[Fan Keith Eaton, @Midcoaster, is contributing a piece to the blog for the first time. He first became obsessed with music when, in 1979, he sat in a darkened theater and watched Apocalypse Now. Nothing was ever quite the same after that opening sequence.]
After 30 years, I have to honestly ask myself, "Is this devotion?" That word, devotion, sort of goes against everything that I thought was irreverent in me all these years. Sort of. I mean, devotion is a weird thing. Many Americans marry but don't even want to acknowledge devotion, as it sort of conjures demeaning levels of servitude despite horrid conditions. (We opt for divorce rather than weathering the storm more often than not.)
30 years of fandom, though, whoa. But it's never that. It's never a straight line. There was no sense of devotion during my irreverent (or so I thought) late-1980s self. There was this cool band that I saw, Phish, and they were nice dudes. They were dudes with whom I could talk about music when their set was done, slathering on my love praises for the SST and Touch and Go labels, even though I looked every part the slavishly devoted Deadhead. Let me explain.
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