35 years and counting…Happy Birthday Planet Earth!

To my complete surprise, we are celebrating another milestone birthday, and a fairly significant one at that today. On this date 35 years ago, the single for Planet Earth/Late Bar was released.

First of all, the math MUST be off because I’m only 25, right??? I just don’t get it….

Secondly, this just does not seem possible. In a lot of ways I’m almost humbled by the thought, because I really think Duran Duran is about the only “thing” in my life (with the exception of my own children) that I can say I’ve stuck with since nearly day one. I can’t quite say day one, because I didn’t grow up in the UK and didn’t hear about Duran Duran until 1981…but it’s pretty close. It’s been a crazy road, and I’m sure many of you out there are nodding your heads in agreement. This band has been around through the thick, the thin….from pubescence to, well…let’s just call it middle age.

The history is just there. Aside from my family, there isn’t any one thing that has been in my life longer than Duran Duran. Whether that paints me as loyal or significantly impaired probably depends on the day, but it is what it is. I often joke that I’ve loved Duran Duran longer than I have my husband (not a joke I tend to make while discussing plans for a lengthy summer DD road trip with him…), but it is true in some sense, and it all began with Planet Earth. As it should.

On Twitter, someone asked about the first date I saw Duran Duran live. My first concert was in 1989, I didn’t see them in 84 or 85 when they toured here. So my first experience seeing them was after Roger and Andy left the band. I saw them in March of 1989 at Universal Amphitheater (which has since been demolished), during their Big Thing tour. I was in nearly the back row of the theater, my favorite band member had left, and yes, it was a let-down in some sense because standing there that night (which does not feel all that long ago), it felt a little like a consolation prize for not seeing them in 84. Oddly, I clearly remember them playing Planet Earth that night, and for me, it just felt hollow. The bones were there, I suppose, but the feeling or spirit wasn’t right. I didn’t get to see the REAL band (in my head at the time, that’s how I saw it), so I was seeing what was left. I had no idea of course that they’d continue on from there and that I’d see them many more times over the course of their career. I just knew what was in that moment, and it didn’t feel quite right. I don’t know if I’d call that night a disappointment, but I think I knew I missed out. Time machine forward to the 78-03 tour, where I saw the band at the Pacific Amphitheater. This was when I saw the original five members for the very first time. They played Planet Earth again that night, and as my husband will gladly tell anyone who asks, I stood there completely dumbfounded for at least the first three songs and likely longer. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, couldn’t quite believe what my eyes and ears were experiencing – and I was nowhere near the front. I can’t imagine what I would have done had I been anywhere closer. For me, that night brought me full circle. There was something very, very, special for me about seeing the band I first fell in love with playing Planet Earth. I own the CD from that night, and I still get goosebumps when I play it. The memories flood my head, and I know that I won’t ever forget.  I still feel that way each time they play it. Yes, the line-up has changed, but this time, the spirit remains intact.

Of course, I still haven’t had the good luck to see them play Late Bar – the B side – to Planet Earth yet. I keep hoping they’ll throw it in one of their sets I’m seeing at some point so that I can die happy. It’s funny because Amanda’s favorite DD song is Planet Earth, and one of my very favorite is Late Bar (along with ITSISK and Secret Oktober).  Different sides of the same single. Pretty accurate, I’d say.

Planet Earth was the beginning of this crazy journey. The band says they don’t like to look back, which is fine. In a lot of ways I sort of think it really our job to look back from time to time, and I embrace that task. After all, I wouldn’t be writing this today if it hadn’t been for Planet Earth. I love having milestones such as these to mark not only the band’s career, but also my life. Each song represents a memory, and every once in a while, it’s good to be transported back for a short visit.

The best part, of course, is that the journey isn’t over. March is coming. Shows are still being announced, tours will begin, and new memories will be made. I am humbled by the very thought that in a small way, Daily Duranie helps to keep these experiences and memories fresh in people’s minds, we try to create new opportunities for fans to gather, and the fun just keeps on coming!

Happy 35th Birthday Planet Earth!

-R

 

 

One thought on “35 years and counting…Happy Birthday Planet Earth!”

  1. Lovely article girls ! Reading it, brought back those careless memories for me too, growing up as a teen in good old Melbourne, Australia ( hadn’t turned 13 yet when Planet Earth was released ). I became an instant fan upon its release, and went on to spend approximately $10,000.00 AUSD on Duran merchandise over the next 30 years. I had a copy of the song on tape, and I would just play it to death. After New Order`s Blue Monday, it has become my second all time favorite POP song ! I`m 47 years old now and I still play the song regularly ?!!

    Then in April of 1982, my next door neighbor went to see them live at the Palais Theater in Melbourne. I was too young to go, but she brought me back a copy of the tour program ! I also have an ultra rare vinyl bootleg recording from that night ! We Australian`s / Melbournian`s, sent Planet Earth to number one in our charts and the Duran boys have always held us close to their hearts ever since !

    It would be another 21 years from that time when I would finally see the boys live in Melbourne in December of 2003. This was at the Metro night club and it was with the entire original line up. I was up the fromt and it was 46 degrees in that small crowded space. BUT boy was it an unforgettable night ! They played solidly for 2 hours, included all of their hits and they were just BRILLIANT ! I have a mint copy of the Rio LP signed by all of them from that tour. This was finally a DREAM COME TRUE !

    I have seen Duran Duran live since on a few other occasions but that magical night in Melbourne in 2003 will never be eclipsed !

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY planet Earth, and remember, papapa ooh papapapa this IS Planet Earth !

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