This fun was followed up by Rhonda’s response to my blog post last night. She agreed that the UK tour definitely renewed her sense of being a fan. Her main point, however, had to do with friendship, both the friendship we have and the friendships we have made. She’s right, of course. First of all, we were extremely lucky to have met each other in the fall of 2004 at the Duran Duran Fans Convention. Obviously, we hit it off right away, but that isn’t so extraordinary as many people get along upon first meeting. Since then, however, our friendship has gotten stronger through good times and bad in both Duranland and in our real lives. We toured together in the spring of 2005 when many of our touring traditions began, including staying up extremely late, not eating much, giggling at nothing and everything at the same time and more, which continued through last tour of ours. Our touring also survived through the not-so-fun, divisive RCM days of 2008 as well as through the setback with Simon in the spring. In our personal lives, we have seen some great stuff and some tough stuff as well. We have both suffered through grief at the loss of loved ones and have witnessed changes as well with the birth of her youngest and my involvement in political campaigns. Yet, despite everything, of maybe because, of everything our friendship continues and has gotten stronger over the years.
The reality is this: Rhonda and I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for the band. We don’t live near each other and don’t have much in common (on paper, anyway). The band is also responsible for many of our other friendships as well since we have met many people on tour, on message boards or on social networking sites. These friendships both work to reinforce our fandom and to intensify it as we can share every moment in Duranland with other people. Yes, we probably would be fans even without being friends with other fans, but it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be as fun, frankly! Thus, a big part of fandom for us is making connections with other people! Heck, that is part of the reason that we blog in the first place! Yes, we like to write about what is on our minds but we also want to connect with other people. I suspect that most fans want this as well. Yes, I realize that not all fans post on message boards, have a facebook or twitter account but, I suspect that they try for connections somewhere, even if it is just by reading this blog.
Thus, my point is that last night really reminded me about what I think fandom is all about and that is connecting with other people. Yes, the connections begin with the common interest, Duran in our case. The connections increase one’s interest in the idol(s) and, in many cases, can and does go beyond the common interest to include real life stuff. It certainly has for Rhonda and myself. Have you experienced connecting with other fans? Has it developed into strong friendships like it has for us? Has it changed your fandom in any way?