Dear Mr Pop Star

A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…
Derek and Dave Philpott are the noms de plume of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a worldwide social networking community.

Dear Mr. Pop Star

For nearly 10 years, ‘Team Philpott’, as their followers fondly refer to them, have been on a quite bonkers crusade, writing good old-fashioned letters to pop and rock stars (sometimes even sent to their home addresses with prior consent!), either picking up on genuine ambiguities within their lyrics or often deliberately misunderstanding them for comedic effect.

The letters are eminently publishable in their own right, mixing sharp wit, confusion, and unarguable logic in relation to questioning the offending chart hits under scrutiny.

What makes this project especially deserving of attention, however, is that it has achieved a feat never before attempted or probably even thought of. With the missives online for all to see on what was becoming a hugely popular website, the artists quite unexpectedly started to reply, writing back in just as witty and articulate a fashion, politely pointing out exactly where the original letter went wrong…or right.

Also, crucially, nearly all of the responses were procured via ‘‘the back door of the industry”, via roadies, mutual fans, cousins of bass players, and even other famous participants telling the artists directly of the Philpotts’ written pressing inquiries. This marvellous online community, which stretched as far afield as Europe, Canada, Japan, the U.S.A, Australia and Stoke, even cultivated and organically evolved the whole surreal venture by offering up willing stars that the authors would probably not have thought of corresponding with themselves, establishing contact through personal connections.

‘Dear Mr. Popstar’’ proudly features 100 of the best letters and responses from famous and legendary names spanning the whole pop and rock spectrum, all relishing their involvement and revealing their own, in many cases, hitherto unknown humorous sides within what could well be the most interactive dialogue compiled between music stars and their audience ever undertaken. Of course, it is not always possible to reach certain targets, hence many unanswered observations are also included, as they were considered too amusing not to be.

Those to be saluted for their great sportsmanship are:

Deep Purple, Dr. from Dr. and The Medics, Nik Kershaw, Judas Priest, Starship, Tears For Fears, The Eurythmics, Wreckless Eric, Landscape, Smokie, The Strawbs, The Belle Stars, Van Der Graaf Generator, Martha and the Muffins, Thunder, Squeeze, Dean Friedman, Fairground Attraction, The Ruts, Neil Innes from The Bonzo Dog Band, DEVO, Melanie, Alannah Myles, Ian Gillan, Was Not Was, Republica, Then Jerico, Dr. Hook, Toploader, Cutting Crew, Lindisfarne, Spinal Tap, Mott The Hoople, Fuzzbox, Men Without Hats, China Crisis, Mental As Anything, David MacIver and Rupert Hine (Quantum Jump), Timbuk 3, The Rezillos, Saxon, John Otway, The Human League, Chesney and Chip Hawkes, Tenpole Tudor, Shakatak, Katrina and the Waves, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Heaven 17, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, Matthew Wilder, Middle of the Road, Liquid Gold, The Christians, Paper Lace, Dodgy, Daevid Allen, Bruce Woolley, Country Joe and The Fish, Sad Cafe, The Housemartins, Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Johnny Hates Jazz, The Wurzels, Peter Noone, Suzi Quatro, Strawberry Switchblade, Danny Wilson, Racey, Electric Prunes, The Waitresses, Fiddler’s Dram, Bauhaus, Climax Blues Band, The Jags, EMF, T’Pau, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Nu Shooz, Owen Paul, Steve Hackett, Steve Ellis of Love Affair, Hazell Dean, The Knack, The Maisonettes, Del Amitri, The Skids, Jesus Jones, The Soup Dragons, City Boy, Modern Romance, Wang Chung, The Kursaal Flyers, Fischer Z, Bruce Thomas of The Attractions, Scarlet Fantastic, The B52s. Junior, Spear of Destiny, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.

Ultimately, this book explores how when a song is released into ‘the wild’ the artist loses all control over it, especially pertaining to its interpretation. It is also testimony to the community spirit capable of being created over social media and how positive and fun it can be.

#BookReview of Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpot  @derekphilpott @unbounders

I was delighted to be approached by Dave, asking if I would be interested in being part of his tour, and I read this book aloud to my husband as I enjoyed it so much. It really made me laugh!

This tour is massive and I have really enjoyed seeing what such a vast array of fellow bloggers thought of this interesting, fun and original read.  I am a huge fan of some of these bands as I grew up in the 80s – but you don’t have to be a fan to have great fun reading these quirky notes and laughing at the responses they got…

The book starts hilariously with a fantastic inquisition of Doctor and The Medics about their choice of a band name and you will be in stitches reading the letters that wend their way back and forth here… I was reading this aloud to Mr Ontheshelf during a very long car journey south – and let me tell you we had lots of laughs as we made our way across the country hearing what these artists made of the letters they were sent.

The literal way in which some of these lyrics are interpreted and analysed might not be to everyone’s tastes – but it certainly gave us a few laughs. It was great when bands really entered into the spirit of it and was a fantastic insight into lots of the more famous names in pop over the last 30 years.   I was so involved that I found myself getting quite aggrieved when pop stars did not reply to their letters and think that they came across as too high and mighty at times to enter into the spirit of things.

This will definitely take you down memory lane and had me digging out some of my old Now That’s What I Call Music albums from the 80’s and getting lost in memories of discos in the scout hall – but that’s a totally different story 🙂

I loved the whole story behind this book which I researched after reading it:

Read all about it here in Spill Magazine – excerpt below

What makes this project especially deserving of attention, however, is that it has achieved a feat never before attempted or probably even thought of. The artists quite unexpectedly started to reply, writing back in just as witty and articulate a fashion, politely pointing out exactly where the original letter went wrong…or right.

Also, crucially, nearly all of the responses were procured via ”the back door of the industry”, via roadies, mutual fans, cousins of bass players, and even other famous participants telling the artists directly of the Philpotts’ written pressing inquiries. This marvellous online community, which stretched as far afield as Europe, Canada, Japan, the U.S.A, Australia and Stoke, even cultivated and organically evolved the whole surreal venture by offering up willing stars that the authors would probably not have thought of.

Under pressure from fans to go to print, a staggeringly successful Kickstarter Campaign in 2015 raised over 18k in order to self-publish, resulting in a wonderfully impressive book which went out to the hundreds of pledgers and was met with great acclaim before being made available via Amazon prompting nearly 100 five star reviews from avid readers.

Now the Authors are delighted to have been accepted by renowned publishing house Unbound. The new, second book ‘‘Dear Mr. Pop Star’’ will also benefit from a trade edition being distributed by Penguin Random House. The book features nearly 100 of the best letters and responses from famous and legendary names spanning the whole pop and rock spectrum, all relishing their involvement and revealing their own, in many cases, hitherto unknown humorous sides within what could well be the most interactive dialogue compiled between music stars and their audience ever undertaken. Of course, it is not always possible to reach certain targets, hence many unanswered observations are also included, as they were considered too amusing not to be.

 

BUY YOURSELF A COPY HERE

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Dear Mr Pop Star

  1. Sorry but it’s glorious havoc here and we have only just seen this!!

    Where to begin?? Well firstly, it’s been a delight corresponding with you in the weeks and weeks leading to this fantastic review.

    It’s lovely to hear that Mr. Ontheshelf and your good self were so amused during your winding sojourn! We are delighted too to increase Now…! sales although a royalty share wouldn’t go amiss from them either!

    Just massive kudos not just for spending your valuable time and assets, but also for such a sublime critique that delves right to the essence and heart of our insane little world…

    Best and Highest, Dave and Dad Philpott

    Like

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