Category Archives: Dom Brown

Happy Birthday Dom!

Any day is a good day when I can wish one of my favorites a very happy birthday!  At 45, he’s still a kid compared to many…but we’ll let that go for now.

I’ve had a special affinity for Dom from almost the moment he started playing with Duran Duran. While it is absolutely true that I idolize Duran Duran – it is hard not to when they are the people in the posters I still have hung on my walls – Dom is a little different.  Let’s face it, for me, Roger Taylor is the fictional, “Knight in Shining Armor.” When I was young, I believed he could do no wrong. I suppose that at least to a certain extent, the same held true for the rest of the band.

After I grew up, my thoughts on that changed, at least somewhat. Even so, I still have their posters, and I think that I’m still a little starstruck. How could I not be? I still sometimes have to pinch myself when I’m at a concert, particularly when I’m near the front, to remind me that yes – this is all real.

Dom joined the band onstage after I was already an adult, and because I met him in person not long after, I don’t really idolize him. At least, not exactly in the same way….or so I keep telling myself.  I mean, there is still plenty of this atrocity going on:

I have to laugh.  I wore my Apple watch that night as a test because I wanted to see what the step meter would do at a concert. (It turns out that I get a week’s worth of steps in…) In other words, I am a total geek. Not that this picture proves otherwise, anyway.

Even though I scream at shows for him (obviously), he seems perfectly normal otherwise. (Yes, HE seems normal. Me? Read on)The thing is, I’ve met Dom before. He’s a nice guy. He’s even done a Q & A for this blog, and I lived to tell about it.

I remember when I emailed him to ask about doing the Q&A. I had to force myself to hit “send” and then nearly ran from the computer. It was a ridiculous display. Thankfully I was here at home and there is no video.

I was amazed by how quickly he responded.

Even so, I’m shy. Super shy.  Not sure if anybody is getting that…. One time, I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe table in Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel and he walked by, going into the hotel. I nearly choked. I didn’t say a single thing. I just watched him walk past. I felt paralyzed in my seat, very much the same way I used to feel when Ken Sears, the object of my middle school crush, would walk by the clarinet section on his way back to the drum section in band. I had it SO BAD for that guy. I think back on those awkward years (yes, years) and I cringe. It took me months to even work up the nerve to say hi to Ken, and by the time I finally got comfortable with him, he moved on to high school. I still had another year in middle school. It was horrible.

So there I was, in my forties and I still couldn’t speak, couldn’t say a thing when Dom walked past. I tweeted about it though…and I still laugh when I think of Amanda looking at me as though I’d grown a third head as I pointed out that Dom had just walked past. I think Amanda was ready to get out of her chair and go grab him herself, and I pleaded with her not to. Yet I tweeted him afterwards, and he responded – probably the only time he has ever responded to me, actually! Needless to say, I felt like an idiot and I’m sure he was amused that I even bothered to tell him how shy I was/am. Yep, I’m socially inept. Love to write, hate to speak in person.

Then there was the time, that same weekend, when I ran into him at a bar. I am pretty sure he went to hug me and I am also pretty sure I dodged it. I don’t even know why. I suppose at the time I was nervously trying to step out-of-the-way of people (it was crowded and that’s my excuse!), and I’m not really a hugger, or at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.  I wanted to fall into a hole in the ground after that, so yay for me!

I did make up for my idiocy about three years later, when I saw him at Agua Caliente in March. I actually got up off of my bar stool and walked through a crowd of people to say hi to him, and I say “actually” because that is not typical “Rhonda” behavior. I’d cower in a corner and maybe wave, but no way would I risk actually walking. (I’m clumsy and always at risk of falling, so no.)

I did wave. Then before my brain registered, I’d gotten up off of my chair, walked over and waited for him to finish taking pictures. It was an out-of-body thing, I’m pretty certain. I remember saying to him that I wasn’t there for pictures and I didn’t want anything signed. I didn’t even get the full sentence out.

He is a good hugger.

Ken Sears would be proud. Don’t google him, though. He’s just some poor man who likely has nightmares about some frizzy haired girl with a clarinet following him in middle school. I should probably apologize to him.

Moving on…he’s a really nice guy. I still say the band is lucky to have him. He’s down to earth, has an incredible work ethic, and is extremely talented. I’ve met him several times now, and I can’t really say we’re friends, but we’re friendly (or else he’s just really nice about humoring me), and I’m glad he’s a part of this crazy family.

I doubt you’re actually reading, Dom – but if so, happy birthday!! I hope you have a fantastic birthday with your beautiful family. I’ll see you in a few weeks!!

-R

Do You Remember Blue to Brown?

I love writing this blog.

No really, some days, I love it. And then there are other days when I REALLY LOVE IT.  Those are the days when I get to gush on and on about something I’ve enjoyed or am particularly fond of.

On this day, it is both, because my trusty desk calendar reminded me that on this day in 2012, Blue To Brown was released for pre-order.

Ok, now I realize that it is likely a good portion of you are sitting there, squinty-eyed, wracking your brains trying to remember what Blue To Brown might be. Others may have probably already rolled their eyes once, perhaps even twice. I know this is an uphill battle, but one I don’t mind taking on.

First of all, yeah – I’m seriously expecting you all to champion a blog post where I am celebrating not even a CD release, but a pre-order.  I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though, so let’s start at the beginning.

Blue To Brown is the album recorded by Dom and his father. It is a blues album (I think it might be the only one I own, not counting the vinyl collection that Walt has amassed!), and it is very, very different from Duran Duran. When it was announced that Dom would be taking pre-orders for this album, the deal was sweetened a bit by saying for the first 100 orders, Rob and Dom would sign the CD inserts.

I was in!

I mean, I was “in” as soon as they announced I could order an album, but having one signed by both Dom and his dad definitely didn’t hurt. While I knew I’d probably be able to ask Dom to sign something eventually, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see his dad. (and I haven’t, actually!)  So I ordered away. Did you know that our lovely Anna Ross performs on the album?  She does fantastic work for Blue To Brown.  

It is true, I adore Dom. Any time I can interject his name here in a positive manner, I’m happy to do so. He’s a good guy, a hard worker, and he was the first person I’ve ever interviewed….EVER…for this blog or otherwise, so yep, I’m in his corner. Blue To Brown is a solid blues album with some fantastic guitar, so if you don’t have it yet, get it on his website.

It’s hard to believe that I pre-ordered that album five years ago today. Without knowing the date, I would have thought it was just a year or two ago…three at most!

-R

 

 

Duran Duran in Vegas: Show Commentary!

It is time for another v-log from yours truly and my partner-in-crime about yesterday’s Duran Duran show in Las Vegas.  We figured that it would go faster to do a video blog on than a written one.  It may even be more entertaining!

This v-log ended up being two videos due to unforeseen technical difficulties or really because Rhonda’s computer went into sleep mode.  During these two little (don’t know why I said little…they are lengthy), we discuss Dom Brown’s stage presence, John Taylor’s fashion choices (go figure!), the good and bad with the Mandalay Bay  Events Center as a venue, the awesomeness of our meet-up, why Duran Duran should never be done and more!

You might note that these two videos were completed last night or early this morning depending on how you look at it.  We apologize for the sucky quality.  On that note, we are off to back to California to hit the Irvine show!  It’s a show day!  (That said, I really wish I had a few more hours of sleep!)

-A

Happy 11th Anniversary, Dom!

Today is a very special day, and I am thrilled that it fell on one of my blogging days.  On this date, eleven years ago – Dom Brown played his first gig with Duran Duran!

Has it really been that long?!? I don’t know where the time goes, but I’m glad that in this past year I’ve been able to see Dom play four times – not too bad for someone who lives across the Atlantic from him.

Normally, we don’t take time to celebrate anniversaries for each of the band members because we might not know the exact dates that each of them entered the band, but Dom is special because although to many of us he’s a permanent fixture, he was a gift that was discovered along the way. I’m thankful the band found and had the good sense to hire him because I can’t imagine a show or an album without his presence.

I was recently asked who my favorite band member was – the scenario given was that the band was in front of me, who would I go up to speak with first. At first, without thinking – I said Dom.  After admonishing that while Dom is a lovely guy, he’s not really a member  she asked me to choose again. I really couldn’t. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to speak to any of them (are you kidding me?!?) it’s just that I couldn’t decide which one. I love them all, but they’re all part of the group I’ve loved since I was ten! Dom is a little different since I met him some thirty years into my “tenure” as a Duran Duran fan, yet I’ve embraced him from nearly day one (I say nearly because I wasn’t at his first show!). To me, he is as much a part of the group as any of them, whether that’s right or wrong.

There are at least a few fans out there who like to remind me that he’s “just” the hired player (a hired guitarist who has co-written a good many of their songs off of recent albums, I might add), but to me, there’s no “just” about it. Dom stepped in after Andy left, filling some incredibly large shoes. He’s had to take an awful lot of ribbing and complaining from long-time fans about how he plays some songs, and in a lot of ways, he’s in an impossible position. The Andy fans are convinced no one can play better than Andy, and the Warren fans are 100% convinced Warren needs to be back in this band. He’s not Andy, and no, he’s not Warren. Personally, I think being Dom should be more than enough.

 It’s been eleven years. I say it every year to Duran Duran, but it’s time to make sure Dom doesn’t get away and make this guy part of the band. Officially. Give him some credit and reward him for sticking with you through so much and for so long. It’s way past time.

Regardless, I couldn’t let this day go without sending best wishes and plenty of thanks to him. He’s a good guy, a very talented guitar player, and loved by many, including me.

I’m glad you’re a part of this band, Dom and I’d miss it if you weren’t the one on stage playing Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer, White Lines (and all of the rest) during the gigs.  😀 You’re still the best!

-R

Happy Birthday, Mr. Brown!!!

June is a VERY special month for Duran Duran and for Duranies!  Why?  Simple.  We all celebrate 3 birthdays!  Yes, THREE!!!  First, we  celebrated Nick’s on the 8th.  Later, we will celebrate John’s on the 20th but today, we get to celebrate Dom Brown’s birthday!!!

This morning, Duran Duran’s official social media sites posted the following:  “Happy, happy birthday to the very talented Duran Duran guitarist Dom Brown Music ! He’s in tour rehearsals, hope he has time for cake!”  This message is music to my ears!  Of course, I hope he has time for cake but I love, love, love hearing that he is busy in tour rehearsals.  If you know this blog at all, then you know that we are fans of Dom.  We like Dom.  We are VERY glad that he is in the band.  Yes, I did say in the band.  He is to us.  Absolutely.  Always.  Therefore, we are super glad that we will be able to see him around during this upcoming tour!

So, how should we celebrate him?  Simple.  Let’s celebrate his work and the good times surrounding him!

Rhonda and I first saw Dom play in Chicago in March of 2005 when he will filling in for Andy.  Frankly, I don’t think I thought too much about him that night.  I was in front of John and was just super relieved that the show was still happening!  By the next year, however, we were open-minded enough to give him a shot when Andy left.  Despite still being on John’s side for that October 2006 show at the Sears Center in Chicago, both Rhonda and I took note of him and were impressed.  He just seemed to fit.  It wasn’t like pushing a square peg in a round hole.  No.  He just fit easily into the band and their live performance.  Thus, by the time I saw him singing backing vocals in Sunrise, I welcomed him to the band.  True story.

In fact, we welcomed him to the band in true Duranie fashion by holding up a sign for him at the next show in New Orleans at the Voodoo Music Festival.

oops...wrong sign. Well, we held this one up too!

What was particularly cute about this sign?  The fact that Simon and John saw it but Dom didn’t!  Yes, we are AWESOME!

By 2007, my status as a fan for Dom not only maintained but increased when I happened to see the DoJo.  As a John fan, I have always appreciated the JoSi (the times that John and Simon “interact” on stage).  By the Broadway shows, I not only had the JoSi to appreciate but the DoJo, too!!

Of course, we discovered that the DoJo could do magical things like not only making Rhonda tolerate Hungry Like the Wolf but even sort of…kind of…look forward to it live!  Imagine that!

Of course, Mr. Brown’s talents go beyond his musical experiences with Duran as he is just a great musician as seen by these solo live clips!

Of course, Dom is just a really great guy as well based on the fact that he was willing to sign cd inserts for us or wear a certain blog’s wristband as seen here!

 

 

 

 

Dom wristband

On that note, we wish Dom the very happiest of birthdays!!!  We cannot wait to see you on the road, Mr. Brown!!!

-A

 

Happy Anniversary Between The Lines!

So today’s Duran Duran history is all about Ordinary World, but something else occurred on this date that is worth mention. Also on this date, but in the year 2008, Dom Brown released Between the Lines. Happy Anniversary!

I know you, fellow fans. I see you sitting there, squinting at your screen as though you have no idea to whom (or what) I may be referring.  That’s fine. Consider this your primer for Between the Lines…and if you really need catching up, check out the interview we did with Dom back in 2012 (yes, it’s really been that long).

A few things you must know up front:

  1. John and Roger guested on the album. They played on two tracks: Amazing and Crocodile Tears.  If that doesn’t grab your attention as Duran fans, I don’t know what will.

  2. This is not a Duran Duran record. Dom’s own style is a little more rock, a lot less pop, and a little blues. This is also not Blue to Brown, which is a true blues band/album. I would put Between the Lines more in the vein of classic rock, but it has modern feel.

  3. He dedicated the album to his son Floyd. How cute is that?

  4. This album, like his others, are a family affair. His wife Martha, a very talented musician in her own right, also guests on the album.

We really haven’t reviewed Between the Lines yet, but for me, the standout tracks are Amazing (which has a much different production feel than the rest of the album) – and Day Turned Black. Amazing is the closest to pop you’ll hear Dom play aside from his work in Duran Duran, with it’s catchy staccato opening. This song has a true hook and could really stand on it’s own to be a single in the right market. Day Turned Black; however, is more of a ballad, and it is the type of writing that you might find on a B-side. It’s a deeper track, both in musicianship as well as in subject, and if the lyrics don’t grab you – Dom’s soaring guitar solo certainly will. If you haven’t given his work a chance and assume that what he brings to stage with Duran Duran is all there is – you’re missing out.

Overall, Between the Lines was Dom’s second – the first being “Touch the Flames”. One thing I really appreciate is that I’m able to hear the improvements in his recording and production between the two albums. Just as Duran Duran’s second album sounded far slicker and less raw – Between the Lines is the same. To be fair to Dom, there is still enough of a hard edge to give Between the Lines grit. After all, this is rock.

If you’re looking for some new music (it’d be new to you!), I highly recommend checking Between the Lines out…and I know Dom would appreciate the support from Duran fans!

-R

Happy 10th Anniversary Dom!

I know that at least some of you have noticed that the site has been down for the past couple of days.  I’ll save you from the stupid details, but it comes down to two things:

  1. I am not a webmaster, tech-geek, web-designer…etc.

  2. I am NEVER MOVING THIS BLOG AGAIN.

Regardless, we’re here…we’re working…I think most people should be able to see the blog now, and for that I’m thankful, even though I’m still ironing out the details of how to get things to look the way they once did. That will happen over the next couple of weeks, but for now, as I’m about to take off for a trip to Wisconsin tomorrow (of all places)…I’m hoping everyone can read this post. In all of the excitement (read: behind the scenes at my house stress), I nearly forgot an important date.

DBF

Ten very short years ago on this very date, Dom Brown played his very first gig with Duran Duran. I wasn’t there for it – I didn’t see him play until March of 2005, but I know many of our readers must have been there.

Dom wrote (!!!!) a very nice post for duranduran.com that you should check out. It is filled with nice memories and definitely chuckled over the fact that his wife Martha knew all the words to the Duran Duran songs – love that!

I write about Dom a lot on the blog, so if he really needs to see how much I appreciate his being on that stage – he probably doesn’t need to look very far. He is incredibly talented, but he also stepped into very large shoes. It could not have been very easy to not only be “the new guy” and learn all of the music, but also be the “sub”.  Yet he handles all of that, plus all of the criticism that comes his way as a result of not being Andy OR Warren with an enormous amount of grace. I have nothing but respect for him.

So Dom, if you’re reading – happy anniversary!  We’re glad you’re here, and thank you to your family for sharing you with us. I’m sure that part isn’t easy either.

-R

 

 

Blue to Brown Under the Bridge

In case you missed it, Duran Duran’s very own Dom Brown posted a video yesterday from a gig in London. His band, Blue to Brown, supported Austin Blues legend, Jimmy Vaughn at Under the Bridge.

For those who are unaware, Dom is a well-versed guitarist who plays a wide-variety of music, particularly when he’s not onstage for Duran Duran. His band Blue To Brown, fronted by none other than his father Rob, concentrates on blues. So, the music you’ll hear Dom play for Blue to Brown or even his own solo work is a lot different than what we hear him do for Duran, but in our opinion – it also shows just how talented and versatile he is (and how lucky Duran is to have him as a guitarist!).

Check it out and feel free to leave FRIENDLY comments on YouTube.   Share the video on Facebook and Twitter, and spread the word. If you haven’t already followed Dom on Twitter, liked his page on Facebook, or done the same with Blue to Brown on FB…we’ve got links for you!

Dom Brown on Facebook

Dom Brown on Twitter

Blue to Brown on Facebook

-R

 

 

 

John Frusciante and Duran Duran – a Red Hot Match up??

As many now know, it was announced last night that John Frusciante will be making a guest appearance on the next Duran Duran album.  News had initially been leaked early Monday morning (US time) through Guitar Magazine.  At that time, the news was largely dismissed as rumor, given that Duran Duran management (or as we lovingly refer to them – DDHQ) had not confirmed.

Let me kindly repost the statement, copied directly from Duranduran.com:

April 23rd, 2014

We were holding this exciting news because we were hoping to give you full details when we announced, but as word has leaked out, catching us rather off guard, we wanted to confirm… yes it’s true, the extraordinarily talented John Frusciante has indeed been doing some work from his home base in California on our new album. The tracks have been going back and forth via the internet, and we are thrilled with the results. We are all such big fans of John’s work and are honoured to have him adding his magic to the record! There are no current plans for John to tour with us, but his guitars sound incredible on the tracks.

Hoping to have more news for you soon.

– Simon, John, Nick & Roger”

Naturally, that news took many of us…many of us who are fans and supporters of Dom Brown, by surprise.  Would he appear on the album at all?  Would Dom tour with the band?  Thankfully, while I was in the midst of a book signing in LA (another blog, another time), @durantigger dared to ask the question to DDHQ and they responded quickly saying that Dom would appear on the album…and from what I know, he will also be touring.  

When news of John Frusciante guesting on the album first broke, I took to Spotify to really listen to his work.  I know the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers , but had I really listened to the guitar enough to draw any sort of conclusion?  Probably not. Then I listened to John’s solo work from Enclosure, a very recently released album.  It is incredibly different from his work in Red Hot Chili Peppers. Truly, the styling could not be more different.  Clearly he is a very talented and versatile guitarist, but whether or not his work will properly mesh with that of the band is yet to be heard (by fans). It is clear that most fans are thrilled with the news, with very few dissenting opinions.  

As I type this, I know what many of our readers are waiting to read. They’re hoping for some drama, some reaction from me on a personal level.  The fact is, I can’t comment or react to something I haven’t heard.  I won’t comment on their choice to work with someone in addition to Dom Brown, because truthfully, it is not my band. I’m just a listener.  I don’t have any idea what the band is thinking.  I never do. I know that I’m ready for some new music, and I’m hoping that at some point before I lose my hearing to old age, we’ll get some. I know that the band threw out a years worth of material to start anew here, and that it’s all part of the creative process. I also know that before this process ends for them, it is entirely possible that they change their minds again and start over. You never know, and I’m just not going to react to something until I’ve heard it.  And then…you’ll get my opinion on whether or not this worked.

-R

 

Today in Duran History

Alright all of you 2005 Astronaut tour-goers, this one is for you!!

On this date in 2005, Duran Duran played at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA!  Who was there??

On another fun, yet entirely random note, I had a dream last night. It is very rare that I’ll dream about Duran Duran (because let’s face it – that’s a sign that it’s time for a vacation.), but last night it happened. I don’t know where I was or why I was there, but I was speaking with a woman who had short blonde hair.  She was thin, a little older than me, and spoke with a friendly, but clipped English accent (very similar to that of my mother-in-law, oddly enough).  I didn’t recognize this person, but in my dream I knew who she was and that she was to be trusted.  (dreams are so bizarre sometimes) For some reason I was telling her that we still (I’m assuming I must have been talking about Daily Duranie) get questions all the time about Dom and whether or not he’s touring with the band. For some reason it must have been quite a while since any of us had seen him with the band.  (Probably because it HAS BEEN…) The lady turned towards me and I noticed she was stacking Dom’s CDs on a folding table in front of us, and she said “Yes, but he won’t be touring with the band. He’s going north…and then on to Italy.”  Italy?!? Admittedly geography is not my best subject, but Italy is definitely not north of the UK on the world maps I’ve seen lately! I must have given her an odd look because she followed that sentence up with “You know he’s going to start playing oboe, right?”  <insert completely blank look here>

I remember going through the seven stages of grief right then in my dream, as I thought about how I was going to handle this information going forward, and then I woke up very confused.  What was that about?!

Oboe???  Interesting choice.

I need a vacation.  😀

-R