The Soundtrack of Your Life
by TJ Meadows
Music is universal. It’s language agnostic, politically agnostic and in some cases a way to unite the divided. For me, there is one voice, one catalog of music that I can chart the milestones of my life against. I will be showing my age for sure when I say that I am a child of the eighties and that as a result I am a huge Duran Duran fan.
When I was eleven years old I stumbled across a photo in some teen magazine of five beautiful boys from Britain called Duran Duran. I was instantly smitten, having never heard a note. Upon further investigation at the record store – yes folks, I was alive for vinyl – I found their album and fell in love with their sound. These handsome, big haired men could rock and so began my now thirty seven year love affair with Simon LeBon and the rest of the Duran boys.
I was fortunate in that I grew up PSM – pre social media. Because of that, I could idolize this band and make them into whatever I wanted them to be. Had I known then what I know now about their naughty rock star ways, I might not be the fan I am today. It was so much easier to have heroes then, without the scrutiny of the twenty four hour news cycle to inform you of every bad decision a famous person makes. My allowance was used to buy every poster, magazine, album and other piece of memorabilia I could get my teenage hands on. My bedroom was a shrine, literally covered floor to ceiling with the images of Simon LeBon, the Taylors – John, Andy and Roger (none of which are related) and Nick Rhodes. Their music was a constant presence. Each song marks a period of my life.
My parents were not fans. The constant teenage infatuation was more than they bargained for. When family and friends would ask what I was going to do when I was older I informed them I was going to be Simon LeBon’s back up singer. It really wasn’t Mom and Dad’s favorite answer. My father used to tell me I was born twenty five years too late and that I would have been perfect for Beatle-mania. My mother, to this day, still shudders when she hears Duran Duran or Simon LeBon. As any good daughter would do, I am sure to call her from every concert so she can enjoy a snippet of hearing them live.
So, now I am an adult, but still a fan. Yes, I am still a member of the official fan club. Yes, I keep a spreadsheet of my bucket list items for seeing this band. It has silly things like seeing them on a Monday and seeing the first concert of a tour (both of which I was able to check off with the last time I saw them live). Yes, I got a Simon LeBon tattoo a couple of years ago. My husband is quite a good sport about the whole thing. I tease him sometimes that he is my second love. He patiently accompanies me to concerts – I have seen them live sixteen times – seven of those with my husband. He never cringes at the crazy amount of money tickets sometimes cost or the whacky ideas I come up with like ‘Let’s fly to Austin to see them at Austin City Limits.’ I am fortunate that he supports my obsession.
I often joke that if I win the lottery or write a best seller or have some other large infusion of cash that I am going to book them and have them over for dinner and get a private concert. While that all sounds fantastic, I am really not sure I would want to. How could Mr. LeBon possibly live up to what I have created in my head and my heart? Maybe it is best left alone. I’m thinking I likely won’t have to make that decision as the lottery isn’t going to happen as I never buy a ticket, and while I would love to write a best seller I do have a realistic view of the world. I will keep trying, but I am not holding my breath.
For now, I will continue listening to them while I work, write, drive. I will eventually send Simon LeBon the bill for whatever part vibrates off my car, or for hearing aids because you officially can’t listen to him sing with the volume turned down. I will continue to work on that bucket list of items and see them in concert whenever I can. I will smile at the memories each song invokes and will enjoy creating new ones as those songs play in the background of my everyday life. Who wrote the soundtrack to your life?