This Band Is Perfect Just Don’t Scratch the Surface…

I live in the Midwest of the United States.  More specifically, I live in the upper Midwest, in Wisconsin.  We definitely experience every single season here.  Right now, it is spring.  It is sunny outside and a beautiful 66 degree F.  Obviously, there are many parts of the world that experience weather as wonderful as this most of the year.  Of course, here in Wisconsin, we also have a long and, sometimes, brutal winter with months of below freezing temperatures and snow.  Yet, I like it that way.  Why?  I like that the weather is changing and I like that there are many days in which the weather just downright sucks.  This is my preference because then I feel like I can really appreciate days like today.  In fact, one of my most favorite days of the year is the first day at the end of winter when the temperature gets above freezing, the sun comes out from behind the clouds and the ice and snow begins to melt.  It is a reminder that we survived the harsh days of winter and that better days are ahead. 

Duran Duran as a band seems to have their own seasons, in my opinion.  They are constantly changing.  Some of these changes are small (touring outfits or backgrounds at live shows) and others are huge (significant musical changes in between albums).  The band members themselves have had their own seasons as well, from the carefree times to harder, more challenging periods.  After all, they are all humans.  I know of no person who has not had good times and bad times.  It is simply a part of life.  For me, the more challenging times help me to appreciate the good, much like winter makes me love spring all the better.  I think this is true for Duran Duran as well.  I admire the fact that they are always trying to change, to make things better, to perfect their practice.  Obviously, in my opinion, sometimes, they are extremely successful and other times they fall flat on their faces. 

Today, I began a new series of questions for the daily question.  In today’s question, I asked people to choose Simon LeBon’s best era.  I assumed that some people might pick the era in which they thought he looked the best while others would choose the time he sang the best or wrote the best lyrics.  Still others might look outside of the box and pick something more personal.  I didn’t want to give too many parameters so that people would be able to pick whichever era for whatever reason.  Of course, already today, many people have answered the question in that way.  Yet, others said that they couldn’t choose because he is always fabulous.  Is he?  Is any of them?  Are any of us?  I would argue that no one is perfect and that each of us have tried things only to have them not go as planned.  Sometimes, life circumstances have been such that we can’t control the time in our lives.  Yes, some would argue that it is impossible to judge because times change, fashion changes, etc.  It isn’t fair to judge.  First, I don’t really view the question as judging.  Going back to my analogy of seasons.  I like winter.  I think snow can be pretty.  That said, is it my favorite?  No, my favorite season is actually fall because I adore the changing of the leaves on the trees.  It doesn’t mean I don’t like winter, just that it is not my favorite.  I’m also not asking people to pick the worst.  I wouldn’t do that.  Many could argue that the worst of Duran is still better than most bands out there and I agree.  That said, I like to stay positive.  What I’m trying to do with the question is to have people pick that moment that is equal to the first day of thawing in the spring or to pick their favorite season.  I want people to pick the moment, the time, when Simon really shined.  It doesn’t take away from the rest of the moments but is putting one moment, one time, one era in the spotlight. 

Of course, as you can guess, I will be asking about the rest of the band members as well.  This isn’t a pick on Simon thing.  Before anyone asks, yes, John is my favorite and, yes, I think I could pick an era that is his best.  Why can I do that?  First of all, I can do it because, like me, he is human.  He isn’t perfect.  Second, I think that there were some moments when he shined more than others.  Does that mean he sucked the rest of the time?  Nope.  It just means that some eras were better than others.  I have that in my life, too.  Don’t we all?  In my opinion, this doesn’t make me less of a fan.  I think it just makes me a fan.  A fan is someone who can and does appreciate when the band or a band member gets it right.  That’s all I’m asking people to acknowledge by these questions.  Is that too much to ask?

-A

6 thoughts on “This Band Is Perfect Just Don’t Scratch the Surface…”

  1. Happy mothers day Amanda (rhonda, too)!
    Always challenging me (us) to think critically or rather analytically about the band, stretching my memory, opening files that are quite dusty in the brain storage compartments. Thank you…. This makes your blog more than just oohing and ahhhing about the band and it's individual members, but that's ok here too 😉
    I'm not having agood brain dayso I am not able to reach far back to recall times past other than what stands out to me as most impressive this year on the AYNIN journey.

    Simon's voice problems could've been the end for Duran. His ability to heal and then some is miraculous, karma, divine intervention, whateveryoucareto call it. He took the problem seriously, took the rest and therapies needed in hopes of restoring his vocals, and hedid. And there were no guarantees. I can only imagine what might have been going through his mind, and that period of time must have been very unsure. But to come back in the way hedid? In my mind, that trumps them all. At the age of52 then, one would think the prognosis would not be so good. But his determination and will to overcome — I truly admire his courage and strength.
    Then, flashforwardto seeing him in concert just 3 months later, hitting all those tough notes, both highland low, no sense of shakiness or strain? Omg. This to me is a defining, most memorable shining moment in my recent memory that overshadows anything I could retrieve from the vaults of my dustystoragefiles in my brain.
    Deb

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you! I am just a mom to a furbaby! Rhonda, though, deserves the Mother's Day wishes! (She's a great mom with great kids, if I do say so myself!!!) Anyway, I think you are right that Simon's experience with his recent vocal problems could definitely be considered his best era. 🙂

    -A

  3. I think if people don't want to choose a specific “best” period, that should be up to them. If everyone has “different seasons”, as you point out, then why not fans? I couldn't choose an era for Simon, for instance, because I change too and my favorites have changed, the overall result being, I don't think I was “wrong” in the past when I preferred a particular “season” even if right now I might prefer another one and in the future I'm sure there will be another–even if the era itself is already in the past. So my overall impression is that I think pretty much every period has high points and low points and there isn't any one I would pick out.

    You said many people answered the question in the way you assumed they would, so why assume the people who didn't are somehow being dishonest about it or refusing to think critically. Their answers just aren't what you thought it would be.

  4. I obviously think it is totally cool if people couldn't pick a “best” period for the reasons you mentioned (change of taste, different time, etc.) or that all periods have their high and low points. I'm sure you might be able to say that I really like this time period or that time period for whatever reason. My point was more about how people were implying that all of his eras/time periods were equal and all were fabulous. Remember that I am about the study of fandom. So, what motivates that answer over yours above or mine? Is it that they really think that Simon is only fabulous? Okay. That tells me something about fandom. If they don't want to say that one was better than others, that tells me something different. It all gives me food for thought, which is why I enjoy the daily questions and the responses that follow.

    -A

  5. I think this question is difficult to answer purely because my opinion of what might be “best” really amounts to what I think might be my “favorite” – and not necessarily due to the music, but it could be during what period of time I thought Simon looked best. Or when I thought he sang the best. Or maybe when I liked his fashion choices best. AND, in thinking of all of those things, I realize that maybe I like things out of several different times in the life of DD for different things.

    I see where you were going with your question, Amanda and I also see where the commenter is going with his/her point above. I think what makes some of these questions difficult for people to answer definitively at times is that there is no one right or wrong answer. I find that when we ask SOME types of open ended questions, there are always a few that are just happy to love all of it and don't want to give a firm or definitive answer. While that might be curious or even frustrating for you and I sometimes, it can also be refreshing. I even find that sometimes, I just don't have a firm opinion, and those times can be kind of nice. 😀 -R

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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