If I go back in time to 1985, I was 10 years old but, like many of us, was a huge Duranie! My best friend, at the time, and I watched Duran videos all the time and squeed over pictures of John Taylor in magazines like Bop and Tiger Beat. I was, generally, a happy kid at that time. Yet, there was a huge black cloud on the horizon. My family was in the process of moving. We didn’t move that far–about an hour away from where we were but it was like moving from one world to a totally different world. When I became a Duranie, I was living in the Chicago suburbs. I had access to Top 40 radio that played Duran all the time despite constantly making fun of them and I had access to MTV. While Duran wasn’t super popular in my elementary school (Michael Jackson was king in my neighborhood!), there were enough Duranies around that I felt safe. That all changed when I moved to a small town. More to the point, this place didn’t have Top 40 radio and didn’t have MTV. I felt like I had gone back in time!
On July 13, 1985, my family, including myself, was doing what we always did on weekends that summer, which was to drive to the new house to take boxes and other items that needed to be moved. My dad was already living there as he was working in the area so he needed supplies. Plus, it would make the big move easier, or so went the theory. I so protested this trip. I, obviously, wanted to be watching Live Aid. Why couldn’t I stay at my friend’s house? I asked my mother over and over again. The response I got was simple: I had to help the family. I rolled my eyes, grumbled to myself and felt like I had lost a friend. It was like an additional kick to the gut. I couldn’t even watch for Duran!
Interestingly enough, we got back “home” right before Power Station came on! I didn’t miss them, after all! I was still upset about being forced to help make this move that I desperately didn’t want to happen, though. I remember my parents getting Chinese for dinner and I refused to move from the TV, in case Duran came on. For some reason, my parents didn’t force me away from the screen. I don’t even think I ate dinner that night. I think I kept thinking that Duran would make me feel better, but they didn’t. I almost felt worse after they came on. I don’t know why. I could say that I had a sense that something wasn’t right but I doubt it. My kid brain wouldn’t have been able to move beyond my own thoughts, life, problems. I probably didn’t even notice Simon’s bum note!
A little over a month later, the big and final move took place. That, of course, is another day that I’ll never forget in my life. I was walking around outside when a neighbor girl rode her bike up to me, which was actually very nice. We started talking and, of course, I asked her if she liked Duran. Her response, “Who?” She had never heard of them. The kids in the neighborhood spent most of their time making and playing game outside or riding their bikes. They weren’t glued to MTV like I had been. Now, I can understand how both cultures (and that’s what they were) had their positives and negatives but as a kid, I couldn’t see it. I missed my best friend and listening to the radio. I think, at that point, my Duranie-ness grew. I held on to it for dear life. As summer turned into fall, I tried to make friends but that didn’t go well. Neither side wanted to learn about the other person’s interests. No one wanted to learn about Duran, which I totally couldn’t understand. Soon enough, this divide between me and my new classmates grew and turned ugly as they found out that I was a religious minority in a small town in which everyone was the same religion (or so it seemed). The kids used this along with the fact that I wore a lot of black and red along with my black rubber bracelets (I wonder who else was dressing this way in 1985? Hmm…could it be…John Taylor?!) to make fun of me pretty frequently.
By 1986, I was pretty lonely as I didn’t have a lot of friends in my new town and my best friend from home had decided that Duran was done. By now, we knew that Roger and Andy left the band. It seemed to me that my feelings of dread on Live Aid were justified. Going back to the original analogy of how Live Aid was a turning point, it definitely was. It was for me and for the band. On July 13th, 1985, no one really knew what exactly was going to happen, but what did happen was significant. My life was changed and the band member’s lives changed, too. Thus, not a year goes by that I don’t remember that fateful day. I’m relieved I made it through this not-so-happy time in my life and I am so glad that the band was able to go on as well.
What about the rest of you? Is this a fateful day for you? Are there other days in Duran history that have personal meaning? I love to hear your stories!