In April 1984, the Reflex was released as a single. As many of you know, this song became a number one hit for Duran Duran. For me, this anniversary marks my anniversary of a Duranie. Many of you know my story. As a kid, I listened to a lot of Top 40 in my Chicago suburb and became addicted to MTV as soon as it hit our cable package. My best friend and I liked Duran Duran as soon as we heard them as we often listened and watched together. Yet, there was nothing serious about our feelings for Duran until the Reflex. That song changed it all for me. My like for the band became a love as I found myself not only addicted to the song but to the band itself. My fandom, of course, exploded from there. I couldn’t stop listening to them and bought as much merchandise as I could find and afford. Soon enough, my best friend and I spent most of our time talking Duran. We bought magazines that we shared whatever info we learned and then drooled over whatever pin-ups were included. The rest as they say is history.
For my Duranie anniversary, I thought I might share the top 5 reasons that I am and will always be forever grateful that Duran Duran and this fandom came into my life.
Stay With The Music
This might seem pretty dang obvious but Duran Duran really has provided the soundtrack to my life in a couple of different ways. First, they have been the music I have turned to from early childhood all the way until present day. This means that the band’s music was there as I grew up, as I formed my identity, grew into adulthood and beyond. Second, their music has often spoke to me, on an emotional level that other artists haven’t. When I think of trying times, certain Duran songs come to mind. As I remember really fun times, different songs pop up. I’m thankful for each and every one of those songs that allowed me to be in the moment, to push through something tough, or to feel more intensely.
Laughing ‘Til You’re Crying
I have learned a lot from Duran Duran. They have been great teachers. A lot of what I think and appreciate came directly or indirectly from Duran. Let me give some examples. First, the band always represented an optimism that I have embraced. In some cases, that optimism takes the form of fun like the idea that they would be the band to dance to when the bomb is dropped. In other cases, it is recognizing that life is hard but that you have to have hope with songs like What Happens Tomorrow. No matter how much I get beaten down, I remain optimistic. Second, the band appreciates art in all forms, including music, visual arts, graphic arts, photography, fashion and more. I have grown up appreciating art as well. (Probably helps that my mom is also an artist.) I also love that the art that they like or produce isn’t always obvious or straightforward. Often, it requires thinking deeply, which I love. Third, the band has a wicked sense of humor that can be seen in videos like Rio. I love how much they laugh when they are around each other. I definitely learned to appreciate the same thing.
Change the Skyline
My natural instinct is stay home, be comfortable. go about my day-to-day routines without any changes or drama. I probably could be a hermit if I let myself. Yet, I know that this won’t and doesn’t bring me happiness. Needless to say, I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone from time-to-time. Duran Duran has done that very thing. Most obviously, I definitely would not have traveled as much as I did/do without going to see the band. I am not a big traveler and really hate flying but I do it to go on tour. To me, the reward is worth the stress of travel. Plus, after every trip, I always feel glad having done so. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I feel stronger, more confident. Beyond that, I started planning Duranie events with my partner-in-crime in order to try to bring the fan community together. I can organize all day, every day but leading events isn’t something that gets me all excited. Again, though, afterwards, I feel pretty badass and find it becoming more and more second nature to me.
Live It Like It’s Our Last Night
If you read through this blog, you will see so many posts that describe amazingly fun times Rhonda and I have had through this blog’s existence and beyond. Truly, when I think of times that I have had the most fun in my life, I immediately think of Duran Duran, events related to the band and their shows. Touring is literally my favorite place in the world to be, especially those two hours that the band is on stage. I have been extremely fortunate to have been to as many shows that I have and really hope that there is a lot more in my future.
To You, My Friend
Last, but certainly not least, Duran Duran has brought me many friendships. As a kid, the band brought me and my best friend closer. As an adult, they played a significant part in connecting me to so many people, including some of my favorite people. In some cases, they are people I am extremely close to like Rhonda who I met at a fan convention in 2004 to people I just met in February whom I look forward to getting to know more.
Duran Duran has made my world significantly brighter, better and more fun. For all of that, I’ll be forever grateful.