The wish that I was on that plane

The band doesn’t do nostalgia, they say. Maybe that’s true. Maybe they don’t spend a lot of time resting on their laurels, or looking back at the past. I suppose that if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t have time. I’d be busy working on the future, because there’s still more story to be told. I’m lucky in some respects though, because I am not quite that busy. I have time to reflect, and from time to time, I do.

New friends that I would have never met otherwise

Today is one of those days. Two years ago…and to be honest I’m truly surprised that it’s been two years…I was on a train headed for Birmingham after spending a night in Bournemouth. I had seen the band the night before of course, after having gone to dinner with three new friends. It’s funny because for me, in some respects I barely remember the show. I remember the drive from Brighton to Bournemouth very well, as we were driven by our friend Michelle, and I think we laughed most of the way. That was one of the highlights of the trip for me, and it never fails to make me smile when I think of that day. We spent the afternoon walking around Bournemouth, walking through Primark (a store very similar to our JC Penneys here in California where I live) so that I could grab a zebra-striped umbrella (the rain makes me melt, you know), we had dinner and even went to a very nice (I think the correct British term is “posh”) hotel and had tea to warm up. I know the show was great, and I know that I spent most of Leopard doubled over in laughter because at that point I was so jet-lagged that I probably would have laughed at my own reflection in a mirror (and should have I am certain!)…but memories of the band playing aren’t what come immediately to mind.  It’s the time I spent with friends. I would go so far as to say that I even remember the time Amanda and I spent after the show hanging out in our hotel bar more than I remember being at the show. Maybe I’m just weird that way.

Still pretty happy, despite the pricey train fare!

Then there is the train trip from Bournemouth to Birmingham. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before, but we grabbed a cab from our hotel to the train station. Once at the station, we confidently walked into the station and went to the ticket booth where we announced our intention to go to Birmingham. The booth attendant quickly rang up the sale, and gave us our total. To this day I can’t remember exactly how much he said – but it was quite a tidy sum (to put it politely), and Amanda turned to me with her mouth open. I stood there and said “Give the man your card Amanda – because we’re not stopping now!!” Naturally, we should have bought these particular tickets in advance – but having done that six months prior in May, with those tickets going unused due to a certain lead singer not being able to sing – we had agreed that we would take our chances. So, we paid dearly for that train trip, but I think Amanda would say it was worth it.  Well, probably.

On the way to the venue in Birmingham with new friends!

Prior to the show in Birmingham, we had arranged a meet-up at a pub. We hung out, saw friends, met new ones, and by the time we needed to get to the venue, I think Amanda and I were coming out of our skin with excitement. This show, I remember clearly. It’s hard not to remember the show because this was The Holy Grail. The Show to End All Shows for us. No disrespect intended but for Duranies, it was like going to Mecca. The Motherland. I think we’d built up the moment to be so important – that by the time the show was over, we were exhausted. We didn’t sleep much that night. We talked through every second of that show, and then some. I will never be upset that we made the trip to Birmingham twice, and to be honest – if I can find a way to go again, I will.

For me personally, the shows were literally just the tip of the iceberg. They were the catalyst, the reason I went to the UK, but once there, I just felt as though there was so much more to my trip than the band. The land I saw, the towns I experienced, the friends I met…the Winter Markets, the differences in culture…I loved every second of it. (Even when I was freezing my ass off in the venue in Glasgow!)  Let’s face it: I’m from Southern California. As of this writing it is December 2nd and I’m wearing a short sleeved t-shirt and flip-flops. My youngest doesn’t remember ever being in the snow, much less touching it or tasting it, because the last time we actually went to see the snow, she was less than a year old.  Where we live – it never snows. If it did, people would lose their minds. Our palm trees are decorated as though they were evergreens, and yes, it really IS hard to have the “Christmas Spirit” when it’s 80 degrees outside. The UK is a world away from anything I experience on a daily basis. As I’ve explained to my husband since that trip, seeing the band was great – but the truth is, as most Duranies know, the setlist doesn’t change that much from show to show. It’s true, I can remember the setlist differences between the shows – or the funny things that set one show apart from another, but it’s not like those change that much. What makes these trips worth it for me, especially my trip to the UK, is what I do, or what I see in each place. The people I meet, and the experiences outside of the shows. I wouldn’t trade any of that.

I’m not sure when the band might decide to tour again, and if they do – I have no idea if I might be able to travel again – or where I’ll go if I can. I’m just thankful I took the opportunity to go when I did.

-R

5 thoughts on “The wish that I was on that plane”

  1. I loved reading this post. It made me think of my own 28-day excursion to the UK/Europe this Summer. I was fortunate to meet John Taylor at the Edinburgh book event in August and Dom Brown at his show at The Armoury on my last night in London in early September. And while those were amazing things — especially meeting John, as that was my birthday gift, and something I'd dreamed of since I was 13 — it was the Duranies, the places, and the people/their stories that truly made that trip what it was to me: the most unbelievable 28 days of my life! I found “Duran Duran” connections everywhere I went (except our last three days in the Isle of Skye in Scotland — THAT was annoying, LOL).

    But it was more than a trip about Duran Duran. It was about seeing dreams come true that I barely could even conceive of when I first started loving the band at age 13. It was about saying to my mother, “I did it! I'm here; I'm alive; I'm free; I'm loving it! You didn't dampen my spirit or beliefs that I could do it!” It was about sending more postcards than I thought my fingers could write on to tell other longtime friends and Duranies back home about my experiences. It was about blogging when I could find wifi and sharing pics on Facebook whenever possible. It was about meeting new people, Duranies or not, and learning their stories. It was about learning about other cultures in other countries. It was about trying to wrap my head around the situation in Syria while traveling abroad and not having the Atlantic Ocean and a bunch of other countries between me and what was going on some other place in the world as a “buffer zone.” It was about living out my adolescent dreams, but also having to think like an adult in specific situations. Despite any drawbacks, though, it was magical. And I love the nostalgia of those memories. I love writing those stories and can't wait to finish my book about it all. Thanks for reinforcing the knowledge/belief that the channel is open for all of us to achieve this sort of experience — if we're willing and open to it ourselves!

    I really AM looking forward to the next tour and to spending countless precious moments with so many of you in many places — with that music between us! 😉

  2. @EasternViolet What a trip of a lifetime! Thanks so much for sharing Rhonda. I share Chrissie (and the Daily Duranie's) sentiment – can't wait for the next tour and meeting up with even more Duranies. (That is the best part!)

  3. It really was a fantastic trip. I don't regret it…either time. That's one thing I'd like to say: I know that someone from the band (maybe a guitar player…) mentioned to Chrissie that they can't wrap their head around someone traveling just to see a show. Well, if I could talk to Dom *coughs*, this is what I'd tell him:

    It was so much more than just seeing a show. Or 4. It was about seeing somewhere new in the world. I'd been to England just once prior (to the first time I flew over to see shows in May of 2011 when everything was canceled) – to London, actually – and when I went the first time I didn't see one single Duran Duran thing at all! I was there with my husband, and the experience, while fun, was very different. When I came over again in late November of 2011, we didn't spend much time in London at all. I was able to see different parts of the country, and the experience was so different. I mean, you can't really beat the English countryside – and I had the chance to see it.

    Sure, I wanted to see the band play, of course. But don't assume that was the ONLY thing driving my visit. If it had been, I'd been sorely disappointed – I didn't see anyone (band members) outside of the time spent onstage. I didn't hang out with anyone in a bar, get pictures, or any of that. The band was, as is typical for me, just the catalyst in getting me to travel. Not that I'd ever turn down the chance to hang out and talk to any of them (of you) – but I haven't had that opportunity. I know it seems crazy to take an 11 hour flight just to see a band play, but I'm asking you (all of you, any of you) to understand that it's more than that. It's seeing friends, seeing somewhere new, and yes – seeing people I've literally grown up with in 4/5 of cases, play on stage and support them. There's nothing crazy about any of that. -R

  4. @EasternViolet Rhonda, I think you are preaching to the choir here! The show is the means to an end. Travel, hanging out with other fans and friends, thats what really rounds out an experience. And Mr Dom should know there are some people on this planet (clears throat, points to self) where she has to go where the music is… it certainly does not come to her. Unless Dom Brown does the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton… which I think would be a brilliant idea!!

  5. It's true, although I live in Orange County – which is near LA. You know, come to think about it – he could make the process a lot easier (for me) if he'd just come HERE…but I'd still end up roadtripping so that I could see his show with friends.

    I just remember that Chrissie told me that he'd asked her if she flew over there for his show, and when she clarified that she hadn't, he was relieved, saying that he couldn't wrap his head around that. He needs to talk to me.

    Well, he does. 😀 -R

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