Faraway fan

© Susanna Khoo

Being a fan is tough.

First of all, there’s all the fuss about keeping up with the latest information regarding the artiste concerned. Then you’d actually have to listen to all their songs, and memorise the lyrics by heart.

Well, if you want to be considered a truly authentic fan, that is. (Some go through the additional trouble of buying merchandise to prove their undying loyalty, but to me, I guess that is optional).

Then, of course, there is the issue of distance. While some fans are awfully privileged to actually live in an artiste’s hometown or at least be able to catch them in concert every once in awhile, there are those of us who are cursed to never ever be able to catch a live performance of the said artiste throughout our lifetime. (Or for the duration of the artiste’s career – whichever is shorter :P).

Being a Malaysian, I happen to be one of those unfortunate fans. So many of the bands I love would likely never ever step foot in my country to perform. (Thanks to the awfully selective decision making tactics authorities. I suspect it’s something to do with their own music preferences. Or lack thereof).

So I have to resort to YouTube to get a glimpse into what these favourite artistes of mine would usually do at a live concert. Well, at least there’s that. We make do, us fans. But of course, wherever the budget affords, I’d travel overseas just for the chance to attend a concert. (Which is really going out on a limb for the artiste since he/she/they probably don’t even know where Malaysia is, and probably don’t even care or know that they have fans here).

However, there are some experiences which, for us starved foreign fans, may someday cause us to vehemently decide to relinquish our fan status for a particular artiste once and for all.

Here’s my personal list:

  1. Being unable to download mp3 tracks that are offered to fans for free on iTunes with the reason being that it is “not available in your country/region”.
  2. Realising that you can’t buy an album directly from the official website because they don’t ship to your country.
  3. Dropping a comment on an artiste’s social media page (be it Facebook, Twitter, etc) and never getting a reply of any sort.
  4. Writing fan mail and never getting a reply of any sort.
  5. The artiste is openly arrogant or disrespectful to others.

Okay, I’m not one who likes to rant online so I’ll leave it at that. But I can tell you that one of my most favourite artistes has done at least two of the above.

It’s sad that they may someday lose the fan they never knew they had.

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