Category Archives: convention

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