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Nine Inch Nails - being a fan
Being a fan of NIN is something that crept up on me slowly. When I was 13, a lad in my class, Rob Coate, lent me Pretty Hate Machine saying I should listen to it, I'd like it. I loved it! That tape was in my player for ages. And then I forgot all about it.

A few years later I had a penpal in Nottingham, Marc, who I'd met on a school trip overseas. He sent me a tape of The Downward Spiral when it came out, and he rang me up for a late night chat about all the dodgy lyrics. Again, I liked it, I played it - and then I moved on to listen to other stuff.

When I hit uni, Reshad Ismael became a close friend and shared NIN music with me, passing on loads of bootlegs and songs from soundtracks and encouraging me to listen to the albums again. It's thanks to him I love NIN as much as I do. Sadly, Reshad died just after we left university. Reshad, I miss you so much. You were a great friend and instilling a love of NIN was the best gift you could have given me. Hope you're resting well.

From then on I was a hardcore fan. At last I had a "favourite band" and some music that I felt really spoke to me. Anyone who has seen NIN live will know that Trent performs the songs as if he still feels them (unlike many bands who take your money and then have a lacklustre sing through) and that they put up an amazing show. They continue to produce fresh and fantastic albums - though not as often as I'd like - and although it sounds sad to say it, NIN are truly a part of my life.

It's striking that I remember the people who introduced me to NIN's music. I've heard a lot of music in my life and the only other person I remember and must thank is Chris Hebert, someone I met on a school trip, who introduced me to Peter Gabriel, Genesis and The Jam over the course of a week, which led on to a love of rock when all I'd heard before was a-Ha and InXS. It meant I was ready for Pretty Hate Machine when it came out!

I've no idea where I was when I heard most of the music I now enjoy, but I can picture vividly what happened when I discovered NIN each time. It really made an impact. Thanks to all those people, I owe you a small piece of my soul, although I'm sure you don't really want it.

Just a quick note about Trent; I'm not madly in love with him and don't want to bed him or anything like that. Just that his music reaches me on many different levels and it's all I need to hear (although I have a wide and eclectic range of music in my collection). When I see images of Trent outside a gig scenario, he's just another forty year old man of no interest to anyone. But when I hear his voice on a song, I hear something unique which I can relate to at a deep level. When I see him in front of me at a gig, I need to be as near as I can, to participate as fully as I can, to take all he will give and to reciprocate as part of the event. And then as soon as it's over, he's just another 40 year old man again. He's amazingly talented, inspiring and charismatic - but he's just a man. And I imagine that's the way he likes it, too.


This page last updated: 05 July 2005



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