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The Hacker

international news _ 8th June, 2007

70s Prog Stars' Terrible Price Of Success

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

70's progressive/ electronic pioneer Mike Oldfield chatted about the changes he experienced when his debut album Tubular Bells went multiple platinum, this week, and complained the the success he experienced was 'terrible'.

"You lose your privacy and can't trust anybody because you don't believe they like you, although they like to be associated with you," he told online portal the Wharf. "After a few years I realized that many of the people I believed to be friends were actually employees, they worked for me. I was paying people to be my friends."

His experiences struck a chord with fellow 70s music innovator Jean Michel Jarre, who, chatting to Skrufff several years ago admitted his happiest moments rarely coincided with the career peaks he enjoyed such as his own multi-million selling album Oxygene.

"Success is a distorting process for friendship and for love. It's distorting for friendship because your friends change and for love and personal relationships it's hard to have a private life that matches your professional life when you have no free weekends, no holidays, days or nights that you can plan," said Jean Michel. "The only solution probably, is to have a relationship with another artist and to hope that your free time can match."

"Being an artist is not the easiest way for having a happy life. It's tough and it's difficult, rewarding sometimes and it can be a privilege but it's not easy for being happy," he added.

The French experimentalist was this week cited by trance don Armin Van Buuren as one of his all time favourite artists, though tellingly the Dutch DJ was unusually harsh about his new music.

"Unfortunately I have to say that I hate his new album, I don't know what the Hell happened," Van Buuren told One Week To Live, "He's obviously trying to keep up with the current sound and doing something that remotely reminds me of techno. I'm sad about the stuff he's doing right now because it's horrible," he said.