On Monday, Rhonda wrote a blog highlighting her biggest personal moment with Duran Duran. (If you didn’t read it, go here.) Since then, I, too, took time to think about mine. Is mine like Rhonda’s in that my moment is a return to the fandom? Is it the time that I met Rhonda and other fans? Maybe it was something like one of the trips to the UK. Like Rhonda, I think that I could choose any of those and would be right on in doing so. Yet, I tend to think of my fandom journey to be in parts and each part has a big moment. Thus, I have to decide which part matters most to me.
Part one of my fandom definitely has to be fandom as a kid. This is when I fell in love with the band in the first place. In thinking about that time, the big moment has to be when I fell in love with the Reflex. It pushed me from casual fan to Duranie. If that hadn’t happened, I doubt I would have still been a fan today. Therefore, that is definitely a worthy moment. Biggest personal one, though? I’m not sure.
The next part of my fandom surrounds the reunion and returning to being a loud and proud Duranie. I know that I have talked about this a lot on here but it is worth sharing a little again. Around the time of the reunion, I found myself overwhelmed with the beginning of my teaching career with grad school on top of that. To say that I didn’t have a lot of extra time would be an understatement of epic proportions. I heard rumblings of a reunion but put blinders on as I kept telling myself that I didn’t care. Interestingly enough, as I finished grad school, I found myself watching the silly TV show, Roswell, religiously. I appreciated the escape with it and the outsider as hero theme. My lonely self sought out others who were as into the show as I was. This lead me to message boards and eventually to meeting other Midwestern fans.
One of these fellow fans mentioned Duran Duran in passing one day. That is all it took. I had free time by then as I had finally gotten that Master’s Degree and needed something to obsess over. My Roswell internet searches turned to Duran Duran ones and to Duranies, which eventually led me here. That moment, that one mention certainly was a big moment in terms of my Duran fandom. The biggest? I am sure that I could make the case for that, for sure. While that one comment got me back to Duran, I’m not sure I would vote for it as the biggest. Stick with me here because my biggest moment, I think, will explain why this one didn’t matter as much.
After that reminder, I found Duran message boards and made the decision to attend that Duran fans convention in 2004 in New Orleans. This, of course, is the event in which I met Rhonda and so many other fans whom I’m lucky enough to call my friends. From there, this led to going on tour, seeing a bunch of concerts and so much more as part three of my fandom. I might even say that this led to so much fun that I’m still getting over it. Yet, despite all that, I’m still not sure that I would pick the convention as the biggest.
In 2008, my fandom took a turn for the fourth segment of my fandom journey. It ceased being nothing but fun. I noticed fans behaving in ways that made me curious. Heck, I found myself doing things and thinking things that normally I wouldn’t. At first, I tried to ignore observation of myself and others and just have fun, which wasn’t always easy for a variety of reasons (Red Carpet Massacre division, anyone?). At the end of 2008, Rhonda and I decided to go to a few shows in the Northeast. During that tour, I lost a friendship as this person made some decisions that felt like she placed fandom over friendship. I was hurt. Friendships mean the world to me. As someone who struggled (and struggles) to make friends, I appreciate each friend. When I have strong, loyal friendships, I feel stronger and more confident in everything I do. When it feels like I don’t matter or don’t matter much to a friend, it feels like being stabbed in the gut.
I had a choice then. One option could have been to walk away from fandom. After all, a lot of the fun had left with the Astronaut era. If I had chosen that, then, I think the biggest moment with Duran would have been attending that convention. Yet, I chose something different. I sought out understanding. I wanted to “get” or comprehend this former friend of mine. I needed to understand myself, too. The idea was simple. If I could understand fans better, then I could figure out how to make it fun again. This decision, of course, has led Rhonda and myself to research fandom for years. We have written about our experiences and our research with the goal of one day getting something out there. The moment that Rhonda and I came up with the idea of researching and writing about fandom took my fandom to a new level. It led to this blog, much research and more. Frankly, it increased whatever commitment I had to Duran. I cannot see just walking away now or ever.