It’s that day when I have to think long and hard about what memorabilia I could possibly have on hand, or at least know enough about, in order to write a blog post. This time, I think I’ve got a good one!
A few weeks back, I was searching for pictures of me with my dad. I was inspired by a few people on Instagram, having posted photos of themselves as children with their dads in honor of Fathers Day. Mind you, I have plenty of pictures with my dad. He was a constant in my life, and I am not lacking for pictorial evidence. However, I was an avid (and I mean AVID) scrapbooker back in the late 90’s to about 2006, before digital photos, and later camera phones, took over. As result, many of my pictures with dad are in albums, and not quite so easily snapped and shared online.
I do have one box of very old, loose photographs that, someday soon, I am going to include in yet another scrapbook. Until then though, I paw through it every now and then. This last time I searched through it, I landed upon a picture of me with a birthday cake. I couldn’t read the age, but given the sweater I was wearing – a red “tweed” turtleneck with primary colored geometric shapes on it, along with my hair style at the time, I’m guessing it was probably either November of 1983 or 1984, and I’m hedging towards 84. My fashion sense wasn’t any better then than it is now, I guess, and I’m betting that had I seen my pants, they too would have been red, and I’d have on the fringed cream colored boots I was fond of during that time. Have to love the 80s, never mind my taste in clothing!
As I stared at the photo (and how could I not?), I thought a little bit about how lucky I am to still have actual pictures from that period. Okay, maybe not SO lucky, but you know – sometimes it’s fun to look back. While I didn’t go to many (any!) concerts that year, I did go just a year or maybe two later to see Power Station, and I have no photos at all from the show. Back then, they didn’t really allow cameras in. For this “rule follower”— well, I didn’t try to buck the system.
I am sure at least some of you have pictures from gigs back then. My experience is a little different. I don’t think I have any pictures from Duran shows until the reunion. In fact, I can name the exact show when I first took a cheap, disposable in the venue – it was 4th and B in San Diego, in 2003. I was so excited to have a camera with me that night, I was practically buzzing as I walked in the door.
In my head, I couldn’t/shouldn’t buy many shirts at the time. I think I still semi-subscribe to this thinking, even today. I didn’t know where I’d wear them, and at the time, I was more than a little budget-conscious. We all have our own sense of how we should spend our disposable income, and at the time – I felt like I didn’t have much to spend (regardless of whether or not that was true). I also had this weird “thing” about spending actual dollars on myself, when I could/should spend it on my kids. Back then, the thought of going to more than one show on a tour, or buying more than one set of concert tickets during a pre-sale was beyond me. Front row tickets? Are you crazy???(Oh how far we have slid into the valley of crazy since then….)
I didn’t need physical things that would cost me money. At the same time, I knew there was almost no chance I would ever be in the same room as any member of the band. For me, “almost no chance” is as good as saying “it will never ever happen”. Keep in mind, this was 2003. I hadn’t joined DuranDuranFans.com, I hadn’t met Amanda, there was no convention yet, and Daily Duranie wasn’t even a sparkle in my eye. Those things were still months away from happening. The thought of getting an autograph didn’t even enter into my atmosphere, much less a photo with any one of them. Nope, what I really wanted, was photographs that *I* had taken of the band. Onstage.
Taking that camera into 4th and B theatre that night was my first big coup as a Duran Duran fan. It became very clear almost immediately upon the band taking the stage that I wouldn’t be capable of taking pictures. I was too busy freaking out. Thankfully though, my husband was there to do it for me. He clicked away as I danced and sang, and I couldn’t wait to get the pictures developed.
Those cheap cameras suck.
I got the photos back, and not a single one of them came out clear enough to brag about. They all looked bleary, the stage lights interfered with the picture, and while I was still so excited to have even one photo of Simon, John, Nick, Andy and even Roger (although he was tough to photograph!), neither Walt nor I were very happy with our photography skills. That was the year I got a Canon Rebel for Christmas. Later, I replaced that camera with a Digital Rebel.
For a while, my camera accompanied me to any show I was allowed. I didn’t have a telephoto lens or anything that would have alerted security, although I do remember a few times I was asked to put it away, and I always did. I loved getting home, developing the film, and then ruefully announcing that I was the “worst photographer ever”. This remains the case.
What has changed though, is that I have many photos of the band. I don’t have a ton of pictures up in my room, but I do have one collage frame that has several that either I, or Amanda, have taken. When I look at those, I smile every single time. They are true memorabilia for me, because I know when they were taken, what tour they’re from, and more often than not – I know what song was being performed at the time. I can remember how I felt, and for me, there’s something extra special about being the one to have taken the picture.
I am glad though, that I gave myself the opportunity to take so many pictures when I first started going to Duran shows. I suppose I needed to let that challenge of getting good pictures of every band member run its course. While my pictures are nothing fancy or special, they’re mine. Each one captures a teensy moment when I was in my idea of Heaven. Pure bliss. I’m glad I have them.