That aside, John brought up an interesting topic for this lovely Monday morning, the day before my oldest starts back to school, thus this being the last day of our summer. He has mentioned that the band would prefer it if cameras were not used during the rehearsals. Now, I say “prefer” because just following that tweet, John said that it was not a “rule”. If the venues say otherwise, then of course that’s different. In any case, his feeling (I’m paraphrasing) is that perhaps the memory of the show and the time itself would live on it’s own without the help of fiddling with cameras and other electronic equipment. Kind of like living in the moment, so to speak. I’m sure many fans, especially those going to these particular shows, are totally annoyed with this simple request. They want that indelible memory. They want to have the photo of the JoSi moment in all of it’s finery. (is JoSi an American thing or does the UK go nuts for that too?) They want the picture I myself have never gotten of Roger twirling his stick, of Nick smirking, of Simon doing his cool karate moves at the end of Notorious. It’s all good, and no, I can’t blame people for wanting them.
In 2006 (October, to be more precise), I flew out to Chicago to see Duran Duran play the opening night for the Sears Center. It was a brand spanking new arena right in lovely Hoffman Estates, IL and Duran was the first band to play there and give it it’s blessing. Due to circumstances totally beyond my control (i.e. my kids schedule), I had to fly out that morning from LAX to Chicago (Midway). My plane was on time, but Chicago traffic was insane, and it was raining, no less. It took far, far longer to get to our hotel than we thought, and then we had to quickly change, eat and run to the arena. Everything took longer than we’d hoped, and we were really worried about getting in for the show on time. In our haste, we left our cameras back in the car. I don’t even think I had given that any consideration until we made it to our seats. Once we lamented about the cameras, I think we all just figured that we’d just enjoy the show and try to make the memory count.
At first, I wanted to kick myself for leaving the camera in the car. Our seats weren’t bad, and I had a direct line of sight to John (which, if you’ve been reading the blog lately – you’d know that I don’t think we’ve been on his side since!). I seem to recall being in about the 9th or 10th row. It could have been closer, could have been a bit further. Regardless, the show was great and the band seemed to be full of energy. I know that Amanda and I definitely were – we were dancing and singing the entire time. At one point in the show, John seemed to make eye contact with us, and me – being the smart aleck I am at times – didn’t think he saw me at all, so I think I stuck my tongue out or made some sort of a goofy face. Well, he returned the favor, at which point I wanted to crawl under the chair in front of me. I laughed, as did he, and then Amanda and I literally sang right along with him. Coolest moment at a show ever. I didn’t have my camera to commemorate the moment, but I’ll never forget. The people in front of us turned around after the show was over and said that they’d never seen two more enthusiastic fans ever, which was both funny and a little embarrassing for me – I was just thoroughly enjoying the show. Normally I’m fumbling with my camera, waiting for the best shot, complaining that I keep getting blurry ones – and while I know I enjoy the show, I have to admit that there’s something very free about just enjoying the time and not having to worry about anything else. Sure, I’ve heard Hungry Like the Wolf about 50,000 times now (probably more and I don’t even want to think about that), and yeah, that’s a great time for picture taking, but for some reason that night – I didn’t even miss having my camera. I actually sang along, danced and loved it.
You know, I’ll admit something else here – even though I take my camera with me to the shows, when I look back through the shots, unless I recognize the date when the photo was taken, I honestly don’t know what show they’re from now. I don’t have THAT many pictures of them on stage, either. I know plenty of people that stand there during the whole show, watching it from behind the lens – and while I’m not really judging those folks, I just have to wonder if the pictures really mean THAT much to them months later? I don’t even look at my pictures very often any more! Back when the reunion first happened and I went armed with my digital camera to every show, it seemed SO important to have those pictures. I was proud of what I had of them, almost as though having those pictures somehow made me feel like a better fan. Kind of silly, really. After a while though, and in particular after I went to that show at the Sears center, I realized the pictures are great, but if I’m only seeing the show after the fact, digitally no less – I’ve missed more than half of the point of being there. After that show, I learned to leave my camera in my purse and do more dancing than picture taking.
I really think John’s heart, and those of the rest of the band, are in the right place on this one. Sure, I guess some could say that they’re worried about “secrets” getting out (as to what they might have planned), or maybe they don’t want the shows recorded for fear of the sound being “rough”…but I don’t necessarily think that’s the reason in mind here. They want fans to go and enjoy the moment. All You Need is Now, no?