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Meeting Duran Duran, a rant

I've met Duran Duran. Several times, in fact, in several different permutations, from the fab foursome of the Wedding Album era to the full-circle mutation of the reengineered fab five. You can read about my first meeting here and I hope someday to transcribe my further adventures for your reading pleasure.

When I think over it, I've been appallingly lucky as a fan to have had the interaction I've had. I got Nick to name his laptop, gave Warren a backrub, wished Simon a happy new year and got John to sign my shirt while I was still wearing it. (Roger and Andy I haven't had as much interaction with--Roger signed my book and I've shaken hands with Andy, but that's about it.)

I do not for one moment consider myself a superior human being to anyone because of this. This is not a rant about how cool I am. This is a rant about meeting Duran Duran. And why it shouldn't matter.

Because it doesn't, really, in the grand scheme of things. Because, all things said and done, they're only musicians. Musicians that make music that is dearly loved by those of us who call ourselves Duranies, true. But all they do is write it and play it--the magic only really happens in our own minds.

I have a theory about music. I call it the Fifth Beatle Theory. If you're reading this, you've probably heard of The Beatles. They made music. John, Paul, George and Ringo strummed guitars, plucked basses, banged on drums and occasionally arranged symphonies and the results were recorded on tape and pressed to records and CDs for people to listen to. People buy these recordings and play them and listen to them and that's when the alchemy actually happens.

The Fifth Beatle is the listener. The people who ask if a tree makes a sound if it falls without witnesses are asking the wrong question. The real question should be something like if you play a Beatles song in the woods with nobody to hear it, is it a Beatles song? I propose that it is not. I think that a song it not complete until it resounds in someone's brain and evokes an emotional response. A song is not finished until it lives in your head and weaves itself into the thought processes that belong to you. So when you truly love a song, you are effectively, loving the part of yourself that the song has become. You love yourself.

Music points us towards ecstacy. We take ourselves there.

But most people, it seems, don't realize that. They credit the musicians with the pleasure and think they must be gods of some kind to induce it. It probably doesn't help that in the glory days of the 80s, Duran Duran had an image of flawless glamour that enhanced the perception of perfection. And somewhere in our brains, we think if we could only be in the actual presence of that, we would have something . . . quite often, we're not even sure what.

I suspect that any Duranie who grew up in the 80s probably harbors dreams of meeting them and making That Magic Connection with them, when they would become your best friends and return all the devotion you radiated in their direction. We all daydreamed about it. Some of us wrote stories in spiral bound notebooks about it. We may think we've outgrown it, but that desire probably lurks in the swamp of our subconscious, making occasional ripples in our behavior.

And I am here to tell you that meeting Duran Duran, ultimately, doesn't change anything. It's doesn't make you better or smarter or happier. It doesn't make your teeth whiter. It doesn't solve your problems. It might give you an amazing rush that will make you giddy for a while, I'll grant you that. Frankly, during the Pop Trash era, it was a lot like an addiction for me, trying to get the next fix of Duran to get off on. The only problem was, the highs of meeting them led into the lows of the rest of my life. Circumstances forced me off the rollercoaster, and, frankly, I'm in a better place now because of it.

These days, it doesn't matter as much to me. For me, meeting Duran Duran is about the same as meeting The Forty-Fives after a show and telling them that I had a good time. It just takes a little more legwork to say it to Duran Duran, that's all. The last time I met them, honestly, it was because all my friends were going to be there anyway, and I wanted to see them and catch up with them. Duran Duran was purely gravy.

And that's all Duran Duran should be for anybody. Purely gravy. Gravy that spices up our life nicely, but not the meat of who we are. Try to remember that.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
azewewish
Jul. 30th, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
Took you long enough. *grins*

I wouldn't trade our wild ride for anything, but I have no desire to relive it. For me, it was about bonding with the girls more than anything else.
wonderbink
Jul. 30th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
Sweetie, I've felt this way for a while. It was just all the sob stories about people missing their Big Chances that set this particular rant off.
puppetmaker40
Jul. 30th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)
I hear ya sweetie loud and clear. Big Chances are what you make of them. Consider some of the people we know that are just our friends but to others are objects of worship. It can get kind of weird at times.

I enjoyed our beach chats by the way.
mynameismay
Jul. 30th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC)
i dont get it.. did Duran just spontaneously combust? Did they decide never to make music or tour again? ie broke up again?

*sigh* all the drama about meeting or not and missing The Big Chance is such a waste of time and energy. I've not met them.. well one or two briefly and I passed up the majority of stuff so others could go in my place and yet some how my life has moved on and I'm still breathing and living.. amazing that?!

Btw nice theory and I would have to say you're dead on really :)

*pardon me I have some secret lusting to return to now :)*
wonderbink
Jul. 30th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
Oh, a certain Drama Queen that I've ranted about before was going on about how this was her LAST show EVER and she was NEVER going to have a chance to thank the Taylors for ALL they'd DONE for her. Because, basically, her husband had put his foot down and said "enough!"

Of course, this is easy enough to say when they've finished up the southeastern leg of the tour and are planning to retreat to the studio at the end of this run. We'll see what happens when they tour again and announce Southern dates.
(Deleted comment)
wonderbink
Jul. 30th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC)
When someone pointed out that John was at the bar almost next to us

I believe that was me, actually. I swear I felt like I had to club y'all over the head and say "Look! Durans!" ;)
dellastarr
Jul. 30th, 2005 02:37 am (UTC)
Boy what a chord this hit with all the celebrity gazing of the past few years. I really liked what you said about the listener giving the song its real merit, by the way you take music into yourself.

I wouldn't trade all this girlishness of the past few years, the concerts, the happenstance of meeting people, but I agree it's the time you spend with people on the floor, the people you meet "waiting" to meet the intended celebrity or musician. I shudder to think of the money I've spent doing all this, but in the end, I love to travel and be with people who make me smile. And if I can credit that to Duran or anyone else... then I'll verbalize the "credit," but the heartfelt memories I credit to the people I've met on the journey. They are the things I carry with me day to day. The music just jogs the memory.
pippinspeach
Aug. 1st, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
*high five*

I'm really glad to be out of that fanbase, although I wouldn't trade the friendships I've made from it.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )