Tag Archives: Duran Duran All You Need is Now Tour

We believe in the cold grey lights we dream

Hi everybody! I’m sorry I wasn’t around yesterday to post. I heard that there’s yet another reason to visit Florida in February (besides sun and warmer weather if you’re looking to escape winter!) – Duran Duran is playing in Miami Beach!

While Duran Duran announced a new show, I was busy and mostly unplugged yesterday. In just two very short weeks, my family and I will FINALLY relocate from the very busy OC, to a much smaller and peaceful town about five hours north. Yesterday we went to inspect our new house and do paperwork, which was joyful. The outside temperature was only in the 50s at our new house, even by midday, which only made me MORE excited to get up there permanently!

While I have been packing and worrying about how I’m going to make this all work (We’re moving just a few days before Christmas – and my youngest still believes in Santa!), I’ve also done a bit of reminiscing. We’ve lived in this house for so long that I can’t really imagine otherwise. It will be strange to be somewhere that my two oldest haven’t lived before, and my anxiety has been on overdrive, thinking about ways I can make the move seem less traumatic. Why? Because that’s what you do when you’re me, I suppose. I’m great at making lists in my head at 3:30 am.

All of the reminiscing has reminded me that not too many years earlier, I was in the height of my glory as a Duran fan. I had gone to the UK with Amanda, as she wrote earlier this week. My time there was fabulous. I saw so many new places, met lots of new faces that have now become dear friends. The experiences were both enriching and inspiring. I think about the shows fairly often. The memories are wonderful, comforting, and still manage to make me smile. Even more so though, I think about the travel we did while there. We were trains a lot. We saw quite a bit of the countryside, experienced winter markets, and tried new things. I fell in love with England and Scotland on that trip, and I really want to go back.

I remember walking through Bournemouth, which is a beautiful little town (as is Brighton and everywhere else I’ve visited so far). We walked along the shops and grabbed dinner with friends.  I can’t even remember the place, but the food was yummy and I was finally starting to relax. It began to rain at some point and so I bought an umbrella (I melt in rain, of course). It was zebra-striped and I had it up until last year, when it broke. I have no idea why I remember that so well, but I do.

Another memory I have from the trip was in Glasgow, after the show that Amanda described on her Sunday post. First of all, my blood is Californian, and I wholeheartedly admit that I froze from the second I got off the train in Edinburgh to the time I got back to California a few days later. I just could not get warm. So, one of my memories is of the cold weather. The arena where the show took place felt like it had its air conditioner on, as opposed to a heater, and I wore my big ski jacket until after the band came on stage, and I still remember shivering as the band busted through “All You Need is Now”.

Then after the show, we’d walked over to a hotel nearby, where there seemed to be a large gathering of Duranies. We grabbed seats and drinks, knowing it would be our final hurrah for that trip. As we sat and sipped, we look out the window and saw it begin to snow. Giant, fat, frosty flakes rained down, and while our driver worried about getting home – I remember thinking how magical the night seemed. I love that memory. I didn’t grow up with snow or even cold weather, so for me it was something out of a dream. Kind of like the rest of that trip, to be honest.

I need to break out of my reverie and get back to shopping online, wrapping, and packing!

-R

 

 

 

Duran Duran in Birmingham

Duran Duran in Birmingham.

Duran Duran in Birmingham - Tweet
Our infamous tweet before the show in Brum

Three years ago today, I stood in a concert arena, anxiously awaiting the moment a lifelong dream – a dream so big I really didn’t even dare dream – would come true. Duran Duran would walk on the stage and play a gig in Birmingham. Their hometown. Mecca for all Duranies. In some not-quite-defined but strange, bizarre way, Birmingham is now as much a part of my history as theirs.

I remember that night seeing Duran Duran in Birmingham at the  LG Arena easily. At the time I can remember telling myself not to blink because I might miss something, and I wanted to be certain that I would remember every single second of the show, as well as later that night as I wandered around Birmingham…in search of…well, I’m not really sure, but I think I may have found it, although I’m not exactly sure how to describe what “it” really IS.  No, not the band…although at the time I’m pretty sure I was naively hoping to stumble across their path. The memories from that night come to mind so simply, easily, and yet I can tell you that getting there was no easy feat. Talk about roadblocks! Everything from Amanda’s job to my family,  December weather possibilities, and even a public workers strike seemed to be thrown in the way as possible detours, but somehow – we got to see Duran Duran in Birmingham. Amanda and I had taken a train to get from Bournemouth to Birmingham, and we soaked up as much of the English countryside as possible along the way.  When we arrived in Birmingham, both of us were practically beaming. We still had a show to get to that night, but we’d made it to their town.

Duran Duran in Birmingham
From our first trip in May of 2011 – we made it to Broad Street!

Their town.

What Duranie, especially those of us who aren’t graced with the good fortune of having grown up in the UK, doesn’t dream of going to see where the band started? Seeing Duran Duran in Birmingham? The idea always felt so completely foreign…not of this world. Well, not of my world anyway. I spent a remarkable amount of time as a teenager tucked away in my bedroom wondering what it was like in Birmingham. Was it really all that different from my life in Covina, California?  Probably. I mean, these were rock stars. They were British. I was a clarinet player in my junior high band. I said things with that annoying American/Southern California accent.  I said “like” and “awesome” a lot.  (I never said “tubular, man”….even I had my limits.) I was convinced that they had to have come from a much more exciting life, and that I would never, ever get to Birmingham to see it for myself.  Flash ahead about 28 years, and there I was, having a conference call with friends to plan the trip!

I’d heard many things about Birmingham by the time All You Need is Now came out.  I won’t lie, not many of the things I heard were at all kind. As far as I could tell, the only reason to ever go there was to see the band’s history, and perhaps to see Duran Duran in Birmingham. In fact, when I came through customs on the way into the UK for our first trip in 2011, the officer who looked at my passport and talked to me about why I’d traveled to London strongly recommended that I avoid the city, saying that it was (and I really am quoting here) “the armpit of England and the UK.”  Well then.  I definitely needed to see the city at that point then! I was really expecting the worst of the worst – take Compton or Inglewood and give it a British accent.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

One thing I learned about my British friends – and perhaps anyone from the UK, including the band, was that you’re incredibly hard on yourselves. Birmingham is not even remotely close to an armpit. In fact, it is pretty. I liked the canals.  Granted, that canal water is deathly black…and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to fall in there…but they’re unique. My city barely has water, much less canals. I liked the architecture. The red brick. The way that I didn’t dare step off a sidewalk because I was never sure which way the traffic was coming (an American issue for those of us who might be directionally challenged.), and of course – Duran Duran. Memories of that band are everywhere throughout that city. From reading street signs that have been mentioned to searching for the exact spot where the Rum Runner once stood – if you’re a fan you can’t walk around that city without feeling the energy, the excitement that surges through you when you know the band must be nearby. I love history, anyone who knows me realizes that – music history in particular is a passion, and Birmingham is chalk full of that. It is beautiful, and now I dare to wish that I can go back again.

Duran Duran in Birmingham - Rhonda by a canal
Oh look, an American tourist!!

Duran Duran in Birmingham - canalways

Duran Duran in Birmingham - night lights!
Beautiful street lights in Birmingham

What did I really find that night, aside from seeing Duran Duran in Birmingham on that LG Arena stage in front of me? I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to pinpoint what I gained. A sense of perspective, perhaps?  Maybe a realization that yes, sometimes dreams really do come true, even if they take thirty years longer than you’d ever thought?  Maybe what I really found was a part of myself. Answered questions…closure? A circle made complete?  Maybe all of that, and then again, maybe none of it.

What I do know, without a doubt, is that as I sit here typing this, watching the rain (!?!) come down in Southern California, that my life was made just a little more complete on that fateful evening in 2011…and I do openly hope and wish that I have the chance to return.

-R