Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back…

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

man writing fan mail on a book cover

The review below is featured as day 2 of Blogtober where Bloggers from all over the world post a blog each day for the entire month of October. My posts will cover all the usual Tea and Cake for the Soul subject matter such as Travel, Tips, Recipes, Craft Projects, Reviews, Interviews, and Health as well as a few surprising ones too.

My thoughts: Well, I have to say this book is genius and a must for any music lover or indeed anyone with a sense of humour.

Derek often complained to his son Dave, that band names and lyrics of songs didn’t make any sense and began writing to said bands to get their take on it. After unsuccessfully going through official channels they started going through the back door, or rather the backstage door. We all know someone who knows someone, don’t we! So after many years, bands started to reply and this is a collection of the letters to and from.

Dr Hook shares thoughts on what effects modern technology may have had on being in love with a beautiful woman, Tears for Fears give explanations of a crush on a certain weather girl and Starship explain how cities are indeed built on Rock N Roll. Mott the Hopple tell us how personal experiences from life on the road can form the basis of many song lyrics and that listeners can interpret as something completely different. All these questions are responded to in the same humour as which the original letters were sent.

As you read you will find yourself singing the titles and partial lyrics quoted in the letters. Even if you don’t know all the songs and haven’t the foggiest of what Derek or Dave are on about, you will love the artists’ responses.

You may be forgiven for thinking that the authors of these letters are slightly unhinged, and it is clear that the bands may have often thought that too, which is maybe why some went unanswered, but the bands included in this book have taken it in good faith and responded with the same mentality.  These are my sort of people with a clear passion for music.

The book is 400 pages long that ends with the B52s Love Shack. You couldn’t have chosen a better song to have stuck in your head.

It’s easy to pick up and put down,  I’m sure it will be the perfect toilet book for men and an ideal Christmas gift for any lover of music from the 1960s-1990s.

Available from 20th September 2018 from Goodreads, Unbound, and Amazon.
You can follow Derek on Twitter, Facebook or Amazon 

Thanks to Derek and Dave for sending me an advance pdf of this book for review consideration.

So are there any lyrics that you’ve come across the meaning of that came as a surprise?

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You might like to check out more of my Recommended Reading. If you’re a music fan read some of my music features and interviews including:

Interview with Musician, Producer, & Studio Owner Alan Wilson
Upcycling for Cancer Charities by Musician Ginger Meadham
How to Make Art and Craft Projects from Your Music Memorabilia

stormy sunset sky pink and orange with text Thanks for Reading



23 thoughts on “Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott

  1. I was going to suggest my husband read this blog but have decided against it as I’m putting this book on his Christmas list! It’s perfect for him as he’s a real lyric geek, and the eras are perfect for him. Also, as Squeeze’ biggest fan I’m curious which lyrics they were asked about!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book sounds fabulous – I think both myself and my brother would love this. The lyric that always intrigues me is The Jam, That’s Entertainemnt – Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude!

    Love the line but haven’t a clue why?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Hazel

    Where to begin?? Well firstly, it’s been a delight corresponding with you in the weeks and weeks leading to this amazing appraisal and you have been encouraging and supportive throughout. Your reaction upon realising that the replies are REAL was a daymaker.

    Back door over porch any day

    And for your delectation, your foggies are at an end….we now present, courtesy of an uberfan..


    Just massive kudos not just for spending your valuable time and assets, but also for such a sublime critique that delves right to the essence and heart of our insane little world…

    Best and Highest, Dave and Dad Philpott

    Liked by 1 person

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