Category Archives: personal stories

There’s nothing wrong with sharing nostalgia!

Before I left on my two week family holiday, I sat down and watched Sixteen Candles with my two oldest children. I don’t really know how popular this movie was outside of the US in the 1980’s, but for me it is one of the most iconic treasures and memories I have from that period of time. There are several of these movies that bring the most fantastic memories right back, and Sixteen Candles is one of them. My kids had never seen the movie before and I was happy to sit down and watch with them. (I’d also like to comment that man, oh man have PG movies changed since 1986 when this one came out! Nowadays this one would easily be rated “R”…funny.)

I have to admit that I spent a lot of the movie trying to point out the styles and music that were synonymous with being an American teenager in 1986. As soon as the movie started, I felt transported back to 1986. Its funny how some movies/bands/books will do that. I immediately felt 15 again, and I loved it! Levis 501’s, off the shoulder layered t-shirts, Fedoras (is this sounding familiar to anyone??), button down oxford shirts, bangles, and of course Molly Ringwald’s famous hair. I wish I had a scanner because I’d scan in my yearbook picture from my sophomore year of high school. (10th grade – that would have made me about 14-15 years old) I had it all going on – the hair, the layered shirts, all of it. Then of course there was the music. I heard Madness, Simple Minds, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet…and if that weren’t enough there were the posters in the girls’ bedrooms. There’s one scene where I even caught the bottom half of a very familiar band in a poster that I still have to this very day.  I think I squealed in delight quite a bit last night, and my two kids were laughing at me in response.

The funny thing is, the movie held their attention. The themes of the movie: turning 16, having your birthday forgotten, feeling like a complete outcast and then of course finally being noticed by “That” guy…  those themes translate well no matter how old the movie was. At one point my daughter turned to me and mentioned that some of the styles in the movie were popular today (Yes, yes they are my dear child. You think your mom hasn’t noticed how you cut the neck out of your t-shirts and wear bangles these days??) even though the movie is almost 30 years old now. (Gee, thanks for reminding me…)

I tried to explain to both kids, my oldest in particular though, why we girls loved Molly Ringwald so much. When she saw the movie, I could see the question in her eyes. Molly looks like any other ordinary girl. I would necessarily say she was a knock out back when she was a kid, but you know – isn’t that the way of most girls? My teen years certainly weren’t my best!  I felt awkward. My body had grown, sort of…but I still felt like a kid. I couldn’t quite figure it all out.  Molly always seemed to capture that beautifully and that’s why we loved her.  She could BE us. She could have been our best friend. I really did look up to her and for me, she was everything I aspired. (Although we were nearly the same age – another thing I loved about her movies. She wasn’t a twenty-five year old trying to look and act like she was sixteen.  She simply WAS sixteen.) Of course I say that with not just this particular movie in mind, I think that at least for me, I knew I was very much the sixteen year old that could be easily forgotten, but also the girl who admired “THAT” guy in high school – the one that never even remotely looked my way. I was also the girl who befriended some of the most interesting outcasts at school (I had friends who were so much like Ducky in Pretty in Pink that it’s scary.), and I was apparently from the wrong side of the tracks: something that never really bothered me that much in high school, but I knew I wasn’t from “The Hills”, either.  So Molly’s characters kind of collectively embodied everything that I knew, at least partly. (She did always end up with the guy though…which still fascinates me to this day.  :D)

For my son, it was/is just as easy to pick out why I usually loved the male characters in her movies so much. My son is a gamer. He feels completely out of it without his headset on and his computer live in front of him. (I can’t wait to see what withdrawals will be like during these next few weeks while we’re on vacation.) He’s never going to be the football player (even though he’s truly built to be one – to those who know him he has REALLY grown this year and he’s a big guy now!) or the big man on campus. He’s going to be living in the computer lab, and maybe someday he’ll actually notice that girls are for more than just annoying boys.  (I’m hoping that’s a little ways off though!) He doesn’t really care about what others think of him just yet, but I know he got the point when we were watching last night. I was never that fond of the guys who played the romantic “goal” for Molly, but I usually adored her sidekicks.  Michael Anthony Hall couldn’t have been any more perfect in Sixteen Candles. Braces (as my son currently wears), trying to dress as though he were part of the crowd when the only person he succeeded in fooling was himself – yet at the end of it all, he was just trying to find himself like any other kid his age. You can’t help but love him. Then there’s Jon Cryer in Pretty in Pink. He plays Ducky – and like I said, he was the coolest nerd ever. I had many a friend like him back in high school, and I would take a Ducky Any. Single. Day. over a Blaine in my real life. Actually, I sort of married a Ducky. 🙂 My son doesn’t romanticize quite as much as my oldest and I tend to do, because that is “…so girly and lame, Mom”, but I think he got the point.

For me as their parent though, I was silently very thankful for being able to share a little bit of what makes me…well…me…with them. I love my mom and dad dearly, but they never really spent the time watching old movies with me or things like that. Or maybe they tried and I just didn’t take an interest, I’m not really sure to be honest. I know that my dad had a wonderful childhood, even though he was truly poorer than dirt at times. He was on the football team in high school and had a great time. My mom on the other hand, did not have such a great childhood.  She doesn’t talk much about her time in high school (in fact she dropped out for a year then went back to finish – scandalous!!), she doesn’t like to say much about being a kid, much less talk about the bands she liked or things she saw back then. Me? I have to say that I adored being a kid. I have some fantastic memories from both junior high and high school.  I wasn’t at all “popular” – in fact I was in band during high school, which immediately branded me as one of the nerdy kids, but you know – I had a great time and I sure didn’t feel like a nerd or outcast. I just wasn’t a cheerleader, and that was just fine by me. (We actually made fun of THEM.)

I’m glad to be able to share some of my history with my children. I’m even happier that they seem so interested, even though I had to endure my husband’s groans and protests every single time something off-color was on the screen during the movie last night. (Like I said – PG means something completely different these days than it did back then I guess!) He’s a lot more reserved than I am. My kids think he’s a stick-in-the-mud, and I have to say – he kind of is these days. I’m a little more free-spirited with them. My husband finds fault with what I allow sometimes, but I figure it’s worth the kids seeing and doing a little more than I might have intended if it means letting them understand me a little better. I guess I really treasured being able to share that time with them, and I hope that they remember little moments like that as fondly as I do.

The real secret here is that I kind of think this movie will be something my daughter remembers forever. I saw the look of delight in her eye at the end of the movie when Samantha (Molly) and Jake (Michael) are kissing over the cake at the end. Yes, it’s completely schmaltzy, syrupy teenage love — and girls eat that up!  I sure did, and loads of other girls my age did as well. I hope she does remember it, and that someday she takes the time to share it with her kids as well.  By that time, Duran Duran and I will probably be long gone, or at least we’ll all be in our Duranie retirement, but the legacy will live on forever.

-R

It was no Mediterranea or Rio…but I’m home!

It’s good to be home!

It was fun to be on vacation.  I actually relaxed, which for me is nothing short of a miracle…and for a few days, even Duran Duran was far from my mind.  That didn’t last terribly long, as I was desperate to hear of how their US shows were going.  A decent wi-fi connection was tough to come by, but occasionally we’d go into town and I’d be able to check in with the world.

So, what did I do on my vacation?  Let me show you… (ah, the dreaded vacation slide-show!)

To begin with, I spent many afternoons on the lake.  The lake we went to is called Lake Siskiyou (Sis-kee-you) and it’s near Mt. Shasta.  Yes, that’s me out there on my sofa. It’s called the Siesta Lounger and yes, I even did some of that (Miraculous. I don’t ever nap!)  My husband was kind enough to swim out there on occasion and bring me refreshments. The lake was beautiful and actually pretty warm for being an “alpine” lake.

The scenery was gorgeous and even as I sit here at home in my house, I am thinking about the beautiful view.  I think this photo might even have my brother-in-law on his paddleboard in it.  In case you’re wondering, this is Mt. Shasta in the background, and those are actually glaciers on the mountain.  If you’re wondering why these photos aren’t of Duran Duran, it’s because they didn’t come on vacation with me this year.  Something about doing some shows…work…wives…Nick’s fear of camping….I don’t know.

We did have a fan or two show up at the campground…those animals!!  No really, there were a ton of deer up there, and oddly they aren’t afraid of people.  Not sure if that’s really a good thing, but the owners of the campground told me that these particular deer have lived there for years and they think of them as pets.  (By the way – I was less than ten feet from this one, who kindly posed for me.)

More scenery.  One day we took a boat out with our family (my husband’s sisters and their families were with us for part of the time), and this is a bridge that people jump off of into the water. No, I did not jump.  I watched other idiots, I mean people…dive.  Heights and I are not friends, but I was happily entertained by the sights of others.

One day, we went to see lava tubes and caves at the Lava Bed National Monument. We passed a sign for ice caves, and my husband and I joked that there was no point in going because it was easily a hundred degrees (F) outside, so ice wasn’t really a possibility.  Wrong!  It was freezing cold in the cave, and after climbing down in, there was a ton of ice!  This is just one small area of it, but if I would have been brave enough to climb down farther (not a chance),  the tube was filled with ice from what is an underground spring that freezes.  Later that day, we went into other caves, and let me just say that pitch black doesn’t even begin to describe the darkness.  I was scared to death that my youngest – who has NO FEAR WHATSOEVER – was going to fall to her death because she’d just try to go charging ahead with barely a light to guide her.  I’d have my light in front of me and look behind to see absolutely nothing but darkness.  I’d put the light in back of me and then look ahead and see nothing, not even my family who was probably 3 feet from me. Claustrophobia much?  YES!

On our last day, we went to Panther Meadow up on Mt. Shasta.  Depending upon where you start, the hike is about 30 minutes straight up a fairly steep hill.  Not a really tough hike, but with a wayward four year old, what should take 30 minutes takes more like an hour…go figure.  The sights that awaited though?  Well worth the effort.  At the top of the mountain there is a gorgeous meadow with a ton of wildflowers – more than I’ve ever really seen (and this is August!).  There is also a natural and sacred spring that bubbles up from the ground, and people come there to meditate or pray.  Several people were there when we got there, and it was very difficult to keep our youngest quiet, but it was a learning experience for her!


It was wonderfully peaceful, and when you go, you’re encouraged to take water from the spring to drink.  Super cold (and welcome after that hike!) and very, very clean – which for here in California, is a miracle.   This picture is of my oldest getting filling her water bottle with the spring water.  From the angle it doesn’t look like it’s really clean or on a hill…trust me, it was.  

How did we survive two weeks without any of the comforts of home?  HA!  We didn’t!!!  We simply took them with us!!  Let me show you:

The aforementioned Siesta Lounger
The Margarita Maker 
I
Icemaker…for the margarita maker of course!
Bottled water = ice for the margaritas!
My chair.  Very, VERY important!

So, how does one prepare for a 4-show “tour” with her partner-in-crime?  She goes on vacation for two weeks!  Of course now that I’m home, I’m no longer fighting the pain of hiking up mountains, but rather fighting a mountain of laundry. Yesterday I spent my day school shopping with my oldest, and today I am insisting that my son and I make it down to his school to sign him up for his block classes.  Tomorrow, I get my hair done (a necessity at this point).  Thursday is registration for my oldest, and then on Friday morning I fly to New Orleans to meet up with Amanda.  
I’m very excited to see the band again.  I read today that they’ve been hanging out here in LA, making this their hub for the past several days.  Lucky them…we’re having a heat wave and it is HELL hot here right now.  Hope they’re loving it more than I am!
I keep saying that this is going to be the last time, best time for me with regard to this tour for this album.  It has been quite a run.  I’ve done more on this tour than ever before, and I’ve experienced so much more than I would have ever expected.  I can’t imagine how I’ll ever top it, or if I should even try.  The real question though, and one that won’t be answered for some time to come is what will come next?
John mentioned that they might…MIGHT have dates next summer.  My husband wasn’t nearly as thrilled to read that as I might have been.  Once again I’m hearing that my Duranie account is overdrawn.  I haven’t even left yet.  How can that be possible??  Truth be told, I am not-so-secretly glad to read that someone is even considering shows in the future.  I’m not ready to quit just yet, and it’s relieving to know that they aren’t either. While like anyone else, I look forward to seeing and hearing what the band has in store for the next album, I think it’s also a little scary to be moving on.  This album is so good, I really and truly believe that it will come to be known as a defining moment for the band, historically speaking.  I sort of see the album as the moment when the band reached out towards their fans, and plenty of us reached out our hands to grasp theirs in response.  I don’t know if I can put much stalk into record sales or charts these days, but I do believe this album was a complete success from start to finish on a personal level, and while I never know what to expect from them next, I really hope the tone and spirit of this album lives on.  
Back to my laundry….
-R

Find Yourself in the Moment: My favorite concert experience. Glasgow, December 2011

Right now as I type this, I am listening to A Diamond in the Mind, the live CD.  Funny how listening to this brings me right back to the UK shows I went to in late November and early December of 2011.  I can remember standing there listening intently to Simon sing Before the Rain, and then practically rejoicing in the moment when the lights come up about 2/3 of the way through the song.  Every time I saw it – and I saw it 4 times during that trip, I could feel the excitement reverberating right off my body.  It was amazing.

Amanda and I decided that each of us, and hopefully at least one of you readers out there, would share our most favorite concert experience, whether that’s a song, a full show, whatever.  I don’t think I realized just how difficult it would be for me to decide upon my favorite show when I agreed to do this.  The fact is, I have favorite moments from many, many shows.  I think I’m lucky that way.  Some moments are because I felt that electric moment of connectivity between a band member and myself.  Other moments are from pure joy at seeing all five original members onstage again.  Still more moments are from watching “the new guy” blend in absolutely beautifully and seamlessly with the band.  Other moments happen because the band collectively plucked me up from my life and took me on a wild ride during the course of a 2 hour show….and then there was the night that did anything and everything a concert should.

For me, that show was Glasgow in 2011.  It was the final night, the final stop on our “train tour” of the UK.  By this point in the week that Amanda and I were traveling, I was pretty much completely spent.  To be honest, I had been very sick the night before and was still not feeling that great, but I was determined to make this show happen.  So much so, that when I was told by our hosts that the weather had called for snow and that we might not be able to actually get to Glasgow (we’d stayed in Edinburgh), I think I might have actually pitched a bit of a fit.  We left early in the day to get to Glasgow before it began to snow, and I slept in the car along the way.  I wish I hadn’t because I didn’t see any part of the ride from Edinburgh to Glasgow, but as I said – I was still feeling fairly ill.  The one thing I remember distinctly from the venue, aside from meeting some wonderful Duran friends we’d only conversed online with prior, was that I couldn’t get warm.  I was freezing.  I don’t know if the Scots just don’t like heat, or if was just that I wasn’t used to the weather, but the place felt like it was 30 or 40 degrees inside.  Our seats for this show were to be our best yet – second row center.  It was fitting that this was to be our last show – my motto is “last time, best time”, and so I figured we were ending it correctly. Funny thing: we added Glasgow relatively last minute.  We hadn’t bought tickets originally when they’d gone on sale.  We’d agreed to only do three shows (if you read Daily Duranie you know that we’d originally gone to the UK back in May of 2011 when Simon had vocal problems and had to postpone the tour), and somewhere along the way – we’d seen that there were a couple of second row Glasgow tickets that came up.  My feeling was that if we could swing it – we needed to go, and we did. After agreeing it was time to get to our seats, we made our way into the arena, which seemed even colder than the rest of the venue!  I shivered my way up to the second row, which seemed extremely close, and giggled with Amanda as we made our way to our seats.  I couldn’t believe how amazing they were!  It seemed like forever as we waited for the band to finally take the stage, and I had to keep my huge down parka on the entire time, it was that cold for me!  (Yes, I am a wimp. I’m from Southern California and it makes HUGE news when we wake up to frost on the ground.  No, I’m not kidding.  Ask John Taylor.)

When they finally did take the stage, the front row ran for the rail.  This doesn’t really happen in the states – where there is typically about 6 inches between the chairs and the rail guarding you (audience) from them! (band…and vice-versa in a lot of cases!)  I was really happy with where our seats were, and so I stupidly took about 20 extra seconds to decide to run for the front.  We got up there, but not quite to the rail – we were in the second row, but even so – that was AMAZINGLY close. Imagine feeling self-conscious because you are right in the faces of the band.  Yeah, that’s me, worrying that I look like a nutter being up that close!  (Note to self: Rhonda, you write a daily blog about being a fan….you’re already at nutter status kiddo.)  That feeling didn’t last for too long though, as the music has this way of enveloping you and taking you somewhere completely different where nothing else really matters…and that’s how I spent the majority of the concert, and this my friends is the absolute closest I think I’ve ever been to that ever-treasured front row.

Another thing I have to mention here is that as you all know, we’re from the US.  I am from California (Orange County) and Amanda is from Wisconsin. Even though we were both truly thousands of miles from home, we knew nearly everyone around us in this crowd.  How in the hell does that happen?!? I can go to a Duran Duran show at home – like in Costa Mesa for instance, and pretty much know no one around me.  I might see a few people I recognize, but that’s about it.  Yet I travel to the UK and it’s like going to a show with old friends. I don’t think anyone would have been able to explain to me just how special of an experience it is to travel outside of your country, meet people you’ve only spoken to online and then be able to call these people lifelong friends thereafter – and yet that’s exactly what I’ve experienced this year.  I can’t imagine never seeing these wonderful people again, so my future “tours” will be including them for as long as possible.  Yes, Duran Duran really has brought people together, and I will never, EVER regret going back to the UK after that first trip last May.  As John said, there was a reason beyond the trouble with Simon’s voice that it didn’t happen the first time and going back only made it better.  He is 100% correct.

So while my “spot” had everything to do with why this show is among my favorites, it was the music and the experience that pushes it over the edge for me. There were several times during the show that I completely forgot just how big the arena really was until a song would end and there would be a deafening cheer.  One of the reasons I love The Man Who Stole a Leopard live is because the band insists that we clap – and as you are clapping, you need to look around – it is remarkable to see everyone standing up and clapping together. It’s a special moment in the setlist and I still say they’ve made a mistake by removing it from the setlist.  It was only in that moment as I looked around and saw everyone clapping that I realized I was in this huge arena and not in a much smaller venue.

Then of course there’s the interaction.  Who does not want to be close to the band??  (OK, you men and a few of you women out there who are only in it for the music might be saying “ME” at this point.  I get it and I bow my head in reverence to your fandom.)  Me?  I like being close!  Call me crazy but when you’ve got band members coming over in your general direction and they bend down to play right in your face and lock eyes with you – if that doesn’t get your blood pumping NOTHING WILL.  You might even be dead, and that would be most unfortunate!  I had several moments like that during their show, and I still say that certain guitar players breathed new life into a song or two for me.  We’ll just leave it at that for now.

I’m not usually one to be brought to tears at shows. I know fans who have cried, and while I suppose I can understand their sentiment at certain songs – that’s just not me. In Glasgow though, my heart was so full by the end of the show.  I was partially sad because I knew it was my last show (and I think that at the time I didn’t even know if they’d be coming back to the US again), I was exhilarated by my excitement, I was joyous because the show was really that good, and when it ended – it was so bittersweet.  Yes, they left me wanting more.  Again. It’s difficult not to feel that letdown, yet I was determined not to let it ruin my night.  When I waved to the band that final time – in fact I’m pretty sure at least one or two of them knew it was my last show before going home so I caught their eye and said good-bye, to which they grinned and said as much in return, I felt completely spent.  I’d given all of my energy to them at that show, and I felt as though they’d lived up to their end of the bargain as well.  I think I said to Amanda “that’s how I should feel after EVERY show”.

We walked out of the arena and out of the venue, thinking we’d hang out with our friends at the hotel bar nearby before heading back to Edinburgh.  After making our way to the hotel, I dared to peek out the window and saw huge snowflakes coming down.  This was a problem because we had to drive back to Edinburgh on the highway, and apparently they aren’t used to snow in Glasgow or Edinburgh – so the highways shut down when it snows.  We couldn’t be stuck in Glasgow because we had a flight out early the next morning.  So, we said hasty good-byes and started out for our trip home.  We made it back to Edinburgh without a single problem although it was well after midnight before we got home – we had to be up at about 5am to leave for the airport, and our host headed to her bed while Amanda and I packed up.  It was during this time that we agreed that we would not sleep before leaving in a few hours. (I plead insanity due to Duran Duran!)  Instead we stayed up, endlessly searching for youtube videos from the show (admittedly I was on the hunt for a video of Hungry Like the Wolf because I wanted to see a specific moment in the show that Amanda had noticed from Dom that I hadn’t), I left Facebook posts for our friends, chatted with US friends (I loved the time difference!!), tweeted about our evening and trip, and even left messages for a couple of special band members, thanking them for what was truly the trip of our lives.  I think it’s probably important to note here – for those conspiracy theorists amongst us – that Amanda and I never got any closer to the band than being in the crowd while they were onstage.  We didn’t get backstage for after parties, we didn’t ever see them at a hotel or whatnot.  They just did an outstanding job during their shows.  Sure, the winks, grins and nods didn’t hurt either…and we wanted to thank them.

By the time the taxi arrived to take us to the airport, I had greatly regretted my decision not to sleep.  I knew I had an incredibly long day of travel ahead of me, but I had to hope that somehow this would help me readjust to California time.  I also had to hope that I wouldn’t run into ANYONE in the airports because I truly looked like I had just come off of a three day bender. It wasn’t pretty.  We got to our gate in Edinburgh and fell into our seats (by the way I was STILL freezing!), and tried to make sense of the week we’d had.

Impossible.

I can’t imagine that any concert I ever attend again will come close to those moments in Glasgow. (but I’m certainly willing to keep trying!)  I think that’s why all of us continue to go to shows though – we’re looking for that “high”.  Luckily for me, they seem to keep getting better and better.

-R

My Moment in the Sun: The Day I Met the Band

At some point recently, it occurred to me that I’ve never really blogged about the one and only time I met the band.  This was at the Los Angeles Virgin Megastore signing for Astronaut in October of 2004, and yes – it’s the only time I’ve ever really met them.

I had heard murmurs of a record store signing when I was at the Duran Duran Fan convention in New Orleans, but I knew the signing was in Los Angeles, and in the middle of the week. I told myself there was no way I was driving up there, that I had too much going on, and that was that. At some point over the weekend though, a story someone told me just clicked. That “someone” was my friend Machelle, and I don’t even know if she remembers telling me the story of when she first ran into John Taylor. (No really, I don’t honestly know if she remembers.  It was one of those weekends!) I really can’t even remember the details of the story, other than she had me almost crying I was laughing so hard, and that at the very end of it all I mentioned the signing and she said to me “Rhonda, you have to go. You’ll continue to kick yourself forever if you don’t.” She said those words with such a declarative tone…who was I to argue?

I really don’t know if I would have ever gone to the signing if it hadn’t been for that weekend and of course my conversation with Machelle. Just the act of going to the convention had been a huge step in the direction of finding myself once again after many years of just being “Mom”. But, on the way home in the plane from the convention, I gave the idea of going a lot of thought. Part of me was completely willing to put that part of myself: The Fan, back on it’s appropriate shelf when I got home. Being just “Rhonda” wasn’t especially comfortable on me yet, and absolutely not in the presence of my husband or children. I also worried about how I’d feel meeting the band. At the time (and is frequently discussed in the community), I suppose I really did have the band on their prospective pedestals. In October of 2004 I hadn’t yet heard the Astronaut album, gone to Chicago to see them with friends…or really seen them with anyone but my husband. I know that I gave thought to the idea that if I truly went to the signing and actually got past the door, that perhaps in some way the fantasies I’d had about all of them from the time I was a child would somehow change. That concerned me.  By the time the plane had landed though, I had made up my mind that yes, I would go to the signing…and I’d take my daughter with me.

That’s right, not only had I decided to take my chances and go, I wanted my oldest to go along with me. There were a number of reasons I’d made that decision, but most importantly – I wanted my oldest to know her mother. I wanted her to see and maybe get a tiny taste of what I was really like as a person. After all, I wasn’t an awful lot older than she was when Duran Duran first came into my life. (She was 7 years old at the time we went to the signing.  She’s now 15.  Time flies!!!) After convincing my husband that I wasn’t crazy and that she and I would both be perfectly safe, we put our plans into place. She was so excited to be going along with mom, and I have to tell all of you – if I had to do it all over, I wouldn’t hesitate for a single second in asking her to go with me.

That’s the real story here. Sure, meeting the band was something I’ll never forget and I’ll get into that in a second, but the real story is how much just taking my oldest child with me changed our relationship as mother and daughter. She was just a little thing, but she has always been far more mature than her years. I wanted her to understand that it is OK to have other interests that are outside the boundaries of family or career, even as a woman. I wanted her to understand that it’s OK to love a rock band, and it’s even OK to do crazy things once in a while – even when you’re grown up. Honestly, I just wanted her to see that living can really be a lot of fun sometimes! I really think just standing in line the night that Astronaut went on sale (you had to buy an album at midnight when it went on sale, and then a wristband came with the purchase for you to come back later in the week for the signing) really taught her a lot about who I am. She listened intently as I told her stories of going to the grocery store to buy magazines each week or how crushed I was when my parents wouldn’t allow me to go to see them in concert back in 1984 for the Sing Blue Silver tour. If that weren’t enough, people around me chimed in with their own personal stories, and it became very clear to my daughter that while plenty of other people around us had met the band, gone to shows, and even traveled for them – her mom had done next to nothing. The closest I’d ever come to actually meeting the band prior to this signing was back in the summer of about 1985 when Power Station was touring. John Taylor had done some sort of an appearance at a Tower Records store in Van Nuys, and my cousin and I begged to go. Her parents took us, but the line was what seemed like miles long, and after about an hour of standing in 100 degree heat outside, John Taylor left in a limousine…taking our dreams of meeting him right along with him. So this signing for me was about finally seizing my own moment.  Somehow, I was able to properly convey, in terms she would understand at the age of seven and yet still remember quite clearly at the age of fifteen, just how important it was for me to be in that line with her that evening.

The moments to midnight seemed to take forever.  I was so proud of my little girl though, because she was a real trooper that night.  Never once did she ask me to pick her up or tell me she was tired, even though I knew she had to have been.  We talked and joked up until the time we got up to the door of Virgin Megastore, and then once inside they had Duran Duran videos running along with the music from the new album playing in the background.  I was still nervous until we got up to the register though, because I recognized that there were probably only so many wristbands – and that line sure did seem long outside, stretching for a least a couple blocks up Sunset Boulevard.  We did make it to the register though, and I remember her huge grin when she handed the salesperson her money and got her wristband for the signing.  I was just as excited when I got my own!

In the few days leading up to the signing, she had listened to the album nearly non-stop, making sure she knew each song. (Or wait – was that me??) She’d already announced that Sunrise was her favorite, and she was really thrilled to have the chance to see the band and have them sign her CD. We spent several hours over the course of the days leading up to the signing talking about how my room looked as a kid, and what I did to find out what the band was up to. (No internet in those days!) She was surprised at how much work it took to be a fan back then. (Me too!!) We talked about which band member was my favorite, and how much her dad – my husband Walt – looked like Roger Taylor. (Huh. Interesting coincidence I suppose. He doesn’t really look THAT much like him any longer, but the olive skin, dark eyes and dark hair seems to be a common theme. Go figure.) In fact, one night she asked me aloud at dinner when her REAL dad would be coming to pick her up. Of course, she said this just to yank her dad’s chain – and to her surprise Walt responded “Well, whenever he does show up here I’m going to show him the bill for your dance classes. ‘Bout time that man starts paying up!” She collapsed in a fit of giggles that night, I’ll never forget it.  (Of course we were all joking and nobody, least of all ME, thinks Roger Taylor is my oldest’s father!!!!)

The day finally arrived and after driving up to Los Angeles, we waited in another very long line.  After what felt like an eternity, the line slowly began to creep up Sunset, getting ever so slightly closer to the side door of Virgin Megastore. I could feel my nerves heighten as we crawled closer to the door, and I got very quiet. Mostly, I was doing some serious “self-talk” before I got anywhere near that door. Wanna know what I was saying to myself?

Rhonda Lynn (My middle name and how my mother still refers to me to this very day).  You have been waiting for this moment for over twenty-five years now. You will not make a fool out of yourself.  There will be no giggling, no requests for a hug, marriage proposals or anything else that will make you appear stupid. You will smile, speak with intelligence, and most of all – there will be absolutely no fainting. NONE. Furthermore, under no circumstances will you forget that your oldest child – your only daughter (at the time) is with you. She will remember every silly thing you say or do and use it against you later, so do not let that happen!!!  (I was totally right about that, by the way.)

Once we’d gotten to the door, my daughter stood in front of me and I had my hands on her shoulders, both to keep her from running in there as well as to steady myself. I could see all of them, huddled over the table hurriedly scribbling their signatures over the albums and CD’s put in front of them. Nick looked up, gave a big smile to my daughter and called her over. I could have died right then. We both went over, and he took her CD and signed it – sending her down the line. Then he looked at me and asked if she was mine. I said yes, that I was doing my part to raise her right, and he smiled. Next was John. John didn’t even see us – he was doing what *I* would have done had I been on his side of the table, which was keeping his head down, signing the damn CD’s as they went by, and not looking up to see the wall of people closing in on him. I did say that the album was beautiful, and to that he did look up – but he had no idea who had said it and just said “Thank you” to the air. Next was Simon. Now, I’d heard outside that Simon arrived in a somewhat pissy mood that day (by this point in time the stories of Simon’s moods had made it to my little spot in the community), but he’d had some red wine and seemed to be a bit better by the time I got to him.  Hey…he’s a scorpio. So am I. I get the moods. Anyway, he was busy quizzing my daughter when I turned to look at him. She had carried her book in with her, and he wanted to know what she was reading.  So, she showed him and then he guessed her age. (Good guess, Simon. She was dully impressed.) Then he narrowed his eyes at her and asked what her favorite song off of the album was. I think Simon thought he was going to catch her, but guess what Simon?  My daughter is wicked smart! She smiled with her “You think you’ve got something on me, but actually I am way over your head” smile and said, “Sunrise is my favorite off of THIS album, Simon.” She even used his name, I was so proud. He grinned and pushed the CD down to Andy. Oh, Simon didn’t even bother looking up at me. Andy was amazing though  Easily the best reaction of the night because he literally jumped out of his chair and practically dove across the table to shake hands with my daughter. She was giggling like crazy and saying hi. I loved it. He seemed so happy to see a little girl there, and it warmed my heart. To this day she remembers Andy, and he is still her favorite. Finally, there was Roger.  This was the one *I* had been waiting for. My daughter knew this, and she stood off to the side of the table waiting for me. I asked him if he was tired, and he looked at me and said “Yes”, but quietly as though he didn’t want to make a fuss. Then I thanked him for doing the signing, explaining that I’d never had the chance to see them as a kid and that I was really glad they were back together as the original 5 member band. Then I lost all of my senses (no, I still don’t have them back, I guess) and told him that he had always been my favorite for all of that time, and that he still was.

Hey!  Hey!!! I hear the groaning back there!!  Knock it off!

Time stopped at that moment, as Roger looked up at me, smiled the *best* smile ever, and said thank you, that it was really sweet of me to say. Then I said goodbye, collected my daughter and floating out of the Virgin Megastore.

As we got out of the store and I regained the feeling in my body, my daughter leans over and says “Wow mom, thought for sure you were just going to propose marriage to the guy right then and there.”

She was just seven then….  Just imagine how much worse she is now at fifteen and you’ll know why I travel so often.

All of that aside, I’ll never forget that experience. Meeting the band was amazing even though I was just one face of hundreds that night, it meant the world to me. My daughter and I still talk about that week from time to time because as she puts it – it was the first time she got to really know me. Since then I’ve taken her to see them in Vegas (odd place to take a kid to see a band, but we were already there for a dance convention!), and out of everyone in this family, she is the one who understands me most. She still thinks I’m insane, but I know somewhere behind those teenage eye-rolls and sighs of annoyance – she thinks I’m pretty cool.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.  🙂

-R

No Time for Worry Cause We’re on the Roam Again…

Well, we aren’t on the roam again yet, but will be soon enough!  I have just gotten back from visiting my brother in Boston.  After a nice but very hot trip, I realize that Rhonda and I have less than a month before we go on tour.  Before I go any further, I have to explain that phrase “go on tour” as some of our readers might be confused by that.  When we say that we are going on tour, this doesn’t mean that we are going with the band.  Hardly.  They take a private plane to their gigs.  We drive.  When they do drive, someone drives for them.  We drive ourselves.  They get food no matter what.  We are lucky if we remember to eat.  They can request special food and beverages.  Sometimes, we drive or walk around for hours trying to find something that would work.  So, why do we say we are going on tour if we aren’t going with the band and we certainly aren’t playing ourselves?  Honestly, it is phrase that we have used for years and so have a lot of our friends.  To us, to go on tour means that you are going to multiple shows and that those multiple shows require traveling of some sort (usually a plane).  It means seeing Duran perform in more than one city, state or country in a very short period of time, like a week.  We are sorry if our use of the term bothers people but we like it and plan on using it still.  🙂

Back to the topic at hand, I just got back from a trip and Rhonda leaves on her family vacation very soon.  We leave to go on tour in less than a month.  What does this mean for the Daily Duranie?  It means that we have things to do, details to sort out!  Now, this isn’t our first tour and (hopefully) won’t be our last.  Thus, we have gotten pretty good at getting everything together.  We have quite a few of the big things sorted, including flights, hotels, and car rental.  The general information for the meetups are set with some minor details to fill in.  For example, we have to message the people going to the Biloxi meetup.  We also have to reserve the car service for Atlanta.  Speaking of that, if you are going to the Atlanta show and want to ride the party bus to and from the venue, let us know!  We are looking for more people!!!  It will be a good way to avoid parking, traffic or getting a taxi!  Plus, it will be a heck of a lot more fun!  We are also trying to find fun places to go after shows.  If you know of any fun, open late places in Atlanta, Durham and Portsmouth, please share!

Now that most of our “tour” is planned, I have the job of organizing it.  I have a binder, which has been affectionately named the “tour binder”.  It is obnoxiously anal as there are various dividers in the binder, including a section for plane information, hotel information, ticket information, restaurants and clubs, city information like maps, a place to keep track of costs and more.  In the very front, I will have a typed agenda, which includes dates and times and a general plan of activity.  Some might say that all of this organization is overkill and unnecessary.  Others might say that it takes all the fun out of a trip.  I disagree.  Let me explain.  First, everything important is kept in one location, which makes it that much easier to keep track of, which can save time.  This is very important when you are traveling on a daily basis or when you have consumed an adult beverage or four.  Second, this allows complete freedom while actually on the tour.  I’m sure many of you are questioning how this allows for that, especially with an agenda.  The agenda, while including times and dates, isn’t that specific.  It is detailed enough so that we know when we have to get on the road in order to be on time for the next activity or when we have to be at the airport, but it is open enough to allow choices.  That said, the more research done ahead of time the better.  For example, the agenda might say, “Get dinner”.  That’s logical, right?  Well, then, one just has to go over to the restaurants section to find a list of places that people recommended or looked good.  Thus, time would not be wasted on finding a place.  The agenda gives an outline, nothing more and nothing less. 

Here’s the thing.  No one wants to think on vacation.  No one wants to waste time on vacation with such limited time.  The more prepared we are ahead of time, the less thinking and wasting time happens during the actual trip.  Less thinking equals more fun.  At least, it does for us.  Of course, I’m sure that there are a lot of other ways people get ready for a tour.  How do you do it?  Do you just get the big things taken care of and will by the seat of your pants for the rest?  Do you map every minute out?  I would honestly like to know.  While we think we have a good system set up, I’m sure that there are other ways of getting ready that we could learn from. 

No matter what method or what system is used, the same thing is true.  Planning and organizing a tour means that a tour will happen.  Now, that I, officially, have the binder out, it means that it is serious now.  The tour is quickly approaching!  I cannot wait!!!

-A

It’s not quite Mediterranea…

While Duran Duran is in Italy this week, it would seem that many of my friends are packing up and getting ready to join them. I’m slightly envious and wish I could join the fun, alas I will live vicariously through their posts and things as they get a chance to update me with the current happenings. I might even live a bit through various band members as I did last week when Dom, John and even Simon would post pictures of their opportunities for tourism offstage!

My own vacation is creeping up now and I don’t mean the one where I go galavanting across country with Amanda. My own family is going to be taking a vacation soon and I will be completely unplugged for a while. (I’m getting the shakes just thinking about it, so chances are I will cheat – yes I’m already planning to cheat – and I’ll probably check in when I’m able to find an internet connection!)  Want to know where we’re going? We are going camping up near Mount Shasta in Northern California. Trailer and all. (Somehow I suspect this might be along the lines of Nick Rhodes’ personal version of hell, which makes me laugh!  The photo above is our camping trailer just after we’d arrived last year and barely settled in.) Five of us, including the 4 year old little girl, the 13 year old gamer son (just imagine his withdrawals because that computer is NOT coming along!) and the 15 year old teenager, in this trailer for two weeks.  Will we all survive? Why do I suddenly have the chills?? I might post pictures on twitter from time to time so you’ll have to check in to see our madness. The good news is that once we’re there, it’s absolutely gorgeous and QUIET…which lately, I’ve found myself craving. There’s a lake for the kids, a beach for me (see picture below), and my husband can do as much hiking and fishing as he’d like.

We did this last year for a week and I survived quite nicely, so I’m hopeful that I’ll come back recharged once again just in time for my trip to meet up with Amanda (and many of you) to see the band. That’s right: Rhonda needs a two week vacation just to get ready for this Daily Duranie tour! This week I’m busily looking around my house and realizing I don’t have a moment to really spare. I have lists to make, a chapter to finish and blogs to prepare.

What I can tell you is that while I’m gone, you shouldn’t notice any difference in Daily Duranie. We have been planning ahead for my absence because we certainly can’t allow Daily Duranie to go dark – we publish DAILY. (Yes actually there are many, many moments when I question my…our…intelligence in naming the blog The Daily Duranie. I also question why I’ve followed a band for over thirty years. There seems to be a bit of a pattern there, no??)  What we do need though, is help from YOU, our readers.

While I am gone, we will be doing two weeks of themed blogs. The first week, we will be blogging about our favorite concert experience. This can be a blog about an entire show, one fleeting moment, or maybe a certain song that knocked your socks off. The second week, we are blogging about meeting the band. This can be one member, all members…at a signing, in the middle of a grocery store, at the record store, or out in front of their hotel or even their home(s) if you were ever that brave for that matter. We want to hear from you!

Send us your blogs no later than Saturday July 28th to our mailbox. Please include a thumbnail picture and a short bio to be included on the blog, and if you need ideas – just look in our archives under “guest bloggers”. If for some reason you would prefer to submit your blog anonymously, feel free – just let Amanda and I know.

So, with that must get myself down to business here. I have spreadsheets to make, lists to go over….and a chapter to finish!!
-R

Live Aid Revisited

Every morning, I post the “Today in Duran Duran History” fact for the day.  This morning, this fact discussed the Live Aid event from 1985.  Obviously, this was a significant event in Duran Duran history.  In fact, if we were to write a history book on the band, that day, that event would be considered a massive turning point.  I would compare it to shots being fired, beginning a war.  Tensions had been building and now action had finally been taken.  Much like events in history, the true effect of the event wouldn’t be known for months or even years.  No one knew that day that it would be the final performance of the classic line-up until the Fab 5 reunited about a decade ago.  It would be almost 20 years before they would get back on stage together.  No, most people acknowledged the terribly missed note during A View to a Kill but no one knew that it was the end (for a long time).  Interestingly enough, most people commenting today on this fact aren’t bringing up the significance for Duran Duran.  No, they are talking about where they were on that day.  I’m no different.  I, immediately, thought about my life at that time.

If I go back in time to 1985, I was 10 years old but, like many of us, was a huge Duranie!  My best friend, at the time, and I watched Duran videos all the time and squeed over pictures of John Taylor in magazines like Bop and Tiger Beat.  I was, generally, a happy kid at that time.  Yet, there was a huge black cloud on the horizon.  My family was in the process of moving.  We didn’t move that far–about an hour away from where we were but it was like moving from one world to a totally different world.  When I became a Duranie, I was living in the Chicago suburbs.  I had access to Top 40 radio that played Duran all the time despite constantly making fun of them and I had access to MTV.  While Duran wasn’t super popular in my elementary school (Michael Jackson was king in my neighborhood!), there were enough Duranies around that I felt safe.  That all changed when I moved to a small town.  More to the point, this place didn’t have Top 40 radio and didn’t have MTV.  I felt like I had gone back in time!

On July 13, 1985, my family, including myself, was doing what we always did on weekends that summer, which was to drive to the new house to take boxes and other items that needed to be moved.  My dad was already living there as he was working in the area so he needed supplies.  Plus, it would make the big move easier, or so went the theory.  I so protested this trip.  I, obviously, wanted to be watching Live Aid.  Why couldn’t I stay at my friend’s house?  I asked my mother over and over again.  The response I got was simple:  I had to help the family.  I rolled my eyes, grumbled to myself and felt like I had lost a friend.  It was like an additional kick to the gut.  I couldn’t even watch for Duran!

Interestingly enough, we got back “home” right before Power Station came on!  I didn’t miss them, after all!  I was still upset about being forced to help make this move that I desperately didn’t want to happen, though.  I remember my parents getting Chinese for dinner and I refused to move from the TV, in case Duran came on.  For some reason, my parents didn’t force me away from the screen.  I don’t even think I ate dinner that night.  I think I kept thinking that Duran would make me feel better, but they didn’t.  I almost felt worse after they came on.  I don’t know why.  I could say that I had a sense that something wasn’t right but I doubt it.  My kid brain wouldn’t have been able to move beyond my own thoughts, life, problems.  I probably didn’t even notice Simon’s bum note!

A little over a month later, the big and final move took place.  That, of course, is another day that I’ll never forget in my life.  I was walking around outside when a neighbor girl rode her bike up to me, which was actually very nice.  We started talking and, of course, I asked her if she liked Duran.  Her response, “Who?”  She had never heard of them.  The kids in the neighborhood spent most of their time making and playing game outside or riding their bikes.  They weren’t glued to MTV like I had been.  Now, I can understand how both cultures (and that’s what they were) had their positives and negatives but as a kid, I couldn’t see it.  I missed my best friend and listening to the radio.  I think, at that point, my Duranie-ness grew.  I held on to it for dear life.  As summer turned into fall, I tried to make friends but that didn’t go well.  Neither side wanted to learn about the other person’s interests.  No one wanted to learn about Duran, which I totally couldn’t understand.  Soon enough, this divide between me and my new classmates grew and turned ugly as they found out that I was a religious minority in a small town in which everyone was the same religion (or so it seemed).  The kids used this along with the fact that I wore a lot of black and red along with my black rubber bracelets (I wonder who else was dressing this way in 1985?  Hmm…could it be…John Taylor?!) to make fun of me pretty frequently.

By 1986, I was pretty lonely as I didn’t have a lot of friends in my new town and my best friend from home had decided that Duran was done.  By now, we knew that Roger and Andy left the band.  It seemed to me that my feelings of dread on Live Aid were justified.  Going back to the original analogy of how Live Aid was a turning point, it definitely was.  It was for me and for the band.  On July 13th, 1985, no one really knew what exactly was going to happen, but what did happen was significant.  My life was changed and the band member’s lives changed, too.  Thus, not a year goes by that I don’t remember that fateful day.  I’m relieved I made it through this not-so-happy time in my life and I am so glad that the band was able to go on as well.

What about the rest of you?  Is this a fateful day for you?  Are there other days in Duran history that have personal meaning?  I love to hear your stories!

-A 

Salt in the Rainbow

I’m having difficulty getting started today…and no, it’s not a hangover from fireworks, food and a few adult beverages over the course of our Fourth of July festivities yesterday.  In many ways, the holiday was really a rainbow of sorts, and today is the salt.  It feels very much like a Monday, which is a sick, cruel joke (Midweek holidays are just wrong.), and it’s also a sad six month anniversary for a friend of mine who lost her twelve year old daughter named Jessie to cancer (DIPG, you can google it) earlier this year.  I think of that family nearly every day, and whenever Jessie comes to mind, I give my kids an extra tight hug.  I’m a mom first and foremost, and I just can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a child – regardless of whether your child is four-legged and furry or human.  So to Stacey and Erik and your family, I hope you are all hugging one another tightly today.  This road seems impossible at times…but I know you’re navigating the best that you can. I hurt for all of you.

What I would like to do here though is put out a bit of an appeal with regard to our book and the chapter I am currently working on, which is conventions and meetups.  I myself have planned a convention for Duran Duran fans in 2004, but I would really like the insight of others to include in my research on the topic. Have you been to a convention (even if it was the one in New Orleans in 2004)?  Were you there as an attendee or a planner??  Have you ever attended other Duran fans meetups or other events?  What about Duranie sleepovers or parties?  If so – I want to hear from you!  I’d like to know about your experience, how you felt when you attended such events or planned them.  Did it help you participate more fully as a fan?  Did you learn to appreciate being part of a community?  Do you think you became a bigger or more loyal fan as a result?  Please note than when I ask if you became a bigger fan – I don’t mean in relation to others – I mean did you feel like you loved the band even more than you did prior?  If you have anything you’d like to share with regard to that topic, please email me (Rhonda) at dailyduranie@gmail.com.  Please put “Convention Chapter” in the subject line, thanks!

Have you bought your ticket to the Facebook Premiere of A Diamond in the Mind yet??  If so, I’ll see you on Sunday….look for me, I’ll in the front on Dom’s side!  

-R

My Moment with Medazzaland

I had an epiphany today.  (Ok, so “today” for me is really last Wednesday for all of you…I wrote a few blogs to post while I’m gone!)

I needed to get some writing done, and as a way to block out the general background noise of my house (Ok, I was really blocking out my kids…but nobody needs to know that, right?) I decided to do something I haven’t done in several years.  I played the entire Medazzaland album.

Medazzaland was released in October of 1997, and it’s the only Duran Duran album that I did not buy immediately upon it’s release. In my defense, I’d had my first baby earlier that year and suffered greatly with Post Partum Depression.  A little something I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned:  I didn’t even know that John Taylor had left Duran Duran until AFTER I’d bought Medazzaland.  That’s just how out of touch with reality I was at the time.  It was all I could do to get through each day, and during the time I had PPD I didn’t listen to a single Duran Duran song.  Not one. That isn’t a period of time I like to talk about much, nor do I really remember much from the time, but it’s a part of how I’ve become the person I am now I suppose. I know it was several months into 1998 before I bought the album, and as I popped it into my car stereo, I couldn’t wait to get reacquainted with the band.  I felt like I was getting back in touch with an old friend.

As soon as the opening “chords” of Medazzaland had begun, I knew something had gone curiously awry.  This was definitely not the Duran Duran I’d last listened.  I skipped ahead, touching on each of the songs.  Aside from Big Bang Generation and possibly Electric Barbarella, there was nothing on that album that sounded remotely close to what I’d known.  I  remember looking at my husband through the veil of depression that was still clouding my vision and told him very ruefully that part of my life was apparently over just like the rest of who I once was, and ejected the CD.  I put it back in the case and didn’t open it again for nearly 8 years.

It was only after the Astronaut tour ended and we started getting murmurs about Red Carpet Massacre that I dared to open the jewel case for the CD again.  I’m far enough removed from the days of my depression to realize that my dislike for the CD came not only from the music itself, but from my own predicament at the time.  Even so, the CD is very different from anything else Duran has done, and I don’t know that I ever really wrapped my head around all that was taking place for them at the time.  When I sat down to write today, I was formatting a guest blog and there was mention of a few songs on Medazzaland, so I decided to give it a listen.  Amazingly, I actually appreciated much of what I heard. Sure, the album is very different.  Yes, it was written during a time when I think there was much personal tension for Nick and Simon, but there’s some genius there.  I’m still not a Warren fan – but his influence is absolutely present on the album and I didn’t hate what I heard.  There is something very organic (of all things) about the experimentation that took place, and the sense of peace I felt while listening to Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For was remarkable. What felt really far removed from Duran Duran in 1998 when I first bought the album feels very much like a piece of their history in 2012.

Of course, all of this introspect with regard to Medazzaland leads me to wonder how I’ll feel about Red Carpet Massacre in another ten years or so. (It’s going to take me that long to work up the nerve to listen to that CD again, I’m sure.)  I haven’t forgotten Nick’s statement that while the album wasn’t well-loved by their fan base, it has some staying power.  Damn you Nick, we’ll see.  We will see.

-R

Make Me Smile…Hold Back the Rain!!!

My oven appears to have decided to retire.  Either that, or it’s completely dead.  I’m not really sure.  All I know is that it took about 3 hours to roast some vegetables last night, and while I’m all for slow cooking, eating after 8pm is tough when you’ve got kids that have to get up for school the next morning.  I mention this household “ailment” because in the past month, it’s been a pretty ridiculous series of mishaps.  First my refrigerator went down for the count and was fixed for nice tidy sum, and then our cat spent a week in the animal hospital – she’s now one of the more expensive pets we’ve owned.  Last week my the windshield on my beloved car cracked, and then last night it was the oven.

Thankfully, my husband is an electrical engineer and he prides himself on being able to fix just about anything. I, on the other hand, would much prefer to go out and replace the offending appliance – but with the amount of money spent on the aforementioned household issues, fixing the oven seems more appropriate at this juncture.

In the past, I’ve never really felt much guilt in planning a trip to go with friends to see Duran Duran.  I mean of course I’ve worried for the kids and there have been times when I knew I was lucky to be going (thinking back to our UK trips and especially the show in Scotland), but I also felt confident that I deserved the break.  This time, I’m not so sure.

I’ve seen the band a number of times since All You Need is Now was released.  I’ve been to the UK twice, and I have had a lot of fun.  I’ve met more fellow fans than I could have ever imagined possible, and while seeing the band has been outstanding, the experiences I’ve had with new friends is what has truly made being a fan worthwhile.  I really don’t see how one more show, or even three more shows, will really cap this whole album off any better than it already has been done.

The band said something about this tour being the tour of hyperbole.  I haven’t obviously seen every single show, but I definitely know what they mean.  In the smattering of shows I’ve attended, each one seemed better than the last.  Every night seemed outstanding, and while I am sure some folks would say the shows in Australia were best, and others would say that the shows in South America were more outstanding than ever…I think that all of the shows have truly been the best.  I don’t really see how they could get better without my being on stage right next to them…and then again, what fun would that be?  There’s something to be said for John looking down into the crowd and locking eyes with you, to be able to sing and clap along with Simon, or having Dom tower over you while playing certain guitar riffs.  Seeing Nick give a grin that you know is meant just for you doesn’t hurt, and of course having Roger occasionally stand and smile makes the entire show.  Or is that just me?  Don’t get me started on Hungry Like the Wolf, either…

It’s not as though I don’t feel like I need a bit of a break, it’s that I know that it would be easier for everyone else if I just stayed home.  There is always that nagging sense of guilt when I plan getaways for myself, and knowing that I’ve already had such wonderful trips out make me feel as though going away again is just selfish.

As I type, I’m already considering what my ticket options will be tomorrow for the presales. (Atlanta and Portsmouth Virginia)  I know I’ve yet to figure out my airfare, and we’ve still got to look into a rental car.  We have a meet up planned in Durham that sounds like it’s going to be amazing, and we’re hoping to do similar parties in Atlanta and Portsmouth as well.

I sure hope nothing else breaks around here.

-R