Duran Duran fans spend hard
As the British rock band tours North America, long-time Duran Duran followers – mostly women – are crisscrossing the country and dolling up to watch their greying idols up close.
By Suzi Parker, Contributor / October 14, 2011
Duran Duran, the 1980s British pop band, often say they are “the band designed to make you party.” Die-hard Duranies, as the band’s fans are known, will go to extreme lengths to party like a rock star.
While Duran Duran is currently touring North America, Duranies are spending thousands of dollars on concert tickets, travel, haircuts, cameras, and clothes to see their '80s teen idols. Give it to Duranies: They are fueling at least a part of a dismal economy.
Duran Duran captured the imagination of Generation X women with dashing good looks, stylish designer suits, and songs about exotic places and romance not every day life. Women of a certain age not only wanted to meet their favorite member. No, they wanted to run away to Paris or the beach with him. Now, in their 40s, Duranies still have the same dream even if they have a few wrinkles. So do the band.
Maya Grigoraia traveled to San Francisco from Chicago to see the band perform in Saratoga last month. She connected with other Duranies from around the country who she had met through social media channels over the last several months.
Ms. Grigoraia plans to see the band three times on its “All You Need Is Now Tour,” including in Chicago and Atlantic City.
“I am spending money on travel to two out of three concert venues, as well as getting haircuts, manicures, and new clothes every few weeks so I am definitely making my contribution to the economy,” Grigoraria says. “It’s my patriotic duty to attend as many Duran Duran shows as possible.”
She’s not alone as she tries to find the perfect outfit for a Duran Duran concert. Jeans and a T-shirt simply won’t do for the Duranie who wants to look like a glitzy “girl on film” from one of the bands numerous videos.
Laura Harms of Taylor, Texas, has spent close to $2,000, including travel to a concert in Las Vegas in late September and to Dallas last week. Earlier this year, when Duran Duran swung through the United States, Ms. Harms traveled to Oklahoma to see the band.
“I’m thankful I have an understanding husband who pushes me to spend money on myself to see the band I enjoy,” says Harms, a mother of two. “If I have to tighten the budget, it’s so worth it in the end.”
Camping out with family. That’s what Jennifer Mayberry of Chicago has done for two West Coast shows to cut some costs. So does combining shows with work trips.
Kasandra O’Connell lives in Dublin, Ireland. At the end of October, she will travel to New York on business. The trip, however, coincides with Duran Duran’s Madison Square Garden show. Ms. O’Connell has seen them in previous years but will see them four times this year. She plans to travel to Venice, Italy, in the spring for a concert.
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"I never would have traveled like this to see them before Twitter but I've met so many ‘DD sistahs’ that I feel perfectly happy traveling and meeting up with new friends,” O’Connell says.
Jen Cutler of Cleveland, Ohio, feels the same way. The trip's end purpose is hearing hits like “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” and screaming like a 14-year-old at lead singer Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor, and keyboardist Nick Rhodes. But new friends are also part of the fun – and cost.
Ms. Cutler will travel to Atlanta this week to see the band then to Chicago and Canada later this month. She has brought pricier VIP tickets to get closer to the band and friends. “Yes, my finances took a hit,” Cutler says. “But I knew that if I was in the sixth row, it just wouldn't feel the same.”
Drenda Lamar convinced her husband to fly with her to a St. Augustine, Fla., show on Oct. 13. While her husband is passing on the show, Ms. Lamar has, of course, bought new clothes for the event.
“There’s something about looking good and staying at a nice place while going to see Duran Duran that makes you feel better about yourself and who knows, maybe you will run into them,” says Lamar, who will also travel to Chicago. “Not to mention expensive VIP tickets so you can be close enough to (hopefully) let their sweat sprinkle you.”
Then, there’s Andi Luna of Austin, Texas. She waited nearly 30 years to see the band that she worshipped as a teenager. In the last few weeks, she has traveled to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Baton Rouge to see the band and spent thousands of dollars. She spent $55 on a Duran Duran T-shirt at the Saratoga show.
“The shirt was too small but it was the last one of that design and I bought it anyway,” says Ms. Luna. “Yes, I have lost my mind.”
She is currently pondering her finances to see if she can afford two more trips to Chicago and New York before the band ends their North American tour.
“Seeing them on stage brought back all those feelings of a young girl who had hopes and dreams and hearing Simon sing made my heart soar to new heights,” she says.
Courtesy Christian Science Monitor