Fanzine Week 2: Day 4

The first Fanzine Week featured Fliss and her story as a Duranie. Now she remembers a time when, incredibly enough, she DIDN'T have Duran Duran in her life. It was a long, long time ago...

My First... Record I Helped My Sister To Buy

I'd been an ABBA fan since the age of 7. I was now 12, nearly a teenager. ABBA were old & no longer even a little bit popular. I wanted something new. I wanted to like a band that were young, British & one that I wouldn't be ridiculed for liking.

It was autumn 1981, a Saturday morning and a family shopping trip to the nearest big town. My sister had a £5 gift voucher to spend as it had recently been her birthday. I probably had nothing due to my inability to ever save my pocket money. So we were on a mission to spend this fiver. The town was Aylesbury & the shop was WH Smith.

We were scanning the record section when my sister nudged me & waved two albums under my nose. "Which should I get? The Police or Duran Duran?" My elder and much cooler sister was asking me, the nerdy little sister, for advice about music! I couldn't believe how great this moment felt. After all I was the sad little Abba fan. "Well you've already got one by them so get the Duran Duran one. Also I like two of their songs". So it was done. I'd chosen for her.

I remember looking at the album cover with much interest on the way home in the car. Once home we ran to my sisters room to listen to the record. I liked every song, not a single bad one on the entire album. It was great, we finally had something in common!

One Saturday morning I was watching kids' TV (Noel Edmunds' Swap Shop on the BBC). He announced Duran Duran had made two videos specially for the show. The songs were Girls on Film and Friends of Mine. I sat with my eyes glued to the TV. Not only did they sound great but they also looked fantastic. I really liked the singer. I found out he was Simon Le Bon, although I pronounced it Lee Bon until my sister corrected me. This was the first time I remember seeing them and it changed my life forever.

So, my smart sister sold me the album for a fiver as she lost interest in them once they had become popular. She became a goth. My love for Duran Duran grew and soon my bedroom walls were covered in posters of them. All my pocket money was spent on them. I still got ridiculed at school for having uncool taste in music but I didn't care. I knew I was a fan of the best band to ever walk the planet and all these years on I still know they are.

*** And here they performing Friends Of Mine on Swap Shop, a kids TV show. There's some great acting going on. Do you think this is what kids are watching these days? (You Tube says it's from 27 Feb 1981 but that can't be right - Feb '82?)

DID YOU KNOW: On the way to their concert in Cardiff, Wales, on 13 December 1981 the band nearly died in a car crash on the way to the show. There was terrible weather in South Wales that day. CL has been unable to find any contemporary accounts of this incident, or reference in band interviews. Does anyone have more information?

Here's a link to how bad the weather was:

The Telegraph 2 February 2009, remembers awful weather conditions:

"On December 13, 1981, snow swamped the south of England and even the Queen became stranded for several hours in a Cotswold pub."

CL is now delighted to introduce our new fashion editor, Simon! Above, you can see he's modelling the Terminator look*. This week he's told Geronimo the answers to your questions about what to wear on the catwalk this season

(*baseball bat optional, go out looking like this at your own risk):

Dear Simon,

I’ve just started out in a band and want to make a great impression. Do you know what clothes I should wear to really stand out and make a statement of ‘this is ME!’

Yours, MH, Carlisle

Hi MH,

I think that the key to success is individuality. That’s why I’d recommend going your own way and picking up items from round the house – net curtains, tea towels, old bed spreads, and making a new set of clothes. It helps if there’s a fashion movement doing this so you can copy what other people are doing. Then have a lie down in a bath.


Dear Simon,

My band has just lost all its fans and I need to make a great impression. Do you know what style my hair should be to get back to the toppermost of the poppermost? FGY, Minnessota


In this situation you need to really stand out. I recommend looking as unappealing as possible by sending your previously stylish hair totally crazy and adding day-glo clothes to set things off. Boosh!

Dear Simon,

My band is (ahem) ‘getting on a bit’ and I need to look youthful whilst giving a nod to my increasing years. Any tips on what to wear on stage?

JKR, Bangkok


This one’s easy. Pop along to your own merchandise store and pick a t-shirt (I got my manager to negotiate a 10% discount – SUCKERS!). White trousers will stand out – and bright green trainers (or jacket, it doesn’t matter) definitely do! Doosh!

Dear Simon,

I’ve got a job interview next week. What do I wear to guarantee I get picked for the job? TB, Pinner, Middlesex

Hey TB,

I’d stick with a suit and tie.


Love, Si

Thanks, Simon, you great big smokin' hunk of spunk!

As Cherry Lipstick looks back over Duran Duran's career, J.R. Kiss remembers the person who was the first person to give a first-hand account.