Book Talk: A drooling fanatic's guide to life

Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:14am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music fan Steve Almond knew he'd gone too far when he followed a beloved musician into a bathroom and introduced himself while the performer, Dan Bern, was attending to other business.

But Almond said hello anyway, telling Bern about his favorite records and about his own life as a writer. The musician's response: bemused, but polite.

Drooling fanatics -- in Almond's memorable phrase -- sometimes cross the line, but they mean well. Such music acolytes own thousands of records, constantly try to win over new fans for their favorite performers, and refer to musicians by first names -- as if they were part of their family.

In a sense, they are, because for a fan music is deeply personal. The drooling fanatic's devotion can teach even casual fans that "Rock And Roll Will Save Your Life."

That is the title of Almond's memoir of musical obsessions, encounters with singers, both famous and little known, and adventures as a rock journalist.

Almond, who previously wrote about his sweet tooth in "Candyfreak," spoke to Reuters about the book, music and Lady Gaga.

Q: Who is the drooling fanatic and why is he or she important?

A: "A drooling fanatic recognizes that they need music to reach the feelings inside them that are inaccessible by other means. We're susceptible to music emotionally, we need it. People are isolated in this era, trapped in front of their Blackberries and Apples, and they're looking for that one bigger narrative to connect to.   Continued...