As you reading this blog, the two partners of this blog and their friends are all together in the first time in over a year. The four of us became instant friends when we met each other in person at the convention in 2004. While it could be argued that this is something unique to our friendships, I actually would argue that this is a common occurance among fans.
Over the course of my years, I have met many people in the name of fandom. While most of those people are part of the Duran Duran fandom, some are not. Yet, the immediate connection has been felt, no matter the fandom. Why is that? Why do fans bond so quickly with other fans? Yes, it could be said that fans typically share commonalities like race, age, gender, etc. They may be the case but I do not believe that this is what makes the connection happen so strongly and so easily. It isn’t that we establish our friendship on these basic, obvious elements of who we are but on something deeper, much more personal.
When someone becomes part of a fandom, it is because the object of that fandom (in our case, Duran Duran) grabbed a hold of the person, emotionally. That band/team/author/movie/actor made us feel passionately. In many ways, we fall in love when we become fans as we feel such extreme joy, excitement, happiness as we become more and more interested (obsessed!). This love often translates into spending a lot of time on the fandom, thinking a lot about it, and even making a committment (in our case, that has included YEARS of being fans as well as working on projects devoted to it). Thus, when one fan meets another fan, there is instantly understanding. We both know how the other person feels on some level since we both love the same thing. Often, our choice of loving this over that says something about us as people as well.
Why did we become fans of Duran? Obviously, I can list and describe many, many reasons why we think Duran is wonderful, talented, etc. The truth is that, for some reason, they made us feel good. Maybe they were an escape from frustrating daily lives, for some. For others, they represent nothing but happiness and parties. It doesn’t matter, specifically, what drove us to love them over other bands or other things. What matters is that we did and that decision (conscious or not) was and is personal. It is a part of who we are in a way that is much different than what we do for a living or where we grew up. It is pure emotion. After all, people don’t become fans with their heads but with their hearts. Thus, when we meet other fans, it is often like meeting people whose hearts know and understand each other already. That may (does) sound sappy but I believe it to be true. This heart-to-heart connection starts with the fandom, but often and easily moves into other avenues because of this instant understanding.