Ok, so we’ve just done a second gig in Cologne, and despite the fact that my Guitar wasn’t plugged in for the Naturally 7 encore number (Backline boys, take note!) it was a good albeit quieter night than Hamburg.
I’m packing up, and loading the van.
“Where’s Jem?” I asked one of the crew.
“She went through there”, pointing to a door not hitherto entered or exited by any of us. Strange.
I opened the door. There she was outside, taking a crafty glass of wine and a few drags of a ciggy. She visibly jumped as she saw me, offering excuses as though she was 12 years old again.
“It’s OK, honest”, she said ”My singing teacher knows! And it’s only the second one I’ve had”.
It’s not fair….. being on tour with Dad. You can’t even get away to have any secrets.
And how do you think I feel? Your daughter fencing off every advance, smile, autograph, or potentially friendly advance with a: ”DAD! Where are you putting that Sticker??” What a strange way to tour!
But I have seen that this doesn’t just stop with Daughter and Dad.
I’ve toured with artists and stars that never really had any contact with anyone off the stage. Their relationship with their fans is corporate, generic and impersonal.
“Elvis has left the building” was seen as an instruction rather than a statement. The stars would have no contact with their audience. Signing sessions, meet and greet, and personally being involved with Merchandising would never have happened; The image of “the star “ being escorted off stage, towel on head, surrounded by heavy tattooed security guards is certainly and thankfully, a thing of the past.
Now the artist is ‘owned’ by the fans. They need personal contact, face to face, one to one, relationship.
With social networking being what it is, I can’t imagine the ‘old brigade’ ever moving forward especially with their fans.
Many of them simply don’t get it anyway. Posting up pictures of that night’s concert is certainly something I am getting used to. Tweeting from the dressing room to fans, your co-performers, and facebook-ing events as they happen only help the process of spreading the word and building the base.
I think I do prefer this way; I like having contact with the audience in a way I never experienced before. And if this means that everyone around is friendlier, more accommodating and easier to be with, then long may it continue.
But don’t let me catch you smoking again; otherwise it’ll be straight to bed and no tea!!