How did you like your 15 minutes of fame?

I've been sporadically dipping my toes in the icy waters of fame since the 1980s, well before the PSB documentary and even before I started this website. I've written several published books, appeared on television (four times that I can recall—perhaps more—not counting reruns), enjoyed a brief stint as a minor cult celebrity in the field of children's educational software, and even had a full-page photo of myself appearing opposite an interview with me in a magazine that I couldn't read since I'm totally illiterate in Japanese.

Of course, if you ask me, I'm not "famous" at all. At best, I may be a blister on the heel of fame. But, barring premature death, I ain't done yet. But, then again, I'm not at all sure I actually want to be "famous." Fame is a decidedly double-edged sword, and I'd prefer not to be cut by it. Even my meager flirtations with it have come with their disturbing downsides, like those creepy letters I got for a while from a guy who became infatuated shortly after seeing my photo in my book Rock on the Wild Side and who stopped (thank goodness!) only after I threatened to contact the police. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone who's really famous.

In the meantime, that Andy Warhol line about 15 minutes of fame has grown into a pretty dreadful cliché, don't you think? I mean, in the wake of so-called "reality" TV shows, a full hour's more like it. (Please note that I'm casting no aspersions on the Pet Shop Boys' "Shameless," which is a terrific song even if it does allude to that whole "15 minutes" business.)