I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get this blog done. This week marks the last week of the school year for me, which means that I had to grade over 100 essays and clean up my room within a week. Luckily, I finished those tasks this morning, allowing me some time to wish my favorite keyboardist a happy birthday!!!
To celebrate Nick’s birthday, I figured it might be fun to share some of my favorite Nick clips. Let’s start with the first song that really caught my attention as far as the keyboards in Duran goes: Save a Prayer.
Yet, the first time I remember paying attention to him as a person was in the following video:
There was just something about Nick’s look in this video that I loved. Funny story. I loved it so much that I decided to go as Nick Rhodes for Halloween one year. I, of course, chose this video as the one to model myself after with the black pants, blue shirt, white tie. As I went around my Chicago suburban neighborhood, most people had no clue who I was. Needless to say, I felt sad that I had to explain myself to all these people. The people typically reacted by saying, “Wait. You are a girl dressed like a boy who is dressed like a girl?!” Clearly, they lacked some knowledge on a great deal, including the fabulousness of one Mr. Nick Rhodes.
Another video that I adored Nick in was New Moon on Monday. As many of you know, it is my favorite Duran video of all time. While I know that the band might not love it, but I do. There is so much to love, including the storyline of the band members being a part of a resistance to an authoritarian regime. I adored watching Nick and John working together with the older woman. It gave me a sense of the strong friendship between those two.
Besides those clips and some of my favorite scenes in the classic Duran documentary, Sing Blue Silver, involving the game, Galaga, I don’t think I appreciated Nick as much as I should have as a kid. No, it took until adulthood to do so. I think it started with the Astronaut EPK, especially when the band members describe Nick about 4:40 in:
I loved this EPK because you could hear both the love and the honesty from each member about each band member. Roger called Nick a “perfectionist” but he did it with a clear and obvious smile.
Around the same time, I began to go “on tour” or traveling to go to multiple shows. I had heard so many stories from other Duranies about their experiences with the band that I desperately longed for a story or two myself. Luckily, I had a chance to see the band in person outside of the concert venue in the summer in 2005. While I lucked out in getting both John and Nick’s autograph then, Nick was the first band member who stopped to actually chat with the fans hanging around. To say that he was friendly and approachable would be an understatement. He readily agreed to photos and autographs to anyone who asked. I was thoroughly impressed as he truly did not need to do any of that, especially after a show.
Looking back to that time with Nick, I realize how important this was to my fandom. I found myself falling for the band even more, which I didn’t know was possible. Just as important, I trusted that the band consisted of great guys who deserve the love and support from the fans. Instead of accepting this amazing moment as the peak of my fandom, I wanted more. This led to more shows, more tours, and even actions like writing this blog. Had the experience gone badly, I might have been turned off from fandom, from Duran Duran. Instead, the opposite happened.
In more recent years, I have adored Nick’s parts in both All You Need Is Now and Girl Panic.
As many of you know, Rhonda and I were lucky enough to be able to wander through Brompton Cemetery where Nick’s part was filmed. It was a definite highlight for me. Beyond being a completely cool cemetery (and very different from American cemeteries), it also was the sight of a hilarious moment for Rhonda and myself. As we began to wander through, the clouds opened allowing it to not only pour but also to hail. So imagine the two of us running and searching for any sort of shelter. When we found a place, the only thing we could do was to laugh hysterically, knowing how ridiculous we must have looked like.
Then, there is Girl Panic. I won’t lie. Nick’s part might be my favorite. His dialogue and conversation amuses me.
So on this day, I channel all of my appreciation into wishing Nick an absolutely fabulous birthday and hope that he has the best year of his life.
Happy Birthday, Nick!!!