Tag Archives: Rio

Question of the Day: Monday, December 19, 2016

Yesterday’s winner:  Rio

Which album do you like better:  Seven and the Ragged Tiger or Notorious?

Question of the Day: Sunday, December 18, 2016

Yesterday’s winner:  Arcadia’s Election Day

I found it interesting that Arcadia beat all of the songs off of Notorious.  At some point, I will compare fans’ preferences of Arcadia over other Duran albums.  Right now, I’m switching gears.  Since Paper Gods was released over a year ago, it is time to update fans’ opinions about Duran Duran albums as a whole.  I will start at the beginning.

Which album do you like better:  Self-Titled Debut or Rio?

Its a New Religion: Rio and the Self-Titled Debut

I’ve noticed that Amanda has been telling her own stories regarding each album lately, and so I’ve decided to join in.  Perhaps you’ll decide to share your own – and we certainly encourage that!

I’m going to start with the first album…and actually Rio… since that seems to be the best place to begin! This is going to require some memory on my part.  I cannot guarantee I’m going to get the chain of events completely accurate, but it is how I remember it!

As I’ve mentioned previously, the very first time I heard Duran Duran was on KROQ. What you don’t know, is that I stumbled onto the station by accident, really. I’d overheard girls—popular girls— talking about KROQ at school. I had no idea what it was, or why the station was cool, but I was desperate to fit in. If I remember right, I’d heard the call letters way before I knew what the number was. I never actually asked anyone at school because I was too shy to bother. It was just one of those things I kept in the back of my mind, and once I finally saw where the station was located, I ran home to find it.

I remember trying to find 106.7 on the radio dial. Back then, as I’m sure many will remember – the dials were touchy. I didn’t have a digital display telling me what station it was on, I had to go by this orange little hand that would move as I turned the dial on my radio, and it wasn’t completely accurate. So I’d fidget with it, get it to tune in, and then wait to see if I had the right station.  Finally I must have gotten it, because Rodney on the ROQ was on, and he was introducing this band that he swore we’d hear more from.  The band was Duran Duran and the song was Planet Earth.

I liked the song immediately, but at the time I was far more astounded that I was actually listening to the right station, the one everyone else – or at least everyone who I thought mattered – was talking about. I went back to school and reported it to my group of misfit friends. One of the girls in this group knew all about KROQ and Duran Duran. This is where my memory gets wonky, because I can’t remember how long it was between that time and when they really became popular. In my head it wasn’t that long, but I’m not sure.

What I can tell you though is that I didn’t buy a Duran Duran record right away. Instead, I heard them a lot on the radio – but it wasn’t the first album I was hearing. It was Rio, and it hit BIG here. By then, it wasn’t just KROQ playing them – it was every station. I want to say that Marsha – the girl in the group that had already known who Duran Duran was – invited me to go with her to buy their album at the record store.  This was a major thing for me because I didn’t really own much in the way of music beyond KTEL records: a few Shaun Cassidy albums and a copy of Rick Springfield’s Working Class Dog.

We got to the store (Wherehouse records!), and I remember looking at the Duran Duran albums…but here is where my memory fades again. You see, my very first DD album wasn’t their self-titled one. It was Rio. I bought Rio first, only to find out later that there was an earlier album. (which I then bought, of course!) I can’t remember if the first album was there on the shelf with Rio and I just didn’t know what it was (obviously when I’d heard Planet Earth I didn’t know what album that was from or much else about the band). One might wonder why I wouldn’t have bought both if I saw them, and I can only guess:

  1. I must have only seen Rio?
  2. I only had money for one album and had to choose?
  3. (and this is the one I’m leaning towards because of my memory) The stores only HAD Rio at the time because that was the album that was huge on the radio, and it was later that we got the self-titled one with Is There Something I Should Know on it rather than To The Shore)

I know that it wasn’t long after I’d bought Rio that I then either bought the first one or it was given to me for a holiday or birthday or something. I also remember seeing Carnival in the stores around this same time, but…in my frugal thinking back then…I couldn’t understand buying an album that I already had all the songs from. Yes, I’ve spent time kicking myself (at least up until I actually bought Carnival myself).

At first, I can tell you that I liked Rio far more than I did the first album. To me, the first album was “weird”.  I liked some of the songs on it – like Planet Earth and ITSISK, but I wasn’t a big fan of GOF. What’s more, later on I discovered that one of my KTEL records had GOF on it. It was actually a song on the B side that I tended to skip!!  (Ha, that’s a true confession!)  Clearly, in the years since that initial purchase I’ve changed my mind! But yes, it was probably Rio (and HLTW if I’m being honest) that made me fall for Duran Duran.

My favorite song on Rio was New Religion, although Rio ran a close second along with yes, HLTW.  When I went back and got the self-titled album, I can remember being incredulous that it came out before Rio because it wasn’t until after Rio came out that we heard ITSISK. I just wasn’t aware of the chain of events, I guess.

So, my favorite song on the first album was – yes – ITSISK. I wasn’t aware until years later that the real first album didn’t even have that on it, it was just pressed that way for the US. Live and learn, I suppose.

Someday I’ll have to tell you about the first time I saw their videos with my friend Marsha.

-R

 

My Own Way: Album Ranking

Welcome to Monday. It is my first day back after a nearly a week of festivities, and so I’m going to start slow…by doing my own ranking of albums.

In full disclosure, I read diffuser.fm’s take on Duran’s career, as well as Amanda’s, prior to making my own choices. Both gave me a little more to think about, but neither swayed my decisions. I know we’ve done this before, but as Amanda mentioned, I haven’t even considered it since Paper Gods came out.  Why not revisit?

My own countdown is devised so that I mention the album and the reasons for where it sits. Some albums may have a paragraph, others might have a sentence or two. I left Arena off of my list completely as it only has one studio song on it and if I were to rank live albums I would do them all.

I’ve learned that I cannot hem and haw around while I am ranking things or picking favorites. I feel a little like I’m mowing down the field of Duran Duran albums as I go through the process, quickly deciding what should go where and why – but I go with my first instinct, my gut, and don’t look back. I do fine as I begin, but somewhere around #8 I start worrying, but remind myself to go with  my gut. I look back over the list as I’m finishing and realize that for now – today even – it’s how I feel. Tomorrow?  Who knows.  That’s kind of how it’s always been for me as a fan.

Perhaps it’s really gotten to the point that I identify so closely with their career – each album marking a particular point in my own life – that it’s difficult to be objective anymore. I don’t know, but I tried. I’m sure I’m not the first fan to be stumped by ranking albums or picking favorite songs. In fact, I know I’m not!

Thank You

I just never felt they hit their stride here. While some songs, such as Perfect Day or Lay Lady Lay are so silky smooth you can’t help but enjoy them, others, such as 911 is a Joke, make no sense at all.  Then there’s White Lines, which is great live, but on the album it tends to fall flat. I can’t fault the band too much for trying something few other bands of their calibre have done, but it just does not rank high on my list of favorites.

Red Carpet Massacre

Anyone who knows me probably saw this coming, and I’m sorry for being predictable. I don’t think this album can or should be swept under the proverbial carpet and forgotten – because it is how we got here, to this place we all currently occupy. I can certainly see and hear the parallels between this album and Paper Gods. I’m glad they tried out some of the things they learned from RCM over again to get them right.

Pop Trash

I would characterize Pop Trash as the fast food of Duran Duran’s career.  Perhaps fitting? While the album is nowhere near “bad”, I never felt that there was a lot for me to sink my teeth into and devour.  It lacks the depth of some of their other work, which is why it ended up in this place on my list.

Medazzaland

Ah, Medazzaland.  If there were any album that had changed for me over the years since it’s release – it would be this one.  I just didn’t get it when it first came out. In fact, I listened to the album in full one time before shelving it for many years. Lately though, I’ve listened to it, and I’m finally starting to get it. No, I’m still not a fan of the title track (sorry Nick), or Silva Halo, but I do really like Big Bang Generation, Who Do You Think You Are, and Midnight Sun. There’s a lot hiding amongst the shadows on this album, and I think it’s worth a revisit.

Liberty

How can I rank this above Pop Trash or Medazzaland? 2am drives from Hollywood, that’s how.  Our personal experiences shape our listening choices, and for me – that’s why Liberty works. It kept me awake many times during college and beyond, so I’m going with it.

The Wedding Album

I have to admit that I agree with Amanda – while there are two songs on this album that are iconic for Duran Duran, the album as a whole isn’t nearly as impressive as others (which I recognize is tough to do when you’re Duran Duran and have had so many successes).  So it’s not that I think the album is bad – it’s that the band has too many great ones!

Astronaut

Oh yes I did rank this one about The Wedding Album. Please see the line about personal experiences.  For me, this album is all about the Fab Five. I can’t ignore it, I can’t get past that, and it was a dream come true for me. Yes, it’s pop. Sure, there are songs on it that I didn’t love and I still take it personally that they didn’t include Beautiful Colors, Salt in the Rainbow and Virus on it. Even so, I’ll take it.

Notorious

I am pretty sure that at one point or another, I ranked this lower on my list. Again, I didn’t get it. But just a week ago, I pulled the album out and gave it a good listen. What is most remarkable to me about Notorious, is that it came after Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Those albums were hugely successful. Then they had two band members leave, and rather than sticking with what they knew, they took the opportunity to blaze new territory. It was like deciding to take a giant left turn out of nowhere. As a child, I had little respect for that sort of thing. In fact, I don’t think I really understood.  Even as an adult I sometimes get caught up in what I think DD should be or should sound like – but I’m working on it.

Big Thing

Another album I didn’t really get until adulthood. The first half is as dance music as I’d expect from DD, and the latter is the culmination of some of their finest songwriting moments. The emotion that comes across threw the B side of this album is astounding, and in my opinion, it is the best DD album that no one has really heard.

Paper Gods

Here’s the thing about Paper Gods for me – I like it. I don’t know that I love it, although I’ve tried. It ticks a lot of the boxes for plenty of people, but it is also an album that I really needed to come to terms with. I didn’t fall in instant love, but I would say I’ve grown to respect each song and the work that went into making the album overall. I can’t fault an album that hit top ten, if only for a brief, shining moment.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger

This goes bad to personal experiences for me. This album is my seventh grade wrapped in vinyl. Awkward, sometimes overdone, but still well-loved. Sure, it might not be their best songwriting, but I love it all the same, and that’s why it is near the top of my list. All I have to do is hear the opening notes to Union of the Snake and I’m back on the lawn with my friends at recess, gawking at the latest edition of Tiger Beat. For me, those memories are priceless, and that is what makes music so powerful.

Rio

I know what you all are thinking.  Yes, I really did put Rio third. The trouble is, it could easily be second. Or first. The final three on my list here are probably interchangeable, if not completely tied. I cannot think about Duran Duran without thinking about Rio. If there were ever a reason why Hungry Like the Wolf is played at every single DD show – it is because of Rio. Try as we might, we simply cannot separate Rio (the album) from the band, in the same way that we cannot separate HLTW from them either. I get it. I may not always like it, but I get it. And I respect it.

All You Need is Now

It pains me that the band left this song, and many songs from this album, off of their set list this past year. For me personally, this album is easily as iconic as Rio. It describes the band, and their relationship with their audience, to a T. To think that Duran Duran wrote this album during their third decade together simply blows me away. It is an album that never got it’s justice, and it is still one of my very favorite.

Self-titled Debut

I really don’t think it is all that surprising that one of my favorite albums is the one that started it all for them, and for me. I love the rawness, the lack of expectation, and the realness of the music. There is no ego here, no trying to outdo what has already been done. It is simply music from  a band ready to take it’s place in the world.  This is an album from Duran Duran before they were DURAN DURAN, and it is the most real we’ve ever gotten from them. that is why it remains number one for me.

My choices weren’t all that surprising, but the exercise was fun. I don’t anticipate others to agree with me – in fact, you shouldn’t. We all have had our own journey, and that is what makes it all fun.  I’m no music expert, and I only have my own taste to rely on, so by all means make your own list and have fun with it.

-R

 

 

My Own Way/Like An Angel 1981

On this date in 1981, the single for My Own Way/Like an Angel was released.

First of all, let me marvel just a bit over the fact that I’m writing about a song that has now been around for winces thirty-five years. I think that must be impossible because I’m only thirty myself, right??

My Own Way was released to kind of “mind the gap” between “Girls on Film” and their next album, Rio.  As you might notice by the date, My Own Way was released before Rio.  My Own Way did fairly well, hitting #14 on the UK charts, and paving the way for Rio.

The single has a much faster tempo along with some very disco-strings. The album version is slower, less frenetic sounding, and the lyrics are very slightly different. The album version is a little more on the new wave end of things, and it was also remixed by Kershenbaum for Carnival. The band has said that this My Own Way is one of their least favorite singles, and with so many different versions out there, it would seem to me that perhaps the song has a bit of an identity problem. Or maybe it just has multiple personalities!

Then there’s the video, which didn’t arrive until 1982.  I’ve always felt the video had a bit of a latin theme going for it, along with the striking red and black staging….and that parrot…which still amuses me.

This leads me to Like An Angel, the B-side. I’ve always felt this was the more interesting song of the two. That seems to happen a lot for me – I end up liking the B-sides more so than the single.  Anyone else?? I like the tonal quality of Simon’s voice in Like an Angel When you hear this song, I think one can really tell it is earlier Duran Duran. One thing I know for sure, they weren’t afraid to use different keys instead of the “golden” rock chords like D-A-G, etc.  I wish I could put my finger on all of the qualities of their earlier songs that just seem to change when the band gets to Rio – maybe it’s just a raw-ness that disappears. I’m not sure, but I love giving myself the opportunity to go back and listen on occasion!

-R

 

 

I’m Still Breathing, and So Should You

There are days when I am so thankful for this blog, this safe, happy place, that I wish I could hug it. Today is one of those days.

Yes, we had an election in my country yesterday. Some may be happy with the results. Others may be very unhappy. I am concerned. I don’t know what to write, or how to feel.  Mostly I want to move on, but I can’t seem to find the right way to go forward yet.

John voted in his first American election yesterday. He tweeted a picture from the @duranduran account. I am sure that must have been a very exciting and proud moment for him, despite the results not turning out as he may have wanted.

I know the rest of the world is sick of our politics right now. I live here and I’m sick of it too. I’ve seen many a friend and acquaintance comment in a variety of ways about the election, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there is nothing I can say to make people happy.  Once again our country has come to a crossroads, voters have spoken, and we find ourselves waiting for the other shoe to drop.  There are massive wounds left behind to heal, and I would be insane to think I could do anything to help with that process.

So, I’m watching videos today. I may not know much, but I do believe that music heals. It makes ME feel better. Our world is not perfect. My country may not have voted the way the rest of the world felt best, but watching a video or listening to my favorite band still has the power to make me feel better.

 

 

 

I’m just going to shut off my TV, shut down my computer, put down my phone, and try to enjoy some music for a while. I invite you to do the same.  Sometimes, you just have to take time out to breathe.

-R

 

 

 

Question of the Day: Friday, September 2, 2016

Yesterday’s choice:  Save a Prayer

Which song would you rather be LEFT OFF the setlist:  Rio or Wild Boys?

It Doesn’t Have to be Serious: Videos!

I’m having a difficult time writing today, and that’s at least partially because I’m under the gun with timing. The other issue is that today is the private memorial for my mom’s partner.

Even after his death, I’m still grappling with what to call him. He was a good friend to my mom, a sort of companion, and he kind of lived with my mom too. I say “kind of” because he and my mom live at the same senior complex, but he kept his own apartment downstairs. Yet, he spent the night at my mom’s most of the time. They weren’t married or anything, and so when it boils down to it – I don’t really know how to categorize their relationship. It’s weird.

My parents were married for 48 years before my dad died. I embraced the idea of my mom getting involved with this other man, and he became part of our family in many ways. But, he and I were never very close.  He was just that way I suppose, and now with his passing, I have to help my mom pick up the pieces and move on. Again. Not an easy task.

So, my mood is less than stellar I suppose.  That also makes it tough to write. I’m wishing I were on a plane headed for Vancouver for a weekend of Duranie fun.  Since that cannot happen, I think I’m just going to pick some videos to watch instead.

I think Pressure Off is pretty appropriate.

 

Rio always puts me in a better mood

 

Careless Memories kind of lets me work through some anger

 

Serious…because it doesn’t have to be serious

 

Crocodile Tears by Dom Brown goes here because I said so

 

And I’ll finish with Late Bar because sometimes, I just need it.

 

I won’t lie, I’ll be glad when this is over. There’s been a lot going on that I haven’t been able to talk about here, and today is going to give me some closure that I need in order to move forward.  The service will be very short because it will be just my family there with my mom, but I think it will take all of us a very long time to actually move on.

But, these videos will help me this afternoon, so I plan to sit and watch!

And for those of you headed to Vancouver this weekend, I hope you have a blast!! Safe travels to everyone!

-R

All You Need is Then: DD in Las Vegas

Just a reminder that we graciously accept reviews from DD shows, as well as blogs on any topic that has to do with Duran Duran. Today Jason Lent shares a different perspective on the recent Las Vegas show. If you’re interested in submitting a blog, please check out our “Guest Blog” page for information. 

For the next two weeks I will be on vacation with family (I’m doing nearly the polar opposite of “touring” by going camping with family in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons), so I have a few guest blogs to take my place. Enjoy!!  -R

By Jason Lent

My nostalgia drenched July wrapped up with Duran Duran at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas. Seven nights earlier, I stood in a parking lot downtown while Howard Jones and OMD performed on what felt like the surface of the sun. After Duran Duran, Howard Jones and Thompson Twins were pivotal touchstones in my formative years of music while OMD were always on the edges of my life soundtrack. All three provided different reminders of why I love the synth pop sounds of the 1980s.  I still find myself expecting more from Duran Duran overall because they were “my” band as an impressionable 11-year-old. As I walked to my car that night in a mad dash to escape a parking garage built by Satan himself, I realized that no matter what the band does now, all I ever needed from them was already given to me back then.

Touring in support of Paper Gods, I went into last night’s show having already seen the earliest incarnation of this tour in 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl and the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas. Selfishly hoping for some radical updates to the set list (this was, after all, the second Vegas show in under a year), I knew that such dreams were foolish. At this point, the band has firmly entrenched itself into the legacy circuit where delivering the most appeal to the largest amount of people is job number one. With that as the goal, this current tour might be as effective as any they’ve undertaken in the last twenty years.  That night in Las Vegas, the cheers of the arena were literally deafening and I awoke the following morning with a ringing in my ears that I’d have expected if I stood in front of the PA at a Five Finger Death Punch concert (on a side note, very cool that Chris Kael from Death Punch was at the Duran show last night!).

From the viewpoint of a casual fan, there is no denying the overall power of the current show. After the artsy run through of the new album’s title track, the hits come fast and furious. Wild Boys, Hungry Like The Wolf, and A View To A Kill lifted the crowd to their feet and had them screaming along. The band appeared to be thrilled by the reception and Simon LeBon stepped into the role of the saucy frontman, a role he was born to play. Come Undone, the finest single of their second career peak, sounded and looked brilliant, providing one of the many highlights.

For the more ardent Duranie, the disappointment with the current show resides in the lack of hope that each show provides. Maybe this always existed with Duran Duran but age and technology now infringe on the innocent hope we carried to shows as teenagers. There is no mystery to which songs might be played and the stage banter feels a little too comfortable as a result. The show is the show and the band delivers it night after night at a very high level. However, most of us know exactly when LeBon is about to ask the audience if anybody is hungry. This lack of spontaneity and a refusal to push themselves outside their comfort zone takes a little sparkle off the modern Duran Duran.

For those of us who lived and died with each album (and Liberty sometimes felt like it wanted to kill me), the current tour does offer a few moments of ecstasy such as a killer performance of I Don’t Want Your Love from Big Thing and a reworked take on Girls On Film that feels funky and fresh. Both of these choices do nothing to hamper the casual fan’s appreciation of the show while giving us more fanatical sorts the hope for more twists and turns in the future. The clock is forever ticking when a band sticks around for over three decades but Duran Duran has some gas left in the tank and the next tour could be truly special if they are willing to take a few more chances.

First and foremost in my mind would be to bring 25-30 songs on the tour and arrange each set list slightly differently from town to town. In doing so, the band would have to stay on their toes musically from night-to-night. Why does that matter? It brings out the best in musicians. What if Notorious and Pressure Off weren’t always side by side for example. The songs are too similar sitting next to each other. If Notorious dropped down into the encore, it’s not like Nile Rodgers isn’t going to come back on stage. From what I’ve seen, he’ll take any chance to get in front of the audience especially if he gets to remind us of all the #1 hits he worked on. God bless the man, but we know you’re a legend. Stop telling us each night.

If the band brought 30 songs on the road, those extra tracks could open up a whole new world to long time fans. It starts with the new material. Last Night In the City should be dropped. It’s a boring EDM track that feels like the band trying to appeal to the very people who aren’t buying concert tickets regardless. Sunset Garage, a far better track, with a video montage of the band over the years could be a show highlight. The fatal flaw with Paper Gods was the decision to put the most Duran sounding songs into the “bonus tracks” of different versions of the release. Ask a hundred Duran fans and we would choose Planet Roaring over Danceophobia almost 100% of the time.

In addition to a better mix of the new tracks, the band’s depth gets grossly overlooked in the current tour which can be fixed fairly easily. All You Need Is Now from 2010 was one of their best studio albums since Rio and not a single song makes the current tour. This is more ludicrous than the decision to cover Public Enemy’s 911 Is A Joke. The album that brought them back into arenas gets no attention while the band continues to play Reach Up For the Sunrise, a modest hit but hardly essential listening. To make matters worse, the band taunts us with a chorus from New Moon On Monday in the middle of Sunrise. Here’s an idea, just play Monday, one of the beloved singles from the band’s biggest period.

As a kid, collecting Duran Duran 12” records felt like my life mission. On the flip side of the Careless Memories 12” was a track called Fame. At that age, I didn’t know who David Bowie was and this was my first time hearing an artist whose career and life would greatly influence everything I love in music. If the band had added Fame to the set list for this tour, not only would it have paid tribute to our collective hero, it would have taken us all back to the early stages of fandom when we were full of hope and wonder. I chalk up the medley of Planet Earth and Space Oddity as a near miss but still a lot of fun last night.

So where do we go from here? Next year is the 35th anniversary of Rio and the trend of bands revisiting complete works shows no signs of dissipating. Rather than head back into the studio, I hope Duran Duran embraces their legacy fully and undertakes a summer tour to celebrate a landmark album in all our lives. Open each night with a handful of other hits, take an intermission with a short film of the band in the studio and on video sets over the years, play Rio in its entirety and finish the night with an encore of even more hits. The ticket sales would be monumental and those of us who stayed with them all along would be rewarded with rarely heard songs like Hold Back the Rain.

I look forward to new albums and new tours while continuing to want more of the past each show. Last night was an amazing experience and despite my many words above, I left with a huge smile on my face. The music critic in me will always explore every corner of my Duran Duran fandom but my passion never diminishes. The recent resurgence in interest for their work vindicates many of us who grew up being teased for loving five good-looking lads from England. Take away their youthful smiles, the expensive videos, and all the radio hits and you still have truly gifted musicians with a natural-born entertainer on the mic. Duran Duran forever.

 

Jason Lent Guest Blogger thumbnailJason Lent discovered Duran Duran on MTV in 1983 and a lifelong musical love affair was born. In 2010, he left a job in Hawaii to tour with Cowboy Junkies as a music writer and his work has appeared in various online music outlets. He currently resides in Las Vegas managing a music venue while trying to learn John Taylor’s bass line from Rio.

 

Outside Looking Into Myself: Adult Fandom

As much as I love being with friends, it is nice to be back at home.  I think I’ve settled back in, and I might have even caught up on my rest.  Compared to the band, ten days isn’t very long to be away, but for me—it was quite a while. I’m the mom, master-scheduler, housekeeper, cook and chauffeur. I’m sure you get the idea. Things tend to fall through the cracks when I’m not here, and it’s up to me to gather the loose ends when I get home. I might be young again while touring, but when I’m home, it’s back to “adulting” I go!

This is my catch-up week before Amanda arrives next Monday evening and the madness begins again. Part of that catch-up involves reading the reviews I missed last week, and seeing some of the reactions on Twitter.  One of the comments I’ve seen over and over, whether we’re talking this tour or ten years ago, is “I feel like a kid again when Duran Duran is on that stage!”

I know that feeling well. I described the night I saw them at the House of Blues in Anaheim in 2001 with similar words. This was before the reunion, before Dom joined the band, and before Daily Duranie became “a thing.”  I caught a glimpse of myself back at the age of twelve, and I didn’t want to let go. I felt vibrant, energetic, and yeah, young.

Each time I went to a show, I felt transported back to the mid-80s. The music had a way of doing that, I guess. In many ways, that feeling was addictive. But after a while, I started experiencing the shows as an adult. That reads weirdly, but stick with me as I try to explain.

At first, it was all about experiencing Duran Duran as I would have done when I was a teen. “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”…”Planet Earth”…all of those songs…and it was because back when I was a teen, I never saw the band live. Singing and dancing my way through those shows gave me some sort of closure on that part of my life and that part of my fandom. I acted silly. I wore light-up horns. I held up signs. I did everything that I probably would have done back then. It was fantastic!

Somewhere along the line though, I stopped wearing the horns. I didn’t bring signs to shows. I stopped willing myself back to the 1980s. Instead, I started appreciating that I was in the 2000s. And then the 2010s. And so on. Don’t get me wrong, I still hope against hope that they play some of the songs I’ve never had a chance to hear live (old habits die-hard and I’m not at all sorry about that). It’s really more that when I go to the shows, I don’t feel twelve any longer. I feel like an energetic and vibrant 40-something.

What does that really mean? To begin with, I see the band a lot differently now than I did when I was a kid. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bust anyone’s fantasies here, but they are human. They are real people with failings like anyone else. (I hear gasping out there.) They sometimes make very poor fashion choices. They are occasionally very slightly off-kilter when it comes to their talking points. Other times, they are brilliant. Their music speaks to me, and for me, in ways I couldn’t have ever written on my own.

They were my childhood heroes in the same way that once upon a time, my dad was Superman. Once I grew up, I came to the harsh reality that my dad didn’t know everything and was not the strongest man on the planet.  Similarly, the same reality check came upon me for the band.  Now—well, now they are people I deeply admire, even if they have no idea who I am.

There’s also the attraction thing. Yeah, I know it isn’t cool with the Duranie guys out there that the girls notice the band’s good looks. Perhaps if someone else were writing this blog, they wouldn’t mention it, but the truth is—of course I notice. I’m female. I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice their good looks. I’m attracted to them. I scream for them.

That doesn’t mean I’m standing in the audience, desperately hoping for my one night stand with any of them. Yeah, I might be a soccer mom. Sure, I’ve been married for twenty years (to an engineer, not an accountant, thanks), and yeah – if one of them looks my way I’m gonna smile back. That said, if I were to run into the band somewhere after the show I’m not wanting for much other than a conversation. That’s part of being an adult. We can converse without expectations for more.

Despite however much screaming, flirting, or fawning I’ve done over a band member during a show, let me be clear: the last thing I need to continue my fandom is a quick one-night stand in the room of a band member. I would much rather go for friendly conversation over a beverage, and walk away knowing that no one is going to be hurt by that in the end.  Love the fantasy, hell—I wholly encourage such behavior simply by writing this fan blog—but reality is another thing altogether. Self-awareness is a real thing.  I’m not saying anyone else shouldn’t bother, but it’s not my goal.

Another thing about experiencing fandom and shows as an adult is that I really try to stay in the moment. I want to soak it all in. I can’t speak for the rest of you reading, but I swear the years from about ten to twenty-six went by in a blink. I didn’t do too many DD shows when I was in my twenties but there were a few, and I hardly remember them. Even the first few shows I went to after the reunion are a distant memory. I barely remember the first Astronaut show I went to in Chicago of 2005. The memories are a blur after a vision of the band walking to the front of the stage with a heartbeat vibrating through the floor of the arena.

As time has worn on in the years since, I have tried to remind myself to embrace each moment of the show.  If I could slow down time during any point in the set, I’d choose New Moon on Monday.  I’m still sitting here marveling over that song. I just never thought I’d hear them play it and now I’m afraid that someday I’ll forget they ever did.

Sometimes, I’m more successful than others at enjoying each note of the show. I’m still guilty of occasionally grabbing my camera during specific songs in the set. I try to remember that I don’t know what the future holds. I should enjoy each second. Kids don’t typically do that because they think they’ll live forever. Unfortunately, I know firsthand that we do not.  So I work harder to be present.

I am happily embracing that I’m in my mid-40s, seeing shows and having a blast. I feel young and vivacious, and sometimes I pay for that the next day which reminds me that yeah – age can hurt sometimes!  Even so, I wouldn’t trade this tour, or any of the experiences I’ve had along the way. I am enjoying being a fan of this band as an adult, and as John says, “You’ve just got to go with it.”

-R