Play It Duran Duran

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March 6, 2014

I will always remember the moment I discovered Duran Duran.  I was 9 years old, believe it or not.  My mom picked me up from school one afternoon and came back to her office to finish some work.  She had a tape cassette of The Wedding Album playing on her stereo.  My ears perked up when "Ordinary World" came on.  The song was so emotional and powerful in its lyrics.  At the time, of course, I did not know what Simon was conveying with his words.  I know now (I will not discuss here for personal reasons).  However, I am forever drawn to "Ordinary World" in its recorded version only because of the instrumental drive, especially near the end when Nick came to the fore in an indescribable way.  I lost touch while I grew up and the original line up reunited.  The album, Astronaut, confirmed what I knew all along - I am definitely a fan and will always be.

March 11, 2014

Every Duran Duran fan has a favorite.  The longest trend is toward John Taylor (I am assuming due to the "play the (censor) bass, John" shout out at concerts).  Simon Le Bon is a given (seemingly the same for many leading front runners in other bands).  Nick Rhodes is exceptionally popular in conversations for his instrumental talent that has made Duran Duran what it is from day one.  (He is likewise popular in conversations for his dashing good looks and constant chances in being available...)  Roger is a sweetheart and I, personally, respect his desire to stay out of the limelight as long as possible so as to live a normal life.  In the original line up, as Nick would say, my favorite will forever be Andy Taylor.  Tension among all of the guys comes and goes, but after the Astronaut reunion tour, I cannot say why Andy left the band because only the band has their reasons.  I will say, however, that Andy should be given due credit for his contribution to Duran Duran's success.   His guitar electrified select songs in a powerful and statement way.  His guitar softened select songs in a musically peaceful way.  He, like Roger, had to learn songs during the band break.  Andy, and Roger, performed seamlessly.  Andy added a sense of brotherhood to the band when on stage.  All five complimented each other's instruments.  All five standing on stage together made sense.  There was always quality entertainment when interacting with fans when Andy was part of the group.  I feel a sort of disappointment with the band now, without Andy.  There is quantity of entertainment with fans first and a difference in tone with wide spread popular songs second.  I miss Andy Taylor.  He will forever be my favorite. 

March 14, 2014

"What Happens Tomorrow" strikes a personal chord with me, whether heard live or on CD.  The album, Astronaut, was in production on September 11, 2001.  I graduated from high school in June 2001 and my most special gift from my mother was a trip to New York City as I wanted to tour my hopeful college to be, Hofstra University in Long Island.  My mom had two separate travel dates planned - June or September.  We were able to go in June (in fact, we left the day after the ceremony).  The week spent in NYC was amazing.  The hotel we stayed in was a converted brownstone.  We walked through China Town to Little Italy and felt like we literally were in China and Italy.  The cultural atmosphere in both sections was incredible.   I did get to see Hofstra University - beautiful campus, but ultimately chose another institution. We got phenomenal seats to a Yankees game at the last minute.  We took a boat tour.  We had breakfast at Tavern on the Green.  We walked through Central Park.  We went to Times Square.  And...we went to the World Trade Center.  I remember seeing a photographer lying on his back and taking pictures of the towers.  I could only imagine what the shots would look like, so I did the same.  My mom and I came home one week later.

For reasons I can no longer remember, the week of September 11th was my mom's alternative date for travel.  If we left on that scheduled plan, I am forever sick at the thought of what would have happened to us.  My first moments as a college freshman would have been lost.  Our family and friends in Illinois (my home state and where I still reside) would have, I dare presume, gone paranoid.  We would have been trapped in our very tight hotel room.  We would have been scared beyond straight.  When we visited the Center in June, we were mid-week in our travel.  Yet, what would have happened if we went to the Center in September at the beginning of our travel week? 

"What Happens Tomorrow" is personal simply because of one question - what would have happened if my mom and I went to New York City in September?