Category Archives: bootlegs

Duran Duran Bootlegs

I’m officially on summer break now, or as I call it, “Retirement 2.0”.  While I’m supposedly enjoying my time off, I’m also cleaning out, organizing, and packing up the house. I’m not sure how successful the tasks are going so far, because my house still looks pretty much the same, but currently in my garage I have about thirty-two black and yellow large bins from Costco that are stacked four high and about four deep. Moving has been wonderfully cleansing so far, and I’m not even done yet.

While I’m at home, my husband Walt lives in Santa Barbara during the week. Often, I will get texts from him exploring new places, and I won’t lie – I’m a little envious as I’m cleaning out the closet, packing up my office, or weeding in the backyard. This past Monday though, I got a very curious picture from him.

He had been wandering around State Street during lunch, and found himself in a record store. He is apparently far better trained than I realized, because he immediately looked for any DD vinyl. When that didn’t pan out (I already have everything they had in stock), he looked at their CD’s and DVD’s. Hitting the jackpot, he texted me this picture:

Now, curiously enough, I didn’t recognize these DVD’s. Upon closer inspection, Boys on Film was filmed from an MTV appearance at New Year’s Eve Rock and Roll Ball at the Palladium in NYC 1982 (12/31/82). Then there’s Duran Duran Coachella, filmed in 2011. Lastly, there is Duran Duran San Francisco 2016, which was filmed at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. All of them must be bootlegs.

I didn’t ask, but Walt dutifully bought all of them anyway. They all have varying copyrights and addresses – two of them are archives (one says The Archivists Society and the other is Duran Archives, each has a different UK address), and the other is from Duran Films in New York City. I haven’t watched them yet (that is today’s assignment), but I can hardly wait to see the quality of what I am fully expecting to be shoddy iPhone video. We will see.

It turns out that only after he’d already bought these, he saw even more of these DD concert bootlegs for sale. It’s almost unnerving. I mean, Duran Duran has no control over what is being filmed and later sold, and naturally – none if this is new or even news. I just haven’t seen so much of it gathered in one actual brick and mortar store before. (I don’t get out much, apparently!)

He also picked up a CD for me, which might even be worse than the DVD’s. It’s called Duran Duran Ultra Rare Trax.  Let me just say, the trax are not rare…and the only thing “ultra” going on here are the ultra-tacky descriptions of the songs compiled on this clearly homemade CD.  Below is just a sampling of the titles and descriptions:

  • Notorious (Disconet): Title track from their 1986 LP. Pushed forward their chic influences to the fore. Cutting funk guitars and slap bass supply the backdrop to a fine Disconet Mix.
  • I Don’t Want Your Love (Prime Cuts): The Prime Cuts people get to work on this Duran Favourite, with its excellent back track it rolls on and over. Another Prime Cut.
  • Save A Prayer (DMC): A nice up-tempo dance version of this usually classic ballad. The Earliest Duran number we could find a dance version of.         (I don’t think they looked very hard, just saying.)
  • A View to a Kill (Art of Mix) 007 meets POP! Duran go big screen. A great track given the Art of Noise treatment.
  • Duran (Megamix) The first time ever DMC mix available for the first time on CD format. Previously a cassette 1984 release. Coupling together some Duran classics – Is There Something I Should know, Planet Earth, Girls on Film, Rio, among others.

It goes on from there. Writing is clearly not this bootlegger’s forte. I can hardly wait to listen, though.

I’m not one to encourage bootlegging, but I have to admit I’m more than a little amused to sit down and watch some fairly recent Duran Duran shows. I can’t think of a better way to spend my break – particularly since the alternative involves more packing!

Is there a place for bootlegs in the industry? On one hand, the band seems to have no control over what is filmed and sold – and the economic impact to them is pretty clear. I mean, it is their music and their image, and it seems wrong that they shouldn’t get some royalty from that. On the other though, there are people out there may actually want videos from shows they attended, or maybe even for those who can’t get themselves to places in the world where the band has played.

What about unreleased music? I own Duran Goes Dutch, which is a fairly rare and collectible vinyl that isn’t official at all. The music is rare because the songs are arranged very differently. The band didn’t necessarily take advantage to press that vinyl, but someone else did. Fans like me have benefitted from being able to own the record. I’ve also read that bands, perhaps not Duran Duran – I really can’t say, have bootlegged their own material at times because their label wouldn’t commit resources to doing so for various reasons. It’s a sticky situation, not nearly as black and white as it may seem, and I definitely am not claiming to know the ins and outs. The issue is certainly worthy of discussion.

I’m going to sit and think about all of this while I watch my new videos today!

-R

 

So Misled…By Lady Xanax

I apologize for the lateness of the blog today.  We woke up this morning with no cable – which for us means no TV, no phone and of course…no internet.  Not a good way to begin a Wednesday and I should have recognized this as a sign to just call the day off and go to the beach. (It’s delightfully warm here in So CA – we’re in the 80’s at my house today!)

On top of that, I received news this morning from a friend of mine that her husband was in a  mountain biking accident over the weekend – he apparently fell while on a trail and has a brain injury along with a concussion, skull fracture and is being kept in a medically induced coma to try and allow his brain to rest.  She has two sons about the ages of my two oldest, and she is a small business owner besides, so it isn’t as though she has unlimited time off or a nest-egg to draw from in order to pay for his hospitalization. So many of her friends and I are trying to organize food for her kids over the next several weeks.  She is a sorority sister to me, and I’m just shocked at how one seemingly minor fall can change an entire family’s life.  So again, I apologize because I know I’ve missed the RSS feed cutoff – which means it won’t go out until far later today my time.

With that in mind – I am having difficulty thinking of something Duran related to write about today, and I’m sorry for that. My mind is just elsewhere, and to be honest – Duran Duran feels pretty damn trivial in comparison. The one thing I can say is that a month or so back, Dom wrote of a near-miss he had with a car while he was riding a bicycle. I’m sure he saw his life flash before his eyes that day, and all he was trying to do was ride home.  Thank goodness nothing more serious than his temper (and rightfully so!) was affected. My friend’s husband was just on a trail, just going out for a ride on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t know the details (none of us really do since Brian has been in a coma since the accident), but it appears he hit something on the trail and was sent sailing over the handlebars of his bike.  In an instant anything and everything can change.

So, before I bring anyone else down, I have a wonderfully written guest blog to share for today.

Hug your loved ones today.  

-R

**************************************************************
By C.K. Shortell

Many of Daily Duranie’s blogs get me to thinking about my own status as a fan. I read about their road trips and think, gosh, I could never get on a plane and fly across the Atlantic just to see them play in England. But paying hundreds of dollars for a floor seat to their 2005 show at Madison Square Garden? Sure, no problem. I’m down with that. Did I mention I had to have the ticket overnighted? 
Anyway, I don’t have very many regrets about the time or money I’ve spent on the band.  Does my iTunes library really need over 1,000 DD songs? Yes it does–all of those bootleg live tracks and demos and remixes are 100% necessary. Well…almost all of them. There is one bootleg that I feel a twinge of regret over. It happened long ago…well, at least three albums and two lineup changes ago.
I was at work and happened to scan eBay for any bootlegs from the Up Close Tour (which at this point was over, and the reunion had been announced). This was in June 2001, when we didn’t have a firewall to prevent us from accessing eBay from the office, and when eBay was actually less strict about people selling concert bootlegs. (Or maybe it was just 2001 and nobody gave a s**t about Duran. I prefer the “less strict” theory.) I happened to find a CD of a show in Atlanta which marked the only time the band ever played Lady Xanax live. I think it’s a decent song, although there are probably four or five songs off Pop Trash I’d rank ahead of it—but that didn’t matter. I had to have it. It was an audience recording but that was okay—I had collected a few of those and some were excellent. 
Keep in mind that the 2001 Up Close tour is unique. The band was not promoting a particular album (even though Pop Trash was about nine months old, they were only playing a few tracks off it.) This particular lineup–with Joe Travers on drums and the late Wes Wehmiller on bass, along with Simon, Warren, and Nick–was the most willing to mix up the set list. I actually saw them three nights in a row on this tour and they changed around 30-40% of the set each night. This is something that the reunited lineup, as well as the Dom Brown incarnation, has never truly done (and they should, especially now that they have a few more albums of material under their belt. I would love a 2000s version of the Up Close tour with a heavy emphasis on AYNIN, Astronaut, and yes, even some cuts off RCM, plus the requisite hits to fill the seats). 
In addition to the constantly changing set list, the band had played some pretty obscure stuff.  They had brought back Michael for a few shows; they would play the perfecto remix of Out of My Mind; even Late Bar showed up once or twice. The shows began with Silva Halo, which actually ended up being kind of a (surprisingly) cool way to start (that no doubt influenced them years later when they led off with Before the Rain!). You just never knew what you were going to get…so of course, when I saw Lady Xanax on the set list of that Atlanta show, I jumped at the chance to get it.
The bidding started at $20. I didn’t hesitate—I put in $30. About two minutes later, I refreshed my screen, only to find…that I had been outbid. WTF? And then I knew—it was on. Back and forth for the next hour the bids went (again, I’m at work…luckily I had an office at the time so nobody was looking over my shoulder watching the drama unfold.) With about five minutes to go, the price had escalated to $70. I heard some rumblings outside—a thunderstorm was brewing. I ignored the weather. What could possibly go wrong, anyway? Then the unthinkable happened: a power surge knocked out my computer. I sat there, stunned.  Four minutes left and I was offline!
I ran out to my team and, seeing who was still online, I quickly figured out that one of our temps still had the internet up and running (and just what the heck was she doing online?  She should have been working!  But I digress). I kicked her out of her seat and, frantically logging on to eBay, I was able to access the bid again. The price was now $80 and I was not the highest bidder. Two minutes to go. I would not be stopped. I could hear it…I knew the band must have killed it. They always sound better live…this would be no exception. I hurriedly typed in $120. Part of me, somewhere, screamed inside—W….T…F…!!!!  But I didn’t care. I was going to have that concert. It was Lady freaking Xanax!  LIVE!
I won the bid. $100. Not including shipping.
Once the thrill wore off, the doubts crept in. I didn’t even like Lady Xanax that much—Pop Trash Movie was my ballad of choice off that album. Lady Xanax was okay…but was it really worth $100 (plus shipping)? For an audience recording? I pushed the doubts aside.  Live Duran bootlegs were always worth it.
Today, in telling this story, I feel like the narrator in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken:  “I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence…” I got the CD a few days later. I listened to the entire concert—I wanted to hear Lady Xanax as they’d heard it that night. What a surprise for that audience…what delight!  It was the ninth track in the show.  There was a pause after “All She Wants Is.” Simon said, “Well, we’re going to play a slow one…this one is another new one…it’s Lady Xanax.”
Some of the crowd went nuts. Probably less than half; maybe fewer than that. And then it began…my excitement grew…and Simon didn’t even make it out of the first verse without screwing up the lyrics.
I sat there, stunned, as Simon mumbled something and then they launched into the chorus. I don’t even remember the rest of the song. I think the guitar was pretty cool but the second verse’s lyrics sounded off too. It’s just too painful to talk about.
Every few years, when I’m making a playlist, the thought will occur to me that I should include the live Lady Xanax that I have. In fact, before writing this, I decided to listen to it again. After all, I paid $100 for it (plus shipping). And every time, I just sit there, shake my head, and move on.
I’m smarter and wiser now…I’ve learned from my mistakes. $100 (plus shipping) for an audience recording? No way I’d make that purchase today. Nope, I’ve learned my lesson.  Now, that’s not to say that, if anyone has a soundboard quality live recording of certain songs (Runway Runaway, anyone?) that I couldn’t be persuaded…no, no, no!  Enough! 
But, seriously, if you have Runway Runaway… I’d even pay for the shipping…



C.K. Shortell is a lifelong Duran Duran fan who lives in the northeast with his wife and two sons, both of whom love watching concert footage of the band.  When he’s not struggling to explain to a three year old why the guitarist always looks different or just what exactly Nick is doing, C.K. is constantly reminding co-workers and friends that the band never broke up.    

Collections

This week, Duran Duran played a show in London, which marks the beginning of their year’s touring season for them and for us.  For some of us, extremely lucky fans, this means that we will get to see our or one of our favorite band in concert (again).  Yet, for others, these shows will not only give the chance to see them again but will also provide the opportunity to expand one’s collection.  Obviously, many Duranies have a collection of their albums and singles.  Yet, some fans go beyond collecting the music to collecting other items related to the band and related to touring.  Collections may include t-shirts, tour books, bootlegs, posters and more.  These collections can and do grow during touring season.

Many fans of bands and other things like to show off their fandom through wearing t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.  Interestingly enough, Duranies do, too.  When I was a young Duranie, I didn’t have many Duran related clothing but what I did, I wore ALL the time.  For example, I had a Duran Duran nightshirt that I wore until that lovely picture on the front faded.  Now, I have many Duran t-shirts.  Some of these were gifts or purchased on their website but most of them were bought at concerts.  I really appreciate the ones that had tour dates on the back that show what tours I have attended!  I’m such a dork!  Now, I admit that you can’t wear Duran Duran t-shirts everywhere, but I do try to sneak them in my wardrobe when I can.  I suspect that when I hit my first show or two, I may have to buy another one or two, especially if they look cool.  I did see a picture of the t-shirts they were selling this past week.  I wasn’t wild about it–it was a group picture from the video but lacked color. 

The other item I will look for at my next show is the tour book.  I have a number of them from previous tours and look forward to this one.  One thing about Duran is that they tend to have really quality products when it comes to things like a tour book.  They want to make sure that all of their products are well-done, which is a quality that I admire.  I’m hoping that it is something like the Astronaut one, which just seemed huge!  Plus, the Astronaut one had a pop-up piece to it!  Who didn’t love setting up the pop-up band members and being able to move them around the little stage?!  Of course, I would be happy with something like the book for RCM, which wasn’t too terribly fancy but still had quality.  These items will, unfortunately, increase my costs at the shows, but they are well worth the price to me and to my collection.

One collection that might not require a lot of money is one’s bootleg collection.  It is not uncommon within fandom for people to have bootlegs of concerts.  These bootlegs could be video or audio.  (Now, I’m not going to talk about the legality of bootlegs here-just acknowledging that they exist in fandom.)  For some people, they might want to have a copy of the shows they have attended and, for others, they might want to have every show possible.  Perhaps, they hear something new or different with each show.  Maybe, they feel like they are on tour this way, even if they aren’t.  It seems to me that most bootlegs in Duranland are not passed around for profit but are done through trading from one fan to another.  Thus, new shows mean new bootlegs.

It seems to me that having a collection is one way for fans to show or express their fandom.  Each fan who wants to express their fandom this way decides which thing to collect.  Some may focus on the music.  Others may focus on something like t-shirts that can travel with them.  It doesn’t matter to me, but think anything that increases or reinforces one’s fandom is a cool thing.

-A

The Album Has Leaked

The album has leaked.  This blog post isn’t going to be about the music but about the discussions taking place throughout the fandom about downloading the album ahead of time.  Obviously, there are many fans who think it is perfectly acceptable to get a copy of the album ahead of time for various reasons.  There are other fans who disagree with those reasons.   

The basic reasons that the fans who have downloaded the album, illegally, have given are either that they will buy it anyway or that the album won’t be available any other way.  Most fans who have a copy of the album claim that it is not a big deal to have it because they will actually buy a copy when it is released.  One thing I have noticed with this argument is that some of these fans aren’t saying WHEN they will be buying it.  Will they be buying it on the 21st when it is available via iTunes?  Maybe, they will wait until the physical release in February.  Does it matter?  If they are buying it on the 21st, does that make it okay as they really will be buying it as soon as possible?  Does that make it okay?  That doesn’t seem that horrible to me. In that case, it is like having a preview.  What if they are waiting for the physical release?  My question here would be:  If they didn’t have the album ahead of time, would they have waited or would they have felt forced to buy it through iTunes?  If they would have been forced to buy it and now they won’t, that seems more problematic to me.  In this situation, it does seem more unethical as they are taking money from the band, at least for a few months.  Maybe they are planning on buying both the cd and the vinyl.  If they are going to buy it twice, does that make up for it or equal it out?  Obviously, each fan has to decide that for him or herself.  Now, what if the fans do NOT like what they hear?  Will they still buy it at least once to make up for the illegal download?  If they don’t, then the band has lost sales.  Now, obviously, I can understand not wanting to buy a copy of something you don’t like but that doesn’t seem fair.  After all, it isn’t like the band hasn’t given opportunities to hear what the new music is going to sound like so the fans have had adequate previews.  After all, Mark Ronson has played some snippets on his radio show and they have put up snippets on their official website.  My point is this:  There can’t be an assumption that all people who have heard it ahead of it will actually buy it.  Some won’t. 

Another argument I have heard is that iTunes isn’t available so that the illegal download is the only way to get the new music.  From my understanding, if iTunes isn’t available in one’s country, then another source will make it available.  If my understanding is correct, then this sounds like a big excuse.  If it isn’t, I still wonder if there wouldn’t be another choice.  Obviously, I understand not wanting to wait.  What fan does??  Yet, there has to be a different solution. 

Of course, there are fans who are expressing some of what I expressed above.  Some fans seem to go further and say or imply that fans who can’t wait aren’t good fans.  For them, they might be using the lack of downloading as a means of elevating their status within the community.  My point here, though, is to acknowledge that things seem to have shifted in a week.  Last week, it seemed like the fans who had the single ahead of time were of higher status than those who didn’t because there were so few of them.  Now, the reverse seems to be true as it is like those who have remained with patience are in the minority.  Perhaps, they do deserve praise for waiting.  Some think so.  Some think it has shown a strength of character. 

Beyond these two basic groups of fans (those who download and those who don’t), there are the people who share.  I can definitely understand people’s desire to share with their friends.  After all, it is possible that they are so excited that they want someone else to share their excitement.  Maybe they want to be able to talk about the music with their friends.  I can understand all of that.  Obviously, though, people have shared WAY beyond just their friends.  According to what I have read, the album is available on some of those torrent sites where lots of people can download it.  The people who put it up on something like that have no desire to keep to a small group of people.  They want it available to everyone who is interested.  I have a hard time with that.  Yes, I do realize that, for some people, that might be the only way to hear it ahead of time in full as some people don’t have friends who have access to songs or albums ahead of time.  I understand and know that feeling.  It is just how it is, sometimes.  It is not like those people can’t ever hear it.  They just have to wait longer. 

As I have read and even participated in some of these discussions, my conclusion is this.  As a fan and as a person, each individual must decide what she or he can live with.  I know that, as a fan, I couldn’t live with having something that can be purchased, legally, from a band I care about.  I would feel compelled to buy it even if it turned out to be something I didn’t like, as soon as possible.  If I was one of the lucky few who got a copy of a song or video or album ahead of time, I would never share with the public.  In fact, I might not share with my friends or many of my friends.  I would feel enough respect for the band to keep it to myself.

-A    

Leaked Material

Duranland has been a little crazy the last few days.  First, it started with the discovery that the European EP of Mediterranea was available on many European iTunes.  This, obviously, was not a planned release.  Nonetheless, the community went crazy.  Some people were able to download the EP, legally, via those iTunes until iTunes realized their mistake and the songs were removed.  (EDITED TO ADD DISCLAIMER:  I have no idea if this was a mistake on iTunes part or what.  This is my assumption about what had happened.  I know nothing official, people.  I’m just a fan.)  Other people were able to hear a sample of many songs, including “All You Need Is Now” and “Mediterranea”.  Everyone wanted to know or discuss what the songs were like.  Of course, those without the downloaded songs were either openly hoping to get a copy from a Duranie friend or were arguing that the copies should not be shared, for a variety of reasons.  Now, new rumors appeared, which included that some of the songs were put up on youtube to hear or that the entire album was available at a torrent site.  While I would love to be one of these lucky people to have copies of all new Duran Duran material, I’m not.  Therefore, I cannot write about what the songs sound like but I am interested in how the fan community responds to rumors of such significance.

It seems to me that there is no Duranie Alert like hearing that a new song is available in some means.  These alerts are more interesting when the song(s) are not available legally.  Does the legal status deter Duranies from trying to get the songs?  For the most part, in my observation, the answer is no.  Duranies may say publicly that they don’t want to hear songs in advance or wouldn’t want to get a hold of the album before it is actually released, but that isn’t true.  Behind the scenes of the message board, most fans are contacting the other fans they know to find out if they have the songs and are willing to share.  Part of this is simply to hear the new material but there is another piece to this.  For some people, this is a way to show one’s status within the fan community.  For example, if you are one of only 15 people who have the song, you might feel pretty darn special.  Likewise, I can only imagine what that person would feel like when telling others that s/he has one of the only 15 copies of the song.  That must make people feel special and/or superior!  Of course, the people who have to ask about the songs don’t have the same feeling.  Instead, they are forced to beg or do something to encourage the other person to share with them.  It becomes a rather interesting and unequal dynamic.

Where does that leave the fandom on a day like today?  It leads to fan community to be leading two different lives.  On one hand, on message boards and on social networking sites, there is discussion about how people should not download illegally or share with their friends, if they did have a copy.  The reasoning is a logical one.  Downloading illegally or sharing leads to poorer sales for the band and less chart possibilities.  Behind the scenes, fans are contacting each other in order to get the songs.  Duranies clearly are an impatient bunch.  They are also people who can be constantly concerned about their social status in the community.  So, what is the solution to this?  I don’t know that there is.  Duranies, like all fans, will seek out things unavailable to the public.  I suppose the real way to stop this is for the band and their people to keep such incredible control over their material.  Yet, is this a good thing for the band, in the long run?

Does leaked material lead fans to not buy the song(s) or album?  I don’t think so.  Does it create more excitement, more interest?  Quite possibly.  What would they think of all of the maneuvering between fans in order to get the songs?  Perhaps, they would be horrified.  Maybe, they would be entertained.  Who knows.  Here is what I do know:  the next few weeks will be VERY interesting for the Duran Duran fandom.  This will help me survive the time while waiting for the single and album.

-A

New Songs and Bootlegs

Last night, I saw a clip on youtube of an interview with Simon in South Africa (Simon’s South Africa interview).  During this clip, he says that the band plans to premiere a song or two during the shows there in December.  My reaction to this is mixed.  Of course, I’m terribly excited over the notion that they will be playing new songs.  That said, I’m so jealous of those people who will be there and will get to hear the songs in person!  Is it possible that someone will record it and put it on a message boards or three so that other fans can hear the songs, too?  I hope so!

Many bands and artists have expressed their opposition to bootlegs, including Duran Duran, at times.  In recent years, there have been online sites who have been told to stop hosting areas where fans can exchange or download bootlegs.  I’m not sure I understand this.  Do they think that the fans who download bootlegs won’t buy the official materials?  I don’t know a single fan like that.  In most, if not all, cases, these fans would LOVE to buy officially released live shows.  Thus, Duran is missing a huge revenue source as they could be making money by selling bootlegs of their shows.  Typically, fans download the shows in order to have as much Duran stuff as possible or to have a memory of shows they have attended.  The bootlegs only serve to reinforce the fans’ interest.  I know that the more I hear, the more I want. 

As for the new songs, I can understand being concerned that if the songs were available online ahead of the actual release that people won’t buy the album.  Yet, I don’t know any fan who would be satisfied with just a live clip of new material.  Of course, they could just release the new songs that they may play ahead of time and then those particular songs won’t be an issue.  If not, they should be aware that many of us are dying to hear the new stuff and will try to hear it anyway we can.

-A