I was doing some research about the year of my birth, 1951, and I was amazed at the number of well-known people who share this year with me. So I decided I would try and do something to both acknowledge and celebrate the wealth of talent that this particular year produced.
My idea was to create a club and invite well-known people who were born during this year into membership.The next step is to write a book, intended to be a record of my progress…or lack of it ! I started things off in March 2010 by making a short list of well-known people with the firm intention of writing to everyone on that list,asking them to join the club and be inducted into The 1951 Club Hall of Fame. You can see some of them right here.
You get an email or letter from this guy called Kris White with an invitation to join The 1951 Club. They say that fame has its drawbacks. Well, surely one of these has to be people like me!
Choices available to those I have approached:
- Reach for the waste-paper basket or hit the delete button;
- Severely reprimand your agent/manager/PA for forwarding it to you in the first place (what were they thinking of).
- Go with the SPAM blocker option which leads you into the risky world of false negatives and false positives.
- Issue a polite thanks but no thanks.
- Reply with a YES (and I really like this one)…What a great idea.You are a genius. I wholeheartedly accept.
Well, some of these have certainly happened,except that no one has actually mentioned the word genius as yet.
The whole thing then started to snowball as I came across the names of more and more people, including several former prime ministers, a whole rocket load of astronauts and no less than three members of the legendary rock band Judas Priest. I was also finding the names of non-humans who were born or introduced in the same year.
It was all getting just a tad complicated when someone very helpfully suggested that I should start a website. (I think it may well have been Jules ‘Greeting the 500’ Segal.) This, he said, would prove a valuable point of reference and help keep people informed. So the fact that you are reading this now would seem to indicate a measure of success in this respect….either that or you have accidentally stumbled across this website whilst in a drunken stupor and you just know you’ll regret it in the morning. Moving on ………
The title was going to be The 1951 Club (Reaching 60) which I thought was a pretty neat idea because I was originally going to contact sixty well-known people coming up to their 60th birthday in 2011. Then I thought of changing the title to The 1951 Club (Hitting 60) which I thought gave the whole thing a bit of street-cred. My wife then pointed out,very sarcastically it seemed at the time, that I would be lucky to even manage to contact 60 well-known people…let alone get to hit them!
Finally (yes it does exist) I feel I should mention the people who have inspired me. I have them to thank.I have them to blame.
I shall refer to them as my Five Gurus. I quite like to think of them as the literary equivalent of The Traveling Wilburys. I shall,of course,leave them to sort out who’s who,and they can then let me know in the fullness of time!
In the world of bar-bet books and seemingly hopeless challenges played out with all their agonising twists and turns on the goggle box….these guys reign supreme. They are ( in no particular order) : Mr Jules Segal, Mr Justin Lee Collins, Mr Tony Hawks, Mr Danny Wallace, Mr Dave Gorman.