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True Fan?

Are you not a true fan if you like to hear your favorite band play their hits during a live show? Last night during Eddie Trunk Live, Eddie was chatting with Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer. Tom was talking about liking to play more obscure tunes once in awhile. Eddie then said… “I’m a true fan. I don’t like when bands play the hits.”

I about puked.

Seriously? Just because I like to hear the hits during a concert doesn’t make me any less of a fan. I’ll tell you one thing: I'd love for Motley Crue to play “Danger” but I know it won’t happen. By common economic principles, they need to play songs that charted, and that’s o.k. I’d be pissed if Motley decided to skip “Dr. Feelgood” or “Girls, Girls, Girls.” There’s a reason why those type of songs typically became hits in the first place: it’s because they’re damn good.

That said, I do love it when bands play an obscure track or two during live sets. It’s fun to see “die hard” fans go crazy, but I’ll admit these lesser known songs typically take a toll on crowd energy. Van Halen is a good example of this. Everyone and her sister knows “Runnin’ With the Devil” and a Van Halen concert wouldn’t be the same without the track. I can’t say the same for “Atomic Punk.” Yes, both tracks are on the same 1978 debut release, but one is played constantly on classic rock radio and the other…not so much. I saw Van Halen twice on their 2007/2008 reunion tour and both times, the fans went bonkers during the famous bass beginning of “Runnin.’” Not exactly the same scenario for “Atomic Punk.”

Does this mean those fans who were a little less interested in “Atomic Punk” were not true blue to Van Halen? Absolutely not. The next time you go to a show, look around. There will inevitably be someone who can sing every lyric of every song regardless of popularity. All the same, there will be someone who doesn’t know many songs at all. Each person still paid price of admission.

What do you think? Are you not a "true fan" if you like to hear the hits live? 

Reader Comments (31)

Eddie Trunk is a moron. I love to hear my favourite deep tracks live, but I know it's a crap shoot. I do love to hear more than the hits, but who would complain when Cinderella play Shake me ? They use that as the encore for a reason, it gets the biggest fan reaction.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I saw Southern Culture On The Skids a few years back in a bar and after they finally played "that oatmeal cake song" as the people called it 3/4 of the people walked away from the stage and back to the bar because it was the only song they knew. they could have cared less. on the flip side last month when i saw Rush they broke out a few older songs that they haven't played in years and the crowd went nuts. also, there are a lot of groups with hits but it doesn't mean the song is good. there are a ton of crappy songs that become popular. don't equate success with quality.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
Hearing the hits live is inevitable. It's the douchebags that ONLY sing along to the hits that aren't the real fans ;)
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlesh
WOW I can't believe Eddie said that..But I love Eddie he is one of the people who helped start Rocklahoma..Allyson I'm with you..I'd love to hear the Crue perform "Danger" and "Merry Go Round" =)
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Sure Don, BUT.... I love a longer Crue show because they play songs I love more, when I saw them for a full show, half way they played Home Sweet Home and before that all the songs were off the first two. I *hate* Without You, for example, there are popular songs that suck. But I doubt there's many people who are a fan of a band, but hate ALL their hits, and if there are, what are they expecting to see at a live show ? Eddie's comment is just plain ignorant.

My favourite Cinderella album is Still Climbing. I would swap half the hits for songs like talk is cheap, and blood from a stone. I'll still sing my *ass* off when they play Shake Me.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
It's not that you aren't a true fan if you wanna hear allthe hits but for gods sake surely bands should be able to play some deeper cuts from albums and not have everyone just stare blankly!?!?! I can't belive people go and see bands if they only know the greatest hits.

Why can't bands play 8 hits 5 album cuts and 4 new cuts in a set rather than 14 hits 1 new song and 2 album cuts...when bands play only 1 or 2 songs off their new cds live it makes me think they have no confidence in their new material.

Bon Jovi have the right idea by playing 6-8 new tracks each gig...but i still wish they'd ocassionaly drop one or 2 of the standards...

Guess you can't keep everyone happy but I wouldn'yt pay to see a band if I only knew their radio hits.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGlennie O
Bon Jovi sucks now, precisely because they pretend the 80s didn't happen and their new stuff is utter crap.

I agree about people going to shows, but without those people who go for the one or two songs, the arena would be half full and the tour would be cancelled. I guess a band like Crue has so many hits, they can fill a show. A band like Aerosmith can fill three shows. At what point is it OK for a band to not play a song most of the fans want to hear, so they can play an obscure album cut ?

At the end of the day, whatever a band plays, most people will wish for a song they didn't get, that's just how it is.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I wouldn't care if they sang the phone book, I'd be happy as hell to get my favorite bands anywhere NEAR beautiful downtown Midlothian, Virginia.

True fan? One that doesn't go 'pfft' and abandons ship when a band hits hard times. One that yes, likes the 'hits' but knows the obscure stuff. One that admires an artist for their talent, not just their looks. One that will promote their band--and not list it as a 'guilty pleasure' because it isn't. :)

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
amen brother. i saw VH 2x in south florida in feb this year and when atomic ponk started with that train/cymbol i was jacked out of my mind where the fair weather fans went to pee or get another mojito. its all good though. VH rocks, your site rules. long live the sound of rock n roll
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrocknrolltoughguy
Eddie Trunk is more often than not a complete idiot.

I loved it when he admitted last night that he had NO IDEA that MSG had a new album out.

Eddie is one of the biggest UFO fans on the planet. How can he NOT know that one of the founding members has a new album out?! True Fan?! I doubt it.

In my opinion, a true fan would have already had the record in their possession.

Rob Rockitt
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob Rockitt
Is it really any big surprise that Eddie Trunk said something stupid? I'd be more surprised if he didn't.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Once again, Eddie Trunk is a complete ASS! That's why I don't listen to The Boneyard on Monday nights!
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEddieLongHair
Just my two cents, but my fav band is Metallica and for years they used to play the same exact setnight after night, so when I went to multiple shows it could get a lil um boring i guess, recently they have been playing older obscure songs (like Pearl Jam) and on the same hand I expect to hear "Enter Sandman" for the millionth (sp?) time...something I do is try to learn as many songs from a band that I am going to see (Rocklahoma has alot this year) so I'm not bored to tears. Either way you needto play the hits, there's a reason they are hits.....
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTom
oh trust me, i believe trunk is an idiot and was boneheaded to say that. there are a lot of fair weather fans who are only interested in the hits. i think you can call yourself a "true fan" ( i really hate this term) of a band if you look at their greatest hits release and say "hey, what about this song? why isn't it on there?" to this day i still say "stone in love" is one of journey's best songs ever but it gets overlooked by their ballad hits. just my opinion though.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
Eddie Trunk is a dingleberry.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
Nothing is worse than going to a show and having 4 people sit in front of you that are dressed as if they are going to a business meeting that only applaud when the band's biggest hit gets played and they get pissed at you because you are yelling, singing, and headbanging.

Last time I saw KISS, this happened. Last time I saw Aerosmith this happened. When I saw Queen w/Paul Rodgers this happened and the Queen diehard sitting next to me poured his beer over one of the "suit's" head. I saw the Scorpions/Deep Purple/Dio show a few years back at the Tweeter Center and a copule of guys 10 rows back were pissed because a bunch of us were standing and their wives couldn't see the show. Stand the hell up then! It's a concert! Unbutton the suit and loosen the tie!

As far as I'm concerned, if you are there to hear the band's music, then you are a fan. Doesn't matter if you know all their songs or just the hits. Personally, I like it when a band drops one of their biggest hits in favor of something obscure or old, its great to see people in the crowd go wild over a certain deep track and the bands get off on it too. Let's say the Crue come to town and drop'Wild Side' for 'Knock'em Dead Kid' or 'Too Young To Fall In Love', that would be great!

BTW, Crue should dump 'Anarchy In The UK' for an original.

Heavy Metal Addiction
I agree with you Allyson. I think a TRUE fan loves all of their songs, and knows their hits, as well as the more rare cuts. That is a really stupid thing for Eddie Trunk to say...but, oh well.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
Hey Rob Rockitt

Just so you don't make a complete idiot of yourself again Michael Schenker IS NOT "one of the founding members" of UFO

UFO had 3 albums out before Schenker joined...

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGlennie O
See, Wild Side is my fave Crue song, but I'm all for them dumping 'Anarchy'.

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
LOL - I missed where Rob said that. You're right, of course, but no-one really cares about those first three albums, do they ?

Did he say that ? I don't see it.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian

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