Category Archives: convention

Time is a River

I’m coming out of hiding today to make mention of a very special “anniversary” of sorts.  For those who have known me since the hallowed days of DDF – you might already be aware.  If not, allow me to age everyone properly.

On this date, TEN very short years ago, a little convention began in New Orleans called 78-04: Friends of Mine Duran Duran Fan Convention.  It began on what was a Friday night and went straight through to Sunday, and for me personally it was a completely life-changing experience.

I hear a lot of you right now: Who really says that?!? I mean, it was really just a big party, wasn’t it? Who checks out of their life for a few days to go have fun, only to come back saying it completely changed the whole course of their life?  Believe me, I see the irony there, and I would normally agree with the naysayers out there. Except of course, I was there, and through much soul-searching, I see how the event really did change me.

Maybe it wasn’t so much of a change as it woke up my “inner-Rhonda”. I’ve written about this so many times here on the blog now that I worry it’s lost it’s appeal.  All I really know is that I really do believe that there are moments in our lives where we come upon forks in the road, and the direction we choose makes all the difference. This convention, and choosing to not only attend but to help organize it, really did change my direction. I will always hold that weekend, along with the months of planning prior, very dear to my heart.  So much has changed since that weekend in 2004, and yet I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I met Jessica, Mac, Amanda, Mags, Lisa, Krissie, Carla…and so many others in person.

I spent time yesterday and last night thinking about the convention and specific little things that happened, hoping to come up with a list. Maybe those who were there that weekend will have others to share…but here are some of mine:

*Having Jessica meet me at our hotel room that night. From the very second I met her, I knew I’d done the right thing when I got involved planning the convention and flying to New Orleans to attend.

*Sharing a hotel room with Lisa, Mags, Jessica and Carla.  We all fit and had a great time! This was also, I believe, the first, last and only time that I attended a Duranie event without sharing a room with Amanda (she cannot say the same!)

* Seeing Jessica’s red hair and watching it fade throughout the weekend. I don’t know why that sticks with me so much, but I remember thinking that I wanted to be the type of person that would die my hair vibrant red. (I eventually did not that long ago…and my red streaks faded to magenta right away too. LOL)

*Laughing at Lisa and a few others suck helium and say “Good evening and welcome to our show!” as we decorated for the dance party on Saturday night.  Some might roll their eyes and say “because that’s never been done before”…but the thing is, for me, I’d never seen anyone do it before that night.

* Listening to Mac tell us how Bourbon Street roped her (and a friend) in and tied them up.  I think Mac became my hero that weekend.

* Displaying all of my Duranie pins and t-shirts with pride that weekend. It was the first time in I don’t know how long that I felt comfortable wearing a Duran t-shirt without people giving me strange looks, and if you know me – you know how self-conscious I can be.

*Listening to a copy of Astronaut before it was released *gasp* and declaring that the band “had ruined”  What Happens Tomorrow (compared to what I’d already heard them do live).  That’s right, even back then I was filled with nasty little opinions that I couldn’t keep to myself!

*Standing up and giving a speech in front of the crowd that night. Even though I had been president of my local MOMS club and involved in PTA for my kids school – I was nervous to be standing up there, but it was the very first time I can ever remember feeling like I really did fit in.

* Watching all of the men (both Duranies and Duranie husbands) grab chairs and sit down right directly in front of the screening area to watch The Chauffeur when the video played at the dance party.

*Buying drinks with Amanda at the dance party. I can’t remember if I was drinking gin and tonic or vodka and tonic that night (both are favorites)…but we very clearly started a tradition for ourselves.

*Commenting on Amanda wearing these boots with (what I felt were) high heels all over Bourbon Street. I don’t wear heels – ever – due to horrible neuromas on the bottom of my feet, so I marveled at how she could walk in those things. I was wearing flip flops, which are still my shoe of choice!

* Singing Rio on stage at what was then Howl at the Moon. (I’d say “Thank goodness there’s no video of that”….alas…it’s out there somewhere.)

*Saying good-bye to everyone on Sunday morning. I had such a great weekend, and I secretly worried about whether I would really see any of them again. How do you bond so quickly with people you’ve met in real life only once?  That Duranie connection runs very, very deep.

Thinking about that weekend makes me want to do it all over again. I swore I was done with New Orleans after Voodoo…but I don’t know….

Happy memories, everyone. I continue to thank my lucky stars that I met you all. Despite, time, distance and changes – my love and friendship runs very, very deep.

-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

It’s You I Got to Know

How about a little story?  This is a story about a couple friends of mine (ha!).  I “met” these friends like I have met a lot of friends in fandom–online.  In our case, we “met” on a message board in 2004.  These friends of mine were part of a pretty popular group of people on this message board. While this group didn’t seem exclusive, I doubted that I would ever really get in the middle of this group because they just seemed SO tight.  They shared a lot of inside jokes, nicknames, and knowledge about each other.  They were nice enough to outsiders like myself so I stuck around.  To be honest, I wanted to be a part of a group like that, to be a part of a group that just understood each other and had fun together.  Soon enough, I realized that this group was talking about going to a convention!  A convention!  A Duran Duran convention!  Immediately, my mind started racing with trying to figure out how I, too, could go.  Now, of course, if you are a reader of this blog, you have heard a lot about this convention in 2004 in New Orleans and know how it turned out.  I met these friends in person.  As you all know, one of the people I met was Rhonda and we became fast friends.  Yet, this blog post isn’t about her.  It is about a a couple of other friends from this group.

After the convention in late 2004, I saw these new friends of mine (ha again!) traveling to go to shows.  This was SO new to me!  I never knew that people would travel (by plane!) to go to concerts.  It seemed to me that they couldn’t get enough Duran.  Not only were they traveling to shows, but they were posting all the time on the board, posting pictures, discussing the latest news and more.  They continued to travel in 2005 to see more shows.  In fact, they traveled to where I was and to shows I was planning on attending.  The excitement on their part was catching and increased mine.  Truly, Duran fever was high with these friends in 2005.  As I shared in their excitement, their experiences, our friendship grew at the same time.  By this point, this group had welcomed me with open arms on that message board where we first “met”.  By the end of 2005, we had (along with a bunch of other people) traveled to Vegas to hang out and to see Duran at the Andre Agassi charity event there in October.  I assumed that life would go on like this forever.  We would all continue to have Duran fever and would remain friends forever.  In 2006, I even spent my spring break going to visit one of these friends.  Yet…as we all know, fevers break and things don’t remain the same forever.

For these friends, their Duran fever didn’t last.  There are a variety of reasons why anyone’s fandom decreases in intensity or burns out.  It happens.  It could be that the interest changes so much that the person is no longer interested.  It could be that other events in one’s personal life becomes the main focus.  It could be that something negative happened either with the celebrity or with other fans.  Sometimes, the fandom flame burns bright only in order to get something accomplished (like see the original Fab Five perform live).  Whatever caused these particular friends to lose that excitement over Duran isn’t the point of the story.  The key here is that while they still like a lot of Duran, they aren’t really participating in any way in the fan community.  They aren’t posting on message boards or any other social networking platform to talk about Duran.  They aren’t excited like they once were.

Despite not being a participate in the fan community in the way that they once did, they are planning on coming to the convention.  Why?  Yes, they still like Duran but that isn’t enough to get people to travel, to get people to spend money.  I like lots of things.  I like Depeche Mode, for example.  I’m not going to travel to go to any Depeche convention.  I wouldn’t spend the money on it.  So, if the topic alone isn’t pushing them there, what is?  It is simple.  It is about the connection we made.  It is about the friendships that we created and maintained.  Obviously, our friendship isn’t about Duran Duran.  Our friendship grew from that initial interest.  Here’s the thing that I truly do believe.  Long after Duran stops making albums or touring (which I know that no one wants to think about or wants to have happen ever but being realistic…), what will last, what will remain are the memories, the friendships.  Friendships and memories happen at things like conventions.

As for these particular friends, I’m thrilled that they are coming!  I can’t wait to see them!  I also can’t wait to see my other friends or to meet the people I have yet to meet but will call friends after.

-A

Get It Up, Get It Out, Get It in Time

There are some days that I can’t wait to blog.  There are some days that I wished I could blog but it isn’t my day to do it.  Then, there are days like this.  I’m crabby.  I’m tired.  I have things I want to say but not sure if I should put them out there or fear that if I do, I won’t explain them well enough to be understood.  Is this a problem with my writing?  Certainly.  Is a personal thing?  Most definitely.  Is a fan community thing?  Absolutely.  I will say this much.  Sometimes, many times, I feel like the odd one, the one who doesn’t fit in, which is why it always blows my mind when someone comments on a blog post of mine with agreement.  What?!  Someone actually sees it like me?!  Really?!  Sometimes, of course, I stick with topics that I know most people are going to understand my point.  It is safer that way.  Today is going to be one of those days.

This week, the members of Duran returned to the studio.  The reactions I saw where as I expected them to be.  Generally, there was excitement with lots of “yay”s and smiling faces.  I got this as it was my reaction, too.  Who wasn’t excited about seeing Duran back in the studio?  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, despite all of the rumors about John leaving and Warren coming back, it appears as if things are as they were.  There are no lineup changes.  Heck, even, Mark Ronson is coming back.  Now, as the case for all things Duran, there are some people who might be disappointed that Warren isn’t back.  Heck, some might be sad that Andy isn’t either.  There is not universal excitement about Mark Ronson, either, as All You Need Is Now didn’t cut it for some fans.  That said, from what I could tell, most fans, a large majority of fans loved the album and are thrilled that Duran is continuing in the same path.  Truly, for most of us, we cannot wait to hear what they come up with and have confidence that it is going to be good!!!

Of course, I wouldn’t be me, though, if I didn’t put a little reality back into Duranland.  The band got back into the studio this week.  When do we think, in all seriousness, that we will hear a finished product?  I’m not saying this to focus on Durantime, something we are all familiar with, but to point out that this truly does take time.  Duran albums almost always have.  The only albums I can think of that truly went fast were the first two and that is definitely partly due to the fact that many of the songs were already written and arranged.  That isn’t the case in 2013.  I don’t hear of the band writing full songs while on tour.  Instead, I hear about their current writing process, about how they get into a room and play until someone comes up with something to focus on .  Then, the rest gets built around that.  This process sounds like it could go so quickly for some songs and take a very long time for others.  Would I like the band to go quickly with their albums?  Sure.  What fan doesn’t?!  That said, I would prefer to wait a little bit longer if it means that there is more quality to the songs and to get the best songs possible.  Yes, I know that there are some out there right now complaining about how the time in between albums kills Duran’s chances at momentum to increase commercial success and all that.  While I get that, I also recognize that making music is an art form, which sometimes truly can’t be rushed. 

This, of course, leads me to think about touring.  In fact, I had a dream last night in which I was in my childhood home trying to convince Rhonda to go to a show in Nova Scotia.  Seriously.  The reality is that DDHQ on Twitter has said that there will be no touring in 2013.  I have no reason to doubt this.  The band will be working on the album.  Will they take breaks?  Sure.  Will those breaks be to do shows?  Doubt it.  A break is a break.  Personally, my fandom doesn’t do well when the band isn’t releasing an album, preparing for a tour or touring.  I don’t like the fact that I will have a long time before I see them perform live again.  (Yes, I know that there are people out there who will call me spoiled since I have been able to see them so much.)  That said, I am so thankful that I have the convention to look forward to.  I love that I will be able to be around Duranies for a weekend and talk about Duran the entire time.  Maybe, then, my patience will be ever better while I wait for the album and tour, whatever year that they may be.

-A

A little Durandemonium, anyone??

Big day on the blog.  As some of you might have already seen, we have finally signed contracts for the convention and we have some fantastic plans ahead!

Today, in fact right after I’m finished publishing this blog – our brand spanking new website for the convention will go live.  I won’t lie – it’s not finished.  I tried, but at 2:30 this morning sleep finally took over.  I will still be working on it throughout the day as we finalize the last few things we need in order to give you accurate (and absolutely final) pricing on the convention.  I don’t think anyone wants to be charged any more than necessary to come to this shindig – so please bare with us just a bit longer on that front. Trust me, it will be worth it.

However, we do have a ton of information to share – and still more that is in the works in varying stages!   I will do a basic run-down here, and then leave you all to your devices to go to the website.  What I do want to share with you a bit though is our vision.  There are a number of people who have put their hearts and souls into this project, and we could not have possibly gotten to this point without their incredible help.  Amanda, Julie, Lori, Kevin, Laura, Melissa and Kimberley have done everything short of going right into the cities we looked at to find the perfect “home” for this convention, and I really can’t thank them enough. Going into this project, we wanted to do something different.  While the band is truly a huge part of our lives and it is what brought us all together – it is each of us that make this fandom unique, yet Amanda and I have seen what the competitive nature does to people.  It makes this fan community one of the harshest places to try and survive at times.  So from the onset of Daily Duranie – even then – we wanted to try and bring fans together.  We want to make this about one another, less about being the “ONE” to get closest to the band.  So planning this convention is about creating an atmosphere, creating a vehicle – so to speak – that allows us to make connections with one another.  Hopefully at least some of those connections turn into lifelong friendships.

With that in mind, I am very proud to announce our 2013 convention!

Durandemonium 2013: The Music Between Us

Date: October 18-20, 2013

City: Chicago, Illinois

Hotel: The Amalfi Hotel

This year, we are working with The Amalfi. You all will adore this place. Not only is it super sleek and has a fantastic elegant vibe about the place, they have a Managers Reception each night for hotel guests.  This isn’t any ordinary reception though.  It’s a premium open bar from 5:30-7 each night along with hors d’oeuvres. Their signature drink is the Amalifi-tini, a sort of citrus-based martini. I look forward to having one with you. Probably EACH of you by then!  In addition, every morning this hotel offers a continental-style breakfast to it’s guests.  Once again, this isn’t just an ordinary “hard as rock” croissant and a cup of coffee that could have been more aptly named “tar”, this is breakfast located on each floor of the hotel!  Talk about service!

On Saturday night, we are having a banquet/party/dance right across the street at Harry Caray’s in a private room upstairs!  I am especially thrilled about this opportunity because Harry Caray’s is a great Italian steakhouse, and so the food will be fabulous – not like the lukewarm hotel buffets that cost an incredible fortune but have very little flavor.

I could go on and on, but really – what I need to be doing is working to finish the convention details!!

If all goes well and my offerings of sacrifice have pleased the gods – we will open registration on FRIDAY. Yes, this Friday, March 1st. If that changes, we will let you know IMMEDIATELY. We are working with EventBrite, and there will be links posted here on the blog, on the convention website, the Daily Duranie Facebook page and Twitter, the Durandemonium 2013 Facebook page, and the Durandemonium Twitter.

As you can see, there are a lot of pieces to this engine that all have to run together well in order to work. Timing is key, and I’ll be honest – timing has been an issue for me this week, as in I have none. Like all of you, I am mere mortal and I’m just a fan trying to make this work.  Please have patience as we get this going, and please feel free to ask questions if needed.  We are here to help you have a great time.

Listed below is the link to our website.  We are also devising a Facebook page and a Twitter account for the convention, and once those are ready to go I will gladly share them with all of you as well.  No matter what, you can always count on accurate information on the website, the Daily Duranie Facebook page, and of course @dailyduranie on Twitter!

Durandemonium 2013 website:  http://durandemonium2013.webs.com

Convention email: durandemonium2013@gmail.com

-R

We’ll all be famous for just 15 minutes…my love/hate relationship with rumor.

I have a love/hate relationship with rumor. Maybe I should write that as hate/love. I really detest hearing rumors because they tend to be time wasters. More often than not, they are completely ridiculous and I have to wonder what happened to creativity. I mean, if you’re going to spout rubbish, let’s be a little unique, shall we? On the other hand, I love to sit back and wonder how each little piece of created news began. I also like to be the one cracking the rumors (don’t we all?), but more often than not I’m usually left wondering if it’s true only to be told otherwise. I can’t get over my natural curiosity for such things though. Where most want the rumor to be proven (whether true or false), I’m sitting there wondering who really started such a thing…how it happened…and why. What did that person think they were going get out of starting such a thing. Did they just figure if they flung enough mud, something would stick? Yes, I really spend time thinking about that as everyone else is in a panic.  Then I start in thinking about the panic and how quickly it spreads like wildfire. I know, I’m “unique”. (That’s a nice word for crazy in this case. I know.)

My personal opinion of rumors in this community is that we get bored with not hearing any news and so we decide to make up our own. I kind of think in some respects this is narcissistic behavior raising it’s ugly head. People like being the center of attention and you know, if a well-placed news tidbit gets us noticed, what harm could it do??…and besides, it could be true. What seems like something so innocent – like simply giving our opinion on something – could easily wind out of control. Once upon a time (back during the writing and recording of the RCM album – which I personally felt went on about 18 months too long.), I remember some crazy rumor flying through the community about the band working with Kanye West. I suppose that it was very possible that phone calls had been exchanged between Kanye’s people and Duran’s. I don’t know – that’s why I get paid the big bucks. (Oh wait….)  Anyway, I was pretty frustrated at the time and mentioned on our message board that I bet I could start rumors about the band working with Britney Spears and that it would fly.  Not long after that I did a search (Yes, I had free time back then.) on Duran Duran working with Britney Spears. Lo and behold – news items popped up citing “rumors read on fan message boards”. Honestly people. If you’re going to use MY completely fabricated, totally false rumor, at least credit me as the source. Dammit. See how quickly things start?

Not too long ago, there was a rumor circulating – and maybe it is still out there – that John is leaving the band. I felt pretty sure that wasn’t happening. The rumor made no sense, and aside from his continued (and very much noted) absence from Twitter, as far as I can tell, that rumor was a complete waste of time. However, every now and then, I still see people chatting about the possibility. Their theory? Well, he’s not on Twitter, now is he? I often wonder if people have ever heard of taking a break. Maybe he needed time to get his own personal priorities back in line? Maybe he just saw Twitter as a time waster and he needed to move on. Perhaps something spurred him into realizing that he needed to be present in his own private life. Sometimes things happen that we aren’t necessarily privy, which I recognize is a very tough concept for fans. He has this entire other life of which you and I are not a part. I also know I’m not too worried. I figure he’ll either come back when he’s ready, or he won’t and I’ll still wave to him at the next show. Either way, I think he’s still in the band and I think that while the rumor annoyed the hell out of many of us, we need to just relax a little.

That brings me to just this past week, when I started noticing discussion on Twitter that caught my eye, but I didn’t get involved until I started getting personal messages. I hesitate to bring it up, but I think it’s worth noting if only for the sheer magnitude of seeing what gets the community riled up. The discussion has been something about hearing that Warren was back with the band again, and people wondered what would happen to Dom. Oh boy…here we go, right? First of all, I have no knowledge of any of it, whether it’s true or not. However, let’s just look at some facts, just for fun. TV Mania is coming out with their album on March 11th, correct? Warren at least appears to be helping out with the promotion of that album’s release, and seems to also be helping out with the @TVManiaMusic Twitter. Maybe…because we still can’t really tell for sure who the creative genius is behind all of that. The 20th anniversary for the Wedding Album (Duran Duran) took place on February 23rd.  Warren offered a beautifully written piece on his thoughts of that special anniversary, as did the rest of the band. Then Katy (who I honestly don’t think realized what was going on in the fan community with regard to this rumor) mentioned how fun it was to work on that piece with everyone. Then finally, someone let me know that Warren was hanging out in DD’s Second Life.  Somehow all of those things, as disjointed as they seem to me – have made some people in the community believe that Warren is back in Duran Duran, and they just haven’t told Dom yet. Or the fans.  Can you just envision my eyes rolling right now???

I know I’m not commenting unless this really becomes news, and this my friends…is not news, it’s wild guessing and assumption at this point. It’s only worth mentioning because it is another example of just how quickly rumors spread and grow out of almost nothing. Stop the insanity!

We must really and truly be bored…which is why I will close this with a bit of news:  Mark your calendars and plan to be in Chicago, October 18-20 for a DD fan convention!!  More details to come this week!!

-R

Sometimes she wonders, and she laughs in her frustration

I’m not supposed to be talking about convention stuff yet, by my own rules.  *sigh*

Oh to have foresight….

In any case, I just want to reassure anyone who is interested that yes, we’re still working on it. In fact, we’ve been working on it since January!  Can I just tell you that it is not nearly as easy as it might seem? I’ve mentioned before that I’d worked on a fan convention for DD, and I have to say, aside from a few minor bumps, that convention fell together fairly easily. I don’t remember major issues with booking a hotel, coming up with a deposit, or much of anything.  I suppose my memory could just be overly kind, but I really don’t remember pulling my hair out much. We were all concerned about the event going over well, but that goes along with the territory, right? Well, live and learn.

This time, I just thought we’d call some hotels, get some rates, sign a contract and be done.  At first, that’s exactly what it felt like, too! The trouble started when we realized that we weren’t getting a lot of hotels to call us back or contact us. Those that did contact us and seemed like they had reasonable prices wanted nothing short of Amanda’s signature, in blood, along with promises of her first born and next of kin would be owed to the hotel. I don’t mind sharing that most hotels no longer offer reasonable cancellation policies. Once you sign on the dotted line (in the aforementioned blood), you are on the hook for 80-90% of the total anticipated revenue. Yes my friends, that means sleeping rooms as well as the agreed food/beverage minimum. I can do the math for you, but we’re talking about many MANY Duran Duran tours worth of savings should the convention fall-apart along the way. Not just a couple thousand dollars, but tens of thousands. That’s not just a small risk, it’s suicidal for a couple of bloggers!  We’ve been asked to provide insurance policies of at least a million dollars in the event of an accident…and some other very crazy, yet necessary assurances.  I keep reminding myself that we’re not a company, just a couple of fans who are trying to have a really big party!

So we’ve been working very diligently since January 2nd to find a place, and our team of convention planners have been doing such an amazing job trying to find a place.  It isn’t just Amanda and I working on this – we have six other people in on this deal with us, and we don’t know what we’d do without every single one of them. There have been many hours of blood, sweat tears going into this, and we’ve barely just begun. We are so determined to make this work and yet there have been times when Amanda and I have had to give ourselves pep talks, and read pep talks from the rest of the team, to keep going. Where there is a will, there is a way.

That brings us to today, where we finally are at a point that we’ve been at before but not with nearly as much certainty – where I think we might actually have a hotel and all of the details (such as cost, city, place and date!) to share early next week. I can’t give you that information today purely because there are a few different dates we’ve looked at, depending on the hotel and I don’t want to say one thing here and end up needing to do another next week.  I can promise you that this will be a great time that no one should miss. The other thing I can tell you is that the band had better not decide to tour or do dates in the US during Autumn, or else!

I’m looking at all of you: Nick, Simon, John, Roger & Dom.  I didn’t think I’d ever say this – but don’t you DARE think of doing a show during Autumn!

With that in mind, I have some numbers to crunch.  We want to give everyone the best bang for their buck and pick the nicest hotel that we think most people can still afford. Conventions are not cheap, and we are trying to do right by everyone. This is going to be a weekend of fun, laughter and even a little pampering.  It will likely be one of the only, if not the only weekend that we can all get together for a Duran event for the next year since the band isn’t touring – and we want to do it up right.

-R

One of Those Days

More on that whole friendship and family thing…

Funny how the best laid plans never seem to quite work out. I had big plans for yesterday afternoon, including giving my son a Pre-Algebra test. (In case you’re unaware, I homeschool my 13 year-old son.) Well, it didn’t happen. We had “kind of a lot” go on, and I found myself on the phone not once, but twice with Amanda in one day. We weren’t even planning for Duran Duran shows!!

No, we’re working with a great team of people to get a convention planned, and while I can’t give you details right now, we’re trying to figure out the “big budget” for the entire event. I’m really not trying to tease you all about the convention details, either. We’re working on a few things, and once contracts have been signed and everyone feels ready, I promise I will shout everything from every rooftop I can find, as well as on this blog. Rather than give you eye-droppers full of information every few weeks, we’d really just like to give you everything at one time. Call us crazy. (We really are.)

In any case, a few things became glaringly apparent to me last night. One, I am not good with money. I mean, I’m good with budgets, but they stress me out all at the same time. I had SUCH a stomach-ache last night. You see, we’re not cavalier about the idea of how much a weekend should cost or the value that should be found within. We know what we would expect of a convention, and we want to deliver. We also know far too much about what kinds of things like this cost. We insist that we do right by our fellow fans, and we insist a lot more out of ourselves than we ever would of other people. So yes, it’s stressful.

While I sat on the floor talking to Amanda, with my computer in front of me and little slips of paper with lists, calculations, and my calculator scattered on the floor around me…I attempted to fold myself basically in half trying to make my stomach ache go away. (it didn’t work, by the way) My nerves were working overtime at this point.  I was desperately trying not to bite my nails off, and all the while – Miss Amanda sounded as cool as a cucumber on the other end. She said she wasn’t at all nervous, and she certainly didn’t sound it.  I think I began every single sentence with “I worry that….” and she had answers for nearly all of it.  If she didn’t have answers, she was certainly trying to be far more creative, where all I continued to do was throw more worry around as though it were confetti at New Years Eve.

What I realized was that it isn’t just our friendship that continues to keep us working together, it is the way we compliment one another so well. Where I completely fail, Amanda is strong. Where Amanda might falter, I tend to navigate well. We are lucky our paths crossed, and believe me, when one of us isn’t around or our attention is suddenly diverted…the other feels the absence. I am not sure I would want to continue the blog or develop our plans for the next year without Amanda’s input. Not only would it never be the same, I don’t think I could completely handle everything without her. That’s friendship.

So I say to the rest of you, sure – this fandom is competitive in a way that drives me crazy. I can’t stand the politics of it all at times. I love the band, I love the music and I love going to shows. I don’t love the vibe that comes over any and all of us whenever the band is around and even semi-accessible. We become a shark feeding-frenzy.  I really hate that, and I try not to get involved.  Sometimes I fail miserably, but I try. All of that aside though, the friendships I’ve made along the way are more than worth it. I don’t have photos with the band, I don’t own drumsticks that Roger has given me at a show. I don’t collect their signatures as though they’re trophies. I have friends. Those prizes are worth their weight in gold and then some.

-R