Steve Almond explains the dark and murky world of drooling fanatics, music superfans who are passionate beyond reason about their own particular favorites. Even if (especially if!) no one else has ever heard of the band in question, DFs can and will go on at great length about what makes this group special and unique and worth listening to. Mr Lush is a drooling fanatic of Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan. (And some other people, but those are the two big ones.) After having read this, I still don’t understand why he likes the musicians he likes, but I do think I understand how his passion functions better. To wit:
As a rule, DFs don’t play an instrument. We don’t even dance especially well, though we do jump up and down at live shows and scream an awful lot, usually the names of obscure songs the band recorded but never released in the States, or covers it performed as a lark on a cable access show nine years ago, a grainy video of which we tracked down online and now own. […]
DFs own at least three thousand albums at any given moment, with a core of our collection represented by any three of four configurations (digital, compact disc, vinyl, and cassette.)
That describes Mr Lush to a T. He also possess the snobbishness that goes along with drooling fanaticism–he thinks 98% of the music I listen to is beyond awful, and has absolutely no comprehension of why I like it. But recently he said the nicest thing ever about my music: “You have very…broad tastes. You listen to a lot more genres than I do.” Aww, how sweet!
If you have a drooling fanatic in your life, or suspect you may be one, I recommend this book! It was entertaining and self-deprecating, and didn’t poke fun in an unkind way, even though the possibilities for doing so are numerous.
I also really enjoyed his earlier book, Candyfreak. I can embrace being a drooling fanatic of candy much more readily!
Steve Almond’s site
Source: borrowed from library