Duranecting

Posted: July 13, 2013 by generationgbooks in Music
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Go ahead, look it up. The word doesn’t exist, except in the mind of yours truly, LadyGDuran. I was trying to think of a term that would combine another of my passions and the art and act of collecting anything and everything relating to my favorite band of all time: Duran Duran. My idiot savant friends can make fun all they like, but there is something to be said for having something in your life that never lets you down. I know, I know, we won’t discuss the “dark” years of Liberty, Medazzaland, and Pop Trash– except, well, we will. Or rather, I will. And you will read, comment, like, share, continue to help this blog onto mass followers, or I will make you listen to Reel Big Fish’s awful cover of “Hungry Like The Wolf”.

OK, begin the begin. The life changing force catapulted into my orbit in 1981. I was 8. I’m now 40. Do the math. They’ve been in my life almost as long as books have. They’re like the best friend whom you can go without talking to for awhile, then pick up again, as if nothing had ever happened, and the two of you were eating cheesy nachos and making fun of Mr. Piwnicki’s coffee addiction just yesterday. The object of unwavering adulation that never lets me down on those dark, lonely, bogus Hallmark card holidays (Valentine’s Day? Sweetest Day? Ha. I would rather watch Sing Blue Silver and overdose on Pirate Booty). The band that no matter how awful I feel, one spin of the Rio vinyl (Yes, vinyl. Screw you, Internet music bit torrent users), will restore me to a happier, calmer place. Just a record. Except, it’s NOT just a record. It’s a way of life. As is collecting something in which you have undying faith, no matter how dark the times, no matter how lonely the days, no matter what awful color of lipstick Nick Rhodes may have been wearing. You get the gist.

You should have heard my family. My mother happily endorsed this behavior of buying every single teeny bopper magazine out in the 80’s- simply because she wanted to see where I was going to find a place in my bedroom to hang the newest addition to the poster collection. I have pictures, it was insane. My mother also knew all the lyrics to every song, and happily encouraged Heidi and I in our worship. This usually involved ‘Duran Days’. Heidi’s ever-so-patient family would bring her over to the house, and we’d hunker down in front of the old floor model Panasonic console. We would watch the original Duran Duran video album (which they won a Grammy for), then Sing Blue Silver, then whatever else we had that was Duran-related. We would rewind the hell out of those VHS tapes. My mom rented the video album and Sing Blue Silver so much that Beth Mayo, owner of Video One in Willow Springs, eventually gave both to me as Christmas gifts. Phar-Mor, my first job; I rented that videocassette so much from the video department, that eventually they gave me a copy for free when I won employee of the month in March, 1989. All copies that were watched relentlessly snapped in half. I cried every single time it happened. And it happened often, make no mistake. Similar scenarios happened when I played the cassette tapes. Over and over and over. It didn’t matter when, where, what my mood was. The whole summer of 1986 I spent in front of the TV re-watching The Monkees series being played on MTV, for the 20th (25th? I don’t remember) anniversary. When I wasn’t shoving ungodly amounts of Sour Patch Kids, Doritos, and Diet Coke in my piehole while watching the marathon, I was outside on the swingset playing my Duran Duran tapes. Over and over and over. You’re starting to notice a pattern. It wasn’t difficult to let my true love cup run overfloweth, when it was widely encouraged. My mom was definitely the ringleader. My dad just shook his head, said “Christ, not again”, and left the room. It gave my brother unlimited fodder for his shotgun of meager insults. My younger sister swears she’s scarred for life. Oh well, you can choose your bands, you can’t choose your family. You can, however, find ways to mortally wound them for life when you continue to play the same song relentlessly (“Goodbye is Forever” by Arcadia. I think if my sister ever hears it again, someone may get beheaded ). And that, my friends, I excel at.

What happens when you continue in your ways as you age? Either you grow out of the phase, or it continues to color your life as you move on through this circus known as life. I choose to continue riding the Duran Wave. An example? You’re so obsessed with collecting that you somehow manage to have amassed a ridiculous amount of the same song, in multiple musical formats. An example: Seven and the Ragged Tiger: I have the original vinyl, minus the gatefold which was water damaged in the move from my old house to this one. That vinyl is scratched to all grooves of hell, but I do not let it go. I have the replacement vinyl, in plastic. I have every 45 that came out associated with the singles from that album. I have a remix album of the songs off that album- again, vinyl. I also have the CD formats. I used to have several cassettes of live shows associated with that legendary 1984 tour (the one where the US magazines and DJ’s were designating them “The New Beatles”). I have every single cassette single. Despite the fact you cannot find cassette players anywhere. I. Cannot. Let. It. Go. There is no joking with musical passions, friends. Nor any passions, for that matter. I don’t care what the format is, how much it costs, how many days or hours of work may be compromised for the consummation of this courtship, how many bad neighborhoods you may get lost in on the way back from Indiana at 2am after stalking out the tour bus (Duran Duran, Star Plaza Theatre, Indiana, 1992. We got lost in the ghetto downtown at 2am).

What happens when your dream comes true, and you get to meet them? Kind of. And by meet them, I mean that Heidi and I went to Best Buy on Ashland on December 13, 2006, for a meet, greet, sign sort of thing for Red Carpet Massacre. We both got off work. We got down there bright and early. We both had shitty Verizon phones, so photos were not great. I think Heidi got some photos, but grainy John Taylor is still better than nothing at all. They were at a table directly in front of us. Simon, John, Nick, and Roger. I had coffee and the spastic handshaking did, indeed, result in me spilling my coffee right near Simon. That didn’t go over well. He was quiet, but polite. John was grace and gorgeous incarnate. Nick was also quiet, but the beauty of those green eyes up close struck you speechless. Roger was all warmth and rugged handsomeness. Heidi and I both had the Red Carpet Massacre CD’s signed. John renamed me Georgia. My CD, my pride and joy, says Georgia, not Georgette. There is, of course, the chance that he asked me and in my state of shock, delirium, insanity, that I told him I was now named after a bad Victorian romance heroine. But it’s them! They were inches in front of us, and we survived. How? No idea. I will say that it is one of the few great days of my life. I wouldn’t trade that whole day and night of Duranventure with Heidi for any amount of money.

What does this all mean? It means that once you accept something into your mind, body, heart, and soul and decide there is no leaving, you must be prepared to accept the consequences. I happily accept the consequences of having over 3,000 Duran posters and articles. I happily accept the consequences of having 13 different formats of one album- Japanese pressing, Dutch pressing, etc. I happily accept the consequences of having to read every book that has a single mention of the boys. I happily accept the consequences that may result from my fanatically following Simon LeBon’s Twitter account. I happily accept any and all things that spawn from this all-consuming passion of mine known as Duran Duran. Why so excessive? Why not? You could be excessive in the ways of all things bad. Or you could be excessive in the ways of something that makes you so ridiculously giggly that it’s like you’re an 8-year old bookworm stuck in a podunk town full of corrupt policeman that dump bodies in canals, all over again. Except it’s 32 years later and you have to be an adult. But you don’t. If you have something that constantly crests you back into a sea of nostalgia (Dave’s saying, not mine) and happiness, that’s the wave you need to continue to ride. In a time, date, and place where you can obtain “happiness” with money, false promises, material possessions, and broken mirages left and right, your best best is to stick with the tried and true that will never make you blue. Duran Duran, you’re my wave.

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