Category Archives: Duran Duran fandom

Play to Win: Review of Winners

Those of you who are friends with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter know that each day, without fail, we ask a daily question.  This question is always part of a larger set of questions, in a bracket type format, to get to the fans’ favorites.  Over the course of two years, we have asked a lot of questions about a lot of topics, including songs, videos, merchandise, b-sides, album cover, side projects, etc.  I thought it might be fun to take some time to list and enjoy the winners.

Favorite songs from each album:

From Self-titled Debut:  Careless Memories

From Rio:  New Religion

From Seven and the Ragged Tiger:  The Seventh Stranger

From Arena:  Wild Boys

From Big Thing:  Do You Believe in Shame

From Liberty:  Serious

From The Wedding Album:  Come Undone

From Thank You:  White Lines

From Medazzaland:  Out of my Mind

From Pop Trash:  Someone Else Not Me

From Astronaut:  Sunrise

From Red Carpet Massacre:  The Valley

From All You Need Is Now:  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

Favorite Song:  New Religion

Favorite Merchandise that they should make:  Blanket

If they can do a beach towel, they could do a blanket, right?

Favorite B-Side:  Secret Oktober

Favorite Video:  New Moon on Monday

Favorite Album Cover:  Rio

Favorite Side Project:  Arcadia

Favorite Power Station song:  Some Like It Hot

Favorite Arcadia song:  The Promise

Favorite Andy Taylor song:  Take It Easy

Favorite John Taylor song:  Immortal

Favorite Neurotic Outsiders song:  Jerk

Favorite The Devils song:  Big Store

Favorite Dom Brown song:  Amazing

Favorite TV Mania song:  Beautiful Clothes

Favorite side/solo project song:  Arcadia’s The Promise

Favorite side/solo project video:  Arcadia’s The Flame

Obviously, right now, we are tackling people’s favorite pictures of the band members, band, side projects, and combinations.  Once that set of questions, which will take awhile, is done.  I’ll update this list of winners.  Besides, who doesn’t enjoy seeing and hearing the favorites!!!!


Merry Christmas from Daily Duranie!!

On a morning where a reasonable percentage of us are busily opening presents, preparing food and spending time with our families – Amanda and Rhonda want to take a moment to wish the rest of our family – the Duran Duran portion of our family (band, friends, fellow readers, and everyone else) a wonderful holiday should you celebrate, and if not – a wonderful Wednesday.

We are incredibly privileged to have such a wonderful group of people that inspire us on a daily basis to sit down and write.  We have spent time in various parts of the United States, the UK, and even online going to shows, sitting down and chatting, exchanging messages, posts and tweets with so many of you, and believe it or not – it is something we not only look forward to doing each day, it’s something that this point, we couldn’t live without.

Family is a huge word. It is composed of not only the people that you are related by blood, but also those who, by choice, we include in our lives on a daily basis. That includes not only John, Simon, Nick, Roger and Dom, but all of you. Thank you for being a part of our family, and we certainly hope that you are able to spend time with those you love today, whether in person, online, by phone, or otherwise. There are plenty of times throughout the year when we might not agree or see eye to eye, but that is how families really are.  At the heart of it all, we come together, support one another, and enjoy some of the finer things in life once in a while. We look forward to doing plenty of that in 2014!

Merry Christmas!

Amanda & Rhonda 

Dear Santa…

Since this seems to be the time of year to make out those letters to Santa, we took the opportunity to compose one of our own…in the off chance that Santa is reading!!  Merry Christmas!

Dear Santa,

How’s the album…*coughs*…errr… we mean, how are your reindeer? We certainly hope they are well-fed and ready to go…we’ve been waiting patiently all year. Ok…mostly patiently… some of the time…hey at least we tried!! ANYWAY

We have been very good this year and gotten a lot accomplished in your MARKED absence. During the first half of this year, we worked very hard to finish the first draft of our manuscript, which has now been completed. Amanda has been working her fingers to the bone to properly edit, footnote, cite sources and compile our bibliography; while Rhonda has been working to find appropriate publishers to send proposals. It has been quite a process, but we’re making progress and hopefully next year we’ll have even better news to report. We also began planning a convention for Duran Duran fans that we named Durandemonium. The convention was a lot of work to plan, and we had help getting it all finished. People came from all over (even as far as Canada and England!) for an October weekend of fun in Chicago, and as a result we saw friendships come together, and some fans said that we even helped to reignite their fandom for the band. Even though the convention was exhausting and it took us about a month to recover, we would gladly do it all again. Our blog has continued to grow this year, and we saw not only our 250,000 page visit, but also our 1200th post. That is a LOT of blogs to write, and yes, we still blog every single day even though the band has given us PRECIOUS LITTLE to talk about this year on their own. Heck, even when the blogs aren’t totally related to Duran Duran, we still talk about everyday with our day in Duran history and our daily questions. We have a few friends and followers who see those daily Duran posts/tweets, too.  😉  We hope that you agree that we have been productive and very, very, very nice…because we put together a little wish list for you.

 A finished album: #DD14 in 2014 has a lovely ring to it, don’t you think? No no, St. NICK…it’s not at all contrived! Preferably, a finished album sometime in the first half of the year, too, as it would leave plenty of time for shows. Mostly, we are just ready to hear some new music and see our favorite band again.   

Tour dates: We are thinking that summer would be a lovely time to tour (although not early summer – as in like June and early July here in the states, because Rhonda has a little “college visit” road trip planned).  Middle of July through middle of August would be about perfect.  (Listen, we just figured since it was a WISH list…we could throw in a few suggestions!!)

A Guitar: As in, we’d really like to hear that our favorite guitar player has been added to the official, permanent band line-up. With merch, lots of photo ops… and all. Remember, we’ve been very good fans…um…good girls. For that matter, Dom has been around since very late 2004 by our count – and that’s nine years of putting up with the rest of you…*coughs*…we mean the rest of the band. Surely that means he’s been good too!! 🙂

New pictures, videos, etc: All with the aforementioned guitar player. We’re not asking for much. Not really! This would increase every fan’s excitement and give us plenty to talk about on this little blog of ours!

Another trip to the UK, and possibly Europe: We figure we should just dream big here, especially since the only way we’re gonna get back over there is if Santa helps us out!  

While we are dreaming big, how about a proper meet and greet?: What do we mean by proper? The meet and greet should not feel rushed and we should leave feeling like we had our moment. A great example of what a meet and greet could like would be the one before the Unstaged screening at MoMA. Of course, photos would be included as well, right? That is a given. I’m sure you are already thinking that individual shots and a group shot would be reasonable and fitting. That isn’t too much to ask, is it? Perhaps, you would like to do this proper meet and greet in a setting in which not just us can benefit.  We are all for that.  We would love for all fans to have their chance!  Dear Santa, we’re certainly willing to do our part to make this happen, as we know you can’t be everywhere at one time.  Well, at least on any other night besides Christmas Eve.  So…we would be happy to help organize these meet and greets if you need help!  

So, Santa, as you prepare for your big journey, we hope that you consider our wish list.  We have been very good this year and very much promise to be even better next year!!!  

With Love, 

Rhonda and Amanda

Year End Katy Kafé with Nick Rhodes!

Thank goodness for Nick Rhodes!! Not only was I pleased to see Nick’s year end Katy Kafé this morning…but listening to it provided a near treasure trove of new album information to digest!

Let’s do what I love and begin with dessert, and in our case, that means going straight in for some inside info on the new album. To begin with, Katy asked Nick the question we’re all wondering – when will we hear new music? Nick’s answer? May. (That’s two for May!!) Now, in answering that, he clarified by saying that he thinks that’s when the first song(s?) will drop – but the album itself may come a bit later. I was delighted to hear that the music for several songs is pretty much ready – they are still tinkering a bit, but they’re basically ready. He’s pleased that they are farther along than he might have thought they would be at this point.  However, there are plenty of lyrics that need written.

Katy asked Nick if they would be touring for this next album (thank you Katy for asking that question!!), and he said that he thought they would, but that it would “not be nearly as long” of a tour, and that he was hoping to do something “more unusual” when they release the album.

How would Nick compare the sound from this album to previous albums in their catalog?  Not able to settle on just one album for an example of the sound from this one, Nick cites that elements sound like Big Thing. Just as I began to wonder what that could possibly mean, he continued on to say that there’s a groove like parts of Notorious, ballads reminiscent to the Wedding Album, along with harmonics of the 1st album. He says the sound has developed on from All You Need is Now, but it’s different. Different, but not a complete departure from Duran Duran as we might have heard in Red Carpet Massacre. It’s a Duran Duran album, but different.  Katy finished off by suggesting that perhaps just maybe we could get a listen to a tiny snippet in an early Kafé next year, and Nick said “Oh, you never know when those snippets will drop, Kathryn!” Cross your fingers, friends!

One thing that Nick brought up that I found rather interesting and worth mentioning was that he doesn’t want to keep going into the studio and churning out more of the “same old stuff”.  He likes discovering new sounds, and doing new things – which I believe any of us can certainly understand. He wants to have new things to say, which after 30 years, you would think they’d have trouble finding – but Nick says that that the studio environment is his favorite, and he loves creating. It shows.

That was some of the best intel we’ve gotten about the new album in months. Who needs Taylor Leaks when you’ve got Nick Rhodes in the mood to talk! (Sorry John, but facts are facts!) We’ve got our own St. Nicholas…leaving little stocking stuffers for all fans! (and we’ve all been very good, haven’t we?) It was great to hear Nick’s thoughts on the album, and I think I speak for everyone when I say it was really what we’ve been wanting to hear.

So what else has dear Nicholas been up to in 2013? Art shows! Nick visited several shows this year, naming Erwin Blumenfeld‘s (Surrealist photographer) show in Paris as one he really enjoyed. Additionally he went and saw a Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera exhibition, the Magritte exhibits at MoMA, and is hoping to get to the Tate Modern in time to see the Paul Klee  exhibit, which ends on March 9th. Conversely, something Nick really has not done much of is listen to music! He commented that someone will put on music in the studio and inevitably he’ll say that something sounds good or has a good groove, but he won’t know who it is. I laughed at that, because it sounds vaguely familiar to what I experience here at home these days!

Two other very exciting things that Nick has been working on this past year that I think will thrill most fans: he is working on putting together a book based on the photography in Bei Incubi – the exhibition that accompanied the release of the TV Mania album, which he really loved working on with Warren. Nick didn’t mention when we could expect to see this book released, but I am sure that for the next Kafé with Nick in February 2014 – we’ll find out more info!  Looking forward to hearing details about that project!  Secondly, the rumors are true: John and Nick really ARE working on a musical!! Nick didn’t say much about this project, only to say that things were “quietly coming along”. In fact they were in the studio working on that project since the Duran Duran album project was finished until the new year. So, stay tuned for more details on those projects in the new year!

Seems to me as though we fans have a very busy 2014 ahead…so rest up while you can, and keep those savings accounts well-stocked with funds!

As always, I need to say that while I went over some fantastic highlights, it’s just impossible to cover the entire Kafé, so if you’re interested in hearing the whole thing, you’ll need to join DDM to have access to the exclusives!


You Require a Little Bit More: Convention Activities

Recently, I began to explore the world of conventions, fan conventions, more specifically.  A couple of weeks ago, I looked at why and how they came into being.  Obviously, for the most part, it was the desire for fans to get together and be around other fans.  Yet, there is something about a convention that goes beyond a regular meet up or get together.  First, conventions typically are much longer than a regular meet up or get together.  For example, many get togethers last only a few hours or part of a day.  Conventions commonly last days.  Some can last an entire weekend and beyond.  So, length of time makes a convention special.  The other thing that makes a convention more than a meet up is the activities, or what people can do there, which is the focus of today’s blog.  What are the typical activities at a convention?  Which ones are the most important?  Which ones would get you to go to a convention?  Do the activities matter more or as much as getting together with fellow fans?

I have done a fair amount of research on conventions, have attended some, and planned one.  I have seen some common activities at all of them and some unique ones at specific conventions.  The specific ones relate only to that individual fandom.  For example, at ours, we went to Late Bar to enjoy 80s music or other music conventions have had tribute bands play.  At conventions related to TV or movies, they might show a new episode or behind the scenes footage.  Beyond those unique activities, here is a list of the most common.  I’m sure that the list is not complete.

Common Convention Activities:

*Registration—All conventions require attendees to register.  For some conventions, this is a simple check-in, get materials and move to other activities.  For other conventions, it is more of an event with attendees mingling and enjoying drinks and/or food.

*Games—Many conventions feature trivia about one’s fandom.  Other games related to that specific fandom(s) are common as well.

*Vendors—Many conventions have an area in which attendees can buy products.  In most cases, those products are related to the fandom(s) represented at the convention, but, sometimes, there are general products as well.

*Panels—These panels can vary in topic and scope.  At large conventions like Comic Con, these panels could include an entire cast of a TV show or movie or a combination between the actors, producers, directors, etc.  Sometimes, panels are people who do a similar job related to that fandom.  For example, our convention had an author’s panel of writers who have written material related in some way to Duran.  At times, a panel might be made of one particular celebrity.  Panels typically run with a moderator who allows each of the panelists to give a statement, then asks questions of the panelists and fields questions from the audience.

*Banquets—Smaller conventions often have banquets associated with them in which food is served and the attendees dine together.  Often, at the banquets, other activities take place, including contests, raffles, games, etc.

*Raffles or Auctions—Attendees have a chance to pay for raffles or to bid on items related to the fandom.  Typically, these items are donated and are a means of fundraising for the convention itself.  For our convention, we had items like rare vinyl records, t-shirts, signed products, and more.  Conventions associated with TV shows or movies might have items like props from episodes, costumes, signed pictures of actors and more.

*Costume Contests—Many conventions have attendees who will dress like specific characters from movies, comics, video games and TV shows.  Then, frequently, there is a contest to see who has the best one.

*Photo and autograph opportunities—Many large conventions are able to get celebrities to come to the conventions.  Then, fans have the opportunity to buy a photograph and/or an autograph with the celebrity of choice.  These are usually additional cost beyond the ticket to get into the convention.  The cost of these opportunities often depend on how popular or in demand a specific celebrity is.  For example, a big time actor would cost more than an actor who hasn’t been on a popular show for a number of years.

*A chance to showcase one’s work—Often, people will attend conventions to show off their work or to have their work be seen.  For example, it is common for conventions to have an area where artists can show or play their work.  These artists are not famous like the celebrities or panelists but do want to show their work and to get more work, more recognition, etc.  They can also sell their products.  Likewise, at large conventions, companies involved with the popular arts would come and see people’s work like a job fair.

Based on this list, which activities would appeal to you the most?  More specifically, which ones would make you want to get to a convention?  For me, there are activities that I think are super cool and would get me to pay for the ticket and then there are others that I would enjoy if I am there but wouldn’t push me to go.  I’m curious about which activities would make you more likely to pay to attend?  What about ones that would get you to travel?  Perhaps, for you, it isn’t about one or two specific events but there needs to many of them that are cool that would get you to pay and/or travel to go to a convention.  I want to know.  What matters in your decision to go, in terms of activities?  Do the activities matter more than being around other fans?  Maybe, for some people, they have the chance to be around other fans all the time so they don’t need to go to a convention for that.  Online activity might more than enough, in terms of interacting with fans.  For those of you like that, would any of these activities get you in the door?  Why or why not?  


Year End Katy Kafe with Simon!

It seems like just yesterday when I was writing about John’s year end Katy Kafe!  Oh wait…it was yesterday!  On one hand, I’m glad that the next one came out so quickly as I definitely want to compare answers, especially the ones that revolve around the next album, tour, etc.  I was left very dissatisfied by John’s statement about new music being in August.  That is SO far away!  Frankly, it is too far away for many reasons, but that is a topic for another blog.  So, will Simon match John’s response?  Will it be even more discouraging to the dedicated fans?  Let me take a listen and respond to some of the highlights.  Of course, as always, I would recommend listening to the real thing yourself on DDM.

Like John, the topic of the year spent in the studio was at the top of the list of things to discuss.  Simon said that they have had a great year there.  One one hand, I love hearing that because it might mean that the music will be fabulous, but there is another part of me that wonders if they would say if it wasn’t?!  I’m feeling generous, though, so I’ll assume the former.  He did mention that there were moments when they felt out of ideas but then another good one would pop up, which does sound good to me as Simon points out it is good to have new, fresh ideas.  I get that.  You don’t want to just do the same thing over and over again.  That isn’t very creative.  I did appreciate Katy trying to get some piece of information from Simon, like a song title, but he said he couldn’t do that.  Bummer.  That would have been a nice little gift in the season of giving.

The second topic of 2013 favorites followed closely behind the studio work discussion.  Simon mentioned how he doesn’t listen to a lot of other music when he is so focused on his own.  I find that interesting.  I could see how you wouldn’t want to listen to others when you are so into what you are doing, but I could also see how others might create a new idea in your own work.  Again, here is where every creative person is different.  Some might like those other influences and others not so much.  Of course, Simon, like John, did mention Daft Punk for music in 2013, which I’m not surprised about.  Movies, TV shows and books were also asked about.  Simon discussed the movies, Gravity and Rush, quite a bit.  He talked about a couple of plays as well.  As far as books goes, Simon did acknowledge that he should do a Simon’s Reader since he has read a lot of books but that he has been busy in the studio.  I bet the fans would love for him to try and squeeze in one soon, though, and think he is capable of doing a little multi-tasking.  Again, like movies and plays, he did mention a few books in detail.  One book that might interest fans is The Goldfinch as Simon feels like he can relate to the main character!  Perhaps, that would be a good book for the reader, then!

Simon did talk about his holiday plans, including travel plans and decorating the tree and his animals.  Thankfully, before Katy let Simon go, she asked him the same question as she did John about the new music.  Simon’s response, thankfully, was more optimistic than John’s as he said, “May.”  May still seems like a VERY FAR away time but much better than August.  It makes me wonder why the answers from John and Simon were so different.  Perspective?  Hopefulness?  Desire to get it done?  *shrugs*  I will say this much.  Simon’s reaction to hearing John’s answer was worth listening to the Kafe, in my opinion.

Of course, now, I’m even more curious to hear what Roger and Nick have to say next week on theirs.  Perhaps, they will be a compromise between the May and the August answers or they will back one or the other.  We shall see (hear) soon enough!


Year End Kafe with John Taylor!

I have been anxiously awaiting the year end Katy Kafes with the members of Duran Duran!  First, I have been dying for something to write about in terms of Duran news.  Obviously, I have lots to say about lots of other topics but I do enjoy writing about what is new, what is the latest in Duranland.  Second, as with any kafe, I always hope that there is something really exciting revealed or something that gets me thinking.  The last kafe was in November and got Rhonda and I thinking so much that an immediate phone call had to take place!  I love those moments!  In the case of last month’s, things John said definitely got me thinking and got me more determined than ever.  It was very good!  So, I listened to this one, the first of the year end kafes, with a high level of excitement.  It should be noted that this blog, like any of the rest of our blog posts about Katy Kafes, does not cover each and every part of the kafe.  If you want the complete picture (and I know you do), be a member of DuranDuranMusic and check the whole thing out there!

I have to admit that I was amused by the discussion surrounding snow.  John sounded a lot like I do when it comes to snow.  It is welcome to snow as long as no one needs to get anywhere or travel.  I find that particularly funny as we are due for an ice storm tonight and a major snow storm over the weekend.  Of course, snow, at the right time, can truly make it perfect.  For example, right after my youngest niece was born, my entire family got together for Christmas, which is rare.  The last of the family arrived on Christmas Eve.  Then, it snowed overnight, which created a beautiful holiday scene.  Plus, it was fun to see my oldest niece enjoy the snow for probably the first time in her life as she lives down south.  I digress, though.  Weather is distracting!  Anyway, John talked to Katy from the studio, which he described as having a “positive vibe” and that they feel good about what they have worked on.  He, in fact, described the project as “on track”.  I’m not sure if that means time wise or style wise or what.  Obviously, the year has been, basically, about them in the studio as he points out.  
Katy then asks John about popular entertainment, including books, albums, etc.  John mentions a series of  musical favorites from this year including Daft Punk, Kanye, Arcade Fire and more.  He also gives a list of other individual songs that caught his attention as well as films and TV shows.  What I enjoy about this part of the kafe is how John describes each album or artist or whatever.  He isn’t just giving a list but is giving reasons and how he reacted to the music or whatever.  It reminds me of those great school librarians who are able to turn kids into books solely by giving a really good introduction into a book or series.  His enthusiasm is clear and I’m willing to bet that he has convinced many people to give some artist, show, or movie a try just by how excited he is.  Another thing that I thought was interesting is how John claimed that he didn’t go and see much since he wasn’t traveling.  It was interesting because that is how I feel every year!  
2014 came up as a topic, specifically related to the next album and tour.  Again, he stated that they weren’t feeling the need to do a big tour (!) but that he felt good about the music, which is what he stated on twitter the other day as well.  He did say that once the album is done, they will think about the best way to present it to everyone.  This leads me to wonder if they are thinking about doing something different than regular promo appearances and a tour.  One specific month was mentioned for new Duran–August.  I have to admit to cringing at that a bit.  August???  That seems like a lifetime from now!  I don’t know that I will survive until August.  What the hell are we going to write about on here?!  That said, I’m surprised he gave such a firm time frame even though we don’t really know what was meant by new music.  The whole album?  A first song?  Snippets?  Tour?  I’m almost left with more questions than answers.  Perhaps, once we hear the rest of the year end kafes, we will have a more complete picture.  

Interpretations of Secret Oktober

It has been a long time (August!) since I have taken the time to really look and analyze a song’s lyrics to determine what the heck they could possibly mean.  I have a few song suggestions left from our friends and followers (and always open for more!).  Out of that list, I chose the song, Secret Oktober.  Why?  Simple.  It is a song that I have been thinking about a lot.  First, Seven and the Ragged Tiger has been an album mentioned a lot lately.  We have been doing reviews of this album.  On top of that, its 30th anniversary just happened.  As part of that, the band did a podcast in which the making of this song was discussed.  I also had a personal anniversary fairly recently in which I saw this song performed in Brighton a little over 2 years ago.  It was a memorable moment for Rhonda and myself.  Yes, everyone around us then knew that we loved the song and were super excited to finally see/hear it live.  It was a song that caught my attention the very first time I heard it.  Like many others, I heard it for the first time at the end credits of Sing Blue Silver.  What is this song, I thought?  Where do I get it?  Let’s just say that I did get that Union of the Snake single pretty quickly after that.  While I may love it, do I really know what it is about?

As always, when I do a blog post like this, I start with a little clip.  As a b-side, there was not an official video made but it was played live some throughout its 30 years.  Here is one of the most recent live performances of it in 2011 in St. Augustine, Florida.

Here are the lyrics:

Wise on a birthday party in a world full of surprising fireworks
And sudden silence shh
Lying on a strangers bed the new day breaks like a speeding train or an old friend
Ever expected but never knocking
Holding your own in a battered car all night parties cocktail bars
And smile when the butterfly escapes the killing jar

Sure eyes awake before the dancing is over wise or naked in secret Oktober

Freefall on a windy morning shore nothing but a fading track of footsteps
Could prove that you never been there
Spoken on a cotton cloud like the sound of gunshot taken by the wind
And lost in distant thunder racing on a shining plain
And tomorrow you’ll be content to watch as the lightning plays along the wires and you’ll wonder

Sure eyes awake before the dancing is over wise or naked in secret Oktober
Sure eyes awake before the dancing is over wise or naked in secret Oktober

So what could these lyrics mean?  What kind of theories are out there?  There are a few out there on the internet.  The first theory is that it is about rethinking one’s life on a birthday.  Life used to be a lot of parties but that life has gotten tired.  Second theory is that it is about someone thinking about suicide.  A third theory is that it is about Simon’s attempts to meditate and have out of body experiences.  Of course, we recently learned that the song was written and recorded in one night, done quickly as they needed a b-side for Union of the Snake.  Interestingly enough, the meaning of the song was also an Ask Katy question.  Simon responded that it was about escaping one’s birthday.  So, do any of these theories hold up?

Theory #1:  Rethinking life and choices on one’s birthday
The first line definitely fits this idea since it is a birthday party and being wise means that one might have learned something.  The new day could also imply that it was the day of a new year and it could be that one is thinking of those all night parties and cocktail bars.  Maybe the memories do bring a smile to one’s face.  Then, the second verse sort of throws me.  Is it about the thoughts one will have in the future if the first verse was about the past?  The future then will be stormy with the references to thunder and lightning?  I’m just not sure this completely follows the theory.

Theory #2:  Suicide
The only thing that I could see connecting to this idea is the gunshot.  The last line of the second verse, though, doesn’t fit.  “And tomorrow you’ll be content to watch as the lightning plays…”  If you are going to kill yourself, you won’t have a tomorrow and you won’t be content.  Right?  Am I missing something?

Theory #3:  Simon’s attempt to meditate
In all fairness, I don’t know much about meditation.  One line that is referenced with this theory is that line about the butterfly escaping is how his soul is escaping his body.  Another idea is that the footsteps line along with free fall and cloud are all words and phrases to show Simon’s out of body travels.  I suppose this theory is possible but then there are lines about the battered car and about the all night parties.  Those seem to be very in body experiences.  I think I need a lot more information on this theory or else, I’m just not seeing it.
What do I think?  I think this song talks a lot about what life was like for Duran in 1983.  Were there all night parties and cocktail bars?  Absolutely.  Did they wake up on a stranger’s bed?  I’m sure.  Did they leave very little evidence of being there?  Quite possibly, especially if it was just a one night deal.  Did some of those mornings greet them like a speeding train?  I have no doubt.  Hangovers aren’t always so fun and that is what I immediately thought of.  Perhaps, they would wonder if they were wise in these choices to party all night.  No matter, these experiences, these interactions were short lived and temporary as are elements in nature like clouds, wind and thunder.  Yes, they will wonder in the future about this lifestyle.  
So, what do the rest of you think?  Do one of those theories hold up?  Am I on the right track?  Do you have any even better theory?  Please share!

Media Representations of Fandom: Comic Con IV: A Fan’s Hope

Last week, I began the deep dive into all things fan conventions.  I defined them and why people might choose to find one and attend.  This week, I’m taking a deeper look into Comic Con, one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of fan conventions.  For those of you not familiar, this fan convention takes place in July in San Diego.  It has been an annual event since 1970 with a focus on multiple fandom, including comic books, science fiction and more.  This event started out small with around 150 people to what it is now, one in which over one hundred thousand people attend.  It is common for it to sell out and has become a big deal for fans, celebrities and makers of comics, TV and movies alike as it is an avenue for fans and and others to meet their heroes. to see premieres or special screenings and to get a chance within the business.  This convention is so big that Hollywood pays attention to it.  It is so big that books and movies have featured it.  In fact, there has been a documentary made about it.  Today’s blog will be a review of this documentary, Comic Con IV, A Fan’s Hope.  What will it show about the convention?  What will it show about fans?  Will it be filled with the extremes of fandoms like we have seen with other documentaries dealing with fandom, including Something You Should Know (Duran Duran fan focused) or Trekkies (Star Trek fan focused)?  Will it focus on stereotypes or will it show the fandom in a realistic light?

As soon as the documentary gets started, I can tell that this documentary follows in a similar path as the ones I mentioned earlier.  It follows some specific fans and features some celebrities.  Part of me cringes at this.  Why showcase some fans over others?  How were they chosen?  Were they chosen because they represented the norm or because they didn’t?  Yet, even as I question this, I wonder how one would show a fan event like this without focusing on a select group of fans.  After all, you want the viewer to develop some feelings, some emotions with the subject and individuals could provide that.  I know that Rhonda and I tried very hard not to have our book be focused solely on our own experiences, even though, those are featured, but tried to keep it broad to all Duran fandom and even all fandom.  Nonetheless, having this focus on a select group of fans and a few celebrities isn’t necessarily bad, in my opinion, as long as they, generally, represent the entire.  One thing I did like is the overview, in the beginning of the documentary, of the history of the convention.  Pictures from the first few conventions were shown, which clearly documents how small it was.  I think it is important for students of any particular fandom to understand its history.  For example, one can’t talk about the Duran fandom by ignoring the 80s, can they?  This history also shows that a big part of this convention was the ability of fan to meet, to talk with, to get information from those in the business, either as the celebrities out in front or those behind the scenes.

As the documentary moves to modern times, we are shown, right away, one significant aspect of this fandom, which is the cosplay or dressing as a specific character in a movie, TV show, comic or video game.  In seeing that, I’m taken a back a bit since this is so far removed from my fandom.  Most Duranies don’t show up at Duran events dressed like the woman in Rio or the main nurse in Falling Down.  That said, as part of Durandemonium, people did dress somehow related to the lyrics/music of Duran for the banquet.  Similar, I suppose, but not the same.  Beyond the cosplay aspect, viewers can also tell just how massive this event is by seeing the convention floor and the number of attendees.  This, obviously, isn’t a common event, for sure.  Yet, before they dive into the main convention attendees, the documentarians work to describe the general characteristics of Comic Con attendees, including what they do in their spare time, their focus on collecting and more.  I like how they gave the general overview of the “fans” before they got specific.  Then, we begin to get to know the focus of the documentary, who includes people from different spots around the country and their different reasons to be there.  One guy is from Missouri who is looking to show his artwork there, but who is into comics and who has Trekkies as parents who met at a Star Trek convention.  He defines the convention as a job fair.  Another convention attendee is similar in that he is going to show his work, but is from North Dakota.  Already, the viewer can see that the attendees are from different parts of the country, races, family backgrounds and more.  Both of these guys are clearly fans but both have jobs, families and do not seem so extreme of some of the fans focused upon in the other fan documentaries.  Then, there is a woman from California who makes costumes for costume contests, cosplay, etc.  Her goal is to win the costume contest, or masquerade, but admits that she would like to be a costume designer for TV, movies, etc.  Like the gentlemen, she is working towards her career goals.  What all three of these fans show is how much time and dedication fans give towards something they love.  I get this.  I write a blog, wrote a book about fandom and planned a convention myself.  The next person introduced is a comic book dealer, a vendor, from Denver.  He goes to the convention to sell his comics and has for decades.  His experience shows how the convention has morphed or changed over the years from having more of a focus on comic books to less of a focus on them.  He also shows how much serious collecting can be, money wise.  The other side of that coin is the collector who attends the convention to buy collectables.  The last of these main attendees include a couple who started dating at Comic Con and who will get engaged there as well.  They, I believe, show how fandom can bring people together. Clearly, these individuals were chosen to represent the types of people who go.

Beyond those individuals, there are also brief interview clips with other fans, celebrities and those in the business.  The celebrities and other random fans work to explain the hows and the whys of the convention.  Sometimes, they explain conventions better than I ever could.  For example, Joss Whedon, known for things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, said that it is the place that everyone is great for being so obsessed with something, no matter what it is.  To me, that is fandom—having a passion for something or someone.  The random fans filled in the gaps with why they come, what their focus is, etc.  They mentioned everything from seeing the artists, to meeting certain celebrities, to panels, to buying, and more.  Thus, while the main focus is that group of specific individuals, the documentary doesn’t rely on just them.  These random fans, like the specific ones, seem to have a bit of range but no one is too out there, too extreme.  They seem normal.  As these fans describe their experiences and reasons for being there, one can sense the love that they feel towards their fandom(s) and each other.  Then, it seems obvious why people would want to be at an event like this, to be surrounded by so many who feel the same amount of love of something must be awesome.  I can and did relate.  Likewise, I also related to the statements about how it was an escape from the real world.  To me, this is part of the reason I tour.  Also, I liked how the celebrities and those behind-the-scenes people told why they come.  For them, they have a chance to show their work, to interact with their fans all at the same time for just a few hours or a few days without too much hassle.  They get to sell their work, their products—tangible or not.  I also enjoyed the celebrities talking about how star struck they have been with other celebrities!

In seeing and hearing from all of the fans, celebrities and people in the industry, you get a real sense about how much there is at an event like this, what it is like and why go.  You get a complete picture of the event.  You don’t just see the stereotyped fans or the extreme fans.  Those fans are not hidden but they are put into perspective unlike other documentaries of a similar fashion.  All fans are shown and explained.  Fandom is shown and explained.  While I’m not a fan of comics and many other fandoms shown, I found myself able to relate and wanting to go to something like this.  I could feel the passion of the fans and the celebrities alike.


21 Signs That You Still Worship Duran Duran and Always Will

This week, Duranland was a buzz with responses to a little feature on Buzzfeed called “21 Signs You Spent The 80s Worshipping Duran Duran” that was published in June, which you can read here.  For some crazy reason, this article did not catch anyone’s attention until now.  Nonetheless, it was passed around all over the place, including through Duran’s official Facebook.  Most Duranies seem to enjoy it.  I know that Rhonda and I appreciated seeing faces of friends of ours and that one dear picture was taken from our lovely, little blog here.  (Thanks for citing, Buzzfeed!)  Yet, the one thing I heard over and over and over again was how it isn’t just the 80s.  No.  There are still a ton of Duranies around even in 2013.  We didn’t stop in the 1990s or the 2000s.  We are still here.  In fact, to prove this, I thought it might be fun to show how this worship still exists–to give a little twist to the original article.

21 Signs that You Worship Duran Duran in 2013:

1.  You celebrate Duran Duran Appreciation Day on August 10 as an international holiday!


2.  You accept the current line-up of the band to include Simon, John, Nick, Roger, and Dom.  Some might even prefer it.  


3.  You attend or plan Duranie meet-ups, get togethers and/or conventions.

4.  Your vacations are weekend or week long trips in which you travel to see a number of shows!

Our tweet during the summer of 2012 tour.  We drove a LOT!

5.  You believe that the band’s 2010 album, All You Need Is Now, is one of the best Duran Duran albums of all time along with the classics.


6.  You know and can imitate all of Simon’s dance moves including the punchy-punchy of Notorious, the round about of The Reflex and the chicken dance of Wild Boys.

7.  You spend hours on twitter hoping to see tweets from one or more band members and hope that you will one day get a response or a retweet.

8.  You still go searching for Duran vinyl.

Amanda searching for Duran records

9.  New pictures make you *squee* just as much as older pictures.

Photos by Bryony Evens from December 5, 2013

10.  You know what Durantime means and are used to it but still hate it.


11.  You want to see a Duran show in Birmingham, England, or are thrilled that you have.

Our tweet before the Birmingham show in December 2011

12.  Your friends are mostly Duranies or people who have been willing to learn as much as the band to understand what you are talking about.

Durandemonium 2013 group photo

13.  Any and all daily plans are thrown out the window whenever there are official Duranie alerts, especially when snippets of new music are released or tour dates are posted.


14.  You have experienced the full range of emotions that occur on presale days, including stress, fear, frustration, hope, elation, joy and excitement. 

Duran Duran Music–the site of the presale!

15.  You go to a Duran show, see new Duran footage, or read articles about Duran and recognize at least 25% of the audience/fans.

via who cited our blog and featured this awesome picture of our friend and guest blogger, Krista!

16.  You understand that the biggest debates in the fan community have to do with the guitar players and Red Carpet Massacre.


17.  You still buy t-shirts and other Duran merchandise either at concerts or on the internet, including ebay to replace any item you “let go” in college when you thought you were “over” the band.

Our friend, Kim, showing off her Duran merch!

18.  You have a Facebook page, a blog or a website based on Duran Duran or have creative projects influenced by Duran in some way.

Our current header!

Some of the creative people we have showcased here, including author and friend, Karen Booth, and tribute band, Rio.

19.  You go through the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) when you miss an important event, especially if the band was there and interacted with fans.

Rhonda can’t face the world!

20.  You know that Duran Duran has formed the soundtrack to your life and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

From the very first album to the most recent album!

21.  You call yourself a Duranie and always will!