The novel Identity Theft is the story of a woman who is infatuated with an 80s pop star who goes by the stage name Blast. She believes her favorite celebrity is corresponding with her in e-mail and online chats when, in reality, she is writing to a college drop out who works in the star’s office.
Blast, whose real name is Ollie, is now in his 50s and past his period of greatest fame. Candi, the fan, is a 29 year-old office worker who discovered Blast through Youtube videos on an older friend’s Facebook timeline.
So why, you may wonder, did I write about a pop star from the 80s?
The 80s were a particular cultural moment for music. Thanks to MTV, which premiered in the 1980s, most young people for the first time were introduced to new music via television. With the exception of occasional appearances on Band Stand music stars of the 1950s and 1960s were more heard than seen. Rock stars images became increasingly important in the 1960s and 70s, but it was not until the 1980s that it became a central part of how bands marketed themselves. With MTV the visual image and the music became inseparable. For people who came of age in the 80s, MTV was the future (much as it is now retro, representing the past). Thus it was the perfect period for a pop star whose well-crafted media image is far removed from who he is when the stage makeup is off.