Tag Archives: Andre Agassi

Time is a Ribbon

We are finally in October. I say finally because September seemed to creep by, and I’m hopeful that my weather gets on board with the idea of October and cools off a little bit. One can hope, right?

October first is an interesting date for me, particularly when it comes to Duran history. I have not checked thoroughly, but I tend to believe that I have seen more Duran-shows on October first than any other date during the year.

The idea that I’ve been to that many shows over the course of a lifetime to even compare is ridiculous. However silly it may be, it is true. Even better, each show I’ve been to on October 1st has taken place since 2005. For my next trick, I will age some of you!

Do you remember the Agassi Grand Slam for Children Charity show in Las Vegas? That was on this date in 2005. A wild weekend made hundreds of times more fun and memorable because so many of my friends were there. From field trips by limo to see an 80s cover band play, to get togethers in the bar and our own special brand of after party that went until sunrise, it was a weekend I will never forget. I could be mistaken, but I believe that it was the last time I saw Andy Taylor perform with the band. I don’t remember the show itself being very remarkable (aside from the foot pounding we did in the stands back in the “Duranie” section during Wild Boys).  Isn’t it strange how those seemingly unremarkable moments sometimes end up as footnotes our history? So much has taken place during the thirteen years since, yet I can hardly believe it has been that long.

In 2011, I saw Duran Duran play at the Sky Theatre in Valley Center, California. This was the first show I had seen since flying to the UK in May for shows that didn’t happen. I was very nervous about seeing the band again and for the first few minutes they were onstage I couldn’t even look at Simon. Amanda couldn’t fly to California for the show, so I went with my husband. As much as I love the guy, he  had no understanding of what it felt like for me to be there that night. He didn’t get it, he’s never going to get it, and that’s that. Even so, the band was back and better than ever. I remember being shocked by how strong Simon’s voice was that night, and I still believe he is a stronger, more powerful singer now than he was before that mess with his vocal chords earlier that year. As for the rest of the band, well, I think the entire flow of events that year gave them a new appreciation for their craft. I know I certainly appreciate them. Seven years went by in the blink of an eye.

Then there was the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. That show remains as something out of a dream for me. Truth be told, Amanda and I were willing to break the bank to get the best possible seats for that show, and from our second row center chairs that night, we saw the first of many shows on the Paper Gods tour that night. The Bowl is a very special place, filled with a lot of personal memories for me, but knowing that I finally saw Duran Duran perform there, is at the top of the list. It nearly erases the memory I have of driving up the Grapevine that night after the show, knowing that many of my friends had gotten invited, or made their way into the after party for the band that night. Lucky souls! Can you imagine it has already been three years?

The moral here, of course, is that time flies. I have the luxury of taking the time to think back and take stock in those seemingly small moments. I mean, Duran Duran only played four songs that night in Las Vegas. I remember seeing Andy on stage that night, but I didn’t necessarily take special notice. Would I have done it differently if I’d known it would be the last time I’d see him with Duran Duran? Who knows? If I’d realized that so many of my friends got into the after party at the Hollywood Bowl, or that someone would have gotten in me in there if I’d asked – would I have stayed? Who really knows?  Lamenting history isn’t helpful, but what I find most poignant and worthy of tucking away is that those tiny little moments and memories matter. Sometimes, they might even determine what comes next.

-R

On This Date: The Evolution of my Fandom

For the last few years, I have created a Duran Duran related calendar for myself and Rhonda.  In our calendar, I have listed album release dates as well when singles came out.  I also have included dates that we have seen them in concert together.  On this date, October 1st, there are multiple entries on our calendar.  First, we saw Duran perform 4 songs at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children event in Vegas in 2005.  Then, we saw the band perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015.  When I look back at those two events, I realize that there is much about my fandom that has changed and, yet, some things have remained consistent.

2005 featured the reunion album of Astronaut as well as the tour.  For me, personally, fandom really felt like a utopia.  Everyone seemed excited about the band and their future.  Message boards were busy with activity and everyone was either planning or sharing concert plans.  Any negatives between fans were easily pushed aside in my head.  By October, I had seen the band a bunch of times in concert both in spring and in the summer.  Yet, I didn’t hesitate when my friends suggested that we get together in Vegas.  Interestingly enough, that trip represented only the second time I had traveled by plane for something fandom related.  I have never flown in a plane to see Duran (or any band, for that matter) play before that.

That night in 2005, my friends and I attended a pre-show meet-up at a bar there at the MGM Grand where the concert was held.  I was one of many fans there who had traveled to see the band play.  The funny part is that Duran only performed 4 songs that night and we had seats way in the back.  Despite that, I still felt like I was on top of the world that night.  I screamed and sang those 4 songs with all the passion I could muster.  After that, I went and drink and danced my ass off until the clubs closed and breakfast was served.  I look back at that night as an eye-opening experience.  While it was beyond fun, I also saw some of the darker elements of our fan community night.  Some of those less-than-kind features I was a part of and others I just witnessed.  In many ways, that night marked the end of the utopia.

Then, of course, a lot has happened since that night, leading up to that Hollywood Bowl show.  Instead of attending a pre-show meet-up, I planned one.  In both nights, I met a bunch of people and the love for Duran was strong.  When I went to the Hollywood Bowl show, I knew that this could be one of the best nights ever like the Vegas one was, but I no longer denied the reality that fandom isn’t a utopia.  It still gives me the greatest amount of fun that I could ever hope for and it has provided me the opportunity to meet my best friend and other amazing people.  Most importantly, I have learned that my true happy place is being at a Duran Duran concert.  However, it isn’t perfect.  People are not always nice and nights do not always go as planned or cannot always be the most fun ever.

The Hollywood Bowl was a great show and I’m glad to have attended it.  Yet, it didn’t equal the fun of that Vegas show.  It couldn’t.  For the Vegas show, we had the time to go out and party without any care in the world.  For the Hollywood Bowl show, we had to start our drive up to Berkeley for the next show.  By 2015, a priority for us was going to as many shows as we could.  Maybe this is another sign of how my fandom has changed.  In 2005, I was more than content to see just 4 songs, way in the back of the arena.  By 2015, I wanted to get to as many shows as I could and I really wanted good seats.  Does that mean that 2005 was better?  In some ways, maybe, it was.  That said, 2015 was pretty sweet, too, but in different ways.  In 2005, it was all new and fun.  In 2015, I was involved in the fandom in a different way and was ready to do as many shows as I could.  I also had the opportunity to see amazing shows from really great seats.  That makes me pretty lucky!

I cannot regret the decisions that I have made in regards to either time period.  Both have led me to where I am today.  I have learned a lot and have had amazing experiences and a tremendous amount of fun.  What would be cool would be to go to another show on October 1st in 2025.  Then, I might be able to see how my fandom has evolved in 10 years and in 20 years.  I could get a real historical perspective.

-A

Today in Duran History – Serious (and a little bit of Vegas, too…)

On today’s date in 1990, the single “Serious” was released in the UK.

Also on today’s date, but in 2005, Duran Duran played in Las Vegas at the Grand Slam for the Children charity event (Andre Agassi)  at the MGM Garden Arena.  A crowd of Duranies descended upon Vegas for a couple of nights to see the band play four songs (yes, four…but we loved every damn one of them!), have fun together, and if you were with me at Club Tabu until the wee hours, you may have even Reached Up For the Sunrise!

Seems to me it’s about time for some shows….and not just some private gigs or shows that are so ridiculously priced only the select few can attend….but that’s just me.  Onward and upward!

-R