I am a firm believer that fandom does not come with a uniform to wear, or even a uniform look. While there may be trappings of a fandom, one’s enjoying/love of something is not defined by a narrow margin of attributes and attitudes.
I say this because this past weekend, I went to see Metallica, Through The Never. And while there, I was treated to a variety of derisive sneers and scoffs of disapproval by fellow fans who went to the same showing.
I’ve loved Metallica since high school. I can still remember the exact spot on Interstate 440 when I heard the opening sitar notes of Wherever I May Roam, pretty much kicking off my love of the Boys in Black. From there, it was pretty much down hill. I saw Metallica live in Louisville Kentucky in 2004. Metallica’s inspired a great deal of my writing. So I feel confident in saying I am a Metallica fan.
But from the moment I got in line for the movie, a pair of long-haired, denim & leather-clad metal heads disapproved of my presence. I found this especially amusing since the movie was showing a predominantly…how shall I say, urban theater. Through The Never was showing on a screen nestled between showings of Battle of the Year and Baggage Claim, so there were already more than enough ‘what are you doing here’ looks going around.
We go into the theater and it’s just the three of us. The two of them are jazzed and whispering louder than most humans are capable of while I’m sitting alone. At one point, they call back to me, asking if I’m ‘here to see Metallica’, as though I might be lost. When I answered in the affirmative, I was asked what was my favorite album. Citing ReLoad as my favorite, they both laughed derisively and whispered (once again far louder than speaking normally) ‘Poser’.
It’s always weird to be reminded that you aren’t a card-carrying stereotype.