• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 06

It’s Lonely at the Top

Billy split the band to strike out on his own, go solo, take back control and all that other BS. He'd smelled success and liked it; he wanted to be (in his words) “more famouser” and that wasn't going to happen if he had to drag three deadbeats along with him. The deadbeats were mortified, they'd been together since school, raising the band from nothing to a credible force over the years – all that hard work... Billy was above that now.

At the end of the group's farewell gig, Billy launched himself off the stage and into the arms of the fans who carried him adoringly out of the sweaty venue and off to pastures new where the pop star relaunched himself as a serious artist; the thoughtful poet standing out in the crowd. Billy wore impossible clothes, read difficult books, spouted meaningless slogans and danced like a minger. Someone in the music industry uttered the word 'pretentious'.

By contrast, The Deadbeats kept the name and kept the attitude, playing upbeat songs to down-trodden audiences at low-key venues. They kept it real, they kept it simple, they kept it honest. Exciting. Billy, now 'William', said they were “boring”.

Forsaking music altogether, William released his first fragrance 'Alone', instead. One of the critic's reviews referred to the old (disputed) Icelandic proverb: “Every man likes the smell of his own farts”. The fans agreed. They put William on a pedestal, a high one where he stood well above the crowd, his head firmly in the clouds and where, thankfully, no one could hear him any more. William should've known: it's lonely at the top.