Measuring fandom

Scott Schrade schrade at
Fri Mar 4 17:03:29 CST 2005

> Topic for discussion:
> How would you measure your fandom for The Who, or what
> you feel makes a real genuine fan? 

Been meaning to get to this....

> How often you listen to them,

No.  Like you stated, once you get past the initial love affair, you
can go days, weeks, or maybe even months without listening heavily 
to the band, yet still feel passionate about them.

> how much money you've spent on their products, how many 
> albums (official, live, bootleg, compilations, obscure releases, 
> etc.), how much memorabilia you've got,

No.  That route just leads to self-aggrandizement.  Trying to "out do"
the next guy.  It stops being about the band & simply becomes about
you.  Those types of fans can be real "dicks." (!)

> how many shows you've gone to, 

Well, a true fan will want to experience the band live, no doubt 
about it.  But, wanting, & being able to do, are two different things.
Some true fans just aren't in a position to see tons of shows.  Maybe
they can't see any at all.

> And are there any other things or people you feel yourself a 
> passionate hardcore follower of the same way you are about 
> The Who, 

I think all true Who fans have deep passions for other things (and, 
yes, even other bands); nothing wrong with that.  A good book
doesn't give the same joy as a good Who album.  And vice-versa.
We're complex creatures with changing moods & shifting needs.

> I don't feel the need to listen to them every single day; I know 
> I still love them and don't need to prove it, being secure in my 
> fandom.  

Good for you.  I remember one summer when I hardly listened 
to any Who.  I don't know why.  I just didn't feel like it.  I was
listening to a lot of Doors & they seemed to be satisfying my mood 
at the time.  I remember worrying a little - wondering if I was 
"growing apart" from the Who's music.  Obviously, that wasn't the

I'd say the main criterion for being a true genuine Who fan is
wearing your fandom on your sleeve.  If your friends refer to
you as a "Who freak" then you're probably there.

If you're constantly sermonizing about The Who, defending them,
arguing for them, sharing're a true Who fan.

Real Who fans are filled with an energy, an excitement.  They
*want* other people to hear the band & think about the band.
Like religious zealots, or science zealots, or sports zealots, or
whatever.....we are Who zealots.  And like all zealots we're a
bit crazy.  Nothing wrong with that, either!

- SCHRADE in Akron

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