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.
Duranalysis: Sing Blue Silver, Part One
Duranalysis: Sing Blue Silver, Part One