Back in 1993, the only way I heard about Duran Duran canceling shows on their tour was when I heard about it on the radio. Truth be told, I don’t think I had even known they were touring – I can’t honestly remember – but I can tell you that I was in my senior year of college, my parents were in the middle of losing their home, and I had just went inactive from my sorority so that I could graduate that June. I do remember hearing the announcement though, and while I was concerned for Simon, at the time there was no one that I could truly call or email. (email?? This was 1993. I didn’t even HAVE email!) Just as I’m sure many others did, I moved on. I heard later that the they started playing again, and much later, I went to another show. I missed out on the “is this the end?” rumors, or the anger coming from the fans because their show had been postponed or canceled. There was no way to convey concern, there was no one to worry with, and what might have been very stressful for the band truly passed me by in almost every way.
In 2011 though, another tour was postponed. I couldn’t escape the anger, the worry, the concern, the rumors…or the fact that I was directly impacted. Not only could I talk to Amanda since she was standing right next to me through most of it (quite literally, I might add!), I could email, I blogged, news was begotten through Facebook and transmitted through Twitter, and I could have even marked the exact day (but alas, I did not mark the day on my calendar!) that Simon announced that things were beginning to turn around for him. For me personally, the episode was fairly traumatic – and I have to assume this is not only because I was there in the UK when the shows were postponed. I knew with as much certainty as anyone else as to what was going on, and the band – bless them – seemed to be fairly forthcoming with whatever news they could provide. The social networking phenomena worked it’s magic, and within the blink of an eye the word was spread not only through the DD community, but throughout the world. The differences between 2011 and 1993 are evident, even if only examined through these two instances.
This is an issue that I’ve blogged about prior, but it’s also the chapter I’m currently working on for our book. I don’t mind telling everyone that I am having the worst time writing the chapter! It’s completely overwhelming to me, and I don’t really know why. I have the chapter about halfway written I suppose, but every time I open the file, I spend a good several minutes just staring at the paragraphs, and sometimes that’s as far as I get. I do have an outline I’m working from – normally I don’t outline and the writing comes easy, but every once in a while I’ll hit a chapter like this, where the topic just feels so big and there are so many points to hit that I just can’t begin. In this case, I did begin – it’s the continuing that’s a problem! I’m to the point where I’m thinking it’s time to perhaps move on to another chapter and then come back to this at a later point when my head is clear. The funny thing is that I started this chapter back in April (yes, it’s really taken that long), and then May happened – and now I can’t seem to write. It’s very frustrating, especially when I do have an idea of what I need to convey. The whole purpose of the chapter is to show just how much social networking has changed being a fan. It’s intensified the entire experience on so many levels, and I suspect that if the band, or at least certain members were asked – they might even agreed that it’s changed their view of the fans as well.
So, I’m throwing this subject out for conversation, my dear readers. How do you feel feel about Twitter, Facebook and the like? Do you feel like you’re better able to experience being a fan these days than back in the 80’s? How is it different? What do you enjoy about it? What don’t you enjoy as much?
I’m hoping to get some conversation going here – and then maybe I’ll have the creative juice flowing for some writing. If you aren’t comfortable posting your thoughts for the world (and please know that Amanda and I are NOT quoting fans directly anywhere in our book), please feel free to send us a gmail. Our inbox gets dusty in there from inactivity, and I always write back!
Until Monday – have a good weekend!! -R