May Fan of the Month: Neilio

When did you become a fan? I became a fan in 1982.

Why? What drew you to the band? 
It was hearing Hungry Like the Wolf and later seeing the video. What I particularly liked was the Jean-Michel Jarresque synth line, which runs through the song.

How do you participate in the fandom? What do you like best about being in the fan community? I participate in fandom by reading the Proboards forum and Daily Duranie. I was a huge collector as a teenager of printed media and also (at the time), rather expensive imports. I loved the different cover art. Now, almost 30 years later, I have mint vinyl that I can play! I go to as many concerts as I can, the first being at the Manchester Apollo in 1987. We actually stalked them outside the hotel they were staying in and saw them climbing into a limo. The weirdest thing was seeing them with stubble (well, not so much Simon as he had that for the Wild Boys video) They’d always had flawless skin – admittedly, caked in make-up! The only tour I’ve missed since then was All You Need is Now. We were in New Zealand when they were playing the UK and the Dutch concert got cancelled (we never got our money back. I try not to be bitter about it). I do create (mayhem?) but nothing Duran-related. The best thing about being in the Duran community is finding out what’s happening in the world of Duran Duran before even the band themselves know. Related to this are some of the lifelong friends I’ve made through the band. You know who you are but here’s a shout-out to Alison and Dan George, Lesley Rhodes and Tatjana Marlow-Debney, and Paula Perrins. 

Do you have a favorite concert experience? That would definitely be a warm-up concert they did for the Big Thing tour in November 1988 at the International II in Manchester. The tickets, if memory serves, were only 5 quid! A bargain, and at such an intimate venue. Bit of a rough area though with teenage kids roaming the streets offering ‘protection’ money to look after your car for the duration of the concert. Whose car, I have no recollection – I didn’t get a license until 10 years ago, so it certainly wasn’t mine. The audience was most definitely not restricted to real fans as witnessed by the booing when they performed “Land” and “Palomino”. For that reason, those are sadly the only songs I have a clear recollection of being played. I was in my second year at university and living in a shared house at the time. As far as I can remember Fola Agbalaya, Sam Brooks, Yasmin Khan and Helen (sorry, surname escapes me) were all in attendance. None of them a fan, but all along for the ride. I think they enjoyed themselves!

Do you have a favorite fandom experience?  
That has to be a Duran Duran party organised by “The Plastic Girls” Lesley Rhodes and Paula Perrins, which included a fancy dress party that I won. I believe the guy from “Cherry Lipstick” was there – Adam, was it? I can’t remember the year, let alone the date, but it wasn’t long before I emigrated to Germany so possibly 1996/7? It was held, I think, opposite where the Rum Runner used to be. There are photos somewhere…

Favorite song? Has always been and always will be “The Chauffeur”. It’s unsurpassable. Funnily, the in-laws were over just before Christmas and my father-in-law asked us to play our favourite song. He’d never heard The Chauffeur before and likened it to a sea shanty. Interesting take…

Favorite album? That has to be Rio. It might not actually be the best but with all the memories associated with it and that fact that as teenagers were more receptive and impressed by new things, this will also never change. If I had to choose an alternative, it would be Future Past (minus the Moroder songs).

Favorite side or solo project? Hands down “So Red the Rose”. The Duran album that should have been. On a par with Rio for me.

Favorite band member? As a teenager it was Nick. Then I met him lol. It’s not about the band members anymore. It’s about the magic they create together. I don’t know them personally so I can’t judge. I have an idea of who they are, but won’t ever really know.

Favorite video? “Is There Something I Should Know”. They all looked stunning, John had the world’s best haircut EVER at that time and the outfits were fabulous – affordable, and easy to replicate from the High Street! And I loved the mystery about it. Very clever imagery.

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