Are You A Fan? Tips2LiveBy Looks At Fandom!
Updated: Mar 21
Are you a fan of something? Personally, I’m a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Toledo Rockets and any Detroit team. I’m also a fan of dry, red wine – particularly Pinot Noirs. For beer, I’m usually a fan of a stout or porter. I’m also a big fan of traveling, reading and warm weather.
As for music, there are lots of artists that I love. Some of those artists include The Cure, Blue October, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Ripe, Red Wanting Blue and many more. In fact, I’d say I’m just a fan of music more than anything else.
In case you weren’t aware, the nominations for the 2020 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just came out and Dave Matthews Band is one of the nominees. And honestly, I may have to block all of the Dave Matthews Band FB groups I follow from now until the fan vote ends in January in order to keep my sanity.
Dave Matthews Band is one of the nominees for the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
More on the Hall of Fame later, but the fan vote and how it is playing out in some DMB groups got me thinking. What is a fan? Are there different levels of fans? Can some fans take it too far? Keep reading to find out!
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WHAT IS A FAN?
In its simplest terms, a fan is someone who loves something. The word “fan” derives from the word “fanatic”. And while I don’t believe you have to be a fanatic about something to be a fan, you clearly need to love something more than the average person.
I’m a huge fan of The Cure! I am keeping my fingers crossed that they tour North America next year so I can hit the road and see them.
In addition, as an individual you are a fan. But as a fan, you are part of an overall bigger community – the fan base. Some fan bases have a reputation all of their own. Regardless of your particular level of fandom, you might get stereotyped just because of preconceptions about a certain fan base.
In this post, I’m only going to focus on music fans. Over the years, I’ve interacted with a lot of fans. In my opinion, most fans fall into one of these five levels.
LEVEL 5 – THE CASUAL FAN
These are people that like a certain artist more than they like others. If the artist comes to town and you are available to go see the show, you are probably going to go. As a casual fan, you know most of their songs. You probably follow them on social media to stay on top of what they are up to.
LEVEL 4 – THE FAVORITE ARTIST(S) FAN
This level has gone a bit beyond just being a casual fan. In fact, you would probably put this artist in your top 10 favorites. If they come to town, you are definitely going to see them. You know all their songs and can sing along to most of them. Not only do you follow them on social media, but you are probably in one of their FB fan groups too.
The Struts have become one of my favorite artists over the last few years.
LEVEL 3 – THE SUPER FAN
You REALLY love this artist. In fact, if they are playing anywhere within a couple hour drive, you are going to see them. You know all their songs and all the words to the songs. You are in multiple FB fan groups and you interact often to show your fandom.
Coldplay is one of my favorite artists. We’ve traveled to NY and DC to see them.
LEVEL 4 – THE ULTIMATE FAN
This is your favorite artist. You would get on a plane to go see them and you have multiple times. You know all their songs. In fact, you can name what show you saw your favorite version of your favorite song. As a music fan you are still open and appreciative to other music. You just know that your favorite is the best.
LEVEL 5 – THE OBSESSED FAN
You live, eat and breath your favorite artist. You plan your life around traveling to see them in concert. You only listen to their music – nothing else matters. You check social media multiple times a day to see what’s going on with them, because you don’t want to miss anything. The day your favorite artist stops touring is the day you want to just crawl into a hole. As far as you are concerned, there is no other artist out there. I mean why would you listen to anyone else?
THE FAN BASE
As I mentioned above, certain fan bases come with certain preconceptions. They also go by certain names. If you are a Grateful Dead fan, you’re called a Deadhead. Jimmy Buffet fans call themselves Parrotheads.
Because I am a big music fan, I’m actually a part of quite a few FB fan groups for different artists. Each one has a little different personality. Some of that personality is because of the length of time the artist has been around and the number of fans they have. It is also due to where the majority of the fans are located. And a lot of that personality is a reflection of the artists themselves.
THE “WE ARE FAMOUS FAN BASE”
When you are a fan of a band that has huge worldwide success – bands like U2, Coldplay and Pearl Jam – you have a little bit of an air of pretentiousness about you. Those fans groups are huge and there is very little personal interaction between the fans. No one is impressed that you’ve seen the band 52 times or that your every t-shirt you own is a band t-shirt.
When you can sell out huge stadiums, you have a huge fan base like U2.
THE “NON-US FAN BASE”
My favorite artist is The Cure and I’m in a couple of their FB fan groups. I don’t know for sure, but based on what I see, I think the majority of the people in those groups live outside the U.S. I have to say that those groups are refreshing. They are true fan groups. There is no competition or pretentiousness. People legitimately just like to talk about the music and the band.
THE “WE ARE SMALL BUT MIGHTY FAN BASE”
One of my favorite fan bases is the Strutters. As you may have figured out from the name, they are fans of the band The Struts. There aren’t a lot of them (yet), but they are the most dedicated fans I have seen. And, they are the nicest fans I have come across. They all help each other and support the band. In fact, I was the recipient once of the kindness and generosity of a Strutter. You can read more about that here.
The band is actually pretty active on their FB fan page, so I think this helps set the tone of the group as well.
I got the chance to see The Struts last year in a tiny venue. Their fans were awesome!
THE “DEDICATED BUT FINICKY FAN BASE”
Ok fellow DMB fans. Don’t be mad, but this is where you fall. You are dedicated – no doubt. In fact, I know some DMB fans that are the most dedicated I have ever seen. You can also be the most generous fans I’ve ever seen. But as a fan base, you also have a bad side. You criticize the set lists. You are never happy with the tour schedule. And you can be downright nasty to each other. Before you start yelling at me, I know that this does not represent everyone, but I see it a lot in the DMB world.
We may not be obsessed, but we did travel to Europe to see Dave Matthews Band earlier this year. And we met Dave!
I also recently joined the Zamily, which is Zac Brown Band’s fan group. When ZBB’s new album came out, I saw a lot of ugliness coming from that fan base too – both towards the band and fellow fans.
THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
Which brings me back to what originally sparked the idea for this post… the announcement of the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees.
Let me start out by saying that I am a fan of DMB. I’d put myself at a Level 3 from above and I would love to see them get into the Hall Of Fame. But, y’all are driving me crazy with this Hall of Fame fan vote!
HOW THE FAN VOTE WORKS
Five artists are inducted into the Hall of Fame every year. Over 1000 ballots are sent to people in the music industry to vote on the nominees. A few years ago, the HOF created the ability for the fans to vote on the nominees as well. The five artists that get the most fan votes automatically get ONE ballot vote. So if you do the math, the fan vote is really meaningless. What it does do, is create excitement and interest in the fan base for the HOF.
IT’S OK TO VOTE FOR MULTIPLE ARTISTS
The reason the DMB fan base is driving me crazy right now, is they have taken this fan vote to a Level 5! I get it – we should vote every day for our favorite. But to say that we shouldn’t vote for anyone else? And to be perplexed that any other artist could possibly have more votes than DMB? News flash! DMB has 3.1 million followers on FB and 360k followers on Twitter. Depeche Mode has 7.1 million followers on FB and 2.3 million followers on Twitter. DMB is not the most popular band on the planet.
Depeche Mode is one of the bands I’m hoping gets into the HOF this year.
IT’S REALLY HARD TO GET IN THE FIRST TIME YOU’RE NOMINATED
I would love to see DMB get into the HOF someday. They are totally deserving. But it’s really hard to get in the first time you are nominated. When you look at the list that’s done it – Prince, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, etc. – those artists are legends. Like their music or not, you have to respect them and the impact they had in music. DMB is great, but I’m not sure you can compare the impact they’ve had in music to Prince.
THE TIPS2LIVEBY HALL OF FAME PICKS
I think this class of nominees is one of the strongest in a few years. So, what do I think?
Who Should Get In: Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Pat Benatar, Judas Priest and Nine Inch Nails
Who Will Get In: Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, Judas Priest and Kraftwerk
Who I Am Voting For: Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Dave Matthews Band and Kraftwerk
I guess we’ll all find out next year when the results come in!
Who are you a fan of? Who do you think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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