Friday, December 23, 1988

Duranduran at Wembley ...

I had a lie-in today until a little past 10. J.P., Viv and I didn't even leave for London until about 2.3o p.m. We got to Victoria Station at about 3 p.m., where J.P. split from us to go to the Tate Gallery (Doug and I visited the museum back when we came to London in October.)

After buying a train ticket for our trip to Skegness tomorrow, we walked to a bank, then ate lunch at McDonald's. We did a little shopping, then made our way to the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.

It was quite fabulous, and unfortunate that we couldn't stay longer. We saw some great works of art by Van Gogh, Constable, Renoir, Degas, Seurat, and there was a special Rembrandt Exhibition going on, so our timing was perfect.

After we left the museum, we found ourselves walking toward Leicester Square eating roasted chestnuts (like you're supposed to around the holidays... this was the first time for either of us... very interesting flavor.) I bought a calendar to give to Viv's parents for Christmas.

Then we had a brief scare when we were separated for about 10 minutes outside of Athena/HMV. Not sure what happened, but considering how things have been around here lately, with terrorist bombings and such, we each got a little nervous, and were relieved when we found each other again. Relieved, but now running behind schedule if we were to make it in time for the big event of the evening, the Duranduran concert at Wembley Arena.

We quickly grabbed some burgers from Burger King, hopped the Tube to Wembley at 6.35 ... five minutes after we were supposed to meet everyone at Wembley. We arrived at the arena at about 7.15 and had to wait about 15 minutes to before getting into the arena to see the concert. It was me, Viv, J.P., Sid, Paul, and Sara. We had one open seat, where Doug... who organized this evening for us, would've sat had he not left on Monday. So we had a place for all of our coats, anyway.

By the time we got in, the opening act had already started, and they were BAD. It was a band called Stetasonic, and they were horrible, an off-tempo rap band. When they failed miserably on a version of Yakety Yak, it was followed by extensive booing from the crowd... well deserved I might add. Well a bit later I purchased a programme for 7 quid (bizarre but cool - top photo is from the programme cover), and then the next act started, a sort of Jazz-Acid style band. Interesting mix. Another cool thing, the band left "Christmas cards" on every seat in the arena for the fans (photo left is the cover.) Pretty cool. It had "Duranduran Merry Christmas" on the cover, and "angelic" pictures of the band inside (photo below). Nice souvenir! The also announced that this was the largest audience ever for a concert performed at Wembley Arena.

Finally, at 9 p.m., the lights dimmed and Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor took the stage, opening with "Big Thing," followed by "I Don't Want Your Love," and "Girls on Film." It was a very energetic and exciting show, with performances of "Notorious," "Is There Something I Should Know," a very erotic "Skin Trade" (the dancers), "Rio," "The Reflex," "Wild Boys," and a tragically errored performance of my favorite song, "Save a Prayer," (Simon flubbed a line... otherwise, well done!)

They played several tracks off the new album, of course, including "Do You Believe in Shame," "Palomino," "Too Late Marlene," and "The Edge of America" and "Lake Shore Driving" as the encore. It's good to see that after all these years, Duranduran still has it (not sure why they turned the band name into one word, but I'll go along with it.)

Following the show, Viv, J.P, Sid, Sara and I went our way, while Paul went his way... back to his home. The Tube station was absolutely packed, so when the empty train pulled up, it was a mad dash to get in and hopefully grab a seat. We all managed to get one. At 11.30 p.m. we were back in Victoria Station and on the train to Longfield.

The Daily Mirror Incident

While we were riding the train back to Sid's, we found a copy of the Daily Mirror ("Yorkshire's Favourite Newspaper," but not mine!) When Sara got off at Bromley, I moved into her seat and Viv moved to the seat where that copy of the Daily Mirror was sitting. I picked up the newspaper, and in an act of defiance for no reason in particular, I tossed it into the next seat, which was empty.

However, I got a bit of a strong arm on the paper, and instead of landing in the seat, it climbed up over the seat and landed right between the two adjoining ones, balancing precariously over the person sitting in that seat on the other side. We were all rolling hysterically, because by all rights that paper should have gone over and hit that person in the head, but thankfully it did not. It remained there until that person left the train. At that point, J.P. fulfilled destiny by pushing it over the edge.

At the station in Longfield, Sid's mom was waiting for us and gave us a ride back home. Even though it was late, we still stayed up, watching "The Seven Year Itch" and eating bacon sandwiches. Then I packed for a bit, since we are leaving for Skegness tomorrow, and then went to bed. No one can say that we haven't used our time wisely this week. We saw and did quite a bit.

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