Category Archives: touring

We believe in the cold grey lights we dream

Hi everybody! I’m sorry I wasn’t around yesterday to post. I heard that there’s yet another reason to visit Florida in February (besides sun and warmer weather if you’re looking to escape winter!) – Duran Duran is playing in Miami Beach!

While Duran Duran announced a new show, I was busy and mostly unplugged yesterday. In just two very short weeks, my family and I will FINALLY relocate from the very busy OC, to a much smaller and peaceful town about five hours north. Yesterday we went to inspect our new house and do paperwork, which was joyful. The outside temperature was only in the 50s at our new house, even by midday, which only made me MORE excited to get up there permanently!

While I have been packing and worrying about how I’m going to make this all work (We’re moving just a few days before Christmas – and my youngest still believes in Santa!), I’ve also done a bit of reminiscing. We’ve lived in this house for so long that I can’t really imagine otherwise. It will be strange to be somewhere that my two oldest haven’t lived before, and my anxiety has been on overdrive, thinking about ways I can make the move seem less traumatic. Why? Because that’s what you do when you’re me, I suppose. I’m great at making lists in my head at 3:30 am.

All of the reminiscing has reminded me that not too many years earlier, I was in the height of my glory as a Duran fan. I had gone to the UK with Amanda, as she wrote earlier this week. My time there was fabulous. I saw so many new places, met lots of new faces that have now become dear friends. The experiences were both enriching and inspiring. I think about the shows fairly often. The memories are wonderful, comforting, and still manage to make me smile. Even more so though, I think about the travel we did while there. We were trains a lot. We saw quite a bit of the countryside, experienced winter markets, and tried new things. I fell in love with England and Scotland on that trip, and I really want to go back.

I remember walking through Bournemouth, which is a beautiful little town (as is Brighton and everywhere else I’ve visited so far). We walked along the shops and grabbed dinner with friends.  I can’t even remember the place, but the food was yummy and I was finally starting to relax. It began to rain at some point and so I bought an umbrella (I melt in rain, of course). It was zebra-striped and I had it up until last year, when it broke. I have no idea why I remember that so well, but I do.

Another memory I have from the trip was in Glasgow, after the show that Amanda described on her Sunday post. First of all, my blood is Californian, and I wholeheartedly admit that I froze from the second I got off the train in Edinburgh to the time I got back to California a few days later. I just could not get warm. So, one of my memories is of the cold weather. The arena where the show took place felt like it had its air conditioner on, as opposed to a heater, and I wore my big ski jacket until after the band came on stage, and I still remember shivering as the band busted through “All You Need is Now”.

Then after the show, we’d walked over to a hotel nearby, where there seemed to be a large gathering of Duranies. We grabbed seats and drinks, knowing it would be our final hurrah for that trip. As we sat and sipped, we look out the window and saw it begin to snow. Giant, fat, frosty flakes rained down, and while our driver worried about getting home – I remember thinking how magical the night seemed. I love that memory. I didn’t grow up with snow or even cold weather, so for me it was something out of a dream. Kind of like the rest of that trip, to be honest.

I need to break out of my reverie and get back to shopping online, wrapping, and packing!

-R

 

 

 

I Came By Invitation: UK Tour Memories

I love this time of year.  I’m not talking about Christmas or the holiday season.  (Although, I do love the holidays.)  No, I’m referring to a little trip to the UK that Rhonda and I took seven years ago now to see a few Duran Duran shows.  This time of the year allows me to remember that tour, that All You Need Is Now time and more.  Seven years ago, on this day, we were traveling from Bournemouth to Birmingham to see Duran Duran in their hometown.  We were only half way done with the tour and yet, I would have called it magical already.  It wasn’t perfect tour but it still ranks as one of my very favorites as it is a special one.  Therefore, I thought I would like to  take the time to share some of the best parts in no particular order.

Making it to the Brighton Show:

We were so stressed about this show as there was a large public union strike that was due to take place on the day of our arrival, the day of the show.  We figured that it would cause major delays at the airport and with the train from London to Brighton.  Yet, somehow, someway, we had no problems at all as we breezed through customs and got easily on the train to Brighton.  We were even able to make dinner plans with some friends.

Secret Oktober:

As the show in Brighton started, my jet lag was so bad that I worried that I might actually be dreaming.  There was no way that I was actually seeing Duran Duran play in the UK, right?  I resisted the urge to pitch myself with every song.  Then, the band started playing a few notes that sounded so familiar and, yet, so unexpected.  My brain struggled to comprehend what I was actually hearing.  I turned to the right to look at Rhonda.  Our eyes met in confusion for a nanosecond before excitement burst forth!  We never thought we would actually see the band play Secret Oktober.  So, we responded as anyone else would have–we hugged like we just found out that we had won the lottery.  As we turned back to the stage, I remember seeing Nick chuckling.  Apparently, our reaction was amusing.

Do You Know Where We Are?

The next night’s show in Bournemouth provided one of the funniest moments ever at a Duran show.  One of my favorite things about Duran is how much I laugh because of them.  They are genuinely funny and amusing as heck.  Usually, when Rhonda and I are together, the amusement factor somehow seems to multiply as we encourage the other to laugh at and with the band.  (All from love, people!).  Well, on this night, we cracked ourselves up.  Simon began singing the lyrics to The Man Who Stole a Leopard when I dared to respond to one of the lyrical questions.  He asked, “Do you know where we are?”  My answer had everything to do with being in a different country, confused by a new timezone and lack of UK geography when I said in all seriousness, “No.”  Rhonda lost it.  I feared that she might never stop laughing.  Needless to say, I cannot hear the song in the same way now.

Birmingham Fun:

Everything surrounding the Birmingham show was fun.  For example, we met up with UK friends before the show for drinks.  That crowd traveled to the venue together, increasing our excitement for the show.  I remember how we all packed into train D to head over.  Photos were taken at every opportunity.  It was beautiful.  This, of course, was also the tour in which tweets using the hashtag #duranlive were projected on the screen.  (I still love that, by the way!)  Fans in the audience could share their excitement and other fans not present could give little shoutouts to the band or people in the audience.  I remember swelling with pride as our tweet about having a dream fulfilled flashed on the screen.  It truly felt monumental.

Trains:

The next day featured a long train ride north to Scotland.  Some people might not consider that a highlight but I loved it.  I enjoyed watching the beautiful scenery while listening to Duran music.  If that wasn’t enough, Rhonda and I spent time brainstorming ideas and more for the blog.  I loved that we had concentrated time to work on something we were building together.

The Floor Shook:

Glasgow felt like the perfect final show, not that we wanted the tour to end.  We didn’t.  (We never do.)  I remember freezing as we sat in our best seats for the tour, waiting for the show to start.  Then, the show was amazing with a fabulous Careless Memories with new anime and more.  Yet, again, Leopard stood out because I swear the floor shook as the entire crowd clapped along.  I believed at that moment that I belonged.  That isn’t a feeling I get all that often so I treasured it then and treasure it now.  After the show, Rhonda and I convinced ourselves that going to sleep would be dangerous because of our early departure time.  In reality, I don’t think we wanted the night to end.  We spent the few hours we had left trying to find videos of various songs from the shows, trying to stay with the music.

As I traveled home, I knew that it was a “tour of a lifetime.”  Seven years later and I still think that.  That doesn’t mean that Paper Gods wasn’t amazing because it totally was, more than I could have hoped for.  Rhonda and I keep talking about going back to the UK.  I know that I would love it because if it was half as good as the tour seven years ago, it would be awesome.

-A

What is your most prized DD possession?

Sometimes, I have to borrow writing topics from “the experts”. Today is one of those days, as I try to untangle myself from the weekend and get moving. (Is anyone else struggling with the idea that Thanksgiving for the USA is next Thursday?!? How’d that happen???)

Over the weekend, and it might have even been yesterday – DDHQ asked fans for their most prized DD possession. I didn’t see many replies, but the few I caught were memorabilia like tour programs or signed CD’s.

When DDHQ sends out these questions, it takes me a few minutes of thinking before I settle on an answer worth tweeting. This time though, gut instinct took over and I tweeted right away. My answer wasn’t very exciting compared to those who tweeted signed photos or books or CD’s. My prized possession isn’t even my vinyl copy of Astronaut, signed by all five original members, although it’s a close second.

My most prized possession is the Encore CD set of the first time I saw all five original members onstage together in Costa Mesa, California in 2003.  I keep it hidden down deep in my sweater drawer and it is the one CD that isn’t already packed! I don’t really know why I’ve attached so much sentiment to one single thing. It isn’t signed, I rarely play it, and I didn’t even meet the band that night.  I suppose though, it has everything to do with why I’m a fan.

When I listen to the thunderous applause at the beginning of the concert, I know that I was one of those voices. We sat way back in the 16th row that night (“sat” is probably not the right word here. I jumped up and down. Shook like a tuning fork, even, but I didn’t really sit.), and I’ve never felt so much joy emanate through my body as I did that night. I couldn’t replicate the feeling if I tried, and I have. The memory of the concert that night still makes me smile and feel all tingly. I think it is that concert “high” that I still chase to this day.

Sure, the fact that all five were on that stage, playing together, is a wonderful memory. I am so grateful that I was able to be there and witness it. Andy was there, and I nearly came out of my skin when Roger stepped away from his set at the end of the show. I can remember seeing him walk to the front of the stage with his tongue hanging out of his mouth from exhaustion. I stared at John and Simon for most of the show, periodically pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming the whole thing. It was amazing and I could hardly believe I was there. Finally, after so many years! My heart still swells, just thinking about it.

There was something else that night though. I watched the audience before the band took the stage. People knew one another in the front. There was a lot of hugging, laughing, talking, and even some happy tears. I was so curious about all of that, because I knew no one aside from my husband, who was sitting next to me. It was an odd feeling. While I was overjoyed to be there like any Duranie might, I also felt just the slightest bit left out. I knew that whatever was going on with the people in the seats closest to the stage – I wanted to be a part of it.

There’s no question in my mind that my Encore CD from that show is  still my most prized DD possession. It is a memory from the show that changed everything for me. The friends I’ve made, the times I’ve had, and even the few encounters I’ve had with the band themselves – are in direct result from that show. I’m so grateful I was there.

There are plenty of moments from my Duranie life that I hold dear. I have fond memories of seeing Duran Duran (Nick, Simon and Warren) at the Anaheim House of Blues a couple of years prior. I felt that I’d left Duran Duran back in my childhood, only to have that “fan feeling” roar right back to life once again. That show in 2001 made me realize that I was still a Duran Duran fan, but it was the Costa Mesa show in 2003 that convinced me to participate in fandom. I wanted to meet people, make friends, and get involved.

Obviously, I took it a little farther than I’d planned. I’m funny that way.

-R

 

Memories from Voodoo still linger, twelve years later!

I am late again, and I’m sorry for that. I’ll probably just barely squeak in this blog before the clock strikes Tuesday in the UK…but I’m trying.

I woke up this morning tired (that has nothing to do with the blog being late).. and sort of wistful. The kind that only comes from remembering a momentous date in Duran-history. I didn’t know what it was, but I had a feeling.

On this date in 2006, Duran Duran played the Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. I kind of think my legs are either still tired from the standing I did that day (weekend), or they’re just in pain from the memory of it all.

As you may have gathered, I was there. I still shudder at (some) of the memories, including the one where I realized I hadn’t eaten for about 20 hours. I know that some people do that all the time. ME? I don’t miss meals even when I’m sick!

I still chuckle. We thought we were so smart, buying what we believed to be ridiculously cheap passes. VIP for a festival? “Hell no!” We were going to buy the regular passes, get there when the gates opened and stake out our spots! We arrived and planted ourselves in a beautiful spot in the second row, just a flick to the right of center. We spread a blanket, sat down, and enjoyed the day.

Look Around, Forget the Crowd

‘Round about 3pm, I noticed that the area was getting pretty full. Rather than space all around us, there were people. I could feel the crowd pushing and closing in behind.

My Chemical Romance.

Naiveté doesn’t even really explain my ignorance at what was about to take place. The closer it got to the time My Chemical Romance was about to take the stage, the more the ground vibrated from crowd energy. People crowd surfed. I was kicked in the face a couple of times. My cheek and arm were scratched by a surfer as she glided past, reaching her arms and hands out to leave her mark along the way.

That reminds me, if you’ve ever watched a concert film and seen someone surf the crowd – it almost looks effortless, doesn’t it? They just happily ride the wave of people. Yeah, it’s not quite like that in real life. People are freaking HEAVY. They come your way whether you want them or not. If you choose to not hold your hands up and take your turn lifting them, they’re going to crash into the back of your head and neck, quite possibly injuring you and others around you, in the process. It is a pain in the ass, and not at all enjoyable, particularly when you’re being clawed for your trouble.

I Know What It Is Coming Over Ya

As the band went on stage, I noticed the sea of people behind and beside me, pushing and shoving. They were creating a current ready and willing to topple me over if I didn’t stand my ground.  If I thought the sheer momentum coming from people crowd surfing was akin to being sent through the “washing machine” of an ocean wave, I was about to feel what it was like to be hit by a tsunami.

No Duran Duran concert prepares someone for that crap, I’ll tell you that much.

The crowd began shoving us, from one side, then another.  It was nearly impossible to hold our ground. This was the type of crowd where, if you fell, you were likely never to get back up again. I could feel the sweat pouring down my back. It was easily ninety degrees that afternoon, and we were working hard to not completely fall over. I am claustrophobic under even simple circumstances, like crowds waiting to get on the tube, or even standing in line at amusement parks for food. That afternoon, I was terrified.

I can distinctly remember the smug, slightly amused grin of the lead singer, Gerard Way, as he peered down from the stage at us. I can imagine how we all looked – a bunch of  (at that time) thirty-something females, crammed at the front of the crowd with the wide-eyed look of horror on our faces. I couldn’t wait for them to get off the stage, as if only then the crowd might let up.

It didn’t.

Nothing Can Stop Us

I’ll save you from the details – suffice to say that I was even less impressed with the Flaming Lips. They had employed a giant, larger-than-human-sized hamster ball that their lead singer, Wayne Coyne trapped himself in. Stagehands pushed the ball off of the stage and into the audience. I was mortified to see it roll over the crowd, openly praying that it wouldn’t come our way.

By the time Duran was due to climb onstage, not even a rousing rendition of “Late Bar” could have saved Voodoo for me. I was halfway between being thankful I was still alive, and wishing I had succumbed to the tidal wave of legs, arms, and bodies behind me.

There are other parts of that weekend at Voodoo that I hope to never forget, and still others that make me smile. Funny enough, I had the best time during my journey to get there, not the destination itself! Cliché or otherwise, it still holds true twelve years later!

-R

 

Not Knowing Where You’re Rolling

The other day, I saw a meme on Facebook about concert withdrawals. That same day, a fellow Duranie posted a question as her status update, asking if anyone else was having Paper God withdrawals. I enthusiastically responded, “YES”.

I don’t know what is going on with me. Maybe it is the time of year. Perhaps I just don’t have enough to do here at home. I do miss that band more now than I have in months, though. Apparently, I’m not alone. That’s comforting.

As I wrote in an email yesterday, I have no business wishing for concerts right now. I really don’t. It is tough finding a way to sneak out of this house during daylight hours to get groceries, much less escape for an extended period to see a band perform somewhere in this country. However, the heart wants what it wants, right?

If I could go anywhere in the world to see Duran Duran play – OUTSIDE of the state I live in, where would I go?  I’d love to have the money to go anywhere I wanted, but like everyone else – my responsibilities and budget keep me tethered.  Even so, if I could…where would I want to go?

Worldwide, there are a few places I’d love to see Duran Duran again. Oddly, I have yet to see the band play in London. I love the UK in general, and I will take advantage of any excuse I can find to go and explore more of England in particular. I’d also love to see them in Sicily, since my dad’s family is originally from there. The last choice is really a toss-up because there is so much of Europe I’d love to see. Switzerland, France and Austria are at the top of my list. Klosters in Switzerland looked like a snowy-dream world, Carcassonne, France seemed like somewhere I’d want to escape on vacation, and even my husband can attest that I bring up going to Vienna every time the idea of going on a real, extended, holiday comes up. (Maybe once the kids are out of college!)

Even here in the states, there are places I’ve yet to see, and shows I regret not being able to get to. Red Rocks, for instance. That was a once-in-a-lifetime gig that I missed out on. I’m still kicking myself about that. I’d love to go to Florida and see them play, and definitely Boston.

Fantasy time!! What about you? Where would you go, outside of where you currently live, if you could go anywhere?

-R

 

 

Were you at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley in 2015?

On this date in 2015, Duran Duran played the Greek Theatre on the campus of UC Berkeley. I drove to this show with Amanda and our friend Heather. We left right after the concert ended at the Hollywood Bowl the night before, and stopped at a hotel (I use that term rather loosely here) along the way.

I don’t remember much about the trip that night.  I remember a few  texts and emails that Amanda read to me, while I focused on driving safely. My eyes got so tired that they hurt, which I hadn’t expected. I figured I’d ride the adrenaline high from the show, but it didn’t last long. I vaguely remember something about a giant bug in the bathtub of the aforementioned “hotel” that night. I let Heather and Amanda fight that one as I let myself fall into a deep sleep!

The next day, we got ourselves up and out the door so that we could get to our next hotel, and then finish the drive to Berkeley. We got there super early, and walked down to have dinner with friends before the concert. Months earlier during the pre-sale, we’d pulled front row seats. Our joy lasted for about five minutes, until someone mentioned that they would absolutely hate having front row seats at this venue. The person explained that the stage is very tall, and it would be difficult to see.

At the time, Amanda and I were quickly coming down off the high from winning the pre-sale “jackpot”. In one breath we were yelling, “Front row!  Finally!!” and in the next, “Wait, what??” Both of us tried to ignore the possibility that perhaps even when we “won”, we’d lost. I mean, who complains about front row?!? We decided that we were not going to be those people!  Even so, the little niggling worry in my head would not subside. As I climbed the steps to the venue, I just hoped it would work out.

Yes, the stage was very tall. I’d also say that the sides of the venue were fairly steep. The height of the stage was probably necessary for the shape of the venue. Front row wasn’t terrible though. There was plenty of room between our seats and the stage, and I had no trouble seeing the band that night, nor did they have trouble seeing us! I definitely didn’t hate having front row in Berkeley!

The most puzzling part of the evening came after the band had taken their final bows and had left the stage. We were making our way out of the venue and had stopped to say hello to a friend. A small skirmish involving two fans and one of the set lists that had been taped to the stage floor caught our attention. Two women were about to come to blows over an unsigned, untouched-by-any-band-member setlist. I watched, completely incredulous that someone was likely to get a black-eye purely because they didn’t want to give up a piece of paper.

Since then, I’ve noticed that one of the techs usually walks around with a stack of set lists after the show.  They throw them out to whomever wants one. I’ve also experienced the joy of someone choosing to crawl right over the top of Amanda and I while we were up against the stage. They climbed right up as though we were a step-ladder, taking no care to not hurt us in the process. All for a piece of paper. Those memories are pretty indicative of the fandom, in many ways.

After the show, we met friends for a quick drink (I had water!) before getting back on the road to our hotel for the night. The following day we had a massive drive ahead of us as we headed from Berkeley to the final stop for that road trip: Agua Caliente.

-R

Common People Festival 2016

Let’s take a little walk back today as we revisit the Common People Festival, which took place on this date in 2016!  I dug through posts to find this gem by Debbie Craggs, who kindly reviewed the festival as our special Duranie-on-the-scene! -R


By Debbie Craggs

For me, the Common People Festival Oxford show is the closest to home that Duran have performed. It’s only an hour by car so how could I not go?  Well, as a single Mum to three teenage girls, two of whom are in major exam mode at the moment the timing wasn’t great. However, I’d suggested to my close friend that having seen them in December at Bournemouth maybe we should consider another outing and the tickets were well within our price range.

My two eldest then decided that they would abandon exam mode that day as it was Comic Con in London.  Could Mum take them and two others to the train station at 8am? OK, if I was going to do Common People as well then it was looking like a VERY long day. Also there was my 15 year old—the youngest—to consider. Anyway I decided that maybe on this occasion I wouldn’t abandon her in pursuit of my own enjoyment, and I’d just wait for the comments on FB and Twitter. There then appeared a competition on DD.com to win a pair of tickets to either Oxford or Southampton, you chose which venue. All that was needed was an email to say yes please and there would be a lucky dip. As I NEVER win anything what was there to lose? Email sent and I got on with being a busy working Mum who is due to start a one-year degree course in September!

Then 2 weeks ago I checked my emails and there sitting in my inbox was a “congratulations you’ve won” message. At this point I was in disbelief, I rang my friend Tania and could barely speak down the ‘phone.  She was due to be working in PICU on that same day and would need to swap her shift.  However, this wasn’t possible and as things turned out she was actually ill on the day and so wouldn’t have been able to come anyway.

I suggested to my youngest that maybe we could go together and enjoy the festival. She was not keen on going to see DD.  However, Jamie Lawson also playing – that was enough to tempt her. So on Saturday morning with blue skies over head (for once the British weather was kind) we set off.

At this point can I say thank you to Common People and DD.com who were very efficient in sorting out emails for the tickets, and also for clear instructions on the Common People website about travel arrangements, etc. We drove as far as the park and ride, easy bus ride to centre of the city and found the shuttle bus back out to the festival. On arrival at the site it was laid out well at the bottom of a slope with the main stage clearly visible. We had a wander around the site, and then made our way to the front of the area by the stage. There were other Duranies already there set up by the barrier but we were happy enough to be just behind them and on John’s side of the stage. Six hours to go until they were on.

The other acts were enjoyed, and for Jamie Lawson I was abandoned by teenager as she went right to the front middle. Each act played for about 45 mins and then there was a DJ for about 30 mins whilst sets were changed. From where we were you could see the confetti cannons primed and ready for later. Soul II Soul are a band that I never really got into in the late 80’s / 90’s but they gave a really good performance, good enough that teenager made a note to check them out once home.

Finally at 20:30 the last act (Katy B) finished so time for stage to be set. It was at this point that we realised we were in for the full light show as the black curtains at the back of the stage that had been there all day were removed to show the video screen, the risers with the drums and keyboards were brought out and the video screens built around them as we watched.

By 21:15 the atmosphere had built. We were now 2nd row JTs side of the stage. The set list was almost identical to that which we had in Bournemouth in December with the exceptions of no Danceophobia, and the addition of the David Bowie tribute. Simon sounded a bit croaky at times but I couldn’t work out if that was just because of the coolness of the night air. The interactions with the crowd were there throughout the show which lasted a full 90 mins. The new backing singer Erin was obviously nervous but it was great to see the support and interactions from the rest of the band. There were some brilliant JoSi moments as well as Dom and John and Dom and Simon.

I had seen the effect of the paper confetti from the cannons at the show in Bournemouth but then we were front row of balcony so saw the overall effect, this time we were right in the middle of it and the effect of being outside and “down wind” so to speak meant it swirled and seemed to last for longer. During Rio (last song of the night) large beach balls were thrown into the crowd who then seemed to think that there should be a competition to get them back on stage and get the band involved, to the point where Simon commented that the idea was NOT to aim at the band and to pass them around!

And so a fantastic evening drew to a close, the weather had added to the enjoyment and having waited 35 years to see them live I have now managed two shows in six months and am keen to continue the experience! It was brilliant to see teenage daughter singing along to classics and the new songs and even she was buzzing and couldn’t stop talking all the way back home about the show.

 

Debbie CraggsDebbie Craggs is a single mum to three teenage girls in Northamptonshire UK where she works as a school nurse. She has been a Duranie since the 80s and in her spare time she plays clarinet at her local chapel.

That There’s Something Missing

On this date in 2005, Duran Duran played in New York City in Madison Square Garden.  It was the last date in the band’s spring Astronaut Tour in North America.

I did not attend that concert.  Did any of you?  I remember thinking to myself that Madison Square Garden was a big deal.  Do I believe that because it is a large, well-known venue or because of that story within Duran lore?  I’m sure you all know that one.  I’m referring to this idea that John Taylor has shared many times when he said that the plan of theirs was to play Hammersmith in 1982, Wembley in 1983 and Madison Square Garden in 1984.  The band met those goals.  I could not even think about attending the show in 1984 there.  No way.  If my age didn’t stop me, the distance would have.  But what about the show in 2005?  Was it as big of a deal as those 1984 shows there?

In thinking about that 2005 show, my thoughts immediately turn to the reunion.  I have such strong memories of that time.  To me, as a fan in 1980s, the reunion represented a real hope of a repeat of that time period.  After all, the five original band members were back together!  I knew what they were able to accomplish in the 1980s.  Why couldn’t they do that now, I wondered.  It felt to me as if the band was everywhere in terms of press.  For instance, they appeared in my local paper.  If I had taken a bet about how successful this reunion was going to be, I would have said that it was going to blow the roof off.  All of the fans from the 80s would return and they would bring new fans in.  They would return to the top of the charts and everyone would love them.  Thus, when I saw this particular date on the tour schedule, it felt perfectly normal.  Of course, they would play there.  Don’t all the big artists perform at that venue?  To me, it was a sign that they had returned to form, in all aspects.

Looking back now to that show, am I sad that I didn’t go?  Maybe.  Maybe not. I went to a bunch of shows in 2005.  So I have no room to complain at all.  Still, then, I went to shows that I could drive to and that’s it.  While at that time I had traveled to go to a convention, the thought of traveling to shows was unheard of in my world.  Even weirder than that was the notion of taking time off of work to do so.  I never even allowed my brain to go there at all. Back then, my life centered around work and my students.  It was one thing to think about taking a day to go to a convention but not to a show.  After all, they would come here Chicago.  I would be able to see them.  Then, I was really lucky that they played a lot of shows near me over my spring break.  After attending most of the Midwest shows, I never even considered  this show in New York City.  At the time, I recall feeling a tiny bit jealous of those fans who were going but I didn’t let myself feel more.

Now, though, knowing that there was not many shows there since then, do I regret not going?  Sure, it would be cool to say that I have seen them play there but more than other shows?  Hmm…I don’t think so.  I wonder if I had seen them there, would I have felt like I had done it all.  I saw the band play at this ever important venue, their peak goal in the beginning of their career, so that I could walk away knowing I had been to the top.  Maybe.  It is hard to say.  Looking back, I’m also glad that I just jump in and do everything all at once.  Perhaps, fandom would have burned out then.  No, I think my fandom journey is good the way it is.  I have no regrets.

-A

Just a Perfect…Weekend or Two!

I am happy to report that my dad is home!  My mom, my niece and I picked him up this morning.  He is a million times better than he was but it will take him some time to fully get his strength back.  While he finishes recovering, I can start to return to my normal life.  It, too, will take me awhile to get back to normal as everything got pushed to the side.  One of the things that I find happens when something like this takes place is that my mind cannot focus on anything besides my family.  I look forward to thinking about other things besides worry, status updates and doctor visits.

It has been so crazy that I haven’t been able to keep track of days, times, etc.  I have noticed that my partner-in-crime has posted a couple memories on Facebook, reminding me of where we were last year on this date.  Oh, yes, March 18th is one that I definitely want to remember.  In fact, this is one of those dates that my Duranie self should always remember as two incredible weekends happened on this date.

In 2005, 13 whole years ago, I was in Chicago seeing Duran play at the All-State Arena.  It was the first show I ever saw with Rhonda and it led us to where we are today.  I tend to think of that weekend being the first bookend to my fandom.  While I had been a fan before that (duh) and had even seen the band in concert before, that weekend in 2005 changed it all.  In many ways, it was the perfect weekend.  No, it did not feature front row seats or a meet and greet with the band.  Yet, it was so much fun that I became addicted to this fandom thing and to touring.

What made it so fun?  It was definitely a combination of factors.  First, I knew a bunch of people attending this show and called them all my friends.  Most of us were staying at the same hotel, resulting in multiple late night parties.  We ended up closing the hotel bar both nights and still were not ready to call it a night as hotel rooms became gathering places for late night/early morning conversations and laughs. The strong connection carried over to the concert venue as the show was enhanced by engaging looks and acknowledging moments with each other.  Okay, it didn’t hurt that we were in the 3rd row in front of John Taylor, either.  Then, of course, Rhonda and I along with some other friends continued the fun the next day at the show in Milwaukee.  By the end of the night, Rhonda and I were so ridiculously tired that we ended up laughing at nothing for hours.  When Rhonda left that Sunday, we both knew that we had found touring partners for life.  I knew that I had found something so fun that I would do a lot to experience it all over again.

Fast forward to 2017, a full 12 years later, and Rhonda and I found ourselves at another weekend.  This time, it was closer to Rhonda’s neck of the woods in California.  While we might have been surrounded by different friends, it was still an amazingly fun weekend with great shows, late nights, partying and more.  I wouldn’t say it was the same at the weekend in Chicago but it was just as good, including more amazing seats.  My addiction had been fed.  In fact, it was such a great weekend that I thought to myself that if that weekend was the last tour, it would provide the best bookend possible to this touring thing.  It didn’t become that touring bookend as more shows followed, but I would have been more than okay with that.

Truly, I realize how lucky I have been.  Not only is my Dad better and back at home, but I have had the good fortune of having some amazing weekends with friends and Duran Duran.

-A

Love’s Already History

This is the first weekend in March.  It is hard to imagine that we are the third month of the year already.  Looking at it a different way, it has been two months since Duran Duran played in Las Vegas, near New Year’s.  That date marked the end of the Paper Gods era for me.    When I realized that the other day, I felt a wave of sadness.  After all, I had a ton of fun through this time and made so many memories.  So, if you all don’t mind, I’m going to indulge myself a bit here with thinking about some of my favorite moments, in no particular order.

The Paper Gods era began in the fall of 2015.  I remember listening to some of those first songs on the phone with Rhonda and then reviewing them.  The one that really sticks out to me is the immediate connection we felt to Pressure Off.  At times, writing this blog is a lot like swimming upstream so the lyrics really spoke to us.  If the song wasn’t great enough, I remember watching the video in my classroom when it came out on the “big screen”.  Good times!

We were lucky enough to see a few shows with our friend, Heather, in October of 2015.  That little mini-tour provided a little foreshadowing of the summer of 2016 in which we spent a lot of time driving.  I won’t lie.  I always enjoy those road trips.  Rhonda and I spend a lot of time analyzing whatever is going on in Duranland, which I love.  Sometimes, we also make plans to do some crazy things like writing a book while ion the road.

Yep, the Daily Duranie version of Thelma and Louise!! photo courtesy of Heather Todd

Throughout the era, we held many meet-ups from the first show at the Hollywood Bowl to the last show at the Hard Rock in Vegas.  All good times!

Our meet up!

One of the things I absolutely loved was all of the shows with Nile Rodgers!  I loved getting to know his set list well and all of the moves made to go along with the various songs!  Sometimes, opportunity presents itself and I was able to give Nile a Daily Duranie wristband!

Nile wearing the wristband

I’m not going to lie.  This tour gave me a lot of laughs.  I appreciated giving the band members a hard time at various points.  (Usual disclaimer applies:  All of the teasing was and always will be given out of love!).  My favorite moment definitely has to be the pants!  In case you don’t remember, it started talking about John’s pants at shows, to Simon and John showing up at an interview wearing some entertaining pants.  This caused us to respond in kind.

Of course, I will very much miss the shows.  I saw so many amazing concerts that I won’t ever forget.

Chicago July 8
Las Vegas

The Paper Gods era gave me plenty of opportunity to hang with my best friend.  I’m always thankful for each and every time that we can get together as I have so much fun when I’m with her.  We laugh a lot…we consume a few vodka tonics…we tease those we love.

Cheers!

Yes, all in all, this part era was a darn good one to us.  We learned a lot, laughed a ton, and had some of the best times of our lives.  I already miss it even though it only ended recently.  I look forward to whatever is going to come next but super thankful I have these fabulous memories to keep me going until then!

-A