Today is Labor Day here in the US, and it is the holiday that marks the end of summer, at least figuratively speaking. By now, most everyone is back in school—my kids start tomorrow, and a lot of resorts and tourist attractions begin cutting back on their hours after this weekend. This year, Duran Duran seemed to take over my summer since they were touring. Now as summer comes to an end, the lions share of their 2016 US tour is finished, with only a few more dates ahead.
I saw a comment from someone the other day as they mentioned the tour winding down. They said, among other things, that they were saying goodbye to people knowing that it might be years (if ever) before they see them again. I have to say that for me personally, it is the toughest part about being a Duran Duran fan. By FAR.
I’m not trying to speak for everyone else here, but at least part of me lives for the band’s tours. That isn’t just because I want to see John, Simon, Nick and Roger. In some ways, I wish it were that easy! I’ve made a lot of friends simply by traveling to see the band play. I recognize and know some of the people who work behind the scenes now. In turn, a few know my name and are kind enough to even call out to me in passing if I don’t notice them first.
I also have friends in various places around this country, and while I would love to say we all get together outside of Duran Duran tours, the truth is we don’t. When the band comes—and I mean this—it is like a family reunion. There is never enough time to sit with everyone and socialize. We’re running from gig to gig, we try our best to plan meet-ups and see people, but invariably we’re playing our own version of Beat the Clock, and we typically lose.
On that same thread, another fan mentioned that the Duran Duran shows are similar to theatre. As many know, my oldest has been involved in theatre and dance for many years and I’ve heard her say similar things, although she hasn’t been involved in a traveling show just yet . I can certainly see the similarities. The main difference, at least to me, is music.
Simon himself says that music transcends. I heartily agree. The sheer power of love found through music is unlike anything I’ve ever known or experienced. People continually ask me not only why I’m still a fan, but why I go to so many shows. They’re the two questions I get asked most often. (Along with, “How does your husband feel about that?”) People who are not fans don’t get it, but the band itself is only one piece. As all of you (should) know, I don’t know the band personally. I go to the shows, I have a blast, but then that little bit ends. After that, it’s really about the people I’ve met along the way. It is the hours I spend chatting before and after a show with people.
The most obvious example is of course Amanda. I don’t see her everyday, and now we’re not even finding time to Skype. My schedule has changed, she’s back in school teaching, and I don’t see her often since we live about 2,500 miles apart. We trade emails when we can, we talk on the phone when we find the time—which right now is impossible. So when we are together, we talk for hours. We get past the surface stuff, dig deep, agree, disagree, debate, and listen. I treasure that time.
I can think of about seventy more examples from this summer. We were in Vegas and had a meet-up at Eye Candy in Mandalay Bay. There was a small group of us sitting around a table when all of a sudden a friend of mine walked up. I hadn’t seen her since my days of driving up to Los Angeles to see Clear Static at the Key Club. In the amount of time that had passed I’d had a baby (who is now eight), lost my dad, she’d gotten married and unfortunately lost her husband, among many other things. I jumped up and ran to hug her. I had trouble holding back my emotion. After all, only the previous week had I just had to say goodbye to my mom’s friend, and knowing that she’d gone through what my mom went through….I was thrilled to see her. Only later did I sit back and really marvel at how different our lives are now, and yet the “Duran-thing” binds us.
I don’t know how long it will be before I see many of you again. I don’t know what the future holds for the band, or for any of us for that matter. I bonded with brand new friends summer, and had the opportunity to spend quality time with great friends I hadn’t seen in years. I continue to be spellbound that a band that I first began to listen to when I was no more than ten or eleven, brought me to this place. It is tough to say “See you later”, but I have high hopes that it won’t be long before I’m saying hello to many of you again.