Are you desperate to meet a particular celebrity, but assume it will never happen and depress yourself over it? I’m going through that phase right now. I’ve decided that I really want to meet Neil Finn. I want to go up to the man, shake his hand, and tell him how much of an impact his music has had on my growth and development as a person. Even if it’s ten seconds. I want the man to know I exist because I admire him so much. It’s not one of those creepy obsessions. It’s not like I have a shrine devoted to Neil Finn. But when I listen to one of his songs, I feel like I know him. I’ve spent so many cumulative hours listening to his work. I’ve seen him perform live, as part of the Pajama Club (his latest side project). He was great that night. I was awestruck that I was in the same room as him. But once that show was over, I went back to regular life. I heard a few people who went to that gig saw him before it began, as he was entering the building. Oh how I envied them!
I often worry what I’d do if I actually got to meet him. I mean, when you have an opportunity in front of you that doesn’t come ‘round too often, you overthink the situation and are prone to stuffing it up. For example, earlier this year, I walked past Nathan Hindmarsh an hour before he was set to play against Manly. For the uninitiated, Nathan Hindmarsh is the captain of the NRL team I support, the Parramatta Eels. It took me a moment to actually realise it was him. When I did, I gave him a pat on the back and said “It’s really him!” He was posing for a photo with some fans while I did this, by the way. He gave me a puzzled look as if to say “Are you alright, mate?” It was terribly embarrassing and I couldn’t erase it from my mind for the rest of the night.
So, yeah, it would be great to meet Neil Finn one day, just so I could tell him that his music has been a gift to me, and to many others. It has been the soundtrack of many melancholic nights, as well as many happy ones. I’m sure he’s heard this all before, but fandom is a complex notion. There are just some people who you admire so much that you feel like you NEED to meet them before you die.