A week back or so, I mentioned that I’ve come to the realization lately that the one constant I’ve had in this fandom is the object of interest itself. (Hint: that’d be the band.) I also said that the subject deserved its own post.
Today is the day for that post. Welcome.
So many of us have been around, circulating within the walls of the fan community like electrons around a nucleus, for decades now. We bounce into one another, sometimes creating a violent reaction as we’re jostled about, vying for some sort of attention and space. For others, it’s more symbiotic. Friendships are sometimes coaxed and cultivated, sometimes lasting for several album cycles. Other times, they end in fiery outbursts. Still others fade away in silence over time. I’ve seen a good many people come and go within this community. The general population, or circle of “known” Duranies that I find at any given concert I attend seems to change with each new tour. Sure, some of that is due to what shows I go to, but even in the semi-regularly attended major cities – the group of active Duran fans is a constantly moving kaleidoscope of faces.
My own circle of friendships seems to keep evolving. People don’t stick around forever, I guess. When times get tough, life changes, or they grow tired of following a band – people leave. Maybe they don’t set out to distance themselves from friends, but inevitably that seems to happen. While Amanda and I have stayed close, I can name ten or more friends just off the top of my head that were once huge fans, and dear friends of mine, that I barely exchange words with now – not out of anger, but just because the friendship ran its course. Things happen, and interests change.
The one thing that stays constant in the fan community is of course, Duran Duran. Of course, if I were being fair—and I’m trying—I’d say that not even the band is exactly the same. In 1980, it was obviously a very different Duran Duran. 40 years changes someone a bit, you know? Members have left, been replaced, come back, left again, other replacements have come and gone, and that’s not even mentioning the music itself. There have been at least a few times where I’ve had to sit back and ask myself, “But do you still like the band?“
So many times, I’ve written words here on the site about how the band is the backdrop to the friendships and social interaction I find on tour. I’ve said that while the music brought me to this community, it is the people IN the community that keep me active. As I sit back and contemplate at least the past 20 years that I’ve been active in the fan community, I don’t know that I still completely buy into that narrative.
The one constant I have with this fandom IS the band. Yes, I’ve made friends along the way. That is like the cherry on top for me, but if the music wasn’t as engaging, would I still write Daily Duranie? Tour? Watch videos of John talking about bass lines and music? Read Ask Katy? Click on links to watch Roger discuss his Desert Island Picks? Listen to Simon’s Whoosh Radio? (Maybe that, I would.)
The music tends to keep me here, even if I don’t automatically love everything the band does. The people—from Simon, John, Roger and Nick right on down to the last person who followed Daily Duranie on Twitter, are what continue to make it fun.