Category Archives: convention

You Had Plans All Along

If someone asked you what your greatest strength or talent was, what would you say?  I’m not talking about the skill or quality for a job interview, even though it could be used at work as well.  No, I’m thinking about the essential element of who you are and when you are using this, it feels good and right.  Would Simon say that he is an entertainer?  What about Nick?  Or John?  Would they say artist?  Multi-media specialist?  The past week has made me think a lot about what mine is.  This skill or quality I am thinking of is used here with fandom, at work and during political actions or campaigns.

Some of you have guessed that it is organization.  I thrive in situations which require organization.  To me, there is nothing better than when I have worked hard to organize something and it goes well.  I feel that way at work when I plan a great lesson.  I definitely feel that way when political campaigns result in a win for my candidates.  Likewise, I love when I am able to organize surrounding my fandom.  Over the last eight years or so, Rhonda and I have found ourselves organizing various fan events from simple meet ups to online parties to a full-blown weekend convention.  Each time those events went well, I felt successful.  Sometimes, like with the convention, Durandemonium, successful doesn’t adequately describe how I felt afterwards.  I was on top of the world, ready to do more.  I mean, who doesn’t like it when the core of who they are helps to create something fun?

As you all know, Rhonda and I have been thinking about doing something like a mini-convention in Las Vegas during the weekend that the band is playing there in February 2019.  We have brainstormed some ideas and have sought out information.  Hopefully, we will be able to figure out something definite soon so that we can share and start signing people up!  Here is what I can tell you.  Right now, we are thinking about doing something Thursday night as a welcome party of sorts.  Then, we would have activities during the day on both Friday and Saturday.  Obviously, Friday and Saturday nights would be taken up with the shows themselves.

For those of you who were not at the convention in 2013, some of the activities we had included get to know you games (Duran style), other Duran related games, video viewing, book talks and a party.  If you were at Durandemonium, what did you think of those activities?  Which did you like best?  If you weren’t at that convention, what sounds good to you?  What are some other suggestions you might have?

We would like to get the ball rolling for whatever we do in Vegas as quickly as we can for various reasons, including to reserve a space, start planning the activities and make sure that everyone knows that they should come in on Thursday to party with us!  Nothing is obviously definite as there are lots of factors that we need to consider before we totally commit to it, but I am feeling optimistic.  Maybe, it is just my desire to use those organizational skills but I don’t think so.  Is there anything much better than a bunch of Duranies hanging out together and having fun?  I don’t think so!

-A

Convention update

Hi everyone, Rhonda here – not that it’s unusual for me to blog on a Monday, but it’s me. Anyway, I wanted to give a very brief update on convention plans. Many have asked us about it, and I want to be as clear as possible.

First of all, both Amanda and I would like to have a convention this year. Our friend Jason at the Hard Rock worked to get a very nice deal together for us, and we appreciate his efforts. At this point in time, however, we are struggling with two things: Money (for deposits) and time.

The money part is simple: it costs money for deposits, and while a few thousand dollars may not seem like a lot – I can assure you that it absolutely is when it is your money, you’re on a limited budget, and there’s some concern about whether or not you’d get it back.  We have had some discussion about doing a sort of Kickstarter where we offer various ticket packages and other opportunities so that we could earn the money for convention costs. We would offer everything from a way for people to support the convention, to VIP packages for the entire weekend. The hope would be to raise enough money where we could pay the deposits without Amanda and I having to be on the hook financially.

That leads me to the second issue: time. There is never really enough of that.  I’m finding that I have to devote my extra time to other personal family things right now. That may change in the next few weeks, or it may not. This is a time where I’d give my eye-teeth for additional help, but I know that most people just want to GO to the convention and not have to plan one. I just am not sure if I can devote all of the time necessary for it to be a success, and I can’t make that determination just yet.

This is not the update I would have wanted to give several weeks or months back. Life has a crazy way of changing and I sometimes struggle to keep up. I will be keeping Amanda updated with what’s going on, and from there we will make some decisions. That’s really the best I can do right now. No, it’s not where I wanted to be or how I wanted to do it – but it’s what I have to work with right now. I realize that some of you need time to plan for travel and so forth, and I apologize for not being able to give better answers right now.

-R

Please Don’t Think Twice or Be Afraid

Thank goodness it is the weekend and a long weekend for many of us, at that.  My head is reeling about a variety of topics, but I figured a little Lyric Day blog might help me focus.  What song did I land on with my search?  Arcadia’s Say the Word.  If you are unfamiliar with this song, it was featured on the Playing for Keeps movie soundtrack.  Using this song for the blog made me really look at the lyrics, probably for the first time ever.  I could sing along with this song but never really studied what the heck it talked about.

Right away, the lyric that grabbed my attention was, “Please don’t think twice or be afraid.”  Wow.  I’ll be honest.  That lyric really speaks to me.  I used to have a colleague that would talk about how each person had an emotion that ruled over them.  She explained that this emotion would be the dominant one, the one a person would fall back on.  At times, of course, the person would feel a different emotion but s/he would always return to the dominant one.  I found the theory fascinating despite not knowing if this was a legitimate theory studied by science or psychology.  Heck, for all I know, it could be something she made up.  No  matter, it got me thinking and often got us talking.  As teachers, we would talk about kids’ dominant emotions.  As an individual, I wondered what my emotion was.

Years later, I think I know my dominant emotion.  To be honest, it is probably fear.  Don’t get me wrong.  It isn’t a shaking in your boots kind of fear.  No, it is more like an underlying anxiety about what could go wrong.  I mask it well and have learned to compensate.  At work, it makes me a perfectionist.  I am over-prepared as far as my lesson planning goes.  Despite having taught for two decades, I still worry the most about what my lessons are going to look like as I worry about falling on my face.  (Seriously, people…imagine facing judgmental little teenagers everyday.  You, too, might worry about lessons.  Ha.)  On top of that, I recognize that if I appear as someone with utter confidence, that way I’ll be more likely to be successful at something.  I have become a good actress in that sense. During social situations, that fear results in me often sitting back and watching before I jump into a friendship or even a conversation.  To some, then, I appear less than friendly or even cold.  Nope.  I’m just making sure that I won’t look like an idiot.

While this quote makes me think about all of that, right now, it makes of think of this possible convention Rhonda and I are planning.  Between the two of us, I go in sounding more positive, more sure of our success.  In reality, that underlying fear is there with something like this even though I know that we can organize well and that the last one was successful.  Like with everything else, I recognize that having that confidence makes it more likely to work.  Every positive or encouraging comment really helps.  It is harder, though, when people put down the idea because the band won’t be there or won’t play there or that our timing is bad, etc.  Each time, that fear gets a little bigger and I work really hard at pushing that negativity down.

Therefore, as we go forward through this process, I am giving myself a lot of positive self-talk to reassure myself that there are many fans who like the idea or even love the idea.  I’m going to remind myself that we can and will absolutely do this, if at all possible, and make it a success.  I won’t let fear dictate my actions or my reactions to others.  Nope.  I will move forward with my head held high and confidence even higher.  I refuse to be afraid.

-A

You caught me in your web of youth: Those young Duranies

January 11th has got to be one of the most boring days on the Duran Duran history calendar, I swear. There are only three items of interest on this date, one of them being that they performed at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in 1989.  That would have been during the Big Thing tour, I believe. Let us know if you were there!

As I was typing this, I thought of my friend Michael, who I believe is from the outskirts of Atlanta (or else I’m really getting this screwed up, in which case I still implore you all to stick with me…there really is a point, I promise!) Then I thought about the year 1989. I’m thinking Michael wasn’t even born yet…which blows my mind, to be honest.

You see, Michael is about one of the coolest Duranies I’ve met. It isn’t that he’s a rock star, or that he knows Roger Taylor personally, or that he’s a distant relative to Andy Taylor (none of which is true, at least that I’m aware of…), it is that Michael is young. By young, I don’t just mean younger than me. I mean that Michael is only two years older than my oldest! He’s YOUNG. And he’s a Duranie.

(and he put up with Amanda and I in Las Vegas, which probably should earn him some sort of medal)

Now, I don’t mean to pick on Michael, by now he’s probably reading this and wondering why on earth I had to go picking on him today, but it is people like my friend Michael that still give me great hope. He flew across the country to go to the show in Las Vegas, he hung out with some really great people (Amanda and I aside, the group he hung with were wonderful), and he really loves Duran Duran. I can’t even get my oldest to listen to Duran Duran.

Well, that’s not really true. She hears them while shopping, or even in the gym, and texts me things like

“IT IS A CURSE!”

“DO YOU PAY THEM TO FOLLOW ME?”

“I AM GOING TO HEAR THEM WHEN YOU DIE AND THEN WHAT, MOM??”

The thing is, I love that Michael found Duran Duran. And I’m really thankful he came to our Daily Duranie party. I love that there are young people who love the same band I grew up listening to, and that despite our obvious range in ages, we have this band in common. How cool is that?

Often, I’ll see younger fans post on Tumblr or even Twitter, and invariably, some older “get off my lawn” type of fan (basically someone like me, I guess!) will shoot them down and destroy their dreams in a single response.  Sometimes warranted, other times, it is just inhospitable. Sure, we’re all different. Times and music have changed. Yet, if we stop to think for a moment, we do have that band in common. It is the music between us.

Yep, on this date in 1989, Duran Duran played the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and that was way before my friend Michael was a twinkle in his mom’s eye…little did we all know the best was yet to come in the decades ahead, right?

-R

I came by invitation to general Chelsea mayhem

A fandom is populated by many different types of personalities. Some people are quiet and reserved, some are very outgoing with strong personalities, and still others are there solely for the object of interest itself.

As one might imagine, the same holds true for Duran Duran. Not everyone is here to interact with other fans. Some are here solely for the band. Some just want the music and don’t care about the band itself, other fans, or any of that. Others are curious about other fans but they’re not the type to jump in with both feet. Still others really want to create connections with other fans.

Durandemonium 2018 is going to be a fantastic, VIP-style, non-stop party. If you decide to accept our invitation and attend, you should know that you’re going to be in exceptional company with people who love Duran Duran, but also value friendships they’ve made (or will make) in this community. Those relationships and memories will more than withstand the career of the band, by the way.

The people who attend Durandemonium won’t be there to chase down the band as they go from black Escalade to elevator.  They aren’t expecting the band to play (however awesome that might seem!).  They will be there to celebrate being a fan and sharing that sort of kinship with other fans of Duran Duran. Our guests will arrive knowing that we are celebrating forty years of fandom, and the best way to do that is with one another. There will be singing and dancing, merriment and debauchery, but it will be our guests making it all happen. It will be those memories, from an exclusive weekend with like-minded friends, that carry them to the next tour and beyond.

There is nothing wrong with fans who plan their vacations around Duran Duran’s tours. Been there, done that myself more than once and my car has the mileage to prove it! I applaud the people who are so driven to shake Nick’s hand or get the best picture of Simon or Roger that they’ll wait all weekend for them. I love the avid concert goers that will drive all over the country just to catch the band in concert one more time. These are people after my own heart.

However, there are a ton of opportunities that already exist for fans like that. They’re called tours.  This party is for the cool people.

Everyone can be a fan, but not everyone can attend Durandemonium.

-R

 

 

Durandemonium is coming. Again.

So what is this I hear about a Durandemonium convention in August? Whose crazy idea was THAT?!?

I hate to say it, but I think I might be the guilty party.

Imagine the scene: we’re at the Daily Duranie “Late Bar” party in Vegas, everyone is having fun and a few people have asked when we’re going to do a convention. I look around and realize that yeah, we probably could have a pretty rocking convention right here in Hard Rock Live. It’s a very versatile, exclusive yet open, space for meeting, partying, dancing, etc. Could we pull it off?

I mention it to Amanda, who I think may have threatened me with bodily harm. I can’t really remember now, come to think of it! I do know she did ask me several times if I meant it, and I played it off. It’s one thing to suggest it in jest, another to say it and mean it. I needed to think.

I drive home from Vegas, go through the New Year, and really start considering whether or not the idea is even worth discussing further. A few people ask about it, which does nothing to quell the idea. Amanda and I talk about it on Friday night, and we agree to throw it out to the community by way of a poll.

A poll isn’t very scientific, and the results are only as good as the sample size. Even so, a poll generates discussion, and the reaction might tell me whether or not it’s worth looking into. Amanda and I chuckle as we post the poll on Facebook and Twitter. We assume we’ll get less than 50 people to even answer.

Wrong.

We had fifty people respond by late Friday evening, and most were positive. This was a surprise, particularly since we made sure to indicate that ticket prices were likely to be over $200 a person for a Thursday evening through Sunday noon convention.

Nope, conventions are not cheap. They’re absolutely not free. I know that we do our meet-ups for free – and we really shouldn’t, because even those require some menial things that Amanda and I have just agreed to pay for over the years and not mention it, but a convention is very different.

It is a finely tuned balance. The risk is enormous, because we have to choose a city that Amanda and I can easily get to, as well as somewhere that fans WANT to visit. When we are planning, we have to consider how many tickets need to be sold in order to break even.  One way we encourage people to join us, is by having conventions in places that people already want to go.

That typically means sticking to larger cities, and those big cities cost money. No matter what city is chosen, we read posts from people who want to come but insist that the convention be closer to them, like in their own hometown. No matter where we choose, there is always going to be a city that is cheaper, a time of year that is better, a place we haven’t visited, etc. We do our best, and so far, we haven’t had a convention in the same city twice.

With all of that taken into consideration, is it any wonder why so few conventions happen in this fandom?

We soldier on because the one truth that Amanda and I hold most dear is that being a die-hard fan of Duran Duran is about far more than just the band. There is certainly room for those who care little about making friends and are just around to see Simon, John, Nick & Roger – and there’s something to be said for those people. They buy the same tickets and support the band in the same way we might. However, the friendships made along the way have made my  journey far sweeter.  Amanda and I believe that so fervently that we want to help facilitate more of those opportunities for fans to meet and befriend one another outside of a concert setting. In turn, those friendships are what create and maintain the community. It isn’t what Amanda and I post here on the blog that does that.  Not even  the events we plan create community. The friendships and bonds between people are what do that. Sometimes though, these conventions and meet-ups help to bring people together, and that is why we plan them.

Those who have been to other conventions and even meet-ups like the one in Vegas with us know this to be true. Somewhere along the way, it really does become the friendships that matter most. I met my best friend at a fan convention. I know other people met their closest Duranie friends at our last Durandemonium convention.  I saw a group of people who had mainly interacted online become better friends in Las Vegas, bonding over the band, karaoke and late night pizza. It wasn’t due to Amanda or myself that those things happened, but it sure gave me joy to witness it. That’s why we keep going. I love seeing people come together over the love of a band. The music is between us, and it bonds us. That’s worth celebrating. With this year marking the 40th anniversary of the very beginnings of Duran Duran, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than with people who love this band as much as I do.

That thought is what will keep me going until August.

Durandemonium is coming.

-R

 

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