Category Archives: Bernard Edwards

Celebration

Duran Duran has been doing a lot of promotion lately, so it seems.  These are fun times for Duranies with all of the TV and radio appearances.  Normally, I would be commenting on the latest and I might later in the weekend but not today.  Last night, I came home to find my beloved cat, Othello, unable to move his back legs and he was crying in pain.  After a quick call to the emergency vets, my mom (who was dropping off food at my house at the time) and I drove to the vet hospital to have him immediately checked out.  After a long, thorough examination, the vet working in the ER there came to explain that Othello had a blood clot in his heart.  I did not expect this.  Othello is an old kitty in that he is almost 16 years old and has many other health concerns, including diabetes, chronic kidney disease and possible cancer.  In fact, last winter, he was given only 2-3 months to live.  Therefore, I was prepared for many possibilities but not a heart condition.  Last night, he stayed at the hospital to receive pain medication, oxygen to help his labored breathing and to monitor him.  This morning, another test confirmed the original diagnosis.  Still another test showed that he is suffering from significant heart disease as well as another heart condition which causes blood clots to form.  In fact, there is another blood clot waiting to burst.  At this point, he is in heart failure and is oxygen dependent.  There really isn’t any option left so I chose to let him go and to say goodbye.

I have received so many supportive messages in the last few hours that I’m tremendously grateful for.  One of the supporters included my sister who said a very wise thing to me.  She told me that my job now is to celebrate his life and the joy that he brought to me.  She is absolutely right.  Yes, today might be about grieving and loss but tomorrow it is about celebrating.  So, what does all of this personal drama have to do with Duran Duran?  Many things actually.

One of the random things I have thought about in my state of grief is the post that my blog partner and friend did a few months ago regarding a video that Nile Rodgers had put up on twitter that showed the last performance of Bernard Edwards before his death (see blog post here).  This led her to wonder if this is the last time for Duran Duran.  As the members of Duran Duran (and us!) have gotten older, I think we have all begun to wonder when the end will be.  In most cases, the end means the end of the band, but it can mean the end of their lives.  I know that we are lucky as a fanbase to have a band that continues to write and play music and that all of the members, past and present, are still with us.  I try to be grateful for that each day.  This leads me to think about the new album, All You Need Is Now.

This new album and single of the same name seems to be expressing an idea that this is the time to go for whatever and grab it.  It isn’t about waiting for the future but about cherishing the present and even cherishing what was good about the past, such as loving the music “like we did when we were younger”.  That is a message that is often difficult to truly understand unless faced with a loss like I am today.  Maybe this is the lesson that I need to pay attention to:  cherish what was good about the past and grab a hold of the present without concern about the future.  I hope that my Duranie friends will join me in this.  Now, isn’t the time to be cynical or overtly critical but to enjoy what you have.  In this case, “stay with the music, let it play a little longer.”  While I can’t stay with Othello, I can stay with the things that I truly enjoy.  I openly admit that I enjoy Duran Duran.  I enjoy their music and I’m entertained by their personalities.  While the fandom can drive me crazy, I also love being a part of it.  I will embrace the past with both Duran and with Othello.  I will also celebrate them as well.  It is the least I can do.

-A

Is This Time the Last Time?

Before I get started here – I have to apologize.  I had promised an FAQ list for message boards today…that blog has been pre-empted and will be posted at a later date.

Just prior to writing today, I went to our Daily Duranie twitter account and noticed that Nile Rodgers had posted a video of the last show with Bernard Edwards.  This video is short 2 minute clip of the song Wild Boys – Simon LeBon is singing and it is at the Budokan in April of 1996.  Here is a link to that video on Nile’s site. Bernard had pneumonia and refused to cancel the gig.  He did play the show, but had to be helped with oxygen at times. (Nile describes the situation best on the site)  That was his last show.   There is also video of Notorious from that same night, during that song Bernard was behind the drum riser getting oxygen – and apparently continuing to play.

I keep stumbling on the fact that it was Bernard’s last show.  No one in the audience knew that would be the case.  I can’t possibly know what Nile was thinking, and I can’t imagine that Simon recognized that Bernard would never play again either.  The fact is, I don’t think you ever really know when this time is going to be the last time.  I just believe that you have to enjoy every moment as though it could be.

Switch ahead to what I believe is still the working title to Duran Duran’s new album – All We Need is Now, and it hits me like a brick.

While I’m sure that I won’t ever forget walking up to all 5 of the original band members at Virgin Megastore in Hollywood back in October of 2004 (goodness knows I’ll never forget speaking to Roger Taylor – sure, I’m a blogger – but I’m also a HUGE fan!!), what I know to be true is that my biggest memories in this whole fan experience will be attending the shows with my friends.  Squeezing Amanda’s arm (or wait – maybe it’s been MY arm that’s been squeezed) every single time there is a JoSi moment,  rocking out with Dom Brown (no, really – we had our moment!) when he was just the stand-in guitarist and no one else gave him the time of day, clapping along with John during Red Carpet Massacre, and laughing til we cried while we watched Simon dance.   Those are the show moments I’ll remember best.   I probably won’t remember trying to figure out where everyone was going after the show because no one wants to say (what if the band shows up, then they’d have to share them! *gasp*);  I doubt I’ll remember having to assume the GA “stance” so that other fans couldn’t suddenly decide that they needed to be directly in front of me – even though I’d been there for hours already.  I really don’t think I’ll remember that another fan (who was much taller than I) decided to jump up and grab the drumstick that Roger had tried to throw me in New Orleans.  (well….no, I’ll probably remember that – but only because of the smile Roger flashed me and my sign before throwing it my way.)  I definitely won’t think twice of how vicious fellow fans can be on the message boards simply because someone complains over the cost of VIP tickets, or because someone asks if anyone has any ideas of where the band is staying.   In the end, none of that is going to really matter!

As much as I might curse the band at times, I feel so incredibly lucky.  Duran Duran has been the soundtrack to my life. (and probably yours…)   Yes, people in my life tend to give me a rough time over how much time I’ll spend on Duran Duran, and while part of me can laugh in spite of myself – there’s a growing part of me that almost feels sorry for them.  They have NO idea the gift I’ve been given.

We are lucky fans, indeed.  Enjoy the moment!

-R