Tag Archives: Wherehouse Records

A Feeling That Runs So Deep That It Scares Me, Too

This past week, month, and year I have been thinking a lot about safety.  As a teacher, I’m very familiar with the idea of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  If you don’t know about this psychological theory, it is pretty simple.  People have a hierarchy of needs that include physiological, safety, social belonging, esteem, self-actualization and self-transcendence.  Basically, people need to have their physiological needs met first.  This makes sense, right?  People require air, food, water, etc.  If they don’t have those things, the rest of needs cannot happen.  If people have food, water, etc, then they can worry about safety, which includes both physical and emotional safety.

This week featured a test to Duranies sense of emotional safety.  Everything fans believed about Duran was called into question with this accusation of sexual assault.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll refer you to this blog post here.)  I think I can speak for a lot of fans when I say that Duran has provided me with an emotional safety net of sorts.  It is the “place” I go when I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed, sad or whatever.  The examples that immediately pop into my head are numerous.  I remember listening to Ordinary World over and over again to deal with my overwhelming loneliness when I first moved to my city over 20 years ago.  Before the Rain played in the background as I hugged my mother as we waited for my grandma to take her last breath at Christmas in 2010.  For years, Duran has provided the catalyst to countless friendships, parties and trips.  I felt confident in my fandom as I knew that the band members, while human and imperfect, are also good guys.  They do the right thing when it counts.  So, when something comes out that questions that assumption, it hurts.  It causes pain and confusion.  It makes my emotional safety net feel a little less strong, a little less secure.

Since the allegation came out and statements were made both by Simon and Katy, that emotional safety net has been slowly repairing itself.  It is easy to begin to assume that this woman, for whatever reason, got it wrong.  I want to believe that.  In many ways, I need to believe that.  Yet, something has been eating at me that calls into question my emotional safety.

When the articles first appeared, many fans responded as Rhonda and I did with a complex mix of emotions.  While we wanted to simply  side with Simon, we understood that issues like this are inherently more complex than this even when the allegation is false or appears false.  Emotions tend to ride way higher than an accusation of verbal abuse, for example.  Sexual assault is one that is wrapped around centuries of mistreatment of women as well as individuals’ sense of self-worth on such a fundamental level that there are no words to adequately describe it.  To say that it is a dicey topic is an understatement.

Some fans, though, immediately began to lash out from what I saw.  They didn’t strike out against the situation, the circumstance, the fact that our happy place was violated.  No, some seemed to focus their anger on the woman, the accuser.  Now, I understand why.  These fans love Simon and want to stick up for him, no matter what.  They wanted her to know that they believe him to be a stand-up, honorable guy.  I get that.  I really do.  We have often talked about Duranland feels like a family in that we don’t always get along but we always have each other’s backs and definitely have the band’s back.  It is the idea that Duranies can criticize the band because of our extra special Duranie card but others without that card cannot.  They are simply not allowed.

While I understand the psychological need to stand up for one’s family member, one’s hero, in this case, I struggle with some of what I saw.  It wasn’t always just, “I’m sorry, woman, but I think you misinterpreted what happened or I don’t think your story is true because Simon is a great guy,” I saw insults.  Name calling.  Harassment.  It was just defending as it sure felt like attacking.  Yes, I’m sure many of you say that she deserved it.  But does she?  Assuming that she made up this story for whatever reason, what purpose does it serve to say these things?  Let’s say that she did it for money.  Would people harassing her, calling her names, or trying to prove that she is a terrible person really stop that?  If she did it for attention, wouldn’t/couldn’t these types of reactions reinforce that?  What’s the goal?  Hoping that she would take it back?  Even if she did, would that be the same thing has having a time machine to go back to before it even came out.  I don’t think so.  Okay.  Maybe you still think that this particular woman still deserved each and every negative statement to or about her.  I wonder, though, what it does for others.

What message does it send to (real) victims?  To me, it sends tells them that it is best not to come forward.  Why?  It reminds them that this could and probably would happen to them.  Why would anyone want that?

Then, I think about the message it sends to me about my emotional safety net.  There have been times when individual fans or people have done or said something against Rhonda and/or myself that have made this fan community feel a little less safe to me.  Yet, I could always dismiss those moments to a few individual people.  I could remind myself that the majority of fans in the community don’t act like this or feel like that.  Now, I’m not so sure.  This situation has left me feel shaken.  It isn’t just because someone I admire was accused of doing something really awful.  No, I can dismiss that as one woman making a ridiculous allegation.  What is harder to dismiss is the venom I saw from fellow fans.  It made me fear for my emotional safety in this community as well as others.  Could fans turn that rage on me?  On other people?  Yes, I know that people could argue that this woman’s crime was so bad and that I would never do something like that.  While that is true, where is the line of what is deserving of that treatment?  Who decides it?

Maybe my internal make up is different than others.  Yes, maybe I am “soft” or that I feel too much.  I can acknowledge that.  To me, though, two wrongs don’t make a right.  It didn’t take back the accusation or make the situation better.  Not really.  Maybe typing an insult or calling her name made some feel better at the moment but it only made me feel worse.  Support Simon.  Love him up.  I’m down with that.  Send him tweets or messages.  Thank Katy for her defense.  It just seems to be the more productive and healing way to go.

-A

I don’t really want to even talk about it

There are some days when it is just tough to be a fan. Yesterday, I was in the middle of blogging when a news story broke. I didn’t pay much attention and went right on writing. I was in a hurry, and didn’t have time for distractions. Then the news story was sent to me two or three times. I glanced at the headline and thought it was either a scam, clickbait, or a virus waiting to happen. So I just went on about my day until an hour or so later when a friend sent me the article and asked what I thought.  This time, I read it.

I wished I hadn’t, to be honest. I need for this – my fandom – to be my happy place. I don’t ask for much. Some smiles, maybe a laugh or two, some good friends, decent vodka, maybe even a lime and some tonic. Not much. I just need it to be happy.  But now, the Pandora’s Box has been opened, and it is really difficult to know what to say.

My comment to someone who messaged Daily Duranie directly about the news story was fairly straightforward and simple: We have chosen not to comment on something that may have happened 23 years ago. Amanda and I continue to agree on that point.

The Daily Duranie is almost an oral history of what it is like to be a fan on any given day. In the past we’ve called it a State of the Union (of Duranies), and that still kind of holds true. Today, our union is a bit tumbled and fractured. It’s been a rough 24 hours.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d like to turn the clock back about 30 hours. I hate this.

I love Simon. I really do. He has been nothing but nice (well, nice in that sort of “I’m going to spit on the two of you and then pretend I don’t know who you are later on when we hang out at a bar together” sort of way.)  to us. I care about him and his family. I think about him, and how he’s handling the loss of his mom, and what it must be like for him to be a grandfather now.  Um, I mean glamfather, of course. I think about how it’s gotten to the point at shows where he recognizes Amanda and I, and how he will wave to us if he sees us out and about. It’s nice, and to be fair – Amanda and I aren’t looking for any more than that. We’re not really “looking” for anything at all, it’s just that I appreciate being like normal people around one another. I think he knows we’re not going to launch ourselves in his direction because that’s super weird, and he should also know that if he ever wants to sit and have a drink with us, we’ll save a spot for him at the bar.

I don’t want any of that to end.

He is the crazy uncle of our huge dysfunctional family, and I have a very soft spot in my heart for him, as I don my neon green shoes or wear unsightly pajamas so that Amanda and I can continue making fun of him. It is what we do. I don’t want those things to stop, which is why this kind of news is so hard to take, regardless of whether it’s true or false – it is hard to handle.

I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place, and my bet is that I’m not alone.

I feel like crap, to be honest.  Duran Duran is my happy place. Even when my regular, normal life has been horrible (and there have been many of those times), the band and this fan community have been my constant. While right now my marriage is really good, in the past it hasn’t always been. Duran Duran was kind of my refuge from all of that. I sort of feel like this was the place where the bad things weren’t supposed to follow, you know? The outside lunacy wasn’t supposed to get in the front door, and now here it is – running around our living room, tossing over the furniture and creating havoc.

I chose not to talk about any of this on open social media yesterday.  I did chat with a couple of trusted friends. I wish I could say I felt better. I still don’t know what to say.

The Daily Duranie also looks at fan behavior. Oh, I’ve seen some of that in the past 24 hours. To copy my friend Jennifer – I’m at a loss for words.

First of all, I’d like to just point out that we’re all fans. That means we like Simon. As such, we’re biased. The fan thing taints our perception.   Goodness knows that I’m having a very hard time writing this blog today as a result. Emotions are running high, and fans are reacting in the only way they know how – by calling out one another.

If you don’t use a hashtag #IStandWithSimon, or #TeamSimon, you’re obviously convinced he’s guilty and you should be banished from the kingdom. If you post the news story on your page, you’re a bad fan because you’re being negative and besides – everyone has already seen the story so you’re beating a dead horse. Posting anything that could possibly be taken to be questioning Simon’s complete innocence means you’re a hater. Should you decide to remain quiet, you clearly don’t love Duran Duran enough to stick your neck out for them.

Then there are the folks who, in direct response to the accuser’s story, say they’d like for Simon to grope or assault them. Hell, I saw one person say that all fans want Simon to grab their ass and that if you don’t, you’re lying.

I don’t even know where to begin with that, except to say that I really don’t want him to grab my ass. Ever.  Hugs are fine. Waving to me across a room, fabulous. Grabbing my hand to give it a friendly squeeze, wonderful. Grabbing my butt though? Not unless you want to lose that hand, and I’m not lying, thanks.

And then there is giving permission for someone to grope you. That’s different. I see it as trying to add a little humor into something that isn’t funny at all. I also think it is one of the more tone-deaf things anyone could say in response to something like this, regardless of whether or not you believe the victim’s story. Sexual assault isn’t about the sex. It’s not about making someone feel good. It’s about power. It’s about control. It’s about taking something that isn’t yours to take, simply because you think you can. Why anyone would want that to happen to them is beyond me and I’m completely disgusted that fans would say such a thing. It is one thing to say that you want Simon to touch you – and while I don’t share that feeling, I get it….but to use the words “grope” or “please assault me any time” …. have you lost what is left of your damn mind???

Let me let you all in on a little secret: I am a victim of sexual assault. I couldn’t move when it happened. I froze. I felt paralyzed, and I just let it happen because I didn’t know how to stop it. Then I got up, and didn’t talk about it again for many years. I don’t remember the exact details of where he was and where I was. I can’t remember if I was laying down or sitting up. (it happened on a date, and no, it wasn’t quite date rape)  I can’t remember what side he was on, or how it started or ended. Those kinds of things aren’t burned into my memory. What IS in my memory though is the way my clothes felt on my body at the time, the way the fabric of his shirt felt, and the smell of the air around me. I can remember how stuffy the room seemed at the time, and that I stared at the digital clock on his desk. I remember exactly how frozen I felt, or how I clenched my fists to the point where my short nails left imprints into the palms of my hand. I remember how when it was over, I didn’t know what to do. Should I have run? Should I have gone and told someone? I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. I did eventually talk to with the person who did it though. Yes, we had a face to face conversation. I didn’t sue him. I didn’t even report him. I just wanted to talk with him. Turns out, his perception of the events in question was very, very different from mine.

I don’t know what happened with Simon and this woman, if anything. I don’t want to talk about it. That’s really the bottom line. I wasn’t there. I have no idea what happened. I barely know how to put my feelings about being a fan into words.

So how do I feel today? Not good. The one thing I know for sure today is that I’m a fan of Duran Duran. I’m here because of the music.  That music is what unites all of us, first and foremost.

-R

Its a New Religion: Rio and the Self-Titled Debut

I’ve noticed that Amanda has been telling her own stories regarding each album lately, and so I’ve decided to join in.  Perhaps you’ll decide to share your own – and we certainly encourage that!

I’m going to start with the first album…and actually Rio… since that seems to be the best place to begin! This is going to require some memory on my part.  I cannot guarantee I’m going to get the chain of events completely accurate, but it is how I remember it!

As I’ve mentioned previously, the very first time I heard Duran Duran was on KROQ. What you don’t know, is that I stumbled onto the station by accident, really. I’d overheard girls—popular girls— talking about KROQ at school. I had no idea what it was, or why the station was cool, but I was desperate to fit in. If I remember right, I’d heard the call letters way before I knew what the number was. I never actually asked anyone at school because I was too shy to bother. It was just one of those things I kept in the back of my mind, and once I finally saw where the station was located, I ran home to find it.

I remember trying to find 106.7 on the radio dial. Back then, as I’m sure many will remember – the dials were touchy. I didn’t have a digital display telling me what station it was on, I had to go by this orange little hand that would move as I turned the dial on my radio, and it wasn’t completely accurate. So I’d fidget with it, get it to tune in, and then wait to see if I had the right station.  Finally I must have gotten it, because Rodney on the ROQ was on, and he was introducing this band that he swore we’d hear more from.  The band was Duran Duran and the song was Planet Earth.

I liked the song immediately, but at the time I was far more astounded that I was actually listening to the right station, the one everyone else – or at least everyone who I thought mattered – was talking about. I went back to school and reported it to my group of misfit friends. One of the girls in this group knew all about KROQ and Duran Duran. This is where my memory gets wonky, because I can’t remember how long it was between that time and when they really became popular. In my head it wasn’t that long, but I’m not sure.

What I can tell you though is that I didn’t buy a Duran Duran record right away. Instead, I heard them a lot on the radio – but it wasn’t the first album I was hearing. It was Rio, and it hit BIG here. By then, it wasn’t just KROQ playing them – it was every station. I want to say that Marsha – the girl in the group that had already known who Duran Duran was – invited me to go with her to buy their album at the record store.  This was a major thing for me because I didn’t really own much in the way of music beyond KTEL records: a few Shaun Cassidy albums and a copy of Rick Springfield’s Working Class Dog.

We got to the store (Wherehouse records!), and I remember looking at the Duran Duran albums…but here is where my memory fades again. You see, my very first DD album wasn’t their self-titled one. It was Rio. I bought Rio first, only to find out later that there was an earlier album. (which I then bought, of course!) I can’t remember if the first album was there on the shelf with Rio and I just didn’t know what it was (obviously when I’d heard Planet Earth I didn’t know what album that was from or much else about the band). One might wonder why I wouldn’t have bought both if I saw them, and I can only guess:

  1. I must have only seen Rio?
  2. I only had money for one album and had to choose?
  3. (and this is the one I’m leaning towards because of my memory) The stores only HAD Rio at the time because that was the album that was huge on the radio, and it was later that we got the self-titled one with Is There Something I Should Know on it rather than To The Shore)

I know that it wasn’t long after I’d bought Rio that I then either bought the first one or it was given to me for a holiday or birthday or something. I also remember seeing Carnival in the stores around this same time, but…in my frugal thinking back then…I couldn’t understand buying an album that I already had all the songs from. Yes, I’ve spent time kicking myself (at least up until I actually bought Carnival myself).

At first, I can tell you that I liked Rio far more than I did the first album. To me, the first album was “weird”.  I liked some of the songs on it – like Planet Earth and ITSISK, but I wasn’t a big fan of GOF. What’s more, later on I discovered that one of my KTEL records had GOF on it. It was actually a song on the B side that I tended to skip!!  (Ha, that’s a true confession!)  Clearly, in the years since that initial purchase I’ve changed my mind! But yes, it was probably Rio (and HLTW if I’m being honest) that made me fall for Duran Duran.

My favorite song on Rio was New Religion, although Rio ran a close second along with yes, HLTW.  When I went back and got the self-titled album, I can remember being incredulous that it came out before Rio because it wasn’t until after Rio came out that we heard ITSISK. I just wasn’t aware of the chain of events, I guess.

So, my favorite song on the first album was – yes – ITSISK. I wasn’t aware until years later that the real first album didn’t even have that on it, it was just pressed that way for the US. Live and learn, I suppose.

Someday I’ll have to tell you about the first time I saw their videos with my friend Marsha.

-R