The Great and Powerful Oz

I’m really not one to live in the past, although my memories are priceless.  I was reading facebook today, and something that one of my friends posted caught my eye.  Apparently John Taylor (who is quite obviously addicted to facebook and twitter like the rest of us….which amuses the HELL out of me because not long ago he was pretty anti-all-of-it) was holding some sort of twitter Q&A chat. (through tweetdeck, which is something I really need to check into, and I know I’m late to that party – I like that it can update both twitter and facebook at the same time!)  Naturally, yours truly missed it by mere moments – I was doing my motherly duty and picking up my little preschooler and playing with her at the park.  In any case, one of the responders to his posts commented that she wondered what it would have been like for her in 1984 had she/we been able to actually communicate and interact with the band like we’re able to now.

My first thought?  Complete and utter chaos.  😀  The technological gods knew EXACTLY what they were doing by not allowing that sort of knowledge out there back then.  They were saving us from ourselves!

After giving that a good chuckle, I thought about it a little further.  Barring the fact that at this time in 1984, I was 13 years old and my parents were so strict with me that I didn’t even have a phone in my room much less access to any another kind of communicative device – and barring the fact that at 13, I probably wouldn’t have had anything other than “I LOVE YOU ROGERJOHNNICKSIMONANDANDY” to say – let’s just think about what it might have really been like for all of us.  What would the community have been like?

I think that kids today, generally speaking, are a lot smarter than we were back then.  I’m a mom myself, and I can honestly say my 13 and 11 year olds are worlds ahead of where I was at 13.  They know what’s going on in the world – I think I barely understood who my President really was, much less paid attention to political decisions other than “Is Russia going to bomb us?”  My kids know things that I don’t WANT them to know, as well as everything I think they should know. (but in a whole lot more detail than I’d planned, of course)  They have far more information at the tips of their fingers than we did at 13, and with that knowledge comes a lot more cynicism, a lot more maturity – whether they are emotionally ready for it or not, and a lot less innocence.  Truly, when I was 13, I didn’t even consider whether the band was partying it up with a powder keg of cocaine or otherwise.  They were just the band, and yeah – I believed they were perfect.  (ignorance can really be bliss)  I think it would have been earth shattering to my 13 year old psyche to discover through interacting with them that they were actually human and had problems and moods like the rest of us.  My own daughter at 13 doesn’t have that blissful ignorance at all.  In fact, she’s downright disgusted when I tell her about how high the pedestals were that I had the band placed on.  I get a whole lot of “Oh Mom!” and the head shaking…wow.  I kind of think that it would have been a real shock to see them as humans back then, don’t you?

Then there’s the other fans.  I don’t know that I really quite understood just HOW popular Duran Duran was with other people until I went to a signing that John Taylor did during the Power Station days.  I know that’s tough to believe, but it was just really impossible to have a real handle on just how big the band was from my living room.  Sure, I had friends at school that liked them too, but even so – my world was so tiny compared with the REAL world…. (hey, I didn’t even go to my first concert until that same summer – Power Station at the then called Irvine Meadows Amphitheater)  It was at a store in Van Nuys and I went with my cousin.  I think we’d gone to the Power Station concert the night before or so – or it could have been the day before the show, I really don’t remember.  We figured the line would be long, but I guess we figured it wouldn’t be THAT long.  Ha.  It was about a hundred million degrees outside, and we stood in the longest line I’ve ever been in.  Ever.  I don’t even think we got there that early (I’m sure people probably camped out to be in that line, which never even occurred to the two of us!), but when we arrived, we just went to the back of the line and stood.  The line didn’t even seem to really move much, and even after we’d been there for what felt like hours – someone came out and told us all that John had already left.  I especially loved the girls who came out clutching their signed records, looking at us and laughing.  Some took the time to come over and tell us just how fabulous John was, and how we totally missed out.  Nice.   I was crushed, as was my cousin.  I learned very quickly that day that Duranies are a fairly rabid bunch.  They are dog-eat-dog, and I don’t think that has changed much in our years.  We certainly haven’t mellowed out that much, even if our numbers aren’t quite as “vibrant”.  So back in 1984, when there were god-only-knows how many of us, I can’t even imagine what we’d have done to one another with the computer as a way of communicating.  I would think it would have been impossible for John to have even tried to do a chat.  He’d have had trouble getting words in edgewise!

There would have been good things to have come from this form of instant communication, though.  We would have known when albums were coming out, we would have known of tour dates sooner, (even if we’d still have had to go and camp out at Ticketmaster outlets in order to get them!)  and I think we would have learned far more about the band.  Err…that probably goes back to point #1.

The fact is, as much as I would have devoured every bit of interaction and communication available from the band back then, there was something to be said for not knowing EVERYTHING.  I think there still is.  It leaves just a little bit to be anticipated, wondered about, and desired.  I really don’t want to see the Great and Powerful Oz working behind that green curtain.  Sometimes the mystery really IS the magic.

I’m off for the weekend, and I’m leaving you in Amanda’s capable hands.  This would be the cue and reminder for the band to go ahead and release tour dates in about 24 hours.  I’ll be behind the wheel of my car, destined for Vegas.  There’s no way I’ll be able to communicate with anyone…….  😉


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