Gilbert Takes A Pop At Showbiz
Source: Friday Live
Date: 22 March 1991
O'SULLIVAN'S NEW MUSICAL HAS A FEW HOME TRUTHS ABOUT WHAT HE CALLS A 'DISHONOURABLE PROFESSION.'
"I'm giving people an insight into the reality of the pop music business - to explode the myth that overnight you become asuccess and make millions of pounds."
Gilbert O'Sullivan takes a hard frank look at the pop music business and concludes that it's still up to it's old tricks - preying on the naivety of young performers with stardust in their eyes.
"In my opinion, it's a dishonourable profession," says the singer-songwriter who has enjoyed fame with such hits as "Nothing Rhymed", "Alone Again (Naturally)", "Clair" and "Get Down"."
"Youngsters want to be successful, they don't want to make money - anyone who comes into pop music looking for money should get out - but the business knows that there is money to be made.
"I'm not bitter. A realist, yes. I love the business - If I didn't, I wouldn't be keen and determined to make records an go out on the road."
Going out on the road with a 26-day countrywide tour starting in Ipswich today and reaching Birmingham's Hippodrome by Sunday is precisely what the Jersed-based O'Sullivan is about to do.
There are valid reasons for his reflections on the good, the bad and the ugly side of pop, because he'll be seen in Every Song Has It's Play, a musical drama he devised himself about the trials and tribulations of a singer's rise to fame.
And the singer in question is himself.
Born in Waterford, Eire, 43 years ago, O'Sullivan had his career woes in a six-year legal battle with his former management company and manager, the late Gordon Mills, initially over the rights to his songs.
In March 1985, after judgement in his favour and a subsequent court of appeal hearing, it was reported that O'Sullivan had received almost £2 million in a royalty payments settlement, but all he said about the figure was that it was "substantial".
"Every Song Has It's Play" has a cast of actors and actresses with someone playing the young O'Sullivan until the real Gilbert takes over when stardom begins to beckon.
"I wanted to do something different," he says. "I didn't want to be back on the road with just a band, and I'm not into lights and lasers."
"I'm giving people and insight into the reality of the pop music business - to explode the myth that overnight you become a success and make millions of pounds."