"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

September 5, 2011

Duran Duran at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN -- October 1988

 Note: Sorry about the length of this post. Future ones probably won't be nearly as long.

Photo Credit 991.com

I'm going to attempt to revive this half-dead, floundering blog to what it once was. Actually...hopefully better! Because some of those early posts make me cringe. Then again... Two years from now, this post might make me cringe.

This post is the first in a series. Each post is merely random memories of concerts from both long ago and recent times. I don't often get into what the setlist was or what the musicians did. Because, most of the time, I honestly don't remember.

* * *

Most people remember their adolescence by the year they were in high school: freshman, sophomore, senior, etc. I don't.  I remember it by what concert I went to. 

"Well, it was after Depeche Mode and before Erasure. So, I guess February?" I'd tell people who would sport blank looks of confusion.
"So, February," they'd reply.
"Close enough."

I didn't really go to that many concerts. Maybe one every three or four months but I waited for every one as if it were a life-changing event. You see, I was obsessed with music back then. I couldn't do it. I had and have the singing voice of a dying cat and, about fifteen minutes after picking up a cheap synthesizer and trying to follow along with some "Teach Yourself Piano" book, declared that it was too hard and boring. But, I was obsessed with it and collected piles of cassette tapes, vinyl records, and music magazines.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

And, so, in October 1988, I found myself in front of First Avenue anxiously waiting for Duran Duran to start. If you had bothered to ask me, I would've eagerly told you that Duran Duran was "my very favorite band and I'll adore them forever!!!" in a way that only a fifteen year old girl could. Never mind that, three years later, they'll be eclipsed by Morrissey and, a bit later, by others. If you had told me any different, I would've fought the urge to punch you in the gut right then and there. (I still think they're brilliant, though, and their first album remains one of my all-time favorites.)

About 100 people, mostly in their teens and twenties, are collected in front of the club waiting for the doors to open.  Among them are me, K, and J. I'm also pretty sure that T is there as well and maybe some other acquaintances that I never knew very well.. K is a girl that I met in a high school home economics class while J was my best friend throughout high school. Both of them were just as fond of Duran as I was. K and I talk amongst ourselves while J strikes up a conversation with some of the other people in line. One is an outgoing, excitable girl with brown, curly, very 80's hair. This will become important later.

All of a sudden, I hear somebody squeal, "It's John!". I turn around to see John Taylor (the bass player for those readers who don't know) standing nervously behind us. He puts his finger to his mouth and says "Shhhh." I freeze in starstruck awe. As others around me make clever comments and pleasant conversation. I'm locked into place, open-mouthed with surprise and shock and the only thing going through my mind is a frenzied "It's John. It's John. Oh. My. God. It's John. Wait, where's Niiiiiick?!?" Sure, it's silly but, damn it, I was a teenage girl.

"Why are you going in the front door?" somebody asks.
"They won't let me in the back."

LOL. Somebody's getting fired.

A few minutes later, they let him in and everybody in the general area freaks out. "OMG! That was John!" Awhile later, the doors open and we all pour into the club. Nearly everything in First Avenue is painted black. The walls, the floors, the stage, everything. K and I end up on the left side of the stage (as the audience faces it) and J gets whisked away somewhere else. 

The time between when the doors open and when the concert starts always seems impossibly long. You're trapped there in one spot with nothing to do but talk to people. But, eventually, the band comes out onstage and, for the next hour or two, I'm in my own personal heaven.

Once it ends, K and I and find J and the others. 

"It looks like you made a friend with that one girl." K told J once we all found each other.
"No! She put my hand on her boob!"
"Err, wait, what?!?' (A little bit of backstory: Most teenage boys would be delighted at this but J is gay. This did not delight J.)
"She grabbed my hand, said 'Here, feel this,' and put it on her boob."
One of the best laughs I've ever had.

Photo Credit: RoflRazzi
And I even found a setlist for you at this site: http://duranduran.wikia.com/wiki/1988_-_24_October:_Minneapolis,_MN_(USA)

  1. "God (London)"
  2. "Big Thing"
  3. "I Don't Want Your Love"
  4. "Hungry Like The Wolf"
  5. "Do You Believe In Shame?"
  6. "Skin Trade"
  7. "All She Wants Is" / "Planet Earth"
  8. "This Is How a Road Gets Made" / "Winter Marches On"
  9. "Palomino"
  10. "Skin Trade"
  11. "Is There Something I Should Know?"
  12. "The Wild Boys"
  13. "Drug"
  14. "Save A Prayer"
  15. "The Reflex"
  16. "Rio"

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