Tag Archives: Duran Duran fandom

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.


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.


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.


You Caught Me in Your Web of Youth

It is Lyric Day Friday!  My shuffle resulted in the song, Love Voodoo.  Like many Duran songs, when I looked at the lyrics, many, many lines could have been chosen for the inspiration of the blog post.  Before I got overwhelmed, I decided to focus in on the first one that caught my attention.  The line, of course, is “You caught me in your web of youth.”  It immediately reminded me of fandom, my Duran Duran fandom, to be specific, despite my lack of youth and the band’s lack of youth.  Still, I became a fan as a kid when the band members were really young, themselves.

Whenever my students find out that I’m a Duran Duran fan, they want to know right away how old they are and if they were any good.  Yes, they use the past tense.  It makes me crazy.  I immediately correct that assumption and explain that the band still creates music to this day.  As for their second question, I have tried to explain that they were the most popular band when I was a kid.  Each time I tell that, I feel inadequate in convincing them of the truth of my statement.  I try to reassure myself that no matter what I say, they cannot really get it.  They weren’t around then.  After that, the next common questions are, “Why do you like them?  Have you liked them for a long time?”  Again, I try my best to answer but never feel like I capture their appeal.

I cannot remember the first time I heard or saw Duran Duran.  As a kid, in the early 80s, I do remember listening to B96, Chicago’s Top 40 radio station.  I recall turning the dial on the TV to MTV or staying up “late” to tune into Friday Night Videos.  I’m certain that the first place I saw/heard Duran was on one of those sources.  I doubt it was anything from the first album.  I simply was too young and wouldn’t have tuned in then.  It could be something off of Rio.  I’m not sure what exactly.  The first songs I remember really connecting with are the first couple of singles from Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  One memory that stands out in my head is hearing New Moon on Monday on the radio at my then best friend’s house.  If my memory is accurate, I was staying there overnight while the rest of my family was out of town, trying to look for a house for us to move to, which would bring us closer to my dad’s new job.  I distinctly remember laying in my friend’s bedroom, trying to go to sleep while the radio played softly, when that song came on.  While I liked the song, it wasn’t until their videos that the band really caught my attention.

To the kid version of me, every video I saw seemed so cool.  First of all, I was drawn to the way they looked.  At this point in my life, I was living in a Chicago suburb, a working class suburb, no less.  People in my neighborhood, in my suburb did not dress up.  They tended to work in blue collar jobs, in factories.  Even my dad, who was a manufacturing manager, did not really dress up to go to work as he worked in an office within a factory.  He wore steel-toed shoes for protection and never wore his wedding ring, in case he used the machinery.  The only time I remember my parents, extended family or neighbors really dress up was for something like a wedding, a very special occasion.  On top of all of that, even their dress clothes weren’t fancy or anything fashion-forward.  No, they all dressed rather conservatively and all people stuck to their assigned gender role.  Women wore dresses with pantyhose and short heels while the men picked a suit jacket and button down top.

This, of course, is the exact opposite of Duran Duran.  They wore colorful clothing that was unique and fashion forward.  I remember thinking to myself that I would love to dress like them, but that my family could never afford style like that and that I wouldn’t even know where to go to get clothes like that!  Their fashion choices included things like fancy belts, leather pants, and fedoras.  They looked nothing like the men and boys I knew.  Heck, I also adored that they didn’t stick to their gender.  I never questioned the make-up.  I just knew that I liked what I saw.  Overall, they oozed cool.

If that was not enough, the videos and concert footage showed a group of friends who had so much fun.  Goodness, just writing this brings up scenes from Sing Blue Silver where the band is laughing and having fun together.  While I didn’t need to see them having fun or being with a group of friends to think they were amazing, these images added to the coolness to create a package that I had no choice, but to fall hard for.  As a young kid and preteen, I wanted to be them.  I longed for my upcoming teenage and young adulthood to be the cool that my childhood was far from.  The fantasy I focused on then wasn’t about becoming one of their wives but about being as cool as they were.  That was more important to my geeky self.

By the time 1985 rolled around, I was definitely caught in their web of youth.  They showed me that everyone does not have to be like those around me.  No, there was a whole colorful, cool world out there.  As a kid, it gave me something to look towards to determine what to do, how to dress, etc.  Obviously, this web that they created is a strong one as I’m still here, over 35 years later.


And Steaming Crowds They Gather and They Shout

My lyric day blog is a day late again.  I wanted to write a blog post about my decision  to go to the Vegas show first.  Today’s shuffle brought me a fan favorite, New Religion.  Then, I had to pick a lyric, which really isn’t all that easy for this song.  There are so many lines I could have picked.  Nonetheless, I went with the line, “And steaming crowds they gather and they shout.”  First of all, it is a good one.  Second and more importantly, it seemed pretty dang fitting this week as the news of a show was the topic of discussion.

Yesterday, my students watched a video about treaties the United States had with Native Americans and the lasting impact that broken treaties and more on the native people.  The video I show is one of my favorites.  The speaker is filled with dramatic pauses, emotional reactions, as well as visuals that enhance the message.  I want my students to feel the importance of Native American history.  If I could cue a classic musical soundtrack to increase the emotionality of the moment, I would.  Honestly, it is one of the aspects of history that I enjoy the most, the drama involved with the story of world events.

Why did I tell you that?  What does it have to do with Duran?  Or the song lyric I chose?  Simple.  I wish that I could convey the importance, the significance, the meaning of Duran Duran and their history to non-fans.  Just last night, I was listening to music while I did some things around the house.  The first song that came up was Planet Roaring.  Every time I hear that song, I wish that I could play it for each and every friend and family member I know so that they could understand the emotionality, the passion that Duranies feel at a show and feel about being Duran fans.  I want to use that song in the way that images and quotes were used in the video I showed in school.  For my students, those elements made it so they cared, so that they understood on a deeper, more emotional level.  I would hope that songs and lyrics like the one I have chosen would do the same thing, at least in my fantasy.

Many times, I think about posting a song like New Religion on my Facebook or other social media to try to explain my fandom.  The line about the crowd gathering is an essential piece of it.  Something magical happens at a show.  I have been lucky enough to attend shows in lots of different places.  No matter where the show is, it always feels the same.  We do all gather and shout, from casual fans who like a few songs to the hardcore fans who have traveled to be there.  Shows are essentially a  crowd who are screaming, shouting, singing, dancing together to music that matters to them.  Each person makes up the entity that is much bigger than them.  The Duran phenomenon is made up of the band members, the supporting players and the fans.  We are part of something significant and the concerts show that.  To me, each show feels that monumental, dramatic, historic.

I just wish that I could adequately explain or show this to friends and family who don’t get it.   Until I figure out a way, I will stick to the songs that seem to capture that feeling of significance for me.  New Religion is definitely one of those songs.


The Last of My Most Joyful Moments of Fandom

Last week, I started my list of the top ten most joyful moments of my fandom.  This week, I’m finishing the list.  If you are interested in reading the first five examples of pure happiness you can go here.  If you want to read Rhonda’s, you can go here.  Likewise, I appreciated those people who shared their happiest moments in this Duran Duran fandom of ours and welcome more!

Nights That Last Forever:
One of the things I like the best about our fandom is that we have plenty of opportunity to go out and have fun!  On occasions, this fun has lasted all night or almost all night.  Rhonda mentioned one of those nights in her list, which was the Saturday night of Durandemonium, the convention we organized with friends in October 2013.  Another night that comes to my mind is the night we saw Duran play a whole four songs at the Andre Agassi charity concert in Las Vegas in October 2005.  After the show, we ended up at a club literally enjoying vodka tonics and dancing all night long.  The fun ended with breakfast at like 6 am.  Perfect.

Over the course of the years, Rhonda and I have spent quite a bit of time in nightclubs, specifically ones that have 80s nights.  Durandemonium included one of those at Chicago’s Late Bar.  Birmingham hosts an Only After Dark, an event to recreate the Rum Runner, both in style and in musical quality.  Even our summer included a trip to San Francisco’s Cat Club that had a Duran focus after the show.  Each and every time I find myself at a club like those I just feel happy.  I let the music overtake me and I dance without any concern in the world.

Concert interactions:
Who doesn’t attend a Duran show hoping to have an interaction or ten with a band member or more.  Over the course of my fandom “career”, I have been lucky enough to have a few.  I think back to the Sears Center show in Chicago in October 2006 when I would swear that John Taylor told us to keep singing in our like 8th row seats.  It also makes me think of all the time we have had the (mis)fortune of being victims of the White Lines spit moment from one Mr. Simon Le Bon.  Heck, the show in Paso Robles in July 2016 featured that and more as Simon came to the front of the stage, looking as if he would spit any second before swallowing the water he had in his mouth.  Good times.

Unified Crowds:
Rhonda mentioned the Glasgow show in December 2005 when the entire venue clapped in unison to the Man Who Stole a Leopard.  At that moment, I felt like I was only a tiny part of a much bigger and more important entity.  I felt like I was part of something super special then.  Other examples include every time I see the audience light up their cell phones during Save a Prayer or shout out “switch it off” in Planet Earth.  Those magical moments keep me going to concerts.

More to Come:
I have to admit that one thing I really love about our fandom is planning for future events.  Of course, every time we get to plan for a show or tour is special.  I love every moment of the planning or plotting as we call it from announcing that there is an official Duran alert to making decisions about what we can and should do, to deciding hotels, ticket plans, etc.  The flurry of exchanged messages make me excited for what is to come.  Here’s the thing.  Any Duran related event or happening brings the possibility of having another one of my most joyful fan moments.  Heck, even less than awesome events, are still great.  Those times of planning means that something amazing is just around the corner.  They are the promise of future fun.

As I finish up my top ten most joyful moments, I realize the best part. I have a whole future of moments waiting to happen.  I’m hoping that by the time this “ends” I have a whole series of magical moments that brought me joy.  I feel very lucky that way.


Feelings Are Good

Normally, lyric day takes place on Fridays.  This week, though, it is happening on Saturday.  Why?  I couldn’t write Simon’s birthday blog on any day but his birthday.  I had to write about Simon’s birthday yesterday.  I had to.  Therefore, I chose to do lyric day today.  As always, I hit shuffle and the first Duran related song that popped up was John’s song, Feelings Are Good.  Normally, I would take a look at the lyrics and focus in on one specific line.  This time, though, I’m going to address the chorus and title:  Feelings are good.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with emotions.  As a kid, I was pretty emotional.  This led to a lot of grief in my world.  Other kids saw that I was sensitive, emotional and used that against me.  Many kids thought there was nothing funnier than making me upset by pushing a button or two.  My older siblings probably needled me a bit, too.  Initially, this didn’t stop me from being emotional.  Often, these interactions would get me more upset, which only encouraged other kids to do more of the same.  At the same time, I heard from a lot of adults that I needed to learn to control my emotions.  The message was clear.  I was smart but if I wanted others to take me seriously, I had to keep my emotions in check.  In that case, these adults were offering me good advice, in many ways, even if I couldn’t quite grasp what they were suggesting.

As I got older, I began to do exactly what the adults thought I should do.  I got my emotions under control.  Then, I started teaching.  Truly, being a teacher means hiding a lot and putting on a mask in front of students.  I cannot necessarily show the kids how I feel about a huge list of issues.  The me I show them is professional and positive.  It appears as if I have it all together when that is usually as far from the truth as possible.  Basically, teaching is like being an actor, to some extent.  Some might think this means that I’m not genuine but it is really about putting my students’ needs above mine.  When I first started teaching, I wasn’t very good at this. I still didn’t really know how to hide my feelings and there were many days in which I found myself in various offices crying for a variety of reasons.  In the last five years, I can count the number of times I have cried at work on one hand.  Now, I have gotten very good at this skill.

Some people might say that I have become too good at it and that this hurts me.  People cannot get to know me in the same way because I appear closed off.  I seem less human then.  The funny part is that the emotional child still lives inside of me.  I still feel a lot.  My heart is squeezed frequently for all sorts of reasons and I do wish that people understood that about me.  Just because I don’t show a lot about what I’m feeling now doesn’t mean that I’m not feeling something within.

You might be wondering why I am telling you all this and how this relates to fandom.  Let me explain.  Fandom is the one thing that allows the mask to slide down.  It allows me to feel all that I can.  On top of that, fandom makes me feel so much that I don’t hide my emotions as much as I can in the rest of my life.  I just can’t.  It is also the area in which I don’t let myself think too much.  I’m more spontaneous.  I have heard from a number of people over the years that Rhonda and I are pretty enthusiastic at a Duran show.  I think that is true.  It is the one area that I don’t feel like I have to hide or carry myself in a ultra professional way.  No, concerts are about feeling and showing those feelings.  They create passions and excitement that cannot be hidden easily.  Goodness know that I have tried to hide some of enthusiasm but fail each and every time.

Now, as someone who feels like I have to present myself in a certain way at work, I appreciate fandom more.  I like that it makes me feel so much that I cannot hide it.  I don’t want to hide it.  I like that it makes me feel so much joy and happiness that it is like my heart will burst.  I appreciate that I cannot hide how much I like Duran Duran.  In many ways, fandom gives me an emotional freedom that I long for, that I need.

As I have tried to balance the profession teacher persona with the enthusiastic, over-the-top fan, I have learned that feelings can be good and that there are times when it is important to hide emotions but there are times that all those feelings must come out.


Amanda’s Five Joyful Moments of Fandom

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about an idea I had. This idea was a simple one–that I was going to take time to think about moments when I experienced real joy, related to my fandom. These moments might happen when the band is around and they might occur when they are not around. The idea was to acknowledge those times when I stopped for a second or two, looked around and realized that, in that moment, I was truly happy. Those moments might not be big or small and they might not have been perfect but something was happening that made my heart feel full. I have taken some time in the last two weeks to think of these moments. Some of them I knew right away and others took longer to pop into my head. Here are five of those moments, in no particular order. I’m certain that there were more but I’m going with these. Then, next week, I’ll share five more.

1. Singing Hungry Like the Wolf at Howl at the Moon on Bourbon Street in New Orleans in September 2004.
This moment happened on the second night of the Friends of Mine Convention.  At the time of the convention, I had just returned to the Duran fandom and felt like I had taken a huge risk in going to this convention. After all, I had never traveled for fandom before and didn’t really know anyone except for the person who went with me. I knew that this would be a moment that would either cause my fandom to grow or to fade. Luckily for me, I had an absolute blast and met so many amazing people, including Rhonda. It was a turning point, indeed. While I didn’t know that at the time, I knew that I was having an absolutely amazing time when we were at the piano bar, Howl at the Moon. We had finally convinced them to play some Duran and there we were, late at night, singing loudly and proudly to Hungry Like the Wolf. I felt like I had found my people.

2. Secret Oktober in Brighton in November 2011.
As many of you know, Rhonda and I flew to the UK in the spring of 2011 to see Duran play in their home country, only to have the shows canceled on us due to Simon’s lost vocal range. At the time of that trip, both of us felt fairly certain that the band was done and Simon would never sing again. Of course, we didn’t dare utter that thought from fear that it would be true. Thus, when the band was able to perform again, we didn’t hesitate to go back, to try it again. Brighton was our first show of that tour, which will always make it magical but when we heard the first notes to Secret Oktober, it transcended even that. Rhonda and I looked at each other in shock and awe before hugging like goofs and turning our attention back to the stage. Magical, indeed.

3. Agua Caliente show in March 2017.
This has been a tough year for me and it was especially tough in those first couple of months. One reason was that Rhonda and I weren’t communicating as we normally do. We felt distant from each other and I desperately fretted that our friendship was slowly dying. When the shows at Agua Caliente were announced, I knew that I had to go. I figured it might either be my last tour or it would turn things around. Both shows were amazing but the second night, up front, felt like everything was right again. At the end of the show, I posted the following on my personal Facebook, “The truth is that I love this band more than I can say. I can’t imagine never seeing them again. They bring me joy…” Indeed.

4. Laughing hysterically at Tempo Cafe in Chicago in March 2005.
While the convention in 2004 brought me my people, the spring Astronaut tour made Rhonda and I touring partners for life. We saw two shows that weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee. After the second show, we ended up needing food and caffeine at like five in the morning. Tempo Cafe was the only place in downtown Chicago that we knew was open twenty-four hours a day. After waiting for forever to get a seat, once we got our food, Rhonda and I could not stop laughing. I have no idea what the heck was so funny but we laughed and laughed and laughed until tears were flowing. I knew then that when we get together, laughter will always follow.

5. Hail storm in Brompton Cemetery in London in May 2011.
When Rhonda and I went to the UK for shows that did not happen, we promised ourselves that we would not just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We were going to make lemonade out of lemons. Thankfully, friends took sympathy on us and gave us some info on where some Duran landmarks are located, including Brompton Cemetery, the one featured in the All You Need Is Now video. We spent one day following this mini-tour, including stopping by the very cool cemetery. The funny part is that every time we got near a Duran specific place, it would thunder and rain like you would not believe. We wondered if the gods were trying to tell us something. By the time we hit the cemetery, we were ready for whatever. Whatever is what we got. No sooner had we entered through the gate when it started to storm. This storm included some significant hail. We ran until we found shelter, laughing all the way, as we were certain that we looked like drowned rats.

Now that I have five of my fandom moments that have brought me joy, I ask that all of you do the same.  I want to read everyone’s very cool moments related to their fandom.  I guarantee that my week will be better off because of them.  Then, next week, I will share five more to round out my ten joyful fandom moments.



Big News!

I normally post a blog on Friday morning and move along.  After all, by Friday afternoon, I’m usually spent.  Exhausted.  Tired.  Fatigued.  Use whatever synonym you like best.  This week is not really an exception but we have news.  Big news.  In fact, this news is such that we don’t want to sit on it for another minute, hour or day.  What is it, you might ask?  Well, in order to find out, you gotta the watch the video.

Assuming that you all suffered through that 13 minutes plus of that glorious video, what do you think?  As you can tell, we are pretty dang excited.  Of course, we also want to acknowledge some people who have helped with this process so far.  First, as much as it pains me, I have to get a little shout-out to that old brother of mine who gave us the idea to go for this and some writing assistance as well.  Second, we would like to thank a couple of friends of ours, Lori and Patty, who were our sounding board and provided some necessary guidance when we really needed it.  Of course, I suppose we should thank that band who inspired us (or as Rhonda says–tricked us) into starting this journey to begin with.  In all seriousness, without them, we wouldn’t have done any of this.

On that note, we are off to do a little work and listen to a Katy Kafe with…that’s right…Simon, our favorite singer in the entire world.  (Ha!)  Perhaps, there will be a video blog about that…


I Light My Torch and Wave It

It is lyric Friday!  As usual, I shuffled my iPod until I came across my first Duran related song.  Today, the first song was New Moon on Monday, which made me smile.  I knew immediately which lyric I would use for the blog post.  My favorite lyric in this song is definitely, “I light my torch and wave it…”  I have said it before and I’ll say it again.  It absolutely reminds me of fandom.  Once you become a fan, a significant fan of someone or something, you light that torch, so to speak.

Call me sappy, but that is how I view fandom.  When you fall in love or become a fan, it does feel like something has been awoken or lit inside.  It makes you feel warm inside.  It makes you feel good to watch or hear or read something you are a fan of.  In those situations, you cannot help but to smile.  Of course, that leads people  to read, watch, listen, etc. again and again.  It is like the light from good feeling continues.  It burns on.  At least, that is how I feel about my fandom.  Yes, there have been times that I have been disappointed or frustrated with something related or connected to my fandom, but overall, it still begins me joy and happiness that I rarely get otherwise.  Therefore, I cannot imagine my torch ever being extinguished.  The flame will always burn.

As for the second half of the lyrics, to “wave” that torch seems to me to be about being out and proud of one’s fan status.  There are many in fan studies who talk about fan coming out stories and how it is common for fans to share one’s fan story when first meeting other fans.  I feel lucky in that I often get to share my fan story here on this blog, in person at various meet ups and other events and more.  I love to hear other people’s fan stories, including when, why, how they became fans.  I also like to hear about how fans “wave” their fandom.  How do they show it?  How do they share it with other fans and non-fans?

I think about how I “wave” my fandom.  Clearly, one of the biggest, most obvious way is through this blog.  The fact that I am one half of the Daily Duranie, a blog that posts daily about being Duran fans I think shows how much and how often I’m cool with waving my Duran fandom.  Other fans certainly see my fandom beyond this blog.  For example, any fellow fan that comes to my house would see my office, which is nothing but Duran.  That fan might also see or hear my collection of CDs or of DVDs.  Heck, they might even get a chance to play Into the Arena or the trivia game I wrote.  But, is that really waving my torch, so to speak?  Maybe with other fans but I don’t think that qualifies with non-fans.  How I am doing with them?

I don’t think I hide my Duranieness but I acknowledge that it isn’t something I discuss when first meeting people.  I recognize that fandom is very much misunderstood and that there is a lot of stigma connected to being a fan, especially as a forty-something year-old woman.  Thus, I tend to wait a little while before sharing.  Once I do, though, I tend to be pretty open.  It isn’t uncommon for me to be seen with Duran a related mug or one of  my 850 (kidding!) Paper Gods canvass bags or a t-shirt.  I think once I get out the fact that I’m a big Duranie, then I am constantly waving that torch.  What about the rest of you?  Do you wave your fandom torch?  If so, how?  When?