If you spend enough time around music fans—or more specifically, music fans meeting their idols—you get used to hearing certain comments. Some are flattering, some mean well but come out wrong, and some are so mortifying you have to wonder what made the person actually say it out loud.
“The show was great!”
“I love you!”
“I’ve had the biggest crush on you since I was 12!”
“I can’t believe people used to think you were the ugly one!”
And then there’s the old fallback:
“OMG, I’m your biggest fan!”
The funny thing is I’ve probably witnessed at least a dozen people claim to be the biggest fan, and it’s not a title than can be worn by 12 people at once. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a title anyone can ever hold, not unless we're being literal and talking size. Maybe it’s silly, but I feel a little insulted every time I hear it.
It’s like trying to say you’re the biggest fan of chocolate. Based on what? Should we tally up all the chocolate bars you’ve eaten in your lifetime, have you write a 1,000 word essay on the beneficial effects of chocolate, put you and another chocolate lover in a cage with one Hershey bar and see what happens? What would it matter anyway?
It just strikes me as narrow-minded and silly to believe that you could ever definitively know that you care about something more than every other person on the planet. Even if we could somehow create a standard of measurement that factors in the number of years you’ve been a fan, the number of shows you’ve seen, and the amount of merchandise you’ve purchased, nobody would ever agree. The truth is a lot of it has to do with money and priorities. You’ve got people that can afford to do and buy more, people that can’t, and people that won’t. You can be a huge fan and see a hundred shows because you can afford the money and the time off, and you can be a huge fan and never see them live because you live in a different country and have a family to support. At the end of the day, you'll only ever know how far people were willing and able to go. Numbers and statistics are great for scientific research, but they can never measure how you really feel about something.
I guess I've got some growing to do if I ever want to claim that title and mean it.