May 23, 2008

The most dedicated, least rational fans

There’s a great read over on the Guardian website by Chuck Klosterman about fans who look like their idols, accompanied by a gallery of portraits where you try to guess the band by looking at the fans (and who do you guess is represented above?). I got most of them right and found the guessing process to be delightful.

Klosterman ranks the following ten groups as having the most dedicated, least rational fans. Discuss:

1. Slayer
2. Tori Amos
3. Sublime
4. Kiss
5. Bruce Springsteen
6. Black Sabbath (particularly the Tony Martin era, for some reason)
7. Jimmy Buffett
8. Iron Maiden
9. Guided By Voices
10. Morrissey

Read his rationale and the whole entertaining article here. Images are taken from the forthcoming book Disciples by James Mollison. If you’re going to be in NYC, these prints will be exhibited at New York’s Hasted Hunt Gallery June 12 through August 16.

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  • This can’t be valid. Kate Bush fans certainly rank above Tori Amos fans as both uber-dedicated and terribly insane.

    Jim H — May 23, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  • Wow. Note to self: Do not under any circumstances begin to look like the members of your favorite band, no matter how good your musical taste is.

    Dynamic Meter — May 23, 2008 @ 11:47 am

  • I love Klosterman’s articles, thanks for pointing me to this one.

    I have to agree on the Sublime, by the way…

    Sylvy — May 23, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

  • After the lone Guided By Voices show I went to about five years ago, I’d expect their fans to be high than #9.

    Kathy — May 24, 2008 @ 4:08 am

  • The glaring omission on this list is American Idol contestant [enter name of person here]. Not to get into any of the countless specific details that would evidence the lack of rationality, except that just the fact that any of these thousands of people are dedicated fans of Clay Aiken, Taylor Hicks, etc., displays an error of wiring in the brain.

    graft receptor — May 25, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  • man i love chuck klosterman’s essays, but i feel like he’s missed some crazier fans than the ones listed.

    Asian Kid A — May 25, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  • Assuming the criteria for making this list is “a musician a) ignores public criticism while b) producing a substantial body of work, an unwavering fanbase will self-select itself.” then I suggest that Ryan Adams and The Grateful Dead might also be worthy contenders.

    Looking at the photos, some of those Oasis lookalikes certainly pulled off a chilling reproduction of the Gallagher snarl and general surliness.

    Tawriffic — May 25, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

  • I insist on having the crazed fans of Blind Melon acknowledged. Of course, this new incarnation fo the band may hamper the rabidity of the fan base a bit.

    The Station Agent — May 26, 2008 @ 12:21 am

  • everyone and their mom knows that the Jamily (cringe!!) is one deranged group of fanatics.

    grace6697 — May 27, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

  • I have to say a good friend of mine has a decidedly unhealthy obsession with Ms Amos, always has had, hangs on her every word etc, even chooses girlfriends on their likeness to her. Then she moved to Cornwall to a village near where he went to school, things kind of got a bit ridiculous to be honest. He also has an obsession with the series ‘Anne of Green Gables’…its all very odd. I once went to see Tori Amos at the Manchester Apollo with him and found myself sat between some teenager wearing something which can only be described as an oversiezed baby-gro in the shape of a bear suit (with the ears and paws), and a guy in his 50s with a 17 year old from the states who he’d ‘met on the net’. Oh and apart from me everyone else in the theatre seemed to know each other from online forums etc…And Slayer fans are more weird huh?

    Paul — May 28, 2008 @ 4:10 am

  • I totally agree on Tori Amos. In fact, not to toot my own horn here, but a few years back I wrote an article about this for PopMatters: In trying to review “The Beekeeper,” I kept on returning to the emotional investment Tori fans often have, myself included, which can make objective, rational analysis very, very challenging. Anyway, I thought I’d throw in my two cents, in case you were interested.

    Keep up the great work, Heather!



    Niko — May 28, 2008 @ 5:28 am

  • Ummmm…Metallica?

    Jon Taylor — May 29, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

  • Chuck Klosterman: The very incarnation of hipster douche.

    (And his use-by date has expired, too.)


    Anonymous — May 31, 2008 @ 12:30 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

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