I have to admit it: I´ve been loving English music form most of my life. I still remember when I visited some of my mum´s cousins (I was seven or eight, like my daughter). They had a room all covered with 70´s posters and loads of LPs put away in special boxes. In that room my brother and I listened for the first time to groups like Queen, Supertramp, Yes, Marillion, Chicago, Rolling Stones… My cousins talked about the songs and sometimes they made us hear a bass, a guitar solo, a hoarse-harsh voice… That place was magic for me: at the same time, my ear got used to the English, pop music became my favourite.
When I was growing up, I had my own criteria. The “Movida Madrileña” began in the 80s. Miguel Ríos had a successful tour and even the Canarian group “Palmera” had some singles that were heard all the time. I remember that I wanted to go to concerts, as if I was an adult. I was lucky that my mum had the correct judgemente and she didn´t let me go (I was 12)… It wasn´t the right time.
When I had to go to High School I heard a song that I loved: “The reflex”. I found out which group played it and that´s how I knew Duran Duran. I bought the single right away: I still keep it. In the cover you can see a photo of those five Birmingham guys with a very 80s look, in agreement with their tag: new romantics. I felt in love with them and their music in a minute. They began to be part of my life… and my family´s as well, dizzy of hearing the songs once and once again… Ups, I think that my daughter has inherited that vice: I shouldn´t be so mad at her. Anyway, I think I´m responsible for the creation of such a similar creature to me in that sense.
In High School I met a girl of my age that also liked the music of this just discovered by me: This made us feel closer. One day I met her cousin, two years younger: from that time she has played my best friend´s role. Each one of us chose the favourite one in the band: my colleague chose John Taylor; my friend, Nick Rhodes and I Simon Le Bon (Hey, you can dream: it´s free and it doesn´t harm anyone, isn´t it?). This time of my life can be described as the most fanatic one… We couldn´t be blamed for: we were 12-16 year-old girls. I still remember to cover those boring, blue folders with photos of actors, singers but, above all, Duran Duran member… And I also laminated them! They were works of art… I think I have any of them lost at my parent´s home still… or in a box at the entrance of my small flat that I need to classify yet…
The first LP that I got was “Seven and the ragged tiger”. Then, “Duran Duran” y “Río” followed, discovering years later some songs that were a success in anglosaxon speaking countries. I also keep at my parent´s home the live LP “Arena”… Ah, and the single “A view to a kill”, a song made for James Bond´s movie of the same name.
The time passes, this fanatism went away and a sane admiration for them and their music arrived. It was the time when Roger Taylor (drums) had to leave the band for medical reasons and took care of his new created family. Andy Taylor (guitar) had some differences with the rest of the band, so the fab five became a trio. That´s when of “Notorious”, an LP with more mature music and “Big Thing”, at the end of the 80s. Before there were two bands that were created from the five original members: “The Power Station”, with Andy and John Taylor and “Arcadia”, with Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor (before his retirement). I personally liked the Arcadia approach: I suppose because of my romantic side made an influence in me to have this point of view.
Time flew and I was doing my University Career. Duran Duran wasn´t heard on the radio and wasn´t seen on Spanish TV, so I suppose that this project either was abandoned or they didn´t released a successful album. I didn´t forget them and I still kept my LPs No me olvidé de ellos y seguía conservando mis LPs like a treasures, hearing them once in a while.
Suddenly, some of their songs were heard: “Ordinary World” and “Come undone”. Music and lirics were similar to them but much more matured. I was impressed that their music touched me so deeply after a long time of silence.
When I finished my University Career, I decided to go to Germany for a year and then to England. I lived in Warwickshire, a county very close to Birmingham, the city were the band was founded. When I went to the city, I wondered if they used to walk the same streets as I and how the saw it. In my almost four years living in their same country, I hardly knew about them. It was the time of the launching of “The Wedding Album”, “Meddazaland” and “Thank you”, where the song “Perfect day”, Lou Reed´s original song. If they were on TV or some of their songs where heard on the radio and never had the opportunity to see or hear them. I studied my second University Career, having just one year left to graduate: nevertheless, I´ve got a diploma… Not bad for someone that hasn´t English as the mother language.
The year 2000 took me back to Tenerife, where my daughter was born and my newly created family when my baby was less than six months-old. It also coincided with changes in work, so those years were very important in my life. My life changed when my daughter was born. Meanwhile, Duran Duran decided to reunited and the original members launched the album “Astronaut”. For me, all their songs are very good. I can hear them at home, in the car and even hum them while I walk Venus and I am the happiest woman on earth…
After the fab five ephemeral reunion, Duran Duran and Andy Taylor can´t overcome their differences and split up. After that, the album “Red Carpet Massacre” was released, which included the song “Falling down”, co-written with Justin Timberlake (another group´s fan) or “Skin divers”, co-written with Timbaland. It´s an album that needs more exploration by me.
A month ago they published their latest album. The only song that I´ve been able to hear “All you need is now” complete, the one with the same title as the album. It sounds like “Rio”, in 1982 (according to the critics and myself). They still have the fresh sound than the 80´s, even when they are “oldies”, as my partner calls them.
I just knew about them thanks to the new technologies: starting by Facebook, going on to Twitter, ITunes, Youtube, Instagram… They belong to the few bands that have constant news´ updates: They have always been avant-garde in this sense and take advantage of what Internet offers them. I think they have to thank new technologies for making their fans follow their adventure… And it also seems that new technologies were thought so they can exploit them… I would do whatever to have this innovations when I was 14 – 15 years-old!
I have to thank a lot to these “oldies”:
– Learn English, written and spoken… I did it liking it.
– Their music gave moments of joy, of dancing and singing.
– I´ve met wonderful people through them.
– I haven´t given up in my worst moments: They haven´t and were an example to me.
– I have a positive message for any precise moment.
– … And so many other things!
The other day I inspired myself this article while I was hearing them o my MP4 walking Venus: I looked at the sky and I said to myself that Duran Duran has influenced me in many aspects of my life but, above all, they have always cheered me up in my good and bad moments. I´ve always heard and understood the lyrics and inspired me to make me feel better. There´s a part of the song “(reach up for the) Sunrise” that made me feel good about the actual situation I´m living:
Only change will bring you out of the darkness
In this moment everything is born again
I hope to get out of the darkness through chance, when everything reborns… And I hope this year will be the one that I will go to see them playing with my best friend!
(Published on http://maritza-gonzalez.blogspot.com.es/2011/01/duran-duran-en-mi-vida.html on April 18th 2011)
After writing these lines, they have released a new CD: Paper Gods (2015). They have been faithful to their music style without being outdated. I personally love the song “Face for Today“, because it talks about being positive about life, no matter what it throws at you.
I was very fortunate to see them on May 2016 at Common People Oxford. There was a crowd of people that were waiting for them to play, just like me. They played old and new songs. I felt I belong to a group for the first time: I didn´t feel weird anymore, because there were people like me who love them, too.