I love music, and I love a very wide, diverse range of it. I’m not much of a fan of live music, though. I find the act of listening to and experiencing music to be an extremely personal one, so I prefer to do it with my headphones on. (P.S. I got some Beats by Dre for Christmas! I got some Beats by Dre for Christmas!!) Plus, live music tends to be expensive, and I’d rather spend that money on going to the movies.
I make an exception for music festivals, my very, very, very favorite acts and the acts who perform my very, very, very favorite songs. As such, I’ve seen James Taylor (my all-time No. 1 favorite song is Fire and Rain), Eric Clapton, the Barenaked Ladies and Jimmy Buffett three times (I go to those shows for the experience, not the music) among other shows. I promise not all of my favorite music comes from washed-up acts of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, these just happen to be my most longtime loves.
I had presumed that there was little hope to add Duran Duran to that list. I have loved Duran Duran from the first time I heard “Ordinary World” on the radio as a kid, and my love for the British new wavers only grew as I explored the rest of their songs. I used to regularly phone into the ’80s at 8:00/Friday Night ’80s show on FM100 in Memphis to request “Rio,” and when my 11th grade English teacher asked us to select a song and analyze its use of figures of speech, “Hungry Like the Wolf” was my choice.
Lo and behold in 2005 when I was living in Nashville, Duran Duran toured the U.S. AND HAD STOPS IN BOTH MEMPHIS AND NASHVILLE. And yet somehow, I missed them both. I cannot even remember why at this point, but I do remember being in the wrong city both times. And I had to live with the regret.
So when I saw on a friend’s Facebook page that Duran Duran would be playing in Memphis in August of this year, I swore that neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night would keep me from seeing them this time. It had to happen. I bought tickets the second they went on sale and conned my cousin into going with me.
And it was AWESOME.
Simon LeBon is pudgy now, but he still squeezes into sparkly snakeskin pants and somehow makes them look halfway decent. Nick Rhodes still wears a hell of a lot of eye makeup but can still make the keyboard sing. Their voices are still the same, and every song sounded like it was recorded yesterday. They sang all my favorites save one, which I will forgive them for, and dedicated “Ordinary World” to Pussy Riot, who had been convicted the previous day, which, OK, cool.
So many things on my Life List are beholden to my own efforts. I wasn’t really expecting this one to ever get accomplished since I needed some cooperation on Duran Duran’s behalf. It’s nice when the Universe helps you out with one by making one a little easier.