Tag Archives: Paper Gods tour 2016

Think Yourself Lucky: Some thoughts on this tour

I’ve been thinking about the Paper Gods tour, or at least the shows that I attended. I have fantastic memories from the past few years, that is for sure. There really isn’t anything like seeing Duran Duran on stage, and being able to go to these shows with my best friend, knowing that however insane I seem – she usually gets it – makes it all the better.

I am pretty lucky that I was able to see Duran Duran play at the Hollywood Bowl, for example. Although I’m not a huge fan of the venue for rock concerts (the crowds are ridiculous and it takes a special sort of patience to handle the parking and traffic issues), seeing Duran Duran there was a dream. To begin with, it was the first show of the tour (for me), not counting Jimmy Kimmel the evening before.  Our seats were amazing – we splurged for second row center tickets, and I just remember how excited I was to be there. We had our friend from Canada with us, and the memories of giggling in the car after the show as I drove over the Grapevine will never leave me.  Amanda read me texts from another friend of ours who had gotten into to the after party with the band, and I was over the moon about the scene she described, wishing I had been there. I still can’t believe I drove all the way from my house, up to Berkeley, then back again, the very next day.

Amanda and I saw a lot of shows this time around. We’ve never done this many before, and I don’t regret a single one.  My bank account does, but that’s alright. You only live once, and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. I did turn down a few shows—Amanda went without me to DC over New Years, for example—and while sure I wish I could have been there, I also wasn’t ready for the chaos and anger that would have caused here at home. It’s a tradeoff, and not an easy one at that.

When I start thinking about all of the miles and driving and travel—it begins to blow my mind just a little. I’ve gotten to see some parts of this country I’d never seen before, and I even got to go to Canada! I’ve also met a lot of new people, made new friends, and perhaps even made a new pal out of someone I’ve known for a very long time.

I toasted with Simon, saw Nick laugh at me more times than I care admit (I CAN’T HELP ROLLING MY EYES AT HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF – I AM SORRY BUT I TRY MY BEST TO BEHAVE!!), ducked from Simon-spit 16 times (we’re still winning that war, Simon!!), and exchanged smiles with other band members countless times. I can’t even count the amount of moments I would look at Amanda and we’d share a huge grin, because we were in exactly the kind of “heaven” we love most.  She and I made fun of this band at every single opportunity, laughed at ourselves so much our sides hurt, and fell more in “love” with each one of them every single day. Yeah, they’re band members. Celebrities. People. Just like us. We adore them even when we’re calling them dorks. Our readers don’t always understand that, and some really get on us about teasing them – but Amanda and I don’t feel as though we have to apologize to them for our antics. Something tells me that they not only get it, they really kind of like it! Rock on!

No, they probably don’t know me, but they made this tour worth every last mile I traveled, and a lot of the turmoil that went along with my absence from home. I don’t regret a single moment…well, maybe aside from the moments when we should have zigged instead of zagged. (If you don’t know what I mean by that, you’ll need to re-watch last Monday’s video blog)

Then there’s the way I ended this tour – with a show in San Francisco. It was GA, we were pretty far back, and yet I can honestly say I had a great time. I’d forgotten just how much better the sound can be when you’re back away from the stage, and the crowd energy was infectious. The thing is, of course we wanted to be up closer to the front. Yeah, I’m not afraid to say that I wanted to rock out with Dom one last time. But, we made the best of where we were, stayed present in the moment and danced like crazy. Some ridiculous part of me thinks that he still saw me out there, having a great time. And I did. The one thing I can tell you I thought about that night over and over again, was that I was so lucky to be there.

There I was, standing with my best friend, smiling so hard my cheeks hurt, watching the band we adore do their thing. About 30 seconds into the show, it stopped mattering where we were standing, or that there was a really rude, and very tall kid and his also-tall girlfriend standing directly in front of me, positioned so that there was no way I could see past them at all (he was rude for other reasons, not because he was in front of me).  I was just happy to be there one last night. I don’t know if I’ll always be able to be there, and if nothing else – the past couple of months has taught me that there really are NO guarantees in life. You get whatever you get. I would peek in between the sea of arms and camera phones to catch glimpses of Dom, Simon and John, and I just danced.  Pure bliss. And yeah, I’m pretty sure that by the end of the show, I got a wink or two from Dom. I can’t imagine he really saw me, but I smiled in return. We waved to Simon, Nick, John and Roger, and refused to acknowledge that for us, the tour had ended.

These are my favorite people, and I regret nothing. My two girls are performers. Heather is a dancer/choreographer, and my youngest is a singer and piano player, although she’s only nine so who knows what she’ll really do when she’s grown. I always tell each of them the same thing when they’re about to perform, and that’s to leave it ALL out on the stage. Don’t hold back. It’s the only advice I know to give. The only reason I know to give it is because I wouldn’t want them to live life the way I did for so long before I started doing all of this. I only half-lived, and it wasn’t enough. So this tour, I did the shows I wanted to do, and I LIVED. I left it all out there, no regrets, heart on the sleeve, and all of that. Nobody should wonder how I feel about this band, and particularly about the people within—whether or not they’re members, or supporting players.

Those memories are gonna have to last me until I-have-no-idea-when, so I’ll take them.  I am lucky.

-R

On this date in 2016, the Belasco Theater, Los Angeles.

It is hard for me to believe that on this very day last year I was waiting in line to get into the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. I remember it was a warm day, and my husband went with me to see the show. We came prepared to be in the line all day – and even brought chairs. It was the most “prepared” I’ve ever been for a GA line, and the funny thing is that I spent almost zero time IN the chair.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the GA line, at least for me, is becoming less and less of a chore and more like a reunion.  That entire day was spent walking up and down the line, spotting faces I hadn’t seen in a few years, and then talking with them. The time flew by, and I could hardly believe it when Walt told me we needed to pack up the chairs and stuff and get it back to the car.

As much as I hate the idea of GA, these days, I feel like I know so many other Duranies – it is like sitting around and chatting all day, with no place else to be, and then getting into the theater and talking more before the band comes on stage. I don’t hate that. I also haven’t noticed the same pushing and shoving that I used to experience at one point. Either we’ve gotten to the point where we understand one another and don’t bother, or, we’re a kinder, gentler set of die-hard fans these days. Sure, every show has its resident idiot that thinks they need to shove or just behave out of line, but for the most part, we’re a tame crowd.

In July, I will head up to the San Francisco bay area to see two more GA shows. I’m curious to see if I’ll still be feeling the same sort of love there as I did last year. I hope so – I’ll be there with Amanda and our two roomies from Rancho Mirage. I can’t wait for another road trip!

So, were you at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles last year?

-R

Don’t fake it when it comes to making money

One comment I’ve heard over and over about the band is that they probably laugh all the way to the bank. Yeah, some of us feel as though the shows are of good value at $300-400 (and sometimes more) for those great VIP seats, but I see plenty of comments otherwise, too.  Even I’ve had my “OK seriously guys, how much more cash do you need??” moments.

It’s hard. I love Duran Duran. YOU love Duran Duran. We want shows. We want to have great seats. We also need to eat, pay bills, send children to college, drive cars, and so on. While I know that there are plenty of other acts out there wanting $400 just to get in the door to the venue, much less sit near the front, I also know that it’s painful to buy more than a show at a time to see Duran Duran unless I don’t care where I sit.

Let me be clear: I CARE.  I care too much, as my husband might say.

It’s easy to throw an “off the cuff” comment out on Twitter or Facebook about how we’re paying for their retirement, or that we’ve paid for their kids’ boarding school. Naturally, most of those comments are made in jest. For instance, I realize it takes more than my dollars to buy a Picasso or an Aston Martin.  I often wondered what kind of mansions they all must own or the lives they must lead when they’re not on stage. Even as an adult, I didn’t start really considering their costs to actually operate until around the All You Need is Now tour.

It can’t be cheap.  Think about all of the people they’ve had work with the band. Those people don’t work for free. Timbaland, Mark Ronson, even Nile….all of them are in or have been in demand over the years. Collaborations, even with Janelle Monae or Lindsey Lohan, couldn’t have been for free. All of that studio time, the mixing, the engineering, mastering, etc… it all costs.

Then there’s the touring. Ah yes, the touring. When I was in England, I was surprised by how austere the touring was there compared to here. Many times, the band could (and did) travel from their home to where ever they were going to be. Here in the states, they use a private jet. That isn’t cheap at all even if the band gets a good deal. Here, they stay in pretty nice hotels, even if they put the crew up somewhere less expensive. Speaking of the crew – they pay all of those people, right? Everyone from the guy who has to take care of all that cabling (my worst freaking nightmare!) to the techs and beyond gets paid. Lighting, sound, audio/visual, and everyone in between get a pay check.  There’s also Dom, Anna, Erin and Simon W. to consider…. I’m fairly certain none of them donate their appearances for free!

Those things I’ve mentioned are merely a drop in the bucket. The minutia of touring, right down to the copying and printing that needs to be done, all takes money. Every last paper clip, button to be sewn, guitar string and costume, all takes money.

So, when I see that last year’s Paper Gods tour (2016 in case you’re unsure) grossed 16.1 million here in the states .I’m surprised, for a few reasons, actually.

First of all, according to Pollstar, who compiled a list of last year’s 200 top grossing tours (Duran Duran ranks at 74), the average ticket price to a DD show was $68. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my average ticket price was “slightly higher”…like about $300 a show, give or take.  As I said earlier on Twitter, the average ticket price for someone who doesn’t know much more than Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf was probably $68. For a die-hard fan? $300 if you want near the front.  I alternatively laugh and then cry…

Secondly, the band played 44 shows in 40 cities. That’s a lot. They grossed (that means before their costs), on average about $400,000 a show.  Not as much as I might have thought, really. (The band should not see this as an invitation to raise prices!) When you consider that figure is before anything else is paid – it becomes clear that no, this band isn’t really laughing all the way to the bank after all.

While I still feel fleeced from time to time – in a kind of a “Hey, congratulations Big Fan – you love us so much that you’re going to pay way more than others on average to sit near us” sort of way, it’s kind of the way things go. Demand. Demand, demand, demand. We want them, we’re going to pay for them. Welcome to Economics 101.  I can’t blame them for making a living, particularly when I do the math myself and realize they’re not making as much off of these shows as we might think. 16.2 million before paying all of the bills for things we know, and then the stuff we don’t even realize might not leave a lot….and I am sure they had to share some of that with Chic, too!! Sure, they’re making money. It’s their job in the same way that wrangling children and making copies is mine. I just happen to enjoy the fruits of labor an awful lot!

-R

 

Rhonda’s Merry Christmas Wish List

This is my last blogging day before Christmas. It is amazing how quickly I filled up my “work-free” week with, well, WORK. It is the unpaid kind, and while I enjoy blogging, that isn’t the kind of work I’m talking about. It’s the shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning and cooking variety that has worked very hard to make sure my lower back is in quite a bit of pain just before Christmas, and I am sure I’m not alone.

So before I make a mad dash to try to contain the mess in my house before my sister arrives late tonight from Chicago, I thought I’d settle in and post some good wishes.

This year, I barely got my family Christmas cards out before the holiday. I think that’s a side-effect from working, college applications  (which are finally done!) and teaching at home. There are plenty of my friends who appear to have it all together and got their cards out with time to spare. Me, on the other hand, well…I’m learning. Maybe next year will be better! In any case, I want to say a very Merry Christmas to all of you. It has been a wild year for me and my family, and while we’ve had good cheer, there has been a fair amount of heart ache and loss. My wish for Christmas is time for peace, love and reflection, for all.

I feel very fortunate to be able to write most days. The latter part of this year has been about finding the enjoyment again in doing so. When I first started working, I couldn’t find the time to write. What I’ve begun to realize is that once I started enjoying it again, finding the time was easy. Hmm. Must be something to that, somewhere. The same holds true for being a fan (for me). I am thoroughly enjoying being a fan again. It is one of many things I love, and I’m thankful. My wish here is just for more of the same. I would like to keep writing and enjoying. I don’t have big dreams for the blog or my writing—I just like doing it.

I learned this year that it really doesn’t matter if fellow fans like what I write, or if the band likes it, or even if a publisher likes it. I write for me. It took me a long time to get back to this space and my wish is to stay here and enjoy the moments as they arrive.

Naturally, I can’t forget the band. We’re really and truly talking about their fortieth anniversary coming up. That blows my mind. We’re all “those” fans who have stuck with the band forever with no sign of stopping. I remember going to see the Beach Boys about ten or even fifteen years ago with my husband—laugh if you must, but my parents loved them, so they’re a sentimental favorite. Anyway, we saw a couple of elderly fans being wheeled in and even a couple with oxygen tanks in tow. Walt turned to me and said, “Maybe that’s going to be you someday!” I was not amused. I felt like I would give up the live show before then. I’m not quite elderly, but I hope to never give up the music. Simon says that it can’t go on forever (live shows). I say we should give it a good try.  😀 I can’t imagine the day when this kind of fun just stops.

When I was young, I wished for a lot of things. I still have that type of wish list, but I find that the older I get – the more I wish for the things that just can’t be wrapped. Time with family and friends, peace and quiet, loud concerts, drinks at a bar with people I rarely see…those are the moments I long for.  Additionally, I am thinking about college acceptances for my son, time with my youngest curled up beside me on the couch as we read together, mother/daughter time with my oldest, and a place to retire with my husband with plenty of space where I never have to hear a phone ring (from someone else’s house – yep, I live in Southern California where I can hear my neighbors!) or hear a garbage truck pass.  I think about the simple enjoyment from writing a good blog post, putting on fan get togethers, and yeah—a smile or shared laugh from the stage to cap it all off.

This year’s wish list for me is simple, yet tough to pull off. Much of it, I am going to have to work to make happen on my own. Some of it just requires telling the people I care about how I feel.  So, Merry Christmas to all of you. I’ve met many of you over the years. My memory is poor when it comes to matching names to faces, but my heart is full. I am lucky. I met a lot of wonderful people this past year, especially. I want to thank all of you and tell you that yes, you matter. Every time someone says that they enjoyed the blog or love what Amanda and I do, it means something. I get embarrassed when people say that to us—my red face is a dead give-away, I’m afraid—but I relish it every single time, and I appreciate it.

I hope to see as many of our readers as possible in March at the shows in Palm Springs (It’s really Rancho Mirage at Agua Caliente). Have a fabulous time if you’re headed to Cancun. (oh, to be headed to Cancun….) If you’re going to the shows in DC, I hope you have an amazing time and that you hang out with Amanda. I am looking forward to reading her reports from the road next week. I don’t know how much blogging I will be doing next week, as I have family here from out-of-town, but I will check in and will be back blogging as usual come January 2nd.

Merry Christmas!!!

-R

Happy 58th Birthday Simon!

So as I write this on Wednesday, Simon’s birthday is tomorrow. He will be 58, which is mind-boggling.  I would swear we miscounted. He doesn’t seem 58. He doesn’t look 58. Must be all that good clean living, right?  <big toothy grin here>

I don’t know how many more of these stories I’ll have for members of Duran Duran. It isn’t as though I run into them every day, but I do have one this year with Simon that I don’t think I’ve written about on the blog before.

This past summer, I saw Duran Duran in Toronto with Amanda and our friend Heather, whom I’ve mentioned on the blog before. Many times, actually. (Hi Heather!!) The three of us went to the show and then went to a nearby hotel for after show libations. As we sat in the lounge, we saw Dave come through and look around. I kind of figured that a band member would come in after that, and sure enough it wasn’t long before Simon stepped in.

Here’s the thing. Simon makes me nervous. Granted, I am shy (in person) to begin with, but he genuinely freaks me out. I never know how he’s going to react, and as such, I try to steer clear. I stay in my seat, I order drinks, and in a lot of ways I just hope the sofa opens up and swallows me whole.

Not that long after Simon came into the lounge, he does the unthinkable and starts walking over towards us. Got to tell ya, my brain couldn’t quite compute what was happening. I mean, walking out way? I’d have thought there was someone on the other side of the room – but we were close to the corner. Nope, he was headed towards us. I didn’t know what to do, so I got up. Drinks had arrived, and feeling like I needed something in my hand, I grabbed mine as he started to address us.

Except that he wasn’t addressing us. He was talking to Heather. This made me smile. Heather hasn’t been to many shows. She went with Amanda and I to the Hollywood Bowl, UC Berkeley and Agua Caliente last fall, and then to a show in Canada (Montreal I believe), and then to Toronto with us again. Yet, Simon knew her by name and was quite insistent he’d met her before.

He had no idea, however, who Amanda and I were. Not that I think he should – in fact, I was kind of relieved he didn’t, even though Amanda and I had met him in Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel after the David Lynch show and he knew who we were then. I even looked him in the eye and told him my name, and said “You really don’t know me, right?” To which he solemnly replied, “No”.  I had to repress my grin as he then toasted each of us on a lovely evening and went about his way. He was nothing but nice and respectful.  He left Heather over-the-moon by recognizing her, and Amanda and I giggled for many hours over the entire scene.

Never mind that not two weeks later, Simon saunters up to the front of the stage with a full mouth of water during White Lines, begins swirling it around in his mouth like he would during a wine tasting, looks right out at us….and swallows the water…because it is a verse too early, and I think he knew that. So during the right verse (or was it chorus?) he goes back, gets the water, comes to the front of the stage….and douses us.

I will miss moments like that. I’m glad the memory is vivid enough to last me a while.  😀

Happy Birthday Simon. You still freak me out a bit, and I’m honestly not sure if you like Amanda and I, hate us, or just really enjoy teasing the hell out of us…but I enjoyed seeing you on stage this summer and you made the shows fun for me. Thank you!

-R

New Years at MGM National Harbor?

I got word of the official announcement that Duran Duran will be playing on New Years Eve AND New Years Day this year in National Harbor – a new development just outside of Washington DC. The venue (The Theater at MGM National Harbor) is 3,000 seats – so it is intimate, and the casino (MGM National Harbor) will provide just the right atmosphere for late night festivities in order to welcome 2017. It sounds like just the plan for Duranies on the east coast, or anyone willing to make the trip.

As you are reading this on Tuesday morning, the pre-sale for the show dates are likely already taking place. You can find ticket prices and details here.

No, the tickets are not cheap. These shows are taking place on New Years Eve and New Years Day, which are both holidays, and events typically sell at a premium. I can’t blame them even if I can’t join them! The hotel (MGM National Harbor) is also very expensive – stays for that period of time are ghastly prohibitive to many Duranies unless you are willing to share a room with twelve or more of your closest buddies, but I hear there are other hotels in the area, too.  Good luck!

I’ve seen many a complaint, as always, ranging from the price of the shows (with Ultimate VIP – a guaranteed front row seat – the tickets could easily reach $600, but cheaper tickets are available), to the fact that yes, these shows are once again in the US.  I am empathetic to those outside of the US, because it is true – they have spent a good portion of time here lately.  I know it is a difficult truth, but the fact is: the band makes money here. Duran Duran is not a charity, and they don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. They sell tickets here. The music industry is here.  It is what it is. I do wonder if the band is really going to be doing shows in Europe or anywhere else net year, but at the moment…I’m more curious about something else entirely…

Is Nick going to be appearing with the band?

In the past, this would not have even been a question. In fact, I feel a little silly for even wondering because, well…this summer was just a fluke, right? Of course he’s coming back. Right?

However, after missing the entire leg of shows this summer, the question still hangs in my head. I didn’t have to wait long to see if anyone would ask. When the subject came up yesterday on Twitter, Katy responded that she did not have the answer to that question at this time.

Wait, what?

You mean, there really IS a question hanging in the air about this?!  I guess for me, I’m sitting here wondering how Duran Duran can plan shows without even knowing if their keyboard player is going to be there. But then I remember that MNDR played the entire tour, and did a fantastic job. Even so, wasn’t that really just a one-off thing, or is this “something” really more of a permanent deal?  Or maybe, it’s that Katy answered honestly. She didn’t want to say yes or no because it wasn’t something that had been discussed yet. I can see that. I mean, you can’t really commit to something you don’t know. Perhaps by the time this is published (I’m writing ahead!), all will be known and this will be a non-issue.

I guess the one thing I know for sure is that at some point, Duran Duran should choose to come clean on this and say whatever it is that needs said, even if that’s to say that of course Nick is going to be performing.  Having the question hanging in the air is worse than having the words out there in black and white. Fans have the right to know who is going to be playing keyboards before they shell out a handful of money to see another gig.

Amanda and I have openly chosen not to press the issue with Nick because we accepted that he wanted whatever he needed to do kept private. We get that. I get that.  To be clear, I am not requesting that the band give any more details besides whether or not he is planning to appear.  This isn’t about privacy, or Nick’s health…or needing to know every last bit of minutia.  However, if he isn’t going to tour with the band, I think it’s time to just say so.  I believe this is owed to their fans and the people who have stuck by them through several guitarists, drummers, and even bass players over the years. I think the fans have more than proven their staying power, and dammit – we’re pretty supportive when given the opportunity.

I’d like to be given that chance.

-R

 

Waiting for a look, the invitation: 2017 Concert Dates

So, it’s mid-October. For those who celebrate, it’s the downward slide to Halloween.  We’re headed into the final quarter of 2016…and aside from Lollapalooza in South America, there is nary a 2017 concert date in sight for Duran Duran.

Sure, I’d love more (wouldn’t we all?), but the rest of the world hasn’t really gotten a turn.  Which is why I was wondering when they’re going to announce the dates for next year.  So I looked at the calendar.  We tend to (usually) get at least six weeks lead time for US shows (and often longer), and to be fair I’ve never really noticed if the same holds true elsewhere. Assuming it does, dates probably won’t be announced until Mid-December if they’re not looking to begin a tour until February or March. I guess it is a case where it feels like something should be happening because nothing is. It is very quiet in Duranland for the most part, isn’t it?

Then there is that date in Cancun. So appealing, yet so ridiculously priced beyond my budget… In order to stay at the hotel, it’s $600 a night with a 5 night minimum.  My math isn’t great, but we’re talking $3000 for the hotel, and I don’t think that is including tax of any kind, although it IS all-inclusive.  Food and (most) beverages would be included in that price. And rest assured, the resort is gorgeous. Sure, you could share your room and call it a vacation. But Duran Duran is only playing one night…and there’s that question of the other possible “end of year date mentioned for the east coast”…

….which has yet to be announced beyond a mere, vague mention.   Many Duranies are betting it will be a New Years Eve gig in New York City. It’s plausible, given that they will be in Cancun that week as well. Again, if they announce with a 6-week window, we might not hear about it until mid-November. I know DDHQ had said maybe the date would be announced in October, and I would love for that to happen. Having time to plan is so helpful, but on the other hand, things aren’t always set up primarily to benefit fans. Business is business, and things happen. Here’s hoping the gig is priced right so that many can attend!

In other news, Anna Ross is wasting NONE of this downtime as she works to get her first solo album completed.  I love that Anna takes the time to update us on how it’s going, and I feel like I’ve been able to catch glimpses throughout the process.  I’ve listened to the little tasters she’s shared along the way, and I can’t wait to hear the finished product!

-R

 

 

Springsteen to Duran Duran: Fandom is happiness

I was watching the news this morning and I heard that Bruce Springsteen was coming to the Grove in Los Angeles this morning to sign his new book—Born to Run.  The news segment focused on the amount of people in line and how long they waited.  The first few several people in line had camped out overnight, and the reporter thought that was—oh go on, you know the word—crazy.

What struck me wasn’t how the reporter felt about the people who had waited in line overnight, but how happy those folks were to be there waiting for Springsteen.  These fans were easily (on average) a good 10-15 years older than the average Duranie.  Yet they were still out there, and having what seemed to be a great time.

I also laughed at some of the comments made to the reporter:

“Anything for Bruce!” 

“Oh, I’d do him, I mean THIS…..over and over again!”

“Waiting overnight isn’t so bad, I’ve waited two and three days in line for his concerts!” 

“I’d follow him anywhere!” 

“When we all get together, it’s like a family reunion, so that is part of what makes this fun.” 

Many of those statements are things I’ve heard at our own gatherings, whether concerts, appearances, or even meet-ups or conventions. The feelings are the same, no matter the fandom, and really—those comments the Springsteen fans shared  are exactly why they work.  I think when it comes down to it, people who are really into fandom—not just into the band—but also into being a fan, are looking for that sense of togetherness. They want friendships and personal connections.  Those relationships sometimes outlive the fandom itself, and they are real.

It is almost too bad that more people don’t recognize fandom for what it does rather than the stereotypes it sometimes creates.  I say almost because fandom is special, and if people don’t get it, I guess I’m of the opinion that maybe that’s OK in the long run. Far be it from me to take on the task of convincing everyone otherwise.

Yes, I’m the first to say that there are crazy people who sometimes take fandom a bit too far. I have my lines in the sand, other people have their own. I can’t decide for others what constitutes “too much”, but I can tell you that in my mind—being able to take a day or two to “camp” out for a book signing with a group of my closest friends, people who genuinely understand me—doesn’t seem so crazy to me. In fact, it seems like a luxury right now!

At the end of the segment the reporter cautioned the viewing audience that if they were interested in going to this signing, they should probably forget it because she’d already counted over a thousand people in line and Bruce had something like 1115 books ready to sign for this particular in-store appearance.  A thousand people were already in line waiting at 7am this morning. Amazing.

I found myself smiling in memory of the past year. Driving incredibly late at night up and down the state of California….picking up friends at the airport…going to shows and discovering that once again, my seats are in nearly the same spot as they were for the show prior…buying ridiculous pants at a Target store just so that we could tease John and Simon (as if they even saw our video, but dammit it was funny to us anyway)…meet-ups along the way…VIP parties…vodka tonics…new cities…and yes, those crazy videos Amanda and I made.

Like many of those interviewed in line this morning, I wouldn’t trade any of the memories I’ve made during the past twelve years, much less those from this summer.  Those thoughts, and the smiles that follow, are what will keep me going during times when life isn’t quite so carefree and I’m wishing for times with friends again.  Not long ago I wondered how long I could really keep this up, thinking that at some point I’d want to stop.  Seeing Bruce’s fans still out there having fun makes me hope I’m still involved in ten or fifteen years.

-R