Friday, October 26, 2012

"I'm on the Hunt, I'm After You"

as many already know, one of my long-standing music obsessions is Duran Duran. my older sister introduced me to them when i was 6 years old, which means i overhead the albums she played on endless repeat so often that i couldn’t help but become a fan myself. in grade school, i stuffed my papers in a Pee Chee-like folder whose cover was the cover of D2’s first album. it showed the five band members, most of them still teenagers, sporting big, floppy hair and wearing makeup and ladies’ blouses. my dad told me they looked gay. i wasn’t sure what that word meant, so i kept liking them anyway.

as a teenager, i spent most of the money i earned from my first job — at Little Caesar’s Pizza Pizza, when minimum wage was just $4.25 an hour, thank you very much — on tickets to see Duran Duran in concert. by then, the band had broken up and reunited, gone through their splinter band phases that included Arcadia and The Power Station, whose albums i also bought and memorized. i must have seen them live half a dozen times by the time i graduated high school, each time screaming my head off like the teenage girl i was.

my obsession continued into college, and when i found myself in London the summer after my freshman year, hanging off a random bar stool (of course) and mentioning my love of all things British, including Duran Duran, to the random patrons sitting beside me to prove that i somehow belonged there, i was informed by the bartender that my beloved John Taylor, band bassist and my personal favorite, lived right up the street. i was even provided with the address. so like any self-respecting Diehard Duranie, i waited outside his house for hours with camera in hand until he emerged and snapped the following pic:


this was taken in 1995 when i was 19 years old. a few years later, i stalked John Taylor at an event at Pitzer College, where my best friend went to school. every spring, the college held a gigantic party called Kohoutek where everyone got plastered via a variety of substances, myself included. JT sat on a panel presented to the students before the party began, discussing his struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism (nice try, college administrators).

i approached him after the panel with photo in hand and asked him to sign it, which he kindly did, while marveling aloud at how “fucked up” he looked in the photo. i don’t think his comment was an extension of the panel; he seemed genuinely disturbed by his appearance and even showed the photo to the friend he was with, saying he must have been coming off a bender then. (and now i’m posting the photo on the interwebs. sorry, JT! you always look amazing to me.)

fast forward to 2012. i’m still a Duranie, though not as diehard as before. i will confess to not owning all of their new albums, though i’ll always make an attempt to see them when they come into town, which i did just a few months ago. unlike Madonna, who disappointed me when i saw her perform, Duran Duran knows to play their hits, which they do with great enthusiasm. they know their place in popular music history as the premier ’80s “New Romantic” band, and they know how to put on a killer live show, one that still manages to reduce to me to a screaming girl belting out their songs at the top of my lungs, now 20 years later.

rewind to last saturday when i hung out with my friend and neighbor, Anne, who runs the popular food blog TunaToast. she recently returned from Italy just as i have (more on that in a future post), so we cooked pasta carbonara while drinking several glasses of wine and commiserating over the very first-world problem of not being in Italy any longer.

then she invited me to tag along with her and her musician husband, bassist of The Mars Volta, to the annual Bass Player Live convention in Hollywood the next day because she knew of my love for Duran Duran and John Taylor, who was scheduled to appear for an exclusive Q & A and to sign his new memoir (which discusses his drug problems at length). so did i want to come? HELL FUCKING YES!


i wish i remembered more about this moment, but my head was a jumble of nerves and excitement and the ushers pushed people through very quickly. but i do vividly recall locking eyes with John Taylor as he handed me my signed copy of his memoir and said, “here you go, sweetie.” swoon! that smile lasted for a good three days.  


1 comment:

Michael Landis said...


My sister indoctrinated me as well. I still have So Red the Roase floating around somewhere. She was more of a Power Station girl.