Tag Archives: shows

Don’t They Understand

I don’t really hide my fandom much. My family and friends all know that I’m a Duranie. Heck, a number of my students even know that I’m a big fan. My wallpaper on my work computer is a group picture, after all. Recently, I found myself out with friends, many of them work friends. It is almost inevitable that Duran Duran will come up in conversation. Lately, when the band comes up, a friend or two will say something like, “I would love to go to a show with you!” Then, for the next few minutes, multiple friends will say how fun it would be! In those situations, I find myself not saying much beyond having a little smile on my face. Why don’t I say something? Do I worry about what they are thinking about me? Do I want to share the band with them? What about sharing my fandom?

Generally, the people who say that they would love, love, love to attend a Duran concert with me are those whom I am pretty close friends with. They do know how much the band and the fandom means to me. This leads me to think that they aren’t making fun of me but…I do wonder if there isn’t a little piece of them that would like to see me in this very different way. I suspect that they have a hard time imagining me as a fan since they see me as this very serious teacher or activist. Do they think I go completely wild? That I lose control? Act totally differently? I’m not sure what ideas go through their minds about me and my Duranie status. Those of you who know me or have seen me in person know that I have a great time at shows and on tour but I don’t think I have a totally different personality. *shrugs*

Could it be that I don’t want to share the band and the fandom with them? That is an interesting idea. Let me ponder what it would mean for my local friends to go to a show with me. In almost all cases, this equals traveling. My friends would need to hop on a plane with me to see the concert or two. That is a serious level of financial commitment that I don’t expect anyone to do unless you love the band. Then, when I go to a Duran show, I go for good seats. I might not try for those $1000 ultimate front row seats but I generally go for Gold. Again, that is a lot of money especially for a non-Duranie. Then, of course, I don’t like the image of that. I prefer that fans get the best seats. I would hate for a friend of mine to take a seat that a serious Duranie could have instead.

All right. Let’s assume that my friends would be willing to travel and willing to spend the money for tickets, would I want them to go? If not, why not? After all, I have no problem with any and all of my friends going to see bands like Depeche Mode or the Killers with me. What’s the difference with Duran?

First, Duran Duran is not just another band to me. They matter a LOT to me. (Obviously, I write this blog.) Now, I’m certain that if my friends were to go, they would have a blast. They would fall for Duran and see how amazing they are live. All this should make me want my friends to go. After all, wouldn’t it be awesome to have more Duranie friends? Of course…yet, I still hold back, sort of. Looking at this situation, I have no problem with friends going to the show. I would like that actually. I’m just not sure that they should go with me.

First of all, this would feel wrong to me. I typically go to shows with Rhonda. That is the way it is supposed to be. After all, we have seen well over 30 shows together. This doesn’t mean that we go to every show together. When we go without each other, it always feels a little weird. Second, going to a show is more than the 2 hours the band is on stage. It is a much bigger event. On show days, I revolve everything around the show. When to get ready? What to wear? What time to meet others? All of that works to increase my excitement and to bring me closer to the other fans I am going with but also the other fans that I look forward to seeing.

I think back to the first time Rhonda and I had front row at a general admission show in Biloxi in 2012. We got up at the crack of dawn to get ready and to head to the venue to wait and wait and wait some more. We recorded a video at like 7 am of us talking to each other about how dumb we were to do this. Of course, we laughed while we said that and continued to get ready. Even if we were dumb, we didn’t head back to sleep. Then, as we stood in line all day, we talked with other fans, watched a Diamond in the Mind on computer, made up a setlist. We participated in all of these activities as if they were steps in some sort of religious ceremony or holiday. Would my friends get that?

What if they did attend a pre-show party? Would they have fun? More importantly, would they be able to contribute to the conversation? After all, it is likely that there would be discussion about Duran happenings from things like the setlist to studio news to fashion choices, etc. Maybe people would talk about previous shows or times that they met the band members. Now, my friends are smart people. If nothing else, maybe they would be fascinated by the whole thing. After all, the social scientist in me watches a lot and ponders the state of our fandom They might do something similar. Yet, I think that I would feel like I had to be the go between, the translator. I would have to make sure that everyone was happy. When I go to a Duran show, that is time that is just for me. It isn’t about doing for others. I spend a lot of time worrying about other people like my family, my students, my colleagues, etc. Being on tour allows me time for me.

I also think another reason I might want to keep my work friends from entering the world of Duran Duran fandom is because I need those worlds to be separate. My fandom world needs to bring me fun. My work friends help me get through the daily challenges of teaching teenagers in a large, urban school district. I don’t really want the reality of my job to sneak into my fun.

So, for now, I’ll just nod when this comes up in conversation but I won’t ever really push it. I like it the way it is as it is.


Let’s Celebrate the First Gig!

On this date in 1978…I was seven years old.

I like saying that in some ways because while I was seven and didn’t have the foggiest idea who Duran Duran was, or what they’d come to mean to me in the decades ahead, the band members were already grown and playing music.

On the same token, I was seven years old when this roller coaster started. I’m “several decades” older now. Like four.

So I’ll begin again. On this date in 1978, Duran Duran played their first gig at Birmingham Polytechnic University. I don’t suppose there’s anyone reading this who was actually there?? Oh, how I would love to interview someone who had been in the audience that night. Can you imagine that story?!? I mean, you go to see some band because you’re tired of studying and you don’t have anything else to do…and several years later they’re the biggest act on the planet. Four decades later and, well, here we are.

I see constant, spirited exchanges between fans over what should be the observed anniversary date. When should we celebrate the fortieth anniversary?  My answer?  ALL OF THE TIME.  Every single day. Why not?  It has been one hell of a road, hasn’t it?  Each morning, I get up and check our Duran calendar, and rarely is there a box with nothing in it. There might be two days on the entire calendar where the band took time off or nothing happened – but for the most part, each day something happened and they’ve made it through all of it. Sure, people have joined and left over the years, but they’re still together. Still making music. We’re still fans. I think we should celebrate all of that.

I can’t really imagine what it was like in that first audience. I don’t know how the band sounded. I’m not sure if I would recognize the music as Duran Duran, but it was the beginning. Here we are, forty years later, waiting for more. Let’s celebrate THAT.


See Me

Yesterday, I wrote a blog asking what is apparently a very strange question  – does the band know their fans? In the undercurrent floated the additional question, “Should they?”

First of all, I could tell it was a Monday because not many replied, even on FB, which is the typical place for such conversations. Some answered that sure they did – for marketing. Fair enough.  Still others seemed to indicate that I had finally lost it. Maybe so.

The point of the question wasn’t really in the answer. To be 100% clear: I am not asking or expecting for the band, or anyone within, to become my best friend. I also was not insinuating that anyone else reading should have those expectations, although I can understand why some may have read my words, taken the path most traveled and arrived at the door for the mental facility seen in Falling Down. It happens, but I don’t think Dr. Le Bon is there ready to do patient intake just yet.

Recently I finished The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, which is a fantastic book if you’re like me and feel like you’ve got to handle everything yourself. The book was given to me by a dear friend who knows me only too well. In the book, Ms. Palmer explains that as a street performer (she performed as a live statue of a bride), she would make eye contact with her audience, and she would offer them a flower (in exchange for money that they would put in her bucket). It was her way of saying “I see you”.


“I was amazed by the intimate moments of prolonged eye contact happening on the busy city sidewalk as traffic whizzed by, as sirens blared, as street vendors hawked their wares and activities thrust flyers at every passerby, as bedraggled transients tried to sell the local homeless community newspaper to rushing commuters…where more than a second or two of a direct, silent gaze between strangers is usually verboten.

My eyes would say: 
Thank you. I see you.
And their eyes would say:
Nobody ever sees me.
Thank you.”

She goes on a page or two later, “I laughed thinking about every single artist I knew – every writer, ever actor, every filmmaker, every crazed motherfucker who had decided to forgo a life of predictable income, upward mobility and simple tax returns, and instead pursued a life in which they made their living trying to somehow turn their dot-connecting brains inside out and show the results to the world – and how, maybe, it all boiled down to one thing: 

Believe me.
I’m real.

Here’s the thing: all of us come from some place of wanting to be seen, understood, accepted, connected. 
Every single one of us wants to be believed.
Artist are often just…louder about it.”

When I read that passage, I found myself nodding vigorously. I’m not saying I’m an artist, of course. But I write these feelings that are in my head and heart. I suppose that makes me a writer? I always pictured being a writer as something so much different from what it is, I guess….. But yes, as I said yesterday, I write with the hope that the words and feelings I plop down here reach someone, somewhere.

I suppose that’s what I was trying to communicate yesterday. I want to be seen and believed by someone. I am real, and no…most of the time I’m not really seen, and I’m certainly not known. For a long time, I was a fan like anyone else reading. I went to shows, I bought records, I would grin wildly when I’d see anything about them on TV or hear them on the radio, and I would talk about them on a message board. At shows I was just another face in the crowd. But somewhere along the line, something changed for me. I wanted something else. I think I wanted to tell my story, which is incredulous. I mean, what makes my story any different?

Nothing. That’s the crazy thing! I’m a mom of three beautiful kids from California – above anything else, they are the reason I keep going each day, and I’m prouder of them than anything I’ve ever done on my own. I don’t really work unless you count teaching, keeping this website running, and writing manuscripts that we hope to get published. I’m not even from the UK. I’ve only traveled there three times and I can only claim to have stood outside a rehearsal space for Duran Duran one time. (Twice if you count the day before when no one was there!) I’ve never once stood outside a radio station waiting for the band to suddenly emerge, although yes – I’ve actually hung out in a hotel lobby when I thought they were there. I’m not very good at band stalking, as it turns out. Up until this past September, I hadn’t ever been to a taping of a TV appearance. In the past I’d tried for tickets to various things, but I’d never won. I have no real band stories to share, or anything that I would necessarily need boast about. I can’t claim anything out of the ordinary, yet I write this blog and for some crazy reason I think it’s worthy of being read, whether we’re talking about members of Duran Duran or anyone else.

The shameless audacity!

I think I got tired of just being in the audience as a nameless floating head in a sea of thousands.I started writing. This blog challenges any of you to see exactly who I am. Not just the jeans I wear, my bottle-blond hair or my green eyes. Not just my opinions, but my heart. See the part of me I pour here on the blog each day. I keep writing. And sometimes, people read.

And maybe, just maybe, someone sees me.



Today in Duran History – Uruguay

On todays date in 1993, Duran Duran played in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Not a country I hear about them hitting on tour very often, I must say.

And since I’m a little bored this morning….I will share a scenario here that was posted on our FB page by Miss Amanda over the weekend.  If you care to reply (and you should), please send us a comment!

You are stuck in an elevator with a rock star.  Who would you want it to be??

The way I see this, there are two ways to answer this question. Either you go for the knee jerk answer, in which you don’t even consider the circumstances and you say the first person to pop into your head.  I’ll bet that’s how most people would answer, and I think that’s great.  Then there’s me.  Do I actually think about what fun this could be?  No. Of course not. The very first thing I think of in this delightful fantasy situation is my anxiety.  I’m not fond of elevators. Too closed in, and the thought of being pulled up and lowered by cables kind of bothers me a bit.  Don’t get me wrong – I use them and everything, but I try not to think about it much. So the idea of being stuck in one is not at all amusing, and no, I really don’t care who it is beside me at the time (I just pray the elevator is not full).  I can just imagine getting onto an elevator only to find a band member standing there – or being in one only to have the doors open with one of them about to enter.  Awkward.  I mean, it would probably be the ONE time I’m wearing a DD t-shirt, or carrying one of my VIP bags or something.  And then to end up stuck?!?  I can just see it – I’d roll my eyes, shake my head and mumble something about it being my luck.  I’ll bet many of you would consider it good luck though.  Not me. I’d likely call those minutes among the most awkward of my life.  What would I say?  Probably nothing at first. I’d be standing there thinking about what to say.  LOL Better sound smart, Rhonda!!  You can only stand there quiet for so long though before acknowledging the situation, right??  So the question comes down to who it is beside me in that elevator.  Who would I not mind being stuck with?  Who would I most want to speak with?

Let’s just go with the knee jerk here and say Nick Rhodes.  Yeah, I know you thought I was going to say Dom.  😉