First, most people mentioned a specific song or video that did it for them, usually one heard on the radio. This song or video grabbed attention and demanded that the listener/viewer ask for more. Many fans then went ahead and searched out other songs/videos/albums. While I’m not surprised by this, I have to admit to being pleased by it. It seems to me that we became fans, that we became Duranies because of the MUSIC. While this seems obvious, it just reminds me that we genuinely liked their music. It wasn’t that we saw their pictures on the cover of a magazine that made us fans or even heard an interview on an entertainment show. It was the music. Perhaps, this is the reason that we have all stayed. We will look at that next week.
Second, most people talked about the videos and how they often reinforced their interest. Many people talked about how they fell for the fantasies they provided, the escape from their dull lives. We, too, wanted to travel to exotic locations and have James Bond like adventures. At this point, people did mention the good looks of the individual band members. It seems that their attractiveness just added to their appeal but it wasn’t the only thing, which is not what music critics thought then. Everyone assumed that we became fans because the boys were cute. Yet, based on this, that is completely untrue (not that we didn’t know that before!). While on the topic of videos, a number of people mentioned watching MTV and Friday Night Videos. These video shows as well as listening to the radio are no longer common means of kids finding music. As a child of the ’80s, I can’t help but feel sorry for kids these days.
Of course, as people dived into fandom, most began to buy teen magazines that featured Duran and put up posters in their room. They often bought strange merchandise like school folders. I know that both Rhonda and I had Duran pajamas. That’s how cool we were! We began to show our fandom openly with our posters or with the buttons on our jeans jackets. We were proud to be Duranies and it seemed that we wanted everyone to know!
The last common theme that most people talked about was that emotional piece. For some people, being a Duranie connected them to friends or family. It was something that was shared. It was a part of important relationships. For others, the music provided an escape from unhappy or tough situations. The music and the videos took them away from reality even if it was just a few minutes at a time and this escape could be essential to surviving, emotionally.
I’m sure that every fandom has themes like ours. Duranies seem to share common experiences in terms of listening to the radio, watching videos and having an emotional connection to what we heard. These common experiences have led us all to be the Duranies we are today.