Did Social Media Kill The Rock Star Icon?

From Hypebot:

Guest post by Don de Leaumont, Editor / Owner of the metal blog The Great Southern Brainfart

I can remember sitting in my poster covered room back in 1985 as I listened to Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” album. As you may know, that band and album were huge for me and got me through a lot of troubled times. I sat on my bed with my spiral bound notebook and wrote a two page letter (front and back) to Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. In my letter I told him about how I was picked on all the time and how because of his music I gained the courage (or stupidity) to go to school and break the nose of the kid who had bullied me for 3 years.

I was so proud of myself and I figured that Dee would without a doubt be blown away by my story and maybe call me or write me back. I waited for months and then one day I had an envelope in my mailbox from Twisted Sister! I ran into my room, opened the envelope and inside, to my dismay, was a form letter saying something like, “Hey! Thanks for your interest in Twisted Sister! Here’s a form to fill out. Send it back with some money and you can join our SMF of TS fan club. I was devastated! So what did I do? I sent in my 10 bucks and became an SMF. I did the same for Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, and countless other bands. Sometimes I received a stock autographed 8×10 (thanks Adrian Smith) and other times I’d get squat. How the times have changed since those days.

In these days of the internet and various social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, it seems that the once unattainable rock stars can now be one of your thousands of friends on Facebook as they converse with you via their “wall” or their “tweets.” As a 38 year old fan of music, I find this to be a pretty amazing thing. I mean, it’s absolutely insane for me to think that I can now be in direct contact with the very artists that seemed to be larger than life. Just a couple of years ago, I wrote an editorial called “Twisted Sister Saved My Life.” I posted it on my blog, I went to Twitter and contacted Dee Snider, and within a few hours I had a direct message from Mr. Snider himself telling me just how much he loved my article.

I couldn’t’ sleep that night from the pure excitement of knowing that one of my childhood heroes had not only read one of my writings but contacted me directly to thank me. While I thought this was such an awesome thing, I also couldn’t help but feel that this made Dee Snider just an ordinary person.Don’t get me wrong though. I know that these rock stars are really just ordinary people with extraordinary careers. It’s just that I can’t help but feel that the days of the larger than life rock god icons are a thing of the past.

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