Duran Duran. They mean so much to me for so many reasons. I know for sure now that my guardian angel is orchestrating the events that have happened for me. I thought meeting JT and Roger was it for me, the cherry ice cream on my cake. Nothing surely could beat that day.
Well I was wrong.
I’ve seen Duran 3 times on their Paper Gods tour, which was not nearly enough for me. I could see them every week with the same exact set list and never tire of them. Unless you are a Duranie, you won’t get it. After the Hollywood FL show in April, the tour was winding down and there were only a few shows left. I knew I probably wouldn’t make any of them since they were very far away, and I was sad. I had so much fun looking forward to the shows, to the dancing and signing the night and my fears away. It was depressing, to say the least that this chapter was over. Yes, I have other things in my life that bring me joy, my kids, husband, family, friends, building a new house, etc. But Duran really comforts me and brings me happiness in a way that nothing else does. It’s what I do for ME. Like sports fanatics with season tickets, or people that have hobbies like gaming. Mine is Duran. So what would I do now to fill that void? Take up knitting??
The events leading up to the show.
When I heard a while ago Duran were going to do another show in Vegas on December 30, I wanted in. I tried desperately to make it work, searching flights, rooms, calling friends to come with me. But being the holidays, I would have been on a plane all day barely making it for the show, then turning around to come back home for NYE with my kids. And spending a lot of money when we are saving for our new house. It just wouldn’t work. Then I saw something one day about them being in Miami for a show. Holy shit that’s in my state! I can drive there! Just as the excitement washed over me and I started to plot and plan, I saw the small print. Private Invitation Only.
Okay so unless I was getting a private invite from JT himself, I guess it wasn’t meant to be for me this time. I was disappointed to say the least. I couldn’t even enter the contest because my Sirius subscription ran out and I kept forgetting to renew. Not like I win many contests anyway. Other than my Ulta gift bag, and a gift card at a work meeting once, I really hadn’t won anything.
A few days later, I was scrolling through a blog and happened to notice something about fan club members being able to enter the contest. I was on my way out when I saw it and was in a hurry so I quickly pulled up my email on my phone and frantically sent the message with my login info as they requested, Durandipity. I also added a photo of my Duranie license plate to the message. I couldn’t resist. Hey, anything that might help, right?
After Thanksgiving dinner, my bestie (who with me at the Vegas and Hollywood shows and at the Power Station and Strange Behaviour shows in the 80s) and I were sitting around chatting and I laughed and said if I won this contest I would either need to move my mom’s birthday plans, or she could come to Miami with me. My mom, not really being a concert-going type, said she’d pass. Paula raised her hand, she said she had dibs. We had a good chat about the what ifs and hypotheticals if I won, making imaginary plans and giggling.
Shortly after Thanksgiving I was checking my email on my phone at work. We are building a house and I was waiting for an important document to come through so I was checking it often. I was scrolling really fast looking for that specific email through the endless sea of store emails announcing their Christmas sales. I hadn’t really given the contest another thought because I never thought in a million years I would win. As I was scrolling, I caught a glimpse of the words “DD VIP Customer Service”. I seriously almost missed it, since I get so much junk. I wondered what that could be, maybe it was an email saying something like “well, you didn’t win but thanks for being a member”. It didn’t dawn on me it might be the winning email. I clicked on it and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Congrats. Congrats. Why would it say congrats? I couldn’t even read the rest right away because I was in shock. Did this mean I actually won the tickets?
You are a winner of two tickets to our private Sirius Radio Event.
No. This. Can’t. Be. Happening. My stomach flipped around and my heart started pounding. Since my office is quiet and I am in a cube, I had to keep it together.
I immediately texted Paula.
Holy shit I won.
She did not believe me at first, thought I was kidding. It took a few texts flying back and forth for her to realize I was serious.
I was in a frenzy. What do I do now? There are plans to make! I took a break and walked outside for some air. I texted my husband to let him know, then my mom to give her the news that her weekend would be on hold for a week. For the record, no I am not a horrible daughter. The plans were very easily changed, so it really was fine. In hindsight, it actually worked out because this weekend’s weather is supposed to be perfect vs. last Saturday’s windy cold damp conditions.
The days that followed were nerve-wracking to say the least. I was on pins and needles, worried about getting sick or something happening to one of my kids preventing me from going. I just had to get through this next several days in tact. I was also nervous about the whole thing. Not knowing what to expect, what this would be like. I figured we would be in the back on the balcony and all of the VIPs would get the front spots. Which was fine, just to be there was going to be amazing. I was also nervous I wouldn’t be on the list, even though they sent me names to mention and I had emails to prove it. I just didn’t want anything to mess this up.
I had no idea what was in store. And that’s probably a good thing. It felt like the week leading up to the event would never ever end.
December 9, the day of the show.
Waking up that morning, I had a migraine headache. The changes in the barometer always mess with me and this day was no different. I sat in a dimly lit room and closed my eyes, willing it away. I knew it wouldn’t stop me, I would plow through. We got a later start than we planned and it took us much longer to get to Miami then we thought, so by the time we got there, we barely had time for our hair appts., quick check in to the hotel, a fast touch-up on our makeup (forget having it done like we wanted) and getting an Uber. No food in our stomachs either, who had time for eating??? Hopefully that sandwich at the rest area would hold us over! When we arrived right at 7:00, it was so cold, drizzly and windy, and we were hungry. But we held strong. We had gotten our hair done, but you wouldn’t know it, the wind was just whipping it around and no amount of hairspray would help. Forget about looking my best for my band, that was out the window. We were outside in that line for an hour, chattering and clamoring to get in, huddled with other Duran winners sharing stories. There is something about the bonding that you do with others that share in your insanity, they actually GET IT. The highlight of this never-ending hour was meeting Richard Blade, the Sirius First Wave DJ that I just love. I knew he would be there and thought about bringing his book to have signed, but didn’t think I’d really get to meet him. What a treat that was. He and his wife (wifey) have to be the nicest people I’ve ever met, just over the top friendly. He was more than happy to stop and get a picture, even made his wife take it. Richard, I am more of a fan now!!! And he allowed me to touch the hoodie he had on, saying Simon had it on earlier. I laughed and thought he was kidding, but I guess that really happened because he posted a pic of Simon wearing it on his site! As we stood waiting, I heard rumblings of this being general admission, but I just didn’t know still what that meant.
The rest of this night is just one big blur of amazement. It’s like when you get married, it’s so overwhelming and awesome that you just can’t take everything in while you are in the thick of it, so you look back at the pictures and videos to remember the key moments. I will never forget when those doors opened, walking into that little red, gold and crystal adorned room that looked like a posh club with a dance floor, a bar and a tiny low stage. And the floor was practically empty. EMPTY. No one was even down there yet except for a few fans that were ahead of us in line who already claimed the John side. They had open bar, but rather than be excited about that my eyes were zoned in on the stage. I made a beeline to an open spot toward the right and planted myself. OHMYGOD I was going to be this close. I never imagined it would be like this. I knew I needed to go to the restroom before the show, but I was very hesitant to leave my spot. Getting a drink was out, my poor bestie had to get them for us. Kind of wish I hadn’t even had any of the open bar offerings, because with an empty stomach a drink hits you a little more than usual… The other Duranies finally talked me into going to the restroom, assuring me that my spot would be there. I didn’t think they would let me down, I trust anyone that is a Duranie, so I ran to the bathroom so fast in a frenzied panic. While washing my hands reality started to set in and I squealed to Paula that I couldn’t believe it and that I didn’t think I could handle it. We had a little breakdown meltdown moment because it was hitting us how close we were going to be.
We had a little briefing about some ground rules (don’t put drinks on the stage, only take video for the first few minutes then enjoy the show — YEAH RIGHT I had to video this amazing night, come on now). It was getting close, and the excitement welled up in me so much I thought my sparkly shirt was going to explode into a million stars. When the lights went down and Simon came on, I really felt shaky and overwhelmed. He was right in front of me. Like so close it was nothing at all to reach out and touch him. And I have to admit at one point I did. His arm was right there so I went for it. And the neck of JT’s bass. At least it wasn’t inappropriate. Sorry guys, I really am, if it threw you off, but I just couldn’t be that close and refrain from reaching up. Please forgive me. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one. At one point Simon’s sweat flew when he shook and it rained down on me. The spray of his spit also got on me when he took a slug of his water. And this was not at all gross to me. Just added to the experience. The funniest was when he tossed his pick and I tried to get it, but it landed right in the girl’s cleavage next to me. You couldn’t have planned that. Simon laughed and we all did. She will have that memory forever.
I will say, Dom Brown is one fun guy to watch up close. He is the guitarist that has been in the band for years, in place of Andy. He was making a lot of eye contact with me and laughing at my antics. With no food in my stomach and a few glasses of white wine, and the band that I absolutely adore right in front of me, I was not in my right mind. Not at all. Yelling things at the band about how f’ing great they are and pretending to zip the little decorative zippers on Dom’s pants (not his fly mind you, just the little decorative ones), and singing way off key, I was having the time of my life. And I think he appreciated it. Or found me amusing. I will take it either way.
The one thing about being that close is you can see and feel everything. It is like nothing I will ever experience again. Simon is really serious when he performs, Dom is really engaging, John is all over the place and his faces are so fun to watch as he plays. He did give me a smile when I yelled out “play that F’ing bass John” (a chant that is yelled at their shows) at a quiet moment in a song, so I will remember that. Erin’s (the backup singer) yellow dress was whirling around nearly hitting me in the face. I could feel the breeze when Simon ran by. See the tiny mistakes they made. See every line in their faces, scuffs on their shoes, the wrinkles on their clothes. It was just surreal. The music was not as loud as a typical concert and I really enjoyed the sound of being in that small room. It felt like seeing a local band at a bar. Not MY BAND.
After the show, we had the pleasure of meeting the backup singers, and boy were they nice and FUN! I also chatted with Roger about meeting him in San Antonio. No pictures this time, my phone and Paula’s were both dead. Thankfully another concert goer shared his.
It was amazing and fun to meet other Duranies that almost put me to shame. Some of these girls have multiple tattoos, have seen them live over 20 times, or have met them several times. Me, well I have my meeting in SA and my John meeting at his book signing but that’s it. But now I have this. And this cannot ever be topped, I don’t think.
I wish everyone could see their favorite band that close and personal. I am in that sad lull now, knowing it is over and any show I go to now won’t ever be that special. I am sure I will enjoy future shows, but I will always think back to this and my heart will skip a beat.