Diddly squat, an accurate assessment of my musical ability. While no, I can’t play a single note or match a pitch; music is still without a doubt one of my favorite things in the world. I’m always listening to and singing along with (though rather poorly) something, anything really. There isn’t much music I don’t like listening to, but when rubber hits road its all about Rock n Roll. Classic Rock, Jam Bands, Alternative, Punk, Grunge, it’s all my favorite! But my favorite favorite is Garage Rock, like The White Stripes or my all-time favorite band, The Strokes.
One of the most difficult realizations I’ve had to make throughout my life is this: Rock is dead. I didn’t want to believe it, I still don’t want to believe, I almost CAN’T believe it, but it’s true. Rock is dead and it died a long slow death. The White Stripes kept it alive as long as they could, but no great band can stay that way too long. However, the point of this post isn’t to give you a Rock lesson, but to explain my relationship with my favorite band, and again, it’s The Strokes.
The Strokes are a New York based Garage Rock band rising to the height of their fame in the first decade of the 21st century. Releasing one of the best debut albums ever, Is This It, gave the band the momentum they needed to keep their next 4 albums relevant and selling throughout the band’s 12+ years playing together. I love ‘em! Every album, every song, love ‘em. If you haven’t listened to them you need to, and I mean STAT! Go through their albums chronologically and thank me later (in advance: you’re welcome). However, the importance of my favorite band has nothing to do with my favorite band.
Let me explain.
The Strokes are my favorite, but the “umph” of this post wouldn’t change at all if my favorite were The Temptations or Metallica. The relationship built with a favorite band, with a favorite anything really, is just as important regardless of what your favorite thing is. You see, the importance of my loving The Strokes comes from the fact that, get ready for this, The Strokes don’t love me. I listen to them nearly everyday, plug them into more conversations than I should, and they have no concept of me, or that I’m even alive. What!
Now don’t mistake this as me saying The Strokes don’t care about their fans, their music is far too good to warrant that statement, The Strokes just don’t care about me specifically. They care about me as a fan, one face in a sea of the like and that’s where it ends, with my label: Fan.
I can live with that. I’m ok with The Strokes not knowing me. Why? Because I know The Strokes. I like them that much. I don’t care if they ever know my name! There, I said it: I like being a fan. I don’t love The Strokes because of what they can do for me, I love them simply for what they can do. It is an unfair relationship, the band and I’s, though it is unfair for them. You see, I’ve grown to love their music, and they have no idea. They don’t get to know the young man who pitches their music nearly everyday, and listens to it twice as often himself. But that’s the key part of being a fan, knowing the chances of jumping from fan to acquaintance are slim, you still love them. A fan’s duty is one of admiration, not interaction. Loving something simply for that something being that something.
I think we need to embrace aspects from both sides of the fan/fanboy relationship. While I think we do need to act as true fans, not needing reciprocation to truly admire something. I also think we need to act as the admired something, not needing to know how our actions may have helped someone, but simply know that they have. So whether you’re the funny kid in Spanish class with only two fans or a rockstar with a million; you don’t need a thank you to warrant helping others. You don’t need something to love you for you to love it. So GO, and be a fan! You might just make a few of your own.