Here’s one you don’t compromise

Every once in a while I run across something – an interview or video clip – that I’ve never seen before.  This happened today as I stumbled across a complete, uncut version of an interview I vaguely remember…maybe…from a long time ago, but I had not seen the full-length interview before.

I could commentate on many, many things here – it’s nearly 38 minutes in length and I had plenty of time to notice everything from John’s chiseled chin and cheekbones to Nick’s lip liner and Simon’s hair – but one thing that overshadowed everything else for me was the amount of anger Simon, Nick & John had towards Andy at the time. There were comments made about his personality, about his inflexibility (with regard to the writing of Wild Boys, which comes near the end of the interview) to the court case that Simon, Nick & John were hoping to win in 1987 against Andy.  There was no love lost between any of them at this point, and during the interview they even made strides to make sure it was understood that Roger and Andy left the band under very different circumstances. I have to admit that it all had me wondering, more than once, how a band this far apart could have ever even considered getting back together.

Of course now we know that the “back together” part of the story wasn’t meant to last. None of us, well…probably very few of us…really know what happened. We can make assumptions, surmise…even make an educated guess, but we weren’t there. It was a great time while it lasted, but it certainly wasn’t meant to last.

In amongst the discussion and perfectly placed stabs in Andy’s direction, John makes mention of Warren and how he was on the album (Notorious) and would be touring with the band, but that he was not a “member”. John’s comments were that the three of them (Simon, Nick and himself) were just too close to allow someone in. They were a solid unit, and Warren would only be a part of the touring band. And the writing band… But not the official band.  Sound at all familiar?

The reality of course is that Warren *did* become a part of the band, for better or worse, and of course opinions to that placement are as varied as the personalities of Duranies across the world. What’s more, this is a subject that, to this very day, is STILL debated with relish within the community. As it turns out, we Duranies take our guitar players seriously. Perhaps even more seriously than does the band (so it seems)…although I suspect if asked, any one member of Duran Duran might have a little something to say about that.

The other day…I believe it might have been Monday, actually, I noticed that DDHQ picked Dom’s FB page as the “Page of the Week”.  They called him the “guitar extraordinaire”, which I thought was nice…as well as completely accurate. (My bias is already showing, and I’m not apologizing.) I was thrilled to see that several had commented that he should be made an official member, and I agreed with those people.  Even if I don’t necessarily think it WILL happen…I can certainly agree that I wish it would, and I do.  For me, it’s every bit as easy as saying that I love the rest of the band. But, on the other side, there are still many that believe the only person who should be on guitar is Andy Taylor. Still others feel the spot belongs to Warren…and to some degree, each one of us is right.

While I suppose I could comment on our tenacity to continue debating about people who haven’t played with the band in a very long time, and I could continue to argue here on the blog….what good would it really do?  No, in this case what I find most incredible is the function of the community as a whole.

Amanda and I have spent the better part of five years studying and writing about fan communities.  We learned what makes a community. One of the things we discuss in our manuscript is that communities – groups of people – create their own culture. They make up their own dialogue, their own way of speaking, communicating…even their own look.  We talk about how this continued dialogue between community members brings about general consensus.  For example, we might say that a general consensus about Duran Duran is that the band looks good in eyeliner…or that this is a band who likes the finer things in life. (these are JUST HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLES) The point being, we’ve all talked about these subjects or thought about them in our heads for long enough that it’s just accepted thought by the majority of fans. What is especially interesting to me about the Andy, Warren, Dom debate is that the general consensus here is that there will never really BE a consensus. It isn’t always the case that a community agrees, and this is certainly one topic where there may never be an answer. This, along with a myriad of other topics I am sure…will always be a source of debate amongst fans, regardless of the stance one takes.

With that in mind, watch the video – it’s really fascinating to sit back and watch it in hindsight.

-R

 

Today in Duran History – Serious (and a little bit of Vegas, too…)

On today’s date in 1990, the single “Serious” was released in the UK.

Also on today’s date, but in 2005, Duran Duran played in Las Vegas at the Grand Slam for the Children charity event (Andre Agassi)  at the MGM Garden Arena.  A crowd of Duranies descended upon Vegas for a couple of nights to see the band play four songs (yes, four…but we loved every damn one of them!), have fun together, and if you were with me at Club Tabu until the wee hours, you may have even Reached Up For the Sunrise!

Seems to me it’s about time for some shows….and not just some private gigs or shows that are so ridiculously priced only the select few can attend….but that’s just me.  Onward and upward!

-R

Today in Duran History – Vegas

On today’s date in 2011, Duran Duran played at The Joint in Las Vegas, and of course this date was included in their All You Need is Now Tour. In looking at the calendar, one thing I can tell for certain is that the band doesn’t seem to mind playing in Vegas around this time of the year.

Gotta say, I don’t usually watch the whole clip of whatever I’m posting. I check it out to make sure it’s reasonably clear, post it, and go on about my day.  Today, I stopped and watched, and so should you.  Simon is especially theatrical in this one, Nick is practically dancing at his keyboard, and dang it…I miss this band.  Looking forward to the day when they’re playing live (and not just for private gigs) again.

-R

ban-polls

Question of the Day: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture V

NRV

Guest Blog: Duran Duran Is

By PamG

Last week I saw the spectacular documentary David Bowie Is, a companion documentary and virtual tour guide about the museum exhibit of the same name.

David Bowie Is wall

I admit that I was only moderately interested in seeing this film. I liked Serious-Moonlight-era Bowie. I know he was a major influence on a lot of musicians I like, including Duran. And since my local indie theater was one of the many across the nation to show the one-night-only screening (sound familiar?), I decided to take a chance.

My first Duran comparison came when I entered the theater and was pleasantly disappointed: the theater was almost full. Why was that disappointing? Because the recent one-night-only Unstaged showing (at a different theater in the same city) had probably only 1/10th of the audience that this film had. I couldn’t help but wish that Unstaged had a crowd like this, had received as much local advertising as Bowie’s film, and had been introduced by the theater’s program director who invigorated the crowd before the curtain went up.

Why was that a pleasant disappointment? Because it served as a reminder to me that we Duranies are part of a larger community. We’re not just Duran fans; we’re fans. Judging by the estimated ages of the crowd, I think most folks who came to see the film were around for the Ziggy Stardust era. This wasn’t much unlike when I looked around during the Unstaged screening. Or any of the Duran concerts I’ve been to. Or Durandemonium last year. For a lot of us, we’re fans of these artists because we grew up with them.

At some moments during the film, I witnessed some audience members bobbing their heads along to not-as-well-known (to me) Bowie songs. I instantly felt like I was on the other side of the looking glass. Were they enjoying their own Bowie version of Last Chance on the Stairway? Did I happen to catch them reveling in their own version of “switch it off?” Do they have their own inside Bowie-isms? Were they itching to get out of their seats to dance along to their version of “Rio?”

What dawned on me was that this film was not only a tribute to the legendary rock star and his influence in music, fashion, and art, but also a tribute to the fans. The exhibit is a befitting homage to Bowie’s life and career to date. However, the film adds a new angle: the reaction from those experiencing the exhibit. The film shows visitors inspecting the handwritten lyrics, watching the performance footage, inching closer to see the detail in the decadent costumes. The film editors could have easily filmed the exhibit when it was closed and simply relayed to us what was in the exhibit. But this way, we also got the fan perspective of the exhibit.

1e2dcdavidbowie_20140919_105 bowie-spaceoddity-be9b2davidbowie_20140919_033

As you might guess, my mind overflowed with the mere thought of what it would be like if Duran had a similar exhibit. We’ve already been lucky enough to have some impressive collections, such as Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran from Andrew Golub (Durandy) and Denis O’Regan’s ‘Careless Memories’ book and exhibit. But could you even imagine an exhibit that would encompass the band’s history, videos, live performances, costumes (maybe there are some we’d rather forget), handwritten lyrics, Simon’s tiger baby necklace, or even one of John’s fedoras? (Side note: I think my favorite moment from the film was when the fan turned to the camera and proclaimed “Bowie’s DNA is in those costumes!” Duranies would swoon. Oh, now, get your mind out of the gutters … you know who you are!)

Something Bowie’s exhibit would have in common with Duran’s hypothetical exhibit would be the collaborations. The film focused a bit on Bowie’s artistic collaborations with the likes of Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto. Duran’s would have to include David Lynch, Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. Like Bowie, Duran has extended their artistic collaborations to more than just music.

The final piece of the exhibit was a Periodic Table of Bowie, created by Paul Robertson. Designed in the format of the periodic table of elements, this clever infographic depicts the influences on Bowie, as well as those who have been influenced by Bowie. Among those influenced by Bowie are Lady Gaga, Morrissey, and Alexander McQueen. I was shocked that Duran didn’t make the chart. Shocked. But hey, we know that if Duran had their own periodic table, we’d have to put Bowie as one of their influencers.

So who or what is David Bowie? The film and exhibit certainly provide you with many suggested ways to finish the “David Bowie Is” statement. Do I think David Bowie is Duran Duran? Nope. I think what matters is what Duran Duran is to you.

The David Bowie Is exhibit is at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago now through January 4, 2015. Click here for more information.

Read more about the documentary here.

Have any of you seen the exhibit in person? Anyone else see the film? We’d love to hear your experience!

PamG

PamG has been a Duranie since the early days of MTV. In addition to all-things Duran, she also enjoys music documentaries, pop culture trivia, and live concerts of any kind. Her Duran dream would be to journey across the pond and see the band play throughout Europe. After waiting over 25 years to see Duran Duran live, she saw her first show in 2011 and it changed her life.

Today in Duran History – Newer Wave 2.0

On today’s date in 1998, a new wave compilation album, entitled “Newer Wave 2.0″ was released.  Included on this album was a cover of Planet Earth by the band Hate.

If you’re curious like me, here’s the cover of Planet Earth:

What do you think of it?  Considering the album it was included on – is it what you would have expected?

The CD cover:

Newer Wave 2.0 cover
Do you own this?

 

 

 

 

-R

ban-polls

Question of the Day: Monday, September 29, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture S

NRS

"Maybe you think you're above it, but baby we know that you love it." – Red Carpet Massacre

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