Back Into the Arena

It isn’t every day that I can sit and listen to an interview on BBC West Midlands featuring my favorite drummer in the entire world, hear Hungry Like the Wolf…and contemplate that on this date thirty-one years ago….Arena was released.

I know Duran Duran says they’re not nostalgic, and that may very well be the case;  but I don’t know how they can help but NOT but look back fondly from time to time.  When DDHQ pulls out the pictures of “Into the Arena” board game on top of it all, I just can’t help but remember 1984. I’d just turned 14, in fact, my mom and dad had put money into the card they gave me for my birthday so that I could go down to Wherehouse Records and get Arena on the day it was released. It was the height of Durandom in America, and I can remember getting so excited over every little mention of Duran Duran, which was often! At the time it seemed like I lived and breathed them.

Oddly, it wasn’t a whole lot different from the present… kind of funny, really. I mean, I take blogging seriously because it’s a responsibility I’ve chosen to take on, but I also am well-aware of how crazy it seems. I’m 45 and yes, I write a blog about being a Duran Duran fan. I’m glad life worked out this way.

On any given day, I make it part of my day to read any articles about the band, watch/listen to interviews, and try to keep up with whatever is going on in the fan community. I glean whatever I can, try to make sense of it, and post away.  In plenty of ways, this blog has allowed me to still BE a fan. I would have never seen that possibility at the age of 14. I just don’t think I had any kind of foresight of what would come next. My goodness, my dreams back then were to open the door and see Roger Taylor waiting to take me away, but not before I became a conductor for the LA Philharmonic. Because you know, those two life aspirations go together perfectly….right???  Yet, if I really think back on what I was like at 14 – I’m not all that much different. I used to journal quite often, particularly when something was bothering me. Some kids had sports, I had writing and music.  I still do.

Back then, I believed the 80s would last forever. It felt like a very long time before I would graduate from high school. I couldn’t imagine music being any different from it was on Seven and the Ragged Tiger, and even after I came out of Wherehouse on that fateful day in 1984, clutching a bag with my cassette tape and vinyl copies of Arena – I had not a single doubt that I would love Duran Duran forever.

Life was so innocent for me in 1984. I didn’t realize that Roger was about to leave the band, or that Andy would follow. I hadn’t even had a boyfriend yet, or had my heart completely broken. I didn’t know that a day would come where I wouldn’t practice my clarinet, or that I’d be a stay-at-home-mom.  I don’t remember worrying about wars, or bombings – although I do remember talking about the possibility of nuclear weapons. I hadn’t ever used a computer, phones still had cords (in fact our phone in the kitchen was still a rotary!), and I didn’t really even know what rap was. Facebook, Twitter and social media weren’t even twinkles in someone’s eye….in fact, I kind of giggle when I think of what Simon, John, Roger, and Nick might have said or done if someone had told them that at some point in the future, they’d actually have the opportunity to trade messages with Duranies. Even better? Dom would have only been twelve years old. Had he even learned to play guitar by then?!?  Who knew what the future would hold….

So there’s some 1984 for ya.  Happy Anniversary Arena!

-R

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