Better/Bigger Fans?

Rhonda and I have begun posting questions over on the Daily Duranie Facebook page (come friend us if you haven’t yet!) as a means of getting to know people, starting discussion and adding information for our book.  This morning I posed a question about whether or not people are willing to travel for Duran shows after thinking and blogging about why tours matter to so many of us.  Many people answered that question.  Some people said that they have and included where they have gone and when.  Others said that they are willing but unable to go for financial, family, or work reasons.  One person got me thinking about something that I do from time to time, especially during touring season.  (Like that…it has it’s own season like the baseball season in my world!  😀 ).  Does traveling to shows make you a bigger/better fan?  What about those people who VIP?  Is that better than not?  Then, of course, I wonder who is judging.  Are we the fans judging each other?  Is the band?  Is the band’s employees like the people who work at DDM judging?  Is there a chance that someone could be TOO big of a fan?  Are there other means of showing how big of a fan you are?  Are all of those ways costly?  So many questions…

Does traveling make you a bigger or better fan?  Of course, this automatically asks the question about who is judging and by what standards.  Is this assumption correct?  Here is what I know, objectively speaking. Traveling and going to more shows might give fans a greater knowledge of the band and the fandom as a whole.  It provides the opportunity to meet and get to know more and more people.  You get the chance to see more and more shows performed live.  Then, is the knowledge and the friends that give more status, assuming that this is true?  I don’t know.  Is the assumption correct?  I definitely think that traveling to shows could give people more status both within the fan community and outside of the fan community.  I know that there are fans who get a lot of attention from other fans because they have traveled and seen a bunch of shows.  Obviously, the travelers are believed to be people who know more and who could have greater connections to the band.  Is this always the case?  I’m sure that it is not.  Yet, I’m sure that it does happen as well.  Outside of the fan community, I, personally, have seen people’s reactions to me when it comes to this question.  People are, at first, shocked when I tell them how many shows I have been to and that I have traveled to shows.  The next statement out of their mouths usually is, “You must be a HUGE fan!”  I’m never quite sure how to respond to that, which I guess leads me back to the question at hand.  Is this assumption about traveling done?  Yes, I believe that it is by both other fans and by non-fans.  Is it right?  No way.  Of course, there might be other ways that fans can be seen as “big” or “better” fans as well.

I believe that fans get placed in this bigger/better category all the time for a variety of reasons.  Maybe they do because of traveling.  Perhaps, it is because they always VIP.  Some fans might seem bigger/better because they have a large collection of something or because they can name every b-side.  Obviously, most of those means are ones that cost money.  Is that a problem?  Do you need a lot of money in order to be considered a big fan?  Of course, I also wonder if you could be TOO big of a fan.  Is traveling some cool but going to all shows too much?  Is going VIP once or twice per tour good but doing it every time appear greedy?  Could you have too many t-shirts or spend too much time online talking to other fans?  Could you have met them too many times?  Is there really a delicate balance between being a big fan and being too much of one?  Again, the same questions apply.  Who is judging?  What are the standards and is it a good thing?

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this.  Maybe everyone else in Duranland believes that all fans are considered equal.  I don’t know. If people agree that it does exist, should be changed or is there some value to this?  If not, is there someway to improve this, if it exists?  How?  So many questions…so little answers.

-A

13 thoughts on “Better/Bigger Fans?”

  1. I don't think going to more shows makes someone a “better” fan, “bigger” maybe, but not better. It just means that person has more disposable money to spend on the band.
    But I don't think there really is such a thing as a “better” fan. To be a fan is to have a passion for their music. 'Casual' fans like a few songs -usually the singles, 'Hardcore' fans practically know their entire catalogue by heart, go to every concert, follow the band's every move, etc.; and there are many fans inbetween. But all of them are still FANS – and should be considered equal. They all have the same passion, whether they can afford to satisfy it or not.

    There is a such thing as someone being TOO big of a fan, however. Stalking any of the band members, doing anything (else) illegal in the name of DD, or even spending so much money on DD (concerts or otherwise) that would cause one to go into bankruptcy – that's going a bit too far.

  2. In my experience we've all been pretty much treated equally. Those who can't go to concerts or meet the band have been understandably mildly jealous of those who have. But the fortunate ones don't seem to look down on the former as being “lesser fans” as a result either.
    But then again maybe I've just been lucky in being around a fairly friendly group of Duranies.

  3. I think I've been super lucky to have had the experiences and opportunities I've had in my fandom. I don't think that any of them make me a better fan, or even a bigger fan since those things are utterly subjective. I've been treated in all sorts of ways when people find out about what I've done – sometimes better than deserved, sometimes far worse – and I'm not sure why that happens. There's a lot more to me as a person than the things I've experienced, inside or outside the Duran world, and I'd rather people take me as a package rather than judging me on what is actually a small percentage of the things I've done in life.

    That said, I've always tried to treat people the same way I'd like to be treated. I can't begrudge anyone doing what I used to do (and probably would still do if not for Don), and I try to encourage those that have never done a tour to go for it. I love the idea that there are those out there carrying on the tradition of touring and not being a douchebag that began before me. =)

    And as for who's judging, it's absolutely the fans. I don't know why Duran fans are elitist jerks, but we are…

  4. I don't think the band pays any attention to any of the nonsense, but I do think they notice when they see the same people over and over again – whether that's good or bad probably just depends on the person and the situation.

    As far as fans go, we are horribly judgmental on one another – and that goes for myself as much as anyone else. I notice when it seems to be the same people over and over that are standing in the meet and greet line; or when it's the same people who seem to win other contests, and yeah – I'm sure at least part of it is envy or even jealousy. I'm human like anyone else and I have my own failings.

    However, I think I'm getting to the point where I just don't care so much anymore. I'm on my own journey here, and it makes little difference to me whether so-and-so decided to spend thousands of dollars to go VIP to every show they attend, or whether another so-and-so was “invited” to sit in the VIP section and go to meet and greets. I just want to focus on the fun I'm having, and for me – jealousy and envy aren't fun ways to spend a night or a touring weekend. Yeah, I guess I do have to notice things because of the book or the blog – but on the same token I'm also the one that should decide how to take them, and for me – it's going to be with a grain of salt. Life is too short to take it any other way. -Rhonda

  5. I haven't seen people being judgmental of each other over how many concerts they go to or whatever. But I sure has hell have seen Duranies being VERY judgmental over what songs or albums a fellow fan prefers. For some reason it becomes a big controversy if one fan loves an album that another fan hates. As if hating an album means one should hate all the people who like it and vice versa. The whole RCM debacle is a very very good example of that. It's absolutely ridiculous, and I find that to be a much more common issue than the “I'm a better fan because I spend more money on DD” stuff.

  6. I think the setting is what is important with this discussion, duraffinity. Yes, I agree with you about the album preferences on the message boards and other online locations. Yet, on tour, I suspect the other type of negativity rears its ugly head more, at least from my observation.

    -A

  7. Hi, I'm new here! This is all stuff I've wondered about, too.

    I've been to my share of DD concerts, and I've been lucky enough to travel to a few outside my home city. But I still feel twinges of jealousy when friends are able to afford VIP, or can take a couple weeks off work and go to several shows. But I never feel like they look down on me because I can't afford to do it. I probably look down on myself more than anyone. Why aren't I making more money?!

    I try not to judge anyone else for their choices, but I'd be lying if I didn't feel some jealousy and resentment about it. I just try to keep it to myself, because it's not THEIR problem, it's mine.

    (And this is why I also stay away from most message boards. I don't need all the drama and competitive stuff.)

  8. Hi Kathy! Glad that you found us! I think everyone wishes that they could do more. I know that I'm NEVER satisfied, which is, perhaps, the nature of fandom. Anyway, I'm glad that you have cool friends who treat you with respect. 🙂

    -A

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