2021 Song Draft- Round 9 Pick 4- Hanspostcard selects ‘Stan’- Eminem -featuring Dido. Back in the day my students wouldn’t believe me when I would mention that I had all of Eminem’s albums- but it was true. ‘Stan’ is the best ‘fan obsession’ song I can’ think of- ‘Stan’ writes Eminem letters which become increasingly angrier and more obsessive when he doesn’t get a response- Stan ends up driving off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend tied up in the truck– in the final verse- Eminem writes him back- advising him to not take all the songs he writes so seriously and advises him to seek help- before realizing that he had heard the story on the news about the guy driving off the bridge in a drunken stupor with his girlfriend in the trunk- and that it was ‘Stan.’ A great addition to the song is the sampling of Dido’s song ‘Thank You.’ Rolling Stone Magazine in their most recent poll had ‘Stan’ at #223 in their 500 Greatest Songs Ever list- and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists ‘Stan’ as one of the 500 Songs Which Shaped Rock and Roll.
What does an artist/ athlete/ movie star etc- owe his fans? ‘Stan’ was of mind that Eminem owed him a lot. I don’t think they owe me anything. If I go to a sporting event- concert- movie- all I expect is the performers best effort in whatever it is they are doing. I read a lot of comments here and there on social media- where a ‘fan’ will consider the celebrity an a-hole if they don’t sign an autograph or give them the time of day if they run in to them. For a celebrity it is certainly a ‘can’t win’ situation. If you sign a dozen autographs and then move on- but I don’t get my autograph- does that make them a jerk? Back in the mid 1980’s a friend and I would take his boys who were 12-13 at the time to Pirates games. After the games the boys would want to go down to where the players exit the stadium. They got a number of autographs- of Pirates and of away players. Some guys were great at signing- some never signed. Some were very friendly- others surly [A shout out there to Bill Madlock- who was always in a pissed off mood ] My friend and I would stand and watch- and he would get angry- and say things like these guys should sign autographs until everyone got one etc that they ‘owe’ it to the fans. I took the other view. These people have lives. They are at the ballpark early- the have a game- it’s 10 pm- they are tired and would probably like to get home and see their family and rest up for tomorrow’s game , get something to eat. If they sign autographs- that’s great a bonus but don’t expect them it or demand it.
I am a big fan of Bob Dylan but if I happened to be walking down the street- and looked up and Bob was walking towards me- I’d leave him be. Now there are certainly people I might speak to in those situations- Bruce Springsteen has a reputation for being very fan friendly- if it were Bruce I’d say something but I wouldn’t bother him for an autograph. As a kid I collected autographs- and I will say even as an adult If I had run into one of the all time greats- like a Muhammad Ali I would have asked for an autograph. I do think they owe you something in this situation- if you are at a book signing or an autograph signing where you are playing them $$$$ for their autograph- I recall 15 years or so- being in Gettysburg on the anniversary of the battle. Big crowds and who do I see sitting at a big table signing books none other than Newt Gingrich. I got in line- bought a book. The co-author was very friendly- signed the book- passed it to Newt who didn’t even look up- just signed it and shoved it towards me. I watched from a distance and he was like that to everyone- people are BUYING his crappy book- and he can’t even look at them– UNTIL- a very attractive young lady came along and all the sudden Newt perked up. Well this behavior is what I would have expected from Newt- from everything I had ever read or heard about him. I certainly wasn’t disappointed….
Has anyone run into a celebrity type- out on the street- at an airport etc? I swear 20 years ago I was at a gas station pumping gas into the car and I looked up and there was- Uncle Fidel! Fidel Castro. If there had been phones with cameras back then I would have gotten a selfie. When I got back into the car- Mrs. Postcard said immediately’ “He looked like Fidel Castro.’ Fidel Castro Comes To Ohio.