Ever wondered what it’s like to stalk a celebrity? Well, Malcolm McLean, a former self-confessed pop groupie, is lifting the lid on what it was like back in the ’90s, in his new memoir, Freak Like Me.
Freak Like Me has you hooked from the opening chapter, which detail Malcolm and his friends exploits when they managed to sneak into the Brit Awards, much to the admiration, horror and amusement of the stars in attendance at the annual glitzy ceremony.
Malcolm grew up in Surrey and was introduced to the wonderful world of pop music by his older sister. Eternal were his first love, particularly Kelle Bryan, who he wrote fan mail to, and was lucky enough to receive a personal phone call from the singer, and so his obsession with all things pop began.
He spent hours as a teen at Top of the Pops ( the hit chart show that any music act just had to be on, if you weren’t booked to be on the show then you were nobody back in the ’90s). Because of this, he found a group of friends who just like he loved Pop music and the thrill of being recognised and building up relationships with some of the UK’s biggest bands at the time.
Malcolm became on first names terms with the Spice Girls, even holding Mel B’s oldest Phoenix, was just a baby at the time, while she and bandmate Emma Bunton checked themselves in at the airport for the flight. He became friends with Victoria Beckhams Mum and even snuck on to All Saint’s tour bus.
As time progressed Malcolm and his friends were seen to be loyal and trustworthy fans, who supported the likes of Eternal, Steps, Spice Girls, and BeWitched were given location information from the artist’s teams themselves, as the artists liked to see friendly faces they told them. The ’90s was the time of the dial-up internet, social media didn’t even exist, websites with just three pictures on took 20 minutes to load and email chains filled with the latest gossip were how people communicated, so being given such information by artists teams was an enviable position to be in.
Freak Like Me is a laugh out loud, and endearing coming of age novel about a young teen finding himself and coming out and how the celebrities of the ’90s helped him figure out and accept who he was and be confident in himself.
It is a nostalgic romp through 90’s pop music, featuring the biggest names from the era. Freak Like Me also showcases the beginnings of the celebrity culture we see today, where we have even more ways to have gain access to celebs, but lacks the personal connection that Malcolm and his friends forged in the ’90s. It also highlights the disposable nature of the charts, capturing the meteoric rise and catastrophic falls of some of the 90s and early 00s biggest acts.
An absolute must-read, for lovers of 90’s and early 00’s pop music, and those who have ever wondered what it would be like to meet their idols. It’s also an enlightening and gripping read for any fan who has wondered how certain groups of fans in fandoms get the access they do to celebs.
Freak Like Me is released on October 3rd via RedDoor, you can pre-order your copy here!
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