Favorite Band Member

I need a break from all of the current happenings with the band.  Last week was filled with tour news and planning.  This upcoming week will feature Duran Duran at the Superbowl Fan Jam.  I’m looking forward to both the tour and the performance in Dallas, which I hope to see via TV.  Right now, though, I need something silly and unimportant, which led me to think about recent discussions I have had with other fans.  One of those discussions focused on one’s favorite band member.  It seems to me that some fans have their favorite and that favorite has remained a constant for decades.  For other fans, their preference has changed.  Maybe, some people don’t have favorites. 

How do/did people pick their favorite member?  When the band came out and became popular, I’m willing to bet that most people decided based on the band member’s looks.  They might have also considered their style, their musical role in the band, their “personality” via videos or interviews.  I can imagine that many Simon fans appreciated his voice and lyrics.  Perhaps, they like his outgoing personality both on stage and in interviews.  John fans, I’m sure, were attracted to his good looks.  Many Nick fans probably appreciated his colorful looks and sense of style and fashion.  Andy fans might have liked his rock persona and Roger fans admired his quietness.  Does one’s personal favorite reflect on his/her’s own personality?  What if the fan changed his/her favorite over the course of the years?  Does that reflect changes with the band or changes with that fan or both? 

I should admit that I do have a favorite.  I will also admit that I started out having a different favorite but that only lasted a short while.  When I was a kid and first heard and saw Duran Duran, I initially considered Simon my favorite.  Why?  I suppose a lot of it had to do with the fact that he was the “voice” of the band and seemed to be at the center of attention.  Let’s face it.  He also looked pretty good in 1984.  Then, I saw the Reflex video and John Taylor.  Well, I immediately switched my favorite to John, which remains the same to this day.  See, it was a short while!  So, what attracted me to John?  Obviously, I thought he was “cute”!  I liked his personal style and didn’t seem as out there as Nick to my very young self.  It also helped that my best friend, at the time, also liked John.  Thus, when a new video or magazine came out, we would look at it and scream over John Taylor together!  We encouraged each other.  Of course, I didn’t really know much about John or any of them at that time beyond what was published in Bop magazine.  I memorized it all and could recite facts quickly.  The things I learned about John seemed so cool and I wanted to think those things were cool, too.  How many John girls watched James Bond movies because of him?  I bet a lot.  I’m sure that Simon, Nick, Roger and Andy fans had similar experiences. 

Fast forward to the reunion.  My favorite remained the same.  Other fans’ favorites changed.  Why?  It seemed to me that when the reunion happened, most fans initially went back to the childhood favorite.  Most message boards seemed to encourage this.  For example, over on DDM, John fans got to know other John fans and Nick fans met other Nick fans through the section of the board designated for that particular band member.  Like my experiences as a child, these sections were filled with pictures of the band member of choice and there was much screaming following posted pictures!  It also seemed that we all started learning a little bit more about the guys.  Of course, even now, we don’t know them.  We might have some guesses about how they are from their interviews, from meeting them if so lucky, from listening to the music and lyrics for so long, but we don’t really know them..  Nonetheless, it does feel to me that I know different kinds of things about John than I did when I was a kid.  Obviously, I know that he supported Obama in the US Presidential Election of 2008 and didn’t have a clue what his political opinions were in the 1980s.  I know that Simon does not consider himself to be a Christian now and didn’t have a clue then.  For some people, the new knowledge makes us appreciate the band member of choice but, for others, it might turn them off.

Can new information about a band member change someone’s favorite?  I suppose it can.  I feel like some people’s favorite has changed due to their interactions or lack of interactions with fans.  For example, I absolutely felt Roger’s popularity increase once fans realized that he was out and about with the fans after shows.  Where did these fans come from?  I am willing to bet that many of them were John fans first.  If interacting with fans matters, then it would make sense that John might lose fans because he isn’t so social after shows (personally I think that is the right move for him).  What if someone had a bad meet and greet experience with a band member?  Could that cause a change in favorites?  I think so.  I have seen it.  I have seen people warm up to Nick, for example, because he is always so friendly with the fans and I have seen people turned off by Simon’s can-be-perceived-as-a-diva-like-attitude in public.  What if people change their favorite simply because of how the band member has aged?  I suppose it is possible, even if I don’t like it.  Obviously, I admit that looks had/has something to do with it but I wish it didn’t have EVERYTHING to do with it.  That feels too much like objectification, to me. 

It also seems to me that is possible not to have a favorite.  Maybe you like and appreciate them all equally.  Maybe you really are focused on the music.  I can admire that.  Will favorites always be a part of the Duran Duran fandom?  So far, as long as Duran Duran has existed, there have been favorites and I’m willing to bet that there always will be!


7 thoughts on “Favorite Band Member”

  1. When I first became a fan, I though I didn't have a favorite. Maybe I was just in denial, but I was seriously trying to enjoy the band as a whole and not put one member on a higher pedestal than the others. I had a small group of Duranie friends at school, and all of them had proclaimed a favorite, for some reason I couldn't or wouldn't. That is, until an old-school duranie friend showed us her collection of DD posters. After seeing those, and my jaw dropping to the floor at one image in particular, I could no-longer ignore it. I was a Simon fan!

    But really I had been a Simon fan all along, though I did (and still do) find him the most attractive, it wasn't just about his looks. You are correct in thinking most Simon fans appreciate his vocals and lyrics. The very FIRST thing I noticed that made me a Duranie in the first place was his vocals on “Ordinary World”; before I even had a clue what any of the band members looked like. As I learned more about him through his interviews and interaction with the fans, etc. the more that cemented him as my fave. I found that I appreciate his point of view and outgoing personality. That might be because I wish I was more outgoing myself.

    I also find the complexity of his personality fascinating. According to Katy, Simon has a public “diva” persona, but also has a more private down-to-earth side. His goofy sense of humor is also appearent in some interviews. (Heck, just read his twitter page!)

    As for the other band members, I like them all: but after Simon, the hierarchy of the remaining has changed over the years – likely due to knowing more about them. But yet my first fave has stayed the same.

    I guess in a way that says more about me than about Duran however. I find that with any music I listen to I am drawn more to the vocals than anything else. A good voice over not-so-great music has more leeway with me than, say, crap vocals over beautiful music. I do think there are more talented and better lead singers than Simon. But I still prefer DD over any other band, Simon being just one of many reasons why.

  2. I'd like to add that I think it would be fascinating to see a study on the differences and similarities between the fans of each band member. Simon fans vs. John fans vs. Nick fans, etc..
    From my experience we tend to clump together and befriend like-minded fans, but does that mean we have similar personalities? Do we all like the same aspects of the given band member? Or is it pure coincidence? If the friends we already have before becoming Duranies go into Durandom with us, is it common for those friends to like the same band member? Or do we naturally drift to whichever band member isn't already “taken”? For example, when I first became a fan in high school I introduced my friends to DD and they became fans as well. Before I picked a favorite band member myself, two of my friends were Nick fans, one was a John fan, and another was a Warren fan. However, the self-proclaimed Warren fan actually liked John more, but gave him up to the John fan as if it was the “fair” thing to do. By process of elimination (in 1994) I was left with Simon. Of course I didn't mind it (and now I know I would have picked him regardless) but between the five of us, it's as if we actually tried to make sure all band members were accounted for. – You're probably thinking what about Andy and Roger? Well, at the time we knew little to nothing about them and they weren't “current” band members either. And being new fans at the time, were still in the process of learning about the band's history.
    -Ok, that veered off topic a bit. I think my point is that there seems to be a correlation between how Duranies interact with each other and who their favorite band member is. One seems to affect the other.

    That would make for an interesting sociological study.

  3. I definitely think one's favorite can say a lot about one's personality! Could be fun to figure out!!! I had to laugh about the idea of friends having the same favorite or having to pick a different favorite so that you don't have to share! I have experienced both!!


  4. Simon is and always has been my favorite, I remember the moment I fell “in love” with him, the first time I watched “Union of the Snake” video, when he fell down that sand dune. I had liked the band since Rio but they at that moment became my favorites for life. and funny enough, the more I have found out about him, the more I like him. we actually share alot of the same beliefs and views on subjects. not that I didnt think John was/is absolutely beautiful!!! Nick was more of a best friend type in my eyes, Roger was too quiet, and Andy just seemed so much more aloof than the others. I love it that Simon and Yasmin have been married for so many years and that he is so devoted to her, she seems awesome! Simon is still gorgeous to me and that voice is still amazing!! for 28 years they have been my favorite band and nothing has ever made me give a different answer when asked.

  5. I, too, have found that the more I know about my favorite band member (John), the more I like him! I agree that it is fabulous that Simon and Yasmin have had such a successful marriage!


  6. Okay, I know I'm late dropping in here, but I just found your blog after a few years of “hiatus” from rabid fandom. While I never stopped listening to their music, I realized I had a “problem” with being obsessed and I needed a break, so I quit reading every little thing written about them, quit buying any and every magazine that had even just one picture… The fact that the music produced post Roger and Andy didn't always hit the right note with me helped, but I always kept an ear out for that one rogue tune that would speak to me in the way the songs from the early eighties did.

    Okay, so it was more like a 20 year hiatus, but who is counting? Getting back in the groove with Duran Duran was like reuniting with a long lost friend – “we” just picked up where “we” had left off.

    But I digress. From the very start I was infatuated with Roger. He reminded me so much of myself – quiet and seemingly shy,excelling in the shadow of the spotlight, though not afraid of the camera. That pout. Those intense eyes. The leather pants. The nicely toned guns… I suppose I should mention the incredible talent on drums as well, but that should go without saying.

    I had no idea in the beginning that I would become so obsessed. But the obsession wasn't all bad. It wasn't like a drug or alcohol addiction with horrid side and after effects. No, this obsession actually helped me. My love of all things Duran Duran pushed me out of my comfort zone and not only forced me to face my fears in order to get to see them in concert for the first time, but it also helped give me a direction in life.

    When I faced the harsh (at the time) reality that no, Roger Taylor was not going to fall madly in love with me, I needed an escape. An alternate universe of sorts so I created it by writing about it. And when my friends read it and responded positively, it gave me the direction I needed and I eventually branched out and began writing about things other than Duran Duran. Without DD and my obsession with Roger I may have never discovered my talent of prose and who knows what I would be doing now? ~Betsi

  7. Betsi-We are SO glad that you found us! I think many of us have had an experience like yours in terms of fandom in that we have left for awhile and returned. I am also glad that Roger has led you to discover your talent! Awesome!


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