The last winner: 1st album
Which album would you prefer to hear live in entirety: Big Thing or Astronaut?
The last winner: 1st album
Which album would you prefer to hear live in entirety: Big Thing or Astronaut?
The last winner: Astronaut
Which album would you prefer to see performed live in entirety: All You Need Is Now or First Album?
The last winner: The First Album
Which album would you prefer to see/hear live in entirety: Big Thing or the Wedding Album?
The last winner: All You Need Is Now
Which album would you prefer to see/hear live in entirety: 1st album or Seven and the Ragged Tiger?
Yesterday’s winner: Self-Titled Debut
Which album would you prefer to see/hear live in entirety?
Fans favorite DVD, according to our polls: Sing Blue Silver
Which album would you prefer to see live in entirety: First album or Rio?
Statistics from yesterday’s question of the day about the First Album:
Which formats of Rio do you own? Like yesterday, please include all you own!
Yesterday’s winner: Cinderella Ride
Before I ask the new question, I think I should remind people what the heck I’m doing with this. I would like us (the fans) to create the ultimate 9 track albums. Therefore, we will pick the songs that should have been b-sides. These can be great tracks, but not good enough to be on the actual albums, according to us. Eventually, the 9 tracks remaining would make for an amazing album.
On that note, which song from the 1st album era should have been a b-side (and not on the album)?
Am I really back home? Am I really on summer break? I feel like someone is going to wake me up at any moment, telling me that I was dreaming. Maybe I feel this way since I only returned home yesterday morning. I only now finished unpacking and getting organized. As much as it feels weird to be home with nothing that I have to do, the lack of due dates is already appreciated by me. All that said, I feel out of it when it comes to Duranland. My insane, end-of-the-school-year schedule and trip to Boston meant that I haven’t been able to do much when it comes to paying attention to any and all news, info, and tidbits surrounding the band I love so much. Despite that, I do want to touch on a few items, including a purchase, memorable moments in Duran history and my summer plans.
Whenever I visit my brother (or my sister), I usually spend a day visiting a record and/or book store. My family all appreciates reading and listening to great music (even if we don’t all agree on what makes a “great” album or novel). Therefore, we enjoy going to places where we can spend hours just browsing for hidden treasures. This time, we stopped a record store in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a city right on the coast. We didn’t spend as much time as we might have liked as we wanted to visit an art/history museum there, too, before my sister-in-law had to get back to go to work. Despite our short time, my brother, eldest niece and I went hunting for good music. I’m happy to report that I found quite a treasure!
I purchased some 12 inch singles (on vinyl, of course!)! In fact, I bought 4 of them! I found the following: Wild Boys, I Don’t Want Your Love, Burning the Ground and Violence of Summer. Obviously, I couldn’t be more thrilled. For me, it made the trip worthwhile! Of course, when I was making my purchase, the store employee had to make a comment about how I had just “gone for it” by buying all this Duran. I snorted and made some sort of statement along the lines of, “You have no idea.” Indeed.
I cannot allow this day to go by without acknowledging what this date means to Duran Duran and Duran history! On this date, back in 1981, Duran’s very first album, debuted. 37 years ago, the Duran story began, at least for the general public. While the band had been working hard, writing and recording, now everyday people all around the world could enjoy the band, too!
Last and probably even least, I have to comment about my summer plans. Over the last couple of weeks, I have answered the question, “What are you doing this summer?” about twenty-five times. Sometimes, the question came from colleagues. Other times, friends or family members wondered how I plan to spend my time. While the question entertains me in general, this year I found myself smirking almost each and every time. Why is that? The question changed a little this year…it isn’t just what my plans are for the summer. This year, the question came out like this, “Why are your plans for the summer? Following Duran Duran?” As I resist the full-blown smile, I comment about how it is quiet in Duranland and that the band maybe is busy getting ready for the upcoming 40th anniversary. I then list reasons why this is probably for the best. I can spend time on reorganizing my house. A big election is coming and I need to spend time campaigning. I desperately need to save money for whatever the band does do next.
I admit that the question makes me smile. I like that people I know, colleagues, and friends associate me with Duran Duran. They don’t think it is a big deal that my life often revolves around Duran Duran and their plans. It feels like acceptance to me, which is great. Yet, there is a part of me that is a little sad about my answer. I love that I have time to get things done that I cannot do during the school year. I do need the time to save money. But, I wish that there was something Duran on my schedule. I know that makes me a bit pathetic but it is true. I will miss seeing the band and I miss hanging out with my friends. To get through it, I’ll look ahead to whatever might come next, look back on fond memories and enjoy every little nugget that gets released in a way that I cannot during the school year. I’ll try to celebrate the little moments until I get to the next big one.
Today is my last post for the week. I’ll be back on Monday as usual, but in the meantime, I have a very important event to attend on Saturday. My son Gavin will be graduating from high school. Those are words I wasn’t quite sure I’d ever get to write.
It marks an ending, and a beginning. I remember when Heather, my oldest, graduated. It really was “A Big Thing.” I had no idea what to expect. Would we remain close? How would she do in college? Was dance really the right path for her? As I recently said to a friend whose first-born is graduating this year, it is hard to be sad, excited and scared all at once. I broke down many times, always in the shower, and tried very hard not to show my feelings. I figured she was having a hard enough time adjusting without the added pressure of mom’s emotions added to the mix.
Oddly, Heather’s graduation, and now Gavin’s graduation, mark the beginning and end of the Paper Gods album cycle. As the soundtrack of my life continues to be written, I think it’s kind of poetic that I will always equate Paper Gods with the graduations of my two oldest children. Even the album itself—lyrics and all—work well with this part of my life. I don’t know how Duran Duran does it, but they did it again. I’ll never think about this time of my life, with its endings and beginnings, without thinking about Paper Gods.
Gavin’s graduation, on the other hand, is weird for me. I thought I would be far more emotional than I am. I’m excited for Gavin to start college. He needs the challenge, and I have no doubt that Astrophysics will provide! I will miss him at home, but I am also ready to stop being his teacher. Honestly, I think he was ready for me to stop being his teacher about two years ago, but we survived! That said, when I think about just how far this kid has come since seventh grade when he looked me in the eye and told me, with all the seriousness that a twelve-year-old can muster, that he didn’t see the point of school because he was going to be a YouTube star, and by the way I’m failing out of school anyway….well, it’s been a long road with many crying sessions in the shower. I’m incredibly proud, and not just of Gavin. I’m proud of myself. Heather was my first baby and I learned how to be a mom with her. Gavin was my second, he was a challenge from day one, and he taught me how to advocate for my child. I’m so grateful.
Homeschooling has been one adventure after another, and I will never regret a single day. Gavin went from working very hard to fail out of school, to wanting to become a research physicist. Despite being told by more than one of my in-laws that I wasn’t smart enough to teach him—I did it anyway. My kid is not only going to college, but a UC school. I am ridiculously proud of Gavin. He learned to use his Autism as a tool and turn it into a positive. Sometimes, defiance is a wonderful source of energy. I embrace it.
Duran Duran is similar in many respects. To begin with, this day marks a couple of notable anniversaries in their world. It’s the date that the first album was released in 1981. (thirty-six years ago, but who’s counting??) Critics called them a flash in the pan, a one-hit wonder, and just about anything else they could think of. Duran Duran didn’t shrink into the night because the critics couldn’t pull their heads out – they defiantly continued. Do they still have something to prove? Not in my mind, but I get the motivation. I live it every single day. If that weren’t enough, just two years ago, Pressure-Off, the lead single off of Paper Gods, was also released on this date. The full album came out a few months later, and what did that album do? It soared to the top ten. So much for being a flash in the pan, right?
I don’t really know what will come next for my family. I’ve always halfway joked and expected that when the right opportunity came up, that Gavin would move far away and we’d get the occasional postcard. This is not a child who is going to stick close to home out of affection or loyalty – it’s not who he is. It is very hard to stand back and let your child fly from the nest without knowing what will happen, particularly when you’ve spent the majority of his life front-loading him for even the smallest changes in schedule. I am not living his life for him though, he’s got to live his own. I have to let him go, and I will. I would imagine Duran Duran feels the same way when they release an album. You put all of this time and energy into something, and when it’s done and needs released, it’s no longer yours. They tour with it, show it around, and then it’s done.
I feel the same with my kids. Things don’t stay the same after they graduate. Yes, we all get together sometimes – but not nearly as often as we did when they were little. Nowadays Heather is in her own apartment, and is home here occasionally for dinner. (Free food brings them home every time!) I treasure the nights when everyone is home and we play board games or cards and laugh a lot. I can’t really look back with sadness at the loss of their childhood, though, so I don’t. I adjust to what is new, and embrace what comes next.
In the meantime though, I might just spend a little more time listening to Paper Gods, and sneaking in an extra shower or two before Saturday.