Currency $ USD
Manuscript received
Publication date: TBC
106% funded
609 backers

Humorous letters to pop stars about their songs with genuine witty replies

For nearly 10 years, ‘Team Philpott’, as their followers fondly refer to them, have been on a quite bonkers crusade, writing good old-fashioned letters to pop and rock stars (sometimes even sent to their home addresses with prior consent!), either picking up on genuine ambiguities within their lyrics or often deliberately misunderstanding them for comedic effect.

The letters are eminently publishable in their own right, mixing sharp wit, confusion, and mundane daily chores with trips to the shops, daytime telly, Derek’s legs playing up, and unarguable logic in relation to questioning the offending chart hits under scrutiny.

What makes this project especially deserving of attention, however, is that it has achieved a feat never before attempted or probably even thought of. With the missives online for all to see on what was becoming a hugely popular website, the artists quite unexpectedly started to reply, writing back in just as witty and articulate a fashion, politely pointing out exactly where the original letter went wrong...or right.

Also, crucially, nearly all of the responses were procured via ''the back door of the industry'', via roadies, mutual fans, cousins of bass players, and even other famous participants telling the artists directly of the Philpotts’ written pressing inquiries. This marvellous online community, which stretched as far afield as Europe, Canada, Japan, the U.S.A, Australia and Stoke, even cultivated and organically evolved the whole surreal venture by offering up willing stars that the authors would probably not have thought of corresponding with themselves, establishing contact through personal connections.

‘‘Dear Mr. Popstar’’ will feature up to 100 of the best letters and responses from famous and legendary names spanning the whole pop and rock spectrum, all relishing their involvement and revealing their own, in many cases, hitherto unknown humorous sides within what could well be the most interactive dialogue compiled between music stars and their audience ever undertaken. Of course, it is not always possible to reach certain targets, hence many unanswered observations are also included, as they were considered too amusing not to be.

Those to be saluted for their great sportsmanship are Dr. from Dr. and The Medics, Nik Kershaw, Judas Priest, Starship, Tears For Fears, The Eurythmics, Wreckless Eric, Landscape, Smokie The Strawbs, The Belle Stars, Van Der Graaf Generator, Squeeze, Dean Friedman, Fairground Attraction, The Ruts, Neil Innes from The Bonzo Dog Band, DEVO, Melanie, Alannah Myles, Ian Gillan, Was Not Was, Republica, Toploader, Cutting Crew, Lindisfarne, Spinal Tap, Mott The Hoople, Fuzzbox, Men Without Hats, China Crisis, Mental As Anything, David MacIver and Rupert Hine (Quantum Jump), Timbuk 3, The Rezillos, Saxon, John Otway, The Human League, Chesney and Chip Hawkes, Tenpole Tudor, Shakatak, Katrina and the Waves, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Heaven 17, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, Matthew Wilder, Middle of the Road, Liquid Gold, The Christians, Paper Lace, Dodgy, Daevid Allen, Bruce Woolley, Wild Cherry, Country Joe and The Fish, Sad Cafe, The Housemartins, Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Johnny Hates Jazz, The Wurzels, Peter Noone, Suzi Quatro, Strawberry Switchblade, Danny Wilson, Racey, Electric Prunes, The Waitresses, Fiddler's Dram, Bauhaus, Climax Blues Band, The Jags, EMF, T’Pau, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Supernaturals, Nu Shooz, Owen Paul, Steve Hackett, Steve Ellis of Love Affair, Hazell Dean, The Knack, The Maisonettes, Del Amitri, The Skids, Jesus Jones, The Soup Dragons, City Boy, Modern Romance, Wang Chung, The Kursaal Flyers, Fischer Z, Bruce Thomas of The Attractions, Scarlet Fantastic, The B52s. Junior, Spear of Destiny, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.

Ultimately, this book explores how when a song is released into ‘the wild’ the artist loses all control over it, especially pertaining to its interpretation. It is also testimony to the community spirit capable of being created over social media and how positive and fun it can be.

Derek and Dave Philpott are the nom de plumes of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a small family and, crucially, a worldwide social networking community. Neither they, or anybody assisting with the creative aspects of this project had any connections with the music, entertainment, media or publishing industries whatsoever at the time of its commencement. Despite these humble origins, however, they now find themselves in the bizarre but enviable position whereby many pop stars and people within these circles are their friends "in real life’" (whatever that means!). Many artists consider "getting a Dereking" as a badge of honour, and, as one has participant succinctly put it-


‘’This is an ingenious and extremely inventive concept. You have given us a platform to answer questions that have been asked of us for years by our fans, and respond on a public platform of immense fun. You’ve created a weird and wonderful world loved and admired by 1,000s of people worldwide, and you have your own army of loyal fans. That pretty much makes you part of ‘us lot’ now!’’

Dear Hazell Dean,

I found your song on the internet whilst looking for how to get to friends in Hazeldene, Chieveley.

In these celebrity and appearance-obsessed times it is admirable that you are searchin' (looking for love) for a man who needn't be handsome or have fortune or fame.

I fear however that you may be setting your sights a bit low, Ms Dean. You appear, rather than ''looking for someone to share your life" with' on nights out with friends or on tentative dates, to be ''seekin' '' a long-term partner either on the train, or, more worryingly, as reinforced by your disclosure that you ''want no disguises'', a Police I.D. Parade, as you ''move on down the line''.

It is suspected that your judgement may have been impaired by ''never sleepin''' and that there is no guarantee that a stranger on the Underground, or for that matter, from the Underworld is likely to be ''sweet and kind'.'

''Whatever You Do, Wherever You Go'', Ms. Dean, I implore you to be cautious in your quest and not to explore ''every place you can''.

Yours

Derek Philpott



Dear Mr Philpott

Think not of “Searchin’” as a light-hearted missive, extolling the virtues of promiscuity.

No! This work should be considered a seminal piece – a late 20th Century celebration of the seeking of love above all else.

“Searchin'

Looking for love

All the time I can.

Searchin'

Looking for love

I've got to find a man.”

This is not a transient pop song, but should be compared as contemporary to the popularist lyrics of Byron, Browning, Rossetti and Wilde.

Were these great romantics ever concerned by the trivialities of sleep sir? I think not.

As the great Oscar Wilde himself wrote:

"You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear."

Additionally, aspersions cast on my predilection for members of the criminal fraternity are most unwelcome and unfounded,and I would therefore be grateful if you could leave me to my insomnia and romantic musings in peace.

Further to this, over the past 35 years I have received 100’s of photographs of dull establishments bearing any vague semblance of my name, in its many variants. The highlights of which include a B&B in Blackpool, and cattery in Crewe and a hovel somewhere slightly South of Brighton.

Why people presume these will interest or even slightly amuse me, I do not know.

Would you enjoy receiving a steady and annually persistent selection of “Philpotts Avenue’s”, “Philpotts Crescents” and “The Philpott Home for the Perpetually Ridiculous”? The novelty wears off very quickly I can assure you.

Quite frankly Mr Philpott the locating of your friends at Hazeldene, Chievely, is of absolutely no interest to me whatsoever.

Yours aggrievedly

Hazell Dean

Read more...

Update! ... Obviously

Monday, 9 October 2017

Hello to all of you lovely people that have made these book happen!

All’s well here and progressing nicely. The bonkers and surreal text is with the copyeditor who is busily working away. We’ve had to wait a bit to get the editor that Unbound really wanted, but .. Hurrah! It is shaping up beautifully and we will keep you posted as ever

Book now even BETTER

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Brad

Just out of courtesy letting you lovely people know that we are in production and tweaking, etcetera

The book is now 105% funded and rising as new people are still taking advantage of pre-ordering their copies, thus guaranteeing their names in the back of the book and procuring a Pledger's Edition tome months before the book hits the shops - and of a higher quality too.

We have also managed…

Calm before the (nice) storm

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Our final manuscript has been received back from the Mighty Unbound replete with a beautiful sparkling edit with which we are utterly delighted. 

At this stage - that of a surreal lull prior to a splurge of acitivity - we are equally delighted to relate that many BBC Regionals and other radio stations have already ''green lit'' extensive features and interviews just prior to publication, plus…

The Book is Finished

Friday, 2 June 2017

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE BOOK IS FINISHED AND THE MANUSCRIPT WAS SUBMITTED TODAY

FINAL CONTRIBUTOR LIST

Dr. from Dr. and The Medics, Nik Kershaw, Judas Priest, Starship, Tears For Fears, The Eurythmics, Wreckless Eric, The Strawbs, The Belle Stars, Van Der Graaf Generator, Squeeze, Dean Friedman, Fairground Attraction, The Ruts, Neil Innes from The Bonzo Dog Band, DEVO, Melanie…

One hundred and one percent! Thank you!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, after 202 days of campaigning, literally thousands of messages and emails and moments of extreme doubt and worry, we are proud to finally announce that we have reached our target and we are 100% funded. WE HAVE A BOOK!

Extreme thanks and eternal gratitude to the 571  people who got us here and all those who shared the link far and wide!  Pat yourselves on the back, we'd do…

Tantalisingly close to the finish line! Progress, update and full list of contributors.

Saturday, 20 May 2017



Hello to you all, 



Here's a long over due update on the progress of Dear Mr Pop Star.  We probably should have checked in sooner, but we've been exceptionally busy and have passed some really important milestones in the meantime. 



After a lot of campaigning and with a lot of help from our friends we're delighted to announce that we've hit the 93% mark on our funding! We're thrilled and…

New Content and Progress

Friday, 28 April 2017

Hello all 448 of you!!!

We are 74% Funded!!!! As if the content were not amazing enough, since last update we have had SPECTACULAR REPLIES  from Nik Kershaw, Judas Priest, Fairground Attraction, Modern Romance, Wang Chung ands Fiddler's Dram!

New Contributors and Progress update

Monday, 17 April 2017

Hello all 418 of you!!!

We are 69% Funded!!!! This is due in no small part to a flood of pledges that came in from brand new fans courtesy of Dr. from the Medics' fantastic video  2 weeks ago and, it must be said, a MASSIVE donation from long time fan and champion Mr. Maurice Thomas who donated a proportion of his HOUSE SALE to the project

Finally, we attach below a revised list of contributors…

A PERSONAL APPEAL FROM THE DOCTOR (FROM THE MEDICS) !!!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

In addition to the marvellous video above we are delighted to tell all 383 of you wonderful people that

  • The book is now 56% Funded
  •  Since last update we have received SPECTACULAR replies from Tears For Fears, Wreckless Eric, Quantum Jump, Middle of the Road and The Ruts!!!

ONWARDS!!!!

In the words of Mr. Jovi.....

Thursday, 23 March 2017

OOOh...we're (over) halfway there!

Hello to all 340 of you! Since last update we are now just over 50% funded which is a massive milestone 

As if that was not good enough news even more artists are onboard (we are not telling you who just yet - bird in the hand all that) and we have received spectacular replies from:-

Matthew ''Break My Stride'' Wilder

Eddie and the Hot Rods 

Dave Stewart…

March-ing Forward

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Dear The Moody Blues, in order to help the environment and create more space in your houses, and with the advent of modern technology, may I suggest than rather than write letters that you are never meaning to send, you may be better advised to compose the pointless missives as emails which can then be saved to the 'Draft Folder' on your computers

 

Hello to all 318 of you! Since last update…

Happy February!!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Dear Erasure

I hope that you will forgive my observing that since naming yourselves in the 1980’s it could be argued that technological advances have rendered your present monicker slightly passé. "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way", Erasure. With the archaic necessity of rubbing out spelling mistakes virtually supplanted, via the near obsolescence of both the typewriter and pencil and papers, by…

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