Guest Blog: Get Snuggly!

By Michelle Coldwell-Simons

How often do you listen to music? Every day? Just on the radio in the car? Plugged in to your generic music machine to go for a run? Me? I listen to music every day.
I always have. I do all those things above. (Except for running. I don’t run. Ever!) I listen to the radio in the morning to wake me up. I listen to the radio in the car to drop the kids at school. I listen to my iPod in the car, blaring out loudly when no-one else is with me, singing along like a mad woman. I listen to music late at night after a few glasses of wine; trying to be a super cool DJ for my very tired husband who is falling asleep and all he wants to do is go to bed……

I listen to all kinds of music too, not just one genre. When I was younger my dad was hugely into reggae and ska. My mum loves the Supremes and Abba. My brother blasted out Pink Floyd. My husband loves old school rap, Jay-Z, Kanye etc. My eldest daughter loves Lana Del Ray and my youngest loves all kinds of music and she seems to know all the words to every song she hears, even if she has only heard it once.  Music is a massive part of my life.
One thing about music that I don’t like is people making assumptions because of my obvious love of Duran.  People know I love Duran and therefore think that Duran are ALL I listen to. Or that because I love Duran the only music I listen to is music from the 80’s. I do listen to Duran. I do listen to music from the 80s. But I also love to listen to new music. For example this week my husband bought the new Maverick Sabre album for me, I think it is superb. I am lucky enough to have won tickets to Radio One’s Big Weekend that is happening in June which features acts like Jay-Z, Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Example, Jack White and The Ting Tings. I can’t wait!!

But. I suppose I am playing right into the hands of those who assume when I write the next few sentences…….. If I want to get anything done, I put on Duran. I try my hardest to put on something else. I have a huge and varied CD collection and an iPod stocked with many of the aforementioned artists and genres. But it is Duran I put on to get things done. I am listening right now to the Duran first album. (But I hate the fact that the copy I bought on CD many years ago which is now downloaded onto my iTunes contains ISTISK and that was NEVER part of the first album – WHY PUT IT THERE???)

If I have to do some housework, it is Duran I put on. If I have to concentrate on something like writing emails (or trying to write a blog!) it is Duran I put on. If I want to cheer myself up on a rainy Monday ‘cause it’s been pouring on Sunday, it is Duran I put on. If I have had a particularly bad day at work I blast a bit of Duran in the car on my short journey home. If I can’t sleep at night I have created a playlist on my iPod of soothing mellow Duran/Arcadia tunes to help me off to sleep. (Land from Big Thing I find particularly restful).
I don’t even really listen to the tracks most of the time if I am honest. It is because I don’t have to TRY to listen to the music. I don’t have to learn the words. I just let it wash over me; knowing the majority of Simon’s frankly bizarre lyrics, enjoying the incredibly sexy heart beat bass lines John produces, being amused at the little funny tweaks and squeaks that Nick makes, Roger’s loud and powerful drum beats, Andy’s fantastic guitar riffs and Dom’s amazing talent on the latest album…. It’s like my little comfort blanket. It is security. It is an aide to concentration. It is reliable. It is just there in the background to cheer me, soothe me, boost my energy and put a smile on my face.  I know it, I have heard it thousands of times and I don’t have to try too hard to listen. I LOVE that. 
So if like me you love your music and because you are reading this you love your Duran, blast them out with pride when you are sweeping your floors, cheering yourself up in the car or when you are just dancing around your house with wild abandon – I know you all do it! Embrace that Duran comfort blanket, wrap it around you and swaddle yourself in the sublime snugly snuggliness that is Duran Duran.

Michelle was born in 1971 in the East End of London but thinks she is still about 18. Her formative years were spent travelling around London and the home counties meeting Duran Duran at various studio’s and other places of interest. There she met lots of new people quite a few of which she is still friends with today. Michelle writes about her teenage years and beyond with Duran in her Duran Diaries which will amuse and astound Duran fans but bore the butt off anyone else. When she grows up she likes to think that she will write a book one day as well as be a famous portrait photographer. She has been with her husband Gary for 21 years (poor poor man) and has two daughters aged 15 and 11, four cats, four fish and lives by the sea in Brighton, UK. 

One thought on “Guest Blog: Get Snuggly!”

  1. Oh yes, I so do! What you wrote expressed exactly how I view Duran, too. And, it is true that many unfairly assume that I am myopic musically because of my fan identity with Duran.

    I blast it all the time. When an opportunity comes up to talk about what DRNDRN means on my license plates, yay– a teachable moment! And people's eyes don't roll back into their foreheads or roll. They are interested. Why? Because I can also talk about my other music interests. Quite varied. Techno, alternative, old school punk (sex pistols, dead Kennedy's), rap, indie bands, and much “harder” music I listen to based on my moods (I call it my angry music to release while singing it…the feelings that is).

    The discourse on music, regardless of demographic, is there. While my focus is on youth, I can easily enter a conversation about their interests. Living in a college town, and in a complex with many international students, AND I walk my dog and say hi to all, if I hear someone playing music, I ask them what it is and start the conversation. Equal opportunity to learn. Including, international, non English speaking music.

    And I don't care if people hear me singing out loud like I would be in my home or car, with my iPod and high quality head phones as I walk the dog. This is work to me, and Duran is on. Blasting, and I sing and feel alive. And it helps me get through a task that is not easy for me to do.

    Thanks again for your guest blog. Would love to connect with you on twitter.

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