Sunday, January 18, 2004

Lipstick & Rouge

"I love him, I worship him. I masturbate to Duran Duran videos." (Andy Warhol, responding to a reporter on Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.)

Quoting Mr. Warhol two days in a row... Well, I found some good quotes. And this one couldn't be passed up.

I am a Durannie, and proud of it. There are still lots of us out there, and we wear our hearts on our shoulder padded sleeves. Well, the shoulder pads may have gone with the decade, but our love for the boys did not. I still wear the occasional Duran Duran pin to work, if I'm feeling frivolous. I have not one, not two, but five Duran Duran t-shirts, although my John Taylor-esque fedora is long gone. Only just today I picked up a greeting card with a sexy pic of Jane Fonda from the film "Barbarella" plastered on it's face, and this quote on the back: "Barbarella, your mission: Find Duran Duran and use all of your incomparable talents to preserve the security of the stars..."

I've seen Duran Duran live 8 times, and three times with the original lineup. The first time was when they were touring for Rio, again for Seven & the Ragged Tiger, and lastly this past July. They played six days after my birthday. I didn't get to see them play at the Roxy in July, which was their first club date in like, twenty years, but I waited outside the place for tix to go on sale for 6 or 7 hours. And it was 80 degrees or so, with the sunlight bouncing off the asphalt burning everyone in sight. I saw them in an ampitheatre from the 30th row, and danced my ass off for a couple hours. It was rad. They sounded... right.

I was 13 when I fell in love with Duran Duran a couple decades ago... John was my guy. There were three of us girls at St. John's who loved them madly, and we each had a favorite - I loved John, Angie loved Simon, and Maria loved Nick. We made nicknames for ourself based on their names: Tay, Bon and Rho. Dorky, I know, but who cares? We were young and obsessed. We even wanted to start a band and call it Bontayrho. That has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

My bedroom was plastered - floor to ceiling - with posters and articles and snippets of info about Duran Duran. I think that's where all my babysitting money went. My poor high school sweetheart... years and years of having all those mascara'd eyes staring down at us when we would just try to make out. (Don't worry, I got mine a few years into it when he got really into the Dead Kennedys and hung the Penis Landscape poster which came with an album up on his bedroom wall. Ick.) I bought the music too, because - believe it or not - I loved the music first. So I got the import singles of everything I could get my hands on, and the Japanese versions, and the remixes (which in those days were actually different recordings instead of just elongated versions, although that came along shortly). I only just got the last missing piece of my collection a couple years ago in a record shop in London: the UK single of "Rio" with "Blue Silver," the acoustic version of "The Chauffeur," on the B-side. I think I may have squealed loudly when I saw it.

I credit my obsession with Duran Duran for my obsession with music in general. I would listen to the songs so closely in order to pick out each instrument and learn all the words. The first time that Simon & Nick hosted MTV for an hour, I taped it and discovered new music I wasn't familiar with yet since I didn't hear it on my radio, like Japan and Kate Bush. And I blame John Taylor for the fact that I seem to keep getting involved with guitar players, but I'm working on that.

I even got to tell John Taylor that when I met him a year ago. That was after I had finished hyperventilating, of course. (I know someone who goes to AA at his house out in Santa Monica, but I'm not quite ready to fully realize my stalker tendencies just yet.) He was actually very sweet to me, and I got to talk to him about the reunion of the band before they played that show in July, and about the stuff they were recording and all that. And he said that if I were truly a fan, I'd be dating bassists and not guitar players. Heh heh.

When the boys came to the US for the first time, the publicity manager at Capitol records asked them what they wanted to do. Nick Rhodes responded, "Go up the Empire State Building and meet Andy Warhol." She called the next morning and said they were going to the Empire State Building, and then Andy's studio. The publicist, Doreen D'Angelo, said, "I rang Andy up at Interview magazine and said, 'There's this English band that wants to meet you.' I might have mentioned one was into lipstick. Nick & Roger came, and Andy asked Nick if he shared his girlfriend's lipstick. After that, Nick and Andy became friends. You'd see them in the DJ booth together at Studio 54."

And I guess Andy really, really liked Nick a lot.