Yesterday Amanda dared to ask the question “Before the Rain or Too Bad You’re So Beautiful?” For the uninitiated, Amanda asks a daily question on our Facebook page as well as Twitter. Those who wish to reply, do so – and a tally is taken. The results are then posted the following day along with another question.
Yesterday my answer was Before the Rain. I don’t think that I would have answered that way about two years ago (maybe slightly less than two years ago). The album had just come out, and while TBYSB (I know there are those out there in readerland that hate the acronyms. I apologize and I’m not trying to ruin the spirit of the song. It’s just faster to type!) is a fun song that I liked immediately, Before the Rain was tougher for me. I felt it was very dark, very mysterious, and just a harder song for me to really get into. The compelling part of this tale is that here, two years later – I adore Before the Rain much more than I do TBYSB. I still like both songs, I don’t skip TBYSB in the car or anything, but my nod goes to Before the Rain.
Here is the beauty behind these questions – it all comes down to experiences and emotion. What hits each of us on an emotional level is what we will likely identify with best, isn’t it? For me, when I hear Before the Rain, the very first thing I remember is that initial show (for me) last October in Valley Center, CA. The band entering the stage, then Simon approaching center stage and singing. I couldn’t even look up at him for fear of crumbling into a pile of nothing. It was the first show I’d been to since the UK in May when Simon had his vocal problems. It was a very emotional moment for me, and once I got past the initial swell, I was able to ride the waves of triumph. Since then, every time I hear the song, I recognize what a special moment it is for Simon on stage – it’s just himself and the crowd. The band stays in the darkness for the first half of the song, and it’s a great way to begin the show. For me personally, I haven’t had that type of emotional bonding experience with TBYSB.
Yet on the other hand, our dear friend Bryony insists she’s had that moment. While the song was not sung at all on tour, it was performed in Oxford at the rehearsal shows. Bryony had that moment of connecting directly with Simon while singing a line or two, and as she aptly puts “Took it to a whole new level!” I think we all can relate to this!
Naturally, this is not the only song I’ve had the fortune…or misfortune given the anecdote I’m about to tell, to have a “moment” that changes everything. I don’t think it’s any surprise that along with the hundreds of Duran songs I adore, there might be a few…a mere couple…that I’ve heard so many times that I probably could live a good life without ever hearing again. Maybe. I am also certain that most of you can name at least ONE of these songs. (If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably know.) I would say that prior to last October, it was getting to the point that when I would hear this song, my eyes would nearly roll back in my head – and not from delight. I felt that it was time to let the song retire, I didn’t care that at one time in my own Duran Duran fandom “history” it was the first video I’d ever seen by the band, nor did I care that it was probably the song that launched their career here in America. I was over it. The wolf would have been starved to death years ago, don’t you think?? I was no longer hungry, and admittedly, I was over it.
I don’t know how this news was made obvious to certain band members. Perhaps it was the eye rolling. Maybe it was the crossed arms. I don’t really know for sure. All I do know is that in Valley Center, I thought I was getting a reprieve. We’d made it through quite a bit of the show, and no HLTW. I was excited! Then they started playing a song with a drum beat. I didn’t recognize the beat until a split second later, and oh was I mad when I realized they’d changed the opening of the song. Damn them for tricking me. I must have pulled a face, because the next thing I know, I’ve got the guitar player singing the ever-delightful “do do do” section in front of me…like unmistakably right there in front of me. Nice. I am sure he got a lot of eye rolling out of me that night, but he laughed it off, as did I. What can you do when they’re right there in front of you basically demanding that you sing? I sang!
I felt certain that when I went over to the UK for the shows Amanda and I were doing last November and December (actually I think it was a year ago today that we were in Glasgow??), even though our seats were right in front of Dom Brown, he’d forget. There’s no way he’d actually remember me. I’m one person in a zillion, right? Wrong. Every single night that damn song would begin he’d look over and grin at me while he was singing the chorus. (Not necessarily a bad thing, I might add.) Then he and John would play guitar and bass right in front of us – that part was just a part of the choreography that goes along with the gig, but even so – they made it nearly impossible for me to do much but enjoy the song. This continued through the summer shows we did in the southeastern US this summer – apparently I’m more recognizable than I thought – especially in the front row. Yeah, funny Dom. Now that stupid song plays when I’m in the car or here at home and I can’t help but grin with the memory. Nice. So I suppose the song can stay in their setlist, and as I’ve promised – I won’t even roll my eyes when they start the familiar chords.
(I am totally lying…but I’ll also give a small, sly grin.)
The point being that even if your experience with the band comes from watching a video at a certain time with your friends and giggling over something, or it’s remembering how you felt the very first time you watched Sing Blue Silver on VHS and you heard Tiger Tiger playing as the clip of all those semi-trucks were traveling down a road in the US – those are the emotions that drive each of us to love whatever song we love. Some songs have those moments attached. Other songs really don’t – for me I could say that Hallucinating Elvis is one of those songs. I don’t completely dislike the song, but it doesn’t have any real meaning or memory for me. For you, it’s probably another song entirely. It might even be one of MY favorites, because that’s how this all works, isn’t it?
In celebration of the Glasgow show…here’s a clip from YouTube. I’m sure you’ll recognize the song.