Category Archives: birthdays

Happy Birthday Andy!

Could it be true?!  Am I really doing another birthday post?  In today’s case, I get to wish Andy Taylor a wonderfully happy birthday!  Now, of course, a simple happy birthday isn’t good enough.  Nope, an occasion such as this deserves a little celebration!  How can I celebrate Andy’s birthday?  That’s easy.  I need to commemorate Andy’s birth by enjoying some of my favorite clips/moments/songs of his. 

From Early Duran:

From Recent Duran:

How about a little Power Station?

Solo!!!

It may be Andy’s birthday but watching all of these videos has reminded me about what gifts Andy has brought to all of us over the years.  Happy Birthday Andy!  I hope it is the best one ever!

Happy Birthday Simon!!!

*scratches head*  I keep thinking that today must be important for some reason but I can’t figure it out.  Hmm…I know that I’m distracted from working so much, getting such little sleep and being stressed but still, I usually remember something if it is important.  *scratches head more*  Oh yeah…I hear someone famous has a birthday today.  A famous singer, no less.  Stephen Duffy?  No, his birthday is in June.  Andy Wickett?  Robert Palmer?  Michael Des Barres?  *taps the keyboard impatiently*  I know!  It is Simon’s birthday!!!!  How could I forget that?!?

I think part of the reason it took me so long to remember that it was a band member’s birthday is because I never do the birthdays.  In the 2 years that we have been blogging, I think Rhonda has had every single one of them until now.  So, I’m not used to acknowledging a birthday much more beyond the Today in Duran history that I post.  Now, I could follow in my partner’s footsteps and write about said band member, but I won’t.  It isn’t that I don’t have anything to say.  Oh, I have plenty that I could say but…I want to acknowledge his day by showing what Simon does best, as far as the band goes.  It seems to me that Simon brings the following talents to Duran Duran:  First, his voice is unique and amazing.  Second, when he gets his lyrics right, they are nothing less than fabulous poetry.  Third, his ability to perform is second to none.  I have watched many people at different times go to their first Duran shows.  In almost all cases, when they go, they do not have a favorite but they do when they leave!  It is always Simon, too!  Of course, Simon is also good for creating some humor for himself, for the band and definitely for the fans!  Thus, after we watch some clips showcasing those talents, we will watch some clips of other memorable Simon birthdays as we wish him the most fabulous of birthdays.

When I think of Simon’s voice, I tend to think of those early albums when his voice is natural and so utterly unique.  I have heard/read many people say that Simon’s voice is such that as soon as the vocals start in a Duran song, everyone knows who the artist is because of Simon’s voice.  Here is a clip of early Simon singing Anyone Out There:

Of course, another factor beyond Simon’s voice that makes Duran’s music so special to so many of us is their lyrics.  Simon truly can be a poet and one that requires thinking and invites personal interpretation.  I enjoy that we can listen to a song and all think Simon is talking about different subjects.  His lyrics are such that we can all put our own spin on them, which makes such a strong connection between the listener and the performer.  Now, many people, when thinking of Simon’s lyrics might pick out songs like The Chauffeur, for its poetry factor, or a song like Union of the Snake, for our collective inability to really determine what it means, but I am not.  To me, one of the best songs Simon has ever written is Before the Rain.  It is complete poetry and really spoke to me when I was dealing with the loss of two loved ones at the same time.  On top of that, he sings it beautifully.

Then, there is Simon’s performances.  Simon has the ability to connect with an audience and to entertain them like no other.  Duran Duran, truly, would have been lost without a lead singer like Simon.  While I might focus my attention elsewhere, I know that Simon is able to get the audience’s attention and to keep their attention.  The shows wouldn’t work otherwise.  As a kid, I remember so many times watching the documentary, Sing Blue Silver, with my best friend at the time.  We saw how Simon got the crowd into participating during Girls on Film and knew, right then and there, that if we ever saw Duran live, we, too, would participate the WHOLE time.  LOL

Of course, there have been times when Simon has become particularly entertaining during a show.  That’s typically when he tries to dance.  I’m still amused by the strange dance we saw during Skin Trade in the summer of 2009 and the video of Friends of Mine from Hammersmith in 1982.

Based on all of the reasons I mentioned above and more, I hope that Simon has a memorable, fantastic birthday.  Maybe it will be just as wonderful as one of these:


Happy Birthday, Mr. LeBon!!!

-A

Celebrating the Birthday Man!

Today would have been my very first opportunity to discuss a band member’s birthday but my writing partner beat me to it yesterday! The nerve…just kidding! It is probably partly my fault since I was on the phone with her for over 2 hours when she could have and probably should have been writing the blog. So, obviously, I had a choice. I could do my own blog wishing Nick a happy birthday OR I could write a completely different blog about something else. I am choosing to celebrate Nick but in a different way. I’m going to post some videos of Nick throughout the years to acknowledge all that Nick has been since founding this favorite band of ours!

While this first clip isn’t Nick on his own, it is interesting to note that despite being the youngest member of the band, he clearly wasn’t intimidated by being interviewed or by the interviewer.  It seems obvious to me that Nick would be the member who is often interviewed, is the spokesperson and the general PR man.  Nick is a natural!

For many people, the look that Nick is sporting in this video is a favorite!  I like it myself!  Here’s a little confession to make!  I was Nick Rhodes for Halloween one year and, as a redhead, this look seemed to be the easiest to emulate.  As I went door-to-door asking for candy, I was annoyed that no one knew who the heck I was!  When I explained to people, they all kept commenting about how I was a girl, dressing as a boy who was wearing makeup like a girl!

While Nick has obviously shown his talent on Duran songs, he has made his mark producing other work, including Kajagoogoo in 1983.  I was always amused that their song, Too Shy, went number one before any Duran song!

In my opinion, Nick’s talent and vision really took the spotlight when he was working on Arcadia.  Interestingly enough, this look was only around during this era of 1985.  I wonder if Arcadia would do another project, would Nick’s look change back to this?!

Breath After Breath is an underrated song from the Wedding Album, in my opinion.  I absolutely adore this video and love the image of Nick typing on a typewriter!!!

While this era isn’t exactly my favorite, I still enjoy this clip.  It shows Nick’s personality and sense of humor as well as his obsession with cameras and pictures!

Of course, Nick’s influence is felt in everything Duran does, but nothing shows this more than Girl Panic.  He was directly involved in the lyrics and the video concept!  On top of that, I absolutely adore his interview of “himself”!

On that note, I wish Mr. Rhodes a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I, for one, can’t wait to see what he will do next!!!

-A

A Late Blog and an Early Birthday!

I am so sorry for the tardiness of this blog today. There is no other way to say it, today has been one of those days. I’ve been the sole “active” parent this week, and trust me – I’ve been more than active. Some days feel like short sprints, and today felt like a marathon, and I’ve finished last. This morning was especially painful, and on the morning “crawl” to my daughter’s high school something hit the windshield of my car and now it’s sporting a huge crack.  Not the greatest way to begin the day, but not earth (or windshield) shattering.  Oddly though, I had the song(s) Fly on the Windscreen (Depeche Mode) and (I’m Looking for) Cracks in the Pavement (You Know Exactly Who) stuck in my head all day.  Bizarre.  From there it was a nearly endless array of phone calls to insurance people, overseas husbands (it was in the middle of the night his time when he got my phone call…oops!), school meetings, and driving. Oh, the driving, and the traffic. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday, that’s all I’ve got to say.

Since today is blessedly Thursday and it’s my last blog of the week, an early Happy Birthday is in order to Mr. Nicholas. I hear that 50 is “The Big One”, although the 8.0+ earthquake that is way overdue to hit Southern California is also given that delightful moniker.  Coincidence?? I could say that age is but a number and countless other platitudes, but the honest truth is that when I think about what the age of 50 must look like, it is definitely not Nick Rhodes’ face that comes to mind. I have a very difficult time believing that any one of that band could possibly be 50 yet. It’s very similar to what comes to mind when my oldest comes to me and asks to borrow my shoes. I still see her as the precocious 3 year old in pigtails that wants to borrow a pair of my shoes and stumble around the house. Time goes by so fast, and while I know the band stays firmly in the present – I still think of them as the twenty-somethings I admired from afar, or at least the boys I admired on my bedroom walls.

I’ve always used the birthday blogs as a way to honor the birthday boy in question, write a bit of a love-note, and a way to weave my own personal experiences into the blog. The funny thing is, my personal experiences are somewhat at a low when it comes to Nick. What I can tell you though, is that I’ve never once heard a single fan ever have a bad experience meeting Nick. I know that he has caught the eyes of many a fan at a concert and smiled – and let me just gush and say that no band member has a smile like Nick. When he smiles (which in my opinion is not nearly enough!), his entire face lights up and you feel like the smile is truly meant just for you. Nick has a gift for words and making the tiniest of moments mean something special. He may not ever be the band member we find on Twitter or Facebook, but his genuine nature comes through loud and clear in his short video clips or notes on the band webpage. I have friends who have had the opportunity to meet Nick several times (Faby I am talking to you!), and I adore seeing those photos. There is a love that flows from Nick to the fans that is returned many million times over, and it really does come through with every photo I see.

I too, have believed that I caught Nick’s eye and a grin at a show or two when I was in the UK – and it’s those tiny little moments that make the shows come to mean more than just a concert.  It’s remembering how shocked I was to hear the opening notes of Secret Oktober in Brighton, only to look up after squealing in delight with Amanda to see Nick with an ear-to-ear grin. It’s thinking about how I finally made it to the rail at the very end of the show to hear them play Rio at the same show, and have Nick stand and take photos right in front of us. It was that last show in Glasgow when I could swear he smiled right at me and waved as he left the stage. I’ve decided to claim those seconds as being mine, even though they were probably meant for dozens, if not hundreds of other people as well. We can all claim them, and chances are, none of us are wrong.  

Nick Rhodes has been a part of my life for many years now. It’s a slightly dizzying thought when I count the years his music has been spinning on my record player, in my CD player…or just playing as an MP3 file on any one of several iProducts I’ve owned. He’s a welcome image in my head and heart and I wish him a very happy birthday…..even though I still can’t wrap my head around half of why he likes Second Life.

Happy Birthday Nick!!

-R

Presales, Birthdays, Showcases and Homeschooling oh my!

Sorry that today’s blog is a bit late – as I’ve mentioned, we’re dealing with some kid issues at home.  Today I spent part of the morning getting my son transferred from his current school over to homeschooling for the next school year, beginning in late August.  This is a huge change for all of us, and after much nail biting, worrying and even a few tears, I think this is the best answer for right now.  Wish us luck, send me wine, and words of wisdom from time to time might help.  Right now my son is cautiously optimistic (which tells me he’s really thinking about what it all might be like), and my husband is supportive.  It’s all I can really ask for.  I just hope I’m doing the right thing.  I have no idea what my schedule will be like, but I would imagine that it will most definitely need to change with regards to the blog – I’m still committed to writing each day, it’s just a matter of figuring out when to write.  I promise to keep you updated!  As for the book, I’ve given myself a firm deadline, and that’s that my portion(s) must be completed by late July.  That’s going to be a stretch, but it is what must be done.

Have you sent your birthday greeting yet??  Duran Duran put out a request for short birthday wishes to be sent to duranduran@magusentertainment.com in honor of Nick’s BIG birthday….I sent mine in, and you should get yours in as well.  Deadline is this Saturday, June 2nd. It happens to the best of us, Nick.  Well, not me (yet), but you know…I think you had a bit of a head start!

So that Atlanta date….  I was really starting to wonder if this show was going to happen, mainly because it had been so long since I’d heard anything. Secretly I thought maybe I’d missed the news somewhere, and as I mentioned to Amanda yesterday, I figured that if I’d missed it, I was just going to figure it out later because I was busy having a life outside of my extracurricular activities!  It happens, right?  So the word is that the venue is beginning their “Series” on-sale as of Sunday, June 3rd.  That means that this show is being sold to their subscribers in a sort of package along with several other shows, kind of like season tickets.  Then after that, the DDM presale will begin on June 13th.  While once again I have serious scheduling issues with the presale date – it’s my youngest’s last day of school and that means I am at her school that day (not something I can or even want to get out of), I have no doubt that Amanda and I will figure this out.  Of course, she’s going to be on her way to a little vacation with her parents – but you know, it’s not really a fun or a tour unless we’ve got some crazy drama going on, right?  It’s the challenge that makes it worth our time!  If you are not a DDM member, then the public on-sale date (non-series, single show tickets) is on Saturday, June 16th.  Let us know if you’re going to the show because we’d like to do a get-together and possibly look into group rates at a hotel if there’s enough interest!  Assuming Atlanta works out, that means Amanda and I will be touring the cities and highways beginning in Biloxi, onward to Atlanta, and then ending up in North Carolina.  Have you sent your birthday greeting yet??  Duran Duran put out a request for short birthday wishes to be sent to duranduran@magusentertainment.com in honor of Nick’s BIG birthday….I sent mine in, and you should get yours in as well.  Deadline is this Saturday, June 2nd. It happens to the best of us, Nick.  Well, not me (yet), but you know…I think you had a bit of a head start!

Last but not least, today is Blue to Brown’s big day with their release party at the Cookoo Club in London.  It’s fairly obvious that Amanda and I could not be there, but we send our very best wishes to Dom and his dad for a great showcase.  Have you bought your copy of Blue to Brown yet??  Get out there and get one, then buy one for a friend!  Also, if you want to keep up with the latest Blue to Brown news, “like” their new facebook page!

-R

Pure Enjoyment

Last night, it was my family’s turn to celebrate and harass me for my birthday.  In our family, it’s tradition to open gifts together, and so my husband and children gave me their cards and gifts to open in front of my mom while we had cake (the best part, in my opinion!).  In the small gift my husband handed me was a box to a lightbulb, which really confused me.  I opened the box, and inside was the barrel to a clarinet (once upon a time, I was a clarinet player).   At this point, I realized that my husband and children had bought me a new clarinet for my birthday.  I was thrilled because my son started playing in the band at school this year, and his instrument of choice was the clarinet.  I had given him my old one to play, leaving me without a clarinet to pick up from time to time.  At this point, my husband got up to get me the case for the rest of the instrument – and when I saw the case, I realized that not only did my husband buy me a new clarinet, he had bought me a Buffet R-13 clarinet.  This is a very, very special clarinet – most professionals ASPIRE to play on one.  It’s the clarinet equivalent of playing on a Stradivarius violin. I had to hold back tears as I opened the case, because at  one point in my life, it was my dream to own one and play in an orchestra.  I’m still very shocked that my husband went to the trouble to find one for me, and I have to say that out of all of the gifts he’s given me in our 16 years of marriage, this one took the most thought.  The reality is, I will almost assuredly never play in a professional orchestra, for that was the dream of a teenager from long ago, but this clarinet will definitely be played here at home, for my own enjoyment.  It’s one thing that is truly just for me.

In listening to “Being Followed” and considering where the band might be in their own careers, I have to wonder if the band isn’t at the same place.  Maybe they are playing for themselves at this point, for their own enjoyment.  Perhaps chart success isn’t the carrot they are chasing after – and maybe now is where the real fun is going to start for them.  There is something to be said for being able to stand up and say that you’re doing whatever it is that you do for the simple enjoyment of doing it.  In my mind at this moment, that will bring FAR more success than any chart-topper ever will.

-R

Happy Birthday!!!

Today’s blog post is going to be short but sweet!  I would like to wish my blogging/writing partner a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!! 

It is amazing to me how attending a simple little fan convention in the fall of 2004 could have lead us here.  In the spring and summer of that year, we may have recognized each other’s posting name on DDF but didn’t know much about each other.  That all changed very quickly when we met in person at the Duran Duran Fans Convention in September of 2004 in New Orleans.  While my writing partner was an organizer of the event, I was a simple attendee.  We both were there to meet fellow Duranies and to be among others like us.  We wanted to share our extreme excitement by the band’s reunion and upcoming album, Astronaut.  The second night of the convention found the two of us bouncing from bar-to-bar on Bourbon Street with a group of fellow Duranies.  During that evening, a bond began to form as we just seemed to click.  That instant click was reinforced by the following winter and spring.

By December 2004, tour dates were announced and Duranies all over the world began to make plans about which shows to see and with whom.  Neither Rhonda nor myself thought it was strange to be making travel and concert plans with people we had only met once as we decided to go to shows in Chicago and Milwaukee together.  These decisions were not so carefree, in reality, as they featured money exchanges for tickets and hotels.  Again, the instant click moved right into instant trust.  I had no concern about money when I bought VIP tickets for us and another friend of ours.  She had no worry about reserving a hotel room.  During that brief weekend in the Midwest, we found ourselves laughing and enjoying ourselves in ways that have rarely been replicated for us at any point in our lives.  They were that unique!  We knew during that weekend that we had found a touring partner but that we also had found a friend for life in each other.

Since that first convention and first show together, we have attended many more shows together, traveled to see each other just for fun (without the band!), and have been there for each other during whatever real life situation comes up.  For all of this and more, I can truly only give thanks to the band that brought us together as friends and now as writing partners.  We know that this isn’t the end of the line for us but simply the beginning.

On that note, I wish Rhonda the best birthday ever and to remind her that the best is yet to come!!!

-A