Tag Archives: Up Close and Personal Tour

Was the Pop Trash Era Best?

Now that the beat is slow

DDHQ’s choice of the video for “Someone Else Not Me” for “Watch it Wednesday” sparks discussion of the Pop Trash era.

Admittedly, there were years from the mid-90’s until I saw the band for the Up Close & Personal tour in 2001, when I didn’t pay quite as much attention as I did in the 80’s. I was still interested, and believe me when I say my ears perked up at the mere mention of Duran Duran. Even so – my room was no longer wallpapered with posters and pinups. I grew up, and stopped needing those posters, I suppose.

I’ve spoken or traded posts and messages with a good many Duran Duran fans who proclaim the Pop Trash era to be their favorite – and if it wasn’t the music itself being mentioned, it was the live shows. Many of these fans are my personal friends within the DD community. I dare say that most of my friends in this community are die hard Duranies at heart.

Something I want to say

I only went to one Pop Trash era show—the one at the House of Blues for the Up Close & Personal tour in 2001. I will continue to scream “that single show changed my entire life” from the rooftops, but not for the same reasons that seem to come up with other fans. For me, that show re-opened up a door into my heart. I felt so much joy in being there in that room that I completely lost myself in the show. I didn’t even know the Pop Trash album that well at the time. The music between us, indeed.

Obviously, we can all make note of the hysteria present during the early 80s. Clearly that was missing by the late 90s. The era tends to ignite my curiosity not because of the fans who had left by that time, but by those who stayed connected.

Burst this bubble

So many of my friends who were truly engaged during Pop Trash speak so fondly of that time and those shows, over the years I’ve wondered what made it so. Sure, for many who loved the Pop Trash and Medazzaland albums, the answer is obvious. The music fuels the passion. For others, it was likely the proximity to the band itself. I have friends who tell me that back then, the band really seemed to embrace the fans. Rather than treating them like asylum escapees with a registered potential for violence quotient – they acted like they were old friends.

Were the fans just friendlier at the time? The late 90s -2000s were early days of the internet. Social media hadn’t yet hooked us with its talons. The reunion was a blip on the horizon, but no fan even suspected the possibility just yet.

Were die-hard fans during this period there more for the music than the nostalgia?

To type the words seems so judgmental. I don’t mean it quite that way, but to be fair – don’t you wonder what the ratio between die-hard and “I-heard-a-single-from-Pop-Trash-on-the-radio” potential fans were in any given audience on the Up Close & Personal tour might have been? Let’s just be blunt: there IS a certain percentage of the greater fan base that continues to show up because they’re still in love with the pinup images of John, Simon, Nick and Roger. That doesn’t mean every fan from the 80s lives in nostalgia, it simply means some still might.

Hardest thing is to let go

I can’t say whether I’ve tested my theories enough to call them law, but I have definitely noticed a certain “Where were YOU in the 90s?” attitude that has permeated over the years. If you suggest that you stuck around during that time, you’re alright. If, like me, you mention a sabbatical, however brief – one can sense the eyes upon you narrowing as they scrutinize from head to toe. Judgments are made based on how one answers the simple questions of what live shows you’ve seen, or whether or not you remained a “true” fan during the lean 1990s.

On the other hand, and most likely one attached to the body of someone who haughtily says they’re not at all nostalgic to 1980’s Duran Duran – there is the fact that during these same Up Close & Personal shows, the band played a FAR more varied set list, filled with songs from—oh yes, you guessed it—their first few albums and B-sides. Not nostalgic, you say? Please, tell me more about that. Fandom is fueled by nostalgia.

I don’t necessarily think I’ve discovered the answers to the questions on my mind, but on second thought, I’m really not sure there are black and white answers to be found. Fandom is complex. This isn’t math. There aren’t firm answers, even though people like me really might prefer that. A lot of the ground we walk on is slippery. I would know, I’ve fallen a lot. And repeatedly. Then, I’m a bit of a klutz trapped in a china shop. Save the china!!

-R

Duran Duran History: Orlando 2001 and More

On this date in 2001, Duran Duran played at the House of Blues in Orlando.  This show was part of the Up Close and Personal Tour.  Were any of you lucky enough to attend this show?  I was not there.  In fact, I did not attend any show during that tour.  During 2001, I was a bit busy as I was teaching full time and attending graduate school.  This makes me think about a couple of little mental games I like to play with my history students.

What If?

Thinking about that tour, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had attended that tour.  Would I have had amazing, life altering experiences?  What would my fandom be like now?  Would I still be a fan today or would I have gotten it all out of my system?  Of course, like my students, I cannot properly answer the question without thinking of context.  If I attended this tour, does that mean that I would have been active in the fandom?  Would I have met Rhonda earlier than I did?  Someone else?  Would my Duranie friendship group be a lot different?  If I had to guess, I suspect that I might have known and had some friends within the fandom but I doubt any of those friendships would have been like the one I share with Rhonda. (I know what many of you are thinking…thank goodness!  The world could not handle another blog like this!  Certainly, vodka suppliers are relieved that there isn’t another friendship like ours!)  If that’s the case, then I bet I wouldn’t have had as much fun.  Therefore, I doubt that my fandom would be like it is today.

What Tour?

Another question I like to ask my students is about which era they wish they could have lived through.  So, I apply this question to my fandom.  Which tour that I did not see do I wish it did?  Would it be the Up Close and Personal Tour?  I know that this tour allowed the fans to get pretty close to the band and included a lot of small venues.  All that sounds great to me…but John Taylor was not part of the band.  So, I might not choose this tour.

What about a tour like the Sing Blue Silver Tour of 1984?  I was too young to attend and this, of course, was at the heart of Duran’s popularity.  If I attended that tour, would I be able to fan out in a way that I don’t now?  For example, would I scream myself to losing my voice?  Would I faint over a look or a glance my way?  What would it have been like to be around that level of fan hysteria?  Would I have loved it?  Found it fascinating?  Wanted to run from it?  I’m not sure.  So, I don’t think I would have chosen that tour.

Honestly, if I had to pick one, I might go to the first US tour.  I would have loved to have seen some of those early days.  Right now, the band is at the top of their game when it comes to live shows.  I would have love to have seen them then.  What were those live shows really like?  How did the crowds react?  Did they get what they were witnessing and how huge the band was going to get?

What about the rest of you?  What tour do you wish that you attended and why?

-A

Duran Duran History: Beacon Theatre Sells Out

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back to 2001 when Duran Duran was promoting and touring for their album, Pop Trash.  On this date, tour dates for their Up Close and Personal Tour were on sale.  Their show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City sold out on this date and a second show was added.  These shows took place on March 1st and 2nd of the same year.  They were the second and third shows of the tour.

Was anyone lucky enough to attend these shows?

-A