We Know It’s Fake, But…

SmooveAll this kerfuffle about hated publisher Elsevier unleashing the trademark hounds on the amusing FakeElsevier Twitter account, thereby triggering the Streisand Effect, reminded me of an old story from my hometown of Bedford, UK.

In the late 1980’s, the local newspaper had a notice in it, advertising that a Fake Alexander O’Neal was going to be performing at a nightclub in the town. The club was probably Sweetings on Goldington Road, now called Saints and Sinners, or perhaps Riviera Lights, now called New York New York. Oh boy.

The ad clearly showed the word “FAKE”. Unfortunately, the real R’n’B star Alexander O’Neal had recently had a hit with a song called Fake. As a result, the club was swamped with crispy-haired Sharons and Tracys, all expecting to see the real thing. They were not pleased. I prefer not to imagine the screeching and clawing that ensued.

It didn’t occur to them that Mr O’Neal, an international pop star from Mississippi, at that time enjoying the peak of his career, might not actually be playing a one-off date in a small market town in Anglia.