It feels like absolutely forever since I have written a real blog, a long blog. There are many reasons for this, but I won’t bore you. Let’s just say that there has been a lot going on in my life. Yet, no matter what else has been going on, I still find myself thinking about Duran Duran, despite the fact that they are busy in the studio and away from public life. When Rhonda and I were last writing a lot of lengthy blogs, we talked about or seemed to talk a lot about Durantime, how long the album was taking, the apparent shift from how things were going with the band during the All You Need Is Now era and other related topics. When we did, we got a LOT of criticism. A LOT (and I mean a LOT) of people disagreed with us. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except a lot of the criticism was based on negative assumptions about us. People assumed or seemed to assume that it didn’t matter to us what the album sounded like, that it was more important that the band get a new album out than it did about the quality of music or that we didn’t care about the band as people. We weren’t acknowledging that they might have family needs or personal needs to take care of. The assumption, again stated or otherwise, was that we just wanted them to be music making machines without concern about their needs and feelings and without care to their creativity. For the record, let me be perfectly clear, that is the farthest thing from the truth. We do want this album and future albums to be quality. We do. Of course, we do. Likewise, we both care about them as people and understand that there might be other things for them to focus on, personally.
I, now, realize that I wasn’t doing a very good job explaining where I was coming from. Yes, of course, I want the album done as quickly. Of course, I do. Do I want it without concern of quality? Of course not. Do I care more about the album than I do about them as people? Absolutely not. Yet, I’m a fan. Fans like new products of their idols, don’t we? We want to hear new music—that is what being a fan is, isn’t it? I thought it was about liking their music. I also want them to be able to experience more of the success that they had with AYNIN. I worry that the long interval won’t give the results that they want or that we want and I don’t mean that in some commercial success way. For me, personally, there is also the fact that I have decided to make Duran Duran such a big part of my existence. There is not a day that goes by without me thinking about them. I have to put up the daily question, for example. Yet, even without that, I would think of them. This blog exists because of them. Our book exists because of them. Durandemonium 2013 happened because of them. My dreams shifted due to them. Please, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not saying I’m a bigger and/or better fan. No way. I’m just saying that I have a personal commitment. This commitment I made myself. Willingly. I could stop, but I don’t want to. I never want to destroy what Rhonda and I built up here. It is more than just this blog or our book or meet ups or conventions. It is now something PERSONAL to me. While I will always defend fandom, what we have here is more than fandom. It is tied to personal pride, to my identity. How can it not be? I think anytime that someone puts forth a lot of effort, dedication and themselves into a project it becomes tied to pride and identity, to emotions. Do these emotions stop me from being objective? No, I don’t believe that. Yet, I am acknowledging that my experience and perspective is going to be very different from most people. I didn’t understand where they were coming from and they didn’t understand where I was coming from. Instead of assuming the best of intentions, everyone started to assume the worst.
Beyond this daily focus on the band and everything connected to this blog, I can also acknowledge that I miss touring. I miss it intensely. I miss touring the most when life is full of problems and complications like my life is now. What do I miss? I miss traveling. I miss planning how, where, when we would go. I miss seeing new places or places that have represented good times in the past. The longing I have to escape real life, as everyone does once in a while, was fulfilled by touring. There is nothing better to forget one’s problems and live in the moment than touring. It is an amazing experience and one that cannot be replicated by simple traveling. There are elements that are missing. Of course, there are the hours spent with the band in front of you on stage, but more than that, there is the adrenaline of the concerts, there is the excitement, the utter JOY that comes from being surrounded by Duranies, by people who GET you. Yes, I’m sure that some of you will point out that I have been very spoiled by the touring I have done. I have been very, very, very fortunate to have been able to tour as much as I have. My fortune doesn’t make me miss touring less and I absolutely wish that everyone could the joy from touring as well. This is where the album comes in. I know that Duran typically doesn’t do large tours unless it is followed by an album. Thus, a new album means touring or, at least, a break from the “we don’t need to tour” vibe coming from the band.
More than all of this and something that I think every single person can relate to is that I miss the people. I miss sharing experiences with other fans, with my friends. Most significantly, I miss Rhonda. I miss my best friend, my partner-in-crime. While we are often in touch, it is so not the same as touring. All of those shows, those experiences have been what they were, not just because of the band, but also because of being able to be together. Could Rhonda and I get together without a tour or a convention? Of course and we have, but it isn’t the same. We don’t have the same motivation. We don’t have the same desire to sacrifice. Without something Duran related, we are too practical, too logical. During a tour, we become a lot more passionate and emotional. We embrace fun, which we aren’t good at doing in real life, away from each other. We are much more willing to sacrifice for a tour. Yet, even now, despite letting the practical side dictate, I still don’t regret any of the tours or shows that I have done. No, I find myself appreciating them all the more.
Thus, the reality is that I miss my best friend. I miss screaming at Dom, singing with John, and giving LeBon a hard time on stage. I miss late night conversations filled with analysis about the show and hours and hours spent giggling. I miss having my only calorie intake be from caffeine and alcohol and wondering why I don’t have a voice. I miss the planning and plotting that goes along with any and every tour. I miss it all. I miss the lack of sleep, trying to get around work and other responsibilities, spending money that shouldn’t be spent and more. I miss it all. Thus, don’t be angry at me for wanting to cheer on my favorite band, their music and their live performances. Don’t be angry with me for missing my friends and what has become such a big part of my life. Trust me when I say that my concern and frustration over the time with the album truly just masked a lot of anxiety that I wouldn’t have any more of those amazing experiences or that I wouldn’t be able to take those opportunities when they came or that what we have done here doesn’t matter. It also came from sadness—from missing my best friend, from missing them. While I don’t know them, personally, I still miss their presence in my life. Looking at the past is fine and should be appreciated but it isn’t the same as having news, something current. I just long for the next chapter and hope that I can enjoy it at least half as much as I did this last one. What is wrong with that?