Category Archives: Daily Duranie

Happy Birthday Rhonda!!

Today is a special day in Daily Duranie-land!  It is Rhonda’s birthday!!  I start looking forward to writing this blog about the same time as when I start pondering what to buy/make for her birthday!  (Fun Amanda fact–I love giving gifts!!!)  I want every birthday blog to be unique and special, including this one.  After 11 years of friendship and 5 years of doing this blog, I have learned a lot about Rhonda and about myself.  Most importantly, though, I have learned a lot about friendship!

Vodka is hobby

By now, all of you have heard about how/where Rhonda and I met.  Virtually, we met on the no longer in existence message board, duranduranfans.com.  In person, we met at the Duran Duran Fans Convention called Friends of Mine in September 2004.  Besides our mutual love in Duran Duran, we quickly discovered that we enjoyed having fun on a night out and laughing!!

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From there, we discovered that we both LOVE, LOVE, LOVE talking about anything and everything Duran Duran.  In fact, when others seekindred fansm to tire of the conversation or got other interests, there we were–still talking, still thinking, still analyzing.  We understood that we truly loved the band in the same way and for the same reasons.  Kindred fans.

Then, we discovered that our similar fandom philosophies carried over into toBiloxi lineuring!  Once we toured together, we knew that we had found our touring partners for life!  It seems to me that a lot of people can be friends and be good friends, but it takes something special to be able to travel together.  The two of us have been to many places around the country and to the UK twice.  We have been on planes, trains and automobiles together.  There have been many, many, many hotel rooms throughout our friendship history.  concert ticketsTraditions have been established and we fall quickly into routines when on tour together.  It is like we were born to tour!!!  In fact, I would go so far as to say that touring is really where we are most happy.  Of course, a big part of that is seeing those litle Duran Duran concerts but it is also where our friendship comes alive and gets renewed!

Of course, we didn’t stop there with just conversations about Duran Duranbest friend or going to see the band on tour.  No…we had to do more!  So, I said, “Let’s write a book about fandom!”  Rhonda said, “Cool!  Let’s do a daily blog, too!” And this little entity was born!  This monster, this beast, this larger-than-life thing is more than just a book or a blog or a website or many social media handles or meet-ups or conventions or a message board.  It is something much much larger than the sum of its parts.  No matter how we describe it or define it, it is truly our baby.  We gave birth and have nurtured it all along the way.  It has grown and developed and we couldn’t be prouder.

crazy friendLife, though, is not always smooth or perfect.  There are bumps along the way, especially when turns are taken.  At those times, when bruises are fresh, our friendship, our bond and our fortitude has gotten stronger.  Why?  Simple.  We have each other’s back, no matter what.  I have often thought about the friendships between the guys in Duran.  They have experienced the ups and the downs of life.  Throughout it all, they have managed to be able to work together, to create together, and to be friends together.  It seems to me that this gift is really rare.  How many people can say that they can work with their best friends?  How many people can travel with their beloyal st friends?  How many people have stuck with their best friends through all that life throws at them?  I suspect the number is really pretty low.  This is why I know how special my friendship is with Rhonda and I assume that she feels the same about me.

Amanda & Rhonda Ace RooftopOn this day, the anniversary of the birth of my best friend, I find myself feeling like the person who has received a gift.  I got the best friend I could ever ask for.  She is someone who makes me laugh and laughs at my wacko sense of humor.  She is someone who shares my passion for Duran Duran and is willing to work her ass off right along side mine to show that love and devotion through everything we have created together.  I couldn’t ask for a better touring partner-in-crime as we certainly know how to have fun together and always will and, most importantly, I couldn’t ask for a more loyal friend.  She will always have my back and I will always have hers.  We will always, always be there for each other.  Truly, we share in this gift of friendship.  Durham drunk

Happy Birthday, my dear friend!  I absolutely wish that this is the best year of your life (until the next one!) and that you experience nothing but joy, laughter and fun as well as a little/lot of Duran Duran!!!  Love ya lots!!

-A

 

Miss me yet?

Did you notice I was gone last week?  While I feel badly about not blogging at all, there’s a certain part of me that is glad I didn’t. Many of you probably know that my oldest moved to her college dorms and last Thursday was move-in day. My week was spent doing about 50,000 loads of laundry, packing bins and boxes, and admittedly – fighting back a lot of tears. My feelings are very mixed right now. I’m proud and happy, but also a tiny bit sad and even a little bit lonely. Heather is my oldest, my first baby – the one I had to “learn” on, and she’s been my buddy since the day she was born. As she got older, we grew closer, despite those nasty teenage years (I was lucky with this one, but I suspect her younger sister will be a force to reckon with) Now she’s at my alma mater, having what I believe will be the time of her life. I’m here at home, watching Bachelor in Paradise and Cutthroat Kitchen by myself.  It isn’t just an adjustment for me, but one for the entire family. My youngest has decided that throwing a tantrum or two (she’s a very young seven who is used to being doted on by her older sister) is the way to go. So it’s been delightful as I calmly but firmly redirect. (sometimes, not so calmly…) We’ll all adjust eventually…I hope.

The good news here is that most people might not have even noticed I was gone, despite the lack of a daily post.  Each day, readers should have seen a new picture poll posted, and probably even some discussion up on our Facebook page about the new album. Friday, Saturday and even Sunday there were blogs just as normal…and all of it due to Amanda.

Over the past five (yes FIVE!) years we’ve written and operated Daily Duranie, it has become increasingly apparent many have absolutely no idea that there are two of us here doing the work. Amanda will be on Twitter chatting with people on our @dailyduranie account, and they’ll automatically assume she’s me, even though she always “signs” her tweets with “-A”.  The same happens with email, or even when people have something they want to share…they address emails, messages, etc. solely to me. While I love talking with anyone and everyone about this band, I have to wonder why no one seems to recognize or acknowledge that Amanda is easily the hardest working one out of the two of us…and she really and truly IS. So, maybe readers can share some of your perceptions with us.

With that in mind, I think it’s time for a little Daily Duranie “Primer”:

I am not the sole owner of Daily Duranie, and Amanda is absolutely not second-in-command. We are equal partners in every single way.  When we first began the blog, she and I agreed that I would be responsible for writing blogs Monday through Thursday, and she would write Friday through Sunday. Over time, we began adding things like the daily questions, polls, and chatting with everyone on social media. Amanda does most of that, to be honest. We both keep the calendar updated, I handle the website maintenance and upkeep (I hate that part), we both answer comments, and thank GOODNESS we’re in this together. I could never do it all alone and I wouldn’t have ever even tried if it hadn’t been for her.

Perhaps, Amanda and I complement each other so well that no one realizes we’re two people! I’m far more casual in my writing. I wear my feelings on my fingers, so to speak. My blogs read similarly to how I might write an email or talk to a friend. I figure we’re all friends here, anyway. Amanda is definitely the more intellectual one. She is a thinking-person’s sort of writer, and she knows her Duran Duran history better than anyone I have ever met.  In contrast, I still struggle with the band’s birthdates, regularly forget names of songs, etc. (I also call my children by every OTHER name than their own, so there’s that). Amanda seems to know every date in Duran history, while I can’t seem to remember when Rio was released. I do my best, and fall woefully short much of the time. I handle the backend of this website (which sounds far dirtier than it is), and I don’t think Amanda has ever dared tread around back there…yet she’s definitely the more detail-oriented one out of the two of us. I’m more of a “big-idea-with-no-plan-for-implementation” person. I’ll come up with dumb-ass ideas like “Let’s ask Dom Brown for an interview!” and not have any clue how to reach him other than, for example, throwing a note up on stage at a show.  (This didn’t actually happen…but it makes a good story, doesn’t it?!! I actually sent him an email, with my hands shaking the entire time. Thank GAWD he didn’t request a phone interview because I’m pretty sure I would have turned blue and passed out from a lack of oxygen.) On the other hand, Amanda has a calendar at home that she keeps updated with what we have planned out for the two of us to do. If it weren’t for Amanda, nothing would get done here much of the time.

What is particularly frustrating and very discouraging for her is that she’s not acknowledged for the amount and quality of her work. It is apparent that many automatically assume this is completely my deal, or that Amanda is my supporting player. That couldn’t really be further from the truth, and is not the image we care to present. Selfishly, the last thing I need is for the world to assume that I am somehow the only face behind Daily Duranie! Over the years, we’ve been contacted by a variety of people for a plethora of reasons; whether it’s fellow fans asking a question, authors wanting  a book reviewed, or even people inviting us to things – and usually they typically only ask for me. I am left wondering why. I would love to read your perceptions, dear readers. This question really isn’t about why you might like my writing or Amanda’s writing.. (in fact I would very much appreciate those opinions being left to oneself). I am asking why it may seem, or IF it seems that Daily Duranie is only one person.  Bonus points for examples!

As always, I look forward to reading your well-thought out insights.

-R

Crisis Equals Opportunity: The Daily Duranie Facebook

Today has been quite a day. During the summer, Amanda and I have committed ourselves to working on projects together via Skype, and today was no exception. We got online, chatted a bit and settled down to work. That’s when the day was completely derailed.

Amanda went to log on to our Daily Duranie Facebook account like normal, only to find that she couldn’t get into our account. We were locked out and Facebook wanted to confirm our identity…something that has never happened before. It wanted government ID, a birth certificate or something similar. While we acknowledge that Daily Duranie has taken on a life of it’s own….it’s not quite THAT big. We thought we’d been hacked, to be honest.

So, we settled into trying to understand why this happened. In a nutshell, Facebook wants to “encourage” people to only use their real names for personal accounts. This is of course, because they want businesses, public figures, bands, magazines, entertainment entities, authors, etc to create a Facebook Page instead. Pages are more of an advertising type of entity as opposed to a personal account for regular ole folks. Pages are fine, but the main problem is that in order to get your posts widely seen – EVEN by those who follow – you must pay to have the posts “boosted”.  That’s great if you’re a business who has a revenue stream to support such activity, but if you’re a small blog like us?  That’s an issue, and that’s one reason Amanda and I agreed to stick with a regular account, and all was fine until today.  Today Facebook decided that we weren’t getting in. Period. No warning, no measure for helping or allowing us to just move the account to a page, nothing. We could try to appeal (which did not work), or move forward.

So we set about creating the new Daily Duranie Facebook Page, and fretting about all that we’d lost. Maybe none of you realize, but we’re talking nearly FIVE YEARS of hard work. Posts. Pictures. Nearly 2500 friends. Real friends from around the world. The more I typed, fixed profile pictures and cover photos, messaged Duran Duran pages and groups…the bigger the knot in my stomach and throat became. We have put blood, sweat and tears into this blog in a way that no one on the planet can really understand. It has felt at times that for every two steps forward, we’ve taken five backward. Yet, I couldn’t separate myself from Daily Duranie even if I tried, because it’s ME. It’s Amanda. It’s US.  And a large part of the two of us is now in Facebook jail. Welcome to Tuesday, my friends.

As I set about understanding the reasoning why our account – out of all the thousands of FB accounts who go by pseudonyms instead of birth names – was chosen today, I discovered that the only way Facebook really keeps track is if they were told about us. That means that someone, most likely a “friend”, made the point to tell Facebook about us and mention that we’re not a real person. Except of course, we are.

Upset? Yes. Wounded? Sure. Done? Not even close. We’re just getting started.

So instead of working on the other projects today, Amanda and I have been scrambling to get the page together, tell people what happened, we’ve BEGGED Duran Duran to retweet our page link (nothing yet, but we’re hopeful – surely they have to know how much we’ve done for this community in the past five years???), and mostly – WE NEED YOU.

Please, please, PLEASE come to the new page. Like it and then share the link with others. We’ve tried to go to some of the pages and groups we know, but to be honest – there are thousands of groups and pages, and only two of us. We need help. Desperately.  Here is the new link to the page, and we hope to see you there.  Send us a note, post to the page…make us laugh, and let’s keep this party going.

https://www.facebook.com/dailyduranieblog

Amanda and I like a good challenge, and maybe this will end up being a good thing in the long run. John Taylor has this saying that is from Eastern philosophy that is on the cover of his (solo) Feelings Are Good CD. Crisis equals opportunity.

We’re going to go with that.

-R

Daily Duranie Spring Break

Originally, this blog – this post – was to be about a great many things. Simon’s recent interview, what fandom really means, and a plethora of other things that I wrote, re-read and deleted. Repeat.

Instead, this blog post is going to be a good-bye of sorts. I don’t want to get into the details, because in this case, they really do not matter to anyone but Amanda and me. What matters most is that Amanda and I have agreed to take a break, and it will be the most significant break we have ever taken from Daily Duranie. We’ve been at this for four years, six months and three days, as of today. I don’t even know how many posts that is offhand, but it’s a lot. Our collective spirits need a break. It’s not that the blog or being a Duran Duran fan isn’t fun….but it isn’t very much fun right now. We need a real refresher, with hopes that if and when we get back to it, we’ll be recharged and ready. So, we’re calling this our “Spring Break”.

For the next few weeks or so, you can imagine that we’re on a beach somewhere. Well, I am anyway…. Amanda probably isn’t because she’d be telling me that she’s baking alive or something like that. Maybe just imagine us in a bar somewhere. Having many vodka tonics and not talking about Duran Duran or fandom. That’s probably more accurate (well, the vodka tonic part certainly is). The good news is that we can make this whole bar scene happen in a couple of weeks when Amanda arrives in California for a visit.

-R

Happy Holidays from Daily Duranie!

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

We would like to take a minute to wish each of you a wonderful holiday season. While we still enjoy writing the blog each day, we are very much looking forward to the prospect of shows to attend and review, and seeing many of you on our various journeys. It has been far too quiet around here!!!

Additionally, we would like a word with the band, if any of them ever happen to stumble upon this blog…

We’ve been VERY GOOD FANS this year, and as such, we’re begging, please finish the album and do some shows next year! We wish everyone: band members, “permanent” band members, “founding” band members, “back-up” band members, and even “former” band members and management, a wonderful holiday with your friends and families, and we really hope to see YOU on stage and hear you coming from our stereos with new music in 2015!

Merry Christmas!!!

Amanda & Rhonda

This is how a road gets made

It’s that time of the year again when I get antsy, and the next thing you know we’re moving the blog.

Please consider this fair warning that for the next few days, hopefully beginning late this afternoon California-time there may be times when this site, Daily Duranie, is unavailable and/or you will be seeing a redirect notice.  Our blog itself will not be changing, but I am doing major back-end maintenance and while it will not necessarily affect what you, our dear reader, sees…trust that I am making major inroads and improvements and moving the blog to a self-hosted site, which will allow us more flexibility. Additionally, at some point you will likely see improvements made to the actual construction of the blog that will allow Amanda and I to continue moving forward with our plans for world domination.

Thanks for your patience and support – and if you have questions, comments or concerns you can always contact us via Twitter and Facebook.

-R

I Took You Home

It has been a week!  Between the first week at a new school and a new job for me and all of the, shall-we-call-it, dialogue in Duranland about corporate gigs, performances, and retweets, I’m exhausted.  No, I’m spent.  Wiped.  Drained.  Fatigued.  After allowing myself to sleep in, I began searching for a pick-me-up, something to renew my spirit.  Then, it hit me!  We had a couple friends get their orders from Cafe Press from our store and they shared their excitement with us!

First, our friend, Julie, showed off her fabulous, new Daily Duranie traveling mug!  By the way, I, too, ordered one of those and LOVE it!  It is super well-made and I love how the top can act as a handle, if you want that.

Julie Travel Mug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, our friend, Al, modeled his cool, new Daily Duranie tank top!  I can’t wait to hear what gets asked or said to him when he wears it out in public!

Al Tank Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this kind of thing such a pick me up?  Not only do I love that our friends have products that they like, which is part of the reason we opened a store, but it is so nice to know that we have friends like these.  Their support means everything to us.  Seriously.  When things get intense and they really did this week, this support helps keep us going!

If you, too, order from our Cafe Press store, we would love to get pictures of you with the products!!!

-A

Dream Teams, Unstaged.

Big announcement today in Duranland!  If you wanted the chance to see David Lynch’s Unstaged on a big screen – here is your opportunity!  On September 10, for “One Night Only”** you can see Unstaged in the US on a theater near you!  While it might not be the same as a live show, it’s about as close as we’re going to get for a while…and for those of us who are STARVING for a show…we’ll grab at the tickets as though they were a lifeline!

Theatrical-Poster_Duran-Duran_Final.jpeg-207x300

Reactions to this announcement have been rather mixed throughout the community (as they always are).  I’ve seen everything from people excitedly posting that they will scream and dance in the aisles with friends to those who seem to think that having the screening just once, in NYC, was enough (I might say that is an incredibly selfish comment). I hope that the rest of the world gets the opportunity to see Unstaged on a big screen…although I know the process for making that happen can be rather daunting.

For tickets to Unstaged, click here

**interestingly enough, in some areas, you can also catch Unstaged on September 14. I don’t know why this is, but I’m not complaining!

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About those dream teams…

We’ve been seeing all sorts of photos with Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson and the band, but there’s another dream team in town this week! Anna Ross is working on her own solo album, and this past week she’s been in the studio with Dom, and they sent out their OWN dream team photo on Facebook today:

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photo Facebook/Anna Ross

Looking forward to hearing what they’ve been working on!  

Lastly, Amanda and I have been doing a little work of our own this past week, which included (but by no means was limited to) editing our entire manuscript…all 260+ pages. We edited for grammar and content, and then worked on our sources, which was a sorry mess due to our lack of attention.(which will NEVER, EVER happen again…)  We have a plan going forward, things we want to focus on, and projects that we want to start.  I also want to move my family to Madison…so there’s also that.  

ARmanuscript
photo Amanda Pustz

I’m still trying to get myself back together here at home after being gone for a week…and I had quite the adventure getting home in between a monsoon that hit Phoenix which delayed our stopover there, and the crazy imposed 11pm landing curfew at my home airport (John Wayne). Eventually, the plane made it here though, and now it’s back to reality.  Yay?!?

-R

Try Much Harder Until the Truth is Drawn

Recently, I have been trying to describe what is this website is, what we do here and why.  Perhaps, you could explain it far easier than I could when I tried.  I can describe what it is NOT well.  Yes, it is a blog, but it is also more than that.  How do you define “blog”?  The definition I found was something about a personal website in which someone records an opinion on a regular basis.  Well, we certainly do record our opinions on a regular basis, a VERY regular basis.  I’m sure, at times, people wish that we didn’t record our opinions so much.  Yet, we have had and still have a lot to say about being a Duranie, about being a fan, about fandom, about Duran Duran and more.  Thus, this place definitely fits the definition of “blog”.  Yet, if you have taken any time at all to look around, you see that there are other pages.  These pages discuss our book and the various fan events that we have organized.  Our book, I promise you, showcases years of research, both in the written word type research and in the observation type research.  The fan events show that we have planned events.  Why?  What is the point of all this and how do we think we are doing with it?

I have thought a lot about WHY we do all of this.   Our book came first.  When we first thought of writing a book, it was probably more focused on just life as a Duranie.  It led to broader questions.  What is fandom?  What is being part of a fandom like?  Are all fandoms alike?  Are there negatives?  If so, what are they?  Why do people join fandoms?  Why do they leave them and why do they stay?  To summarize, we decided that fandom was fascinating.  We wanted to understand it and those people in fandom.  We wanted to understand OURSELVES.  Our book is all about curiosity and understandings.  Yet, of course, you can see a lot of that within our posts here, too.  We research and write to seek answers and understandings.  The blog came next, in order to continue this process.

Beyond expanding the process we had with the book, this place has also provided a place to discuss what is happening.  We have lots of thoughts when it comes to Duran Duran and being Duranies.  Over time, we had lost our place to discuss such things.  We needed a home.  Soon, we realized that others might, too, need a place to discuss the same things.  We have always welcomed others who want to discuss.  (Of course, the key word there is “discuss”.  There is a big difference between discussion and attempting to tear others’ down.)  Thus, this “place” came to be not only somewhere where Rhonda and I could process our thoughts regarding research on fandom and discuss all things Duran, but I would like to think it is also a “place” for others to do the same.  I, for one, love thinking critically about these topics and know that having discussions make me do that.  Hopefully, we help others to do the same.

One of the themes that we have come back to over and over, both in our research and here on the blog, is the importance of connections, when it comes to fandom.  Connections and friendships are really what matters.  This led us to create meet ups and the convention, Durandemonium.  There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing Duranies connect with each other.  I remember right after the convention seeing all the attendees friending or following each other on social networking sites.  Many of those connections are still alive and well, too.  I also believe that these connections work to keep the fandom alive during lulls and intensify the fandom during periods of excitement.

What do you think?  Does that describe what we are all about here?  All of that said, there are many things that we are not.  This is not the place to get unreleased Duran Duran news.  Why?  That is simple.  First, we don’t know anything before any of the rest of you.  While like many of you, we hear “rumors”.  We would never post those as facts.  We aren’t comfortable doing that, no matter how strong a rumor is.  To us, it is more respectful to the band to wait until something is official.  Does this stop us from being more “popular” in the fan community?  I’m sure.  A lot of people want to read about inside scoops.  I can understand that, but it won’t be us sharing them.  We are also not a place to share a lot of pictures of the band, gush about the band or post information about the band’s private lives.  Like the inside scoops, we don’t have access to the band.  Even if we did, that isn’t what this place is all about.  Likewise, while we are most definitely fans, we want to dive a bit deeper beyond how fabulous they are.  We want to think a bit more critical.  Again, that probably doesn’t make us super popular.

We aren’t here to be popular or to prove ourselves to be bigger/better fans.  On the contrary, we would like to get rid of the idea of bigger/better fans.  In fact, that kind of idea works against fandom, we believe.  It works to destroy fan communities and people’s enjoyment within fandom.  Our reason for being here is simple.  We are here to understand fandom, to discuss Duran Duran and being Duranies and to encourage fans to connect with each other.  I’m not sure we have achieved that goal but I am proud that we try.  I am proud of what we have done so far.  That means far more to me that my/our social status within the fan community.

-A