Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


People tell me I haven’t changed at all but I don’t feel the same

Filed under : Music
On June 2, 2008
At 10:15 pm
Comments : 12

It’s 80’s week at J-Ball! I know it’s a popular theme around here, but nothing moves time and place back to some other, specific moment for me than music. And so, I enjoy going to concerts where every single song doesn’t just remind me of another slice of my life, it takes me right there. When I see Depeche Mode, I can remember the many, many times I’ve seen them over the years but with Duran Duran, there is only one show to remember and it was twenty-five years ago. I realized that during the concert. Wowzah! I think I was only permitted to go because I was going with a group of 3 friends and one of their Dads. God bless that guy for sitting through that show.

Actually, and KP can confirm this because she went with me, there were a lot of men there this time and they didn’t just seem to be companions, they seemed to actually know the words to the songs. That wasn’t the case in my day. Back then, boys made fun of girls who liked DD. Girls made fun of other girls who didn’t like the correct guy in DD (yes, someone told me Nick Rhodes was gay and I was so mad but I was vindicated when he got married. It wasn’t to me, though.)

So the question is, do these songs hold up today? First off, I have to say that I am truly proud that even as a pre-pubescent, I liked a group which got together on their own as adults and wrote their own music. And never really broke up, not that I listened to much after 1985. Maybe that wedding album, but I wasn’t as enraptured with that as everyone else. Which is probably why I waited all this time to see them again. But honestly, except for some of those Seven and the Ragged Tiger songs, which make me cringe now, I think the first few albums are still total genius. The Chauffeur? Even the Deftones covered that.

(Speaking of covers, I don’t think my jaw has dropped further with a concert cover than seeing Simon LeBon sing “Warm Leatherette.” I kid you not.)

I sometimes wonder if bands like this get frustrated putting out album after album and then they go play a show and no one reacts to anything but the stuff they produced twenty years ago. But maybe they know how happy it makes people and that’s enough. At least I hope so. I think they must know.

Even if you don’t like Duran Duran, this post should still mean something to you. Because if you are here, it must in some way mean you like my writing. And I started writing as a kid, and this is hard to admit but here we go, writing little stories about Nick Rhodes. To this day, in my fiction the main character is always named Nick until the end when I decide on a real name for him. It’s just a little nod to tradition. You can see tiny Nick behind the keyboards up there in the pic (I forgot the real camera and had to use the Blackberry) and while I was there, I gave him a silent thank you for inspiring me to take my imagination and put it in words.

Someone asked me if I felt ancient seeing those “ancient men.” But I didn’t. I felt like young Becca, totally enthralled and obsessed, knowing every word, buying every magazine (we didn’t have the Interweb then), caring about nothing other than music but otherwise not really the me I am now. If I ever dreamed then that strangers would be reading my writing, I never would have believed it.

Not that you’re strange. That’d be me, I was the one who liked Nick.

Title comes, ironically, because the show was in Central Park and it poured so that KP and I huddled under a little umbrella yet still got drenched, from:
Duran Duran – Hold Back The Rain


12 Comments for this post

  1. Caren says:

    I myself was a John Taylor girl…here’s my top five D2 songs still on my personal playlist:

    5. “Girls on Film.”

    4. “Come Up and See Me, Make Me Smile.” Off one of those Japanese EPs I spent WAY too much $$$ on…

    3. “Rio.”

    2. “The Chauffeur.”

    1. “Save a Prayer.” Makes me want to go to Sri Lanka and just fornicate by a large Buddha.

  2. Solace says:

    I liked Nick best, too! I think he has the best eyes and I’m all about the eyes.

  3. kb says:

    “Hungry Like the Wolf” still takes me back to my high school. For some reason I’m in the library, although we couldn’t listen to music at school then, but it must have been going through my head while I was sitting there, writing in my “notebook” about music. (This notebook was passed back and forth with my best friend.) It also takes me to a pizza joint. And to my bathroom. And to my backyard, where I’m a skinny little thing, tanning. Dark clouds are rolling in.

    … wait, I think the backyard song is actually Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” which I always lumped in with Duran Duran for some reason. Maybe I saw back-to-back videos.

    And “Rio” takes me to the general vicinity of my back yard, as well.

    ~EDIT~ Wow, I’m having a really hard time placing myself in that song. Every time I think I’ve got it nailed down, “Yes! It was THERE!” I realize, “No wait, the strongest memory tied to that place was this OTHER song: the pizza joint is Adam Ant, the bathroom songs are A Flock of Seagulls and Men At Work, the study hall song is Arthur’s Theme, or was it Donna Summer? No, Donna Summer was earlier, more middle school … oh gosh, I have to stop, each memory leads to another!! I don’t know where to quit!

  4. KP says:

    Yes I can indeed confirm the jaw dropping as well as the number of men at this concert. We even smelled cigar smoke. That had to be at least one guy, right?

    And I believe Warm Leatherette was dedicated to me standing out in 80 degree weather and 100% humidity in jeans, socks, closed shoes and a nylon jacket.
    Thank goodness for Haagen Daz at any price!

    BTW JBall readers, Becca has a lovely singing voice. I don’t know if she can say the same about me.

  5. Becca says:

    OK, Caren, I’ve been thinking about this all day and it’s hard to do but I’ll try!

    5. The Seventh Stranger
    4. The Chauffeur
    3. Careless Memories (former iPod Song of the Week!)
    2. Girls on Film
    1. New Religion

    I have indeed heard your #4 and I’m going to use that as an excuse to add my favorite non-LP track, Late Bar, which I taped off the radio back in the day.

    I think I am the only DD fan ever not to like SaP. But the video was awesome!

    Sol, agreed. Also, after you see Sing Blue Silver, you realize he’s the loudmouth control freak.

    kb, one memory does lead to another! Don’t get me started on West End Girls, I have quite a few for that one.

    Now it can be shared. KP is a liar. My singing voice blows! Maybe you were hearing the “Look at me! I have an iPhone!” lady. She was singing pretty loud.

  6. KP says:

    I think she was just trying to impress her iPhone with her singing and gyrating Bec. I know your singing was all for me and Nick. And that makes it way more special.

    I need to say right now that I am just slightly devastated that they did not sing New Moon on Monday nor did they sing Is There Something I Should Know.
    Just slightly though.

    The Reflex made up for it since I did not think they would sing that, and Girls On Film was awe.some.

    And hearing Simon LeBon say “Doo-ran Doo-ran” near killed me. LeSigh.

  7. Becca says:

    I think it was Jew-ran Jew-ran. That’s how I knew he was talking to me. Anyway!

    Hey, they only played 2/5 of my favorites! Now I feel ripped off.

    I think I’ll buy an iPhone.

  8. Maureen says:

    Thank you so very very very much for this post.

    I’m not good at writing about my feelings and memories, but I will say that I think if we had met when we were 11 or 12, we would have liked each other just as much as we liked each other meeting in our 30s.

    Also, I went through the Sears catalog and picked out the wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses for my imaginary wedding to John Taylor.

  9. Becca says:

    I know we would have been, Maureen, because I know you wouldn’t have teased me about liking a guy who wears make-up. I think.

  10. KP says:

    My mom thought they look liked girls. It was fine by me. She clearly has no taste. I mean, she thinks Mick Jagger is cute.

  11. pierre says:

    didn’t nick marry a jewish department store heiress? I want to talk about Arcadia..

  12. Becca says:

    I have wondered if she was Jewish since they married in 1984. Julie Anne Friedman, sounds Jewish to me. But she’s from Iowa. And now they’re divorced. And yet, I still wonder.

    OK! I always thought “Goodbye is Forever” was written for me because I abandoned D2 at about that stage. Teenagers are kind of self-centered in that way.

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