Happy Monday everyone. I’m sure all of my US friends are recovering from eating/drinking their way through Super Bowl Sunday. I’m also recovering from a car accident that happened on Friday afternoon. I was in a three car “fender bender” of sorts. I was car #3…the innocent bystander that was hit from behind by a car that was also hit from behind. Luckily my 3 year old and I were not really hurt – I just have some soreness in my neck and shoulders. (that’s what happens when you see what is about to happen to you and you tense up!) My car is mostly fine – it’s earned itself the right to a new back bumper. The guy who hit me was a little worse off, I’m pretty sure the frame of his car was bent, and the woman who caused the entire thing fled the scene. Unbelievable. It was quite a way to start the weekend and now I get to deal with the annoyance of getting my car fixed in between rushing kids everywhere. That said, I’m very thankful it all wasn’t worse, and I hope the woman who hit all of us is happy with her decision to leave the scene of the accident and not take any responsibility. Brilliant.
Today is February 6th, and on this date in 1984, Duran Duran played the Los Angeles Forum. You would think I’d remember this as being my first Duran Duran show, but alas – it was not. I remember this date very well, because on this day, my friends and I cried that we would NOT be at the show. It’s the one real regret I have, and yet I can’t really regret not being there – at the time I was only 13, and my parents absolutely refused to allow me to go to the concert, even after a friends dad agreed to buy us tickets. My parents were always very protective. I joke with my mom that I wasn’t allowed to cross our tiny little neighborhood street alone until I was 10. She rolls her eyes in disgust when I say that – but what’s worse is that it’s true!!
I am trying to remember back when I was that age. I had a group of pretty close friends, but we were definitely more along the lines of being outcasts than we were trendsetters. None of us were really into fashion – my parents were especially careful about what I could or could not wear anyway – but we talked about music all of the time. It genuinely mattered to us whether or not a song or album was on the top of the Billboard charts, and I can remember making sure to spend Friday nights over at my friend Marsha’s house so that we could talk her mom into driving us to the record store on Saturday mornings. We’d spend hours checking out the newest albums, but even then, our taste was rather narrow: we’d stick to the “alternative” genre. We cared about what synthesizers different bands used. We wanted to know how certain sounds were mixed, or why bands went with one producer over another. We also wanted to know how we could meet Duran Duran. Who didn’t? Of course none of us really thought we COULD go meet them. I don’t really think our world was big enough at the time to imagine convincing one of our parents to drive us into Los Angeles when they were in town to find them. Then again, back in that day – I’m pretty sure none of us knew that they’d been in Los Angeles until they’d already left! We just weren’t that enterprising or investigative in our measures. We got our news from the radio. From magazines, from the TV…and from other kids who had actually gone into LA or the shows to see them! In many ways I think we felt like we were on the outside looking in much of the time, and yet not one of us took the initiative to do something to change things. Perhaps we didn’t feel like we really could do much but enjoy the tiny freedoms we had.
Now that I’m a “grown-up”, I’ve had the opportunity to meet friends who lived in England during this time. They might not have hung out at the Rum Runner, but they were there when the band was recording at EMI and were there to see the best (and worst) of the 80’s. Admittedly, when I hear some of the stories, I can’t even begin to imagine the scene. To begin with, I wasn’t even allowed to walk down my street without telling my mom, and most of the time – I’d be admonished with the “You may NOT leave the front yard, young lady!” line, and even more shocking, I would listen! Things here in the US (for me, anyway) were just different. To begin with, we don’t have “the tube” to get us anywhere, at least not where I lived in Glendora, California. My suburb was middle class (we lived on the poor side of town), none of us had money, some of us had bicycles, but we weren’t allowed out of the neighborhood with them. Going out on to “The Busy Street” meant certain death – either by a car hitting us – or by my father’s hand when he found out. It never occurred to us that we should take the bus. Actually, I take that back – my friend Marsha wanted to take the bus to go to the mall once, and my dad gave me “The Look”. I never brought that up again. For us “The City” was 25 miles away – and to me at 13 that may as well have been in another state.
So, that fateful day in February was one of great sadness for me. I knew the band was in my state, relatively close to where I lived, but I had no way of seeing them. I can remember begging and pleading with my parents to allow me to buy the ticket (and back then tickets weren’t about $10.00 for nosebleed seats!), but there was simply no chance. I don’t know if it had more to do with money – my parents truly did not have extra cash to go around at this point – or if it really was that my dad felt that at 13, I had no business going to a “rock concert”. More likely than not, both issues took precedence over my teenage angst. If that day weren’t horrible enough, the next day was even worse: I had to go to school and hear story after story from those girls who *did* attend the show. Naturally, these girls were not really in MY circle of friends (although my friend Karen did go – she was one of those with a $10.00 ticket and I remember her telling me they were practically in the back row, but she still wouldn’t have traded a second of the show!), and I also remember one telling me that her parents sprung for $100.00 tickets through a ticket broker, and they had front row. Front row. (Do you hear harps and angels singing or is that just me?) I suppose I should then mention my complete disgust with this girl and how her parents threw away so much money just so that she could be mere feet away from Nick Rhodes (she was a Nick girl!). Disgusting. Of course then I went crawling back to my group of friends whining and crying about how unfair life was, and that I didn’t think I could possibly live a good life since I wasn’t allowed to go to the concert. Oh the dramatic scene that must have been! (And I wonder where my oldest gets her dramatic flair…gee!)
Each February since that date, I take a minute and remember where I was on that day, and how far I’ve come since. Still haven’t quite gotten those front row seats yet, but I’m still a fan. That’s pretty remarkable on it’s own! I’ve seen the band in a couple more states than I ever really thought I would – not to mention a country or two. Perhaps NOT seeing the band on that date in February did more for me than I would have thought at 13.
Oh, and I’m having a pretty amazing life thus far. Plenty more to come, I’m sure!