Rockin' the roof of the Hugo Boss HQ (Ziggy Stardust is just out of shot). A duet with my brother at his Yorkshire wedding. Keepin' it real (si thi tha noz) in Yorkshire. The duality of fame I've been off the road with Spacehog now for about a month. I'm staring at a jobs list at the new cooperative preschool where I enrolled my 2-year-old here in Seattle. The American education system is a maze-like structure, one that I've tried to avoid dealing with for the 21 years that I've lived here. But now I'm having to learn fast! My 16-year-old, Laila, was educated in England where it's a whole different ball game of streaming, examinations, assessment and terminology. We just moved here from Brooklyn. While there I would work at the Park Slope Food Coop in daycare; rubbing shoulders with Adrian Grenier in food processing and Maggie Gyllenhaal at the checkout: Funny little microcosm of New York City diversity it was. But a good symbol for the extremes that an artist in the public eye must take on, in the eye of the metropolis. Personally, I'm not so enamored with all this celebrity BS. I've never understood why one would be so willing to put people in the public eye on a pedestal, just because they play a guitar or act in a movie. There are notable exceptions, of course: I think I was more than a little timid when Stephen Dorf introduced me to Madonna. And it was a trip telling Bono about a church we were recording in, only for him to respond dryly: "Take the pews out, Jonny, but leave God in." David Bowie was another legend that proved to be a bit too much to handle. He was at a show I played in New York on the roof of the Hugo Boss HQ in Chelsea, and he proved to be more talkative than I anticipated. Unfortunately my "moment" with Ziggy was ruined by the fact that both my ears were full of water from an afternoon swimming. I seem to remember sauntering off muttering something along the lines of; "Sorry Dave, mate, but I can't hear a thing you're sayin' and I've got to get up and play now." What a prat! And he was super nice to my daughter, too! I think playing the drums was a conscious decision for me to avoid a lot of the trappings of fame, which for me is frankly a bit of a turnoff. Where a drum kit is usually positioned on a stage serves as a great metaphor for what drummers actually do apart from hit things: They oversee, they observe and they listen. In any case there's nothing like a trip back to Yorkshire if there was ever a danger of getting too big for your boots. I was back there to attend my little brother Timâ€™s wedding this summer, and it served as the perfect reset. To my family, I'm the same person that shat in his sleeping bag on vacation in France at age 9. (Anxious to remove the evidence, I shook the contents out, and they rolled down a bank and onto the awning of the Germansâ€™ camp below). And to any farmer I might meet in the Yorkshire Dales, I'm "some wankerâ€™"with a mid-Atlantic accent. Still, Iâ€™m happy to be brought down a peg or two if it means I can go out there and "hit things" for a living. And, hey, if I'm really honest, who doesn't like meeting a celebrity? Permalink Print Talkback Share this: Talkbacks No Talkbacks for this article. Post your comment/review now Facebook comments Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff. Recent Articles & Blogs by Jonny Cragg Looking back at The Hollow Men Published July 26, 2016 Spacehog's Jonny Cragg heads back to 1987, when he was heading home from his first trip to the United States and, unbeknownst to him, heading on his way to playing with and recording an album with The Hollow Men. Brexit wounds Published June 28, 2016 As a Brit in the U.S. I have watched the whole Brexit referendum unfold with some interest. I watched on in disbelief as my spiritual homeland rejected the concept of being bound by the European Union. I shouldn't be too surprised, I suppose. Flowers for Agatha Published March 17, 2016 It is September 1979. I am in high school in Horsforth, a suburb of Leeds, England. My friend Pete had the kind of drum kit every young rocker dreams about - a black Premier Elite with a full battery of single headed concert toms (very Phil Collins). I was hooked. Crossing paths with the Thin White Duke Published Jan. 12, 2016 It's 1977, I am 10 years old and I buy my first single: "Sound and Vision" by David Bowie. It's an oddity of a track, all wandering instrumentation, sparse vocals and washy synth. But it was the beginning of my relationship with the Thin White Duke. The music festival experience - from the other side of the stage Published July 1, 2015 As the drummer of Spacehog, I've played in front of big crowds at Summerfest, at least three times (or so I recall). I have some fond memories, rolling into Milwaukee, taking the opportunity to skim new music in the open air of your beautiful lakefront. Spacehog drummer's top 5 concerts ... ever Published March 12, 2015 As a jobbing musician, talent buyer, venue manager, etc., seeing live music is a frequent occupational pastime. It's easy to get jaded, but every now and again someone or something blows your mind. A British look at the Packers-Seahawks Published Jan. 17, 2015 From the Seattle bureau of OnMilwaukee.com, Spacehog drummer Jonny Cragg takes a look at Sunday's Packers-Seahawks game. Even though soccer is more his thing, he kinda gets American football. And he's rooting for the Pack. Sometimes holidays are easier from a distance Published Jan. 6, 2015 As much as we love our families, our roots and some of our old ways, I think there's usually a reason (besides our jobs) that we opt to live thousands of miles away from them. So, if you didn't get a chance to see those closest to you this holiday, please enjoy them from a distance; sometimes it's easier that way! Milwaukee Talks: Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner Published Dec. 4, 2014 Twenty years after Spacehog's Jonny Cragg first met Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner, he found himself sharing beers, stories and music with him on the Summerland Tour. That's how he learned that Pirner has a strong Milwaukee connection. How (and why) to crowdsource a record Published Nov. 3, 2014 My band, Spacehog, was lucky: We made enough money selling our re-recorded hit "In The Meantime" to Guitar Hero and Rock Band to finance its production. But there was the small matter of promoting our new release - something we had taken for granted that would be performed by the rank and file of a large record company.