LIKE a favourite album or a rowdy festival... all good things have to come to an end.
And with this column comes the close of this journo’s journey with The Star, a swansong few words after 20 years of writing about music – and latterly comedy and theatre – for your publication.
It’s hard to sum up all that in a few lines, but please indulge my recalling a few highlights from a fun, sometimes surreal, quite often enlightening and occasionally incredible two decades.
Such as the thrill of watching Pulp rise to greatness – twice – and chatting to/photographing a young band called Arctic Monkeys in Plug car park...the day before the rest of the world spoke their name. Only to do it again three years later backstage as they prepared to headline the EXIT festival in Serbia – a country where they didn’t even have a record deal – in front of 80,000 people.
Many people assume the life of an entertainment writer spells glamour. Rarely is that true, but when it is you cannot help but smile.
Being flown out to interview Tina Turner at her soundcheck in Zurich’s national stadium; causing a room full of foreign writers to titter in Fort Lauderdale after asking Celine Dion how many babies she thinks might have been conceived to her ballads.
Then there was interviewing Victoria Beckham in London – having made her wait to use the loo while yours truly fixed the flush mechanism. There’s a lesson in that; always, always ensure you flush because you never know who is on the other side of the door.
No such problem with the plumbing at the Beverly Hills mansion of Michael Flatley when he flew The Star there to chat and take pictures ahead of his Lord Of The Dance comeback.
Even more bizarre had to be quizzing a man in a dinosaur suit in New York as Walking With Dinosaurs prepared to invade Sheffield.
Almost as surreal was exchanging tennis elbow gripes with Bruce Dickinson in Barcelona, or the time the Sheffield-educated Iron Maiden singer flew us hacks to Paris for a show. Or discussing tantric sex tips with Sting.
Then there was the fulfilling of some personal ambitions: interviews with childhood hero Angus Young of AC/DC and David Bowie – who eventually had to break off to take his wife shopping.
Late Clash legend Joe Strummer made me laugh when he warded off a potential ‘nuisance call’ to his home phone by pretending to be a Turkish takeaway when he initially answered. Likewise when we phoned Robert Smith’s house we caught The Cure singer hoovering, while sporting a cold.
During an interview with Midge Ure I let slip my mum was a fan. Two days later she received a signed CD sent by the Live Aid/Ultravox star. David Essex did the same, unprompted. True gentlemen.
An interview with Whitesnake and Deep Purple icon David Coverdale took an interesting turn when we learned we were born not only in the same North Yorkshire town but the same clinic – in Saltburn – initially believing we’d been victims of an elaborate wind-up.
Likewise Def Leppard’s scheme to play a show in a cave in Tangier. They took us journos with them on the plane to witness them play on three continents in 24 hours.
Just a handful of anecdotes and memories that made for a job less ordinary and a glimpse into a world few of us get to taste.
It’s been a privilege and an honour and as yours truly pursues a few creative hopes and dreams of his own, let me applaud those who let me share in theirs and thank those of you who read my words for so many years – and allowed me so much fun in the process.
This is me truly Dunn and dusted.