Category Archives: Duran Duran fandom

Duran Duran Fans’ Behavior: Tickets

After about a year of polls and posts regarding Duran Duran fans seeing Duran Duran live, including asking when people saw Duran Duran perform live for the first time, how many times they have seen Duran live, how many shows they saw per tour and more, I’m finally reaching the end of my questions, the end of my wonderings.  A couple of weeks ago, I asked about distance to see shows, including how far people have traveled and how far they usually travel.  This week, I want to examine tickets and ticket purchases.  Where do people usually buy tickets to see Duran Duran?  Do they use the paid fan community?  Do they use usual ticket outlets, like the U.S.’s Ticketmaster?  Do they go through ticket brokers or online auction sites like eBay?  To end that, I have a poll that allows for ease of answering!  While I have attempted to include the most common ways, I acknowledge that my list is not complete.  There is an option to indicate a way that is not listed.  Please, then, go ahead and comment about where/how you normally get your tickets.

After this week’s poll, I will go ahead and look at everything I saw and write up some observations in a future blog post.  I appreciate everyone who has participated!

-A

Duran Duran Songs over Pictures

After months of asking people to choose favorite pictures of individual band members in our daily questions, we have finally chosen a favorite picture for each former and current member.  We wouldn’t be who we are if we didn’t then ask people to then choose between those favorites!  Now, of course, we aren’t really asking people to choose between the band members but between the selected favorite photos of individual band members.  As soon as I posted the very first poll, a response came through calling it “stupid”.  As always,  if people don’t like what they do, they are welcome to not participate or start their own blog to do what they want.

It amazes me that these picture polls have gotten so much attention after months of being asked.  In fact, yesterday’s question that asked people to choose between the pictures of Simon and John resulted in a ton of views!  A ton!  We had more page views yesterday than we had one the days that Rhonda covered the highlights of the Katy Kafes.  What is that about exactly?  Now, obviously, I think these polls are fun and I enjoy seeing the results but are they more interesting or important than what might be happening with the album, with the music?  Based on our page views, it seems like many fans think so. Perhaps, though, there were other factors like the holidays that affected people’s ability or chance to read the blog.  Thus, maybe, these page views aren’t indicative of the fans’ focus on image and looks over music.

To that end, after the individual band member pictures, we will pause on the images and focus on the music.  (Don’t worry, we will do group pictures later.)  In order to focus on the music, we, the fans, will create the ultimate Duran Duran album by deciding the best first track ever made, the best second track ever made, the best third track ever made, etc.  We will start by asking about all of the first tracks on albums until we get the favorite first track in the same method we always do the daily questions.  Then, we will start on the second track, etc.  Obviously, not all albums have the same number of tracks but that just means that there will be less songs to ask about for that track number.  All studio albums will be included, including Thank You, but greatest hits albums and live albums will be excluded.

I am looking forward to seeing what the fan community comes up with as the best album possible!  I’m also hoping that the song questions are just as popular, if not more popular than the pictures.  After all, we all love the band because of their music, right?

-A

I Shed My Skin

 

DDMonium_Group
NEW “old” friends

 

By PamG

It’s been a year since Durandemonium. Obviously Rhonda & Amanda have shared their journeys and feelings about it with us, and I wanted to share what that weekend meant to me as one of the attendees. As they have have both said, their primary goal was to bring people together. And boy they sure did.

I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know if I wanted to go. I had only been to three Duran shows, and they were all just within the two prior years. My primary fandom had been in the early 1980s as a young teenager, but my fandom had reignited with the All You Need Is Now album. From what I read on this website and social media, so many other people had been to a lot of shows, through different albums and tours. How could I fit in? I was afraid that I’d be the freshman at Duranie High School and all the senior Duranies wouldn’t talk to me. Would everyone else be like those truly diehard fans I’d seen in “Something You Should Know?”

Fortunately I had some encouragement from two friends. My first connection was Lori. We had chatted online through the DDM forums and met up at the ill-fated Atlantic City show in August 2012. Yes, that pun was intended because the show was cancelled just before showtime because of Nick’s illness. Even though she’s West Coast and I’m East Coast, we’ve remained friends since that night (sound familiar R & A??). A few months later she told me she was on the convention planning committee, so I felt relieved that at least I’d know someone else there. If I decided to go, that is.

What sealed the deal for me was my friend Stephanie. We’ve been friends for a few years now, but we didn’t know we shared the Duran fandom until after we were already friends for a while. Until then I didn’t have anyone whom I could talk Duran stuff with, at least not in the present tense. Of course I had friends who liked them back in the ‘80s too, but when I mentioned Duran’s great new album, they either rolled their eyes or redirected the conversation back to our poster-boy crushes. Stephanie and I were curious about the convention, and we both read Daily Duranie pretty regularly. After some deliberation and clearing some vacation time, we finally made the commitment to go.

After a little pre-gaming at a nearby bar that afternoon, we arrived at registration. I guess I hadn’t pre-gamed enough because I was still nervous about meeting these people we’d committed to spending the weekend with. But in retrospect, this convention’s reception was like most others I’ve been to: some people walk in the door with someone they already know, some people squeal with delight when they see someone for the first time in years, and others simply take a seat and quietly begin to get comfortable with the people around them. Some of the games felt a little awkward at first, but after a while I relaxed because we were all in it together and that felt pretty awesome. I could finally let my Duran-freak flag fly. It was fun to find out how far people had traveled to be there. And I felt relieved to know that I wasn’t the only one who had seen fewer than 5 shows. They still let me hang out with them!

Next up Stephanie and I decided to meet up with bunch of others at Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar. I’m still torn as to what the best part was: either the gang getting up on stage to sing along to Rio and HLTW, or the double-D ink stamp we received at the door! I actually have a double-D tattoo on my wrist, so getting the stamp at the door blew my mind. I tried to explain to the stamp-giver how cool it was that he was stamping a “DD” on my wrist and I already had a “DD” on my wrist! He didn’t get it.

Pams tattoo and stamp
How did the stamp guy not see how cool this is?

 

I really enjoyed Saturday morning’s author panel with Rhonda, Amanda,  Elisa Lorello, and Karen Booth. Seeing four women who had combined writing with their passions for the band, the music, and the fandom was truly inspiring to me. I thought combining your job with something that you love was something only a few people in the world are able to do, but now I know that it is possible. Thank you all for sharing those insights and experiences with me.

My highlight of the weekend was definitely the private viewing of A Diamond In The Mind. To the convention committee and everyone else who was involved in presenting that: I can’t thank you enough. I’d never been to a private screening of anything before, so that was pretty cool. But watching the live concert film on the big screen was like being at a show again: we danced and sang along and had a ball! I think the only thing that could have possibly been better would have been a private concert by the band. That’s how awesome the experience was for me. In hindsight, this experience was probably the moment when I knew that I belonged. Knowing that everyone in that audience is there for the same reason I was, and had the same excitement that I did was affirming. I didn’t feel weird, or immature, or like someone who was stuck in the past. I felt like I had found my people.

The rest of the evening confirmed those feelings. At the banquet people dressed up in a variety of ways to represent their favorite song. I generally don’t enjoy wearing costumes or dressing for themes, but I put on my leopard blouse and went with it. By this point in the weekend I shouldn’t have been surprised that another person (or three) had the same idea as me. I was among a like-minded group of friends. Later I boarded the party bus bound for la-la-la Late Bar. The folks there gave us such a warm welcome and even had a specialty Sing Blue Silver cocktail ready for us! I’m not sure if the bar always plays new wave music on Saturdays but I loved it. They had their blocks of Duran videos and music ready for us, and showed us much love while we were there. Like any offbeat club, there were some offbeat characters there too. I can only surmise that they were part of the local Chicago culture and I’ll leave it at that. (Those who were there know what I am talking about.) In all I think it was a fun way to top off the night.

Sunday morning arrived and I was surprised that I was sad to say goodbye to new friends. The weekend had gone by too fast. I’m happy to say that I’m still in contact with several friends I met that weekend (thank you Facebook) and can’t wait to do it again! If anyone else feels that way, I recommend you lend your support by visiting the Cafe Press store. (This message was not approved by the Daily Duranie campaign; it is truly from my heart!)

Before Durandemonium, I was still a bit shy about my fandom for the band. When people asked why I was going to Chicago for the weekend, I avoided the truth and simply said I was going to catch up with some old friends. Turns out that was exactly what happened, only I hadn’t met those old friends yet.

 

 

PamG

PamG has been a Duranie since the early days of MTV. In addition to all-things Duran, she also enjoys music documentaries, pop culture trivia, and live concerts of any kind. Her Duran dream would be to journey across the pond and see the band play throughout Europe. After waiting over 25 years to see Duran Duran live, she saw her first show in 2011 and it changed her life.

 

 

 

Dream Teams, Unstaged.

Big announcement today in Duranland!  If you wanted the chance to see David Lynch’s Unstaged on a big screen – here is your opportunity!  On September 10, for “One Night Only”** you can see Unstaged in the US on a theater near you!  While it might not be the same as a live show, it’s about as close as we’re going to get for a while…and for those of us who are STARVING for a show…we’ll grab at the tickets as though they were a lifeline!

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Reactions to this announcement have been rather mixed throughout the community (as they always are).  I’ve seen everything from people excitedly posting that they will scream and dance in the aisles with friends to those who seem to think that having the screening just once, in NYC, was enough (I might say that is an incredibly selfish comment). I hope that the rest of the world gets the opportunity to see Unstaged on a big screen…although I know the process for making that happen can be rather daunting.

For tickets to Unstaged, click here

**interestingly enough, in some areas, you can also catch Unstaged on September 14. I don’t know why this is, but I’m not complaining!

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About those dream teams…

We’ve been seeing all sorts of photos with Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson and the band, but there’s another dream team in town this week! Anna Ross is working on her own solo album, and this past week she’s been in the studio with Dom, and they sent out their OWN dream team photo on Facebook today:

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photo Facebook/Anna Ross

Looking forward to hearing what they’ve been working on!  

Lastly, Amanda and I have been doing a little work of our own this past week, which included (but by no means was limited to) editing our entire manuscript…all 260+ pages. We edited for grammar and content, and then worked on our sources, which was a sorry mess due to our lack of attention.(which will NEVER, EVER happen again…)  We have a plan going forward, things we want to focus on, and projects that we want to start.  I also want to move my family to Madison…so there’s also that.  

ARmanuscript
photo Amanda Pustz

I’m still trying to get myself back together here at home after being gone for a week…and I had quite the adventure getting home in between a monsoon that hit Phoenix which delayed our stopover there, and the crazy imposed 11pm landing curfew at my home airport (John Wayne). Eventually, the plane made it here though, and now it’s back to reality.  Yay?!?

-R

It’s Loaded with Fame: Conventions and Celebrities

People go to conventions to connect with other fans, to participate in activities not readily available in daily lives and to escape reality.  Another very significant reason that people go to conventions is for the celebrities.  Many conventions, most conventions, have celebrity or “special” guests.  Some conventions might have just one or two special guests and others have many.  Typically, these celebrities interact with the fans in a variety of ways, including participating in panels or question and answer sessions in which fans can ask questions, holding autographs sessions in which fans can get an autograph and/or holding a photo opps session in which fans can get pictures with the celebrity(s) of choice.

In my experience, people do seem to like going to conventions to meet and see celebrities.  At the Wizard World convention I went to in Chicago, in August, a lot of people I talk with came to meet one or two of the celebrity guests.  Some people came back year after year to see the same celebrity.  Sometimes, the bigger name celebrities had very long lines to get autographs and pictures.  The lesser known celebrities still had people who were interested in getting pictures or even just an opportunity to exchange a few words.  Yet, it did seem that anyone interested in a particular celebrity could get to that celebrity eventually, especially if the fan had the time and the money for one of these extras.  Of course, many of these celebrity focused activities have specific times.  For example, if you wanted a picture of person X, you had to get it done between 1 and 2 pm.  Thus, people scheduled their convention activities even around the celebrities.

I wonder how important these celebrity appearances are to the fans attending a convention.  Do they get people in the door?  Do they get people to pay the money for a ticket?  Would people go if there is just one celebrity or one celebrity who people really cared about?  Is it the fact that there might be many celebrities at a convention that you like?  Does it matter which type of fan activity is possible–meaning that getting an autograph might be more important to some than a question and answer session or vice versa?  In many cases, autographs and photos are extras.  They do not come with the ticket.  You pay for each autograph and each picture.  In some cases, you might pay to attend a panel.  Would those additional costs matter?  Would it matter how MUCH those extras were?

Seriously, I would love to know.  Would you be more likely to go to a convention if there was a celebrity you liked?  What about many celebrities?  Would you want panels/Q&A sessions, autograph sessions and/or photo sessions with the celebrities?  Would you be willing to pay extra for those sessions?  How much for a celebrity you love, love, love (like a member of Duran Duran!)?  How much for a celebrity you like a lot?  Would you go to a convention if there weren’t celebrities there?

-A

Union of the Snake – Daily Duranie Review (R)

This being the first review of 2014, we have decided to mix it up a bit. Since we have fewer breaking stories from the band…*coughs*…we are going to break up our reviews into two parts. Each week you can look forward a review: one week will feature my review of a particular song, and the next will be Amanda’s review (of the same song). Additionally, instead of doing a separate category for production, we have incorporated production into the “Overall” section – found at the end of each review just before our final cocktail rating.

For the next two weeks, we are going to examine “Union of the Snake” off of, yes…Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  This was the lead single off of the album, released in October of 1983 and peaked at #3 on both the US and UK charts.  Rhonda will start off the review, followed by Amanda’s next week.

Musicality/Instrumentation:  The introduction to this song is intriguing to me, purely because of the dichotomy of Andy on guitar verses Nick on synthesizers. This is one song where there is a real “call and response” happening between the two – which I find plays into the theme of the song beautifully.  What I did not notice much of, though, is bass. There are moments when I can actually hear John’s bass, but it’s very faint (in my opinion). I think the sound would be better supported with a touch more of him in the mix, and it wouldn’t sound quite as top heavy. One element that I love in this song though, is Andy Hamilton on both soprano and tenor saxophone. He can be heard throughout the song, and rather than a guitar solo, we hear Andy Hamilton on soprano sax about 2/3 of the way through the song. The tenor sax is heard in several places and helps to provide some much needed depth and dimension to the overall sound. I also really appreciate the extra sounds – like the click/clack sounds of percussion that take place throughout – it’s an added element without being too intrusive and overwhelming. Speaking of percussions brings me to the drums.  Truthfully I would have not necessarily noticed Roger’s drums – they are there without being overly obtrusive.  However, I read that Roger took this beat from David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, and now that I listen to the song – I very much hear that influence, which works well with the instrumentation.

Vocals: I really like Simon’s vocals on this song – what I don’t enjoy quite as much though is the very loud backup singers in the mix.  They seem to overpower Simon, and I don’t know that it adds as much as it detracts. I’ve always imagined Simon singing the entire song with a sneaky smile on his face – as it very much sounds that way when I listen. He sings the song with emotion, but not so much that it becomes comical.

Lyrics: Ok, who here can tell me what in the hell this song really means?? In doing my initial research for this song, I ran across several suggestions online ranging from “tantric sex” (apparently Simon offered this up as a reasoning behind the lyrics) to the borderline being the area between the conscious and subconscious minds. Again…this courtesy of Simon Le Bon, who just loves to toy with us all. Thanks, Simon. I must fall to my own reasoning, which sadly in this case, is very much lacking. I think that I always felt the Union of the Snake was the band, and the line “The union of the snake is on the climb. It’s gonna race, gonna break through the borderline” was about the band’s upward movement. World domination and all.  “If I listen close, I can hear them singers…”  “voices in your body coming through on the radio”…I don’t know why, but I always felt that was about the fans. That if he listens, he can hear us.  We’re loud, you know. I joke, but I find these lyrics in particular to be a good example of the prose-type lyrics that Simon was famous (infamous?) for writing during this era.

Overall: As I mentioned, we are incorporating production into the “overall” category – which really is meant to be a survey of how the different elements fit together.  With that in mind, this is one of the songs off of this album that I feel was produced rather well. The overall sound is not overwhelming, and I can hear most of the instrumentation pretty clearly.  However, I do find it odd that John was not worked into the mix better to add more of a “grounding” to the sound.  I still think the background singers are incredibly loud at times, and while I can understand the reasoning for having them there – I don’t think the intention was to overpower the lead singer. I like the call and response between synthesizers and guitar, and I feel like entire song is more of a “it’s us against the world” type of anthem, which plays out well through the instrumentation and lyrics.  Overall, I have to wonder if this was truly the best song on the album that could have been the lead single – it was done at the last minute, with mixing taking place up to the last minute before EMI took the tapes for pressing, although to be sure, the song does not sound as though it was rushed together – and perhaps in that regard, the song was well-executed.  The song was never on my list of favorites for the band, but I believe that since this song was the first released from this album, Duranies were starving for new music – and this song met the need.

Cocktail Rating:  3 Cocktails!

-R

New Year, New You??

They say it’s a brand new day, and judging from the way it looks out my window and on TV as I watch the Rose Parade, it’s sparkling new at that.  Yes, we were blessed with good weather for New Years Day here in California – I think it’s supposed to hit the upper 70s today, and yes, you are allowed to be jealous and call me names. But yes, it’s a bright and beautiful day.

I’m not really one for resolutions – fact is, I never follow them, and often times I forget what I was resolving to do in the first place!  So, I’ve learned that even though I might try to go into the coming days with a new and improved attitude – the whole “New Year, New You” thing just isn’t my cup of tea. However, I do have some goals for myself, and one of which is getting our manuscript into the hands of a list of possible publishers. That is a project that I desperately need to finish, purely because in order to move forward, I have to complete what I’ve left behind. I’m very good at multitasking, but I’ve really hit my limit with what I can take on – something has to give before I can do more, and this year, it is the manuscript.

I think to Duran Duran and how so many times Nick will mention multiple projects he is working on, and those of us who have been around a while will raise our eyebrow and wonder to ourselves “I wonder how much of that will actually see the light of day…in my lifetime?” Of course we’re joking or poking a bit of fun with a grain of truth. There are a lot of things we all want to do, but when it comes right down to it, we can only commit ourselves to so much at one time. Nick probably does what any of us do on any given day, we add items to a list of things we wish to accomplish, and get through them as we can, and a lot of times -that list takes a lot longer to get through than we thought! Last year I overcommitted myself on several fronts – I am not someone who can spend all of my time devoted to outside things because I have three children, and they demand (as well as completely deserve) as much of my attention as I can give. I feel very lucky because I’m able to be a mom, homeschool my son as he needs right now, and still have a little time left for blogging and even some writing. A lot of people cannot even juggle that much because the demands of one thing far exceed everything else, and not everyone can handle the same amount of work and stress.  We all do what we can. The blog was never intended to be a full-time gig, and I work steadily to maintain that status quo for myself because quite frankly – this is supposed to be fun, and if it doesn’t stay fun, then it needs to go. There were times over the last year where I’d forgotten that simple, yet important detail. This is supposed to be fun. While I did enjoy the convention, it was a ton of work, and I can’t lie: I did not necessarily enjoy a lot of it towards the end of our planning process. It felt very much like a job and not nearly as much like a friendly gathering. Putting together a party or get together for friends doesn’t feel like that to me, and I think much of it was my own fault. I put a lot of pressure on myself that didn’t need to be there. Don’t we all sometimes?

So I am going into this year reminding myself that this blog is meant to be fun. For me, that means knowing when to say “when”, and when to say “I just can’t.” I’m not particularly good at saying those things – I hate letting people down when I feel as though they are depending on me. So I tend to suppress my thoughts of stress and anxiety, and continue to add things to my plate and juggle away. However, there comes a time when things start getting dropped on a regular basis, and that’s exactly where I’m at right now. That’s when it comes time to say, “What needs to happen right now, and what has to be put on the back burner for later?” So lately I’ve been sorting that out, both in my head, as well as with my loved ones here at home…and I’m learning that sometimes, I have to say “No, I really can’t right now.”.  It’s not always welcome or popular, but sometimes – it’s really the only answer that makes sense, and that I don’t really need to explain why to anyone but myself.

While I openly give the band a rough time about getting the album finished or wondering whatever happened to a particular project (Drama Americana anyone??), I need to remind myself of just how much I juggle sometimes, and that chances are, many of those projects I wonder about are probably just a little farther down on that list.  

-R

Got Your Picture

One of the most common criticisms of Duran Duran and their fans is that their music isn’t good and that the only reason that they have a lot of fans is because they look good.  I think about that infamous press conference filmed in Sing Blue Silver.  During that press conference, the band was asked if they thought they would sell as many albums if they didn’t look good.  The band was always good about blowing off those kind of questions with a joke and a laugh, but I can imagine that it didn’t feel good to people working hard to create fabulous songs.  This is an insulting stereotype to both the band who writes and performs the music and to the fans who are assumed to be musical idiots.  We wouldn’t know good music, right?  It is all about how the band looks, or so it is believed.  I hate this stereotype because I completely believe that I’m a fan because I like their music.  I believe that most fans are the same, right?  Now, of course, I think that the band members look good.  I think most fans would agree.  Did that make me a fan?  I would say no but did their looks reinforce my fandom?  It probably did.  I won’t lie.  Yet, I will always say that the music matters more and it does.  Always.  Rhonda and I review their songs and not their photographs, after all.  Again, I assume that every fan is like me in that the music matters a lot more.  But does it???

As anyone who reads this blog regularly or is connected with us on social networking sites knows that we ask a daily question of this or that about a variety of topics related to the band.  We started out by asking about songs.  Girls on Film or Planet Earth?  We got quite a few responses to that.  In fact, when we asked about regular Duran songs (singles or album tracks), we would get about 60-75 responses or votes.  That isn’t bad.  More people could have contributed since we had a lot more than 75 friends/followers, but whatever.  Then, we started asking about Duran videos.  Those would get about 50-65 votes.  I was reassured that the stereotypes about Duranies was wrong.  We care more about the songs than we do about the videos.  Cool.  Then, we asked about side and solo projects.  Once we got passed Power Station and Arcadia, the responses, the votes decreased dramatically.  Then, we would get about 10-15 votes.  How did the side and solo project videos go then?  Even worse.  We would get about 5-7 votes.  I already hear people responding by saying that we aren’t all fans of every side/solo project and that we aren’t all familiar with those.  While it is true that not every Duran fan is a fan of every side/solo project, it still seems strange to me that the numbers would decrease THAT much.  As for familiarity, that argument doesn’t hold up to me.  In this day and age, we have so many songs at our fingertips.  We have instant downloads, online music sources and YouTube.  On top of that, for the side/solo projects videos, I went and put every single one of them up on a blog and referenced that blog every single day.  People didn’t even have to search to watch them.  Anyway, we have moved past the music and videos.  Now, we are asking about people’s preferences about pictures.  That’s right.  We are asking about image and image alone.

Since we have been asking about pictures of Simon, how many responses have we been getting and how do they compare to the music or videos?  We have been getting between 70-100 responses when we asked which pictures people like better.  This is 10 to 30 more than we got about Duran tracks and 20-35 more for videos.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love to have people participate.  We want that.  Ideally, I would love to have every single friend/follower vote.  We want people to say what they think.  That said, I have to wonder why more people participate when we asked about pictures over songs.  What is that about?  I fear that this might say that the stereotype about Duranies is true.  We do care more about what they look like than what they sound like.  Their looks appear to matter to us more.  Many of you reading this, I’m sure, are saying that this isn’t you because you participated through all of the questions.  Obviously, there are always exceptions to every stereotype.  Every assumed belief about a large group has many people in that group that doesn’t fit the assumption. My goal here is not to criticize anyone or to get anyone to stop participating.  I’m just trying to point out something that I realized about our fandom that makes me uncomfortable.

Maybe, I’m the only fan who is uncomfortable with this.  Maybe, for everyone else, this is completely fine.  After all, fandom is fun, right?  I’m all for having fun.  I appreciate how the band looks.  I’m not blind.  I’m human.  Yet, I just wish that what they create matters just as much, if not more.

-A

Away From Here: Conventions and Escape

Why in the world would someone spend the money to come to a convention?  The last couple of weeks I have dived into two really huge reasons.  First, people go to a convention in order to be with other fans.  They want to be around people who not only understand them and their fandom but who are just like them.  Conversations surrounding one’s fandom can take place all day and all night.  One of my fondest memories from both the 2004 Friends of Mine convention in New Orleans and our 2013 Durandemonium convention in Chicago was sharing and hearing stories.  Some of these stories included when and why people became fans, shows that they attended, meeting the band, etc.  I also enjoyed knowing that if I said certain phases, everyone there would understand me.  I didn’t have to explain myself.  Everyone got the inside joke, so to speak.  The second reason, though, that people go to conventions is the activities.  Conventions have activities that cannot be found in just a weekend with fans.  There are special activities.  The combination between both the activities and being with other fans is pretty enticing.  Yet, beyond doing truly cool things with other fans, there is also the desire to escape reality.

One can hang out with other fans anywhere, even one’s own home, if fellow fans live close by.  The activities might not be able to replicated, though.  Likewise, the escape from reality might be very short-lived, if at all.  How many times have I been at a meet up or hosted a get together when someone has to leave early due to some other obligation or something that comes up with family.  When one goes home or goes home within a few hours, reality hasn’t really been avoided.  Maybe, I’m the only one but I like to escape reality when I can.  My life is pretty busy and often stressful.  The breaks away really do matter. They not only make me happy but probably make me more capable to deal with everyday life tasks and whatever gets thrown my way.  I suspect that I’m not the only one like this, either.  Heck, it is a BIG reason why touring has such an appeal to me.  I get that escape.  I also get to travel to new, fun places.  
I am someone who has discovered that traveling truly can be fun and exciting.  I have been able to get a lot of that from touring.  Yet, as we all know, there hasn’t been a tour in a long time (in over a year) and no tours are in sight.  I will need something in between these long touring droughts.  Conventions could  provide the reason to travel.  They could also provide that escape as they are long enough that reality must be forgotten.  If they are far enough away, reality is not much of a possibility at all.  Thus, conventions could provide cool activities with fellow fans while providing an escape from reality and a reason to travel somewhere.  In many ways, traveling for a convention is much easier than traveling for a tour.  A tour, in most cases, requires one to get from one show to another.  Most of those shows are in different places.  Then, you are traveling almost everyday.  Sometimes, the travel in between shows can be quite lengthy.  Let’s look at our last tour.  We started out in New Orleans and saw shows in Biloxi, Mississippi; Atlanta, Georgia; Durham, North Carolina and Portsmouth, Virginia.  Anyone familiar with U.S. geography knows that that is quite a trek.  A convention allows you to be in one place for a weekend or longer.  
To summarize, conventions provide fans a chance to meet each other and to interact with each other with conversations about a common interest of passion, one’s fandom.  Then, conventions contain many very cool activities and opportunities that are not available for random meet ups and other fan gatherings.  Conventions are larger in scale and scope.  Lastly, conventions allow fans to escape from reality.  Sometimes, this escape gives fans a chance to travel and be somewhere different.  Of course, for many fans, in many fandoms, conventions provide one other really important thing—access to celebrities.  I will tackle that big aspect of conventions next weekend, assuming that there isn’t any huge news on the Duran front.  
-A

Year End Katy Kafe with Roger

With all of the excitement over Nick’s year end Katy Kafe and Christmas, it seems that we forgot to comment on Roger’s Kafe.  I don’t tend to think of Roger as one who shares a lot of tidbits or gives a lot of insight to what is going on with the band.  That could very well be my perception when I compare him to John who can give things away through the infamous Taylor leaks, or Nick who shared so much on his.  That said, does Roger reinforce my thinking or make me reconsider his ability to reveal info on this Kafe?

Roger’s Kafe starts much like the rest of the band’s with a discussion of how he has been home most of the year and working in the studio.  Because he has been home, he is more ready for Christmas than usual, which has been nice for him.  His youngest has also been enjoying the season.  Quickly, though, the discussion turned toward the band highlights.  He talked about how the last few weeks in the studio were really productive and that they have some really strong songs.  How strong?  Roger put his hand over his heart and said that it will be one of the best Duran albums and that some of the songs were the strongest they wrote since the reunion.  He did mention that All You Need Is Now was an amazing record and that this one is on par.  That works well for me!!  I like how Roger described how he knows if a song is done or needs more work.

Then, the conversation flowed nicely into when the album would be done.  Now, remember, John said we would hear new music in August.  Simon said May and Nick said May as well.  Roger’s response was March to mix.  Katy clarified and asked when we would hear a single or a song.  The response was early summer.  That seems pretty dang close to the May date from Simon and Nick, right?  He continued to say that the album would then drop by late summer.  Could that equal August?  I think it does.  It sure sounds to me that they are all on the same page.  This is how I interpret it.  They hope to have the album written and recorded so that it can be mixed by March.  Then, the first song would be ready by May with the full album out by August.  What do the rest of you think?  Do you interpret it like I do or did you hear something different?  Yes, I know that some of you will say “Durantime” and, of course, you are probably right, but I did think it was interesting that they all seemed to be on the same page.  I suspect that they get more on the same page when the album gets closer to being written completely, too.

After the discussion about the studio and album release, they did talk about the Unstaged screening and how cool it was to have a Duran film at the Museum of Modern Art before talking about Roger’s favorites with music, movies, TV, etc.  He mentioned many of the other things that the rest of the band said, including Arcade Fire for music and Gravity for movies.  Of course, he did talk about little Julian is into as well and compared it to what Katy’s kiddo is into.

Overall, Roger didn’t change my opinion about him revealing any super duper interesting Duran insight.  What he did do, though, which I am excited about, is confirm the timeline for the album release.  While I definitely wish that things were further along for the album release, I do appreciate having a sense of when things will happen next year.  It is good for planning and plotting!

-A