Wasn’t Long Ago…

Everyday, I post a “today in Duran history” fact.  Earlier this week, I posted something that had happened in 1988 or 1989.  This particular fact prompted one of our facebook friends to comment that if she could go back to see any tour, she would like to go back to see this one.  As I read the comment, I pondered.  If I could go back to any time in Duran history, when would I want to go?  Why?  Right away, I knew that I wouldn’t necessarily go back to 1988/1989.  First, I was sort of around then.  I was a fan then.  Could I really express my fandom?  Nope.  I was living in a small town and knew that I couldn’t push my parents into driving up to the city to see shows.  Yet, I am not sure I missed that much.  Big Thing isn’t my favorite album and…their looks wasn’t really what I like.  Let’s face it.  John Taylor was thin.  Super thin.  Simon’s hair was all over the place.  Even Nick’s look wasn’t his finest, in my opinion.  On top of that, from the shows I have seen from that era on DVD, there were some interesting choices made.  Perhaps, things like the dancing done during All She Wants Is was cool then, but now…I don’t think so.  Thus, if 1988/1989 wasn’t the era to go back to, which one was and why?

My initial thought or reaction to this was to go back to 1984.  After all, who wouldn’t like to say that they saw Duran plan at Madison Square Garden in New York City at the peak of their popularity?!  I think that most of us who weren’t able to be there would have wanted to be there.  Plus, who wouldn’t like Duran all over the media from TV to magazines.  Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  This could be especially great to be an adult as I am now, as opposed to the kid that I was.  I could afford to buy all the magazines and merchandise.  I could go for those great seats at iconic venues like MSG.  Yet, I would hesitate to go back to that era.  Fans were young.  There was mass hysteria.  While it would be fascinating to study fandom then, I think I would also be frustrated by some/a lot of the behavior.  We have all watched those scenes in Sing Blue Silver with the fans passing out at the show or being totally smushed in order to get as close as possible.  We are all aware that the band couldn’t often hear themselves play because the screaming was so loud.  Then, what about those fans trying to get into their limo?  Pretty crazy, to say the least.  I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the band then.  While I would love the exposure, I would be frustrated by the hysteria.  So what era would I want to go back to?

I have two answers, one that seems obvious and one that doesn’t.  The obvious answer is simple.  I would love to go back and live in Birmingham in 1979/1980/1981.  Who wouldn’t?  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, the music scene then seemed just awesome.  I love so much of the music of that era.  In fact, that was one of the coolest things about being in the UK for the tour that didn’t happen in May of 2011.  We were lucky enough to be in Birmingham on one of the nights in which Only After Dark is held, which works to recreate some of the scene of the Rum Runner with the music of that time.  I loved it.  So, the music would be a strong reason to pick that era.  Of course, though, the biggest reason is to be a witness to the formation of Duran Duran.  I would love to see them before they became famous, before they became what they are today, before fans screamed for them.  Like Rhonda, I’m incredibly fascinated by the relationship between us (Duranies) and them (Duran Duran).  How were they with their first fans?  How were the first fans with them?  How did the fame, the screaming, the hysteria affect both groups?  Besides all of that, wouldn’t it have been so cool to see them up close at the Rum Runner?!?

The second choice of eras that I would like to go back to would be the era of John Taylor’s solo days (1997-2001).  Like the Big Thing era, I was obviously a fan then.  Yet, I wasn’t part of the fan community then.  My life didn’t allow for fandom.  I was too busy trying to start my career and pay my bills.  This era wouldn’t interest me much on the Duran front.  Medazzaland didn’t knock my socks off and neither did Pop Trash.  Those albums didn’t feel like the Duran that I knew and loved.  They felt different.  That said, I wish that I had been following John’s solo career.  It is no secret that I adore his solo work, in all seriousness.  I feel very fortunate that I was able to collect everything despite not really being around then.  Anyway, I’m well aware that he played very small venues.  I would have loved to have seen him then and in those small clubs.

Would life as a Duranie be different during those eras?  Of course.  In the first one, fans would have been very small in number, if any.  In the second one, there would also be very few fans around.  In that case, for many fans, their lives as Duranies had come to an end and they were busy with their own lives.  I think I would have enjoyed that significant difference in the fan community.  However, I do feel very lucky to have had the peak of my fandom since 2005.  I would even go further to say that the peak of THE peak of my fandom has been since 2010.  I have had a ton of fun the last couple of years and have gotten to do so much.  The future, though, could be even better.  Goodness knows that Rhonda and I aren’t backing up or stopping.  We are moving forward to do more.  Duran Duran 14 could be the best album.  Their tours and live performances seem to be getting better and better.  On a personal level, I have a lot of Duranie friends whom I could see on tour, which could make the next tour the best tour.  My point here is simple.  While I would have loved to have been around in 1979 Birmingham or in 1998 Los Angeles, I feel lucky to have been around since 2010.

What about the rest of you?  Which era would you want to go back to and why?  Are there eras you would want to avoid?

-A

3 thoughts on “Wasn’t Long Ago…”

  1. I saw them at MSG in 1984, and you make that venue sound more impressive than it is. Yes, it's famous. But it's just another big hockey arena. The band looked like distant little specks. I'd also seen them at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island then, and I hit the jackpot by getting front row seats right in front of John, in the days before VIP. THAT was an amazing night. Those were the only times I saw Duran Duran before 2005.

    I'd have to say that I am having the most fun as a fan right now. I didn't know any other Duranies until Twitter, nobody who would have waited in line with me for more than an hour to get a good spot at a GA show. Now I coordinate with other fans to go to shows together. And DD seems to tour a lot more than they used to, I've seen them more than a dozen times since 2005. At this point the band has such a huge catalog of songs to choose from that they can easily play two hours and not even get to everything. Also, the band members themselves seem to be more accessible than they used to be; the band taking questions from fans through Ask Katy, the band members writing 'postcards' on the website, John and Simon on Twitter actually talking to fans (yes, I know, not as much as they used to, but I'm still gobsmacked that they wrote back at all), Roger on FB and coming out to do his DJ gigs, John doing a book signing tour last year… And these days they tend to play smaller venues, so fans have a better chance of getting close to the stage and there is a lot of interaction between the band and the audience. So, yeah, I'm having more fun now than I ever did, and I'm looking forward to more. After their most recent show in Boston, John shouted, “As long as you keep coming out, we'll keep coming out!” It's a deal!

    Lee

  2. It isn't that I think MSG is that impressive but I am well aware of the fact that Duran's plan was to hit there by 1984 (Hammersmith by 82, Wembly 83 and Madison Square Garden 84 quote). It is more that they used that venue to show that they made it big in the US.

    It is good to hear that you are having the most fun as a fan now. It is good to have people to go to shows with, isn't it? I think that makes it fun!!!

    -A

  3. I'd love to go back in the 1980-1982 years to see how they recorded the first 2 milestone records and in the 2001-2003 years to see how Andy and Roger were living their biggest challenge, that is to be back again in the band after so long.

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