This morning when thinking about what to write, I took a glance at my handmade Duran wall calendar. I noticed that the album, Astronaut, was released around this time in 2004. The first thought was, “How can that be? How was Astronaut released 17 years ago? 17?!? The reunion happened that long ago?!” It took me a good long time to try to make this compute in my head because none of it made any sense to me. On one hand, it felt like there was no way that the reunion happened that long ago as it still feels fresh to part of my mind. On the other hand, looking back, I think I have lived about three lives between that release and now. (Just to catch people up if need be: Duran reunited as the Fab Five in the early 2000s and their first album back was Astronaut. As of now, it was the last one that guitarist, Andy Taylor, was on.)
When I think back to that release day, I have such strong memories. If I remember correctly, the album came out on a Tuesday. (I think that used to be standard practice here in the States.) For some weird reason, I had a teacher in-service that day. No clue as to why it was on a random Tuesday but whatever. Teacher in-service days were always appreciated in one sense and dreaded in the other. I hated sitting in meetings with a passion but so loved longer, real lunches. At that time, I was working at a middle school that had a lunch of 25 minutes. No, I’m not kidding. Want to hear the best part? During those 25 minutes, students were supposed to eat their lunch and go out for recess. In many cases, I doubt they had longer than 15 minutes to eat and less than 10 to play. Anyway, on teacher in-service days, staff would get an hour for lunch. A whole hour. 60 whole minutes. It was heaven. Not only could I eat like a civilized person with actual chewing of my food, but I could go out and get something like…at a restaurant. I could eat out. During that time in my career, there was always a fairly big group going to one restaurant or another. The year of Astronaut was different, however.
For some reason, I convinced my mother that she should come pick me and my friend, Sara, up from school, which she did. Then, she drove us to Best Buy, the closest place we could think of where we could buy the album. (Yes, this is the era of CD buying still.) I remember practically bolting from the car that was barely in park to run into the store, drawn to the CD section that housed artists beginning with D. I flipped through the CDs so fast that I’m surprised my head stayed attached to my body. Within seconds, I was holding a copy of this super sought out album in my little hand as was my friend. We turned to each other, smiled big, wide smiles and without talking rushed to the check out lanes. Time was wasting after all! This one hour lunch would go by quickly!
After we practically ran back to my mom’s car, we took off for a nearby lunch place while I wrestled with that stupid plastic wrapper that comes with CDs, DVDs, etc. I couldn’t get it off fast enough! Finally, victory was mine as I had released the CD from the confines of that plastic prison. I opened it up, grabbed the CD and quickly slid it into my mom’s CD player. I was beyond excited. Yes, I had heard some of the tracks but not the WHOLE album. Plus, let’s be honest. I never thought I would see another Duran album featuring all five guys after Seven and the Ragged Tiger. This was monumental. I started immediately looking through the booklet even thought it was mere minutes before we were at the restaurant.
Immediately following our ordering, that booklet came back out. In fact, I’m not going to lie. I placed the booklet on the end of the table so that I could look at the group picture once the food arrived. I’m quite certain that everyone, including and probably especially my mother, thought I was insane but I didn’t care. To me, this was a moment that needed to be treasured and loved forever. Interestingly enough, here I sit, 17 years later and I remember everything about that day and how I felt. Life seemed glorious and it felt magical to be a Duranie. Looking back, I wish I could have captured a little of that magic so that I could let it out just when I need it most.