Sweatpants & Pop Culture | Five & the Number One Fan | Duran Duran Appreciation Day
By Heather Dyer
When I was in high school, some kids were rocking out to heavy metal, some were in a cloud of Pink Floyd adoration (cough, cough), but I was completely into Duran Duran. These guys had it all: the hair, the clothes, the exotic video locations, and the music! Unlike the “boy bands” who would follow, they actually played their instruments. No heavily choreographed dance moves here, just gorgeous guys making great music. As a teenager, I found personal identity through the music I loved, and I favored lesser-known tracks like The Chauffer and New Religion that showed I was a true devotee. Lemme geek out for a moment: New Religion is possibly my favorite song. Or maybe Last Chance on the Stairway. It’s not every day that you hear a pop song with a xylophone solo in it, after all.
In fact, my lifelong love of alternative rock grew from the roots of DD tunes, followed by the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, and later R.E.M. and New Order. Somewhere there is a picture of me back in high school, hanging out at my swim meet wearing my suit, wrapped in a towel, and sporting white-rimmed sunglasses and my “John Taylor” hat and looking pretty damn snappy if I do say so myself. I remember buying that hat in a high-end department store. My grandmother was completely confused by my purchase.
I was very discriminating about the posters I chose for my bedroom. I had all of the ones pictured in this article and I loved them all. I remember when Simon got married and I talked to his picture and told him that I hoped he would be happy, and I cried like the hormonal teenage girl that I was. I had posters of the group on the walls, and behind my door I had individual pictures of each of them, from issues of respected periodicals like Tiger Beat, Bop and Teen Beat.
I was so committed to my band that a friend and I saw the James Bond film “A View to A Kill” for no other reason than that DD performed the theme song. Not a bad movie, really, but a great song! We were sure that somehow DD would note our faithfulness and invite us backstage to meet them at a concert. Honestly, we would have been happy just attending a concert because we had no money to buy tickets and no way to get to a show. I didn’t get to a concert until I was in college, and by that time Roger and Andy had left the band, and it just didn’t feel the same to me anymore.
That sounds sad. I don’t mean for it to be sad! I loved the music so much that at the age of 46, I can still most likely sing every word on the Rio album. And Duran Duran continues to make great new music and tour even now. We’ve grown up together; Simon, John, Roger, Andy, Nick and me. Of course, they don’t know me at all, but they gave me a gift – the love of great “New Wave” music, and I was one of the people buying their cassettes and CDs so they could keep on making it.
So, happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day, fellow Durannies! Tell me in the comments what you love most about them, or if you ever got to meet them so that I can be completely jealous of you.
Courtesy Sweatpants & Pop Culture