Thursday, November 17, 2016

Duranduran - Big Thing - 1988 - Chicago Edition

Happy Birthday to Me.  Happy Birthday to ME!  Happy Birthday to Myself, Happy Birthday TO MEEEE!!!

So, a present to myself is also a present to you.  A brand new "Chicago Edition" of Big Thing by my beloved Duran Duran.

This album came out the summer before I moved from Chicago to the Great Plains of the United States.  This album came out as I was relishing in my final days in a city that I loved eternally, with all my heart.  This album was the soundtrack to my life for about six months.  This album helped close a chapter on my life that I never wanted to end.

My dad got a work transfer that moved us the first day of November, 1988.  We found out about it in July, and I dreaded the arrival of the day we would leave.  Being 16, I had a part time job at a local food establishment where I had a bunch of friends.  We had spent the summer going to see Def Leppard & INXS, taking trips into the city to screw around on the streets of downtown Chicago, hung out at friends houses, taking long lunches from school during the day to mess around at a small hamburger shack just a block away from school.  I had a girlfriend that taught me how to kiss.  I had friends who got me into trouble.  I had friends who introduced me to the Descendents, Depeche Mode, New Order, OMD and the Cure.  I had friends.

A week before I moved, we all went to a Haunted House close to O'Hare airport, we ate at Ed Debevic's Restaurant, and me and the girl that I was dating at the time clung to each other all night.  I stayed out with them until 2 o'clock in the morning.  My mom waited up until I got home and gave me dirty looks, but my parents didn't do anything about it.  After that, I got into a physical fight with my dad over the move, as I didn't want to leave this place that had so much for me.  I'd never hit my father before, and I never will again.  But, I was angry and in despair.  On Halloween, the day before we moved, I worked my last shift at work, and they had a party for me.  One of the girls there, who I had chased and loved since 7th grade - and asked out many times before - suddenly broke down crying.  I asked her why she was crying, and she said it was because she didn't want me to leave because she suddenly wanted to date me and be with me and all of this stuff...  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  She gave me a ride home, and we made out in her car for quite a while.  I absorbed as much as I could, being with her, holding her tight and kissing her lips.  The girl of my dreams...  I was devastated.

The next morning, my parents took my sister and I to the train station where we would take the train to our new home 600 miles away, while they finished packing and moving all of our stuff.  The sun was shining an autumn gold, and  plopped down in my seat next to the window, with my sister sitting next to me.  As the train pulled out, I put my sunglasses and head phones on and started playing Side Two of Big Thing, starting with Do You Believe In Shame? As the train headed west, I stared off at the city in the distance, slowly getting smaller, and lost behind the trees and buildings surrounding the tracks until I couldn't see it anymore.  My sister asked me why I was crying, and it was only then that I noticed tears were rolling down my cheeks.

And it may seem selfish now but I'll hold on to
The memory until all this fear is washed away.
Do you believe in love?
Do you believe in life?
Cause I believe a little part of you inside of me
Will never die.

This is my album.  This is me.  I am all of this.  This album is what defines me, and I think it's the best Duran Duran album, for obviously very personal reasons.

Fuck it.  F U C K ALL OF IT.

Tonight, on my birthday, I will listen to it again and have a toast to a life I loved, I could've had, and also one that could never be.

Good night, all.


  1. That beautiful glimpse into your past didn't make me cry. No. Not at all. Well, maybe a little.

    Okay, a lot.

    Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *throws confetti* Mine was last Saturday, the 12th. I just turned 52, and I also spent the evening listening to one of my favorite albums from my teenage years because it defined me at the time (Blondie's "Parallel Lines").

    I hope you've had a great, great birthday! Here's to many, many more!

  2. I love this album. What a "cute" share! And wish you a very happy birthday(s)!

  3. Your story touched me. Thanks for being so open and sharing it with us.

  4. Happy Birthday, just love DD xx

  5. A very Happy Birthday, belatedly, to you.
    Thanks for the DD remixes, it will help to upgrade my DD Big Thing folder.
    I'm so glad that you are not using the remasters that came out a few years ago. They are flat. I wonder who of our generation will listen to them.
    The Big Thing album is so good because it has better songs, greater melodies and more to explore in the mix than Notorious, in my opinion.
    Greetings from Berlin

  6. Your commenntes are just LOVELY, and so SINCERE.

    Thanks for shariong, both albums, artwork, and personal toughts !

    PEace out, Shaun Ryder.

  7. With your love of Duran Duran have you thought about posting Paper Gods with the extra tracks from the deluxe version and the Target version? Also, could you update Peter Schilling - Error In the System - 1983 with a valid download link. Thank you for your time, and for everything that you do. Keep up the good work.

  8. I loved this album, too. The arrangements were awesome!