Duran Duran and Greenville – together at last

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Duran Duran and Greenville - together at last
A dream is finally about to be realized

Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 6:00 am

By Kristi York Wooten

Greenville wasn't the most sophisticated place to come of age in the 1980s. Downtown was basically boarded up. We didn't have the Bi-Lo Center. We didn't have trendy restaurants. We didn't have a lot of stuff. But we did have great record stores. And we had MTV and Duran Duran to introduce us to new things - from Andy Warhol paintings to Antony Price suits.

Champagne on a yacht in Antigua, elephant riding in Sri Lanka - nothing was too extravagant or exotic, and for Wade Hampton High School's Duran Duran fans (most of whom felt like artsy fartsy misfits at 15), it all added up to a world much larger than the town we knew - a world that was ours for the taking, if we were brave enough to go explore it.
If there's anything WHHS alumni of the 1980s remember about me is that I was a huge Duran Duran fan.

At 14, I watched their Carolina Coliseum concert in Columbia from the second balcony. At 16, I'd made it to John Taylor's hotel room after a concert at the Omni in Atlanta (more on that later). At 18, meeting the band was old hat (see photo). By twentysomething, I'd interviewed them a half dozen times.

And here I am at, well, thirtysomething, still itching to defend the original Fab Five against the boys who sat beside me in Algebra II carving Dokken and Van Halen logos onto their wooden desks and to the preppy girls in whale pants who made fun of my gelled hair and dayglo wardrobe. And lastly, to the guidance counselor who worried I'd fallen in with the wrong crowd when I drew X's on my temples with black eyeliner.

Everyone has a pivotal moment in adolescence when they find out just who and what they want to be when they grow up. I can't give them complete credit, of course, but if it weren't for Duran Duran, I probably wouldn't be a writer. I wouldn't have moved to New York at 21 to work at the Museum of Modern Art, and I wouldn't have the same tastes in fashion, music, film - or even food - if it hadn't been for all those Star Hits articles and "Good Morning America" appearances, Patrick Nagel posters and Francesco Scavullo photo sessions, Nile Rodgers remixes and Barbarella reruns.

So, thanks, Duran Duran. I'm glad Greenville's finally ready for you. And to all you WHHS class of 1986 grads who just celebrated your 20th reunion: I hope you enjoy the show!

P.S. About the hotel room incident: it's true. But add to the mix my two best friends, one of their moms, and the band's pilot, and you can imagine that it was far more innocent than it sounds.

Courtesy Greenville Online