Twelve years ago today I drove to Chicago to join my new Duranie friends for a weekend of fun and Duran Duran. While I had met many of these new friends months prior in New Orleans, the weekend in 2005 was the first time I would attending a Duran show with any of them. When those Astronaut tour dates were posted, we made plans quickly, including deciding to gather in Chicago to not only see the show, but to buy those more expensive VIP tickets. I purchased those tickets for myself, Rhonda and another friend of ours. In reality, I had no real idea if I could trust them to pay me back, but they did. I had no clue if I could really hang out with them for an entire weekend or whether or not Rhonda and I would share a hotel room without a problem. I took a leap of faith.
By 5 am on March 20th, 2005, I knew that it Rhonda and I were able to not only go to shows together but could travel “on tour” well together. During that weekend, I laughed more than I had for an entire year, I swear. I had so much fun that I wondered if it shouldn’t be illegal. I almost questioned my grip on reality because it exceeded every expectation I had. The joy I felt was pure and fulfilled me in a way that I wasn’t even aware that I lacked. To say that the weekend changed my life would be an understatement. Everything changed after that.
When I look back at the 12 years that have transpired between then and now, I almost cannot believe it and I certainly wouldn’t have believed it then. Rhonda and I have shared so much. We have traveled to the UK twice together. We have seen shows ranging from Glasgow, Scotland, to Toronto, Canada, to New York City, New York to Biloxi, Mississippi, to Chicago, Illinois, to San Diego, California and more. Beyond those shows, we started this blog here. The Daily Duranie became way more than just a simple, little blog about Duran Duran. It became about fandom and about us and about our fan community. The blog has become a part of us and who are are, both as individuals and as a pair. I think ending the blog would feel like cutting off an arm or at least a finger. I would miss it.
Beyond the shows and the blogging, we also organized many fan meet-ups and a weekend long convention. We have written two full manuscripts and have come up with many more ideas. The love that we had and have for a band blossomed, bloomed into real action on our parts. We have criticized widely for our approach, our questioning, our criticism. We have also been praised by our dedication (or insanity). We have been accused of being too negative by some and thanked for keeping the fandom going.
Rhonda and I met in New Orleans in September of 2004. While that weekend included some amazingly fun activities as well as an acknowledgement that we were kindred spirits when it comes to Duran Duran, it didn’t create the domino affect like that the weekend in Chicago in March of 2005 did. A convention is a one weekend off event. It is not something that can be easily replicated. Shows, though? They happen more often. Tours provide us the opportunity to relive that first weekend over and over, at least to some extent. That first touring weekend started a snowball of fandom that has grown even as it has changed. It solidified the beginnings of a friendship that has meant the world to me.
Now, on the anniversary of that date, I wonder what will come next. Will the snowball of fandom continue to get bigger? Will it stay the same in size while totally changing shape? What about Rhonda and myself? In many ways, our friendship has been tested a lot. We have faced rejection, been ignored, the receivers of some insulting and hateful comments over the years. Beyond that, we recognize that our “real” lives are often pulling us in opposite directions while we continue to work together and to be friends. I don’t know exactly how we will navigate the next twelve years, I just know that I hope we can continue to do it together. After all, we aren’t done with Duran Duran yet.