I have to admit that there are times when I really do wish I were a fly on the wall.
My Daily Duranie partner-in-crime posed a question today on Facebook and Twitter about what moment in the band’s career did fans think was the most challenging. There were many different answers given, from when Roger & Andy left the first time up until Simon losing his voice last year. Some felt that the worst time was when they wrote Red Carpet Massacre, others felt it was during and after the Pop Trash album and just prior to the reunion. Still others felt it was when Andy left the second time before the Sears Center Show in Chicago, 2006.
The beauty of this question is that none of us really know the answer, and I think that at least in part, if we asked the band this question, the answer would most certainly change depending on whom and when we ask.
The ambiguity is at least partially derived from the point of view of the person answering. For example, what I feel might have been the band’s most challenging moments may not be the same answer for what the band itself might feel was the most challenging moment. Our perception as fans is likely to be far, far different from what really took place. A fantastic example of this is when Andy Taylor left the band after the reunion in 2006. So many fans took the news as almost certain death to the band, and yet whenever I read interviews from the band about that period of time, I never get the feeling that it was quite as pivotal of a moment. They just continued on. Naturally, I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, and I know as well as anyone else that the band is going to always put their best foot forward during an interview, so we might never know the truth of the situation, we only know what our perception allows.
That’s why sometimes, I really wish I were a fly on the wall. I don’t have the faintest idea what the band would consider to be their most challenging moment, but I’d love to find out!
People have commented that we don’t typically answer our own questions. This is true, although I do give my own answer through my personal Facebook account from time to time. After giving the topic some thought, I feel as though the most challenging period for the band might have been during the Pop Trash album, up until just prior to the reunion. I say that because as I recall, Simon had a lot of trouble with the writing on Pop Trash. Based on some articles I’ve read and interviews I’ve seen, the band seemed pretty fragmented, and I dare say that they were hanging on by threads. I really feel as though if the reunion had not happened, that might have been the end for Duran Duran. Good thing that didn’t happen!
So I leave you with another question – what was your OWN most challenging moment as a fan? This one is a toughie for me personally. I could pick moments like when I simply stopped paying attention, like during and after college. I could easily say it was when Red Carpet Massacre was released. I felt personally affronted by the complete lack of heart and soul the album had. I felt as though the band was giving their fans the big “F” you – they didn’t want their long time fans at all, they were after younger ones and we just didn’t matter anymore. I swear I could have gone to therapy after that album came out…but no, even that wasn’t as difficult as last May for me.
I wish I could be more noble and say it was also during Pop Trash. It sounds so much smarter, academic and way less fangirl-like to say that I could hear the fragmentation in the music and it pained me to see the band unraveling like that. Troubling as it may seem, I didn’t even notice. I just knew it wasn’t quite their best work and it felt very forced overall. The truth is, out of all of my years as a Duran fan – it was last May through until I saw the band in Valley Center that proved to be my most challenging time as a fan. Going to the UK last year and being completely denied shows was the biggest slap in the fact I’ve ever had as a fan. I still think back on that time and I’m shocked it all happened. I mean, how do you plan something like that for months on end and come out the other side with nothing? The best part of course was that even though Amanda and I were completely devastated on the inside, we didn’t dare lash out on the blog, as much as we might have liked to do so at least at first. We had to keep the brave face and dig deep to find empathy. Then we were outside the rehearsal studio the day that Simon had to come to terms with the rest of the band as to just how severe this voice-loss really was, I have never seen the band look so ashen-faced in my life. That was truly gut-wrenching. I felt like I was watching the funeral of the band at that point, which was why you never once saw a cross word from us on the blog. I still have friends that feel like they have post-tramautic stress from that trip. My own therapy came when I saw them play live in Valley Center, and I’ll never ever forget the first 90 seconds of the show when I couldn’t even look at Simon. I really couldn’t. I don’t do the whole crying thing, and I’m so stubborn that there was NO way I was going to lose it in front of the band. No way. When I finally did get the nerve to look up, it was Dom that winked at me – and I’m sure he had no idea what was going on with me, but in that second, I finally felt like we might all survive fairly unscathed. How’s that for some fangirl moments?!?
An early Good Friday and Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and to everyone else, I hope you have a fantastic spring weekend. On a very personal note, my 17th wedding anniversary is on Sunday – yes, the timing is kind of funny this year. I don’t really know what to say about that except that with each year, I’m more and more shocked. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m surprised we’ve lasted so long, or that we’re really old enough to have been married that long. Then I look at the three kids we have and realize that we really are that old. Smacked in the face by reality once again! *gasp* Speaking of children, I’m very excited to welcome home my oldest tomorrow morning. She went to go visit my sister in Chicago for the week. She visited a couple universities that she’s interested in applying (I’m really hoping she ends up going to college out there so that it’s another tally in the column of “reasons we should move back to the midwest”), and spent the week checking out where she spent the first 8 months of her life. It was her first flight without us and a big trip alone. I can’t wait to have her home. It’s amazing how quiet our house has become…