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February 19, 2010

There are fans, and then there are fanatics. When your adoration for a musical group crosses the line into obsession, when you’re willing to go to a concert alone, when you literally mourn the loss of a bandmember, you are officially a fanatic.

I am not proud to say that I am a not-so-former Spice Girls fanatic. It all started when I got “Spice,” the Spice Girls’ first CD, and the first CD I ever owned. From there I became devoted to my fandom: I never missed a TV special, I had five different fan t-shirts, I knew all the words to all of the songs, I collected clippings of every newspaper and magazine article that mentioned them, I had every Spice Girls lollipop wrapper and every bubble gum sticker, and I of course saw them in concert in their world tour.

The Spice Girls also sparked my first foray into journalism. Me and a group of fellow fanatics formed a Spice Girls fan club, and I took it upon myself to create a weekly newsletter to inform the other club members about the latest Spice Girls news, music, gossip, and product releases.

I can’t explain why I loved the Spice Girls so much; I at one point argued with my father that the Spice Girls were better than the Beatles (an argument I have since rescinded). But even as recently as two years ago, when the Spice Girls announced their reunion tour, I immediately signed up for the ticket lottery. I ended up paying $100 to see them alone in London, and I don’t regret the purchase one bit.

While the Spice Girls may not be the soundtrack to my life (I still don’t know what “zig-a-zig-ah” means), they were certainly the soundtrack of my preteen years, and my memories of those years are laced with the sounds of a British pop group who were all about “girl power.”

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