Tag Archives: fan behavior

Concert Etiquette?

It has been a few weeks since I last saw Duran Duran play in Las Vegas. Yet, I’m still thinking about it. Yeah, it was that fabulous and I had such a good time. Seriously, I wish that I could have bottled that show (and so many others!) so that I could relive it over and over again when needed. (I could use a little of it now as I’m already overwhelmed by the school year.) Anyway, I think that part of my good feeling about that show is that everything went exactly as I would have wanted it. I had amazing seats, surrounded by my friend, Suzie, on one side and Rhonda, on the other. Everyone in front and behind us seemed to be on the same page. I was lucky that night, but other nights and other people’s experiences have left me wondering if fans need to think about concert etiquette. I know that there are not really rules except for what a venue has but should we have some agreements about what is cool and not as cool?

Before I start, I want to recognize that there is a big difference in unwritten rules for general admission shows and seated ones. I know that people in the audience for a GA show have to be more flexible and understanding. For instance, I go into a GA show knowing darn well that my personal space will be far less than a seated show. I cannot get upset each and every time someone touches me or knocks into me. I have been with people who get all uptight and accuse people of being jerks for innocently touching them. That isn’t cool either, in my opinion, especially when it results in us having to move and not having as good a spot, which has happened to me. That said, I also get totally turned off by people who don’t claim a spot but instead barge their way through the crowd to get up front right before the show starts. That isn’t very cool to those who had been there, waiting for hours. Similarly, while I get that I won’t have as much personal space, it doesn’t mean that I’m cool with being knocked into frequently. I think most people can tell the difference between an accidental bump and intentionally causing harm. What about those people who leave their spot for whatever reason? I’m not sure about that. On one hand, I get that people might need to use the bathroom or something like that. Does that mean that they get their spot back? I know that I try to not leave because it is pain in the butt for the rest of the crowd. What do you all think?

While GA can be complicated, does that mean that there are no controversial moves at a seated show? I don’t really think so. One issue that relates to what I mentioned above, there is the question of the person who leaves frequently for bathroom breaks or drinks or whatever. I get that people might need to leave but I wonder if there is a number of times that is simply too much. I know that if I am at a show, each time someone leaves and comes back, I get distracted. This is why I tend to like being in the middle of a section as I don’t get interrupted as much. Another issue is the phone issue, which we have talked about before on the blog. While I get wanting to take pictures and/or video, is there an amount that is too much? Or does it just matter if people block others’ views? I have had people in front of me taking lots of pictures and videos. In some cases, the people have been very careful not to block my view or people near me. Others not as much. While I definitely appreciate the heck out of video of shows I have been to appearing on YouTube, I also find it distracting when I’m at a concert even when I’m not being blocked. Clearly, this issue is one that does not seem to have a concrete answer as I can see all sides.

Then, I have to wonder what is the proper way to deal with someone who is negatively impacting your concert experience. Is it better to say something? If so, how? When? I know that when I have seen people try, the other person usually responds aggressively arguing that they, too, paid for the ticket and should be able to do whatever they want to enjoy it. While I get that philosophy, I would hate doing something that would make someone’s concert experience less than awesome. I always worry about people around me. I try to keep my dancing and clapping to my space. I try not to block others when I take photos/video. That said, I’m sure that I do things that bother others and do even know, which makes me feel bad. I know that years ago when I held up a sign that I blocked others. I am still sorry that I did that and did not mean to do anything that would potentially ruin someone’s experience.

Obviously, there are few, if any, clear answers about how to behave at a show. What do the rest of you think?

-A

Shelter of my Heart

There are weeks when I’m pretty sure you’ve heard entirely too much from me. This may be one of them.

Yesterday, I composed a post that wasn’t all that easy to write. Well, I take that back – it actually wasn’t difficult at all for me to write, but I was a little concerned about how some might take it. Writing the words was actually the easy part. It felt wonderful to just put it all out there and be free of the burden. The more uncomfortable portion was knowing that once the words were out there, I really didn’t have any control over how they were read or digested.

Girl, you’re looking beat and cold

Twenty-four hours later, and I realize that I need to clarify a couple of things. First of all, I’m not suicidal. Please know and understand that. I appreciate the concern, but I can 100% promise that I’m nowhere near that point. Yes, I know how to ask for help. I will just say that contemplating the possibility six months ago, and being truly suicidal are incredibly different things.

Second, writing this blog gives me joy. It is the one escape I had last year, and there were some weeks where it felt like the only bright spot in each day. So the suggestion that I should take a step back or take an extended break, however well-intended, is the wrong advice for me OR Amanda. I appreciate the thought, but in this case, it would do far more harm than good.

In my imagination this is how the message reads

I can understand the confusion though. I did write about the tug-of-war between the pressures of real life, fandom and even blogging. That is true. That tug-of-war does exist. When I’m blogging, working on the website, talking with friends about which B-sides should have really been album tracks, or even planning a trip to Vegas – I know there are other things I should be doing here at home. Like perhaps planning the school day for my youngest. When I’m focusing solely on parenting, being a good partner and that kind of thing, I know I’m ignoring my friends and other things I like, and I start wishing for an escape plan. It’s a juggle, and the key is balancing it all, right? That’s a normal, constant thing for everyone – and 99% of the time, I can do it no problem. Last year though, that was different.

Let me try to explain again. Picture walking up a fairly steep hill. It is a trek you’re used to, and you’re used to carrying a large bag with you. It is heavy and you’ve got to go slow, but you can do it. Truth be told, you like doing it because the scenery is beautiful along the way, but yeah – it’s hard.

Then one day, you’re asked to carry not just one bag, but three. Two bags aren’t awful because you’ve got two hands and you can balance, but three requires a little more finesse. Of course, the added bonus is that the bags are really heavy and filled to the brim. You start off fine, but then some stuff falls out of one of the bags, and as you’re bending over to grab that stuff more falls out of the others. You keep trying to pick stuff up but things keep toppling out of the bags. Eventually, your knee gives out and you fall down completely. That was sort of how I felt last year. I was at my lowest point just before summer, I think.

Reaching out

I felt like writing that post yesterday was important not just for me, but for anybody. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression. I’ve never been quite that “low” before. I do have anxiety from time to time, and I’m high-strung (that shouldn’t be a shock to anyone), but again – last year was different. I think when we envision someone who is struggling, we assume they aren’t functioning. We think that when someone is really depressed, they’re unable to get out of bed, or they’re a shut-in, hiding under blankets or staring blankly at the ceiling fan as it spins in slow circles.

So, I’d write. Sometimes, I’d just barely graze the pile of feelings I had steadily growing in the pit of my stomach, just to see if it stung. “Yep. Still burns a bit. That must mean I’m still alive, right?” I’d quickly go back to vague-posts, because it was far safer. I never really had anyone asking me questions, and to be honest – my husband, engineer-that-he-is, never seemed to notice anything any different. Some people would ask if I was alright, but I always played it off brilliantly (or so I thought). “Yeah, we’re totally fine. Just super busy! It’s really hard getting the house ready to sell. Just look at all of those bins. Crazy, huh?”  

You know you’re in deep when you start believing your own B.S. I’m pretty sure John Taylor said that somewhere in his autobiography. If he didn’t, he should have…and if he did, he’s right! You’d think I was trying to masterfully cover up an addiction. I wasn’t. I was just trying to make sure no one knew how far down in the pit of depression I really was. Feelings. Icky.

Calling Out

But anyway, back to the writing thing. I write. I don’t have any real answers here except that for whatever reason – it is far easier for me to get the words out while typing than while talking. I’m gloriously weird that way. I can’t tell you that I’m really hurting, or that I am considering suicide, or that I’m a numbskull because I once fell in love with a rock star…but I can write about it all day long.

A few people with kind intentions thought that the pressure of Daily Duranie is what dragged me down, so maybe taking a step back would ease the pain. Thankfully, I’m really not depressed anymore. I’m not completely back to normal, primarily because I’m still settling into a new house and town – so things are just weird (but I like it). I’m getting there, though. Even if I were still feeling low, I would want to keep blogging. However, if somebody wants to come clean the house, do my laundry, teach my youngest, run my errands, and deal with my husband…I’m totally open to that, and it seems like a pretty good deal to me!

Hear me now

I hope this clarifies a bit. I’m sorry this isn’t a feel-good story about how Duran Duran saved my life. In some ways though, I suppose they helped. The moments I spent writing this past year brought some much needed sunshine onto my face. While it wasn’t necessarily a song, or toothy-grins from a band I’ve loved since my teen years that brought me back over the edge – the act of writing certainly helped. I can thank Duran Duran for that.

Let us all hope this is the last post I write about depression.

-R


These Are Days of Hit and Run

I’m sorry today’s blog is a bit late. I knew I would only be able to stave off illness for so long and then it would come to get me…and it did. It was a very long night, so today’s post will be a bit short.

In the stream with everyone

Yesterday, there was a little drama going on in one of the fan groups. Someone had questioned whether or not it was time for a change in backing vocalists.

I will say that I’ve been around a long time now, and I don’t think I’ve seen a group jump on somebody quite so fast as they did yesterday. That might say everything that fan needs to know, actually. (Unfortunately, the person also chose to post their concern in three separate threads, worded slightly differently each time…and I don’t think that helped)

People have said things about other touring members as well. Dom, Simon W…even Chastity back when she was doing percussion. It is a topic of conversation. I don’t necessarily agree that anything needs changed, but it is still a reasonable topic. I don’t know what about this particular post set everyone off, but something definitely did. Surely there must be more to it than I was able to see.

On a wandering river

We fans are funny. Things are taken incredibly personally. Just look at a few of the statements below. I see some version of these nearly every day on one Facebook group or another, or even on Twitter.

You don’t like the Red Carpet Massacre album?!? That means you’re obviously not a good fan!

Wait a minute. You think Warren is a better guitar player than Andy? How can you call yourself a real fan – Andy was there first!

How can you not love Paper Gods? As a fan you have a responsibility to love and support everything they do…otherwise you’re just a fan of their older albums.

Going on together

I could go on and on. Maybe some who are reading even agree with some of those statements, too. You certainly wouldn’t be alone. There was a time when I would get my hackles up whenever one of those “hot button” topics would arise. Sometimes, I’ll still feel the hair on the back of my neck come up when I see things posted. I think though, I’ve gotten tired of arguing. Everyone is going to feel however they’re going to feel, and like what they want to like. The trick is finding a way to just shrug my shoulders and say “Oh well!” Otherwise, I’m spending a lot of valuable time being angry within the very thing (fandom) that I chose to participate in. Why bother?

Don’t get me wrong, I still have strong opinions about plenty of Duran Duran topics. Don’t we all? I just don’t know if I see the point in having heated debates with people I typically do not know, from areas of the world I’ve never been. I end up feeling less-than-happy while participating in something that is supposed to bring me joy.

-R


There’s no place like home in Duranland!

There are no hard and fast rules about what makes someone a fan (other than liking whatever is the object in question), and there really aren’t rules about what one should or shouldn’t do as a fan. Yes, there might be societal rules, or fairly arbitrary boundaries that are enforced by the larger group, but the  guidelines aren’t really written. We certainly can’t pull the book of fandom rules off of a shelf and recite from it. None of this is illustrated more clearly than when Duran Duran posts any sort of an update.

Ah….Durantime

The other day, the band posted a photo of them in the studio, indicating that they were back in the creative mode.  Reaction from fans, including myself, ran the gamut from giddiness to dubiety. Mentions of #durantime on both the original DDHQ post as well as personal Facebook accounts led to sharp exchanges between fans. Declarations of “How dare someone question the length of time before an album comes out?” along with equal measures of “Why can’t anyone take a joke?” led the charge. I found myself with the smallest of grins, because Duranland wouldn’t feel like home if people weren’t bickering, even over what seemed liked good news.

We’ve been doing this for forty years!

Then there are those who celebrate their fandom by giving the band advice. We’ve been fans for forty years, we know what works, right?  “Please go back to the AYNIN formula”, “Make another album like Red Carpet Massacre!”, “Work with Ronson – he gets us!” Everyone seems to know exactly what direction the band should be headed in, with all of the confidence and wisdom that comes with having written and recorded fourteen chart topping albums. Aren’t we all so damn smart?!? Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve done this. I will likely forget myself while in the company of other fans and occasionally slip. To read the advice online in a series of comments though? Yeah, we sound like assholes. We really do. I’d say we’ve gotta stop, but I’m almost sure someone will write in telling me that it’s their RIGHT to say whatever they want. And it is. So I won’t.

You got a right!

What you choose to do with your fandom, and how you choose to BE a fan, is your choice. I will never completely buy into the idea that a “good” fan is never critical, or never pokes fun.  I can’t really argue though, with people who only see the sunny side. We all do this “fan” thing so differently. The longer I participate, the more I realize that fandom is as much about learning how to accept differences as it is celebrating common adorations.

-R

Basking in the glory of top fan

Ever heard of that “Top Fan” badge that is available on Facebook? I noticed the tiny little moniker that somehow made its way onto the top of the posts from people I recognized. It only shows up when one is posting on a page like Duran Duran, and not everyone has one, apparently. From the little I know, it is something that the math geniuses at Facebook derived an algorithm to apply for those people who post a lot on a particular page.

From the onset, it seemed like the whole “top fan” thing was a bad idea. I can’t speak for other fan communities, but the competitive nature of our own certainly makes it seem like picking fans and elevating them to top fan status would generally be a nightmare. Oddly though, not many have talked about it – at least not publicly. I don’t know if it is because the badge is so tiny that it’s unnoticeable, or if it is because people like me explained that it wasn’t the band choosing to crown people as top fans, but merely Facebook.

Can you imagine the bloodshed if it were John, Roger, Simon and Nick picking out the top fans?  Even if it were found to be DDHQ behind the act, I am convinced all hell would break loose. I mean, my goodness – even when the band used to participate on social media, fans would clamor for attention and regularly try to shut one another down, and/or shame one another in the process. The whole thing seemed sketchy at best, and if the band were involved – it was only a matter of time before the entire fandom erupted, nuclear-bomb fashion.

I really don’t know how long it has been that top fan status has been a thing on Facebook. For the most part, I didn’t notice it unless someone responded directly to me that had one. I found myself wondering how many times one would need to post or react to something before the algorithm would play out in favor. I didn’t know the answer or what might trigger it.

A few weeks back, there was a notification for me saying that I’d been “awarded” a top fan badge for Richard Blade’s page. Out of all the things….but hey, I was curious, so I claimed my badge. Not much happened. No heralding trumpets. Not even any confetti or congratulatory balloons, and to be perfectly blunt,  I don’t even know if I still have one on his page. Hey, it was something!

Then last night, I went to check out Facebook before I put my phone down for the night. Lo and behold, I have somehow been awarded top fan for the Duran Duran page.  I didn’t even realize I’d reacted much to their postings lately – but I guess I did!

Immediately, I began making retirement plans. After all, this must be the success Oprah warmly and kindly taught her viewers we’d find. (I just KNEW I’d learn and be able to apply something to my life  from watching her talk show for all those years!!) “Do what you love, and you will find success.”

I am living the dream, Oprah!!

I looked at my bank account this morning. It still needs some work…. along with several more zeroes attached onto the end of another real number, but you know – it’s coming. I feel it. I’m a top fan now. I’m at the height of my achievements! This is it!!

I explained to my husband that I could sleep in this morning because I’m a top fan now.  He looked at me a little quizzically as he walked out of our bedroom at 5am this morning to commute up to Santa Barbara.  Shame. Apparently he hasn’t figured out to do what he loves just yet. Poor guy. I’m sure my success will rub off on him though, and he’ll learn from me. Isn’t that how that works?

I’m going to get back to planning that retirement, though, so I have to wrap this up. I just need to set this blog to post, work on school with the youngest, do the laundry, wash dishes, take somebody to piano lessons, clean the litter boxes, vacuum, dust, make dinner, and wash the dog. Then it is back to basking in my glory.  I am a top fan now, baby!

I made it, Mom!!

-R

You can fight it, or invite it

OK, so I obviously didn’t make the trip to Dubai for yesterday’s show. I know a few people who did, and I saw plenty of others who commented to Duran Duran on social media. The comments were by far positive. For the few songs I did see (thanks to the magic and power of the internet!) – I would wholeheartedly agree.

One surprise in particular was The Chauffeur. First of all, I applaud that it was put in the set.  The Chauffeur is one of those songs that gets circulated in and out of their set every so often. I’ve seen it live several times, but it isn’t in every set list.  Seeing it on occasion is  special. That said, last night’s rendition seemed different. I’m not sure if it was truly that way or because of how it was recorded. The end was the most noticeably different, but I could hear the guitar loud and clear, and it even sounded a bit different from I remember.  Granted, I like the hard edge of a guitar, and last night – the sound really delivered! I don’t know what it was, but I loved the juxtaposition of the guitar against the synthesizers at the end of the song. In the past I can’t say I picked up on it quite as much.  Anyway, I loved it. He didn’t overpower the song or anything, it was just that I could hear the guitar slice right through the music, and I felt it was just what the song needed. Others might disagree, to be expected.

In addition to some great footage from the show, I’ve seen quite a few snippets of video from some sort of an after party. The only band member I’ve seen has been Simon in short snippets. This brings me to reason #567,983 why I am thankful I’m not famous.

First of all, I don’t know why the person taking the videos feels the need to do so. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my Kodak moment with Simon too, and of course I posted it. I just don’t know why you’d take video and pictures of Simon doing whatever it is he’s doing during his own downtime and then broadcast them to all of humanity. To me, it’s a fine line that I don’t want to cross, and yet I know other people have no problem. I just don’t get it.

He’s with a group of women in a couple of the short videos, he’s playing bartender in a couple of others, and while all of them seem  innocuous, I don’t think that’s the point. I mean, it isn’t that I’m not amused. Part of my hobby here is teasing the hell out of the guy and that’s not going to stop. (He gives it right back at times, and I’d expect no less) That said, it will be a very cold day in hell before I start taking video of him and post it online. (outside of when he’s onstage, of course…in which case, game on!)

I know what many will say. “He should be used to it” , “I’m sure he doesn’t mind”, “it’s funny”.  “You’re the one with the problem.” Yep.  All of those things, I’m sure. I’ve had numerous conversations with various people about this over the years, and if we’re going to treat him like you would anybody else, why on earth are we still jumping over cocktail tables to get to him? It’s one thing to ask them for a picture. Lots of fans do that, and by all means – it’s part of the deal of being a fan, right? No one, least of all me, is saying that’s wrong. Don’t send me hate mail – take all the photos you want and post them.

But here’s another scenario:

Let’s say you’re at a show, and some friends invite you to a bar afterward, mentioning that the band “might” show. For most of us, we’d probably go along willingly. We’d have that nervous feeling of excitement welling in our bellies, only to tell ourselves that they probably won’t show. We get to the bar, grab a seat and settle in. Before long, a friend nudges you under the table and you look up to see Simon walk in. You grin, because well – of course you do! I haven’t met a fan that wouldn’t, even if we’re trying to cover it with a mock sense of coolness.

It takes a while, but Simon has this way of working the room when he wants. He eventually makes his way to your table. Inside, you’re screaming because again – of course you are!  He strikes up a good conversation. The next thing you know, he’s sitting down with your group and you’re having fun. Are you really going to film the entire thing? Are you really going to take out your phone, pretend you’re taking video of something else, and get him instead?

I guess if you’re nodding your head yes, I’m responding that I wouldn’t. I definitely haven’t. That moment, or evening, or whatever, is yours. It was mine. I don’t need the video to remember it all.  I also wouldn’t want to ruin the moment by reminding him that I’m one of those teenagers that had his posters on my wall. Not that I think he’d forget, but wouldn’t it nice to have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around the elephant in the room?? Yep, inside, I’d be freaking out for a bit, and sure – afterward I might have a good case of the squeals (who wouldn’t?), but that’s for later!

Perhaps I just don’t get it. That’s very possible. Maybe it’s just ME, and I don’t realize that since he’s been a rock star for seemingly forever, he doesn’t mind being treated like a circus animal even when he’s trying to wind down for the evening. I kinda think he does mind – but that’s just my opinion, take it for what it may be worth.

I wouldn’t want to be treated that way, so I’m not going to do that to him, or anyone else. Based on my limited experience, I suspect Simon prefers having a drink, making a toast to a good night or whatever, and not having people stick their camera phones up to video every last second to post online later. He might act like he doesn’t care, but I’ll bet it’s annoying. Maybe as you’re reading you believe I’m wrong about that, and hey – that’s fine. You all can do what you want to do. But, if you’ve ever wondered why there’s no video of us with Simon, or anyone in the band for that matter – what I’ve written is exactly why.

-R

Banning Superfans and other misnomers

Amanda and I have been studying fandom for about ten years now. I think we each try to stay current with publications and research, but every now and then something will come out that takes us by surprise. This weekend, an article was published in the Daily Mail (maybe not the hardest hitting newspaper out there) that made me stop and think about superfans. I shared it across social media, hoping to generate some careful thought and response.

The article is about a fan named Heather Vaughn, who considers herself to be a Bay City Rollers Superfan.  By her own estimate,  she has attended over 4000 BCR concerts and has been a fan for over 40 years. Unfortunately, since April, she has been asked to leave gigs and has been banned. She claims not to know why, although the article discusses a specific situation where Mr. McKeown was checking into a hotel, saw Heather out front and took a photo of her on his phone.  You can read the article here (in fact I really think everyone should).

Just in case you’ve never heard of them, the Bay City Rollers were a 1970’s Scottish pop group that happened to have quite a huge female following. They split in 1978, but the lead singer (after taking time to recover from drugs, etc) continues to tour under the name “Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers”, and – this may surprise some of you given some of the “Who the heck are they?” responses I saw yesterday – they still have quite a strong following. These are people who go to every show, who have been fans from nearly the beginning. There have been many books and articles written about their fans, and there are definitely parallels to be found between that fan community and our own.

While the article interested me, I was even more curious about some of the responses I read, specifically from Duran Duran fans who had posted the article for their friends to read.  The responses went one of two ways:

  1. People felt there must be more to the story than this woman simply being seen at the same hotel that Les McKeown was checking into.
  2. People were appalled that the band was not thrilled that they had such a loyal superfan.

After reading those types of responses from several people who had commented, I decided I would post the article to the community-at-large over social media and monitor the reactions. I wasn’t really sure what people might say, but I was fairly convinced Duran fans would have SOME sort of opinion!  I was not wrong.

Overall, the same two original types of responses I read seemed to be the norm throughout the community. Although stated in a myriad of ways, directionally they were the same. Either fans were convinced there was more to the story than what was being shared, or they were firmly supportive of superfans.  There was also some discussion defining obsessive behavior and “crazy fans”, but ultimately – it comes down to whether or not you support the superfan, or you believe something happened where the band is “just” in their decision to ban said fan.

This seems to always boil down to the same discussion of what is acceptable fan behavior. And, as I could have predicted—everyone has a different opinion about that. It’s not an easy conversation.

I chatted with some people who felt that if you go to “too many shows”, it starts to look odd to the band. If you wave to band members, maybe that’s too “familiar”.  If they begin to recognize you,  that’s too much. If you talk to the band online as though you would anyone else, and expect them to answer, that’s bizarre.

I started looking hard at my own past “fan” behavior after I got offline. Unlike Heather Vaughn, I’ve never been called up on stage, or had photographs taken of myself doing housework for one of the band members. (Don’t even think about it. I love the band…but not that much!!) I have, however, traveled great distances to see them. I’ve been in hotel bars and restaurants at the same time as they’ve been. I’ve stayed at the same hotel before. I’ve gone to show after show, and yeah, I’m pretty sure that at least Simon recognizes me at this point, and likely Nick too.  What makes me any different from Mrs. Vaughn, other than the amount I’ve done?

The thing is, we don’t know why Heather Vaughn was banned. Chances are, there’s more to the story than what was reported, on both sides. What really concerns me is the idea that some Duran Duran fans think that no matter what she’s done, it’s OK because it was done in the name of being a loyal fan.  What exactly does “loyal” mean, anyway?  How do any of us know that she didn’t try to break into a room, or make threats, or continually show up to private events completely unannounced—purely because she thought that she was so much of a great fan that she belonged?  We don’t, but think about it the possibility. She’d gone to over 4000 shows. The band clearly knew who she was. She felt familiar, both in being a fan, as well as thinking they knew her.  I would imagine it is very easy to believe you’re more than just another fan in that case. It can be intoxicating to be validated by a celebrity, and after decades of just that, you start to believe you belong. That’s the risk.

It is those types of things, where you’re showing up to things a fan shouldn’t be, and getting into places you were not invited, that get a fan banned. Fans do not get banned because they happen to be in a hotel lobby, or because they’ve been to one too many shows in a stretch. Fans aren’t told to go away because they asked for a photo, and I’ve seen some really forceful asking! Restraining orders are for people who don’t know enough to back the heck off.  Blocking and banning are used for those who don’t realize what “private time” or “personal space” means, and have to be continually told, most of the time at the peril of the band member or others that work for the band.  Fans are banned because they ignore that a band member is actually a human being with a real life, or because they threaten a band member and/or their family.  Bands and artists don’t want to have to block fans from events. That’s not their goal, so when they do it, it is as a last resort, when nothing else has worked.  Assuming that this person is the victim is likely the wrong way to go here, and I really hope people who see it that way think twice. Or even three times.

Superfans aren’t the problem. Loyalty isn’t the issue at all.

If nothing else, the article gave me food for thought. I hope it did the same for you.

-R

 

Maybe you think you’re above it

Why on earth would a fan think it was a good idea to circumvent security, climb up on stage and rush the band?

Last night there was a Morrissey show in San Jose, California.  I had a couple friends at the show. They were excited because previous attempts to see Morrissey (for them) had been thwarted by the dates being cancelled at the last minute.  There was joking (well, on my part anyway) throughout the day about whether he’d actually do the show…because you just never know when it’s Morrissey. (not even going to look your way right now, Duran Duran…)  But by dinner time last night, it looked like yes, it was going to happen.  My friends were excited, and while I’m really not a Morrissey fan, I was excited for them to finally get their show.

Fast forward to this morning, when I see that one of them posted that their show was cut 2 or 3 songs short because of a few absolute MORONS who thought they had the right, above everyone else present, to get up on stage, rush Morrissey and get their hugs in.  The band stopped playing, and the show was over.  Thankfully, I hear that this was during the encore and at the very least – the audience was able to see most of the scheduled show.

I’ve been to two Duran Duran shows where someone thought they deserved an up-close and personal shot at a hug from Simon.  Somehow they managed to get up on stage, and the first time – Dave pretty much bear hugged the girl and took her offstage. The second, Simon sidestepped what he saw coming out of the corner of his eye and once again – trusty Dave grabbed the girl and took her off.

As I’ve sat and thought about people rushing the stage that way before…two main thoughts go through my head. The first being: why would someone really think that getting up on stage with the band would EVER go well?  At the very least it has the potential to ruin the show, appearance, etc. for everyone else, not to mention that it puts the band at risk.  Why wouldn’t that be enough to deter someone?? That’s when I start considering the other sorts of “bad fan behavior” I’ve seen over the years.  “Rules” such as no getting up on stage to grab the band, and not trying to talk your way backstage or into the studio, or any multitude of other “unwritten” rules…are simply that. Unwritten.  People (like me) just assume those kinds of things aren’t cool to do, and so they (I) don’t attempt them. I don’t follow the band home. I don’t try to sneak my way into places I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be.  However, there are plenty of other people out there that just assume those “rules” (because dammit – they’re unwritten anyway, and why should we assume they’re really rules?!?) are for other people. They’re not going to let silly ideas such as the thought of being the cause of a show ending early because they got up on the stage ruin their fun.  So what if it seems weird to thousands of other people that they followed a band member home – all they’re asking for is five minutes, right? The trouble is, and this is key: that behavior is typically rewarded.  Maybe that fan who climbed up on stage gets to go backstage. That fan who followed someone home got to speak with the band member….and maybe even got a photo. The point being, while you and I are standing in line at a meet and greet…or just following whatever rules were put in place for whatever function we’re talking about, someone else didn’t bother with those rules.  They found them outside the venue and had five minutes of uninterrupted time and plenty of photos. (which probably weren’t allowed to be taken IN the venue, store, etc.)  They waited outside of the band’s hotel room even though other fans told them it wasn’t cool. They talked their way onto a tour bus, they made friendly with bouncers to get backstage…or any multitude of other things to get what they want. It always happens, and more often than not I’m either annoyed that fans get away with that sort of thing or I’m kicking myself for not doing them myself. Things that you and I might think are the “wrong way” to do things aren’t an issue for someone else, and typically the band (and by “The” Band, I really mean ANY band, but especially this one) rewards that behavior.

Why? Well, I have to assume that for the band – THIS band – any fan is a good fan. They’ve been around a long time now. There’s not so many of us still standing on our feet. Yet, they need and crave that attention we readily give. Yes, I’m saying the band is slightly narcissistic, and I’m sure they’d agree. There certainly is something to be said for being on stage and having people scream for you night after night. Thirty years later and it’s still happening? Oh, you betcha…and so when they go without, they crave that adoring attention, and their egos love the extra boost. So if fans are going to break the “rules” to get to them, the band can’t help but smile. They love it even if it pisses off those of us who have been politely waiting our turn. Our loss, right? You snooze, you lose.

And that’s why it keeps happening, even though typically – it ruins it for everyone else.  But who cares about that really?  I mean, it’s all about ourselves, right?

-R

.