Monday, November 21, 2005

On being a fan of music

Last night I was thinking about my musical tastes and how much they echo my personality. I was recalling that even from an early age, I was a Billy Joel fan. I remember being about 3 years old, wandering into my sister, Laurie's bedroom and asking her 8 track of Billy Joel's The Stranger. At first it wasn't the music that appealed to me, it was the picture on the outside, Billy laying on a bed staring at a porcelain mask.

In hindsight, that was the first indication of my adolescent and early twentysomething personality. I've always leaned more towards Joel's earlier material and it's that material which has recurring themes of loneliness, solitude, keeping to one's self. That's who I was-- to an extent that's who I still am deep down inside. My musical tastes have changed over time, but much like the music of Chicago (which were, for a large chunk of their careers, known as being a "nameless" and "faceless" band-- they let the logo speak for itself).

I think the whole phenomenon of musical fandom has, at its core, a desire of people to be understood. Music speaks to everyone in different ways. And at it's core people tend to flock to other "fans" not just from a mutual appreciation of the music they're fans of-- but because deep down inside they feel that who better can understand them as a person than someone else who can also relate to that music-- someone else who doesn't just hear or listen to the same music they do-- but someone who actually feels the music on a deeper level?

No comments: