The Duran Duran Chronicles – Chapter 1 – Part 2
I played the shit out of that first album. All I did was talk about how aaahhhmazing Duran Duran was. It drove my parents crazy enough they bought me my own stereo and headphones so they didn’t have to hear Planet Earth all day long. Well that backfired on them; I still continued to sing while wearing the headphones. They were subjected to my dreadful vocals minus the music!. Tone-deaf party of one!
It was also around this time I discovered a new radio station. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, bored to death with the classic rock on all the NYC radio stations, I absentmindedly searched for a new radio station. I wasn’t expecting to find any good music; I just wanted to hear something other than Pat Benatar, The Rolling Stones, Styx, Fleetwood Mac or Led Zeppelin.
As I rolled past 95.5FM and reached 92.7FM I heard static. A lot of static. But, behind that wall of static, ever so faintly, was a familiar voice. I had to turn up the volume and put my ear directly to the speaker to make out the tune and lyrics. It was Simon LeBon singing a song I didn’t recognize; something about a bar and it being late and room seven, six, oh, nine. To say that I lost my mind would be a gross understatement. There were more Duran Duran songs out there and I needed to find them.
On what became my weekly trip to Mad Platters, I found the song; Late Bar. It was the B-side on the import single of Planet Earth. Apparently there were several import singles that included songs not available on the albums. There was a world of Duran Duran that I wasn’t aware of. I had the store order every one of them for me.
I also found out that the radio station was WLIR broadcasting from Long Island, which is why the signal was so weak. But that didn’t stop me from trying to tune in and listen through the static. Thankfully, the signal would expand and get stronger years later. I discovered many bands, mostly from the UK, listening to WLIR. And, they were the first US radio station to play Duran Duran.
Right before school started, I convinced my mom to let me to dye my hair. I wanted to dye the entire head pink but she threatened to shave me bald. After many tears, mostly mine, she eventually agreed on was a single streak, no more, no less. I chose magenta, of course, and placed it on the right side of my now layered, shoulder length hair. The layers had given my hair volume so the streak of color curled up a bit and stood out. I loved my magenta streak so much!
She also, cautiously, let me pick out my own clothes when we went school shopping. Previously, I had voiced my opinion but it never influenced the outcome. I chose a pair of blue Chuck Taylor Converse, a few pairs of jeans and some oversized sweaters. All dark colors of course. I tried to get her to buy some scarves and pants like Duran Duran wore in the early videos but she wouldn’t hear it. She could handle the magenta hair but her child was not going to school dressed as a dandy pirate!
So there I stood in front of my closet, on that first day of school, determined to find the perfect outfit to complement my new attitude. After tossing half the closet on the floor, I settled on a faded pair of jeans, the blue Converse and a simple black sweater that was a size too large. I put on a few silver rings bought from Mad Platters and a long necklace that I “borrowed” from my mother; a long silver chain with a large, silver, heart at the end. (Wow! Talk about foreshadowing!)
Looking like a reject from The Cure, I grabbed my brand new, first day of school, notebook; which already had DURAN DURAN scrawled across the cover and headed outside to wait for the bus.