Category Archives: 2011 All You Need is Now US tour

Rolling into September!

It’s the last Monday in August, and while typically at this point I’d be mourning the last of my “carefree summer days”…I’m actually a bit anxious for this week, and really September as a whole, to get moving here.

I’m not going to lie, the rehearsal gig shows begin this week, and I’m excited/anxious/nervous/etc to hear how they go.  What self-respecting Duranie out there, and in particular any Duranie who lost out on a show or more in the spring and/or summer and is still paying close attention, isn’t  a bit nervous?  Every time I hear that Simon is doing well or ready to sing opera I cheer, and every time I hear he’s got a sniffle, woke up in a grizzly sort of mood (and I’m not just talking about the beard and his attempt to reincarnate Grizzly Adams here), or didn’t seem “enthusiastic” I start biting my nails again.

People much wiser than I take their moments to remind that the band wouldn’t have possibly planned the shows if Simon weren’t well, and that everyone gets a cold once in a while.  I’m sure the band wouldn’t have planned the shows if they didn’t think Simon could do them – that’d be near suicide at this point and I think we’re all on that page together; and I agree that everyone gets a cold.  The trouble of course is that I remember in May how he had a cold, and look where that got us.  Besides, as I’m reminded by my own sister from time to time, I tend to be negative.  Not really though.  I’m just a realist.  AND a worrier.  The band doesn’t really have to worry much about this tour, because I’m doing that for them.  They can thank me later, and this time I won’t even charge them for this service!

Once again I find myself in the semi-precarious position of trying to play the game of planning to go to some shows, but waiting to see if the scheduled gigs take place with a fair amount of success before I go on a plane ticket buying, hotel reserving spree.  Hence, I’m ready for September to begin on a successful note.  I daresay that one might think I would have learned my lesson after the UK gigs and stopped wanting to travel to see this band, but the fact is, I have not, and I don’t apologize for that.  If anything I have even more resolve to see them play on their own soil, as well as travel to a couple of shows here in the US again.  There are many who believe that this may very well be the band’s final hurrah – the last real tour – and while I myself do not own the crystal ball that tells that future (or any future, mind you!), I believe that I’ve got to take my moments when I can get them, and make the very most of each of them.

September also marks the one-year anniversary of this blog.  For almost a year now, we’ve written the Daily Duranie each and every day (I think we’ve missed twice, both times due to circumstances beyond our control) hoping to entertain, hoping to make you think, and hoping to do our part to draw our fan community together.  It’s been a crazy journey at times, and while there have been days that I’ve sat at this table (I write at my kitchen table each day), twiddling my thumbs and sometimes laying with my head directly on the cool surface in the morning hoping that something brilliant will come to mind, most of the time I actually find something to write about!  Sometimes it’s junk, other times it’s fluff, and still other times there’s a tiny gem of hope that my college education didn’t go to complete waste.  (admittedly those times are few….)

Since it’s been a while and we’ve had some comments and questions come over the wire about who we are, and honestly what we are; let me explain.  The Daily Duranie is comprised of two fans, myself (I’m Rhonda) and my friend, partner-in-crime and fellow writer, Amanda.  We are just two ordinary, every day fans like anyone else.  We are not paid by the band, we don’t currently work in the music industry, and we get NO insider information. (but if anyone would like to hook us up, we’re all for that!)  Amanda and I are not a couple as it turns out,  we’ve been asked several times about that now.  Here come our mini-biographies:

I am actually very happily married to my husband Walt, and we’ve been married for 16 years now (I can give you the amount of months and days as well, but let’s not go that route, shall we?). I have three children who span in age from my oldest daughter who is 14, my middle son who is 12, and my littlest princess who is 3.  That’s right, I spend my days in the car and at home begging one not to pee her pants, convincing my son that there really is life beyond the computer, and trying to teach the other one not to allow anyone IN her pants.  *sigh*  It’s joyful.  My husband and I are AMAZING planners, can’t you tell?  My work, at the moment, is my children, this blog, and a book that Amanda and I are desperately trying to finish. (writers block be damned!)  That said, I have a BA in American Studies (It’s a sort of combination between history, pop culture, sociology, literature and writing.  LOTS of writing), and my degree/certification(s) in Gemology and Appraisal Studies in Decorative Arts.  My plan, prior to child #3 was to go into gem/jewelry appraisals.  Then suddenly my youngest decided to make her presence known, and my plans changed!   At some point, probably around the time my husband retires and our youngest is out on her own (I’m not even joking – it seriously is about the same time), I’ll actually do appraisals for real money.  Until then, I will do them for friends, family and pretty much anyone who asks nicely.

In her “spare time” when she’s not writing and/or touring and plotting with me, Amanda is a special ed teacher for middle school.  She works with all kinds of children with all kinds of different abilities that come from all different types of backgrounds, including both high poverty and high wealth, and quite frankly her work exhausts me and I feel less-than-productive when I complain about the troubles of only mothering three.  She also spends a fair amount of her time volunteering for various political campaigns and causes, but she can probably give you a much better idea of how she spends her days.  She truly is the more productive, attentive, educated, and organized one of the two of us, but she lets me play along anyway!

We met through DuranDuranFans.com in 2004 prior to a fan convention that was hosted by that message board.  At the time, there was a group of us who bonded through that message board, yet over time many have dropped away to have very productive lives away from the Duran Duran fandom.  Amanda and I stuck together, choosing to do mini-tours together and basically share our insanity for this band.  We used to joke about doing a book together, and then the joke became a reality, and then I had this brainiac idea last summer to start a blog.  Here we are!

The whole point of this blog is to write from the fan perspective.  We share the trials and tribulations of being a fan, what we’re thinking, what we’re trying to understand – and sometimes, we even get a little “fangirl” on you.  (For that we humbly apologize)  The blog is NOT about crushing on the band (well, not often anyway), doing the hard hitting news, finding the right people to interview (we’ve never done an interview at all, actually), or making the right connections to get us front row tickets to shows. (however, if anyone out there would like to bestow those upon us, we will graciously accept – please inquire within!)  No, the band has not ever read or commented on our blog, to the best of our knowledge.  We have even asked them not to tell us if they do read or respond, mainly because this blog isn’t about the band, it’s about the fans.  Don’t get us wrong, we would love for them to read (and we’re both certain they’ve got all the free time in the world to do so..SURE they do…), we just feel that if fans knew, hell – if WE knew – they were reading, the blog would somehow be changed to reflect that.  This is our place of honesty, of our opinions, and our concerns, whether those are right, wrong or otherwise.  You can be assured that when you’re reading something here, it’s how we really feel about something on that given day at that given time, and yes, sometimes those feelings change.   We’re not perfect, but yes – we do think we’re right, and if you want to bitch about something we’ve written, we’re going to defend ourselves just as anyone else would. Don’t like that?  Go write your own blog.  We do not get paid for our super amazing work ethic, our ideas, our stellar reviews, or the fact that we simply try to support the band even when we might like to line them up and smack each one of them.  We do this simply for fun and enjoyment.

I didn’t say we were smart.  🙂

So with that explanation in mind, if you have questions for us – send them!  We LOVE getting comments on our blog, even when they are dissenting opinions, constructive comments or even calls for our beheading.  For those who are shy or want their comments to remain private, we offer our gmail and we always make an effort to respond – dailyduranie@gmail.com.  We also welcome you to our Facebook page (we’re Daily Duranie) and Twitter – @dailyduranie .  Happy reading and we hope to hear from you!

-R

I almost forgot!!

I can’t even believe this…but I almost forgot to blog today.  I don’t know exactly how it happened, between the 3 hour phone call with Amanda (no, I’m not kidding) my laundry mountain and the 40 mile round-trip to pick my oldest up from school…but I almost forgot.  I was leisurely doing my late-afternoon perusal of the various social networking sites and realized “Crap, the blog!!!”

So, here I am.  Not quite late since it’s only about 9:30ish at night on the east coast.  Definitely not early.  Not really on time, either.  So sorry!  (now you probably realize what it’s like to be one of my children, or even my husband when it comes to dinner.  *gasp*)

I have two things to talk about briefly…first of all, we’re finally getting vinyl!!  I was really becoming concerned that the band had forgotten those of us not exactly born with a silver spoon in our mouths who couldn’t afford the Super Deluxe, Stamped in Gold, Signed, Numbered, Fingerprinted with Blood, Sweat and Tears Vinyl edition that is selling for ridiculous sum of money.  Wasn’t that about $450 US or something??  Anyway, I was waiting for the Super Cheap, Not Stamped in Anything but Vinyl, Not Numbered and most DEFINITELY not Signed or Fingerprinted Vinyl copy for Regular Ole Folks edition.  I seem to recall starting to fidget about whether or not we’d ever get one ’round about April or so…then I put it in the back of my mind, next to the area where I think about cooking dinner.   Then all of the sudden I read the other day that yes, vinyl is coming soon!!

As for dinner, well…it’s coming soon as well.  Just as soon as I start considering what I can make super fast before the husband gets home.

I can’t wait to get the vinyl.  I don’t care that it’s not coming with all of the little extras, I just want a copy of the superb album I already have on CD.  That will be enough for me, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll even allow my husband to open it and play it once or twice.  Then I’ll stare at it for a while before I finally put it in it’s home, next to the rest of my collection.

Then of course, comes the subject of my 3 hour long conversation with Amanda this morning. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a real, honest-to-goodness plotting and scheming session.  Truly, we haven’t had to – we’d planned the UK trip with nary a problem until we actually GOT there and had to deal with the reality of cancelled shows.  We didn’t have to hide a thing from….certain family members who must remain nameless at this time, because he’d given his blessing extremely early and even without bloodshed!  Today however, I found myself giggling and thinking about possibilities with excitement.  I didn’t realize how much joy I get out of planning something I know I probably shouldn’t be doing!!  It’s half the fun!

What are we planning, you ask?  Oh.  Oh I couldn’t possibly say at this juncture.  All I can tell you is that if what I have in mind works, debauchery in the midwest will be imminent.  😉

With that, I must get dinner on the table.  I have buttering-up to do!!

-R

Anti-climatic?

So, who has seen the news this morning??  To begin with, I have a raging sinus headache…which is my signal that yes, Fall is indeed coming.  Ugh.

DD has announced, along with WPLJ in NYC, that they are playing the WPLJ Scott & Todd 20th Anniversary show.  According to the release on WPLJ’s website, they are “starring”….which in my head indicates that there must be other bands on the bill.  Yes, it’s at Madison Square Garden, but the show isn’t completely theirs, which makes sense in this situation.  I love the band, but the days of being able to fill MSG are probably behind all of us.

The good news (or the bigger and better news, as far as I’m concerned), is that Daily Duranie’s good friend Gimme A Wristband, along with Chekhov’s Wig are throwing a NYC-sized party the night before the Duran Duran show – I believe they are celebrating at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.  For the uninitiated, Chekhov’s Wig is a DD cover band, but they aren’t just ANY cover band – these guys take the songs and make them their own, which brings an entirely different and unique sound to the songs we know and love.  I saw their first show, several moons ago before the infamous “Fan Show” in NYC back in what, 2007?  This apparently is going to be their last performance together, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great show.

Ultimately for me, this show is a complete bust from start to finish.  At one point I was considering throwing caution to the wind and flying out, but the fact is – it’s too far to fly for a radio show.  If it were the band playing a show by themselves, even if it wasn’t MSG, I’d be far more willing to fly.  I’ve been burned by radio shows in the past, and I’ve learned to steer clear of them.  That isn’t to say they aren’t good shows, but for the semi-rabid fan who wants those really good seats and a full set unencumbered by other sure-to-be-awful bands-loved-by-radio, this probably isn’t the show to be at.  I have read that the show is to be a full set by Duran Duran, and while I have my own opinions on the idea of a “full set”….I’ll defer to the band on that. The bottom line is that I’m not reading anything that makes me excited about spending a couple grand to get myself back and forth to New York City over a three day period. I’m annoyed (with myself, mind you) that I didn’t just ignore the news of the NYC to begin with, I’m disgusted that the Chicago show dates didn’t fall on another weekend besides my husband’s birthday, I’m really pissed off that my LA tickets suck SO badly (through presale I ended up with…get this…37th row.  They’re for sale if anyone wants them!), and to end it all….the one show where I have fantastic seats – (3rd row right between Simon and Dom, which apparently is my “spot”.) Valley Center, is on none other than my daughter’s first Homecoming formal for school.  I have NO idea how I’m going to make that one work.

Batting a thousand here.

The good news?  I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and I’m still planning to go to the UK in December, where I have great seats to 3 shows.  Should I complain about the US tour?  Probably not….but I am, because I’m indeed human, and life is not always fair and doesn’t always work out as we’d like.  

Advil, please.

-R

Tour Choices

It has been almost a week since Duran announced new tour dates for the US and Canada.  Many people have developed plans and some have even bought tickets, through the DDM presale or the regular public sale.  Other people are figuring things out and debating which shows, if any to go to.  I think that this indecisiveness is common.  Yet, I don’t really feel like this upcoming fall tour will be normal.  Maybe I feel this way because I flew all the way over to the UK to see some shows and didn’t get any.  Perhaps, it is because I have a lot of questions in my own future.  No matter the cause, I find my thinking about the tour to be different than normal.  It isn’t just a tour in the long line of tours.  It isn’t just the fall tour 2011 with more following.  I don’t know what it is but it isn’t like every other tour to me.

One question or comment I have seen more than once relating to this tour is when Duran is coming back to the US.  I am actually a little surprised by this question as it seems to me that many who are asking it, are hoping or thinking that Duran will come back in 2012.  It seems to me that the people asking this are people who aren’t able to see a show now.  Maybe, thinking that they will come back sooner rather than later helps them deal with their disappointment.  I get that.  It would help me, too.  That said, I’m still surprised about it.  First, I am still worried about Simon.  Do we really even know if he can do these shows.  While we know that he has been able to sing many notes that he wasn’t before, I haven’t seen anything to indicate that he is perfect.  Will he be able to make it through these 20 some dates?  If he does that, will he be able to make it through the UK?  My point here is simple.  Let’s worry about getting through what is already scheduled but don’t assume that everything is like normal.  It isn’t.  Then, if things are back on track, what about the rest of the world?

Duran still needs to reschedule Europe.  They owe it to those fans to do that next.  Yes, I think there is a very legitimate argument to be made that they should have done the UK first then Europe before coming back here.  I wouldn’t disagree with it.  I understand why they are doing this, assuming that they had these dates scheduled before they postponed Europe.  That said, I do think it would be good for American fans to remember that our country has had them twice in one year before the UK or Europe, not to mention the rest of the world.  They still haven’t done dates in South America (yes, I know that they have ONE date scheduled in Brazil), Asia, Australia or make up the dates in South Africa.  There are a LOT more places for them to play before they come back here.  No matter how much we love them here or how big our country is or how much money they make here, there are other places in the world, other fans that need to be reached.  We cannot and should not be selfish.  Yes, obviously, I want to see them as much as I can.  All fans do.  I try to understand, though, that the US isn’t the only place in the world. 

Now, I can imagine that many of you are saying something along the lines of, “You live close to shows so it isn’t a big deal for you” or “You have the time and money to travel”.  I won’t deny that I have been VERY lucky with what I have been able to do.  I am within driving distance of a major market (Chicago) and have been very fortunate to be able to travel to see other shows.  That said, it isn’t like I’m able to do everything I want to do.  I can’t go to all the shows I want to.  I can’t travel all the time.  I have to make choices and I have to make it work with the dates and locations I have been given.  I have to be willing to drive or fly to the shows that I want to see.  I have to be willing to sacrifice buying some things that I want in order to be be able to go to a show.  It is about choices and priorities for me.  I realize that the band isn’t going to play in my backyard or charge me less for tickets.  I have to be willing to work with what they have given as far as any tour goes.  If I’m not willing to travel or spend the money, then it isn’t their fault.  In my case, it is MY choice to not travel or spend the money.  Now, obviously, some people don’t have the choices I have.  For many people, I know, that they can’t buy concert tickets because it means that they won’t have money for necessary items like groceries.  I also know that there are people who can’t drive distances for whatever reason.  Yet, some people might be able to sacrifice one thing or another to get to a concert.  If those people go or don’t, it is about choices.  They choose to go or not.  They aren’t forced one way or another and I respect whatever choices they make. 

Tours or concerts will never be perfect.  Duran won’t always play where you want them to play.  They won’t always play when you want them to play.  The ticket price will never be what any of us wants.  I recognize this.  I accept it.  This fall tour isn’t want I really want it to be, in terms of dates, locations, etc.  That said, I accept that it is what it is and I’m willing to make the choices and sacrifices necessary in order to get to at least one show.  In the back of my mind, I now know that every show, every tour could be the last.  I can’t wait for them to come back.  I can’t wait for 2012.  This could be it so I will do what must be done, at least once.

-A

Do any social network “hunting” today??

Holy Cow.

I don’t know about the rest of you Duranies out there, but I am one exhausted fan.  It’s noon, and I’m ready for a nightcap and my bed already!  It was a busy morning for most fans, at least until the reality hit that the big “announcement(s)” for the day were the dates for more US shows during the last part of September through October.  At that point, I would venture to guess that there were at least a few disappointed fans (and likely many, many more) in Europe and the rest of the world.  We’ll talk about that more later.

Instead of just merely putting up a list of concert dates, venues and presale dates on dd.com and the various networking sites for DD, the band had something far more creative in store for us today.  Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Second Life – the band did cute little announcements for each date.  At first, there was a fit of madness as we all searched in vain for the most recent “announcements”, but as time wore on it grew easier to see the next concert announcement.  Personally, I thought the announcements were a lot of fun to see, and I even laughed at a few of the more creative ones.  (BTW Roger – could you have looked just a little more annoyed at having to hold up those pieces of paper with the info on them?? Baby still not sleeping through the night for ya yet??)  I found that John still has an amazing sense of fashion (loved the yellow headband – reminded me of something straight out of the movie Dodgeball), Nick can still take a polaroid better than I can – and has time for being a vampire in Second Life, and that someone (has GOT to be Katy) is reading our posts and laughing at the “husband” videos right along with the rest of us!  Yes, the dates were rolled out slowly – but you know, there’s something to be said for having a chance to comment, complain and even find the little announcement videos.  I have to applaud their efforts to amuse us, because it certainly worked today!

As always, not everyone was pleased with what was announced.  John himself said that it’s not exhausting to try and please everyone, it’s just impossible, and obviously he’s right.  I can’t tell you how many times I saw people complain about the choices in city, or the fact that the band continues to visit the same cities on each tour.  Now, let’s be fair here.  The band goes to the same basic cities because they are usually relatively large cities, or the venues serve a generally large area.  For example, on this tour they are coming to Valley Center, CA.  This is a very, VERY small suburb inland from San Diego in Southern California.  It’s actually Indian owned land, and there are casinos out in that area.  Duran Duran is playing at Harrah’s, and while yes – the city is small, it’s expected to serve as the concert for the very southern part of California.  The band plays in the same basic places because there is a proven market for ticket sales in those places, and if you have somehow not been paying attention – the band just cancelled an entire European tour.  My guess is that money might very well be needed, and now is not the time to try and tap into a new market, should they be so lucky as to find one!  Our economy is not good, and those folks who are complaining about rising ticket prices aren’t necessarily alone – many out there can’t afford the luxury of an “extra”.  The band has to weigh the cost of moving equipment across the US, the cost of touring and putting on shows, with the probable income, and it’s a delicate balancing act.  If I were in charge (a game I LOVE to play while I lie awake at night contemplating the future of the universe for my children…), I would do exactly as Duran has done.  I’d go where I knew I could sell tickets.  While the promise that Ms. so-and-so Superfan would totally come to a show if they’d play in Timbuktoo is intriguing, it doesn’t pay bills that more than likely desperately need paying.   Sure, it’s “easy” for me to say that given that I live in Southern California – a place that the band typically plays.  True.  I also recognize, and even said that I was surprised that they’d agree to come back here on this leg, given they were just here in May.  I’m not sure that I would have chosen to do that……wait for it…….if *I* were in charge.  But, as I said myself, bills need paying, and as it turns out, I live in a populated area.  (too damn populated if you ask me!)  I count myself lucky and plan my move to the middle of Montana or even Wyoming where I can own my own hill or mountain once my kids are out of the house! (a slight exaggeration, perhaps)

Invariably people complain about how many shows the US gets at a time, not thinking that while Europe is fairly small and easily traveled – the US is probably what, 2 or 3 times it’s size, and not quite as easily accessible.  For most of the shows they are playing here in the states, I would venture to guess that there’s at least a 4 hour travel-time by car between most of the shows.  Those shows that have less than that are few.  Ultimately though, I know what has the UK people, and probably even Europe, the most worried.  It’s Simon.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We’re gun shy.  We’re nervous.  We don’t necessarily believe that management always has the best interests of the band at heart.  We sometimes think that management rushes things in terms of making a business decision rather than a good-for-the-band decision.  I’d be completely lying if I said I didn’t agree.  I currently have tickets to UK shows in late November and December.  This will be my second trip over there this year in hopes of seeing them.  I would be completely crushed, and likely furious to a reasonable extent, if for some reason those shows fall through again, and yet I know there’s at least a chance it could happen – and not purely because of Simon’s voice.  Anything can happen.  I’m one of thousands that are waiting for those shows to happen, and hearing that the band is coming back to the US first is both a relief and a worry.  On one hand it’s good for Simon to try out the voice and see how it goes…and on the other, if he blows his voice here, well, the UK shows might be out of luck again.  I can’t think like that, though.  It’s worrying about things I have no control over, and sometimes you have to just sit back and let the chips fall where they may.  I know I’m not the only one wishing Simon the best and looking forward to seeing him up on stage again where he belongs.  Besides, he can only work on that motorcycle of his for so long….right??

So that leaves me with what I think of the dates.  Personally, I think that for the most part, it’s a good mix.  I’m pleased that they are going to the Southeast with as much vigor as they seem.  It’s great that they’re playing Alabama and Florida and even Atlanta and Louisiana.  Those states deserve to see them, and given the fact that during the second leg of the Red Carpet Massacre tour there were dates cancelled due to Nick’s inner ear problem, this seems to be the band reaching out to those people.  I applaud that.  I think conversely, that the midwest was too sparsely covered.  Yes, there’s a show in Chicago and one in Ohio, and I suppose one might even be able to count the show in Windsor Canada in that same area – but I was surprised that St. Louis was left off the list.  It’s impossible to hit everywhere though.  Of course  I’m curious to hear what the big surprise for NYC is going to be – but the date being on a Tuesday makes the possibility for travelers a little more remote.  I know that for myself, I would love to go to a NYC show, but for me it almost has to be over a weekend for it to work.  Those are the breaks of living on the other coast.  😉  If they’re planning to play the album in it’s entirety I’ll cry myself to sleep…and hope they can do the same in the UK at some point.(Brighton, Bournemouth or even Birmingham would be fabulous!)  

My husband will likely be thrilled because with the way the cities and dates tend to fall, it appears that I will not be traveling for shows this time around.  I kicked around the idea of going to Chicago (which is over the same weekend as my husband’s birthday, and while I rather enjoy the thought of hanging out with Dom Brown, Roger Taylor and the rest of those band members…I’m thinking that my husband might want me here for his birthday….*sigh*  High maintenance husbands, you know….;D), and then I thought briefly about Boston and Atlantic City, but I just don’t know if that would work, and I won’t be able to get plans together before DDM presales for Atlantic City tomorrow.  So, that leaves me with some Southern California shows.  I will likely go to the LA and Valley Center shows, and I’m still kicking around the idea of Vegas, although it’s a trek to go all the way out there and back within a less-than-24 hour period.  I’m liable to sit that one out, which is a shame because I love a Vegas show, but not when they’re off and running somewhere else the next day.

What about the rest of you?  Did you like the announcements?

Off to the dentist with the oldest….ciao for now! – R