Monthly Archives: November 2012

The night Martin Gore proved that eye contact = sex

It should come as a surprise to no one that my obsession with Nick Rhodes led to an obsession with Martin Gore.  They are both blonde, elfin, girlish, and play keyboards.  There were a few differences, though.

Nick Rhodes wore makeup like a woman does – to make himself look “pretty”.  I would use photos of Nick to guide me on eyeliner application.  (Especially during his Cleopatra period during Arcadia.) Nick preferred pastel pink lips, and a smoky eye.

Martin Gore was a different story.  He wore ruby red lipstick, smeared eyeliner, and bondage gear.  I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, but it’s obvious now.  He even had a shirt that said, “SUBMISSIVE” on it.  Martin Gore was kind of scary and dangerous to me back in the 80’s.  I knew he liked girls, because he would always talk about his German girlfriend Christina when he was interviewed in Star Hits.  The question was, what did he like to do WITH those girls?  Knowing his girlfriend was German, I am pretty sure golden showers were probably involved.  EEK!

My Depeche Mode fandom reached its peak during the Music for the Masses tour, aka the 101 tour.  DM came to Phoenix twice that year.  The first time I saw them, I didn’t have a very good seat.  I vowed to be right up front next time.  The band came back around in June of 1988.  I think we were the show they played right before the legendary Rose Bowl show.

My friend and I slept in the parking lot in front of the Diamond’s Box Office in a very bad neighborhood.  I’m surprised nothing happened to us.  We chose this box office  because we knew hardly anyone would buy a ticket there, so we’d be first in line.  No one else camped there, so we were the only people in line.  Luckily, our bet paid off and we had front row center tickets!  I remember that I cried after we paid for these tickets.

I started planning what to wear to the show.  I wanted to stand out and be noticed.  I knew that most DM fans wore black (and the boys wore skirts, which I loved).  I decided to do the opposite, and bought a skintight white mini-dress.  At the time, I was 5 ft 8 in and weighed 100 pounds, so I probably looked like a bag of bones, but I thought I looked super hot.

It has been many years since I was at that show, but there are so many defining moments that I will never forget.  I remember Martin and Alan bashing away at sheets of steel and lead pipes.  I remember Dave Gahan twirling around with the mike stand in his white outfit (Dave grabbed his crotch and shook his junk at my friend Leslie that night, scarring her for life) .  I remember Martin Gore playing A GUITAR during the encore (Pleasure, Little Treasure).  It blew everyone’s fucking MIND that he played a guitar.

But the moment that stands out the most for me is when Martin sang The Things You Said.  I remember he was shirtless, wandering the stage in his bondage gear and softly singing about how someone did him wrong.  I knew all the words, and sang along, my eyes following him wherever he went.  Towards the end of the song, he stood at the edge of the stage, right in front of me and my friends, and looked me right in the eye while he sang a few lines.

I grabbed my friend Sophia’s arm and held on tight so I wouldn’t fall over.  When he moved away, Sophia and I jumped up and down in excitement, and she was screaming “He sang to you!” over and over.  I could have died right there and been the happiest corpse in the morgue.

DM is releasing a new album and touring next year.  Hopefully, I’ll get a good seat.  Even after all this time, I love me some Martin Gore.  I loved his floofy hair, his rat tails, and his wonky teeth.  I wish he hadn’t gotten his teeth fixed.  Who am I kidding?  He’s perfect no matter what.

Oh, Martin….*happy sigh*

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John Taylor – Magical Mulleted Unicorn

Photo courtesy of Duran Duran’s facebook page

To me, John Taylor is the Magical Unicorn of Duran Duran.  I have been incredibly lucky to have met Nick and Simon several times (that’s another story), but I have only met John at fast-paced meet and greets.  For this reason, John Taylor is still the only guy in Duran Duran that gives me butterflies and makes me a nervous wreck.  In other words, the Magical Unicorn.

The first time I met JT was when he was touring with the Neurotic Boy Outsiders (Steve Jones, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum).  After the show, the band did a quick meet and greet in the backstage area for the fans that were waiting by the bus.  I think we waited for at least an hour, hoping to see our heroes.  Patience paid off and I got in line to meet him.

The closer I got to the table where the band was sitting, the more nervous I felt.  John was at the end of the table, and I could see him in the FLESH.  Before that moment, he seemed like a mannequin or a painting – he didn’t seem real.  For years I had watched him on TV and stared at photos in magazines, and imagined how it would be to see him for real.  Even watching him perform on stage was not real, it was a persona.  This was the first time I had seen him off stage, just being himself, as an actual human being.

I’m embarrassed to say that I sailed right past the rest of the band (I snubbed Steve Jones!  What is wrong with me?), and stood in front of John.  He looked up at me, smiled, and asked my name.   I noticed how his eyes crinkled up just like they did when he smiled in interviews.  I whispered my name and my throat tightened.  My eyes were burning, and I felt fat, salty tears rolling down my cheeks.  John looked alarmed as I started sobbing.  I managed to croak, “Thank you for the music!” as he handed me a signed flyer.

My ex (boyfriend at the time) was right behind me in line, and he apologized for my outburst.  Then he and John discussed the intricacies of graphic design (I heard the phrase “72 dpi”).  I wandered off and saw Bev, who ran the B5 message boards for John.  I had calmed down by then.  I revealed to her that I was the girl who was having flame wars on AOL with John’s then-wife, Amanda DeCadenet (or as I liked to call her, Amanda DeCuntenet…more on this another day…Courtney Love was also involved…).   Bev thought this was the funniest thing in the world, and she wanted John to know.

I told Bev about my embarrassing outburst but she dragged me over to John again, and told him that I was the infamous “NRhodie”, or as Amanda called me, “NRhodent”.   John laughed and said that he was enjoying the drama, and he thought it was hilarious how angry Amanda would get.  I should have realized then that this was a bad sign for their future together (thank goodness).  At least my final impression was that of an evil online troll instead of a crying fan, right?  I’m not sure which is worse.

I should add I’m not a total wife-of-Duran-hater, because I love me some Yasmin and Gela, okay?

The second time I got an autograph from JT was in 1998, when he was touring with the unfortunately named John Taylor Terroristen.  In his defense, this was pre-911.

I had brought the tour program from the 1983 charity concert that the band did with Aston Villa (John’s favorite football team).  John asked if he could keep it.  During this time, John was not in Duran Duran anymore, but he was very nostalgic and was collecting all sorts of memorabilia of the band’s history.  He would post about them on the B5 message boards.  I thought for a moment about giving it to John, but I really wanted it for my own collection, so I said no.

As the years passed, my love for Duran Duran waned, mostly because of horrible experiences I had with fans.  I ended up giving away most of my collection to my friends.  I regret letting some items go, but it is fun to look for them again.  I did end up keeping anything that was autographed, including that Aston Villa tour program.

Cut to the present day – John Taylor did a book signing in Austin last Friday.  I hadn’t been in the same room with JT since that day in 1998, because I had stopped going to see Duran Duran in concert before the reunion.  Writing this blog has rekindled some of those old fangirl feelings, so I knew I had to go to this book signing.  I definitely wanted to give John that tour program he wanted years ago.

I went to the signing by myself, because I didn’t know any other Duran Duran fans in Austin.  I made a few friends while standing in line, which is always nice.  I think I’ve learned to smell the crazy on the fans so I know who to avoid.  To be honest, I probably came across as the crazy one, because I was excited to have someone to talk to about my stupid Duran adventures.  My new friends and I giggled over the thought of meeting Mr. Taylor.

John was his usual charming self, and did some readings and a Q&A for the crowd, which consisted mainly of forty-something ladies.  The shrieking was pretty loud.  I felt like I was at a Thunder Down Under strip show (not that I frequent such establishments).  Someone actually shouted for John to take his shirt off.

Finally it was time to get in line and meet the man himself.  I barked like a drill sergeant at my new pals to get them in line before the other fans trampled us.  My old cutthroat Duranie instincts emerged.  The Magical Unicorn has this effect on me.

I started to have that same feeling I got when I first met him.  I thought I might pass out at one point, but I made it.  I had a purpose.  I wanted nothing more than to clear my karmic slate by giving JT that tour program he had asked for so many years before.

I approached the table.  John looked up.  His eyes crinkled.  I flashed back to that day but kept it together.  I handed over the tour program and said, “John, many years ago you signed this for me, and asked if you could keep it.  At the time, I said no, but now I would like you to have it.”  He looked surprised; I’m sure he thought I was going to ask for him to sign it.  John paged through the program and said delightedly, “Wow!  I don’t have this one! Thank you!”  I smiled and said, “Well, now you do.”  That was pretty much the extent of our discussion, but it made me feel good.

John will always be the Magical Unicorn to me, and he will always be a mullet I have loved.

Post Script:

Of course I scanned that motherfucker before I gave it to JT.  I’m not THAT crazy!

Here’s a link to my tumblr posts with the scan of every page.  The paper was bigger than my scanner but I think it came out all right.  There are 3 tumblr links due to limits on uploading more than 10 pictures per post:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3