the fandom limb.

Fandom is funny. I thought I was cured of it forever, but perhaps not totally.


We used to be big fans of a certain band. When I say big fans, I mean we saw them live three or five times and listened to their music with unusual frequency for a couple of years (1995-1997). Yes, we were in a somewhat different musical world then, but I still completely understand the things we saw in them, not the least potent of which (awk?) was their hugely charismatic lead singer and his brutally snide lyrics.

One of me and Moop's first road trips together was to New Orleans, a trip completely built around seeing this band for the first time. In addition to the generally great and memorable time we had, full of new romanticness, shrimp po-boys, and punishing summer heat...the show was fantastic, easily ensuring at least another couple years' worth of devotion from us.

But as it can happen with bands, 1997 was to be their last great year. They released one more thoroughly different and disappointing disc and then called it quits, much to their credit.


Fast forward 15 years. Because I'm so fucking connected in this town, I get a chance to see the aforementioned lead singer's newish band for free at a sold-out show in the big room at the Paradiso. Not only that, but I get a chance to hang out backstage and drink free Heineken and eat free ranch-flavored Doritos. Awesome, I know.

Not only that, but after the backstage refreshments get old, nine of us, including the aforementioned lead singer, head out to De Zotte for drinks. OK now this seems pretty much like a dream from 1997.

As I mentioned previously, before this evening, I was pretty convinced that I was done with being starstruck: I'm old, I've hung out backstage at Paradiso before, I've met and even befriended quite a few former heroes, I've also met some that were complete and utter dicks, etc. I should know better is what I'm saying.

I SMS Mara on the way to the bar and tell her that I'm going out for drinks with what's-his-name. She is understandably chagrined, because she is not on her way to De Zotte. I'm walking behind The Target on the way there, and I'm completely unnerved by my inability to break my own personal protocol for starting conversations ("Say, that was some show back there!"..."Hey, way back in '95 we drove 10 hours to see you guys in New Orleans...dude, you rocked!"...these are things I won't say).

We get there, and...to make a long story short: nothing happens. The bar is too crowded, we can't all sit together, there's no way for me to make some kind of approach without feeling wholly pathetic and lame. So I don't. We're there for an hour, and my only mementos of the evening are a brief but pleasant conversation with the new guitar player about zydeco music, and this superclandestine (I think I took it while I was ordering a drink, camera hidden under my arm but balanced on a salt shaker for stability) picture of The Target talking to some fanboy-I-didn't-want-to-be at the bar (trust me, I could hear some of their conversation):



Klary Koopmans said...

where did the bbq recipes go :(

MEM said...

They'll be back... I decided I could do better....

Dennis said...

had to giggle at your self-portrayal
(but beats me what band, or singer??)

MEM said...


MEM said...

some background...