The phrase “fan” comes from the Latin phrase fanaticus, which is outlined as being “insanely however divinely impressed”. Form of the way you’d describe these 4 tremendous followers who put on their passions loudly and proudly.
What does the home of a Rolling Stone devotee appear to be?
Fairly crowded, as you’d count on. So crowded the truth is that Richard Fox, 54, needed to construct a separate room in his Auckland dwelling for the 5000+ items of Rolling Stones memorabilia he’s collected over the previous 37 years.
Fox is what’s often known as a brilliant fan, a kind of individuals whose ardour for one thing or somebody – in his case what he calls the best band on the planet – has tipped over into obsession. An obsession he’s devoted a lot of his life – and pay cheques – to.
All of it started for Fox the summer time of 1984.
“A mate and I had been driving round Rotorua, and he placed on a cassette tape,” he says.
Tearing out of the audio system got here the Rolling Stones’ 1971 music Bitch. “I used to be like, wow! In fact I knew the Stones however had by no means actually paid a lot consideration. However that music was sleazy, soiled rock and roll at its greatest – it summed up the entire intercourse, medication and rock’n’roll mentality I discovered fascinating.”
The cartographer began shopping for or borrowing the Stones again catalogue, and devouring books and magazines about them. “I used to be working in Hamilton inside 20m of two document shops, which I’d go to every day, typically a number of occasions a day.”
When the web arrived, Fox’s obsession went into overdrive. “It’s nonetheless uncontrolled,” jokes the daddy of a 15-year-old son and 13-year-old twins (one in every of whom is called Charlie after the late Stones drummer, Charlie Watts).
“I purchase stuff weekly, or typically a number of occasions a day. There’s all the time one thing to purchase. For instance, Lego NZ introduced they’re bringing out a Lego model of the Stones ‘tongue’ brand so I’ll purchase that.”
Fox focuses primarily on merchandise corresponding to badges, sneakers, balls, skateboards, books and magazines. He doesn’t know what number of he has as a result of he would not catalogue them. “I’d have one thing like 300 Stones cigarette lighters, for instance.”
What he does meticulously document is the vinyl, CDs, blue rays and cassettes. “I’ve most likely obtained 1000 information and one other 1000 CDs, as a result of they convey out completely different variations in numerous international locations. I’ve simply ordered 4 copies of the Stones’ new album together with the French model that’s pink and the blue German model, in addition to the CD. So whereas somebody would spend $30 on the brand new album, I’ll spend between $500-$1000.”
How a lot has his ardour has value through the years? “I truthfully don’t know, however most likely six figures.”
That features attending 54 Stones gigs, all over the place from Brazil to Paris. In July Fox will add to that tally with 4 or 5 exhibits in Brussels, Lyon and Stockholm. “Mick Jagger is my tour information, I’m going the place he goes!”
The price is value it, he says, not solely having the ability to see the Stones dwell (“The last word authorized excessive”) but in addition due to different Stones followers from all around the globe.
“There’s an actual camaraderie. We meet up the evening earlier than a gig and communicate. Sarcastically, it’s primarily males who accumulate Stones memorabilia. There are many feminine followers however they don’t are typically OCD collectors the best way guys are.”
His different highs embrace issues corresponding to chatting to Mick Jagger exterior his Amsterdam lodge, getting one in every of Charlie Watts’ drumsticks and having each Keith Richards and Ronny Wooden hand him their guitar picks. “They recognise me now.”
Ask Fox if his household shares his ardour and also you’ll get an eye-roll. “My spouse doesn’t desire a bar of it, primarily due to the time and cash it prices. My children are the identical.”
However a lot of different individuals do. “Folks say to me, I really like your ardour. And I’m typically held up because the poster youngster for extra by guys who’ll say, ‘I advised my spouse about your assortment and now I don’t really feel so unhealthy!’”
Ask Emma Harper what she’d save in a hearth and he or she’ll look anguished.
“Don’t make me select! It’s a tough one but when I needed to, most likely one in every of my many signed Warriors jerseys or the 3m-long signal that commemorated former participant Simon Mannering’s 250th recreation – if I may lug that out of the home.”
Harper, 41, is a die-hard New Zealand Warriors fan, the sort who sports activities a tattoo of the Warriors’ brand on her left wrist, the sort who by no means misses an opportunity to see her staff in motion and who volunteers for the membership.
For her troubles, the Auckland retail supervisor was named Member of the Yr in 2016.
Sarcastically, Harper wasn’t even a fan of rugby league when she and her husband Jason and their two daughters emigrated to New Zealand from the UK in 2006.
“I’d seen a number of rugby union video games and the All Blacks once they performed within the UK. However I wasn’t into league in any respect.”
Just a few months after transferring to Auckland, Harper received tickets to a Warriors recreation.
“It appeared like a enjoyable factor to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon so we went alongside.”
From kick off, she was hooked. “I liked the sport, it was a lot sooner and extra thrilling than rugby union. The ambiance was additionally implausible – the followers had been vocal and enjoyable. I obtained dwelling and mentioned, ‘that was superior’.”
On the time, Harper was working for a celebration enterprise, which meant her weekends had been typically busy. “However at any time when I may I’d go to a house recreation, both with Jason or my sister who’s now additionally a Warriors fan, though not as fanatical as me.”
Two years later, Harper turned a member and shortly after began her assortment of Warriors jerseys, scarves and posters in addition to signed balls and boots.
“I’ve additionally obtained stuff like branded shoelaces, bottle openers, wristbands, even a Shaun Johnson doll a pal introduced me again from Australia.”
Harper estimates she’s spent round $50,000 on her assortment, which hovers across the 500 merchandise mark.
“I’m not likely positive what number of items I’ve. Once we had been including an extension to the home , I included a walk-in wardrobe to retailer my assortment. There are additionally objects round the home – like the large Simon Mannering check in Jason’s workplace and a black and white framed image of the staff coaching at Bethells Seaside, which hangs on my front room wall.”
And a photograph Shaun Johnson gave her for her fortieth birthday.
“For me, it’s about watching the video games and accumulating merchandise. I’ve a foul reminiscence so I’m not a kind of followers who logs each recreation or information who scored and what occurred.”
Harper’s pleasure comes from being a part of the Warriors whānau. “It’s the excitement of being a part of one thing huge – of being one huge household with the gamers, workers and different followers. The gamers are so humble, they spend time with you in a method I’m positive Manchester United gamers don’t. By volunteering, I‘m additionally giving one thing again to the membership.”
As for these detractors who ask Harper why she’s such a devoted fan, particularly when the staff isn’t doing nicely, she’ll say, “My pores and skin is hardened to these feedback now. When you’re a fan, you stick along with your staff via good and unhealthy and all the time have their again.”
Okay-pop, the Korean common music that’s received followers all over the world, not solely gave Sophia Santillan one thing to take heed to, it additionally offered a profession.
Santillan was a 17-year-old scholar on the College of Auckland when she turned obsessive about Okay-pop.
The gateway drug, she says, was BTS, a South Korean boy band fashioned in 2010.
“Rising up within the Philippines, I’d heard of Okay-pop however wasn’t actually into it,” admits the now 23-year-old. “However at highschool in New Zealand a pal launched me to BTS and I used to be hooked.”
On the time, Santillan was learning anthropology however her curiosity in Okay-pop opened up her eyes to the broader position music performs in society. Particularly, the intersection between Okay-pop and South Korean society and tradition.
“That led me to modify my diploma to ethnomusicology, the examine of music from the cultural and social elements of the individuals who make it.”
It additionally led her to Okay-pop Planet, the college’s fan group, which organises occasions together with trivia nights.
“It’s an opportunity to be a part of a group of people that share my curiosity.”
There are round 200 members, who sit at varied factors on the fandom spectrum.
“Some persons are studying Korean, some watch Korean TV dramas and others purchase a lot of merchandise. I’m simply there for the music as a result of I’m a poor scholar so I can’t afford a lot merch.”
Any money from her part-time analysis assistant job is spent on CDs. Santillan can also be saving to see Okay-pop star Eric Nam when he visits New Zealand in July.
Whereas she’s extra into feminine than male acts (“The ladies’s ideas are so a lot better”), she listens to each and learns the choreography to their songs.
“Every music has its personal choreography and it may be an actual confidence increase whenever you study a posh dance routine. You are feeling such as you’re on the celebrities’ degree.”
Listening to Okay-pop for her diploma is, she laughs, no hardship. “I take heed to it for each work and pleasure and my love of the style is getting stronger as I study extra about it. Okay-pop has modified my life’s trajectory.”
Step into Matt Glasgow’s Auckland dwelling and also you’ll be transported to a galaxy far, far-off.
In all places you look there’s Star Wars memorabilia – from a Loss of life Star chopping board to a 7ft (2.1m) carbonite mannequin of Han Solo.
“There’s no area in our home that doesn’t characteristic Star Wars,” says Glasgow, a physician/medical researcher whose ardour began as a wide-eyed 7-year-old when he noticed the primary ever Star Wars movie in Tauranga.
“We’ve total rooms devoted to motion figures and the rumpus room is filled with life-sized characters.”
Glasgow estimates there are in extra of fifty,000 objects all up. “It’s troublesome to catalogue all of them as a result of they vary from a person enjoying card to Star Wars ice cream wrappers.”
With this type of degree of ardour, you’d hope your accomplice was on board. And Glasgow’s spouse Kristy is: the couple truly met by way of the Star Wars NZ fan group group that Glasgow took over 22 years in the past.
“We’d purchased and offered some objects to one another earlier than we met in individual. And we obtained engaged at Lake Como in Italy, the place Assault of the Clones was filmed.”
It’s additionally had an affect on the couple’s daughter Juliet, 20, who’s an enthusiastic participant within the household obsession. “All of us accumulate various things – I’m going for motion figures primarily from the unique movies whereas Juliet is into costumes and Kristy prefers the prequel post-1990 movies and runs a web site of Star Wars-inspired feminine style.”
Ask how a lot they’ve spent on their ardour and also you’ll get a well mannered shrug.
“I honesty don’t know,” says Glasgow. “Possibly within the six figures.”
That features the price of attending Star Wars conventions all over the world the place they’ve met actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and the late Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) greater than as soon as.
However it would not embrace the time dedication the couple make to the home Star Wars group web site and weekly podcasts. “We’ve simply completed the seventieth podcast,” says Glasgow proudly. “It takes a variety of time to analysis and produce the podcast, most likely a number of hours every day.”
It’s time nicely spent, he says. “The enjoyment of being a Star Wars fan is the nostalgic connection to my childhood, the connection to a group of others who share my curiosity and the leisure we get from the films. Plus there’s an entire psychology round accumulating and people who find themselves collectors by nature – it’s onerous to keep away from that for those who’re one.”