Top 10 Most Representative Duran Duran Songs!

Finally, I can present the Top 10 Most Representative Duran Duran Songs! A little over a month ago I assigned some homework. The assignment seemed simple on the surface: provide the list of the top 10 most representative Duran Duran songs. The list did not need to be in any sort of order and the list could contain any Duran song, including singles, album tracks, demos, covers, etc People could also include side or solo project songs. To make a long story short, after people turned in their homework, I could not pull out a list of ten songs. There were too many ties. Thus, I did a couple of different polls to finally differentiate the ten songs. Here are the results. In sharing the songs, I went with live versions of the songs, if available.

Ordinary World

The Chauffeur

New Religion

Save a Prayer

Notorious

Planet Earth

The Reflex

Is There Something I Should Know

Hungry Like the Wolf

The Man Who Stole a Leopard

hSo there it is. What do you think? Any surprises? Is there any element of Duran Duran that the fans missed?

-A

And I Cut So Far Before I Had to Say

I am so stupid. Well, I don’t really mean that but I do sometimes wonder what the heck I was thinking. Then, I question why I feel the way I do and remind myself of what is logical. I’m sure all of that was clear as mud. Let me explain.

These February Duran Duran shows were announced in the fall. It was the heart of the campaign season as I remember getting the tweet notification on my phone while I was working at the temporary campaign office. As soon as I saw that Duran was playing in Vegas, I texted Rhonda and returned to reporting numbers and keeping track of volunteers. While I was all for going and was excited that she, too, was all for it, I couldn’t think much about it. I was drowning in campaign materials. At the time, I assumed that the election would be long over so going wouldn’t be a problem.

Fast forward to now. February. Months later. While THAT election is over, another one is looming. As I have shared on here before, I’m working on a campaign for a local candidate. On Tuesday, there will be a primary. My candidate will make it through as there is only one other candidate still in the running. (The third candidate dropped out.) The results next week will give us the best idea of where the race stands as polling is not an option for a campaign of our size. This makes me nervous. Has my campaign plan been effective? How much more do we need to do after that to either stay up or catch up? This weekend is full of activities to reach as many voters as possible. Likewise, there are campaign events on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. While I’m already feeling pressure to get everything done and to be effective, this adds some significant stress.

Beyond the worry about Tuesday’s result, I find myself also concerned about work. My students are about to start a big project that needs a little of time on my part to get it organized and to get them started. I am concerned that I’m so distracted that I am going to forget some key pieces. On top of that, my students have been…well…not super angelic. I worry that my room won’t be in one place when I return or that there will be massive bloodshed spilled. (I am exaggerating…slightly.) Of course, things are also piling up at my house. Bills have been sitting on my coffee table for far too long. The dishwasher is over flowing and my cat wonders if I sometimes don’t like him because I forget to see if he needs food.

Despite the need to deal with any and all of the above, what do I want to do?! I want to write up the agenda for the tour or see what needs to be done when it comes to transportation to the hotel. I want to watch Duran video’s from the show in Miami. Questions like will there be merchandise are wanting my full and undivided attention. Alas, I push through all that to get back to my to do list as I wonder if I should even be going on tour right now. The campaign only goes until April. My students could definitely use a more focused, less exhausted me. On top of that, I am concerned that the guilt over having gone will result in less fun and me not being able to really be in the moment. I don’t want that.

Part of me says that I should just cancel. I’m too all over the place to get myself in a state where I feel like I could leave everything behind for a few days. I even wonder if that is the mature, professional thing to do. Then, I stop this line of thinking. The candidate I am working towards knows that I won’t be around. She supports me going. My household chores will wait and I have a great sub coming in for me at work. They might even do better with her than with me. I need to stop this sense of guilt from even forming. After all, don’t I deserve a break? Am I not worthy to have fun sometimes? I think it is fair to say that I work hard (and a lot). Even during my snow days, I worked. I have worked each and every day since November except on Christmas. I need this break. I will be better off for having it. I will be a better teacher and a better campaign manager.

So, why do I have to battle this line of thinking? Is it that women are taught by society that we have to take care of everything and that when we do something for ourselves we are being selfish? I definitely think that is part of it. I feel bad because being on tour is about me, my good times, my enjoyment. Could it also be that a part of me has bought into the notion that fandom isn’t important or that there would be something wrong with me if I’m too into it? That could be, too. I’m only human. I could have internalized all that. I also think part of it is simply that when I get involved with something, I care about the outcome a lot. It is what makes me a good teacher and a good organizer for political actions/movements.

All that said, I’m going to be done worrying. Yes, I have a massive list of what needs to get done before I leave Wisconsin on Thursday morning. It will be an intense week, but I am pretty sure that the reward at the end will be worth it.

-A

Live Beside It, Laughing Till You’re Crying

You might have heard that Wisconsin has had quite a winter. Actually, it started out quiet and very mild and then it took a turn. We have experienced almost the entire season’s snowfall in a few weeks on top of having beyond frigid temperatures. This has resulted in six snow days. I have been teaching for a long time and we have never had as much. In fact, the number is double the maximum number of days we had in the past. What the heck. Anyway, when I have been at work, there has been a lot of discussion about what to do with our curriculum now that we have a lot less days to work with. This led to a funny discussion.

Before I dive into the details, I have to provide some context. When I first started teaching at this school, the entire United States History Team consisted of women, except one. Even our assistant principal was a woman. Over time, this slowly changed. Now, I look around and realize that I’m the only woman among all men. How did that happen?! Luckily, the men I work with are generally good guys (not that I would ever tell them that!). They are well-aware that I’m a pretty outspoken colleague when it comes to issues surrounding women’s rights and women’s voices. (I do teach Women’s Studies, after all.) While they respect that and do try to check themselves, they also cannot resist to give me a hard time every once in awhile.

Earlier this week, we went over the daily topics for the next few weeks. By doing that, we realized that Wednesday the 20th would not be a teaching day. On that date, our juniors take the ACT. While many teachers proctor the exam, the 9th grade teachers like myself have a meeting. Then, the afternoon is usually open for us to work. This led me to literally shout out in glee. Is it because I don’t want to teach? No. It has to do with perfect timing! The free afternoon will give me time to get the plans for the substitute teacher ready. It will ease my stress at work tremendously.

You can imagine my colleagues shock when they heard me squeal. They know that I’m not usually one to enjoy teacher work days. This forced me to explain that I will be gone on the 21st and 22nd while still giving minimal information about where and why I will be out. It isn’t that I’m ashamed of my Duranie activities but knowing my colleagues, they would twist it, somehow, to give me a hard time. Finally, after too many questions, I told them that I would be in Vegas for Duran. Their response was super predictable. One of them said, “There you go again. Letting your life to be dedicated by a bunch of guys,” before laughing his head off. I laughed, too, especially after I threw a pencil at him.

I wasn’t even mad by the comment but clearly he doesn’t really understand fandom or at least my fandom. Yes, the subject of my fandom is Duran Duran, a bunch of guys. That’s true. Yes, I’m traveling to Vegas to see them live. Absolutely not a lie. While it might seem like my life revolves around them, it doesn’t. While I adore Duran shows and believe that seeing them live in the best way I could spend two hours ever, they are more the excuse, the icing on the cake. Yep. Duran Duran is the best excuse I have to get together with my friends, away from home.

My Duran Duran weekends do consists of hours watching, singing and screaming during those two hour concerts. More than that, though, they consist of spending time with my female friends. There is something that is good for my soul when I am surrounded with other women. While we might have really different lives, opinions, perspectives, etc, we do all have some shared experiences simply by being women and then by being Duran Duran fans. It feels safe.

For those of you who do not know me, let me share a little secret. I very much like to be in control as it makes me feel safe and protected. When I’m around my female friends, there is less of a need for that. Instead, I can let me hair down, so to speak, and just have a good time. This is a welcome relief from the day-to-day experience of what I call “normal.” Besides, who else can I laugh with when it comes to talking about how the aging fanbase needs different touring items now that we are in our 40s? Who else can I giggle with when we begin to discuss some of the band’s more interesting fashion choices or dance moves?

So, in reality, going on tour isn’t really about five guys in a band. No, it is about having a girls weekend spending time doing what we love best.

-A

Valentines Day 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. For many, this is not a favorite day. Personally, I have a “strong dislike”/love relationship with this holiday. To begin with, I don’t think we need a day set aside to tell people we love them – because we should already be doing that each and every day. Also, I don’t really enjoy setting people I know up to fail – and this holiday sort of does that for some reason. I also don’t think we need to remind single people that they’re in fact, single. They already know. This stupid day is sort of “in your face” about that, isn’t it? It’s obnoxious. However, I have children, and I have enjoyed spoiling them on occasion. I only have one at home now, and so today – she’s getting some treats.

So for the rest of us, whether you’re single, in a relationship, it’s complicated, or married (and isn’t it ALL complicated from time to time??), I figure we should treat ourselves. I mean, why not?

Last night for example, I watched Live from London. Now, that might not sound like much, but I hadn’t really watched it in years! I think Amanda and I sometimes include some of it when we do a video party online, but when that’s going on I have a hard time paying full attention to the video. So last night, I watched.

I cannot tell a lie – it was really nice seeing Andy on that stage with the band. Though I am well aware of the band’s working relationship over the years, there is just something about that guy with the music. Much of it was his. He wrote it, and he owned it. But even the music he didn’t originally write, he unabashedly made his own. (Whether people like the way he plays it or not… Andy doesn’t give a crap. He plays the way he wants.) There’s a confidence there and a sense of ownership that felt right.

Now, I realize that some of you are thinking, “But Rhonda, what about Dom?” Yeah, yeah…I know. The thing is, you can appreciate everyone who is has been involved with this band for what they bring to the stage. Andy’s swagger and “IDGAF-what-you-think” confidence, Warren’s artistry, Dom’s expertise as a studio musician and friendliness. All of it has brought us to present day. I was overjoyed, and even a little wistful, to see Andy’s larger-than-life picture onstage during the Miami show when the band played Seventh Stranger. I will be every bit as proud and excited to see Dom on stage next Friday.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Live from London last night. Fifteen years or so gave me a little different of a perspective. I still had chills when the band walked to the front of the stage while a track of heartbeats played. I remembered how that felt when I was in third row at the AllState Arena in Chicago. I noticed how different the band looked – their hair far spikier, and sure – they were a little younger. (as was I…) I noted how some of the songs were arranged the tiniest bit differently for that tour, which was interesting to hear. It also seemed like the whole production and staging felt a lot less choreographed than the Paper Gods shows.

I am hoping to get some time to watch a few more videos today. I feel like it’s time for another Sing Blue Silver viewing, but also maybe time for some YouTube searching for videos from Miami. At any rate – I hope everyone takes a little time to treat themselves today. You’re worth it!

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!

-R

Holding Back Now Friends of Mine

They said they were friends of mine

Hey, did you know that Duran Duran played a show in Miami last night? It feels GOOD to be able to type that sort of statement once again! Writing Daily Duranie is something I thoroughly enjoy each day, but writing blogs while the band is touring is extra special.

We wouldn’t be Daily Duranie if we didn’t write about the show. Granted, I wasn’t there in person. Instead, I sat on Twitter, waiting to hear the latest from the crowd, and of course – I couldn’t help but be curious about the set list.

Silly lies, don’t have to advertise

If you read yesterday’s blog, you’ll know that I specifically wrote that I liked surprises. I didn’t need to know every song on the set list. There was no reason for me to know every last costume or detail. I even said surprises are good.

Well, I lied.

Something happened to me last night, and you know – maybe it happened to you as well. Read on and see if it sounds at all familiar. I finished writing the blog, did some housework and spent some time with my daughter. Sometime around oh, say 4:30 here, I realized it was 7:30. I thought about the show happening that night and thought I should just take a quick peek at Twitter. Why not?

Said they were passing time

About that time, I saw a tweet from Dom about the show, and then a couple of tweets from friends in line, and then I put down my phone. I got back to folding laundry and other mundane chores. As I walked out from my bedroom back to the kitchen, I saw that it was then about 5:45. 8:45 in Miami. Hmm. They must be getting very close to showtime. I thought – why not take a super quick scroll through Twitter, then I will start dinner?

I picked up my phone, and immediately saw tweets from the show. Friends and I continued kibitzing over possible opening songs. I looked up from my phone and it was just after 6 my time. Well, they should be onstage soon, right? People from the show started sending less-than-happy texts about how it was getting late and the band wasn’t on stage yet. I looked at the clock and it was now 6:25. Not only was I late in even STARTING dinner, but in my head – the band should have been on around 9pm.

What are you waiting for?

(I found out later that the band wasn’t scheduled to be onstage until about 9:30 so they weren’t late – seems to me though that DDHQ could say when the band is taking the stage so that people would know and not complain – but maybe that’s just not possible. I don’t know. I’m just a blogger!)

Right about then, DDHQ posted a picture taken from the show with the caption, “Ready?” Interestingly, the photo had a backdrop with what looked like three stained glass windows in the background. Hmm…what could THAT be about, I wondered. I sat back down in one of our barstools by our kitchen island just as the tweets started. “OMG – it’s NEW RELIGION!!”

I jumped up, pumping my fist into the air. Yes!!! New addition to the setlist! While I was thrilled to see something new added, I wondered if this was the song John mentioned that hadn’t been played since the 80’s. Uh, no, I thought. I’ve seen them do that song live. Dang it – I hope that’s not it!!

Georgie Davies is coming out

Even with that niggling thought, I was thrilled. Who cares, when it’s all said and done? I went to put my phone down, figuring I’d see the posted set list in the morning and all would have been fine. Except.

Yes, except…my watch started tapping my wrist pretty continuously, and every time it did, I checked it. I’d see that it was a new tweet about the set list, the costumes, the visuals, the crowd…and I just couldn’t be stopped.

I threw dinner on the stove. “Spaghetti night it is!” I announced proudly to no one in particular. My phone or watch would buzz, I’d read the next song, tweet about that, and before you know it – it was already 7:30. Husband walked through the door and caught me red handed, tweeting away.

It’s time that you were told

“That band just played Seventh Stranger for the first time since the 1980s!!!” I announced proudly, as he looked around pointedly to see if dinner was anywhere near ready. (It was. I can multitask, you know.). As we were eating rather casually, I sat with phone nearby, reading every single addition to the set list.

Not only was there New Religion and Seventh Stranger (which really – even hearing that would be a triumph), but Tempted and Friends of Mine were played as well. As the show ended and DDHQ posted their thanks and goodbyes, I sent a little tweet their way.

“Now THAT was a set @duranduran!!”
You came to PLAY!!”


Why don’t they drop the bomb

Euphoria doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings last night, and I wasn’t even there. Instead, I was about 3,500 miles away, hanging out in my kitchen!

I sure am glad I stuck it out last year and didn’t do something stupid to myself. It isn’t easy to explain. I just know that I was already very excited to be able to go see the shows in Vegas yesterday afternoon, and today – I am over the moon. Not only am I excited to see friends, but I am very excited to see John, Roger, Simon, Nick and Dom. Even if the only way I see them, is from hundreds of feet away while they’re onstage.

It’s not just “the band” thing, either. It is knowing that I really work through some of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. I feel so much better now. I’m not a different person, but I’m in a much better place emotionally. Now, I get to celebrate. Trust me, I will be doing just that. If you happen to be in Vegas next week, I hope you’ll raise a glass or two with me.

I’m not too late

I finally did put my phone down at about 8:30 last night. The battery died, and my eyesight was as blurry as ever. It was a great night to be a Duranie.

I suspect it will not be the last time I feel that way.

-R

Pre-gaming the Pre-show and Other Delights!

I can hear the cracking sound

It is a SHOW DAY today, people!! Are you ready?!? By “you”, of course – I mean Duran Duran. I hope you’re ready! We – the fans of course – we’re born ready for this type of thing, right??

My apologies for the late blog. The smallest Rivera is settling into our new community by beginning a new school tomorrow morning. Today was an orientation day, and then tomorrow she gets thrown to the lions. Well, not really…but she will be one of just seven girls in her blended 4th and 5th grade class!

I was animatedly chatting with friends about the show this morning. We spent time debating set list possibilities, possible costuming, wondering what they might open and close with, and so on. The conversations were great. It all reminded me of just how much I enjoy talking about the music with other fans. It also vaguely seemed like something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on right away. Then it hit me.

Some fans enjoy chatting about the shows, the costumes, visuals and even the lighting and sound. I don’t know of a lot of people outside of my small circle of Twitter pals that can spend a full-day going around and around about what song Duran Duran might use as an opener. They will excitedly debate, citing historical choices and reason. Apparently, we can ponder and question possible choices like nobody’s business. It is all very similar to watching a pregame show before a big game, like the Super Bowl. While the conversations can be very serious, there’s also an air of humor surrounding much of it. We keep it light, friendly, and fun.

Something else

For fans, the concerts ARE our Super Bowls, aren’t they? The lucky part is that the winners happen to be the fans. Moreover, we win every single time! Not a bad thing, in my mind. This being Reason #257 why I choose concerts over sports, every single time.

The key is never allowing those expectations to ruin a good time. Sure, you bought VIP tickets, but while you expected to have an unobstructed view, instead your seats are way off to the side, or are facing speakers…or two very large men end up in front of you, ruining any chance of actually being able to see more than a tiny sliver of the stage at any one time. Any one of those mishaps are enough to put a damper on joy of the evening, and might even have the potential to ruin the night…if you allow.

You could cut the atmosphere

I draw from personal experience here. There have been times when I have dissected a show within inches of it’s life before it has even taken place. I’ve announced what songs I hope to hear, and what songs I hope they leave off the set list. My friends and I have analyzed every single part of their live show, I’ve noticed when the onstage choreography seems more rehearsed than organic. I’ve had the greatest of expectations, only to arrive at the show and be thwarted, whether due to crowds, tall people, or even bad seats, right alongside my own bad attitude.. At some shows I’ve let those things bother me to the point of being angry. At others, I learned from my past mistakes, shrugged it off, and danced like nobody was watching.

When it all comes down to it, I believe there has to be a balance. Talking about everything from set list to shows, to upcoming albums is exciting to me, but I also like the element of surprise.

I don’t need to know every subtle nuance, or recognize every time Roger should twirl his stick, or when Dom should cross the stage. Knowing the set list in advance of my shows doesn’t help to entice me (although admittedly, it is very hard to stay away from such things online!), and I don’t need to hear who has already taken photos with whom or how so-and-so isn’t going to be staying at the hotel or so forth because they flew on to the next stop and so on. Knowing future collaborators or producers isn’t a worry I’m willing to take on. I might comment on it, but worry? Nah. Not worth it. Let the music speak for itself. Balance is a good thing. Surprises can be nice.

Things are hoting up in here

So, over the next week or two as I talk Duran Duran, whether as a pre-show commentator, or “Monday Morning Quarterback” (so to speak!) I also will keep managing those expectations. As John Taylor says (and if I were a tattoo gal – which I am not – I would have this in tiny script around one my ankles just to remind me) “expectations are simply future resentments”.

-R



An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!