After the convention in late 2004, I saw these new friends of mine (ha again!) traveling to go to shows. This was SO new to me! I never knew that people would travel (by plane!) to go to concerts. It seemed to me that they couldn’t get enough Duran. Not only were they traveling to shows, but they were posting all the time on the board, posting pictures, discussing the latest news and more. They continued to travel in 2005 to see more shows. In fact, they traveled to where I was and to shows I was planning on attending. The excitement on their part was catching and increased mine. Truly, Duran fever was high with these friends in 2005. As I shared in their excitement, their experiences, our friendship grew at the same time. By this point, this group had welcomed me with open arms on that message board where we first “met”. By the end of 2005, we had (along with a bunch of other people) traveled to Vegas to hang out and to see Duran at the Andre Agassi charity event there in October. I assumed that life would go on like this forever. We would all continue to have Duran fever and would remain friends forever. In 2006, I even spent my spring break going to visit one of these friends. Yet…as we all know, fevers break and things don’t remain the same forever.
For these friends, their Duran fever didn’t last. There are a variety of reasons why anyone’s fandom decreases in intensity or burns out. It happens. It could be that the interest changes so much that the person is no longer interested. It could be that other events in one’s personal life becomes the main focus. It could be that something negative happened either with the celebrity or with other fans. Sometimes, the fandom flame burns bright only in order to get something accomplished (like see the original Fab Five perform live). Whatever caused these particular friends to lose that excitement over Duran isn’t the point of the story. The key here is that while they still like a lot of Duran, they aren’t really participating in any way in the fan community. They aren’t posting on message boards or any other social networking platform to talk about Duran. They aren’t excited like they once were.
Despite not being a participate in the fan community in the way that they once did, they are planning on coming to the convention. Why? Yes, they still like Duran but that isn’t enough to get people to travel, to get people to spend money. I like lots of things. I like Depeche Mode, for example. I’m not going to travel to go to any Depeche convention. I wouldn’t spend the money on it. So, if the topic alone isn’t pushing them there, what is? It is simple. It is about the connection we made. It is about the friendships that we created and maintained. Obviously, our friendship isn’t about Duran Duran. Our friendship grew from that initial interest. Here’s the thing that I truly do believe. Long after Duran stops making albums or touring (which I know that no one wants to think about or wants to have happen ever but being realistic…), what will last, what will remain are the memories, the friendships. Friendships and memories happen at things like conventions.
As for these particular friends, I’m thrilled that they are coming! I can’t wait to see them! I also can’t wait to see my other friends or to meet the people I have yet to meet but will call friends after.