Category Archives: boundaries

Airports and Code Purple

So this Tuesday finds me wondering about my fellow fans out there.  How many of you have gone to an airport to wait for the band to arrive?

Let’s face it – I’ve never done it, and not entirely because I didn’t want to go, but rather, because I’m not that good of an investigator and never really know when and where to go.  The few times I’ve had great information – I’ve been 600 miles away, and I’m not just talking about yesterday when I may or may not have seen a tweet from a certain band member mentioning where he’s flying in today.

Truth be told, I’m desperate.  If desperation had a stench, I’d be stinking up the place by now.  I miss the band. I’m sure many of you are also raising your hands in unison. I have absolutely zero chances of attending a show any time soon – I can’t afford a $300 ticket to see them in Austin, and I certainly am not going to be driving up to Monterey today to go see them at the Mazda show tomorrow.  Like most of the Duranie world – I’m stuck watching them at home, and I’ll just pretend it’s going to be the greatest thing ever.

So when a few of us were discussing the potential elations and pitfalls of meeting the band at the airport yesterday, I wondered how many other fans still go. I won’t lie – I’m torn. On one hand, the part of me that is still feeling young thinks it’s a fantastic idea. You go, you see the band…it’s like getting a fix!  On the other hand, the part of me that battles hot flashes and wonders just how much longer I can really keep pretending I’m in my 20s when we all know I’m cruising into my mid-40s thinks I’m insane for even thinking about it.  I mean, just last night I laid awake (while trying to survive another hot flash) wondering just how much longer I can really keep going to shows. Is there really a place for a woman at a show that needs a personal cooling fan, and not just because of the band being right in front of her?!?  Probably not.  Can you imagine what I’d look like when I finally DID run into….well…any one of the band members?  As a good friend of mine mentioned on Twitter last week (regarding something else entirely), I’d go Code Purple.  And sweaty. Ick.  Seriously?!?  I think more could have been done to warn me that this was coming, because maybe then I would have taken more of the opportunities that came my way back then…assuming that there were some. (there really weren’t, but let’s just pretend for a second.)

I ended the conversation yesterday encouraging my friend to go run and free her inner Duranie. Go to the airport. Say hello to all of them. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to know they still have support from fans…even the fans who didn’t win tickets to see them at their only show on the West Coast this year.

In the meantime, I’ll continue pondering this as I consider desperation, hot flashes and fandom.  (that really could be a whole new blog for me…)

-R

 

 

Maybe you think you’re above it

Why on earth would a fan think it was a good idea to circumvent security, climb up on stage and rush the band?

Last night there was a Morrissey show in San Jose, California.  I had a couple friends at the show. They were excited because previous attempts to see Morrissey (for them) had been thwarted by the dates being cancelled at the last minute.  There was joking (well, on my part anyway) throughout the day about whether he’d actually do the show…because you just never know when it’s Morrissey. (not even going to look your way right now, Duran Duran…)  But by dinner time last night, it looked like yes, it was going to happen.  My friends were excited, and while I’m really not a Morrissey fan, I was excited for them to finally get their show.

Fast forward to this morning, when I see that one of them posted that their show was cut 2 or 3 songs short because of a few absolute MORONS who thought they had the right, above everyone else present, to get up on stage, rush Morrissey and get their hugs in.  The band stopped playing, and the show was over.  Thankfully, I hear that this was during the encore and at the very least – the audience was able to see most of the scheduled show.

I’ve been to two Duran Duran shows where someone thought they deserved an up-close and personal shot at a hug from Simon.  Somehow they managed to get up on stage, and the first time – Dave pretty much bear hugged the girl and took her offstage. The second, Simon sidestepped what he saw coming out of the corner of his eye and once again – trusty Dave grabbed the girl and took her off.

As I’ve sat and thought about people rushing the stage that way before…two main thoughts go through my head. The first being: why would someone really think that getting up on stage with the band would EVER go well?  At the very least it has the potential to ruin the show, appearance, etc. for everyone else, not to mention that it puts the band at risk.  Why wouldn’t that be enough to deter someone?? That’s when I start considering the other sorts of “bad fan behavior” I’ve seen over the years.  “Rules” such as no getting up on stage to grab the band, and not trying to talk your way backstage or into the studio, or any multitude of other “unwritten” rules…are simply that. Unwritten.  People (like me) just assume those kinds of things aren’t cool to do, and so they (I) don’t attempt them. I don’t follow the band home. I don’t try to sneak my way into places I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be.  However, there are plenty of other people out there that just assume those “rules” (because dammit – they’re unwritten anyway, and why should we assume they’re really rules?!?) are for other people. They’re not going to let silly ideas such as the thought of being the cause of a show ending early because they got up on the stage ruin their fun.  So what if it seems weird to thousands of other people that they followed a band member home – all they’re asking for is five minutes, right? The trouble is, and this is key: that behavior is typically rewarded.  Maybe that fan who climbed up on stage gets to go backstage. That fan who followed someone home got to speak with the band member….and maybe even got a photo. The point being, while you and I are standing in line at a meet and greet…or just following whatever rules were put in place for whatever function we’re talking about, someone else didn’t bother with those rules.  They found them outside the venue and had five minutes of uninterrupted time and plenty of photos. (which probably weren’t allowed to be taken IN the venue, store, etc.)  They waited outside of the band’s hotel room even though other fans told them it wasn’t cool. They talked their way onto a tour bus, they made friendly with bouncers to get backstage…or any multitude of other things to get what they want. It always happens, and more often than not I’m either annoyed that fans get away with that sort of thing or I’m kicking myself for not doing them myself. Things that you and I might think are the “wrong way” to do things aren’t an issue for someone else, and typically the band (and by “The” Band, I really mean ANY band, but especially this one) rewards that behavior.

Why? Well, I have to assume that for the band – THIS band – any fan is a good fan. They’ve been around a long time now. There’s not so many of us still standing on our feet. Yet, they need and crave that attention we readily give. Yes, I’m saying the band is slightly narcissistic, and I’m sure they’d agree. There certainly is something to be said for being on stage and having people scream for you night after night. Thirty years later and it’s still happening? Oh, you betcha…and so when they go without, they crave that adoring attention, and their egos love the extra boost. So if fans are going to break the “rules” to get to them, the band can’t help but smile. They love it even if it pisses off those of us who have been politely waiting our turn. Our loss, right? You snooze, you lose.

And that’s why it keeps happening, even though typically – it ruins it for everyone else.  But who cares about that really?  I mean, it’s all about ourselves, right?

-R

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(Fans) Waiting for a look, the invitation…

Every now and then I read something from a fellow fan on Twitter that cracks me up.

The other day I was on Twitter, and a dear, kind-hearted fan posted that he/she was on a serious campaign to get the band to do a fan-cruise. Yes, you did read that correctly.  He/she wanted to know my thoughts, and then they kindly asked if I’d be willing to start using a hashtag for a DD cruise to get the idea trending.

Now I’m sure there are many fans out there who believe, in their kind little Duranie hearts, that the band would love for nothing more than to spend an extended weekend with an entire cruise ship filled with Duranies. I mean, we are fun people, right?!?  But then again, those who have been around for any length of time know what it can be like when the band is around. (What I wouldn’t GIVE for a good photo of two girls ripping each others hair out to get new John Taylor right now… Ok, here’s what we’re going to do: envision Sing Blue Silver and the rush that takes place when they open the doors to the arena.  Don’t remember? Go get your DVD and watch it!)

The fact is, and I really hate using this word to describe my fandom – but we’re just a little on the overwhelming side. Yes, I’m aware we’re all adults now. Yes, I know that we should have outgrown this fascination and fantasy that we could end up with one of them as our forever mate. Yes, I know they’re all either married or involved.  The question is – has any of that really stopped us?

I think we all know the answer to that.  There’s really no need to embarrass ourselves by posting the answer. *winks*

However, even with all of that aside.  Would the band really consider a cruise?  I have trouble even asking that question without laughing.  As someone reminded me – the band IS known for yachts and champagne.  Yes, yes, I am well-aware.  A yacht and a cruise ship are very, very different things.  Somehow, I just don’t see Nick boarding a neon-glitzed cruise ship, ready for several days of chatting it up with fans, a few rounds of bingo and maybe hitting the buffet. Call me crazy.  I can’t imagine Simon putting up with ANY of us for very long without being under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol (perhaps that’s the point?).  Never mind poor John – I don’t think he’d ever leave his stateroom or balcony for fear of actually running into a screaming crowd of us in one of the narrow ship hallways.  Roger – well, Roger might be found tanning on an upper deck, but he’d always have to be on the lookout for John hiding behind a planter, ready to take Instagram photos at any given moment.  Funny, I could see Dom going along with the idea, but only because he has no idea what he’d be in for. (I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.)

As much as Duran Duran is known for being the jet-setting, champagne-consuming, supermodels and sunshine type of band the media and their branding has made them out to be over the years – the difference is that they don’t typically do these things with fans. Those that have seen those inner-workings are among the prized few. And, I would argue  there is something about the fact that they’ve always been a little elitist and a bit removed from us common folk, that we secretly like.  Maybe it’s a love/hate sort of relationship.  We hate that they spent so much time portraying themselves as being above us when we were younger, to a lesser extent I think they still try for that image now, but in some respects, we love it.  We love the chase. We romanticize the idea that if they’re really the elite and they’re noticing us…well…that’s gotta mean something, right?  Self-esteem boost, here we come!!

Otherwise, what’re we all still doing here?? Is it really just about the music?  Maybe for some, but for everyone? Give me a break. I SEE the Facebook groups we’ve been invited to join, guys. It’s not just the music between us.  Sometimes it’s a little girl panic, too.

So, while I might be willing to board a cruise ship with my friends for a weekend of girl fun, I’m not expecting to run into Nick at the buffet, Simon at the art auction, Roger on deck, or John pretty much anywhere on the ship.  (Yes, I know I’m leaving out Dom. Truth be told – I think he’d go even AFTER my warnings. Silly man.)

-R

Just Hanging Out with John Taylor

How many of you had time to catch the Google Hangout with John Taylor yesterday?  I thought it was a pretty unique situation.  John had a conversation (a fairly informal Q & A) with eight pre-determined fans (who sent in questions that were chosen for this Q & A session).  What was unique about this particular gathering was that it was done over the internet, with video, and the rest of the world (meaning you and I) could watch as it unfolded live.  The set-up was indeed something that we really haven’t experienced before, and while I think it is worth commenting that the fans were all from places in the world where the book is being published and that the time was indeed most convenient for Americans to tune in live to see – the fact is – unless you were one of the people chosen to video chat with John, it wouldn’t matter.  The link is still up and available for viewing, and it still feels “live”, primarily because John was only interacting with those fans (all female) on the screen in front of him.  He did not answer questions that were being typed in from those viewing (and to be fair, that was not the function of this “hangout”), and so most of us were merely passive viewers.  That isn’t a complaint – only an observation as I attempt to describe the event in general.

In preparing to write this blog, I sent out a general request on Twitter – if anyone had watched the event and wanted to chime in with their thoughts, they could either DM me on Twitter or send Daily Duranie an email.  Everyone who responded thought the idea in general was a great way to communicate with the band, although it is the type of event that would naturally need to be very limited.  For example, it would not be wise to have 50 fans attempt to video chat with John Taylor at the same time.  I am sure he’d agree.  Wholeheartedly. This is the sort of event that would probably need to either be used on a very limited basis with only a select few fans at a time, or something that is done more often but with few people.  I’m guessing the band would go for the former (if at all) and not the latter.  We fans are an overwhelming lot.

There were fans though who were disappointed by the selection process, as always.  I have to admit that while the idea of having a chat with any band member is appealing, the idea of sending in a question for “judgment” by the powers that be turned me off slightly.  I think the idea was to make sure people didn’t ask silly questions, and for that I’m thankful, but on the other hand, I like the organic nature of a real conversation, and I’m delighted to say that for the most part – that DID happen yesterday.  The one thing I didn’t care for at all though, was the use of a moderator.  I recognized her role and I can’t really fault her for doing her job. I realize that to some degree it was necessary because no fan would have wanted the conversation to end, but it made it feel a little sterile and synthetic.  Less like a conversation. There has to be a better way.

I also made note that there were fans who felt a sense of unease.  I will admit, I squirmed a bit in my chair during some of the questions – they just felt a little personal, as though they were questions you’d ask a close friend. I think that is something I struggle with, both personally as well as someone who writes about fandom. While you and I know the band – we’ve had them on our bedroom walls, on our stereos, lining our bookshelves and in the magazines we read and TV’s; the band still doesn’t really know us as individual fans for the most part. (some of you are luckier than Amanda and I in that regard, but for the overwhelming majority – they don’t know us much beyond our face in the crowd.)  The relationship is not quite reciprocated on the same level. Those boundaries are blurred and muddled. I am not faulting the questions, mainly just noting the discomfort that I along with a few others (including Amanda) felt while watching. I could see some of those questions being asked during an more intimate conversation and setting, but as a viewer – it felt very strange.  Amanda and I traded emails regarding the hangout, and something she noted was that we don’t just ask the band about the music. Granted, this particular scenario was to talk about his book, and as such it covers far more than just his career within Duran Duran, but I do think we feel that after this much time – we are ready to talk about far more than just how they felt about the last album.  While I might squirm with discomfort at times, I see the point.  Many of us have experienced the loss of a parent or loved one by now, and that is something that maybe makes us feel a kinship beyond a mutual love of the music with John.  Still others of us grew up Catholic, or in ANY organized religion for that matter, and are struggling with our own definition of God and spirituality.  Some of the best conversations may very well be the ones that make us the most uncomfortable (at least at first), so I leave this subject hanging in the air for further thought.

One of the most interesting questions for me, particularly due to the writing Amanda and I have been working on – was about social media.  There is an ongoing discussion that comes up each time the band disappears from Twitter for any length of time – and it’s about whether the band is on Twitter because they genuinely enjoy communicating with the fans or whether it’s purely about business.  I think that by now, most fans recognize that for the band – Social Media IS a part of the job.  That doesn’t mean that they would never communicate with anyone if it wasn’t required, but it also doesn’t mean that they want to spend an inordinate amount of time on there.  Again – we fans are an overwhelming lot.  Even I sometimes need to take a step back. It all gets to be a bit much, and I’m not a celebrity.  It’s easy to forget that communicating in person can really be much nicer than just online!  So when John spoke about this topic, he talked about how much more meaningful he thinks fandom has become for the fans as a result of Twitter.  He asked about making friends online through the social networking, and whether that has heightened the excitement we have for shows and things of that nature.  I ask you John Taylor, have you not read our blog??  We are ALL ABOUT the social networking.  Many of us would have never met without it, and when you finally got on board and embraced it – seeing the band on there, willing to even read what we’re saying about you – well, that cinched it just when I think the band was on it’s way out with many of us. None of us (well, most of us) are kids anymore.  We’re grown.  We have kids of our own that are now the age we were when we first found Duran Duran!  It’s made being a fan much more fun again, much more three dimensional.  We hear the music with our ears, we see what you are all up to by reading the news – and whether it’s overhyped in our own minds and hearts or not – we feel the love by the communication with you. (Simon, Roger and Dom…and even Nick for those who are involved on SecondLife)  It’s a good thing we all embraced social networking when we did – because I really am not sure where the band, or any of us, would be without.

All in all, I found the hangout to be successful, if not short (and the cut-off was ridiculously abrupt).  I hope John is brave enough to try it again at some point, if not some of the others as well.

I noted in my attempts to set up a Google+ account for Daily Duranie (by the way Amanda, we have one now – only after I had to make an appeal to Google because they weren’t letting me use our name – Daily Duranie – and I’m not even joking.) that ANYONE can set up a Google Hangout.  This is something that I would love to look into more for the use of Daily Duranie!  Sure, we have to wait for shows or other meet ups in order to get together, but in the meantime – maybe we can set up some hangouts for fans.  Drinks, video chatting…seems like a fun thing!

Happy weekend, everyone!!
-R

Fame and Families

My friend Laurie used to say that people who studied Psychology wanted to know what was wrong with themselves, but people who studied Sociology wanted to know what was wrong with everyone else. When we were back in college, I used to laugh when she would say that. (Both of us were taking classes in branches of Sociology, oddly enough.) Naturally, she was being facetious at the time, but what she used to say does ring true. At the time, I think I was just learning how to be self-aware, but these days I see things pretty clearly. I know who is in the mirror, and sometimes – I can actually tolerate her! I’m far more interested in how we interact or behave as a community though, which is why this blog exists, and why we took the direction we chose with our book.  

A subject was raised in our comments yesterday that I wanted to blog about today. I actually wrote quite a bit in my response – but I wanted to highlight the topic here for further discussion. Read on…
As I mentioned, I’m fighting writers block. (Along with a massive headache which makes reading and typing difficult.) I’m not surprised I’m fighting this wall, given all of the changes my life has taken recently. Stress works in mysterious ways. So yesterday, I offhandedly mentioned that if anyone had blog ideas, to let me know. 
One commenter mentioned that maybe we should do some updates on family members of the band. I have no doubt that the commenter was concerned as s/he posted their suggestion – hoping that it wouldn’t be set aflame by Amanda or I, or even other fans.  Generally speaking, the subject of wives, and especially kids, seems to be taboo within the community. I think that there are several reasons for this, but the most obvious is that with the kids, they were still under-age, and it somehow felt icky to post photos or talk about them.  We have never done any of that here at Daily Duranie, even if we’ve mentioned the happenings of some of the wives from time to time. I know why we have chosen to keep the blog focused on the fans and the band, but what I am curious about – is what drives the curiosity.
Specifically, I’m interested in why people want to know what the kids are doing…why is it important to not only be a fan of the band, but also of anything that Gela is doing, or Yasmin?  This isn’t (for me) a sandtrap question – it isn’t a question made out of a judgment call, it’s a genuine question.  
There is some basic debate over the relevance of the topic. On one hand, I say it’s irrelevant purely because these other people are not the band, and for us here at The Daily Duranie – we stick to the fans and the band. On the other hand though, I’m not quite so sure. I think in most cases it’s pretty irrelevant as to what the wives and children of the members of Duran Duran are doing. I never became a fan of Yasmin’s or even of Gela’s – not because I don’t like their work, but the fact is – I’m a Duran Duran fan. Period. I love the band’s music, first and foremost. I think it’s fantastic that Gela has had not one but two successful couture clothing lines, and I do think that Yasmin is a gorgeous model, but their line of work simply isn’t of my interest, so I don’t really follow much about them. On the other hand, I know that Saffron, Simon’s daughter, sings – and at least at one time in recent memory, Simon made mention that she was singing a gig near their home and posted a link to her band. Out of curiosity because I love music of all types, I took a listen. I followed Roger’s son James and Andy’s son Andy when they were in the band The Electric City together back a few years ago because I really liked their music. Even so, I am not sure that I would have blogged about either Saffron or James and Andy’s band here on The Daily Duranie on an ongoing basis.  I might have made mention just to pass on the word, but I really don’t know. 
I think back to one time on myspace where one of Andy’s daughters graciously accepted friend requests from Duranies. She was still young at the time, although I do think she was over 18.  Everything was fine until Andy and the band split again – I’m not even sure it had been made quite public yet, and some fans started asking questions.  There were some signs that fans were being less-than-respectful about the situation, and within a short time she told fans to F off and blocked every last Duran fan she could.  It was an unfortunate situation, but one that was easy to see coming. 
This seems to be one of those topics where it would be easy to take what I think is the high road and say “absolutely not”, and in the case of the very young kids (Roger’s youngest or even Dom’s kids), I DO say absolutely not. It’s my mom instinct talking there. As I mentioned in my reply to the commenter from yesterday’s blog – as much as I want to brag about my kids here and show them off – I really can’t, and I’m not even famous. I respect the fact that their parents want to keep them safe, and as I’ve said before, those little kids didn’t make the choice to be born into famous families. Naturally though, a lot of those kids have grown up, and some of them are choosing to be in the limelight now. The same can be said for some, but not all of the wives. What I felt was a hard line is now a bit fuzzier, but I think that in the case of this particular blog – we still say no purely because we focus on the band.  
I throw the question out to you readers though. How do you feel about following the wives and kids? Is it any different than following a band member’s side projects, or continuing to follow Andy or Warren now that they’re no longer in the band?  What makes you curious about their lives, and where is the line or boundary, if in fact there one exists for you. There are no wrong answers here, and while we agree to disagree, we strive for no judgment. (That’s a reminder for everyone including ourselves.)
I’ll leave with that topic heavy in the air for discussion, and I’ll see you again on Monday!
-R

What Happens Tomorrow

There is a thick cloud of depression in the atmosphere. I’ve noticed it just about everywhere this week – from my house where things just aren’t quite right due to a death in my circle of friends all the to Facebook and Twitter, where fans are generally mourning the end of an album cycle along with the end of a tour, and fear of what comes next – the unknown.  

I know most of you have read rumors and things over the past week. It’s tough to escape them, really. As somebody said on the blog earlier this week, “it’s tough to stop that rumor mill once it starts”. Then this morning a radio segment from Heather’s in Hollywood was posted on  Lite105 fm where Heather talks about Duran Duran canceling their world tour.  In the segment, which I am NOT posting here because of what I’m about to say, she says that when she spoke to John Taylor about this tour, he mentioned that it might be their last.  She then says that she said “Really?” and John follows up with “Well, you just never know”.  Of course the implication that Heather is making…irresponsibly and sensationally in my opinion…is that this was probably their last tour.  Some people will apparently say anything, or make inferences that don’t need to be made simply to cause sensation.  

It’s like doing anything to sell records.  😀

My point of course is to say, never fear, Duran fans. This too will pass, and I’m betting that the band will be back, better than ever. I have faith in that…and you know what? It’s nice to have faith in something these days!

I’d like to share the note that Nick had posted on duranduran.com this morning. I’m posting it here in it’s entirety:

The People we’ve met, the things we’ve seen and the places we have been.
Firstly, I would like to personally apologise to everybody who had tickets to attend the shows which we were forced to cancel during the final week of our world tour. I know how far some of you travel to see us perform and how seldom we reach some of your cities. We never want to let you down. In this instance, it was truly unavoidable. I contracted a virus, which dragged me down and left me entirely exhausted. Although I made it clear to doctors that it was my express wish to recommence the tour as soon as possible, they all strongly advised that I needed to recover properly, which regrettably, meant resting for the remainder of this week.
It was enormously disappointing for everyone in the band and our crew, whom we have worked with over the last twenty months. We were very much looking forward to celebrating the finale in grand style, with you, as this has undoubtedly been one of the most exciting and rewarding periods of our entire career. There is nothing I loathe more than having to cancel concerts. I’m sure you can imagine how much more pleasurable it is for me to see your smiling faces every night when we perform, rather than be isolated in a hotel room, feeling miserable, dealing with endless doctors. I am relieved to say, I have only ever had to cancel a couple of shows, in almost thirty five years, due to an ear infection, but this was particularly hard to come to terms with as it was the last week of nearly two years of touring and we were hoping for a triumphant conclusion. Now it feels incomplete.
From the onset of this project, when we released All You Need is Now in December 2010, we instantly felt electricity in the air. It developed into something we could never have imagined. There have been many highlights: our first time at SXSW, making a live movie directed by David Lynch, Coachella, The Girl Panic! video, A Diamond in the Mind, my extraordinary surprise birthday party (organised by the band and Wendy Laister), the pre-Olympics gig in Hyde Park and frankly, every single show on the tour.
From me and the rest of the band, we want to say a gargantuan thank you to everyone who has worked with us throughout this time. We rely upon you to make it all happen and we know what an exceptional contribution you have all made, which has resulted in us being able to consistently produce some of the best shows we have ever played.
For those of you who came to see us, as ever, you are at the very heart of what has kept Duran Duran alive and kicking for more than three decades. We are so happy you were there to share the experience with us, we greatly appreciate your support and hope you’ll come along for the ride next time. Who knows where we’ll go…
Much love.
Nick
That doesn’t sound like a note from someone who is planning to go away, so once again I say – keep the faith! I thought it was one of the kindest, most thoughtful messages I’ve seen from any one of them, and for Nick to have written it while I’m sure must still be feeling horrible makes it all the more special. 
I’ve never really seen the fan community quite like this, in all of my years of being a fan.  It isn’t just about the outpouring of concern for Nick, or the post-tour let down. There’s a genuine and completely organic sheet of sadness that is covering the community right now.  People are posting pictures and memories on one hand with a mist of uncertainty and wistfulness on the other. It’s really difficult to wrap ones head around what is really going on.  After some thought, a few things that I’ve come to grips with on my own is that the one thing that I had hoped for with this epic album has come true. The band and the fans have finally connected. I can remember complaining here on this very blog prior to the album being released about how the band seems untouchable. None of us (or very, very few) could get anywhere near them – it was as though they were at arms length – like enigmas that float in and out of our lives at random. While that image is very “Hollywood Celebrity-like”, it’s just not what works in today’s world. It’s not like any of us were expecting the band to show up for dinner at our homes (They are always welcome here of course!), but there was that sense of elitism that I just don’t think was very becoming or supportive of the band in the year 2010. (or 2008 for that matter…) We fans were as equally responsible for that as the band though.  Let’s face it, the band had plenty to be afraid of. We used to run after them in their limos.  (Ok, maybe we still do that.  I did point at a particular not-quite band member and wave at them in their SUV one night in Durham…although there was no running involved!)  We used to show up at their hotels. (hmm…) We used to scream for their attention. (Oh wait.) Above all else though, we put them up on needle thin, screamingly high pedestals and expected them to never fall. It would be wonderful to believe that they are really the knights in shining armor we always believed that they were when they were hanging in the form of pinups and posters on our bedroom walls…and perhaps in our most private daydreams that’s how we continue to envision them; but I believe that Twitter and Facebook have helped to make them just the tiniest bit more human. I give the band a huge amount of credit for being willing to extend themselves, even partially, to the fans. We’re still pretty nutty even after all of these years. We still expect far, far more than we could ever give in return. I still will see tweets from people that go a little something like this “I can’t believe John Taylor just RT’ed me!!!  It’s as though we spoke to one another!!” If that doesn’t make people feel more connected, I just don’t know what else would. The band, or members within, have made efforts to mingle with fans when given the opportunity, and it’s those small little things that I think have made the difference.  
It’s different this time. We know they’re going away, and rather than mourning the loss of just seeing them at shows, I see a lot of posts and tweets mourning their absence on a personal level from those precious social media sites. Who knew this would happen back in 2008?? Certainly not I. It’s a very different time to be a fan now. This album has been all about treasuring the moment. At nearly every single show I attended, Simon made a point to explain that All You Need is Now is about just appreciating this little bit right here. He couldn’t possibly have been more correct….and I think that for the most part, we did. It’s a lesson that I am trying my best to continue into my daily life (and if you think that’s easy with three kids and a husband that honestly doesn’t get me…you’re crazy.), and it’s one that I will continue working on for quite some time.  
None of us know if we’re going to get a tomorrow. My friend Laurie most assuredly didn’t know that Saturday would be her last LA Dodger game, and none of us knew that our margarita lunch on Mission Viejo Lake with her would be our last one together as a group of five. These are hard truths for me, but the key here, and this is important, even if we HAD known that, I wouldn’t have done a single thing differently. I know none of my other friends would have either. That’s the same way I feel about this tour in general. I went into this with that same idea – don’t leave anything behind, and have zero regrets.
Facing uncertainty is easy. I don’t transition very well, and the unknown scares me. The beauty of being part of a community though is that we can express these concerns to one another and face them together. It’s yet another silver lining in fandom – we still have one another to lean on.  Lean away!  
-R

Boundaries are not evil (sounds like a good book title, John!)

I’ve written a few times about how I sometimes struggle for topics to write about here on the blog.  I would love to blame the band for moments of “non-activity”, but I just reminded myself that this blog is not supposed to BE about the band, so the band gets a pass for today.  Today was once again, one of those days.  In an earnest attempt to find something to spur my creativity, I checked out our email, and then our Blogger account. (Do you ever just think about looking into a very dark endless tunnel??  That’s our email box!)   Sometimes people will comment on something and it’ll get me thinking, and that’s what happened today.  There was a comment on a blog Amanda had written over the weekend (Searching for Reasons, found here), and a comment came in just last night.  Anonymous responded to something Amanda had said about boundaries and the way Simon tweets/blogs.  That person had actually referred to something I’ve said in the past about his style of tweeting and blogging. (mainly that it confuses the hell out of me, which is true.)  I responded and quickly shuffled out of our door to take the youngest to school.  On my way back home, I thought about what the person had written again and found myself composing a blog on the subject.  The challenge for me was to remember what I was thinking so that I could get home and get it written!

In my real, everyday life I’m a pretty private person.  I have a very short list of friends that I would share most things with, and to be really honest I am MUCH happier here by myself at home than I am out doing the whole “PTA” (Parent Teacher Association) fundraising or volunteering at the kids school thing.  It’s just not in my comfort zone, especially in this area where I live.  I volunteer plenty here at home by helping them do homework and being involved.  Generally speaking, I keep to myself, and while some might think I’m lonely, I am not.  Online however, I’m pretty open.  I am friendly with many different people, I’m active in many different areas (Duran and otherwise), and I’m content.  I do have my own set of boundaries though.  For example, I have tried to never use my children’s names here on the blog.  That doesn’t mean that many of you don’t know exactly who they are; it’s just that I have to be careful.  I would LOVE to share photos of my youngest because she’s super cute, show you how my son spends 90% of his time (on the computer…), or show videos of my oldest from her musicals because she is SO good. I’m extremely proud of all of them and want to share them with the world. (basically I want to brag!)  Unfortunately, that’s a part of my life that I need to keep private for their sake.  I do have them up on my Facebook page because I have lots of family on Facebook that demands that sort of thing.  (no really, they actually do demand it!)  If you’re a “Close Friend” of mine on Facebook, you can see them.  Most Duranies that I’ve never met in person are in a completely different category and list  because I don’t know them.  They can’t see everything, and that’s OK.   Those are some of my boundaries!   Another example is that I don’t talk too much about my relationship with my husband.  It’s complicated, and however “fun” that might be at times (That’s sarcasm of course), it’s a relationship that’s private.  It’s a part that I can’t share with the world if I wish to stay married.  That doesn’t mean I don’t fight the urge to tell you all about how much he drives me crazy sometimes, but it’s probably not fair to him to go telling the entire Duranieverse (yes it’s a word.  I invented it.) how he refuses to plan things in advance and waits until on the way home on Valentines Day (or my birthday, or Mothers Day and so on) to remember to buy a card, a gift, a dozen red roses….etc.

Oops.

My point is that we all have boundaries, whether it’s for safety, privacy or sanity, and for each of us, they differ.  Some are incredibly obvious.  Nick for instance, doesn’t use Twitter or Facebook.  While I’m sure it’s because he hates the idea, I think it’s also because it probably feels incredibly intrusive.  I can’t really argue with him there.  It takes getting used to, and you know, there are probably plenty of other ways he’d rather spend his time anyway.

Roger isn’t into Twitter but he uses Facebook on occasion.  Recently Roger posted a photo of himself in his hotel room when they were somewhere in Europe. (Well, I have to assume it was of him, he’d taken a photo in a mirror and the flash went off right in his face, and he called it a self-portrait.)  He posted a photo, and I was honestly surprised because he was in a bathrobe, and I was the first person who mentioned it!  I really didn’t mean for it to be a rude comment as much as I was surprised that the 40 or 50 other people before me didn’t say anything. (But I’ll bet they copied and pasted that thing so fast, and before anyone thinks otherwise, no I did not!)  Within moments after my posting the comment, the picture disappeared and in it’s place was much the same photo, this time with Roger clothed. (I am pretty sure I heard whining from all over the planet….)  I don’t know if Roger saw my post and thought twice about the picture, or if he took a good look at what he’d posted, thought about those infamous balcony photos that have circled the globe many times over by now, and retook the photo.  Regardless of the reasons those are boundaries.

John and Simon are Twitter people.  Simon uses it occasionally and posts things that sometimes I can decipher, and other times, well, I just shake my head and wonder.  The thing is, Simon tweets the way I would expect.  He also blogs as I’d expect, and when he’s in an interview and answers questions slyly, or not at all, it’s exactly how I’d expect from him.  Perhaps his reasoning behind answering things so coyly or by interacting with fans as he does, in half seriousness and half poetry, is one way to keep us all at arms length and guessing, but not coming off as though he’s completely uninterested.  John seems to have his own ideas of boundaries on Twitter.  To begin with, I think he is completely controlled how he interacts on Twitter.  He tends to use it in condensed “sessions”, and when he is ready to be finished, he’s finished.  Honestly, he’s very smart in that way.  I don’t find that he tends to only respond to certain people,  he seems to just respond to whatever tweets he sees first, and he doesn’t seem to mind answering any question he sees.  I have to give him props for that, because after about the third time I saw someone ask if he’d follow them or what type of wine he prefers, I was ready to take those Tweeters down myself.  He tends to keep himself to a firm time limit with it all though, and I have to applaud that.  I guess his “boundaries” have everything to do with how he regulates himself, not necessarily what information he sends forth.

When you really think about it, to imagine any one of them in their homes, going to their computers and “chatting” with us whether it’s by Facebook or Twitter, is relatively personal, and at times I wonder if it doesn’t feel almost too intimate of a connection for them to make with people they used to run from.  😀  Yes, there’s a big world and computer screen between us, but it’s not as though they’re in public on a concert stage.

Ultimately, I have to respect their boundaries because to be honest, I care.  I want them to feel comfortable in their space, and know that not every fan will knock them over in order to get close.  The trouble of course is that not everyone feels the same.  Many fans say, very openly I might add, that when you choose to be a celebrity, you choose a life in the public eye and that it’s their job.  While yes that is true, there is quite a bit that is being forgotten there.  To begin with, they are not “at work” 24/7, in the same way that you are not.  *I* on the other hand AM at work 24/7.  I’m a mom.  😀  (Wow I have an attitude and need a vacation!!!) Secondly, the only part of their lives that is “their job” is their music.  When they are on stage, doing photo shoots, publicity, etc; that is work.  The rest really should be their own, and so when they take time to chat, post an update, etc, I’m happy.  Respect is a two-way street, I suppose the bottom line is that if we wish to be respected, we probably need to afford them some of the same.  Boundaries are not evil.

-R