Sometimes, the band directly influences us and today is one of those times as we are following in their footsteps by doing our own year end lists! It seemed like a good way to wrap up the year and all that it was!
Best Duran Duran Moment of 2011:
Hearing the opening notes of Secret Oktober in Brighton and realizing that yes, they were really playing what I thought they were playing! It was the only time I heard it for the entire tour…the only time I’ve ever witnessed it played live…and it was a dream come true. I know the band couldn’t possibly have known how much I wanted to hear that song – but I owe them a million thanks for doing so. Dream. Come. True.
Best Personal Moment(s): Hmm…I have several:
Watching my 3 year old dance on stage for the first time (she was a Bumblebee, and yes – she was the absolute cutest one ever!)
Seeing my son play clarinet with his junior high school band – it was surreal seeing him play after having done so myself for so many years. (and he plays MY clarinet from when I was a kid, too!)
Watching my oldest do her first musical – Anything Goes. I loved watching her come alive on stage and seeing for myself that yes, she really does belong in musical theatre. Very proud moment.
I don’t know that this really counts as an “event” as much as it was a natural disaster, but hearing about the earthquake and damage from the earthquake in Japan always sticks in my mind. My husband traveled there quite often for work, and exactly one week prior – he was there and would not have been able to make it back home had the earthquake hit at that time (even more frightening was that he was originally scheduled to be there that week but had to move up his trip due to scheduling). He hasn’t been back to Japan since the earthquake and tsunami. I guess that I don’t like thinking about the political things that go on, mainly because we as humans can control a lot of that – even if we choose not to – but natural disasters like earthquakes and things we simply have no control over. Its how we respond to those things that interest me most.
Album of 2011 (gee, I wonder….)
This really doesn’t even seem like a fair question. While yes, the digital version of All You Need is Now was available on iTunes in December of 2010, the regular version didn’t come out until March – and so that’s what I’m counting. Hands down for me, this is the album of the year (if not the decade). It lived up to everything I’d hoped it would be, and the music and lyrics have added to the soundtrack of my life since then. Did any other albums even come out last year??? 😀
Single of 2011:
This is the toughest question for me out of the whole lot because I really don’t have ONE single that sticks out in my head as being best. I really dislike conventional radio, and by nature of the beast I find that many times, the “singles” that are out there suck. I do love the entire AYNIN album, but I don’t know if one single really made the year….except for maybe the title song, because in all honesty its how I’ve tried to take each moment of this past year. I tend to be someone who is always planning ahead for the next thing or worrying about what I did yesterday. This song in particular reminds me to enjoy the small milliseconds I have and to enjoy the now. Lesson learned, thanks to Duran Duran. Who knew the band would still be teaching me at the age of 40 or 41?
Favorite movie of 2011:
So here’s the reality: I don’t go to the movies very often. As in, I think I might have gone to see a movie in a theater about 5 times this year, and most of those movies were for my youngest. So, with that in mind, my favorite movie this year was probably The Lion King in 3D. My two older ones were fairly young when the original came out, and due to this being released in 3D version, I was able to take my youngest to see the movie. She loved it, and I still get teary eyed. (Yes, I really am just a sap!) I think it comes down to the fact that I am Mommy first, Duranie second. (Don’t ask where “wife” fits in because I don’t know that answer. I think it depends on if I’m at home or at a show!)
Best Gig of 2011 (they say non DD – but I think we should each pick our very favorite show):
I saw a few different bands this year. Most of them were quite good, but for me two gigs stand out above all others, and I really can’t split hairs enough to choose between the two.
*Duran Duran, Brighton: Standing there and realizing I’d finally made it and the band was standing in front of me, IN the UK…playing not only Secret Oktober but also Mediterranea?? Unreal. I still get the shivers when I think of that show. Isn’t that the high we all want??
*Duran Duran, Glasgow. I’ve been to a couple of shows this year that really stood out in terms of sheer energy, but Glasgow completely blew me away. I’ve never felt so much energy at an arena show – and if that was the best that it ever gets for me, it was enough. Oh, and watching John and Dom right in front of me during Hungry Like the Wolf didn’t hurt much either. 😉
Most looking forward to in 2012:
I don’t even know. I don’t even know if I dare say!! I guess though I’m most looking forward to seeing friends again. I’m hoping to get back out on the tour with Amanda – who knows where we’ll end up(!!), and I’m really hoping to make my way back over to the UK for the DD-UK convention. I also have a few friends here that have *gasp* nothing to do with Duran Duran whatsoever that I’m looking forward to spending more time with…I’m hoping to get my portion of our book written, and I’m looking forward to going on vacation with my family for two weeks in August. Even I need time to disconnect from the computer and cell phones for a while! 😉
Best Duran Moment of 2011:
While I definitely could echo Rhonda’s in hearing Secret Oktober and I did think that was absolutely one of the best Duran moments of all time, it is hard to just pick one. That one was definitely up there. Honestly, I will never forget seeing and hearing the band come on stage and start Before the Rain in Brighton. It was one of those magical moments that worked to erase everything that had gone wrong before and every moment of stress. The lyric about “traveling to the place where all loose ends go” seemed so fitting at that moment. Collectively, we tied those loose ends that night. Another moment that deserves mention is Leopard (no, not Bournemouth, Rhonda, but…) in Glasgow. It seemed like literally everyone in that venue was in sync and it created such energy. Amazing.
Best Personal Moment(s):
Like Rhonda, I have several because I cannot choose. I just returned from visiting my family in North Carolina and it was absolutely wonderful to be with my nieces for Christmas. I wish that they were closer on a daily basis and wish that I could see them everyday as they are two of the funniest, smartest, sweetest people to ever cross my path! On a different note, I was invited to one of the White House’s Holiday Receptions this year due to my political activism. The invitation was enough to treasure but to hear the President thank me and other activists was pretty monumental. It is nice to be recognized and appreciated for working hard.
Some famous politician, which I can’t remember right now, uttered the phrase, “All politics are local.” While I think this is, generally, true all the time, this year really proved it to me. As a teacher in Wisconsin, I not only witnessed a pretty serious attack on my profession and many other similar ones, I also became part of a pretty significant response as over 100,000 people took to the streets to let our voices be heard. This type of response was echoed in many other parts of the world, including in places as far away as Egypt and as close as Michigan and Ohio. Even though we are no longer occupying our Capitol or protesting on a daily basis, we are still working to recall our governor and those who stood with him. No matter what people may think of our politics, the grassroots response is something to be proud of and to be in awe of.
Best Album of 2011:
This is obviously a no brainer here. As a Duranie, the full version of All You Need is Now made my heart swell. Duran’s soul had been returned and they reminded all of us why we fell in love with them in the first place and why we aren’t leaving any time soon. This album is the best of the year and one of their best, ever.
Single of 2011:
I find this category sort of strange and silly since we have constantly discussed the end of traditional singles on this blog. Do singles even matter? Assuming that they do and assuming that Duran sort of had three, depending on how you define it, I would have to choose the title track from AYNIN. I love the general message but I also love the specific message to us, the fans. We should stay with the music and let it play a little longer.
Favorite movie of 2011:
Like Rhonda, I don’t watch a ton of movies. I don’t take the time to do it and I certainly don’t spend the money to see any in the theater. One movie I enjoyed seeing this year (don’t think it came out this year, though) was the King’s Speech. I watched it on the way from the UK in May. As a special education teacher who has had many students with speech and language impairments, I found the movie fascinating.
Best Gig of 2011:
I’m supposed to choose?! Oh gee…I honestly can’t choose any from those 4 UK shows that I saw. Yes, I would agree with Rhonda that the energy, the everything was working at Glasgow. That was one show that will keep me coming back for more and more and more just in hopes that they come close to the performance we saw that night. The crowd was equally as fabulous and it was everything that a show should be! That said, I can’t forget about Brighton, Bournemouth or Birmingham. Brighton’s show was one that I didn’t think that they would be able to top EVER. They were on fire that night. If people thought they were good in Chicago in October (and they were), they were 10 times better in Brighton, at least! Simon, for example, seemed 10 times more energetic. I couldn’t get over it! Of course, that show will always be remembered for Secret Oktober. That, my friend, was worth the wait, the expense and more. Birmingham was also special because we finally got to see them there, in their birthplace and Bournemouth was something unique, too, because Rhonda made me laugh during Leopard. Who does that?!?
Most Looking Forward to in 2012:
I, obviously, hope to see more Duran shows! I also hope to hop over the pond once more to join my friends in celebrating the band and our fandom at the UK Convention! I cannot wait! As a John girl, I cannot wait to get my hands on that book of his! I am sure to devour it in one sitting and then will read it again for all of the details! Speaking of books, we must finish ours and get moving with everything else that we have planned! Beyond Duran, 2012 is a presidential year. Thus, I will be plenty busy campaigning not only for that race but also for US Senate, US House Rep and, hopefully, governor here. I am hoping that the results will be such that I will have much to rejoice.
Now, we would LOVE to read your lists! How would you summarize your 2011?! With that, we wish everyone a happy, healthy and Durantastic 2012!!!
-A & R