Wednesday, May 21, 2008

friends of mine: my night w/ Duran Duran

I just got home from seeing Duran Duran at the Koko Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC. Tonight marks my seventh Duran concert.

I know. Duran Duran. That British boy band from the 80s with the cool videos and white capezios and blonde bangs. They made mullets look cool. Moussed mullets, that is. Some people are lifelong Beatle fans. Some are Deadheads. I've been a Duran Duran fan for twenty-five years. (Duran Duranged, as my best friend and I used to say.)

This was also the first concert I'd spent in my stocking feet. This is an outdoor venue, and aside from a limited section of regular seating, the rest is "lawn seating" -- that is, bring a blanket and/or some chairs and you're all set. My friends D and M brought a tarp and blanket for the three of us. Thus, we kicked off our shoes and kicked back. Until the band came out, that is. Then we were on our feet and stayed there. (Well, I stayed on my feet when I wasn't jumping up and down like a fifteen year old...)

The band is aging like a fine wine. Not just physically, but musically. This is the band that many thought would fall into obscurity like most teenybop bands of that time. And while they did eventually get their own Behind the Music episode, they never completely faded away (although I was worried for a time...). And while I miss Andy Taylor terribly, the way one misses their parents still being married on special occasions, I danced, I sang, I screamed, I pledged my eternal love to Simon, Nick, Roger, and John.

Especially John. Always John. Forever John.

They didn't even have a video screen. They didn't need one. Not only because it was a smaller venue (although, my kingdom for another six inches in height), but because it's not about the visual anymore. It's about the music. The music made us intimate. The music made me swoon. Perhaps the best moment was when I felt compelled to put my hands together, bring them to my chest, and bow to them. Not even a minute later, Simon did the exact same thing -- Wow. As if he knew. As if he bowed to me only.

Why write about this here? What could Duran Duran possibly have to do w/ writing?
Because when I was fifteen and trying desperately to escape from the pain of my parents separation, I turned to them and writing. I still have the box, sealed, of stories that I wrote in which my best friend and I magically aged six years and ran off with the band to be Mrs. John Taylor, Mrs. Simon LeBon, etc. We mattered. We weren't invisible to them. Writing, and Duran Duran, rescued me. They saved my life.

Because besides writing, they've been the constant in my life. I listen to them when I want inspiration, when I can't write at all, when I'm writing about such intimacy and connection, when I want to make fun of myself in my novels, and when I want to honor them, like now. And now, I'm not doing them justice. I'm not capturing my gratitude in words right now. (This is pretty crappy writing, in fact.) I'm sorry.

The show is over and my throat is sore, but the music is still in my mind, my heart. Corny, but true. And I'll look forward to the day when I see them again.
Thanks, guys. Namaste.


Anonymous said...

Duran Duran is THE BEST!!!

The Purple Panda said...

WOO-HOO!! Right on! "Make it fizzy, just how I like it..."

Anonymous said...

...sounds like you had a great time! We love D2- should we shout it over the Atlantic? Do you remember that?

The Purple Panda said...

"should we shout it over the Atlantic" -- man, it rings a bell! Give me the context (could it be I'm not the uber-fan I thought I was?)

The Purple Panda said...

Ah yes, it's come back to me: we shouted it over the Atlantic. Or at least at it. We love you!!! (I shouted it from the lawn at the amphitheatre, too. But I'm still not sure whether they heard it...)

Christay said...

I saw them at the same concert! It was a fabulous show and venue. I'm going to see them again in Durham on Tues. Probably about my 6th or 7th Duran Duran show. So excited!!!! :D