Her name is Rio… and she means America?

In an interview on VH1’s show True Spin in November 2003, the band revealed that the song, Rio, was a metaphor for America. The girl they all named Rio was a “bird of paradise” who “when she shine[d]…really show[ed] you all she [could]” because she was “two of a billion stars”. Duran Duran dreamed of succeeding in the U.S., and they did. Not only did the U.S. have the largest economy, it was also the world’s most influential force in politics and culture, and the largest market for Duran Duran’s music.

“Woo! Look at that… she nearly [ran] you down.”

“Her name is Rio”, they sing, “and she dances… just like that river twisting through a dusty land." Historically, the Rio Grande was called “Female River”. From Colorado, the river flows west down to New Mexico; here the border between the U.S. and Mexico begins to form. The Rio Grande National Forest surrounds this beautiful river where countless activities are offered to entertain visitors. Also called Rio Grande Country, this vacation hot spot offers every outdoor activity -- rock climbing, visiting a wildlife refuge, exploring old gold mines, fishing in its 80 lakes and 150 streams, and more. In the winter, everyone can enjoy cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing and sledding.

The other U.S. states that surround the Rio Grande are also interesting destinations. Albuquerque in New Mexico has a wide selection of art galleries, museums and theatres, as well as the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival in October. Likewise, Colorado offers art aficionados the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (which houses one of the largest collections of Native American and Hispanic art), and concerts and great wine at the Grande River Vineyards. Visitors will also find The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center here.

So, next time you want to “feel alive, alive, alive”, be sure to keep these exciting destinations in mind. And play Duran Duran’s “Rio” on your media player as you meander through the twisting Rio Grande.

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