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):
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
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.
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!
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?
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!
I’ve got a job interview next week. What do I wear to guarantee I get picked for the job? TB, Pinner, Middlesex
I’d stick with a suit and tie.
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.
It seems strange in this age of celebrity autobiographies that it took so long for anyone in Duran to write one. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Chuck Berry to Alex James beat them to the punch. Hell, Wayne Rooney’s written four and he’s only 31 (can’t wait for the next gripping instalment Wazza!).
Andy's book begins with a meandering backstory about his mother walking out on him when he was ten, him leaning to play the guitar and playing gigs in Germany. Finally we get to Duran. As Andy tells it, John was really friendly but looked like a geek because he couldn’t afford contact lenses. Nick turned up late, was more than a bit stand-offish and seemed put out when Andy asked him why he only played the black keys on his keyboard. Simon, when he finally joined looked exactly like a young Elvis ‘who’d been to the chip shop a few times’. Did I forget someone? Oh, yeah, Roger. He was quiet.
Andy doesn’t hold back on the details about his coke habit, how much he dislikes Nick, how much more he despises Nick once he hooks up with Julie Anne, what he thought about the direction Duran were going in and the huge overindulgence of every part of being a band member whether it be girls, drugs, hotels or champagne. Despite this, he reserves most of his abuse for the Berrows for making so much money out of Duran.
As a double-ex member Andy, of course, has the privilege of being able to insult anyone and everyone without fear of being confronted with it. And to be fair he dishes out a fair bit of praise too to Nick for his contributions to Duran’s music, Simon for his lyrics and melodies and JT for being dashingly good looking and having to suffer from all the attention. He might also have mentioned Roger being a good drummer too.
There are a few interesting stories in there too. John cutting his hand after hitting a window, John mysteriously walking on a broken vodka bottle and needing to see a Rock Doc to be given simultaneously morphine for the pain and coke to keep him awake enough to go on stage for the Oakland show that features on Arena. Maybe most interesting is the reworking of the story of finishing Rio when Nick followed the others to Sri Lanka and had a five hour journey in a truck wearing leather trousers. According to Andy, he was with Nick, although presumably not also wearing leather trousers.
All in all it’s a rip roaring read with a fair dollop of bias thrown in and plenty of name dropping over the period between Live Aid and the reunion. He also tries to set the record straight over the second split with the group as well as the recording of the unreleased Reportage which Andy wants nothing to do with. Andy may have been the least good looking of the five, even the most hated of the five but he produced a much better book than the rather asinine 12 steps book that John came out with a few years
Wild Boy is currently available on Amazon for 0.77p
QUOTE OF THE DAY: NME 14 January 1989
Well, ask a question and you might just get an honest answer...