In 1997, I created a fanzine about Nick Rhodes called “Saint Nick”. Because I was a total creeper, I actually mailed it to his home address, and enclosed a postcard for him to send us a review. (He actually did this, which will always amaze me.) Duran Duran were touring to support their “Medazzaland” album, and my friend Marcia was able to get me on the backstage list because of her connection to Wes Wehmiller (may he rest in peace), who was the touring bassist in the band once JT quit.
All this being said, I finally had a chance to meet Nick in 1999. I had actually met him once before, but I was just a face in a crowd and he quickly scribbled his name on my CD. (I still cried for almost an hour afterwards…what a loon…)
The band were playing for three nights in a row at the Chicago House of Blues, so a bunch of my friends and I got a room at the hotel to go to all the shows and hang backstage.
I was extremely nervous, especially that first night. During the show, I could hardly contain myself. I thought I might throw up. I imagined all the conversations that Nick and I would have, once I told him I was the fanzine girl.
After the show, we took the elevator to the backstage area. I was with a huge group of people – some of them I knew, and some I had just met. One girl that I didn’t know well had been to a Duranie bachelorette party before the show, and was wearing a shirt with Roger Taylor’s face on it. I think it said “I (heart) Roger Taylor”. Now, remember, at this point, Roger had been out of the band for over ten years and we had heard nary a peep from him. This girl’s favorite in the band was Roger, and I guess each girl at the party received this shirt with her favorite on it.
I was truly mortified to be seen with this girl, because I subscribe to the philosophy that you do not wear the band’s tee shirt to a show. And you certainly do not wear a band’s tee shirt, featuring a guy no longer in the band, to the backstage area. I kept my distance from her as much as I could, and stood in the corner awkwardly.
I was frozen with terror and nerves. Luckily, Marcia and Wes found me, and Wes very kindly took me over to meet Nick, and get my tour book signed. I remember Wes said to Nick, “I’d like you to meet my friend, Michele.” It was the nicest thing he could have said, because it gave me credibility around Nick.
I decided this was not the time to confess that I was the girl behind his silly fanzine. I wanted Nick to think I was a super cool friend of Wes’s, and not some dumb fangirl like all the other people trying to get his attention.
Once the meeting with Nick was over, I did some people watching. At one point, Simon was walking around barefoot. That man has the most gnarled up and gross feet I have ever seen. Yuck! Then, Warren stripped down to his underwear and started showing off his muscles.
This was my cue to leave, so I headed to the elevator. Who should I see there, but the girl with the Roger Taylor shirt? We engaged in small talk and got into the elevator.
Just as the door was about to close, I saw Nick approaching. I held the door open for him – wouldn’t you?
Nick saw me and smiled, then spied the girl next to me wearing the Roger shirt, and his face fell. He turned around and walked away as the elevator door slammed shut in my face.