Tag Archives: Duran Duran fandom

You’re Going to Find Out

On Monday, Rhonda wrote a blog highlighting her biggest personal moment with Duran Duran.  (If you didn’t read it, go here.)  Since then, I, too, took time to think about mine.  Is mine like Rhonda’s in that my moment is a return to the fandom?  Is it the time that I met Rhonda and other fans?  Maybe it was something like one of the trips to the UK.  Like Rhonda, I think that I could choose any of those and would be right on in doing so.  Yet, I tend to think of my fandom journey to be in parts and each part has a big moment.  Thus, I have to decide which part matters most to me.

Part one of my fandom definitely has to be fandom as a kid.  This is when I fell in love with the band in the first place.  In thinking about that time, the big moment has to be when I fell in love with the Reflex.  It pushed me from casual fan to Duranie.  If that hadn’t happened, I doubt I would have still been a fan today.  Therefore, that is definitely a worthy moment.  Biggest personal one, though?  I’m not sure.

The next part of my fandom surrounds the reunion and returning to being a loud and proud Duranie.  I know that I have talked about this a lot on here but it is worth sharing a little again.  Around the time of the reunion, I found myself overwhelmed with the beginning of my teaching career with grad school on top of that.  To say that I didn’t have a lot of extra time would be an understatement of epic proportions.  I heard rumblings of a reunion but put blinders on as I kept telling myself that I didn’t care.  Interestingly enough, as I finished grad school, I found myself watching the silly TV show, Roswell, religiously.  I appreciated the escape with it and the outsider as hero theme.  My lonely self sought out others who were as into the show as I was.  This lead me to message boards and eventually to meeting other Midwestern fans.

One of these fellow fans mentioned Duran Duran in passing one day.  That is all it took.  I had free time by then as I had finally gotten that Master’s Degree and needed something to obsess over.  My Roswell internet searches turned to Duran Duran ones and to Duranies, which eventually led me here.  That moment, that one mention certainly was a big moment in terms of my Duran fandom.  The biggest?  I am sure that I could make the case for that, for sure.  While that one comment got me back to Duran, I’m not sure I would vote for it as the biggest.  Stick with me here because my biggest moment, I think, will explain why this one didn’t matter as much.

After that reminder, I found Duran message boards and made the decision to attend that Duran fans convention in 2004 in New Orleans.  This, of course, is the event in which I met Rhonda and so many other fans whom I’m lucky enough to call my friends.  From there, this led to going on tour, seeing a bunch of concerts and so much more as part three of my fandom.  I might even say that this led to so much fun that I’m still getting over it.  Yet, despite all that, I’m still not sure that I would pick the convention as the biggest.

In 2008, my fandom took a turn for the fourth segment of my fandom journey.  It ceased being nothing but fun.  I noticed fans behaving in ways that made me curious.  Heck, I found myself doing things and thinking things that normally I wouldn’t.  At first, I tried to ignore observation of myself and others and just have fun, which wasn’t always easy for a variety of reasons (Red Carpet Massacre division, anyone?).  At the end of 2008, Rhonda and I decided to go to a few shows in the Northeast.  During that tour, I lost a friendship as this person made some decisions that felt like she  placed fandom over friendship.  I was hurt.  Friendships mean the world to me.  As someone who struggled (and struggles) to make friends, I appreciate each friend.  When I have strong, loyal friendships, I feel stronger and more confident in everything I do.  When it feels like I don’t matter or don’t matter much to a friend, it feels like being stabbed in the gut.

I had a choice then.  One option could have been to walk away from fandom.  After all, a lot of the fun had left with the Astronaut era.  If I had chosen that, then, I think the biggest moment with Duran would have been attending that convention.  Yet, I chose something different.  I sought out understanding.  I wanted to “get” or comprehend this former friend of mine.  I needed to understand myself, too.  The idea was simple.  If I could understand fans better, then I could figure out how to make it fun again.  This decision, of course, has led Rhonda and myself to research fandom for years.  We have written about our experiences and our research with the goal of one day getting something out there.  The moment that Rhonda and I came up with the idea of researching and writing about fandom took my fandom to a new level.  It led to this blog, much research and more.  Frankly, it increased whatever commitment I had to Duran.  I cannot see just walking away now or ever.

-A

If You Leave a Light On For Me

Some people might describe me as intense.  When I am into something, I dive deep no matter how much it seems to others that I’m drowning.  I don’t have a half speed.  It is either all or nothing.  One can see this aspect of my personality in everything I do.  When I’m focused on teaching, I’m really attentive on whatever needs to be done.  At work, I rarely even take a minute or two to think about much else.  When I’m working on a political action, it is all I can think about.  I start dreaming about it.  Then, when I’m on tour, I won’t let work or politics invade my fun.

Lately, fandom has been on the back burner.  Part of this, of course, is because it is quiet in Duranland.  The other part is that I have been in the work and politics zone, not thinking much about Duran.  Yet, even when I have narrowed my focus, it doesn’t take much to bring me right back to my Duran fandom.  I have had a few moments like this in the last couple of weeks that I just have to share.

The first return to Duran fandom was last Friday.  A week ago, I found myself at work sitting around a circle with my colleagues having a structured discussion as part of the school’s professional development day.  Usually, these discussions center around some topic related to education.  Instead, though, the questions this time were more personal.  For example, everyone had to share a passion of theirs.  Another question had to do with a time in which you made “lemonade out of lemons.”  As soon the question was asked of the group, I chuckled remembering a certain trip to the UK in the spring of 2011.  This, of course, was the UK trip of non-shows.  Rhonda and I had traveled there to see four shows with a couple of friends.  Instead, all of those shows were canceled.  We had a choice then.  Be upset or make the best out of a crappy situation.  Instead of being angry, we used the time to see some sites, to walk around Birmingham to get a real sense of the band’s history and more.  I think we even wrote a blog with the title of making lemonade out of lemons.  I, for one, am glad that we pushed ourselves to make lemonade out of lemons.  Did I share this story to the group at work?  You better believe I did!

A second example of a moment that recently brought me back to thinking about Duranland was last Monday.  Rhonda wrote a little blog to celebrate my birthday, which was super kind of her.  The blog featured a ton of memories and experiences that we have shared together in this fandom.  I laughed and/or smiled with every example.  It reminded me of all of the truly great times that we have shared together and have shared in the name of fandom.  Rhonda definitely picked out some amazing examples and even better is the fact that we could probably come up with about fifty more examples.  Of course, the best part is that we aren’t done with this fandom yet.  I would like to make more memories in the future!

Speaking of touring, as I drove home from work yesterday the song “Last Night in the City” came up in the shuffle.  Like the other two moments, this song instantly reminded me of being a Duranie, of the best part of being one, which is going on tour.  I remember when I was trying to bond with the Paper Gods album.  This was the song that did it.  It isn’t because it is my favorite on the album (even though I enjoy it).  No, it is because I connected with the lyrics.  To me, it describes life on tour perfectly.  After all, how many times have we been up all night partying after a show?  Being on tour is always our time.  It is where we get connected.

As I sit here on a Saturday morning about to head out to a political meeting, I’m thankful that I have moments like the ones I described here.  As much as I love my job and being involved, politically, fandom provides the fun that gives me the energy to do the rest.  This blog keeps my fandom alive.  Heck, even the daily questions help remind me of this aspect of my life.  I’m thankful that I have something that keeps bringing me back to Duran fandom.

-A

“Terrifying and Fascinating”

I made a promise to myself to take a couple of concentrated hours every weekend to work on my fandom projects.  Last weekend, I went to a coffee shop, made myself comfortable and got to work.  I thought that being away from home helped me to stayed focused.  Unfortunately, this weekend, the weather is not cooperating.  It is April 14th.  Spring should have sprung.  Yet, here I am with a winter weather advisory that features freezing rain, ice, wind, and snow (reports vary from 2-5 inches to 6-9 depending on the temperature).  Great.  So, I’m not leaving my house.  Despite that, I’m keeping to my plan.

I decided to focus on fandom research before blogging for two reasons.  One, it is easy enough to put the blog first which often means the rest gets pushed aside.  Two, and more importantly, I had no idea what to write about.  I hoped that working on related projects might spark a topic.  Indeed, it has!

I had been searching YouTube for just the right video to showcase both Duran Duran and their fans.  Sounds easy, right?  Not really.  I still really haven’t found something perfect but I did run across this video here:

I am sure that most of you will recognize these video clips as they are clips from Sing Blue Silver.  Most notably, they are generally clips in which fans, female fans, are screaming.  While that might be interesting enough, the description of the video read, “Fascinating and terrifying. This is a video I edited of various girls going absolutely NUTS for Duran Duran. This footage was filmed between Nov 1983 and April 1984, during their massive world-wide tour. For context, this was all filmed before The Reflex single was even released in April 1984. The video for that song was filmed near the end of the tour in March 1984 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. I was barely a toddler at the time but I have clear-as-day memories of girls in my neighborhood having a similar, almost venomous passion for this band.”

Fascinating and terrifying?  What exactly is terrifying about this?  I’m not sure I’m following.  Then, the creator describes the passion for the band as “venomous” passion.  Venomous as in poisonous?  Hm…None of the comments on the video seemed bothered by the description but I have to admit that it doesn’t sit well with me.

Are screaming female fans terrifying?  Is there something scary about that group?  If so, what?  Do they have the capability of biting or stinging as the term venomous assumes?  Now, I admit that I definitely could have been one of those screaming fans in 1984 as my best friend and I at the time did plenty of that so maybe I’m taking it personally.  Yet, is there really something wrong with screaming for a band you like?  What about when you are a kid?  A teenager?  An adult woman?

The fact that the screamers on the clips were mostly (almost all?  All?) women and girls really makes me suspicious about the description.  Is this somehow putting down women and girls or it is really just about putting down the level of excitement?  Based on my research about fans and fandom, I’m well-aware that fans get a bad reputation of being hysterical and crazy but describing a group of fans who are mostly women as “hysterical”, “terrifying” and “venomous” seems like a step beyond that.

What do you all think?

-A

Can’t Tell the Real from Reflection

I wonder how many Duran Duran lyrics we have used in blog posts.  We have written a LOT of blog posts so it would be many.  More than many.  Why this lyric?  Why this title?  Simple.  I have started a period of reflection.  I don’t think I would be overstepping to say that Rhonda, too, is reflecting.  This is pretty normal after a big project finishes.

Just to catch people up.  Last weekend, I was at the National Popular Culture Conference, presenting our research on female fandom.  Since then, we have received quite a lot of feedback through Facebook, Twitter, this blog and even our email.  In fact, we have received so much feedback that I haven’t even responded to everyone.  I had hoped to spend time this week doing just that, but it has been an extremely busy one both with work but also plans and appointments.  Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty tired.  Despite being so busy, I have begun to think about next steps and where to go from here.  Rhonda and I have begun some initial conversations as well.  I know that I cannot possible take all weekend to reflect  due to other responsibilities, but I do plan to take at least a couple of concentrated hours for this purpose.

So what exactly will I be thinking about?  First, I want to think about where Rhonda and I should go as far as our book/research projects.  Funny enough, we suffer, in some ways, from having too many possible angles to pursue.  Of course, I will take into consideration all of the responses we got back on the presentation.  Overall, we received lots of positive feedback, including from experts at the conference.  Beyond that, I will think about what we are most interested in and passionate about as well as what might be most important to share in today’s climate and society.

Second, we need to think about how this blog will fit into the picture.  In some ways, the blog has served its initial purpose.  Thus, what is its purpose now?  What should it be?  How do we best fit this with our other projects?  Which one is being prioritized?  I know that there are dedicated readers (which we are extremely grateful for) and I know that new readers find us all the time. For that reason, among others, we plan to continue the blog in some way, shape or form.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, how does all of this fit into our fandom?  This is an area that we have struggled to figure out for years.  Yes, we are fans.  We love Duran.  There is no denying of that. Yet, we are more than that.  We chose to also study fandom as academics, as researchers because we wanted to understand ourselves and other fans.  Some people love us when we are fans and hate us when we are academics and vice versa.  Yet, we recognize that we are both and want to continue being both.  The question then is how to both well at the same time.

One thing I know, for sure, my recent presentation has had one very significant affect.  It kick started my brain.  Time is now needed to process it all.

-A

 

Presentation Video: Uniqueness of Competition in Female Dominated Fandoms

I am tired.  The last few days were pretty mentally and emotionally exhausting  that also included a very long drive home.  While I need time to process everything regarding the conference, I do know a few things already.  First, I feel confident that I gave the presentation well and that I was thoroughly prepared.  Second, I did receive some useful and not-as-useful feedback, though all coming from good intentions.  That said, I am left wondering if it was worth it in terms of the time, stress and money.  I hoped to feel super accomplished and motivated and that did not happen.  I know that I did learn from the experience, though.

On that note, I know a lot of people wanted to see the presentation.  I recorded me practicing it from my hotel room.  That means that this does not adequately show what it was like to see the real presentation but I do share the ideas and as much of the visuals as could fit on the screen.

-A

 

Step Out Into the Future

This is it.  Today is the day.  I’m sure by now you are all sick to death of me talking about my presentation or presenting at this Popular Culture Conference.  I have a few things that I want to comment on before I head downstairs to the room in which I will present.

First of all, I want to thank all of you.  So many of you have helped me/us with this project that I definitely need to acknowledge that and offer my gratitude.  This past week, when I needed images of whatever, all I needed to do was hop on social media.  I would ask for this, that or the next thing and you all posted exactly what I needed.  If I wasn’t feeling supported, this would have done it.  So, I thank each and every one of you that shared a photo or two or ten of your collections or your live crowd shots.  I ended up with more than I need.  That said, having choices was so nice.

Second, beyond the sharing of photos, I also want to thank people for all of the supportive comments.  You all have such confidence in us/me that I’m overwhelmed.  I am not sure what I did to deserve this but I appreciate it beyond words.  I can only hope that I will live up to these expectations today.  Truly, I want to be able to report back that I did well and that none of you were wrong to have such faith in me.

Now, I know a lot of you are dying to see my presentation.  I did my best to record me practicing yesterday.  While it won’t be the same as watching me give it in person and you can only see part of the visual presentation, I’m hoping to be able to upload it tomorrow when I’m home and share it then.  I do want to warn you all, though.  Rhonda and I don’t beat around the bush and we do not always paint our fandom is the best of light.  That said, we explain what we believe is the cause of our biggest flaw as a fan community.  Our goal, though, was to provide some hope to make our fan community the best place in the world to be.  After all, this week has shown me how awesome, amazing, supportive and loving this community can be and makes me proud to be a Duranie along side all of you.

It has been an interesting experience to be at this conference.  I haven’t had a ton of conversations with others, which I’m a little sad about, but I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  If that wasn’t enough, I have definitely learned a lot from many of the presenters I had the pleasure to watch.  I’m thrilled to be able to share our theory with others who will have knowledge and expertise in the field.  I look forward to see what questions and comments people have for us.  Likewise, I’m hoping that the presentation itself will be a moment of growth for me.  As Rhonda and I exchanged tweets yesterday, one thing became clear.  This theory of ours is one that we believe we could expand into something.  The future awaits and I’m ready to step out to meet it.

-A

You Speak to the Crowd

When Rhonda and I started this blog, we promised ourselves that we would never shy away from topics that might create some sort of stir.  Today’s blog is one of those.  Consider this a warning to you (and to me!).

Yesterday, DDHQ posted a few pictures of John Taylor at the March for Our Lives Los Angeles, a march advocating gun control.  I’m certain that DDHQ knew that posting these pictures would get people excited.  Some people might love it and others…not so much.  Normally, I just look at the posts and move on as I rarely read the comments for a variety of reasons.  Yet, something possessed me to look at them yesterday.  On Twitter, the reaction to the photos and John’s participation in the march was generally positive.  Facebook, on the other hand, was a very different story.

Within an hour or so of being posted on Facebook, comments numbered in the hundreds.  Some loved that John demonstrated and others expressed negative reactions ranging from concern to disappointment to anger.  Instead of responding on the thread, I am opting to respond to some of what I saw here.  This way I can address the negative reactions as a whole rather than individual comments.

A number of fans responding to the photos commented on the fact that John Taylor is British and should not have a say.  Indeed, he is British, but, he is also an American citizen now after going through the process of naturalization.  He lives in the United States, pays taxes and votes.  In my opinion, this gives him every right to speak about what takes places in the U.S.

Others did not appreciate him speaking out because he is a celebrity.  Some expressed concern that by doing so, he was in danger of losing fans.  Let me dissect both of those ideas.  First, I don’t really get the idea that famous people should not express their opinions.  Why does having a certain career mean that they should stop having political opinions?  Is it just celebrities who should stop being political?  What other careers should not express political beliefs?  Should I be silent on politics outside of my classroom simply because I’m a teacher?  Should a lawyer because they might challenge or defend laws?  Should judges?  Now, obviously, in the last examples, there are times when politics should be put away.  For instance, I do not push my students to believe like I do.  I push them to be able to defend their opinions with facts and evidence only.  Likewise, judges need to be impartial when hearing cases.  Other than that, teachers, judges, etc. can have political beliefs outside of those specific cases.  John’s job is to write and perform music.  If we compare John’s job to a teacher, for instance, then some might argue he should keep politics out of his job, and thus his music.  What he did yesterday is not about the music.  It is something he did outside of his job.  He didn’t tell people that they had to agree with him, politically, to buy his music.

The other concern that I saw a lot of people express is that John’s political activity might alienate fans.  This idea makes me sad.  Is that really where we are?  Do we really have to agree completely to be a fan?  Do we apply this for our families and friends?  I don’t know about the rest of you but I definitely know people who disagree with me on various issues.  This doesn’t make me like them less.  Perhaps, the key with me is that I separate what someone thinks about this or that issue from that person’s behavior and treatment of others.  I also believe strongly that I’m not going to love everything done by Duran but that this does not diminish my love for the band either.  Goodness, my love ones do or think things that I don’t like and that doesn’t make me love them any less.  Let me give you an example from Duran’s history to explain what I mean.  Was I thrilled that they worked with Timbaland in order to reach a broader audience and get more commercial success?  I was not.  Does this mean that I shouldn’t be a fan anymore?  No.  It means I don’t like this one thing they did and disagreed with their approach.

Some reading this might say that this is easy for me to say.  After all, I was out marching yesterday, too.  I agree with John on this political issue.  While I’m sure that it does make it easier to me, I can think of other bands that I like, musically, that I’m not in alignment with, politically or otherwise.  Again, I can separate the two.

Beyond all of that, I believe strongly that everyone should be able to speak about what they think.  Therefore, I was totally fine with those fans who came on to say how they love John and the band but disagree with him.  What I was not okay with were some of the comments insulting John or bringing up things like his past drug use. Those kind of comments are never necessary.  There was nothing that John did yesterday that deserved mean or insulting comments.  All he did was express his opinion as an American and a human being.  That’s it.

-A

Time for Temptation: Hooking the Youth

I spend a lot of time with young people, teenagers specifically.  While my work contract requires that I teach for 5 hours a day, in reality, there are teens in my room for more than 7 hours a day.  Some kids are in my classroom doing work and others are there just to hang out.  I figure that every kid who is in there has the chance at learning about Duran.  After all, there are lots of little details that show my fan status, from the Duran tumblr holding my morning coffee to my computer wallpaper.  When all goes well, a kid or two will ask me about the band.  This gives me a necessary window of opportunity to share about the greatness of Duran.  Has that made any fans?  I don’t know, but I won’t stop trying.

Interestingly enough, I have sort of stopped trying with my nieces.  When they were younger (now they are 19 and 15), I used to give them Duran tunes for birthdays with the hope that one or more songs might grab them.  I had hopes that this would work when my oldest niece started to like the Killers.  I thought the leap to Duran wouldn’t be too great, but alas.  No luck.  So I stopped trying to push the issue.

Now, though, I have a little reason to hope.  Last summer, after having conversations with my youngest niece over the TV shows, Buffy and Angel, we decided to watch the entire Angel series together.  We would decide on how many episodes we would watch per week and then on Sunday we would talk about them.  I enjoyed sharing an activity like this with her and didn’t want it to end when we finished the final season.  I had to come up with something else.  After hearing my niece talk about aliens, the choice was either going to be X-Files, which is really long, or Roswell.  While I adore X-Files to this day, there is a special place in my heart for Roswell.  When this show aired on TV, I watched out of boredom but soon got hooked.  I appreciated the cheesy dialogue and the undercurrent of outsiders as heroes.  Soon enough, I jumped into the Roswell fan community and made some good friends.  One of the people I met actually reminded me about Duran, which led me back home to this fandom.  Roswell reminds me of the best of fandom.

I was unsure about how Roswell would go down with my nieces.  Like Duran, I had tried to show my nieces the show a few years ago when I was there visiting.  They thought it was okay but didn’t really want to watch more.  This time, I thought, they might give it more of a try because of how we are watching it.  So, we are two weeks in and they are hooked!  In fact, they have watched more than they were supposed to for the week.  This, of course, entertains me so.  In talking to the eldest niece who is about to return to college, she is sad that she won’t get to see more.  I invited her to come watch more episodes here with me.

Perhaps, there is a lesson here.  Could it be that getting someone into a TV show or a band is not about basic exposure but something more?  Could it be that there needs to be a reason to really watch or listen?  Could it be an issue of timing?  I’m not sure what has made Roswell work right now.  I just know that it has despite earlier rejection.  This tells me that I should not give up on my nieces or my students when it comes to Duran.  Maybe, someday, something will click there, too.

-A

Positive Reactions to Fannish Behavior?!

I am pretty open about my Duran Duran fandom.  Sometimes, I question whether or not this is a good thing or not but most of the time, it just feels right to declare my Duranie-ness.  People I work with know that I’m a Duran Duran fan.  Friends certainly know.  Heck, even my students know.  As a student of fandom and this fandom, in particular, I’m always surprised by the reaction I get when people find this out.  I almost always prepare myself for some negative comment or an assumption that I must be a groupie (not that the person saying that really knows anything about that term).  At times, that preparation comes in handy as I know exactly how to defend against a negative stereotype.  Lately, though, I have had the opposite experience.

Right before I went on winter break, I was struggling to get through. My kids were working on intense projects, adding stress to the usual gig.  One of my assistant principals checked in on me and to ask about a particular student.  At some point during this conversation she turns to me and says, “You know when I first met you, I was pretty intimidated by you.”  This statement surprised me since she is my administrator.  She can evaluate me, not the other way around.  I know that I can be pretty serious and often spend a lot of time observing before I interact, which some may perceive as “intimidating.”  Obviously, I had no idea how to respond to that.  As I tried to figure that out, she follows it up with, “But then you appeared human to me.”  She explained after seeing my puzzled expression, “Yeah, when I found out that you follow your favorite band around, I realized that you weren’t so scary!”  Fascinating.  The only interpretation I had was that she saw that I was passionate about something and someone.  I wasn’t just about work but had other interests.  Weird.

Then, the other day at work, my trip to Vegas came up in conversation.  Did I talk about it with my colleagues?  Friends?  Not really.  No, it came up during the Gender Equity (a student organization that I advise) meeting.  In the beginning of the meeting, we always do a check in.  This time, we focused on what we did over break.  Before I could even share, the other advisor to the club and friend of mine mentioned that I went to Vegas to see Duran Duran.  One student immediately popped up with, “Can they still walk?”  Clearly, she thinks that they are older than dirt.  Smart ass kid.  What was funny is that I did not have to defend them.  Other kids jumped in to say that they weren’t that old and how they had relatives a lot older than them capable of doing a lot.  This quickly led to an apology.  Of course, I was not mad at the comment as I figured that the student just wanted to tease me, to give me a hard time.  I appreciate that as I seek any and all means to give the kids a hard time myself so I figure that I’m fair game in return!  It also makes me feel good that students feel comfortable enough with me to be able to give me a little grief.

The last situation happened last night.  As I stopped by my parents place, they talked about what they did on New Year’s Day when they went over to a neighbor to play cards.  During that time, my mom mentioned that they had been cat-sitting and why.  The neighbor’s reaction?  According to my mom, it went something like this, “Duran Duran?!  I love them.  They are great!”  Mind you.  This neighbor is probably 65 to 70 years old.  So, clearly, all generations know of Duran Duran and how great they are.  Did this person ask my parents why I would travel to see a band?  Nope.  Did they think it was weird?  Not at all.  Apparently, they were all cool about me expressing my fandom in this way.

These experiences have given me some hope that there is less stigma over being a hardcore fan.  It is either that or the end of the world is near.  In all seriousness, I love that multiple generations seem to have an appreciation for them.  It makes me think that I’m all right in being so open with my Duranie-ness.

-A

Your Rhythm Is the Power to Move Me

Finally, I am getting to Lyric Day on Friday again!  During the last couple of months, I have found myself pushing Lyric Day to Saturday or Sunday or never.  This week, though, I’m on it!  So, what song popped up when I hit shuffle:  I Don’t Want Your Love.  As soon as I see it, I cannot help but to smile.  Oh, yes, I can use this song!  From there, the lyric I would choose was obvious, to the say the least.

Every time I hear this song, the line, “Your rhythm is the power to move me,” always grabs my attention.  How could it not?  It feels like it screams fandom to me.  It yells Duran Duran fandom, more specifically.  You know, fandom is a funny thing.  I think that being a fan is my blood.  My parents taught me fandom from day one as I watched them be White Sox fans.  Then, I saw my brother obsess over comic books and Star Trek.  I learned that fandom was good.  I even learned to be a Sox and Star Trek fan.  Now, decades later, those fandoms remain.  While I wouldn’t say that my youngest niece is a serious fan, I see some signs that she could be if the right thing grabbed her.  She likes lots of different things and can and does focus on those things in the way a fan would.  For example, for a while, it was Harry Potter then Buffy.  Yet, nothing has really stuck.

In my adult life, I have had some interests that have caught my attention.  Sometimes, those interests have lasted quite a while.  The TV show, Roswell, had my attention for years until I finally let it go.  I adore the X-Files and will get super excited when the next season starts, but those just aren’t the same as that Duran fandom.  The rhythm of being a music fan is just different.  With fandom surrounding TV or books or even movies, it is all about the love of a story or characters.  Most fans of those watch and rematch various scenes that they like.  Perhaps, those fans write fanfic to add to the story or to fill in the gaps.  I can understand all of that.  I, too, have loved specific characters on shows, for example, but the fan fiction train was never for me.  While I enjoying reading some, I couldn’t write it and got tired of reading the same old things.  Therefore, once the show is over or off the air, it is much hard for me to stick with the fandom.  This, of course, is the story of how Roswell died for me.  I didn’t wake up one day and determine that the show sucked.  No, I found that it could no longer keep my attention, no matter how great some of the fan fiction was.

Music fandom has been different for me.  Perhaps, part of the reason that music fandom resonates for me is because it was my first fandom.  While I appreciated those family fandoms, Duran was mine and all mine.  I discovered at a young age that their music moved me. When Duran writes one of those amazing tracks that stay with you long after you listen to it, I fall in love all over again.  Truly, Duran’s music affects me longer and stronger than any show or any book ever has.

Of course, I think that beyond the music itself, which is super strong, is also how I participate in the fandom.  For movie/TV/book fandoms, it feels very passive for me.  When I was into Roswell, for example, I had get togethers with friends but for the most part, I watched clips and read fanfic.  I would go online and dissect all of the little scenes but that was it.  I didn’t do much with it.  My Duran fandom, on the other hand, has motivated me to not only go to as many concerts as possible but also to travel, to write, to blog, to plan events.  The band’s rhythm have motivated me in ways that I could have never imagined.  Sometimes, I think back to when I was a kid watching Duran videos and I just start shaking my head.  Would my 9 year old self believe that thirty years later I would have seen the band a bunch, write about being a fan and more?  Somehow I don’t think so. Yet, it is true.  They have the power to move me and have for a long time.

-A