Fame: Mick Box

Did you get into this to become famous?

I’d rather use the world ‘popular’. You need an ego to get on to a stage, but I could always switch it off. We had a ten year period of living the high life but I never let it take over. I’ve never felt the need for bodyguards. Those were hectic days, which I suppose is why some people turn to drugs to keep them going.

A pre-Heep band was called The Stalkers. Have you ever experienced a real-life obsessive fan?

Yeah, a few of them as it happens. People turned up outside my apartment and used to follow me around.

How did you stop that?

I went outside and asked why it was happening but it didn’t put them off. For instance, I’d be on a boat in a Norwegian fjord and there she’d be. It was disconcerting but nothing really bad happened.

_You almost became a footballer. _

I played for my school, who put me forward for the London Schoolboys. There was a sniff of England Schoolboys but it didn’t happen because by then I’d chosen the path that I would follow.

What do you think of the pressure that professional sportsmen find themselves under?

They get too much money too quickly and there’s no incentive structure – they still get their hundred grand a week whether they’re Man Of The Match or score an own goal.

If the people behind Big Brother wanted you for a contestant, what would you say?

God almighty, I’d tell them to have sex and travel. It’s not what I’m in this business for. Yes, they’d give you a hundred grand for baring your soul, but who wants to put themselves through that? I’m not an idiot.

What advice would you give Miley Cyrus?

Put your tongue back in your mouth. She’s taking what Madonna did to another level but that invalidates any artistic credibility. Sex sells, but it’s all over the place these days.

The idea of twerking on TV doesn’t appeal, then?

[Roars with laughter] Not at all, mate.

Do you even attempt to keep up with celebrity culture?

No. What’s the point? Pop Idol winners are all gone in five minutes, aren’t they?

Have you ever said: “Don’t you know who I am?”

Never. And I never would. If someone doesn’t know me, that’s fair enough. They can just join the rest of the other billions.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.