Monday, November 06, 2006

Boys on Film

Travel back with me to 1983, if you will.

I was attending Catholic school in my ever-so-fashionable uniform featured rightwards. My best friend in the whole world was Elizabeth. We had been best friends since the third grade, and in 1983, we were in sixth.

Elizabeth and I had a special bond. We both adored Duran Duran. And what made it so especially great was that I had a crush on Simon Le Bon, and she had a crush on John Taylor. Therefore, we never competed with each other. We were on the first wave of the British Invasion, and honestly, not too many sixth graders were riding it. But Elizabeth happened to have an older brother who was in high school, and we got all of our early musical direction from him. He was cool and very good looking, so whatever he liked, we liked. I like to think that even though I developed my own taste in music as I got older, Pablo helped to show me the way.

Anyhoo, Elizabeth and I would not play during recess. Oh no. We would walk slowly around the playground/parking lot and talk about the "dreams" we had had the night before. These dreams were essentially stories that we made up about how one day we would be at the mall, looking all grown up and beautiful, and who should see us but Simon and John? Smitten by our charms, they would sweep us off our feet and we would do all sorts of G-rated things together, eventually marrying them in wedded bliss. A double wedding, of course.

I cannot even say how huge my crush was on Simon Le Bon. I did nothing but breathe, sleep, and eat Duran Duran. I would stare longingly at their posters on my walls for hours, especially the one up on the ceiling, which was my favorite. I would buy every Tiger Beat magazine with even a teeny-tiny photo or snippet of information about them. I bought scads of buttons to pin lovingly on my jean jacket. Living in the Los Angeles area gave me access to UK releases of their records and singles, which I bought as soon as I persuaded my dad to fork over the money. I recorded their videos on the VCR and played them over and over again. I fell asleep every night with "Rio" playing in my ears on my Sony Walkman.

And you know what? They are a pretty good band. I was listening to some of their older stuff from their first album, and it holds up pretty well over time. Hubba-hubba was making fun of me for liking them and their completely incomprehensible lyrics. Nobody knows what the hell the songs actually mean, but damn if they don't look good singing them. But really, they have some catchy tunes that are hard to resist. And those videos? They began that seamless synthesis of music and video, and had the gold standard for a while in "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Save a Prayer." In fact, I think I remember Nick Taylor saying that they wrote songs with videos in mind. Which at the time was smart, and they had the gazillions of dollars and screaming fans to prove it.

Except for Andy. For those of you unfamiliar with who Andy is, he's the ugly one. He kind of marred their troweled-on cosmetics/serious hair spray/New Romantic perfection, but even the Beatles had Ringo.

And you know the truly bizarre thing is that I was watching some of their videos today, and I suddenly notice that Hubba-hubba has more than a passing resemblance to Simon Le Bon. The world works in mysterious ways, does it not?

Come and relive the glory with me.

Again, it makes no sense as a song, but Simon had an open shirt, so I was good to go.

Probably my favorite video of Simon. Seriously, my husband looks like him. I am amazed I never noticed before.

One of my absolute favorite songs from them. It was quite obscure, and I am proud (not ashamed at all) to say that I own the record of this B-side single. It sounds different live, but good. And for those of you that actually listened to it, the lines about the moon and honey at the end are not in the original version. I have no idea where they are from, but Hubba-hubba said that it sounded like something Jim Morrison would say.

This is the one that started it all. Awesome.

Can't. Stop. Must. Stop.

I will end with this, because even when they got older and a lot of other 80's bands were doing karaoke nights, they came up with this song. I like it just as much as their older stuff.

I wear my geek flag proudly.

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