DURAN DURAN'S SIMON LEBON TURNS 50....
...meaning that his "Reflex" is now less like a lonely child waiting in the park, and more like a mature adult walking his dog in comfortable, yet stylish shoes.
I heard Simon, the hot, cheeky lead singer of my adolescent musical obsession Duran Duran, among the celebs in the morning birthday list on KOOL 105.5, and my internal 13-year-old instantly woke up. Of course! It's Oct. 27! I started counting down the rest of the original member's birthdays - Feb. 16 (Andy Taylor, the serious, not-that-cute one), April 26 (Roger Taylor, the quiet one, and, incidentally, my twin sister and I), June 8 (Nick Rhodes, the make-up wearing-but-strangely-attractive one) and June 20 (John Taylor, the thousand-feet-tall, lanky and unbearably beautiful one).
This immediately proved to me that: A) There are parts of your childhood that you never leave behind and that B) having obscure birthday dates of people I have never met in my brain since 1984 explains why I now can't remember the exact dates of the birthdays of anybody I've met since 1997 - it's all filled up with Duran Duran. So, guys...blame Simon when your card shows up three days late.
Simon LeBon, incidentally, has aged fabulously, much better than many of his New Romantic contemporaries. My buddy Christa and I saw the band recently at Boca's Mizner Park, and he was still running around the stage being flirty and charming, and hitting those big, exuberant choruses with the giddily high crescendoes and the lyrics that originally sounded philosophical and deep but, in retrospect, don't seem to mean anything ("I sold the Renoir and the TV set/Don't wanna be around when this gets out" - When what gets out? What? Oh that's right. You're hot. It doesn't matter what you're talking about. My bad.)
Duran's still putting out exuberant, giddy pop - their 2004 song "Sunrise," released during the brief reunion of all five original members until Andy bailed again, was bouncy brilliance - that fits well into their canon and makes you feel sunny, sexy and good. And they've long outlasted the haters (read: male critics) who were annoyed by their good looks, their nonsensical lyrics, their make-up and their insistence on attracting hordes of screaming women, and insisted they'd never last. Well, they have, haters, and I have no doubt that Simon's gonna be bouncing around singing about lonely children and hungry wolves and saved prayers for at least another decades.
And he still won't look much older, a detail I'll leave as a secret between him and his dermatologist. I'm just glad he's still around and still bopping.
Courtesy Leslie Streeter/Palm Beach Post