Category Archives: Dom Brown

Sharing

One of the reasons I love blogging and writing in general is the whole aspect of “sharing”.  Sure, I tend to “share” my opinion a lot. I won’t dare argue that one. I put myself out there on the blog, and while at several points I’m wincing as I hit “publish” and sort of praying that I don’t end up at a public flogging ceremony somewhere, the whole point is to be brave and move forward.  Funny. It’s the exact opposite of how I am in person. I’m mostly shy and quiet unless I’m comfortable. Blogging and writing is how I share a little of myself.  I like seeing the reactions to the blog, even if they aren’t always favorable, because that’s also how I learn. I really enjoy the social aspect to the internet.  It’s incredibly easy to become closed off these days.  We can order virtually anything we wish via the internet and never need to leave our homes.  We have iPods or iPhones that can download music at the blink of an eye.  There’s never a need to leave the house, even for new music.


I miss the days of going to the record store, and I do mean record store. Just this past weekend was Record Store Day.  Independent record stores all over the world celebrated the day, and there were several limited releases available.  I have to admit, I didn’t take advantage and go shopping. I suppose it’s a well-meant idea by having a day to highlight vinyl and encourage music lovers to check out their local record store(My closest record store is about 20 minutes from my home.), but I’m one of those people that also believes the idea is just a little bit absurd. It’s just a tad pathetic that we need to drive people out of their homes with the promise of special purchase limited editions and whatnot.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that for the life of me I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to go to a record store on any other day of the year.  There is something very special about record stores.  When you walk in, your senses are immediately put on high alert.  The colors.  The boxes, the smell of cardboard.  Used records are the best.  I love holding them in my hand and seeing the dogeared corners.  No, those aren’t good for the value of the cover art, but I look at those marks as signs of a well-loved album.  Those bent corners and worn edges whisper (and sometimes shout) their past. I used to enjoy going to Tower Records and spending hours going through the racks.  Occasionally I’d talk to someone who would turn me on to something new, and I’d undoubtedly come out of the store excited about my new purchases and run home to hear them.  With the iPod, it’s not quite the same.  There’s no real exchange between people and I do miss that social exchange that goes along with sharing music.


Even John Lydon agrees with me to a certain extent.  He believes that iPods definitely won’t unite us.  MP3’s can be a very individual thing, and when you add in the whole earbud aspect – it’s very individualizing.  You see them all the time – those people who walk around, virtually everywhere with the telltale earbud cords running from their ears into their jacket.  Sometimes I wonder if they’re really listening to anything at all or if they’ve just got the earbuds as a prop or sign that says “Please leave me alone.”  Is our society getting to the point where we just don’t wish to connect with anyone, or are we just in the middle of a cultural shift?


There are signs that I’m not the only one out there missing that social aspect. While it would be relatively easy to retreat from the world and hide behind a computer screen each day (That declaration sounds extraordinarily familiar…), it’s important to learn and remember that the world wide web is only a tool meant to be used in conjunction with our lives, not AS our life. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion about curated playlists, and I’ve mentioned them here in the blog a few times.  I can’t tell you how excited I became this morning when I saw a tweet from none other than John Taylor suggesting that we check out the playlist he curated for @skaisttaylor on Spotify.  This is GOOD.  I applaud your efforts, John…and they did not go unnoticed.  I was especially overjoyed because he created the playlist on Spotify. I hope he finds the time to do this more often.  I actually found some new music to check out, and I love that!!


To anyone who is trying to find his playlist that is not on Facebook, allow me to share the link here.  If you’re not currently a member of Spotify – I’m honestly not sure what it will do, so if you can’t reach it and want to at least know his playlist, I’ll go ahead and add the details in a comment below.

On the other end of the spectrum entirely, but still in that “sharing” theme, I’ve been reading a lot about a new application being developed by the group Anonymous.  They aren’t a music group, they’re a group of “hackivists”, basically! I don’t want to get into a lot of detail about the group itself (primarily because my head swims whenever my son – who is nearly 13 – tries to explain their purpose to me.  I start hearing “Charlie Brown” adult-speak whenever he starts in about them, and the whole discussion goes downhill from there), but I have to admit some curiosity about their project in general.  They have developed an app that is still in beta-stage called Anontune.  Many, many bloggers out there are casting the app aside, but I think they should probably hold off on the judgement just yet.  In the most basic terms (for my benefit!), I’ll quote directly from Alan Cross and his blog from today on the subject,“….an app that scans your music library and then augments it by sourcing out more tunes from YouTube, SoundCloud and other online resources, AnonTune works much the same.”  You can read the rest of Alan’s blog here.


The good folks planning the DDUK Convention have scoured their cabinets and drawers and have come up with just a few extra tickets to the convention in November.  If you don’t already have tickets to this event and are able to make the trip to Birmingham, I highly encourage you to grab a ticket while you can (once these are sold they’re gone forever!).  Daily Duranie will be in attendance, and we’re even going to plan a get together at a nearby pub and go clubbing on Friday night! Only After Dark will also be taking place that weekend (A dance club in the same basic vein as Rum Runner)…and you don’t want to miss out!  Go to the convention site for tickets and info, we’ll see you there!!!


One last item to “share”…have you bought your copy of Blue to Brown yet??? These are still in pre-release, so hurry!! Go to Dom’s website and grab one while you can!  

Sharing is good.  

-R

Thursday News Roundup!

Since I couldn’t quite decide on one topic…we’ve got a few to cover today.

I’m sure everyone, at least those here in America have heard that Dick Clark died yesterday at the age of 82 from a heart attack.  Dick Clark was many things, but for me personally he was the host of my favorite Saturday morning TV show – American Bandstand.  I can still sing the theme song from the show. (Not well, and no, you will not find a video of me singing it on YouTube or any where else, thankyouverymuch)  I find that I tend to romanticize the images I have of people from my childhood, and Dick Clark is certainly no different.  Much to my mom’s chagrin, I would stop everything I was doing in order to stand and watch the show before she would come down the hall or out of the kitchen to shoo me away from the TV in order to do my chores.  I can remember watching videos or hearing music from Duran Duran, Madonna, Romeo Void, Janet Jackson…and many, many others on the show were interviewed and performed.  To me at that age, Dick Clark was a bit of a hero simply because he was able to meet so many of the people I was so interested in.  I paid zero attention to his life away from American Bandstand, although I knew he had created the AMA’s and had his own production company.  I simply didn’t care because he was “Dick Clark of American Bandstand”, and later as I grew up he became “Dick Clark of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”  I was much sadder when he had his stroke than I was yesterday because for me, his era ended back when he gave up the helm of Rockin’ Eve to Ryan Seacrest.  It pains me to think that for my kids – Ryan Seacrest is liable to be their Dick Clark, but I suppose that’s how it is all meant to work.

Anybody ever heard of Greg Ham?  Greg was the flautist for a group called Men At Work.  He was found dead today in his home at the age of 58.  The saddest thing about Greg was that he feared that he would only be remembered for the law suit involving the flute melody from “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”.  Reality?  I only remember him for being one of a mere handful of woodwind musicians that made it in a rock band, which makes him a hero to me. Yes, he played a beautiful flute melody for a song that I dearly loved as a kid.  I’ve never cared about that lawsuit, although sure – many did. I’ve seen many an interview with Mr. Ham over the years, and he never struck me as intentionally copying the melody, even though I can’t deny how similar it really sounds.

From a file marked, “No kidding?”…Album sales have now hit a 12 year low, according to the bean counters who are responsible for keeping track of this sort of thing. It does not seem to be the sort of announcement that should shock anyone, especially given that even Madonna can’t seem to sell her albums these days.  All this news does is continue to convince the world that album sales should not be end-all as a determining factor for success in this business, and if your band is still thinking that sales is where it’s at – you’d better think again.  On the other hand, the sales of singles (single tracks off of an album) is up nearly 12% from this time last year.  So the moral of the story is that people are still buying music (even if in amounts that are a fraction of what they once were), but they refuse to buy entire albums.  Should we be thanking or slapping Apple??  
Lastly, I am revisiting Glee.  No, I’m not rewatching the smooshed version of Rio and HLTW, but I did take notice that they are treating the likes of Beyonce, New Radicals, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Queen, Alice Cooper, The Bravery, and Green Day among others to the Glee treatment for their season finale on May 22nd.  It’s the “graduation” episode, and I have to admit, I’m morbidly curious as to what they’ll do to/with the songs by this group of artists.  Hey, I sat through the disco episode on Tuesday night and lived to tell about it, so how much worse can it get?
Don’t answer that.
Happy weekend everyone, and for those of you in England, I hope it stops raining soon. I still don’t know what a hosepipe is or why it’s been banned…and I’ll ponder that as I’m sitting on the beach or at the pool here in Orange County California this weekend!  No yachting for me, our boat is drydocked at the moment.  
And in Very Late Breaking News (as in, this blog went to press just as I received word)…Dom Brown announced that Pre-release copies of his new album, Blue to Brown are now available to be ordered beginning today!  If that doesn’t excite you enough to go to his website dombrown.com and order, Dom sweetens the deal by saying that the first 100 copies are signed AND if you order now, packing and posting are FREE worldwide!!  I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this one!    
-R

The lesson to be learned is the point of no return

I don’t think I’ll ever get too old to learn a lesson, and yesterday was no exception.

To begin with, there was the little matter of a presale. I snuck onto Twitter to see how the presales were going, only to see that tickets appeared to have sold out rather quickly. I hadn’t heard from Amanda, so I figured she checked presale availability to find that the tickets did not meet our parameters. . After figuring out that I’d somehow logged myself out of my email and missed Amanda’s first four emails of the day, I saw that while many of our friends on Twitter had gotten their seats for the Durham show, Amanda had come up empty.  Sure, she might have had third row seats in her cart for a moment and thrown them back in a fit of greed for more – but the presale had somehow sold out. Or had it?

I really wasn’t angry or even disappointed by the lack of tickets. I knew we had several options available to us, including coming to our senses, realizing that this show was clear across the country, and deciding to wait for better (and closer) shows. I decided to go ahead and blog for the day. I no sooner finished the final sentence of the blog when my phone rang. It was Amanda, and she was calling to tell me she’d gotten tickets after all.

After I picked myself up off of the floor, I realized that she was telling me that she’d gotten tickets and that I’d be flying across the country. I also discerned that I would need to get my husband very, very drunk at some point during the summer and only then would I tell him about this upcoming adventure!

She decided to keep checking Artist Arena, and realized that if she waited, tickets that might have been placed in someone’s cart weren’t always bought, and those would get thrown back into the mix of available seats. She just waited until she found tickets that interested her enough to buy. The trouble was, where were our seats?  Due to a difference in the seating charts that Artist Arena had verses what the venue had – it has been very difficult to understand where our seats are located. I’ll save you all the agony here and just say that after careful thought, our seats are in the second row of orchestra. Or maybe the fourth row.  Either way, we’re sitting on Dom’s side. Yes, again. We didn’t intend for that to be the case, but you know – Things Happen! With all of our talk about being calm, not buying any seats as a typical “knee jerk reaction”, and trying to be methodical about planning what shows we’d attend and how we’d get from place to place – when it came time to go through the sale, all of our sanity went right out the window. Amanda did a great job with the tickets.  She didn’t give up (I SO would have), she waited (I’m horrible about waiting), and she even inspected the seating chart before buying (my typical M.O. would have been “There was a seating chart?!?”). She really thought she knew where we were buying, but because she was in a classroom and couldn’t exactly block out her students – and because she couldn’t really call and converse directly with me, it made buying the tickets much more difficult, and perhaps we bought tickets that we might not have purchased under normal circumstances.  Not sure that anything we might have done would have changed what we ended up with, but we did learn that being greedy isn’t good!  So now we’re destined to be Dom’s super special stalkers once again…

Which brings me to lesson #2 for the day.

In my excitement over our ticket purchase, I posted a note on Dom’s wall.  I really don’t know what I was thinking – only that I thought it’d give him a chuckle. I’m just a fan like anybody else. Naturally though, other people, whether they are also fans or personal friends of his, don’t know me. They don’t care that I’m a fan. They just see that I’ve posted on his wall before, and that I’m posting again. They don’t realize that I’m happily married, extremely well-educated, that I know my husband is lucky to have me (no really, he is!), and that quite honestly (and not at all humble of me) – I’m a catch. (Of course after I tell my husband about this North Carolina show this may all very well change and I may find myself very much available and not nearly so much of a catch!!) People don’t know that I sat across from Dom on a plane many years back and that I am likely to be one of the first “fans” he made from his tenure with Duran Duran. Amanda and I held up his very first sign at a show. (you can see this in our slide show at the right side of the page)  Most importantly or unfortunately for this particular person – he had no idea that I’m a blogger. He had no idea that I’ve written articles for other websites besides my own, that I’m in the process of finishing a book, or that he was going to end up being the “star” of my next blog on Daily Duranie. (Hey, “name- whom-I’m-choosing-not-to-make-public-out-of-complete-KINDNESS-because-other Duranies-would-tear-you-limb-from-limb-for-being-a-jerk” Congratulations and enjoy your 30 seconds of infamy!!)

**Note to readers: I really don’t intend on continuing to wield the blog as a weapon – this particular instance just happened to provide a teachable moment, I promise!!**

None of that matters on Facebook to people who don’t know you. They see you post regularly or try to interact and come to the obvious conclusion that you *must* be a stalker.  That said, I don’t deny my obsession with Duran Duran.

I am in my forties and write a DAILY blog about being a Duran Duran fan.  That “stalker” thing? That ship sailed a long, long time ago. It’s funny, and I know it. I embrace the funny! However, I do deny the term “Frumpy”..and don’t even get me started on the whole “Old” comment. In fact, had the less-than-wonderful person who wrote that comment been standing in person right in front of me, I can’t honestly guarantee that he would have remained standing for long. Not only am I not frumpy, I’m not afraid to stand up for myself however needed. Regardless, I was completely and utterly mortified. Sure, maybe I should laugh the episode off and pretend it meant nothing, but the fact is – I am completely embarrassed, even this morning. This didn’t take place on MY Facebook page, or MY blog or MY message board, but on Dom’s. His Facebook page isn’t the place for those kinds of comments, and the idea that a post I’d written caused such a thing completely floors me. I can’t even begin to apologize enough for that. I’m a big fan of Dom and the last thing I want to do is cause him trouble. Don’t like me? Jealous of me? Want to make fun of me? Post on my page. Send me an email. Message me on Twitter or Facebook, but don’t be rude on someone else’s wall.

So I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. While I can laugh ruefully at the idea of being called a frumpy old stalker, the truth is – that’s not how I wish to be viewed. It’s funny how you can befriend people that you’ve met maybe one time (if at all!) from all over the world, post on their page and it’s seen as just being friendly. Do the same on a celebrity’s page and it’s taken completely differently – even though they are all just people like you and I. I post on Dom’s page the way I would any other friend, for the most part. I just never thought it was that big of a deal and I certainly wasn’t posting anything that could be construed as my making myself “available” to him. It wasn’t ever like that. The lesson here is that if you post on a celebrity’s page, regardless of whether they recognize you and are friendly with you or not, it’s seen as a desperate attempt for attention. You’re seen as a deranged fan. A stalker.  

After thinking the entire situation over, I really think there are more lessons to be learned here. I might have mentioned that those comments didn’t come from a fellow female fan.  I think I might have expected that, actually. Women can be horrible to one another, and in our particular fandom, there’s a certain competitive nature that takes right over at times.  It’s not classy or pretty, but it exists. This person who called me out was actually male. I have no idea if he’s a fan or not, but he made it very clear that he was sick of seeing women post on Dom’s wall. Never mind that the guy also posted on Dom’s page. Never mind that he also must have been reading his page somewhat regularly to even know I’d posted, because that’s somehow different. Why – because he automatically assumed that because I’m female I’m “after” Dom as opposed to just being a fan of his music? In and of itself that’s pretty fascinating because it doesn’t seem as though he quite understands the whole “celebrity thing”. I’ve ran into my share of male fans though (of Duran Duran and otherwise), and while they are typically kind people for the most part, I’m always a little surprised to see how differently they view things. Men tend to believe that the only reason to be a fan is for the music, and to a large degree – they don’t seem to think that women can grasp the concept.  While it might very well be “cool” for a guy to like bands and things – women can’t possibly like bands for the same reasons. We’re much too “silly” for that. We can’t possibly understand the technical nature behind the music because we’re too busy having fantasies of John Taylor to even begin to understand the intricacies of music. There’s a definite stigma to being a female fan, and in the situation I encountered yesterday – that particular fan made his point very clear.

How will I do things differently? Well, I’ll think twice before posting again, sadly – and maybe I needed to learn that lesson. I suppose I was very naive. As I explained to some friends yesterday, and this is a feeling I’ve read over and over again from other female writers, bloggers and journalists in the music industry: I want to be taken seriously. Sure, I’m a fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to hop into bed with any musician or roadie I can find. (Sorry boys) I have a great time at shows. I have fun when I’m out with my friends, but never does that mean making a play for a member of any band.  When I’m home, the blog (for me) is as much a part of my fandom as it is a part of my burgeoning career as a writer. The last thing I want is to be summed up as a groupie, a stalker or be taken less than completely seriously about my writing. Respect is key. Most of the female fans I know feel very similar. Having fun at a show, or going out with friends before and afterward does not equate to being a groupie, nor does it mean we would even invite the opportunity.

Especially from jealous male “fans”.  

-R

Too Much Information (not really!)

News news news…I think I’ve got a little bit of everything to share this morning!

For those of us going through show withdrawals, a LIVE DVD of a recent show in Manchester England is coming out very soon. The DVD, titled, A Diamond in the Mind, Duran Duran – A Performance – 2011, will be released in early summer of 2012!  Hopefully it’ll tide us all over until we can get ourselves to another show, because as I am fond of saying – when the natives get restless, Duranies will eat one another for breakfast!!!  In addition, I know that David Lynch DVD of Unstaged is coming soon.  Nick…our fearless controller and keeper of DuranTime…has been mixing that in his “spare time”.  I’m hoping we see that DVD before I retire, but if not…it will still prove useful for many a Duranie drinking game, I am sure.  “When you see a hot dog superimposed on the screen, you must drink!”  Cheers!!!

Girl Panic!!  Did anyone happen to catch the interview John did for a Dubai website? One of the topics was the Girl Panic video.  So far it has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube.  John mentions that despite so many views, he doesn’t believe it’s sold even one extra mp3, then follows up by saying “you can see how the model has changed.” I see it, the band sees it, but how does one work with it?!  I’m the first to admit here, I have no ideas. I don’t understand how a video can be viewed so well and still not push sales.  It’s a good thing I’m not a manager.  Does anyone really know?  Amanda and I traded emails about this very topic last night.  I feel as though while no, the band does not need to sell as they did back in 1984 (although lets be honest here – that’d really be nice for them) – sales still matter.  Live shows are great, and sure, they could become a purely live show band and stop writing, but somehow I suspect that wouldn’t be enough.  What to do…what to do…

Warren fans take heed…TV Mania is coming!!  Anyone who has been reading Salvo’s Duranasty website (and everyone should!) knows that the day has finally come where TV Mania will be released…sometime this year. I detected a slight annoyance in Warren’s tone when he described the release as “Yeah, ten years later.”  That nasty Duran-time seems to bleed into everything, doesn’t it?  There’s no real promotion set up for this release, as Nick mentioned that he’d be touring with Duran Duran, so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.  Watch this space, as I’m sure Daily Duranie will be reviewing this project!

Dom Brown was really singing the blues several days back (corny? absolutely!!) when his hard drive, containing the brand new blues album he has been working on with his father, decided it’s time was up. Poor Dom made mention of this last night on Twitter.  “It wasn’t a good place to be for a day or so…. so reliant on technology it’s a little frightening!!” Luckily, it all ended on a good note, thanks to a marathon 16 hour mixing session to finish!  Looking forward to hearing the fruits of all of that labor, as I’m sure Daily Duranie will be doing a review (we’re going to be really busy with reviews!) as soon as the album is available!  I’ve also made a mental note to back up my computer today, thanks to Dom.  Our entire manuscript is on this laptop, and while Amanda also has a copy on hers – I worry about losing the work I’m currently revising (that blasted social network chapter!)  If my hard drive crashed right now, I’d be spending some quality time with my Grey Goose vodka and some olives, that is for sure.

In other fangirl news…I am seeing reports right now that Davy Jones, once of The Monkees, has passed away from a heart attack.  He was 66 years old.  Now, let me just share that while I’ve not mentioned this publicly, I was a HUGE FAN of THE MONKEES.  Huge.  I wasn’t even born when their show was on the air, but I watched reruns every. single. day.  I can remember eating my PB&J’s, sitting on the couch, watching The Monkees each lunchtime. (my mom was pretty cool about letting me eat in the living room, apparently)  They were truly my first “crush” I suppose…and I’ve even seen them in concert back when they reunited.  Daydream believer?  You bet…and at the age of 3 and 4 I probably thought I was going to marry Davy Jones.  It didn’t quite occur to me that there was a significant age difference and that by the time I was watching that show, he was already 5 or 6 years older than what I was seeing.  Never mind that.  I was taking that Last Train to Clarksville and I was definitely meeting him at the station, just as soon as I could read a map!   My heart is very, very heavy at the moment.  I was planning to go see him when he came in concert near me later this spring.

I’m going to go play some of my Monkees albums, and be thankful that a few of my idols are still walking this planet with me……   And they’d better KEEP on walking!

-R

Happy Holidays from Duran

I received an email message from Duran Duran the other day as I’m sure that many of you did. In this message, they discussed their upcoming plans and included short holiday greetings from Simon, Nick, Roger and John. Now, I won’t lie. I opened the email at work and had to watch the videos, immediately. Then, I openly squeed! I’m sure my colleagues must think that I’m beyond crazy at this point. Anyway, there is much to discuss with this simple email.

As part of the holiday greeting email, the band discussed how they were taking some time to be with their families and then mentioned about their plans to keep on the road in 2012. Some of the places they mentioned were Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the US. They also mentioned something “special” for their UK fans. First, obviously, they mentioned about how they were going to take it easy for the next few weeks in order to let us know that things will be quiet on the Duran front. I’m not surprised by this since it is obviously the holiday season and since they have been busy touring for months. I’m sure that they need a break. I would! Now, of course, as a blogger I would like there to be news everyday BUT I get it completely. Might be a good time to introduce one of our games…As for the tour news, much of this information was not news at all since they have dates already in Asia, Australia and Europe. South America was completely new and I am thrilled for our friends who live in that neck of the woods. As for the US, there have been many rumors spinning. Now, we have confirmation. Obviously, we have no idea when they will be coming back to the US just that they are. That said, I will be curious as to what is the special something for the UK fans. Will this be SO exciting that I will be pushed into trying to go back?! If so, I hear that there is a convention being planned. It would be really ideal for those events to happen at the same time…just saying.

The videos were a lot of what I was expecting. Simon said happy holidays in a way that only LeBon can with a reference to Happy Nude Year. Then, Nick talked about technology as he snapped his fingers and various items would appear on the screen. So very Nick. Roger was lengthy but stayed to the party line by summarizing the year for Duran and what they are looking forward to for 2012. John’s was short but sweet. He mentioned about how he loved Christmas and wished us a good one. Nothing was out of the ordinary there. Strangely enough, when you went to the band’s official website or their twitter, another holiday message appeared. Dom recorded a holiday message as well. The official website, in fact, says happy holiday from Duran Duran then has all five of the messages listed and a picture of all 5 of them. I think this is fascinating. How come Anna did not do one? How come Saxy Simon didn’t do one? When I clicked on Dom’s message from their twitter, it reads holiday message from “Duran Duran’s Dom Brown.” He was referred to in a possessive way. Fascinating. Now, this might not mean much at all or it might. Only time will tell what it means if anything. Maybe they just want to point out that Dom is more than Anna or Saxy Simon or maybe they want us to start thinking of him as a member of the band. What do you think? Am I overthinking this? I probably am. That said, I would welcome him to the band.

Now, I should probably wrap this up so that I can join my family for dinner. Tonight will be a busy one of food, games and laughter, I’m sure. I hope that all of you as well as the band have a wonderful evening as well!!!

-A

Panic is now banned….and other news!

Yes, yes I know I’m late coming to the table on this one.  I could blame it on jet lag.  I could blame it on my kids, and yes – I could even blame it on the band. (Why?  Just because I said so.)    The truth is, there is too much going on, and as soon as I settle on a blog topic something else comes up that I’d wished I’d comment on – and since this is The Daily Duranie as opposed to the  Hourly Duranie (don’t even THINK about it….), I post one blog a day, even if news breaks.  *sigh*

So, today’s blog is likely to be the most fragmented article you read this week…and I feel comfortable saying that because today is my last writing day for this week.  I’m “off duty” until Monday.  Take comfort in that, dear readers.  Take comfort.

So, anyone watch MTV lately?  Nah – me neither.  I gave that habit up in the late 80’s when they stopped playing good videos.  Then they stopped playing videos at all, and now I don’t even care if the channel exists.  Not even my 14 year old watches the channel.  She’d rather watch YouTube, and I can’t say I blame her.  That’s probably why I basically yawned and then stifled a good laugh when I read the varying news reports that MTV had the balls to ban Girl Panic.  Really?  Was that even worth the time it took to write the articles that surrounded that particular piece of news?  Interestingly enough, MTV is neither confirming nor denying the reports – probably because they already know that just by this “news” being yapped about, they’re giving Duran Duran the publicity they rightfully deserve.  Fascinating.  I don’t know or care whether the reports are true about the banning, but I do want to take a second to remind my fellow fans of a couple of things.

1.  MTV sucks.  They stopped supporting Duran Duran YEARS ago – and I don’t care that they gave Duran Duran that stupid ass Lifetime Achievement award in 2003.  It was at least 10 years too late.  Prior to that, they were only nominated 4 times, never winning.  That right there tells me everything I need to know about good old MTV.  Follow that up with John’s comment on Twitter about the MTV banning “Fuck em-it shows how out of date + out of touch they are”, and I think we’re all done with the nonsense that MTV really matters.

2. Anybody remember Girls on Film?  That too was banned, and that did anything BUT hurt the band.  One of my most favorite Easter Eggs from the Greatest DVD is a the end scene from Girls on Film where the band is holding up a very large sign that reads “Some people will do anything to sell records!”   This, my friends, is true.  Quite honestly, this could work well for them, and judging from their hits on Vevo and YouTube….it already has!  4.3 million views according to YouTube this morning (CA time) and counting…

3. All press *can* be good press.  This is a difficult mantra for those who aren’t in the industry to understand – but it’s true.  My advice is simply that if you’re going to post about the banning, specifically on message boards or places that aren’t Duran-centric, post the link to the video as well.  In the searches I did this morning, the video link to YouTube or Vevo is posted along with every article about the banning.  How is that not a good thing?  MTV can take a long walk off of a short pier – the band doesn’t need them.  Hello YouTube!  All press really can be good press!!

I don’t know who those “outraged” fans really are, but I welcomed the news, and so should you.  Bring it, MTV.  By the way, while you’re busy banning videos – perhaps it’s time to rethink the whole “Jersey Shore” thing….

*******************************************

Touring Touring Touring

So the band is headed for you, Australia!!!  I can’t tell you how happy I am to have read this piece of good news!  So often Amanda and I will get email from fans in other parts of the world that are both happy that she and I are going to shows and completely annoyed that they themselves are not.  I speak for both Amanda and I when I say how uncomfortable our good fortune sometimes makes us feel.  We both know we have no right to complain (and I don’t think we complain about a lack of touring here – if we do, we should be smacked!), and yet we *are* thrilled that we have the chance to see the band.  That said, I’m happy to see that the band is expanding their touring schedule for next year to include Australia, and as I read this morning: Singapore and Hong Kong!   I suspect this is not to be the end of dates in other parts of the world to be coming our way so stay tuned!!

*******************************************

I’m doing my favorite “not really an *official* band member but he’s been around so long now that I can’t imagine the band without him” band member a favor today.  He can thank me later.

Dom wants YOU.  He wants followers on Facebook, and he swears he’s even going to interact with us.  We will see about that.  My bets are that we scare the crap out of him…but you know, that’s OK.  Regardless, I am doing my part as a good Duranie/trouble maker and reaching out to my fellow people.  Follow Dom and while you’re at it – if you like British or even American classic rock/blues (I think he sounds WAY more blues than rock, but that’s just me)…buy his solo CD’s.  His solo music is absolutely nothing like Duran, but each CD is very, very good.  I have both of them, and while I’ve never reviewed them (maybe I should?) here on Daily Duranie…I love them and hope he does more. (and comes to the US on his own at some point!)  He’s brilliant and I would say that even if he wasn’t my favorite.  No really I would!

The link for Dom on Facebook?  Here ya go!  Dom on Facebook

********************************************
Today in music history….

It’s December 8th, and for me, this day will remain a day of sadness for the rest of my life.  In 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside of his hotel in New York City.  I was just barely 10 years old at the time, and it’s difficult for me to imagine – but at the time I hadn’t even heard of Duran Duran yet.  My best friend Marsha was a huge Beatles fan (she still is to this day – I think she has one of the biggest and best Beatles collections I’ve ever seen) and I’ll never forget seeing her face at school on that fateful day.  I was only 10 and I didn’t have any idea how to act.  All I could do was offer a hug and silently listen as she relay the details of what she’d heard that morning.  It was incomprehensible to me that someone would kill John Lennon.  I just couldn’t wrap my prepubescent mind around such evil.  I think at that age, I just hadn’t experienced death very often, much less murder (thank goodness).  I walked around school that day in a complete daze, just hoping that someone would run up and tell me that it was all a mistake.  I wasn’t even that big of a Beatles fan back at that time – I just knew how much pain my friend Marsha was in, and that was more than enough for me to handle.  Oddly, it was only after that day that I truly began to form a deep respect for The Beatles music, which continues to this very day.  They are the only band that I dearly love that I’ll never be able to see whole, and while I’m glad I grew up in the 80’s, I wish I’d had the chance to experience The Beatles as the generation before me.

****************************************

And finally, as a bit of fun while Amanda and I were waiting in the Edinburgh airport on Monday morning for our flight to Heathrow, we went through the numbers for our UK tour.  Yes, this really IS how we spend our free time…and yes, we are in fact crazy.  Wouldn’t we have to be at this point?  No, we didn’t do an accounting of our finances….we did an accounting of just about everything else, which I am now posting for your reading and laughing pleasure.

Number of hotels:  3
Number of cities traveled to:  6
Number of shows:  4 Durantastic Shows!
Hours of sleep throughout tour:  
Tuesday-3
Wednesday-2.5
Thursday-6
Friday-2
Saturday-7
Sunday-0!!!!!!!
Total: 20.5
Average:  3.4 hours per night.  We’re awesome!  (meant in the most American way possible!)
Number of drinks per person:
Tuesday:  1
Wednesday:  1
Thursday:  3
Friday:  6
Saturday:  5
Sunday:  3
Total:  19
Average:  3.16  (it was a slow drinking week, oddly….)
Hours spent in transit, including planes, trains, and automobiles:
(This is traveling time we incurred together)
Tuesday:  8 plane
Wednesday:  2.5 hours train, 15 minutes taxi
Thursday:  2.5 car
Friday:  45 minutes taxi, 3.75 hour train
Saturday:  15 minute taxi, 5 hour train, 15 minute taxi
Sunday:  3 hour car, 15 bus
Monday:  20 minutes taxi, 9.5 hours plane
In addition to that time, we each spent time traveling on our own to and from our separate homes/towns.
Rhonda:  Tuesday 11/29:  30 minutes car, 4 hour plane
                 Monday 12/5:  30 minute car, 4 hour plane
Amanda:  Tuesday 11/29:  2.5 car
                  Monday 12/5:  2.5 car
Total:  17.5 hours plane, 11.25 hours train, 7 hours car. Total:  35.75 hours spent TOGETHER in transit.  Not counting our own car/plane rides to meet up at O’Hare.  *sigh*  
Meals: (meaning meals per day, even if they were grab and go, super quick meals.  Also, Amanda and I ate at the same times, so it counts as one meal. Make sense?)
Tuesday:  1.5
Wednesday:  1.5
Thursday:  1.5
Friday:  1
Saturday:  2
Sunday:  1.5
Monday:  2
Total:  11 (this would explain my 5 pound weight loss….)
Number of live songs heard over our entire tour (obviously we heard most of them more than once!): 80
Numbers of hours listening to Duran:  8 hours  (not nearly enough boys.  Not nearly enough!)
Number of times saw Simon lick his fingers during Come Undone:  0  (Avert your eyes!  Look away!!!)
Number of times we were “sprayed” during White Lines:  0 (Luckily for Simon.  I would have climbed up on that stage and Dave would have needed to come for me….)
All of this adds up to one thing:  Priceless memories.   🙂  
Happy weekend, everyone!  Don’t forget to follow Dom!!!
-R

How old is that kid up there???

I think I’m a pretty lazy fan.  Most days, I come online only to find some fantastic piece of news that other people have known about for months, if not years.  Yeah, that might seem like an exaggeration to some.  It’s really not.

For instance, and I *am* embarrassing myself by putting this in written word for all of the Duranieverse (a new word) to read; it wasn’t until I had been a member of DuranDuranFans.com for more than a few months that I came to learn that there even WAS an album called “Thank You” put out by the band.  (hey, I was a little busy back in the 90’s…and typically I don’t like cover albums!) Not to mention that Roger Taylor, my self-described favorite, performed on not only the album, but the video for Perfect Day.  I’ll never forget that moment because I was on the phone with a friend, watching the video (keep in mind the video was very low resolution – it’s my story and I’m sticking to it) when suddenly it occurs to me that the drummer is someone I recognize.  I blurt out “Oh my god, Roger Taylor is IN this video!”, to which my friend on the phone cackles with laughter and proceeds to educate me on Duran Duran history.  It was a beautiful moment, and yes, at the time I did have blonde hair.  Thankyouverymuch!

A month, or maybe even two months back, there was an article in a magazine that I honestly can’t remember the name. (Again, see the laziness?  I could research the name, which most times I do, but I’m in a hurry here today so it’s not going to happen.  Bonus points for the fan – Amanda doesn’t count – who can post the magazine name in our comments)  In this lovely article, Dom Brown was interviewed.  There were a plethora of fantastic questions asked and answered, but one tidbit struck me enough that day to where it’s been nagging at me ever since.  The interviewer had asked Dom if there was any piece of information that the fans didn’t know (or something to that extent).  Dom answered that he didn’t think most fans knew his birthday or his age.

I read that article and realized he was right.  I’d been screaming for Dom at shows since 2005 and had no clue about his age.  Secretly I hoped that he was closer to my age than say…in his young 20’s…there is a story behind that comment that I won’t share here, but I really didn’t have any idea.  I felt bad in some ways because a few birthdays had past and I’d never sent a “Happy Birthday” his way.  In odd, random moments here at home I’d consider ways I could find out his birthdate, but I never did much.   I could say that there’s too much going on around here for me to remember much besides the names of my children, my own home and cell phone numbers, (don’t ask me about my kids’ cell numbers – thankfully those are written down.  Somewhere.), and occasionally I might even remember my husband’s work phone number and possibly even the last 4 digits of my credit card number.  The reality is, I’m lazy and I didn’t look up Dom’s birthday anywhere.

Flash ahead to this morning when I checked Facebook.  The day seemed pretty uneventful.  I checked my personal and Daily Duranie email, where I found some communication from Amanda.  She lets me know that fans are wishing Dom a happy 39th birthday and wants to know what I think of that.

Well, to begin with, I pretty much suck.  (That’s American for I inhale quickly, loudly and strongly through a straw.  Suffice to say I’m really bad.)  I should have really been better about being a fan.  Damn it.

I know that Dom is not a Permanent Member of the Band,  and somehow that alleviates the pressure from me having to know his exact height, weight, hair color, birthdate, place of birth, favorite color, food, etc.  Reality for me is that I fell in love with that guy from the moment I saw him on stage in 2005.  Now, before you Andy-fans come out of the woodwork with scary looking things to beat me with – I love Andy too.  Andy IS the guitar player for Duran Duran.  I’ve never, ever said otherwise.  He is the guitar player that was with the band when I fell in love, and as such he will always hold that place in my heart.  I have total respect for Andy, I read his book, and I still read his blog whenever he chooses to post.   Andy decided to close his chapter on life in Duran Duran, and I respect that decision completely.  I’m still a Duran Duran fan though, and as such – I exercise my right to learn to love the band in their varying forms.  Some more than others.  When Dom first took to the stage in 2005, I thought he did a fine job.  He stayed out of the limelight, played the notes as written, and didn’t make it into the Dom show.  He’s a session guitarist and that is what they do.  Extremely well, I might add.  In 2006, when after an official announcement that came WEEKS later than it EVER should have come from the band (yes, that is indeed this half of Daily Duranie saying that the band and their management screwed up royally), Dom had to play the show at the Sears Center in Chicago, knowing that Andy would never be returning, that fans were not pleased by the news, and that he had extraordinarily large shoes to fill.  In my opinion, he exceeded my expectations.  Again, he played the songs, stayed out of the spotlight and seemed to be respectful of the task ahead for the band.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more, other than to have Andy back. Since that night, he has quite honestly grown more and more comfortable in his position within the band.  He obviously loves the work, he enjoys being onstage, and he seems to really love the rest of the band as well.  I’ve never, ever heard him say one tiny cross word towards Andy – regardless of how he may feel privately (and I have no idea how he really feels, I hope it stays that way permanently to be honest) – and I have to give him credit.  It would have been far easier to come in and smear Andy’s reputation just to make himself look good.  I daresay that other guitarists have done similar things in the past, and it’s not even remotely close to attractive.  Overall, I think Dom has done a great job.

Do I think Dom should be “in the band”?  My question in return is “Does it really matter, and if so, why?”  I think that the current situation seems to work for all of them.  Whether or not that’s the real truth or just the current line that is being used to appease the fans, I don’t know.   Some fans can’t stand Dom.  I’m not surprised.  As I said before, those were incredibly large shoes to fill, and in MY opinion, only Andy can fill them completely.  There’s always going to be something missing for some people unless it’s the original 5.  All I can say to that, is that I respect your opinion and your feelings.  How could I not?

Ultimately, I am glad that I’ve had the opportunity to see Dom onstage with the band.  He is charismatic, fun to watch, and darn it – the guy is cute.  When he looks out into the audience and sees someone he recognizes, he does his best to indicate as such, which is really kind of cool.  Yes, I guess you could say I’m a fan.  (I’m not straying Roger!! I promise!)

Speaking of being a fan – I really need to get back on the horse and stop being so lazy.  The time for not knowing which drummer is in their videos, or whom is on guitar, or whose birthday it is today must stop!  With that, I say a very loud and hearty “Happy Birthday Dom!”  I sincerely hope you enjoy your special day with your lovely wife and those two adorable kids of yours!   (and by the way – 39 goes super fast – so enjoy that last year of being in your 30’s while you can, you youngster!!)

-R

Video Anticipation

Duranies are dying with anticipation for the video for “All You Need Is Now.”  This anticipation has been building over the last few weeks.  First, Nick mentioned in an interview that the band plans on doing videos for every track on the album.  Some of the videos will feature the band and some not but they felt like video was return to what it once was.  Then, there was an announcement on dd.com about how Nick Egan was directing the video.  As with anything else in the Duranie community, there was a mixed reaction to this piece of news.  Some liked it as they liked the previous videos he directed, including Perfect Day, White Lines and Ordinary World.  Others were nervous about the choice.  Then, the anticipation increased ten-fold during this weekend as there were many tweets from the band and their manager about the actual shoot.  We have learned that the band is filming at Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge and at a cemetery in London.  They also let us know that the video shoot went well as it was completed over what seemed like a two day period.  Then, we saw the pictures from the shoot on the official website this morning!

The pictures have resulted in quite a bit of excitement and *squeeing* by the fans.  First, the guys really do look fabulous in them.  I know that many fans are drooling over a close up of Nick that shows off his beautiful eyes.  Others are fanning themselves after seeing a picture with John, Roger and Dom.  Second, the pictures have provided us with some idea of what the video could look like.  The band all seem to be wearing long, dark coats of a certain, almost military style.  It is clear that both John and Nick are sporting dark eyeliner (of which I approve of!).  The video itself seems to feature both a band performance as well as outdoor scenes.  The band performance seems to be in a room with aluminum foil or something like it on the walls.  The one truly thrilling part of what I have seen by the performance shot is that Roger’s drum kit is already showing the D from the new logo.  This shows in a big way that the era of RCM is over and a new era has begun!  Lastly, we have also learned that Dom Brown is also in the video.  While this makes many fans happy, including the authors of this blog, it has caused other fans some displeasure as they think that there should not be any non-official members unless all of them are included.  I’m surprised by this reaction because Dom, from my understanding, is a writing member of this album AND was in the video for Falling Down.

So, when is this lovely video coming out?  Some have suggested that it would be great to come out at the same time as the song does on the 14th.  That would be great but, as always, I try to prepare myself for a longer wait.  No matter when it comes out, I hope that it is as interesting as Falling Down was and I look forward to offering my thoughts here. 

-A

Silver Lining

I usually title my blogs first, oddly enough.  I know Simon feels that you can’t really name something until you’ve seen it – but I do it backwards.  (that is so typical for me!)  In any case, this time – I can’t title it yet.  Hopefully something will hit me before I need to publish, otherwise this blog is going up without a title.

I have a calendar that Amanda, my writing partner for the blog, created.  It’s a daily Duran Duran calendar – each date has a specific event listed.  There’s no need for me to worry about whether the band is going to publish an “official” yearly calendar because I already have my own, and I love it.  Every night I change out the page for the next one (it’s in a small plastic frame in my room), and it gives me a brief moment to reflect on the memory of the event, or in some cases, I just say “huh” and go on to whatever task I have happening next.  Last night, when I finally got up to my room for the night, I turned the page only to reveal that on this day just 4 years ago, we got the “official” announcement that the Fab 5 partnership had once again been dissolved and we were now at 4.  Truth be told, I had already learned of Andy’s leaving a couple of weeks prior – but I was sworn to secrecy, and to this day I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone just how much earlier I’d known what was going on.  I don’t even really have “insider” knowledge – it was just odd luck, and it was something that at the time, I didn’t want to believe and I certainly didn’t want to share in hopes that it was false.  Regardless, as I turned the page and put it into the frame, I remembered how I felt that day when I got several phone calls from my closest friends.

I think that for me at least, I don’t know that I ever expected Andy…or Roger for that matter, to stay for long. I guess it just all seemed way too perfect.  I know of many, MANY Warren fans out there, and good on all of you for being able to accept him so well, but for me he was never a part of MY Duran Duran.  At least not the one I fell in love with.  For me, that band has 5 members, and you know their names, including those 3 Taylors.  So, when the reunion was announced and I saw them live again, it WAS perfection.  It was my childhood, adolescence and adulthood all coming full circle – and it was a perfect, shining moment that I never thought would last.  Of course, it didn’t.  I saw Andy perform with the band 4 times, and I do treasure those times.  Regardless of what anyone says about his work ethic or his playing style, he provided something to that band that can’t be replicated, and I thank him for coming back at all because in doing so he allowed me to live out a dream – and that was to see all 5 of them together.

That day 4 years ago, as I spoke to friends on the phone, I had very mixed emotions.  I know I was really angry – many fans have been and still are to some extent.  However, I think that if anything, my anger was directed towards the rest of the band more so than Andy, particularly because from everything I’d learned about the upcoming album – it was going to be nothing like what I expected from Duran Duran (and it wasn’t).  I was (and still am) convinced that the direction of the new album was at least partially responsible for the dissolution of their partnership.  Many will argue with me, saying that I couldn’t possibly know what went on – but one thing I *do* know, is that if Andy were truly interested in being in the band and recording the album – he never would have allowed for a stupid travel visa (or lack thereof in this case) to be the reason he didn’t show up for recording.  Out of all of the lame reasons I’ve ever heard in my lifetime – and trust when I say that working in HR and staff management – I’ve heard more than my share – that is probably one of the worst.

I also knew that I was about to board a plane headed for Chicago, where I was going to see Duran Duran be the opening concert for the brand new Sears Center.   I’d already seen Dom Brown as their guitarist for a few shows – so I knew the band would obviously still play, but I wondered how they would be as they came onstage.  They would be facing a lot of fans with a lot of emotion behind them – and many of us were following them on to New Orleans (they would play the Voodoo festival later that weekend) from there.  It was important that they come out on stage that night and play the show of their lives to prove they could still do it without Andy – at least, that’s how *I* felt about the show.

I went to the show with a heavy heart, but also an inner yearning.  I wanted that band to come out there and blow my socks off.  I needed to hear that they were going to be fine, and I’ve always felt that I could tell how the band was doing by the way they were playing – they aren’t that great of actors, and I think it’s become fairly clear (to me, at least) when things aren’t great backstage.  They came on that night with a fire in their bellies, that is for sure.  They all sang and played with more fire and conviction that night than I’d seen since they played at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa in 2003.  John Taylor played his heart out that night, while Amanda and I sang right along with him.  😀  I looked over at Dom several times that night, wondering how he must have felt.  It’s one thing to take over for someone when they are ill – but it’s quite another when you know it’s just been announced that they aren’t coming back and for the near future, you’re the guy.   Dom stood off to the side, respectfully played the guitar and did a fine job.  He interacted with the band, but not overly so, and I found myself being more and more drawn to him.  Mostly, I wanted him to see that the fans wouldn’t eat him for dinner just because Andy wasn’t coming back.  I found myself wanting to give him the heroes welcome in a lot of ways, because truly – had it not been for Dom’s ability to step in and play a superb guitar, we would not have had a show that night.

Later that weekend, I ran into Dom on a plane bound for New Orleans.  He sat right across the aisle from me – and after I picked myself up off of the floor both from illness and from shock, but I took a second to thank him for playing, and I commended him on being able to step into some very big shoes.  We talked a little bit during the flight, Dom was very, very kind and he’s earned my loyalty as a fan, whether he’s playing for Duran Duran or playing his own shows. (someday, I will make it to the UK to see him, or he’ll come here – but I will see him one of these days!)  I know he’s not Andy Taylor, and of course he never will be – but he’s a gift to us in his own right.   That weekend, Amanda and I made Dom his own sign for the Voodoo festival (and we waited all day, were practically trampled by My Chemical Romance Fans and narrowly avoided being rolled on by the lead singer of Flaming Lips in a huge hamster ball in order to show it to him), to us – he’s part of Duran Duran and therefore part of the family.  The sign said “We Scream for Dom” – and I don’t know if he ever saw it, but Simon and John did – and they were trying to point it out to him.   It was just our way of saying thanks and welcome.  To this day when we see the band in concert and it’s a GA show, I try to position myself somewhere between Simon and Dom, that way I can see Dom, and I get a great view of Roger as well.   I have no idea if Dom remembers me – but he’s got a fan until I can no longer get myself to the shows, and even then – I can still keep listening.   For me, he is part of the silver lining.

Nile Rodgers once posted that the gift is always there, even in the worst of times – you just have to find it.  I think that our gift is that many of us finally got that opportunity to see and hear all five together again.  How many of us really thought that would ever happen??  Certainly not me.  It was a brief, shining moment – and one that I continue to treasure.

-R