Hello dear readers! Today has been quite the day on the Rivera homestead. First, our power went out for a brief period this morning, and now, we’re surviving with no internet. Thank goodness for cellular data and hotspots. As a result, the previously planned blog isn’t happening today. Thankfully, we have had a reader step up to the plate with a short tale! Thank you Matthew! -R
Hello. My name is Matthew Speddings and I’m a freelance cameraman. I became a fan of Duran Duran in 1989, a combination of seeing Arena, the release of Decade and then picking up Big Thing on cassette at a petrol station. I was heading off for a driving trip around Scotland.
By the time I got back home, I was a Duran fan. Over the years, mainly through my career choice, I’ve stumbled across a few people who have worked with the band. Nothing too exciting, but hopefully interesting for fans.
I used to work as staff at Yorkshire Television and one of the every day faces I saw, was the Emmerdale (UK soap opera) stunt coordinator, Stuart St. Paul. I would often chat with him. He’s an interesting guy and he’d done some cool stuff. He’d worked with John Frankenheimer, James Cameron on Aliens, and that 80’s video rental classic Lifeforce, amongst other things.
One day I was at a record fair and came across a copy of Duran Duran, Arena – The Book. This was something I was unaware of prior, so I began flicking through it and there was a name I recognized listed as “Stunt Coordinator”— Stuart St. Paul. How on earth had I missed that?! I didn’t seem him for a few weeks so the next time he turned up on set, I was bursting at the seams.
“I’ve been dying to talk to you, Stuart! You do know I’m a massive Duran Duran fan!”
“Really?” he replied, as we began chatting about the band.
This was around the mid-2000’s, and I’m afraid I don’t remember too much of our conversation, apart from him telling me that his wife is one of the ladies that gets dropped into those water tanks upside down. I asked if he got to work with Mulcahy on Highlander, but they had stopped working together just before then.
I remember I didn’t see him for a while after that, because the net time I saw him he said, “Where have you been? I was clearing out the desk in my office and found a few things you might want. I’ve left them in an envelope at reception. It’s been there for weeks.”
So I dashed over to reception. In that envelope was his press pack for Arena, I guess there had been a very cool launch party. The other thing in there was a glossy laminate, didn’t seem anything special. It looked like a photocopy with the details handwritten with a gold marker pen, but it is the coolest thing. I mean, it was his pass onto the Arena film shoot. Stuart St.
Paul, Stunt Co-ord, Stage Shoot C.
So there you go, it’s now my own piece of Duran memorabilia. Framed and up on my wall with some promotional photos from the press pack. I’m sure you’ll recognize him from the “making of” documentaries, fans will have even seen him hurt himself on Arena.
Later, I gave him a DVD transfer from the Arcadia VHS. It was before it had been reissued with the album. He was very happy when I gave it to him because he didn’t even know it was out there, and it included an interesting interview with him.
You just never know!