As the editor of Cherry Lipstick, I had contact with lots of other Duran fanzines. I got sent a lot too, including ones that had closed down. One of them was Strange Behaviour which ran in the last 1980s. It featured fan pictures of the band, live reviews, views, and the ubiquitous ‘hanging out of their houses’ stories.
This issue is from late 1988. Big Thing has just been released. The tour has started in the US. And Simon, Nick, Andy and Roger all get a visit. The Roger story is a classic of its genre and is reprinted in full below.
The letters page:
“I Don’t Want Your Love is excellent but isn’t played much unlike U2’s new single [Desire]. Some of the DJs have said it sounds like The Power Station. I think the charts over the last 18 months have become so awful, with mindless junky rubbish getting high chart positions. In my mind Duran’s single is one of the best of the year.” Sue, Surrey
“I was at the Robert Palmer concert and he opened with Some Like It Hot. He played Communication a little later. B.J. Nelson was singling backing vocals.” Ben, Kent
“On Sept 8th Andy was on stage at the Marquee with Terraplane for the encore and by all accounts h was ‘unrecognisable’, whatever’s meant by that remark.” Julie, N Wales
“Brosettes will not buy Duran records as Bros have told them not to, and they don’t sound like Stock Aitken and Waterman (thank God!) and so are not trendy.” Cathryn, Mid Glamorgan
“I’m a bit annoyed at the moment as I’ve only been able to get the 7” of the brilliant single. I’ve looked everywhere for the 12”, CD etc but Dartford doesn’t seem to get the record until about a week later.” Ben, Kent (again)
Live Review of Duran on Channel 4’s The Tube TV show, 24th April, 1987.
“There I was in the toilet washing my hands when in walks Nick ‘ooh what a nice washroom’ Rhodes, and John ‘let me through’ Taylor, along with a rather large minder. who made me decide not to hang around for a chat – so I left… Duran ripped through a blistering 25-mimute set. Wow! An updated Hungry Like The Wolf and a most wonderful opening to Wild Boys (dig that bass!). and then, with a toss of the maracas, Simon and Co were gone. Jon.
Big Thing album review
“Duran have returned with an LP which is very reminiscent of their old style but with a much more modern and mature outlook. If this is their new beginning then it can’t be too long before the record buying public recognise them as a band who are on a level par with the like of U2 and Queen etc.” Aubz
Big Thing Tour review, LA, 21st October 1988
“The first LA gig took p[lace at the Capitol Records building. Well, not actually in the building. It took place in the parking lot! Quite amazing, it was free and so not surprisingly there were rather a lot of people there. Concessions have to be made and the quite large crowd was treated to a reduced set. Big Thing, Too Late Marlene, Drug and Winter Marches On were dropped. Possibly the strangest US tour ever continued in bizarre fashion the next night. The Coconut Club, at the Ambassador Hotel in LA, holds only 800 people. No surprise to find the gig sold out within half an hour of announcement and tickets being sold at prices in excess of %1000 (five times face value). As usual I can’t remember whether Union of the Snake or New Religion were played, in all honesty I don’t think they were.” Jon
Manchester International 2, 11th November 1988
“Tickets cost £5.00 for this exclusive ‘warm up’ gig. The band are reported to have put up £20,000 of their own money to stage the concert and you had to be over 18 to get a ticket (although not a lot of people took notice of that). The pushing and shoving was unbelievable, and that was before Duran even got on stage! Just after 9pm the chanting, screaming and pushing got worse then, after what seemed like an eternity, Duran finally came on stage. Simon dressed in bright orange, green and yellow top, black trousers. John wearing the leather gear. To be perfectly honest I can’t remember all of the concert as there was so much pushing going on, it was quite frightening. So many people had to be pulled out of the crush. Some people needed hospital treatment after the concert.” Nikki
Meeting Andy, 30th July 1988
“Tracey was a bit off-hand at first but she came round. She said she gets a lot of hostile reaction from the fans. I told her there are a lot of genuine fans out there who care about her feelings and don’t hate her because she’s Andy’s wife. Andy was nodding his head at that as he realised we were not stupid, childish young girls who don’t give a toss for their feelings.” Julie
Meeting Nick, July 1988
“When I was in London one of the first things I did was to check whether or not Duran were in the country. I went round to Nick’s house where there were about 20 fans standing and sitting around. I knew most of them from Paris. After about 2 hours Nick came back and I couldn’t believe how much pushing was going on. Nick was very nice as usual but tried to get in the house as fast as possible. The next day I came again but Nick didn’t come out.” Ursula
Meeting Simon, 27th August 1988
“He was very sweet under the circumstances, but he had a right to blow a fuse. He explained he would pose for some pictures in exchange for his privacy. He was very, very nice and posed for each person and at the same time explained how important his privacy was to him and that he shouldn’t have to be in public at his private house., “Please tell other people that I don’t like them coming here,” he said. Kay
Meeting Roger, 31st August 1988
We left home at 6am. It took us two trains, two taxis and a mile hike. We stood at the gate for 10 minutes when a lady on a horse appeared. We asked her if she lived in the house and she said she did. I then asked her “what about Roger?” She replied “what about him?” “Well does he live here?” She said he did and that we had the right house but he was away for the day and she didn’t know when he would be back. She then opened the gate and led the horse through. We said goodbye to her then sat down on the gravel and waited.
At 2:55 PM a man pulled up in a car and asked if Mr. Taylor was in. I replied I didn’t know, I wasn’t sure. He drove through the gate and said goodbye.
At 3:20 PM the cleaning lady left say goodbye to us. She left in a Range Rover.
At 3:45 PM another Range Rover pulled up beside us. At first I thought the cleaning lady coming back but Jen noticed it was a different registration number. I couldn’t believe it! It was him!! He opened the window and leaning out said “hi what can I do for you?” We never did answer the question we just sat there staring. I then asked how he was and he said he was fine. He then I asked where we were from and we told him. He asked how we had got there, and Jen explained about the trains etc. Jen then asked him if we could take photos, and he said “yep.”
After we had taken them we asked if we could have his autograph. He said yes, so we grabbed our photos and walk over to the car.
I gave Jen hers gives him and then handed him mine. I then asked Giovanna to sign it for me and she said “Who me?”. I replied “yes, you.”
We asked how his wrist was and he said he was fine. He then asked if that was OK and we said “yes thank you.”
He then drove through the gates and Giovanna closed the gates saying goodbye.
We watched them go down the drive and waited for them to get out of the car. When Rog got out we took more photos before they went into the house.
We then noticed Roger was walking back up drive towards us. When he reached us he asked if we would leave because he likes his privacy.
I told him we were about to leave anyway, we just wanted to get a few more photos. We said goodbye and thank you once again and left Roger and Giovanna in peace.
5 facts about the day.
1. Is left wrist is broken
2. Giovanna ha had her hair cut and it looks great.
3. Roger is looking better than ever
4. he’s got a gorgeous bum.
5. Jen and I will never forget this day for the rest of our lives.