @*#*@*# doing it then!’
Cue raucous laughter and a short bloke in leather pants duly taken down a peg or two.
People don’t like being preached at, especially by pop stars. Still, at least Bono has written some insightful lyrics on occasion. Katy Perry, by contrast, certainly has not. Yet there she was this week, imploring everybody to live together in peace and harmony. It was excruciating, sounding as if she were reading aloud something a fourteen-year-old girl had written on her pencil case.
What on earth did she think was going to happen? That all the world’s political and religious leaders were suddenly going to stop dead in their tracks, shaking their heads mumbling ‘Crumbs, why didn’t we think of that?’?
No, pop stars, should stick to singing pop songs. Moreover, if at any point, they need reminding of that fact, they should be obliged to undertake a month-long tour of Glasgow.