Yesterday, Rhonda so beautifully wrote about Duran Duran’s 40th anniversary/birthday. One line, in particular, grabbed my attention, which is when she said that Duran has been the soundtrack to her life. As I read the blog, I literally shouted out, “Exactly!” That is such a true statement. This band, more than any others combined, have formed the soundtrack to my life. Their music has been along for the ride from the very beginning. At times, their songs have helped me get through challenging moments. At other times, they have motivated me, captured exactly what is going on, and much more. So I figured I might share my soundtrack and then ask you all to do the same. (By the way, I am hoping that Rhonda shares hers next week, which is why I titled the blog the way I did.)
Save a Prayer
Save a Prayer was literally the first song that I remember getting into my head. I have a very distinct memory of being in my childhood backyard and swinging with my best friend while singing the chorus over and over again. I sang it so much that she and my family were ready to shut me up!
The Reflex is the song that I credit for making me a Duranie. Obviously, I loved Duran’s music before this song but this is when I became addicted. Every time the video came on I ran to the phone to call my friend so that we could squee at John Taylor together!
New Moon on Monday
I recognize that this song was released before the Reflex. Yet, on my personal soundtrack, it falls after. This song has represented my fandom. After the Reflex, I was ready to light my torch and wave it for Duran Duran forever.
Winter Marches On
Honestly, any of the Notorious album could go in this slot on my soundtrack. This album came out after I moved from the Chicago suburbs to a small town. I remember convincing my parents to drive 20 minutes to the nearest mall to allow me to buy the album. Then I came home and called my best friend from back home. I hoped to share my excitement with her, only to find out that she had moved on from Duran. This crushed me and only added to the sense of isolation I felt for the first couple of years in my new hometown. It truly felt like winter was marching on.
Doesn’t every/most Duranie have a story connected to this song? My story with this song begins when I fast forward to the fall after college graduation. After I received my degree, I did the craziest, bravest, stupidest thing ever. I had looked for teaching jobs with no luck in the spring and summer (this is when teachers were a plenty!). Since I did not want to stay where my parents were then living, I picked a place that I thought I would love. I literally moved to a city I had only visited once and where I knew no one. Not only would I be 8 hours away from my parents, I also did not have a job. The song, Ordinary World, reminded me that eventually I would find my new normal, which was very much needed through the financial struggles and real isolation then. (By the way, I did eventually get into the district and still live in that city.)
After completing my master’s degree, I was ready for some fun. I had worked hard to get a secure teaching job and to feel confident in my skills and knowledge to be an effective educator. Luckily for me, this came at the perfect time, which was when Duran’s reunion was taking off. I dived into the new material and realized quickly that the music was between all of the Duranies out there as I reached out to find fellow fans.
Red Carpet Massacre
Unfortunately, the initial glow of our fan community did not last as I quickly saw how often fans treated each other in less than kind ways. This song felt like the perfect metaphor to me as we (Rhonda and myself) began to study fandom in the quest to understand why there was frequent conflict within our fan community.
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
By the time All You Need Is Now was released, my fandom took another turn. Instead of running from the less than ideal aspects of fandom, we upped our participation by starting this blog and hosting fan events, including a convention. This song spoke to me with the line about friends not understanding how much the “leopard” meant. The leopard could be fandom and many definitely didn’t get why this whole thing mattered so much to me.
Before the Rain
Looking back, I now recognize that the fall and winter of 2010 and 2011 forever changed my life and me. It began with a rough election night result in November followed up by the death of my grandma and cat around Christmas. By February, grief towards my loved ones remained as the consequences of those election results came to the forefront, leading to months of protesting for my rights and working hard to reverse the wrongs before those efforts failed in the summer of 2012. Too many lines from this song captured this time. For example, the line about silence falling brought the image of my lifeless grandma and cat back up. Then, the idea of a stormy summer was dead on accurate.
Last Night in the City
Throughout the last decade, despite any challenges on the home and work front, there has always a spot of joy, of fun, of escape, of friendship, which is going on tour. Now, I know that there are many Duranies out there who cannot get into this song. Yet, for me, it absolutely represents what it is like for me to be on tour.
For now, I’ll finish my soundtrack with this song. Again, it is out of chronological order, but there is a reason for this. In recent years, I have increased my political participation to include managing campaigns. This song, which has its origin in speech by Winston Churchill in World War II, speaks to me as I fight for what I believe in.
So, I ask the rest of you. What is on your soundtrack? Why? I, for one, would love to see a bunch of guest blogs on this topic as we show how much Duran Duran has meant to us, as individuals, in the last 40 years.