How we became fans! Part 2!

In many ways, my story about how I became a Duranie isn’t that different from Rhonda’s and probably not all that different from any Duranie out there.  Like Rhonda, I was near a major city when I became a Duranie as I was living in the south suburbs of Chicago.  I, too, had a radio station that I listened to frequently (B96) and got MTV at some point in the early 1980s.  I also had some cool friends. 

My story as a Duranie really begins in 1984 when I was 8, going on 9, as I’m a bit younger than Rhonda. 😀  I do remember hearing many of their songs on the radio in 1983, including their new singles like Union of the Snake and New Moon on Monday.  I liked them just fine, but I wasn’t a Duranie quite yet.  I needed two big pushes for that to happen.  The first push came in the form of my best friend at the time.  We were constantly together, which is pretty impressive as we didn’t go to the same school and couldn’t easily get to each other’s houses as a major street separated us (which also separated the school districts).  Luckily for us, though, our parents got along and were pretty accommodating when it came to driving us.  My friend and I used to listen to the radio when we hung out.  One of our favorite activities was hanging in my backyard and taking turns swinging (I had one swing in the backyard).  There we would often talk about the music we were listening to.  One night, we heard Save a Prayer and I literally could not get the chorus out of my head.  Could either one of us tell you that it was by a band named Duran Duran?  Nope.  It was funny to us, though, that I kept singing it and singing it.  We vowed to pay attention the next time that song was played.  Strangely enough, I don’t remember who learned the band name or even if it was connected to Save a Prayer but I do know the next song to catch our attention:  The Reflex.

Like many kids, my best friend and I used to spend the night at each other’s houses, especially on Friday nights.  In my house, this meant that we would crash in the room we called the toy room (in reality this room housed the laundry and my mom’s art studio as well as my toys).  There was a very small TV that we would watch.  Again, like many kids in 1984, we tuned into Friday Night Videos.  At some point, they started airing a new video by Duran, which was the Reflex.  We fell in love with it.  Seriously.  We were obnoxious about it, too, as this was around the same time we got MTV, which acted as my second push to being a fan.  From that time on, we tuned into MTV and Friday Night Videos as much as we could to catch a glimpse of this video.  If we were not together, we would literally call each other on the phone to tell the other that it was on.  Strangely enough, this really isn’t that much different than calling, texting or emailing your Duranie friends to alert them to new tours or album news.  Of course, from this focus on videos, we discovered the old clips and fell in love with all of them.  At this point, the Reflex was a number one hit and we, officially, started calling ourselves “Duranies”.

From this point on, our friendship was focused on Duran Duran.  Our sleepovers consisted of watching Duran footage, which including their videos and eventually Sing Blue Silver once VCRs came out.  When our mothers forced us out of the house to go to the grocery store, we went to see what the latest issue of Bop or Tiger Beat had on it.  In some ways, we competed with each other as it was exciting to see who got the newest poster or a paperback book that described the band’s “long” history.  We ate up all of the information we could and tried to outshine the other with who had the band member’s birthdays memorized or who knew the kinds of cars John Taylor liked.  That’s another thing.  We both loved John.  I tried to like Simon for awhile but that didn’t stick.  You might be wondering if that caused a problem for us.  It didn’t.  We were cool about it since it meant that we both had good taste!  We could both *squee* over the same pictures or the same facial expressions he made in the videos.  In this way, we reinforced each other’s fandom. 

In 1985, I moved away from my best friend but my love of Duran stayed.  As the years went by, we still talked (though haven’t for years now) and I remember how bummed I was when she moved away from Duran.  I was shocked when she told me that she had taken her posters down.  I, of course, questioned whether or not, I should do that, too.  I obviously decided against that and the rest is history.  ;D

So, what about the rest of you?  What is your story?  How and when did you become a fan?  Rhonda and I appreciate those people who have already shared their stories but we definitely want to hear more.  Keep ’em coming!

-A

3 thoughts on “How we became fans! Part 2!”

  1. On a Sunday afternoon in 1988, 11 year old me was sitting in my Grandpa's front room listening to his radio when I Don't Want Your Love came on. I thought, this is cool. Unfortunately, I never heard who the artist was and my Grandpa came back so I had to re-position the dial to the classical station.
    5 years later there I am clicking on MTV to the world premiere of the new Duran Duran video Ordinary World, I thought…”they're still around?” Let's just say I was an idiot. And there, standing in front of the tv I was transfixed and never went back. After the video was over, I rushed to my walkman found SF's alternative radio station, which just happened to be playing the song, made my brother listen to it and sang it to myself for the next 24hrs. Can't remember if it was the next day or what, but by the time I got the cassette single in my greedy little hands, I listened to it repeatedly until the album came out. It wasn't until I finally got Decade did I realize that the I Don't Want Your Love guys, were Duran Duran. 🙂

  2. I'm pretty sure it was early 1983 before I had a chance to see the Rio video. That was the one that hooked me. The song was great, but the whole look and feel of the video was mesmerizing. They didn't look or sound like anyone else, and the overall attitude they seemed to have was intriguing. Yes, they looked like they were having fun. Yes, they were impossibly good-looking. Yes, I was toast after I got a good peek at JT. And I must say that the shot of them all on the yacht at the end with Simon at the bow is an image seared in my mind the way guys of my age think of the Phoebe Cates pool scene in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

    After that I looked for anything and everything about them. My sister was just a year younger and we shared a room, and we both fell into Duran together. We did all the 'normal' things like greedily collect magazines and posters, and promptly papered our room with them. The boys covered every one of my school folders. I also had a Duranie friend at school and we used to write fan-fic (though we didn't know it was called that at the time) in a notebook we passed back and forth at study hall. I guess that eventually became novel longth – wonder where it is now? (shudder). Sis and I also haunted a store at the mall called “Two Plus Two” which had all the 12″ singles and all the buttons a girl could want. We baked cupccakes on Simon's birthday (my sister was Simon girl). We had a tape in the VCR queued at all times to record should Duran Duran come on for even a minute. And we screamed every time they did. Eventually we filled 2 3-hour tapes with them – what a treasure that was. My mom let us go to see them on the SBS tour at the Rosemont Horizon (I grew up in the Chicago burbs too!) on the condition that she come with. Two songs into the show, she leaned over and said “That Simon looks like he could really appreciate an older woman”. Ha, I love that. Another of the moments in my young life I will never forget is coming home from church with my whole family in the car a June morning in 1984 when Casey Kasem was on the radio. Just as we turned onto our street he announced that The Reflex was number one. My sister and I screamed so loudly my dad pulled the car over and made us get out. After The Reflex it all exploded even more – it seemed to me people didn't make fun of me quite as much for liking them, at least for a minute. I stuck with them through Power Station and Arcadia and saw them twice on the Strange Behavior tour. That was the summer right before starting college. Once away at school I did take a bit of a hiatus from DD for a few years, but came back to the fold when Decade came out, reminding me of all those good times. Ever since then, I've stayed a loud and proud Duranie.

  3. Hungry Like The Wolf just came out on America Radio. I instantly fell in love with the song. I ended up buying Rio on cassette the next time I went to the store. Every night I would play the A side as I fell asleep for a couple of months. One day I changed it over to the B side and that's when I became a Duranie!!

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