Over the weekend, one of the bands my husband plays drums for had a gig at a place . I did not wear this shirt:


This was a gift from my grandma several years ago. Back when I first received it, I thought it would be funny and adorable to wear it to one of Dwayne's shows. Our friends all agreed that it was, in fact, funny and adorable when I wore it to one of Dwayne's shows. The general public, however, reacted less favorably. I had strange guys coming up to me all night saying stuff like, "You're with the drummer, huh? So which one?" When I'd point to the tall, hot guy dragging his gear on (and later off) the stage, or even playing his drums on said stage, they'd start drilling me for details that only someone who really is with a drummer might know. Even when I'd answer the questions correctly, I could tell they thought I was making it all up. Apparently, a T-shirt that makes a claim such as this is not to be believed!!!!

Hey, so speaking of T-shirts that get people all riled up! [/SUPER-SMOOTH SEGUE]

While I was at the bar for my husband's show last weekend, chatting with a friend (while wearing something other than my "I'M WITH THE DRUMMER" shirt), some random guy -- probably in his early 50s -- came up to Friend and said, "So, you like AC/DC, huh?"

She said, "I sure do."

I thought it was a strange start to the conversation, but then I realized Friend was wearing an AC/DC T-shirt. Random Guy then asked her further questions in a really aggressive tone: "Then, what's your favorite song of theirs?"

"'Back in Black,'" she said without hesitation.

He rolled his eyes. "Oh, Jeez. Tell me the name of the band member who sings it."

She had no idea, and things sort of escalated into ugliness from there. Random Guy kept going on and on about how AC/DC was the music of his youth and it just wasn't right for her to not know about them, especially if she has the nerve to go around wearing the shirt. Friend wasn't in the mood to put up with his crap and said, "You're right. I'm a complete a**hole. I'll definitely think again before I dare to wear a shirt without knowing everything there is to know about it."

She pointed out to Random Guy, he was wearing a green shirt, probably because he likes green. But he doesn't know the science of what makes the pigment appear green to our eyes. He doesn't even know the exact name of the shade of green he was wearing. What gave him the right to wear green?

Somewhere in the midst of things, Friend's Husband got involved in the discussion and suggested that Random Guy 1) stop putting his hand on Friend's arm and shoulder and 2) "just walk away."

I said, "Yes, please. Good bye."

There was very nearly fisticuffs, but Random Guy finally left. We were all a little rattled having just been involved in such an obnoxious scene. And the whole thing really made me think about how protective people can get over things they love. Particularly music. Like, Hard-Core Fans need to protect the band from and/or show up the Casual Fans at all cost, suckahs.

I don't wear a lot of band merch, all things considered. I have one t-shirt for the Ramones (it was a gift), two for the Doors, one for Blind Melon, and one for Nightmare of You.

In the case of the Ramones, I am such a Casual Fan that "I Wanna Be Sedated" is the only song title that comes to mind at this moment. And that's mostly because Jordan Catalano sang it on an episode of MY SO-CALLED LIFE. I think that actually makes me Someone Who Only Vaguely Knows There is a Band Called "The Ramones." (I'm kidding! Mostly.)

But with the other three bands, I have the shirts because I am (or was) very into the bands. Like, super-woah into the bands, knowing the first and last name of every band member, which instrument they each play/ed, the titles and lyrics of all (or most) of their albums and songs, etc. (In case you want to get in my face in an internet way and start quizzing me, just know that my memory isn't what it once was. Nightmare of You is the only one of these at present that I can list off lots of trivia with ease.)

I'm trying to decide if, upon encountering a Casual Fan wearing a shirt which advertises one of my favorite bands, I'd try to get into a debate or make them think that they are a loser for not being as knowledgeable about the band as I am. I seriously think not. But, you know, that just generally isn't my style anyway.