I Don’t Want to Wake Up

Has it really already been a week since I’ve been back home from this Duran Duran tour?!? I don’t even know where the time went. On one hand I feel as though I got back into the swing of things very quickly and feels very much as though I never left. On the other, I can’t believe a week has already gone by.

In many ways I let Amanda take the helm in describing the tour and how the shows were for us – she and I are typically on the same page when it comes to those things, and I knew she would convey exactly how I felt. On the other, I summed up my feelings about that 3-show “tour” with one tweet almost immediately after I walked out of the theatre at Agua Caliente.

“I may as well I may as well stop touring right now because I will never have a better show experience than tonight. Wow.”

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating here again that Amanda and I purchase our own tickets to the shows. We don’t ask the band for tickets.  I had a few people insinuate or flat-out ask, and while it’s a lovely thought that some people believe we matter, I think Amanda and I are well-aware that to 99.99% of the people involved with the band, we’re just a couple of fans who write a silly blog. We get it, and we don’t overstate or over-think our importance. In any case, that night at Agua Caliente, Amanda and I were in for a huge treat. We knew we had front row, but aside from that – we didn’t know much else. Neither of us had been to the venue and we were honestly more concerned with where our seats would be (meaning would we be in front of Simon, John, Nick, or Dom) than where the seats were in regards to the stage.

 As we walked down to our seats at Agua Caliente, we counted the chairs from the aisle and discovered we were right in front of Simon. I mean RIGHT in front. Then we realized there were no barricades between us and the stage. Finally, we quietly marveled that during the show, we could seriously lean our elbows ON the stage. I couldn’t believe it, and to be honest, I still can’t. As show time grew closer, our friends Krista and Sandy took their seats right next to us, and I knew before the band even took the stage that it was going to be the show experience of a lifetime.

It very much was – including being in the “spit zone” (Thank you Krista for taking the brunt of it…willingly…as I ducked behind you.  Yes, I did see you chuckling at our antics, Nicholas. I’m going to continue pretending that Simon did NOT veer ever so slightly in the direction of Amanda and I…We sort of had it coming though, didn’t we?)  There were so many moments during that show for me. Seeing Nick smile during Hungry Like the Wolf (I was a very good sport, thankyouverymuch…epitome of a well-behaved fan!!), watching Simon walking to the front of the stage like a man on a mission with a mouth-full of water as I thought to myself, “Oh boy…here we go…DUCK!”, having John and Dom flank either side of Amanda and I during Planet Earth, watching Roger twirl his drumstick during Sunrise…having Dom come over directly in front of me to play several times throughout the show, and shaking some of their hands at the end of the set.

Can I take a minute to write about the end of their set?? After the finale, they walked to the front of the stage as they typically do to say goodbye. I’m right there, basically becoming good friends with their feet, and examining their shoes and socks. (Nice striped socks, Dom…liked them with the leather pants!) I wish I could properly explain how I felt in that moment, but the words don’t really match the feeling. It was as though electricity was running through my body. I mean, I was inches from these men that I have adored since I was ten years old. I turn 45 next month. That’s a very, very long time. It was as though I couldn’t quite believe what my eyes and ears were telling me as I stood there, frozen to the floor. I didn’t even reach up to shake hands with them, because I couldn’t. I just smiled at them, tried to clap, mostly just stood there in shock (and awe!).

Nick stood in front of me for what felt like a long time, but I couldn’t even move my hand to shake his. It wasn’t out of disrespect, just the opposite really. I meant it when I said that my head couldn’t quite make sense of it at the time. I’m still not sure if I can. I did notice a faint, very quick glimmer of, well…what…recognition maybe??…in their faces as they would smile down at us and make eye contact. I couldn’t even let myself think about that at the time. I had difficulty just getting past the notion that I was standing there right directly in front of them. Yes, I’ve been writing this blog for five years now, and yes, I suppose that by a lot of accounts, I’ve had far more “experiences” with the band than many fans out there. However, I’ve never been right in front of them like this. Not in this way. It felt incredibly surreal. Daily Duranie or not, no matter how many readers we have, or the size of our real audience, or our post-reach on Facebook – I am still a fan. That’s exactly how I felt that night. I am still a fan like anyone else. I needed that.

Do you know what I was thinking about in that moment as they were all standing at the front of the stage?  I was remembering how I would sit on the edge of my bed, in my “Summertime Green” painted bedroom (Nasty, horrid bright green color, with orange carpeting no less.). I would stare at the biggest poster of them I had, which happened to be on my door, and wonder what it would be like to be right in front of them. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d write about them someday, or be in the front row at one of their shows (much less two or three), or actually KNOW what it felt like to be in front of them. Never.  How do you soak up the answers to 35-years worth of daydreams in less than two hours?

As they were leaving, Dom reached down and grabbed my hand and it was only in that second I kind of came back into present long enough to realize that he had my hand – only for a split second – but again, I’m trying to describe how I felt at the time. I’m pretty sure I shook Roger’s hand too, but I can’t remember now.

I don’t think I will ever have a show quite like that again. That thought both exhilarates me and makes me wistful all at once. I know what it’s like to be center “elbows on the stage” front row. I’m incredibly thankful I had the opportunity to experience those feelings. Even if my time never comes again – which likely not – I won’t let the memory slip my mind. I really can’t see what could possibly top those seats, and so when I jokingly yelled out, “I QUIT!!” after the last of the hand squeezes from the band took place and they all left the stage area, it was with the thought that I’d reached the pinnacle of what a fan could really experience.  There isn’t much more to “want”, aside from more of the same, maybe.

Almost oddly, I sit here today typing this thinking to myself that it’s a good thing that Amanda and I have had the chance to do so much, at least from the standpoint of writing and understanding ourselves as fans. I’ve sat in the very LAST row at a show (my very first one), and now I’ve sat in the very front row. I’ve been to the UK, seen Birmingham, walked Cheapside (If you do not know what Cheapside is, we need to talk. Seriously…email me!), had Simon stand directly in front of me, eye-to-eye and explain why the shows cannot go on as planned. I’ve lived through Twitter, Facebook, and message boards. I have had canceled gigs, various guitarists, and favorite band members leaving only to return 20-some years later. I have watched MTV, read magazines like Star Hits and Tiger Beat, as well as rely on getting news solely from the radio and other fans. I’ve completely missed tours, been disappointed with albums, and overjoyed by others. I don’t know if I’ve done it ALL (actually, I know for sure that I have not…), but I know that I’ve experienced a lot, and those adventures, moments, and nuggets of knowledge come in very handy when you’re writing a fan blog.

I know what it is like to be a fan, and I continue to walk the fine line between writing about it, running a blog, and experiencing it as anyone else might. Amanda and I always say we know what fans want because we ARE fans…and that’s the truth. I only hope we continue to cover the things that matter with the same amount of love, affection and excitement as we do right in this moment. I’m looking forward to planning the next set of Duran Duran tour dates, meet-ups, parties, and hopefully a reasonable road trip as we witness the upcoming UK dates from afar.


The Things We Do To Be Together

I have been thinking a lot about creation lately.  No, I’m not talking about creation vs. evolution but about how people go about creating something.  Obviously, I have thought about the band creating the album or my mom creating a new fiber art piece.  I have even been thinking about how Rhonda and I created this…whatever…you want to call it.  (Blog seems too simple, doesn’t it?!)  In the midst of my thinking, I discovered that sometimes, most of the times, the artist doesn’t really know what is going to be created before it has been worked on for quite some time.  I admit that I feel that way about this…company, partnership, blog, whatever.  When we started, our focus was simply to help us write our book on fandom.  It was an attempt to not only observe fandom in action but to also write about it, to put ideas/reactions/thoughts into words in an informal setting.  Initially, that seemed like a good goal.  Very quickly, though, we realized that we were doing a lot more than observing and reacting.  We were taking part, creating action.

What action were we creating or focusing upon?  I didn’t know for a long time.  Both Rhonda and myself could see that there were problems or areas of our fandom that could be improved.  We felt very strongly that we weren’t going to just complain but to offer solutions.  One area that we thought could use some improvement was the lack of community feeling–many fans were completely isolated.  Others had just a friend or two or, maybe, a small group.  Yet, there wasn’t enough intermingling.  There wasn’t a strong community spirit.  At times, a Duranie community feeling would pop up, but not enough to be sustained.  Why does that matter?  Simple.  The more community feeling, the better the experiences for fans.  Fans are far happier when they are hanging with other fans.  This translates to staying in the fandom longer and even bringing in new people.  Therefore, Rhonda and I brainstormed and continue to brainstorm means of creating greater community feeling.  We have attempted to reach this in a variety of ways, including blog posts, through social media and through in person activities.  In addition to planning and holding a fan convention, we also have held numerous meet ups, mostly around tours!

Our planned meet ups have happened in a lot of different places from London, England, to Hollywood, California, and everywhere in between, including Chicago, Durham, Atlanta and more.  We have found that at each and every meet up, the fans who show up have a great time meeting other fans or seeing other fans whom they haven’t seen in a long time.  Usually, lots of stories are shared as well as conversation, such as what songs people hope that the band plays at the show.  There is almost always discussion about where people are sitting in the hopes of sitting near new friends and connections!  In almost every case I can think of, these meet ups do more than just facilitate new connections and friendships but they get people super excited for the show, which translates to more energy at the show, which the band can feed off of.  It is a win-win!

Over these last 5 years, we have begun to notice a bit of a pattern.  We have had more and more requests for meet ups.  What do I mean by that?  I’ll explain with a few examples.  For this last tour, people contacted us and asked if we were having meet ups in _________________ (insert various city here).  Even after this mini-tour, we have been asked questions like, “When Duran tours in ________________ (insert another city) in 2016, will you be holding a meet up then?  I really want to go to one of your meet ups!”  Obviously, we are flattered by these requests.  More importantly, to us, though, is the confirmation that people actually enjoy and look forward to them!  When we probe these requests further, people always tell us that they really want to meet other Duranies.  This tells us that community matters.  It matters to Duranies and it is something that we all want.  We are happy if our meet ups give this to other fans.  We certainly have benefitted ourselves by meeting LOTS of great fans this way!

What does this mean for the future?  Simple.  It means that we will do as many meet ups as we can.  Obviously, they take time and effort to set up, to let people know, etc., but we definitely see that people enjoy them and that they get something from attending.  Once we know tour dates (assuming that there will be more), we will try to get meet ups scheduled for the show(s) we are able to do.  So, watch this space!



Question of the Day: Sunday, October 11, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  I Don’t Want Your Love

Which single do you like better?

CA Paper Gods Tour by the Numbers!

Traditions.  It is a word that often makes people think of awkward or silly family habits surrounding holidays.  For some, the word might equal boring, stuck-in-the-mud, unafraid of change.  The word doesn’t always have fun connotations.  Yet, for us, traditions do because they are all about touring traditions!!  What are some of those tour traditions?  We bet you can guess some without even thinking too hard…Yes, one of them is about drinking all of the vodka in the city.  Another is reaching up for the sunrise!  Many of our traditions have been around for 10 years, since the spring 2005 Astronaut trip.  Others have been created VERY recently.  You all will get the good fortune of seeing one of the traditions here.  Although, we must warn you.  It will probably amuse no one but us.  Well, it might amuse our friend, Heather, who was stuck with us for this tour.  What is this probably-totally-lame tradition?  Summarizing the tour through numbers.  What are we hearing?!  groaning  Why add math to fandom?!  I thought this was supposed to be fun!  Oh…just wait…Duranies!  You are in for the really-not-that-exciting CA Paper Gods Tour by the numbers that we promise has NO math to it!

1200 miles

Beginning about 20 minutes south of Disneyland in California where Rhonda lives, up to Hollywood, on to Berkeley CA, back to Rancho Mirage and ending at LAX airport.  Good times!!

Yep, the Daily Duranie version of Thelma and Louise!! Photo courtesy of Heather Todd
Yep, the Daily Duranie version of Thelma and Louise!!     Photo courtesy of Heather Todd

50 People at the Hard Rock Cafe

We were really excited to have so many people join us at the Hard Rock for an official Daily Duranie Pre-Show Meet-up!

The staff at the Hard Rock Cafe had to keep adding tables to our already ridiculously long table!
Even though it took quite a while for our food and drink orders to come through, Duranies had a great time chatting, talking and laughing!
Fans brought memorabilia to look at, and stories to share which made the afternoon go by very quickly!

We were hunted down 50 times!!

We heard everyone’s favorite song, Hungry Like the Wolf, about 50 times between all the shows, every single time we turned the iPod on, and the two times Rhonda had to watch them perform it at Kimmel (Even weirder: we’re starting to look forward to hearing it!!)

This band drives us to drink!!  (18 times!)

Ok, so this number really isn’t so bad considering we were gone for 5 days. Of course, much of that time was spent driving up and down the center of California….but let’s just not talk about that.

Berry Press - Hard Rock


We lived in 4 hotels (…and on the aforementioned cocktails…)

It’s always fun to pick hotels…and then find out that the hotel you thought was fine was actually a motel in disguise with a big bug in the bathroom…but you know, always an adventure!!

Kettleman City Best Western 1

Best Western Kettleman City 2

We spent an average of 4 hours a day commuting on the “bus”.

Oh my gosh!  Someone forgot to reserve our seats on Duran Duran One…can you believe it?!? The audacity!!!  So, we took Rhonda’s car instead. (thank goodness it proved as reliable as always!)

CA Driving 1

CA Driving3

3.5 hours of sleep!

Sleep?!? We can sleep when we’re dead!!  We treated ourselves to about 3.5 hours of sleep each night. Or morning if we’re being honest….

3 Meet-ups

In addition to the meet-up at Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, we had two smaller meet-ups: one at Gypsy’s in Berkeley for dinner, and another at Rendezvous at the Agua Caliente Hotel.

Berkeley Group Selfie
Berkeley Group Selfie
Rendezvous at Agua Caliente
Rendezvous at Agua Caliente

We “fixed” Duran Duran’s set list 3 times

And they ignored us…three times…and we can’t even imagine WHY!!

Suggested set list for Hollywood Bowl
Suggested set list for Hollywood Bowl
Suggested set list for Berkeley
Suggested set list for Berkeley
The special set list for Agua Caliente and, yes, Skin Drivers seemed more fitting that day!
The special set list for Agua Caliente and, yes, Skin Drivers seemed more fitting that day!

3 Shows!

That’s right, kids.  We did three shows on this tour:

Hollywood Bowl–

Photo courtesy of Heather Todd
Photo courtesy of Heather Todd

Greek Theater in Berkeley–

JoNiDo at Berkeley

Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage–

Photo courtesy of Heather Todd
Photo courtesy of Heather Todd

2 fantastic performances by Nile and Chic!!

Nile HBowl
You can see Craig Robinson from TV’s The Office in the background on this one taken at the Hollywood Bowl.
Nile Berkeley
Chic at The Greek Theatre – Berkeley CA
Chic – Greek Theatre – Berkeley CA

We danced 2 times to Danceophobia!

We were obviously cured!!

2 Post Show Gatherings!

You didn’t think that we would be satisfied with just a drink or two before the shows, did you?!    No, we needed to celebrate fabulous shows with friends!



Agua Caliente
Agua Caliente

1.5 Meals Per Day!

Here’s the thing about touring and us.  We often forget to eat or don’t eat complete meals.  Are we too busy going from place-to-place?  Do we have too much nervous energy?  Do we drink our dinners?  Whatever the cause–it still equaled an average of 1.5 meals per day on this tour, which isn’t really that bad!!!

1 Familiar Looking Security Guard


Are we the only ones who think that this guy looks familiar?!?

One “Play the Fucking Bass, John!”

Clearly, we were not the only ones who found ourselves missing John’s little intro as people chanted, “Play the Fucking Bass, John!” in Agua Caliente both in the beginning of the show and at the intros. Sometimes, change is embraced and welcomed and other times, people long for those traditions!!!  Just sayin’!!

The Star!

When on tour, it is essential to do anything and everything Duran related.  Since we were in Hollywood…a trip to the star was a must (especially for our dear friend, Heather, who hasn’t had the chance before!).  This picture, of course, proves us to be the dorks that we really are!

At the star

1 Amazing, Awesome, Durantastic Trip!!!

While this wasn’t our first Duran tour and hopefully, not the last one,  it was one of the best!!!  We have had some amazing tours over the years and this one ranks right up there!  If we had ANY doubt that we still love this band, love our friends, and love touring, this trip pushed all of that right out the car window!  Oh, yes, our love was renewed and then some!  So, anybody know when we can go again!?!  We have had almost a week to recover so we are ready!!!

-A & R

Question of the Day: Saturday, October 10, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  Skin Trade

Which single do you like better?

Leather Pants! Sparkly Jackets! Backstage at the Hollywood Bowl!

By Janet McCabe

I was fortunate enough to snag a Platinum package for DD’s historic show at the Hollywood Bowl through the fan club pre-sale. I say “fortunate” because, subsequently, I met many fellow Duranies at the pre-show reception who had tried and failed to get the Platinum package!  (Ed note: Fun Fact – Amanda and Rhonda were two more of those people!!) The most exciting thing about the package — apart from the front-row seat — was the backstage tour. Since I was also lucky enough to be sitting right in front of Daily Duranies Rhonda and Amanda during the show, I promised to do a write-up of the backstage tour for Daily Duranie!!

I didn’t really know what to expect from the backstage tour, but I have to say that the communication prior to the event was handled very well. DDVIP sent very detailed instructions that were very helpful. Here are a couple relevant excerpts from the email that was sent to Platinum package purchasers!!

Greetings from Duran Duran Headquarters!

Thank you so much for purchasing a PLATINUM package to the band’s show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl on October 1st. We look forward to seeing you for the backstage tour and VIP pre-show reception! You will check in at the table in front of the Museum Garden. … Please arrive to check in between 5:15pm and 5:30pm SHARP. If you are not there at 5:30pm you can still enjoy the reception but will miss the backstage tour.

Feel free to text if you have any URGENT issues. Please include your first and last name in your message. Please ONLY use her number the day of the show.

A few important notes:! !

– There is NO meet and greet associated with the reception or backstage tour and the band will not be in attendance!

– Please stay with the group and if you see a performer backstage do NOT approach them unless the concierge has introduced you to them!

– If you stray from the group backstage you will be removed from the venue and not issued a refund (so please do not try to wander into dressing rooms etc). Please stay with the tour. ! !

Armed with this information, I set out from my Beverly Hills hotel around 4:30, expecting to arrive at the Bowl around 5:15, based on what the locals had told me about travel time. Note to self: do not believe the locals about travel time!!

(Rhonda’s note: actually a REAL local will always tell you that if you are in the LA/Hollywood area on any given day, at any given time, with the possible exception of like 3-3:45am,  you can expect a drive of at least an hour, no matter whether you’re going down the block, or five miles away… or even out of the city completely. Our traffic is horrendous here. Just saying.  – a Los Angeles Native)

It was only due to my cab driver’s miraculous (reckless?) driving, including a U-turn in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, that I made it to the Bowl in time to take the tour. Truth be told I was a few minutes early, but terrified that I’d miss the tour, I actually resorted to texting the concierge for the event. Let’s call her “A.” I texted A and told her my situation. She was very friendly and understanding. She didn’t say they’d wait if I was late, but as I chewed on my nails,consulting Google Maps every few seconds to see how far I was from the Bowl (in case I needed to leave the cab and run for it), she joked with me by text about how I was getting closer and how I had better tip the cabbie well (I did).

After checking in at the VIP table, I waited for a few minutes, and then A and her partner-in-crime for the tour — we’ll call him “L” — gathered us up to begin the tour. There were about six of us on the tour, and I got the impression that a couple of people didn’t show (they’re probably still sitting in traffic). The group was much smaller than I expected, but it explains why it was so hard to get a Platinum seat! At this point, A and L introduced themselves. They have both worked with the Duran organization for some time, and while they didn’t give us their formal titles, it seems that they are part of a logistics team that coordinates between front office, back office and fans. And, apparently, that includes giving tours. L did most of the talking and, as we were led away from the meeting table through various security checkpoints, he explained that we would be able to take pictures on some parts of the tour and not on others.

The first thing we saw was the backlot, where the tour buses and the trucks that carry the stage and musical equipment park. We did not get to go on any tour busses. Then we were led inside to the area where the performers’ dressing rooms are. This is where that line from the email came into my head: “if you see a performer backstage do NOT approach them unless the concierge has introduced you to them.” It was going to be hard to restrain myself should we run into one of the members of Duran Duran. I’ll end the suspense now and tell you that we didn’t see them. :(

The first thing we saw was the warm-up room where John and Roger warm up. In it was a stripped down drum kit, a bass and a small amp, so Rog and John can get their groove on pre show.

Roger's practice set

John's practice bass

Across the hall from that room was the dressing room for “female performers,” presumably Anna Ross, Jessie Warner, and the ladies from Chic and Clean Bandit. I don’t remember seeing any dressing rooms with “stars” and specific names on them (because I definitely would have taken pictures had I seen that).

Farther down the hall was the my favorite part of the tour: the wardrobe room. L and A brought us into the room and introduced us to Jeffrey, the band’s wardrobe manager. Jeffery was very welcoming and friendly, telling us all kinds of interesting things. Here are some of the tidbits I remember:

• Each of the guys has an array of pieces in the room from which they can pick and Jeffrey doesn’t know what they’ll pick from show to show.

Nick's clothing rack




• Jeffrey predicted that Simon might wear his black, sequined tuxedo jacket since the show was so special (hello, it’s the Hollywood Bowl!). The tuxedo jacket is an Yves Saint Laurent, and Jeffrey says that the band have acquired a fondness for his pieces lately.

Simon's tuxedo jacket

Simon's Jacket (2)

• As we all know now, that prediction turned out not to be accurate, as Simon wore a black and white motorcycle jacket. The black and white leather jacket that Simon wore for the show was made by Jeffrey. If memory serves, it’s a knock off of another jacket but made from slightly lighter materials so it’s not so warm under stage lights.

Simon's Moto Jacket

Simon's clothes

More shoes

skull pants

Jeffrey was very gracious and allowed us to take pictures and, yes, to touch some of the pieces. I could have stayed in that room all night, but we were off to our next stop, which was down the hall and down the path that the performers take from dressing room to stage.

We were escorted to the stage entrance area and allowed to walk right up to the edge of stage right, but not to walk out on stage, especially since there were already folks in the seats, waiting for the show to start.

When we returned from the edge of the stage, L and A introduced us to several other members of the Duran management and touring team, including Wendy Laister (a name many of you probably recognize – she’s Duran Duran’s manager) and Orla, their tour manager. Wendy, Orla and a few other folks were huddled a small room that appeared to be the nerve center for the operation, and Orla took a few moments out of a very busy time to chat with us.

In fact, Orla said that she and the team had been at the Bowl since 6 or 7 a.m. that morning (it was 6 p.m. by this time). She talked to us about the demands and the intricacies of managing the tour and mentioned that there were several different sets of stage equipment. While one was being set up and then broken down at the Hollywood Bowl, another was on its way to the next gig and, once the Hollywood Bowl set was broken down, it would be off to another future show. It reminded me of what it must be like to be an air traffic controller — managing hundreds of small details, all in real-time.

She also talked to us about how the sound is monitored and how the mix in the guys’ earphones is achieved, each customized to ensure they hear what they need to hear in order to keep in time and tune.

After we said goodbye to Orla, we headed back outside. As we headed back out past the loading bays and the trucks, back toward the public areas, we did spot one Mr. Nile Rogers sitting outside in a chair, chatting with another fellow who was working the show. While I’m sure we all wanted to call out to Nile and/or run up to him, we didn’t. His head was turned, and he was engrossed in conversation, but I think if he had seen us, he probably would have come over to say hello, based on his graciousness in dealing with fans (signing autographs, posing for selfies, etc.) before and after the Chic set.

As we walked out, I was chatting with A and told her that I enjoyed the tour and that I was really impressed with the way that the pre-sale and the arrangements for the tour had been handled by Duran’s management and Crowdsurge, in contrast to some of the experiences with past companies. She was pleased to hear it and said they are always looking for ways to make the fan experience better and special.

Perhaps most impressive, apart from getting to fondle Simon’s sparkly leather pants (not while he was in them, sadly), was the hospitality and warmth that everyone we encountered on the tour displayed toward us. L and A really were great ambassadors for the band, and even during a very busy time, all of the team members we encountered seemed genuinely happy that we were there, entertained our questions and thanked us for being there.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I hope everyone who wants a Platinum Package is able to receive one, should Duran offer it as part of the 2016 tour packages. See you all in 2016!


Janet McCabe Janet has been a Duranie since 1982 when she was in high school (no fair guessing her age). She lives in St. Petersburg, FL, is a Corporate Communications exec for a global bank, and enjoys documentary film and kayaking/snorkeling in her spare time. A lifelong Simon fan, she had the great pleasure of meeting him (as well as Dom and Roger) at a pub after a show in Chicago in 2011. At last count, Janet has seen the band about 15 times — traveling as far as Milan, LA and Chicago — and has plans to see as many shows in 2016, both foreign and domestic, as her work schedule and financial advisor will allow.

Question of the Day: Friday, October 9, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  A View to a Kill

Which single do you like better?

This is How We Stay Connected

Well, I’ve hit the wall.  Or maybe I should say I’ve hit the door. I can’t really decide at this moment.  What I can do is describe how I’m feeling. It’s that point where I finally come down from the concert high and realize that I have at least months, if not years, until the next road trip, tour, concert or band member sighting.

That’s depressing.

The thing is, with all due respect to John, Simon, Nick, Roger AND Dom (can’t forget him!)…it’s not even necessarily all about them. It’s knowing that it will probably be six months to a year before I see Amanda again. (Does anyone else find it even mildly perplexing as to how we can run this site even though we are hardly EVER in the same state, much less the same room?!?) It’s realizing that evenings spent laughing over a table filled with, well…empty glasses…are a long way off again, never mind the days spent driving while trying to compile “just the right” set list to either drive people crazy, or make them laugh. (I think that depends on whether it’s Simon LeBon reading or another fan reading…and maybe not necessarily in that order!)  It’s recognizing the absence of friends. Even though I chat with most of them online each day at some point, it isn’t the same as being able to walk up to one of them and give them a hug or look at one another during a show and know we’re thinking the same thing. I miss them.

I’ve unpacked my bag, done laundry for everyone in the house, cleaned up the whirlwind I walked in on Sunday night, and have even caught up on and cleaned out emails and texts. I’ve looked at pictures, sat back and smiled at some particularly amusing memories, and wistfully daydreamed about others. I’ve bought groceries, and aside from a morning spent in urgent care (it turns out I will live), my life went back to normal just as quickly as the few days away seemed to pass. The band has since moved on to New York. Another album signing, another festival, and they’ll be headed back home to regroup before the UK shows take place in November. Life always seems to return itself to normal, no matter what happened the week prior.

I just don’t know how I get through this each time…whatever “this” is. I suppose it’s a bit of concert let-down. At first, I suppose I strive to keep talking about the shows or anecdotes from the road trip, as though by mentioning them it will keep everything fresh and alive. Then I start noticing the absence of people I care about, whether it’s that they don’t really tweet much, or that I don’t see them online very often, or just that I can’t pick up the phone every time I need to chat. I start thinking about how long it might be before I see them again, and what I can do in the meantime to make it easier. Let’s face it: Amanda is my best friend and we honestly spend about a week together (give or take a day or two) over the course of an entire year in the same place. Skype helps, but I don’t have the opportunity to Skype with everyone I miss. Yeah, it’s pretty depressing and I hate going through it. So what can really be done?

Well, for Amanda and I: we run this blog. It takes up a lot of our time as is, and invariably when we’re together, we come up with a brand new list of things we want to do, need to do and HAVE to do in order to keep it all going. I have to laugh because since I’ve been home, I’ve worked 10-hour days trying to catch up, clear out and read up on some things we’re hoping to do. While doing that now infamous road trip last week, we came up with brand NEW crazy ideas to pass the time, like a pumpkin-carving contest and adding a message board.  Our theory is basically that if we can’t have a Duranie community living in each of our respective towns, we can create one in a central place online. No, we’re not duranduranmusic.com, and this is not a fan club…but we are a community, and anyone can join. So that’s our goal going forward: to continue making this little blog into a real community. We’re going to run contests, have discussions, start a forum and continue planning for future meet-ups and even conventions; because as fans ourselves, we know what we want in a fan community. We’ll also stay funny, because well…we amuse ourselves, sometimes beyond reason!

No, I really can’t tell anyone here in the US for certain when John, Simon, Nick, Roger and Dom will be back for more. I don’t really know for sure when or where our next road trip or meet-ups will take place (But I will just throw this out to the powers that be – the more notice, the better – even if it’s just the name of the city, because that way we can plan. We can put together a trip plan, figure out meet-up times, and even do room blocks at hotels, which ultimately helps everyone in the long run). I only know that more is to come, and until then, we’re going to try our best to keep everyone busy.

In the meantime, if you happen to be well-versed in websites and have direct experience adding message boards to existing sites…shoot me an email.



Question of the Day: Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  The Reflex

Which single do you like better?

John Taylor Insights: Bass Player Mag

I read a lot of Duran Duran interviews, reviews, articles, and whatnot.  Most of them feel and seem like the same old information repeated over and over again.  There is always the inevitable section on the band’s long history, a paragraph or two or three about which famous person did what on the album, and that’s about it.  Every once in awhile, you see a quote from one of the band members that resonates with you or catches your attention.  I continue to read articles solely for THAT.  I read for the one or two sentences that are interesting, meaningful or different.  After all, who wants to read what you already know about.  I mean…I’m all for repetition as a learning tool, but for band information and promotion, not so much.  That said, every once in awhile, you run across a magazine article that pulls you in, offers real insight and leaves you wanting more.  For me, that is the interview with John Taylor in Bass Player magazine. I was very tempted not to even look at the magazine simply because I’m not a bass player.  Will I understand it?  Do I know enough?  Will I learn anything beyond John’s instrumentation?  I decided to get it because…I knew that I had a long plane ride coming up and would need something to look at!  Plus, John Taylor was on the cover!  I was super glad that I had purchased it, too, as soon as I read it!!  (If you haven’t purchased it yourself, do so, while you can!  I’m obviously just talking highlights here.)

The article starts off common enough with a very brief history and mention of the new album along with all of the collaborations on it.  Yet, by the end of the first paragraph, you know that the article is going to dive deep and ask the questions that many, many fans want, and maybe need, to know.  The article acknowledges that the “signature JT bass” can be found in tracks like “Pressure Off”, “Only in Dreams” and “Paper Gods”.  There is also an acknowledgement that John is also behind a synth part of the time.  This, of course, is what worries fans.  Where’s the bass? is a common question amongst Duranies these days.  They don’t seem to hear the same bass in the album, Paper Gods, compared to the previous album, All You Need Is Now.  These fans don’t want John on synth.  They want him on bass.  Why make it so electronic, fans want to know?  Perhaps, there is a little fear in there that if John’s bass playing isn’t needed, that maybe HE isn’t needed anymore either.  Thankfully, this article addressed this issue immediately and spends literally the first five questions on some element related to electronic bass or synth.

John’s answers to these five questions brought a real insight to what he was thinking both in making the album and the results.  As someone who does tend to appreciate the traditional JT bass sound, I completely appreciated how open he was with his responses.  For example, when asked about keyboard bass, he stated, “My mentality is to keep my ‘enemies’ close.”  He goes on to say, though, “…we all might have to go from being bass players to bass experts” by using the keyboard bass.  Therefore, John is admitting that the times are changing when it comes to bass in popular songs.  His choice is either to get left behind or adapt.  I can definitely appreciate that.  He goes on further to talk about how his choices regarding bass really depended on the songs themselves.  He gave two examples.  In “Last Night in the City,” he gave up his bass guitar parts but in “Paper Gods” he took his bass line lower.  John made it very clear, though, that he wasn’t going to allow his signature bass to be gone entirely.  Two things struck me as I read these answers.  First, it was clear that he had thought a lot about where he fits, how he should sound on the album, etc.  Second, I respect that he really thought about the SONG and what was needed for each individual track rather than letting ego or close-mindedness get in the way.  He found the balance between his signature sound and what the song needed.

From there, the interview turns to process, including how he chooses the best sound for each song, favorite lines on the album, transferring to the live show, etc.  Again, I continue to be fascinated! The interview isn’t about Lindsay Lohan or other collaborations.  It isn’t about the band splitting into two groups in 1985.  No, this is a real interview about subjects that aren’t covered and matters to a lot of fans.  Out of those questions, the answer that peaked my interest the most was about the favorite lines from the album.  Can you guess?  Any clue?  “Pressure Off” was one of the two mentioned.  For that song, he talked about working with Nile in the studio and how Nile got him working really hard.  He also mentioned “Paper Gods.”  Why?  According to John, “It’s a good mix of electronic and electric bass.”  Hmm…

The interview finishes with a discussion about his style and training.  Here’s the one situation in which I don’t mind the history lesson (ironic since I’m a history teacher, right?  I think so!)  He talks about how busy the bass was in the beginning of their careers because he wanted so desperately to get noticed but then the rest of the guys would do the same thing creating very “busy” songs.  When asked about changing his style, John admits that he tried to back away, almost to where he was “almost invisible.”  Could this be one of the reasons that I’m not a big fan of Come Undone?!  I wonder…What is more interesting to me is a follow-up line to that one, “I need to be able to do what I was doing in 1981, but I also need to be open to other things.  The tendency is that when you get older, you get a little lazy and look for shortcuts, so I make sure I keep exploring.”  I think these sentences capture it well.  This is what John was doing on the new album.  He was exploring.  He was willing to mix traditional with contemporary.  He kept his signature sound but allowed the songs to just be what they were going to be.  He didn’t force them to fit into some formula.

This interview was an eye-opening one for me.  I knew that I liked the album before.  I did and have said so many times and in many places, but I also felt a little guilty for doing so.  Why?  The answer is simple.  I’m a John Taylor fan.  I have been since I was 8 years old.  I could hear that his bass was different on many tracks and even pretty much nonexistent on others.  How could I, a big John Taylor fan, be OKAY with that?!  Wouldn’t that be like betraying him or saying that I don’t think he is all that important?!  Yet, I was sort of betraying him by not trusting him.  I should have known.  I should have figured that he would have thought about all these issues already and carefully considered what he should do and why.  Based on this interview, I can feel 100% confident that John Taylor knows that he is right with how he approached his role and his playing on this album.  If John can love it and love what he has done on the album, then, so can I!!!


Two Duran fans with a lot of opinions!