The Paper Gods tour has been fun so far, particularly since I was able to attend shows. I’m looking forward to covering as much of it as we can along the way. That said, I have found very little to really write about lately.
Today, however, my attention was drawn to the Sunday evening show in Vancouver. Simon apparently addressed the crowd, saying hello to the city, but he didn’t stop there. He commented that the city is different from the US, because it ISN’T the US – and for that, the band is grateful.
Here’s the thing: I love Duran Duran. But sometimes, they are truly knuckleheads. I’m not afraid to say that, which is probably one reason why I’m not employed by the band. I’m sure that Simon was just being Simon, and that the words came out of his mouth before he realized what he was saying, but that didn’t stop the groans from the audience.
For the geographically challenged amongst us (and I count myself in that group as I needed to Google it): Rogers Arena in Vancouver isn’t far from the US border – only just under 31 miles. I’m sure there were a fair number of Americans in the audience that night.
When statements come out like that, here is what many, including myself, might hear: We don’t mind America. We like taking their money, actually. That said, we’re not really fond of it, even though once we made it there, we were on top of the world.
I’m the first one to stand and say I’ve been caught chewing on my foot more times than I can count. Sometimes I just trip over my words on the way out, realizing that I’ve likely said something offensive and yet I just keep going, because if I’m going to fuck it up, I’m going to do it royally. And you know, I could give Simon a pass on this too. Like I said, I’ve done similar. Many, many times.
After a while though, one starts to wonder how the band really feels.
It’s a sticky topic. On one hand, I tend to take what Simon says at a show with a grain of salt. He was just trying to welcome the crowd and say something funny. On the other, I know for sure that there were Americans in that audience that didn’t find it amusing. Some were offended, because they’ve openly tweeted as such. How would I have felt if I had been there?
How many legs of this tour have been spent here in America? Just how many shows have they done here this time, and how much time has been spent elsewhere thus far? Yet, he went ahead and put down the country that has shown up in amazing numbers to see them play. It’s just bad even if it was a joke, and unfortunate if the wording just didn’t come out right (which is my guess).
Look, I know America isn’t perfect, and I’d have to be living in a hole not to recognize that to the rest of the world, our politics seem irrational at best right now. (I LIVE here and it IS irrational, just saying) I can also make fun of the place I was born and raised because it is my home. We all see the cracks in the pavement, don’t we?
I think that at least for me, it is the idea that the band I have adored since childhood doesn’t seem to love where I live much when things are said that way. It stings a bit. As an American fan, I hope they at least like being here. I also hope they like us as people, especially given the sheer length of time we’ve supported the band. It matters, and yet I know in my head that Simon could not have meant it the way it came out. I have to hope not. It’s never a good feeling when one starts considering that perhaps it all just comes down to money. Yes, it is a business for them. For fans though, it is so much deeper.