Martin Kemp is haunted by the fear of being famous but broke.
The Spandau Ballet bassist, 61, is worth around $4 million, but said he has been petrified he would lose everything as it would have left him outside “the security gates” but still well-known.
He has now channelled his paranoia into the main character in his first thriller novel, ‘The Game’.
Martin told The Times about partly basing the book’s fading 1980s pop star Johnny Klein on himself and filling him with his insecurity: “All the way through Spandau I used the name Johnny Klein to check into hotel rooms and book tables in restaurants.
“Me and Johnny share this great fear – that one day we would lose everything and be famous but broke.
“Money is the protection from the worst bits of fame – it puts you behind the security gates.
“But being famous with no money is hard and I’ve always feared it. I’ve seen it happen to friends.
“You’re still famous but have to go through the embarrassment of explaining why you're travelling on the bus.”
Martin’s fear of being broke partly stems from struggling to find work after being diagnosed with a brain tumour while working in Los Angeles as an actor in the mid-1990s.
He had pioneering surgery in the UK but his recovery was so long work dried up and he was forced to take the bus and eat baked beans to save cash.
Martin admitted: “Yeah, we nearly lost everything, so I know how it feels. More than in a memoir, fiction means I could explore those really dark feelings. The fear and shame of being back where you started.”
Martin’s thriller sees the character of Johnny sleep around and hoover up mounds of cocaine.
But Martin, who has been married to his singer wife Shirlie Holliman, 61, since 2988, insisted: “I’ve never cheated on Shirlie, everyone knows that. But there’s a truth there. There are times in my life when I could have gone down a different road.
“Oh, no one comes on to me, everyone knows Shirlie is perfect. And she’ll still think I’m a pin-up when I’m 90, and that’s what matters.
“And besides, all the men fancy my wife, don’t they?”
Martin also said ‘The Game’ is entirely his work and he didn’t turn to a ghostwriter for help.
Despite saying Johnny’s womanising and drug abuse is nothing like him, he admitted: “We all have a box of violence inside us. There’s a box of stuff in me I know is bad.
“But as a writer you get to take those toys out and play with them, then put them back in.”