Quirky T has always held a high standard for being a fan. I don’t think you can call yourself a fan unless you are really invested in the object of your fandom. I am a New York Giants football fan and I have to watch every single game every season. I don’t think anyone can call themselves a fan of an NFL team unless they watch every single game played by their favorite team. NFL teams only play 20 games (including preseason) plus playoff games each year. It’s not much of a time commitment – one day a week for 5 months to watch these games. And if you’re a sports fan, watching the games is the least you can do. There’s also reading about your team and watching sports news shows about your team.
Baseball, on the other track, is much more of a time commitment since there are 162 regular season games and then possibly the playoffs. The games are on practically every day for six months. I call myself a huge New York Yankees fan but even I can’t watch every game. I do try to watch as many as possible and check out the box scores for the games I miss. I would never miss watching a Yankees playoff game.
As far as music, what level of listening and knowledge of a musician/ group do you have to have call yourself a fan? Do you have to have heard every song to be considered a fan? If you like the music, why wouldn’t you make the effort to hear everything they ever recorded?
For The Beatles, I think there are clearly defined levels of fandom. In my mind, everyone is a basic Beatles fan since everyone knows and likes at least some songs by the group. Fanatics are the next level of Beatles fans. These people have all the Beatles’ albums and know the band’s story. Beatlemaniacs are the next level. They have all the albums plus the CDs of previously unreleased demos and songs. They read the numerous books on the band and watch all the documentaries. They listen to the solo works of the Fab Four. The Beatlemaniacs know who wrote and sings each Beatles song.
Now I’m wondering if I can really call myself a fan of my all five all time favorite musical artists/groups. As far as The Beatles, I have heard every song they ever recorded. I’ve read many books and watched many documentaries. As I wrote in a previous post, I have not listened to all The Beatles’ solo recordings, especially those of John Lennon and Ringo Starr. I will be writing about that in a future Guitar Train stop. I am comfortable with calling myself a Beatles fanatic. I’ll let others judge whether I am a Beatlemaniac or not.
I have all of Gloria Estefan’s CDs in English and Spanish except for her latest which is a remake of The Standards. That music just doesn’t appeal to me. I know Gloria’s biography and have seen her in concert several times. I think I qualify as a fan of hers.
I started listening to Jon Secada from his debut CD in 1992. I bought all his CDs since then except for his remake of The Standards. Again, that type of music does not appeal to me. I know his basic biography and have seen him in concert. I think I also qualify as a fan of his.
I started listening to Genesis in 1986 with their album, “Invisible Touch”. I then went back to listen to their earlier albums as far back as when Peter Gabriel was the lead singer. I don’t like the Peter Gabriel songs because they are too strange for me. I’m just not a fan of his music. I’ve heard every Phil Collins led Genesis song since “Invisible Touch” and I have seen them in concert several times. I know the band’s biography. So I can call myself a fan of the band (post Peter Gabriel).
I boarded the Huey Lewis and the News train in 1983 with their great album, “Sports”. I’ve stayed on that train for 31 years. I was derailed with 2010’s “Soulsville”, their remakes of soul songs. I just couldn’t get into it. I haven’t taken the time to go back and listen to pre 1983 songs or to really listen to their albums after 1991’s “Hard at Play”. I know the basic biography of Huey Lewis but not the other band members. So am I really a fan? I’ve seen them in concert several times and would definitely buy any new music they release.
Guitar Train passengers, have you heard every song by your favorite musicians? If not, why not? What constitutes a fan?
Also, tell me if you think I should give Peter Gabriel led Genesis songs another listen.
Next month, the Guitar Train will take another detour off the music track. Hop aboard to read what Quirky T is ranting about this time.