Cherry Ice Cream Smile: Reflections of a Duran Duran Fan Girl

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
When I was a teenager I had a poster of Simon Le Bon hanging on my bedroom wall. Truth be told, we were 'married.' Yes, I was Mrs. Le Bon and I even practiced signing my name this way when no one was looking. I picked out a wedding dress (it was black and gold, complete with matching shiny gold Madonna-esque hair bow that I saw on a Macy's mannequin). One of my friends 'married' John Taylor, too, so we could always be besties with Duran Duran husbands. My wedding date was December 4th. However, we had to keep these marriages secret because we were only 12, you know.* 

This post is part of a series on my site called Momma Musings, where I share personal thoughts and feelings. I hope you'll check out my other posts, too, especially if you enjoy this one.

The first time I saw Duran Duran in concert was in 1984 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was my birthday and I had just turned 11. My dad took my sister and I, and he stood with us the whole time, arms folded across his chest in a protective 'don't come near my daughters' dad-stance (thanks, daddy!). I saved the ticket stub from this concert, and still have it to this day. I remember the concert well, and I remember being slightly disappointed that Simon never really spoke much to the audience. Oh, he said a few phrases such as, 'is anybody hungry?' before Hungry Like the Wolf, but I heard audio afterwards from other concerts across the nation and his dialogue was exactly the same for every concert, no matter where they were. But the band was young. Maybe it was harder than I could imagine to perform in front of all of those screaming girls. Maybe it takes time to develop stage presence. 

an actual photo (from REAL film!) of the Duran Duran concert at MSG in 1984

I saw Duran Duran in concert three more times after that, but the most memorable was in 2000 at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. By some blind twist of fate, my friend Nicole managed to snag two front row seats to that concert at regular ticket price. Perhaps Simon knew his former wife was in the audience. But I'll never forget that show, as we were permitted to lean right up against the stage with no barriers. And there, right in front of me, was the man whose poster hung on my bedroom wall for so many years. There was my 'ex-husband.' Did he notice me singing along to every song, jumping up and down like a maniac? Maybe. At the end of the show, he walked to the edge of the stage, reached out his arm, and shook my hand first. All I could manage to say was, "Hiiiiii baby!" as if I was long-lost ex-husband. It was a moment I will never forget! 

Flash forward many years. And I mean many. I'm a mom now, and a real wife to a real husband (love you, honey!). And suddenly here is Duran Duran playing at Madison Square Garden again, 38 years later. I snagged tickets for myself and my friend Stephanie, awesome seats with the help of Lady Miss Di (, go check her out). The concert was amazing. Totally amazing. I could feel my eyes well up with tears during 'Ordinary World' and 'Save a Prayer' because those songs still just mean so much to me. Unlike 1984, Simon talked to the audience this time. He told us stories about meeting Madonna for the first time ('chewing gum, she was') and how happy he was to be with us after the pandemic. During that concert I became so grateful for the moment- I wanted to scream out, 'THANK YOU, GUYS!!!' to all the members of the band. Thank you for all of these memories, thank you for this incredible music that carried me through my childhood and teen years- it still strikes a chord in me as an adult (I can remember the lines of EVERY Duran Duran song, even though I forget why I walked into a room sometimes). Thank you for the dreams and the imaginary romance that formed in my young heart. But most of all, thank you for bringing me back to life after this pandemic. It was so easy to fall into this rut of 'staying home,' not because I was scared of a virus anymore, but because that's what I was used to doing for two (going on three) years. 

This concert brought me back to who I was, made me 11 again, made me remember what it was like to be out in a crowd, singing and dancing and laughing. It made me go home and start looking up other concerts and tours that I wanted to see. It reminded me what life was like before a stupid virus came and ruined everything (and it did ruin everything, I don't care what anyone says).

So Simon, Nick, John, Roger (and Andy, somewhere, too), I hope you're out there reading this. Maybe on a private plane during your tour, maybe on a beach somewhere with your (gasp!) real wives. Wherever you may be, thank you. I hope I speak on behalf of GenXers everywhere:  'If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. If mountains crumbled to the sea, there would still be you and me." (*yes I know that's a remake, but it fits, so cut me some slack). And Simon, to you I say, 
"Hiiiii baby!" 
Thanks for everything. Xoxo

Stephanie, me and Simon

Post playlist: (all by Duran Duran, of course): Last Chance on the Stairway, Land, Ordinary World, Future Past, Thank You, My Own Way (which just happens to be my theme song).

*Lest anyone misunderstand: I was a 12 year old pretending I was married to Simon leBon. Just to set the record straight and not set off some tabloid inquisition about an underage wedding! 

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