A Flower Tale Of New York
This article originally appeared in Cherry Lipstick Volume 1 Issue 7: February 1994
This story goes out to all Cherry Lipstick readers as my heart is so full that I feel compelled to share my experience with those who can appreciate my good fortune.
My tale begins at only my second Duran concert, at Radio City Music Hall in New York on January 11th. It was the first of three concerts that had been postponed from October due to Simon's throat problems. The opening act was the vaguely interesting, rather depressing, largely unknown (in Boston at least) group from Manchester, James. The main Duran event was a nicely scaled down version of their previous American outings; instead of the string section there was a women with a keyboard producing the same sounds, there was no over-sized lipstick, no couch and no mad scientist.
Instead of The Chauffeur and UMF they played First Impression and Love Voodoo. Simon’s bleached hair didn’t seem too over-powering, John looked wonderful, Nick smiled a few times and Warren looked exactly the same. Unfortunately, they again played the God-awful White Lines which the audience loved. Even worse, Simon announced that they had just recorded it that week and that it was “absolutely hot.”
After the concert, I circled the block to find the stage door, and by the time Warren came out a good number of people has assembled. The three standing next to me seemed that have Duran-ties. In addition to uttering bunches of catty hearsay, one of them mentioned Stirling Campbell: “Yeah, he lives in Greenwich Village now… he was supposed to call me… I hope his phone hasn’t been disconnected.”
The ravishing John emerged next, accompanied by his wife and child. He waved wearily and caught some flowers, just as he was getting in to the limo. This small act started me thinking… A long while later, a haggard Simon came out, followed even later by a friendly Nick who shook hands a few times before leaving in a van.
Although I did not attend the next concert, I was prepared for the post-concert appearance – specifically John’s. I buried all self-respect and arrived during the first encore to stake out a spot behind the barricade in the middle of the street. I was armed with a bouquet of red and white flowers not-very-securely stapled onto a bag containing a cream cheese bagel (it was short notice, OK?). Into the flowers I tucked a letter extolling John’s musical virtuosity (and other-worldly beauty, of course).
Unfortunately, the resulting package was terribly unwieldy and hardly aerodynamic (not to mention extremely foolish looking); it felt and looked like an awkwardly elongated dumbbell. I had actually executed a practice toss onto my bed to see how it flew (oh, I’d sunk so low!). I patiently waited in the cold, politely cheered for Warren, and mentally planned my presentation. At one point, the crowd began chanting “Can’t ever keep from falling apart…” and Lamya appeared in a window to sing along.
Finally, I saw a bleached female head appear, and sure enough, a subdued yet mouth-watering John emerged, surrounded by a group of men. My heart raced, my mind focussed – and my stomach lurched as I realised he was heading to his car at such an angle that it would be necessary for me to pitch the deformed package quite a distance, directly over the top of the limo and into the crowd of people.
I took a deep breath and fired: the fast moving flowers made a perfect arc over the car At first no one saw them coming and they rapidly approached John’s head. I half-expected a security guard to shoot them down in mid-air. Unbelievably, at the last moment, John looked up and caught them – he then looked at me and smiled!!! As he drove off, everyone around me slapped me on the back and cried, “What a great throw!” (The girl behind me softly exclaimed, “he’s so beautiful.”)
Though I was ready to die a peaceful and happy death, the evening was not over, and soon Nick came out and shook hands, followed by Simon carrying a big box (that didn’t stop people touching him). After I had floated back to my room, I watched the end of Letterman and chuckled as the band played Come Undone before fading to a commercial….
Now read the whole issue here