Do you ever wonder if you are the only one to do something? Sometimes, I think I’m way weird. Am I the only one who thinks about the band’s history when pondering one’s life? For example, when I have been a part of a winning campaign and feel like I’m on top of the world, my thoughts immediately turn to Duran’s history. Is this what it felt like to play Madison Square Garden in 1984, I ask. Am I the only one??? Maybe this is a sign that I have read too many histories of the band or watched too many documentaries that the band’s story is permanently etched into my brain. Perhaps, it is the historian in me combined with my Duranieness. Who knows?
So which part of Duran’s history have I been thinking about? 1986 is the year that I have been thinking about. It was the time in which Roger and Andy left. The band was in a transition period coming back from side projects and attempting to regain popularity and media attention. They tried hard to get back to where they were in 1984 despite the changes. Eventually, it seems to me that the band members had to find a new normal. They had to accept that their careers might be very different from here on out. (Some might argue that they haven’t really accepted that as they continue to push for commercial success that they once had.) In thinking about this, I try to imagine what they must have felt like. Was this change so huge that it was heartbreaking to them? Was it frustrating? Was there an underlying anxiety? How did they know which aspects of the new Duran Duran to accept and which ones should they fight to maintain? How did that acceptance come about?
I ask all these questions in the hopes of shedding light to my current situation. I, too, feel like I’m in a transition despite having the same career (just like the band did). There are parts of my life that are pretty significantly different than what they were two years ago. In thinking about some of those changes, I’m left feeling lonely and a little heartbroken. My natural tendency is to embrace whatever dark emotion I have and even wallow in it. I’m trying hard not to do that. Maybe the band members felt that way in 1986, too. It is possible that they wanted to live in anger towards their former colleagues or the media or the fickle fans. Yet, it seems to me that they did what I’m trying to do, which is to hold on to the elements that are at the core while accepting the new aspects to the best of their ability.
When I think of Duran in 1986, I don’t see people who were depressed or frustrated with many people and institutions. Maybe they did and they just couldn’t or wouldn’t show it. I can relate to that. I suspect that I hide my feelings well or shield people from seeing the extent to my emotions. The other theory is that even if people see that I’m not doing super well, I also seem unapproachable. Yet, every once in awhile, someone pushes through, sees that things haven’t been great for me and reaches out.
I experienced this very thing this week when I arrived home to find a unexpected package in my mailbox. What was in the package? It was from Durandy who said that he heard that things have been rough for me so he wanted to send a little joy to me. What did he send? He sent a copy of his book, The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran. I cannot begin to express how much this touched me. On top of being thrilled to have a copy of this book, it means the world to me to know that someone cares. Of course, the gift in one that I look forward to really looking at. I have already gone page by page once and cannot wait to really analyze each and every ad and story. It is a gift that will keep on giving.
So, I guess, just this once, my signals in smoke were seen and received. It definitely makes me feel a little stronger, a little more supported as I move through whatever weird transition period this is. It also reminds me of the best of fandom, which is how fans can and do support one another. That is another gift I will treasure.