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On Being “Famous”
by Michele Christopher
I say the title with tongue firmly in cheek…
In small towns you sometimes feel like you’re in a parade or something. After you spend about five years in a place with less than 30,000 people, you run into this thing where no matter where you go, you see someone you know. You drive down the road and wave at your friends, and no point in bringing your hand back into the car, because in another 30 seconds someone else you know will be coming down the road.
This is magnified by 100 if you’re in a band and do a lot of playing.
Just before I moved, I couldn’t go anywhere without running into a friend, or an acquaintance, or even just some stranger who had to come up and say “Hey aren’t you in that band that played last week at (insert name of some local bar)?”. It wasn’t just around town. I’d go to the outlying towns to visit friends and people who I had no idea who they were would come up and talk to me. It’s a really small dose of fame, I guess, maybe what it’s like. I have no idea, of course, what being famous is all about. Even the miniscule dose was weird feeling.
I’ve been in this new town for a year, and it’s already happening. I waved at three people the other day goin down the road. People come up to me at the jams and want me to teach them how to play the bass. I tell them they’d be insane to let me and direct them to the local music store or one of the other guys who plays bass. Because I have no idea what I’m doing on this 4-stringed thing. I just play.
Which is why I sort of trip out about having “fans” come talk to me when I’m stoned in the beer cooler trying to decide on Mickey’s or Henry’s. What else could you call them? It’s nice on the ego to think of them as “fans”, anyway. And a little creepy, probably.
But here’s why fans are so cool. They let you do this kind of thing to them: