Rockbrat Wonders: When being a music fan becomes an obsession

John met Paul here back in 1863

Y’know some time back I watched a doco on a long plane flight about music fans who transcend the ladder of fandom, starting with buying CD’s and attending concerts to becoming borderline stalkers. I can recall being in a used record store in London some years back and hearing this kid of around 10 quoting catalogue numbers of obscure Led Zep bootlegs ! Forget Beano or Viz  – this little limey was well into his wax collecting. So then I started to look back on my own years as a rock n roll fan. Sure, I’ve slept out for concert tickets (pre-internet mind you), and have gathered tons of memorabilia along the way – including some set-lists and guitar plectums, but that’s not what I’d call obsessive. I have a busted bass string from Quo’s Alan Lancaster some place but an item like that is hard to authenticate. Is that obsessive ? Yeah maybe. But it IS Alan Lancaster for f**k sake !  When the Cowboy talks about funny moments in rock n roll, how’s about the look on local Sydney bank personnel when in 1986 a straight-faced Mr Rockbrat marches in and demands an international cheque made payable to the ‘Vinnie Vincent Invasion International Fan Club !” Those banking drones must’ve been falling about the place when I walked out, but screw them ! I can recall once being at someone’s house watching a rock show when they state “Dokken will be up soon”. Mr Rockbrat’s drives faster than Webber to arrive home and get a tape in the VHS recorder. That is hilarous ! “Sorry officer, I know the light was red but Dokken are on TV soon !” You gotta laugh about it ! Obsessive rock fans do some come any bigger than those who adore those loveable mop tops from Mersyside and also the Kiss zanies. I was gonna say the Kiss Army but let’s face it, it died in 1981, and although the band (and some Kiss podcasts) insist on still using the term (it sells), it refers only to the 70’s and early 80’s Kiss fan club, end of story. Some Kiss fans have their whole houses decked out in Kiss garb. As someone who once had tons of Kiss merch at one stage I can see how it happens. One purchase leads to another and another and then suddenly, Mom and Pop’s dream house has become a shrine for the Catman, Spaceman and Co. Pass me the 1978 solo-faces bog roll I gotta use the Kiss shitter !  I once knew a Kiss fan in the 80’s who had a promotional life size cardboard stand for Tom Selleck’s Runaway film. Big bad Chiam Witz co-starred so this fan just had to ask the video shop staff for the display – although there was no image of Geno on there. Sound the wacky alarm kids !! Or how’s about the time I was in Liverpool and did one of those Beatles History tours – y’know see where Ringo was born back in 1858 or the guitar shop where George first bought a zzzzzzzzzzzz (sorry nodded off for a minute there) but you get the drill. So , the tour gets to Paul’s childhood home and as we are about to depart on the One After 909, I spy this asian Beatle droid ripping clumps of shrubbery from a tree and souveniring them ! The old red rinser hasn’t lived there since about 1954 or something ! Again sound those warning bells kids. Oh and good luck getting them Beatle bushes through Heathrow and back to Osaka Mr Watanabe ! Was anyone else borderline rock obsessive !?

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