Category Archives: Dom Brown

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