How long have you been a Duran Duran fan? A year? Five? Ten? Twenty? More than thirty? Over the course of your tenure as a fan, have you read or seen interviews with or about band members? I bet you have. In fact, I would go so far to say that you have seen/read enough that you might think you have a sense of who each band member is or an idea of what their personalities are like? Let me give examples. Simon seems to be somewhat of a thrill seeker with his adventures sailing or riding on motorbikes. Nick seems to be cool in all situations as nothing seems to ruffle his feathers. Many would comment that Roger is quiet and keeps to himself. Am I on the right track?
On the flip side, many fans might feel like we would know what they wouldn’t do. My goodness there has been plenty of threads, discussions, lists focused on what just Nick wouldn’t do. The examples are numerous including Nick would never wear plaid or Nick would never attend a rodeo or jump in mud. Do any fans really know this? Does any fan really know what Simon is like? Or John? Or Roger? Isn’t this really a situation in which conclusions are drawn or made based on what interviews we have seen or heard combined with stories we have heard and/or our own observations? Yet, do you ever wonder if those conclusions are as accurate as we all think they are? What if they aren’t right on?
As I started to think about this over the course of the week, I pondered whether or not anyone really knows anyone. Do people know themselves? Yes, I know that this sounds like a goofy question. Let me explain where this is coming from. Last night, I found myself at a meeting. The focus of the meeting was to find a way to make teachers’ jobs less frustrating and time consuming. At this meeting, some attendees disagreed with the meeting’s focus. They felt that teachers should only emphasize the parts of the job that directly affects students. The teachers, including myself, sitting at the table felt instant frustration, not because we don’t care about our students but because we are also people who matter! After the meeting, my friend and colleague commented about how I didn’t lose my cool and how she has never seen me lose my cool. I couldn’t disagree. I have worked really hard and work really hard to maintain a professional response at everything I do. That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m not raging on the inside or that I’m not emotional underneath. In fact, in many cases, I keep to myself, not because I don’t feel, but because I’m afraid that if I let even a little out, there would be an explosion of whatever emotion I had. I will go further than that. I worry that the explosion would be so bad that I would have such serious consequences that I could never recover from, whether the consequences were losing a job or losing friends or something else. After I tell her this, she is surprised as that is not how she sees me. Then, I wonder…does anyone see the real me or do I hide it that well?
What about the members of Duran Duran? Do they feel like anyone sees the real them or do people just see those exterior characteristics that I mentioned earlier that may or may not be the whole truth? It reminds me of the line, “Do crowds make you feel lonely?” from the song, A Matter of Feeling. Is this what they were talking about? Was the cause of this lonely feeling because no one really knows them? If so, why is this the case? Why don’t people know them? Is it a situation in which they hide their real selves well? Or is it just that people can’t see the real them, no matter how open they feel they are? I guess in their case, it could be that real life friends and family do know them but they were pushing back on the idea that fans or strangers could know them, too. Maybe they were saying that fans really can’t know them no matter how many interviews were seen or heard or how many interactions they have had.
Then, of course, the next logical question is…whether or not it is a good idea for fans or other strangers to really know what they are like. Is it good for them to be that open? Is it good for anyone? Does it matter to them if people really know them or not? Does it matter for anyone? Food for thought.