Imagine tweeting Beatles
TORONTO ó Burton Cummings remembers being a Beatles-obsessed teenager and can only imagine how cool it wouldíve been if he couldíve messaged John Lennon.
Which is why the former Guess Who frontman is a big Twitter user and a frequent blogger.
"Back in the day if I couldíve emailed John Lennon or Jim Morrison or some of these people who are gone now, just to think they mightíve read my stuff, I wouldíve been thrilled," said Cummings during a recent interview.
"Iíve got these people who literally have been following me for 40 years, they like my songs, and now thereís a place for all of us to congregate."
Cummings is one of many musicians who are using social media to foster their fanbase by interacting with followers personally online. If thereís a downside to it, itís that some musicians may be overexposing themselves, he said.
"The big difference, I think, between then and now is there was still some mystery then, some wonderment ... and thereís none of that anymore," Cummings said.
"Thereís no more hiding anymore. In a sense that makes me sad, everythingís a bit too much out in the open sometimes, too immediate."
Rapper Kardinal Offishall has experienced that first-hand, along with a sense of entitlement from some fans who think he should respond to every tweet he receives.
"I am an artist and I have to be accessible to the public but itís still weird, fans donít actually understand it," he said.
"Picture it like this, dude. Youíre in the mall, youíre walking home from the subway and somebody just comes up to you and says, ĎHey, John!í and you donít know that person from anything or anywhere. To you youíre going to be a bit weirded out. Multiply that times 1,000 per year and thatís what itís like for me.
"Itís cool because you get to really see what your fans are up to and hear what they have to say but at the same time you have to maintain a little bit of privacy."
Besides, he doesnít really tweet his thoughts much and sticks mostly to sharing pictures of whatís going on around him.
"Letís get it straight: Iím a TwitPicíer, Iím not a Twitterer," he said.
"Thatís really my thing because otherwise I just think itís kind of like a Grade 5 schoolgirl with a pink journal."
The members of country band Doc Walker say they too arenít that into tweeting and only do it occasionally for promotional reasons.
"I have dial-up so I really donít do much, I push send and I go change the oil in my truck and come back and hopefully Iíve put my status up for the day," joked Chris Thorsteinson, and added that his fans mostly arenít into it either.