I say that you also never forget your first teen idol love.
Allison Pearson's novel, I Think I Love You, was influenced by her 13-year-old-girl love for David Cassidy. When I heard Terry Gross's interview with her earlier this year, memories of my own passionate, yearning love for Simon Le Bon bubbled to the surface.
|Novel that sparked memories of my wholly imagined love affair with Simon Le Bon.|
The focus of our obsession? Duran Duran. Along with all the other teenagers around the world at the time.
We wove stories around the band. Literally. Kim had John Taylor, Karen had Roger Taylor, Amy had Nick Rhodes, and me? Simon Le Bon (bestill my heart). No one wanted ugly and, thankfully, married Andy Taylor (God bless my mean teen self). We wrote stories about being their girlfriends and exchanged pages at school.
I so loved Simon. I drew pictures of him (see a terrible rendition of him below). I fantasized about being his girlfriend. Of marrying him and living happily ever after. I collected buttons with his face and his sexy and, at times, porky body. I pored over his photos. I read articles written about them. I laughed at their witty press conferences. I wore jazz shoes without socks, just like they did. I bought their albums. I knew every word to every song. I admired Simon's lyrics, even though I often didn't understand them. I listened to The Reflex on my walkman (which took cassette tapes) before every race I ran in track.
|My terrible rendition of Simon Le Bon that I thought was so great when I was 14.|
And just as suddenly, after Rio and after Seven and the Ragged Tiger, I fell out of love. By the time A View to a Kill came out, I no longer cared about them.
But somehow, unbeknownst to me, a piece of my heart remained with Simon and his band mates.
Fast forward to1992. I was spending the year living out of my suitcase as a traveling consultant for my sorority. When from out of obscurity, Duran Duran hit the airwaves with Ordinary World. It so spoke to me of their own journey. And I was so happy for them to be getting a second chance at success.
In 1998, Duran Duran went on tour. Of course, they only had two of the original members: Nick and Simon. But I was finally old enough to be able to go to a concert. And I finally lived in a major city that attracted musical acts. So 16 years after I first fell in love, I got to see Simon in person at the TLA. He wore a purple crushed velvet suit and my husband called him a tart and I loved every minute of it. My husband was suitably impressed that I still remembered every word to every song as I danced and looked with fond affection at the stage.
And then my long-buried and wildest dream came true. The Fab Five reunited at The Tower in 2003. Two months after I gave birth to my son. My husband bought me tickets and came with me. And he laughed while I screamed, along with the other 3,000 women in the building, as John, Roger, Nick, Simon and Andy posed at the edge of the stage for five whole minutes, soaking up the adoration. They did not disappoint as they sang all of their hits. And I was transported back to 1982.
Even now, I still keep track of the music they're putting out. I listen to interviews with them on Sirius Radio. And when I heard the interview on Fresh Air with Allison Pearson, I was reminded of how much a part of me still loves Simon Le Bon. So much so that I recently found his blog on Facebook and liked it so that I can stay up with what he's thinking and doing and saying. Aah. Simon. Even after all these years, I'm still Hungry Like the Wolf for him.