Dear Mr Pop Star Hardcover – 20 Sep 2018
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About the Author
Derek and Dave Philpott are the noms de plume of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a small family and, crucially, a worldwide social networking community.
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I mention this because Derek and Dave Philpott’s Dear Mr Pop Star gets off to a nostalgic start for me with a letter to ‘Doctor from Doctor and the Medics’. It sets the comic note for the whole book, with its insistence on taking one way something meant another way entirely—in this instance, quibbling on whether said doctor ought really to distinguish himself more clearly from the rest of the band, since a doctor is only a type of medic…
As Hamlet says of the grave digger who takes everything he says literally, ‘How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.’
Next, we get Doctor from Doctor and Medics reply—or rather, the reply from ‘Ducktour’ from ‘Ducktour and the Mudlarks’—which establishes the other thing that makes this book so joyous: the fact that the respondents are so happy to play along, joking about themselves or turning the joke on the Philpotts père et fils.
If comparing the style of humour to Shakespeare’s isn’t compliment enough, let me go one better and say that at times I was reminded of the heyday of Viz, though this is a book you can safely leave on a lower shelf or indeed on a coffee table. Elsewhere there are pleasing echoes of John Shuttleworth and Count Arthur Strong.
But it’s fair to say that, however funny the letters from Derek and Dave are, it’s the replies that make the biggest impact. Some don’t quite match expectations—as a big fan of Neil Innes, I was slightly disappointed by his response, though there’s enough in it to remind you that his band was once called the Bonzo Dog Dada Band. But others exceed them, shining a whole new light on the artists involved. Martin Page’s reply to the Philpotts’ rebuke to Starship’s claim that they built a city on rock & roll is a witty and extended conceit that any comedian would be proud of. Mind you, I wasn’t keen on being reminded that Gary Glitter hails from my home town…
Other joys are provided by Kimberley Rew’s re-written lyric for ‘Walking on Sunshine’, a dig at Gazza from Lindisfarne, the return of Mr Kershaw (who’s really good at this), The Human League (Mrs) channelling the spirit of Python, Steve Ellis making a confession worthy of a character in Blade Runner, and—the surprise highlight for me—a thorough explanation of just what Johnny was up to during that party, and why it really isn’t okay to cry if you want to, from Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin.
Wouldn't recommend anyone buying it if the website is still up and running.
I've got through about a third of and chucked it aside for now. I'm sure I'll finish it, but no great rush.
If this review sounds a little 'meh', then that's what this book deserves.
If its good enough for god then its good enough for me!!
Excellent read, guaranteed to make your ribs hurt!🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I have no idea how to write this review! Dear Mr Pop Star is utterly bonkers, hugely entertaining and often hilariously funny.
Normally I’d comment on plot but in this case there isn’t one (unless you might like to say that the authors have completely lost theirs!) What there is, however, is a fabulous reminder of songs and artists I’d forgotten about so that reading Dear My Pop Star brought memories flooding back. For that reason alone it’s a great read and it made me smile. A word of caution here too though. Reading Dear Mr Pop Star could bring earworms you can’t get rid of – I’ve had the flipping Worzels going through my head for days now!
Not all of the references were in my musical lexicon and I found reading Dear Mr Pop Star took me off on research through Google to see the relevance. I think this added to the fun of the read.
I really appreciated the insight into modern society with themes like global warming, grocery shopping and dinner parties, all written about with Derek’s inimitable syntax and vocabulary. Even better, I loved the replies from those artists who responded in similar style so that the reader gets a sense of them as characters as well as gaining an understanding of just how quirky the authors are. Derek is a true crusader, righting his perceived wrongs and the impossible claims in song lyrics. I only hope Elton John will heed his advice… My heart went out to the long suffering Jean and I’ll never look at a set of hot tongs in the same way again!
I actually read Dear Mr Pop Star in the order it is presented but I shall be returning to it at random as a real treat to dip into – a bit like eating a small square of the best quality chocolate after a meal. I’d definitely suggest opening this book at random and seeing what you get as it certainly is a ‘random’ read and none the worse for that. Dear Mr Pop Star is a treat and one which I think is best enjoyed little and often rather than all in one go.
In conclusion, I’d say Dear Mr Pop Star is unlike any other book I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I did need to lie down for a while after reading it!