Category Archives: band members

OK…enough quiet!!!

Last night, I finally had the opportunity to listen to some CD’s that Amanda has graciously made the two of us…that may or may not have included live performances of the concert(s) we went and saw in the UK, including Brighton.  I have to say, hearing these songs again brought back some good memories from that week spent traveling all over England and Scotland.  Yes, I’d still do it again.

When I first got home, as much as I tried to keep up with the Duran goings on, I had family schedules to contend with, and I swear the month of December went by as a blur.  I blinked and it is now over.  I guess it didn’t bother me so much when the band “signed off” for the holidays because I kind of needed a break too!  It’s tough to be a blogger sometimes!  (whine, whine, moan…wine! Yes, that kind of wine!)  So all went quiet.  Even our blog stats went way, way down. Scarily so, to be honest….but we forged on!

It’s now January 4th.  I have not heard hide, nor hair of that band for a couple weeks now – aside from a few facebook postings from the batcave, or “headquarters” as the rest of you might call it.  Oh, and one curious posting from Mr. LeBon on New Years Eve… We’re not fooled, the band is still on holiday, and I say – it’s time to get back to work!  Do you hear that whip cracking?  Of course I’m joking.  Mostly.

Fans are fickle.  We love the band to pieces because it’s what we do, but then the band goes quiet for a while, and we become uneasy.  Some move on to whatever other obsessions they have.  I actually do a lot of reading in my *laughs* spare time.  HA.  I have now read every e-book I had ready to go for my trip. (clearly didn’t do much reading in the UK…)  I’m finding myself googling each and every band members name simply to see if news pops up that I’m somehow missing elsewhere.  I have now read every single biographical essay that seems to exist for each band member, including Dom Brown.  (be afraid)  We’re bored now, and as such, we’re now in danger of chewing one another up just for the sheer sport.  Sometimes I wonder if the band sits and reads their Facebook and/or Twitter feeds for the fun of it….then I realize that only other fans could possibly find our drivel amusing.  It’s sad, but it’s reality.  I suppose I could be cleaning my house….but really what fun is there in doing that all day?? It’s a good thing that as of tomorrow all of my kids will be back in school, because I need to get out of this house, even if it is just to drive them all over the county!

Amanda and I were once called “impatient” by one of our most favorite readers.  That person was right.  I’m not really looking for new US dates (although hey if someone wants to clue me in to when those will be, I won’t turn you away!)…I’m just looking for activity.  The thrill of seeing some tweets from John Taylor, perhaps.  Some joyous postings from Roger Taylor.  How about some posts from Simon that need deciphering??  I am up for that challenge!  Yesterday while on Twitter, I came across a couple of comments that saddened me just a little and smacked me right back into reality mode.  I won’t quote, but it was intimated that perhaps the band only posts when they want to sell concert tickets.  I can’t argue that – because let’s be fair – does anyone aside from my husband go to work even when they aren’t being paid??  The band is their “job”, in the same way that my husband’s job is to sit at his desk and be on conference calls all day, go to trade shows, or fly to the Far East for meetings with clients.  The difference of course is that we’re the bands customers, and we’re far more demanding than any client my husband might have (Granted, I do not call John, Nick, Simon or Roger at 1:30am and expect them to answer their phone…then again, I don’t EVER call them….and yes, that really does happen in my house on a regular basis…).  Still, the reality can be sad (for lack of a better word) at times.  The band doesn’t necessarily chat us all up because they really want to know us.  They chat occasionally because we’re a big part of the machine that is their career.  Where you and I might very well wish to be on Twitter chatting with people, they might not.  While Facebook is how I keep in touch with my friends – Duran fans and otherwise – perhaps maybe the band doesn’t bother, and certainly not with us.  Once again I’m reminded, and fairly so, that the line between fan and friend is very defined, and I am squarely on the appropriate side of that line.

The one concern with the internet that I continuously see fans struggle over is that line.  We know the band.  We know the John Taylor that is up on the stage that he cares to share with us.  We know Simon, Nick and Roger in the same regard.  There has got to be a difference between those personas and their private lives – I just can’t see any of them surviving celebrity any other way.  I would imagine it’s a very compartmentalizing life at times.  That said, it is very, very easy to forget that fact as a fan – especially having been fans of the band for 30 years.  It is easy to assume we must know one another.  Well, we know them.  They, however, do not know us at all.  Sure, I’d love to think the band has checked out my personal Facebook, they read the blog, they read my Twitter – but none of that is true.  It’s just not reality.  I am one of a million faces they see (maybe) on tour from the stage.  With the interaction we’ve had from the band, however little it may seem at times, it’s difficult to remember that while we might be following them, they are not (for the overwhelming majority) following us.

Maybe they damn well should!   I am fascinating, aren’t you???  (that should be read with dripping sarcasm)

Time for another walk down memory lane for me…I have a few more CD’s to play!

-R

Here Right Now

In keeping with the theme of their current album, Duran Duran have partnered with the Grey Area Foundation for the Arts to create a data visualization project.  All day long I’ve seen comments on Facebook, wondering what the fuss is about, and why a fan should want to be involved.

Basically, its an art project requiring participation from all over the world.  The sole purpose is to show a snapshot in time (your snapshot in time) using various themes that are posted on the site.  Its relatively easy to upload a photo – I would say that choosing the photos to upload is the toughest part, but isn’t that always the case?

I think the most intense question, as always, is the “why”.  To begin with, Duran Duran is and always has been a very visual band.  This project certainly keeps with that theme.  I can understand the partnership simply because the project is a form of participation art, and its innovative in that it utilizes the web to spread its message.  As we all should know by now, one of the major (if not the most central) theme(s) to All You Need is Now is enjoying the moment.  Live life in the moment you’re in – don’t look back, don’t look forward, just enjoy the now.  That’s what this project is to represent.  What is your NOW looking like?

I can already read the email and comments I’m going to get when I admit I’ve yet to upload a single photo myself.  I suppose the easiest thing to do would be to simply take a picture with my computer and just send it in. (Following one of the predetermined themes of course…that oddly enough coincide with many different words fans should recognize.  “Sunrise”, “Beautiful”, “Moon”, “Information”, and “Red” to name but a few of the very recognizable themes.)  I thought of doing that yesterday, and then somehow got sidetracked.  I checked the site fairly early in my day, and then again before I went to bed last night to see just how many pictures had been uploaded, and at that time there didn’t seem to be that many.  I would imagine that for many fans – the holidays are still taking precedence, and perhaps the site will see more activity after this next weekend.  For me, its simply that I’m overwhelmed by the amount of pictures I have on my computer and finding the right one(s) to send.  In short, I’m overthinking the task.  Again.   If only I’d grouped my pictures by themes such as “Sunrise”, “Moon”, “Information”…..well, you get the idea!

Upon looking around on Facebook and even Twitter, the project isn’t getting a lot of discussion.  Those that have received the email seem to be less than interested, and when met with the task of actually watching an instructional video on how to participate, most fans didn’t bother.  I can’t blame them on one hand, it’s not as though you really need to watch a video to participate (its somewhat akin to uploading a photo to Facebook), but on the other, I suspect the lack of interest is simply that – a general lack of interest beyond the music, the videos and the shows.

In all fairness, not every fan is going to be excited or interested in supporting every single project.  For example, I am less-than-excited by the “supposed (Are you reading, Mr. Rhodes?) 2012 release” of TV Mania.  I’m more interested to see if Nick will really follow through and get it released than I am by the project itself….but I’m also prepared to eat those words if need be.  I like being wrong when it comes to Nick.  We will see.  How about Drama Americana, anyone?!?  (No Nick, we still haven’t forgotten about that one!)  That aside, it would seem that anything requiring extra work of the fans, especially if a show isn’t directly involved, tends to wane in popularity.  Curiously, I have to wonder if this project will not follow the same path.  Fans tend to ask what they will get out of it, and I did see many wonder if the band themselves will follow suit and post their own pictures. (not a horrible idea – and it would definitely spur more activity)  Time will tell.

I have to commend the band for thinking out of the box and supporting art projects such as these – in this day and age – I find very, very little of that here in my country.  The arts really suffer here, and as a musician and a mother of an student who goes to an arts based high school, I applaud them.  I wish more bands and artists would partner with SCHOOLS in this nature.  That’s just a hint for something the band to consider doing in the future….

-R

Take a Moment to Appreciate

Yesterday’s question for the Daily Duranie 30 Day Duran Challenge was:  Best storyline in a video or song.  There were 19 different songs/videos chosen with Nightboat coming out as the winner.  Behind that was New Moon on Monday.  I wasn’t surprised by those choices.  After all, they featured the band talking in them, in some versions, anyway.  Seeing people talk about these videos made me smile as I thought about watching these videos as a kid with my best friend at the time, which is what I planned to talk about today.  Then, this morning, I checked online find out the latest news.  Like many people, I’m completely stunned and saddened at the tragic events in Norway.  While looking at the latest development there, I see breaking news.  Singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27.  I haven’t seen anything about cause of death, but I suspect drugs had something to do with it as she had a long history of battling drug addiction and had checked herself out of treatment a month ago.  These events made me realize how lucky we are as Duranies, generally.

When I stop to think about the long history of Duran Duran, I almost always acknowledge the fact that all of the members, past and present are still with us.  We are so fortunate in this as there were a number of close calls that we know about as fans.  Obviously, in light of today’s news about Amy Winehouse, I can acknowledge that the band is lucky that no one died as a result of drug use, which very easily could have happened through overdoses or accidents.  Not only are we lucky that no member died from drugs, but we are also lucky that this concern is no longer present.  I, for one, am very proud of the steps John has taken, for example, to not only get clean but to stay that way.   

Of course, the band members have also survived other scary events.  I’m sure that many of us remember when Simon’s boat, Drum, capsized in 1985, which could have resulted in not only his death but many of his fellow crew members.  Simon has had other accidents in his life, including the one on the motorbike, that he has been lucky to have survived as well.  Of course, they and we have been fortunate that they haven’t suffered from other, deadly, more common ailments.  Yes, they have had their share of sickness, like we all have, but nothing that I know of that was serious.  To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been cancer or serious heart disease, for instance.  Goodness, when I think of many of their associates, I realize how fortunate they have been.  Look at Power Station, for example.  We have lost everyone involved besides John and Andy.  Somehow, someway, our guys keep going. 

These recent tragedies remind me that even though we have been lucky so far when it comes to the health and well-being of the band members, we won’t always be.  Simon’s vocal difficulties showed us that we can’t and shouldn’t assume that everything will be perfect forever.  It simply won’t be.  The band may end tomorrow or they may end twenty years from now.  Therefore, we should remember to appreciate the now and appreciate what we have.  Isn’t that really what the band was saying with AYNIN?  I think it was.  It is upsetting, though, that it sometimes takes canceled tours, horrific events and personal losses to remind us of that.  Perhaps, we should all take a moment each day to just be thankful for what we all have.

-A

Can Duran Replace Band Members?

Some days are quiet in Duranland and others are busy, busy, busy.  Most days, lately, are in between.  Today was one of those days.  First, the band posted an updated tour poster for the UK dates.  Then, there was a radio interview with Roger Taylor that Duranasty was kind enough to put up for everyone to download.  Of course, seeing the new UK tour poster advertising the dates got us all excited, well, cautiously excited.  During Roger’s interview, he stated that Simon is about 80% back.  The reaction to that piece of information was mixed, as is the case with most things Duran.  On one hand, this is evidence that Simon is indeed improving, which is good considering that there are dates coming up in a few weeks and the postponed dates have been rescheduled.  On the other hand, it could remind us all that Simon isn’t perfect yet.  It has taken a very long time for him to get here.  This reminded me of something that has been bouncing around in my head since Simon’s vocal problems began.  Can anyone in the band be replaced?

In all of the discussions about Simon, I haven’t read many, if any, comments about how they should get someone to replace Simon for a few shows.  Most Duranies agree that Simon is the voice of Duran and it wouldn’t really be the same without him.  Then, the next comment is usually about Nick.  Many people say that they couldn’t do without Nick, either.  Some would say that they are the “heart” of Duran now.  Let me dissect this idea.  Why couldn’t we replace Nick?  Is it because he has so much of what is needed for a live show on his computer?  Is that why?  Okay.  That might make it difficult to have someone substitute for him for shows, but is it impossible?  I don’t honestly know.  I admit that I don’t really know what Nick does exactly on stage.  Yes, sometimes, I see him hit the keyboards but there are other times that I see that he has time to take pictures or whatever.  Would they be able to do shows without him?  Apparently they don’t think so as shows were canceled in 2008 due to his inability to travel for an ear infection.  As for replacing him in the band, I understand the idea that he couldn’t be replaced.  Yes, Nick has been there since the beginning.  Yes, he is often the one with many of their big ideas and the one to fixate over all of the details.  Is Duran his?  I have heard that he owns the name.  If this is true, then, I guess Duran is legally his.  Would the band be the same without him?  Obviously not.  Could it survive?  I don’t honestly know.  So, is Nick and Simon at the heart of the band?  I don’t know if I would say that either.  To me, that implies that John and Roger aren’t important.

I acknowledge that both John and Roger have left the band and have come back.  Obviously, the band can and has survived without them.  Would they postpone shows if they couldn’t play?  Well, in 2005, they canceled shows in Japan because Roger had broken his foot.  Clearly, they wouldn’t replace him anymore on stage either.  This leaves John.  Would they replace John now, even for a few shows?  I can’t imagine.  Why would he be any different than Simon, Nick or Roger?  Now, I know what you all must be thinking.  Then, what happened with Andy?  Good question.  I obviously have no inside track, no inside information.  For whatever reason, they felt like they could or should replace him for shows.  They decided this way back in late 2004 when Andy was replaced by Dom for the first time due to Andy being sick.  Then again, Dom came in during the spring of 2005 when Andy’s dad passed away.  What does this mean?  I don’t know exactly.  It could mean that it is easier to replace the guitarist for Duran than to replace a drummer.  It could mean that things with Andy were always different.  Maybe Andy wanted it this way.  Maybe he didn’t.  This leads me to wonder what they would do now in 2011 if Dom wasn’t able to play.  Would he be just as easily replaced as it appeared that Andy was? 

For me, personally, as much as I want shows to continue and did benefit from Dom filling in for Andy in 2005, I wouldn’t want any of them, including Dom, to be replaced for shows.  Does that mean that I disagree with the statement that Nick and Simon are the heart of Duran?  I guess in a way that I do.  I don’t like the idea of leaving out John and Roger.  Yes, I admit that they both left for awhile but they are in now.  I wouldn’t want them to have secondary status.  I would want the heart of Duran to be big enough for all four.  Heck, maybe someday, the heart will be big enough to squeeze Dom in, too.  To me, Duran is all of them.

-A