Tag Archives: Big Thing Live tour

It Was Thirty Years Ago (not Today)…

Brothers and sisters let me hear it

Last Friday, I had my own Duraniversary. Thirty years prior, I attended my very first Duran Duran concert at the Universal Amphitheater (which has since been torn down to make way for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood). I don’t normally think about that particular date, but I was flipping my personalized calendar that Amanda makes for me each year from one month to the next and saw the date listed. Wow. Thirty years has flown by.

I can still remember our seats…in the second to last row of the amphitheater. No front row or VIP back then! My outfit that night was new, complete with shoes that ended up giving me blisters. (I don’t know why I remember that so well!) My boyfriend had kindly bought the tickets and I was so excited to see Duran Duran that night. I’d been a fan since junior high, and it wasn’t until about eight years later that I finally was able to go to see them in concert. I felt very lucky to be in that audience!

So glad you came along

When the band took the stage, I felt a mixed bag of emotions. I was thrilled to see them – I could feel the butterflies churning away in my belly, but I also felt just the tiniest bit sad. Roger and Andy weren’t there, and while I still liked the Big Thing album, it didn’t have the same feeling for me as Rio or Seven and the Ragged Tiger. I mean, those albums were the collective epitome of Duran Duran back in the early 80s. That is also the period of time that occupies most of my memories of Duran Duran fandom when I was an awkward preteen.

I wavered back and forth between elation and that feeling of “oh, I just wish I’d been able to see them at the Forum on the Sing Blue Silver tour!” I distinctly remember forcing those thoughts aside that night because I didn’t want to miss out on the show happening right in front of me. There was no point in looking back. I was in college by then, living at the dorm on campus. My childhood bedroom with the yellow bedspread and “Summertime Green” painted walls peeking between Duran Duran posters were just memories by then. My parents had moved just after I graduated, and my new room at home didn’t have so much as a single pinup on the wall. So much had changed, yet my love for the band was still there…it was just…different.

This time you won’t be wrong

In a lot of ways, it is hard for me to believe that happened thirty years ago. It feels like a long time ago, but thirty years? Then again, the reunion (I’m going to age everyone here…) was announced nearly 18 years ago now. Better not blink.

Here I am now, getting ready for another couple of shows, thirty years later. I have to admit, I never thought much about whether or not Duran Duran would still be around in 2019. That’s kind of the beauty of youth. It was so easy to live precisely in that moment. I didn’t think about what was going to happen next, or if I’d see the band again. I can say that I appreciate seeing the band more now than I probably did at 18, I just wish I had that same endless energy!!

-R

35 years and counting…Happy Birthday Planet Earth!

To my complete surprise, we are celebrating another milestone birthday, and a fairly significant one at that today. On this date 35 years ago, the single for Planet Earth/Late Bar was released.

First of all, the math MUST be off because I’m only 25, right??? I just don’t get it….

Secondly, this just does not seem possible. In a lot of ways I’m almost humbled by the thought, because I really think Duran Duran is about the only “thing” in my life (with the exception of my own children) that I can say I’ve stuck with since nearly day one. I can’t quite say day one, because I didn’t grow up in the UK and didn’t hear about Duran Duran until 1981…but it’s pretty close. It’s been a crazy road, and I’m sure many of you out there are nodding your heads in agreement. This band has been around through the thick, the thin….from pubescence to, well…let’s just call it middle age.

The history is just there. Aside from my family, there isn’t any one thing that has been in my life longer than Duran Duran. Whether that paints me as loyal or significantly impaired probably depends on the day, but it is what it is. I often joke that I’ve loved Duran Duran longer than I have my husband (not a joke I tend to make while discussing plans for a lengthy summer DD road trip with him…), but it is true in some sense, and it all began with Planet Earth. As it should.

On Twitter, someone asked about the first date I saw Duran Duran live. My first concert was in 1989, I didn’t see them in 84 or 85 when they toured here. So my first experience seeing them was after Roger and Andy left the band. I saw them in March of 1989 at Universal Amphitheater (which has since been demolished), during their Big Thing tour. I was in nearly the back row of the theater, my favorite band member had left, and yes, it was a let-down in some sense because standing there that night (which does not feel all that long ago), it felt a little like a consolation prize for not seeing them in 84. Oddly, I clearly remember them playing Planet Earth that night, and for me, it just felt hollow. The bones were there, I suppose, but the feeling or spirit wasn’t right. I didn’t get to see the REAL band (in my head at the time, that’s how I saw it), so I was seeing what was left. I had no idea of course that they’d continue on from there and that I’d see them many more times over the course of their career. I just knew what was in that moment, and it didn’t feel quite right. I don’t know if I’d call that night a disappointment, but I think I knew I missed out. Time machine forward to the 78-03 tour, where I saw the band at the Pacific Amphitheater. This was when I saw the original five members for the very first time. They played Planet Earth again that night, and as my husband will gladly tell anyone who asks, I stood there completely dumbfounded for at least the first three songs and likely longer. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, couldn’t quite believe what my eyes and ears were experiencing – and I was nowhere near the front. I can’t imagine what I would have done had I been anywhere closer. For me, that night brought me full circle. There was something very, very, special for me about seeing the band I first fell in love with playing Planet Earth. I own the CD from that night, and I still get goosebumps when I play it. The memories flood my head, and I know that I won’t ever forget.  I still feel that way each time they play it. Yes, the line-up has changed, but this time, the spirit remains intact.

Of course, I still haven’t had the good luck to see them play Late Bar – the B side – to Planet Earth yet. I keep hoping they’ll throw it in one of their sets I’m seeing at some point so that I can die happy. It’s funny because Amanda’s favorite DD song is Planet Earth, and one of my very favorite is Late Bar (along with ITSISK and Secret Oktober).  Different sides of the same single. Pretty accurate, I’d say.

Planet Earth was the beginning of this crazy journey. The band says they don’t like to look back, which is fine. In a lot of ways I sort of think it really our job to look back from time to time, and I embrace that task. After all, I wouldn’t be writing this today if it hadn’t been for Planet Earth. I love having milestones such as these to mark not only the band’s career, but also my life. Each song represents a memory, and every once in a while, it’s good to be transported back for a short visit.

The best part, of course, is that the journey isn’t over. March is coming. Shows are still being announced, tours will begin, and new memories will be made. I am humbled by the very thought that in a small way, Daily Duranie helps to keep these experiences and memories fresh in people’s minds, we try to create new opportunities for fans to gather, and the fun just keeps on coming!

Happy 35th Birthday Planet Earth!

-R