Anaheim House Of Blues in 2001 – were you there?

Today marks a kind of special day for me in Duran history. I almost forgot it…but thanks to the spreadsheet that Amanda has painstakingly amassed, I was properly reminded.

On this date in 2001, Duran Duran played at the Anaheim House of Blues. Just a normal date, on a normal day, right? Yes, except that at  this show, my fandom was reawakened.

In 2001, I was a young mom of two very little kids. My son Gavin was barely two, and Heather was four. At the time, Duran Duran was about the furthest thing from my mind. My days were spent doing laundry, trying to make sure my kids didn’t kill one another (you think I’m joking, but I assure you I am not).

At the time, Walt and I had annual passes to Disneyland and California Adventure, and we spent many a weekend taking the kids to the parks. On one of those weekends, we were strolling through Downtown Disney, and Walt happened to notice that the marquee for the House of Blues announced an upcoming show for Duran Duran. He asked if I wanted to go and I laughed. That’s right, I laughed. I hadn’t really listened to Duran Duran in years. I still had all of their albums, and fond memories, but I was in the throes of Mommyhood. I didn’t love Medazzaland, and admittedly, I hadn’t even bought Pop Trash.  Walt looked at me pretty insistently, saying I needed a night out (which meant getting a sitter, and that seemed like so much work!), so I told him to go ahead and get them. I really wasn’t excited, but I figured I might as well go.

Yes, telling this story makes me laugh…and kind of embarrasses me at the same time. It was like I was a completely different person back then!

I really was.

The night of the show arrived, and we got to Downtown Disney early enough to grab dinner. That’s right, I didn’t insist on getting there at 5am to grab a good spot. We walked by the line of people waiting to get in — it wasn’t very long — and Walt asked if I wanted to go wait. I said “No way, I want to eat dinner! I don’t need to be up front!!”

Insanity, I tell you.

We got dinner, went in about twenty minutes before the show started, and I decided I didn’t want to stand on the floor. I ended up being by the stairs in the back. Plenty close enough for me, because I wasn’t a huge fan. I’d given that up years before, right? Before long the show started and Simon, Nick and Warren took the stage.  I remember thinking to myself how, after all these years, I was finally in what I could consider to be the same room with Simon and Nick. Not the same arena, but the same breathing space. I was only a matter of feet from them. Yeah, Warren was there too, but I convinced myself that if I just ignored that part of the stage, it wouldn’t matter. (Sorry Warren fans. I was reliving the Fab Five as a Fab Twosome) John and Roger’s absence were noted, and I wondered wistfully what it would have been like with them there, but I didn’t dwell on those thoughts. I just lived and breathed the music that night.

I don’t remember much after that. I screamed, nearly cried and lost my mind.  Something happened during that show. Something deep, meaningful and visceral.  I remembered who I was before children, before getting married, before becoming whatever I was right then. I was reintroduced to the girl I once knew, and I really liked her.

That show was pivotal for me in so many ways. I can’t really talk about some of the things I’ve felt since then, or how that single show really woke me back up. I’m just thankful and filled with gratitude that I went. My life went from being pretty grey to complete Technicolor after that night. My husband didn’t realize what he’d done by insisting that I go with him to that show until it was far too late. I would imagine if he could, he’d go back and change that plan, in a lot of ways. On the other hand, that show saved me. I can’t even explain how or why—even for me, some things are just too private to blog about—but that show saved me.

I have a long, long way to go. But, I’ve reclaimed much along the way. I suppose in some way, I’m trusting the process (and what a process it is!). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am lucky. Yeah, I tease and joke about the band, and they drive me crazy at times—but I’m lucky I have this fandom.

I don’t know how many people think they grow out of something like this fandom, only to be reintroduced much later and jump back in with both feet. I did, and I’m not leaving. The Anaheim House of Blues on March 28, 2001 was a special night, I hope to never forget it.

-R

3 thoughts on “Anaheim House Of Blues in 2001 – were you there?”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. What is so mind-boggling to me is how parallel our “Duran-awakening” our experiences were! I too was mother to 2-year old and entirely absorbed in mommyhood. I honestly hadn’t followed Duran Duran since the band’s breakup. (I guess I consider myself a DD purist!) I heard on Alice Radio that the original 5 members of DD were reunited and were going to headline Alice’s Now & Zen Festival in Golden Gate Park. I immediately thought to myself, “Wow! What a blast from the past! It’d be fun to see them live again!” After all, the one and only time I saw them play was at the Oakland Coliseum in 1984 when they filmed the show for SBS. The only problem was, I had planned my son’s 2nd birthday party the day of the festival. I knew something in me had rekindled my DD flame when I changed the date of my son’s birthday party so that I could see Duran Duran. Ha! I talked one of my girlfriends into going and we arrived a few acts before DD came on. I tell you, the moment they hit the stage i suddenly became 15 again. Since that fateful day, like you, I rediscovered myself again. Singing and screaming with delight to the one band that was literally the soundtrack of my teenage years made me realize that I was more than just a wife and mom. I was still the same old me and by having small moments like that made me a happier, more fulfilled person. In a sense, it regrounded me. It’s weird to think that a band could have such a profound effect on me but they did and they continue to do so to this day.

  2. GREAT story, Rhonda. And, the band unknowingly said “welcome home” to you as well.

    You may not believe this, but connecting with fellow fans such as yourself on DuranDuranFans was also very encouraging to me. It gave me a platform to share poems and songs that came from somewhere I never even knew, and that writing experience helped me greatly when writing my first book which I self-published back in 2012, and remains available in print on Amazon as we speak..

    Now that was a book on one of the biggest evens in Canadian hockey history, but the book of songs, poems and rhythmic stories remains, and I am seriously considering self-publishing it sooner than later.

    Hope you’ll check it out if I do, there’s more than one homage to our favourite band, and one song in particular in memory of DDF called ‘Faces in My Direction’.

    I can post a little excerpt if you like :))

    Richard

    1. I think you should post an excerpt, Richard!

      I’m glad DDF, at least for a time, brought so many of us together. It helped me learn to at least be partially comfortable in my own skin. It’s a work in progress. 😉 -R

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