That’s right, today in the US we are “celebrating” Labor Day. For most people, it means we get the day off of work (thus making it a three-day weekend) and we might have a BBQ, go to the beach or get together with friends. That’s about the extent of the celebration for many of us. It also marks the unofficial “end to summer” as most school-aged kids go back to school this next week, and a lot of the seasonal type things, such as maybe water parks or perhaps amusement parks and things like that, tend to scale back hours or even close for the summer after today. So while we celebrate, many of us mourn the lazy summer days coming to an end and brace ourselves for the 10 months ahead – the dreaded “school year”, where coffee will continue to be our friend, where books that were left far behind in middle or high school will be picked back up and re-read (over the summer I read Of Mice and Men simply because the oldest had a summer reading project due on the first day back at school!), just so I can be on top of it when the kids need help on a project; or even better, I will relearn geometry. With any luck, it’ll go better for me the second time around. I hate proofs.
For Americans, Labor Day first began in 1882, and according to the Department of Labor website (www.www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm), “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
What I find most amusing about Labor Day, especially now that I’m a parent, is that I generally DO work on Labor Day. I guess it was named correctly! For instance this morning, I am working to get this blog written before my youngest has yet another potty accident, I have several loads of laundry to finish before school starts (by Wednesday everyone in my house will finally be back at school. Now THAT will be my Labor Day, thankyouverymuch!), and I need to get the idea of planning dinner menus for the week sorted out. But, my husband is home today, which is a bit of a treat.
The one thing I did take time to do this morning before jumping into the pile of housework awaiting my arrival downstairs this morning, was give a listen/viewing to a couple more videos from the Bournemouth show last week. One of my most favorite songs in the Duran Duran catalog is Secret Oktober, and I’ve been begging for them to put it in the setlist for years. Of course the band had no interest in my suggestions (can’t even begin to blame them), and up until last week, I hadn’t gotten my wish. Bournemouth was the moment, however, and it was blessedly included in the set. When I read the list, I was curious if they’d play it true to history or if they’d play the version they’d worked up with Warren, which I admit was not something I enjoyed. Thankfully they played true to form, and it was a beautiful moment. How I wished I’d been there to hear it and see it in person.
Sometimes it seems the band is guilty of not realizing that it’s not just the UK fans that are the diehards in the community. I would imagine it’s very easy for the members to think that the US fans are in it for the pretty faces, the glossy looks, the image…and that we’re overly raucous, extremely overwhelming, and very “in your face” as fans. That may be true, but there are many of us standing somewhere in the background of all that, daring to say we’re in it for the music. Sure, the band is nice to look at – most certainly. Yes, the image is fun and adds to the allure, definitely. But, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it’s still the music that keeps us here wanting and waiting. Not all US fans want to hear Hungry Like the Wolf 50,000 times, and quite frankly – I don’t even think they NEED to play that. They’ve earned the right here in the states to play whatever the hell they want at a show, and I still believe that fans would line up to see and hear them do the show they want. For example, several years back I went to go see The Cure. I’m not a huge fan, but my husband really was at one time, and I was happy to go to a concert with him. I had no idea what to expect, but I figured it would be a good show. Well, Robert Smith decided he would play none of the hits that night. Not even ONE. He played the obscure, very dark stuff from the depths of the back catalog. I had a hard time following along and was ready to go way before the concert ended, but remember – I wasn’t even a casual fan for the most part. I knew the hits and nothing else. On the way out, my husband had mentioned that he didn’t know all of the songs, but a lot of them, and some one next to him chimed in and said “You have no idea how long the FANS had been waiting for a show like that. We always have to hear the hits that made them big – and this show, well this show was for us.” Both Walt and I had to agree with the guy. No, we didn’t hear the songs that we might have enjoyed the most, but both of us understood what he was saying at the time – and I remember saying to the guy that I would give just about anything to have Duran Duran play a show like that. One without the major hits, but a show that included To The Shore, Faster than Light….Khanada….Shadows on Your Side (I’m so envious of that one!!). Can you imagine?
I know that concerts cost money, and the band has to be able to sell tickets in order to come out ahead, otherwise there’s really no point in playing. I’d love to believe that they play for the love of playing, and I’m sure that’s still part of it – but the bottom line is that people still have to be paid. I just wish there was a way that they could work more of these older gems into their shows at this point, and that the band could just play whatever they wanted – then again, maybe they really love playing Hungry Like the Wolf every single night??
So, on this Labor Day, I give you all permission to play Secret Oktober for yourselves, whether you’re at work or at home. Tell them Daily Duranie said so. See how far THAT gets ya! 😉
Happy Labor Day!!