Category Archives: Dom Brown

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

 

 

 

Today’s Date in Duran History – Simon, Simon, Simon…and Dom

Some bands have large fan bases that are happy to get new music. They pay to go to shows, they have fun, and that’s about the size of the fan/band relationship. Then there’s Duran Duran. They have people like me…who are intense (let’s not call it an obsession), long-time fans.  Some of us even blog.

Aren’t they lucky?!?

Originally, I had a “Date in Duran history” all planned out for today, but during some research, I realized we had the date wrong on our calendar. There is a method to what might seem like madness here at Daily Duranie, and so rather than re-run a historical point that we did for this date last year, I came up with my own! The trouble is, it isn’t quite history yet. However, I break rules all the time, and today will be no exception.

Just a day or two ago, I may have casually mentioned that I was nearing the point of resorting to posting videos of Simon’s more “signature” dance moves over the years, using them of course as points of discussion…along with maybe some voting and judgment. (I call it “commentary”) Today I stumbled upon the following video link (linked because of these called “copyrights” that YouTube, and probably the band…insists we follow…imagine that!):

Simon’s short and sweet DD14 update!

So they’re in the “refinement” stage. You know what *I’d* like to know…if I were well, able to ask?? What do they ultimately end up doing with all of the material they scrap? Do they keep it in case they want to return to it at a later point, perhaps for another album or something? I can see a case being made either way. Maybe they want fresh material for each album, and maybe they figure that going back to look at earlier work isn’t exactly the same as starting fresh. But on the other hand, that’s so much creativity. Maybe keeping it all for future reference gets the juices flowing when they need ideas? If “someone” knows, I’d love to hear the answer and reasoning!

Can you imagine the amount of material they’ve scrapped over the years? I’d love to be let loose in that vault (of course that’s assuming they actually keep all of that somewhere)!

But of course, Simon was VERY quick to say he won’t give titles or any information and that we’re going to have to wait. Here’s the thing: I can understand the “No Spoiler” rule. There is something special about hearing a finished song or album for the first time without preconceived notion. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since that last happened for me. Like since hearing some of All You Need is Now. I am very much looking forward to the feeling that comes with hearing brand new music for the first time. Anticipation can be a wonderful thing. That said, hearing absolutely nothing from the band for months on end – or only hearing the things none of us really want to hear, such as: “We’re not going to tour anytime soon – we don’t NEED to tour” or “We’re not sure when the album is coming out, but it probably won’t be until at least 2015.” can be pretty disheartening. So Simon, it’s OK that you won’t share titles or information. I respect that (and I might not necessarily start posting those dance videos. Yet.) But sending us little clips now and again to let those of us who are not in the UK know that yes, you’re still alive and working, and maybe just telling us where you’re at in the whole process, isn’t so bad. It keeps that connection established from the last album going. Many of us have never even been in a studio, and  hearing about the actual process is interesting. It’s funny when you think about it – a lot of fans have been around for over thirty years now and yet there really aren’t many who know much about recording an album or all of the tedious work that goes into the effort. I know it’s commonplace to the band, but for us – the people who care – it’s kind of an intriguing mystery.

If Simon’s little video weren’t enough, I was pretty surprised yesterday afternoon as I checked into Facebook and Twitter between naps (I’m getting over a bad cold and the couch has been my friend this week) to see that Dom Brown is actually alive, and not just an enigma that briefly appears to announce his next gig date on Twitter or Facebook. No, no. Dom showed up yesterday to mention that his wife (I applaud Martha!) has been getting on his case lately (I believe the words “kicking my butt” were used – which makes me like her even more!) to engage on Facebook and Twitter more regularly.

Men are funny. I think they can be far more utilitarian in nature than women. We women tend to be (just a weensy bit) more emotional. We talk. For example, some of the shortest emails I EVER get are from my husband. I will send long, flowing emails to him and I’ll typically get a one or two word reply. (My reply: Really?? You were somehow able to extrapolate ONE thing out of that long email that needed a comment – and a one word comment at that?!) I think that many males, and celebrities are not entirely immune to this and  think that Twitter and Facebook are utilitarian devices only. They are to announce whatever important “thing” is going on – and briefly so. The idea of getting on there to actually chat and get to know people is probably mind boggling. “Why waste that kind of time” That’s why so many resort to only posting their latest sales pitch, their latest gig…and then they run. Fast.

Admittedly, it could be that female fans might be intimidating, downright scary at times…maybe we even “threaten” relationships in that if a wife/girlfriend/significant other sees tweeting or communicating with one specific person going on, she’s undoubtedly going to be concerned. Fair enough. I’m also married. I know how that can be, and I can’t promise that every female fan out there is going to be respectful. For that matter, even I can be cheeky – because it’s fun, and because I don’t actually take it seriously.  Others might, I suppose. But for the most part, I don’t think many of us are out to ruin someone’s life. My point is that we’re not that scary. While yes, there’s always a risk of running into a crazy person here or there, we as fans run that exact same risk, whether it’s with a band member or it’s other fans. You learn rather quickly how to deflect, avoid, and block. My question is how can Twitter be any more frightening than running into the same fans over and over on tour, at the studio, or anywhere else?? At least on Twitter and Facebook you can essentially block the people that scare you. In person, you really can’t.

I guess I’m in the camp that believes it’s important to engage with fans however you can and are comfortable. That last part is key – and I want to make sure that the people who are bound to reply to this post read that last part again. I’m not accusing anyone of misusing Twitter – because I think that everyone has to decide for themselves how to handle social media of any kind. Maybe that’s a departure from how I’ve felt in the past, and I’m OK admitting that.  So what do I mean by “comfortable”? If you’re only comfortable announcing your gigs – then hey, that’s fine. If you’re only comfortable keeping Twitter as a sales tool, then that’s what you have to do. If you’re the type that only uses Twitter to make statements and isn’t entirely interested in the back and forth type of communication that can happen – then that’s how you’ve got to keep it. That might not be ideal, but as I said, we all have our own areas of comfort.

Another issue I see: I don’t think that there’s anything necessarily wrong with replying directly to a fan, even a female fan, if you want; but I also know that not every musician or celebrity is comfortable doing so. I can’t decide if it’s because they’re worried about calling attention to a particular fan, or if it’s because they don’t want to see the “Please RT meeeeee!!!” tweets over and over. The same goes for following fans, I suppose. Once you’ve opened that door, it’s hard to explain why some are allowed through and others are not. I’m not sure that there’s a need to explain actions like that to anyone though. I certainly don’t substantiate the reasons why I’m friends with some people and not with others, but that’s just me. I can’t necessarily say where the line should be drawn – I only know how I handle it for myself. It’s tough thing to find fault with no matter what someone does, and each person has to find their own comfort zone. I have no way of knowing what it’s really like to be a well-known musician, rock star or celebrity because I’m just me: Rhonda from Southern California. I tend to treat people, my friends – whether they are male, female, rockstar or celebrity, pretty much the same. If I follow you on Twitter, I’m going to comment to you as though I think you’re reading, and I’m going to pal around with you as though we’re at least friendly if not actually friends. If that makes me odd, well…then I’m odd, and I embrace the description. I just figure that at the end of the day, we’re all just people anyway.

That’s the longest blog I’ve written in a long time.  Just imagine how it’ll be once the band actually DOES start announcing titles.  I’d better rest my fingers now while I can!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog (gig reviews!): It was the hottest day in July….

By Bryony Evens

Last month there were two live Duranie experiences for sweltering Londoners: Joanne Joanne, the all-female tribute band (strapline: ‘We don’t do Rio’) and Dom Brown’s Blue to Brown set with his dad, Rob, and their band. I went to both, and here’s my review of the gigs, plus a few pictures and videos.

The first gig – Joanne Joanne – was on a Saturday night, so with it being a weekend there was an opportunity for a few Duranie friends to travel to London to see the gig. It was lovely to see Sarah and Eileen, whose husband drove them up from Kent and joined us for the show, and George who lives in London anyway. We all had dinner at my place then headed off to Camden Town for the gig. The first people I bumped into were half the band getting dressed up in their stage gear in the loos (yep, it was a small venue!), so I wished them luck. I’d actually met the singer in the loos at a another gig couple of week’s previously – it must be a thing! There were quite a few people in the audience who I recognised, some from other Duran shows/events, and some from other gigs around London.

They started with most of the band on stage playing the opening of Planet Earth, with one joining in after the other, until ‘Simon’ came onstage to start singing. They’re all great musicians and play very well together. They don’t stand on stage in the same order as the boys, but I wasn’t sure if that’s just because it was a really small stage or because it’s what they prefer. There was an interesting mix of them talking about the songs as though they were the original band in a spoofy sort of way, and chatting about their own arrangements of them, which was fascinating. They don’t play Rio because Duran do, and someone has to play the other songs; however, I noted that they played the album version of My Own Way, rather than the single version which Duran relegated to the ‘must never be played again’ pile many years ago…

I don’t remember the exact setlist or order, but it was amazing to hear some of my absolute favourites live again, including Hold Back the Rain and Last Chance on the Stairway. I think I’ve only ever heard Duran play Last Chance as part of the electro-set on the RCM tour, so that was brilliant! I’m pretty sure this list will be all the songs they played, but if you were there and I’ve forgotten any, or I’ve accidentally added some they didn’t play, please comment below!

Planet Earth
Last Chance on the Stairway
Hold Back the Rain
Anyone Out There
Faster Than Light
Late Bar – they’re recording this as their first single
New Religion – this was perhaps the most energetic of the night and was very good indeed. The band said on Facebook afterwards that it’s their favourite to play live.
Careless Memories
Friends of Mine
The Chauffeur

Two videos I filmed so you can see what they’re like live – there are better videos on the band’s Facebook page and on YouTube though if you look for them!

In summary, it was fantastic to hear these beloved songs played in an upbeat and fairly rocky way, in a small venue, with a packed audience of music enthusiasts (except for the big pillock in front of me – ugh!) Sadly they’ve just announced their next gig on 23rd August – when I’ll be at a gig in Glasgow, but if you’re in London and have the chance to go, take it – they’re brilliant!

A very short snippet of Faster than Light
A very short snippet of Last Chance on the Stairway 

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The second experience was much stranger. The music was very straightforward the but the venue and clientele? Well…

George and I headed to the Voodoo Vault at the Embassy Club in Mayfair. All the tables were out on the street, leaving an empty restaurant inside. At the end of the empty room there was a door, leading into the dark. We followed a twisty-turny staircase down into the basement and as our eyes adjusted to the gloom, we realised Dom was standing at the bar right next to us. He’s quite small close-up, and was welcoming some friends. We beat a hasty retreat and tried to find the ladies – the place was  a bit of a rabbit warren but we eventually found them back up the stairs and down into another basement.

On our return to the venue, we queued up at the bar for a looooong time, eavesdropping Dom’s conversation with his friends (not really any way of avoiding it, we weren’t being rude, honest!) and eventually got served, for a vast price and including a service charge, despite having had to wait 5 minutes plus and having no table service! The menus were all photocopied and it looked like the venue had been kitted out really cheaply to look expensive. Some of the decor was pretty cool though, like the mirrored pillars with the strings of lights inside, but these did add to the general disorientation one felt in the room. It was also freezing with air conditioning, when the decor seemed to lend itself to being a hot-as-Hades dive bar…

We took our seats to one side in a sort of booth, so George had her back to the stage. We weren’t sure what to expect but it wasn’t too long before Dom, his dad and the rest of the band took to the stage. From where we were, the drummer was round a corner in an alcove so we couldn’t see him, but there was a bass player and keyboardist backing up Dom on guitar and Rob as singer and bongo player. The musicianship was faultless and Rob is a very entertaining frontman. He had a proper bluesman’s hat, and a stream of amusing patter, dealing with things like the sinking bongos and getting folk to sign up on the mailing list with wit and a gruff sense of humour. His voice is properly gravelly and suited the music perfectly . Sorry Rhonda, I’d never listened to Blue to Brown before going to the gig, so I can’t tell you what they played or if it was anything you particularly wanted to hear. However, great blues played live is the best way to hear it, I reckon! George and I both agreed that there was one track which particularly stood out for us – don’t know which one, I’m afraid, but it might have had a girl’s name in it?

By the time the band went into some cover versions (the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd), there were a few people dancing, including an older couple who obviously really loved the Stones. Dom’s rendition of Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix was a particular highlight for me. About half way through, some girls came to stand near us and one was doing really weird dancing right in front of the band, hitching up her skirt and not in time with music at all. In fact, the audience was quite a mixture of people who were obviously fans of the band and there for the music, and some who didn’t seem to know quite what was going on. The strange wavy girl was escorted away from the dance floor by friends towards the end of Blue to Brown’s set, though there were plenty of other people up and dancing and obviously having a great time.

I didn’t think I’d be able to face Rhonda if I didn’t take any pictures, so I did my best with my phone camera in the dodgy lighting. Sorry they’re not better!

In short, the music was great, though next time I’d like to be in a proper music venue with a good view of the stage to see what all the musicians were doing. My view of Dom’s guitar was blocked by something between our booth and the stage, which was slightly annoying. However, it was a free gig and the band obviously enjoyed the chance to play up a storm together live. I think I later discovered the reason for the strangeness – I mentioned it on Facebook and a friend told me that the venue is ‘a notorious coke den for the rich’. That would certainly explain it, so next time, I expect Dom to break into White Lines Don’t Do It!

https://twitter.com/dombrownmusic
https://www.facebook.com/BluetoBrown
www.bluetobrown.com

Bryony Evens has been an unashamed pop music fan for the last 30-odd years. Here’s all you need to know in musical terms: first album: Super Trouper by ABBA; first single: Rio; all-time favourite song: Dr Mabuse by Propaganda; favourite band: you need to ask?!; favourite solo artist: Liverpool’s elusive Thomas Lang; all-time perfect non-DD album: ABC’s Lexicon of Love; guaranteed mood-lift song: the 12” of Walk Out to Winter by Aztec Camera; compulsory-to-dance-to song: OT Quartet – Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like a Skyscraper mix); favourite classical music: Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Rach 3 and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances; first gig: The Sugarcubes; bands seen live most often: either Duran Duran or Misty’s Big Adventure; next gig: Glasgow’s A New International – truly a band to discover; best new album: Electric by the Pet Shop Boys. She loves to sing. She also plays the viola badly.

Now is the time to come out of the shadows

So today I have a new challenge for myself. I need to announce my favorite band member and explain why in terms other than “He’s so cute!!”

This isn’t as easy as one might think, and not because I must use description words other than “hot” and “cute” (thankfully, the band is on vacation this month and is nowhere to be found….because this blog could get gushy, and I am really not a fan of them reading this kind of fluff from us anyway.) The fact is, while it’s true I may or may not have a soft spot for certain guitar players, I’ve written so much about that person that I’m not sure there’s much left to say. So this is going to be fun, and I need the writing practice anyway.

I am pretty sure it’s of no surprise to anyone who reads the blog that Dom is my current favorite…and he’s not even a founding member of the band. That alone probably seems like blasphemy to some out there who refuse to acknowledge his presence. (we know you’re out there) The fact is, Dom has earned his way – which is why I think I’m drawn to him.  Sure, he got the gig as a result of Andy’s absence due to his father’s death, his illness and later, his parting from the band, but I don’t believe that is something that should be held against him.  In fact, I find plenty of fault with the people out there that regularly point that out to me.  How is Andy leaving Dom’s fault again? I remember back in 2005 when I saw the band in Chicago. It had already been announced that Andy was sick and that he would not be at the show. Sure, the band could have just canceled the show and risked thousands of Duranies coming for them. Instead, they did the professional thing and found a stand-in.  I don’t know about other people, but I am thankful they did that. At that show I didn’t even notice Dom.  He stood in the shadows and played the part as written. It was only much later, when it was announced that Andy would not be returning for more shows or albums with the band, that I noticed Dom literally coming out of the shadow and playing on the stage with the band. It was evident that he was still hesitant to share the stage – but as time wore on, he grew more confident. I believe that at least some of that confidence came from fans like myself doing what we could to encourage him and make him feel welcome. Besides, I like cheering for the underdog! In the case of this band, where their loyal fans and followers have been around for over thirty years and still long for the “original fab five” – he had quite a road ahead to prove himself, and he still does with a lot of people.

Dom is one of the most humble, if not THE most humble musician I’ve ever met. I know I’ve mentioned meeting him on an airplane from Chicago to New Orleans in 2006 for the Voodoo festival. He was very nice and seemingly surprised when I congratulated him on his performance the previous evening. Then he asked me where we were all going that night.  I laughed as I answered that we were going to a fan get together thing at Club Ampersand in New Orleans – and then I told him he couldn’t go. (Yes, I really did tell him to stay away!)  I warned him that DD fans are somewhat rabid, and that it might be pretty overwhelming for him to show. So what does Dom do? He shows up that night. Why? Because he’s still thinking he’s like the rest of us. Um, no my friend – you are not. You are up on stage with the band, and we’re down on the floor screaming for you. See the difference? Well, I think he did that night. He lasted all of about 20 minutes – the entire time being surrounded by a group of well-intentioned if not a little overenthusiastic fans, insisting that he take photos, give hugs and be social – before retreating, stopping to give me a wave and a thumbs up as he left. I watched him leave, kind of chuckling to myself and shaking my head. Silly man, you are no match for Duran fans. Humble yes…but crazy! I never thought I’d actually share that little story here on line, but it’s been so long now – I think it’s just a good example of the man Dom really is, and I truly hope he stays that way. As a fan, someone on the outside looking in – I don’t think it’s especially easy to stay in touch with regular, normal people when you’re a rock star.  People always want things from you, and sometimes just as a way of self-preservation, I think they have to kind of retreat to a very small inner-circle – but I can hope that for Dom, it’ll be different.

There are plenty of reasons why I like Dom. I could say it’s his talent, or his looks, or the fact that he takes the time to smile and wink on stage – or even that he agreed to do an interview for Daily Duranie, but I guess I just really like the idea that he’s this guy who came out of nowhere to be in this band without assuming the place was made specifically for him or that he’s better than any other guitarist, meaning he’s got zero ego. I love that. Dom doesn’t even realize that there are Duran fans out there that look at him as though he’s nothing and that he’s just the hired gun and nothing more. He believes all of us are nice people, and that we’re all supportive. I wish that were the case, but I love his outlook. He doesn’t waste his time with bitterness, and I completely admire him for that. I hope others begin to see that he’s a lot more than just a hired hand – including the band themselves – because there are many of us out there that want band pictures including him. He’s EARNED that place, and his writing credit on All You Need is Now, as well as whatever credit he will be receiving on this one, is wholly indicative of that. It’s time to make room for him in those band shots, Duran Duran. I’d like to hear him be included in Katy Kafe’s and start being acknowledged. I’m not saying that I know what is best as far as contractual obligations between Dom and the band – that’s none of my business – I’m just expressing what I’d like to see as a fan of the entire operation. It’s time to include him beyond John Taylor saying “He’s a permanent member, but what he will never be is a founding member.” I think it’s time to stop with the distinctions as far as fans are concerned – those things are well-left behind closed doors –  and start including him in the ways that most fans can see and hear. That privilege has been earned many times over by now.

Yet, we’ll likely never hear Dom complain or say those words. That’s just not him. He does his job and keeps going. That’s why I like him. He’s real.

-R

Happy Birthday Dom!

I feel a birthday in the air….

You might be wondering why I am blogging today. It’s Friday. That means it should be Amanda’s day, and I should be off enjoying the first full day of summer break for my kids. (I am, which is why I’m writing this on Thursday!) Well my friends, today is a special day. It is Friday, June 14…which is also a big holiday.  It’s Dom’s birthday! (face it Mr. Brown…it’s no longer a secret!) So, Amanda and I agreed we would trade days – she will blog on John’s birthday next week, and I will blog today.

Normally I gush on and on about how wonderful each guy is on his birthday. That would be fairly easy for me to do here…but instead, I’ve decided to pick a few of Dom’s songs and highlight them here….in addition to gushing endlessly, because well, it’s what I do.

Dom has been playing with Duran Duran since December of 2004 when Andy Taylor became ill while on tour. Dom stepped with just two days notice, which is ridiculously amazing. I’m still in awe that he was able to learn 20 songs in that span of time, but that should probably be evidence of Dom’s work ethic. There was a reason why it took us nearly three months to complete the interview we did with Dom last Fall – he is always working!  While on “hiatus” from Duran Duran (I use that term loosely!), Dom opened his own recording studio, and nearly every week I read that he was working with one artist or another, either writing, producing or both. This is not a man who rests!

In 2006, Dom joined the band as their guitarist on a permanent basis – although SOME of us are still waiting for his likeness to be sold on t-shirts and other Duran Duran merchandise.  My my count, Dom has been with the band as the “stand-in” as well as permanent guitarist for almost 9 years….seems like a t-shirt or poster wouldn’t hurt at this point. (I’m looking at you, DDHQ) I think that the arrangement has probably worked out well for both the band as well as Dom up until this point, but I have to admit that as a fan, I would love to see him be included in more group shots.

I liked Dom immediately when I watched him play, his talent shining through as he became more comfortable with the material to put a little more of himself and his own feeling into his playing. When I asked Dom about this, he said, “Over time I became more comfortable and could integrate and interpret with my own style and I hope that comes across. I am a strong believer in keeping to the original spirit of the song as much as possible.” As a fan, I appreciate that he strives to keep the integrity of the original work. None of us are really fans of having these songs we’ve grown to love so much completely changed due to an evolution in personnel, so hearing that Dom wants to keep the original spirit but add a bit of his own personality to the mix is reassuring. We are extremely lucky the band found him, and honestly I’m surprised to see he’s still with the band (although he’d better not leave!), because he has so much room to grow on his own. So I’m biased!

I have heard that Dom is not a big fan of streaming his gigs at The Bedford. I guess I’m punishing him by posting a few clips here…. but the fact is, the audio quality is not outstanding, and so if that is what bothers him, I guess I can begrudgingly understand. It does sound muffled a bit, but you can still hear him just fine, and I WISH he’d agree to have more of them streamed for his very loyal, outstanding fans elsewhere in the world who have been a pillar of support for him since the very beginning (am I laying it on thick enough here??)….*coughs*.

Changing – The Bedford
I don’t know what “Changing” is about, but I tend to think about how much of a change in direction it must have been for Dom to play in Duran Duran as a contract guitarist. It wasn’t his own band, and I think it must have (and probably still is) incredibly difficult of a position to be in. He isn’t even playing his own style of music in the band, although I do hear more and more how he brings his own personality to the writing process. He had to step (nearly literally) into Andy’s shoes and then face the ire of many a fan who still wishes that Andy were there instead. When I met Dom for the first (and only) time in person, that was the one sentence I said to him – that it could not have been very easy, and that I really appreciated his efforts.  
Day Turned Black -The Bedford
Day Turned Black is from Dom’s second solo album – Between the Lines. Again, I really don’t know what the song is about, but when I listen I think of the horror of 9/11 because it’s what hits closest to home for me. I suspect that this song was written following the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004 after the massive Indian Ocean earthquake – which was the deadliest tsunami in history, but I’m not sure. (Maybe we’ll get lucky and Dom will fill us in!) Regardless, it’s a beautiful song.
Crocodile Tears – The Bedford
On a lighter note, Crocodile Tears was the first song that introduced me to Dom’s father, Rob.  (Who is really funny in this video!) The song itself reminds me a lot of someone who cries wolf a lot and basically gets rewarded for bad behavior. Let’s just say the theme rings very familiar.  I think having Dom’s dad do the spoken word in part of the song is genius too – he fits right in, which isn’t a surprise given that Rob is a voice-over artist in the UK! 
Tricked Out – Duran Duran – 10/29/07
A disclaimer:  I’m not going crazy just because I dared to post something off of Red Carpet Massacre. I really do not have a lot of regrets regarding the band – but this? Yes. I wish I’d been able to see them do this one song live, although I probably would have completely lost it had I been anywhere NEAR the front. Although….if they should ever think to play it again, I’ll try to keep it all together. If there is any question about Dom’s talent, or any question as to whether he belongs in this band or not – watch the clip and then tell me all about it.
White Lines – Chastain Park, Atlanta 2012
Hands down one of my favorites that they have done live, and I think Dom does a brilliant job – this is a great example of how he kept the original spirit and flavor of a song and yet has changed the solo to incorporate his own style.  I know there are those out there that love what the guitarists before Dom did, and I can appreciate that – but the man can play!
When I first asked Dom to do the interview with us last October, first of all – I was very apprehensive about asking because the last thing I wanted to hear was the word “No”, and I felt that was very possible. I kept telling myself that it didn’t really matter, and that I had to get used to just asking. So, I did. I explained who I was, knowing there was almost no chance he’d have any clue who I was, and hoped for best. Well…and I’m still trying to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing….he knew exactly who I was. (from the shows I’d attended in the past) That broke the ice (for me) a little, and I felt much more at ease. Thankfully, he was very receptive to the idea and made the interview incredibly easy. My goal with interviewing Dom was to try and make him a little less of a mystery, and a little more accepted among the fan base. It’s hard to explain to someone that while he’s loved by many, there are still those who take issue with his even being on the stage. Dom was so kind, saying that the fans he has met have been very nice to him and welcoming – which is great. He was extremely generous giving his time to us, and we really appreciated his effort. (even though he said he enjoyed answering!)
A couple more because it’s my blog and I’m not done yet!
I Get Loaded – Blue to Brown – The Bedford 2009
I’ve yet to see one of Dom’s solo gigs, or a gig with Blue to Brown, and I’m hoping to manage that some day. Going to the UK is not just a simple hop across the pond with my schedule, so it’s something that I have to plan at just the right time…but eventually I will get there…or else we will work very hard to convince him to come to the US!  I think that is probably a tough sell for someone without a huge touring budget…but you know, dreams are free!
One last one…just because it’s one of my favorites:
Queen of Spades – Blue to Brown – The Bedford 2009
Funny thing – if you would have asked me ten years ago if I ever thought I’d have another favorite in that band (being the diehard Roger Taylor fan I was the entire time growing up), I would have laughed. Are you kidding me?? I also remember how I felt the day that I heard Andy wasn’t going to be at some of the shows in 2004 and 2005…and especially how I felt in 2006 when they announced they had parted ways. I felt like they should never have another guitar player. In my head, that place permanently belonged to Andy, no matter that he couldn’t get along with the band and vice-versa. I’d already lived through another guitarist, and quite honestly – I was not up for Round #2. Sure, they needed someone to just play – and that was fine, but I never wanted to see another permanent band member. Then I went to a few shows, and I ran into someone on a plane to New Orleans who insisted on coming out that night to hang out with fans (Silly, silly man. I warned that they’d try to eat you alive!), and he slowly changed my mind.  More and more I found myself watching Dom at the shows, and now – well, I can’t imagine the band being any other way than it is now, and to me – he really IS Duran Duran’s guitar player. I don’t care about the business end of things – it’s not my business.  Fans are my business though, and I hope he really feels like the band is his home. I also hope that we fans continue to  embrace him as a part of our crazy family, because after all this time – that’s really what we are.  A huge, messed up, slightly dysfunctional, crazy family. Welcome!!
Happy Birthday Dom! I hope you have a fantastic day with your family, and that you remember your poor, sad fans across the world and tweet once in a while even when you don’t have a gig to announce…or cancel (!!!)…just so we know you’re alive and don’t have to do a health and welfare check to make sure your studio didn’t eat you alive. 
-R

Unicorns, Fairy Tales & Loose Ends (no, this is not a lyric!)

Today I will see my son go through his 8th grade promotion ceremony. This is a huge accomplishment for him because last year at this time – I was contemplating as to whether he would LIVE to finish 8th grade. 🙂 He had given up, was failing out (He had to work really, really hard to nearly fail out!! I think at the time he was calling for help and thank goodness I listened – message received, my son!) and I was having to remind myself on a daily basis that he was in fact my child, and that good, bad or indifferent I was going to raise this boy to be a man, one way or another. Thankfully, I found an excellent program for him, and he went from failing to getting straight A’s this year. We both have a much better outlook, and as a bonus – he gets to live to see high school! Yesterday I saw my oldest dance for the last time at her old high school, and it was bittersweet. I’m excited for her future, but sad as well. It is not always easy to watch your children grow, evolve and follow their hearts. It is not completely lost on me that this is something we also do as devoted fans as well…but that’s another story for another blog!

Before I forget, we are doing another Birthday Promotion for Durandemonium 2013!  We seem to have to have a few band member birthdays coming up during the month of June.  So, from June 8th through June 20, you can buy your registration for $135, which will save you $20!  We have a great group of people coming and we hope you can be with us for some Duran Duran fun and even a few surprises that weekend!  For more information, please see the Durandemonium 2013 website!

I ran across an article today, thanks to my friend Lisa.  It is on the top ten ways a rockstar can ruin a concert experience. You can read the article here.

There are things on the list like showing up ridiculously late, playing medleys or playing perverse arrangements of their songs…things that yes, I would agree have at least the potential to ruin the whole experience.

However, I think the list missed something.  Remembering the lyrics to ones songs is usually kind of important.  I’m not talking about flub-ups.  That happens to everyone once in a while and I am very forgiving, because quite honestly – I like the idea that yes, these people are human. I have laughed right along with Simon when he’s made a mistake and he realizes that we, the audience, are singing the correct words.  He’ll smile, he’ll try to get back on point and we move on. It happens. That said, there was one tour not that long ago where it seemed like this was happening a lot, and I started to wonder if it was because his mind wanders when he’s up there on stage. (confession…I think mine would!!) I even started wondering if he was just bored with us! I know people openly started discussing whether or not he needed a teleprompter, and there was a lot of good (and not-so-good) natured teasing that happened about that. Interestingly enough, this last tour – I saw almost NONE of that.  Simon knew the damn words, and even if he had mistakes, most of the time they were small.  There will be no teleprompter just yet, dammit.  To be fair, Simon is by far not the only person on the planet to forget the words or lose his spot in the song.  I know plenty of artists that really DO use a teleprompter, and some seem to have trouble even keeping up with that.  I’ve been to more than one Psychedelic Furs concert, and Richard Butler never fails to mutilate at least one of his hits to pieces…and sometimes he has even fallen flat on his back on stage from tripping over things.  It’s never good when that is the most entertaining thing to come out of a show.

Then there are the things I totally agree with.

For example, I agree that never varying the set list is a problem. I know you all are very shocked by that statement from me, and you should probably sit down before you faint.  The article says it best, “Some artists have long catalogs of great songs, but their concerts tend to fall back on the same 15 songs they’ve been dragging out for decades. It’s like eating 10 chocolate bars for dinner; it’s not satisfying. Sure, the crowd wants to hear hits and you want to do anything you can to hold their attention, but you also need to challenge them a bit” Of course the argument then becomes how many hits to how many new/unheard/obscure songs…how can that be balanced best. Here is a hint: we have ALL heard certain songs quite enough. I don’t believe that anyone actually still comes to a Duran Duran concert SOLELY to hear Rio or Hungry Like the Wolf, and if they do, then perhaps they should buy tickets to a couple of different nights, that way you can play one of them one night, and the other the next. This way you have room to play a few more more unusual songs each night in your set and still have room to play SOME hits. Then the next night you play OTHER hits…and you might sell more tickets in the process than if it was the same show every single night – which is what I (mostly) found in the last few tours. Is that being unfair of me, to suggest that they split up the hits between two or several shows, basically saying that if you are insistent to hear every hit – that you should be prepared to pay? Probably. Ok, definitely. Especially when I bring up the next example…

Soaking the fans for every penny. To be completely honest, I think this is a problem industry-wide right now. Gigs are an absolute fortune to attend unless you’re lucky enough to be a big fan of someone who maybe plays gigs at venues like The Bedford with their blues band…who was ALSO willing to travel to do some shows for their poor, deprived fans in other parts of the world, like good old Southern California. Because while the gig is cheap, the flight to the UK from Los Angeles or anywhere else in the world is not. (Did you catch what I just did there???) Naturally, from the band’s point of view…if you’ve got the budget to have your band travel for gigs, it’s likely that you’re charging more than £20 or £30 a ticket! On the other hand, the article makes it pretty clear that if your band is charging $300 a show, those seats should probably be up on stage…which in the case of Duran Duran, could be dangerous for them. Those barricades are there for a reason. I’ve seen more than one fan decide that their time with Simon was in the middle of a set and they just went for it, only to have Mr. Dave Casillas kindly pick them up over his shoulder and head offstage. Good times. I myself have paid over $300 for a show, and I know I’m not the only fan out there to do so by a long shot, only to get the seat along with some hit or miss special VIP merchandise. No meet and greet, no stage side seating. These days, it is slightly more manageable price-wise, but I know plenty of fans who simply cannot afford those prices. Touring is incredibly important to a band’s bottom line these days, I think we all understand that. I just agree that there needs to be a better balance, and I’m not at all sure how that can be achieved. I don’t like the idea that the size of ones wallet or bank account should dictate fandom, but then I also believe in rainbows, unicorns and fairy tales, too. There are no easy answers to be found here.

Until then, I will just wait for my windfall so that I can fly to the UK and see a gig at The Bedford or Downstairs at Patrick’s Bar in between the years that DD tours…and if you’re still missing my sneaky point…you need to check out the brand new website for Blue To Brown. Like that plug, Dom Brown??

-R

A top Duranie moment of the year

Happy “Day After” Christmas everyone!

After a full two days of excitement in my house, it is nice to wake up to relative calm. We have no presents to return or exchange and nothing to really do today except relax, which is nice. I can’t speak for everyone in my household, but I’m exhausted! I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful holiday, and for those who did not,  I hope you had a fantastic Tuesday.

I must confess that due to the fact my entire family, including my sister, is here – my blogs will be rather short until January 2nd. I had hoped that I’d have a few willing souls to write a guest blog. Alas, you have me instead!

So today I will give you one of my favorite “moments” in fandom for the year. This year, I have had many – and I count myself lucky. As I’m sure you know by now, last week we posted our interview with Dom Brown. We had a lot of people ask us how the interview came about, and how it was conducted. The simple truth is that we had an opportunity to ask, and so after some initial butterflies, we just asked.

I fully expected that he’d have no idea who I was or why we would want an interview, but we agreed to at least try. We talk about this idea of the band “knowing” us – not “us” as in Daily Duranie, but us as in “the fans”. It’s very difficult at times to pull ourselves out of our relative fantasyland of believing we’re really talking WITH band members on Twitter and Facebook. Amanda and I are not any different from anyone else in that regard. Of course we hope they see our tweets or posts. We are also well-aware that in sheer numbers, there are thousands of us and only five members of the band. The odds don’t really work in our favor. We also desperately want, and maybe even need to believe that when we’re at a show and they come over to the edge of the stage to jam that maybe, just maybe it was us that they were grinning at. “Did he really look at me???” I know that you all know what I’m talking about here. There’s always that moment where you want to believe that yep – out of the five thousand people in the audience, that it was definitely YOU that he winked at. I know this.  You know this. We like delusional daydreams on occasion, am I right? For me personally, it’s as though while I’m on a road trip or touring with Amanda – I can pretend anything I want.  Sure, I traded smiles with Nick. Yes, I shook Roger’s hand. Oh, I know that Dom recognized me and made sure to come over and coerce me into singing along. But once I get home, I forcibly snap myself back into reality. There is no way that band could possibly have any clue of who I am. I’m a mom and housewife and look like just about anybody else out there…meaning, I certainly do not stand out in a crowd. Yes, we write Daily Duranie. It’s a fan-blog. Why on earth would the band know or even care?? That’s pretty much how Amanda and I operate, and we are thankful that we can slap one another back down to Planet Earth if required.

So, when I asked Dom about the interview, I expected to either hear nothing or get a tersely worded email in exchange. I prepared for the worst, so to speak. It did not take long to get an answer, I must say. He very kindly wrote back, and said something that I was not at all prepared to read:  “I know exactly who you are!”

Huh??

So the moral of the story? While I still feel pretty sound in my theory that it is just impossible for them to know all of us, and we should never expect friendship out of fandom (unless it’s with other fans), sometimes, it’s OK to be pleasantly surprised.

And I still say that Dom is a really nice guy.  Not that I want to gush…. 😀

-R

An Interview with Dom Brown, Part 3

We’re almost sad to begin this post. Interviewing Dom was a lot of fun, and once again we need to say thank you for his time, efforts and extreme patience with our questions!

As most fans realize, every band member has a life beyond the stage. In today’s blog we spend a little time getting to know a little bit more about Dom – after the DoJo (as opposed to JoSi, you see…), after the screaming fans (like us) go home.

Daily Duranie: Aside from your family, what is the one thing you miss most from home while you are on tour?

Dom Brown:  PG Tips tea bags…I never take enough with me on the road! Oh, and it’s hard to find a good curry!


Daily D: OK, so you’re at home after a long tour. What have you been up to since we last saw you?

Dom: Well, the first thing I did was spend a few, much longed for, days relaxing with the family at home. I have just moved into a new recoding studio that I am very excited about. That took a few weeks to set up and settle into and now I’m into writing and recording for various projects.


Daily D: If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would have done for a career? 


Dom: I would love to have been involved in making films.


Daily D: We’ve read that you got your first guitar at 13 – are you completely self-taught or did you take lessons? 


Dom: Yes, I was 13 and I had about 5 lessons initially with a teacher called Ray Major. Other than that I am totally self-taught, though I did have some jazz lessons as part of my music diploma.


Daily D: So about that diploma… what kind of music did you study?  


Dom: Yes, I studied popular music with recording and opted for the 2 year diploma.


Daily D: Do you have a “go-to” guitar? You know, the first one you grab whenever you’re sitting down and that sort of thing? 


Dom: Yes, my 1963 Fender Strat is a beauty!


Daily D: How would you describe yourself musically?  I know the blues were a big influence, but what else?  How would you describe your playing style? 


Dom: I consider myself to be versatile and eclectic. Rock was my first real live while at school, followed by an obsession with blues, funk and jazz at college. I tend to go through phases where I put a lot of heart and energy into a particular artist and do become quite obsessed with them for an intense period. Some examples are: initially Pink Floyd, Led Zep and AC/DC, followed by Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Brown, then Bowie Prince and the Beatles, then Jeff Buckley, who was probably the last artist that truly blew me away.



Daily D: We heard you were living in the states for a while, how long ago and why?  

Dom: I did love my time living in LA in the mid 90’s as a young striving musician. I played most of the LA clubs but really loved the atmosphere at the Troubadour.  

Daily D: Do you think that you have a favorite band or musician in the same way that the Duran fans love the band? (For example, you would drop everything to go and see them play. Maybe even fly across an ocean…)

Dom: Not really now, but in the past most definitely.  Some of the artists I mentioned above.

Daily D: The Social Media question. Twitter and Facebook – do you love them or hate them?

Dom: I think they are great social medias, and I wish I could get more involved and spend more time but for some reason I just can’t make it a major habit.

Daily D: Most fans have probably noticed the tattoo of your daughter’s name on your arm.  Do you have others?  

Dom: I have Floyd, my son’s name, on my right shoulder…that’s all. 

Daily D: What do you like to do when you’re not working – which we see isn’t very often!  

Dom: Reading, watching box sets, movies and eating great food.  Also going for family walks and of course going on family holidays.

Daily D: One last question before we leave you in peace…what do you have planned for over the winter holidays?  

Dom: Not really much other than staying warm, eating and drinking to excess, trying to have as much fun as possible and spoiling the kids.

That sounds a lot like the holidays most fans probably have planned!! Thank you very, very much Dom and we hope you and your family have wonderful holidays – we look forward to hearing more from you in 2013!!

We also need to send out a special thank you to Katy Krassner, who helped coordinate the timing for this blog and was also very patient with our constant “Can we post the interview yet?”  love notes. It takes a lot of coordinating to make the news funnel from Duran Duran to the rest of the world – their fans and the various media outlets – work properly and smoothly, so we really do thank Katy for everything she does.

As we said, this was our first interview. Never once did either of us ever consider the possibility of actually interviewing someone in the band when we began this blog, and we won’t lie – it was very exciting to have this opportunity. We found that we really are not journalists, and we know we missed asking about a thousand things that other people might have asked. As I (Rhonda) read and edit this final interview segment, I find myself saying “Why didn’t I ask ______?  How stupid of me!!” So, if you’re saying that too, we’re sorry. Live, learn and apply the knowledge for the next one if we should ever be so lucky, right?  

We’ve been bursting at the seams for literally months now, in anticipation of publishing this interview, and we hope that all of you enjoyed our little gift to you for 2012. We have huge hopes for 2013, beginning with a much more peaceful planet. We believe that we can all agree on that.  

Oh, and we’ll catch you on the other side of this whole “End of the world on 12-21-12″….

-A & R

Once again, all photography is copyright Daily Duranie (Rhonda Rivera). That curse we mentioned?  Seriously.  

An Interview with Dom Brown, Part 2

Day two of our interview with Dom Brown brings a discussion of his career outside of Duran Duran. There’s much to learn from Dom.  He is a multi-faceted guitarist with a wide-breadth of musical experience. We would suggest that before anyone decides that Dom is only a session musician take a good listen to his solo work, available from his website.

Quoting from the biography on his website, www.dombrown.com

Dom Brown has made music his life. After college he set up a band, with his father, Rob Brown of Gets/z Loose, stepping in as lead vocalist. Dom’s dynamic stage persona developed alongside the extraordinary and bizarre performance style of the older Brown. Together they trawled the London funk and blues circuit, while Dom immersed himself in the raw intensity of the great blues and R&B artists. 

Singing was the obvious next step and soon became a passion. Fronting a new band, he toured round Britain and found great success in France, where he played several major festivals, concerts in Paris, and got regular radio airplay. Then he took his songs to the US, got some local musicians on board, and made a name for himself playing at top LA clubs (the Whiskey, Roxy, Troubadour etc). His songs, performance, and guitar style had a twist and an edge that always separated him from other artists in the blues/rock genre.


Back in London, Dom was very much in demand as a session player, and worked with several major label artists. 


Dom’s main love is songwriting, and he has never stopped. He fuses singer-songwriter intimacy with electrifying guitar intensity. Though his music still retains a blusey sensibility, Dom has moved on from the traditional blues/rock genre, becoming more experimental and developing a unique and original style.”  


Upon first glance, Dom’s background would seem light years away from what fans have come to know as Duran’s style. It isn’t until one spends time and inclination to listen with a fine-tuned ear to Dom’s solo work that it becomes easy to distinguish what Dom brings to the Duran Duran turntable. 

It is fair to say that most Duran Duran fans are not necessarily blues enthusiasts. Many may not understand a 12-bar blues progression; and still more may not recognize that rock and roll, and most certainly rhythm and blues (R&B) really draws from those blues beginnings.  (Hence the “BLUES” in R&B!) This is no reason to overlook or underestimate Dom’s talent.  Take his most recent album from his band Blue to Brown – you can hear the same signature slide guitar that is found at the beginning of Girl Panic, and it is easy to differentiate many of the stylistic guitar riffs that one might hear playing a modified tug-of-war with Nick’s synthesizers on the album. These styles and sounds should not be unfamiliar to Duran fans. 

One of the reasons we jumped at the opportunity to present this interview to fellow fans was because we knew that much could be shared and learned about Dom Brown. It is true, he is not an original member of the band. We cannot rewrite history, and we wouldn’t even want to try. It is also true, he follows some extremely talented and well-loved guitar players and had ginormous shoes to fill. However, after eight years, it is time to get to know Dom for who he really is, rather than judging him on who he is not. He is not Andy Taylor. He is not Warren Cuccurullo. Get to know Dom Brown. Embrace him. (Well, maybe not literally!)

Dom Brown on his Career:

Daily Duranie: What is your most favorite song to play live? Not a Duran Duran song, but from your own work.  

Dom Brown: Possibly ‘Queen of Spades’ – that is originally a Robert Johnson song, but in my band Blue to Brown we have done a unique version. I start playing the intro to Red House, by Hendrix, and then my dad comes in with the lyric to QOS… it’s a blues progression but we always take it somewhere vastly different every night.

Daily D: We see that you are planning to re-release Blue To Brown in Februrary of 2013, with the plan being to capitalize on more PR now that you have some more time to devote to promotion. What are the plans between now and March when you go back into the studio with Duran Duran? 

Dom: Unfortunately Dec 8th has been cancelled (A Blue to Brown gig) but we will have shows early in the new year… just waiting (for) confirmation.

Daily D: How did you become a session musician, and was that something that you envisioned yourself doing forever? There must be positives and negatives to session work as opposed to being in a band.

Dom: I originally wanted to be part of an amazing and very well known, popular band but having come close to that with several projects and not getting the lucky break, I really kind of fell into session work. It originally began as a way of earning a living and a means of survival. I did accept this and began enjoying it for what it is.

Daily D: When you are songwriting – what is your approach? Do you go into the studio and jam until you find something that sticks or do you only write when you have an inspiration? Do you know how to write/read music? 

Dom: It depends on whether I am writing alone or collaborating. For example with Duran, we begin by jamming until we find something that gels and sounds fresh and exciting, then the song is developed from there. I have written songs with the lyric first or sometimes just a rough melody. Most often though it begins with a riff or motif or a set of chords that I have found interesting to play around with. I do read music very slowly as it’s something I never need to do. I studied a bit whilst at college but I learnt to play the guitar before learning to read music. 

Daily D: The lyrics on Touch the Flames seem to be incredibly personal. Do you tend to draw your lyrical inspiration from your personal life and events that have happened along the way?  

Dom: Yes, that particular album does reflect what I was going through personally around that time. That was also around the Buckley phase and I must have been influenced by his style of writing that is very personal.




Daily D: How long did it take to write and record Touch the Flames and Between the Lines?  The writing and producing are incredibly different on each album. Touch the Flames listens more like a love story…and Between the Lines seems just a touch more raw, maybe even a bit more mature actually. 

Dom: Well TTF took probably over a year to write and record as it was the first time that I’d engineered and produced my own record, so there was a learning curve there. I guess there is a theme of love and relationships in there… well spotted! BTL was recorded much faster as I’d learnt and developed a lot of the techniques by then and I think it comes across more raw sounding due to that reason and that a lot of the songs were recorded with everyone playing together at the same time.

Daily D: What is your new studio like? 

Dom: The studio is fantastic and I’m mainly using (it) to record material that I am co-writing for my publishers, Perfect Songs. I am also getting a few paid bookings where I’m hired to record and produce. I am juggling so many different projects down there at the moment and have a lot of unfinished tracks that I’m looking forward to finishing. I feel very lucky as I have found a really great space with two separate rooms all to myself… everyone who has visited so far has said how much they love the relaxed atmosphere and environment there.

Daily D: If you could collaborate on any of your own work with any musician, who would you choose and why? 

Dom: This changes a lot but right now David Bowie, Prince or Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age.

Daily D: Do you prefer playing live or writing/recording? 

Dom: They are totally different experiences with very different rewards. I love the feeling of playing live when everything is gelling and the band and audience are as one. It’s also amazing when a new song or idea that I feel is special comes to fruition.

Daily D: I’ve read that you got your first guitar at 13 – are you completely self-taught or did you take lessons? 

Dom: Yes I was 13 and I had about 5 lessons initially with a teacher named Ray Major. Other than that I am totally self taught, though I did have some jazz lessons as part of my music diploma.

We encourage our readers to get to know Dom – Blue to Brown is currently available, as are Dom’s solo albums, Touch the Flames and Between the Lines, from Dom’s website.  We believe your ears will thank us!!

Stay with us, tomorrow we will bring our interview with Dom to a close…and hey, if the Mayans were right, we’re happy to end the blog on a great note!  Our timing is pretty brilliant!

-A & R

The top photograph is copyright Daily Duranie(Rhonda Rivera). The curse still stands. Please don’t use our photos without permission. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Interview with Dom Brown, Part 1

For quite some time now, we have been keeping quite a secret from the rest of you. (Trust us, it was not easy!) We have been working on a super-special/super-secret interview with Dom Brown, done over a few weeks this fall. This is Daily Duranie’s first interview, ever…and we’re very proud to be able to share this as our holiday gift to all of you. Dom was extremely kind and patient to grant us this kind of time, and we send him huge thanks, we really cannot thank him enough for trusting us with such a task.  Yes, we write a blog, but we’re fans like all of you.  
Before we jump into the interview, let’s talk a little bit about Mr. Dominic Brown. He first began playing guitar for Duran Duran during the Astronaut tour in December of 2004, by our math, he’s been with the band for eight years now. Time flies! Prior to Duran Duran, Dom was a session musician, working with artists such as Liam Gallagher, Lionel Ritchie, Go West, Take That, Andrea Bocelli and Reba McEntire among many others.  Even with such an illustrious resume, when Dom first took to the stage with Duran Duran, it is doubtful that many fans knew who he was, only that he was (at the time) standing in for an ailing Andy. We would venture to guess that for at least the beginning of his Duran Duran tenure, most fans didn’t notice he was there – only that Andy was not. 
For ourselves (Amanda and Rhonda), it was a moment at the Sears Center show in 2006 that made us realize Dom was the right guitarist for this band. Just days prior, it was announced by the band that Andy would not be returning. After having mini-breakdowns at home, by the time we arrived at the show that evening, we were curious as to how the show would go. Would there be mention of his absence? Probably not. Would Dom take on a larger role – would he simply assume the part of guitarist was his? We didn’t know for sure, but felt certain this show would speak volumes. (Our over-thinking began WAY before this blog ever came along!) That night, we watched the movements of the band, waiting for some sort of sign of what was to come. The sign wasn’t one of an overconfident guitar player ready to step into someone else’s shoes with vigor, but rather someone who knew and understood the finer intricacies of the situation at hand. He had a job to do, but he also must have realized he had to sell himself very slowly to the fan base. He tread very lightly, staying in the shadows when appropriate, and stepping into the spotlight only when coaxed by other band members. It was as though Dom recognized just how difficult the night was for not only the band, but the fans as well.
Later that same weekend, we had a surprise for Dom as he stepped out on stage in New Orleans for the Voodoo Festival. Along with signs for the rest of the band, we had made one especially for him. Given the fact that we’d nearly been crushed to death several times during the sets for other bands, it’s a miracle any of the signs we’d created actually made it! We tried to wave the sign several times during the show, but to no avail – Dom was so used to standing in the background, playing his part and exiting the stage that he didn’t see the sign. It was John and Simon that saw our sign at the end of the night and excitedly tried to get Dom’s attention. We still scream for Dom!  (Perhaps one of us slightly more than the other…)

Dom has been egoless when it comes to his role in the band, taking care to remain out of the spotlight before Andy’s departure was made official, and allowing his presence to grow naturally on the fan base. His efforts did not go unnoticed. Fans have been able to watch his gradual transformation from a stand-in guitarist to band member, and during the latest tour we heard many a squealing fan (besides ourselves) during the numerous “DoJo” moments on stage.

Yes, yes we really did give those moments a name, and we know we weren’t the only ones screaming when they happened. Admit it!  So with no further adieu, we give you our interview with Dom Brown. Today we’ll begin by talking about his tenure with the band, followed by some discussion tomorrow of his career outside of the band, and finally, a little bit of a peek into his personal life. Enjoy!!

Dom Brown on DURAN DURAN  

Daily Duranie: How long did it take you to learn Duran Duran’s music and be comfortable enough so that if they decided to play Secret Oktober, New Religion or something else one night it was not a problem? How long did it take you to feel comfortable enough playing that you felt like you could make the songs your own instead of just playing them exactly as written? 

Dom Brown: Initially I had to learn 20 songs in 2 days for my first ever Duran show. That’s not a lot of time, so I pretty much had to learn as closely to the originals as possible. Over time I became more comfortable and could integrate and interpret with my own style and I hope that comes across. I am a strong believer in keeping to the original spirit of the song as much as possible. The guys will often drop in a new song or something that’s not been played for awhile without much notice… keeps me on my toes!

Daily D: Do you have any particular way you prepare to go on stage? Practice or warm-up beforehand? We have heard that you, John and Roger have jam sessions – is that before every show? Do you find time to practice at home when you’re not touring?

Dom: When touring, I try and find time in the day to run over new songs, but I also write when I can in my hotel room. John, Roger and I jam before every show and it’s a great way to get in the mood.  We have been recording those jams and hopefully some of the ideas will make it to the new album. Home is the same though I tend to spend more time writing and learning about recording techniques these days.

Daily D: Now that you’ve toured quite a bit, do you have a favorite type of venue that you like to play, and why?

Dom: That’s a tough one to answer…and I think the answer is no, as there are pros and cons to playing all different types. I love performing at large open-air events like the Hyde Park show we played at this summer to 80,000 people, for the sheer magnitude. I love the O2 Arena type venues. Then smaller venues like for example Chicago Theatre, that is a beautiful, old, ornate room steeped in so much history.  I do also love playing in intimate venues that only hold a couple of hundred people…but there are so many factors that make up a perfect night on stage.


Daily D: What do you think has surprised you the most out of touring with Duran Duran?

Dom: I am surprised that considering the amount of time we all spend together, I have never really seen any obvious tension between the guys and this makes the whole process so much easier. We all travel on the same private jets and pretty much stay at the same hotels.

Daily D: What do you like most about being on the road?

Dom: Visiting totally new places and tasting the different cultures. With Duran we do get to visit some exotic and beautiful places. 


Daily D: One question we have always wanted to ask the band is about being a fan. Do you think that now you’ve been on the other side of fandom – being the object of fandom rather than a fan yourself – that you could go back to being just a fan?  Can you still be start struck in the presence of one of your influences or idols, or do you think that whole thing changes once you’ve been famous yourself?

Dom: No, I still get a bit jittery around certain stars.

Daily D: We have to ask since we’re currently reading his book as part of our book club discussion – do you own a copy of John’s book, and have you read it yet?

Dom: I have a signed copy yes, and I have literally just finished reading it.  I was proud and touched to have such kind words spoken about me!  It’s a very interesting book and I did learn a few new things about John. 

Be sure to check in tomorrow for the second part to our interview with Dom as we talk a little about his career outside of Duran Duran!

-A & R

All photography is copyright of Daily Duranie (Rhonda Rivera).  Please do not use these photos without our permission. They’re cursed.

No really, they are.