If you have been paying attention to Duran Duran’s social media at all lately, you have seen posts/tweets about the “Countdown” to the ten year anniversary of the band’s All You Need Is Now album. Some of the posts have been video clips that were released then, merchandise that was sold to mark the occasion, music videos from that era and more. Each and every post fills my heart while my head finds itself shaking in disbelief. How could All You Need Is Now be ten years old?? How is that possible? In many ways, that era still feels new and fresh and, in other ways, it feels longer than that. Even then, though, I doubt the ten years part even though I know it is true. As this anniversary approaches, I find myself doing a little looking back, which feels ironic based on the idea that all I need is right now.
Where was my fandom ten years ago? How is it different? How is it still the same? Let’s start with the most notable. Rhonda and I started this blog just months before the i-Tunes version was released. Not only was fandom a big part of who I and we were but we were committed to diving deeper. It was no longer going to be enough to chat with a few friends about the latest Duran Duran news and happenings. No, we had to do more. We had to say more. At that time, it felt like we had year and years of experiences and ideas just shoved inside of us waiting to burst through. Then, of course, we had lots to say about a new album. In many ways, it wasn’t *just* a new album.
It was more than that. After all, we had witnessed and been part of a fan community so deeply divided over the Red Carpet Massacre album. Many of us felt that there was something fundamental missing in that album. Maybe it was heart. Maybe it was essential Duran. Part of us doubted if the Duran we knew and love would return. Then, All You Need Is Now was released. I struggle to articulate what hearing that album for the first time was like. It felt like coming home. It felt like our favorite band had really embraced who they were. It felt like heaven. Tears were shed and our Duranie spirits renewed. All of this made blogging easy and and also explosive. We could talk about the past album cycles and the fan community while also embracing the current vibe wholeheartedly. Rhonda and I dove in deeper, to say the least.
Our fandom commitment went beyond the blog as we began to tour in earnest. We even went to the UK to see shows. If that was not enough, we started holding meetups before shows and planned a weekend long fan convention. Truly, in many, many ways, it felt like a magical time. That isn’t to say that everything was perfect as it wasn’t. Some didn’t like our “honest” blog posts and didn’t think we were doing much by our attempts to bring fans together. Still, for me, the good times far outweighed the bad. I’m mean, my goodness, I got to see the band perform in Birmingham. If that isn’t a dream come true, I don’t know what is. It felt like serendipity, in a way. The band returned to their roots at the same time that Rhonda and I were ready to really embrace fandom in a big time way.
Looking back, I feel myself smiling and feeling nothing but joy. The happiness I found in my fandom helped to balance some not so great moments in my personal life. For example, listening to the album in December of 2010 helped me escape the loss of both my grandma and my beloved cat. By 2012, I needed some good times to get away with some big political losses wrecking havoc on my career.
I know that the members of Duran Duran rarely spend time looking back. Sometimes, I wish I could say the same. Right now, though, I need a reminder that there are moments in the universe, in one’s life when everything seems to come together. As I hold out for hope for a brighter future for myself, I will keep the memory of this time close to my heart. This spring has not been easy for me, to say the least. I would say that I’m struggling, which has affected so many parts of my life, including fandom. It may feel like my heart is not here. I want it to be. At times, I do better than others remembering how good fandom can and has made me feel. At other times, I have to push myself to just go to work. Forget about doing anything more. Here’s what I’m hoping for. I’m longing for another moment when the stars align, when the vast majority of things fall into place. Perhaps, by the time the next album comes out, it will be like All You Need Is Now. I hope I will be in a good place, personally, with a new job, maybe a new location, etc. Then, I will also be ready to have a renewal of my fandom. After all, the All You Need Is Now era reminded me to “stay with the music, let it play a little longer.”