To Keep Me Company

This weekend, I will be spending it with a couple friends of mine.  I have mentioned these particular friends before on this blog.  One of them lives in Chicago and one of them lives in Minneapolis.  They are around the same age that I am.  Where did we meet?  How did we meet?  Simple.  We met online around the year 2001 on a fandom message board.  At first, we were just screen names and avatars to each other.  Then, we started finding out information about each other beyond what we saw on  the message boards that we frequented.  Finally, we decided to take a chance, to meet in person.  In 2002, this wasn’t something I did.  Ever.  It was weird to me and to other people.  The thought of driving to see people I had never talked to in person or met seemed not only strange but slightly dangerous.  What if these people were psycho?  What if they were creepy?  Would I feel trapped?

Yet, we got together, despite any and all reservations we might have had.  Like many other meetings in fandom, we had an instant connection, an instant understanding of each other that, at first, seemed to be connected to our fandom of choice (we were all part of the Roswell TV show fandom), but quickly expanded beyond.  Roswell ended a long time ago as did our participation in that fan community.  Would it return, though, if the show did?  I think about all of those X-Files fans who are super excited that X-Files is returning in some form.  Did they remain in the fandom the entire time or did the return of the series spur some people to rejoin and reach out to other fans?  Or was it other fans who actually brought them back to the fold?

I don’t really follow much about Roswell in social media anymore.  I don’t frequent message boards about the show.  If, for some crazy reason, the show, in some way, shape or form, returned, would I even hear about it?  It is doubtful, especially when I’m super busy and don’t even check into social media for days on end.  How then would I hear about it?  Simple.  I would hear about it through my friends, the people who once were fans and could be again.  This might be the case for X-Files, too.  This might be the case when Duran Duran releases #DD14.  I know a lot of people who used to be involved with the Duran Duran fandom who have left for a variety of reasons. How would they hear about a new album?  Through people like me!  For some of those friends/former fans, all they would need to hear is that Duran Duran has a new album and they will check it out.  Others, though, would need more.  They might need me to be even MORE enthusiastic than I normally am about a Duran Duran album (and that is saying something since I am one-half of a blog that posts daily about being Duranies!)!

What would cause me to be even more excited than normal about a new Duran album?  I don’t know.  Certainly, I talked a LOT more about All You Need Is Now than I did about Red Carpet Massacre because I liked AYNIN more.  Thus, a good album would help me and people like me talk about a new Duran Duran album and get others interested.  Similarly, if I was going to see them live a bunch, I would definitely be talking about them and the new album more.  For the record, I would be talking about Duran to lots of people then!  Not only would former fans hear about them and the album, but so would colleagues, other friends, family, etc.  Of course, if there was a really special event planned that I was fortunate enough to attend that worked to get me really excited, then no one would be able to shut me up.  NO ONE.  I would love that, too.  I would love to see former fans come back to the fold.  It would certainly mean more fun times for me, but for other fans, too.  I think we would all feed off of each other!  Our excitement would build and build and build!

Ah, yes, sometimes, I do think it is fans that promote, bring back old fans and, maybe, even gather some new ones!  That would happen if Roswell returned for my little group of friends from that fandom.  I’m willing to bet that it happened for the X-Files fandom.  It could happen with Duranies, too!

-A

 

Question of the Day: Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yesterday’s winner and the 11th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album:  Too Bad You’re So Beautiful

Which song would make the better 12th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album?  It would follow these songs:  Rio, Planet Earth, Lonely in Your Nightmare, Careless Memories, Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, The Chauffeur, Mediterranea, and Too Bad You’re So Beautiful.

Mine, Immaculate Dream

I remember when Duran Duran first joined Twitter. There was a learning curve involved of course, because we were all trying to figure out Twitter.  It really made no sense to me until I relaxed a little and just tweeted whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Then I learned that it was far more fun to tweet WITH people rather than AT them, and now Twitter is far more like a running conversation than posting 140-character status updates like “I am going to fold laundry now.” (although I still post a fair number of those)

I also remember when Simon and John started tweeting. At first I thought it was nothing short of miraculous. I remember how insane my timeline would get whenever John jumped online and had what we all learned to coin, a “Tweetfest”. Just a shout-out, an RT, a mere mention would send a fan’s heart soaring. I remember seeing the hundreds, if not thousands of requests for follows, and that prompted me to write a post about not following fans. At the time, I was convinced that following a fan like that would do nothing but promote more nastiness between fans. The competitiveness between DD fans was still palpable at the time, the idea of actually communicating directly with the band was still new enough, that it seemed like a recipe ripe for disaster.

I’ve thought about reasons why a band from the 80s may or may not be involved on Twitter. We’ve talked about how for many of us, bands like Duran Duran are a complete enigma. We knew they existed, but never once thought we could actually speak with them. So many of those bands have dropped off of the face of music now, the few that are left are very much treasured.

Lately, I’ve gotten somewhat involved in the Spandau Ballet fan community. Their community seems to be so much more at peace than Duran’s has been in the past, which interests me…mainly because I just can’t figure out what makes it that much different. I’m sure many of you will have some idea that you’ll happily pass on, so I’ll wait and read your comments. In any case, this past week, the members of Spandau Ballet have been following fans. They’ve openly been coming onto Twitter and spending time tweeting fans and even following them. There has been no bloodshed from fans, nor signs of exasperation coming from the band. Aside from fans asking to be followed (which was encouraged), I’ve seen very little uproar, and the best part is that the fans have encouraged one another.  I continually see “OMG, _______________ is following me!!!” posts on Facebook with a chorus of “Congratulations!” comments  following.

Truly, I don’t feel comfortable saying that this is the way all bands should handle social media with fans, mainly because it’s really difficult for me to see beyond my own fandom. Not everyone can feel comfortable reaching out; indeed, not everyone should. I only know that as a fan, I love seeing these bands and artists I grew up idolizing making the effort to get to know their fans…and they all seem to do it in their own way. It is a good time to be a fan.

-R

Question of the Day: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  Too Bad You’re So Beautiful

Which song will be the 11th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album?  It will follow these songs:  Rio, Planet Earth, Lonely in Your Nightmare, Careless Memories, Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, The Chauffeur and Mediterranea.

May Katy Kafe Bonus with Simon LeBon!

Just when you’re thinking it’s safe to go run errands…Katy surprises us all with a bonus Katy Kafe!  Apparently Simon was so chatty during Katy’s anniversary chat, they kept the “tape” rolling, and off comes this fun, informative and even educational Kafe with Simon! I picked out the highlights to share, enjoy!

Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee!

Simon has become quite the coffee drinker, and he likes it black. As many might be aware, recently Simon began a fitness regime. He wanted to lose some weight (he’s lost quite a bit!!) and just get fit for the upcoming album release/tour/etc. His program required that he cut out dairy, and Simon cannot drink tea without dairy. So, he tried coffee…and he loves it. He loves coffee so much that he drinks six to eight cups a day!  He explains, much to my relief, that he dilutes the French press coffee a bit because he prefers it weaker than say, the espresso blend that Starbucks and similar coffee shops prepare.  To myself, I imagined Simon on the fully-leaded Starbucks espresso, and I was tired just trying to keep up!  He loves a particular brand of coffee called Cru Kafe and he went into particularly great detail about how the coffee smells when it is freshly ground. Katy, on the other hand – not a coffee drinker at all.  She can’t stand the stuff.

This led into a great discussion on how Simon feels that this program has re-educated his taste buds to prefer less “rich” food. He talks about how he enjoys salad and now craves green, raw vegetables.  I’m eating a kale salad as I’m writing this (I too am preparing for any and all upcoming gigs and tours, you see…) and I have to wonder what in the hell Simon was eating BEFORE the program.  He talked a bit about wanting to eat cleaner and have a simpler digestion while on tour.  I thought about how vodka might fill that bill.  (for me…for me….) It’s clear. It’s clean…and I am the (self-proclaimed) Patron Goddess of Vodka.

moving on…

I saw Simon in early April and he looked very trim. I’ve seen the recent ads he did for that wildlife campaign, and he looks fantastic. I’ve got work of my own to do to keep up!!

The Summer of Festivals

That’s what I’m dubbing this summer. Katy asked what Simon might be looking forward to for these festivals and he said they would not play a “hell of a lot” from the new album. He thought that if there were a single out they’d play that (so that’s a little different from what John had said previously – we’ll take a single!!). Katy asked how long it takes to put together a set list, and Simon said that he really wasn’t the “list maker”….apparently John and Nick share that duty. John is fairly obsessive about it, noting what songs create what type of mood, etc. Simon likes the idea of a three-act-play model. He doesn’t go into detail, but basically the idea is to break the setlist into parts: the set-up, the confrontation, and the conclusion.  However, Simon is more interested in what he can sing properly. For example, one of Simon’s challenges with their music is that if one song, such as Girl Panic, is in a high, full-out range…it is very difficult if not impossible for him to follow that with a song that is meant to be sung low, such as Come Undone. So he looks at their set lists with that in mind. It’s a little insight…

Simon would love to sing Too Late Marlene in a setlist, but according to him, they’ve tried it before and have always backed away from doing it because perhaps it didn’t sound right. He feels they are much better musicians now and can play it properly – it’s a hidden, overlooked gem in their music because of the fact it doesn’t have a huge hook. Simon feels it would go well with Serious. Do we agree?  (I do!) He was very, very quick to say that they won’t be doing Too Late Marlene this tour…but it’s something he’d like to try in the future.

 

That’s about it from the Kafe this time around. The extended Coffee Kafe was a fun surprise to round out the month of May! Looking forward to next month!!

-R

 

 

Question of the Day: Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  Shelter

Which song would make the better 11th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album?  It would follow these songs:  Rio, Planet Earth, Lonely in Your Nightmare, Careless Memories, Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, The Chauffeur and Mediterranea.

The Story of Two Little CD Inserts, Part 2

Amanda is such a good creative writer…I am not even going to try to follow in her footsteps…

On our little road trip to see Duran Duran play at the Lynch Foundation show in Los Angeles, Amanda and I were able to get our CD inserts signed by Dom Brown. If I remember correctly, Amanda and I had gotten those signed All You Need is Now CD’s because a certain number of the preordered ones were signed by the band…but of course by “band” I mean only the four original members, Dom not included. I wasn’t expecting otherwise, but I had always felt that if given the opportunity, I wanted to get his signature…on the front.

Dom has a right to be on that front cover. He has co-writing credit on most of the album, and when I listen to the songs, particularly Mediterranea, Girl Panic, and even Being Followed, I can hear his influence.  He was as much a part of that songwriting team as anyone else on the album, which is indicated by his name in the credits. Therefore, I wanted his signature. This isn’t about Dom being my favorite, or some flat-out effort to rewrite history.  Having the four original members signatures for this particular album only tells a portion of the story. While I realize that might not matter to everyone, it mattered to me….enough to carry the blasted thing around with me everywhere I traveled since the CD arrived in my mail back in 2011.

I remember packing it when we went to England in May of 2011. It didn’t seem right to pull it out of my purse as I waited with other fans in front of the studio, hoping for good news on Simon and then ask Dom to sign it when I saw him. (To be honest, he blew right past me and the 10-15 or so other fans waiting that day, I don’t think he even realized any of us were standing there.) The mood that day just wasn’t right, and so it stayed tucked away as I fought through my own emotions while waiting to hear that the entire tour had been canceled. I didn’t have the opportunity to see the band again on that trip, so it remained unsigned.

I dutifully packed it in my carry-on for our next trip to England in late November. I’d left it at home when I had gone to see the band in Valley Center and Pomona, CA. My husband was with on both occasions, and I didn’t think they were the right times to try and find Dom. Besides, it didn’t seem right without my partner-in-crime, so I waited. I also left the insert at home when I met up with Amanda on a very short trip to Chicago, figuring I wouldn’t have time. So, I lovingly carried that insert across the ocean once again, hoping it wouldn’t get wrinkled or lost on the way. Amanda reminded me to have it in my purse every single night we saw the band, but once again our plan was foiled by bad luck and timing. Back home we went, mission impossible.

By the time we took another road trip here in the US to see the band in the Southeast in August of 2012, I’d pretty much forgotten about the insert. While Amanda writes beautifully about the inserts being displayed lovingly in her home, that really isn’t the case at my house.  My husband is pretty adamant about my Duranie “paraphernalia” being confined to my “own” areas, and well, there really aren’t any here. No desk, no office…I have a kitchen table to work at when no one is home, and a small walk-in closet. I have learned not to complain because there is no point, and so my treasured items are kept (still lovingly even if not quite seen) in bins in my closet where I can find them when wanted. In any case, out of sight, out of mind, and Amanda reminded me to pack it. I laughed ruefully at the time, because I felt like it was at the point where my bringing it was surely the kiss of death – as long as Ms. Bad Luck is present or is prepared with something to be signed, we would never run into Dom outside of seeing him onstage. That luck held true for that road trip/tour as well. It was a great time, a wonderful set of shows, and aside from a short moment where I made eye contact and waved at Dom as he got into a van, he clearly recognized me from being the girl from the front row screaming at him earlier that evening, that was it. And it was enough…or so I told myself.

I’ve learned that my memories and experiences are most valuable without having any other expectations. I have horrible luck when it comes to running into the band, I’m not the kind of person who stops traffic or draws instant attention to herself upon entering a room, and I’m not the type to talk myself into places most fans normally wouldn’t be invited. I used to feel badly about that, wondering why I wasn’t quite born a bombshell; but nowadays, I’ve settled into just enjoying the experiences and not worrying about much else. So, that insert stayed packed away in it’s bin of memories, along with my other treasured Duran items until April of 2015.

Amanda and I had talked about taking those inserts with us for what I internally felt was probably a pointless trip (for them) to Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I was looking forward to seeing the band. I felt like I was about to reach the mirage in the Mojave…I was starving for a show, like many, and this was going to help keep me going until the next tour. I just didn’t think we had a chance in hell at seeing any of the band. In fact, I was SO sure that I didn’t bother to pull the bin out of my closet and dig through it to find the insert until we pulled out of my driveway on the way to Los Angeles. Amanda turned to me and asked if I had my CD insert, and I rolled my eyes, because in my mind at this point, the point was futile. I pulled back into the driveway and dashed upstairs to grab it, knowing that there was really no point, but as Amanda said “If you don’t at least try, it’ll be the one time you’ll be sorry.”

Ok. I’ll play along. SURE. 

As you all know now, we did run into him. Heck, I was practically presented to him! (had my friend Shelly not grabbed my arm or poked him that night to get his attention, I would have probably never said a word.) I was worried he wouldn’t know who I was, even after sitting across from him on a plane, standing in front of him at shows, having him wave to me more than once…AND doing an interview with him for this very blog. I figure that he meets hundreds if not thousands of people, and I’m just another face in a sea of many. Why would he remember? But he did. Maybe it was that shock that stopped me from remembering that I actually HAD the insert with me at that very moment, but it wasn’t until almost the end of the evening that Amanda suddenly sat up ramrod straight in her chair and exclaimed, “The inserts! We need to go talk to him again, Rhonda.”

Crap. Really??

I was really good right then. I’d had my (500) photos with him. I’d gotten a hug without even asking. I’d told him that I thought he’d really improved at Ordinary World. (Yes, I really did say that to him. Out of every other dumbass thing I could have EVER said to him – I told him that when he first started with Duran Duran I thought he played Ordinary World kind of “muddy”. Because that’s exactly the kind of thing you’d want to tell your favorite, right?? Remind me to never try and speak to anyone ever again.) So what more could I want? I was willing to sacrifice the insert and just forget the entire thing. Why press my luck? Not Amanda. We were getting the damn thing signed and she marched purposefully over to where he was standing.

I followed behind, somewhat timidly, as we interrupted yet another conversation between him and someone I’m sure he’d rather speak with. Amanda tells him that we’re back, and I immediately apologize for bothering him, “I am so, so sorry” and he smiles. For the sake of my own ego, I’m going to pretend that smile was an indication that we weren’t bothering him and instead he completely delighted by our presence in his personal space. Again. Amanda tells him, and I still laugh when I think about her words, “We have some tasks for you!” He looks at her, obviously a little concerned by what she might be about to ask, and then looks over at me. I could see he was hoping I’d shed some light. I chuckled and said, “Nothing bad, Dom.”  Amanda continues, explaining that we have been trying to get him to sign our CD inserts since AYNIN came out, and she hands him a silver pen. He hands me his wine to hold and tries to flip the insert to the middle so that he can sign it. That is when I finally find my (normal) voice. “Oh no you will NOT”, I begin, “I want you to sign the front, Dom. Please.” He looks at me and says, “But where…what about Simon?” I immediately respond with, “I don’t care about Simon. Simon isn’t my favorite in the band, Dom.” (I hear gasping around the world from you Simon-girls. It’s not that Simon is unimportant, it’s that I wanted Dom to know I felt he was just AS important.)

He looks over at me quizzically and words begin to come out of my mouth without my brain’s permission. “YOU are my favorite, Dom.”  (Who really says that to people? Someone like me, that’s whom.  Brilliant. For the sake of all that is holy OR unholy, I shouldn’t be allowed out in public ever again.) That’s when Dom smiles and nudges me with his arm. Never mind that I could have fallen over with a feather at that point, I force myself to stay upright and continue to breathe (breathing is important, you know). He signs our inserts and I floated right out of the bar, at the insistence of the bouncer who was telling us it was closing time, on Cloud Nine.

Is there really a moral to this story? Probably. The most important being that you shouldn’t ever give up. I mean, unless you’re me. In which case…sometimes being cynical will save you from having the opportunity to say things like, “Now, do you who I am?” or “When you first started with the band, I always kind of thought your solo in Ordinary World had a muddy feel to it.” or….”YOU are my favorite, Dom.” So there IS that…but for the rest of you, I don’t think you should give up. You never know when you’re finally going to get that moment to cozy up to Dom Brown for a picture (Or 500, as the case might have been for us that night….because of poor lighting and a jet-lagged Dom!), get something signed, or… finally meeting Simon LeBon at a taco shack in the middle of a Los Angeles city block!

-RCD insert

Question of the Day: Monday, May 25, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  Too Bad You’re So Beautiful

Which song would make the better 11th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album?  It would follow these songs:  Rio, Planet Earth, Lonely in Your Nightmare, Careless Memories, Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, The Chauffeur and Mediterranea.

The Story of Two Little CD Inserts Part 1

Once upon a time, there were two little cd inserts.  These inserts were relatively happy.  After all, they had been marked by the “FOUR”, those rock stars that their owners loved so much.  Oh yes, these little inserts were lucky ones as they had been given to dedicated fans who truly appreciated and loved them.  They weren’t just thrown into the trash or hidden in some dark, lonely desk drawer.  No, they were allowed to be out and proud in well-used rooms in their owners’ homes.  At times, their owners would pick them up, sigh and give a really big smile.  Life was good.  Despite this, the little inserts knew that something was missing, something ESSENTIAL was missing.  What could it be?  The little inserts would soon found out.
 
About a month and a half ago, the inserts heard their owners talking to each other.  Something was definitely going on!  Something exciting!  It sounded like whatever was going had to do with those rock stars that had marked them years before!!  The inserts were extremely happy for their owners as they knew how much these owners of theirs loved the FOUR!  Even more exciting, it sounded like whatever was about to happen involved a trip!  Again, the little inserts were happy for their owners but didn’t think much of it as they didn’t travel anymore since arriving in their current resting place.  While the inserts didn’t mind going on trips, they understood that their owners didn’t want them to get lost or get damaged in some way.  Thus, they accepted their lack of traveling.  
 
Yet, this event seemed different!  The Wisconsin based insert noticed its owner packing one night in between exchanging messages with the California insert owner.  The little insert knew that packing meant that the house was going to be quiet and there will be no action taking place in the office in which it rested.  Suddenly, though, its owner burst into the office and grabbed the frame in which it rested!  “What was going on?!,” the little insert wondered.  “What was she doing?” it thought.  With that, the frame was opened and the insert was removed.  The insert became scared as its fate seemed unknown.  “Would she throw me away?  Would she move me to a dark drawer?  Would she sell me to some other fan?” the insert questioned.  This didn’t make any sense!  The owner loved the insert, it thought.  Then, with a huge sigh of relief, he heard her mutter, “Let’s see if we can’t get you completed!”  The insert then knew it was time to travel as its owner placed it in a blue folder along with plane ticket information, hotel information, show information and more!  The insert knew that it was in for something special!
 
Soon enough, the little insert and its owner were on their way.  This trip found them first driving in a car, then traveling up in the sky!  The insert had traveled by plane before but then it was in the mail, in a package.  This was different.  This time, the insert could hear its owner and other people near by talking.  While the insert wished to be out of the folder, it was still very excited by what was going to happen!  After the plane landed, the insert remained patient as its owner met up with that other insert owner.  The little insert knew enough to know that crazy things happened when those two humans were together!  The excitement increased!
 
The next day, the Wisconsin insert found itself traveling again in a car.  Anticipation was high as the insert owners were exhibiting enthusiasm about this trip, even though both humans tried to act so cool, so unconcerned.  Yet, the Wisconsin insert worried about where his matching insert was.  Why didn’t the California human bring her insert along?  The Wisconsin insert wished that he could be with the California insert as it felt certain that they, too, could have fun.  Wait…what’s happening?  The car is being turned around?!  What’s going on?  In fact, the car turned around a few times but the only time the Wisconsin insert cared was the last time.  Why?  It was reunited with its fellow insert!!!  The two little inserts were together!  Oh, yes, something was definitely going on!  Something big!  Important!  Exciting!  The inserts couldn’t wait!
 
After a brief drive, the inserts and their owners made it to their destination.  At this point, the Wisconsin human held on to both inserts.  The inserts wondered and wondered what she was going to do with them!  They hoped it would be something good!  More importantly, could this be the time in which the inserts would finally be made complete?!  They had spent years feeling like something was missing.  Could this trip be the one to end that feeling forever?!
 
At first, during this time that the inserts were together, it seemed quiet and uneventful.  While they still sensed some excess energy from their owners, they remained in the Wisconsin human’s purse where it was quiet and dark.  Soon enough, though, they heard music.  Good music.  Familiar music.  Very familiar music.  Could it be that the FOUR who had made their marks on them were near?!?  It would make sense and be the reason that the humans were buzzing.  Did the human have some plan for them?  Something that involved one or more of the FOUR?!  They could only hope!
 
The night wore on and the inserts got worried that there really was no plan for them.  They were just going to take up space in the purse.  That isn’t right!?!  Then, suddenly, they felt a human hand reaching for them and handing them over to another human.  A British human.  They heard their owners explain that this British human needed to add his mark, his signature to them!  At first, this new human didn’t seem to understand as he began to flip through the inserts, ignoring the front when the California human explained that this male human needed to add his mark on the front along side the FOUR.  Then, each insert felt the smooth motion of a pen across the front of each of them.  Then, there was nothing but a huge sigh.  RELIEF!!!  Finally, they were complete!  Whole!  They now featured the marks of all FIVE!!!!!  Yes!!!  This was the best night ever!!!!
-A
Stay tuned as part 2 will be posted this week then any and all questions will be answered!!!

Question of the Day: Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  Point of No Return

Which song would make the better 11th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album?  It would follow these songs:  Rio, Planet Earth, Lonely in Your Nightmare, Careless Memories, Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, The Chauffeur, and Mediterranea.

Two Duran fans with a lot of opinions!