Because I grew up in the dark ages of the 1980’s, and had no internet, I found other means to connect with fans. A free weekly local newspaper had become the Duranie communication hub for Phoenix, AZ. Duranies posted meet-ups, pen pal requests, and held general fan conversation through their free personal ads. It was the equivalent of what would now be a message board on the internet. I invented an alias and joined in.
I’m sure that the publishers of “City Life” weekly were extremely excited that a frightening group of teenage girls had taken over their personal ads section. It went on for pages and pages…messages about Duran Duran, Culture Club, Prince, Van Halen and more. Instead of publishing ads similar to Craigslist missed connections (as was the original intention, I am sure), the paper published ads that read, “John’s Red Gloves is looking to meet up with other DEVOTED DURANIES! Did you see the new video for New Moon On Monday? ONLY TRUE DURANIES NEED REPLY!”
Thanks to Duran Duran, I had just made a whole new set of friends who went to other schools. I would have never met them if we hadn’t all been bananas for the band.
My new friend Amy had invited a gaggle of girls to her house for a sleepover. Amy was a
little bit older than the rest of us, and had a driver’s license. She also had a basement, which was unheard of in Phoenix due to the rocky ground. We all gathered in the basement and watched Duran Duran videos on TV, and screamed to our heart’s content.
The usual sleepover shenanigans occurred, and of course we ended up playing Truth or Dare. I
was dared to make a phone call to Andy Taylor’s restaurant in London, which was called Rio
Wine Bar, of course. We had all read about it in Star Hits magazine. I can’t remember how we got the phone number – I’m sure I had done some sort of scary stalking for the number. I think I was bragging that I had it, and that’s why they dared me.
Amy said she’d drive me to the Circle K so we could call from a pay phone. We got some
quarters from the clerk and dialed the restaurant. Amy and I were giggling our little teenage butts off. We wondered if Andy would actually be there or not.
“Rio Wine Bar.”
I put on a terrible British accent. “Toodle-oo, old chap, is Andy Taylor there?”
You could tell that this person had gotten a million crank calls from a million insane Duranies.
Wearily, he replied, “Mr. Taylor is rarely on the premises.”
“Well, then, may I ask you a question, kind sir?” I paused for effect. “Are you hungry like the
I hung up the phone, as Amy and I screamed with laughter. We literally doubled over, we
were laughing so hard. Okay, I’ll admit, I still think it’s pretty funny.
I figured that was the closest I’d ever come to speaking with a member of the band in person. I
was wrong about that, but it would be many years before that wish came true…