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?