If there is one opportunity in life not to be missed, it is the opportunity to go to Atlantic City to see all five original members of Duran Duran perform. I know the band played Webster Hall in August, but why stand in a cramped club with 1,000 ironic trucker-hat-wearing, Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling hipsters when you could be in a nice casino ballroom at the new Borgata Hotel with people with unironic mullets and who actually mean it when they sing along to the songs?
So four thirtysomething ladies headed south, quickly getting into fights about who was gonna nail bassist John Taylor. Delusional, yes, since Mr. Taylor is quite hitched to the woman who co-owns Juicy Couture, the company responsible for introducing hideous velour sweatpants into popular culture.
Once at the Borgata, we saw a commotion in the middle of the casino floor. “There they are!” one of the posse said. We coolly walked over to get a look-see, since we’re not, like, groupies. “Don’t get too close,” one of the ladies intoned gravely. “We don’t want to ruin the mystique.” Somewhere someone shrieked, “Siiiiiimonnn!” Oh. That was me. I was always a Simon Le Bon girl, so I told them they could fight over John, who was sporting weird, spotted highlights in his hair, and that the singer was all mine.
At dinner we reminisced about our teenage days when we were at concerts like this one, and the singer would point into the crowd and how we were always absolutely sure that he was looking right at us. One friend said, “It was never about sex. You were just sure they were gonna pick you out of the crowd and marry you.” We sighed. We know now that rock stars don’t marry girls in the crowd, they marry models. (Evidence: Yasmin Le Bon.)
We took stock of our surroundings. Many, many, many other women somewhere in their thirties had also made the trek. “Remember,” said one of the Duran fans I was with, “no matter how old we feel, Duran Duran are older.” Thankfully, their performance didn’t make them seem that way. After a sluggish first half (with the exception of “Hungry Like the Wolf”), the show kicked into full gear. They played “Wild Boys,” “Rio,” and the encore, “Girls on Film.” Simon shimmied and shook his hips and generally acted ridiculous, but when he pointed into the crowd, I shouted, “He was looking at ME!”John behaved like a lead guitarist instead of a bass player, doing pigeon-neck maneuvers à la John Travolta and hogging the spotlight. Poor guitarist Andy Taylor really wants to be in a hard-rock band but is stuck inside a pop machine; he got extra excited and windmilled during “Wild Boys.” (Anyone remember his wretched solo album?) Keyboardist Nick Rhodes wore a lot of makeup. Drummer Roger Taylor wore the same shirt he’s been wearing for 20 years (button-up, sleeves cut off, collar turned up). It was fabu.
One thing was different from when we were teenagers — this time there was an after-party and we could get in. Well, almost. The party was conducted in a hallway that led to a series of doors. Behind one was a mystery group of people; behind the second were members of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Duran Duran are maybe the last straight guys on earth who could give the Queer Eyes a tip or two); and behind the third door lurked the Duranies. A friend asked, “Have you ever met the Duranies? A word of advice: Simon and Nick are living in the past, but John is a total gentleman.” And he was right; John spent a good amount of time trying to have a private moment with a woman in a wheelchair while 30 onlookers stared at the whole exchange. Alas, we never got to meet our teen idols because the super-small room was too packed.
Moby, who apparently was offered a Borgata-chartered helicopter to take him from NYC to AC (he politely turned it down), got to meet the Duranies, of course. But being Mr. Political, it was probably not a Big Deal. Ever the activist, he is spearheading, in conjunction with Laura Dawn, David Fenton, Eli Pariser, Lee Solomon, and Jonathan Soros, a political contest with the MoveOn.org Voter Fund. The contest, called “Bush in 30 Seconds,” invites people to construct a 30-second TV spot that denounces the administration. Fourteen celebs, including Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, and Michael Moore, will judge the entries. Says Moby: “Time to defeat Darth and the Evil Empire.”
Special to the Web: On Wednesday, November 19, the Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra announced a proposal that would abolish the cabaret license, replacing it with a “nightlife” license. Sources say the DCA no longer wants to regulate dancing. More to come.