I make no secret of the fact that I was a teenage fan girl back in the 1980s during my teen years. One band which I absolutely loved but was too young to attend their concerts was The Fab Five, Duran Duran. Posters from “16” magazine, “Star Hits” or “BOP” literally covered my walls and in the days long before the internet, the only pipeline to information were these teen magazines, radio stations and the early days of MTV and MuchMusic..
Every month, I literally awaited with abated breath for this magazine….
Between the years of 1981-1985, Duran were at their height. Everything about them gave off so much unbelievable energy and excitement, most of it due to their rabid female fans, no doubt.
The jet set lifestyle,
Still from the “Rio” video in the middle of the Caribbean somewhere. Check out the Antony Price suits.
the exotic locations for their videos, (‘Save a prayer” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” were both filmed in Sri Lanka, “Rio” in the British Virgin islands)
Still from the “Save a Prayer” video at Gal Vihara in Sri Lanka.
5 attractive young men in uber- designer threads,
the catchy pop hooks, (Note: Videos for “Girls on Film” and “The Chauffeur” were specifically made for nightclubs and not television airplay because of their naughty content)
the super-model glamazon girlfriends in real life
Simon Lebon and British-Iranian model wife Yasmin LeBon.
And in their videos.
The chauffeur-dancer in the video is Perri Lister, Billy Idol’s long-time paramour.
It was a heady and infectious mix and it’s understandable why female teenage fans fell hook, line and sinker for them.
Don’t ask me why (because in hindsight, I still don’t get it) but I was insanely crazy about keyboardist Nick Rhodes.
Nick and Julie-Anne during their Art Deco wedding.
He was my favourite. I remember when word got out that he had married Iowa department store heiress and sometime-model Julie-Anne Friedman in an Art Deco pink wedding at London’s Savoy Hotel
, which also included pink flamingoes, pink food and bride and groom both wearing matching pink eye shadow, some Durannie in Toronto killed herself by jumping off a building. It was nuts, but it just goes to show you the kind of mania the band generated.
The boys these days.
You grow up, your tastes change, you leave behind your childhood pre-occupations and you get on with life. I lost interest in Duran Duran like many of their old fans. Duran’s popularity definitely started to wane after Live Aid in July 1985, when Simon LeBon basically sang off key.
I read the autobiographies of former band mates Andy Taylor
and John Taylor
last year and you realize that the band were imploding anyway (and what a bunch of immature brats they were and are). They never recovered their popularity of the early 1980s despite numerous “comeback” attempts. I remember they came through Montreal for a show and record signing in 1995, long after their decline. I thought it would be kind of fun to try to meet them at the record signing anyway, just on a nostalgia factor.
The line-up had changed when I met them. It included former Missing Persons guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (second from right). He was then kicked out of the band because he went and did porn on the side.
There was an insane line-up at the record store, old Durannies mostly. I thought it was funny that many of these girls, now in their 20s and 30s were still acting like crazed teen fans. Anyway, the line moved quickly and I could see the table and the order down the table was Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Warren Cuccurullo and then finally Nick Rhodes. I wasn’t wearing anything provocative (unless you consider a saffron-coloured vest top over a long, black pencil skirt and heels “provocative”) and had absolutely NO inclination or interest to hook up with them whatsoever.
Is this “trippy”?
I just went because I was curious more than anything else. Finally it was my turn and I handed the magazine in my hand over to Simon to sign. He basically got up from his seat and leaned into my face and said that he loved my shirt colour and how it reminds him of “tripping”. He then coyly fingered my collar and was basically coming on to me. I asked him how his wife was. He got the point and sat back down and said “Oh, she’s fine” and started chatting up the girl behind me in line. Next was Warren and John. Warren, leans over to John and said out loud “She’s the prettiest one here today”. John looked up at me and said”By far”. I noticed that John had his shirt practically open to his navel and all I could see was a weak chest, pale skin and very long but sparse brown chest hair. He grabbed my magazine , signed it and then started looking through it. I got the feeling that he was expecting me to somehow react to their ‘compliment” but I was just grossed out and moved on to Nick.
Finally my old favourite, the one I used to argue over in the elementary school yard with other Durannie friends over who was the cutest Duran member. He took my magazine to sign when I immediately noticed how dirty his fingernails were. I don’t know why but whatever old, warm, fuzzy feelings I might have had as a former teen fan girl, literally just vanished in that instant. And they never, ever came back.
I bring up this trivial incident because I don’t know if any of you had a similar experience whether it be a person you were once into, a spiritual teaching, a scene you were into, a past-time or hobby but you see or read something which just turns you off or rubs you the wrong way and no matter how hard you try, your old enthusiasm and interest can never come back after that. I look at it as sign of growing up or an indication that you’ve changed. The old perspective just doesn’t fit any more and you can’t force it to fit either. Either your vision has broadened or the old illusion has shattered. You’ve outgrown your toys. How many relationships become stale partnerships
with partners who either refuse to let go (“We have to think of the kids’) or are too afraid to (“Divorce is too expensive”)? How many people stay in dead-end jobs, which kill their spirits but hey, it’s a paycheck and it includes insurance? How many people stay on in hobbies and past times
or specific social scenes which no longer serve them yet they have invested too much time and energy to ever walk away from it?
There’s a reason why polo is a hobby of the uber-rich.
The opposite is also true. Things or persons you dismissed or overlooked altogether once upon a time, now somehow “works”. There’s a fit. Spiritual grown is a strange, strange phenomena. A lot of it is very difficult but I think the easiest part is seeing through the illusion and identifying those things, people and places we have to let go. The hard part is actually doing it.