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The nature of life in reality . . .

Hallucinating Elvis – Musings from the Mississippi Delta - Part Three

This is the last of the Duran tour diaries. You can expect another whimsical post - on another subject - tomorrow or the next day!

Grand Casino - Biloxi, MS
Saturday August 21, 1999

Since we had made such a night of it, we decided it would be best if we slept in and nursed our hangovers. Anna had decided to stay with us, since she wasn’t capable of driving back to her brother-in-law’s in Gulf Port, and she shared the bed with me. I guess she got up really early because Harold said she was gone when he went on an adventure to IHOP at 9:00.

Sonya and I lounged about until eleven or so when Lori called. She said we needed to get our butts in gear and get over to the Bayside pool because Simon and Warren were there swimming. Neither one of us had showered, but this was an emergency! I put on my bucket hat and my Barbarella T-shirt and we headed to the pool. And before anybody gets started on the whole stalking thing, we had another motive for going to the pool. We had to meet our friends for lunch in an hour and Lori was riding to the restaurant with us. Lori was at the pool, so we had to go to her. Thin logic, but logic none the less.

In the time that it took us to get there, Lori had mustered the courage to ask Simon for an autograph. She said something about not wanting to be a hemmheroid (that’s certainly memorable). He wasn’t talking to anybody, but she did get his autograph signed “To Lori” with a little heart or smiley face (we weren’t sure which). Needless to say, she was very excited. Then we decided to take a stroll outside since we had to tell her friend Anissa we were leaving anyway. I guess now is the part where I should say that Lori also wanted to take her a camera. Ok, so we walk out to the pool and as we come through the doors Simon was walking towards us - wearing nothing but a black Speedo and his cowboy hat. Here I am, trying to play it so cool and not look like a freaking dork and the holy hand grenade of Antioch is there and he’s half naked (how’s that for a run-on sentence). I kept walking towards Lori’s friend, but before I could stop it the words escaped my lips.

"Hello, Sailor!!"

And yes, a lot more crossed my mind. A girl has to keep some things to herself for legal reasons. I can, on advisement of my attorney, say that there was absolutely no stuffing of the Speedo in the Rio video. This, my friends, is one big hot tamale. But, I digress. Simon sauntered to the courtesy phone and talked to someone for a minute or two. Then, he strolled back to his chair and put some shorts on (damn!). As we stood and talked to Anissa for a minute, I noticed Warren in the pool. With his little bald head bobbing up and down in the water he looked just like a buoy!

After the dinner fiasco of the night before (sorry Autumn) we vowed to do better for lunch. We met at Ruby Tuesday’s on the beach. Nate and Amanda, and his friends Laurie and Gabe (all from New Orleans) were there. Sony and I had met them all in Tampa on the Medaz tour, so it was nice to see them again. Monica, Nelson, their friend Mike, Stu, Veronica, Anna, Lori, Sonya and I sat down and chowed. I am sure we annoyed the hell out of the wait staff. We even made them take pictures of us.

After we parted ways, Lori, Anna, Sonya and I went on a search for a one-hour photo processor. Our first stop was a cheezy beachside tourist shop with a shark’s mouth around the front door. While Sonya admired all the lighthouses and looked for a photo counter, Lori spied the merry-go-round. She dared Anna to ride it. Obviously Anna is not one to turn down a dare because she plopped her quarter into the slot and mounted the duck. I had to take pictures.

Well, they didn’t have a photo counter, so we headed off to the mall. They didn’t have one either, but I did manage to find a kick-ass Ricky Williams jersey shirt for James. We’re big Saints fans you see. The people at the sports store told us that there was a Wal-Mart down the way, so we headed out again.

We never found a Wal-Mart. After we drove all over town we came upon a Rite Aid. They didn’t have a photo counter either. I’m not surprised, though. Could you honestly expect a store that only carries Pepsi (no Coke, only Pepsi) products to be progressive enough to have a one-hour photo? I don’t think so. We drove to the Wallgreens and gave them the film. We killed time for 45 minutes and went back in to watch the prints come out of the machine. The four of us stood there squealing as the pictures came out! Some girl walked up to us and asked "Who is that? The Backstreet Boys? N'Sync?" She was serious. Anna says, "Uh - no, Duran Duran!" I still don’t know how she managed to say that without biting this little bimbo’s head off. Aren’t we a little old – I mean mature for such boygroups? And while we’re on the subject, I don’t see how anybody can even lump the likes of such manufactured no-talents in with my precious Duran! Ok, we have fully established that this was indeed a serious dork! moment, but I didn't care. The pictures were great! We got three really great live shots and tons of backstage stuff from the first two shows.

By this time it was getting late, so we scurried back to the hotel and got ready for the show.

I was sort of bummed because it was the last one. Troy wasn't able to pull of any more passes, but Nelson got a photo pass and took close to 200 pictures during the show. Sonya and I had his camera case and had resigned ourselves to being good (staying in our assigned seats). Several songs into the show, there were still empty tables down front. We waved David, the serious looking security guy, down and he said we could go down. The casino security tried to stop us, but we had connections [thanks Dave:)]. This was the third night that we ended up smack down front ! Once we got down closer, it was easy to see why the band didn’t like the crowd. The first three rows or so were up and dancing, but everybody else was sitting down with their popcorn. Rachel and her husband were there with us (they had front row tickets that night) and Rick let me stand up with Rachel. How sweet of him, huh? Warren played with us a lot, and I actually caught Simon's hand as it swung by. Joe saw us and waved from behind the drum kit.

After the show they all came by shaking hands in the front row. Joe leaned down and apologized for not having time to do his nails today - I thought I was going to die. I mean, how cool is that??!!?? I managed to get Warren's set list, but the security guy ripped it as it was pulling up. My ears were ringing but I didn't care. As we were walking out, I saw Jen (the girl who was at our assigned table the night before). Apparently, Simon saw her up in the balcony – she had a sign that said “I love you Simon,” or something like that. Anyway, Simon told Dave to come and bring her out of the balcony and down to the floor . . . and they say he treats the fans badly.

We saw Joe and Wes in the lobby again. The security guard hassled us about taking pictures until Joe said it was cool. Joe said he was going back to the Bayside bar and we said we’d see him there. We mingled with our friends and ordered drinks.

We had been siting there for a while when Joe came over and asked if I would paint his nails for him. I said sure! So, he went and got his little nail kit and we made a scene of sorts. Let me tell you, this boy has some fabulous taste in nail varnish! They started playing "that fucking song" by Celine Dion over the muzak. I did my “mannish-horse-faced-frenchcanadian-chestbeating-cameltoed-hammertoed-haint” impression to many giggles. Can you tell I hate her? Then Simon came over to talk to the Blondies from the night before. He was right in front of me. I kept talking to Joe and doing his nails. Warren was there too. I was unfazed. I told Joe later, if you had asked me a month ago how I would have reacted in that situation I would have said “I'd freak!” But, I didn't. I'll still squeal like a little girl at a show, but I've seen the real thing. I could care less. That’s not to say that I don’t still find Simon attractive, because I do. He stirs up emotions in me that my estrogen can’t tolerate. Still, I am in a committed and loving relationship. I can’t imagine jeopardizing that with anyone – including the man of my adolescent fantasies. If Simon wants to have a discussion about the superiority of Brannagh to Olivier, that’s cool. If Nick wants to have a coffee and talk Cocteau, I'm on. Otherwise, fu-geht-b'out it.

God, I feel like such a grown up!

The tour was all I expected it to be and more. If it all works out, you'll see me there again in the spring.

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