I’ve enjoyed the past few days as I’ve seen posts and tweets from friends either relishing the UK tour, or reminiscing over memories from previous tours. I’ve been reminded of winter markets (one of my favorite things about the UK – we don’t have them here where I live at all, probably because it’s never really “winter” here!!), car rides with friends, the “sometimes” (I’m being optimistic here) dreary December weather, a special tin of cheese, a particular comment made in jest during a show, and of course plenty of the sights and sounds of travels through the UK. I smile when I see the pictures and posts, whether they are memories for me personally, or experiences that others are having right now, because I like seeing my friends having a great time. I have a friend who just boarded a flight to Heathrow late last night, bound for the Birmingham date – and I keep saying the same thing to everyone and anyone I know who is traveling, “Be sure to send me a full report!!”
Amanda and I have had comments in the past that we brag about our travels. If someone desperately needs for this blog to be a negative experience for themselves, they’re going to find that in here no matter what we write. It has taken me a long time to accept that, but I do now. On the other hand, there are people who very much value feeling like they’re a part of a community that’s being taken along on that journey, whether they themselves are able to travel or not. Those are the people we’re thinking of when we write, tweet, post, or chat. Sometimes Amanda and I are able to share with readers, and other times like now, it is our readers and other fans that are able to share those moments with us as a community, and we very much appreciate that. Our readers are generous about coming to our Facebook page, or sending us photos on Twitter, or even coming to the Daily Duranie message boards with tales from the road. I love seeing those posts and treasures, and they make me happy. I love seeing fans taking time to see the Harry Potter set, or making plans to hit up a pub before the show in Birmingham. I know of a group of people who are going to take a tour of the studio that Duran Duran first recorded in while in Birmingham, too. That stuff is cool, and those types of plans with friends are what make the highlights of a tour for fans.
It isn’t as though seeing the band isn’t amazing. Whether you’ve experienced it personally or have only seen videos on YouTube, I think it’s pretty obvious that being in front of the band is the ultimate celebration of fandom. I remember going to those shows in the UK and honestly staring blankly at them while onstage, equal parts disbelief (that I was really there) and jet-lag. Some of the shows I’ve attended stick out more than others, and some songs provide more memory than others. But, if I were really being truthful, I would tell you that spending time with friends there is what I remember most from the UK tour. Traveling by car from Brighton to Bournemouth. Walking around Birmingham after the gig. Riding in a train up to both Birmingham and Edinburgh. Watching it snow in Glasgow. Staying up that entire night, on a natural high that I didn’t ever want to end. Those are the reasons why those trips get mentioned on this blog. For me personally, it is the experiences with other fans that we want most to share. It’s the excitement and joy in seeing that no matter where we’re all from in “real life”, we come together over this single band. Can you hear the planet roaring?
We each found our way to this fandom with our own set of life experiences, judgments, and optimism. We share our hopes, joys, loves, and dislikes. We hammer things out, sometimes we walk away for a bit, and other times we bathe in the glory of the music. I love seeing the excitement and happiness of fans, particularly of the ones who are experiencing #Duranlive for the very first time, but I really love seeing and reading the journeys that any and all fans are partaking – and yes, even in this day and age – there are quite a few. Those anecdotes, stories and tiny moments that are shared remind me of what fandom really is, and is not.