Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, JT

Chances are if you were a teenage girl in the 80s you know that JT isn't a Tall Dark Handsome Cotton Mill Owner.  In this case he's a Tall Dark Handsome Bass God. 

When I was 15 John Taylor from Duran Duran hung the moon as far as I (and about 10 million other girls) was concerned.  One of my Duranie friends wrote to him once a week to ask him to our junior prom but never heard back; maybe her letters got lost in the mail?  We all read Diane Diane's breathless reports on the Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour in Bop! and voted him Most Desirable Man on the Planet in Star Hits for several years running.  We wore fedoras, dyed our bangs blond and learned to smudge our eyeliner like he did.  I cried when he got engaged to the Bond girl and again when he got engaged to the supermodel (did I mention the whole being 15 part?).  By the time he finally did get married I was over him and fandom.  Yep.

In the late 90s I was wondering what he was doing.  A couple of years earlier he'd appeared at DuranCon and announced he was leaving (and then played an acoustic version of "Lonely In Your Nightmare").  I searched him online and found his website, TrustTheProcess, which had a message board.  It was an eyeopener.  His fans were funny and generous in large part because he was funny and generous with them.  He hosted chats, answered questions and offered encouragement.  Fans touched him and he touched back.  Most of the fans on TTP also posted on the Lizard King, a Duran fan site, which was the motherload of info before really got it's stuff together.  There was a parody site, a huge fan creativity site (TheLovelyBluePlanetofThere) and a couple of people had private message boards.  There were epic flame wars.  You haven't lived till you've seen c*** used as about twenty different descriptors. 

Mostly, though, there were the other fans I got to know, online and off.  There've been at least two marriages.  We screamed our way through Kennywood and a couple of us made Christmas time pilgrimages to the Jimmy Stewart Museum to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on the big screen.  We still hang out on Facebook.  They're good people and they were a great crash course in online fandom.  So, thanks, JT, for the squee, for the grooves and for these Friends of Mine.  Happy 51st!

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