Before I dive into today’s blog post, I wanted to take a second or two to wish all mothers (people and pets) out there a very Happy Mother’s Day! Your work, care and dedication is too often taken for granted and I hope today you feel at least a little appreciation and love! Now, onto today’s blog post!
This week, as I flipped through social media, I saw some clips from Nick Rhodes being online with Red Ronnie. In some cases, nothing hit me as super interesting or surprising but one clip definitely caught my attention. It is a clip that I saw on Facebook and I’m going to attempt to link it here but I’ll try to transcribe as well, in case it does not work.
Question: “Everyone asks. Andy Taylor…will he come again or is it so difficult?”
Response: “Um..I don’t think, to be quite honest that it would make things any better, in any way. Um…Andy is a great guitarist. Yes, he’s difficult to be around. Um…when Andy was no longer with us, peace broke out and um..and we all got along much more easily. I don’t think he fits in, personality wise, with the band, really. No one would take away anything from his musicianship and I wish him well, but I don’t think it’s with us. You know, Dom has been with us playing the live shows for a long time and maybe we will have some other people come and guest as well. Nile comes and plays with us sometimes, Mark Ronson occasionally, maybe Graham will come and do some things. Who knows? We haven’t got that far yet, but very much looking forward to playing some shows and I wish I could tell you when it will be.” (I think I got it all but any errors are mine.)
What was the reaction to this and what do I think about it? Some people focused on the music and recognized that the push/pull, two musical sides vying for attention worked really well in those early days to create some of the best Duran albums and songs. Others expressed sadness about what that means for Duran, musically, moving forward. Yet, Andy fans expressed a great deal of disappointment and anger towards Nick, believing him to be unkind towards Andy. Many assumed that Nick does not like Andy because he stood in the way of Nick’s controlling the band. As I read through comments and reactions, I was not surprised. I am well-aware of how the tension between the two did help to create some of the best material of the band’s career. Likewise, I’m not shocked that many fans, especially ones who love Andy, view Nick as controlling and mean. I cannot fault anyone for having their own perspective and feeling about this. After all, everyone is passionate about Duran Duran and the guitarist debate has been one that runs deep.
So what do I think of it? I have mixed feelings about it. My Duran fan self can definitely see and appreciate the creativeness that exploded with the tension between Andy and Nick. I would love to have another album like the first one or Rio. Who wouldn’t? That said, I also really enjoy Dom Brown during the shows and love how there is great chemistry there between him and the other band members. Would I want to change that? Would I want to risk the current status for Andy to be back? It could obviously be beyond amazing. But it could be a disaster. The whole thing just makes me want to scream a little bit in that there does not seem to be the perfect choice here.
Beyond the musical aspect of this, I think about the working conditions part. As a teacher and as an organizer I have worked with and on countless different teams over the course of my career. Do the people I’m working with matter? Absolutely. One hundred percent. I think back to my first real team in teaching in which I was part of a team of three. The two women I worked with had opposite philosophies and approaches to teaching. They were both super strong-willed people who did not hide how they felt or what they thought. This meant that I walked into a bit of a mine-field with a push for me to take sides. Things literally got so bad that my principal had to come into our office, divide up the space and assign us areas. From there, my principal worked hard to get the team to be able to work together. Eventually, the team came together and we probably did our best work. That said, it was exhausting and felt like it could fall apart at any point. I don’t think I would want that type of work environment now even if it helped me then be the best teacher I could be.
Of course, I have also been on teams that have been fun and trusting with minimal tension. Those teams have been able to get things done and done well. Was the work as good as if someone was there questioning us more? Pushing us to see a different side to a certain lesson plan or educational strategy? Maybe. But at what cost? How would that play out long term? I know that it would affect my desire to go to work. It would make me more and more unhappy and as I get older and older, I don’t want tension in my work place. I don’t think that makes me a terrible person so I can see where Nick is coming from.
As I walked the clip, I was surprised that Nick was as forthright as he was. I appreciate that he shared with us his perspective even if it wasn’t exactly what many wanted to hear.