Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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I have always wanted to ask you about what it is like to become famous without seeking it. How did you deal with that when you were younger, and what would you recommend to talented artists finding themselves in an awkwardly “famous” spot?—Michael King, New Jersey

You are the company you keep. I have noticed, during busy or high-water periods in my career, that I am approached by people who may be interested in associating with me; to what end, sometimes I can’t discern. Usually, we share nothing of interest or value. It’s good to remember who your true friends are and to try not to let notoriety or fleeting success interfere with those friendships. There is a big difference between friends and sycophants.

Humans enjoy validation. We want approval and recognition of a job well done. I believe most people who acquire fame are true to their hearts; but when one listens to the wrong people saying the right things for the wrong reason, it is usually the beginning of the end. If you stay true to your work, your friends, and your heart, fame can be an enjoyable experience. And when it’s over, you’re still left with work, friends, and heart. If you trade them away for something less permanent, you might never get them back. —Bob Mould

Bob Mould DJs at Blowoff, April 14 at the 9:30 Club.