Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Duffy and a Case of Fame Fright
Stage fright is not new and has affected the great and the good. Paul McCartney has admitted that it almost ended his Beatles career very early on when the thought of playing the NME poll winners concert in the early 1960s was too frightening to contemplate. Actually, I don’t blame him for this one as I always found the tone of the NME a bit scary myself. However, history shows that the beast was slain and he carried on playing live until 1966 when the fab four shunned touring to shut themselves up in Abbey Road for the duration.
One victim who didn’t fare so well was XTC’s Andy Partridge (of whom I spoke in Dear God). His fright immediately curtailed the band’s live performances after 1982 and XTC became studio-bound from then on, having been one of the busiest bands on the circuit in the late 1970s.
But to get back to Duffy, it seems that it is not just stage fright that is operating here but an all encompassing ‘fame fright’ born of the relentless pressure to succeed. The music industry really should try and nurture its talent a little more rather than squeezing the last drop out of every act in a rush to sell ‘product’. It’s very sad to see beautiful butterflies crushed on the corporate wheel.