Consumed by music: are you a “super fan”?

While the spring tour was going on, Ash was kind enough to let me post tour-date posts – mostly because I wanted the blog to have a prominent place for set lists to show up and I offered to take on the task. Now that the tour has ended (and the blog has a convenient set list tab), I’m turning in my blogger’s credentials.

But I’m ending with a pointer to an article on music fandom that appeared in my home town paper the morning I was scheduled to attend my fourth Taylor Hicks concert, and more telling to me, go to a fan meet and greet. Already feeling the enormous oddity of planning to go to a concert 3 hours early in order to stand in line to talk to a stranger for 30 seconds, I started the article with great trepidation. But then, I found it balanced.

And like some other superfans, Buehler says her interest goes deeper than just beats and lyrics. Some seek the community of fellow fans, or the escape from daily life. Others say their connection with music has inspired them artistically and helped heal past wounds.

What do you think? Are you one of the faces in the crowd?

Faces in the Crowd

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17 Responses to Consumed by music: are you a “super fan”?

  1. taylor made 4 me says:

    There are many boards, blogs, and message spots. Look to the right and there are links. Also, I have friends that love Taylor and we join in on chatting online. You do not have to go for three weeks and not communicate.

    smiles

  2. AwakeAgain says:

    Where will everyone go to now to discuss Taylor?

  3. taylor made 4 me says:

    Hey all

    Got my tickets lined up here somewhat…guess I am a “superfan” or as Sherry so eloquently put it…”borderline crazie” I DO like to express myself, we should all try it sometime…Let it out! …As Taylor says..speak out, speak out ,SPEAK OUT…hell I AM speaking OUT! hear me…

    Tickets I got so far…
    Tom’s River…2nd row center!
    Staten Island…4th row CENTER
    Torrington, CT…waiting but I am on the presale list. Was told I will most likely get 2nd row or maybe better!
    Wine Auction…hmmmmmmm$500 a ticket… phew…still waiting to hear if it’s worth that price. I would pay it, so do NOT tempt me.

    We are so excited to say the least…
    let it grow, let it flow, let it show…
    Well I’m here to tell you baby…you know the rest………………………

    Take good care ALL…
    Listening to Billy Joel right now…it’s all about soul!
    Sorry Tay.
    smile

  4. Sherry says:

    I think Taylor might enjoy reading this to understand the borderline crazies.

  5. graciecat says:

    thackeray, I have enjoyed your posts throughout the tour. Thank you for all your hard work and wonderful contributions to the site. Your topic today,”Consumed by music: are you a “super fan” is really thought provoking. I am reading the comments with great enthusiasm but fear after a long day my thoughts may not be as cohesive or insightful, so I will have to revisit this question tomorrow. It is indeed an interesting one. Thank you to all who have commented thus far. Your thoughts are overwhelmingly interesting. A wonderful read.

  6. georgie says:

    don’t forget TH is on Jay Leno tonight.

  7. Margaux says:

    Thank you, Thackeray for your work on the blog, the set lists. You did a masterful job.

    I may be a superfan, or I may be someone who is enjoying the journey of Taylor Hicks, and everything I’ve learned along the way about classic music, the current state of the music business, the phenomenon called cellcert. If it wasn’t for the community, I wouldn’t be here. When I discovered that Taylor’s fan base included a lot of people like me, that made me want to go in deeper.

    Two of my passions are music and travel. So travelling to concerts works well for me. I pick concerts that are in locations or climates I would want to visit anyway, and make sure I can see at least two shows. When you are a member of a music fan community, you are never travelling alone.

    Unlike Dave Plati in the article, I have no idea how many concerts I’ve seen. People who know they’ve been to 328 concerts puzzle me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just don’t understand it. I’m more concerned with how many concerts I PLAN to see soon!

  8. texastaylorfan says:

    Very interesting article. Lots to ponder.

  9. taylor made 4 me says:

    sooz–
    actually I was inspired by your post before I wrote mine girlfriend. (assuming you are female?) I really thought about what you said (wrote) in the post before mine and the thoughts just came to me. You inspired me. Thanks for reading. Everyone on here must think I am mad crazy, but I am an analytical person just like you say you are. I am also deeply spiritual, in an earthy way. Although I deeply believe in God, I am not connected firmly to any religion, I find organized religion too confining. I do pray however, and have found that all of my prayers have been answered in one way or another. I find meaning in many things unseen and make sense of the world through an approach I call an “intuitive soulbeat” Sometimes, I think I have a “beat” like a heartbeat to my soul. I can feel it beating, just like my pulse! It comes from inside of me, and encompasses my heart, brain, and gut at times I guess! If there is something to be discussed you can always count on me to approach it from a very deep, sometimes even weird persepective. Please post again sooz, I really enjoyed what you wrote too.

    Take care and thanks again!
    Michelle
    smiles

  10. sooz says:

    taylor made 4 me – Cool!

  11. taylor made 4 me says:

    Where does “superfan” come from? This is kinda deep so be prepared. Read on if you wish.

    It is my belief that music is as essential to the human spirit as love is to the human heart. I also believe man can no more live without music than he can without air. To man, music is more than a rhythm, and a beat, and melody…music begins and ends with the heart. As I have written in previous posts, music does not have to be filled with instrumental arrangements, lyrics, and a melody…

    As people, we get our start, our basis for everything, in the womb. The developing brain, heart, lungs, and spinal chord all receive signals from the mother. As a species, we are perfectly wired to love music. Our mother is the foundation of our love for music in an intrinsic way. Her heartbeat, her breathing, and her natural warmth provide the perfect foundation for music. Although others may inspire us to love music, we get our roots for music from our biological mother, and it begins in the womb.
    The sound of the heart is the first rhythmic sensory stimulus we ever feel. Accompanied by sound of breathing and speech and the additional stimulus of swaying the developing human becomes accustomed to and is comforted by a beat that means life. Love of music begins in the womb as we are created. How can this essential start not translate into a deep passion as we enter this world. It is essential to understand that we are torn from this beautiful place the day we are born. The natural sounds of music are gone for a time. We are then, always in search of the perfect sound to recreate the security of the “song” we felt before we were born.
    What is our first song? I often hear expectant mothers proclaim that they will “sing” to their child in their belly, and I listen and support it. However, the sound of the mother’s voice is already music to the developing fetus. When the mother speaks, the sounds from her vocal chords are transmitted to the child in her womb. Her voice is not heard the same as those outside of her. In fluid, the developing child receives her voice more slowly. If the mother speaks, the child in her “hears” a longer sound much like a musician holding a note. The voice of mom will sound more like “singing” than talking. The pulsating heart provides a backdrop or a “beat,” that when coupled produce a song. The voice alone is enough to sing to the child. Expectant mothers may just talk, and the child in her will hear the “sound of music.” (The hills are alive…with the sound of music.)

    The aspect of the heartbeat is interesting. It is rhythmic, and it is always there! It is the first sound we hear or detect that is consistent. What comfort that is to the developing brain. Although the heartbeat is consistent, the heartbeat natural rhythm is changing all the time, becoming faster with movement, and oh what a rocking feeling we have when mother gets moving! Is this the roots of “rock and roll” as we turn around inside of mom? The more mother moves, the faster the heart “beat,” and the more we rock and roll! On the other hand when mother gets quiet, the beat slows, and with it the sound of her breathing quiets, both are soothing the developing child. A quiet beat is associated with a calm soul. Feeling the rhythm of a sleeping heart gives the developing brain a sense of what peace really is. The sounds of certainty, security, and survival are all wrapped up in the sound of a quiet and peaceful beat. It is interesting that a when a mother becomes emotional or cries, the fetus experiences a rush of blood to the heart. (Blood is blue in the developing fetus.) The sound of wailing or crying out in pain from the mother sends a rush of “blue blood” into the fetus. Perhaps that’s why they call it the blues. An overly emotional mother can produce a very “bluesy” person. The heartbeat is the essence of life, and in music we find this beat all over again as we are living.

    NOW…if this doesn’t explain why we crave music as we do, then I am not sure what can. As far being a “fanatic” or a “superfan,” one can only look deep inside of their own self to define the reason behind their intense response to music and those who make it. For one, I love music, and I think music is a healthy alternative to drugs or alcohol during stressful moments of my life. Like everyone else on the planet I am always in search of something that takes me away from the pressures of life. It is fun to dream and to imagine that life is something other than what is even if we have a good life. “Superfan” behavior may be related to the way we are thrown into life somehow, and torn from the beat of our mother.

    My take.

    Thanks for the board.

  12. bjewel says:

    This is a facinating topic, with so many facets to explore. Lack of funds and a full time job restrain my superfandom to a large degree, but in my heart, yes, I am in the crowd, as close as I can get, absorbing every note, examining ever drop of sweat! Ha ha!
    My heart is a tuning fork. Thank you, Taylor, LiMBO, fellow fans, Boogie board, GC, and yes, even Simon Cowell (for ruffling Taylor’s feathers). Maybe I will see some of you at the Austin Music Festival in September. Three days of some of the best music in the world. Book signing in San Marcos, TX, anyone?

  13. AmyMc says:

    Um…superfan? I don’t know…does going to 7 concerts and planning on 2 LMBO concerts this August make me a superfan?

  14. sooz says:

    Thackeray – Thanks and your question is a very interesting one for me. The subject of “superfandom” fascinates and confuses me all at the same time. I have mentioned grappling with this subject in past posts here and at GC’s. I definitely am a superfan. The problem I have is the underlying reasons for being one. I am an analyzer and have a hard time just letting things go along because they feel good. I worry about myself for being too involved and at the same time it fills something that is important or missing for me. Is it a good thing? Yes and no. As many of us have said before, we are all music dependent which brought us here in the first place, but then the draw becomes more complicated.
    The “relationship” each one of us, for example, has with Mr. TH is also a good and bad thing for him. Obviously, he needs us to further his chosen life’s path. In his own words, he must nurture his fan base to keep that perceived personal connection and keep us interested (smart cookie, that Hicks). On the other hand, that perceived personal connection we may feel individually can become a problem if it is carried to an extreme. Fortunately, I would think most fans still deal in reality and will ultimately respect his space and privacy.
    We, as fans, are probably into superfandom for varied and personal reasons, some of which were listed in the article. Music, community, joyfulness, distraction from the mundane, validation of emotion, life’s pain and healing. Growing up, I was the one that was accused of being too emotional, too sensitive. I thought there was something wrong with me after hearing it so many times from people that I assumed knew those were bad traits to own. It took many years to realize how blessed I am to be able to feel the feel. I now wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think this is essentially why we become “superfans”. Yes, music can make me cry and laugh and I can become very attached to the vehicle of that emotion. It is an addiction of sorts. There’s still a lot I don’t understand about all of this, but sometimes you just have to let it go and enjoy it.

  15. Alison B. says:

    Thackeray, thank you for all you have done. I always enjoyed and appreciated your comments on GC, and am glad that you are here now. I like your ability to eloquently sum up a topic. I loved the story you told in the ‘Other Music’ section about the kids in your class. Although you are turning in your blogger’s credentials I hope you never turn in your posting credentials.

  16. boogie says:

    Thack,

    Thanks so much for all of your time and contributions to the blog. They are much appreciated!

  17. JAG says:

    thackeray……Just want to say thanks for all of your hard work,you did an awesome job!
    After reading your question I can say yes to all of the above.The voice and the music was the first thing that drew me to Taylor,but somewhere along the line it became more than that.I should also add here that I knew absolutely nothing about blogs or computers until last year when I started following AI because of Taylor. I was a long time lurker who became fascinated with the interaction of Taylor’s fans.The sharing,and the connection is a definite draw.Just being able to share ideas with people who are on the same wave length is very gratifying. Most of all the person we are fans of has to be someone who is worthy of our attention,someone who is the real deal and that is Taylor Hicks!Without going into great detail music has definitely helped heal my soul,Taylor and this community have helped me through a very difficult time. So are we faces in the crowd,superfans,I would say yes we are and add that we are also voices in the crowd.

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