The energy exchange between fans and musicians during live events can be intoxicating, even without mind-altering substances. New York-based photographer Erin Feinberg has perfectly captured that dynamic in her new B&W coffee table book. Moreover, she knows first hand what it is to be a super fan. As a photographer she has "...photographed these congregations from every vantage point -- around the stages, oppressively hot parking lots, muddy festival grounds, intimate clubs, massive stadiums, and often right the middle of the most pits...."
In an era before the deluge of digital distractions, music was the great escape for most of us. As we turned our spare time and attention towards our favorite musicians, many of us became "diehard" fans. And whether one is devoted to The Boss, Jimmy Buffett, Jon Bon Jovi, The Dead, U2, et al., diehard fans usually remain so for life.
With a heartfelt forward from Mr. Bruce Springsteen on the connection between fans and his music, and Rush's drummer Neil Peart's essay -- and his two fan photos -- about his group's rabid diehards at the end of the book, Ms. Feinberg has completed the loop on the aforementioned energy exchange.
As for the photos, in most instances one can easily recognize the diehard fans' objects of obsession -- four midgets in full Kiss makeup and costume, Aerosmith logo tattoos on the backsides of three gals, a detailed Dylan painting on a prosthetic leg, the obvious Deadhead, heavily tattooed and goth-dressed Ozzy fans, various signs with the slogans and pleas to various bands, and, one of my favorites, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips in his giant clear ball literarily "walking" over his fans.
My only complaint, and it is minor, is identifying some of the fan photos. It would have been nice to have an index at the end of the book to identify the venue and band where said diehards were photographed but not readily identifiable.
Regardless, this is a wonderful holiday gift for music and non-music fans alike.
Mr. Wright is a content creator and culture curator. He is a contributor to the Huffington Post, a DJ at David Lynch's Transcendental Music Radio, the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and television. He's recorded four solo CDs and one with folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was a William Morris agent.