What All You Need is Now Really Means

Today’s blog features a continuation of the documentary included on A Diamond in the Mind.  Last week, I discussed the band’s chosen highlights for 2011.  This post will focus on the second topic in the documentary, when Simon lost his voice/top part of his vocal range. 

When I watched the documentary, I was particularly keen to see this part as I knew that the loss of vocal range for Simon was a big problem in 2011.  As someone who was personally affected by this loss and the show cancellations that followed, I knew that it might create quite an emotional reaction for me.  Although, I thought it might be possible that enough time had passed that any emotional scar had been healed.  Plus, I had seen shows after this problem, which probably helped as well.  In case you weren’t reading the blog in May of 2011, I should probably tell you that Rhonda and I along with a couple of others traveled to the UK then to see four shows (Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London).  Unfortunately, on the way to the airport, we learned that the first 3 shows were canceled due to Simon’s problem with his voice.  We, obviously, opted to continue with the trip as we had plane tickets and other reservations already made.  Plus, we believed that we had a shot to see a show in London but that was not meant to be as Duran was forced to cancel the entire UK tour and the summer shows in Europe.  It was definitely a dark, scary time for all of us as no one knew, for sure, if Simon would heal or if it was the end of the band. 

In the documentary, Simon describes what happened when he lost the high range of his voice.  Then, each member took time to discuss the significance of this event on both the band and the current project, AYNIN.  A number of comments from the band members stood out to me.  First, Nick mentioned how they were initially in denial and hoped that they would only have to cancel a few shows.  I wasn’t surprised by that statement.  While in the UK, Rhonda and I managed to find ourselves outside their rehearsal studios.  That day, which is featured on the documentary, was the day that they came to the studios to see if Simon would be able to perform.  Clearly, he was not and they were forced to cancel the whole UK tour.  While outside, we did see the band enter and exit the studios.  Some band members seemed to be in fairly good moods when entering, including Nick.  He had a slight smile to his face as he walked by and waved to the fans.  When he left, though, he had a completely different facial expression.  He looked devastated as did John.  Simon, on the other hand, came to talk to the group of us outside before he went in.  He knew that it didn’t look good and he told us so.  He was already devastated. 

Other comments from the documentary that caught my attention were the ones in which various band members discussed how they didn’t know if it was the end of the band or not.  Roger referenced that time as “looking into a blackhole”.  John pointed out that they couldn’t help but to wonder if it was the end.  This, of course, brought me right back to that time.  What did I think?  What did the rest of the fan community think?  Did we think like the band did?  Personally, I have to admit that I did think it was the end, especially since no one really seemed to know what really went wrong and how to fix it.  I was definitely concerned that the damage was permanent.  I even had the nerve to question what the end of the band would be like in this blog even though I never came out to say that I thought it was the end.  I suppose that part of me was trying to cushion the blow that I thought would certainly come.  I wanted to be as prepared as possible.  How did people react to my questioning?  Not good.  Not good at all.  I was criticized for being dramatic or for being negative.  It felt to me like a lot of fans were just like the band with that hard to overwhelm denial.  I didn’t blame anyone for feeling that way.  After all, Nick had the same thing.  I did, too, until I saw Simon that day.  I saw his fear, his worry.  Then, I knew it was bad.  Yet, the band wasn’t expressing this fear in public.  Instead, they were expressing confidence that Simon would be back and that shows would be rescheduled soon.  I get that attitude now.  Maybe I should have gotten it more then.  Oh well. 

Thankfully, Simon did recover.  In the documentary, the band expressed almost gratitude for this experience.  John, for example, discussed how they handled it gave them strength and brought them closer.  Roger talked about how it made the tour have more meaning.  Dom mentioned how Simon is actually better and stronger now.  I definitely can relate to all of those things.  First of all, I think Rhonda and I became closer from having experienced this together and I think that when we went back for the rescheduled shows, they did mean more to us.  We probably had a WAY better experience because of it, too.  As for Simon, I agree that he is sounding better than ever and a song like Before the Rain really showcases it and allows him to start the shows in a helpful way.  Thus, I think Simon’s loss of his voice was positive, in the long run.  The band appreciated things more when they were able to return.  Perhaps, as John stated, they really did learn was “all you need is now” means.  I know that I learned a very valuable lesson then, which is to live in the moment and do not put off what you can do now.  The documentary was a good reminder of this lesson and one that I needed in order to keep focused on the now.

-A

3 thoughts on “What All You Need is Now Really Means”

  1. I remember those days so well. SO well. I really didn't want to go to the studio that day – the whole idea of running into the band there seemed so uncomfortable to me, and I think part of me didn't want to see what the reaction would be to either how the rehearsal went OR the fans being outside. I was just afraid the band would be angry we were there. So I guess you could say I went along against my own judgement, and after it was all said and done, I'm glad I was there. I heard Simon explain what was going on, and I could see the gratitude that fans would actually gather there. (It still felt weird to me, but I learned a lot that day, both about myself and about the band. I think they became more human to me, if that makes any kind of sense.) I came away from it thinking we'd just seen the end – and it was very difficult not to portray that here on the blog. So we went and had gigantic ice cream sundaes instead.

    Dom is right though – Simon is so much better and stronger than ever. The toughest time I've ever had at a show was the first time I saw the band after all of this in Valley Center California, about a year ago now. I couldn't even LOOK at the band when they came on stage, I stood looking down at the chair back in front of me for the first minute to minute and a half of Before the Rain before I dared look up. I was with my husband, he certainly wouldn't understand my emotionality, and I was not going to break down in front of that band, no way. Simon sounded amazing, and he's only gotten better since then. When I finally did look up, I got a wink from Dom (we were right in front of him). I doubt he knew what seeing them felt like to me – but in that one second it was what I needed. Silly memory I suppose, but it's what I remember most from that show, that and telling Walt that I was definitely going to the UK (I don't think I'd bought my airline tickets for the November and December dates there until after that show!) I would never say that his losing his voice was a blessing, but perhaps it was a turning point or a lesson. For all of us. -R

  2. Okay, so I've just found your blog and I have to tell you how much I love it! I would never assume to call myself a Duranie as there were times when my tastes fell away from the band and came back again over the years and I don't think that happens with devotees so much. They have, however, always held a special spot in my heart. I've never seen them in concert– I can't afford the travel and they never (to my knowledge) have come closer than an hour to two or trip from my town.
    I've been bouncing around your blog for the last couple of days and just wanted to say that I'm happy to have finally found a blog/website (with the upcoming release of John's book next week my interest has been renewed AGAIN) that is not only interesting but current and alive. There is nothing worse than finding a website that looks interesting only to find it was last visited/updated two years ago or longer.
    Anyway, I look forward to going through the rest of your site and perhaps hearing your take on the new book? I've pre-ordered mine which will hopefully arrive sometime late next week. I've told my family not to interrupt me once it arrives. If they are smart they will, for once, listen to their mother.
    Thank You Again for helping to relight an old flame.
    V.

  3. Yay!!! I'm so glad you found our blog, and if it keeps your interest and gets you back into the world of Duran Duran – we have done our job! 🙂

    Never fear – this website gets updated daily. We aren't kidding about the “Daily” part in our name, and we really do try to hit a variety of subjects without getting too much like an “I love you” note to the band. Although sometimes….

    We can't wait to discuss the book here on the blog. We've both read it, I think Amanda is going back through it (I will as well, but I've been busy dissecting Andy's book!), and we are looking forward to some healthy discussion here. I hope you join in.

    Are you a US fan, or outside the states? Amanda and I have been very lucky to be able to travel to see them, but I spent many years not being able to do so – and I understand how you feel. I have to say though, if you have the chance to see them, they are completely worth the hour or two to get to a show. If you lived near me, I'd DRIVE you. 😀 Thanks again for commenting and we're glad you found the blog! -R

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