Tag Archives: Oxford Street

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER – Seeing Spandau, Idolising Idol & Missing Duran

Duran Duran weren’t around much for these months. They had left/were leaving the UK to do what ever they needed to do on finishing the Notorious album. I had obviously now gotten the bug for meeting people in bands that I liked so off I went to see Spandau Ballet and Billy Idol! I had already met the Spands whilst Duran were in the country. I really wanted to meet Billy Idol to, so I set about trying to do that! These are the entries for between 18th September and 23rd October – not  much Duran – so you can skip this part if you aren’t interested!

Monday 21st September 1986

Went to see Spandau at Nomis. Saw all of them. But Gary remembers me. He goes ‘Hello. I haven’t seen you around for a long time.’ So I just said to him ‘Yeah, sorry. I’ve had school and things.’ I had my photo taken with him too. He’s lovely.

Me with Gary Kemp September 1986 Nomis Studios COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS

We also had a group photo for the album done. It was OK.

Also saw today: Fish from Marillion, Fletch and Martin Gore from Depeche Mode.


I never told Duran I was going to see Spandau. I never told Spandau I saw Duran! Silly eh? Just kept it a secret in case they hated us for it! Gary Kemp though remembered my name from the start and even after not seeing him for months – remembered it. Something that for me, none of Duran had ever done!

Seeing Fletch and Martin Gore from Depeche was bizarre. This is how it happened. Rae and I were walking down towards Piccadilly. We were talking about Depeche Mode. She said her favourite member was Fletch and I said mine was Martin Gore. Just as we reached where Our Price record shop was Fletch and Martin Gore came around the corner! We must have looked gob smacked and a bit mental as they walked past us! But how freaky was that!

The album photo was a group of Spandau fans sitting on the steps on Nomis studios. It was going to go inside a gatefold cover for the album they were recording. Unfortunately it never happened!

25th September NOMIS

Went to see the Spands again.

Got talking to Gary. He said he liked my hair and asked if it was natural. He said it was lovely!!! We were talking about Eastenders. And why he wasn’t in a good mood. But I soon cheered him up! He also was talking about a photo session they did the day before and he said to me ‘I know you weren’t there, why weren’t you there?’

By the way, we weren’t told but John flew to New York today – NO ONE TOLD US! Oh Well.


I think that Gary Kemp liked me! He was always very complimentary. Awww!

Not happy about not being told about John’s flight to New York was I? That still happened, even though I was friendly with all the ‘known fans’, some of them still like to have a bit of exclusivity with Duran. It was just the way it was then!

September 26th 1986 NOMIS

Waited for Gary and John Keeble, the rest left early but they were doing an interview. Me and Gary were chatting. Me and Das had photo’s done with him. I got a cuddle from Gary. They were really nice.


Nomis is a recording studio, by the way!

September 27th 1986

Gary remembers my name! Das must have reminded him as she ‘shouted’ my name yesterday. He was really cute. I had my purple and pink striped trousers on. Gary said ‘I like your trousers!’ so I said ‘Are you taking the piss?’ and he was laughing. Really lovely again.


They were jeans. They were white with skinny purple and pink stripes down them. They. Were. Vile!

September 28th 1986

Went to see Simon and Nick fly out but due to bad circumstances – eg between mine Sam and Das’ – I was completely late and missed them completely. I did meet some girls from Germany though, Tanya and Michaela who are in England for a while. (They told their mum they were in Belgium!!!!)They said they would give me some Billy stuff! Yeahhhhhh!


The circumstance was Das and Sam told me to go to one terminal at Heathrow when Duran were at another. This was the last time they did this as they felt bad for me. This is what Duran fans did to keep the band to themselves!!!

Can’t believe that the German girls told their mum they were in Belgium when they were really in ENGLAND! WOW!

5th October 1986

Haven’t seen the Spands because on Friday the Spandau Fans did Gary and Martin’s birthday thing and they didn’t want us there. But on Saturday Gary asked where I was!!!


Spandau fans also liked to keep their band to themselves! Understandable really, especially as we were Duran fans so not really Spandau fans. You weren’t allowed to like both at the time. I did though. 🙂

6th October 19896 NOMIS

Went to see Spandau.

Gary came down the stairs and the first thing he said was ‘Hello Michelle, where have you been hiding?’ Then after a while he asked me what was the matter. He said ‘Why weren’t you at my party?’ So I told him ‘There was some confusion and I felt that I was invited’ So Jo tells me I was being bitchy! Huh! Gary was showing me so much attention that Jo was probably pissed off with me. And. I. Don’t. Care!


Ahhhhhh. Gary wanted me at his party!!! It wasn’t a party as far as I remember. The Spandau fans had bought presents and a cake and they gave it to him at the studios. Was nice to feel wanted though!

8th October 1986 NOMIS

Went to see Gary. Rae and I was walking down the street and we saw Martin and Tony so we crossed the street! We didn’t want to see them!

I said to Rae, ‘Please let me see Gary on my own’ Then Gary and John walked out, John is Rae’s favourite!

We talked and talked. I asked Gary whether they were playing a gig on the 31st and he said in a few weeks he’d tell me. It was really good to see our favourites on their own. They are flying out to do a telly show, so will see them Monday. We tried to get Gary to give us a lift home. He was taking John home and his car only had two seats, he said he would have otherwise!


Missed out on getting a lift home! Shame really as Gary only lived about a mile away from me at the time!

13th October 1986 NOMIS

Oh God. I feel so bad. Just writing this I just remembered that Gary said ‘Goodbye Michelle’ and I practically ignored him. Shit.

Gary Kemp and I taken with the school camera October 1986 COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS

Good-ish day. I took photos with the school camera. Got Gary and Martin to sign a Smash Hits poster of them. John and Rae had a pic done. They are all so nice, Spandau. It’s Gary’s birthday on Thursday so that’s the next time I’ll go down.


My hair was CRIMPED! From around this time I crimped my hair almost everyday as I HATED having curly hair! This picture went into my photography exam as I developed the film and made the print!

Thursday 16th October 1986 NOMIS

Gary’s Birthday

I gave him my card and he liked it. He was a bit tipsy and champagne that the band had bought him.

I got well annoyed with him as he was a bit drunk and he drove himself home.


Naughty Gary Kemp! Hope he learnt his lesson. I hated people who drank at the time. Hated people who drank and drove a car more. Remember being very annoyed at him! Hehehe.

22nd October 1986

HMV New Store Opening!!! OXFORD STREET

Jo told me that Billy had gone into the party already but Rae and I decided to risk it. We had to leave by 10pm though. Billy and Steve Stevens turned up and I thought they were already in there. The press pushed us out of the way but I got a great view of Billy not so good of Steve. I always say this at the end of entries but I LOVE BILLY IDOL!!!!!!

23rd October 1986


Met Billy at Chrysalis.

He looked gorgeous. He was with Steve Stevens. He sign things, his new album that I bought today. And we all had billboard posters of Whiplash. He signed them too. I got mine signed and it said ‘love you’ on it. I think I was the only one! (written after – I WAS!)

Then I asked him to pose for me. He did, but I didn’t wind  the camera on so he waited. I said thanks. Then he came over and KISSED ME ON THE CHEEK!!!!!!!! I went crazy!

Billy Idol & Me Chrysalis 23rd October 1986. Just before THE KISS! COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS

Anyway we waited for him to come out and we all had individual pictures done. I had mine last, again and this time Billy kissed me STRAIGHT ON THE LIPS!!!!! God I thought I was going to freak out there and then but I didn’t!

Framed! Group shot meeting Billy! October 1986 COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS

Das, Sam, Rae, Bang, Amy and I met him. Sam went crazy and chased the car! I couldn’t believe it!

Being kissed like that by Billy is – God – BRILLIANT! I’m definitely in love with him!!

PS He kept telling me he wasn’t allowed out at night!!!!


So many exclamation marks on this entry. I was very shocked. I had never been kissed by someone famous before – or since – and I got two in one night from Billy.  And I said I was in LOVE with Billy! How sweet!

As to suggesting he wasn’t allowed out at night…what did he mean? You can see what I looked liked – he couldn’t have been propositioning me…..could he???


19th/22nd August 1986 – Need Some Air Studio’s

Tuesday 19th

Being trapped at Air Studio’s ain’t much fun but when Simon spots you in a crowd and says ‘Hello, How are you?’ What can I say? I was in pain! But I just said ‘Oh, I THINK I’m ok!’

Nick and John came together. They didn’t seem very happy. They were OK.

Nick at Air Studio's. The Awning was Burger Kings! COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS













Friday 22nd

Today, some girl told John that the shirt he was wearing was weird. Then he got in his car. I tapped on the window and mouthed to him, ‘I LIKE your shirt!’

He rolled down the window and said ‘Ta’! Then started to roll it back up. Then said ‘I like you too!’

My God. Whatever next?!


Duran were now at Air Studio’s for a few days. They went back and forth as far as I can tell between Abbey Road and Air Studios in the next few weeks. Air Studio’s is a MAD place to have a studio. It is on London’s Oxford Street and next door to a Burger King and a few shops away from Top Shop’s largest store. It was MAD! People doing their shopping, tourists, traffic and a band recording an album. A great recipe for madness! Simon also used to use the tube to get to the studio and get off at Oxford Circus. Sometimes he would walk down the street and have a crowd of people just walking behind him, in awe that Simon Le Bon was casually walking down one of London’s busiest streets.

I remember one day Simon casually strolling along from the direction of Oxford Circus tube. I was sitting on the floor outside the studio’s just watching. A girl holding lots of shopping bags was strolling along, walking towards Simon. At first she did not notice him, she was chatting to her friend next to her. Then she looked straight ahead, saw Simon and all hell broke loose! She flung down her bags and ran full pelt towards Simon! She jumped onto him going absolutely bonkers! It was scary and funny at the same time! I remember everyone trying to pull the girl off him and get him into the studio’s safe. That must of been really scary for Simon as none of us obviously did that sort of  thing. At the studio’s he was used to a handful of fans being calm and acting normal. This was an unknown person, flinging themselves at him. It must have happened all the time, but that was the first time I had witnessed such a frenzy!

John and I had a funny kind of  banter back in those days. You will see that as time goes on in these diaries. He would say things that would obviously cause friction between other fans. I mean, when he said that he ‘liked me too’  I was in full earshot of other fans. That meant that I was probably gossiped about and bitched about too. Such was the nature of the Duran fan! But I was extrememly flattered! John and I used to be sarcastic to each other a lot in those days. And now too, to be honest. I am very sarcastic and John can be very cutting too. It made meeting him even more interesting, as I love a good banter!



August 11th/12th 1986 – Abbey Road For The Fab Four


After being at Air Studio’s for 4 days (or is it 5) Duran went to Abbey Road. You know. The Beatles. The Fab Four. Now being used by the Fab Five. Or is it????

John, Nick, Simon and Steve Ferrone are here so that’s four I suppose. Rumour has it that Andy had done a photo session with Duran. Rae asked Simon. Simon said ‘I don’t even know if Andy is even in the country.’ Erm.

Today, apart from seeing SLB who has gorgeous blonde streaks now, JT and Nick I also met the Pet Shop Boys and talked to Chris Lowe for a bit. And Siouxsie and the Banshees. (Siouxsie and Budgie). And Ped and Mark O’Toole from FGTH.

Talked to Koren and Rocks today and met Koren’s brother too.

I gave Nick a letter today and he said it was funny! JT was nice today too. Simon was. Well so-so.

Nick and I Abbey Road August 1986 John is behind me! COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS


Duran went to see Prince at Wembley in concert – the Purple Pain! So we went to Wembley too!

Just missed them going in – we sat and listened to it outside as we could hear it. We also got interviewed on TVAM about Prince. They asked us if we liked Prince and if we were there to see him and everyone said ‘No we are here to see Duran Duran!!’ Except me! I said I liked Prince!


This must have been Duran’s first day at Abbey Road. Previous to that they had been at Air Studio’s, which is in the middle of Oxford Street. A nightmare for Duran as I think a later entry will discuss! I would imagine, as I have no knowledge of this, that different studio’s did different things, hence why they moved around from studio to studio. Either that or they could only book certain slots then other bands needed the studio. I am sure that someone could enlighten me! My entries do go back to Air Studios, they didn’t use Abbey Road for long.

But it being Abbey Road meant that we got to see quite a few other bands, as you can read. I used to love Siouxsie Sioux , she looked scary with big hair and make up but was the sweetest lady! The Pet Shop Boys were also lovely. We saw the FGTH (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) guys around a bit in those days too. It was like there were pop stars on every corner in 80’s London you know!

This August 11th entry is bizarre in one way. Because TODAY, the day that I am writing THIS,  is August 11th 2011. So this page from my diary that I am looking at and transcribing from was written on this very day TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO. Wow. That kind of blows my mind!

(I wonder if anyone has that TVAM interview outside the Prince concert? I didn’t have a VCR then so just watched it the following morning. I think I was just seen in the footage. But I was heard saying that I liked Prince when the others were just saying they liked Duran!)

I find it a bit sad that even at this point that Duran were making what was to be the Notorious album, we still hadn’t heard if Andy was coming back. Just dismissive comments from Simon not knowing if he was even in the country. We had heard that Roger wasn’t coming back as Steve told me he was booked for the album. But we hadn’t seen any session musicians turn up to play Andy’s parts so I think we must have assumed that at any minute Andy will stroll up at the studio’s. He didn’t at Abbey Road. But he does soon…….

As a little footnote, there was a LOT of graffiti at Abbey Road from Beatles fans. Some of us Duran fans may have added to that somewhat…….sorry Abbey Road!