On this date in 2005, Duran Duran played in New York City in Madison Square Garden. It was the last date in the band’s spring Astronaut Tour in North America.
I did not attend that concert. Did any of you? I remember thinking to myself that Madison Square Garden was a big deal. Do I believe that because it is a large, well-known venue or because of that story within Duran lore? I’m sure you all know that one. I’m referring to this idea that John Taylor has shared many times when he said that the plan of theirs was to play Hammersmith in 1982, Wembley in 1983 and Madison Square Garden in 1984. The band met those goals. I could not even think about attending the show in 1984 there. No way. If my age didn’t stop me, the distance would have. But what about the show in 2005? Was it as big of a deal as those 1984 shows there?
In thinking about that 2005 show, my thoughts immediately turn to the reunion. I have such strong memories of that time. To me, as a fan in 1980s, the reunion represented a real hope of a repeat of that time period. After all, the five original band members were back together! I knew what they were able to accomplish in the 1980s. Why couldn’t they do that now, I wondered. It felt to me as if the band was everywhere in terms of press. For instance, they appeared in my local paper. If I had taken a bet about how successful this reunion was going to be, I would have said that it was going to blow the roof off. All of the fans from the 80s would return and they would bring new fans in. They would return to the top of the charts and everyone would love them. Thus, when I saw this particular date on the tour schedule, it felt perfectly normal. Of course, they would play there. Don’t all the big artists perform at that venue? To me, it was a sign that they had returned to form, in all aspects.
Looking back now to that show, am I sad that I didn’t go? Maybe. Maybe not. I went to a bunch of shows in 2005. So I have no room to complain at all. Still, then, I went to shows that I could drive to and that’s it. While at that time I had traveled to go to a convention, the thought of traveling to shows was unheard of in my world. Even weirder than that was the notion of taking time off of work to do so. I never even allowed my brain to go there at all. Back then, my life centered around work and my students. It was one thing to think about taking a day to go to a convention but not to a show. After all, they would come here Chicago. I would be able to see them. Then, I was really lucky that they played a lot of shows near me over my spring break. After attending most of the Midwest shows, I never even considered this show in New York City. At the time, I recall feeling a tiny bit jealous of those fans who were going but I didn’t let myself feel more.
Now, though, knowing that there was not many shows there since then, do I regret not going? Sure, it would be cool to say that I have seen them play there but more than other shows? Hmm…I don’t think so. I wonder if I had seen them there, would I have felt like I had done it all. I saw the band play at this ever important venue, their peak goal in the beginning of their career, so that I could walk away knowing I had been to the top. Maybe. It is hard to say. Looking back, I’m also glad that I just jump in and do everything all at once. Perhaps, fandom would have burned out then. No, I think my fandom journey is good the way it is. I have no regrets.