Category Archives: Awards

A November Duran Duran Update!

A few things have happened in the past week that we haven’t really covered yet – so here’s the DD update!

ASCAP Golden Note Award

Late last week, Duran Duran was presented with the ASCAP Golden Key Award for songwriting. Simon, Nick and Roger were present for the awards (John Taylor was presumably in LA at his home) at One Embankment. Receiving such an award is a massive achievement and they join the ranks with other past recipients such as Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. To fans, however, this is no surprise. We fell in love with songs like Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf but their talent goes well beyond their hits. Songs like The Chauffeur, Secret Oktober, Palomino, Land, Still Breathing, Planet Roaring and so on, are all perfect examples of why the band is so deserving of being recognized by ASCAP.

MTV EMA’s

In other award news, Duran Duran did not win the EMA for Best Live Stage, despite the best efforts of fans worldwide taking their time to vote. Martin Garrix was this year’s winner…but in our eyes, Duran Duran should have won hands down!

A Lesson in Copyright Law

The Fab Five lives on….this time, as members in a lawsuit over US copyrights. (Do you ever get the feeling that the band will never, ever, be fully rid of one another?  It’s like a marriage with children…you can end the marriage, but the kids are the ties that bind. No matter what!) That’s right, Andy Taylor is once again involved with the band, but only because of a lawsuit against Gloucester Place, part of EMI Music Publishing, which is owned by Sony/ATV – a US company.

This is where copyright law gets complicated. The copyright agreements are with Gloucester Place, and the band served that company notices terminating the grant of US copyrights to Duran Duran works (“works” is a term used quite frequently in entertainment law. The basic meaning is anything the band produces.) Gloucester Plan is asking the High Court (of the UK) to declare that the members have breached their music publishing agreement.

The band, on the other hand, is using US law, where songwriters have an “inalienable right” to call for a reversion to their copyright after 35 years (as an aside – this is where I sit back and ask myself, “Has it really been that long?”).  Nick Rhodes explains, “This provision was instigated to help rebalance the often unfair deals which artists sign early in their careers when they have little choice to try to get their first break, with no negotiating power and virtually no understanding of what their copyrights really mean for the future.” When the band requested the reversion back in 2014, they considered it a mere formality, until Sony (it always comes back to Sony somehow, doesn’t it?? They can’t seem to be rid of Sony either.) decided to challenge their right, calling it a contractual technicality.

According to Ian Mill, the Queen’s Counsel for Gloucester Place, the terms of the writer’s contracts were that they would not “seek to obtain a reversion of their copyrights” under the US copyright law and that they would be in “breach of contract should they do so”.

Since the agreements were made in 1980 – the agreements were made with the band members personally and are referred to as “the writers” – including Andy Taylor. Only Simon, Nick and Roger appeared in court, however.

Ultimately, this implication of this decision goes well-beyond the likes of Duran Duran. Many of our favorite bands of this same period (and beyond) would likely face similar fights in court. Any publisher who chooses to fight the protective measures of the US copyright law would find a home for themselves in the UK and set up shop there.

I’ll be interested to see where this lawsuit goes from here.  All in all, an interesting update for this time of year.

-R

source:

Belfast Telegraph UK

Duran Duran Nominated for 2016 MTV EMA’s – Best World Stage

Duran Duran was nominated for the MTV EMA’s!  Those aren’t words I get to type every day, which makes this post especially fun.

No, awards don’t necessarily matter, nor do critics or poor reviews, but it’s nice to see the band review a few accolades every now and then.  Duran Duran is nominated for Best World Stage.  I looked this up because I wasn’t sure what the heck it meant, but then I remembered – the World Stage concert in the Piazza Del Duomo last year in Milan.  Ah, yes.

I think this is something we can get behind.

First of all, let’s refresh our memory.  I mean….to be fair about this voting thing we should at least remind ourselves, right??? It’s our due diligence!

There’s more…

Another…

I remember this show not because it was MTV…but because the setting was fabulous, and the band seemed like they were on fire. I remember seeing photos of the Piazza during the day and then that night. Stunning. Then the band came on stage and the Piazza was electrified. Shows like that are hard to top, no doubt.

At the time, I remember thinking that they’d been cheated out of performing on the actual show itself.  Another show of music industry age-ism, no doubt. In hindsight though, I think they had the better deal, playing for fans in the middle of that beautiful setting.

The following night, they earned the very first MTV EMA for Video Visionary. Again, not a bad deal.  Let’s remind ourselves of that grand moment!  (this clip is from YouTube and was filmed from the back because – there’s another clip on MTV if you want a better one but I couldn’t get it to post here, although the link is below)

 

MTV link (from the front!) 

And, let’s face it, being nominated for an EMA isn’t a terrible payoff either. But now, we have work to do, Duranies, if we want to see them actually win.

We have to vote.  A lot.

Here is the link to vote for Duran Duran to win Best World Stage at this year’s MTV EMA’s.  Just click on the picture and it’ll take you to the website!

2016 MTV EMA's

Now, I know many fans will scoff and say awards don’t matter, or that MTV doesn’t even play videos anymore…or that no one in the audience will even know who Duran Duran is, or better yet, that setting up and encouraging multiple votes lacks honesty and integrity.

Not with that attitude! It takes about two seconds and two clicks to vote for a band that we all love, and at the same time we are helping expose them to an international audience that might not know them as well as we do.  Besides, it’s cool to see them get an award for something that we already know: They are amazing live and put on one hell of a good show. Supporting that is easy.  Now go do it. Many, many times!

-R

 

 

2015 Grammy Awards: Ink Spot on A Plastic Spoon

As nice as it would have been to see, Paper Gods was not included in the list of 2015 Grammy awards nominees released this morning.

For many within the fan community, this does not come as a shock, nor does it threaten to take the wind out of the sails. It is par for the course this band was set on since their first album was released. Is it frustrating? Possibly to some. Is it disappointing? I suppose it could be if we let it. For the band? Chances are – they’ve not given it more than a thought or two (if any).  This isn’t a band that has hung their hats, so to speak, on awards, nominations or even lifetime achievements – although they have certainly had some of each. This isn’t a band that has openly given credence to critics, and I can certainly appreciate that.

As a fan, I’ll admit it would have been nice to see them nominated.  Yes, this is purely MY opinion. I certainly said as much in a previous blog I’d written on this very subject. Duran Duran’s absence on the list of Grammy nominees is noticeable, but not terribly surprising. When I look at the field – names like Mark Ronson (Not that I can complain much about that one), Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran fly off the page. As John himself mentioned in a recent Katy Kafe – the band has a difficult time competing on that level, with kids who are easily 25 years their junior (in some cases). I don’t know that any band truly worthy of Duran’s salt could really be in that same category (Pop) and expect to be successful in the sense of being nominated and winning awards or even being played on top 40, “pop” radio stations.

What does that really mean for Duran Duran? Do they just hang it up and quit, realizing that they’re being expected to compete in a category that is likely impossible for a band in their mid-50s? Absolutely not. I don’t know who decides how an album (or a band) should be categorized in sales for places such as iTunes – that’s probably a great question for Katy Krassner, but obviously at least John Taylor feels like Paper Gods wasn’t given it’s just due in that regard, and perhaps he’s right.  I really don’t know and don’t profess otherwise. Even so, and even if it was only for a short time – Paper Gods hit the top 10. This is their 14th studio album and instead of just phoning it in or releasing one “greatest hits” album after another, they decided to take it up a notch. Duran Duran has succeeded in not only challenging their fan base to expand the proverbial music “box” where the band resides in their hearts, they’ve also dared critics to accept that they’re not just aging pinups – that they have serious musical chops and deserve much overdo respect. Paper Gods is already a huge win.

Seeing Duran Duran passed up time and time again for a Grammy can be frustrating to some fans, and I can understand that.  In some ways it’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, I laugh at award shows like the Grammy’s, the MTV awards, and the American Music Awards. The artists and bands who are typically celebrated on those shows aren’t even on my radar much of the time – how could I possibly even want Duran included among those masses?? On the other hand, I’m a fan. I like seeing the band I love getting their moment(s) in the sun. Sure. I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit that I’d hoped for the best. I’m not ashamed of my positivity, because if we don’t have that – what do we really have? What’s the point of being a fan if we can’t extol the band’s triumphs?

I know many are reading and shaking their heads, thinking to themselves my opinion doesn’t matter, the blog is pointless, or that the Grammy’s are a joke and I’ve wasted my time. Some are likely thinking, told you so. Again I ask – why even bother being a fan if we can’t celebrate success? I love Duran Duran. I’m proud of them, whether there are zero nominations or fifty. I am never going to apologize for my pride, even if I’m the only fan left standing.

-R

Isn’t It Time for a Grammy?!?

12195992_10154290870358222_8873470671255647246_n

I could pretty much just leave the blog right like this today and be dead on with the message…and the first (and largest) quote from Rolling Stone says it all.

If there were ever an album that truly DESERVED a Grammy this year, it’s Paper Gods. I write that with reasoning in two-fold.

For one, this is NOT a debut, upstart band. This is a band that has been working for the past thirty-seven years, and this album isn’t a throwback to everything else they’ve ever done. Not by a long shot.  Duran Duran has done what very few other bands have ever been able to do, and that is breathing new life into their career as they finish out their fourth decade in music. That alone should earn them a Grammy nod.

On the other hand, the “fandom” hand that I hold near to my heart that is full of emotion – isn’t it time this band receives some acknowledgment for their music?!? Yeah, they’ve gotten themselves a few “Lifetime achievement” awards for style or videos, and hey those are fantastic. WHAT ABOUT THE MUSIC?!? I know what Duran Duran would say here. They would graciously say that they don’t need that kind of validation, and every single time they see one of us – the fans – scream for them, or comment on how much this band has meant to us over the years, it validates them. Good. I’m glad that the band feels that way, and before I say what needs to be said on behalf of the fans out there – I want them to know that I appreciate that they TELL us how much we mean to them. The little things matter. And we fans do love them. Fans do not stick around for decades supporting a band they don’t like much, and they sure as hell don’t write blogs, plan conventions, and/or travel specifically to see them, either.

The fans say it’s OUR turn. WE want that validation for them. I know I’m not alone when I say that I want to see Duran Duran up on that damn stage, earning their Grammy for the talent, expertise, innovation and devotion they’ve given their music over the years. Paper Gods proves all of that.

I hope the band “hears” me when I type this: the awards matter to US – the fans – because it’s gone on too long now. I speak for all fans when I say that we’re sick and tired of this band being kicked under the table purely because they happened to be the band that young girls fell in love with once. Being female does not equate to not knowing anything about music, and just because at one point I (or any female fan for that matter) happened to be a teenage girl, shouldn’t mean that Duran Duran will forever pay the price. Sometimes I want to ask these people – whomever is really voting for this shit or comments in the negative about DD’s fan base – why it is that they think Duran fans are so intense, or so “rabid?”

I can answer that: it’s because we’ve spent the better part of our lives defending them. We’re supremely loyal because we’ve had to be – and it’s not just about defending their good graces – it’s been about defending our own.

I cannot tell any of you how many times I had kids laugh back in school when I’d triumphantly name Duran Duran as my favorite band. I’m sure most of you have similar tales to tell. I think to a certain degree it hardened me, because I’d glare in reply with a steely gaze, and then flatten them with some basic facts about the band and what they’d accomplished. Sadly, not much has changed over the years. To this day I have neighbors who look at me comically when they ask what I do – and yeah, it can sometimes be tough to choke down the whole “You write a fan blog??” comments. I hate it, actually. So yes, I want to see this band win. You can bet, should that day come – I will feel as victorious as I might if I was bringing home the award myself.  I have no doubt that every other fan out there feels similar.

Duran Duran deserves their moment. I know damn right well that they’re better than M.A.N.Y. of the other bands and performers out there that pick up Grammy’s every single year like it’s no big deal. They thank their managers and producers, most of the time forgetting about the fans that bought their album to begin with, and try to manage not looking like complete assholes (some of the time) as they grab their umpteenth trophy and walk off stage. Once again: IT. IS. TIME.

It’s time to recognize that Duran Duran has outlived much of the unfounded criticism that has relentlessly followed them throughout their career, much in part due to people like me. Fan Girls. Don’t get me wrong, I roll my eyes in complete disgust at that comment, particularly because it’s made by people who know precious little about music, much of the time. Huge, sweeping generalizations were made by critics out there because you know – if young girls happened to like the band, obviously that must have meant they weren’t very good.

Funny thing – those fan girls every music journalist and critic out there has laughed at? We’re still here, and many of those critics are LONG gone.  (A special thank you to Simon for mentioning that during a recent interview with Lyndsey Parker for Yahoo Music!)

Vote early, vote often!!  Paper Gods deserves your consideration.  (and  if you’re a fan who hasn’t bought the album yet – GO GET IT!)

-R

Random thoughts on those Billboard Music Awards

I had originally wanted to title this The Good, The Bad and the Kanye but another (highly prominent) news outlet beat me to it.  That’s what happens when you’re a west coaster….

I subjected myself to (most) of another awards show last night. I do this for you, people…ALL for YOU.

Ok, well, I also do it so that I can see Simple Minds perform one of my very favorite songs ever…but more on that in a bit!

Truth be told, I really am getting to the point where either Duran is going to need to start showing up again on these shows or I’m going to quit watching and just assume that the (music) world has already gone to hell in a hand basket. No, I’m not stuck in the 80’s and yes, there is a lot of new music that I love….but none of it ever makes it onto these award shows, and honestly I’m tired of seeing JLo’s cleavage and clever uses for sticky tape. Alas, I settled back last night and prepared to be disgusted. And I was.

The show opened with Taylor Swift’s new video for Bad Blood. I didn’t hate it. I liked the badass femme vibe to it (who wouldn’t?), and the song wasn’t horrible. I know the kids love her – I happen to live with one here who has adored her since Day One. I just liked her a little better when she sang and wasn’t completely overproduced to within an inch of her vocal life.  I was amused that she included a group of what she calls “Powerful Women” in her video. I think the word “powerful” can mean a lot of different things, and her idea of powerful is apparently, “female celebrity and/or model”.  Food for thought.

I need a new planet. Anybody else?

Chrissy Teigen. To be completely fair, I could have written an entire blog just on her hosting ability, or complete lack thereof. I honestly thought she was higher than a kite when she first appeared on stage, and I’m still not entirely convinced she wasn’t. I just know that she did not show herself off in her best light last night, but then, this is the entertainment industry, and apparently that doesn’t matter as long as you look good – and she’s a model. It’s sad, really.  Her best comment of the night? “I bang a musician.” Classy.

That brings me to Van Halen. Let me just say, if you ever want to see a fan community that has been ripped in half due to personnel changes within a band – Van Halen is your go-to band. Half of the community knows who David Lee Roth is and loves him despite the fact that he’s never been as much of a vocalist as he’s been a showman. The other half is supremely dedicated to Sammy Hagar (and original bassist Michael Anthony)   It seems that when you’re a VH fan, you pick a side and you stick with it until death do you part. It wouldn’t have mattered if sparks had flown out of Eddie’s guitar as he played last night – if you’re a Hagar fan, they sucked and David Lee Roth was terrible. On the other hand, if you loved Van Halen from the start, you might love the showmanship of David Lee Roth enough to excuse his (lack of) vocal talent. It reminds me ever so much of a certain amount of drama that takes place in this community if we want to chat about guitarists.  (I don’t.) Last night Van Halen treated the crowd to Panama, and while I still agree that Roth is mostly flash, and a lot of goof, it got the show started with a bang.

 

I probably could have changed the channel right then and not missed much. EXCEPT that I was waiting patiently for Simple Minds, and dammit I was going to suffer through the rest to see them.

There were a ton of awards given. Most of them went to One Direction and Taylor Swift. I’m sure you can tell just how much I cared about the actual awards. Listen, they can call me when Duran Duran is nominated and I will gladly pay rapt attention.  Until then???

I was amused by Sam Smith’s acceptance speech because he is awaiting surgery and is on 100% vocal rest, so he wrote his speech on cue cards.  I wish they all did that, actually.

 

One moment in the show that shocked me…because that does occasionally still happen from time to time (thank goodness!), was seeing Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth and Lindsey Stirling’s performance. As most of you should know by now, I’m not a huge fan of Rap…not by a long shot and I still 100% disagree with John about Kanye West (In fact, I’d argue that every single time Kanye opens his mouth, he proves my point that he is WAY overrated and needs to be shipped to a different planet.)  This song, however, is different. It was beautiful and I loved it. Three things that shouldn’t really go together well, but they did. Loved the power, loved the texture, loved the message.

 

At some point in the evening, Chris Brown and Pitbull were on the stage. I just have to ask, when are we ever going to learn? Why is it that bad behavior…truly abhorrent, BAD behavior, rewarded? I’m not talking about people with drug problems, or even people who have (very sadly) completely come undone (don’t even go there) in front of the cameras and spotlights.  Sure, some of those things are bad, but this is on a completely different level. A different galaxy of “bad”. I’m talking about someone who literally beat the crap out of their girlfriend on the way to an awards show. That’s not just “a mistake” that someone should be given a second chance to fix.  Abusers shouldn’t have time in the spotlight, and they definitely shouldn’t be given a microphone to exploit their messages about women. No one is ever going to be able to convince me that Mr. Brown never laid a hand on Rihanna before that beating in the limo…that definitely was not the first time he’d ever hit her, and probably not the first time he’d ever hit a woman period. But yet we’re all going to pretend that it’s OK, that he really did his time, paid his debt to society, to Rihanna…to WOMEN (not)..and that he’s allowed back up on that stage, and people actually applaud for him to be there, including his very misguided fans – some of which openly believe that Rihanna deserved that beating. Newsflash, parents out there…TEACH YOUR GIRLS BETTER. TEACH YOUR BOYS BETTER. It’s gross. It’s demeaning. It makes people who HAVE been hit, abused, etc. feel as though their fight just doesn’t matter…that there’s no one out there fighting for them. We need to do better as humans.  I’m disgusted that this industry doesn’t give a shit,  as long as his music sells, the rest just doesn’t matter.  It’s wrong.  I will keep giving this soapbox statement every single time I see him up on an awards stage…

That is going to bring me to the best part of my Sunday night. Molly Ringwald, my leader of my (and nearly every other 80s teenage girl on the planet) “club”, stepped onto the stage and marveled over the fact that it’s been 30 years since Breakfast Club was released and Don’t You (Forget About Me) was on the Billboard charts. Despite my needing to wipe back some very happy and nostalgic tears…it was a beautiful, beautiful moment.  Yeah, she asked Taylor if she could be in her club, and that was pretty cringeworthy for me because damn it – Molly is still my leader – but aside from that, I smiled, I cheered a little, and I thanked my lucky stars that I grew up in the 80s. We really had the best music.   The video is below (it’s crappy quality – apparently Billboard didn’t care enough about this performance to make sure it was uploaded properly and I couldn’t find any better online this morning)

 

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of newer bands that I like. Imagine Dragons is one of them…and they performed last night as well. They chose to perform Stand By Me in tribute to blues legend BB King, who died last week in Las Vegas.  His guitar, “Lucille”, was actually on display at the show as well.  Other bands have done similar things before, choosing to play in tribute to legends, and those performances tend to feel gratuitous and cheesy, but Imagine Dragons did very well. They stripped the song down, and allowed the music to speak for itself.

 

Kanye West closed the show with a huge pyrotechnic performance that most of the world never heard in it’s entirety because of the language…well done, Kanye.. (no, I’m not posting it!)  With all of the incredible music out there, this is really what sells?

Good luck, Duran Duran. You’ve got an uphill battle…and fans willing to help if you’d take them up on it.

-R

Duran Duran History – Diamond Awards

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back to the Notorious era of 1986 when Duran Duran received an award at the Diamond Awards Festival in Antwerp, Belgium.  I’m not sure what the award was specifically for and from what I read, this was the first year of these awards.

While there at the awards ceremony, the band also performed (lip-synched) the songs, “Notorious” and “Vertigo”.

According to YouTube, this is the performance of “Notorious”: