I had been to the BBC at White City a while back to see Duran on Top Of The Pops to do Sunrise. Went back again to see them do What Happens Tomorrow. There was a lot of hanging around. We sat outside on the benches. John was out there too on the phone for ages so we just left him alone. I had made up this book thing about what some of us old fans were up to now along with pictures of us lot with Duran from the 80’s. I gave it to John and he looked through it with me. He commented that I was ‘cute’ back in the old days! Cheers John! He also commented that my daughter and Roger’s daughter had nearly the same name. (spelt differently but sounds nearly the same.) I also got talking to him about Amy and that she was at home and couldn’t make coming to see him that day. So I said ‘If I phoned her would you have a quick word?’ He said ‘Of Course’!
It was really funny. I phoned and said ‘Hi Aim, how’s it going’ She started asking me how it was, how was Duran. So I said ‘Oh hang on a minute’ and passed the phone over to John, who was grinning. They had a chat for a bit and he passed me back my phone. You should have heard Amy screaming down the other end of the phone at me!!! She was very thankful, let me say!
So after we asked John if we could get to Toronto and New York, could he get us concert tickets for us? He was extremely lovely and gave us an email address for his assistant to contact. We thanked him profusely and just carried on the chit chat. The TOTP was great, right at the front.
5th April 2005
We got the concert tickets from John! Can’t believe how lucky we are!
Sam and I flew to Toronto and we stayed with Jo who lives out there. Our friend Janice came from Pennsylvania too. We went to the gig at the Air Canada Centre – and it is huge! I was so nervous. I walked to the box office fully expecting there to be no tickets. But there they were waiting for me. IN MY NAME! The concert was superb. I can’t really remember much of it but it was great. We didn’t have aftershow tickets but I didn’t care!
After that we spent a few days in Toronto. We went to see Duran the day before the gig on MuchMusic Canada though. That was funny. Strange set up where the studio was inside and there was an audience in there too but the front was open to the street. We went along and got in the crowd. A researcher came outside to ask a few people if they would ask Duran specific questions that they had written down. They asked me, I said no but Sam said yes. The question was about what stuff was on there rider I think. So when it came to asking the questions Simon and John came outside. As soon as John saw Sam he laughed! On mike he said ‘We know her!’ It was hysterical. You can search the clip on youtube I think!
After that we (Sam and I) boarded a Greyhound bus to Pennsylvania. We met up with Janice and stayed at her house. We had bought tickets for a gig that Duran were playing in a place called Wilkes Barre. It wasn’t the best gig, but we had excellent seats. There just wasn’t much atmosphere. Shame that.
After that we boarded another Greyhound to New York! Jo C flew in from the UK and Jo CR flew in from Toronto, Janice came from PA. Me and Sam from the UK too. It was great. We stayed in the Hotel Pennsylvania which was right opposite Madison Square Garden, it was brilliant!
We did some touristy NY things like Canal Street! I called Christy and she invited me to her apartment in Brooklyn. The others were all tired and wanted a rest before the gig so I had to go on my own! I felt very brave negotiating the subway on my own to Brooklyn I can tell you. So I hung out with Christy and she played me some stuff on her iPod (it is AMAZING!) and I played with her cat and we chose outfits for the Duran gig night. I then got a yellow taxi over bridge (not sure which one but it was iconic!) and went to get ready for the gig.
We went out for a meal first. We had a few to drink and Sam was a bit tipsy. Was a bit late arriving at the gig, went up loads of escalators and then bumped straight into Ana Matronic! It was so lovely seeing her, she gave me massive hugs. Then her and Christy went into the gig.
Again I can’t remember much about the gig. We had a couple of aftershow tickets so Sam and I went. It was in this swanky hotel just off Times Square. There was a strange swimming pool on the stairs with models in gold bikinis swimming around. Sam stood and talked to Simon and Yasmin. It was very very packed!
It was the most exciting time of my life though. I can’t thank JT enough. I had the most fun in TO, PA and NY. Being with great people and seeing a great band! Even though I am 34 and shouldn’t be doing this anymore! IT WAS GREAT!
GIG DATES 5th April Air Canada Centre Toronto, 9th Wilkes Barre PA, 13th Madison Square Garden, NY
NOTES ABOUT THIS ENTRY
I don’t know where to start. This was a great time to be around John. He was mellow, fun and friendly. He enjoyed chatting to us. He was very very generous – we realised later. We found out later that on the Astronaut tour there weren’t many ‘free’ gig tickets and that John actually paid for our Toronto and Madison Square Garden tickets out of his own pocket. I know he can afford it – but that made it even more special.
I had a couple of ambitions when I was a teenager. I got myself a copy of Fodor’s New York and I read up on the places that I wanted to go to. One ambition was to see a concert at Madison Square Garden – any concert! The other was to go somewhere on a Greyhound bus. At 34 years of age I achieved these dreams – and the gig was a Duran one to boot! It was a great achievement to me.
One last quick note. Don’t ever ask me to review a Duran gig – I’d be terrible! I am too interested in enjoying myself and dancing my arse off to remember much about the gig itself!!