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Valentine Stones while we dance on the Valentine

If I thought yesterday was bad, today is even worse. There are not many notable Duran Duran “events” on my calendar for today, although the band has played a few shows on this date over the years, notably in 1984, 1993, and 2005.

So, I decided to do something different and talk about a song off of Paper Gods, aptly titled “Valentine Stones”.  The song is one of the bonus tracks off of the album, which I can now say are among some of my most favorite in the band’s overall catalog. This one is from the deluxe album (and I openly say I still dislike having to buy so many versions of the album to get all of the bonus tracks, even though I understand why, from a business standpoint, they do it. It is still annoying.) Yes, I’ll move off of my soapbox now.

First, let’s look at those lyrics. When I hear a song for the first time, I’m paying more attention to the music, but since this is by no means a new song, let’s just jump in with both feet.

Down here with the strays and the damaged
All stood in a line
This recovery so they tell me is one day at a time
And you think you can help me maybe
You can turn on your heels and save me
But I don’t want to be like the boys that you keep in tow
Like your valentine stones, stones, stones
Your valentine stones

All roads lead from my resurrection to your sympathy
An empty spaces which spoils your collection
That was meant for me
And you say you can help me maybe
You can turn on your charms to save me
But I don’t want to be just a toy that you keep at home
Like your valentine stones, stones, stones
Your valentine stones

Lost souls diamonds and gold
Gone cold valentine stones
Lost souls diamonds and gold
Grown cold valentine stones

First of all, I’d love to know which band member wrote this. Context is everything, although I know we’re supposed to be concerned with what the lyrics mean to ourselves. Even so, I wonder.

When I first heard this song, I thought about the title. “Valentine Stones” – for me, I went for the obvious (why think so hard all the time??). I went to school for gemology – so I immediately thought of those lovely little baubles that some generous significant (or insignificant!) others give for Valentines Day. Jewelry!  Diamonds, emeralds, rubies!!  You get the idea. I think about how they’re really just pretty sparkly things. Toys, really…which is even included in a line from the song. That’s sort of how I feel the person in the song feels. He/she is just a toy for this other person. I think that’s a fairly easy sentiment to identify with, and probably all of us have been there. Like anything, there are many different interpretations – there’s no “right” or “wrong”. What does the song mean to you?

The fun part, for me anyway, is the music. I like the heavy synth that begins the song, and I really love Simon’s vocals. They’re strong and clear, and then there’s that slightly funky rhythmic guitar. How can I not love that?!? There’s something to be said for a short, sweet and simple song like this one. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the way the band wrote on their very first album. Valentine Stones doesn’t sound dated, don’t get me wrong, but it’s simple…and maybe that’s not the correct word to describe it. There’s not a lot of extra background fancy stuff going on, at least not to my ears. There is space between the notes, even with the short little break with Nick’s crunchy sounding synthesizer, it’s still neatly added. Not messy or overdone.

I’ve sat and wondered why some of these bonus tracks weren’t put on the album, and I’ve come to the conclusion that while each bonus track stands very strong on its own, when you think about Paper Gods as a whole, they don’t seem to fit. Amanda and I came to the conclusion that Paper Gods almost gives a sort of prospective about the band’s career. From “Paper Gods”, which in many ways is the perfect description of how the band is portrayed in the eyes of critics and even the public, to “Face for Today”, which seems to be give advice to a younger generation of Paper Gods, all the way though to “Universe Alone”, which many seem to think is how the band sees the end of their career. (But they’re not done just yet!) When you consider that sort of theme, it’s not a surprise that these songs didn’t fit so neatly into the story, and are therefore bonuses.

Even with all that in mind, like many of you – the bonus tracks are among my favorite. And let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow…so while you’re dancing on the Valentine, you may as well listen to Valentine Stones, too!

-R

 

The Extraordinary Magic of Ordinary World

This month, DDHQ is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Duran Duran, or as most fans call it, The Wedding Album. 

I’ve struggled with a topic for this particular post, primarily because as much as I’d like to celebrate The Wedding Album, I don’t honestly remember a lot about that period of time. I was in college, and my mind was about as far away from Duran Duran as possible. So much so, that I was actually shocked the first time I heard “Ordinary World” on the radio. I didn’t even know they had been working on an album, although I suppose I must have assumed they would be. I just don’t remember.

It is an accurate statement that Duran Duran hit it out of the park with “Ordinary World”. That iconic guitar line, along with Simon’s voice, makes the song. Any fan could be just about anywhere—the grocery store, in the car, at a mall, just about anywhere—and with the first note we are awakened like a dog to Pavlov’s bell. It is THAT kind of melody, and yes, we have Warren Cuccurullo to thank for it. There is no arguing that at the time, he brought something new to the table for the band to feed from, and it worked. The song remains fairly permanent on set lists, despite constant complaints from Warren fans about whomever is playing guitar. No one plays it the same way as Warren, and no one ever could. I don’t know why that is. Another guitarist could play the exact notes in the same way, and still not have the feeling quite right. It is something that only the most passionate of fans pick up on, and yet, it makes all the difference. I can only explain it by describing it as magic.

While I don’t remember a lot from that time as a fan, I do remember hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio. I remember how well it did as a single, and how utterly surprised I was to see Duran Duran back on the charts. That wasn’t because I didn’t think they were capable, but because the time was so different. Yet, hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio didn’t energize or excite me in the same way it probably did for many of you reading. I felt wistful for a time that had passed. In 1993, I was getting ready to graduate from college, I had no real plan for what would come next. My father was out of work, my parents were in the process of losing their home, and I bounced around from friend to friend so that I wasn’t another burden on my parents. Anxiety was not ever a welcome, close, friend; but it sure seemed to be looming around every corner, chasing after me with every step. I missed the carefree days of youth, and this song reminded me of that every time I heard it.

There are many people who are huge fans of Warren in the same way many are of Andy, John, Roger, Nick, Simon and yes, even Dom. For those people, The Wedding Album might be the equivalent to Rio, or perhaps even more aptly, their Duran Duran. (given its name and all…)  I try very hard to remember that these days, because while this time period was not my personal favorite, for many of you—it was. I can appreciate that, and I’m trying my best to do it justice here.

In 2012, Duran Duran played a gig in Durham, North Carolina. I was there, and as Simon introduced “Ordinary World”, he explained the importance of the song for the band. The band had been at a fork in the road, basically. Either they were going to keep going, or they were going to hang it up. “Ordinary World” was the song that convinced them to keep going. I’m not doing any sort of justice to Simon’s eloquence that night, but his explanation convinced me – Ms. Doubter – of its permanence in the set list at the time.  The word “convince”, isn’t right. That word makes it sound as though I’m an owner of the band, when I am absolutely not. I think the right word is “respect”. I have deep respect for the song, and obviously the band, and yes, including Warren for writing it. How could I not?

In years since that gig, I’ve witnessed “Ordinary World” do extraordinary things to people. Regular people sob openly when it is played. I’ve watched it heal, and I’ve seen it bring people together. I have also seen the song give someone strength when they needed it most, and create the strongest of bonds between relative strangers. There is indeed something very special about that song, and there is no denying it’s magic, even 25 years later.

-R

 

What Happens Tomorrow on GMA, 2005

Did you know that on this day in 2005, Duran Duran performed “What Happens Tomorrow” on Good Morning America?

I’m sure many of you were there. I was not…but I remember racing home from dropping the kids at school in order to see the band perform!

I always say it, but I just can’t get over this being thirteen years ago. Are we sure?!? The band looks good, don’t they? I must admit, I liked them in suits onstage. They looked sharp…and I was a big fan of John’s dark hair, too. Then there’s Andy. I’d nearly forgotten that he was with them at this time. There’s this odd sense of wistfulness when I watch them perform, probably because I know what comes later, and I see people in the audience that are no longer around.

If you watch the whole performance, you’ll see at one point that Simon makes his way over to Andy to sing with him in the same way he does with John. Andy doesn’t even turn towards him, and Simon is kind of left hanging. I don’t think I ever noticed it until I watched today.  I don’t know if that was by accident, on purpose, or an indication of the turmoil within.

Then there is the audience. I see several people I recognize – and it’s not hard to remember that during this time, Duranies were still basking in the afterglow of the original line up being together and touring. I love seeing the joy on the faces of fans during this period of time. For those who, like me, never thought the “Fab Five” would reunite – the period of 2001 through 2005 went by like a flash. A perfect moment designed to give us what we’d wanted, what many of us never had the chance to experience before, but not meant to last.  I’m glad I savored each moment I had.

We’ve come a long way since 2005, and yet sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday. Life is crazy that way.

-R

Shake up the pitcher*, the lizard mixture: Planning for Durandemonium 2018

*Yes, I spelled the word incorrectly. ON PURPOSE. See what I did there?

It has been a couple of weeks since I gave any sort of an update on convention planning.

First of all, we are still moving forward with plans! If you haven’t already marked August 9-12 as Durandemonium 2018 on your calendar, you should! We have been emailing with our contact at the Hard Rock Cafe (shout out to Jason!), thus begins the number crunching portion of convention planning….stay tuned!

What I am looking for currently, however, are any ideas that past DD convention goers, planners, etc, might like to see and do in August.

Yes, we all know we’d like the band there. Maybe they should just do a Vegas show over the weekend of Durandemonium 2018. Problem solved! 😀

Note to all Duranies and anyone else out there: pretty sure there’s not a Vegas show anywhere on their 2018 calendar…but I just figured I’d throw it out there to anyone who may be reading. Can’t get anything if you don’t ASK. For that matter, I’d take any one or more of them, including the touring band – Dom, Anna, Erin, Simon W. or even their road team or someone who has worked with the band – to appear for an hour, take some questions, and do photos/sign stuff. (If I’m gonna ask, I’m going to go BIG.)

Oh and yes, we’re willing to pay. We’re not kidding. Email us. dailyduranie@gmail.com 

In all seriousness, what activities sound like fun for Durandemonium 2018? We’ve brainstormed about a vendor area for sales/trading, games and trivia, a video party similar to what we do online each year for DD Appreciation Day, perhaps even a guest panel. Is there anyone you’d like to see/hear from? Do you have a burning desire to plan a specific activity? Talk to us!  A Vegas show you’re dying to see? A specific video/interview/etc you want to see? Let us know!  As exclusive as this invite-only event will be, we want it to be fun.

I’m also thinking about theme. We have a general idea that may or may not involve costumes. Who says DD fans can’t/don’t do cosplay?!? If you have any light bulb moments you want to share, we are open to ideas!

I don’t have specific information regarding ticket costs yet. Amanda and I just got some information from Hard Rock Cafe that we need to go through, and some figuring to do. We want to treat our guests to a weekend they’ll be still be talking about through the next tour, but that information is coming soon.

 

Amanda and I chose not to assemble a volunteer committee as early on this time because much of the decision-making comes down to the two of us. However, there will come a time when we are reaching out to those who are willing to be an integral part of the weekend.  That said, we are very open to hearing ideas, so fill our inbox!

Hoping to be posting concrete information very soon….

-R

 

Simon and Dom on Jack Diamond, 2008

Every now and then, something comes up in Duran Duran history that I haven’t heard or didn’t know about. Today is one of those days! On this date in 2008, Simon and Dom appeared on The Jack Diamond Morning Show on WRQX – Mix 107.3, in Washington DC.

A couple of things about this appearance jump out at me. The first being that Dom was on the show with Simon. He was there to play acoustic guitar, which is really pretty cool! The second is that there’s a bootleg album of this appearance out there in fan land…and I need to find it!

In addition to an interview, they perform “The Chauffeur”, “Ordinary World”, and “Falling Down”, which was the single off of Red Carpet Massacre, which they were promoting at the time. I looked on YouTube, hoping to find a snippet, but I came up empty.

If you happen to have the bootleg of this appearance – let me know!

-R

A big announcement from John Taylor!

For the most part, January is a quiet month. Over the years, the band has toured sporadically during January, but for as many years as there have been shows, there have been many others that have not. January is a month used for getting back on track, adjusting to change, maybe it’s even a “dry” month for those who so choose. (certainly not me, but others who enjoy that sort of thing. I have a husband looking for a job and things are stressful, so believe me, this house is not a dry one!) I don’t know what Duran Duran is doing this month, but whatever it might be, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t equal studio time.

For example, John is here in LA. I know this, not because I was invited over for tea, or because I saw him at a party last week, but because he was with Richard Blade recently for an “appearance” on Richard’s radio program on Sirius XM. “A big announcement to be made”, Richard said on Monday afternoon.

I wondered what that announcement might be. Like a lot of fans, of course my mind went to the big, impossible things first. I don’t know why I do that, because in all seriousness,  it is NEVER something huge out of nowhere like that. What’s that saying about expectations?? No matter, I still went through the IMpossibilities, getting more and more outlandish with each thought to cross my mind. “His book is being made into a movie”….. “Duran Duran are already back in the studio”…..”They’re touring again”, “It’s the musical”….”He’s announcing an anthology for #DD40” (which I can’t even mention without the hashtag, even in a blog…)

On and on I went, full well knowing that my first instinct, the one that my gut bellowed as soon as I saw the “big announcement” mention, would be most likely the case. That the big announcement wouldn’t be THAT kind of huge. It would be a big deal to a select group of people, but if you were hoping for some sort of mind-blowing Duran Duran announcement, this was not that day. That’s called a “build-up”, and of course that kind of thing is used all the time. That’s how you get audiences to tune in, right?

I couldn’t listen. We don’t have Sirius XM these days, so I had to rely on the Power of Social Media to inform me. It did not disappoint. Within minutes (if not seconds) of John’s appearance on Richard’s show, I had the answer to my burning question.  I think that says plenty about social media, but that’s another topic for another day.

Richard Blade is recording the audiobook for his autobiography, World in My Eyes. John is going to record the first chapter, and do some additional recordings throughout the book. Those of us who have John’s autobiography on audiobook know that we’d even listen to him recite the phone book…so this is an easy sell, and yeah, its great news!  It’s also much cheaper than a tour, which for me this year, is a plus!

I know plenty of Duran Duran fans that scoffed about the whole build up and let down. Sure, even I laughed ruefully at the build up, because even as I texted Amanda about the “big announcement”, of course I knew that while the announcement might be exciting to some, it was not going to be monumental to many Duran fans. Expectations, right? The fact is, I loved Richard’s book. I’m looking forward to the audiobook version, and having John participate certainly doesn’t detract from that anticipation! So while I had already planned to buy it, now I’m going to make it a must.

Sure, January is fairly quiet. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that on the band front – it’s going to be that kind of year. So, I’m going to take what little excitement I can get and be thankful.

-R

 

 

Twenty-one years and counting.

On the 22nd of January, twenty-one years ago, I woke up at 6:30am and new something wasn’t quite right. I was having short little pains, but they were enough to wake me up out of a sound sleep. Smiling, I began to time them, and oddly – they were coming at fairly regular intervals. Ten days late and counting, I knew that I was finally, blessedly, in labor with my oldest.

After what I felt was many hours of waiting, I finally got the OK to go to the hospital at about 1pm. It was in the middle of a snow storm, but I barely remember the drive from our house to the hospital, except that my mom was with us and we really had no idea what we were about to be in for. I’ll save everyone the details except to say that what began that morning didn’t actually finish until 12:05am the following morning – which if you’re following along, meant the 23rd of January in 1997.

I always like to say that Heather Kathryn Rivera was born in the middle of a blizzard (this is true), she was ten days late (also true, and really eleven if we’re counting – which believe me, at that point, I was), and that to this very day, the child is still late. She runs by one clock: her own. She still prefers the cold weather to our ever-sunny days, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she ended up back in the Chicagoland area after college. (then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if we did as well!)

Today, she turns twenty-one.

I’m marveling about that, because it doesn’t seem possible. I still remember seeing the snow fall that day and night in the hospital, I still remember sitting up in bed the following day, looking at her wondering how on earth I was ever going to be able to handle caring for another human being.  They say that to have a baby is to agree to allow a part of your heart to walk around outside of your body forever. That’s so true. It is simultaneously the apex of joy and some of the worst pain imaginable at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the peace in the world. (Most of the time, anyway!)

I remember not long after Heather and I came home from the hospital, I was watching Rosie in the afternoon while trying to feed Heather. Guess who were her guests?  Simon, Nick and Warren. They were there promoting “Medazzaland”.  I remember watching them while Heather was crying, and I was so upset because I could barely hear the interview. I was already learning who came first, of course, and before long I was crying right along with Heather. As much as I loved being a mom, and I really did, I missed being me. I didn’t know how to be both a mom and Rhonda, the human. Life circumstances at the time didn’t help, either. The real “adjustment” didn’t come until later, when I finally figured out that in order to enjoy being a mom, I had to enjoy being ME, too.

Guess when that happened? I can tell you the exact date. March 28, 2001.  House of Blues, Anaheim CA. Duran Duran walked out on that stage, and something in me that had been dark for many, many years suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree.

I’ve written about it before, but finding myself again was really the key to being a good parent. After that concert, I started being ME. I found friends, I went to a convention, I brought my own personality to the table of parenting. My kids know exactly who I am. They’re not afraid to call me out for it sometimes, too.  

My Heather is a beautiful human being. She is so much better of a person than I could ever hope to be myself. She’s got a sharp tongue, a wicked sense of humor, and a very kind heart. She’s tenacious in a way that I never learned, and she has more talent in her pinky finger than I do in my entire body. She’s danced her way through life so far, and now she’s twenty-one. She’s grown. I don’t even know how it happened, because at some point on the way home from the hospital, through the snowy streets and freezing temperatures, I blinked. Now she’s an adult. Where does the time go?

I guess I feel similar with Duran Duran, really. At some point after New Moon on Monday, I blinked. The past thirty years went by in a single blink. The last 17 in particular FLEW by, and I can mark the moments in Heather’s life by songs, concerts and road trips I’ve taken along the way.  She still smiles widely at the memory of going with me to the Astronaut signing in Hollywood when she was just seven or eight. She remembers Simon quizzing her about her favorite song and how he asked about the book she was carrying (I think it was a Nancy Drew book). She also remembers how tan they all looked for not being from California (I laugh about that because she’s right) and how they all wore more makeup than I did. (also true!)

Heather and I at The Pearl 2009

We still laugh about how she went with Amanda and I to see Duran Duran at the Pearl in Las Vegas in 2009. She was twelve, although a tall twelve-year-old at the time, and she STILL laughs heartily over her reaction when John walked up to the microphone during the show and called us Mother F*kers. Heather turned around and looked at me with her eyes as wide as saucers. I doubled over laughing. Yep, I’m that kind of mom!

Amanda and I always talked about employing her to drive us from gig to gig after she turned 16 so that way we didn’t have to drive ourselves any longer, but we’ve never done it. Today, she’s old enough to belly up to the bar right along with us.

 

Somehow, that doesn’t seem quite right. AT ALL.

Heather taught me how to be a mom. She patiently waited for me to figure out how to manage feeding and caring for an infant and yet still being able to take a shower and get out of pj’s by noon. She would smile and sit next to me when it came time for me to learn how to do it all again when her brother Gavin was born – so all of that x2.  Then she taught me how not to be one of those “stage moms” and how to provide a stable environment for her when everything else in her life was chaos with dance and school. She forgave me for having yet another baby just as she was becoming a teenager, and even offered to help with her youngest sister. I will never ever forget going through that pregnancy because Heather was by my side nearly the entire time. She’s become a second mama in a lot of ways to the baby of the family – who isn’t a baby anymore (so she constantly reminds me).

Heather listened to me complain about life, growing older, losing a parent, learning how to be a better caregiver and spouse, and even how to be a better mom to her as she grew up and had her own ideas that may or may not have been completely opposite to her dad’s and mine. I daresay that parenting is toughest after the children have grown.

Through most of that, she also had to contend with this crazy blog, my writing, the road trips, conventions, and the ups and downs within. Duran Duran has been a near constant presence in her life even though she’s only met them from across a table (same, Heather, same here for the most part). I don’t think she can really hear Duran Duran without thinking of me immediately at this point, and I don’t know whether to apologize or applaud.

So today, as I watch the kids at recess and continue thinking about the journey I’ve taken over the last twenty-one years, I’m also thinking about how this is just the beginning for Heather.  I love that kid and I couldn’t be prouder. Today is bittersweet for this mama, but I am looking forward to taking her out tonight for her first (legal) margarita. It has been quite a journey.

(BTW John and Nick… if you need a choreographer for a musical….I know somebody…..)

Happy Birthday, Heather-Feather. (You can thank me for not printing your REAL nickname at any time.) Be careful, but not too careful – Love Mom.

-R

Never Mind the Buzzcocks – we’ve got Simon!

My “Day in Duran History” calendar tells me that on this date in 1999, Simon videotaped an appearance on a UK show called “Never Mind the Buzzcocks”.

Being American, I’m somewhat at a loss because up until today when I researched the show, I didn’t know what it was. That’s one thing about doing this blog – it has exposed me to a lot of things I’d never heard of prior!  It was basically a comedy panel game, based on pop music.  I marvel at the idea. (Does anyone else feel like American game shows could learn a little something from our overseas friends??) The show lasted 18 years, and was cancelled back in 2015.

Simon on a game show. Huh. I feel like there must be video of this somewhere. If not, there should be.

You know as well as I do that I went to YouTube in search of such treasures…and I found a little something to share. It’s only a short clip, and I have no way of knowing if there’s more out there…but it’s something!

I will say this: the look of complete and utter disdain in JUST the thumbnail you see below is enough to send me into hysterics.  I may have had a bit too much caffeine to begin the day…

Oh yes. This is GOLDEN. It is worthy of a morning break, and it IS funny with genuine laugh out loud moments (and I am somewhat sad to say that I’m not even laughing AT Simon but at the rest of the panel and the host). Check it out if you haven’t seen it or need a chuckle this Thursday morning.  I’m sure my UK readers could tell me a thing or two about this show, so forgive me if I’ve completely messed up the description!

Oh, and yes, I wish American TV would get a clue and try a game show like Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Instead, our entertainment industry is in this “Let’s reboot some of the best and worst shows and movies we’ve ever made” phase. It is like they’ve run out of original ideas….

moving on…

Cheers!

-R

Merry Christmas 2017

As you read this, I can almost certainly guarantee that my house is anything but quiet. There is wrapping paper EVERYWHERE, ribbons and bows strewn throughout my downstairs living area, children still in jammies, coffee cups casually sitting on nearly every surface. Presents have been opened, the dog is jumping though the wrapping paper as though he were jumping in leaves outside, and the cats – all four of them – are fighting over space under the tree.

I am likely in the kitchen, getting a roast into the oven for later. I can almost promise I’ve looked at the living room in despair, knowing it is going to require me going in there and cleaning it myself for it all to get done. My mom is here, Walt’s parents will come later in the day, but Santa has indeed come and gone.

This Christmas has been bizarre for my family on a number of levels. Hasn’t been our best, but by the same token, it has forced us to rethink what the holiday really means. I don’t mind saying that some of us have done better with that idea than others…and that we are all really spoiled, period. It’s been a good lesson about love, patience, and understanding…and that’s just what I am learning!

While “peaceful” is not a descriptive word that I will use until much later in the evening, when I finally sit down to get into my own bed and take that glorious, deep cleansing breath before I shut out my light, I wish everyone a wonderfully happy holiday.

Naturally, that includes Simon, John, Roger, Nick and Dom. I hope you’re all resting up nicely, because we’ve got a show to do in a few days! Well, you do. I just have to be there and be ready for fun!

Lots of love to everyone, including my partner-in-crime, Amanda. I am looking forward to exchanging presents in person next week! It is a treat to be able to see one another and do gifts in person. And our “office” party – otherwise known as Late Bar at Hard Rock Live – that’s going to be a blast, too!  Can’t wait!

I know that not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas. It is probably the one holiday that truly pervades your world whether you want it to or not, because it’s become so secular and universal. It is the holiday you get whether your want it or not, I suppose.  Whether you spend this day in a similar way as my family does or not, I hope it is wonderful for you.

Merry Christmas!

-R

 

 

Hammersmith 1982 – So much has changed, yet stays the same.

It used to be that I enjoyed watching concert videos of Duran Duran because I wasn’t able to see many shows, particularly those from the 80s. I didn’t go to my first Duran Duran concert until 1989, so these concert videos represented a world that I was not involved with, and I often felt like I was on the outside looking in. Even so, I would watch whatever I could find, over and over again in fascination.

Nowadays, I watch them almost incredulously. It is difficult for me to make sense of who they were then versus who they are now. I don’t know if that will make sense to many of you. I suppose in some small way I see them differently now? They’re not on quite as high of a pedestal (assuming they are in fact on any sort of pedestal at all). I see Simon in these videos, for instance – and I see this untouchable, unattainable, enigmatic, person. I didn’t know him, I never met him, and he may as well could have been in a dream rather than reality. That’s how Duran Duran was for me as a child. I still don’t know Simon, but I’ve stood with him in a picture. I’ve waved to him. He’s REAL now in a way he wasn’t then. The band is just a little more real to me as a whole. Even so, I still have a hard time watching these videos and reconciling the fact that the people in this video are the same people I go to see perform now.  It isn’t that the band has changed, it is that I see them differently, I think.

I am the first to admit that when I was ten, the hero-worshipping going on in my head and heart was huge. They may as well have been knights in shining armor. I proudly hung their posters on my wall, and believed they could do no wrong, even when I was presented with evidence that may have proven otherwise. At the time, they were exactly what I needed them to be, because I was a child. I needed and wanted that fairy-tale existence, and although sometimes I will slip and say that I wished I had met them in the 80s, I realize that it would have completely destroyed me to have done so. The unfair expectations that I would have placed upon them would have been enormous. No one could have possibly lived up. When I watch old performance videos like Sing Blue Silver, those old feelings are stirred up a bit. Those memories and feelings behave more as childhood nostalgia than pure hero worship these days, but to be fair there’s still some gushing going on. I mean, I am still a fan.

On the other hand, in adulthood, I think my feelings now are more along the lines of fondness and deep respect. How can I help but not respect Simon, John, Nick and Roger? They’ve stood the test of time, not only with me, but with millions of people worldwide. That’s mind-blowing in this day and age. I don’t giggle when I see them, unless of course I’m about to be hosed down with Simon-spit (and I’m not really sure I giggle about that at the time…I’m too busy ducking for safety!). I think that might be a side-effect from writing the blog, but I’m really not sure. I just know it is hard to see the John Taylor in Sing Blue Silver or even in videos like “The Reflex” and make sense of the fact that yeah, that’s the same John Taylor that I see onstage now. The struggle is real and my brain does not compute.

So much has changed, yet so much really is the same, I suppose!

In 2009, EMI released videos of these early shows, including Hammersmith 1982. I thought it would be fun to watch some of the clips again today. I couldn’t find the concert in entirety so I just chose several to watch. Enjoy!

 

-R