The clip above showcases the mall where I spent most of my youth. Metro Center Mall – yes that’s where they filmed the mall scenes for the Bill and Ted movies! Before I got a job in the mall, I spent many hours loitering there. I got a two-dollar-a-week allowance and I could only spend it all in one place!
If you think that Bieber and One Direction fans are annoying online, imagine how it would be if they were inescapable while you were trying to do your Christmas shopping. Yes, Duranies roamed the mall like brainless zombies…wandering from one end to the other in search of Duran Duran lookalikes.
There was always at least one boy at the mall who did his best to look like John Taylor or Simon leBon. (No one ever tried to look like the other guys – isn’t that weird?) My friends and I would find one and trail him around the mall from store to store, giggling and elbowing each other. I am sure he enjoyed the attention. Why else would he dress up like that, right? (We were totally creepy.)
The best store at the mall was called The Merchant. They sold posters, tee shirts, and photos of your favorite bands. They would also turn your photos into buttons (badges) that you could wear on your jacket.
If you didn’t have at least 20 badges on your person at all times, you had failed as a Duranie. I had hundreds of them that I put on a rotation schedule. I bought sets of badges, as shown above, but the coolest ones were the ones I had made from magazine photos or photos I bought at The Merchant.
Yes, it’s pretty sad, but we didn’t have tumblr, so we had to actually buy pictures. I was my own walking tumblr page if you think about it.
The Merchant had huge photo books out on their counters, and we fans would page through them and plan our future purchases. We would giggle, and sigh, and squeal as we discovered a photo we hadn’t seen before.
One day, when I was feeling particularly hopped-up on Nick Rhodes obsession, my friends and I headed to The Merchant once again. I made a beeline to the photo albums and feverishly thumbed through to the new photos.
I saw some concert photos that actually showed Nick’s FLESH. This man was usually covered up from head to toe. He even wore hoods and scarves to cover his face. Seeing his actual ARMS and CLAVICLE was like a glimpse into the gates of heaven. I reacted like a Victorian gentleman who glimpsed a shapely ankle.
From deep within me came a roar of delight…a scream so raw I tore my throat up. I screamed as if Freddy Krueger had just appeared before me. It was better than feeling myself up in the store, right? (Probably not)
The next thing I knew, security was escorting me out of the mall. I had taken the bus there, so they walked me out to the bus stop. I was probably banned from The Merchant but the staff turnover was so high, it was never really enforced.
I didn’t even get to buy the picture! It would have taken my entire allowance, but it would have been worth it.