And the winner is...
You’d be forgiven for thinking on Twitter, that Duran Duran references like “I need a headband” or “Roger needs two hands for his”, were pop culture landmarks so significant that they litter everyday exchanges like a Paper Gods confetti cannon. The sobering reality, however, is us Duranies are quite a small fan base. Think of your last gig and remove the casual "play the hits I don't know anything else" nostalgic revellers and the touring fans who see multiple shows. It’s the inverse of the coronavirus - there are far fewer of us than we think.
Certainly this was on my mind as I purchased a ticket for the St Anne’s Park gig in Dublin (I’m getting used to this solo gigging lark). Pre-sale seemed unnecessary for an outdoor gig with no VIP that was never going to sell out. Myself and @al70 both agreed maybe 5000 of the 12,000 tickets might sell, even on the back of a Sunday picnic crowd and the promise of some new album appetisers to draw in the small but ever-loyal international crowd. Still, I’ve come to appreciate that a Duran gig in my own country is special and rare. Count me in!
As the weeks went by and the boys started pushing the album date out (quelle surprise!) I have to confess I kinda forgot about the festival. That is until one day I realised in horror I had booked our family holiday to France bang smack in the middle. Dear Lord, what was I thinking?!? I wasn’t going to be able to sell the ticket, so someone might as well go who’d enjoy it. I offered it to Cherry Lipstick as a prize.
Now I didn’t want to judge a competition of song lyrics, lest I go all “head full of chopstick” and attach some existential doom to a pisstake about shoulder pads, champagne and lip gloss. Adam was excluded as he would know the identities and so it was left to Chris to judge. The winner was deservedly chosen. “I just want to check he's not going to flog it on eBay” CLHQ informed me, before i handed over the ticket. Sensible. that assurance was duly given and the lucky winner was informed.
Then... Ping. Email.
“Hi Ruth, I have a surprise for you! Guess where you're going on June 7? .... Thankfully the amazing owner of the competition has allowed me to give the Dublin ticket to a friend, so I would love to be able to give it to you if you would like to accept it?”
That’s right dear reader- I was being offered my own ticket back by the Australian competition winner (he's a long-term Duran friend of mine)! Oh how I laughed. You can’t even give away a ticket to DD.
A few things here; I was very touched by the gesture. Clearly Coolbarn (the winner) was never going to be able to go, so in essence won it for me. Go raibh míle maith agat Coolbarn. Secondly I was very impressed with the local research, name dropping Dundrum shopping centre amongst others, though he might have been dancing alone in Dublin Docklands 10 km away from the gig! And truthfully, I’m unsurprised he won - anyone who knows Coolbarn on Mark’s DD Proboards forum will know his writing always raises a smile. We all need that right now.
Which brings me onto the sad reality that this gig is looking increasingly uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic. Irish schools are closed and other gigs are being rescheduled to September at the earliest. Our family holiday to France is a distant memory, now cancelled. I’ve spoken to Coolbarn and suggested that if, in the unlikely event the DD gig goes ahead, I’ll attend and do a write up as he wanted me to; if it doesn’t I’ll donate the ticket refund to a charity of his choice and mail him the hard copy as a keepsake.
There’s never been a time in our generation where we have all been asked to put aside our differences (left wing versus right, Andy versus Warren) ...and pull together, by staying apart. It’s weird. It’s lonely. And still we have each other in our oft dysfunctional online community. Our bonds span the globe. Our actions can touch hearts. These might be the little things that help through challenging times ahead.
There’s also hopefully lots of extra quarantine time for creative expression; your CL editor is eagerly awaiting your submissions. But for now, here’s Coolbarn’s winning entry, fabulously paired with New Moon on Monday. I insist you sing out loud, cringy outro dancing is optional...
Seven June On Sunday (Sung to the tune of New Moon On Monday)
Wish I was richer, my boss I’d ditch her,
Take Aer Lingus for a ride.
This competition gives me chances,
For a ticket I cannot buy.
I read it again,
But I cannot believe it.
Maybe I can win a flight?
To say I’d love it, is a no-brainer,
It would be the highlight of my life.
Send me shopping in Dundrum,
For many years I have cried.
Wish I’d seen them sooner…
I alight my porch and wait eagerly for Seven
June On Sunday,
When Duran Duran play that night.
I can’t wait till that day; it keeps my hopes and dreams alive.
Seven June On Sunday,
Duran Duran what a sight!
In the Dublin Docklands,
Dancing with all my might.
Singing away to the screams of the fangirls,
Simon makes them filled with sighs.
He is up there, his hips he’s grinding,
He truly is one of a kind.
Save them, from Simon’s minders,
The crowd have been teased all night.
They love that crooner…