Duranalysis: Sing Blue Silver, Part Two

Onward and upward! Let’s pick up where we left off in Part One, which, upon reflection, was a little short on gratuitous references to John Taylor’s jaw-dropping beauty. The above screengrab was chosen to rectify this oversight.

In Atlanta, the boys attend a banquet in their honor at the headquarters of one of the tour’s big sponsors, Coca-Cola. The event chairman spontaneously calls upon John to make some off-the-cuff comments. Always ready to add a fun chaotic element to any situation, a somewhat blurry John takes the stage and cheerily declares his preference for Pepsi.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s neither Coke nor Pepsi in John’s glass.

So after the show, Nick sits down with a couple of the lighting guys to hash out the problem with the overly-dark stage. The lighting guys -- you know, I really wish Sing Blue Silver had done a better job of identifying all the various staff and crew members running around, so I could refer to people by name and/or title -- do their best to placate him. They’re obviously treading delicately around their wee dainty 21-year-old millionaire pop-star employer, and thus their responses come across as a bit condescending: “You’re bright up there, I thought, so it is a psychological thing, too… Problem is, all night long we were taking readings with meters and stuff, and you’re the brightest one on stage 90% of the time.” Nick -- totally calm, totally polite, totally intractable -- goes straight to the heart of the matter: “But I couldn’t actually see.”

While this is taking place, Roger waltzes in front of the camera and, oh gee, his pants appear to be sexily unbuttoned.

Roger Taylor: stealth exhibitionist.

The boys go on a tour of FBI headquarters at the Hoover building in DC, where they’re treated to a lecture about the Bureau’s past accomplishments. The Durans all display varying degrees of polite interest and/or mild ennui. Except for Andy, who’s mesmerized. Andy is a heartbeat away from abandoning this whole guitar-legend-in-the-making business and embarking on a bold new career as a G-Man.

No. No. Jesus, no. FBI agents, mark my words: No matter how much they plead and whine and beg and bat their pretty eyes at you, do not let the gaggle of hyperactive, accident-prone pop stars handle your guns.

New Orleans: Nick and Julie Anne stroll around Bourbon Street, where Nick receives an impromptu tap-dancing lesson from a young street performer. I appreciate Nick’s moxie, but his dance skills have not noticeably improved since the “New Moon on Monday” video.

It’s the home stretch of the tour. Irrepressible prankster Simon feigns a broken arm during rehearsal.

Afterward, he reveals the charade. The Durans find it uproarious. Well, sixty percent of the Durans find it uproarious, anyway -- Nick is nowhere in sight, and as for Roger…

Yeah. Not too hard to tell what he thinks of all this.

Okay, this part is sort of ghastly: During the last leg of the tour, John had some kind of accident in his hotel room that resulted in a badly lacerated foot. The exact cause is still shrouded in mystery, but let’s clear our brains of speculation and accept John’s explanation in an article in the April 1985 issue of, ahem, BOP magazine (“John Taylor: ‘I Nearly Killed Myself!’”): “I had been dancing on broken bottles without realizing it and I had to have 20 stitches in my foot.” Dancing on broken bottles! Could happen to anyone! After that, John was in no shape to prance about the stage, but they couldn’t afford to cancel the gig and reschedule the very expensive shoot for the Arena concert film, so… well, here’s a quote from Andy’s memoir about how they got John ready for the show:

“In the end, John had to be fired up at both ends. The doctor gave him huge amounts of morphine in the foot. Then John took pharmaceutical cocaine through the nose to keep him awake. It was the only solution; otherwise, the morphine would have knocked him out.”

I was originally going to remark that you can’t tell the difference between the performances where John is uninjured and the performances where he’s tripping balls to take away the crippling foot pain, but then I started sorting through screengrabs, and…

Yeah. Yeah, you sort of can.

Backstage after the final concert, an emotional Simon and John and Andy all mash themselves together into one big, clingy, sweaty, meaty, tear-soaked mess.

Once again, Nick is nowhere to be seen (teary, sweaty, shirtless group hugs are not, repeat, not his scene). Roger glances at his hugging bandmates, then opens a beer and sacks out on a nearby couch, looking like he’s had quite enough of Duran Duran, thank you.

And that’s pretty much it. Entertaining stuff. It’s strange: As glamorous and exotic as they all seemed during this time, for all the weirdness that came with their monstrous fame and fortune -- the drugs, the egos, the excesses -- they still basically come across as a bunch of nice kids. Kids with great bone structure and awesome hairstyles and flashy wardrobes, sure, but nice kids nonetheless. 


DKoren said…
This latest two-part Duranalysis totally made my day!! I haven't watched Sing Blue Silver since back in the day, but I remember chunks of it, and now I clearly need to watch it again. As usual, your descriptions are priceless and I laughed out loud a bunch of time. I particularly like the Andy mesmerized by the FBI line. And lovely screencaps too!

I was thinking of you! My sister and I went and saw them a few weeks back when they played in LA, and Nick came out in this leopard patterned jacket with this black tie/bow thing around his neck... and he rocked it, as only Nick can. Anyone else would look like a complete fool. Anyone but Nick. I wished you'd been there with us! My appreciation for Nick has definitely gone even higher after reading your Duranalysis posts! My appreciation for Andy has gone way up too since reading his book and following his posts on his journal, which are just wonderful. I mean, Andy talking about how to have a bbq on a budget?? Awesome.

Loved this!
Morgan Richter said…
Oh, cool -- DKoren, thanks to you, I just found Andy's journal. I was unaware it existed! This is going to be good. And he's even on Twitter!

Very cool that you saw them in L.A! My sister and I are seeing them next week at Madison Square Garden. Can't wait. I've seen photos of Nick's Very Special leopard jacket. Yes, only Nick could pull that off. Only Nick would even try. Nick is a strange, magical creature, not bound by the rules of mere humans.
DKoren said…
Woo! Have fun at the concert next week! Andy's journal and whole webpage in general is quite fun. He's got a lot of things up there. I really do love his journal entries though. He's a good writer, and I love the way he puts things.

Did you hear John Taylor's autobiography comes out next year? Now that ought to be quite interesting!
Morgan Richter said…
My hopes are high for John's autobiography. He comes across these days, in interviews and on Twitter, as very smart and introspective (as opposed to the early 1980s, where he seemed like this fragile, loopy disaster waiting to happen). If he's as funny and self-aware in his autobiography as he is in interviews, it might be very, very interesting.
details-later said…
"I learned… to use my instrument"
"There's nothing coming out… but it's very wet!"
"The agile brain of Nick Rhodes! At work!"
"Just because it's Russian!"
"We'll have to spend more time in nightclubs! Yes — that's the answer!"

Heee! After wearing out the Duran Duran video album on an almost-continous loop in 1984, my childhood friends and I turned our attention to Sing Blue Silver and the verification that Duran Duran was just the coolest band ever, and cemented why I was going to be an Andy girl forever!

As you can see, my friends and I could mine instant, random laughter just by uttering select quotes from Sing Blue Silver — and I obviously can still recite from the top of my head many years later! (I hope they're correct, actually!)

@DKoren: Had no idea Andy Taylor kept up his journal and is now on Twitter. I guess I picked the wrong day to quit the Internet (™the air traffic controller in Airplane!)

Anyway, thanks Morgan, for returning the DD glory back to Preppies of the Apocalypse!

PS. Should I be grateful there is no mention of Spy Matthews?
Morgan Richter said…
Oh, lordy, Sing Blue Silver is endlessly quotable. Simon's quip about "the agile brain of Nick Rhodes" never fails to crack me up. And Nick's whole "Terrible. Horrible. Vile!" rant about the lighting is a thing of joy.

Heh. Yes. Draw your own conclusions about my complete exclusion of Spy Matthews.

The discovery of Andy's Twitter account, which is every bit as gonzo as one would hope, is pretty much the best thing to happen to me this week (and I found this tweet oddly touching).
Cheryl Kraynak said…
OOhh, John's book is really in the works? I'd like to see a book comprised simply of Simon LeBon-isms. Those from video/interviews and from Twitter. Wouldn't it be cool to have him as a dad?

Thanks for getting back to Duranalysis one last time this year.
Morgan Richter said…
Cheryl, John's book is definitely real (and almost certain to be awesome). Press release here. Can't wait. Here's hoping Nick and Simon follow suit...

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