It is November 7th. This date is a significant one. No, Duran Duran did not start on this day. It is not the date that Andy left or Warren. It isn’t the date that DD14 is coming out (at least…not this year. Ha!). No, this date is more significant than that. You see…it is someone’s birthday. Someone important. Someone very important to this blog/website. It is, of course, Rhonda’s birthday!!!! This year marks the 10th time I get to wish her a happy birthday. So, what should I do this year to acknowledge the day???? Simple. Let’s celebrate her last 10 years, at least the fun, Duranie parts!
This is the year that Rhonda helped to organize a little Duran Duran fan convention called Friends of Mine that was held in New Orleans. While she openly discusses how this changed her life because she got to do something beyond that important role of “Mom”, I like to think that it has more to do with meeting me! HA! Perhaps, what was most memorable from that weekend was getting on a stage at Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar and belting out “Rio” for all the world to see (and hear! EEK!). One might assume (correctly) that we might have exchanged in an adult beverage (or 10) in order to get up and do this.
This is the year of Astronaut and of our first tour during the Spring of 2005. So many highlights with everything from: Being 3rd row in front of John (okay…so that was more of my highlight but she liked Roger then so it’s cool!), getting kicked out of the hotel bar (*adjusts halo*), having Roger and Dave point at certain people wearing light up devil horns (no more halo…), not sleeping, laughing hysterically at a cafe at 5 in the morning. and having auditory hallucinations about the song “Sunrise” and so much more. There is no wonder that we had to do more! Where to then? Vegas! That’s right, we went to Vegas, where we again decided we didn’t need to sleep and someone might have yelled for people to leave Roger Taylor alone! (points to the other half of the Daily Duranie!)
This year was truly a fascinating one…as there was a tour but before that a Duranie weekend in Chicago and a tour with a prior opening band. Oh….the things you do when you are young (and I’m talking about us not those kids in Clear Static!). MiDDwest MaDDness including some dancing at the Holiday Club, tequila shots, nicknames that aren’t too polite, and one of our catch phrases: “It was one of those weekends” and it was! The Clear Static Tour, on the other hand, included a road trip through Iowa of all places and my famous response to Rhonda after she wondered if we were sober enough to drive. The answer was clearly no, so I uttered, “Drink up, babe!” as I pushed her drink towards her. Then, the fall came along with a mini-tour. A monumental tour. We welcomed Dom Brown to the band in Chicago and dared to close down Bourbon Street in New Orleans. If that wasn’t enough, we concluded that “All Things Duran Are Worth It”, except for those insane all day festivals.
The year of the fan show. The dreaded fan show. The worst Duran Duran gig ever. We survived it and got stronger because of it. Besides, we met some cool people and had fun, including doing some tourist things, dancing the night away at the Pyramid Club with other Duranies, walking around Central Park and more. Nonetheless, we knew that we would be in for a bumpy ride…
The Red Carpet Massacre era. It might not have been the most peaceful or the most fun, but it was probably the most inspirational as a certain idea for a certain book got planted in some heads while sitting in traffic multiple times on the East Coast. We also danced to Roger’s DJ Set in Atlantic City and decided not to stay in a city for longer than 24 hours. “Check out those weapons, sistah”…indeed.
Summer mini-tour in Vegas and in Orange County, California. THE key highlight of the whole tour was Simon’s dance during Skin Trade. Truly, that was worth the price of admission and the cost of my flight! Rhonda’s daughter also survived her first Duran show (5th row—not bad!!!) whereas Rhonda’s husband enjoyed his view all the way….in the back while we were up front. Good times.
No Duran shows?! Whatever are we going to do? How will we survive it?! Well, a girls weekend might help and it did…right about then is when dear Rhonda says…”On top of writing our book, let’s do a blog. We will do it each and every day. We will call it the Daily Duranie. It will be SO cool!” What the hell she was thinking, we will never know. More importantly, what the hell I was thinking when I said yes?!?
How in the world do I begin to summarize the year 2011? All You Need Is Now. A show in Chicago. Two UK trips. A humble Simon. Scary moments followed by the trip of a lifetime. Seeing the band play in Birmingham. Living through the joy of Secret Oktober in Brighton and laughter of Leopard in Bournemouth to end in a very cold Glasgow to one of the best shows ever. Amazing doesn’t even cut it. The tour of a lifetime.
Anyone up for a ridiculously long road trip?! Yeah, let’s drive from New Orleans to Biloxi to Atlanta to Raleigh to Durham to Portsmouth back to Raleigh. Awesome. Front row failure in Biloxi (we will do better next time, I promise!), amazing show in Durham, guitar picks, handshakes, and meet ups. Double vodka tonics in order to drink all the vodka in the city. Truly, it feels like a lifetime ago!
Again, we find ourselves without shows so what do we do? That’s right. We plan a convention. Durandemonium. It wasn’t easy but it was a success. People had a good time. Connections were made. Duranie spirit was reinforced. Plus, we got to drink some vodka! Oh yeah, we also drank some vodka at Roger’s DJ Set in the spring, too!
The present. Finished draft of the book. Continued onward towards goals…slowly but surely. Always with vodka in hand.
So, Rhonda, I wish you the very happiest of birthdays! May the next year bring you so much joy that you can’t stand it and lots of touring for us!!! Cheers!