Email of the day: in re groupies
From a singer’s wife:
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This is both a humorous and not-so-humorous subject, especially if you happen to be the wife of a singer. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has been given the old “butt swipe” by women old enough to be his grandmother. Perhaps I should explain this term that we coined to describe the act. Old lady comes up and wants a photo with singer. Singer cheerfully obliges, and allows old lady to put her arm around his waist. After photo is taken, she slides her hand down to his rear and either rubs it or gives it a few pats. Intentional? You bet. But it seems rather comical that she would get her little jollies this way - perhaps that’s the only place she’s getting them at her age.
Now the really humorless stuff is when your husband is approached at the convention by a groupie (translated desparate-for-attention middle-aged woman) who pretends she has some great need to bend his ear off about her private life and during the conversation lets him know that she is available for anything. This type of behavior burns me up. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to whip out the old wallet and show her the cute smiling faces of those adorable children back home and tell her she should see a counselor, as gospel singers are NOT qualified to counsel people about anything regarding their personal lives. That’s what pastors and their wives and psychologists are for.
This opens up a whole debate on what the singers actually owe their fans. I once had a wise pastor of our church tell me that pretty much after my husband sings he has fulfilled his obligation, and owes no one anything (read no extra listening to personal problems or folks monopolizing his time.) Although some people would like to think that because they attended the concert and paid for a ticket or gave in the offering and bought a cd that now he’s obligated for life. It has to be thought of this way: a person attends a concert and pays something to do so. They get to hear the singer sing. Have they received what they paid for? Absolutely. A person buys a cd. Did they receive a product for what they paid? of course. The problem comes in when people think that singers are responsible to do what the Church should do. Gospel groups are parachurch organizations. They have a place in making people feel closer to God through music, but they can never take the place of the church in meeting needy people’s needs. And I have to tell you from years of experience that sometimes, no, make that a lot of times, the fans have so emotionally drained him that he has nothing left for our family when he gets home. This is when I start thinking he’s way too nice.
Now, just so no one thinks I’m way too mean, that same pastor recommended that my husband pray and ask the Lord to reveal which of those people at a concert God actually wants him to take more time with. These aren’t always the people who think that they are the ones who need to have the poor guy’s time!