Category Archives: downtime

Today in Duran Duran History – DD14

One year ago today, the band entered the studio to begin work on what we openly refer to as #DD14.

Maybe some of you are thinking, “Wait a minute – weren’t they in the studio prior to this?  They were on ‘hiatus’ after the tour for a few months, right?”  The answer is yes.  The tour ended with Nick  becoming ill at the very end of August (although the final scheduled tour date would have been September 1st.), and shortly after we did hear that members of the band had met at Dom’s studio – whether actual writing was done or it was just a jam session (oh to be a fly on the wall…), we may never really know.  But the band also took holidays, convening on this date last year to begin work on DD14 in earnest.

As recently as this past weekend, John Taylor spoke to fans at the London Bass show, telling them that he doubted there would be an album this year (and I’d just like to say that Roger Taylor was SO off on his estimate of having an album ready by the end of 2012…ha ha!!), and that the band was in no hurry to get back out on the road…which is the same basic thing he has said for the past year.  Nick and other members, on the other hand, seem to be a little more optimistic about the release of an album this year.  It is only the beginning of March, and anything can happen.

Whether that means we’ll have an album in a year from now or even farther out remains to be seen, and I’ll leave the rest up to our readers to discuss and mull over.

-R

 

Changing and Expanding

Over the past several weeks, we have had many people – some well-intentioned, some otherwise, tell Amanda and I that we’re asking a lot of ourselves to come up with a daily blog about the band; or about being fans of this band.

I would agree. It IS a lot to ask ourselves. It never started out to be that way – I loved the name (still do), and at the time we had plenty to write about. More than plenty! There always seemed to be something that would come up.  I knew the time would come when there would be a long dry spell in between albums, and I wondered how we would weather that period, but I figured (as I usually do) that we would cross that bridge when we found it.  We have done far, far better than I would have hoped.

The fact is, this blog is about being a fan…and we are betting that many of you have other interests besides Duran Duran, whether or not they include certain TV shows (I’m a sucker for Sherlock and Scandal myself), other bands (The Killers is near the top of my list), or something else entirely.  As much as Amanda and I have done our due diligence of research on Duran Duran,  I think she’d agree that we’ve likely done far, far more on Fandom itself at this point – something that will likely continue, as will our blogs about being fans.

We recognize that for many of you – your interest with this blog and especially Amanda and I, begins and ends with Duran Duran, and we understand. However, we’ve decided to expand, and as a result we will be throwing other things up for discussion here on a more regular basis from here on out.  Don’t leave yet!  Likely, readers might not notice much difference – except that now I’m making the public announcement that we’re going to be slowly expanding the blog beyond being Duran Duran fans.  We are still kicking around ideas for how that might happen, but there will definitely be a slow evolution taking place. It was never our intention to solely rely on Duran Duran to be the vehicle of our existence. We had always planned to expand in the long term, but it was finding the right time, and both Amanda and I feel that time is near.  That doesn’t mean we’ll leave Daily Duranie behind or that we’ll stop discussing Duran Duran altogether, only that we’ll be expanding our horizons and letting our insanity run wild through other fandoms as well!

This is where our readers – you – come into play.  We obviously want to cover fandoms and topics that you are interested in.  The sky is really the limit here, and we’ll try almost anything once!!  So, I invite you to drop us a line. Let us know what you like.  Tell us what you’d like to read about.  Send us an email: dailyduranie@gmail.com.

Additionally, we would like to invite submissions for guest blogs. If you have a particular subject that you’re interested in writing about that has to do with fandom, not necessarily Duran Duran fandom – let’s say you’re a big Harry Potter fan and went to a convention, or you adore Star Trek and even write FILK (songs) – or perhaps you’ve been Sherlocked and want to write all about it, we’re inviting you to write an article and send it to our gmail for submission consideration.  We are pretty open to reading whatever is sent to us, and if we think it’ll fit – we’ll publish it here for all the world to see!

Our guidelines are simply that the article (blog) must be formatted and edited (meaning that it needs to be written in a word processing program of some sort as opposed to sent to us at Facebook, and we ask that you please spell check your work.). Additionally, proper grammar is not only appreciated, it is expected.  Please do not send in submissions that were written as though you’re texting a friend, thank you.  We prefer length to be under 1000 words.  (although if you have an amazing article that is over that amount, we can talk about it)  Daily Duranie has final say over submissions, and we do not pay for publication.

If accepted for publishing, Amanda or I will make contact and request that the author send a small photo and a short 5-6 line bio about themselves for publication. Just as it was back on our blogger site, authors will receive byline credit as well as have a nifty thumbnail photo and bio published with each accepted article.

Change is not easy for any of us, including Amanda and I. It is difficult to know exactly what direction to travel, and we’ve always allowed this blog to sort of evolve organically as opposed to forcing it in one direction or another. We feel as though it’s come to a natural point where it’s time to expand just a little and see how it feels. We hope that many, if not all of our readers, will appreciate some fresh air with what is to come and stick with us for the journey!

-R

 

Durantime: 2014 edition!

I don’t know how many of our followers watch for Duranasty – the Duran Duran Webzine that our friend Salvo creates.  It is a labor of love and art, so if you haven’t treated yourself to reading through it, you really should. Salvo has the ability to visit the band on a much more regular basis than we could ever hope, and as such – he really has a relationship with the band, is recognized by them, and they very much know and approve of his work.  So, if you want news – he is the standard.

In any case, there is a brand new sparkly edition of his webzine out now, and naturally you’ll find plenty of good juicy bits to read and sort out, as well as plenty of beautiful pictorial layouts.  I read through it all last night, and the one thing that stuck out in my reading is that the band seems to be leaning towards this album coming out in the latter part of 2014, and perhaps even into 2015.  It would seem there will be no touring to speak of this summer, and maybe not even in the fall as previously mentioned, depending upon what actually takes place. There does not seem to be a worry to rush to market with the album, and they all still seem to stand by the fact that they do not need to tour this year, which really should be no surprise.

The reality of course is that no band NEEDS to tour.  That’s the beauty of being a band though – they drive their own journey. They can do as they so choose.  I’ve worked for bands who didn’t want to bother much with touring. They didn’t want to take the time, and they didn’t want to make the commitment.  They believed their fans would wait forever, and that they’d still be there when they decided it was time to hit the road. Unfortunately for those bands, it was also the final nail in their coffins, because without touring on an extremely regular basis when you’re a newbie band out there – you make no money and gain no fan base to speak of, and you tend to LOSE the fans you thought you had, because fans are very, very fickle.  They lose interest quickly. (Unless you’re us, of course.) On the other hand, obviously – Duran Duran has had a long career and as such, they are not young pups needing every last bit to survive.  These are seasoned professionals who clearly feel as though whatever they choose to give to their fans, and whenever they choose to give, will be more than enough.  They have gone so far as to compare themselves and their popularity to that of U2 and Arcade Fire…and even the Rolling Stones at one point or another, so clearly they feel they’ve reached a certain pinnacle. I can’t say whether or not their fan base agrees, and will come out in droves to support them again – I’ll leave that for you all to decide yourselves at a much later date.

I did see a comment today that seemed to indicate surprise that the band may take as much as another 10 months to finish, and the person mentioned that this one seems to be taking a while. I couldn’t tell if the comment was serious or made in jest, but I do agree.  The other day I saw some discussion that centered around the idea that this is art, and that people should be absolutely patient and supportive that the band is taking their time to record and get it right.   To begin with, I don’t know for sure what “getting it right” means, but I have to suspect it means right for the band. I’ll leave that alone for now and avoid the hooded figures with pitchforks coming to burn me at the stake for saying anything that could even possibly be construed as not supportive.  Hey, even *I* know when to quit!

I want to make clear that we fans DO have the right to express our anxiousness and our excitement about a new album.  I don’t know when this became an issue, and I don’t know why it has suddenly become the “cool thing” to act like it’s wrong to want the band to hurry up – but I’m more than happy to put my name and face out there saying that it’s OK to be excited and anxious. That’s called “BEING A FAN”.  For the rest of you who are playing it calm and cool and acting like it’s horrible for fans to be excited… “how dare you want to rush them!” *gasp*….I have one thing to say: “oh please. Who do you really think you’re kidding??”  You’re fans. I know you. You scream at concerts just like the rest of us. You completely lose it when the band walks by, and I’ve WATCHED how you behave when Simon smiles at you during a show.  So, you’re not fooling me.  I know you’re secretly hoping that album comes out sooner rather than later.  Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.  It’ll be our little secret.

-R

 

 

Out of Desperation

It has taken me awhile to get back on track with all of the online happenings in Duranland after my little vacation and being sick.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but notice a certain youtube video being shared and discussed at the end of the week.  The title of this video?  Duran Duran Demo 2013.  It didn’t take long, though, for the truth of this clip to become known.  The music matched the music heard in this clip with Roger Taylor for Roland’s Electronic Drums, which can be seen here.  Thus, the music wasn’t a new Duran demo at all.  Then, at the end of the week, we were rewarded with a new photo, which can be seen here.  Likewise, this was shared far and wide within the community.  What do these incidents tell me?  First, it reminds me about our purpose here and what we do and don’t do.  Second, it shows that the fan community is starting to get itchy.

How come we didn’t immediately come on here or our facebook or our twitter when the video about the “demo” showed up?  This is simple, really.  When I saw it, like everyone else, I wanted to believe that it was actually new Duran music.  Who wouldn’t?!  Yet, it wasn’t verified to be that at all.  That is not what we do.  We don’t post rumors or something that just could be, might be news.  We aren’t trying to be the news source for Duran happenings.  Nope.  That isn’t us.  We do post or discuss the news and/or rumors but not to be the source of Duran news.  When we do post information, we do it to discuss what happens in the fan community or to talk about how WE feel about it.  This blog is about what it is like to be a Duran fan.  Information is shared in order to discuss the fandom, the fan community.  Yet, when information is shared even within this context, it must be verified for us to be comfortable.  We certainly don’t want to be the sources of misinformation.  How would that help anyone?  As a fan, I know how frustrating it is to read something or hear something and think it is something new and exciting only to find out that it isn’t or that it isn’t even true.  Talk about popping a balloon of excitement.  Once I saw that this video wasn’t really a demo, I put it out of my mind and didn’t think much of it.  Then, the new official picture popped up and was shared with the same level of enthusiasm as the “not demo” video.  I got it then.  The point isn’t that someone would post a video with music that isn’t a Duran demo.  It is about how the fanbase is starting to get desperate.

Let’s face it.  It has been really pretty dang quiet in the Duran-universe.  Yes, we get tweets from Simon.  Yes, we have heard some great Katy Kafes.  Yes, we have heard or seen member(s) going to events or planning to go to events.  Yet, this isn’t the same as hearing new snippets of music or a new song.  It isn’t the same as talking about going to shows or what shows were like.  This is that Duran downtime that we are all very familiar with.  We are pretty used it.  Most of us even get it, logically.  We know that it takes time to create.  Heck, we also know and understand that NO ONE should have to work all day, everyday.  Breaks and vacations are needed and necessary.  We get it and do not fault or criticize the band for this.  Yet, we also get the pattern that the fan community falls into.  We start to get itchy.  We start to get twitchy.  We start to get a little desperate for any tiny piece of information, any small piece of news.  This feeling is such that we react, emotionally.  There is no stopping to think:  Is this real?  Is this true?  At least, not initially…  (This is a general pattern, people.  I do realize that not every fan would react this way but the fan community as a whole reacts this way, I think.)  This is why we were SO excited to hear something labeled as a new demo!  We just reacted.  It was a reflex (ha!).  Unfortunately, our excitement was short lived.  Now, thankfully, we had an official photo that followed quickly.

This photo was shared just as much, if not more so than the “not demo”.  People, I think, felt good about having something official.  They knew that this was real and their excitement, their reaction could just be felt and shared with others.  There wasn’t much of a need to think, to ponder, to wonder.  This shows me that we don’t need much to keep us going, to minimize those anxious feelings–just a picture, a few tweets, etc.  While we get that we shouldn’t expect something every day, a little something every once in awhile is definitely appreciated.  It is even more appreciated when we know that it is from official sources.

-A

Taste the Summer

Last Sunday’s blog and viewing of Depeche Mode’s 101 in combination over the idea that Duran played some songs yesterday in Cannes awoke the ever-lurking, ever-existing desire to tour.  Sometimes, I think I could tour everyday and I know that I’m not the only one.  Just last weekend, Rhonda talked about how she bought a Powerball ticket and if she won, she would be touring all the time.  Kindly, she offered to pay my way as well.  *sigh*  What a thought!  Now, in reality, I’m sure that I would grow tired with life on the road and I would eventually miss my bed and, more importantly, my cat, Biko.  That said, I’m finding myself wishing for a tour.  I bet Rhonda and I aren’t the only ones wishing for a tour.  Thank goodness that we have the convention to look forward to.  Otherwise, I think I would be really struggling.  Why is this?  Why is my desire so strong right now?  I think part of this could be because this is the longest I have gone without a tour in forever since I started “touring” officially.  I went to shows in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.  Yeah, the longest stretch was between 2009 and 2011.  The last shows I saw in 2009 were in July.  Then, I had shows in April 2011.  That was a little less than 2 years.  How did I survive that stretch?  We had an album in December of 2010, a mere 17 months after my last show.  17 months from my last show now would be January of 2014.  Okay, so I have gone longer in between shows.  What is my problem then?
I blame the seasons, the time of year.  My school year is rapidly coming to a close.  At the point of this blog, I have three more weeks of work or 13 days or 91 hours.  Not that I’m counting.  I always get anxious but this year it is particularly bad.  Why is that?  Last year, at this time, I already knew that there would be shows in the summer.  I was also busy with a campaign and was interviewing for a new teaching position.  I didn’t have the time to be that anxious, that impatient.  In 2011, I was either getting ready or returning from the UK in which I went over to see 4 shows and saw 0.  I was reeling.  Again, I couldn’t think about the end of the year.  What about 2010?  Again, I was getting ready to campaign.  In 2009, I had summer shows to look forward to, etc.  This year, I’m clearly not distracted by campaigning, despite still being involved politically.  I don’t have shows to look forward to.  I should appreciate the extra time, right?  I should use the time to take our first full draft of the book and revise it and I will.  I should use the time to work on the convention and I will.  I have to.  I want it to be the best experience ever.  Despite these very important tasks, there will be a small part, a very tiny part, of me wishing for shows or a tour.  The season makes this part more noticeable.  Summers are a pretty magical time for them to tour.
I have seen Duran in the summer a few times (2005, 2009 and 2012).  I love seeing them then even if I’m not a fan of the hot weather.  Why?  Isn’t it obvious?  As a teacher, summer is MY time.  It is when I don’t have to worry about schedules or my to do list in the same way as I do during the school year.  During the year, when I want to be absent, it is a big ordeal.  Yes, I get some personal days but I can’t use them whenever.  For example, I can’t be gone the last few weeks of the school year nor can I be gone the first few weeks of the year.  If I need to be gone more than a day or two in a row, I need special permission.  It is a pain and, frankly, it is a HUGE frustration for me.  It doesn’t feel like I’m being treated as a professional.  Obviously, I know that I get the summer off (if I don’t take classes or work on a project) but life doesn’t just happen in mid-June through August.  I also realize that there are teachers that have it much worse, in terms of time off.  Once I am able to take the time, I still have to get sub plans ready.  Typically, for me, this is a three page document explaining before I even get to the actual assignments that the kids need to do.  I’m not complaining, necessarily, just pointing out what needs to be done when I’m gone from work.  Obviously, then, when Duran tours in the summer, I don’t have these same concerns.  I don’t have to worry about when the dates fall.  It doesn’t matter if they are Tuesdays or Saturdays.  It doesn’t matter if the shows are near me or away from me.  I have the freedom to choose then.
Based on my hope that the album will be done by the spring of 2014 and my desire to tour in the summer, I’m just going to put it out there.  Duran should tour in the summer of 2014.  I am typically done with work by the middle of June until the last week in August.  Anytime in between works for me.  If they toured next summer, who would be with me???  Yep, I’m definitely liking this plan with the convention in the fall, album in the spring (dreams are free, right, people?!  I can always hope for this!) and tour in the summer.  What do you think??  Now, we just need Duran to make it happen!
-A

A Case of the Mondays

By C.K. Shortell

Mondays suck.  I think we can all agree on that. I think of January and February as the Monday of the year – cold weather, short days, no (American) football. We are now in the “Monday” of Duran downtime, which I would define as that period of time from the end of the last show until we hear the first snippets of what is to come next. Admittedly, it’s close to midnight – they are in the studio and we’ve heard good things are happening – but let’s be realistic: all that follows Monday is Tuesday.  We’ve got a long way to go until touring/album details come out…

So, to help us all get through the dark interregnum between Duran albums, here are some fun ways to pass the time:

Search Ask Katy: I don’t know if people realize that the “Ask Katy” feature goes back about as far as the website does, i.e. to 1997-98 or so. And while I happily bought Will Someone Please Explain a few years back, I can tell you that it only scratched the surface. There is a TON of info in the Ask Katy archives. All you have to do is search for it. If you’re in the mood to learn about anything related to, say, “Big Thing”, it will pull up all sorts of tidbits. I’ve lost hours of time doing that. I was about to send in a question about Proposition and decided, on a whim, to see if it had been asked before (I was convinced it had not – and I’ve been reading Ask Katy regularly for the last 15 years.) Lo and behold…there was a page full of questions and answers that were about or least referenced “Proposition”. Try it…you won’t be disappointed.

Make a Mix…CD: A little back story is necessary on this one: My car is seven years old and does not have a way to hook up my iPod or iPhone into the stereo. I’ve tried some of the other methods (e.g. the one that plugs into the cigarette lighter) and they all sound crappy, so I’ve pretty much given up and continued to burn CDs (I do have a six CD changer). While the rest of the world has moved into the digital age, I’m convinced that I’ve been single-handedly keeping the blank CD industry afloat. I probably burn 1-2 CDs a week depending on my mood. (And not just Duran but my other bands…well, okay, mostly Duran.)

Sometimes it’s easy – last month I wanted my favorite studio and live tracks from Pop Trash on one disc – other times it’s bizarre, like the time I felt like hearing a mix of just RCM and Big Thing songs. It is almost always frustrating because I will inevitably end up with more songs that will fit on one disc (I try to burn the CD before I get the alert that it won’t fit on one disc. Maybe there is a better/easier way – if so please tell me! And yes, I suppose I could just add up the song times and figure out if I’m over the allotted 80 minutes. I stink at math. I was an English major. Not happening). Nothing is as painful as deciding what you want, creating a playlist, getting it in the proper order, and getting the “will not fit on one CD message.” I think have to channel my inner Nick and cut something…for a while, it always seemed to revolve around that long Air Studios Tel Aviv demo that I kept including and then realizing how much space it would save if I cut it.  

Sometimes, these mix CDs end up in the rotation for a few weeks then are discarded…but ever now and then I hit upon just the right playlist. This happened a few years back when I decided I wanted a “DD slow” mix. It came out amazingly good – far better than I would have thought (since I generally like to mix the fast and slow stuff).

Anyway – you can accomplish all of this just by making a playlist, obviously, but there is something to be said for the time/space constraints of a CD, that force you to limit your choices.

Use the power of Google: The first place I go for news online is Google News. There’s an app for it as well…it is by far the most comprehensive source of news. What makes it even better is customizing it (you need to set up a free account). You can then customize the news page so it will bring in stories based not only on broad topical preferences (e.g. maybe I care more about science news than entertainment) but also specific keywords (e.g. “Duran Duran”! But you need to use the quotes, otherwise it will bring in stories with people whose last name is “Duran”.)

Another way to harness Google is to set up an alert through Gmail. It uses the same principle – you pick the keyword and it will bring in any news stories from the web that include it – and you also set the frequency of these emails, so they can come daily, monthly, etc.

Using Google can help you keep up with the band (or any other special interest you have) and bring in articles or info that you might not have found on your own. No, I don’t work for Google or own stock – but I can say that I’ve seen news and articles on Google before it has shown up on other mainstream sites (or even on DD.com).

Listen to other music: Um, well….you know, apparently there are some other people out there who’ve made music, if the rumors are true…I don’t know, I guess this is an option too.

Check out John’s solo work: Nah, don’t listen to other music; keep it in the family! I don’t know to what extent the current fan base is aware of John’s solo work, since much of it was composed and released during the mid-to-late 90s, when many weren’t following the band that closely. Admittedly, I get confused because some of the songs appear on multiple albums, and there are some that were just released in Japan vs. the US, etc. Ultimately, I think I have most of his solo work – and on the whole, it’s very good. I think the two CD’s to start with are his first release, 1995’s Feelings are Good (and other lies) and his self-titled John Taylor  LP from 1998. Feelings are Good is a high energy and raw album that is the product of John working through his divorce. His self-titled CD is more introspective and electronic. Both are excellent.  

(Full disclosure – I haven’t read In the Pleasure Groove yet – I know, I know, I’ll be seeing Rhonda and Amanda in the principal’s office later thanks to this admission – but John’s lyrics, while not the most poetic, are very open and honest and probably an excellent compliment to his autobiography.)

That’s it…I’m out of ideas. Do we have tour dates yet? Is the album done? Is it spring yet?



C.K. Shortell is a lifelong Duran Duran fan who lives in the northeast with his wife and two sons, both of whom love watching concert footage of the band. When he’s not struggling to explain to a three year old why the guitarist always looks different or just exactly what Nick is doing, C.K. is constantly reminding co-workers and friends that the band never broke up.