Equal to Duran Duran for favorite bands growing up, and continuing into adulthood is The Alarm. I had a cassette that I played in the car constantly. I knew every word of every song. It didn’t hurt that they were Welsh at a time when I was obsessed with Welsh history and culture, something else that never went away.
The Alarm also holds another distinctive place in my life’s history.
In 2008, they came out with a new CD – Guerrilla Tactics. I wanted this album desperately.
In 2008, we were barely on the internet. I hadn’t even joined Live Journal then, we had no wifi – wifi was available but we didn’t trust it, so we had to be plugged into the wall. I had my first laptop, its own experiment into personal computing.
When I signed onto Amazon, well, actually, I had to create an account because I had never ordered online before, but when I signed on, I had a choice. I could buy the CD for $14.99 or I could download the MP3 version of the album for $9.99.
I actually thought about this for a couple of days. Eschew this new digital world and spend more money or give in to my innate cheapskate, get the album digitally and save the $5.
Eventually, I chose digital.
It was the first digital music I ever bought, and I listened to it always, over and over again. I transferred it to my new mp3 player, another new bit of technology that I had just discovered.
It opened a whole new world of digital media, and despite my going kicking and screaming into each new thing, I still went.
High school was a time for friends and music and concerts. I still feel the ramifications of standing too close to a speaker in a closed building listening to The Stray Cats. Now that was an experience and an amazing memory.
There was Berlin, the Thompson Twins and others, but none more important to my life as the five Brits known (and still known) as Duran Duran. Named for Doctor Duran in Barbarella. With their hair and their makeup, their synth pop. The three unrelated Taylors, Nick Rhodes, and Simon LeBon creating music that was danceable and singable, but also moving and inspirational, a creative catalyst for my writing and exploring what was barely in my mind’s eye, but that wanted to come out in ways.
My friends and I would go to the park, climb up on the big stage at the amphitheatre. They would play their air instruments, and I would take their pictures using my air camera.
Click, whirr is the sound a camera makes, and I was the paparazzi following them on tour.
We were 100 Club, and we opened for Duran Duran. We wrote creative fiction, not song fic, maybe closer to fan fiction. Mine was a murder mystery – Murder at the Odeon. and it was my second moment of fandom and writing colliding.
Duran Duran also contributed to our creativity with their videos – The Chauffer, Night Boat. Their videos told stories that encouraged us to tell our own stories.
My current text notification is Late Bar, one of my favorite songs from them, conjuring up holes in walls, drinking, and mystey. It influenced a poem I wrote for the yearbook called Spies, which in turn encouraged a new Dungeons and Dragons game that was called Top Secret that was role playing for secret agents and government spies.
Their Hungry Like the Wolf was very much like Indiana Jones and New Moon on Monday reminded me of those undercover agents sneaking around foreign lands.
Thirty odd years later and I still listen to them. They remind me of high school, and college but they also fill me with new bouts of creativity and writing inspiration.