Some people just donít get it do they? Last weekend we did a gig at Handuraw Cafe and shortly before we went on, I was handed a piece of paper where on it was scrawled several names of people who wanted to be greeted during the show. Everybody wants their moment of fame like theyíre entitled to it.
What many people donít understand is when you ask a performer to greet you during a show, youíre actually asking for much more than just a few seconds of their spiel. Mere saliva it is not. People fail to understand that what youíre actually asking for is a small yet significant share of the limelight. A pinch of stardust sprinkled on shoulders for momentary glitters. For many performers who value their stage time, thatís a pinch too many.
I surmise performers go on stage basically because they want to show off. Stage time is an artistís precious time to shine so any minute spent on trivial personal greetings is an unneeded distraction at best and a way uncool momentum-buster at worst.
Such is not the case for noontime show hosting where greetings are, pathetically, the norm. Not surprising at all since such TV shows exist only for ratings and revenue. Filipinos typically eat more at dinner than at lunch. You would too the way these shows make you lose your appetite. But letís not talk of lowly variety shows for now.
Well at least in rock music, there is still some form of creative drive.
Going back to my position, entertainers, rock artists included, are essentially show-offs. Show me a performer who disagrees with my postulate and Iíll show you a liar. Some may not want it as much as others but essentially, the need to be acknowledged by an audience is a given and if there be a difference, it is only in degree. On the one end, there are humble artists who merely want a polite audience at the very least, while on the other end, there are arrogant, attention-hogs who bask in anonymous admiration, real or imagined, which is worse, like pigs reveling in cold mud.
Of course, to say musicians are pigs is just too much for my comfort. Never mind the fact that medically speaking, pigs and humans do share many similarities. George Orwell seemed to say as much in his book Animal Farm. But if I weíre to concede that rock artists are animals, purely for the sake of discussion, Iíd have to ask also - Arenít we all?
In my years in the band scene, Iíve seen my share of genuine rock stars who crave adulation while dissing other rock stars and pretty much everyone else, the result of too much attitude from far too much attention, deserved or otherwise. Iíve met rock stars who think too much of themselves, rock stars who donít think because theyíre too dumb, and rock stars who donít think because theyíre too drunk, stoned or both.
But Iíve always believed there is a worse species Ė the pathetic fan. Now donít get me wrong. Iím not dissing the whole fandom family, only those of the wrong genus.
You think rockers who dress up to build on their image is sad? What are worse are their fans who donít have one, and end up imitating or aping. How about fans who walk the walk and talk the talk because they think itís cool, saying exactly what others say, like parrots. Then there are fans that flock to concerts just to be where everyone else is, like a mindless herd. And when they get there, they cram the mosh pit to taunt stage bouncers, steal stage dives, and pick fights with other fans Ė like wild mindless beasts. Animals just the same.
The fans do it all and a lot more to what else but show off. Itís all the same then, whether itís up on stage or down in the mosh pit. We all want to be noticed. We all want our precious morsel of raw fame. The ones on the stage just get the lionís share, naturally. Every ecosystem has a food chain, rocklandia included.
Was it Andy Warhol who said that the time will come when everybody will be famous for 15 minutes? Well if thatís true, I hope it doesnít happen during our bandís one-hour set over the weekend.