A great man once said: “Rejection is one thing, but rejection from a fool is cruel” (Steven P. Morrissey: 1988). In the pursuit of a landmark ‘celebrity interview’ for our website, I discovered the true meaning of those words.
The aim was simple: to bag myself an exclusive chat with a big name in the world of popular music and put our Entertainment section on the map. Sounds easy, right? Not quite.
My first target was Whitney Houston. Whitney’s version of the George Benson ballad ‘The Greatest Love of All’ rather surprisingly became something of an inspiration during the making of this website (“I believe the children are the future/teach them well and let them lead the way” etc) and I thought she might perhaps have had something to say about it.
The first port of call was Whitney’s Los Angeles based publicists, Nancy Seltzer & Associates. A publicity request was sent via e-mail to a woman by the name of Leah Vail Soloff outlining our plans to celebrate Whitney’s extraordinary ‘involvement’ in the project.
We didn't really expect an interview, if I'm honest, just some nonsense written by the publicist claiming that Whitney was "thrilled" to be our inspiration would have been enough. But, If there’s one thing that cannot be faulted about Whitney’s people, it’s their efficiency – within an hour we received a reply from Ms. Vail Soloff: “Whitney isn't doing anything except recording at this time and we are afraid we cannot offer support for this endeavour.” She said. “We're very sorry but to do so would not be fair to the others who have come before.”
Thanks, but no thanks.
Undeterred by this failure, I quickly turned my attention
towards another soul legend – Lionel Richie. A few days
prior to his sold out show at the Echo Arena, Richie was
doing some press in the country and rumours had
circulated of an impromptu rendition of ‘Three Times a
Lady’ for a hen-party at a Manchester restaurant. “This
one’s a cert-banker," I thought.
Another polite e-mail (this time to Nadine Bibi of Richie’s
UK publicists, LD Communications) received another
polite rejection. “We have no interview time with Lionel
at the moment so unfortunately will not be able to
arrange an interview for you,” said Nadine. Something
tells me the former Commodores’ man wasn’t even
Not to worry though, I had one final trick up my sleeve –
I was going to arrange a groundbreaking interview with
the man, the myth and the legend that is Morrissey. Notorious for only rarely giving interviews, and even more so following his infamous spat with the NME in 2007, I realised that this would be my biggest challenge yet, but if I could pull it off it would be a dream come true.
The plan was to set something up to coincide with Mozza’s show at the Empire Theatre in early May. Having learned my lesson about the ineffectiveness of e-mails from my previous attempts I decided to call Mark Krendel, Morrissey’s agent at Universal Music Group in London. I was told by someone at the Universal office to put my request in an e-mail and they would see what they could do. At the time of writing I am yet to receive a response from either Krendel or anyone at Universal, although plans are still in place to
doorstep the be-coiffed star as he embarks from his tour bus in Liverpool.
The moral of the story is this: obtaining a celebrity interview isn’t easy. Nevertheless, lofty though my ambitions may be, like all good journalists I shall persist and perhaps someday my wish will be granted. And if all else fails, I reckon Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle might be up for it...
By Dan Burke, Website Editor
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