While I like to think I am a reasonably down to earth person, I do have wants and desires to do with celebrities. So, with that in mind, I have written a list of the five people I would want to meet, living or dead. Most of them are authors, but that’s the kind of person I look up to. In the tradition of top fives, I will be working my way from five to one.
Number five is the writer of my favourite song of all time (Texas Flood, I’m listening to it as I write this), Stevie Ray Vaughan. I would have loved the opportunity to have sat down and talked with this man about the fantastic blues he played, or the chance to see one of his live shows before his tragic death (mere months before I was born). In an unusual way to die for a blues rocker, he did not die from an overdose of any kind, but in a helicopter crash. Now, I’m sorry, but that is damn cool. And it’s certainly easier to explain to kids than to have to bring up the thorny issue of drugs and safe use of them.
Number four is Douglas Adams. I have read most of his books, and they were part of what inspired me to be an aspiring writer. His Hitchhiker’s books in particular are wonderful, random and really well written, and I think everyone should read at least one in their lifetime (preferably, read all of them). I would have loved to have met him before he died in 2001. It’s a damn shame he’s dead, but people come and go (generally they don’t come back), and my favourite people are no exception.
Taking the middle ground between most wanted and least wanted (but still acceptable) is Matt Groening, the creator of that world-famous family. No, it’s not The Family From Roseanne (I forget their surname), but it’s The Simpsons! The stories that he could tell you about the process, and where some of his ideas come from, would be great to hear in person (although they are mostly available on dvd commentaries and such). I’ve loved The Simpsons since I was a sprogling, and I would like to meet this man before his inevitable sad departure from this mortal coil (I may die first, but considering his age head-start on me, that’s not too likely).
Number two is Robert Rankin, the one I have the most chance of meeting as he is quite an involved person with his fanbase, holding get-togethers in pubs, parties for his fans, and suchlike. I should really attend one of those at some point. I have gone into detail about why I love Mr Rankin and his books, so I won’t retread that same ground here. Suffice it to say I take a lot of writing cues from him and his style of humour.
The big numero uno is the renowned author, comedian, polymath and presenter of QI known as Stephen Fry. He seems like a fantastic man to meet in person, with a constant repository of jokes, wit and knowledge to draw on to keep you entertained throughout your time with him. This man has been a personal idol of mine for many years, he and Jeremy Clarkson are the people I aspire to be in life (Clarkson is mainly due to writing his opinion columns though; if we got talking about cars we’d run out of conversation within minutes). Stephen Fry has all the appearance of being the kind-faced embodiment of old-style class without being an absolute tosser, something which I think we have too little of nowadays. We do have conflicting principles in some areas (he smokes and drinks, while I never touch either), but I feel we would get on with each other well enough. Sums up my relationship with most of my friends, really.
That seems like a fitting place to end. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.