The true fans fight back!

Readers defend Duran Duran -- and themselves. Plus, Hilary Liftin's "Candy and Me."

By Salon Staff

Published August 18, 2003 5:09PM (EDT)

[Read "I heart Duran Duran," by Sheerly Avni.]

Sheerly Avni's article definitely opened the memory floodgates. I'm 35 now, and sometimes it's hard to remember what it was like to be so young and so in love with a pop band.

I was 15 in 1983. My three best friends, Beth, Kate, Lara and I attended a small Catholic school in Richmond, Va., and we were champion "Duranies" as we called ourselves.

We too, assigned ourselves a guy (I had Nick Rhodes) and we spent endless amounts of time writing long, involved, Harlequin Romance type "novels" about our future lives with John, Simon, Roger and Nick. (Andy was married, so he didn't count.)

Our bedrooms were wallpapered with posters, and we wore as many buttons on our school uniforms as the nuns would allow.(I think the limit was set at three.)

We even talked the headmistress into letting out of school early so my friend Beth's mother could drive us to Roanoke, (4+ hours one way) to see Duran Duran in concert.

It was the most magical night of my young life. To be so close to the objects of my desire was ecstasy. I broke my fingernail battling over a red solo cup that Nick Rhodes had used. I didn't get the cup, but the water that spilled from it ruined my watch and I kept that watch in my nightstand for years afterwards.

Thank you, Sheerly, for not only letting me step back in time for a few moments but also for your perspective on seeing the band today. If the tour makes it to the East Coast, I may have to call up the other Duranies so we can pretend to be 15 again for a few hours.

-- Deirdre K. Gabriel

Wow! I'd have suggested my friends use fake names, too, had I know the seemingly friendly writer girl from Salon was gonna nail us to the cross for having fun at a Duran Duran show/after party. Clearly our winking-yet-sincere '80s joie de vivre -- hello, Duran Duran REUNION TOUR? How fun is THAT? -- was resoundingly lost on her. Too bad. For eight years I've been a music writer, a club promoter and an advocate for artists in the music biz; though I've certainly been accused of geekdom, dorkdom and fandom ... I've never actually been accused of being creepy. Congrats, Sheerly - you finally got to beat up on the other girls at the mall!

--Lisa Jenkins

Dear Sheerly: Well duh, John didn't talk to you! He's saving himself for me!

Just kidding, obviously. I loved the article. I saw two-fifths of Duran Duran back in the late '90s, and I'll admit it was an incredibly fun show. There were endless technical difficulties with the sound, and when the amplification cut out after the opening of "Rio," well, we fans just sang it ourselves. It was the best version I ever heard. I was an insufferably elitist police fan back in the day of Duran, but as the host of an '80s radio show, I heartily embrace the bubblegum pop of the day. Thanks for the careless memories.

--Jaz Tupelo

If you want to love Duran Duran, then love them, Sheerly. But, my dear, do not demean them in an attempt to keep the cool kids happy.

I went to Vegas to see the Fab Five play, and the true fans -- the ones who were able to look through youthful eyes -- were too busy screaming and singing than wondering how to literately poke fun at Simon's dance moves. I also had a chance to meet them, and all five were lovely and charming and left me with all my 10-year-old dreams of a pop star future intact.

Duran Duran never left you, doll -- you left them. So turn in your Nick button at the door and make room for a constant fan.

-- Laurell Haapanen

[Read "The sweetest thing," by Hilary Liftin.]

I, too, have experienced this love of candy ruefully -- like loving a boyfriend who is a darling but not marriage material. You know there is no good end in sight, yet you go on, hoping that things will turn out. Amazing how well we can fool ourselves, isn't it? Maybe someday he'll get a job! He'll want to settle down! Candy will become nutritious and magically lose its calories and carbs!

Bottle Caps are also my favorites, and I was thrilled to discover a sister in the Bottle Caps coven. When I would find them I would gleefully purchase too many of them. The cola-flavored Bottle Cap may be the best food ever invented. I can still taste them now.

I gorged on Swedish Fish, Tootsie Rolls, Mentos, Bit 'o' Honey, Nerds, Chewy Nerds, Chewy Sweet Tarts, Chewy Whatever I Could Find That Contained Sugar in Huge Amounts. Raspberry-filled Godiva candy bars. Heath bars. Chi-chi-poo-poo espresso chip organic chocolate bars from the hippie food store (the illusion of nutrition). I kept candy in my purse at all times.

It was true love. But now we've broken up. I'm on a low carb diet, and I have had to bid farewell to my sweets. But I will never forget them. I will always love them. But reading the story brought that love back like gangbusters. I will have to spend the rest of the day lamenting my lost love.

-- Alicia Huppman

Salon Staff

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