Objects in a rear-view mirror appear closer than what they really are…
Four years ago in September, Paulette The Band Stalker died.
In the past four years, I’ve been asked countless of times why I decided to stop supporting that band that I used to stalk. And for good reason, too. Within a period of 3 years and 9 months, I was the single most visible fan this band had. I was a regular face at their gigs. I was logged on to their website practically 24/7. I kept their forum alive. In those years that they would play to an audience of 10, half of which is composed of the band’s family members, friends and roadies, I was there cheering them on. I got so close to them that I ‘transitioned’ from being a fan to a friend. Or so I thought.
September 2004, one of their guitarists got kicked out. After he left, I gradually started missing their gigs until I stopped going completely.
Whenever I am asked about it now, my answer ranges from, “my interests have changed” to giving a few snippets of what went on in those last days of September 2004. Only a very select few know the grisly details. Even my brother who was my band-stalking partner back in the day doesn’t know the entire story. We never really had the chance to discuss it. Although I have a feeling that no words need to be uttered; he just knows.
I may have been out of the scene for the past four years, but I am still abreast with the goings-on in the band. I am still subscribed at their mailing list, although mainly because I wanted to know what they’ll say should the subject of Mr. Ex-Guitarist or Ms. Ex-Band Stalker crops up. Yesterday, someone posted a forwarded private email originally coming from one of the band’s ‘core group’ of fans (aka. my replacement[s] as official band slaves stalkers), and one of the recipients took it upon himself to re-post the entire message at the mailing list for every fan to see.
Apparently, the girlfriend of one of the band members wrote a scathing blog entry calling her boyfriend’s band’s fans as “pathetic”, “crazy and obssessive” and “nothing but stalkers” who only hang around with the band so that they can tell their friends that they are friends with famous people. On one part of the article, she mentioned about the band being at fault for letting fans take a peek into their personal lives. Because of this trait, she said, them “pathetic fans” assume that they have become friends of the band members when in fact they are not.
Of course, that excuse phrase “some, not all” is there. But she never told the difference between the ‘real ones’ and the ‘wannabes’. So if you are part of the core group, where would you put yourself, then?
I find it amusing that this story cropped up on the same month of the Band Stalker’s ‘death anniversary’. For that, I wish to thank the blogger for putting on (virtual) paper my four-year old theory regarding what this band’s members and the people around them really think of me and every fan whom they allowed into their inner circle. For three years and nine months, I myself had the impression that I belonged there. People who had the same experience with them have warned me, but I ignored them. I ignored all the signs. Maybe it’s the fan in me that wants to keep the illusion that a fan’s ultimate dream of having close personal ties with her idol(s) can come true and I am the living proof of it.
Then the fateful events of September 2004 happened. It all came crashing down. I was faced with a choice: illusion or friendship? Loyalty or principle?
I remember Mr. Guitarist telling me in one of our late-night chats after his departure from the band: “Tell me, among all of us in the band, who was the one who really took the effort to know the real you?”
It’s not just celebrities who live double lives. Fans do, too. If a celebrity can demand understanding from the public, why can’t a fan demand the same from her idol who misjudged her?
I just feel bad for the current core group. I had hoped that they won’t face the harsh reality that these people are not really all about real friendships and being ‘on the same boat’. Unfortunately for them, some things just don’t change.