Category Archives: blog

This Duran Duran Blog – An open letter

Dear Readers,

There are many different types of Duran Duran blogs and websites out there. Some focus on news. Some on music reviews. Still others are a constant love note to whatever band/artist/etc they are following. Some are like magazines or fanzines. Others are message boards. The Duran Duran community, fortunately – has a place for all.

When creating the concept behind Daily Duranie, Amanda and I envisioned a Duran Duran blog or website that would bring fans together. We knew that other areas, such as news or fanzines, were already handled beautifully – so the challenge for Daily Duranie was to find our niche. We also recognized that with the rise of Facebook and even of Twitter, there didn’t seem to be a central gathering place for fans, and even less so of a place where fans could allow their voices to be heard.  Let’s be honest: Amanda and I had plenty to say all on our own. We didn’t want to do what others had done, we wanted to be unique, and we really wanted to fill the void for fans like ourselves. I suppose we realized that not everything we said would be embraced by the community as a whole – and our project would most likely go unnoticed by the band. After all, we were writing for the fans, not for the band.  We reached out to other Duran Duran blogs, we made sure to let them know we wanted to work with them and not drive traffic away from them, and we still feel that way to this day. We came up with our own original ideas for content, and we pride ourselves on the fact that this Duran Duran blog is completely our own.

Speaking of that journey, we’ve also been very outspoken, and sometimes – very critical of the band. Amanda and I do not see it as our job to cast sunshine, rainbows and perhaps the occasional unicorn, on anyone. The band already employs a good many people to do that for them. We live in the land of reality.  That doesn’t mean we are hopeless, and it doesn’t mean we hate the band. (If we hated the band, believe me when I say we wouldn’t bother with a Duran Duran blog and website that takes upwards of 20-30 hours a week to manage.)  It also does not mean that we are faithless or do not trust in the process. It does mean though, that we tell the truth as we see it at the time.  But our blog is not only opinion – we do a variety of different things: polls, the date in history (which is NOT a regurgitation of what is already available to anyone who looks at duranduran.com but instead a timeline that we’ve compiled over the years from a variety of sources), reviews, and yes – our super special commentaries that are designed to get you, the reader, thinking and commenting, which we sincerely appreciate whether you like what we’re saying or hate it. We love the conversation even if we come away wanting to pull our hair out, because it’s proof that our site is WORKING. We didn’t just create a Duran Duran blog or website based on the ideas that someone else came up with, looking for glory – we did this on our own.

We recognize that what we say here as well as on Twitter and Facebook, is not always what fans want to read. There are some fans out there that only see the good things, they honestly believe that the band is perfect in every single way. That just isn’t what Daily Duranie is about, even if it would be far easier (and gain us far more love and attention from the powers that be and the band members we idolize) to sit here each day and write an “I will love you forever” note to the band. We also realize that the band and management can see what we’re saying even on Facebook or Twitter as we criticize the band for ignoring social media or not putting out a single faster, to site some examples. We have nothing to hide, and we’re proud of the fact that any reader should know that when we say we don’t like something – we mean it.  In turn, when we say we love something, they can rest assured knowing we mean it 100%. There is no smoke being blown up anyone’s posterior on this Duran Duran blog, and that is the way this site will always stay, whether the band, management, or specific band members retweet us, repost our blogs, or not. I guess what I’m saying is that we’re willing to pay the price to stay true to ourselves and that damn band rather than spout niceties that we don’t always mean. I hate fake. I would never make it in Hollywood or as a politician, and I’m proud of that.

That said, I think that as we’ve gone along, there have been moments when we’ve forgotten our own objectives or intentions. Instead of being concerned about what our fellow fans are saying, we’ve lamented over whom the band chooses to support, repost, or retweet. I suppose if anything, that should go to show that at the end of it all, we ARE still fans. We still look for their approval, their support, and validation – which continues to be our downfall.  We continue to struggle, rise above, and remember why we began writing in the first place – and that reason definitely wasn’t so that the band would ever retweet us, no matter how fabulous it feels when that happens. I try to remind myself that once upon a time, I wisely said that if the band ever recognized me and knew my full name, I knew it was time for me to go. (words I need to carve into wood somewhere!)

Truth be told, it is not easy to commit to something for over four years, 20-30 hours each week and never have feedback from your idols (even when you’ve interviewed them); but, Amanda and I agree that even though we are likely not among the “chosen ones”
that the band chooses to acknowledge or validate, we will continue and remember WHY this Duran Duran blog really matters. It matters for us. The fans. It does not matter that others seek to imitate or have gained attention from doing so. We refuse to allow fans who cannot be bothered, instead using the same ideas we employ, the same niche we occupy, to deter us from moving on. We wish them well, but the truth is – there is only one Daily Duranie. Whether or not fellow fans choose to dilate their minds wide enough to come up with new ideas of their own instead of imitating what we’ve created, we will carry on as we’ve always done.

For a few years now, Amanda and I have envisioned something that moves beyond Duran Duran. That doesn’t mean Daily Duranie would change. Instead, she and I would create a new place where other bands could be celebrated and supported by fans. Every year we threaten (to one another) that we’re going to get it started, and each year, it gets put on the back burner…until this year. So as I type, I’m working on a website for Discord & Rhyme, our new blog-venture. The site isn’t ready yet, but once it is, we’ll have a proper unveiling. If you see something you like, perhaps you’ll help us out by sending us topic and interview ideas, sharing our blog with others, suggesting bands to follow, and join us on that journey. Just as we did for Daily Duranie, we are starting from scratch, deciding what works and what does not – and we look forward to the challenge. This will not be a goodbye to Duran Duran – we still plan to operate Daily Duranie with the same bravado, laughter, and JOY as always! Instead we look forward to saying hello again to other bands that we grew up with (and then some) that continue to work and spellbind as they tour, create music, and connect with their fans.

Hear this: WE LOVE DURAN DURAN. Fandom can be a bit of a roller coaster at times – sometimes you’re feeling really good, sometimes you’re down the hill, catching speed and momentum for the next hill, and still other times you’re back in the shed being worked on. Amanda and I have always been very vocal about where we are – our own State of the Union for Duranies, and maybe at some points that’s been our mistake – we wear our hearts, thoughts and feelings on our sleeves, but that is exactly the premise of this Duran Duran blog, and it is how we will continue to go forward from here – imitators or not.

-R

This is how a road gets made

It’s that time of the year again when I get antsy, and the next thing you know we’re moving the blog.

Please consider this fair warning that for the next few days, hopefully beginning late this afternoon California-time there may be times when this site, Daily Duranie, is unavailable and/or you will be seeing a redirect notice.  Our blog itself will not be changing, but I am doing major back-end maintenance and while it will not necessarily affect what you, our dear reader, sees…trust that I am making major inroads and improvements and moving the blog to a self-hosted site, which will allow us more flexibility. Additionally, at some point you will likely see improvements made to the actual construction of the blog that will allow Amanda and I to continue moving forward with our plans for world domination.

Thanks for your patience and support – and if you have questions, comments or concerns you can always contact us via Twitter and Facebook.

-R

Gettin’ Busy

I have been on Spring Break this week.  I had been looking forward to this break for what felt like absolute forever.  There were no days off since January and the winter was beyond brutal with frequent snow and cold beyond belief.  To say that I was going a little crazy was an understatement!  If all that wasn’t enough, real life added some extra worries.  The break was supposed to be the medicine to cure my ills or, at least, make me feel better.  I suppose that is what happened to some extent, but it is flying by and my to-do list has barely been touched.  In fact, it has probably grown.  Now, I’m looking for motivation to get started.  I need to get started.  I want to get started.  It seemed to me that this little blog might be a good way to do it.  Putting my list in writing and writing that is public would do two things.  First, it makes them more serious, more needing of a commitment.  Second, I’m hoping that others might push me along when needed!  🙂

Of course, all of that said, you probably won’t want to read about my desire to get my car washed or my need to finish the laundry.  Thus, I’ll keep the list here focused on Daily Duranie related work.  Besides, I figured that a few of you might be interested in an update about our projects!!

1.  Convention 2014–

If anyone was following our individual twitter accounts last night, you might have seen a little discussion about how we are planning for Durandemonium 2014.  We gave a couple of hints about when and where we are hoping to hold it.  I admit that we are in the very early stages in the planning process, which means, of course, that what we hope for in terms of when and where might not work out.  It also means that I have got to get going in contacting venues.  Once I do, that the ball will really be rolling.  For those of you who attended last year, we are definitely planning to keep some elements of that convention, but adding a few others and deleting or changing some aspects that didn’t work out as well as we had hoped.

2.  Our Book–

A lot of people ask us about the status of our book.  Our standard answer is that we are still working.  We are.  That is not a lie.  Book proposals are lengthy as are perfecting citations and bibliographies.  This is where producing a non-fiction work is quite a task.  I have been going back and double checking and verifying each and every quote, source, etc.  Now, beyond that, I’ll also admit that the book gets pushed to the side more often than it should due to real life duties like family obligations and work.  It also gets pushed aside with the blog and the conventions.  The reason is simple.  No deadline for the book.  Nonetheless, we have talked and have a plan! We are hoping to get together this summer to work on nothing else.  The blog will still be done but will be done in advance, which means that there will probably be lots of Duran news during that time frame.  The band will have a sense that it is safe to release information without our loud mouths offering our constant opinions!!!

3.  Blog Related Projects–

We have many coming up.  First, we have a couple of interviews in the works.  We are excited by these and hope that you will be, too.  Second, I will continue on the series of most popular tours.  Please watch this space for polls about your participation!  Lastly, I’m getting ready to do another giant poll like what was done about people’s Top 25 Duran Duran songs.  I really enjoyed finding out what songs people loved, compiling the list and analyzing it.  Again, watch this space.  If that wasn’t enough, we have more to do with the book, Mad World, and a review of the new gold package for Duran Duran Music.

After looking at this complete list of things to do with just this aspect of my life, it is no wonder that I feel the need to get motivated and to get things done!  Wish me (and Rhonda) productivity!

-A

Changing and Expanding

Over the past several weeks, we have had many people – some well-intentioned, some otherwise, tell Amanda and I that we’re asking a lot of ourselves to come up with a daily blog about the band; or about being fans of this band.

I would agree. It IS a lot to ask ourselves. It never started out to be that way – I loved the name (still do), and at the time we had plenty to write about. More than plenty! There always seemed to be something that would come up.  I knew the time would come when there would be a long dry spell in between albums, and I wondered how we would weather that period, but I figured (as I usually do) that we would cross that bridge when we found it.  We have done far, far better than I would have hoped.

The fact is, this blog is about being a fan…and we are betting that many of you have other interests besides Duran Duran, whether or not they include certain TV shows (I’m a sucker for Sherlock and Scandal myself), other bands (The Killers is near the top of my list), or something else entirely.  As much as Amanda and I have done our due diligence of research on Duran Duran,  I think she’d agree that we’ve likely done far, far more on Fandom itself at this point – something that will likely continue, as will our blogs about being fans.

We recognize that for many of you – your interest with this blog and especially Amanda and I, begins and ends with Duran Duran, and we understand. However, we’ve decided to expand, and as a result we will be throwing other things up for discussion here on a more regular basis from here on out.  Don’t leave yet!  Likely, readers might not notice much difference – except that now I’m making the public announcement that we’re going to be slowly expanding the blog beyond being Duran Duran fans.  We are still kicking around ideas for how that might happen, but there will definitely be a slow evolution taking place. It was never our intention to solely rely on Duran Duran to be the vehicle of our existence. We had always planned to expand in the long term, but it was finding the right time, and both Amanda and I feel that time is near.  That doesn’t mean we’ll leave Daily Duranie behind or that we’ll stop discussing Duran Duran altogether, only that we’ll be expanding our horizons and letting our insanity run wild through other fandoms as well!

This is where our readers – you – come into play.  We obviously want to cover fandoms and topics that you are interested in.  The sky is really the limit here, and we’ll try almost anything once!!  So, I invite you to drop us a line. Let us know what you like.  Tell us what you’d like to read about.  Send us an email: dailyduranie@gmail.com.

Additionally, we would like to invite submissions for guest blogs. If you have a particular subject that you’re interested in writing about that has to do with fandom, not necessarily Duran Duran fandom – let’s say you’re a big Harry Potter fan and went to a convention, or you adore Star Trek and even write FILK (songs) – or perhaps you’ve been Sherlocked and want to write all about it, we’re inviting you to write an article and send it to our gmail for submission consideration.  We are pretty open to reading whatever is sent to us, and if we think it’ll fit – we’ll publish it here for all the world to see!

Our guidelines are simply that the article (blog) must be formatted and edited (meaning that it needs to be written in a word processing program of some sort as opposed to sent to us at Facebook, and we ask that you please spell check your work.). Additionally, proper grammar is not only appreciated, it is expected.  Please do not send in submissions that were written as though you’re texting a friend, thank you.  We prefer length to be under 1000 words.  (although if you have an amazing article that is over that amount, we can talk about it)  Daily Duranie has final say over submissions, and we do not pay for publication.

If accepted for publishing, Amanda or I will make contact and request that the author send a small photo and a short 5-6 line bio about themselves for publication. Just as it was back on our blogger site, authors will receive byline credit as well as have a nifty thumbnail photo and bio published with each accepted article.

Change is not easy for any of us, including Amanda and I. It is difficult to know exactly what direction to travel, and we’ve always allowed this blog to sort of evolve organically as opposed to forcing it in one direction or another. We feel as though it’s come to a natural point where it’s time to expand just a little and see how it feels. We hope that many, if not all of our readers, will appreciate some fresh air with what is to come and stick with us for the journey!

-R

 

Running Like a Fox to Keep Up with Me

It is summer.  I should be spending my days sleeping in, reading, hanging out with friends, watching White Sox baseball.  Well, I’m doing some of those activities but I’m certainly not in the lazy days of summer.  I’m too busy for that!  What am I busy doing?  Isn’t it obvious?  Yes, I’m working on sending out resumes, which isn’t the most fun ever but necessary.  I’m also doing a lot of work for this blog, our book and that convention in the fall!  While I’m sure that many/most/all of you might want to read some interesting topic, instead, I’m going to catch you all up with all that is going on and will be going on!!

Blog:
Obviously, nothing really new here.  Rhonda and I still post a blog every single day.  That isn’t changing and won’t change.  We enjoy doing this and hope that you do, too!  Yet, it is summer.  I have taken a vacation and Rhonda will soon be taking one.  When I was gone, she held down the fort and I will do the same for when she is gone.  During the time of her vacation, we will be doing a couple of themes here.  Those themes will have blogs from both of us and then they will have a few guest blogs.  If you are someone who has submitted a guest blog to us, we will be using those!  Have no fear!  In fact, I would keep checking throughout this month and next.  🙂  We still have a few spots for guest blogs, if you are so inclined.  In fact, we are looking for the following blog posts:

*Regrets you might have about your fandom-
Maybe this about a show you wished you did or some event you wished you had attended.  Maybe it was about a situation within the fan community.  Perhaps, you didn’t purchase something or got rid of something and kick yourself about it to this day!

*Favorite band member-
We are looking for thoughtful posts about why your favorite band member is your favorite band member.  Obviously, we are looking for something a bit deeper than, “Band member x is so hot!”  What drew you to that band member beyond the physical and more.

Book:
Admit it, how many of you even remember that we are writing a book?  Do you remember what it is about?  We don’t talk about it a lot but it has been featured more and more in our thoughts and in our daily to-do list.  To refresh people’s memories, the book is about fandom–what it is, what is included in it and most importantly, why do people participate.  Yes, obviously, we use Duran Duran fandom as our case study, as our example.  I am very happy to admit that we are getting there with the book.  We have pushed through all of the tough stuff and moving on to the next BIG steps.  We are honest in saying that it has taken us a lot longer to do than we wished but…at the same time, we are thrilled we are where we are.  We didn’t lose our commitment and are seeing the project through!  Besides, I bet that a lot of people would have struggled to write a book while doing everything else that we do (work, family, this blog, other outside projects), especially since the book is research based.  It required a lot of reading, thinking, organizing, outlining, drafting, etc.  Frankly, I’m feeling pretty dang proud right now about it.  We aren’t done yet but are really getting there!  By the way, those of you attending the convention will be getting a sneak peek!

Durandemonium (The Convention!):
It is way hard to believe that we are a little over 3 months away!!!  The committee has much to do and things are starting to get done.  This is exciting!!!  The more we get done, the more excited I am!  I am starting to see the details fall into place.  If you don’t have a ticket yet, it isn’t too late!!  We have tickets for the entire weekend (October 18-20 in Chicago) and we have tickets just for the banquet (Saturday night only-October 19th) for those who can’t attend the entire time but want to join in for the dinner and dance!  All information and link to get tickets is here:  http://durandemonium2013.webs.com.

A couple of other things you need to know, if you attending:

*Fan Book Questionnaire Information has been sent to your email!  I will be sending a reminder to those of you who have not filled out your information to be included.  If you have problems or continue to have problems, let me know!

*As you all know the name of the convention is Durandemonium 2013:  The Music Between Us.  This theme of the “music”will apply to Saturday night’s banquet.  We challenge each and every one of you to dress in such a way to represent the music!  Perhaps, you have a cool way to dress that would represent Nick’s keyboards or Simon’s vocals.  Maybe, you love a certain lyric and know that you could dress in a way that represents it.  For example, maybe you love Girl Panic, you could then wear a “dress falling off your shoulder” to show this.  Be creative!  Be fun!  This is your chance to show your love of Duran Duran music in a fun way!
Wow!  After rereading this blog post, it is no wonder that I’m feeling so tired!  Lots to do!  Lots to look forward to!  I might not be getting the super calm, super relaxing summer but it will be worth it in the long run!
-A

Time will change the picture

When I first began writing as Daily Duranie (Well, the West Coast half, anyway), I had no idea how the blog would go. I didn’t know where our focus was, what “message” we were trying to send…no idea of any of it. At the time, I’m not even sure I knew how I saw our community, if that makes any kind of sense.  I just knew that I had plenty to say, nowhere to really say it, and so I just started writing, hoping the words would resonate with someone out there. I think Amanda would agree that we didn’t have any kind of distant goal in mind.  We just planted a seed and for a while, we let it grow and choose it’s own direction. Then we started seeing where the empty space was in the garden, and tried to prune the blog (so to speak) to grow in the appropriate direction. I think to this day, we’re still doing some of that, and will always continue to do some of that. Let’s face it, I know that when I began the blog, I had a lot of preconceptions or preconceived notions about being a fan, about the band, and yes, even about how the music business works. Those things played into how I wrote the blog each day.  As time has worn on, as I’ve gotten more experience by researching, reading, interacting with fans and even with band members at times – I’ve learned bits and pieces along the way that have in fact changed my mind about certain things, and to be completely honest – not always in positive directions.

There are days when I see our community as a big happy family.  Sure, we have crazy uncles, forgetful aunts and a variety of dysfunction, but when we come together – we really come together. It’s beautiful even a little overwhelming when it happens.  If I had to pick a song as part of the soundtrack I hear in those moments, it’s Sunrise. The music between us and all, you know?

Then there are days when I feel like our community is really insane. We’re crazy people brought together for a band. We all need to be committed, and our addictions need to be exorcised from us like demons.  I can’t help but think of the video for Falling Down during these moments…and I am sure we’d all like to take our medication like communion from Dr. Taylor. Amanda and I can’t help to laugh over the subtexts in this video – I’m really not sure if the band intended for the message to come out the way it does here, but if you watch the video – I can see this applying to fans. Sure, the more obvious text is about celebrities and some of their worst behavior, but I challenge you to look beyond the obvious.

Then there are the really tough days.  The days when I feel like I’ve been beaten and dragged through the community, my effigy burned, and I question why in the hell I continue to stick around for more. I think we’ve all had them – well, those of us who dare to speak out, anyway.  Our community is laden with drama, and at one point not so long ago, I felt like this was probably unique to our fandom, but reality says that it is not. Any time you have a group of people come together with passion over a certain ideal, you’re bound to see that passion go into overdrive, and the community tends to turn in on itself.  We see that often here.  That’s why one of my most favorite Duran Duran songs ever has to be Red Carpet Massacre – it is exactly how I feel on these days, and it’s become sort of a “Call to Arms” song for Amanda and I at times. Again, this is a song where yes – the obvious tells you that it’s about being a celebrity, but look beyond the obvious. Listen to the words. The message is certainly there, and it applies. Sadly there’s no official music video for this one, but I did find a video of it live. 

I’m lucky because there is one person on this entire planet that I can talk with and know that whatever I say, my words will go no further.  When I’m feeling the most frustrated and desperate about my writing or even about being a fan – I can talk to Amanda. She listens without judgment (although she has no problem kicking my butt when necessary).  This blog continues to evolve and change because it’s true – Amanda and I continue to evolve and change. I think that’s normal. I know that I see things far differently now than when I began the blog. I see fellow fans far differently. I see myself far differently because I’ve grown and changed too. Thankfully though, most of the readers we’ve met along the way, and nearly all of our new friends have been open, accepting and willing to join us on the journey, which we appreciate.  There are two songs, both off of the latest album, that tell that story.  All You Need is Now is pretty darn appropriate because as I’ve learned – what happened in the past is in the past, all that really matters is right now.

And lastly, Leave a Light On is what we fans continue to do all the time for the band. We’re here, we wait for the next album, the next tour, and we keep the lights on.  

Funny, I didn’t exactly intend for the songs/videos I chose to be so recent…but it worked out that way nicely.  And they say this band isn’t relevant?  Ha!

-R

Our First Raffle for Members Only!!!

The day has arrived, and a winner has been chosen!

First, we put the names into a glass….a glass that must have been created with Daily Duranie in mind…

Next, Amanda reaches in to pick out a winner (notice that super fine looking DDM VIP member water bottle in the background?? We are living the dream here, people….living the dream!)

Finally, a winner is chosen!! “Christine” is our lucky winner of the signed AYNIN CD that was originally bought as part of a VIP package through DDM. The trouble is, we don’t know which “Christine” this might be…and we’re having difficulty reaching her via Google. So, if you signed up as a member of our blog as Christine – contact us. We need your shipping information so that we can send the CD.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to sign up as a member of the blog. We really hope you enjoy reading, and we also hope you stay tuned. We have a few exciting blogs coming in the next week – something that we’ve been working on for months, and are most proud to be able to share. We don’t want to give the surprise away, but it is our special holiday gift to all of you.  
In addition, we have huge things in the works for next year. As we’ve mentioned, we are working on getting our website completely redone – this is definitely happening. We will be expanding to include ongoing information on our book writing, fan events as well as an entire area dedicated to the convention we are planning, as well as a few other surprises. We’ve been working on having our logo redesigned, and once it’s finished – we can’t wait for everything to go live!  
Once again, if you’re the lucky winner of our raffle – please contact us at dailyduranie@gmail.com with your shipping info so that we can get your prize out to you ASAP!  
Additionally, the holidays are really upon us, and we are finding ourselves in need of a few guest blogs to help us out a bit so that we can take some time to spend with our families and recharge for 2013. If you have an interest in writing about any of the following topics, send something to us here .
*meeting the band
*an experience at one of John’s signings
*the DDUK convention
*living in a country where the band rarely tours (if ever)
OR…taking a direct question from John’s In the Pleasure Groove autobiography that just seems as though it were destined for this blog…
“Is the cover of Rio the greatest album cover of the eighties? Discuss!” 
The Daily Duranie blog is about being a fan. You’ve read a lot from us over the years, and the whole point of being a collective voice is about opening the blog to all of you from time to time. Here is your chance to tell your own story and be heard. We look forward to reading something from YOU.     
-A & R

You Know Just What It Takes and Where to Go

On Tuesday, Rhonda mentioned that we were busy here at the Daily Duranie.  A couple of things she pointed out included that we are trying to completely revamp our website and prepare it for more than just our blog and a special surprise coming up in December.  I wanted to blog a bit more about what we are planning, to ask for a favor from you guys and to tell you about a special giveaway!

Obviously, there is a lot going on in our lives!  Now that the campaign season of 2012 is done, I’m diving into our plans related to the Daily Duranie!  In fact, as the election ended, I sought out Rhonda to see if she was as ready to commit to our projects as she was in the summer.  She definitely was!  I felt certain that now is the time for us to re-dedicate ourselves to our plans.  I won’t be distracted and definitely want to see what we can accomplish with full on commitment.  Truly, I do think that we could do fabulous, fabulous, fabulous things when we put our minds and energy to it.  After all, we already have.  All one needs to do is look at this blog.  We have over 800 posts and have pretty much posted daily, unless there has been some trouble with internet access on the road.  Likewise, we update the Day in Duran history and post a question each and every day since we started.  I’m already proud of what we have accomplished but do think that we can be better and do more.  I’m so relieved that Rhonda and I are on the same page about our goals and objectives.  Anyway, as Rhonda mentioned on Tuesday, we have a big event coming up in December.  We cannot wait for it!!!  On top of that, we are looking to revamp our site, enhance our logo and more.  Beyond that, we have some other plans in mind.  One of those big plans is to get our book done.  I’m sure by now you are all wondering when/if it is getting done.  Well, I’m here to tell you that it is.  Of course, as we finish the draft, then we have the real work of revising, editing, writing book proposals and getting it published.  Now is the time, though!  Another part of our plans include fan get togethers.  Some of these might be smaller in scope by being local or nearby meetups or they could be larger affairs.  Nonetheless, we both agree that meeting and getting to know other fans is one of the best aspects of fandom.  Thus, during Duran downtime, it is a perfect time to plan events for us to get together!

We have a ton on our plates!!!  Yet, both of us are excited to get down to work.  In fact, we are forcing ourselves to have “conference” calls of sorts at least once a week.  These phone calls must be focused and on task.  As you can imagine, we both have a tendency to start chatting about fifty other things besides just the projects we are working on.  Therefore, these weekly calls require that we have self-discipline in order to keep to our agenda.  In order to have things to report on a weekly basis, we are taking on different assignments and must ensure that they get done or get a significant amount done.  While Rhonda and I have strong work ethics and personal determination, I am asking for your help.  How can you help?  You can help by keeping us on task.  If we don’t mention any of the projects I just talked about, ask us about them.  Check in with us.  Of course, we won’t necessarily be sharing every detail until they are ready to be shared but we can and should share our progress.  I need this, for sure.  Rhonda is much better than I am on this front.  I, on the other hand, am so used to having real deadlines either from work or from campaigning that I’m not good without them.  I need to give myself deadlines in order to keep on track and focused.  I hope you can help me with this!

In exchange for your help and support, we have a special giveaway planned as well!  Rhonda and I have been talking about how we could thank the supporters of this blog.  After all, we are so pleased to have so many followers on this blog.  You can see the followers on the right side of this post, right below our various topics and above our list of favorite online places.  Thus, the names of our followers will be written on papers and placed into a jar on December 10th.  Then, we will pull one of those names in order to send that person a special gift.  This special gift is a signed cd of All You Need is Now.  Just to be clear, this is a cd that the band signed and included in VIP packages in the fall/winter of 2011 that we bought for the UK tour.  If you are already a follower, great!  If you are not, join so that you, too, can have a chance to win the raffle!!  

On this exciting note, I’m off to go work on the chapter I have been working on in the book!  Don’t forget to keep on us about our projects!  We (at least I) need the push!

-A

A journey indeed

Crazy stuff has been happening lately. Things that I just never gave much thought about, and other things that I still can’t quite ascertain – I just know things are happening. I can sense things changing (both inside and around me), but I am just allowing them to happen. That right there is a MUCH different path than I normally take. I’m trying not to question anything, just to take opportunities as they come – honestly and without judgement. Last night as I was putting my four-year-old to bed she asked me the strangest question. She wanted to know if dreams ever come true. Now, in her four-year-old mind I know she was really wondering if there was ever any chance of her becoming a princess and ruling over a kingdom in a beautiful pink gown with a jeweled crown to match, but I took her question seriously and gently. I told her that there were things that I never thought would ever come true in my life that I’ve been able to do, in very recent years no less – and that I didn’t think she should ever stop dreaming. Sometimes even the craziest dreams can become reality! She wanted to know exactly what I was talking about, so I gave her a few very easy examples that seemed to satisfy her enough to get her to go to sleep. (…And I’m not going to lie here – after 9pm, that’s really the goal. We read a book together, and then it’s off to bed for her so that I can finally have a few minutes of peace.)  As I exited her room and went upstairs, I continued to ponder her innocent question.

You know, back when I came up with the insane idea to start this blog, it was merely a way to get the thoughts that were in my head organized somewhere. I’ve said I didn’t think anyone would read it, and mostly – I still stand by that comment. When people come up to Amanda and I at shows and get togethers and say they read the blog, I’m still really surprised. Yes, I can access our stats here, but I think it lies. (and it really does!) I’m also really thankful when someone says they read, only because if it helps someone else or it gives someone the motivation to come to a fan get together, knowing that at least the possibility exists that they will not be eaten alive, but instead welcomed, then I feel like I’ve done something positive. No one should have to go to shows by themselves, or sit at home watching New Moon on Monday alone, darn it.

The point of course is that I had no plan when we started, only that we begin. It is not really an accident that the very day I wrote our first blog was also my dad’s birthday. He’d passed away a couple of years prior at the time, and as anyone who has lost a parent (or anyone) knows – the birthdays can be tough. I’ll be fine for months on end and then suddenly I’ll just sit up and realize, and the pain is easily as bad as it was as I stood up at his memorial, recalling stories of my dad and I together. So on that first day as I started poking at the keys, trying to find a good way to explain who we were and what we were doing, my dad memory was heavy on my heart, and blogging was my way, IS my way, of coping.

I still really don’t think I have a plan, and when someone wants to know what my “end” goal is, I can’t really say. I just don’t know, and I don’t really like being forced into coming up with an answer. Right now I just want to finish the book and get it properly published. I want to keep blogging and I want to let whatever else is going on just happen naturally. I’ve never been good at just letting things happen – and I’ve got to tell you all – the things in my life that I’ve sort of “forced” through haven’t necessarily ended up being the best! Coincidence?? Maybe in some cases, in others? Probably not. I just know that something is out there in the distance and I’m trying not to ruin it by over-thinking or over-planning. If this sounds familiar to you – as in perhaps you read it this morning in a blog by none other than John Taylor, you would not be wrong in making such a connection.

When I logged onto Facebook this morning, I saw he’d written a blog, and like the rest of you – I clicked on the link for it right away. Wanna read it? You can find it right here. John Taylor is an amazing individual. Yeah, yeah – I know all of you already think that and have since the 80’s. The thing is, back in the 80’s I steered clear of John, primarily because I didn’t want to try and claim to be a John-girl and have my fellow Duranie friends after my hide. I paid attention, but I didn’t fawn over him. (Much. I AM human, you know.) The thing is, John’s writing is so pure and so real, how can I not notice? His writing inspires me (and I know he inspires Amanda) to keep writing, keep blogging, and to keep going. Who knew that the bass player from Duran Duran would be the one to motivate me?!? Not this girl. It’s not just about sharing his story, either. Anyone can write a memoir. Some are interesting, and others just feel like words on a page. The quote he used from his motivational book is so, so true. “what does not come from the heart does not reach the heart”. John’s book, his blogs and even his music comes from the heart. That’s why each of those things reach me. 

Just as John is saying that he doesn’t really know where it’s all going and that it’s a process, that’s how I’m seeing all of this blogging and writing with me. I haven’t had that many out of this world experiences – I mean, I didn’t nail a dream job (I don’t even know what a “dream job” would even mean), I haven’t necessarily met my idols or anything quite that obvious, it’s just a case where I know, for the very first time in my life, that I’m on the right path. That has to be worth something, doesn’t it? While it’s true that we (Amanda and I) do not have nearly the audience that someone like John Taylor might have, nor do we have aspirations of  becoming rock stars or professional groupies, the affirmations are indeed the same.

Some personal comments – just in case John Taylor ever comes across this blog. I can’t even believe you’d ever worry that writing a book WASN’T a good idea!!  I worried that you would give away too much of yourself. I too wondered as Gela did, about how you felt now that people know more about you. I guess that must be the line you walk – giving away without giving too much. I can understand and respect that. Sometimes as fans we question whether you’re (not specifically YOU, but any one in the public eye) do things purely because you want to share or because you want whatever you can get out of us. It’s a sick game at times, and I think fans read way too much into some of the most simple things. It’s something I struggle with myself on occasion – no one likes to be taken for a fool, but yet if you don’t leave yourself open, life can be very constrictive. People constantly question if you (yes YOU) are only on Twitter because you have something to sell, and perhaps that really is the case at times – as I’m fond of reminding people – being a rock star is still a JOB when it comes down to it. You can only give so much before you have to return to your reality. Your family, your personal friends. Your life. The fact is, I still believe you’re there and here because you want to be. I’m enjoying the journey, and it seems you are as well, John. Isn’t that really the point?

-R

Happy Second Birthday to US!

Tomorrow marks a special day for Daily Duranie: it is our second birthday!

I am talking about it today on the blog because there is some crazy bass player out there that didn’t check with Amanda and I before releasing his book on September 13th.  Imagine that!  His book news is more important than our birthday, by far, because without his talents along with those of his “brothers” (No Taylor jokes, thank you. I’m referring to how he speaks of the other members of Duran Duran!), there would be no blog. Amanda will be covering our plans for our own very special book club tomorrow, which means today is my last blog day for the week. Since Amanda is covering tomorrow, I am sending out my own very special congratulations to John one day early. I hear writing a book can be very difficult…so this is quite an accomplishment. I look forward to reading!

So yes, tomorrow is the big day. I have to tell you all, I never thought the blog would get read by one person outside of Amanda and I and the few friends we shared our book and blog plans.  I’d be thrilled when I would see that maybe five people looked at the blog, and I wondered how long we could really keep writing.  At the time, we had no sense of direction, and really – we wrote whatever we felt like.  (Some things clearly haven’t changed much.)  I desperately tried not to gush too much because we didn’t want this blog to be an “I love you” sort of deal, but really at the time I didn’t know what to write, only that I had all of these thoughts in my head, and we needed a place to discuss them freely, without a lot of judgment.  So we just kept going. Looking back, I can actively name the points in which I felt the tide turning and our real “purpose” for the community coming into focus. I remember the day when Nile Rodgers saw our blog. He had talked about Bernard Edwards and that final performance, and that just sparked something in me that I needed to blog. Someone found the blog, forwarded it to him and he sent us a message. That was a huge, huge day, and not because he drove reader traffic our way (although it helped!) – but because he was kind enough to take the time to show he cared, and that gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to keep going. We’ve had similar moments since then, including the times when readers take the time to tell us how much our blog means to them. Those moments are really what keep me going and they are golden in every single way.

Our blog has grown since our beginning days, certainly. It used to be that I would give myself exactly 30 minutes to write and edit the blog. It takes a little longer than that now, and I’m a little pickier with my topics now. My editing and writing still needs massive work, but we can’t all be perfect, now can we? On an average (read: good) day I think the blog takes me about an hour. Somedays (read: half the time) it takes closer to two hours. My biggest problem is that due to having children running around, I typically have to start and stop the blog. For instance, today I am trying to type quickly to finish, knowing that in about twenty minutes I have to take my youngest to preschool. Then I need to come home, insist that my son get out of this house for a half hour to do some sort of supervised exercise and then we have homeschool to get through before I go and get the youngest at noon, come home, feed her (and make sure my son eats something healthy) and then go to get my oldest at school because, wouldn’t you know it, she has no conservatory (Music & Theatre, in her case) classes today. Life doesn’t stop, and I don’t have backup when it comes to the running around. I’m constantly juggling my interests to serve everyone else…and before anyone asks, yes, it drives me crazy sometimes. Especially when I’m in the middle of a good writing mode and have to stop. My dream is to have my own office (I work at the kitchen table so I can keep a good eye on everyone and everything which isn’t convenient or easy but it’s what I’ve got.) where I can actually SHUT MY DOOR and write for hours on end without interruption. Go figure.

Where was I again?? Oh yes, the blog has grown. I don’t even know how that happened.  We started this thing as just a way to get writing practice and perhaps introduce ourselves and what we were trying to do with the book to the community. Along the way we realized that we could offer far more than just a blog or an academic look on fandom, we wanted to really create a more unified community. Truth be told, Amanda and I would love to run a real fan community for this band. Not the ticketing part of it – but working to create a fan friendly environment for the fans: creating meet-ups, parties, conventions and events before and after the shows. Who really likes going home right after a show? Not us!!! We want to continue the party!! We want to keep organizing Duranie “Dorms” for cities that have a large attendance on tour, and we’ve even had requests to try doing some sort of a “tour bus” thing or an RV trip. (My husband is still laughing at that idea. Obviously he underestimates the abilities of his wife and her friends!) We like bringing the community together, because at the end of all of this, it is those experiences that will be the longest lasting in your memories. Sure, seeing the band on stage is amazing, but the experiences that bookend and enhance those gigs are every bit as important, and we take that to heart. Fans want to connect with other fans, and those relationships carry on and elevate the fandom. Our entire book is based on the theory that fans truly do want to connect. Our problem is simple: we can’t be everywhere and quite honestly, we can’t afford to give our day jobs (Wait, day job?? I don’t even get paid!!) in order to travel and do it all.  Hell, some of us can’t even afford to keep traveling at the rate they’re doing without getting a job. *cough, cough* When we have that piece of it figured out though, you’ll be the first to know. Lottery, anyone? So now, instead of just a blog, we find ourselves reaching out to fans and trying to put this all together. On any given week, our blog gets several thousand views – and that’s just counting the very first page that a unique IP address views. Last month alone, we had over 11,000 views to the blog, which is amazing for a blog with a pretty narrow focus. We’re not Rolling Stone by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re happy with our tiny piece of the webiverse.

That said, there is always room for improvement. We would love to increase the “followers” for the blog – meaning if you haven’t signed up to have the blog delivered to you, please do. Tell your friends about the blog, direct them to our Facebook and Twitter pages and please, PLEASE keep commenting. We love to discuss the blog topics with all of you. We’re not perfect, sometimes we (read: I) get passionate about what we’re discussing, but make no mistake – I like hearing what you’re thinking or feeling even if I find myself disagreeing, because that’s how I learn. Feel free to talk to us on Twitter, send us a note on Facebook or even email us at the blog. Have an idea for a blog, want to do a guest blog? Contact us!

Two years. Who would have ever thought? Surely not I. We owe the band so many thanks, both Amanda and I are well aware that the band has been our muse, our reason for beginning and the reason we keep writing. Sure, we’re tough on them, but we do love them, and we can only hope that our respect and admiration for each one of them shines through.
Now I find myself hoping that the band keeps going because I want to keep going. There’s more fun to be had, more things to discuss and many more people to meet.  This “Birthday” of sorts is not just a celebration for Amanda and I, but for all of you as well…thank you for your continued support, kindness and patience!!

-R