Power to Change the Point of View: New Gold Package

It has been a rough week. Rhonda mentioned in yesterday’s blog that there is a lot of people in pain. That is true in my world as well. In fact, it has been one of the toughest weeks of teaching in my entire career as a lot of kids and staff are in pain. I won’t go into details but it has gotten to me, too. I worry about people I care about being in pain, including friends and students. Yet, I’m determined to “change the point of view” with this blog. I know that I need a break from reality and figured that you all might, too. So, I’m going to focus on something far more positive.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I get a lot of email. This isn’t because I’m super popular but because I get a lot of junk. I swear I spend a lot of time just deleting all those junk emails, which is what I was doing when earlier this week I came upon one that I saved to read later. What email was this? It had this as its subject line: Duran Duran New date and new GOLD package!

While I saved this email to read after school, I didn’t think too much of it as I figured it would be about that Iceland date that I knew that I wouldn’t be going to. Somehow I had missed the part about the gold package, thinking that it was connected to tickets for that show. Alas, I was wrong! Here is what it said:

Finally, we will be releasing the new GOLD package on www.duranduranmusic.com on April 30th. We are very excited about this package as these items will not be available in the online store or at shows. The package (see photo) includes: 

Brand new exclusive Duran Duran RIO logo’d lyric t-shirt 
• Duran Duran logo’d water resistant Bluetooth speaker 
• The brand new Duran Duran logo’d sticky note pad 
• Duran Duran logo’d portable phone charger. At a show and battery dying? Just plug into this handy device. 
• Custom designed Duran lyric poster set – Four (4) high quality matted 11″ X 17” posters shipped in protected tube 
• Duran Duran “popsocket” – the perfect accessory for your cell phone 
• Duran Duran circular sticker – looks great on a car bumper, notebook or anywhere 
• A natural logo’d “Tea Towel” with the new logo featuring all songs commercially released on Duran Duran albums 

If you are not already a member the 30th would be a great time to sign up for the DD VIP Fan Community . Existing members who would like the GOLD package should RENEW at the GOLD level beginning the 30th and you will receive all of the new GOLD merchandise and we will add 12 months of membership beyond your current expiration date. For example if you expire on June 1st, 2019 and you renew on April 30th your membership will be extended to June 1st, 2020. All of the details and pricing will be up on the site on April 30th. 

A picture of the new merch was included as seen here:

New Gold Package

So, what do you all think? I admit it. I’m a sucker for Duran merch. I always have and always will be. It is interesting to see the focus on lyrics in both the t-shirt and posters. I wonder how they decided on those songs of Rio, Ordinary World, Do You Believe in Shame and The Chauffeur. I don’t know if I would have chosen those but I don’t mind them. Beyond the lyrics, there are some repeats in terms of types of products, including the post-it notes and portable charger. I always love post-its so those will be welcome. I like the cell phone pop-up but I have a really nice Duran cell phone case with a JoSi picture so I don’t know that I would use that but might with a future phone. The tea towel is like the canvass bags we got in the VIP package for those February dates. I had planned to frame one of those but this would be a lot easier to frame! I am unsure about what to do think about the car sticker as it depends on the size but I do like the speaker.

Now, I have no idea how much this new gold package will be. Right now, though, I’m tempted to buy it. I could use a pick me up. What about the rest of you? What are your thoughts about this new package?

-A

Part of a Celluloid Dream

So, anybody got that trip to Iceland booked yet???

Me neither. *big sigh*

If I rewind back to yesterday

Speaking of sadness, did you know that on this date in 1986, Duran Duran sent out a press release with the announcement that my favorite drummer (and hopefully yours), Roger Taylor, was leaving the band. Headed for greener pastures. “Gentleman farming”, as he later referred to it.

Bah. Whatever.

The good news, of course, is that he came back! Only took him what…17 years or so….before he played live shows with Duran Duran again?

Watching slo-mo going frame by frame

Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled he left, but I was overjoy upon the announcement of his return! While I don’t love “celebrating” this day each year, I like reminding myself that things change. “This too shall pass”.

I sure hope so.

It’s been a rough week for me personally, Duranies. Positive thoughts go out to those who need them and a reminder that help, love, and support is here and waiting, whenever and however needed. Cheers.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and a wonderful weekend to all.

-R

Living for Another Day

Way down the lane away

April 17, 1984. Anyone out there (ha ha ha) know the significance of this date?

It was the final “real” date of the Sing Blue Silver tour. The show was in San Diego at the Sports Arena. While the band did do a show at the NEC in Birmingham – that was for the filming of Arena, and it wasn’t a proper performance. (according to duranduran.com – thanks again to that fantastic complete tour list that I consult several times each week!!) After these San Diego shows, the band performed together with this lineup one final time at Live Aid in 1985.

What glass splinters lie so deep in your mind

I just have to say it – I’m still a little blown away that we’re here, essentially 35 years after Sing Blue Silver ended – and I’m writing blogs including four out of the five in the original lineup! I’ve seen more shows since the year 2001 than I did in the decades prior. Perhaps that’s not a good thing to brag about at my age, but isn’t it crazy how life turns out?!

How many of us really thought they’d ever get back together and do a reunion tour or another album? It was something I think many hoped for, but didn’t really think would happen. I know I nearly fell off of my chair the evening I saw the initial splash page with all five headshots present. Even more significant – how many fans out there ONLY know Duran Duran as John, Roger, Nick & Simon?

Life is one hell of a wild ride. I’m a planner by nature. I like knowing what is coming, and how I’m going to get from point A to point B. I’ve learned that when it comes to this band, every time I zig – they zag, so to speak. Never count them out, and never think you know for certain what they’re going to do next.

All looking for a new place to drive

I don’t know how many years they’ve got left in them. Hopefully many more, but you never know. I’m incredibly thankful I stuck around for the extended version, and didn’t just cut out when it seemed like the B-side was coming to a slow end.

Here is the odd thing, at least to me: had anyone bothered to ask me at 12 or 13 about the significance of Duran Duran in my life, I’m fairly certain I would have gushed on and on about them at length, in that chatty, bubbly, prepubescent sort of way. Had anyone asked if I thought I would still love them at 48, I might have blushed (just about anything made me blush back then) and exclaimed, “Of course!” At 13, I highly doubt I thought much beyond the age of 16, and even that seemed a stretch.

I feel you smiling

Ask me the same question now, and I know Duran Duran matters to me more at 48 than it ever did when I was 13. Their significance is immeasurable. Not a single day goes by when I don’t think about them at least once – and typically it is far more often than that, thanks to this blog and social media. My trips to see friends are often planned around the band and their tours, and some of the greatest friendships I’ve ever found in my life are directly related to Duran Duran. That is just wild.

Yes, 35 years ago today, Sing Blue Silver ended. Who would have ever guessed that it was merely the beginning?

-R

Duran Duran is Going to Iceland!

Packing up from the polar sheet

Wanna see Duran Duran this summer? Well, your options just expanded to include ICELAND.

That’s right! For the first time in fourteen years, according to DDHQ – the band is returning to Iceland. They will be performing at Laugardalshöll in Reykjavík, Iceland on June 25. Tickets go on sale April 24th through tix.is.

It’s funny because a while back, DDHQ asked where we’d want to see a show if money were no problem. The thought of Iceland went through my head – it is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s a dream vacation spot for me, not somewhere I think I have a snowballs’ chance of ever visiting with two kids currently in college and one still at home. Regardless, Duran Duran has now upped the ante by announcing a concert in Reykjavik. Well done, my friends….well done.

While there’s little point of me even whispering the word “Iceland” in my husband’s ear – particularly today, the day after tax day, I can certainly encourage others to make great choices! (My husband took the day off yesterday to file our taxes. He never takes time off unless he has no other choice, and trust me it was not a happy day. That is how much fun we’re not having here…)

However, I am here to convince the rest of you to buy the damn ticket and go!

I am a signal somewhere in your bliss

I took the liberty (ha!) of doing an online search of things to do in Reykjavik during the summer….aside from seeing Duran Duran perform, of course! A list has been compiled, and while I know it would have been smart to link it all in a way where if someone booked something that Daily Duranie would make money off of it, that isn’t the case. The links are purely informational and fun…and I will never retire at this rate. Or travel, apparently!

If you want to stay the night…here’s ten things to see in Iceland!

  • The midnight sun!!! That alone is worth the trip, in my opinion. On the waterfront in Reykjavik (by the time I get finished with this post I hope to be able to spell “Reykjavik” without having to look!) there is the Solfar Sun Ship sculpture that puts on a fantastic light show.
  • Nauthólsvík Beach is a geothermal beach created by a large sea wall that allows the (very) cold sea and hot geothermal waters to mix. It is summer, go sunbathe, enjoy the hot tubs and check out the beach.
  • The Perlan Museum, right in Reykjavik has a planetarium, a man-made ice cave, and looks really cool for an afternoon of exploring.
  • If you’re staying longer, do me a favor and go visit the West Fjords – a place I’ve always wanted to see!! Waterfalls, wildlife, it looks amazing.
  • PUFFINS!!! Go to the Westman Islands for this, take a photo of the little guys and send it to me!
  • If you go early, you can check out Iceland’s National Day of Independence on June 17th. There are parties throughout the country on that day – and what Duranie doesn’t like a party?!?
  • Speaking of parties, ever heard of the Secret Solstice? Well, this Midnight Sun music festival takes place from June 21-23. Just in time!! If that doesn’t grab you, the nightlife in Reykjavik should! Check it out!
  • The Blue Lagoon! Wanna soak in a natural, geothermic spa right in the heart of a volcanic landscape? Yes. Yes I do. Duran Duran who??? Oh that’s right…we’re going for the party!!
  • The Reykjavik Food Walk. What better way to really experience a country than through it’s food? I hear the ice cream is fabulous – and I’m hoping someone checks on that for me! If that doesn’t work for you, do what Amanda and I would do, and check out the local distilleries!!
  • Glaciers! I’ve never been to a glacier. Most people think you can only see the glaciers during the winter, but this is untrue. If I were going to Iceland, I’d be taking a tour to a glacier for sure!

Nothing I would rather like

I think I’ve given enough suggestions to pack a week’s worth of activities in around the concert. I wish I were going, but I’m going to have to live vicariously through the rest of you, or win the lottery. Quickly.

-R

Headline In Tomorrow’s Papers

Happy Monday. Today marks the beginning of Spring Break for us. The youngest and I have this week off of school, and I can spend time thinking and doing something other than teaching. This has been a rough year. A move combined with changing schools twice, I can’t say that fifth grade has been great, but my girl is trying her best, and I think she likes her new school for the most part. Me? I welcome this week with open arms, and a to-do list that is longer than I’ve got hours to complete. I’m sure I’ll blink and it will already be Friday, but the good news is that we’ll only have about five weeks left in the school year. We can make it…probably.

Midnight, I think I’m gonna make it

After working on our various home projects during the day, we sat down to watch SNL on Saturday night. BTS – a K-pop group, was the musical guest.I have to admit that I was curious about them. My husband ran into them waiting for a flight in a Korean airport once – he’d never heard of them, but there were a crowd of girls waiting for other flights that had come running when they saw them. They draw a huge crowd, and the girls who camp out to see their shows or follow them look strangely familiar.

K-pop isn’t something I am deeply involved in. I know what it is (obviously), but I don’t follow much of it. My oldest went to a school of the arts during high school, and one of her closest friends was a girl who came to America to attend the school. Apparently in Vietnam, she was a huge star and part of the K-Pop community. That’s when I first took notice of its apparent popularity.

There’s a lot that can be said about K-pop. People call it “manufactured” and “throw away”. Others complain that it’s not real music. I can understand the criticism. After all, this is a boy band, and no – they don’t seem to perform by playing instruments. They’re good looking, the music is catchy, they do highly choreographed dance moves to every song they perform, they sell out places like the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA and Soldier Field in Chicago, and – the real kicker here – girls love them.

Show me your secret

Put together by a management group (Big Hit Entertainment) in 2013, the band has already had certified platinum albums in the US. The last time they played shows here, I can remember my local Los Angeles news covering the fans camping out for days in order to secure spots. Like it or not, this manufactured boy band has taken on the world by storm. In four years, they’ve managed to do more than some bands do in a lifetime. However, this is a boy band that actually co-writes and produces their own music. It is a lot less, “stand there, wear that, and sing these words” than some might want to believe.

I wasn’t disgusted when I saw them on Saturday. While I didn’t know their songs at all, I was still impressed. They can dance and they’ve definitely got stage presence. They’re not very much different than N*Sync, New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, or any other boy band, except that from what I saw on Saturday – it doesn’t seem to matter to fans if they’re singing in English, Korean or anything else. Sure, we can complain that they’re not a real band if they don’t play their own instruments. We can cry foul because they didn’t come about in the same organic sort of way as other bands we might know – but does any of that really matter?

I’m not the only one out there taking notice. Just this morning, Notorious Nik and our friend (and fellow Duranie) Lori Majewski talked about BTS and Kpop’s world takeover. It is perfectly OK not to like their music, and to say they’re not your thing – but give them due credit. Like it or not, they’re selling faster and far more than your favorite band.

Try to remember again and again

It wasn’t so long ago that our band was in the crosshairs of those who came before them, complaining of their lack of substance. How many times did we see Duran Duran reduced to sheer “Bubble gum pop”? How many times did I read of a critic casting Duran Duran aside for one reason or another? Did it really have anything to do with the music, or was it because the girls – girls like me – loved them? If a little tween-aged girl loved Duran Duran, surely that must mean the real men couldn’t. Damn if history doesn’t just continue repeating itself, over and over.

As Lori is fond of quoting, “Men don’t get it, but the little girls understand.” And we did. I’m just wondering if we still do.

I look at those fans – the ones who lined up, days ahead of time – camping out in hopes of being in the audience Saturday night. I think about friends of my daughter, who gleefully put posters of BTS and other K-pop and J-pop groups up on their wall. They’re not so different from me at their age. Hell, I didn’t even camp out for Duran Duran tickets back then. As much as I’d like to point fingers, and suggest that Duran Duran had far more musical merit, and thus was much more worthy of my attention, I can’t. I won’t. When it comes down to it, I don’t think this is about the music at all.

What it is that I recognize

Sure, it is easy to just sit back and say “Nope. It isn’t about any of that. They suck. They look glossy, fake, manufactured and synced to a backing track.” I get it. I felt that way about N*Sync, New Kids on the Block and countless other boy bands. I’d point at Duran Duran, with their obvious musical talent, and righteously mention that they didn’t need to rely on choreography to perform. They could actually play. Yet, ask any critic during the mid-80s and they’d tick off any number of crazy reasons why Duran Duran wouldn’t amount to a single thing. The thing is, to write BTS off is doing virtually the same thing that others did to us in 1980-something (and still do).

Sure, it is your right and mine to say it like we mean it – I’m just suggesting we take a second before taking to social media in an attempt to rid the world of their manufactured uncreative souls. (that’s tongue-in-cheek, people!)

Don’t be angry that a group of seven young men are taking the world by storm. I don’t think any of us need to mourn the idea of real creativity or music. No, BTS doesn’t have to be in our wheel house, and I’ll just forget that I’m not really in their target demographic, anyway. I’ll leave off by asking a simple question – food for thought, if you will. When was the last time Duran Duran was invited on SNL? Now, if you want to be mad about something – be mad at that. Be furious.

Is it really just about the music? I doubt it.

-R

Record Store Day 2019

How was everyone’s Record Store Day? Did you buy anything? Maybe a certain Duran Duran vinyl? My RSD was…well..interesting and different than previous ones.

The past few years I got up pretty early to get to the largest record store I know in Madison. This, of course, meant waiting in line in what is never a warm spring morning. Then, I would eventually get in to successfully buy whatever Duran Duran album was for sale. This year held some similarities and some major differences but it definitely didn’t go as planned.

My plan was to follow previous years with a couple of what I thought were slight adjustments. Instead of getting up super earlier, I figured it was safe to let myself sleep a little but that I would have no problem buying one for myself and even one for Rhonda. I needed to sleep because I had little sleep over the course of the week as grades were due and I had to drive to pick up my sister and niece from Chicago. So the plan was simple: sleep in a little, pick up the family and head over. We arrived at about noon with my eldest niece joining me as the rest went to a few stores. As normal, there was a line to get in. The wait allowed my niece and I to catch up as I enjoyed the free beer.

After waiting a half hour or so, we got in from the cold and immediately sought out the Record Store Day albums only to come up short. No Duran Duran. I checked a few other sections to make sure that I didn’t miss it. What the heck, I wondered. There were at least five copies of Devo but no Duran Duran. That didn’t make sense so I looked again and again. Finally, I had to give in as the rest of the family was waiting for us. That said, I still felt confident that I would be able to find it at one of the other stores participating in Madison.

The visit to the next store had to wait, though, as we had plans to go take a look at my mom’s latest art show. I tried to be patient as I fretted internally. Would I be able to find it? Why didn’t I ask at the store? Why didn’t I call first? Finally, we headed over to store number two. I silenced my inner voice of negativity and reminded myself that the hunt could be part of the fun. Again, we entered the store and made a beeline to the RSD section. This store had dividers for each artists. Awesome. This would make it easier to….not find it. No Duran Duran divider. No As the Lights Go Down. This time, I asked and received an uncertain response, “Uh…I think we had it.” Really?? Why no divider then? I start swearing to myself and vow to call the third store, which I do after complaining a bunch only to find out that the third store didn’t have it. Well…shit.

So, when I returned home from more errands with the family, I did what I had to do and ordered a copy from eBay, probably paying twice as much as I should. Yet, I would not be defeated. As I tried to move on from my frustration, I had to acknowledge that I made two wrong moves. First, I assumed that the stores would carry it. I’m not certain that they ever did. If I had called ahead of time, I would have known. Second, if the stores had copies, then I should have planned to get there super early. I could have gone back to sleep after. Lesson learned.

While I wished that I could listen to As the Lights Go Down today, I must be happy knowing that my copy will eventually come to me. The anticipation will just increase my enjoyment, right? On that note, how did everyone else do? If you were not successful, did you opt to get it elsewhere like me? If you were, how does it sound?

-A

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!