Newcastle show canceled, 2011. Do you remember??

On this date in 2011, some of the longest “waiting” of my life began. Duran Duran was to play the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle that evening, and was the first show to be canceled during the All You Need is Now tour.  Here’s the original announcement from DDHQ:

(from duranduran.com) Singer Simon Le Bon has today been diagnosed with a throat infection that is forcing the band to postpone their Newcastle Arena show that was scheduled for tomorrow, May 18. All fans should hold on to their tickets. Details of the rescheduled date will be forthcoming within the next couple of days.

I can remember hearing about this show being canceled. I can still feel the shock waves that reverberated through my body when my friend called to tell me the bad news that day. Every one of my hairs stood on end and I really didn’t know what to do.

Amanda and I, along with two of our friends, were to fly to the UK to see shows in Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London.  We were leaving in less than 48 hours for what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. I had an afternoon flight from LAX on the 20th and would arrive in London the 21st. I’d meet Amanda and the rest of our friends that day and we booked a car to drive us to Birmingham. We would stay at the Birmingham Malmaison in a very fancy suite that we’d spent a bundle to book, and continue on from there. It was going to be the second time I’d been to the UK, and the first time I’d ever flown outside the country without Walt. For me, the trip was huge.

I stood there by my stairs, listening to my friend rant on and on about what my choices were and whether or not she thought I should still “chance it” and make the trip. All I could do was stand there, bite my nails, and hope it was a one-time thing and that Simon would be fine for the next show, which was in Glasgow the following day.

Of course, it wasn’t. The next day, it was announced that Glasgow would be canceled. I was to leave the very next day, and this was about the time I began to panic.  I think I kind of knew our shows would be canceled, but I held out hope until the following day, literally minutes before I left my house. My bags were packed and I was waiting for my husband to arrive home to take me to LAX so I wouldn’t have to leave my car.  I believe I got a phone call from one of our friends, who alerted me to the latest announcement from Duran Duran, canceling the next three shows….all three of which I was supposed to attend.

I remember thinking about what my options were that day, but my husband quickly quelled any plans I had to stay home. “You’ve already got your plane ticket. You’re going.” I knew he was right. It was a lot to give up, and at the time, there was still that London show. It was possible he’d be able to do that, right? I gathered my things, made my flight and hoped for the best.

As we all know, the entire UK tour was canceled, so no – London didn’t happen. It was months before Simon was in the clear and able to perform again. The trip itself was good, but strange. In some bizarre way, I think going over there and experiencing the cancellation with people who understood how I felt was oddly comforting. Amanda and I tried our best to make the trip fun, and parts of it were. For me personally, the trip was cathartic. I can say that I came back home as a completely different person. A totally different fan.

I’m still annoyingly critical, sarcastic and judgmental. I still make plenty of rookie errors when dealing with the public. But, the love I have for Duran Duran is far, far different now. I think that trip made me see them as humans. Finally. Not every fan wants that. Some want to keep the band on their pedestal as perfect, mystical beings. That’s fine. It just wasn’t the path I wanted. I can’t say it’s helped with my writing or even the blog (I have still upset fans in the past and will likely do so again at some point), but I think maybe the trip gave me a little more perspective.

Later that year, Amanda and I went back, this time seeing shows and experiencing all that a Duran Duran tour in the UK had to offer. The memories from that trip are wonderfully happy and I’m glad I went back. However, the trip that taught me the most was the one that didn’t go as planned. Maybe there’s something to that.

-R

2 thoughts on “Newcastle show canceled, 2011. Do you remember??”

  1. I remember this so well and turned out to be a complete nightmare for me.
    I live in Europe in Germany and bought tickets for 4 UK shows and other European shows.
    When the Glasgow show was cancelled there still was hope that my first show of this tour in Birmingham was going to happen.
    Then Glasgow was cancelled too. My friend Tanja and I checked the DD news several times a day and were really afraid Birmingham would be cancelled too. The day before the Birmingham show everything seemded to be okay before Tanja drove the 200 km from her home to mine. But when she arrived around 8:30 pm I had to tell her the bad news that Birmingham was cancelled too. That was such a sad moment.
    We decided not to fly to Birmingham though we knew we couldn’t get any refunds for our flight and hotel booking. 🙁

    Out next concert of this tour was Berlin (Germany) and everything looked like the show will happen. A friend fo mine had been there the day before the show and met John and Nick at the venue Admiralspalast where they did an interview and he told me about it. So we were in a very good mood. But later that evening we got the info Berlin was cancelled as well.
    As our train and hotel (it was the Adlon Hotel where Duran Duran stayed during the last visit to Berlin) was payed we decided to go to Berlin despite the fact the show was cancelled.
    I had organized a big meet up for the German fans. And a lot of our fellow German Duranies decided the same. So there about 25 other German fans there and it turned out to be a nice afternoon in sunny Berlin.

    The next shows I had planned with my touring partner Michael.
    These were Brighton, Bournemouth and Cardiff.
    We had planned a complete UK holiday around these three shows and had decided to go by car. When we started the trip we only know the show in Brighton was cancelled. But when we left the ferry in Dover (UK), I got a message from Tanja that the whole UK tour cancelled. That was such a sad moment. We tried to enjoy the trip and made a few little changes but that was not really easy.

    During the trip on dd.com was announced the date for the show in Vienna (Austria) in July was changed (another one I bought a ticket for). I had already booked a trip to Vienna for several days because it was also the first time for me to visit Vienna. 🙁

    Later the rest of the European tour was cancelled. The others shows I bought tickets for were Leipzig and Munich. But all the hotels, train tickets and flights were booked. So I decided to go to all these places (it was also my first visit to Leipzig) and called it the Non-Duran-Tour.

    I also visited all the venues Duran Duran wanted to play on that tour and took pictzures. That was quite sad.
    In Munich I met up with some of my Duranie friends who also decided to come to Munich. From Munich I took the train to Vienna and had a really good time. From Vienna I had a flight back home.

    When Duran Duran rescheduled the tour I only saw two UK shows in the end: Birmingham (where I met you to) and Liverpool.
    In 2012 I did Vienna, Munich, Leipzig, Dortmund and Berlin.

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