I once told the acclaimed author David Lodge that I was admirer of his work, only to be told to get lost as he was busy food shopping. It was only meant as a passing compliment rather than a demand of his private time, but nevertheless, from then on I decided to never meet my heroes. However, as the grim reaper continues to binge on our cultural icons this year, that particular rule has gone out the window.
David Bailey, now 78, took to the main stage to be interviewed on the opening day of The Photography Show at the NEC. The affection and admiration was palpable in the sold out arena and, as ever the raconteur, he regaled us with tales of glamour and gossip from his celebrity filled world. "This is the hand that shook the hand, that shook the hand, that shook the hand of Buffalo Bill" he was told by his Uncle in his youth. This was his metaphor to describe how close in age he was to the unenlightened times of the Victorians. And as I witnessed a mass of the audience approach the stage to meet him at the end, I understood another aspect of what his uncle had said: there is almost a semi religious aspect willing us to reach out to our icons, to touch their history and abilities, in the hope it somehow rubs off on us.
If we meet and shake hands dear reader of mine, not only will you have shook the hand, that shook the hand, that shook the hand, that shook the hand of Buffalo Bill, but more importantly you'll have shook the hand that shook the hand that took those iconic images.
Till next time...