I am running late, and I apologize. No wi-fi here at the house much earlier this morning, and I drove like a madwoman back from dropping kids off at school (this is not a “drop off down the street” sort of deal – my kids go to school about 30 mins from our house) to get back in time to blog for my dear UK friends and readers!
I don’t need to tell everyone what day it is – clearly it is being celebrated all over my FB news feed and Twitter timelines this morning, and now it is my turn to join the well-wishers. It feels like it has been quite a while since I’ve written a birthday blog, actually.
It seems fair to surmise that had Simon Le Bon never been born, our lives – those of all who read this blog – would have been very, very different. In fact, I can’t imagine what that world might have been like. Thankfully, we don’t have to even give that a single thought!
It is also fair to say that I don’t really know Simon. Up until fairly recently, I’d never really even spoken to him! Even my oldest daughter, Heather, had chatted with him more than I ever had. The only interaction I had was when he would be onstage – which means none, basically. I had heard all sorts of things about him from other fans, read about him a lot in articles over the years, and knew that you never really knew what you were gonna get when you met him. I’d heard he could be incredibly moody, downright mean at times to some; and on the other hand, I’ve heard he was very nice, very kind…..and knew exactly what was going on in the fan community at any given time. Interesting to someone like me, for sure.
Over the years, I’d decided on my own that Simon was pretty quick-witted, and that his blanket reply about lyrics being about sex was just that – an answer, or a portion of his “schtick.” Simon likely acts and respond the way people, or fans, expect. Part of a much larger “fact” cache, so to speak. (I love it when the lyrics work for me) I was, and still am for the most part, pretty convinced that a lot of the things that drove me crazy about him were all part of a survival plan for him, or rather, his “on-stage” or “off-stage” persona that people expect.
I remember reading something a few years back from Katy Krassner about how it made her sad to see some of the things that had been written about Simon over the years because he is a very kind and smart man. I have no doubt that Simon exists somewhere in there. I see glimpses from time to time, actually more now than ever before, and I really like it. I’ve gradually gone from doing a lot of good-natured teasing and making fun here on the blog to actually having a huge amount of respect for Simon. (Although that dancing of his? Forget it – I will always tease about that!)
I don’t know when it really changed, but I think back to seeing him outside the studio in the UK. He was still in his element, and I was completely OUT of mine (Never once had I ever gone to wait outside of a studio to see a band before that day). He took the time to come over to the group of fans waiting there to explain his situation. He genuinely seemed worried, a bit contrite, and definitely sorry. Truthfully, he didn’t need to comment on how far some of us had traveled or how badly he felt – but he did. He could have gone all “rock star” and basically waved us off, but he didn’t. I won’t forget that.
I don’t forget the moments during interviews when he talks about the fans and how much we mean to them; or when he mentions how Duran Duran is a thinking band. Those are the moments I love most, and not surprisingly it is because those are topics Amanda and I have written about here on the blog. I don’t know if Simon has ever read a single one of our posts, but sometimes – it feels like it. Not gonna lie, it feels good to know that we’re not all that far apart in the way Amanda and I feel versus the way at least one member of the band sees it. I like hearing what he really thinks during a Katy Kafe session, regardless of whether we’re talking music or just life in general. When he balances that seriousness with his own silliness and fun – for example when he mentioned that he dreamed about “naked ladies” the night prior to the MTV EMA’s – it works.
Simon is also inspiring. I could go for the obvious: the guy has come back from obvious vocal problems more than once (1993 and then again in 2011). This time, I’m going to pick something slightly more personal. In April, Amanda and I met Simon very briefly after the Lynch Foundation show – we just said “hi”, and took a quick photo. Simon had lost quite a bit of weight (he has said he lost 30 pounds, but it sure looked like more!) and I noticed. I didn’t say anything to him directly because that seemed a little, well…forward? I mean, I hadn’t ever met him before, really. Anyway, I noticed and I thought about it a lot. He looked great, and in my honest opinion he looks even better now and seems like he’s got a lot more energy. By the time I’d gotten home, I had decided that it was time that I lose weight too. I told myself that if Simon could do it, so could I. And I did. I changed some bad habits, found some better ones, and now I’m nearly at my goal weight. It has taken me a long time, and I fight the food game every single day. I’m getting there, though…and yeah, I thank Simon for that. Out of any band member, I just never thought it would be Simon who would inspire me this way.
Our relationship is bizarre, and I don’t mean just with Simon. There are these four guys that we’ve all read about, and have “known” for an incredibly long time. For me personally, it’s been almost 35 years now. Yet I don’t really know them, and I am nearly 100% sure they don’t know me. They might recognize me, sort of, as the girl who ducks when Simon spits during White Lines at shows (Yeah, I’ve been baptized and have lived to tell about it. Still hate it, and I’m just gonna keep ducking.), but aside from that – the “relationship” is all one-sided. Even so, it exists for each and every one of us. None of us can imagine our life without Simon being in it. He still makes me smile, challenges my thinking every now and then, causes me to roll my eyes in exasperation in some moments, and other times – I even laugh. Not bad for a long-term, one-sided relationship of thirty-five years.
Yep, that last sentence looks as crazy in print as it did when I thought it in my head before typing. Fandom is still alive and well.
He’s a pretty good guy, even when he’s heading up to the front of the stage with a mouthful of water and I’m looking at him coming right at me, all the while cringing and saying “No. Please no. Please not this way. Oh gosh…” DUCK!!!
One of these times, I’m bringing an umbrella.
Happy birthday Simon!! I’m awfully glad you were born, and that you’re still our frontman! Much love, best wishes, and good health to you AND your dad today and always!!