Category Archives: blog

Rolling into September!

It’s the last Monday in August, and while typically at this point I’d be mourning the last of my “carefree summer days”…I’m actually a bit anxious for this week, and really September as a whole, to get moving here.

I’m not going to lie, the rehearsal gig shows begin this week, and I’m excited/anxious/nervous/etc to hear how they go.  What self-respecting Duranie out there, and in particular any Duranie who lost out on a show or more in the spring and/or summer and is still paying close attention, isn’t  a bit nervous?  Every time I hear that Simon is doing well or ready to sing opera I cheer, and every time I hear he’s got a sniffle, woke up in a grizzly sort of mood (and I’m not just talking about the beard and his attempt to reincarnate Grizzly Adams here), or didn’t seem “enthusiastic” I start biting my nails again.

People much wiser than I take their moments to remind that the band wouldn’t have possibly planned the shows if Simon weren’t well, and that everyone gets a cold once in a while.  I’m sure the band wouldn’t have planned the shows if they didn’t think Simon could do them – that’d be near suicide at this point and I think we’re all on that page together; and I agree that everyone gets a cold.  The trouble of course is that I remember in May how he had a cold, and look where that got us.  Besides, as I’m reminded by my own sister from time to time, I tend to be negative.  Not really though.  I’m just a realist.  AND a worrier.  The band doesn’t really have to worry much about this tour, because I’m doing that for them.  They can thank me later, and this time I won’t even charge them for this service!

Once again I find myself in the semi-precarious position of trying to play the game of planning to go to some shows, but waiting to see if the scheduled gigs take place with a fair amount of success before I go on a plane ticket buying, hotel reserving spree.  Hence, I’m ready for September to begin on a successful note.  I daresay that one might think I would have learned my lesson after the UK gigs and stopped wanting to travel to see this band, but the fact is, I have not, and I don’t apologize for that.  If anything I have even more resolve to see them play on their own soil, as well as travel to a couple of shows here in the US again.  There are many who believe that this may very well be the band’s final hurrah – the last real tour – and while I myself do not own the crystal ball that tells that future (or any future, mind you!), I believe that I’ve got to take my moments when I can get them, and make the very most of each of them.

September also marks the one-year anniversary of this blog.  For almost a year now, we’ve written the Daily Duranie each and every day (I think we’ve missed twice, both times due to circumstances beyond our control) hoping to entertain, hoping to make you think, and hoping to do our part to draw our fan community together.  It’s been a crazy journey at times, and while there have been days that I’ve sat at this table (I write at my kitchen table each day), twiddling my thumbs and sometimes laying with my head directly on the cool surface in the morning hoping that something brilliant will come to mind, most of the time I actually find something to write about!  Sometimes it’s junk, other times it’s fluff, and still other times there’s a tiny gem of hope that my college education didn’t go to complete waste.  (admittedly those times are few….)

Since it’s been a while and we’ve had some comments and questions come over the wire about who we are, and honestly what we are; let me explain.  The Daily Duranie is comprised of two fans, myself (I’m Rhonda) and my friend, partner-in-crime and fellow writer, Amanda.  We are just two ordinary, every day fans like anyone else.  We are not paid by the band, we don’t currently work in the music industry, and we get NO insider information. (but if anyone would like to hook us up, we’re all for that!)  Amanda and I are not a couple as it turns out,  we’ve been asked several times about that now.  Here come our mini-biographies:

I am actually very happily married to my husband Walt, and we’ve been married for 16 years now (I can give you the amount of months and days as well, but let’s not go that route, shall we?). I have three children who span in age from my oldest daughter who is 14, my middle son who is 12, and my littlest princess who is 3.  That’s right, I spend my days in the car and at home begging one not to pee her pants, convincing my son that there really is life beyond the computer, and trying to teach the other one not to allow anyone IN her pants.  *sigh*  It’s joyful.  My husband and I are AMAZING planners, can’t you tell?  My work, at the moment, is my children, this blog, and a book that Amanda and I are desperately trying to finish. (writers block be damned!)  That said, I have a BA in American Studies (It’s a sort of combination between history, pop culture, sociology, literature and writing.  LOTS of writing), and my degree/certification(s) in Gemology and Appraisal Studies in Decorative Arts.  My plan, prior to child #3 was to go into gem/jewelry appraisals.  Then suddenly my youngest decided to make her presence known, and my plans changed!   At some point, probably around the time my husband retires and our youngest is out on her own (I’m not even joking – it seriously is about the same time), I’ll actually do appraisals for real money.  Until then, I will do them for friends, family and pretty much anyone who asks nicely.

In her “spare time” when she’s not writing and/or touring and plotting with me, Amanda is a special ed teacher for middle school.  She works with all kinds of children with all kinds of different abilities that come from all different types of backgrounds, including both high poverty and high wealth, and quite frankly her work exhausts me and I feel less-than-productive when I complain about the troubles of only mothering three.  She also spends a fair amount of her time volunteering for various political campaigns and causes, but she can probably give you a much better idea of how she spends her days.  She truly is the more productive, attentive, educated, and organized one of the two of us, but she lets me play along anyway!

We met through DuranDuranFans.com in 2004 prior to a fan convention that was hosted by that message board.  At the time, there was a group of us who bonded through that message board, yet over time many have dropped away to have very productive lives away from the Duran Duran fandom.  Amanda and I stuck together, choosing to do mini-tours together and basically share our insanity for this band.  We used to joke about doing a book together, and then the joke became a reality, and then I had this brainiac idea last summer to start a blog.  Here we are!

The whole point of this blog is to write from the fan perspective.  We share the trials and tribulations of being a fan, what we’re thinking, what we’re trying to understand – and sometimes, we even get a little “fangirl” on you.  (For that we humbly apologize)  The blog is NOT about crushing on the band (well, not often anyway), doing the hard hitting news, finding the right people to interview (we’ve never done an interview at all, actually), or making the right connections to get us front row tickets to shows. (however, if anyone out there would like to bestow those upon us, we will graciously accept – please inquire within!)  No, the band has not ever read or commented on our blog, to the best of our knowledge.  We have even asked them not to tell us if they do read or respond, mainly because this blog isn’t about the band, it’s about the fans.  Don’t get us wrong, we would love for them to read (and we’re both certain they’ve got all the free time in the world to do so..SURE they do…), we just feel that if fans knew, hell – if WE knew – they were reading, the blog would somehow be changed to reflect that.  This is our place of honesty, of our opinions, and our concerns, whether those are right, wrong or otherwise.  You can be assured that when you’re reading something here, it’s how we really feel about something on that given day at that given time, and yes, sometimes those feelings change.   We’re not perfect, but yes – we do think we’re right, and if you want to bitch about something we’ve written, we’re going to defend ourselves just as anyone else would. Don’t like that?  Go write your own blog.  We do not get paid for our super amazing work ethic, our ideas, our stellar reviews, or the fact that we simply try to support the band even when we might like to line them up and smack each one of them.  We do this simply for fun and enjoyment.

I didn’t say we were smart.  🙂

So with that explanation in mind, if you have questions for us – send them!  We LOVE getting comments on our blog, even when they are dissenting opinions, constructive comments or even calls for our beheading.  For those who are shy or want their comments to remain private, we offer our gmail and we always make an effort to respond – dailyduranie@gmail.com.  We also welcome you to our Facebook page (we’re Daily Duranie) and Twitter – @dailyduranie .  Happy reading and we hope to hear from you!

-R

So What’s This All About Anyway?

There are days, and then there are days.  After a night where I believe I got less than 3 solid hours of sleep, NOT BY CHOICE…sometimes you just have to take stock in what you’ve got going on, and be good with it.  This, my friends, is one of those days for me.   I’m sick with some strain of influenza that has decided not to let go of me just yet – courtesy of my youngest.  I’ve been sick for a week now, last week being just a bad sore throat and exhaustion and now today the congestion has hit.  It’s a wonderful day to be a blogger, and a Duranie…and a parent…but that’s another subject for another blog.

I believe we’ve been at this blog now for a bit less than 110 days – I can’t remember the exact figure in this moment.  The plan was simple: write a short article every day about being fans of Duran Duran.  It could be a commentary on the news from the fan perspective (as opposed to being unbiased reporting), it could be about a specific fandom issue, or something else entirely. So far, so good.  People are reading and hopefully enjoying the blog, which was the plan!

What made us decide to do the blog, though?  I don’t think either Amanda nor myself ever had big plans to be bloggers in our everyday lives!  I never gave it any thought prior to this past year, although I do enjoy writing.  Amanda truly shouldn’t even have time for blogging at all – but somehow, she finds the time each week!  I suppose though that the idea behind the blog was a seed that was planted several years back.   I am pretty sure I’ve explained that Amanda and I originally met at a fan convention in 2004, and since then we’ve traveled to shows together, posted on message boards, and basically assaulted the community with our opinions, which we now share here for your reading pleasure.  🙂  During that time, Amanda and I talked about writing a book based on our fan experience.  I think that for me, a lot of that was just in joke form – we’d see something while on “tour”, and say to one another “That has GOT to go in our book!”  Then as time wore on, the idea grew more serious in nature.  It wasn’t so much that she and I felt we had a story that was any more significant than any other fan, it was that we shared a desire to tell a story of our fan community.  In our eyes, the Duran Duran fan community, the fandom as we call it, is very special and unique, and deserves a book!  With that thought in mind, we brainstormed about topics that would be interesting to include.  I believe that to begin with, our idea was never to do a gossipy, syrupy tell-all about either the band or the fan community;  we wanted to write a book that could both be interesting and even amusing to our fan community as well as a book that could be taken seriously in an academic setting.  Much discussion and brainstorming ensued.

Our project eventually solidified itself, and we began writing in earnest.  At this point, I would say at best guess that we are closing in on being 2/3 of the way through with the initial writing.    The best way to describe our book is that it’s an examination of fandom using Duran Duran’s fan community as the case study.  We examine why fandom exists, how it continues to thrive 30 years after the release of Planet Earth, and in answering both of those questions, we also celebrate the overall “friendship” of the community.  We try not to gush too much in the book, although I think it’s very clear through our writing that we both respect and admire the band in our own way.  (they’re not too bad I guess.  :D)

Our overall goal is that this book be written both from an entertaining and academic point of view, which has been no easy feat thus far.  It is important to both of us that we remain true to our collective background in social science, (my dad would be so proud to see that I’m finally using all of the writing skills I gained in college with my American Studies degree :D) not only discussing the characteristics of fandom, but examining the “why” behind each one.  We continue to write away, hoping to finish the book at some point later this year.

This blog, while not really designed to be a true extension of the book, has allowed for several discussions to spur our creative juices, and we’ve found out a bit more about our fandom at times.  The blog has taught me some much needed discipline, tact (ha!), and it gives me plenty of writing practice in finding my own voice, and I’m positive it will continue to do more as the years…yes years…go on.  I hope the band is planning on continuing for a while….  We’ll be sure to keep our readers updated as the process for the book, blog and world domination continues.  (wink, wink)

This past weekend, we continued on with our idea of becoming professional Duranies (hey, who said you couldn’t make a hobby, er…obsession…into a career?!?)  by adding a facebook page to our efforts.  Obviously we’re not busy enough with writing the book, doing a daily blog,  and keeping up with John and Simon showing up on Twitter, now we’re doing a facebook page as well!  In any case, we hope you’ll find us on facebook and befriend us!  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001986818033

In the meantime, I will leave you with one final thought that I know Amanda and I both plan to write more about in the coming days.  Why is it that we fans feel the band owes us?  Why do we think they owe us interaction on facebook & twitter?  Why do we feel they owe us answers to our never ending questions, both personal and professional?  Why do we act out of such complete desperation whenever the band is within “striking” distance….and why do we continue to do that even though the band has been around now for 30 years?  Other fandoms aren’t quite like this, so why is this one?  I look forward to reading some comments here on and on facebook about this!!  -R