Superstardom comes with many things: fame, reputation, and financial freedom. Imagine driving the highly-expensive car of your dreams, living in a luxury suite, and having hundreds of fans loving you regardless. However, living the life of a rockstar also comes with its consequences: you may not have a private life due to the paparazzi, loving fans can make you paranoid, and in the worst case, they can cost you your life.
We all know the tragic story behind Dimebag Darrell and John Lennon’s passing. Darrell was shot and killed by a ‘fan’ during a show, and Lennon shared the same fate with him because one of his fans was upset about his remarks about the Beatles. So, fans’ love can turn to hate very quickly. However, it doesn’t always have to end with a tragic incident — one time, Thom Yorke was assaulted by a fan who questioned why ‘No Suprises’ was so depressing.
These are serious cases, but even being under the spotlight and getting overwhelmed by fans’ constant attention may be enough for some artists. Having released their ‘Grace Under Pressure,’ Rush was at the peak of their musical career, and Geddy Lee was under the pressure of being a renowned rock star. As it turns out, success wasn’t the only thing Rush brought into his life — he also suffered from paranoia for a long time.
Following the release of the 1984 album ‘Grace Under Pressure,’ Rush achieved chart success in Canada, the UK, and the US. The album sold one million copies in the States and brought the band a platinum certificate. Although Rush enjoyed substantial commercial success, things weren’t so pleasant on Geddy Lee’s side. In a 1984 interview, Lee revealed that he had accepted the fact that he had less freedom to walk down the street. However, he also admitted being famous made him paranoid.
“In many ways,” Geddy Lee said, “the less freedom I have to walk down the street, but that too is an attitude. I used to really be offended by my invasion of privacy, and I still am to a degree. But I picked this line of work, and I have to accept that that’s what comes along with it.”
Following that, Lee said he was getting used to the constant attention but added he didn’t like fans invading his privacy. He recalled when he lived in Toronto, and his time there became a nightmare. According to the guitarist, fans came to his house and looked inside from the windows, yelling his name and bothering him at home. Although this caused him to get paranoid, Lee said he was trying to forget about this incident.
“[I’m] coming to grips. It still happens because I really don’t like to be bothered at home, and I am very paranoid about being bothered at home and people coming to my house. At one time, I had a house in Toronto, and it became a nightmare. There were people yelling and looking in my windows. So, I am still paranoid about those things because that kind of life is very offensive to me. But [I’m] becoming less paranoid and trying to forget about it.”
So, Geddy Lee was disturbed by the fact that fans invaded his privacy and bothered him at his home. However, he later accepted that he had to live with this if he wanted to become a rock star. Still, having fans all around his house yelling his name and looking through his windows gave Lee nightmares.
Fans must respect the artists home life. To go to a performer’s house is extremely rude and offensive. I found Pete Townshend’s house in Richmond on the Thames (it was on the web), but I had no intention of knocking on his door or screaming at the house to get his attention. It was enough for me to truthfully say that I was at his house and not to creep him out by knocking on his door as a long lost friend.