I’m sorry today’s blog is a bit late. I knew I would only be able to stave off illness for so long and then it would come to get me…and it did. It was a very long night, so today’s post will be a bit short.
In the stream with everyone
Yesterday, there was a little drama going on in one of the fan groups. Someone had questioned whether or not it was time for a change in backing vocalists.
I will say that I’ve been around a long time now, and I don’t think I’ve seen a group jump on somebody quite so fast as they did yesterday. That might say everything that fan needs to know, actually. (Unfortunately, the person also chose to post their concern in three separate threads, worded slightly differently each time…and I don’t think that helped)
People have said things about other touring members as well. Dom, Simon W…even Chastity back when she was doing percussion. It is a topic of conversation. I don’t necessarily agree that anything needs changed, but it is still a reasonable topic. I don’t know what about this particular post set everyone off, but something definitely did. Surely there must be more to it than I was able to see.
On a wandering river
We fans are funny. Things are taken incredibly personally. Just look at a few of the statements below. I see some version of these nearly every day on one Facebook group or another, or even on Twitter.
You don’t like the Red Carpet Massacre album?!? That means you’re obviously not a good fan!
Wait a minute. You think Warren is a better guitar player than Andy? How can you call yourself a real fan – Andy was there first!
How can you not love Paper Gods? As a fan you have a responsibility to love and support everything they do…otherwise you’re just a fan of their older albums.
Going on together
I could go on and on. Maybe some who are reading even agree with some of those statements, too. You certainly wouldn’t be alone. There was a time when I would get my hackles up whenever one of those “hot button” topics would arise. Sometimes, I’ll still feel the hair on the back of my neck come up when I see things posted. I think though, I’ve gotten tired of arguing. Everyone is going to feel however they’re going to feel, and like what they want to like. The trick is finding a way to just shrug my shoulders and say “Oh well!” Otherwise, I’m spending a lot of valuable time being angry within the very thing (fandom) that I chose to participate in. Why bother?
Don’t get me wrong, I still have strong opinions about plenty of Duran Duran topics. Don’t we all? I just don’t know if I see the point in having heated debates with people I typically do not know, from areas of the world I’ve never been. I end up feeling less-than-happy while participating in something that is supposed to bring me joy.
Since today is a holiday, I (Rhonda) am writing to wish everyone a wonderful New Year from both Amanda and myself. May 2019 be filled with hope, joy, love, great health, fantastic friends, and amazing music.
We hope to see many of you in Las Vegas when the band performs there in February. We haven’t been able to plan a full convention for that weekend, but we are still hoping to pull together a party. Watch this space. If anyone is able to lend a hand or give a little time to make it happen – drop us a line. We’d certainly appreciate the help!
I don’t really do New Year resolutions. There have been goals for past years, but I don’t really have writing plans, or career aspirations right now. This year, I’m hoping to focus on getting my family settled, and using the year as a sort of personal rediscovery and relaunch! Rest assured that I’ll still be blogging about Duran Duran. We’ll see where the year takes us!
Have a wonderful New Year’s Day. As you read this, I’m making breakfast and watching the Rose Parade with my kids. Later, I think we’re going to take a hike on one of the nearby trails. I also need to take down holiday decorations, and then I have to get ready for school to begin tomorrow.
For the first time since I began homeschooling, we are going to be doing it all at home on our own. In the past, my youngest has gone to a learning or resource center twice a week. That’s given her a chance to have a break from me and make friends. I’m hoping to eventually get back to that kind of schedule (if not have her go back to a traditional school), but at least for now, it’s all home, all the time.
Not sure if I should be asking for people to send vodka or prayers…or both. I’ll let you know how that’s going in the coming weeks…
I can’t believe it is already NYE…and yes, I’m back. I suppose I’m a few days earlier than I expected – I figured I wouldn’t be ready to blog again until around the eighth of January. The thing is, our move went really well. Christmas, with all the trimmings and even some decorations, happened. I even found and hung the stockings (and yes, I am still in full belief that I deserve a massive vacation for making that work!) We’re settling in and unpacking. I can’t say it feels like home yet, exactly (I’m still feeling like I have to hurry up and get done with whatever I’m doing at the time because I need to drive back to Orange County…), but we’re getting there.
It is an adjustment
It is actually colder (cooler?) here than in Rancho Santa Margarita. I woke up to ice on my car the other day, which made me laugh. I’m in hoodies and jeans most of the time. In fact, I’m wearing my Duran Duran hoodie right now – normally it’s way too thick for me to wear unless it is raining and cold – but it’s perfect for the mild winter here. I’m in heaven.
We’re adjusting to other things, too. Costco is about twice the distance from us (think big box “in bulk” warehouse if you’ve never heard of it), and my closest Target is two cities over. I’ve already had to lower the boom on my husband twice now for leaving the gate at the top of our driveway open, all because deer will come in, eat the plants and never want to leave. The thought of this makes me laugh. We’ve really gone from discussions of Teslas to tractors, and so far, we love it.
2019 is just hours away
2019 begins tomorrow, and I’m ready. I don’t feel wistful, or melancholy about things I should have done but wasn’t able to get accomplished. I left everything I had on the stage, so to speak. I feel like I’m at the beginning of something new, and right where I need to be. I have no idea what is coming, but like Duran Duran – I believe it is something very special.
Typically, I face each new year with a little apprehension. Normally, I want to believe the good stuff is just up ahead, but somehow by mid-January, I’m back to feeling the same sort of blahs I did the year prior. It isn’t a great cycle to be in. This year, I’m just not letting the blahs happen. My expectations for the year, should there really be any, is just to get comfortable in my new whereabouts. We’re going to get some chickens in the spring, so that’s going to be a brand new experience that I’m pretty sure will end up with me being the chicken mama. My husband, bless his crazy little heart, thinks we’re going to get and raise goats too.
Let me just say this: if the goats happen, I am DEFINITELY starting a blog, and maybe even a YouTube channel about that journey. I’ll let everyone know, because it would be hysterical. Teslas to tractors indeed.
Who knows what the new year will bring?
In the meantime, we’ve got that band to discuss. I hope that they’re all ready for some serious studio time in 2019. I’ve had a few kind (and apparently very hopeful) souls tell me that since DDHQ has tweeted something like “DD15 in 2019” that the album will definitely happen next year. Why set expectations like that?
Forgive me if I’m giving the band a little space. It isn’t that I don’t believe they can write and record in a single year, it is that I don’t think it is necessary to add to the laundry list of expectations. I have all the faith in the world that they’ll complete whatever project they’re working on – but not necessarily in some arbitrary time frame that me, or anyone else tries to set up for them. They’ll do it when they’re ready and not a second before. Meanwhile, I’ve got to get started with some research on chickens and chicken coops!*
No, those are not lyrics to a Duran Duran song. They are unapologetically, decidedly unpoetic, words for exactly how I’m feeling right now, though.
Please please tell me now
For my birthday, Amanda sent me the special edition Duran Duran 40th Anniversary magazine from Classic Pop. I didn’t buy it for myself when it was released because money was tight, and I knew it wasn’t something I necessarily needed, only wanted. Without getting into detail, it is a question I’ve asked myself repeatedly this past year. “Do I really need this, or just want it?” I remember commenting to other Duran fans that while the magazine seemed interesting, I couldn’t part with the money. When I opened my package from Amanda, I was happy. It wasn’t even on my wish list, so it was indeed a surprise.
As much as I wanted to sit right down and read it – which is something I would have done a year ago without thinking twice – I put it away. I didn’t even quickly thumb through the pages! At the time I had a house to sell, and even though I did have an hour or so of free time at night, for whatever reason lately – I have trouble reading.
Even today. I can’t sit still. I fidget, I can’t concentrate, and so the books I started in July are still sitting and waiting for me to finish. It is weird, and very unlike me. I can play games on my phone, and I do, but reading is a problem. I think it is my nerves – or anxiety. I’m not trying to self-diagnose, nor am I looking for sympathy. I just think this entire year has thrown me for a loop, and I haven’t really processed much of it. Suffice to say that more has gone on than I blog about here, or even share with friends like Amanda. Some things, not even I can write about.
Is there something I should know
Yesterday, I spent my day in typical fashion. I drove the youngest to school, then I went shopping for stocking stuffers. Came home, did laundry and wrapped some presents. I’m happy to say that I’ve got about 99% of my shopping and wrapping done. We even took the littlest Rivera to see Santa and get the obligatory picture last night. She asked for things I didn’t know about. (DAMN IT WHY DO MY CHILDREN DO THAT?!?) Anyway, in the afternoon, I had free time. Well, it wasn’t really “free” time, but I had the choice of washing towels and packing them or sitting down and doing something else. I chose the latter.
Sitting down on the couch, I decided to try looking at that magazine. My mind races so much right now, it is as though I can’t relax, but I got through some of it. Anyway, I’d offhandedly remembered that Amanda told me to look at page 86, so I did. I glanced over the page but I saw that there were these little blurbs on the sides of the pages, and I read it. Chances are, Amanda blogged about this already (sometimes, I miss posts), and I’m sorry. Below is what I saw:
I nearly had a coronary. I grabbed the magazine, walked right in to my husband’s office (which is not ever encouraged unless the house is on fire), and pushed the magazine right under his nose.
Granted, it’s not like the article was about us or anything. We were used as source, and as the writer of the exact post being quoted – I can’t help but be a little proud. Sure, I’m thrilled they’re talking about Dom, but oh my gosh my blog is mentioned in a magazine. In a music magazine. IN A VERY SIMILAR MUSIC MAGAZINE TO THOSE THAT I WOULD SCOUR THE IMPORT RACKS TO FIND WHEN I WAS A KID.
Is there something I should say
So yes, my inner-14 year old is still screaming, right alongside my current self this morning.
This is about so much more for me than just being quoted somewhere. I’m struggling to find the right words to explain. I guess that for me, it comes down to a bunch of things.
First, it’s a little bit of an affirmation. I don’t suck. When you write a blog, two things happen: people say they love what you do – which I very much appreciate, and others make sure to tell you they hate it.
They do it in an endless variety of ways, but my least favorite is when they try to lessen the impact with their words. “What you two do is cute.” or “It’s silly, but fun for fans if they read it.” Best: “It’s just a fan blog, right?” I usually nod my head yes, try to smile, and move on.
I love that as much as I do when people point out that the band has done absolutely nothing “for” us, as though that’s an indication of our self-worth. I’m not exactly sure what they’re supposed to do, to be honest. We’ve been writing for over eight years now. We’re linked on their site, and I think if they did anything else for us publicly, it would be like attaching a giant target on us. We’re good, thanks. If you don’t know what I mean, then you probably haven’t noticed the competitive nature that exists in this fandom. You’re lucky.
The second part of how I’m feeling is a rather large entanglement of feelings, like a giant ball of yarn. I spent my teen years reading magazines similar to Classic Pop without ever thinking even one time that I’d ever write well enough to be in one, even by just being quoted. Sure, it’s a small thing, but for someone who has never had a career or experienced the type of success that some of my friends do on a regular basis—it is huge. I want more of that, without any idea of how to do it.
That would make you come my way
That’s the oddest part of this whole blogging thing, really. When we started, I had no plan. Eight years later, and we still really don’t have a plan. By that I mean that each of us blog, but there’s no “end game” here. We don’t have an end goal other than survival. There’s been times where we thought maybe we could do something with it, but that door hasn’t opened for us, even when we’ve knocked. It might someday, but I’ve also made peace with the fact that it might not be the right door.
So, when something like this happens, regardless of how insignificant it might seem to some one not emotionally attached, I consider that maybe, just maybe, I need to keep looking for the right door. Perhaps that angsty 14-year old inside of me knows the right way.
I have been a part of the Duran Duran fandom for years. For many of those years, I also spent a lot of time watching, observing and thinking about our fan community. What do we think? What are we passionate about? What kinds of activities do we like? How do we like to express our fandom? Sometimes, I think I’m starting to figure out our community and other times…I am not sure that I have a clue.
A couple of weeks ago, I started a new set of questions of the day. I thought it might be fun to watch a different interview each day and then score it. When the idea came up, it seemed like others were on board. Initially, we had a bunch of people participate in those polls. Interestingly enough, I started the interviews from 1981, then 1982, 1983, etc. moving closer and closer to the present. As we have moved through the 1980s interviews and onto the 1990s interviews, I noticed that we are getting less and less participation. This makes me sad. I always hope that the question of the day is just something that people look forward to daily and get them thinking at least for a few minutes about Duran. Yet, it doesn’t seem like that is the case.
Of course, the social scientist in me has thought about why this might be the case. Is that people don’t have time to watch an interview each day? That could be. I know that I can relate. My job takes a lot of my time and I continue to be involved in political affairs. If I didn’t take the time in the morning, I wouldn’t have it. Is it about when the interviews are from? The 1980s interviews got a lot more participation. Why is that? Could it be these interviews weren’t ever seen before but the more result ones have been? Could it be that the 1980s is simply a time period in Duran history that is more loved? What about a combination of both or all of the above? I think all of those are possibilities. No matter the reason for the lack of participation, the question now is what to do.
First, I think I will at least finish one round of these questions, meaning that I will share some interviews until we get to the most recent interview. After that, I think we need to change the question of the day to something that requires less time. I think it might be fun to ask a set of questions that we did before but have not done for years. That said, I want to know what you all think. So, I put a little survey together. Which question should I go with?
I appreciate everyone’s vote! It will definitely help me to make the question of the day the most fun possible!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since she barely began talking, my youngest has been singing. If she didn’t know the words, she would make up her own, or hum her way through the song. It (music) comes so naturally to her that she knows no other way. I don’t know when it became a “thing” for her to sing along with the radio, but she has been belting “Bohemian Rhapsody” since she was a tiny little thing in her car seat.
From “Bohemian Rhapsody”, to “Radio Ga-ga”, “We Are the Champions”, “We Will Rock You”, and plenty of the rest of the Queen catalog – she sings it all. The music and words just seem to resonate with her. I didn’t think much of it until we heard that there would be a movie based on the career of Freddie Mercury and Queen. My husband and I agreed that we’d take her to see it. We didn’t know if the story would be over her head, but we knew she’d love the soundtrack!
Both Walt and I are fans of Queen – we have their albums and love their music. Neither of us saw them in concert when Freddie was alive, though. We did go to see We Will Rock You in London while we were visiting, and even got to see both Roger Taylor (no, not OUR Roger Taylor…) and Brian May on stage for the curtain call. We were thrilled the movie was being released and couldn’t wait to go.
The movie opened this past week, and on Sunday night, we went to see it. I tend to talk about my daughter as though she is still five, but the fact is—she’s emotionally mature for a ten-year old. She is very sensitive to other people (as if all of the empathy missing from the rest of us was packed into her little body!), and I find that she even explains things to me. There is this saying about how having a child means you’re OK with your heart being outside of your own body and walking around forever. Well, this heart of hers is FAR bigger than anything I could have grown on my own.
Freddie’s story of learning how to really love the person he was, and embracing his own bravado and talent really touched her. She openly sobbed as the story of “Bohemian Rhapsody” came to light, and talked a lot with me about his struggle of learning to love himself even when he knew he was different from what his parents expected. She was completely devastated at the end of the movie as she realized just how short Freddie Mercury’s life really was, and what the AIDS epidemic meant during the 1980s. The movie is one that I suspect will stay with her forever. I would have never thought so much of the movie would reach her so deeply. After all, she’s only ten, right?
I think back to being ten myself. Although my memory is fuzzy – I was around that same age when I first heard Duran Duran. It is fair to say they not only resonated—they helped form me into the person I am. Many fans feel that way about their own experience with them, too. I don’t believe I was ever the deep thinker that my youngest is. In spite of my own lack of emotional maturity at the time, Duran Duran worked their way into my head and heart, just as Queen has done with her. It is one of those parenting moments I treasure witnessing.
As I sat watching Bohemian Rhapsody in the theater, I thought about Duran Duran. It was impossible not to, really. Today I’ve seen so many people posting about Bohemian Rhapsody, and following up by saying they want their Duran Duran movie next – I just have to wonder what that might look like. I don’t think their story is over just yet.
Duran Duran continues to inspire me in a way few other things ever have. A good example is the video for “The Edge of America”. Who knew that thirty years after its release there would be a video made that even Rolling Stone and Billboard would comment on?
One aspect of Duran Duran’s songs that I appreciate is how the meaning of their songs can mean different things to each individual person and can be interpreted in multiple ways even to the same person over time. Even songs that seem obvious in terms of what they mean can be seen from different perspectives. One song like that is Ordinary World. We all know that the lyrics are about the loss of Simon’s friend, which means that the song can be easily applied to any situation of grief. For me, personally, I have never listened to the song to deal with my own grief, but I have used the song to deal with what life has thrown at me. For instance, I remember listening to the song when I had first moved to Madison. I didn’t know anyone and was trying to figure out how this whole adulthood worked. Needless to say, I needed to find my ordinary world.
Now, I find myself listening to the song in a new way. If you are in the United States, I’m sure you know that Tuesday is Election Day. While I have been working hard to ensure that candidates I support win, the reason for this is as much about the people themselves and my desire to find an ordinary world. Since 2016 and even 2010, I feel like my ordinary world left me. Here’s the deal. The results of elections affect people. They have consequences. They did for me and they have for people I care about, including my students. I feel like Simon in that the life that I recognized went away. I am seeking a new less terrifying world, one in which people are not attacked for who they are, what they do for a living or how they want to find happiness and opportunity.
The thing about the song, Ordinary World, is that it seems to speak about a moment in which a life marker is placed, something to show something significant happened. There is life before and life after. That is how I feel about both 2010 and 2016. The end of 2010 and 2011 was tough with family deaths and challenges at work and with work. You know what got me through? Duran Duran. They helped me find as normal, as ordinary of a world as possible. I had something to focus on that eased the pain, the grief. Unfortunately, I did not have as much Duran related activities to distract, to help me get through since 2016. Sometimes, I am thankful that I can just focus on my activism and what needs to be done. After all, what happens in my community, state, country and world matters a lot to me and I refuse to be a spectator. That said, having some fun helps give me the necessary breaks to keep going, to keep fighting.
Thankfully, I do have a few Duran related events that I can now look forward to. I have a couple of shows in February and I suspect that Rhonda will be announcing that it looks like we will be able to plan for a mini-Durandemonium for February in Vegas. Stay tuned for details. All that said, I’ll be really excited if it feels like my ordinary world can return. Tuesday will tell. (If you live in the United States, please VOTE people. I strongly believe that this is the most important election in my lifetime and your voice matters.)
…and it’s November already. Part of me is happy to be nearly finished with 2018, and another part of me is standing here saying, “Wait, what just happened to the entire YEAR?”
I’m feeling optimistic about 2019, but we’ve got to finish out 2018 first, I suppose. I’ve got just the thing to begin the month on the right note, too!
Who doesn’t love Duran Duran?!? Take that band, and combine them with one of my favorite set of cartoon characters – and you’ve got the Peanuts gang singing “Hungry Like the Wolf”.
Doo do doo do….
Yeah, it’s that song again. That Pavlovian bell of iconic laughter at the beginning, along with the rest of the tune, will outlive all of us. This song will end up being totally synonymous with the 1980s – not that it isn’t already (but I think this will be the big one!). My great-grandchildren will hear it and immediately be reminded of a crazy old lady in their family who actually blogged every day about this band. Insanity!!
The video is super cute though, and so much more clever than just writing every single day. I love seeing Pig Pen on the drums, synced with the song, followed by the gang singing my favorite part, “doo do doo do, do doo do, do doo do, do doo do, doo do.” Impressive!
Here we are, on the cusp of the holiday season. I saw a meme last night that said something about how at the strike of twelve, jack-o-lanterns would disappear and holiday music would begin playing. Last night I was watching TV in between trick-or-treaters, and I saw holiday commercials on TV already. My glass very nearly left my hand and hurled itself towards the television. I’m definitely not ready, are you??
Vegas in February!
I’ll tell you what I am ready for though! I’m ready to start planning for a mini-Duranie convention in Vegas! We’ve got one more week until the US election day. After she gets some much needed rest, Amanda and I will begin working to put something solid together. What you need to know, if you’re at all interested in a party – is that our festivities are going to begin on Thursday night! So plan on getting to Vegas a night early!
Speaking of Election Day, let’s set the tone properly, shall we?
So maybe you have heard that Rhonda and I have shows coming up in 2019. Yes, I admit that we are very fortunate. I acknowledge the fact that there are many, many, many fans that are nowhere near as lucky. I wish that every Duran fan had shows to look forward to. In thinking about this, I’m going to take a minute or two here to simply be grateful that, at least right now, when it comes to Duran, I’m lucky. Lately, I have been feeling like anything but in the rest of my life. Life has been hard. I have spent much of my energy just working my way back from holes of unhappiness just to “okay” status. Happiness is not a word I use or have used for a long time. Needless to say, I need some joy.
When the three shows (one in New Orleans and two in Vegas) were announced, I did not hesitate to pass that information on to Rhonda in an “official Duranie alert” capacity. When the information popped up, I didn’t stop and think about any potential negatives. For example, I wouldn’t say that we had a great time at the last show at the Chelsea in December of 2017 due to a giant standing in front of us blocking our view and a number of potential fights almost breaking out. I chose not to even think about a repeat of that show. Likewise, I didn’t stop and complain that these shows were once again in Vegas. While I’m able to get there, I admit that it would be nice for me to not have to fly. The Midwest, I hear, is lovely! (Hint!) Just sayin’. I heard that some fans questioned whether or not the setlist and performance would be much different from the Paper Gods Tour. Nope, that thought did not really enter my mind. Why is that? I suspect a lot of it is my need for joy but also just being grateful that I will get another show, another weekend with friends.
I have been thinking about how life was ten or even a few years ago. I have to admit that I remember myself complaining about various things, including work, politics, parents, etc. Looking back, I clearly didn’t realize how lucky I had it. Sure, there are always things that can be improved, made better, fixed but I wish I understood then that things could also be a lot worse. In hindsight, I don’t think I appreciated how good life was then. Things felt easier. No, they were not perfect but better than they are now as so many aspects of my life have just gotten tougher, harder, more challenging.
Funny enough, when thinking about Duran, I am willing to bet that I did the exact same thing. When I look back to different eras like Astronaut and All You Need Is Now, I have a lot of fondness. Some of the best memories and moments took place during those album cycles. Yet, if you read this blog in 2011 and 2012 or even 2013, you probably didn’t see me being super grateful. In all honesty, I suspect that there might have been some criticism. While I still think that there can be room for improvement when it comes to Duranland, I no longer am or want to be the person that picks out all of the band’s flaws. No, they are not perfect. Yes, they could grow in multiple ways. But I have a choice. Do I want to just complain or enjoy what I have?
Sure, I could vent some frustration over Ticketmaster because it truly does suck or spew continued annoyance by the lack of setlist changes. Those would be valid criticisms. Yet, I have so many other things to worry about than every little crappy aspect of being a fan of this band. Instead, I would rather embrace the joy, the fun, the friendship, the escape that Duran shows and tours brings. So, you won’t hear me complain about the setlist or the venue in February. No, I’m just going to be dang happy to be there.
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!