I’ve had a couple of conversations recently that have coaxed my brain into pondering about why in the hell I’m still a fan. There are all of the obvious things: the music, the band, the nostalgia, etc. etc. etc. Those are a given and not what I’m really considering here. I’m thinking about all of the other things. The things that we don’t really talk about much on this blog, but are very much a part of the whole Duran Duran ambience. I’m talking about going to a show, being super excited to see them after X number of years, only to have the setlist shortened by X amount of songs (as opposed to other shows on the same tour). I’m considering those very much fan treasured meet and greets where one band member or another doesn’t bother to show (granted, there may be good reasons for someone not to be in attendance, but if that isn’t acknowledged by the band or their management…what is a fan to think?), or perhaps those meet and greets where it’s very apparent that one or more wishes that they could be somewhere, anywhere else. I suppose that in most individual instances, they are easy to explain away, dismiss, or otherwise cast off as not being a big deal and certainly not something to dwell on. I would stick my own neck out here and say that I myself have said that people need to “get over it” at times. It’s true. Quit whining and get on with it…that’s what I try to even tell myself when I’m annoyed. What happens when those kinds of things seem to happen continually or at least often enough to draw comment? I have friends who have all but walked away from this band as a result of seeing them truly bite the hand that feeds, and at the time, I’ve shaken my head and told myself that those people simply have bad attitudes and don’t really get it. Of course they were bound to be burned. Well, is that really the case? I doubt it. I think it is probably more of a case where they’ve finally just seen and done enough and don’t have an urge to put up with the B.S. that comes with being a fan. Let’s just take a second and admit that – there IS B.S. that we all put up with, whether it comes from the band, fellow fans or just life in general. It’s OK to say it and still be a fan (in my mind anyway), so let me hear it!!
Is there really a point where you’ve seen and done enough and just realize its not worth the trouble, and if once you get to the point and cross it – can you come back? Hell, should you? Is that where the infamous “end of the line” resides??
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard about a bad fan experience someone had with the band or even their management over the years, I think I’d probably be a pretty wealthy woman right now. At the very least I’d be able to finance my UK tour. (I’m feeling a new career coming on here….) To be fair, the good experiences FAR exceed the bad ones that I’ve heard and perhaps that’s the point, which I’ll get at later. The trouble is, where at one time I would almost start to scoff at the “bad” experiences – trying to find a reason behind why something would happen, almost to the point of making excuses for the band (who doesn’t even know me or pay me to do so…), it’s getting to the border now where I’m finding that there are just too many good people out there having the same complaints for me not to notice. I wish I had the right answers, but I do not.
The fact is, we’re talking about humans here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed “Listen, the band CAN have bad days. We can’t judge them based on a single incident. They do have the right to private lives…etc. etc.” ALL of those things are true. Goodness knows I’m in a bad mood much of the time (Yes I am indeed a scorpio. Approach carefully, with coffee in hand.), so I get it. The trouble is, the impression they leave behind – and I use the word “they” collectively here because I’m not going to single out individual members – is that they don’t give a damn as long as they are kept in the manner to which they’ve grown accustomed. (She who used this quote this morning should be aware that while I won’t name her publicly I am giving credit in my head privately. :D) Of course none of us have any idea whether or not this is true. I would strongly suspect that my writing partner Amanda disagrees wholeheartedly with that sentiment. I know she believes they really do care about the fans and about the band, that they would have to after so many years. I am not nearly that sure. I think they all (mostly) need to keep working, whether that’s financially or egotistically speaking, and I think they definitely care about the direction of their careers, but I think they all have their moments because they are all entirely human. Well, everyone except that little alien they’ve got playing keyboards. 😉 There are days when I couldn’t care less about the blog OR the band because I’ve got other issues (I really wanted to say crap but I’m trying to sound somewhat intelligent today…so far its not working for me.) The difference being that I don’t get paid to care. (Not that it would change, but I must call a spade a spade) Regardless, I suspect the same to be true for them. The difficulty with that of course is that their entire career is played out in public, as well as much of their private lives. With that I say a hearty “Thank god it’s not me – I might not have a mansion or a private plane, but I can also say what I will, go about my day and not have cameras in my face either!” It’s an excruciatingly difficult balance that none of us can really understand unless we were them, and we are not. It’s entirely healthy to recognize that sometimes, they completely screw up and piss us off, and yet we’re still fans.
It’s the end of a tour – the US tour – and for many, it’s a letdown emotionally. It’s easy to misread the depression of the tour being over and not really knowing the direction from here as anger towards the band. It’s also easy to feel as though let down because we didn’t see the shows we wanted, we didn’t meet John Taylor’s glance when he was playing right in front of us…..we didn’t get that front row seat we were dying to have….and we didn’t get to sit between Dom & Roger at a bar that won’t be named here…..oh wait, that’s just me. Moving right along….
At the bottom of the Trick or Treat pillowcase are all the leftovers from the night. There’s a few crumbs in there and probably some dirt from when I dropped the sack as I was running away from the house with all the fog and the zombie dude saying he was going to eat me and all of my friends. All of the candy fell out and in the haste of shoving all of it back in the sack so that I could run and catch up with my friends for the next house, I probably threw some dirt and pebbles in there too, and it settled in the bottom of the pillowcase in the seam. But amongst that dirt and those crumbs…and of course the leftover JuJuBees (I can’t stand those!) is one perfect Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. That’s what the good times are like as a fan, and that’s why I’m still a fan…even when I think the band should be spanked, and not in a good way! (Get your minds out of the gutter people, I’m being stern here!)