Feel the New Day: What’s your theme song?

Every once in a while, Duran Duran puts out a question on social media that makes me think. This morning, as I was quickly scanning through Twitter, I saw a tweet from them asking about personal theme songs.

That tweet made me stop and think a little. My knee jerk reaction was to go with a favorite song, but those favorites aren’t necessarily theme songs—they’re just songs I like. For example, my very favorite DD song is still “Is there Something I Should Know”, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that song SPOKE for me in that way, exactly. I just fell in love with it from the first listen and it’s stuck with me. By the same token, I’ve had a few songs become sentimental favorites along the way because they came out at particular points in my life, and perfectly described how I was feeling or what I was going through in those moments. “Finest Hour”, and “Red Carpet Massacre” are two songs that come immediately to mind.

When “Finest Hour” came out on Astronaut, I immediately took the song to heart because it was describing exactly how I felt at the time in my private life. I was also rediscovering who I really was as a Duran fan, and to some extent, I was learning about myself as well. The song really kind of epitomized that moment for me.

“Red Carpet Massacre”, the title song from the album of the same name, was released in probably my darkest time. I’ve written about my feelings about the album and even what I was going through personally, but the more I listened to this song, the more I felt that it described the nature of this fan community at times. The album came out during a time when I was just really starting to see the cutthroat nature of fans, and so at the time, the song really did become a sort of theme!

In the years since, I’ve had moments where various songs have become my sort of personal theme. “Late Bar”, “Secret October”, and even “Rio” have all taken their turn as my theme of the moment or day.  Right now though, I feel as though “Sunrise” describes it best for me. I’m looking for that new day to come. I have the sense that life is about to take a turn for my family, and I’m waiting to see how that’s going to play out. I’m trying to see it all as positive rather than dwell on the negative part, because hopefully that will be short-lived (Which is that my husband is currently sitting in my son’s room, which he’s converted into his temporary office space, looking for a new job).

So, what’s your theme song?

-R

Live DVDs and Documentaries

Do you ever read the Collector’s Corner on Duran Duran’s official website?  Have you read this month’s?  This month, which you can read here, focused on the Working for the Skin Trade DVD.  This is a concert video from 1988, as part of the world tour supporting Notorious called the Strange Behaviour Tour.  What I really like about this month’s “corner” is that it explains the history of it, including format, when and where it was released and more.  I know that I appreciated it being part of the Notorious re-release box set that came out in 2010.

The corner goes on to explain that this DVD was a companion piece to Three to Get Ready, a documentary focused on preparations for the tour, a behind-the-scenes look at the band and its team then.  As pointed out on the corner, this documentary came in two versions, a short on and a much longer version.  I remember seeing the longer version after having seen the shorter version and being shocked that there was a lot more swearing in the longer version!

Reading this Collector’s Corner got me thinking.  How often has Duran Duran released live DVDs?  How often have they come out with documentaries surrounding a tour or album?  The first live DVD I can think of is Hammersmith 1982.  Does that tour or album have a documentary connected with it?  There is the Classic Albums DVD in which the band describes making of Rio in detail.  Does that count?  Obviously, the Classic Albums DVD came out years later but…close enough?

Then, of course, there was the classic, fan-favorite of Sing Blue Silver that showcased the 1984 Sing Blue Silver Tour.  There is a live concert for that tour as well, As the Lights Go Down, that was also released on a re-release box set of Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  What about documentaries or live shows for Big Thing?  Not really even though a live show was included on the re-release.  Liberty?  Nope.  The Wedding Album?  There was the documentary Extraordinary World, but that isn’t readily available.  I don’t think there was a live DVD for that time either.  What about the rest of the albums before the reunion?  I can’t think of any.  (Doesn’t meant that there wasn’t.  I just can’t think of one.  If you know of one, please let me know.)

Then, of course, the reunion happened.  Astronaut did have some DVDs released.  We know that Live from London was a live concert from shows in 2004.  There were some documentaries around then, too.  The Astronaut album had one.  There was also a small one on the dual disc and a longer one as part of the Live from London release.  In thinking about those releases, I realize how cool that was!  What about Red Carpet Massacre?  Again, I cannot think of anything official.  All You Need Is Now had a live concert with A Diamond in the Mind.  There was a small documentary on that, but nothing like Sing Blue Silver or Three to Get Ready.  Paper Gods, sadly, has not had either one.

Overall, I would say that Duran Duran fans are pretty lucky to have had as many as live concerts and documentaries as we have.  That said, I cannot be the only one out who would have loved to have them for each and every album.  Now, the next thing I think of is which one is my favorite live concert and favorite documentary?  What are your favorites?

-A

Can You Hear Me Now

It has been a long week, one that I alternatively spent either super busy with work or contemplating.  The two activities are connected, of course.  The fact that I have worked way too many hours on top of criticism of my work led me to ponder a lot.  Finally, yesterday, a thought came to my mind.  I had this thought while writing directions on the chalkboard for my students who were about to take their Women’s Studies final.  I wanted to find a quote or some inspirational phrase for them to leave with.  As I thought and began searching for the perfect statement, I remembered how often we talked about the importance of voice, of not being silent or silenced.  While I emphasize this in class, I’m not sure that I’m really living it in all aspects of my life.

When I tend to think about who I am, the three things that immediately pop up are fan, teacher and activist.  Do I have a voice in all areas or am I silenced?  Let’s take it one at a time.  As far as my activism goes, I generally do feel like I have a voice.  Last year on this day, I was driving to Washington DC with a few friends to participate in the Women’s March.  I’m proud of that.  Today, I will drive to Milwaukee to participate in another women’s march.  So that area of my life seems solid.  What about the other two?

Teaching is a far different story.  It is an intense job that takes up both a lot of time and my energy.  Honestly, I feel like I could talk about my job not just hours but days.  Maybe weeks.  Yet, I often find myself only dropping hints, little thoughts, bits and pieces.  The reason for this is simple.  As much as I am bursting to talk about my job and everything that goes with it, I cannot.  It isn’t a simple job of “do I like it” or “do I hate it”.  It is a job that everyone thinks they know about but the only ones who really do are the ones who have done it themselves.  The public watches and uses what teachers say to fit whatever beliefs they have about education or teachers.  Thus, I don’t say more.  I simply cannot explain the full spectrum of thoughts and feelings I have about my job.  There is too much there.  Does my being silent about my job hurt me?  Probably.  Yet, I lack an alternative.  For now.

So, what about this?  What about blogging?  What about being a fan?What about being a Duranie?  Hmm…I never really thought about my voice when it comes to fandom.  When Rhonda and I started doing research on fandom and applying what we had learned to our fandom, the reason was simple.  We wanted to better understand ourselves and our fan community.  The plan, of course, was to share our learning with others.  Then, we added this little blog here.  In thinking about both book work and blogging, clearly, we have found means to share what we think and feel when it comes to our fandom.  We have spaces for our voices.  Many people can choose to read this blog or participate in social media with us, giving our voices acknowledgement.  As the blog moved from infancy to what we have now, a place in which not only our voices are heard, but a place where other fans can be heard, too.

When I think of teaching and being a political person, having a voice is a big deal.  When I think about fandom, it is a big deal there, too.  I think about how often fans have been criticized or mocked for having such passion for whatever it is that they love.  This has led a lot of fans to be silenced.  Too many hide that passion, that love.  Rhonda and I chose not to do that here.  We give voice to our love for Duran Duran.  We don’t hide it here and never will.  On top of that, we welcome others to do the same.  In thinking about the stigma that too many adult fans face, it seems to me that one way to fight this is to speak out and speak up about being a fan.  I am a fan.  I love the band, Duran Duran.  If being a fan seems normal, common, won’t that stigma die?  I sure hope so.

What do the rest of you think?  Is it important for fans to find and use their voice?  What other ways can fans speak out about their fandom?

-A

January 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

Guess what was released this week?  Yep.  A brand, spanking new Katy Kafe!  This one featured our favorite drummer who answered questions fans submitted on Twitter.  Now, I am lucky enough to listen to it and to share some of what discussed along with my thoughts.  Of course, I’m not giving a play-by-play here–just the highlights.  If you want the full version, get yourself over to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself!  You won’t regret it.

New Year

Roger stated that they had an “amazing” New Year playing on the 30th.  Then, Roger stayed in Vegas to celebrate New Year’s Eve while some others went on to LA.  He enjoyed his time there, including seeing some shows like the Michael Jackson one.  While I didn’t stay in Vegas on New Year’s Eve, I, too, enjoyed my time there.

40th Anniversary Ideas

According to Roger, a lot of the ideas are “just cooking”.  There are no actual plans yet.  It sounds to me that they are still brainstorming ideas but nothing is set in stone.  Fair enough.  It takes time and energy to plan.  I get it.  He does say that there will be shows at some point but nothing definite.  It sounds like a lot of the discussion surrounds when is the actual 40th?  Is it 2018 or 2020?  Katy thought 2020 made sense.  What do the rest of you think?

Longevity

When asked why the band has lasted so long, Roger said that they always look forward.  While they could look at the past, they don’t much.  Instead, they are “ambitious” and focus on the next project.  That makes sense to me.  I wish I had a job like that, in some ways, with projects instead of a constant series of tasks.

Working with…

Roger would definitely be willing to work any of the people that the band worked with for All You Need Is Now or Paper Gods.  The key is to be able to align schedules.  He mentioned Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers and Mr. Hudson.  My response?  Yes, please.

More Comfortable

When asked if he has gotten more comfortable doing interviews, being in the spotlight, etc. Roger stated that he has gotten a little more comfortable even though he still is a little shy.  He is happy being in the back, playing drums.  Katy asked if he was uncomfortable during the Electro Set since they all were at the front of the stage.  Apparently, that was okay because he was speaking through the drums.  Interesting.  I can relate to that.  I sometimes feel it easier to talk in my classroom when playing “teacher” than I do as an individual.

Planning for a show

How does the band get ready for a show or a tour?  The answer:  There is “no planning.”  The usual deal is that they “panic” about a week before and wait until the last minute.  Well, then.

Career Highlights

In recent years, the highlight was making the Paper Gods album as Roger thinks it is the best album since the reunion.  In the early years, the definite highlight was playing Madison Square Garden in 1984.  He mentioned how he flew his parents out for it, which was huge as his mother doesn’t fly.  Apparently, they gave her a bottle of whiskey and valium to get her through.  Funny stuff!  I’m sure that she was glad that she did that and was very proud to see her son play to all those fans in such a monumental venue.

What Song That Has Not Played Live but Wants to

This is the question that I found myself screaming at my computer.  He couldn’t think of any songs they haven’t played live even when he focused on the new album.  I, of course, start screaming Planet Roaring, Butterfly Girl, etc.  Finally, he says that they wish they played You Kill Me with Silence more than just on Jimmy Kimmel (TV show).

What bothers him most about being famous

Now, he is not bothered by anything when it comes to being famous.  In the past, the fame was too intense as he couldn’t go where he wanted to.  Fans, these days, Roger says are pretty cool.  They leave them alone after saying hello  or signing a few things when spotted  in hotel lobbies.

 Least Favorite Song to Play Live

Roger couldn’t think of one.  My reaction:  Really?!  Really?!?

Where wants to play

Roger would like to play in India and Thailand.  I learned that Roger loved to travel because he didn’t travel much as a kid.  Now, he is pretty happy to be home, too.  I get that.

What is most looking forward to in 2018

The studio!  Yes, the band plans to get back into the studio at some point.  Will there be shows this year?  Rogers says it will be a “quiet” one.  Sounds like it might a good year to plan or attend a convention.  Just sayin’.

I enjoyed the Kafe and getting some new insight into Roger Taylor, the person, rather than just the drummer for Duran.

-A

 

Never Mind the Buzzcocks – we’ve got Simon!

My “Day in Duran History” calendar tells me that on this date in 1999, Simon videotaped an appearance on a UK show called “Never Mind the Buzzcocks”.

Being American, I’m somewhat at a loss because up until today when I researched the show, I didn’t know what it was. That’s one thing about doing this blog – it has exposed me to a lot of things I’d never heard of prior!  It was basically a comedy panel game, based on pop music.  I marvel at the idea. (Does anyone else feel like American game shows could learn a little something from our overseas friends??) The show lasted 18 years, and was cancelled back in 2015.

Simon on a game show. Huh. I feel like there must be video of this somewhere. If not, there should be.

You know as well as I do that I went to YouTube in search of such treasures…and I found a little something to share. It’s only a short clip, and I have no way of knowing if there’s more out there…but it’s something!

I will say this: the look of complete and utter disdain in JUST the thumbnail you see below is enough to send me into hysterics.  I may have had a bit too much caffeine to begin the day…

Oh yes. This is GOLDEN. It is worthy of a morning break, and it IS funny with genuine laugh out loud moments (and I am somewhat sad to say that I’m not even laughing AT Simon but at the rest of the panel and the host). Check it out if you haven’t seen it or need a chuckle this Thursday morning.  I’m sure my UK readers could tell me a thing or two about this show, so forgive me if I’ve completely messed up the description!

Oh, and yes, I wish American TV would get a clue and try a game show like Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Instead, our entertainment industry is in this “Let’s reboot some of the best and worst shows and movies we’ve ever made” phase. It is like they’ve run out of original ideas….

moving on…

Cheers!

-R

For me, the music will continue to linger. RIP Dolores O’Riordan

I must admit that sometimes, having a paying job outside of the house really slows me down. I can’t always respond to things as quickly as I might like.

On Monday, after I’d already written blogs for that day and the next, I read that Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries had suddenly died. She was found in her hotel room, and she was only 46 years old.

The Cranberries were one of the few bands that my husband and I could consistently agree upon during our early days of dating and marriage. Long car ride? The Cranberries could easily be found in the CD player.  I loved Dolores’s voice, as did everyone.  Calming with just a touch of sadness, sometimes more than others, I could listen to her sing all day, and sometimes, I did.

I can’t remember how many years later I discovered that Simon, of all people, had done a duet with Dolores O’Riordan for Luciano Pavarotti’s Together for the Children of Bosnia concert. The duet is special, not just because of Simon or Dolores, but because their voices were so incredibly unique, and went together beautifully.  Like most DD fans, I have a few MP3’s of duets that Simon has done with other vocalists over the years, but this one is probably my favorite. Thankfully to Billboard, I now have seen the video for it (I’d only ever heard the sound from the performance).  Click the link to see the article and the video clips.

Watch Simon and Dolores O’Riordan perform “Linger”

I think I’m still a bit melancholy over the news. As I said to my husband on Monday, I really dislike this part of life in a lot of ways. So many of the people I grew up admiring most in this world are beginning to pass on, and if you focus solely on the loss, it can be incredibly depressing.  Simon had said something about the music Dolores O’Riordan left behind, and I’m going to try focusing on that. She left behind an incredibly gift that will never go away.

-R

 

 

 

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!