Fangirl Friday – When Fandoms Collide

Welcome to Fangirl Friday, episode one. Today is a sort of hodge-podge, pot-luck day, with fandom taking the reins. Anything I’m a fan of, I’ll talk about here. Now, to be honest, I had a whole other blog planned for today. It was descriptive, funny, and had  nothing whatsoever to do with music. Oops! So on my best friend’s good advice, I put it away in the “maybe later” pile.

“Well pooh!” I grumbled. “Now I have to pull a new rabbit out of the proverbial hat.” Before I could get a good pout going, her chuckle sounded over the phone.

“You have a ton of music-related fan stories. In fact, why don’t you talk about the first fandom event we shared?” Laura murmured, her smirk so loud my eye twitched. Then I thought about what she said.

After picking my jaw up off the floor, I started to grin. She was SO right. The weekend she and I first met was full of wonderful fandom moments, like accompanying her to her first Duran Duran show. The very first, though, was our adventures outside a Chicago radio station.

It was the afternoon of Friday, August sixth, 1999. Dark days for Durans and Duranies alike, even though it was the time when Laura was just entering the fandom. I was twenty-five, she was twenty-two, three months and eleven days shy of her twenty-third birthday. We had met on the internet and it was the first time we’d seen each other face to face.

Only two members of the original five, Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes, were in the line-up of the band. Or, as many of us like to affectionately call them, Ego and God. They were playing the House of Blues, and we had also heard that they would be visiting a local radio station. Because the show was general admission, we knew we’d have to stand in line most of the day to get a decent spot. Even so, we couldn’t pass up the chance to maybe meet the band.

Like good little Duranies, we got dressed up in our concert gear that included (for me) black velvet, white feathers, and glitter. We were a bit confused when we got to the radio station, thinking we might have gotten the wrong building. Sure there were several other females in concert gear, but none of them looked to be out of high school. Some of them didn’t even look like they were old enough to be in high school. What the everlovin’ heck?

The doors opened and five guys emerged. The teeny-boppers went nuts and mobbed them. Four of them were unfamiliar to me. But when I caught a glimpse of the fifth, I froze with the shock of recognition…of the back of his neck.

“That’s…that’s JC Chasez from the Mickey Mouse Club,” I stammered. At the same time, Laura said, “Oh my God, it’s NSYNC!” My heart was pounding and I just stood there, trying to remember how to breathe. I dimly heard Laura snapping pictures with her camera. None of those were more than the backs of their heads, sadly.

Once the limo had driven off, Laura and I stared at each other and giggled. The dust settled, bringing a handful of women our age and older as the younger girls dispersed. We were still giddy and chatting about it when a very tall, familiar-looking man emerged and nearly trod on me. To be fair, I’m only 5’4″ and he’s over six feet tall. It’s amazing he was able to swerve around me at the last minute.

Laura and I grumbled until he got about ten feet away and turned. We both nearly dropped on the spot. It was Simon Le Bon! One of the very men we’d come to see! I was writhing in shame as she took pictures. I’d been a Duranie for fifteen years at that point and hadn’t recognized him, yet I recognized the back of the neck of someone I’d been a fan of six years before for only a short time!

Granted, I’d actually met JC in person once, when the MMC did a Target tour, and had never seen Simon so close. It was too early in our friendship for Laura to tease me back then. By the time we were close enough for her to do so, I had redeemed myself as a Duranie, but that’s a story for another time.

So what about you? Has a minor fandom ever intruded on a major one? Do you have any tales of missed opportunities? I want to hear your stories, please!


  1. Alia Salem said

    Never had overlapping fandom experiences but once when Harry Ford was staying at the hotel I worked. I got to check him in. It was great! When he was coming to check out early one morning I was waiting with baited breath so I could be the one to do it. This older looking guest was coming to check out so I told the other girl to take him cause I had dibbs on Han Solo and wanted to be free when he came down. She obliged. I wasnt paying too much attention to them but as the older man was checking out I glanced over and them and then just him and realized to my deep chagrin Harry was the older man checking out!

  2. Author Kristen Lamb said

    Fan Girl Friday. I like it. Suzan was making fun of me for going all fangirl over Chuck Wendig’s blog. I told her I threw panties at his blog, but they just bounced off the screen!

    Great to see you in the blogosphere!


  3. Katie W said

    I have several amusing stories about me with celebrities. Mayhem follows me I guess.

    There is a good fandom collision story. In 2007, I went to the UK to follow the Manic Street Preachers for 3 weeks. As I prepared to go, I was looking about my house for a folder or something to put some pictures, etc I was going to try to get signed. It turns out the only folders in my house are Duran Duran. So I merrily put my stuff in the Seven and the Ragged Tiger folder and went on my trip.

    To make a long story short, I met the Manics several times over the length of the tour and I always had my Duran folder with me. It was so bad that by the end of the tour, the lead singer/guitarist would see me and say “Seven and the Ragged Tiger.”

    Go me. LOL!

    • Gigi Salem said

      Isn’t it awesome when they remember you? Best feeling in the world!

      *edit* AND! I love stories of mayhem… do tell!

  4. Laura said

    Well, I’d tell you about the time that Simon and he who shall not be named nearly tripped over us… but you’ve heard that.

    That may be the only time my fandoms have collided. Many other DD fandom moments are coming to mind.

    Although, I do geek out seeing Monkees memorobilia in the same Hard Rock Cafe as Duran Duran memorobilia. 🙂

    • Gigi Salem said

      Well, collided in person at any rate 😀

      What about all those six degrees collisions?

  5. Sara said

    Aw, the white feathers. i so enjoyed those years! you guys were the best at raising a young’un!

    I’ve got this:
    I’ve loved a local band called the Format for years and years. I loved their first efforts, but their second, Dog Problems, was a different story. i was so excited for the CD, and bought it Day 1 for (my last) $18.00. before i got a chance to listen to it though, the local radio station announced that the band was offering it for free on their site. i was so bitter about spending that money that i threw the CD under a dresser and never opened the shrink wrap.

    FastFwd 5 or 6 years…

    My friend gets me into a band called “fun.” which i’m obsessed with. Lead singer of fun is from the Format. ❤ him. Anyway, i break down and break out Dog Problems to get my Nate Ruess fix.
    Track 4 is "She doesn't get it". track contains not 1 but TWO duran duran references:
    "it gets worse once we get to her room
    she stops and she sings
    'do do do do do do do do'
    I claim 'New Religion' is my song
    she doesn't get it – it's all before she was born"

    -Hungry like the wolf AND New Religion?? SRSLY?

    a few tracks later..
    "'mint car' is keeping us warm"
    -The Cure, Wild Mood Swings, SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

    so… i flipped for a while. i'm in love with this little band and that he loves the same bands i do is .. nothing short of startling. Also, that i carried this awesome album around for years in its shrink wrap is… just.. wow.

    Lesson learned: don't hold grudges!

    love ya miss ya…

    • Gigi Salem said

      That’s fantastic! See, the universe knew you’d eventually need to hear that song and kept the CD safe for you! In fact…maybe *I* need to hear this song!

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