Don’t You Know Who I Am?

Rock musician Matt Nathanson alerted me to a thorn in the side of professional musicians last night — he mentioned it during a concert at the 930 Club in Washington, D.C.

He was talking about fans who are standing in line for an autograph and then call him by the wrong name, or who request a certain song but get the name of the song wrong.

It got me thinking about the whole push-pull between an artist and the people who consume his work. See what Matt had to say about it in this video from December 2007.

It’s an uncomfortable balance, the artist demanding respect and the consumer demanding product.

Which often breeds annoyance. The whole getting-the-artist’s-name-wrong thing reminded me of something dumb that I did when an old friend got hired by a popular band. I knew their music, but not the individual performers, and while looking for my friend after a show, I asked a guy, “Hey, aren’t you with [name of band]?” And yes, helpfully, it turned out he was. One of the founding members. Whom I had just watched perform a two-hour show.

My friend and I lost touch shortly after that. Surprised?

Which brings me to the question: What do you do when you meet a performer? What ticks them off and what do they appreciate? I’ve been asking around.

Later, we’ll talk about what we expect from performers, what’s reasonable and what’s not. Because we fans get ticked off, too.

Got a story about a celeb encounter to share? Let’s hear it!


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