Sigh… OK, here goes.
Blackie’s retirement has left a massive void in the Chili Pepper community. Not only have we lost our “go to” source of information and fan in-between with the band, but it’s created issues within the community. Before, he was Head Honcho and there was no point competing with that as it was a given and he would also steer the community- I’ve seen him have a discrete word with someone about their behaviour when there were issues. Now the gaping void he’s left has nobody to steer it and some people are prepared to do anything to step into it. In the ten years that I’ve been heavily involved with the CP community online, I’ve never know it to be like this with the back-stabbing and bullying that is going on in some areas. There is some pretty unpleasant stuff happening at times on social media.
There has also been a split in the fan base leading to some of the fans seeing themselves as being better than others. And somehow from that an inner circle of FANS has formed stepping into the Blackie void. Obviously, some of that inner circle totally deserve to be there as they are loyal and dedicated fans and I’m not commenting on the rights or wrongs of it but just making observations. However, there is a section of those inner fans that are desperate to keep other fans out in whatever way they can and they seem to be attracting an element of like minded fans who want to be in that inner circle who are now running around sending abusive messages, trying to force fan pages to close way to do, etc. in order to be able to do so. Other fans are totally on the outside and left out and resentment is growing over it all and it’s adding to the fan base tension and split.
OK, why I’m writing this…
I’m an “out” and that has been repeatedly pointed out to me but I’ve weathered the storm. However, recently things have got really unpleasant and I’ve had a lot of issues with some members of the online community within social media and the threats/bullying/ “self-improvement” messages (I get it! And thank you, I’m just commenting and understand without the need for anymore as a result of this post) some of the real side-stage pass possessing fans and the “wannabe” fans like to send to outsiders like me. It’s been really unpleasant and hard and has led to lots of consideration about me continuing to be involved as many of you know.
And then at Reading I had a moment (OK, a concert length one!). I’ve put so much into supporting the band and their charities and projects and helping the community as much as I can. And I was standing there being jostled in a crowd unable to see much (being 5ft 2″ in a crowd isn’t good!) and looking at ants in the distance on the stage knowing the fans from the inner circle would be side-stage with perfect views and hadn’t had to queue or be pushed around. And it made me wonder what the hell I was doing. Then I got home and had the disappointment of my rubbish pics as I was too far away and too short to take anything decent; knowing I would have shared them with the community and couldn’t.
As a result, I really started to think about whether I carry on with the websites and decided to give myself until the end of this year to decide as it is such a massive decision to take. I’ve put so much into this and it’s hard to walk away from it. I’ve managed to keep this going all through the hell and chaos of the last few years. I’ve nursed two people, my mother (Alzheimer’s Disease) and husband (alcohol addiction), through terminal conditions within three years, been widowed, seen my whole life turned upside down and still kept it going but I know in my heart I’ve now come to the end of the line. I don’t need the hassle from certain quarters and I don’t need to feel rejected and foolish for wasting my time on something I cannot achieve in because I’m an outsider. Ten years and I don’t even have full band autographs which says it all really.
It’s time to step aside and leave things to those real fans as fan pages really ought to be run by them. I’ve got tickets to two concerts in December and I will go and enjoy them just as a face in the crowd and leave the photo taking and reporting to the proper fans. And hopefully I’ll meet a lot of friends and that is the good thing to come from all of this and is something I really do value. A few posts by me will sneak on here I’m sure around the time of the UK concerts (I’ll make a final post at some point if nothing else as this is just an update rather than a proper goodbye). I’ve paid for domain names and hosting for the next year so I’ll leave the websites (this one and anthonykiedis.net) up in case people want the info on them (I might tweak a few things as there were some things I’ve always meant to add/update) or want to read the 50000+ magazine pages I’ve scanned 🙂 But I won’t be involved in them or the Facebook pages any more from 2017. Peace <3