Lessons in Humanity from Shidoobee

April 23rd, 2012 | Shonali Burke | 15 Comments

ronnie wood in concertOn Saturday, my husband and I drove up to Atlantic City, NJ, to see Ronnie Wood in concert.

“Ronnie” is my husband’s favorite Stone, and when he heard that he was appearing at the Golden Nugget in AC, there was no holding back. (Btw, it’s early days yet, since the casino’s official opening is this week, but it’s really nice… even if you don’t gamble, which I don’t).

I wasn’t looking forward to the four hour-ish drive (one way) after my first week at a new job, having traveled across the country both of the preceding weeks, and more travel coming up this week and next… but one’s Better Half is one’s Better Half.

So off we went.

You’re going to laugh now, because I had a blast at the concert.

We’ve seen the Stones before, but in huge venues. This was quite different; it was much more intimate, and seeing as how we had fifth-row seats, we felt like we were on stage. Ronnie looked, and sounded great, as did the rest of the band, and Bernard Fowler was TOTALLY hawt.

What was really interesting was to watch the “Ronnie-heads” (I don’t know if that’s what they’re called, but that’s what I’m calling them) in action.

They were out in full force.

The room was swimming in Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood, and Faces t-shirts; I lost count of the number of men I saw in derbies adorned with buttons; bleached blondes in sequins, spangles, boas and leopard-print trousers, sometimes all at once… it was quite fantastical.

I saw tons of people greeting each other … to the extent it could have been a 50th high school reunion.

But it just didn’t seem logical that all of them would know each other.

So I asked my husband about it, and it turns out there’s a Rolling Stones-related message board called Shidoobee, which hardcore Stones fans (yes, B.H. is one) frequent.

Through Shidoobee, these fans hear about shows, sometimes before they’re announced (as B.H. did), and get to know each other virtually.

So when they do all get tickets to a show, they are indeed meeting up with a gazillion friends… just friends they haven’t met IRL yet.

Huh. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

It was pretty cool to see that happening.

But more than that, what it reminded me of was the fact that we who choose our tribes, our flocks, our schools of fish, sometimes forget that we’re just one of many.

A flock of starlings is quite happy on its own, but introduce a cuckoo or two into the mix, and they’re probably not going to sit down and break bread (or, more likely, worms) together… at least, not immediately.

They’re more apt to retreat into corners, and whisper about each other, with raised eyebrows (if birds have eyebrows), right?

And as I watched the Shidoobee-ites and Ronnie-heads in action, it reminded me that we in the social media world can get a little insular sometimes.

We are so taken with everything we’re playing with and learning, we start to think everyone’s like us.

And when we meet people not of “our” world, we’re not quite sure how to behave with them… if we even acknowledge that they might not be as consumed with new media as we are.

I’ve seen plenty of instances where we simply don’t bother with people who are “not like us.” And that’s not nice.

And that’s the one thing that I didn’t see at the show; while many of the people there knew each other from Shidoobee or something similar (I imagine), the last thing they were was insular.

There was a general atmosphere of camaraderie and friendliness.

I’m not sure that if the tables were turned, and the Ronnie-heads showed up a BlogWorld or similar SM event, they would be treated in quite the same friendly way.

As a tribe, we could all do with going out of our comfort zone a bit. That’s a lesson I’ve learned before, but it was really brought home to me this weekend.

So how about we commit to traveling a bit out of our bubbles?

Perhaps we’ll even meet in Shidoobee-land.

Image: joshbg2k via Flickr, CC 2.0

Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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"A Little Birdie Told Me" could fly into your inbox just once a month. It's Shonali-as-seen-nowhere-else. What're you waiting for?


@skypulsemedia Thank you for sharing and he SO does!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

All we want to know is if Ronnie is still dating the hot 18 year old...wait she must be 19 now. Makes me feel so better in my own life if he is 8)


As for your post yes people tend to make tribes and get tude about. I saw it back in the day as a dead head when the jocks got into the 'party' and now burningman with the 'yuppy' invasion. On the one hand I cheer when people explore but hate when they ruin something out of ignorance. The key is the people who explore have to open their mind and reach out because they are invading someone else's space.At the same time the Deadheads and the Burners tend to judge the invaders and shutdown instead of helping teach these people about their world.


I remember a bike ride on the fire island boardwalk in 1989 and we wound up in cherry Grove one of the two gay communities. It was 2 guys and two gals and we had drinks at the monster. We were the only non-same sex group. I saw men making out with men there and outside when waiting for the water taxi. And realized this is 'their' place and I have to accept their behavior because I can go elsewhere.


So my moral is don't be insular but be respectful when you explore and welcome explorers in your world and teach them about it.


Well Ronnie Wood does rock!


@nancycawleyjean Thank you - the @realronniewood show at @goldennuggetac was AWESOME!!!


@rachaelseda Thank you for sharing!


I think you learn more from being around people with different interests and talents. Sure, it's good to bounce ideas off of people who "do what you do" but sometimes it's even more insightful to see what someone who doesn't "do what you do" thinks.


You mean there are people 'not like us' out there..............shut the front door..........


It's all one big tumbling ball and you never know who you will bump into; enjoy the journey and live life like you mean it. 

Al Smith
Al Smith

Love this Shonali.  Agree completely.  Get out of our comfort zone and the main thing is treat others HOW we want to be treated, without prejudice (of anything)  The HOW thing is coming up all the time recently.  Maybe it's just me, but if we are Honest with ourselves, have an Open mind and are Willing to see things from anothers perspective, our world can truly expand.  It starts with ME. 


Thanks for this awesome post.  The Stones are always playing on my road trips.  Love em. 

Glad you were "Open" to the trip and "Willing" to go. Ha.


Take CARE.



Shonali moderator

 @HowieSPM I don't think you need Ronnie's lifestyle to feel ok about your own, you silly. But yea, I believe he is dating the teenager (hey, if she's not yet 20, then she's still a teenager, right?). But I'm not 100% sure, I didn't get to talk to him. :p

Your '89 story reminded me... some years ago I was in Belgium on client work (truly - it was awesome!). We were a party-going lot, so after work, we'd go out for dinner and dancing... and none of us were spring chickens, mind you. One night, we heard this terrific disco music coming from somewhere, and followed it to this really cute bar/club. We rushed in, and started dancing with abandon, and then suddenly realize everyone had stopped what they were doing to look at us.

Turns out we were in a gay bar... and I and a couple others were the only women there. They didn't exactly throw us out, but we realized we weren't getting the luhv, so we gracefully exited... including the men. Ha!

Ronnie TOTALLY rocks... and Bernard might rock even more!

Shonali moderator

 @rachaelseda We do... which makes me wonder why we're so frightened of what's "different," you know?

Shonali moderator

 @bdorman264 Hahahahah!!!

Good to see you here, my friend - thank you for stopping by while I still figure out how all things social fit into my new life... it might take a while, but I will figure it out, I promise...

Shonali moderator

 @Al Smith That's the Golden Rule, isn't it? Treat others as you'd like to be treated. If we do that, I don't think we can go wrong.

Thank YOU for stopping by! How are you?


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