The first one was pretty easy. You all know Jason Lee, right? From the Kevin Smith films, and the show 'My Name Is Earl'? Well guess what, he knocked up a girl I went to school with. She was in my brother's year so I didn't know her well personally, but I remember her alright. Let's just say: she had a reputation for being a total slut. And I'm not one to believe every high school rumour that I ever heard but the fact that she now has a son named 'Pilot Inspektor', fathered by a celebrity scientologist, is pretty damning evidence. The one thing I remember most vividly about this girl was her yearbook quote, because I laughed at it quite hard. I don't remember the beginning of it but the last sentence was something along the lines of "My favourite things are unicorns and my new leather jacket". I thought it was hilarious, especially considering that it was almost definitely not a joke.
So that gets me to Jason Lee. But that's too easy - I don't want to stop there. I could always just add one more connection and get to Kevin Smith. That's a pretty good one. But then I thought - Jason Lee is a scientologist. Beck, also a scientologist. I bet all celebrity scientologists at least have each other's phone numbers. They probably receive a print-out of them when they join, under the headline "Your New Family". So there you have it, a somewhat tenuous connection to Beck.
Then I thought, well, who is someone I would really want to meet? Stephen Fry was a name that came to mind pretty quickly. See, I have these "awesome fantasies". Not fantasies that are awesome, but fantasies in which I am being just that awesome. I don't really have sex fantasies like most people seem to, so I guess I have to replace that void with something. Anyway, one of my favourites is the fantasy in which I high five Stephen Fry on TV*. As a result, I am the coolest kid on the block forever and ever.
But how do I get to Stephen Fry? It was a lot easier than expected. You see, I remembered that my aunt knows Tony Robinson aka Baldrick from Blackadder. She has done archeological research with him, which you would know that he does if you have seen the show Time Team. That's not even what she does for a living, either, it's just a hobby. She actually does something along the lines of research in the field of veterinary science. But that just means that she is more successful in her hobby than most people are in their actual careers. Something of a humbling thought, that. I remember once a neighbour of hers found a skeleton in their backyard and after confirming that it was old enough to be a historical artifact rather than a gruesome murder, the neighbour simply palmed it off to my aunt. Who kept it under her bed for a ridiculously long time until she got around to dealing with it. I'm not sure if she WANTED to get haunted, but that seems like a pretty good way of going about it.
Anyway, you can see where the connection goes from there. Baldrick -> Stephen Fry. Done and done.
What about any others? I must have some from the old band days.
I actually managed to (very tentatively) connect myself to Damon Albarn. When I was first in talks to join the band, they had just finished the Australian leg of a tour supporting the Specials, and were about to embark on the NZ part of the tour. As I have mentioned, I was invited on this leg of the tour but turned it down. Some people might get a bit confused that I turned down the opportunity to tour with the motherfucking Specials, but it was for three reasons:
- I didn't know any of the songs, didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the Specials.
- They hadn't kicked out their current sax player at the time, and I can't think of anything more awkward than touring with the dude I was replacing, who didn't even know he was being replaced at that point.
- I was in the middle of a uni semester and couldn't really leave the country at short notice.
But considering I did go on to be in that band for several years, I still count that as a connection to the Specials. From there, you have a list of all the artists ever connected to the Specials. I chose Damon Albarn, who apparently did something with them at Glastonbury one year. The band I was in also gave me a connection to the Whitlams, as our producer had worked with them. Also, the drummer (the only member of the band I still contact every now and again) knew Terepai Richmond and actually had drum lessons from him. I tried to see if I could get any more impressive connections via Tim Freedman, but just try googling "Tim Freedman's famous friends". Google just stops and stares at you. The only result is the word "Really?".
There were a few more that I'd worked out, but for what it is (an exercise in wishful thinking with zero practical applications) this entry is already way too long. Also: it is too easy to connect oneself with any Australian personality. I got to Paul McDermott, John Safran, Daniel Johns (for this one just put: I am from Newcastle) and John Laws with just two connections each. And that's not bragging, I am just saying that our population is so small I bet anybody could do it.
*Other "awesome fantasies" include Tony Martin asking me to do a cult radio show with him a la 'Get This' and being the personal guest of Bill Bailey at the Glastonbury Festival.