Category Archives: Duran Duran fandom

You’re the Greatest Thing Alive: Best Tours

Am I the only one who gets excited when we post the day in Duran history and it applies to myself?  I suspect I’m not because often other people will comment or respond to whatever we have posted for the day by either telling us that they were there or by telling us about some event that also happened on that day, which involved them, that we didn’t post about.  What is today’s Day in Duran History event?  Two years ago today, the band opened their UK tour in Brighton.  Rhonda and I were there.  Even as I type it, it doesn’t seem real.  Oh, the show feels real.  The tour feels real.  The fact that we were there doesn’t.  Nonetheless, thinking about that show and that tour brings a serious smile to my face.  If someone asked me what my favorite tour was, I would say that one without batting an eye, without even a pause.  Why is that and what criteria is used to determine a favorite tour?

I will start with the second question first.  I have thought a lot about what makes a tour the “best”.  I can come with a few factors that someone might take into consideration:

*The shows–
The shows need to be great.  They should be ones in which at the end of each night a statement like the following is made, “That was the best show ever!  There is no way that they could top that one!!”  Then, they do top that show later in the same tour.

*Fun–
The extracurricular aspects of a tour need to be taken into consideration.  Who did you travel with?  How much fun did you have?  What did you do besides the shows?

*The plan worked–
Whenever one decides to attend a show or four, one has to plan some details.  Who are you going with?  What time do you need to leave?  How will you get there?  Where will you stay?

*Circumstances surrounding the band–
Are they touring to support a great album?  Okay album?  A not-so-great album?  Are they supporting an album at all?  Who is in the line-up?  What is the setlist?  What were they doing before the tour?  What will they be doing after the tour?

*Circumstances surrounding you–
Was this an easy tour to plan?  Did you have to fight for it with work, home and/or finances?  Where is your headspace in terms of being a fan?  Are you feeling good about being a fan?  Bored with it?  Expectations not too high or low?

I’m sure that I missed some other factors that can make or break a tour.  So, how did I determine that this tour, at this time was my favorite?  Which factors mattered?  How did the other tours rank, if I were to rank them?  Let’s do that.  As always, I’ll rank them using these factors with 5 being the best.

Spring 2005:
Shows-Overall, they averaged to about a 3.5.  Some shows were better than others.
Fun-The average was about a 3.8.  Two of the nights were some of my most fun ever.  Others weren’t.
Plan-3.7.  Worked out but some of the details I would change.
Band-3.2.  I was expecting Andy and he wasn’t there for most of the tour.
Me-4.  I was ready for the tour and ready to increase my fandom
Average-3.64

Summer 2005:
Shows-3.5.  They were consistent.
Fun-3.17.  A couple were fun and the last one wasn’t as much.
Plan-3.5.  Again, there were some things I would definitely change.
Band-3.  The band wasn’t as united and it was obvious.
Me-4.  I was consistent as well.
Average-3.43

Fall 2006:
Shows-3.75.  One really great show and the other was a festival show.
Fun-4.25.  High on the fun scale, especially in New Orleans!
Plan-2.5.  The plan worked but some big things I would change!
Band-4.5.  This is right after Andy left.  They had to step up and they did!
Me-4.  I could still dismiss negative aspects of our fan community.
Average-3.8

Fall of 2008:
Shows-3.  They were okay.  Yes, it was Duran so better than others out there but for them, they were just okay.
Fun-3.  Too much traveling to have a super fun time in any place.
Plan-2.5.  Just like in 2006.  Some big things needed to be changed!
Band-2.  This was the end of the RCM days.  They seemed anxious to have that era done and so was I.
Me-3.  I was becoming more and more frustrated by game playing.
Average-2.7

Summer of 2009:
Shows-3.5.  Solid shows but not the “best”.
Fun-3.  Not our most fun.
Plan-3.  Not as many big negatives as some other tours but…
Band-3.5.  Simon dancing to Skin Trade.  Clearly, they were in quite a mood!
Me-3.  The game playing continued to frustrate.
Average-3.2

Spring of 2011:
Shows-3.  One show I didn’t see due to frustrating circumstances and horrible venue.
Fun-3.  I had fun in between frustrating circumstances.
Plan-2.5.  I thought I knew how to tour without problems.  Clearly, I still had to learn.
Band-4.  They were in a good spot supporting AYNIN.
Me-3.  Sometimes, it is all about who you are with.
Average-3.1

Fall of 2011:
Shows-4.125.  Two of their very best EVER.
Fun-3.5.  While we didn’t have wild times, there was also nothing negative.  🙂
Plan-4.  We managed to do what we want to do.
Band-5.  This was the tour after Simon had lost his voice.  It was huge.
Me-5.  I was ready to be renewed as a fan, as a Duranie.
Average-4.33

Summer of 2012:
Shows-3.375.  One really great show, two other decent shows and one not so great…
Fun-3.125.  There were some highlights but also some lowlights!
Plan-2.5.  While we managed to get to where we wanted to be, it was exhausting.  There were definite things I would change!
Band-3.5.  They seemed tired.  Perhaps, it was touring the South in the summer.
Me-2.5.  I wasn’t in a good place with my fandom.
Average-3

Based on this, I would rank my tours (I didn’t include one off shows) in the following way:
Fall of 2011
Fall of 2006
Spring of 2005
Summer of 2005
Summer of 2009
Spring of 2011
Fall of 2012
Fall of 2008

Thus, if I had to explain why the UK tour of 2011 was the best, I could easily explain it.  First, two of those shows were two of the best ever.  In fact, for me, Brighton and Glasgow were the best I have ever seen.  Then, it was amazing to me that we managed to get back to the UK for the second time in a year and have everything go so smoothly.  After all, we had traveled there in the spring only to find out the shows were canceled.  On top of that, we were worried that things wouldn’t work out well for this fall tour either since there was a big strike in the UK leading to flights were getting canceled, trains were getting delayed, etc.  Yet, we had no problems. It seemed that the band was just as excited to be finally playing these shows after having to cancel the whole UK tour earlier in the year as we were.  Plus, on a personal level, there is nothing more magical for those of us in the US than to see Duran Duran play on their home soil.  I learned a lot about them there.  If all that wasn’t enough, we got to see Secret Oktober played live in Brighton, we got to feel the whole venue shake during Leopard in Glasgow and we couldn’t stop laughing in Bournemouth.  We also got to see them in Birmingham.    Magical moments.

What about the rest of you?  What do you think of my criteria to determine best tour?  Is there something I forgot?  Should all of those factors be even like I had them or are some more important than others?  What is your favorite tour?  Why?

-A

No Ordinary Day–Record Store Day 2013

It is the day after Thanksgiving here in America.  Many, many people were either out late or really early hoping to catch some amazing deal during a “Black Friday” sale.  The Friday after Thanksgiving is referred to as Black Friday here as countless people go out and shop, which kicks off the winter holiday purchasing season.  Now, I typically avoid anything to do with shopping on this day.  I am not a big fan of crowds like that where there is little room to move and everyone is impatient and quite possibly, rude.  No thanks.  Not for me.  I would rather shop online, thank you very much!  This year, however, I did have one reason to get off the couch, face the cold (It was nine degrees here this morning.  Br…) before noon on a day off.  What was that reason?  Simple.  It is Record Store Day.  The purpose behind the day is to celebrate vinyl and independent record stores.  How is it celebrated?  New, often limited edition, vinyl is released, which can be purchased in these record stores.  Usually, it is in April as was the last one, which a blue edition of Is There Something I Should Know was released to celebrate its 30 year anniversary.  Anyway, this year, one of the new, limited edition vinyls was one from Duran Duran called “No Ordinary EP”.  This EP features three songs performed live at Tower Records in Hollywood, California, on May 15, 1993.  The three songs are Come Undone, Notorious and Hungry Like the Wolf.  This limited edition is the first time these live tracks have been released on vinyl.  How limited is it?  5000 copies were made.  What else is cool about it?  It s a 10″ on white, opaque vinyl.  I admit it.  I really like colored vinyl.  Can’t help it.  I’m a sucker that way.

In planning my weekend, I knew that I was going to go visit my local record store to purchase this.  I knew that they would have it as I check a few weeks ago.  That said, I had no idea how many copies

there would be so I figured it would be good to err on the side of caution and go early.  I also figured I could blog about it, too.  To that end, I was out the door by 9:30 this morning.  My local record store, Strictly Discs, is located on a fun, little street that features many small, independent shops.  I always enjoy going into this record store for a couple of reasons.  First, it reminds me of my childhood.  How many of us remember going to the record store to buy a brand new album from a favorite band?  Thinking back, I remember riding in the car twenty minutes to the nearest “mall” to get my copy of Notorious, when it came out in November 1986.  For me, these trips were special.  At this point, there was no local record store in my small town.  No, trips to the record store required planning and convincing on my part.  I had to prove to my parents that it was worth their time and gas money.  I distinctly remember the excitement bubbling inside as I walked through the doors to the small mall to increase my pace to the record store.  Of course, I knew exactly where it was and nothing ever distracted me from hitting that shop first.  Then, I would walk in and see people milling about, looking, listening, chatting with enthusiasm.  It always seemed like a fun, cool place, even though, this record store of my youth was nothing special and matched countless others like it around the country.  I still loved it and everything I could and did purchase from there.

This current record store is very different.  It is cool.  It has style.  While it sells CDs as well, the basement is filled entirely with vinyl.  Walking down there is like walking into a treasure chest of sorts.  It requires looking for one’s favorites but always feels worthwhile.  This leads me to the second reason that I love going to that store.  It shows me that vinyl is still alive and well.  It also shows that people still do love buying a whole album.  While there have been many changes with how people purchase and consume music, some constants, one of the important ones, remain.  I arrived at my local record store to find a crowd of people inside.  There was such a line of people paying for their purchases that I struggled to get around them to head to the basement of vinyl.  Downstairs, The Record Store Day albums were place in the center of the room.  Just like when I was a child, I was focused on getting exactly what I came for.

Where is Duran Duran?  Where is the EP?  I am excited but also anxious.  What if they didn’t really have it?  What if someone bought all of the ones they were getting in?  Should I just ask?  I had to remind myself to relax and enjoy the search.  In reality, it didn’t take me long to find today’s prize.  I knew what the cover would look like and could identify it immediately.  I grabbed my copy, held it close to me and did some more searching, just in case other finds awaited me.  What is really funny about this is that 1993 isn’t my favorite era.  I don’t really need a live version of Come Undone or even Hungry Like the freaking Wolf.  Yet, there is something to be said for going into a record store and getting something NEW from Duran Duran.  No matter what it is from them, it still feels exciting.  The fan in me bursts through and can’t be denied.  Then, of course, I come home and hop online.  My Facebook and Twitter are both filled with friends holding up their purchases, their copies of the EP.  That makes me smile, too!  It may not be an ordinary day but it is a good day to be a Duranie.

-A

A trip to 1984 and back – all in the same blog!

Gotta be honest: there are a lot of topics I could be writing about today. Let’s take Mr. LeBon’s comments in The Guardian about Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video for instance.  Or better yet, there’s always The Guardian’s comments in return to Mr. LeBon’s initial mentions. Yes, I could be writing about that topic. However, and I don’t really mind saying this today…I just don’t feel like it.

Like many of my US buddies, I have stuffing to prepare. A turkey to stuff. Cranberries to sauce. (can you really sauce a cranberry?? Never mind…) A house to clean! So, forgive me if my mind isn’t quite on blogging today. I just can’t go into the finer points of misogyny, or why I believe Simon was well within his right to comment…or why I believe Robin Thicke needs to be smacked around a bit. Even better if it is done by a woman. Another time, perhaps.

INXS:I think these guys have aged amazingly well, yes. 

Instead, I bring you a link to a blog on New Wave artists. I ask you, have they all aged well?  I’m certainly not going to point fingers – my own under-eye bags are packed and ready to go, so it’s not as though I have room to talk! Or blog. I will say this though: I take offense that they’ve gone and characterized Depeche Mode as the Rolling Stones of New Wave.  Sure, they may have sold out a stadium or two in their career – but they don’t have anyone named Taylor, LeBon or Rhodes in their band, and they definitely didn’t write or record Rio. Put that in your New Wave pipe, DJRioBlog (!!!) and smoke it!

Next, I cannot help but make a small confession here on the blog. I’ve seen many Facebook comments and tweets about how Christmas has to wait until after Thanksgiving. I’ll agree, it needs to wait a bit longer than November 1st.  However…I’ve been listening to *gasp* Christmas songs lately. Listen, you all get into your holiday spirit your way, and I’ll do it mine.  I couldn’t wait. I tried to be strong, I tried to wait…and failed. *sigh* I’ve heard Do They Know it’s Christmas three times on the radio now, and each time it brings a smile to my face and dear, dear memories to mind. So, if you hate watching videos, videos to Christmas songs no less…with some of the very same people that you just saw in the above blog… I invite you to turn away now…if you can. John Taylor is on the darn screen no less than 5 seconds into it, but hey – go ahead and turn away until December 1st. Go on, turn away, but don’t blame me if you can’t. I couldn’t either. We’ll be weak together.

 And since tomorrow brings a review here on the blog – Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.  🙂

-R

It’s the learning of this journey: An interview with Andrew Golub (Durandy), Duran Duran Archivist Part Two

We are back today with part two of our interview with Duran Duran Archivist Extraordinaire, Andrew (Durandy) Golub! If you are reading this in hopes of getting the scoop on his brand new just-announced-still-warm-from-the-printer coffee table format poster book, read on. He shared plenty of fantastic details with us about his new project, and Daily Duranie can’t wait to share the news!

For the past several years, Andy has been secretly working on a huge project that he just announced with full support from Duran Duran. “We are releasing a book that charts Duran’s trajectory through selected posters from my archive. Titled Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran, the book is filled with brilliant designs, vintage promotions, record company releases, corporate advertisements, and of course plenty of gig posters paint a portrait of the band’s evolution and worldwide presence. Highlights include great insights from artists and graphic designers on their creations – it was very cool to learn of the inspirations and process behind posters that many fans hae seen for years. There are also unreleased posters from an esteemed graphic designer familiar to the band and the fans, and a sweetly tender foreword by Nick.” (Rhodes…of course!) “That alone is one of my life’s greatest achievements, and I will be forever grateful for his encouraging words.”  
I can honestly say that as a fan, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. Not only will I forever treasure it because it is imagery of the band’s history – this book was done by a fellow fan. His passion is OUR passion. I want to foster and support that passion however possible, now as well as in the future. Taking on a project of such magnitude feels completely overwhelming – how on earth did Andy do it all? “From exhibitions to my website, I believe every step I’ve taken with the archive has slowly moved me in this direction. A book was the next natural progression, and I”ve had friends suggesting one for years. It was hard to pick and choose the posters to include, but when I settled on only official promotions for the content, it became easier. However, I think of all the other gems left behind that deserve their own spotlight…perhaps someday a book of posters from the band members’ individual endeavors!” If my vote counts at all – count it as a solid “YES!”

Passion, perseverance, persistence….

Andy continues,“Christine and I have been working on the book for over six years. I’m not entirely sure either of us (especially her) realized how much work would be involved, or how much the experience would change us. Weekend after weekend was spent behind the camera, in front of the computer, or transporting posters to and from the archive. Foot rubs and back rubs often became the most popular currency, used to squeeze just a little more photography out of Christine before the end of a day. I had no shame. The color correction process was possibly most arduous, as Christine worked to make each poster image accurately represent its true colors. I think she had some words for the band when it came to matching all the pinks from the last album campaign!  In the end, she did a spectacular job and we made sure the colors were popping off the printed pages.” Hmm. Maybe I should have interviewed Christine as well. I wonder how she feels about the journey she’s taken and committing herself to a project with such fortitude. She sounds like the perfect partner, and what I love most about this story is that it is clear that Andy’s passion became shared by Christine – in a huge way. Fandom in action, most definitely.

Nine pallets…1000 books!!! Well done!

The book is not quite ready for purchase, but I have been told that they are getting Durandy’s site ready to handle sales. “There will be 1000 copies of the book produced. The price and all details related to sales will be released when the book is closer to being ready for purchase. I will say that careful consideration went into the decision on price. I would like to see this book end up in the hands of every fan who has reveled in the Duran Duran concert experience or felt their life enriched by the band’s music.”

As someone who is in full-support of this project, I can and will personally attest to Andy’s words. Let’s face it, we all know of a recently mentioned book project that is clearly out of this world, price-wise. Unattainable by all but the wealthy amongst us. This is not something that Andy wishes for his book. He didn’t take on this project as a way to finance his passion for collecting, but rather as a way to share his collection with all fellow fans. In fact, I had a phone conversation with Andy a month or so back, and I know it has taken convincing on the part of not only well-intentioned friends and people such as myself, but also Christine to not decide to give this book away…which I will reiterate: he absolutely should not do! I do not know the pricing on the book, but as I said before, given my discussions with Andy, I will still put my own vinyl collection on the line when I say it will be far more affordable and reasonably priced than other recently mentioned books. It was no exaggeration that Andy had to be talked into charging for it at all…and besides the plain and simple fact that he shouldn’t give his books away, there was other reasoning to take into account.

Andy has spent far, far more than any of us will ever know to attain (and maintain) this collection. Storing an archive is not a simple, inexpensive investment. However, Andy does this willingly, and happily. While many of us spend our life savings to go on road trips and tours, vying for front row tickets, meet and greets and photos…Andy collects objects that, without his care, would simply disappear. Then he takes meticulous care of them, ensuring their preservation from the moment they enter his guardianship. That alone costs far more than the face value of any book. When one day in the future the touring stops and there is nothing but music and memories left behind, these posters will not only be a telling tale of the band’s history, but also of our own. I hope to one day see Andy’s work in a museum. Who knows, maybe there will be a Museum of Fandom somewhere….

Which brought me to asking what is next? After Andy’s book, the sky is the limit, isn’t it?  Traveling exhibits? A museum?? An appearance at a future Durandemonium??? What more can be done?? “My two exhibitions were absolutely thrilling events that I’m incredibly grateful for achieving.  While I’ve envisioned a traveling exhibit since the beginning, such an endeavor is simply cost-prohibitive. I’ve given a lot of thought to alternative ways an exhibit might work, such as digital collections of posters set to music or even narration – by me, or the band. Now that a book has been released, the door is wide open.  Having my archive housed in a permanent facility for people to visit anytime they please is certainly an ultimate goal. Unfortunately, financial resources will always be a determining factor with ambitions like this. How cool would it be to have a museum dedicated to the New Romantic movement, specifically highlighting Duran Duran and their influence on pop culture over decades. I have approached sites like the Birmingham Heritage Forum and museums that have hosted special exhibits in the past, but I understand my proposal can be a bit daunting to consider. I believe having an open mind, perfect timing and a fundamental appreciation for the band’s impact on music will provide the right recipe someday. Until then, my archive will always have a ‘Welcome!’ mat.”
Things like this start the wheels turning in my head. Surely there must be a way to house the band’s history, and even our history as fans. Perhaps in a setting that is not solely dedicated to Duran Duran, if need be. The arts – pop culture, high culture, or otherwise, must be preserved, otherwise we really face becoming known to future generations as the “throw away society” in every possible way. Fandom is something to be treasured, to be saved, and to be admired. There has to be a way to achieve this goal so that it not only supports itself, but thrives…and I don’t give up easily, so watch this space!
The fan community at large is lucky to have a fan like Durandy. Hopefully this interview gives just a little more insight to who he really is and where his love, dedication and commitment reside. So much of what the band has done over the years would be completely lost otherwise, and here we have in our midst someone that has taken great care in cataloging and archiving these stunning slices of the band’s history.  None of that is by accident – our community is filled with talents that have been somehow uncovered, polished or even ignited by our love for this band. We are not all the same by any means. Some of us are drawn to writing, some to drawing or graphics, still others honed in onto their love of fashion, design, hair, make-up or beauty, still others of us found inspiration in bringing people together. It is up to each of us to find how to use our inspiration and create our own beautiful colors. I look forward to seeing Andy and Christine’s finished product. It is these projects that I become infinitely proud of supporting in some small way – because we are a community bound by a shared love of music. Five guys from Birmingham paved the way, and the journey has been incomparable thus far.

Special thanks to Andy Golub and Christine Born – best of luck ahead!

-R