I saw something on Facebook yesterday that made my jaw drop.
If seeing Justin Timberlake as a grown father wasn’t enough to make you count your years, I know something else that will.
Simon Le Bon is going to be a grandfather.
Didn’t he just HAVE children?!?
I say that with all of the love, joy, laughter, and even conviction, as possible. As someone who just celebrated her daughter’s own 21st birthday. Time really flies. I am absolutely thrilled for the Le Bon family. Saffron is going to be a mommy, and I wish her the best. I think the news is truly spectacular. May 2018 be a far more joyful year for the Le Bon’s.
Just as I joyfully celebrated my daughter’s birthday while lamenting how quickly 21 years went by, I find myself doing similar here. I can’t quite believe we’re already at the point where the idols, heart throbs, and rockstars of our preteen angst are having not only children, but now grandchildren. What?!?
Good lord. That means I am far older than I care think about… Are any of you with me on that?!?
Although, I turn around just as I finish typing that sentence to give some instruction to my youngest – we’re building a model of a California mission this week – and realize that yep, I’m EXACTLY old enough to be a bystander to Simon’s children having their own children.
Life is crazy. And joyful.
And, while I’m thinking about it, I have to say that the universe is incredibly timely. While Ann may not be physically on this planet to welcome her great-grandchild, I know from first hand experience that their memory will live on. My youngest was born just a couple of days after my dad went into the hospital for the last time. She has a birth mark on the inside of her knee, which mysteriously showed up on the same day my dad went into a coma that he never woke up from. I called it an “angel kiss” in order to make it sound a little less weird to her, and to this day, my youngest believes fervently that it’s a mark my dad left on her when he kissed her goodbye. I just know that the universe works in very bizarre ways.
My youngest never had the chance to meet my dad. He saw a photo of her during a point where he had briefly regained consciousness prior to going back into a coma, but that’s the closest he ever came to seeing her. Some may think that the birth mark story is cool, others might think it’s a stretch or that I just didn’t see it before. For me personally? I think for a while, I needed to believe it was a sign from my dad. I needed that in order to keep going. But now, I guess it’s taken on more of a “sweet story” feel. Even so, it makes me smile. I think that might be the purpose.
I don’t know how Simon might feel, but I personally don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Saffron is due in June. The first birthday and anniversary after my dad passed was incredibly hard. I think that the welcome of a new baby, particularly in June —a month marked by both “firsts” for Simon and his family—is another way that the universe reminds us to keep living.
Smartest damn thing my dad ever said to me was to remember it is all about the living, not the dying. I had no idea what he meant at the time, but little did I know I’d be reminded of those words again and again.
Babies do have a way of making us remember that life goes on, even when we’re not sure how.
Congratulations to Simon, Yasmin, Saffron & Benjamin, and the entire Le Bon family. What wonderful news!
Did you know that on this day in 2005, Duran Duran performed “What Happens Tomorrow” on Good Morning America?
I’m sure many of you were there. I was not…but I remember racing home from dropping the kids at school in order to see the band perform!
I always say it, but I just can’t get over this being thirteen years ago. Are we sure?!? The band looks good, don’t they? I must admit, I liked them in suits onstage. They looked sharp…and I was a big fan of John’s dark hair, too. Then there’s Andy. I’d nearly forgotten that he was with them at this time. There’s this odd sense of wistfulness when I watch them perform, probably because I know what comes later, and I see people in the audience that are no longer around.
If you watch the whole performance, you’ll see at one point that Simon makes his way over to Andy to sing with him in the same way he does with John. Andy doesn’t even turn towards him, and Simon is kind of left hanging. I don’t think I ever noticed it until I watched today. I don’t know if that was by accident, on purpose, or an indication of the turmoil within.
Then there is the audience. I see several people I recognize – and it’s not hard to remember that during this time, Duranies were still basking in the afterglow of the original line up being together and touring. I love seeing the joy on the faces of fans during this period of time. For those who, like me, never thought the “Fab Five” would reunite – the period of 2001 through 2005 went by like a flash. A perfect moment designed to give us what we’d wanted, what many of us never had the chance to experience before, but not meant to last. I’m glad I savored each moment I had.
We’ve come a long way since 2005, and yet sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday. Life is crazy that way.
Every now and then, something comes up in Duran Duran history that I haven’t heard or didn’t know about. Today is one of those days! On this date in 2008, Simon and Dom appeared on The Jack Diamond Morning Show on WRQX – Mix 107.3, in Washington DC.
A couple of things about this appearance jump out at me. The first being that Dom was on the show with Simon. He was there to play acoustic guitar, which is really pretty cool! The second is that there’s a bootleg album of this appearance out there in fan land…and I need to find it!
In addition to an interview, they perform “The Chauffeur”, “Ordinary World”, and “Falling Down”, which was the single off of Red Carpet Massacre, which they were promoting at the time. I looked on YouTube, hoping to find a snippet, but I came up empty.
If you happen to have the bootleg of this appearance – let me know!
On the 22nd of January, twenty-one years ago, I woke up at 6:30am and new something wasn’t quite right. I was having short little pains, but they were enough to wake me up out of a sound sleep. Smiling, I began to time them, and oddly – they were coming at fairly regular intervals. Ten days late and counting, I knew that I was finally, blessedly, in labor with my oldest.
After what I felt was many hours of waiting, I finally got the OK to go to the hospital at about 1pm. It was in the middle of a snow storm, but I barely remember the drive from our house to the hospital, except that my mom was with us and we really had no idea what we were about to be in for. I’ll save everyone the details except to say that what began that morning didn’t actually finish until 12:05am the following morning – which if you’re following along, meant the 23rd of January in 1997.
I always like to say that Heather Kathryn Rivera was born in the middle of a blizzard (this is true), she was ten days late (also true, and really eleven if we’re counting – which believe me, at that point, I was), and that to this very day, the child is still late. She runs by one clock: her own. She still prefers the cold weather to our ever-sunny days, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she ended up back in the Chicagoland area after college. (then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if we did as well!)
Today, she turns twenty-one.
I’m marveling about that, because it doesn’t seem possible. I still remember seeing the snow fall that day and night in the hospital, I still remember sitting up in bed the following day, looking at her wondering how on earth I was ever going to be able to handle caring for another human being. They say that to have a baby is to agree to allow a part of your heart to walk around outside of your body forever. That’s so true. It is simultaneously the apex of joy and some of the worst pain imaginable at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the peace in the world. (Most of the time, anyway!)
I remember not long after Heather and I came home from the hospital, I was watching Rosie in the afternoon while trying to feed Heather. Guess who were her guests? Simon, Nick and Warren. They were there promoting “Medazzaland”. I remember watching them while Heather was crying, and I was so upset because I could barely hear the interview. I was already learning who came first, of course, and before long I was crying right along with Heather. As much as I loved being a mom, and I really did, I missed being me. I didn’t know how to be both a mom and Rhonda, the human. Life circumstances at the time didn’t help, either. The real “adjustment” didn’t come until later, when I finally figured out that in order to enjoy being a mom, I had to enjoy being ME, too.
Guess when that happened? I can tell you the exact date. March 28, 2001. House of Blues, Anaheim CA. Duran Duran walked out on that stage, and something in me that had been dark for many, many years suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree.
I’ve written about it before, but finding myself again was really the key to being a good parent. After that concert, I started being ME. I found friends, I went to a convention, I brought my own personality to the table of parenting. My kids know exactly who I am. They’re not afraid to call me out for it sometimes, too.
My Heather is a beautiful human being. She is so much better of a person than I could ever hope to be myself. She’s got a sharp tongue, a wicked sense of humor, and a very kind heart. She’s tenacious in a way that I never learned, and she has more talent in her pinky finger than I do in my entire body. She’s danced her way through life so far, and now she’s twenty-one. She’s grown. I don’t even know how it happened, because at some point on the way home from the hospital, through the snowy streets and freezing temperatures, I blinked. Now she’s an adult. Where does the time go?
I guess I feel similar with Duran Duran, really. At some point after New Moon on Monday, I blinked. The past thirty years went by in a single blink. The last 17 in particular FLEW by, and I can mark the moments in Heather’s life by songs, concerts and road trips I’ve taken along the way. She still smiles widely at the memory of going with me to the Astronaut signing in Hollywood when she was just seven or eight. She remembers Simon quizzing her about her favorite song and how he asked about the book she was carrying (I think it was a Nancy Drew book). She also remembers how tan they all looked for not being from California (I laugh about that because she’s right) and how they all wore more makeup than I did. (also true!)
We still laugh about how she went with Amanda and I to see Duran Duran at the Pearl in Las Vegas in 2009. She was twelve, although a tall twelve-year-old at the time, and she STILL laughs heartily over her reaction when John walked up to the microphone during the show and called us Mother F*kers. Heather turned around and looked at me with her eyes as wide as saucers. I doubled over laughing. Yep, I’m that kind of mom!
Amanda and I always talked about employing her to drive us from gig to gig after she turned 16 so that way we didn’t have to drive ourselves any longer, but we’ve never done it. Today, she’s old enough to belly up to the bar right along with us.
Somehow, that doesn’t seem quite right. AT ALL.
Heather taught me how to be a mom. She patiently waited for me to figure out how to manage feeding and caring for an infant and yet still being able to take a shower and get out of pj’s by noon. She would smile and sit next to me when it came time for me to learn how to do it all again when her brother Gavin was born – so all of that x2. Then she taught me how not to be one of those “stage moms” and how to provide a stable environment for her when everything else in her life was chaos with dance and school. She forgave me for having yet another baby just as she was becoming a teenager, and even offered to help with her youngest sister. I will never ever forget going through that pregnancy because Heather was by my side nearly the entire time. She’s become a second mama in a lot of ways to the baby of the family – who isn’t a baby anymore (so she constantly reminds me).
Heather listened to me complain about life, growing older, losing a parent, learning how to be a better caregiver and spouse, and even how to be a better mom to her as she grew up and had her own ideas that may or may not have been completely opposite to her dad’s and mine. I daresay that parenting is toughest after the children have grown.
Through most of that, she also had to contend with this crazy blog, my writing, the road trips, conventions, and the ups and downs within. Duran Duran has been a near constant presence in her life even though she’s only met them from across a table (same, Heather, same here for the most part). I don’t think she can really hear Duran Duran without thinking of me immediately at this point, and I don’t know whether to apologize or applaud.
So today, as I watch the kids at recess and continue thinking about the journey I’ve taken over the last twenty-one years, I’m also thinking about how this is just the beginning for Heather. I love that kid and I couldn’t be prouder. Today is bittersweet for this mama, but I am looking forward to taking her out tonight for her first (legal) margarita. It has been quite a journey.
(BTW John and Nick… if you need a choreographer for a musical….I know somebody…..)
Happy Birthday, Heather-Feather. (You can thank me for not printing your REAL nickname at any time.) Be careful, but not too careful – Love Mom.
My “Day in Duran History” calendar tells me that on this date in 1999, Simon videotaped an appearance on a UK show called “Never Mind the Buzzcocks”.
Being American, I’m somewhat at a loss because up until today when I researched the show, I didn’t know what it was. That’s one thing about doing this blog – it has exposed me to a lot of things I’d never heard of prior! It was basically a comedy panel game, based on pop music. I marvel at the idea. (Does anyone else feel like American game shows could learn a little something from our overseas friends??) The show lasted 18 years, and was cancelled back in 2015.
Simon on a game show. Huh. I feel like there must be video of this somewhere. If not, there should be.
You know as well as I do that I went to YouTube in search of such treasures…and I found a little something to share. It’s only a short clip, and I have no way of knowing if there’s more out there…but it’s something!
I will say this: the look of complete and utter disdain in JUST the thumbnail you see below is enough to send me into hysterics. I may have had a bit too much caffeine to begin the day…
Oh yes. This is GOLDEN. It is worthy of a morning break, and it IS funny with genuine laugh out loud moments (and I am somewhat sad to say that I’m not even laughing AT Simon but at the rest of the panel and the host). Check it out if you haven’t seen it or need a chuckle this Thursday morning. I’m sure my UK readers could tell me a thing or two about this show, so forgive me if I’ve completely messed up the description!
Oh, and yes, I wish American TV would get a clue and try a game show like Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Instead, our entertainment industry is in this “Let’s reboot some of the best and worst shows and movies we’ve ever made” phase. It is like they’ve run out of original ideas….
I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I’m still trying to settle into the expectations of 2018. I went to work yesterday and survived. I’ve got to say, I’d be way happier about that if the day didn’t hadn’t begun at 5am. I also found out that I’ll still have a job next year.
It’s a long story, but in short, my school has secured it’s charter. There are going to be a lot of changes, one of which is that my particular region, or campus, will be expanding. The powers that be are looking at the possibility of my role being full-time. On one hand I’m thrilled because it’s touring money. I need that! On the other, I’m considering the expectations for this blog and writing in general. Time is of the essence, and I have had none lately. With the added wrench of my husband’s continued job search, who knows what will happen! We will see in the coming months.
Situations and plans change all of the time. One of the worst things to do is attempt to make plans, so I’m finding. One day I’ll blog about something I’m hoping to do, and the very next, the earth beneath me explodes, and I’m realizing that nothing is going to work as I’d written. Expectations are future resentments, so I heard once upon a time.
It is not a big shocker to read or hear that Duran’s plans for #DD40 are changing. But are they really changing? Or, is it just that fans had huge, unverified expectations for what 2018 might bring? The supposed “build up” for the 40th anniversary seems to have been something that fans invented on their own. While it was mentioned a few times over the course of the past year or two, the band itself never focused on it the way the fan base seemed. Perhaps fans let their imaginations run wild with anticipation over what might come.
I don’t think it’s very surprising that Duran Duran is not giving us a firm idea of when or how they plan to commemorate the occasion. The fact that there are only going to be limited dates in 2018 shouldn’t be a concern. No, it’s not a full tour. Why did anyone jump to the conclusion that it would be?
In listening to the end-of-year Katy Kafes, the band tried to readjust expectations. Not only was that fair, but wise. There have been some pretty amazing things mentioned about what the band is going to be doing to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The trouble is, none of that information came directly from the band. It was all assumption, rumor, and flat-out wishful thinking on the part of fans. The band never actually said they were going to tour non-stop for the next three years, for instance. Just because John Taylor said they’d probably celebrate beginning in 2018 and culminating in 2020 never meant they were going to be on the road the entire time. John didn’t elaborate publicly, so any assumptions made based on that comment were simply that – assumptions. Furthermore, there have been no press releases saying they were going to release Reportage, invite Warren back, sing Kumbaya with Andy, or release an anthology. In truth, the band itself has said very precious little, at least publicly. Given the voracity of this particular fan base, I don’t blame them one bit.
The band didn’t cancel #DD40. 1978 happened whether the band acknowledges that specific timeframe of the inception of the band or not, and it isn’t as though a huge celebration was planned. Simon simply mentioned that this year was only the beginning – and he did use the word “only”, should probably clue overzealous fans in. Yes, 2018 is the beginning, just as 1978 was just the beginning. Duran Duran went through a few alliterations before coming to be the Fab Five as we knew them in the 80s. It isn’t a surprise that for their 40th, they are going with 2020 as the “official” date. It’s called business.
Let’s just think back on 78-03, or as we all call it – The Reunion. Namingthat tour as 78-03 was convenient. With the press that the band reunited and that it was the 25th anniversary of Duran Duran, it was a golden marketing moment. They needed to get out and play live, and there was the reasoning for doing it. Simple, and the crowds went wild.
This time though, timing is likely different. Duran Duran likes to tour with new music. Simon didn’t join the band until later on anyway. Since they’ve been saying for a year or more now that the celebration would begin in 2018 and culminate in 2020, it would seem to me that not much has changed, and rest assured nothing has been “canceled”. Once again, the band never said there would be a gigantic tour, that is something that only fans have said. It is easy to make the assumption that the band would tour their 40th anniversary, but it is still just an assumption. Expectations are indeed only future resentments. Watch your footing.
While many are lauding their plan to write and go into the studio this year, Daily Duranie sits here applauding it. How many of your favorite bands are still writing?!? How many are still recording forty years in? Not many. Why are people finding fault with that?
I have even seen groups surveying the fan base about what they want, and then making incredibly leading statements that perhaps the band is actually going to listen. If only the world actually worked that way. There is far more involved with merchandising than simply what diehard fans may want. If the world worked according to diehards, the set list would change for each show. Talk about setting someone up for a big fall! It is no wonder that John, Nick, Simon and Roger never go into great detail about their plans, and that most of them even mentioned that there would be limited dates next year. Dialing back the expectations seems to be the right way to go because the high level of expectation is palatable. Even as we wrote Daily Duranie over the course of the past year or so, Amanda and I wondered how it would be possible for the band to meet fan expectations for the 40th. In reality, they couldn’t.
It is entirely possible that fans are putting an awful lot more pressure and stock into this 40th anniversary than the band might. This is not a band rooted in nostalgia, no matter what the rest of the world may believe. Duran Duran continues to look forward, not back. This is why they are going back into the studio and creating more music, whether it’s a full album or even a few songs. I don’t care how long that takes.
Not that long ago, someone mentioned to me that the band has nothing left to prove, that they write and perform for the sheer love of doing so. I’ve thought a lot about that, and damn, we’re lucky they do. Forty years and counting.
My Lyric Day Friday has been postponed! Why? Someone was a trouble maker. Who? Of course, it is Simon as his year end Katy Kafe has been released! I’m kidding…at least about blaming him. I’m glad that the year end kafes have started. I look forward to all the Kafes, including the year end ones and I’m thrilled that I get to blog about one, at least. As always, this little blog post simply captures some of the Kafe, but it is in no way, shape or form a complete review. If you want to hear it all, go to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself. If you are not a member, go and get yourself a membership. Treat yourself.
Simon discussed the upcoming holidays a little bit, including his three Christmas trees, how they are decorated and what drinks put him in the holiday frame-of-mind. He mentioned two drinks, in particular: mulled wine (basically heated wine with spices) and sloe gin. After Simon described how to create mulled wine, Katy declared that he would win at Survivor. There was no immediate agreement, but Simon did explain how to remove red wine strains from white carpet and how to get water in the desert. Well then…
2017 In Review:
For the rest of the Kafe, Simon provided answers to his 2017 highlights, favorites, etc.
Event: The big event for Simon? He mentioned Duran playing Lollalapooza in Buenos Aires along with Middle East politics, the engagement of Prince Harry, and Donald Trump. In reality, though, the big event was the passing of his mother, which made 2017 really tough.
Movie: He liked the new Blade Runner (visually impressive) but wished he had seen Dunkirk. On the other hand, he saw Nocturnal Animals but wished he hadn’t since it was so depressing (but good). Personally, I haven’t seen any of them, but should probably see Dunkirk since I teach about that not-so-little war.
Book: The book Simon mentioned was The Essex Serpent. He even mentioned doing a Simon’s Reader on it. I had not heard of it so I looked it up. Here’s the description on Amazon.com about it from the New York Times: “A novel of almost insolent ambition–lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate…it’s part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home.” It sounds fascinating.
TV Show: His favorite from this year was Peaky Blinders, which apparently takes place in Birmingham. Beyond that, he did enjoy Game of Thrones. Katy and Simon mentioned the use of Duran in the second season of Stranger Things, too.
Music: As far as music goes, Simon mentioned Leon Bridges (good) and Depeche Mode (okay). There was some discussion about genres, including hip hop, pop, and folk.
Personal Highlight: In this section, Simon focused mostly on Duran, discussing how much he loved the tour, including Hawaii, Japan and South America. In fact he said, “All the really good things in my life have been on tour.” He also stated that he might have good news next year, which really makes me wonder!
Next Year: Simon is looking forward to starting on the next project and the beginning of the anniversary. I think it goes without saying that he is not the only one!
Overall, Simon’s year end Katy Kafe was entertaining as heck. I didn’t learn a ton of new Duran news, but I laughed a lot and found myself smiling throughout.
On this date in 2008, I was in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was my very first (and only) time there. In fact, I’d never really spent a lot of time in New Jersey, even though my father was born and raised there in a tiny town called Franklin. I’d been in New Jersey just once prior, for only a couple of hours – long enough to drive by the home where my dad was born, as well as the gravesite of my grandparents. For me, going to Atlantic City was exciting. I don’t even think I’d ever looked at photos from there, so I had no expectations. I kept picturing in my head the glitz, over-the-top glam, tripping the light fantastic of Las Vegas, with an ocean in the background.
Without being rude to those who love Atlantic City, it was very different from the picture I had in my head.
First of all, to be fair, we got to the hotel just hours before the show, and it was daylight. I suppose that yes, there were lights, but it was nothing like Las Vegas. I can’t really describe what was so different, maybe it’s just a little more down to earth? Seedy, even? I’m not really sure. In full disclosure, once you depart from the actual “Strip” in Vegas, there is plenty of seediness to be found. Turn down the wrong street, and you are liable to see plenty of after-effects from a little too much “sin” in the city! For that matter, look a little too closely at the Strip itself, and you’ll see plenty more than you may have bargained for. But somehow, that day in Atlantic City was bright enough to where I didn’t have to look to hard to find the grit. It was December, unseasonably warm (I am not kidding about that – it was warmer on that day in New Jersey than it was in many parts of Southern California!), and yet the crowds had gone away for the winter. I can remember eating lunch somewhere with Amanda and the restaurant was eerily quiet.
Even though we were short on time, I was excited about being there. We had a weekend membership and reservations to eat in the restaurant up in the Foundation Room – which was a splurge at the time. And of course, the reason for our visit? To see Duran Duran.
2008 was one of the toughest years of my life. Not only was I pregnant for part of the year (it was the roughest of my three, naturally), I gave birth three weeks early, which set off a string of events and mishaps that I still take medication to circumvent even today, and my dad died two weeks after my youngest was born. I suppose we could say the year was bittersweet, because I want to be fair to my youngest, but when I think back – I mostly remember the year as being horrific. My little one was the brightest spot. (and continues to be that way even though she drives me crazy sometimes!) So the trip I took to see shows in the east that year was welcome, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the album they were touring. That’s probably putting it lightly. I remember that tour as the one where I was the most cynical, and very unfair to the band. I’d also had one hell of a horrible year.
When I share that I stood off to the side for the show at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, and that during the show I actually left the crowd to sit on a couch area in the back of the venue because I felt sick, and that I barely remember anything about being there other than John Taylor correcting me on the clapping rhythm for Red Carpet Massacre, I suppose that says something about me at the time. My head just wasn’t in the game. Or the show. I don’t even remember much about the after party, other than Roger Taylor DJing while I danced on the small dance floor up in the Foundation Room. I didn’t even know until much later that the rest of the band was there as well, sitting behind some sort of roped off area. Where was Dom, you ask? (just pretend you’re asking!) I honestly don’t know. I don’t even have a clear memory of noticing him onstage at the House of Blues. THAT was how out of it I was at the time, and I think the entire year was like that for me. I think back on how much of a zombie I must have been, and its a miracle that my friends still speak to me.
I was only in Atlantic City for less than 24 hours, because we left early the next morning to make our way to Montclair for the final show on the tour. I hope to make it back someday, maybe in the summer, so I can see the full-effect.
Oddly, that road trip in 2008 is also the time when Amanda and I decided to embark on the book writing process. I don’t know what that says…but it says something.
Whenever these days come around on my calendar, I think back on 2008. I am a lot different of a person now than I was then. I hate equating that year with so much unhappiness, but it is difficult because the grief was so overwhelming. I was so harsh, angry and judgmental as a fan, and even as a person – I don’t think I realized how much the grief affected me. Yet, I bonded much more closely with my youngest. It was the one thing keeping me afloat, I think.
As I sit here I’m also thinking that it was the first holiday season without my dad, too…and yes, I know that Simon is going through similar this year. I think about that a lot because I know that pain all too well. It is the club nobody wants to join, and I wouldn’t want it for anyone else. In some ways, I think it’s great that Simon is getting out there for shows during this season, because he probably needs to feel that love and affection we have for him. I get that and believe me, when I was really feeling that pain, I wished I’d reached out for more help. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose. In other ways, I just feel for him, period. There’s absolutely no hiding from the reality and finality. I wish there were.
I always wondered if I was weird, that having so much grief was unusual, probably because when my dad’s parents (my grandparents) died, I don’t remember my dad saying much. I mean, he was sad at first, but after the funerals, he just stopped talking about them. He’d mention them occasionally, but I don’t remember him being sad. Maybe more with my grandma than my grandfather, but I was so young then (I was about nine). I assumed that once you’re grown, you just come to expect that your parens will die someday and that’s OK. As my friends have also had parents pass on, including Simon, seeing how he reacted to his grief, along with my friends, made me see that it’s OK. I’m not so different to miss him, and I still do. Even nine years on.
As you can read, I can’t really separate the tour of 2008 from what was going on in my own life. I think that’s probably normal for most of us. The tours and things are sort of like the points of interest along the way in our lives. This blog post turned out to be something a lot different from the “short post” I had planned to write, so thanks for sticking with it until the end!
Were you at the Atlantic City show in 2008? Let me know!
Play The Fcking Bass, John…Play The Fcking Bass, John…Play The F*cking Bass, John….
I think most everyone has heard that familiar chant as Simon goes through the intros to the band during Girls on Film, but where did it first start? Have we always done it?
Strangely, I really thought this was something that had been around forever, or at least for as long as I can remember. It has become so iconic that I don’t think I ever considered when it might have started. I just assumed it had always been a part of the show. Turns out that no, we haven’t always been chanting that at John. On this date in 2003, Duran Duran played the Enmore Theatre in Sydney, Australia…and THIS was the first time the audience ever exuberantly cheered those words. Thank you, Australia.
So the next time you’re at a show and Simon starts in with “Play The Fcking Bass, John…Play The Fcking Bass, John…Play The F*cking Bass, John….” cheer along and just think, some of the best traditions we have as fans got started fairly recently. Fourteen years and counting.
You never know when or where the next tradition may begin!
It used to be that I enjoyed watching concert videos of Duran Duran because I wasn’t able to see many shows, particularly those from the 80s. I didn’t go to my first Duran Duran concert until 1989, so these concert videos represented a world that I was not involved with, and I often felt like I was on the outside looking in. Even so, I would watch whatever I could find, over and over again in fascination.
Nowadays, I watch them almost incredulously. It is difficult for me to make sense of who they were then versus who they are now. I don’t know if that will make sense to many of you. I suppose in some small way I see them differently now? They’re not on quite as high of a pedestal (assuming they are in fact on any sort of pedestal at all). I see Simon in these videos, for instance – and I see this untouchable, unattainable, enigmatic, person. I didn’t know him, I never met him, and he may as well could have been in a dream rather than reality. That’s how Duran Duran was for me as a child. I still don’t know Simon, but I’ve stood with him in a picture. I’ve waved to him. He’s REAL now in a way he wasn’t then. The band is just a little more real to me as a whole. Even so, I still have a hard time watching these videos and reconciling the fact that the people in this video are the same people I go to see perform now. It isn’t that the band has changed, it is that I see them differently, I think.
I am the first to admit that when I was ten, the hero-worshipping going on in my head and heart was huge. They may as well have been knights in shining armor. I proudly hung their posters on my wall, and believed they could do no wrong, even when I was presented with evidence that may have proven otherwise. At the time, they were exactly what I needed them to be, because I was a child. I needed and wanted that fairy-tale existence, and although sometimes I will slip and say that I wished I had met them in the 80s, I realize that it would have completely destroyed me to have done so. The unfair expectations that I would have placed upon them would have been enormous. No one could have possibly lived up. When I watch old performance videos like Sing Blue Silver, those old feelings are stirred up a bit. Those memories and feelings behave more as childhood nostalgia than pure hero worship these days, but to be fair there’s still some gushing going on. I mean, I am still a fan.
On the other hand, in adulthood, I think my feelings now are more along the lines of fondness and deep respect. How can I help but not respect Simon, John, Nick and Roger? They’ve stood the test of time, not only with me, but with millions of people worldwide. That’s mind-blowing in this day and age. I don’t giggle when I see them, unless of course I’m about to be hosed down with Simon-spit (and I’m not really sure I giggle about that at the time…I’m too busy ducking for safety!). I think that might be a side-effect from writing the blog, but I’m really not sure. I just know it is hard to see the John Taylor in Sing Blue Silver or even in videos like “The Reflex” and make sense of the fact that yeah, that’s the same John Taylor that I see onstage now. The struggle is real and my brain does not compute.
So much has changed, yet so much really is the same, I suppose!
In 2009, EMI released videos of these early shows, including Hammersmith 1982. I thought it would be fun to watch some of the clips again today. I couldn’t find the concert in entirety so I just chose several to watch. Enjoy!
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!