Been Under Quiet Attack

Sometimes, fandom feels like an endurance test. It like the world and everything and everyone in it is just to push you away from fandom. For some people, they might opt to leave, to avoid, to hide. I, on the other hand, am feeling feisty, determined. I’m digging in my heels.

It has never been easy to be a Duran Duran fan. I am sure that a lot of people would think I’m insane for saying that. After all, at one point, they were the most popular band in the world. They were everywhere and you could buy merchandise upon merchandise in the mid-1980s U.S. Yet, for me, it didn’t always feel awesome. Sure, it was great fun with my friend as we watched Sing Blue Silver for the millionth time in her TV room but sucked that other kids at school talked smack about them along with countless DJs, music critics, and random strangers. “Aww…that band sucks. Can they even play their own instruments? Must be rough to be put together by a management company. What’s with the eyeliner? What are they gay?” were just some of the rude and untruth comments I was exposed to both then and now. It didn’t make me turn away from Duran but made me more determined to love them.

Then, of course, the mid to late 1980s was not always kind to the band and their fans. I saw my best friend walk away from the fandom. All the fans had to watch Duran regroup after side projects but also with the departure of Roger and Andy. On top of that, life often got in the way to the point where I found myself moving on while holding on to the that sliver of being a fan. Could I? Would I return to the really join the fan community? I wasn’t certain especially as the 1990s grew older but I know that when I took the time to watch and listen to Duran my love endured even if I remained pretty isolated as a fan.

Of course, I jumped back in with two feet along with countless others as the band reunited. I believed that this would be the best ever. Not only was I thrilled that the beloved Fab Five was back, I looked forward to getting to know more and more fans to share my love with others. Sadly, I also assumed that Duran’s longevity would result in nothing but acceptance and kudos from the music critics and the public as a whole. As we know, that didn’t always happen. Yes, they received more public acclaim than they had previously but they are never quite totally respected. On top of that, I found myself battling on a new front. Now, it seemed that others criticized my fandom because I’m “too old”. I should have let that go as a kid, people would imply. It certainly should not interfere with real life or all those responsibilities.

Still, I figured that I could blow off all those music critics, journalists, and nosey people in my own life as long as the fan community provided nothing but acceptable and joy. Sometimes, it has. I have had tremendous moments in which everything just feels right. I remember looking around, for example, at various points of Durandemonium, the convention that Rhonda and I organized, and thought how amazing it all was. Another example is when it seemed like the entire venue was clapping along to the Man Who Stole a Leopard in Glasgow in December of 2011. Sometimes, I have had it when we have held our online parties. It can be the best time ever.

Yet, there have been other times that it feels like I have battle both the outside world and the inside one. Yes, Rhonda and I chose to express our fandom by writing this blog, by organizing fan events, etc. It’s cool that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe some people don’t want us to do this or that. Others might not always like who we are or what we have to say. That’s okay, too. That said, I’m not going to stop loving Duran, who I am or how I express my fandom. I’m more determined than ever to stick around, do what I do and love the band with all of my being. I’m looking forward to partying hard in a couple of months at some great shows with my friends. Then, all of the obstacles put in my way will get pushed to the side and all that will remain is what started all of this to begin with.

-A

3 thoughts on “Been Under Quiet Attack”

  1. I grew up with a Beatlemaniac Aunt and that made my undying love of Duran Duran seem very natural. Being a male fan of Duran Duran in the 80s got me called a few names. Never once would I let other people and their critisicm make me back away from something I loved. The music Duran Duran created spoke to me, it unleashed me. The live shows always let me know that my Love of Duran Duran has been and always will be, worth it. I will always look forward to the next #DuranLive show to experience all the energy and emotion that we Duranies share. 40 years and counting. See you in September.

  2. I guess some of us ‘get it’ and others don’t. It doesn’t faze me as I’ve been an outlier all my life. It is baffling though that the ‘music press’ really are biased against Duran. This band is so creative! I work a night shift one night at my job and pack all my Duran cassettes and Walkman(Yeah.Not tech savvy)- and frequently play their stuff in order. To hear them progress and grow, and really listen to what’s in the music is rewarding.When the night grows long and exhaustion sets in a Concert tape brings the energy and joy that is Duran.when I audio ‘isolate’ a part of it be it bass track, keyboards, drums, guitars it really highlights their talent and passion as most of their work is complex’Too bad Rolling Stone and Billboard have closed their ears.What is cool is I caught my Manager singing along with Ordinary World the other night.(I just hang my headphones over my neck as they are hard to wear with glasses) He actually removed his ear bud to enjoy a gorgeous song that is way different from his typical fare. It’s apparent that people who dog Duran simply have not listened.Their loss.

  3. I share with your thoughts, but for me personally in the hardest times of my life the music of this band was always there to heal me, to cheer me up, no matter if that music sucked. In the moment of need to me it sounded the best on the Planet.
    I now may have some “loving critics” to do on the way the band is managed, but that’s my wisdom and their ageing that bring different views on any single decision/announcement taken. (lol!)

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