Do fans OWN their idols?

I don’t normally go back to check my uploaded Youtube videos but this one gets so many comments that I had to go and check how many people that had watched it. I hadn’t expected that it would have almost 15,000 viewers..!

Some of it has to do with what I named the video “Rob Halford attacked by fan onstage“.
I guess people were expecting aggession on stage, like some maniac beating up Rob or something. But the way I see it, it’s a different kind of attack when you pass security to run up on stage in the middle of a show to throw yourself at the artist.

This guy “just” hugged Rob and jumped off the stage when security came after him to get him out of there. 

Just the fact that he surprised Rob like that is a form of attack, the way I see it. Stalkers do that, and then when they’re caught, their explanation is “...but I JUST wanted to….” like they are ENTITLED TO do whatever they want. Like it’s okay to do anything to show appreciation – at any time, anywhere and in any way. 

I would be scared to death if I was a celebrity and fans showed up around every corner chasing me for hugs or autographs. Cause there seems to be a common misconception that a famous person OWES something to every person who chose to buy their records or attend their gigs. 

It’s that attitude that makes people go: “He didn’t ATTACK him – he just HUGGED him!”

Sure – but you don’t run onstage during a show to “just hug” someone. If you are that eager to hug your idol, wait for a better opportunity, and maybe even ASK “hey man, I love your music, is it okay to give you a hug?” That would be showing the artist respect as well.

But that’s one thing many fans are lacking. Respect for the artists they say that they love.

The “hug attack” is just one of those things.
Another example is something that happened here in Sweden these past two days. Very non-rock’n’roll singer Rihanna cancelled two major sold-out shows due to exhaustion. The fans didn’t react with any concern for her whatsoever. All they could talk about was how pissed off they were because they had been “looking forward to this the past 9 months”.

If they are such big fans that they have been looking forward to her show for so long – wouldn’t that also mean that they ‘care, even the SLIGHTEST about Rihanna and her health status??

The girl is 23 years old and has a crazy schedule, so crazy that she collapsed. Yet nobody questions that. She is a moneymaker – in this business you’re in one day and out the next. So she needs to work her ass off to make big $$$$ for everyone involved – for as long as she can. Nobody gives a shit about HER. People care about her as long as she can entertain them. When she can’t – they don’t give a rat’s ass. She’ll be out in the cold.

I read an interview with Lady Gaga who said that she sleeps 3 hours a night, there’s just too much work to do. For someone in her position, I can imagine. That’s insane.

Britney Spears totally lost it – she was pressured beyond belief, chased like an animal. And when she went nuts, nobody would come to her defense, it was as if people just loved watching her misery.

The backside of being famous. You are only good as long as you can GIVE people something, as long as they can TAKE something from you.

When Ian Gillan visited Copenhagen many years ago, there were a bunch of fans in the hotel lobby. Some of them had brought their WHOLE RECORD COLLECTION that they wanted him to sign! Imagine everything from his Jesus Christ Superstar-days to Deep Purple, to his solo-stuff, Black Sabbath, whatever… tons of shit! He had no choice. If he had said no, that fan would immediately go and tell everyone that Ian Gillan is a selfish stuck-up rockstar who doesn’t care about his fans.

So Ian sat there, for god knows how long, and signed this guy’s freaking STACK of old LP’s. I stood there wondering what that guy was thinking. Did it ever, even for a few seconds, occur to him that MAYBE (just maybe) it MIGHT be too much for Ian to sign ALL those records? Did he ever stop and think “Maybe I should just bring my 5 favorite albums and ask him to sign them…”???

Probably not. 

Same thing back in 1991 when Skid Row played in Gothenburg and were staying at Radisson Park Avenue Hotel. Rob Affuso and Snake Sabo were sitting in the hotel restaurant having dinner. A bunch of guys saw them there and were about to walk over there and ask for autographs.

I stopped them and said that maybe they could wait a little, the guys were in the middle of EATING “give them a break guys – they will have to pass you on their way out anyway, why not just wait a few?” 

They stopped, as if they hadn’t even thought about that. Duh?! Rob and Snake could finish their dinner without being interrupted by selfish fans.

It’s cool to love a celebrity and his/her/their music, but what people seem to forget is that a celebrity is also a regular person. Give them space – show them some respect, shouldn’t be too much to ask?

I’m sure the Greek Rob Halford-fan didn’t intend to hurt Rob, but the fact is that he did perform a kind of attack by making the choice he made. To me, that was not okay. But to many of the people who commented on the video, it was no biggie. “He just wanted to….“. 

Just like stalkers who are sleeping outside their idols’ house or calling them or their parents around the clock. I’m sure their explanation would start the same way “I JUST wanted to….”. 

Wrong. Think again.



  1. Ronnie Soo

    not much has changed since the 1980s, then… I used to know people who would bring stacks of LP sleeves to concerts and especially when Deep Purple or related artists were in town! I’ve seen Gillan get those types of fans too, and there was one day when he, Roger Glover and Ritchie Blackmore took part in a charity footy game near me… being a callow youth myself back then I took the advice of an older, wiser friend who told me to take only two LP covers at most. Result, my ‘In Rock’ and ‘Rainbow On Stage’ sleeves got Blackmore’s scrawl on them while the collectors’ brigade didn’t! There was a spate of stage invasions at Donington in the mid-80s which got very tiresome very quickly; Ozzy played in 84 and got that, so did Van Halen. Ozzy made the point afterwards that they weren’t covered for any fans getting injured while on the stage so they HAD to get them off there fast. I don’t like it because I’ve gone to see the band, not some herbert from the crowd! Fair point about the likes of Rihanna (though she is a bit rock, her guitar player is Nuno Bettencourt) but no, people don’t think about things like that before they complain and in this interweb age, it’s rather too easy to post first and think later!Not a fan of Rihanna myself but even so I hope that crazy schedule of hers doesn’t mean she ends up like Aaliyah – just goes to show nothing’s been learned from what happened to her.

  2. White "Snake" Sabo

    Wow, you´ll never forget this Skid Row “incident”? For the record, it was my buddy that you stopped, I was right next to him and we talked a bit too, so when we met at a concert almost 10 years later you remembered me from the “Skid Row incident”. One small correction though, it wasn´t “a bunch of guys”, it was the two of us and some girls who were staying at the hotel to “meet the band”.

  3. Daniela

    Doesn’t sound like me, I tend to have a terrible memory when it comes to people’s faces. Are you sure it was me you spoke to? :-))Well, it’s been 20 years since the “incident” and from what I remember it was a bunch of guys hanging around, waiting for the band, not just two. But if you remember it differently who’s to say who’s right. :) Not that it matters how many or how few there were, the point was the incident itself. One of the moments that stuck in my mind, yeah. :)

  4. Darcy

    It’s always disconcerting when you’re surprised by a fan on stage – I think back to artists who have been attacked (and/or killed) onstage by members of the audience, and shake my head in dismay. Sure, a hug is a hug – but we don’t know if it’s truth or guise.

  5. White "Snake" Sabo

    As I´ve only met Skid Row once and there was only one girl who stopped us, chances are pretty small that someone else would refer to that incident 10 years later :) :)But my buddy says it happened at breakfast/lunch day after the show… so maybe it was two separate incidents after all, two different girls, and a bunch of guys who wanted to disturb Affuso and Snake later at dinner time??? :) :)

  6. Daniela

    Look – if you take any incident that happened 21 years ago (not 10) and ask different people what they remember from it – I’m pretty sure they will tell you different things. You can swear it was breakfast and not lunch, whereas I can swear the opposite. Only I wouldn’t swear on something that was that long ago, you know very well what the point with this is. And it’s not whether it was lunch or breakfast….

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