Was It Worth It?

I am starting this blog from the airport.  I should be leaving in less than 2 hours now and be back in America in less than 10.  I know that one of the big questions that I will receive from family, friends, and family is the one that I posed as the title to this blog.  Was it worth it?  Was the trip worth the cost?  Was it worth the time and energy spent planning?  Was it worth the horribly long and expensive plane rides?  What about the time away from work, especially since I didn’t see any shows?  The answer is unquestionably yes.  Yes, it was.

Much of what I will say here make not make sense to people who are not in my shoes.  I will do the best to explain why I think what I do.  I guess that is the challenge of writing–being able to convey in words what you are thinking and feeling so that others can understand.  Anyway, last night my personal facebook status read:  “Ready to go home and feel as close to Duran as ever,” or something like that.  I still feel that way despite not seeing any show.  So how come I feel this way?  There are many reasons, really.  Some I will mention here and others will be kept private because they are too personal.

First, this was my first time in England.  Since the age of 8, I have wanted to go.  The reason is obvious:  Duran Duran is from England.  Any place that produces a band as cool as that has to be quite fabulous, right?!   Of course, I really believed that I would never get there.  My family didn’t travel much as a kid and when we did, we didn’t go anywhere as glamorous as overseas.  Michigan was a common choice, for example.  Now, that I have been lucky enough to see it and get a real sense of a country and a real sense as to the background of my favorite band.  Rhonda already talked fondly about our visit to Birmingham but I want to reiterate how meaningful it was to us.  I know that I have heard not-so-great things about the city but I really liked it.  The nightlife alone made it fun.  I miss clubbing as I used to go out frequently when I was younger.  I would have loved to have been in a city with as many clubs as that city does.  Is the city perfect?  Clearly, it is not.  It definitely seems like some places have been fixed up and others neglected.  Nonetheless, it gave me an insight to the band and really, really understand that the band didn’t start with much at all.   This enhances my appreciation for them because it is clear that they had to work really hard to be successful.

Second, I really enjoyed meeting other fans.  Once again, I have to say that everyone I met was SO nice to us.  People have mentioned that we have handled this situation well.  If that is true, part of it is due to the fact that everyone has been so sweet to us.  If it wasn’t for them, I swear that Rhonda and I would not have been able to have been able to deal.  Instead of getting salt poured in the wound, we got some band-aids and pain killers.  Beyond this, I learned some things from meeting Duranies from not only the UK, but also from Italy, Finland, Denmark, Argentina and more.  I learned that, for most part, Duranies are really pretty similar when it comes to how we express our fandom.  All Duranies seem proud to wear Duran t-shirts or jewelry.  All Duranies express disappointment with the canceled shows and excitement over hearing any Duran song.  It also seems like Duranies do bond over their common interest and develop strong friendships in the process. 

Third, it seems to me that the theme of “All You Need Is Now” is as important as ever.  When Rhonda and I decided to go on this trip, part of the reason is because we decided to really live this tour up because we both recognized that we can’t worry about what has been done and can’t focus on an uncertain future.  Thus, we looked at our dream to go see Duran in their home country and went for it.  It wasn’t wrong to do that.  The fact that Simon isn’t doing well is all the more reason to go for it, when he comes back.  I think both Rhonda and I will seriously consider going back when these shows get rescheduled because we have to live in the now.  The now might be all we have.  I don’t want to regret having this chance and not going through with it.  That said, I also plan on savoring every moment of every show I get to see from here on.  Speaking of touring, I think it is safe to say that Rhonda and I have also learned more about how to tour well.  We went on our first tour together in 2005 and since that time, we have slowly perfected touring.  Was this one perfect?  Absolutely not but we did learn from it and the next tour will be better because of what we learned.  🙂

Now, I will try to get myself back on US time and get ready for work on Tuesday.  I will also be watching for good news about Simon’s progress and for rescheduled dates.  Our blog will continue and we will be focused on finishing the book.  I’m feeling like a pretty motivated Duranie after this trip.  🙂

-A

   

Powerless

John Taylor posted a new blog today over at dd.com. If you haven’t read it, I suggest that you do. If you have read it, read it again. He expresses so much of what I am thinking and feeling. Of course, many people have read it and just appreciate the explanation of what is going on. I can understand that but what I appreciate more is John’s feelings that so clearly come through. It isn’t just about the facts for me. He summarizes so well what he and the rest of the guys must be going through. He also summarizes what many of us fans are feeling.

He explains very well how powerless he is with Simon’s ongoing voice problems. He can’t do anything to fix it and really no one can. Yes, Simon is seeing specialists and doing what he is directed to do by his doctors. Of course. Yet, even with that, Simon nor his doctors have any control with this. We would all like to fix it. In fact, I have heard many, many, many fans offer to give their vocal cords if it would mean that Simon would be able to sing. The other thing about Simon that John explained so beautifully is that he is the voice of the band and irreplaceable. Would it really be Duran Duran without Simon? I don’t think so. Even I, who has given Simon a hard time or two, would never want to lose him. Again, many people have suggested having John sing. I believe that most, if not all, of those people are joking. Everyone wants Simon to be able to sing, especially Simon and the rest of the band.

I can’t imagine what Simon and the rest of the guys are going through right away. They know that people are disappointed. They have to deal with everything involving canceling a show as there are many people needed to make for a successful show. I can’t imagine how horrible that must feel. I’m sure that they also know that there are many, many, many fans who are criticizing how they have handled the situation. I, personally, have heard fans say how “angry” they are about the whole thing. That must feel like people are pouring salt into an open wound. Aren’t we, as fans, suppose to be offering support, ESPECIALLY at times like these? Or is our love for them, conditional? Is it about them as HUMANS or only about what they can give us? If it is the latter, I can tell you that I’m uncomfortable with this. They are humans who have feelings. John clearly expressed his level of fear and a fear that I don’t blame him for and share.

This is the reality here. No one really knows how long this will take for Simon to get better. He is powerless. The band is powerless. We are powerless. The truth is that it may not ever be the same again. Like John, I’m struggling with the fear. To me, this goes way beyond 4 shows and a big trip to the UK. This is my favorite band. More than that, this is something that I have loved for decades! What else can I say that about? This is also my escape from reality and part of a large dream I have in seeing the book through all way to being published. I can’t imagine a world without Duran Duran. I can’t.

For now, all I can do is continue to offer my support to the band that I love and hope that Simon does get better, and as quickly as possible. To me, it is the best and only thing I can do as a fan. I won’t be complaining that the band hasn’t handled it well because I don’t agree and I don’t think that helps anyone. In fact, it hurts.

-A

Filled with Emotion

This blog post is going to be rather short–not because I don’t have anything to say but because I have too much to say and not enough time to do it. Plus, as the title suggests, I’m feeling SO much. Normally, writing helps me process my feelings but I’m not ready to do that.

By now, most of you have heard that Duran had to postpone their show for tomorrow night at London’s O2. This was our last hope of seeing a concert here in the UK. How am I feeling about it? I am feeling many things but I will tell you what I am not feeling. While I have feelings of anger, it is definitely NOT directed at the band but at the unfortunate, no-win for anyone situation. Now, many of you–maybe even most of you are thinking that I’m delusional for believing that the band DOES feel badly about this but I do. Maybe I need to feel this way. Yet, I can’t help for how I’m feeling and I won’t apologize for it. I also don’t want to hear or read other people’s negative reactions toward the band. It is fine if someone does not agree with me about the band and this situation. It is also fine if I don’t want to hear about it. It doesn’t help me deal and it doesn’t help me feel better. It is what it is. The show has been postponed and being angry at the band won’t change anything.

Now, I have to get ready quickly as we are heading out to meet a bunch of other Duranies at a meet up we planned with Kitty from Gimme a Wristband. As of the last look at our event page on Facebook, it seems like it will be a decent crowd and I’m excited to meet people. Even without shows, we have a lot to celebrate. We share a common love over a band that has been in many of our lives for decades. It is a common bond that is worth celebrating. Both the love and the bond allows most of us Duranies to continue on in our fandom through both thick and thin. Right now, it is tough for all of us–those who are missing shows and those who aren’t as we all begin to worry about the future of Duran. Yet, we can survive it TOGETHER.

-A

What are black, red & WET like drowned rats??

That would be the Daily Duranies today!! (we were wearing black coats, Amanda’s hair is red…and yes, we were soaking wet)

Today was a better day. We met up with a fellow Duranie for some coffee and snacks, and then did a tour of some Duran Duran related things in the London area. We traveled by tube, bus (I lost my travel card because I’m awesome like that….) and walked. Again. 🙂 (If I don’t come home 5 pounds lighter from this trip I will be shocked!) As we walked closer to each Duran related site, it was as if we were angering the gods, because the sky would grumble, open up, and pour. At first, I was not amused. Where I am from, rain is an occasional thing – and something you stay inside to view. Frolicking in the rain is not my idea of a good time, and especially not here in London where my house is a good 11 hour plane ride away. As we would walk away from each site, the rain would stop and it would even get sunny. Then I’d put away my umbrella, and sure enough it’d start raining again. It did get funny after a while, and admittedly, I finally stopped caring about my hair getting wet, unruly and wavy.

At our last stop, which happened to be the cemetery where Nick walked around in the AYNIN video, the heavens completely opened up and it started pouring. My little striped umbrella was no match for either the wind OR the hail that went along with this storm, so we ran and sought refuge in some sort of mausoleum type structure while it hailed and thundered. I have to say, it’s the first time I’ve ever really walked in a cemetery, much less one with as ornate of headstones as this….and most certainly not in the rain. Regardless, we did get some pictures, and at some point when I’m less concerned about how I look to the rest of the viewing planet, we’ll post ’em. 🙂

In case anyone is wondering, yes – I’m still hoping for that O2 show. It would be really nice to end our trip on that kind of a positive note, so we’re hoping for the best! In case someone from the band is reading (don’t I wish!), 4th row…Dom’s side…look for the screaming and probably crying crazy women. It’s been a very long road to get here, that is for sure. *crosses fingers*

Since this is my last blog while I’m here in the UK (next time you read something from me I’ll be well into my jet lag at home), I wanted to give you all a few observations:

* Whenever planning a big trip, it’s a good idea to have a back up plan. Just in case!

* The UK Duranies are among the nicest people I’ve met in the community so far. They have all been VERY kind, supportive, thoughtful and willing to include us. You girls know who you are, so I won’t mention names here, just to protect the innocent and otherwise! We owe ALL of you, and any time you come to California – look me up!

* I have never been to a city as busy as London. I live near Los Angeles, and we’ve got nothing on London. They always seem to be running twice as fast as I am, and yet they all seem calm, cool and collected, whereas I look like, well…a foreigner! 🙂

* The tube is the greatest invention ever.

* The Reflex Club is a great place to gain a sense of humor about the 80’s, and it’s not a bad way to spend time with friends, either. The name is the icing on the cake.

* One of the best sights I’ve seen on this trip (prior to seeing Duran Duran on the stage at O2 – which has GOT to happen!!!!) is watching people handle the news that the tube line they needed to travel on had severe delays. The entire platform was completely jammed with people (they had to close the platform due to the traffic), and yet all they did was get into very neat lines, pull out a book or reading material, and start reading. The platform was almost completely silent. If this happened in LA – well, as I told Amanda – it would be enough to cause a riot. People in London really do take the saying “Keep Calm and Carry On” to heart.

* Pubs, while a lot of fun, do not cater to vegetarians well.

* I love Strongbow cider. And Stella. 😀

* Volcanos can sometimes be a nuisance, and if they’re going to erupt – I wouldn’t mind it if it grounded me for a couple extra days so that I might get in a couple more shows. Shhh…don’t tell my husband! *wink wink*

While it is true that I am looking forward to tomorrow night’s meet up at The Reflex club, and hoping like crazy that Saturday’s show happens, I am also looking forward to getting home. I miss my family. 9 days is a long time to be away, and while I don’t regret one single second of this trip, it’s always good to go home. This trip didn’t turn out anything like I had expected, yet I think it’s been a very good lesson. I guess Amanda and I could have gotten very angry, and we could have used the blog to convey messages about the band – but you know, what good would it really end up doing? I know there’s been a lot of discussion about whether it’s really true that Simon is ill, or why Berlin was really postponed and so forth. Does it really matter in the end? The shows are still postponed. I still have tickets to the shows I wanted to see. The band is still planning to reschedule those shows. Shit happens. A lot of people feel they could have handled it differently. I have to ask, as someone directly impacted by all of it – how? If they had canceled it all right away, that would have given them absolutely NO chance to play. That’s a lot of lost revenue on their end, and a lot of dashed hopes on ours. If they wait until the last minute, yes – it’s harder to change plans, but it does give them time to see if whomever is ill will get better or so forth. As far as an open line of communication goes – haven’t they been up front?!? It’s not up to me to decide if they are telling the truth, and I don’t know why it would be of concern to anyone else. The end result is still the same. Shows are postponed. Personally I feel like they’ve done a very good and fair job of being up front about everything. No, it hasn’t gone as I’d hoped, but I guess I figure that everyone goes through a time where shows are canceled/postponed or whatever – and this was just my turn. Next time, should I be so lucky to have a next time, maybe it’ll go my way.

Until then, I’m off to enjoy a Thursday night in London! See you all next week from the US!

-R

The Wall

Hello Duran fans. I think I have hit my “wall” today. To begin with, I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve been on a 3 day bender (ok, maybe a 5 day), walked 400 miles, and have been beaten until I fall down, picked back up, then beaten again. It’s all a bit much.

As an attempt to make this blog sound more positive than I am really feeling at the moment – I’ll tell you about our day. We checked into our London hotel this morning, and then went to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian. Yeah, that probably sounds boring. The thing is – I had to go out of curiosity! It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in London, it was warm, there was very little wind (since we’ve been here it’s been so windy that I am actually nursing a windburn on my face!) and the sky was blue. The Royal Observatory and Prime Meridian spot are up on a hill across the Thames from Central London, and it’s a great place for not only checking your watch *grins*, but to also sit down on the grass and watch the afternoon go by. London actually looks peaceful from there, and if you’ve ever been to London, you realize just how impossible that seems. So, after we’d dutifully checked out the observatory and took pictures of our feet on either side of the Prime Meridian, we began to walk back to the tube station. As we were wandering back down the hill (and my legs are paying for that long walk up and down the hill!), there was a kid pestering some birds nearby. I noticed, but kept on walking. The next thing I know, Amanda says “Oh…OH…!!!” and I look up to see these same birds headed right for us, as in “we’d better duck or else we’re about to be smacked in the face by birds!” Luckily, the birds were able to get over our heads just in time, and then we started laughing so hard I thought I was going to fall over. I don’t think we stopped laughing about that for hours, and even now as I’m typing, I’m giggling. Yes, jet lag does funny things to my sense of humor I guess.

So once we recovered, we headed to the O2 in order to see the British Music Experience exhibit. I was also curious about this because I couldn’t quite understand how one venue could house not only a very large arena, but also many restaurants, a nightclub or two, AND a museum. The O2 looks like a giant birthday cake, complete with candles on top from afar (no decorations on the cake though) – I guess it’s a big tent?? Anyway, it really does have all of that on the inside and it’s pretty amazing! Tonight Rush was having a concert, which explains why there were literally thousands of men stampeding from the North Greenwich tube station to the doors of the O2. No really, it’s true – Amanda and I had to run and grab a seat on a bench before we were trampled! We made it to the BME, and once inside we made a beeline for the New Romantic period. After all, isn’t that the period that really matters??? 😀 Each era has it’s own smallish room with several exhibit windows and a giant screen that plays news bytes on various happenings in music. Naturally, we all know who was included in the New Romantic period, but I wasn’t prepared for what would await me in the exhibit window. There in the window stood not only a pristine copy of the bands first album, but also the blue Anthony Price suit that Roger wore in the Rio video. It’s not normal that I react with more than a passing interest in such things – but this was Roger’s suit. I stood in front of that window for the longest time, and yet I really am not sure what else was IN the case besides that suit. I couldn’t get over how much different the suit looks in person than it did on film. I mean yeah, I knew it was a silk suit (mainly because the band had always said so in interviews regarding the video), but standing up close to it you could really SEE that it was silk. It was perfectly pressed, still a brilliant blue color…and yes, I even got a little misty-eyed when I looked at it. Stupid reaction, but I think it just made me remember how both Amanda and I came over here for shows…and there is an extremely good likelyhood that we’ll leave without having seen even one of them. The rest of the exhibit was very good, a little on the cheesy side for my taste, but I liked all of the memorabilia. (oh and yes, we did go back and view ALL of the different eras. We just started with the best!!)

We came back to our room tonight feeling both excited about the possibility of seeing the O2 show as well as knowing that it might feel a little bittersweet since it’ll be our own and only show. Then we logged on to find that once again, fans hopes are being dashed. This time in Berlin, as tomorrow nights show there is being postponed. It’s getting to be a bit much, even for me. No, it’s no ones fault – I realize that, but it is only fair to expect to read and hear disappointment, and even anger at this point. Let’s face it, there are a good many people who are traveling for these gigs because they LOVE this band. Some have traveled much farther than I have, I am sure – and for them, I feel horrible. We’d talked about going to Berlin, but the simple truth is that I didn’t want to risk it. It’s a trek from London, and so far – the band’s track record for this tour has been, well….not good. Like it or not, it makes people think more than twice about traveling. I’ve had it pointed out to me that my tickets are still good for the reschedule, so I shouldn’t be mad. Um, I’m sorry – but for many of us here in the “real” world, we can’t afford to fly all over the world at the drop of a hat. I’m not mad though, just very disappointed. It’s not easy to maintain a positive outlook when show after show is being canceled, no matter the reason. I have had fun this week, no doubt about that, and I’m not going to stop being a fan or condemn the band forever – I just want to be able to see the shows that I paid to see. It’s a reasonable hope.

So, with that I must add that August is a good time for rescheduling shows (yes, that’s a HINT to the band!), and I hope we hear the specific dates soon. I really don’t know what my chances are of being able to return, and it’s likely that tomorrow I will wake up with more resolve to come back than I have right now. I just know that the more time I have in order to plan the better my chances will be, so I’m hoping for the best, and yes – right now it’s all about me, people. (Not even close and I know that!) I also hope that Simon gets better, and stays well. No one wants him to be so sick that he is unable to perform or worse yet that the entire tour has to be canceled – so I just hope he gets well and stays healthy, along with the rest of the band.

Tomorrow brings a new day of adventures…possibly Camden Market, perhaps a trip out to see some fascinating things in a nearby town…and hopefully some better news from the band! -R

Back to the Beginning

Do you know what is the best thing about today? Today is Tuesday, and as such – it is the first day since I arrived in the UK where I am not missing out on a show. I don’t know what the date is, I have almost no idea what time of day it is, but I can definitely tell you that I’m not missing a show! That’s progress! 🙂

It has been a long, strange trip thus far, mostly in good ways. Yeah, we’ve missed out on 3 of the reasons we came to the UK, but we’ve also had opportunities to meet new friends, enjoy time on our own (I can actually sleep in, read a book and have almost uninterrupted thought processes! it’s a miracle!), and enjoy some adventure.

As you all know from reading yesterday’s blog (have you read it yet?!?), we’ve had some difficulty getting online. I’m here to tell you, Mr. John Taylor – that you are not the only one addicted to Twitter and/or Facebook. I’ve been twitching since about Monday morning London-time without internet access, and by tonight I was downright getting grizzly without it. Thankfully though, we’ve found a trusty pub with WiFi!!(I am considering moving right in!) and we’ve opened a tab for the evening. *big smile here*

The title of today’s blog says it all, really. We’re back to the beginning here in so many ways. To begin with for Daily Duranie, we’ve come to the country where Duran Duran started. On Saturday night, we stayed in Birmingham. Then on Sunday, we toured Birmingham. The theme of the walking tour was of course, Duran Duran. We were able to see where the Rum Runner once stood, Birmingham City University (what Birmingham Polytechnic came to be), the street where the band stayed at the Cheapside Squat, Broad Street, we saw where Barbarella’s once stood, and most importantly, we walked the streets where the band likely walked and got a good sense of where they came from. I must add there was a LONG list of other places Amanda researched that we weren’t even able to get to that day!(let’s just say we spent a fair amount of time getting lost and taking wrong turns, but we kind of know Birmingham now!) After the day was said and done, I had to admit that while I had misgivings about actually walking Birmingham and taking the walking tour that Amanda had designed – I am so glad we did it. Coming from the US, it’s very hard to recognize what the band is talking about when they describe Birmingham. Prior to arriving here, I had no insight about where the band came from. I know California like the back of my hand, but I’d only been to England once prior – and it certainly wasn’t to do the “Duran Duran tour”! Walking those streets gave me a small peak behind the scenes and into their past, and it’s a day I won’t soon forget. One thing that struck me were the sheer amount of clubs in Birmingham – I swear they must have more clubs per capita than anywhere I’ve EVER seen!! I don’t know if that was the case back when the band was young, but if so I am envious! Ever been to Glendora, CA?? (I doubt it) Let me tell you, no clubs. NONE.

No, we’ve had no shows since we got here. Yes, our original plan has been all but obliterated by laryngitis. That said, our trip has still been wonderful in almost every way. I want everyone to know that, and believe it. Amanda and I have tried to wake up each morning and embrace what we have, and honestly – try to forget what we’ve lost. The fact is, we can’t control what goes on with the band.(as much as I’d really like a crack at trying sometimes!!! :D) Yes, we’ve both come really, really far – and had to give up quite a lot to be here. Who hasn’t? We know we’re no different than anyone else, we just have an insane need to broadcast our opinions. The truth is, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. (apologies to my husband – I know I promised never again. How about never again after NEXT time?) I want that chance to see the band in Birmingham, and now I own a ticket to do so, should I be so lucky as to see them announce a rescheduled date. So yes, you can bet I will be trying my best – selling body parts to science if necessary – in order to get back over here to see them play. However, since that doesn’t appear to be in the cards for this time, we are laughing, learning to love several different brands of cider, enjoying the pub life (honestly, I’m going to open one of these at home in my retirement!!), meeting new people and still watching over the band from afar as much as we are able.

We are still very much looking forward our meet up on Friday night at The Reflex in London. As I read today – it sounds like we have a LOT to celebrate! Read on!

The very first thing we did upon getting an internet connection tonight, we checked for any news about the shows. We knew the chances of O2 happening were slim, but we held out hope! Duran Duran announced that they are going to be able to do the Berlin show on Thursday, and then come back to do O2 on Saturday night. I think that both Amanda and I will have a very difficult time to hold back the tears that night. It’s been a very long road, and we are so, so thrilled that Simon is well enough to perform. It will be the perfect end to our trip – and with 3rd row seats on Dom’s side, I’m thinking that’s going to be the icing on the cake!

Hear this, Duran Duran – we’re not through with you just yet. If there is any way possible, Amanda and I are coming back here, should you reschedule our shows. We know you’ve said that you’re planning to do so, and we’re crossing our fingers and toes in hopes that it’s really possible. Those tickets are in our hot little hands, and we’re not letting them go.

…and next time, no one had better be sick! 🙂

-R

Making Lemonade!

Hello! It has been quiet on the Daily Duranie front! We are doing well hanging in the UK despite not having shows. We haven’t always had internet access, which explains why we didn’t blog yesterday. On Saturday night, we met up with some wonderful Duranies at a bar in Birmingham to begin our night. We exchanged stories and discussed reactions and information regarding the cancelled shows. It felt like a typical Duranie meet up in that it was super nice to put names with faces as well as to share the love for the boys.

After the bar, we moved across the street to the club, Reflex, to have a few more drinks and to dance to some Duran tunes as well as other 80s bands. I have to admit that there was a moment when I realized that I was there in Birmingham, their home town, dancing to Planet Earth with a bunch of Duranies! How cool is that?! Of course, we also heard about the volcano erupting in Iceland at that bar and laughed and laughed as Rhonda and I thought that we might be stuck here! We thought, perhaps, that we would get our 4 shows after all!!! Anyway, after Planet Earth, we also had a chance to dance to All She Wants Is, Girls on Film, and the Reflex. Based on this, we are really looking forward to the meet up at the London club Reflex!

Around 10:30, we headed over to the Only After Dark event. We thoroughly enjoyed the music there! Rhonda commented about how it reminded her of a club she used to go to. I also declared that this is a big, fat reminder of our most music now sucks. We danced and danced and even reached up for the sunrise when they played that song. We didn’t stay as long as we would have wanted because we were super tired (didn’t sleep much on the plane…not to mention the time change) but were impressed that Birmingham has so much of a nightlife. My city doesn’t have that kind of active nightlife. Now, the next day, we saw Birmingham by day…but that’s a topic for another blog post.

Until then, we will enjoy a cider or three while we wait on pins and needles to hear about the Berlin show and London. I keep telling Rhonda that we should consider heading to Berlin if the band ends up playing it…Thus, as a commenter said, we should have an adventure and make lemonade out of lemons. Clearly, we are doing a decent job, right?!

-A

No Shows…Now What???

The other day when Rhonda and I were discussing the possibility of having the shows cancelled on us, we thought we knew exactly how we would feel and exactly what we would do. Rhonda, in fact, had predicted that we would find out that Birmingham, Nottingham, and Liverpool would all be cancelled and that we would find out on the way to the airport and guess what? She was absolutely right. I no sooner got in my car when the phone rang and it was my partner-in-crime. I knew the call could be about 1 of 3 things. It could be that she was calling to tell me the good news that Simon was able to sing on Saturday. It could be that she was telling me that she was leaving for the airport or it could be that she was telling me that Birmingham had been called off. Unfortunately, it was the last possibility. I thought I had prepared myself. I thought that I knew what my game plan would be. Nope. I was still completely gutted and shocked by the news. How could I not be? It isn’t everyday that I fly to the UK to see 4 Duran shows. Nonetheless, the plan was for us to go no matter what. Yet, I still hesitated. Why? Well, for many reasons, that aren’t super important right now. In the end, the decision was a simple one. Do I go and enjoy my friends, enjoy meeting other Duranies, have the possibility of a London show (though, I doubt it will happen), and experience the UK? Obviously, the answer is yes.

After a long day and night of travel, the Daily Duranie and friends have met up and have arrived in Birmingham. We are still hoping to meet up with some people and are planning to attend that Only After Dark event tonight. Tomorrow, we will walk around Birmingham and, at least, acknowledge it as the birthplace of Duran Duran. From there, we aren’t totally sure. We know that we are still planning to do the meet up with Kitty from Gimme a Wristband on Friday at club Reflex and are hoping for a really fun, fun time!!!! So, please, come on out on Friday! Then, if the O2 show happens, cool. If not, we still will have seen some cool sites and met some cool people!

As for how Rhonda and I are doing today, we are tired but generally good. Are we disappointed? Of course. Are we angry? Yeah, we are. We are angry at the circumstances. Who wouldn’t be? Yet, we are moving on with a great deal of what we set out to do here. No, we aren’t seeing at least 3 shows but we will do everything else we hoped for!

-A

All Things Duran Are Worth It?

Today is travel day for us at the Daily Duranie.  It feels like we have been talking and planning about this trip for years when it has only been months!  Yet, we are now down to less than a day before we arrive in the UK after a long day and night of traveling.  The travel plan makes me question the motto Rhonda and I have, which is the title of this blog.  I am working today–teaching the young people of my city.  Then, I drive a few hours down to Chicago where I will then take a lengthy overnight flight to London.  Once meeting up at Rhonda’s terminal, we hop into a car to take us to Birmingham.  It already sounds exhausting and I haven’t even begun to think about the jet lag!  This day will be the beginning of our 9 day tour/trip.  This trip is an extremely ambitious one and definitely the biggest one I have ever done in the name of Duran Duran.  In fact, I know that I have done many, many, many things for them and because of them but this trip takes the cake.  In many ways, I still can’t believe that I’m doing this!  Yet, I have fought long and hard to make this trip happen and nothing is going to stand in my way.

When the rumors of these UK dates came out, thanks to some radio interview with Mr. LeBon, Rhonda and I discussed it as we often do with any sort of tour rumor.  It was clear that we both wanted to go to these shows but I wasn’t sure whether or not I could leave work.  I, initially, thought I could make it into a long weekend and a few shows, depending on when they were as I am in a job that isn’t super flexible, to say the least, when it comes to time away.  At that point, I began my investigation of how I could do this trip with work.  It sounded super easy from the people I spoke with and I felt confident that we could do this tour.  Then, the dates were announced and immediately people discussed their desire to go for the Birmingham show and the London show.  This meant that I would be away from work for a week, which is unheard of!!!!  As most Duranies know, we had about 17 hours from that announcement to the presale.  It was hardly enough time to get work sorted out completely, but I was confident.  Thus, I purchased tickets 17 hours later.  I filled out the necessary paperwork at work and talked with my supervisor.  I believed myself good to go.  Then, on February 11th, bombs of sorts was dropped.

I was denied my request on February 11th.  Not only was I denied but I was denied without a reason.  Crushed, yet determined, I grieved a little and regrouped with a plan to appeal, which would have been challenging enough but…the rest of the world invaded.  I live in a state whose governor decided to go after me and others like me.  Like hundreds of thousands of others, I felt like I had to fight.  Yet, I felt like I was fighting on two fronts.  For a long time, I felt like I was winning with the state government and losing at work.  Then, it would switch and switch again.  I was an emotional roller coaster, experiencing almost every emotion possible within a 18 hour day.  Yet, I continued to fight.  I felt like I had no choice.  After almost two months, both situations calmed down, but with different results.  I, finally, got word from work that my 118th appeal (joke but not by much) for a week’s leave was finally approved.  I thought that I would be overjoyed.  Instead, I just felt relief and exhaustion.  I think Rhonda felt the same way as her trip was on the line in many ways, too.  On the other front, I lost and many others lost, too.  Voted were taken (perhaps illegally) and new contracts were signed.  Rights were taken away and a significant pay cut is in my future.  In many ways, these events broke me.  Politically, I tried to give a little more energy but feeling completely burned out on that front.  Hopeless, really, which upsets me more than almost anything else.  My governor and his allies took away more than my rights and my salary but sucked the life out of my fighting spirit, which means so much more than I can express.  It has everything to do with who I am and with what I do.

This trip is a strange one for me.  On many occasions, reality has threatened this trip from work to politics to finances.  All of those elements of reality have said to me that I shouldn’t be doing this trip.  It isn’t logical.  Yet, I desperately need some fun and escape and there is nothing better for me than Duran and a tour.  Of course, it is also about fulfilling a dream–to see them in Birmingham and to increase the motivation and more to finish our book.  Now, of course, we need to deal with the LeBon factor.  This is when I start to think about our motto about how everything Duran is worth it.  I wonder.  Are they worth the stress that comes with traveling and traveling to such a distance?  Are they worth the cost, especially when facing an uncertain financial future?  I’m forced to say that they are.  Why?  For me, I’m hoping that this trip reminds me that there still is something good in the world.  I’m hoping that I experience nothing but fun.  I’m hoping that I meet wonderful people who are filled with life.  I know that my friendships will be renewed and feel strongly that my motivation to finish the book will be high.  I’m also really hoping that it can renew my energy and my spirit.

-A

Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool & London…

This is your warning.  I leave US soil in just over 24 hours.  Are you ready?

I’m frantically posting something witty (well, I’m trying!) before I run quick like a bunny to pick up my youngest from preschool, convince her that no, we really don’t have to play at the park today for an hour before coming back home for lunch, and then getting myself back here so that I can ferociously clean at least the downstairs area of our house before I finish packing tonight.  Then there’s the little matter of actually spending some time with my family, and my husband, before I leave tomorrow.

There’s simply no way I’ll get it all done.  I took a precious 90 minutes out of my day today to go and have a pedicure – something I almost NEVER do these days (funny how having a preschooler will do that to you), and then I was talked in to a manicure while I was there.  I have pretty hands and toes now.  🙂  It was wonderful until I realized that I have to bake a batch of cupcakes at home this afternoon on top of everything else I still have to finish….*sigh*

Still no news on “our fearless leader”  (as an aside – are we really sure Simon isn’t afraid of us?  I’m kinda thinking maybe he should be.  I’ve SEEN the way some of us act in front of them.  Quite honestly, I’m afraid FOR him.  Hmm….maybe it’s different in the UK….)  I’m coming for ya, Simon.  4th row Birmingham.  Still praying to whatever gods are out there that the show goes on.  You’ll recognize me and my group because  and I would bet money that if you go on stage as planned – at least 3 out of the 4 of us in my group will be crying at some point throughout the show.   Why the tears?  Are you kidding?  First of all, it’s a dream come true to see them on their own home soil.  Can’t get better than Birmingham for that.  Secondly, it’s been one HELL of a long road to get there.  Thirdly, jet lag.  It does crazy things to the emotions.   I’ll wave to you if you catch my eye.  😀

So, I hope you all understand that I’m in need of making a very hasty good-bye here.  I’d love to stay longer and chat, really I would – but I have a preschooler to tame into submission, a house to clean and a plane to catch.  (yes, in that order!)  I can’t tell you all how excited I am for this day to finally be here, and for those of you who are coming to any of the meetups in any of the towns we’re visiting – I am SO looking forward to meeting you.  I promise to do my best to keep you all updated on what we’re doing, whom we’re hanging with, etc!  Love to you all, and the next time I blog – it’ll be from the UK!   (oh and BTW – we *will* have WiFi and access to Twitter and Facebook while we’re there.  No worries!)

Cheers!  -R