My favorite original member of Duran Duran has a birthday today. That alone makes me smile! I love the days when I can gush unabashedly, particularly when the person involved is my favorite.
I have been a Roger-girl from as close to day one of my fandom as possible. The Planet Earth video certainly may have had something to do with it, as would any of the band pictures they’ve ever taken. I liked that he seemed quiet and shy, because I was too. I felt like I was able to relate to him, even though I knew (even as an adolescent) that I was way the hell out of his league. I think that is what made Roger “safe” for me as a crush: there was little chance of being rejected because he didn’t even know I existed, unlike the boys at school who would openly call me “ugly” or gag when I would walk by. (Oh yes, it happened, far more than often than I care admit) If nothing else, Roger was safe to crush on purely because there was zero chance I’d ever meet him.
Like many, I was sad for me, happy for him when he got married, and far more so when it was announced he’d left the band in 1986. I always wondered what happened to him. I’d heard so many rumors, ranging from a breakdown to retirement – I just wanted to know what happened. Of course, we all had the chance to see who Roger had become once they did the reunion tour in 2003.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was a little surprised. I don’t know what I was expecting now that I think about it. I suppose he wasn’t nearly as shy as I’d remembered. Still every bit as handsome, though. And then there was that one time I actually spoke to him at Virgin Megastore in Hollywood. According to my oldest, I did everything but propose marriage – but she also has her mother’s gift of EXTREME EXAGGERATION. I just told him I was glad he came back, that he was always my favorite, and then I thanked him for doing the signing because I didn’t think I would have ever had the chance to meet him otherwise. He gave me a huge smile and said thank you for being so sweet, and then I floated away and couldn’t feel my body for two days.
I’ve run into him very sparingly since then, never for meaningful conversation, but I have managed to make him laugh a few times. I’m still a little intimidated by him because…well, he was the equivalent of my Prince Charming in 1980-something. The pedestal he once stood on has long since been knocked over and I’m well-aware of his humanity by now, but there’s something about running into a one-time crush that sticks with me. I think it might be my inner-teenager speaking to me!
These days, Roger is married to the devastatingly beautiful Gisela, and has a gorgeous family. He seems happier and healthier than ever, for which I am thankful. I’ve forgiven him (ha!) for carelessly tossing our Daily Duranie wristband aside all those years ago at Spy Bar. (even though we were able to get Nile and John Taylor to put it on without a problem) I get it. He couldn’t even see us, much less care about what we had thrown to him at the time. I still haven’t ever gotten his sticks at a show. There was that one time he tried to throw them my way, but…it wasn’t meant to happen. Maybe someday the opportunity will strike, and if not, that’s OK too. I have a feeling I’ll still manage to survive.
No matter what, no one else ever seemed to quite belong behind that drum set in the way he does, and I’m hoping he sticks with it for the long haul. He’s a part of this crazy family whether he likes it or not!
Happy 58th Birthday Roger! Here is hoping for many more healthy and happy years ahead!