Back in the '80s, I was known for being reclusive, often shying away from media attention. It's perhaps ironic that the Internet phenomenon of Rickrolling should bring my video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" to a new generation. But that's one of the great things about the Internet. Young people now have easy access to material that they ordinarily wouldn't have been exposed to.
Before I heard about moot the mysterious 21-year-old creator of the influential Web message board 4chan.org, who just happened to win TIME.com's online poll to determine the world's most influential people I used to think some young kid had stumbled across my video and thought it would be funny to send it to his mates, and it just kind of caught on. I suppose at first I was a little embarrassed by it. I always liken it to when people look through their photo albums or home videos from 20 years ago and think, Gosh, did I really wear that? The difference is, thankfully on the one hand and perhaps a bit scarily on the other, mine are out there for the public to see whenever they want. I find some Rickrolls really funny. Have you seen the one with President Barack Obama? Someone has cut up his speeches and put them together so that he sings "Never Gonna Give You Up." It's totally amazing. I find it bonkers, by the way!
I visited New York last fall to do a surprise live Rickroll as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I thought it would be a really good and funny thing to be a part of. I called up a few of my friends in the States, and they said, "You've got to do it!" So I did! Thanks, moot.
Astley was voted by Internet users Best Act Ever at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards
Fast Fact: Moot's 4chan.org gets 13 million page views a day and 5.6 million visitors a month