Frank Sidebottom did not have a huge impact on my life. If I were to claim he did, I would just be a grief-stalking nonsense-spouter of the highest order. One of those people who claims he was best mates with someone/listened to all their music/rated them as an actor just because they’re now dead. No, the impact Sidebottom had on my life was minimal – it was there, but it was minimal. I was aware of the man from a young age, I heard a couple of his songs, I forgot he existed through the nineties and most of the noughties, then he popped up on VideoGaiden and I remembered again. From that point, he would pop up in my head, reminding me of how you can be genuinely, wonderfully silly and not be written off by idiots at large as ‘wacky’ or ‘for students’. But, truth be told, that’s about all the impact he had on my life.
So why am I really rather sad that he died yesterday? I don’t give two shits about when celebrities pop their clogs – at least, not above a basic, human level. They’re people I don’t know, dying. That’s it. The only time in recent memory a famous person has died and it had a real effect on me was Kurt Vonnegut, a few years ago (I had to go for a sit down upstairs. That was fucking sad). So why has a man I never really paid too much heed to while he was alive managed to make me a bit glum by dying? I don’t get it.
Maybe it’s just because there’s one less truly original, shit-in-a-good-way, entertaining, happy, papier mache-headed idiots out there. Which means there are now none. The species is extinct. That’s always something to be sad about.
Oh, and read this for a better account of him.