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--- Sep 08 1999 Go to category
Subject: ...'interaction with fans.
Category: Touring
From: Eric  van Hall (USA)

Hi Pat,

Let me first say how much I appreciate your taking part in this forum. Thankfully for my musical tastes, you continue to be a busy musician. I think you're quite considerate to spend a little time communicating with your listeners.

My question involves your interaction with fans, and relates to an experience of mine. You see, I watched you play a benefit concert last year at Opus 40, about 1 1/2 hours north of New York City, in the Catskills. My best friend and his wife were relaxing in the sun with me before the gig. You casually strolled by; my buddy's wife said we should have both "'said Hi" to you. Now... 'since I don't know you, and my friend does not know you... 'we felt we had no business "'saying Hi" to you. 'Perfect strangers rarely have good conversation.

In light of my little story about last year in the Catskills, I have one or two questions. How do you feel about being approached by perfect strangers? How do you feel about people presuming to know YOU because they know your music?

In any case, Mr. Metheny... thank you for your music.

Pat’s Answer:

generally speaking, because i am a huge fan of many musicians, painters, actors, etc, - i know how i would react if i was in close proximity to someone whose work i really liked. when i see someone looking at me like they know me - i sometimes think, "do i know them? am i not recognizing my cousin who i have not seen since 12th grade here? or worse, i feel like i look really weird or something, like maybe i have toilet paper stuck on my shoes or something or my fly is undone and that is the point of interest. i guess even until now, it does kind of blow my mind that people even know who i am, etc. - but if someone comes up to me and likes the music - i always appreciate it. on the other hand, i don't really have too much to say beyond "thanks" - i am just not that social a person and pretty much prefer being by myself. also, if it is before or after a concert that i am playing - i am not really "there" anyway - i am either thinking about what i am going to try to sound like or how i thought i played. but i do like to put faces to the "audience" - i miss playing in very small intimate situations where you can see everyone in the club. meeting folks after the gig can always humanize the experience somehow for me.

thanks for writing.