Category Archives: Daily Duranie

On my way to some far destination

Wouldn’t you know it? The day has arrived. This my friends, is the final day of blogging for me for the next couple of weeks. I’m going on vacation! After packing for the next couple of days, I will be gone from Saturday until August 6th. Believe me – I very much need the break!

I really have no idea what Amanda is going to do while I’m gone. Given the last week or so, I wouldn’t truly be surprised if she lit a match to the whole blog. No, not really, I promise! She is going to take over my blog writing for me, I’ve written a couple of themed blogs for her – and we have a few guest blogs to share during my absence as well. Have no fear, the blog will go on!

On that subject, if you are feeling creative and want to share, we could still use a blog or two on any regrets you have as a fan. What does this mean? Well for example – maybe you missed a show or a tour that you really wish that you hadn’t missed. You can blog about what you missed, the reason why you missed it and so forth. Sometimes, humor helps, but sometimes, there are heartfelt reasons things happen – now is your time to share. If that topic doesn’t float your boat, you might want to write about your favorite band member. That is a favorite talking point amongst fans – I get asked about it every time I run into someone. They want to know who my favorite is, and then the next question is why. If you know our blog, then you know it’s not enough to tell us the obvious answer of “He’s totally hot!”…surely there must be more. In a lot of cases, you’ve had the same favorite band member for thirty years now – by now there must be more to it than his looks, so ‘fess up and send these, or any guest blogs, to our gmail address.

Typically when I’m gone for any length of time and I’m completely incommunicado – which will be the case for the second week of my absence (I’ll be on a cruise ship), the band starts announcing things. Shows, appearances, things like that. They have said there will be no shows in 2013 – and I’m holding them to that while I’m gone. Otherwise, I do have a backup plan, and she’ll do whatever must be done. Just let me know when I need to be on a plane.  Thanks Amanda!!

As always, a vacation would not be a vacation if something funny didn’t happen to me before I left. This time, it is an injury. I’ve been doing this crazy workout plan for about 50 days now called Insanity. It’s not at all easy, and for someone like me, one of my greatest fears each day is hitting “play” on my DVD player. There’s this Insanity meme going around that says “Your workout is my warmup.” It’s not a joke. The workouts really ARE hard, but I was seeing improvement in myself and what I could actually finish each day, so that kept me going.  Until month #2.  Month 2 was like starting all over again. The workouts were nearly impossible at first – and they are almost twice as long. That first week was pure hell, and to top it off, I started noticing some pain in my right knee. To be fair, I’ve been in pain all over my body for a while now, and I think I spent most of month 1 in some degree of soreness each day. It’s just my muscles building from the ground up, and let’s face it – each day I’m burning myself out with these workouts. But this was different, and at first I did what I do with most things – I ignored it and kept going. The trouble is, my knee got worse. It now hurts to bend it, and at some point it started hurting when I was doing absolutely nothing. This past week though, the pain was nearly excruciating when I’d try to do a simple squat, never mind some of the stretching we do, or the plyometric moves – which involve a lot of jumping. (which as I’ve been told – are Satan’s exercises) And, there’s this really NOT cool sound like dry spaghetti being broken that happens at certain times when I’m trying to get up off the floor. Yeah, that’s bad. Even I know that, and don’t even talk to me about going up or down my stairs. So, I’ve made an appointment to see our sports medicine doctor – the one that my oldest goes to for her dance injuries. I can hardly wait. (that is sarcasm right there!) I wish I could say this was just arthritis, but sadly – it’s not. My daughter had something similar (she says it sounds exactly like her injury but I’m in denial) last September and ended up with a metal framed knee brace and crutches for six weeks due to a cartilage injury.

That does not sound like fun while walking all over Florida…or on a cruise ship. Or packing and unpacking for that matter, and don’t even get me started on what it will be like in the airports. So for now, I’ve been wearing a brace on my knee, which seems to help, and staying off of my feet as much as possible. I’m a mom of a five year old, which means – I’m not off of my feet very often. So, let’s hope for the best or else it’s going to be a very long vacation.

With that in mind, I have a pile of laundry to finish and some packing to start. Try to behave while I’m gone, be nice to Amanda, and I will “see” you all in August!

-R

No going back now, even if I could, I wouldn’t change a thing.

It’s been a tough week, and it’s only Wednesday.

Lately, Amanda and I have not been feeling the Duranie love, and I think it’s safe to say that both she and I have had our resolve tested in ways we couldn’t have imagined. As I write, I am constantly reminded in one way or another of a tweet I read many months back – it was something about when you put yourself out there, you should expect to be scrutinized. I’m sure I’ve messed up the wording there, but the point is very clear.

We don’t write this blog so that everyone on the planet agrees with us. Over the years we’ve written, we’ve encouraged healthy discussion, and there have been moments where I think both of us have had our eyes opened to other sides of issues. While we might not have changed our overall opinion, we have certainly gained understanding, and I thank our readers and commenters for that opportunity. There is no way we could ever expect everyone to see our points, or to agree with us – and make no mistake, when we write the blog, we write with the expectation that at least one person out there will agree, and at least one person (and likely five) will disagree.

The only thing we’ve ever asked of our commenters is that they actually read the blog before commenting, and that when they comment, that they do it respectfully. There’s no point otherwise, because open hostility does nothing productive whatsoever. We are not the personal whipping girls of the fan community, however our readers may see us. I recognize that many believe that if we blog, we’re opening ourselves up for this sort of thing. Opening ourselves up for discussion is a lot different than allowing people to simply be rude, condescending and hostile. This is a fan community for a BAND, and on that end, this is supposed to be fun to some extent. Right now, it is not.

Recently, someone asked, rather unkindly and condescendingly about our credentials. So, let me explain once again. Amanda and I both have degrees in the social science field. We are writing a book…actually, we have pretty much finished our first manuscript and are now working on a book proposal. The book we are working on is all about fan communities. It is written from a primarily academic point of view, working behind the “lens” (so to speak) of social science. That means examining how groups of people interact, create cultures of their own and even how they affect the greater population. We don’t just talk about what a fan community is, but why fan communities exist and more importantly – why they thrive. We utilize this blog for a fair amount of our research, and I think Amanda would agree that part of the thesis behind our manuscript truly came from writing this blog. I think it’s also important to note that while the blog is written pretty casually (some of us are WAY casual – I write the blog the way I would probably talk to my friends), the book is not written like this at all. It’s formally written, but we try and interject personal stories and thoughts throughout the book so that it has a personal edge and not just academic jargon. How is it that we can assert some of the theories and ideas we have in the past few years here? Are we qualified to do that? Yes, with research, and LOTS of it, but I think that will become very clear when the book is released. Let me make this clear: we’re not trying to fix anyone (least of all ourselves), but we ARE trying to understand how or why we as a group act and react the way we do. When we ask questions hoping for discussion – this is why we do it.  If that offends you, there is a simple answer: don’t read.

One of the next projects that I am already doing research for is on the ideals of celebrity and stalking. Don’t be surprised when there are blogs on that subject, and if you see yourself in what I’m writing – take heed that I am no psychotherapist. I don’t know what goes on in the heads of any of you, nor do I honestly care to figure it out. My only concern is finding out how the group feels about the subjects as a whole. What do we consider odd behavior, behavior that is over the line and so forth. Just so we are crystal clear: my blogs are not about any one person unless it’s about myself. There are qualities in all of us that are found in some of the  scenarios I’ve read. We’re FANS. The line between crazy behavior and “normal” behavior is fuzzy at best – even in some of the most respected research that’s out there. To many writers out there, fandom itself is not normal – they explain it as a pathology! (the science or study of the origin or source of a disease)

I am never accusing anyone of inappropriate behavior because it is not my job to do so. However, I’m not going to stop talking about behaviors purely because somebody or several people is/are offended that I’d dare mention a specific thing that they do. I have no advice for those people other than to say that if you see yourself, maybe that’s an issue, and maybe not.  Again, if you’re somehow offended, don’t read. It’s a very simple answer, and believe me – I won’t be offended.

What I do find curious, and at times downright amusing, is how quickly some are to assume I’m speaking of them. There are thousands of people in this fan community. Thousands.  Amanda and I have literally met hundreds, and likely thousands of fans at this point ourselves. We have friends throughout the world, and thousands of readers on this blog as well. In the case of the research I’m currently doing, it’s not even for a book that is Duran Duran based. Why on earth would a few people just automatically assume I must mean them – out of the thousands of people we know and interact with on a daily basis?

Amanda and I have been writing for nearly three years now. When we first began the blog, we literally had no readers. We kept writing. Sometimes, someone would see something that would spark their interest, comment, and keep reading. So, when some tell me (and their friends) that Daily Duranie is unkind to fans and that they won’t read any longer – I think it’s fair to say that Amanda and I are not at all worried about that. We never started the blog hoping that it would become the most read blog in all of fandom. We started it to work on our writing. Period. Being Duran Duran fans is an easy and interesting topic for us to write about, and up until recently – we enjoyed our work.

I’m about to go on vacation, and I have to tell you all – it’s incredibly timely. I need time and space for myself. I’m not burned out on the writing. Not at all. I still love blogging each day. I’m excited to be working on a book proposal, explaining our research, giving examples of other books that might be similar to ours and showing how they are different. I love reading and researching new topics. I thrive in that place. What I do not enjoy or love at all though is defending myself as a fan, writer and person. The toughest part of writing about fandom is actually BEING a fan and having to defend that on a daily basis. To a certain extent, that is part of the job, and I’m well-aware of that. Please understand that we don’t expect people to agree with us all the time or for any of you to be our personal cheerleaders. We simply ask for some mutual respect. I know that Amanda and I are not the first this has happened to, and we won’t be the last. This fan community has the craziest way of burning people out and feeding on their own, but conversely it’s a place where I have met some wonderful people and have found my very best friends. That said, I won’t “leave” and I won’t quit blogging, because I refuse to let other people decide my destiny.  As I read recently: I won’t let anyone take my bliss away.

I’m sorry this blog post is a downer. It’s not my goal here to have people comment back saying how wonderful we are, or to tell us to go to Hell. (you can certainly feel either way though!) For me, this blog is almost as much of a personal diary as it is a way for me to research fandom and celebrity. As I mentioned above, when I write here – I write as though I’m talking to my closest friends. There are days when the blog is about teaching. There are times when the blog is about celebrating.  Other days, it’s about trying to find a general consensus. Today, I need you to sit down and understand where I’m coming from.  It’s very easy for me to be angry about some of the more recent events that have taken place “blog-wise”, but it’s unproductive. So, as I write this blog – I’m cleansing myself a bit.  I’m letting it go, and moving forward.

-R

I’ve misplaced my future. Could I please borrow yours?

Hi everyone!  This past weekend has been the sort of whirlwind I try to avoid. Somehow since you last read one of my blogs, we have acquired or been adopted by a new feline…and I’ve become the chauffeur for the entire brood of teenagers we have in our family.

On Friday night, my husband and I were sitting watching some TV when all of the sudden he sees a kitty at our sliding glass door.  This kitty looked very much like our cat Sigmond (who died a few years ago).  So, I got up to investigate.  The cat is definitely a Maine Coon and has the biggest paws I’ve ever seen.  She looked a little thin so I brought her some food, and because I know we have a lot of coyotes in this area, I made the executive decision to bring her inside.  (Which we all know is the same as saying “If I cannot find your owners, you have now been adopted! Cheers!”)  So far, no owners can be found – in fact I have to find time this week to get the kitty to the vet to see if she’s been “fixed”. (made sterile for those who do not understand my vernacular!)  I’d also like a guesstimate on her age and how big they think she’ll get.  I’d guess though that she’s about a year old.  Very much still a kitten.  I wish I had my camera on me right now because at this very moment she is sitting behind the screen of my computer and attempting to get my fingers as I type.  It’s all good until blood is drawn…

Go ahead and say it – I know – I’m a big sucker.  We’ve had many a cat come up to the back window, but it’s because this one reminds me so much of my old one that I opened up that door!  Sucker.  *sigh*  So, we’re working on a name – honestly – we think we’ve settled on Sasquatch – because she truly is Bigfoot – but we’ll call her Sassy for short.  That is, assuming we’re right that she is in fact female. There’s a lot of fur and I have battle wounds to show that I dared attempt to try and decide if she’s male or female for myself.  I’ll just let the doctors decide for sure at this point.  We have two other cats as well, and as you might imagine, it’s been fun watching them decide who is in charge.  There’s been some hissing, but no fur has flown and with each passing day they are getting closer to one another as they walk around the house or lay down.  I give them a week and they’ll be playing.

If all of that isn’t enough, and for me it really kind of has been – we have family here from England.  My kids have two cousins here that they’ve never met, and they are teenagers, about the same age as all of the older kids in the family (my youngest truly IS the youngest).  Somehow, my peaceful week of writing and tranquility has been completely destroyed.  I was assigned chauffeuring duties as the ALL the kids take turns staying over at one another’s homes, and someone has to drive them to the amusement parks and places they’ll be going this week.  Guess who that is??  While I’m glad my kids are having fun, I am longing for the idea that I was going to get work done this week.

I think it all comes down to the point that planning is futile.  At least, it seems to be for me.  There are weeks when I might have a general idea of what’s going on. But I’m finding out when you have teenagers, those ideas can be blown to hell pretty quickly.  Sometimes I sit and think about the ideas I had of my future when I was 23 and right out of college.  I could not have been more wrong!

I really believed I would find a true career for myself. Something that didn’t necessarily involve strollers, diapers and laundry, for instance. I would have never expected to be a stay at home mom, and I definitely wasn’t anticipating that I would only work for a few years at a job I hated and then retire to be a mom.  I like being a mom, but there are times when I wonder and even long for the ability to have something that is solely mine.  I think that’s where the blogging and book writing come into play – and they work just fine until I get pulled in a thousand different directions to fill roles I never quite signed on for, like this week.  I didn’t realize that all of this extra stuff was part of the job.  But then of course, no matter the career, there probably things like that – stuff you didn’t know you’d have to do or put up with.  Somehow, those little things leak in, like a slow water leak, and then at some point you’d better figure out how to bail out the water, stop the leak, or you might drown.

All of this makes me wonder if the band actually planned much for themselves beyond wanting to be rock stars.  I mean, did their careers turn out to be what they thought?  As a fan – and I know I can’t be the only one – I sometimes wonder if they really knew what it would be like. I think that whole celebrity/rock star thing is something that can really be romanticized in ones mind, but in reality is probably a pain in the behind much of the time. After all, when it boils down, it’s still a job for them. I wonder if it ended up being what they’d imagined.  I really don’t know a lot about what it’s like behind the scenes on a day to day basis – and I’m not talking about the studio time (I’ve been in the studio when a band is writing, and I have to say – at least from my own experience – unless you’re the one writing and creating it can be the most boring process EVER).  I mean, can you imagine having to do promotion tours and things?  You’re handed a sheet in the morning with a schedule on it that you’ve had almost no say in, and you’re off to the races. Not sure I’d love that.  It’s not a surprise that we’ve had reports of grouchy band members from time to time. I highly, highly doubt that their lives are that wonderful and glamorous all the time – even if they ARE being driven in a limo from one appearance or meeting to the next.  I wonder if they expected all of that along with the hit records, playing for thousands of screaming fans, or even fans going through their garbage or waiting outside of where ever they are for hours at a time.

Sometimes, I would swear MY days are like that.  Well, not the limo part, or having fans go through my garbage (unless you count my youngest noticing that I’d attempted to throw some of her “treasured rock collection” away), but – I’ll be thinking the day is going to go one way, and my oldest comes downstairs. I can see the look in her eye before she even opens her mouth, I know I’m about to have my day “redesigned”.  It’s annoying, but it’s part of my job, along with all of the glamour of laundry, litter boxes, cooking, and school paperwork.  Oh, and writing and blogging.

I must go, as my car is waiting.  Well, waiting for me to put the key in and drive my kids around.

-R

And for our 1,000th blog posting…

Today marks the 1000th posting for this blog. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it?  No pressure for a great post…none at all.

Now, before we all get excited…or at least before Amanda and I get excited…this doesn’t really mean we’ve blogged for 1000 days yet. There have been a few times where we’ve blogged twice in a day (because we’re clearly overachievers in that regard)…but even so, we’ve posted blogs 1000 times. Well, 999 until I’m finished with this one.

I feel as though there should be confetti and champagne (and certainly a show!!) instead of my coffee and a very quiet house. I haven’t even spoken to Amanda about this momentous occasion, but I can almost guarantee she is well-aware, because that is just Amanda.  I didn’t realize it myself until I checked the blog stats this morning. We’ve come a long way in nearly three years. I think back to the beginnings of the blog and the research for the book. While there are plenty of things I still feel certain about with regard to fandom, there are things specifically about this fandom, the fans specifically or the band, that I think have evolved in my mind. In no particular order…

Fandom is positive. Actually, I think that fandom goes through cycles like anything else. Sometimes it can be very positive – whether it is uplifting the spirit, or bringing people together. However, sometimes, fandom can really be downright negative, whether due to the fan community disliking something that has been done by the group, sports team, celebrity, etc…or because for whatever reason, it’s cool to be the “anti-fan”.  Fandom isn’t positive when it takes over every facet of your life or becomes your sole outlet.  Sometimes, it’s good to keep proper perspective. It isn’t very easy to do that when one blogs each day, and sometimes I find myself needing to dig myself out of a deep, dark abyss. Duran downtime doesn’t help, but the reality is, sometimes I just need to get out of the house and see some sunshine.  Taking a day off or a step back really does change the perspective!

The band is untouchable.  Ok, so before you all send hate mail, read this through. When we first began writing – the only band member on Twitter was Simon, and at the time he hadn’t even accessed his account in months. Sure, the “band” was on Myspace and Facebook, purely as a figurative thing, but my point was the band or members thereof certainly didn’t hold themselves out there to chat with the general public. I really felt that this might have been part of the band’s idea of their image – they were on a completely different playing field than the rest of us. They’re elitists and we’re commoners, so to speak. This would have been fine had it still been 1985, but after Red Carpet Massacre, I think many fans (in fact I know many fans – were tired of the act, or at least what they felt was the “act”). They simply walked away. While I know a few of them are still fans, it’s not like it once was – and plenty others walked away and didn’t ever glance back. So many other bands were reaching out to their fan bases, the boundaries between fan and artist were becoming a lot less solid with social networking…and then the band seemed to sense this and step up. No, it’s not perfect (in the eyes of many), but I think the band has tried to seem more reachable, more in touch with their fan base. I still thank Simon for coming onto Twitter whenever he feels like it and just posting a little something every now and again, even though he’s recording and writing and isn’t really “selling” anything. His tweets aren’t even about anything in particular much of the time, it’s just LIFE. I love that because it feels natural. We can reply or not reply, and I highly doubt Simon minds either way. It’s normal, and you know after thirty years for some of us – it’s nice that it finally feels that way. Do we still tweet members of the band even if they’re not around? Sure. Who cares? I don’t necessarily tweet Dom thinking that he’s actually going to answer (if he did, I’d fall off of my chair, and no one needs that image!), and I don’t force myself to think of something to tweet to him because that’s just as weird. It’s meant to be natural, and if you can get yourself to that point of talking/tweeting/replying as though they are normal human beings…the system works.  However, this would work so much better if we fans would give them a little more breathing room and stop begging for RTs and replies every time one of them gets online, but you know …baby steps of progress, right? My point here – they’re PEOPLE. They might be celebrities and they might be on your bedroom wall, but they’re still people, and they’re not nearly as unreachable, elite or untouchable (figuratively speaking!) as I might have once thought.

Fans are all here for the same reason. Out of everything I’ve learned – this comes to mind first.  The fact is, not everyone is here (meaning they count themselves as fans or within the “community of fans”) because they love this band and they want to share that mutual love with other fans, make friends, and go on the journey together. Some people are here because they are collectors: they want the photos, the mementos, etc.  Other people are here just because of the music: they go to the shows, they buy the music, but they really see no need for the connection with other fans.  Still others count themselves as fans but only want to get in front of the band, regardless of the method they feel they must use to achieve that goal.  Still others want to experience fandom with others – they like the idea of a community.  And some want a little bit of it all.  For a long time, I felt that everyone wanted pretty much the same thing, but that’s just not the case.  Yet, it takes all of us, each kind fan and every variety within – to make up this community as a whole.  It isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, and I won’t pretend to understand why some act as they do – but I accept that our individual journeys are different.

Red Carpet Massacre. I think I’ve finished my grieving cycle for this album. (About time, huh?!?) I can actually sit down and listen to most of the songs without hitting “skip”…which is a miracle!!  The fact is, at one time, I considered this album to be the biggest “F YOU” the band has ever sent to the fans. It felt like a giant slap in the face, to be honest, and I just never quite got it.  I know there are people out there that love this album and think it’s their best work, and that’s fine. I won’t say I’ve spent a ton of time listening to the album, but I will say that I hear the album much differently now than I did before. In some ways, I kind of think the album has more of a message to the fans on it than they’ll ever admit publicly…either that, or it’s just me overthinking the obvious again. We’ll just go with that for now and leave the rest for another day.

The fab five is the only way this band is successful. It is true, I believed that for many, many years. I don’t think I’m the only fan to believe that Andy was the way back to success. I was convinced we’d have a revival of the mid-80s when the reunion took place. I suppose to a small degree we might have had that – and for many it was their moment of closure for this band. I get that. (Obviously that was not the case with me!) When Andy left again, I didn’t feel that empty feeling. I recognize that for many, they do, and they wish Andy would come back. I can only say that to me, the band feels natural and normal now. Not forced. When I look back or listen back to Astronaut – I hear the album much differently, nearly nine years after it’s release. I still love the overall effort, but I also get a sense of how unnatural the album flows. It doesn’t feel easy, and of course now after reading John’s book and even Andy’s book I can understand that it was anything but. I won’t say that I was happy Andy left – because at the time I was not, but I can say that I respect the choices of the band as well as those made by Andy. They are a combination that simply did not work in the long term. Differences. That said, I believe All You Need is Now was extremely successful for the band in many ways that have nothing to do with sales or profits. While it might be true that I am “slightly biased” with regard to Dom Brown, I appreciate what he brings to the sound and stage as a member of this band. I don’t know what he and the band have worked out – I only know that it works and I hope it continues. (And it would be really nice if he’d be included in some merchandise – some of us really DO scream for Dom…just saying.)

The band has control over every decision that is made. That my friends, is a very naive statement made by someone who obviously does not have a sense of just how many moving parts are involved in a company. Many of us used to joke about throwing a beach ball with a globe print on it, and then circling the places we felt the band needed to tour next in red.  First of all – how obnoxious of us (we never did it, at least not that *I* know of!), and secondly – it’s a little silly to really believe they take the time to sit down and map out their tours. They have a team of people that do those things for them, and while I think that sure, they do make decisions from time to time on some things….the business stuff is left to the business. Simon and Nick probably don’t sit down and make a list of potential merchandise items, for example….but maybe they are at least aware of different graphic designs and things that are being created for them. When you realize that not only are there musical decisions (writing, recording, lyrics, engineering, producing, mixing…etc.) but then business decisions about PR, contracts, releasing to radio, distribution rights, touring (where to tour, what venues, contracts for roadies, stage design, show design, etc), then all of the various insurance they need, the contracts for the other musicians they work with, merchandising, the fan community, Facebook, Twitter, the website…in addition to thousands of other things I haven’t even begun to mention here, it’s pretty clear that there are some things the band just can’t get that involved with. They would never get anything finished! So while sure, it is EASY for Amanda and I to sit here and say “We think that idea is lame” or “Why on earth are they touring THERE?” or “Why aren’t they going THERE?”….the truth is that both of us realize we could never do any better. Well, at least not in every area. I still hold fast to the fact that we could run that fan community and make it worth the membership, if not make it completely free so that everyone could take part.

Writing a blog doesn’t take much time. What in the hell was I thinking?!? It takes a lot of time. Amanda and I have talked about logging in the hours we’ve spent writing, researching and maintaining the blog. I’m afraid to even start! Truthfully? I wouldn’t change a single thing.  I love writing the blog, even on the days when I can’t think of anything to say. It is a labor of love – but not the love you might think. Sure, I love the band, but I really write the blog for everyone else but the band. I love being a fan, and I love reading the notes we get from all of you, even when someone calls me out on something I’ve written. I love the idea that people enjoy reading our daily rantings, and that in some very tiny sense, we’re helping to keep the fans going. Truthfully, I’m still surprised that we’re writing, that you’re still reading, and that Duran Duran hasn’t sent us a “Cease and Desist” notice yet…although we’d really like to believe that they wouldn’t want to get rid of us!

There are many other things that I’ve changed or evolved my opinion on since the birth of Daily Duranie, but these are just a few points that come to mind over the last one-thousand posts. I’m looking forward to celebrating the next thousand with all of you.  Lastly, I want to say thank you. When we first got started on the blog, we felt like we were having a banner day when we’d get 20 readers. Thankfully, there are a few more of you reading and responding now – whether it is here on the blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, or you stop to talk to us when you spot us at a show or meet-up. Amanda and I love that (even though I’m still pretty shy and white knuckling the bar at some of our preshow meet-ups!) My point is that our readers and fellow fans of Duran Duran are what make up much of the personality of this blog, and we appreciate every last one of you. THANK YOU.

-R

How does it happen, does it fly through the air?

Sometimes it becomes very, very clear just how little I understand of my peers (that is all of you out there), and how this community really works.

I was just about to lay my head down on my kitchen table and wave the white flag of “I have no idea what to blog about today”, when I glanced at Facebook. Several things caught my attention. There was an ultrasound photo with the caption that Andy Taylor is going to be a grandfather. According to what I read from a fan, his daughter Georgie is expecting.

First of all – I have no idea how this information got out there. I don’t know Georgie personally, nor do I know if it’s really even true. I think we all are well-aware of just how often  things get posted online that aren’t factual. I don’t know if Daily Duranie actually follows Georgie either on Twitter (if she’s there) or on Facebook because I don’t pay attention to that sort of thing. If we do, I completely missed the news if it was made public. I know we do follow Andy but he’s been pretty darn silent for quite a while now.  I’m fascinated that I read about such news through a fan before I saw it being made “news” through any sort of actual media or management.  I guess I hesitate a little longer than most to post things like that even if I know it’s true, and that’s on me. Daily Duranie is usually late to break news like this, and to be completely honest – that’s fine with me. I’d rather not post about their personal lives unless I know for sure it’s out there for the world to read. I’m sure that whomever began this posting knew it was fine – I’m not finding fault with anyone on that.

So as I was pondering the idea of the band becoming grandfathers… I glanced a little farther down my newsfeed to see that someone has apparently gotten direct information from Nick Rhodes that they want to share with the rest of the Duranie world on the progress of the album. They say that Nick said they’ve got 9 songs, 2 have lyrics. Good news, certainly.

Once again, I have no idea how this information is out and about. I miss news items sometimes, mainly because I don’t go searching for them. I’m probably one of the very few Duranies out there that does not have a Google alert set up for Duran Duran. I don’t know if Nick made a public statement, contacted a fan directly because they’re buddies, or maybe spoke to someone outside of the studio. Is it even factual and was it even said?? I don’t know, but I have to assume that this fan has her facts straight. All of those things are plausible, and I’m not too shy or embarrassed to admit that we don’t have contacts like that.  It’s true, we don’t. Maybe we should by now, I really don’t know – but we don’t.

My point with this blog isn’t to find fault with those who have gotten these types of information. Please read that carefully – in fact the newsbytes I saw today on Facebook only spurred me to consider how news unfolds in the community, not really so much about whether it all should be posted, because as I mentioned – I don’t know how this information gets out and it’s not really for me to decide what is right or wrong anyway. So the following is more about how I see what Daily Duranie does and where our comfort level lies – it is not a commentary on what I think the rest of the world should be doing, just so we are clear.

What confounds me many, many times in this fandom is how some people seem to know everything that is going on. True – I don’t live in the UK, I’m not friendly with any of the band to just send them an email to find out how their lives are going, and even if that were the case, I guess I figure if they want me (or anyone) to know about the album, they’ll post something themselves?? That’s probably very naive of me. Let’s be honest, investigative journalism is obviously not my career of choice. The whole thing feels very uncomfortable to me, and maybe it’s because I’m not understanding the process.

I don’t become friends with someone simply so that they’ll supply me with information about the band, and I’m the last person that will ask someone direct, pointed questions. When I say to someone that I won’t ask them questions about something, I genuinely mean it. If I am friends with someone “on the inside”, I’m friends with them because for whatever reason – we get along, we have something in common, and it’s genuine. It’s not because I want band information, and it’s not because I want something for “free”. If I started using those contacts as sources for secret insider information, I’d lose friends rather quickly, and that’s just not my grand plan. I guess that for me personally it’s more important for my friends and people that I’ve met along the way that I am friendly with to know that I am a person of my word. I have much respect for them, and I would appreciate the same in return. Daily Duranie will never be the best source for “inside info” from the band, but you know what? That doesn’t really matter to me as much as some might assume.

I don’t think Amanda and I ever considered that we’d be the place people would come for band information or “leaks”. That wasn’t the reason we began the blog, even though we both know that sort of thing is highly respected within the community. We see it. We know that we don’t rate highly in that area. The trouble is, those leaks are not very highly respected from the band or from their management, and to us – that matters just as much as being respected by our people (fellow fans). This blog is not going to be the place fans are going to want to come in order to hear leaked snippets from albums unless the band has already made them public, or to get a file of the new album a few days ahead of everyone else. Why? That’s simple: RESPECT.

We respect the band. We also respect their management, even when we might not agree with their methods. I think that’s a very rare thing in this fan community which is unfortunate.  Let me be honest – it’s easy to be on this side of the fence and find fault. Amanda and I know that, and we recognize that neither of us have built careers in the music business. No thank you. So sure, I can sit on my high horse and call foul, but all the while I’m thinking that it’s a good thing I’m not in charge. I couldn’t do what they do. We built this blog to be a place where things can be discussed, where fans can come and say whatever they want with some decorum of mutual respect for one another, and for the most part, we continue to achieve that. News-wise? Hell no. I still don’t get the system or the rules. Maybe there really aren’t rules for engagement. Anything goes – you find the information however you find it, you post it, the fans praise you for it, and the band ignores the whole thing….except I don’t think they really ignore it. I know it ticks management off when things get out before they’re ready, and you know – I can’t blame them. Bottom line: I don’t know why or how some people seem to know everything, but I think we’ve got some incredibly talented sleuths in our midst.

Amanda and I don’t have “spies” in every corner of the world and many, many times we’re reading something online and scratching our heads trying to figure out how the system of disseminating information really works. Is it really acceptable to ask around? Is it really OK for someone to use the contacts they have within the band’s organization to find out what they know and then immediately share it with the world? I’ve even interviewed someone from the band before – and I wouldn’t dream of bothering that person to find out information. That’s rude! It isn’t cool, and it’s not what I’m about. Respect matters. My word matters – I want people to know when I say something, I mean it and I won’t go back. I realize that’s a very overrated thing in the music industry, but it’s how I operate. No, I probably won’t ever be a CEO of much. Those are the breaks, my friends.

Somebody said something to me just last week that has stuck with me. They said, “Rhonda, you’re too honest.” I kind of chuckled and they continued, “When you don’t know something, you say so. Rather than give the image that you know people and that you’ve got an ‘in’…whether or not you really have one, you are honest about it and say it just like it is, or just like you see it. That’s why you don’t have over a million hits on the blog, and that’s why you feel as though the blog has very little respect. It’s too honest and too real. You could pretend to know far more than you do, and yet you choose to not go that route.”

I suppose that’s true. I understand all about how PR works, and how image is important. Believe it or not, I have done PR in my past. I know the importance of smoke and mirrors. Perhaps the image we’re going for with Daily Duranie is that of accepted honesty. I don’t think I need to make the blog appear as though we know everything that is going on, or that we get things that very few others in the community really get. We are fans, just like you. We love the band, just like you. We give and expect honesty, and we’ll accept that we won’t always agree. It’s pretty much what I expect out of my own friends and family in real life.  A little truth without ego goes a long, long way with me. Maybe it doesn’t make me popular or very professional (which is really kind of screwed up), but like I said – I can look myself in the mirror and know I’m exactly who I say I am. I’m not busy or working hard trying to keep up a facade.

It’s very easy in this fandom to start feeling bad about myself because I don’t have friends on the inside or because I don’t have information before it breaks, or because the people I *am* buddies with don’t supply me with a constant stream of information…and trust me…I’ve had more than my fair share of moments lately where I’ve felt completely out of my element and I’ve wondered what I did wrong. The truth is that I’ve done nothing. Amanda and I have all sorts of euphemisms for the sort of game playing that takes place in this fan community – and by game playing I mean the sort of scramble that goes on so that one person feels like they are on the very top of the anthill. While the blog might not be at the top of the anthill, we are absolutely a part of the foundation that keeps this community running. For me personally, that is more than enough.

-R

In the low light I’m here to entertain

If you’ve read any blogs in the past 24 hours or so, you might have noticed some changes underfoot here on Daily Duranie. I finally got brave and started tinkering with the layout and design. Part of my continuing problem with Blogger is that when you’re changing things, you have to make the changes “live” in order to really see a lot of them. This is indeed a problem when you’ve got continuous, or nearly continuous, traffic to the website and you’re not really sure about the changes you’re making. I don’t know what it was about yesterday, but I finally threw caution to the wind and started working. Graphic and web design is not an area of expertise, and I am not the least bit artistic in a visual sense, so this was a new challenge.

What you see today if you’re on our website (as opposed to getting this in your inbox) is a nearly completed site. There are still a few things I’d like to change – the sidebar is way too long for my taste, I might change this into a 3-column deal instead, and…if I ever decide to move everything to WordPress (which would be preferred but it’s a lot of work to move nearly 3 years of archives as well as create a brand new design), I would like to look into doing more of a dynamic layout. I just need to find the right one.

I’m particularly proud of the new banner, not because of my own handiwork (the photography, banner design and effects are mine – and they aren’t quite finished yet), but because late last year, we had the distinct pleasure of working with fellow Duranie Dañiel Ardito on a new logo design. You can actually view work that he did for Duran Duran in the tour book for the reunion tour! His challenge was to take the original drawing that Amanda’s mom artfully designed for us and turn it into a real logo. We wanted something completely original, sleek and modern that channels a little bit of Duran Duran. We adore what he created for us, and we hope you like it too. Dañiel deserves extremely high praise, and if you ever need a logo designed, we highly recommend him! We also need to sincerely thank our dear friend Fabiana, because without her help in translating (that’s right, Dañiel does not speak English and my Spanish is inexcusably poor.), none of this would have ever happened. We thank the both of you so much!!

In the coming days you are likely to see a few little tweaks here and there – thank you for your patience, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if I broke something in the process! That seems to happen….

In other news, I am very excited to tell you that the hotel rooms for the Durandemonium 2013 room rate at The Amalfi in Chicago are almost sold out! So, if you’re planning to come to the convention and haven’t bought your ticket yet – I would strongly recommend getting your ticket and hotel room very soon! I know we’ve been a little short on convention planning news as of late – but that will pick up again in the coming summer months. Don’t miss out on your chance to have a weekend of partying and fun with friends in Chicago! Check out the Durandemonium 2013 website for details.

One question that we’ve gotten lately is whether or not we’ll do a convention in 2014. While I have to laugh because we haven’t even gotten through this one yet, I think I can semi-safely answer that question. The band’s plans, at least currently according to one-Roger Taylor (and I have not forgotten that we can hold him responsible should this not come to fruition) is that the band will finish the album this year, and then tour again next. With that in mind, we believe it would not be wise to attempt to plan a convention for 2014 and try to plan around the band in the process. We have enough trouble just trying to plan road trips for their tours as is!!  We can save the conventions for the years when the band is in the studio or not on the road. That said, I am sure there will be plenty of occasions for meet-ups and other types of Durandemonium while the band is touring, so please stay-tuned. Should the band not end up touring in 2014, after I am finished crying and having a nervous breakdown of sorts after the Durandemonium convention is over in October… and after I’m finished dealing with Roger….then we can talk.

With that, I’m off to teach (this is my son’s last week of homeschooling for the year – we made it and we both lived!!) and even do some more playing with Pixelmator!

-R

Our First Raffle for Members Only!!!

The day has arrived, and a winner has been chosen!

First, we put the names into a glass….a glass that must have been created with Daily Duranie in mind…

Next, Amanda reaches in to pick out a winner (notice that super fine looking DDM VIP member water bottle in the background?? We are living the dream here, people….living the dream!)

Finally, a winner is chosen!! “Christine” is our lucky winner of the signed AYNIN CD that was originally bought as part of a VIP package through DDM. The trouble is, we don’t know which “Christine” this might be…and we’re having difficulty reaching her via Google. So, if you signed up as a member of our blog as Christine – contact us. We need your shipping information so that we can send the CD.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to sign up as a member of the blog. We really hope you enjoy reading, and we also hope you stay tuned. We have a few exciting blogs coming in the next week – something that we’ve been working on for months, and are most proud to be able to share. We don’t want to give the surprise away, but it is our special holiday gift to all of you.  
In addition, we have huge things in the works for next year. As we’ve mentioned, we are working on getting our website completely redone – this is definitely happening. We will be expanding to include ongoing information on our book writing, fan events as well as an entire area dedicated to the convention we are planning, as well as a few other surprises. We’ve been working on having our logo redesigned, and once it’s finished – we can’t wait for everything to go live!  
Once again, if you’re the lucky winner of our raffle – please contact us at dailyduranie@gmail.com with your shipping info so that we can get your prize out to you ASAP!  
Additionally, the holidays are really upon us, and we are finding ourselves in need of a few guest blogs to help us out a bit so that we can take some time to spend with our families and recharge for 2013. If you have an interest in writing about any of the following topics, send something to us here .
*meeting the band
*an experience at one of John’s signings
*the DDUK convention
*living in a country where the band rarely tours (if ever)
OR…taking a direct question from John’s In the Pleasure Groove autobiography that just seems as though it were destined for this blog…
“Is the cover of Rio the greatest album cover of the eighties? Discuss!” 
The Daily Duranie blog is about being a fan. You’ve read a lot from us over the years, and the whole point of being a collective voice is about opening the blog to all of you from time to time. Here is your chance to tell your own story and be heard. We look forward to reading something from YOU.     
-A & R

Album Favorites!

As I am sure many/most/all of you know, we do a “daily” question on our facebook and on twitter.  The question is usually a this or that type question.  For quite awhile now, we have been doing a poll of sorts about songs on the albums.  Thus, we simply ask, “This song or that?”  In reality, this has been a bracket of sorts with losing songs being eliminated until we get the favorite song per album.  Because Duran has such a large catalog and so many songs, this process of going through each and every album has taken quite a while.  Yet, finally, today we have the results, of our friends/followers collective album favorites.  We will present them here with clips for everyone to enjoy!

Duran Duran (self-titled) winner:  Careless Memories

Clip is from the Chichester Festival in 1981 (November 30, 1981)


Rio winner:  New Religion

Clip is from Hammersmith ’82 (November 16, 1982)

Seven and the Ragged Tiger winner:  The Seventh Stranger

Clip is from As the Lights Go Down (Spring 1984)

Non-album tracks winner:  Wild Boys

Clip is from the Montreux Pop Festival (May 10, 1985)
Notorious winner:  Vertigo

 
Clip is from Working for the Skin Trade (1987-1988)

Big Thing winner:  Do You Believe in Shame?

Clip is from Seoul, South Korea (February 11, 1989)

Liberty winner:  Serious 

Clip is from Italian TV (1990)

Wedding Album winner:  Come Undone

Clip is from MTV’s Unplugged (November 17, 1993)

Thank You winner:  White Lines

Clip is from a live broadcast (1995)

Medazzaland winner:  Out of my Mind

Clip is from Greatest:  Live at Wembly 1998 (December 21, 1998)

Pop Trash winner:  Someone Else Not Me

Clip is from Italy (2000)

Astronaut winner:  Sunrise

Clip is from Live from London (Wembly Arena Spring 2004)

Red Carpet Massacre winner:  The Valley

Clip is from Songbook (January 28, 2009)

All You Need is Now winner:  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

Clip from A Diamond in the Mind (December 16, 2011)

On that note, I did want to acknowledge the runner ups.  They are in order from the first album to the most recent album:  Sound of Thunder, The Chauffeur, Of Crime and Passion, A View to a Kill, Winter Marches On, I Don’t Want Your Love, First Impression, Ordinary World, Thank You, Midnight Sun, Last Day on Earth, Chains, She’s Too Much and Too Bad You’re So Beautiful.  Now, many of you might be wondering what we will be doing next.  First, I plan to have the winners battle each other so that we know the order of album favorites.  After that, I will be asking about b-sides.  Perhaps, I will look into demos.  Then, of course, we have a ton of songs left with the various side and solo projects (Power Station, Arcadia, Neurotic Outsides, The Devils, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, and Simon LeBon).  As always, I have enjoyed seeing which songs people prefer and look forward to the ones to come!

-A

You Know Just What It Takes and Where to Go

On Tuesday, Rhonda mentioned that we were busy here at the Daily Duranie.  A couple of things she pointed out included that we are trying to completely revamp our website and prepare it for more than just our blog and a special surprise coming up in December.  I wanted to blog a bit more about what we are planning, to ask for a favor from you guys and to tell you about a special giveaway!

Obviously, there is a lot going on in our lives!  Now that the campaign season of 2012 is done, I’m diving into our plans related to the Daily Duranie!  In fact, as the election ended, I sought out Rhonda to see if she was as ready to commit to our projects as she was in the summer.  She definitely was!  I felt certain that now is the time for us to re-dedicate ourselves to our plans.  I won’t be distracted and definitely want to see what we can accomplish with full on commitment.  Truly, I do think that we could do fabulous, fabulous, fabulous things when we put our minds and energy to it.  After all, we already have.  All one needs to do is look at this blog.  We have over 800 posts and have pretty much posted daily, unless there has been some trouble with internet access on the road.  Likewise, we update the Day in Duran history and post a question each and every day since we started.  I’m already proud of what we have accomplished but do think that we can be better and do more.  I’m so relieved that Rhonda and I are on the same page about our goals and objectives.  Anyway, as Rhonda mentioned on Tuesday, we have a big event coming up in December.  We cannot wait for it!!!  On top of that, we are looking to revamp our site, enhance our logo and more.  Beyond that, we have some other plans in mind.  One of those big plans is to get our book done.  I’m sure by now you are all wondering when/if it is getting done.  Well, I’m here to tell you that it is.  Of course, as we finish the draft, then we have the real work of revising, editing, writing book proposals and getting it published.  Now is the time, though!  Another part of our plans include fan get togethers.  Some of these might be smaller in scope by being local or nearby meetups or they could be larger affairs.  Nonetheless, we both agree that meeting and getting to know other fans is one of the best aspects of fandom.  Thus, during Duran downtime, it is a perfect time to plan events for us to get together!

We have a ton on our plates!!!  Yet, both of us are excited to get down to work.  In fact, we are forcing ourselves to have “conference” calls of sorts at least once a week.  These phone calls must be focused and on task.  As you can imagine, we both have a tendency to start chatting about fifty other things besides just the projects we are working on.  Therefore, these weekly calls require that we have self-discipline in order to keep to our agenda.  In order to have things to report on a weekly basis, we are taking on different assignments and must ensure that they get done or get a significant amount done.  While Rhonda and I have strong work ethics and personal determination, I am asking for your help.  How can you help?  You can help by keeping us on task.  If we don’t mention any of the projects I just talked about, ask us about them.  Check in with us.  Of course, we won’t necessarily be sharing every detail until they are ready to be shared but we can and should share our progress.  I need this, for sure.  Rhonda is much better than I am on this front.  I, on the other hand, am so used to having real deadlines either from work or from campaigning that I’m not good without them.  I need to give myself deadlines in order to keep on track and focused.  I hope you can help me with this!

In exchange for your help and support, we have a special giveaway planned as well!  Rhonda and I have been talking about how we could thank the supporters of this blog.  After all, we are so pleased to have so many followers on this blog.  You can see the followers on the right side of this post, right below our various topics and above our list of favorite online places.  Thus, the names of our followers will be written on papers and placed into a jar on December 10th.  Then, we will pull one of those names in order to send that person a special gift.  This special gift is a signed cd of All You Need is Now.  Just to be clear, this is a cd that the band signed and included in VIP packages in the fall/winter of 2011 that we bought for the UK tour.  If you are already a follower, great!  If you are not, join so that you, too, can have a chance to win the raffle!!  

On this exciting note, I’m off to go work on the chapter I have been working on in the book!  Don’t forget to keep on us about our projects!  We (at least I) need the push!

-A

One of those Days

It is all happening right here.  Right now.

Thanksgiving. For most people it’s a great holiday. For me? It’s my yearly penance, because I don’t really love to cook. I do it every day (well, most days), but I don’t get a great sense of joy out of it. Regardless, almost every year we have a big dinner here at my house and I invite my mom and her friend Dennis over. We watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by the Westminster Dog Show, and ignore all of the football games now that my dad has passed. We scour the newspaper ads, we talk about going out for early Black Friday sales, eventually decide that nothing is worth getting out of the house before 5am to buy, and then, much later after dinner, I begin the long clean-up process and congratulate myself on making it through yet another Thanksgiving. Our holiday isn’t very formal, and it might not be very exciting, but it’s nice to have a full day to talk with my family. I’ve got a turkey thawing in my refrigerator right now – it’s an enormous 21 pounds that will easily feed four families, which seems crazy when you consider there will only be seven of us here for dinner at my house on Thursday. Before anyone assumes otherwise, I cook a huge turkey so that I can send a lot of it home with my mom so that she can freeze it to use later. She lives in a pretty tiny senior apartment complex not far from my house, and she doesn’t cook that often anymore. I remember when she used to send my grandma home with tons of leftovers, and while I really don’t enjoy cooking, I do like being able to help her out just a little.

In addition to Thanksgiving, changes are afoot here at Daily Duranie. These changes are probably going to take several months to put into things that you all will see and hopefully benefit from, but trust me, we’re working. We wish to revamp the entire site completely, and once we do that, we’re going to be working on some new things for 2013 to keep you busy!  I know we’ve been talking about moving from Blogger to a WordPress site since nearly the day we started this blog, but this time – I am SERIOUS. No really, I am this time. Stay tuned…  I also want to give you an update regarding a special surprise that we’ve been working on for a few months now. Don’t miss our blogs in December! If you haven’t signed up to be subscribed to the blog, sign up and don’t blink!

If that weren’t enough, in just three little days – there are new holiday goodies to purchase from dd.com! Not only is there an Advent Calendar that caught my eye, along with a set of holiday cards, but also the 2013 calendar. What is so special about THIS calendar? Well, I swore that I wouldn’t buy one until Dom was finally included. While he might not have a huge photo in the calendar – he is certainly in there and I couldn’t be prouder! I guess my “Black Friday” shopping from home will include a visit to the Duran Duran website – and so should yours!!

Good things are coming up ahead, and we look forward to sharing the journey with all of you!

I’m off to clean a house, teach a child some American History (the easiest part of my day, believe it or not), and “redirect” my youngest away from the kazoo she is currently blowing in my face (never a dull moment here).

-R