Lacking Meets and Greets, Shows and More…

Somedays, when writing this blog, I can step back and be completely objective, an observer of fandom.  Other days, I feel such a part of the fandom that I struggle with my words.  Most days, I fall somewhere in between as I am aware that we are both observers of our fandom and part of it.  Today, I am struggling with the balance. 

As many of you are aware, my partner-in-crime is on her way to the Valley Center show.  I couldn’t be happier for her!  Where am I?  I’m laying on my couch hoping to feel better as it appears that I caught some sort of stomach bug.  Ick.  Obviously, I would love to switch places with her–not that she would with me, though!  Anyway, while I’m happy for her and for everyone else who is going to this show or has been to one of the previous shows, I can’t help but to want to be there myself.  I think this is the natural aspect of being in a fandom, right?  We all want to do every show.  Yet, of course, for a variety of reasons, we can’t or most of us can’t.  While we know that, logically, we still can be envious.  Now, I will admit that I have been rather lucky in terms of the number of shows I have seen in comparison to many people.  However, I know of people who have been to many more.  Does that bother me?  No, on most days, it doesn’t.  I understand that I can’t do it all.  I have responsibilities in terms of work and I have financial restrictions that limit my fandom activities.  That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bother me, sometimes.  It does.  It is also clear that this bothers other fans, too.  Do you know how many comments we get from other fans from different parts of the world who are bothered by the lack of touring near them?  We get a lot of them!  What about those fans who can’t ever get to a show even if the band is touring in their country?  They, too, get upset about it. 

Another element of this that comes up during touring seasons is meet and greets.  Rhonda discussed VIP packages the other day and many, many people talked about the lack of meet and greets on this US leg of the tour.  A lot of people think that the band should do meet and greets with the money VIP tickets cost.  I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this.  Now, before I go further, let me be perfectly clear.  We have never had an official meet and greet with the band.  Both of us have “met” them at cd signings but nothing like an official meet and greet.  Yes, we have been fans a long time.  Yes, we have VIPed some.  Do I think that the band should do meet and greets with all of the VIPs?  I’m not sure.  From everything I have heard, they don’t last long and most fans get moved along pretty quickly.  If this is how it is done for a few winners, how long would they last if ALL VIPs got one?  I suspect that they would be VERY short.  I wouldn’t want that.  I have already had that with the cd signing.  Then, there is always a part of me that has a hard time with the money connection.  VIP tickets cost a lot of money.  Should it be just the fans who can afford VIP who get to meet the band?  Then, what about those people who always have VIP?  Should they get to meet the band 10 times a tour?  5 times a tour?  Is that fair?  I don’t know.  Maybe it is since they would be paying for that privilege. 

Then, what about those people who win contests to meet the band?  On one hand, money is no longer the determining factor, which is good, in my opinion.  They requires good luck, however.  I have seen many friends of mine winning things like radio contests to meet the band.  That’s cool.  The only show I’m going to is in Chicago, a city more than 2 hours away from me.  If there is a radio contest, I wouldn’t know because I don’t get Chicago radio.  Thus, in this situation, geography and not money blocks my chances.  I have also seen or heard about people who aren’t really fans playing these type of contests and winning.  That is upsetting, too, as it means that Duranies don’t get a chance to win.  Don’t get me wrong here–I’m thrilled for anyone who wins a meet and greet and excited for people who get to shows I can’t do.  Yet, I’m acknowledging that even those of us who get it, logically, can still feel a little envious, can be upset and that this is normal.  It is normal to wish you were the one at the show.  It is normal to wish you were the one at the meet and greet. 

It seems to me that there is a wide spectrum of what Duran fans can and have done in terms of shows and meeting the band.  There are some fans who have seen one show and there are other fans who have seen well into double digits of shows.  Some fans have never met or seen the guys at all and others have done it a bunch of times.  I’m willing to bet that those fans who have been to a few or no shows feel a little hurt, a little upset watching and hearing about fans who do more.  The same is true for meet and greets.  Do the fans who have been to a ton of shows and/or have met the band a bunch of times feel this way, too?  I think they might.  Again, I think the thing about fandom is that people want everything they can get or else they wouldn’t be fans! 

This post is really just to acknowledge that I believe these feelings exist.  I’m not judging those feelings.  I’m not saying that people should try to change their feelings.  I think, too often, people are encouraged, openly or not, to keeping those feelings to themselves.  I’m sure that someone is going to write and tell me that these feelings are selfish and that they never feel this way.  To those people, I’m happy for you, but it doesn’t change my mind that I think the feelings do exist for a lot of people in the fandom.  Now, tomorrow, I will be better, both physically (I hope) and emotionally and can get back to counting down the days until I’m the lucky one at the Chicago show.

-A

7 thoughts on “Lacking Meets and Greets, Shows and More…”

  1. I will admit to having serious envy problems about the ability of certain people to go VIP all the time, or to travel and go to multiple shows per tour. But I try not to let it get to me. Because I know that I'm able to do more than a lot of other people, so what do I have to complain about? Nothing. If I get to go to one show every time they tour I should be completely happy with that and enjoy it. I live in a big city that they will always come to, so I'm a very lucky girl.

    But sometimes it's harder to remember that than others.

  2. What bothers me most is certain member's attitude about M&Gs. It bothers me that John has openly bemoaned having to do M&Gs. I get that not every person in the world is wildly interesting, good-looking or socially suave but come on. Hell some people are downright rude but I've watched John shut rude fans down without blinking. People think Simon has a sharp tongue? Let me assure you that his best friend can top him easily at times. I take no issue with putting rude people in their place but shmoozing in general is part of entertaining for better or worse. How do you think it makes a fan feel to go to a meet and greet, get a lukewarm reaction and then read John whining about how he doesn't like doing the MGs? Let me answer that for you: Like shit. I would rather they not do them at all than charge people stupid amounts of money to end up feeling like they weren't good enough to hold their favorite member's attention.

    Please don't confuse what I'm saying. These guys are human. They're going to have bad days like anyone else and I'm a firm defender of them having off-the-clock time when fans shouldn't bother them. If they set up paid meet and greets though, unless someone is seriously overstepping or being obnoxious, put on your game face or don't bother. Let fans save some money and, more importantly, their illusions.
    ~Grey

  3. @semibold-You got my point exactly!

    @Grey-You make a good point. It is better not to have the meet and greets if they aren't going to be good experiences for fans. Yes, the guys are human and maybe there is a reason that they aren't always friendly before meet and greets. I think it has to be hard to them before the show. They must be rushed AND they are worried about the show.

    -A

  4. I must admit, the fantasy of getting a meet and greet for me is just that – a fantasy. I have never bought a VIP package (aside from the first time perhaps) thinking I had a snowballs chance in…a very warm place…of getting to meet the band. It absolutely FRIES me that some people have bought multiple VIP's and have been chosen over and over again to go back and meet them though, but there's nothing that I can do about that. Some folks are lucky, and others are like me!

    As for John's attitude about M&G's…I'm not really sure if it's just John who dislikes them. I know he doesn't like having to rush in, say hi, sign something, take a photo and rush off though, and I can't blame him. His head isn't in that precise moment, and I think to insist otherwise is a little ridiculous. I don't think he should be rude, but on the same token, I don't know what was said to him to cause him to be rude. I know if it were me, I'd flatten some of these fans. I don't understand why people think they need to ask him to father their children, if he thinks they are sexy, or why he married Gela or any other of a plethora of questions that even the socially inept should recognize are far too personal, even as a joke. Assuming that John or anyone else in the band would rather stand there talking to a fan verses doing something else before a show is probably a poor assumption to make…whether we like it or not. They don't owe us hugs, kisses, compliments, or even photos, and when they do grant something like that – a simple thank you and some dignity is not hard to remember. I can't stand seeing fans act as though they are owed that kind of familiarity. I've been a fan for over 30 years and I've never once gotten that close to them to even ask for a photo, much less anything else.

    I'm not arguing with anything you're saying, Grey – I do agree with much of it, but I also know how fans can be around them, and for those reasons I'm really not surprised that they aren't continuing the meet and greets with the fan community. I think they're better off just letting people have their illusions of who they are, as you say. – R

  5. I never liked the idea of PAYING to gain access to meet the band. I find it insulting. Aside from the times you sought out professional advice, have you ever paid to simply meet or talk with ANYONE (family, friends, co-workers, grandchildren, children, politicians, etc.)? I'd rather take a number than fork over my money to meet famous people.

    I don't like meet & greets because you don't really get to spend time with the band members; you are basically herded through the process (if you manage to spend 10 minutes or more, consider yourself extremely lucky). I like intimate, one-on-one conversations where I can focus on the person/topic at hand and not feel rushed. I guess if you are really desperate to meet the guys, you'll take whatever opportunity you can get so I don't fault those who go to meet and greets. Just saying that it's not something I'd be interested in (meeting the guys = great!; meeting them in a typical M&G context = sucks!!).

    Although I've been a fan of Duran Duran from the early 80s, I've been an extremely late bloomer when it comes to attending their concerts (first DD concert I went to was in 2003; going to my 6th and 7th DD show this month). I know what it's like to be pining to meet the guys for so long so getting to see them perform live was quite thrilling. If I had never met them past that, I'd still be a contented fan. Fortunately in my experience, I've had the astounding fortune of meeting them a number of times so I'm very, very appreciative of that proverbial icing on the cake (and the circumstances that led to those moments). And no, I never paid for the privilege. Sometimes, the best encounters are the ones you least expected.

  6. Madame Duran – you're one of the lucky ones. I don't anticipate ever having the chance to meet them in a social setting, and while I envy those that have had good encounters, I have to admit that I'm really at the point that I don't know if I need that special moment in order to feel validated. What I *do* feel as though I miss out on though is just the feeling of being included. I have friends who have met them through other circumstances, or decided to go seek them out after a show (apparently they knew where the band was going) and hung out – regardless of whether they actually interacted with the band or not. For whatever reason, there's some sort of social ladder as to whom can or cannot be included in on that information, and in my case – I'm not on the ladder at all, and trust me – that point has been driven home. Thanks to all, including those whom I've trusted in the past, that have gone to the trouble to make that VERY clear. I think that for me, that's the most disappointing. I had no idea I was that much of a geek, but that's OK. I think the qualities that apparently make one a really “cool” member of this fan community aren't necessarily qualities that I need to have in order to fill like I have a full life. It's not even the band, it's just feeling included – and I am POSITIVE I'm not the only one who feels this way. -R

  7. I think someone needs to come up with a specialized Make-A-Wish Foundation for disadvantaged Duranies. You don't have to be dying; the main qualification is to have never seen the band perform live or met them in person (admittedly, there would be a lot of candidates). I would seriously contribute to that fund.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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