50 Maltese Duran Duran fans watch as The Wild Boys are back (di-ve.com)
Saturday, 08 May, 2004
Last April, a group of 50 Duran Duran fans from Malta visited London to watch Duran Duran (original line-up), live in concert at Wembley Stadium Arena in front of a 14,000 audience.
A 3-Day Tour in London was organised by Reflex Promotions, Capital Radio 88.7 and Mario Buontempo Tours. The ReflexMalta group joined Alex Grech, the presenter of (the appropriately-named) Reflex on Capital Radio 88.7FM, who had been following Duran Duran developments since last summer and keeping his Saturday morning listeners updated on what was happening.
On the concert day, Alex Grech was surprised to receive a phone call from Duran Duran's PR/Management. The band wished to thank him personally for promoting Duran Duran in Malta. Alex was invited backstage to meet his idols prior to the concert. "ReflexMalta (www.reflexmalta.com) was put
together to follow up the radio programme's popularity.
The Maltese love 80's music and many have been crazy about Duran Duran since their teenage years. When the band re-united it was a natural thing for me to organise
this visit to London. I usually travel on my own...taking 50 people with you is a different thing. So it was good to know that the band knew that ReflexMalta was in London. And once you meet Simon, John, Roger, Nick and Andy it's brilliant. The guys are great to talk to", Alex said.
Alex also interviewed John Taylor and Nick Rhodes. John Taylor knew a lot about Malta from Robert Palmer who used to live here when he was young. In the 80's, Robert Palmer was Power Station's frontman along with John Taylor. Unfortunately Palmer passed away in September 2003. Alex also took the opportunity of asking John to include Malta in the band's forthcoming European Tour. Nick Rhodes was surprised that Duran Duran have such support from such a small island. When Alex told him that many Maltese girls still admire him he replied "they have good tastes then!!"
ReflexMalta also took over a banner with the website's name, hung prominently during the concert and signed by Nick Rhodes. The Concert lasted two hours and included such favourites as Rio, Wild Boys, Girls on Film, Save a Prayer, The Reflex, Notorious, Hungry like the Wolf, Planet Earth and Ordinary World. Duran Duran also performed new songs such as Sunrise and What Happens Tomorrow. At the end of the concert the band members faced the reflexmalta banner and waved towards their Maltese fans.
"It was an amazing experience, with the lights, music and a great show from a group who gave us enormous pleasure" said Alex Grech, "You can't help but be satisfied when you see the group you admired as a younger man in front of your own eyes after eighteen years. It was a dream to see the original Duran Duran members performing live once again".
In the eightees, Duran Duran were compared to The Beatles, sold more than 70 million records worldwide and broke box office records. When they split up at the height of their fame in 1986, their heartbroken fans were inconsolable. The last time Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor performed together was during the Live Aid performance in Philadelphia in July 1985. Andy and Roger left Duran Duran shortly afterwards. Simon, Nick and John continued to tour together to the delight of their fans around the world.
Duran Duran gradually faded until last year when lead singer Simon Le Bon brought the other original members together and told them of his wish to reunite after 18 years to record and perform as a group once again. The others agreed on the need for a comeback as the timing was perfect. It was exactly 25 years from the year Duran Duran originally formed in 1978, in Birmingham.
Since reforming last year, Duran Duran performed celebrity-packed gigs in the States, supported Robbie Williams in Australia and New Zealand and received lifetime achievement awards from both the MTV Music Video Awards and Q Magazine. Duran Duran were also awarded for their outstanding contribution to the music industry at this year's Brit Awards.
It looks like Duran Duran can easily repeat the success they had in the 80's because they have old as well as new fans who still love their music.