Amanda is such a good creative writer…I am not even going to try to follow in her footsteps…
On our little road trip to see Duran Duran play at the Lynch Foundation show in Los Angeles, Amanda and I were able to get our CD inserts signed by Dom Brown. If I remember correctly, Amanda and I had gotten those signed All You Need is Now CD’s because a certain number of the preordered ones were signed by the band…but of course by “band” I mean only the four original members, Dom not included. I wasn’t expecting otherwise, but I had always felt that if given the opportunity, I wanted to get his signature…on the front.
Dom has a right to be on that front cover. He has co-writing credit on most of the album, and when I listen to the songs, particularly Mediterranea, Girl Panic, and even Being Followed, I can hear his influence. He was as much a part of that songwriting team as anyone else on the album, which is indicated by his name in the credits. Therefore, I wanted his signature. This isn’t about Dom being my favorite, or some flat-out effort to rewrite history. Having the four original members signatures for this particular album only tells a portion of the story. While I realize that might not matter to everyone, it mattered to me….enough to carry the blasted thing around with me everywhere I traveled since the CD arrived in my mail back in 2011.
I remember packing it when we went to England in May of 2011. It didn’t seem right to pull it out of my purse as I waited with other fans in front of the studio, hoping for good news on Simon and then ask Dom to sign it when I saw him. (To be honest, he blew right past me and the 10-15 or so other fans waiting that day, I don’t think he even realized any of us were standing there.) The mood that day just wasn’t right, and so it stayed tucked away as I fought through my own emotions while waiting to hear that the entire tour had been canceled. I didn’t have the opportunity to see the band again on that trip, so it remained unsigned.
I dutifully packed it in my carry-on for our next trip to England in late November. I’d left it at home when I had gone to see the band in Valley Center and Pomona, CA. My husband was with on both occasions, and I didn’t think they were the right times to try and find Dom. Besides, it didn’t seem right without my partner-in-crime, so I waited. I also left the insert at home when I met up with Amanda on a very short trip to Chicago, figuring I wouldn’t have time. So, I lovingly carried that insert across the ocean once again, hoping it wouldn’t get wrinkled or lost on the way. Amanda reminded me to have it in my purse every single night we saw the band, but once again our plan was foiled by bad luck and timing. Back home we went, mission impossible.
By the time we took another road trip here in the US to see the band in the Southeast in August of 2012, I’d pretty much forgotten about the insert. While Amanda writes beautifully about the inserts being displayed lovingly in her home, that really isn’t the case at my house. My husband is pretty adamant about my Duranie “paraphernalia” being confined to my “own” areas, and well, there really aren’t any here. No desk, no office…I have a kitchen table to work at when no one is home, and a small walk-in closet. I have learned not to complain because there is no point, and so my treasured items are kept (still lovingly even if not quite seen) in bins in my closet where I can find them when wanted. In any case, out of sight, out of mind, and Amanda reminded me to pack it. I laughed ruefully at the time, because I felt like it was at the point where my bringing it was surely the kiss of death – as long as Ms. Bad Luck is present or is prepared with something to be signed, we would never run into Dom outside of seeing him onstage. That luck held true for that road trip/tour as well. It was a great time, a wonderful set of shows, and aside from a short moment where I made eye contact and waved at Dom as he got into a van, he clearly recognized me from being the girl from the front row screaming at him earlier that evening, that was it. And it was enough…or so I told myself.
I’ve learned that my memories and experiences are most valuable without having any other expectations. I have horrible luck when it comes to running into the band, I’m not the kind of person who stops traffic or draws instant attention to herself upon entering a room, and I’m not the type to talk myself into places most fans normally wouldn’t be invited. I used to feel badly about that, wondering why I wasn’t quite born a bombshell; but nowadays, I’ve settled into just enjoying the experiences and not worrying about much else. So, that insert stayed packed away in it’s bin of memories, along with my other treasured Duran items until April of 2015.
Amanda and I had talked about taking those inserts with us for what I internally felt was probably a pointless trip (for them) to Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I was looking forward to seeing the band. I felt like I was about to reach the mirage in the Mojave…I was starving for a show, like many, and this was going to help keep me going until the next tour. I just didn’t think we had a chance in hell at seeing any of the band. In fact, I was SO sure that I didn’t bother to pull the bin out of my closet and dig through it to find the insert until we pulled out of my driveway on the way to Los Angeles. Amanda turned to me and asked if I had my CD insert, and I rolled my eyes, because in my mind at this point, the point was futile. I pulled back into the driveway and dashed upstairs to grab it, knowing that there was really no point, but as Amanda said “If you don’t at least try, it’ll be the one time you’ll be sorry.”
Ok. I’ll play along. SURE.
As you all know now, we did run into him. Heck, I was practically presented to him! (had my friend Shelly not grabbed my arm or poked him that night to get his attention, I would have probably never said a word.) I was worried he wouldn’t know who I was, even after sitting across from him on a plane, standing in front of him at shows, having him wave to me more than once…AND doing an interview with him for this very blog. I figure that he meets hundreds if not thousands of people, and I’m just another face in a sea of many. Why would he remember? But he did. Maybe it was that shock that stopped me from remembering that I actually HAD the insert with me at that very moment, but it wasn’t until almost the end of the evening that Amanda suddenly sat up ramrod straight in her chair and exclaimed, “The inserts! We need to go talk to him again, Rhonda.”
I was really good right then. I’d had my (500) photos with him. I’d gotten a hug without even asking. I’d told him that I thought he’d really improved at Ordinary World. (Yes, I really did say that to him. Out of every other dumbass thing I could have EVER said to him – I told him that when he first started with Duran Duran I thought he played Ordinary World kind of “muddy”. Because that’s exactly the kind of thing you’d want to tell your favorite, right?? Remind me to never try and speak to anyone ever again.) So what more could I want? I was willing to sacrifice the insert and just forget the entire thing. Why press my luck? Not Amanda. We were getting the damn thing signed and she marched purposefully over to where he was standing.
I followed behind, somewhat timidly, as we interrupted yet another conversation between him and someone I’m sure he’d rather speak with. Amanda tells him that we’re back, and I immediately apologize for bothering him, “I am so, so sorry” and he smiles. For the sake of my own ego, I’m going to pretend that smile was an indication that we weren’t bothering him and instead he completely delighted by our presence in his personal space. Again. Amanda tells him, and I still laugh when I think about her words, “We have some tasks for you!” He looks at her, obviously a little concerned by what she might be about to ask, and then looks over at me. I could see he was hoping I’d shed some light. I chuckled and said, “Nothing bad, Dom.” Amanda continues, explaining that we have been trying to get him to sign our CD inserts since AYNIN came out, and she hands him a silver pen. He hands me his wine to hold and tries to flip the insert to the middle so that he can sign it. That is when I finally find my (normal) voice. “Oh no you will NOT”, I begin, “I want you to sign the front, Dom. Please.” He looks at me and says, “But where…what about Simon?” I immediately respond with, “I don’t care about Simon. Simon isn’t my favorite in the band, Dom.” (I hear gasping around the world from you Simon-girls. It’s not that Simon is unimportant, it’s that I wanted Dom to know I felt he was just AS important.)
He looks over at me quizzically and words begin to come out of my mouth without my brain’s permission. “YOU are my favorite, Dom.” (Who really says that to people? Someone like me, that’s whom. Brilliant. For the sake of all that is holy OR unholy, I shouldn’t be allowed out in public ever again.) That’s when Dom smiles and nudges me with his arm. Never mind that I could have fallen over with a feather at that point, I force myself to stay upright and continue to breathe (breathing is important, you know). He signs our inserts and I floated right out of the bar, at the insistence of the bouncer who was telling us it was closing time, on Cloud Nine.
Is there really a moral to this story? Probably. The most important being that you shouldn’t ever give up. I mean, unless you’re me. In which case…sometimes being cynical will save you from having the opportunity to say things like, “Now, do you who I am?” or “When you first started with the band, I always kind of thought your solo in Ordinary World had a muddy feel to it.” or….”YOU are my favorite, Dom.” So there IS that…but for the rest of you, I don’t think you should give up. You never know when you’re finally going to get that moment to cozy up to Dom Brown for a picture (Or 500, as the case might have been for us that night….because of poor lighting and a jet-lagged Dom!), get something signed, or… finally meeting Simon LeBon at a taco shack in the middle of a Los Angeles city block!