This is not my day to write for the blog, and I know that. I also am well-aware I should be teaching math right about now to my youngest, who…as I write about Duran Duran fandom…is standing in her bedroom (supposedly getting dressed) and truly belting the song “Last Night in the City”. She’s seven. So there’s that. I figure I’ve got at least another 45-minutes before she wanders out here again, wondering why I haven’t called her “to class.” So I keep writing…
Today started as any other “normal” (I laugh at that word) day in my house. It’s my husband’s birthday, and I have a lot to accomplish before the family gathers tonight to celebrate. I baked a cake at 7am this morning…as one does. But then I decided to check out Facebook and Twitter, and down the rabbit hole I went. I’m glad I did, otherwise I would not have stumbled upon this FANTASTIC fan reaction video that I’m going to share right here – and I insist that you stop whatever it is you’re doing to watch it. RIGHT NOW.
I’ve sat through the video “a few” times now…obviously not so that I can critique her comments, or so that I can accurately assess her Duran Duran fandom. Definitely not. I sat here watching and smiling, and nearly tearing up, because this girl – Sophie – reminds me of myself when I was young. I look nothing like her (she’s way cooler than I was at 17), but she reminds me of that easy youthful way I embraced the band. She reminds me of WHY.
Sometimes Amanda and I take Duran Duran and our fandom incredibly seriously when we shouldn’t. Sometimes that comes with having to deal with all the behind-the-scenes intricacies of owning a blog read by a lot of people. Other times, it comes from over thinking, and still many more times it comes with being self-conscious about how I must look and sound to others. I forget to actually BE a fan, I suppose.
Sophie, on the other hand, hasn’t forgotten. She react in the way that ANY of us might, and she posts it publicly for all to see. In my head and heart, I have to hope and believe that her natural reaction means more to the band than any award – any Grammy, any MTV EMA or Q Award might. The Duran Duran fandom is their legacy, that reaction is what they leave, and will continue leaving, in their wake, and it is beyond beautiful.
Thinking back to the recent shows here in California, I know how I felt and behaved. The “fan girl” still lives and breathes within this heart and mind of mine, rest assured. But there’s something fresh, innocent, and validating about seeing a second generation Duranie (and by all means – she embraces the full meaning of what it is to be a Duranie) have the same natural reaction that I might. I don’t know, for me, watching her reaffirmed how I feel. I wanted to stand up, cheer and HUG her because she gets it, and she shows it to the whole world. I need to bottle some of her enthusiasm for later use.
In addition to Sophie, who I would love to interview (I mean it, Sophie – if you’re reading – send me an email because I would love to chat with you for the blog!), I also stumbled upon two other fantastic blog posts on thesassologist.com that I need to share.
The first is on fan girls. Amusingly enough, I ran upon this blog post just before I saw Sophie’s video. Must be a theme today or something… I don’t know when it started to be a bad thing to BE a fan, but it is apparently especially bad to be a fan girl. The stigma can be horrendous at times, and if we thought it was bad back when we were teenagers, it’s even worse at 45. As an adult, I recognize the girl(s) described in the blog…because I see many of them at the shows I go to. Heck, I think I actually WAS one of those girls at the Agua Caliente show as I stood with my elbows on the stage, marveling at the fact that Nick could see my every reaction and actually smiled in my general direction, or that John was just a few feet from me. Or that Simon was within spitting distance… 😉 So I had to chuckle because the post is written as to remind the adults that it’s OK for teens to fan girl a bit. It’s OK for 45-year olds to fan girl too…we applaud that sort of thing around here.
As an aside, the author of The Sassologist apparently works for Katy Perry’s management team – and it sounds like she must help run the fan forums. She must help to do contests and meet and greets, because she specifically refers to those things in the posts I read. She has a unique vantage point – one that I am completely envious of – because she talks about making people’s dreams come true. I so get that. Amanda and I obviously don’t work for the band, but we definitely do our bit to foster community here, and we want to do more in the coming months and years. More than anything else we do, I love seeing friendships be made because of a party we put together or a convention we planned in order to celebrate being Duran Duran fans. I can’t even imagine how gratifying it might be to run an entire fan community or facilitate contests and things like that on top of what we already do – but I would jump at the opportunity for sure!
The second post is about seeing your favorite artist(s) multiple times. On a personal level, this article hits a home run. I almost cringe when I will mention to my family that I’m going to be traveling or that Amanda is coming to visit, because undoubtedly, the next reactions consist of, “Again? Don’t you get tired of seeing them?” and “Doesn’t it cost you a lot to go to these shows?” To which my answers are always, “Yes.” “No, I don’t get tired because every single show is different, even if they play the same exact set list.” and “Yes. Yes it does cost a lot for me to go, but it’s something I really enjoy doing for myself.”
There is obviously a lot more that goes into my replies to the family, because annoyingly, I feel like I must somehow justify myself. I’ve seen the band something like 34 times now or so. More than some, and a lot less than others. This blog and those duties (like our pre-show parties and meet-ups) aside, if I didn’t love going to see Duran Duran, I wouldn’t go. Every time I see them, it’s different. They play the same basic set list each show for the most part, even if the songs are in slightly different order – but anyone who has ever gone to more than one show on a tour knows that every show is different. The audiences are different, venues change, cities change…and the fans who go to the shows change. But I like going, and although I’ve commented here that the travel is kicking my ass (and it does tend to do that), I still love going. The expense is more problematic for me right now, but there is still so much I want to see happen with Daily Duranie. We’re working to create a community by doing these fan events before the shows, writing blogs, running contests and even planning conventions. I need to do whatever I can to keep that momentum going. My family doesn’t really understand.
That’s the beauty of this wonderful community-at-large, we DO understand one another….as these videos and articles I’ve shared prove. I appreciate being able to smile my way into another weekend as I continue thinking about what it really means to be a fan. Excuse me for butting into Amanda’s blogging days, as I steer myself back to the task at hand: teaching math to my youngest!