Being Followed

It is pretty rare when I drive attention to a blog written by an ex-wife of a band member.  That’s not because I don’t want to support anyone, but rather because I would imagine that just maybe that person or people would prefer to leave the Duran Duran days well behind, and with good reason I am sure.

All that aside on a day like today, because Julie Anne Rhodes posted a blog today that I think is well-worth reading.  It is focused directly on people like you and I. The fans.  It’s a reminder that these people we love so much – the band – really do have lives that go well beyond the stage.  Before I go much further, the link for the blog is here.  Please read it before you read the rest of the Daily Duranie blog today.

Naturally, Julie Anne’s point is really not about fans, but rather it’s about the time taken away from her daughter when she was young. I truly admire her for focusing on that specific aspect because as I know myself, above all else – I am a Mom. It’s funny because as I’ve mentioned – my husband is pretty well married to his Blackberry. It’s something I’ve grown used to out of pure spite, but I have to say – a dear, dear price has been paid by my children. My two oldest have had their father cut outings and even vacations short in order to get back home in time for a phone call, a meeting or a last minute business trip. My youngest is quite honestly surprised when her dad arrives home in time for dinner at night, and I’m not exaggerating. Granted, Walt isn’t a rock star by any means, but he also doesn’t save lives and there isn’t anything that annoys me more than having our family time interrupted (or my sleep!) by the persistent ring of his cell phone.  I guess I’m saying that I completely get where she’s coming from, and perhaps that’s why the boundaries are extremely clear to me.

There is something very, very wrong when we believe that we’re owed or entitled to more than a performance on stage. Yes, I know I’ve written many times about how the band should be on Twitter and interact with fans. That is really as much a part of their job as it is for Walt to answer his cell phone on our anniversary, Christmas or even while we’re on vacation.  I don’t like it, but it comes with the territory. (Although for the band, I’m hoping they know when it’s time to shut the damn thing off. My husband? Not so much!)  Sure, it’s normal and natural to hope for a smile or a wink when they’re out in public after a gig and catch our eye. It’s quite another to expect them to take time out of their day when they are at home, or even worse – to resort to saying nasty things about them, their families, their children, wives, girlfriends, etc.  These people really are human, and the band is simply their career.  Let me just say it here: if my husband’s co-workers or customers start showing up at our house looking for him to sign things, that’s the day when the electric fence goes up outside!  It’s funny, because that’s exactly what we’re asking of these guys when we show up unannounced whenever or where ever they’re going to be. Happenstance is one thing, but continually planning to be where ever they are is another. I just wanted to applaud Julie Anne’s blog and hopefully drive more people to read what she has so eloquently written.

It is so rare when someone writes about what it’s like “on the other side”.  I really hate that the wives, girlfriends, children, etc have to be so wary of fans, yet as I just said – they have to be. I can’t blame them. It’s just a shame that so few put the rest of us in such a horrible light.  In just the past two days I have heard of no less than three people on Twitter whom interacted with Daily Duranie that ended up being someone completely different from whom they indicated they were online. Sure, that’s a common thing, but it’s still disgusting, and let it be known – I won’t support that sort of nonsense. I’ve read about a couple fans who have stalked specific members of the band, and to be honest it all sounds rather sinister at this point.  I’ve had to block two people from not only my own Facebook page, but also Daily Duranie. I’m not even a celebrity for crying out loud, and I’m starting to believe that April is the month for Crazy Fans. I’ve watched a swarm of fans continue to tweet Simon without pause until he acknowledged them, and I’ve just gotta ask “Why?”

As much as I study fandom – both the social and psychological aspects, I just don’t understand and will probably never completely understand why people do not feel validated unless a band member acknowledges them. I try to remember that fans come from all different walks of life, all different circumstances and perhaps the ones that need the most hand holding really do NEED it, but to pester as though you’re still twelve years old and deep in the throws of puberty? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s really that I just don’t want to understand that kind of thought process.

And now, I must mentally prepare myself to sit through Glee tonight.  I hear they’re going to perform a couple Duran Duran songs.  I can’t even begin to imagine….

-R

5 thoughts on “Being Followed”

  1. Again, so well said, Rhonda.
    Down time and privacy have got to be at a premium when you're a rock star. And then, to be one of the band and believe you're about to enjoy time w/ the fam and HELLO-a rabid fan appears…it has to get so tiring for the guys.
    We'd all love an autograph, short photo session, a smile…but I for one cannot even begin to fathom the lives they lead. I cannot imagine being pulled from my little one by all the elements the guys have pulling them, outside of their own desire to perform and record.
    But here's MY ardent promise: If I see any of the guys, I will be frozen in shock and unable to speak. I will eventually snap out of it and try to snap a pic. Maybe. They're awesome, the music is awesome, the shows are awesome. And maybe someday I'll get a chance to tell them that over a tea or coffee. But ONLY if they have the time.

  2. Thanks for posting the link to JulieAnne's blog today.I agree with you both, and with her re:need for boundaries and to see her perspective.
    It's a shame that there is a subtype of “fans” who believe social media or stalking behavior in the real world will fulfill their needs. That type of obsession is unhealthy and no one “wins” — I mean, what quality of life could this possibly be? No privacy, space, respect for boundaries? Yes, the band and its members are collectively doing their jobs. But because of the duration of their career and the fact that most of the subtype of “fan” may never have “grown up” — Hello? It's not 1983-4 anymore. You are not prepubescent nor an adolescent anymore. GROW UP ALREADY. That would be my message — but alas, as one who is trained and licensed to practice in a clinical realm related to this topic, this behavior is diagnostically significant. That is, above and beyond being a fan and fandom. It can be delusional thinking and warrants intervention.

    Aside from that, I would like to believe that this “subtype” of fan is not that common. Nonetheless,the aberrant behaviors of the few can/could give Duranies a bad rep. One could argue that they are used to it since they have been around so long. That's a poor excuse. Golden Rule baby.

    As I have stated before, although DD stuff may be on my bucket list, I know that it is unlikely that these items get checked off. I am more likely to go to North Shore and learn to longboard, be a pony counter at Assateague, and learn to play the bass. My getting up in the morning is NOT driven by the wish/fantasy to have personal DD encounter(s). It's just whimsy, and it would be nice, but not realistic.

    Can you imagine how many tweets and FB messages they must get? I struggle with the ones I get lol.
    Thanks again JulieAnne, A&R.
    Debbie

  3. I'm especially fond of saying “There is a fine line and only a few letters that change a fan into a fanatic.” There is an awful, awful lot of delusional thinking out there. I suppose that to some extent, it's easy to fool oneself into believing that because of a tiny bit of attention – that somehow extends to “He is totally into me!”. Women are especially good at deluding themselves in that regard, but this goes beyond that. I'm telling you, the crazy are out in force this month thus far. -R

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