Sometimes, I know that blog posts are going to get little attention. Others, I know might get a lot of attention. Some of those, I suspect could potentially get a lot of negative attention or criticism. This post will be one of those.
As I mentioned on Friday, I promised that I would give my thoughts about the various ideas John Taylor has bantered about in regards to the upcoming 40th anniversary celebration. Some of his ideas are not very controversial. Most fans, if all, might like the release of previously unreleased material like Reportage. The idea of having 40 happenings sounds interesting. Of course, I’m not sure what would entail a “happening” but it sounds good in theory. Thus, this blog won’t focus on those ideas. No, I’m going to do it. I’m going to rip the band-aid off and talk about the white elephant in the room, so to speak. I’m going to give my thoughts about Andy Taylor being involved in the anniversary.
Before I dive into present day Duran, let me acknowledge that I am one of those original Duranies. I became a fan as a kid in the 1980s. To me, Duran was the Fab Five with John, Simon, Roger, Nick AND Andy. In listening to those first couple of albums, I can hear the musical tension between guitars and keyboards, which often created the best songs. In many cases, it is almost like they were having a dialogue through the music. I felt strongly that this is what makes Duran Duran music so amazing. It is the blending of different genres, ones that often seem opposite of each other. As a kid, I was crushed when Roger and Andy left and struggled to love the band in the same way.
As an adult, I embraced the reunion like so many fans did. It felt like a dream come true. The Fab Five returns! It took me until the spring of 2005 to see the original band perform live together and treasured every minute of it. Likewise, I was crushed when Andy left in the fall of 2006 and wondered once again if my love for the band could last through this trial.
Based on all of that, you might assume that I would be all for Andy’s return in some way, shape or form for the anniversary. Yet, I’m not. There are a couple big reasons that this idea makes me very nervous, including my worry about how this would affect all involved, and the acknowledgement of the band’s history .
In case I have not made myself clear, I consider myself an Andy fan and a Duran fan. Despite that, I like how things are with Duran now. In my opinion, things with the band have been going relatively well. When I see the band perform live, I see lots of interactions between the band members and the supporting players. I see camaraderie. I see lots of smiles and joking between members. They seem to be having fun with each other and enjoying their jobs. More importantly, I see a really tight show. Just recently, I have had the opportunity to watch some older shows and it is clear that the live performance was not as tight and as solid as it is now. I cannot imagine that the show would be as fabulous if the band wasn’t happy with how things are right now. While I can appreciate wanting to acknowledge the past, I worry that Andy’s presence in some way, shape or form would disrupt things with the band. I also worry that it would disrupt things for Andy. Would this be good for him? Yes, I know that some might say that it would. I don’t know. Yes, I can imagine that he might make some money through appearing but would that make him happy? Would it bring up negative emotions? I worry.
This leads me to the second reason, which is history. Again, as an Andy fan, I have to acknowledge that it hasn’t worked with him in the band. Sure, it worked between 1980-1985. They were young. There was FAR less water under the bridge. They had strong managers. A lot was different then. It didn’t work when he came back for the reunion. We all wanted it to be great. Yet, he left again and I say that not knowing the exact course of action that led to his leaving. Was it him? Was it the band? Was a combination? I don’t know and I don’t know if it even matters. I know that it didn’t work. Why would they want to go through something like that again? Then, I think of the fans. Even if Andy came back for ONE concert or to write just a few songs, fans would get their hopes up. They would start to believe that this temporary-ness would lead to something more permanent, even if that wasn’t the case. I, for one, do not want to go through that kind of pain and heartache again and I certainly don’t want that for other fans, for the band or for Andy. The fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t want that for Dom, either. After all, he came to fill in a huge void and has done it with grace and professionalism. I don’t think this would be fair to him, either.
I know that my thoughts here are going to be unpopular. Andy is the sentimental favorite for a LOT of fans. I know that there are Warren fans out there, too, but Andy represents early Duran. He was the guitarist when the band broke through and became popular. A lot of fans haven’t gotten over that loss. Maybe a lot of fans think that the music was better with him. I cannot argue against any of all that. All I can do is express my concern and my thoughts. I know that this post won’t change anyone’s mind or anyone’s wishes and that’s okay. I have to say what I think and what I feel. I needed to express my concern, my fear and those feelings come from nothing but love for Andy and the others as well as for the fans.