Barry Gordon: Be careful who you worship

Steve Jobs. Pic: Comp
Steve Jobs. Pic: Comp
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THEY say you should never meet your idols. ‘You’ll only be disappointed,’ they say. ‘Idols never measure up to expectations.’ And this is true.

I’ve been fortunate (unfortunate in some cases) to have met people who I’m influenced by, whether in music, journalism or other areas of the entertainment world.

As a musician, I’m currently working with someone I’ve looked up to all my life and he couldn’t be nicer. Down to earth, easy to get along with, he treats me as an equal, but it’s not always this way.

As a teenager, I looked up to an MTV-generation rock band I was lucky enough to share a stage with. Turned out they were miserable gits, only interested in money. I supported another guitarist of whom I thought highly – he didn’t want my band anywhere near him. He trashed the city in a foul-mouthed spiel to his tour-bus driver, yet hours later said it was the best city in the world. Disappoint-ment isn’t confined to the music world, either.

I once spent time with the Steve Jobs of the electronic world. A man who helped put personal computers in every UK home; when I arrived at his London residence, he didn’t even own a computer, far less a mobile phone. I think I was expecting to see a time machine take pride of place in his living-room.

Worst of all, there’s a pop star – a household name – who I believed was appreciative of his fame, money and success. I once saw him greet fans outside a hotel. One, in a wheelchair had waited an hour just to say hello. Said popstar took one look at her and dismissed her outright. He did, however, have plenty time for other female fans he was only too happy to take into his hotel.

So why do we put such people on a pedestal? Perhaps it’s because they have the life we want and much of that view is down to the PR machine.

Still, at the end of the day everyone is human - well, almost everyone. They have off-days. We all do.They’re fallible and they make mistakes just like everyone else.

But be careful who you worship.