Duran Duran “The Reflex” picture disk, 1984. Today, June 20th, is John Taylor’s birthday (b. Nigel John Taylor, 1960) and June 23rd marks the 33rd anniversary of when “The Reflex” hit #1 in the US, the band’s first time to do so; it remained there for two weeks (and kept Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” from claiming the top spot - heh). Side A has “The Reflex (Dance Mix)” which was remixed by Nile Rogers and Side B has the single version plus “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” performed live at Hammersmith Odean in London in 1982. “Make Me Smile” was originally performed by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel in 1975; Steve Harley joined Duran Duran at the Hammersmith performance of the song.
The summer of ‘84 was ALL about “The Reflex.” Sometime in late June or July, I went to Girl Scout camp in northern Wisconsin and we went on a 3 or 4 day canoe trip down the Menomonee River. To my delight, another Duranie was on the trip, Allyson (we met on that trip in ‘84 and we’re still friends!), and we sang “The Reflex” over and over and over and over and over. Another friend on the river was a huge Prince fan. Prince’s “When Dove’s Cry” knocked “The Reflex” out of the number one position on July 7th, 1984, so we heard a lot of that song as well. Singing was a big deal at camp but typically the camp song repertoire was limited to lots singing in the round (think “Row Row Your Boat” but fancier), cadence songs for hiking (i.e. “left, left, left right left, I left my wife and 24 kids without any gingerbread in the cupboard and thought I did right, right, right left right…”) and paddle songs (i.e. “Land of the Silver Birch”). Our camp counselors weren’t really that much older than us, college students working for the summer, so I have a feeling they secretly appreciated some pop infusion into the usual camp fare, though they did seem irritated with us a lot of the time (I’m pretty sure one of them was a Dead Head). Here is a classic 80′s-posed picture from the last day of that canoe trip. I’m in the lower left corner, rocking my Simon LeBon inspired hair.