Photo Courtesy of Fire At Will Photography
A Personal Connection
By: Lori George
It’s a rare occasion when one of your all-time favorite musicians reaches out to you and offers you helpful advice. It’s even more of a rare occasion if they share a personal story about their lives that they’ve only shared with their family members and very close friends. So personal in fact, that they never shared it during thousands of interviews with various press all over the world. They entrust you with their story, without your asking, hoping that you will only share it with others who might benefit from it.
That’s exactly what happened to me.
In the not-so-distant past, I found myself in the midst of some very unfortunate circumstances. Absolutely none of my relatives or friends had ever been through what I was attempting to navigate on a daily basis. There were no books, magazines, or websites that served as a “how to.” I humbled myself, and on a whim, I made the decision to open a line of communication with one of my all-time favorite musicians. To my complete and utter disbelief this artist became genuinely interested in my life, and wanted to keep in touch so they could check in on me and offer me some pointers. I gladly exchanged contact info with them and four days later I learned from this artist that when they were my age they too had been navigating the same situations I was navigating. This artist shared with me their personal heartache and their daily fears. One example they shared was how they’d survived living in an old abandoned building. Since sleeping at night wasn’t an option, this person stayed awake throughout the night and read their Bible until day break. Later on those times served as the foundation upon which their catalogues of albums were built.
I never would have imagined this person went through so much. They seemed so incredibly together. Not just their outer appearance, but their overall presence on stage, how they interacted with others, and during interviews on radio, television, and magazines. I never imagined the pain, anger, confusion, depression, anxiety and doubt they’d endured. In light of my experience I’ve found myself reflecting on the interactions between musicians and fans. I wonder what the music community would look like if musicians and fans started interacting on a more personal level. What kind of change would that introduce in their lives?
As a contributing writer for RYFO I’ve begun to realize that my interaction can and should be the norm rather than the exception. I invite you to learn, as I have, about becoming A Different Brand of Fan. With a new perspective and approach on being a music fan, you may end up making a personal connection with one of your favorite musicians.