I had a few people ask what my “story” is and why I became a fan. It wasn’t through some amazing turn of events. It did take some time.
Unfortunately, I was one of those people who found out about her after the tragedy. I’m from a very small town in Ohio. I had no latino influence in my area. I was more into Ace of Base, Brandy and Sheryl Crow at the time.
I remember the day she passed away though. It’s amazing how I remember and little did I know what would become of it and a part of my life. It was a Friday night and I had a friend over for a sleep over. I was watching the 11pm news waiting for Letterman to be on and I remember them saying how Selena was shot and killed. Now 10 year old me wasn’t listening well. I thought they said Celine Dion. I was a bit surprised but carried on with life as usual hearing of the “death” of Celine Dion.
Months passed. My mom used to give me a few dollars here and there to go spend as I wish. I loved going to the music stores or Wal-Mart and trying to find new music. I would just pick up random cds and scan them and listen to the previews. I don’t really remember why or when but sometime in late 1995, I bought the “Dreaming of You” cassette. I didn’t know much about her. I didn’t even know she sang in Spanish. I recall listening to side B for the first time and Amor Prohibido came on. I thought it sounded like a Caribbean Christmas song at the intro. I will admit I was not the biggest fan of the Spanish stuff. I used to only listen to side A. There’s an interview where Selena actually talks about how for some people, Tejano music takes time to get used to and enjoy. She was correct! It grew on me and eventually I would start to listen to and enjoy side B.
Sometime in 1996, I bought the Selena Remembered VHS. I am pretty confident that’s the moment I became a real fan. I actually learned of her story and who she actually was and actually saw her perform. I got to hear more of the Tejano side of her music. It also had the trailer for the upcoming movie which made me even more interested.
But that’s when I started to do the online searches and tried to find videos . I would go to the library and look through magazines to get clippings and pictures. I think I owe the Edgerton Library an apology and some cash for all the things I took from their collections of magazines. I remember “renting” the one computer with internet at the library so I could look at the Selena Etc. website and order t-shirts via mail.
The movie also sparked more of a love. I remember seeing it the first day it came out. And then three more times.
It’s been about 20 years now. I think I grow to appreciate Selena and her music more and more as I get older.
As a kid what made me love her was the music and watching her performances. I just thought she was fun.
As an adult what attracts me and makes me appreciate her as a person and artist is that she had class. Absolute class. I’ve watched so many interviews and read so many articles and there was something about the way she carried herself and spoke. She seemed beyond her years with her professionalism and poise. She didn’t have to rely on a gimmick to sell records or get a fan base like so many artists nowadays. She didn’t need a fancy stage set up or multi media presentation to put on a good show. I cannot think of anyone who can compare or come close to her in the mainstream market.
My son doesn’t stand a chance of not listening to her in the car or growing up without seeing her concerts. He better get used to it. Who knows..he may be fluent in Spanish before he hits kindergarten 😉