Category Archives: Duran Duran News

Happy Birthday Andy Taylor!!!

Out of all the blogs I write, I must admit that I happily and joyfully compose these happy birthday blogs each year.  They are written with respect and a lot of love, and each year I try to say something that I haven’t said before.  To a certain extent that gets more difficult each year with some, and with others, the words come easily.  Andy Taylor is in the latter category.

I’ve only “met” Andy once, and it was at the Virgin Megastore signing in Los Angeles in 2004 as Astronaut was released.  I made absolutely zero impression on him, but my daughter – the oldest one – who was about 7 at the time (by my math anyway), had him up out of his chair!  He saw her coming down the table towards him with her Astronaut CD, and he made the effort to jump up, lean across the table and shake her hand.  She giggled because he was so animated, and I was thrilled for her.  He must have been very glad to see a young kid there, and while none of the other band members believed me, she was there because she honestly and truly wanted to come with mom that day.  She knew her Duran Duran songs!  As we left the signing that evening she turned to me, grinned and said “He’s my favorite!”, and a new fan was born.

It was with great sadness that I had to tell her that Andy and the rest of the group parted ways.  I won’t lie, she’s held it against the rest of the band ever since.  She’s 15 now, and the days of having hero worship for her mom’s idols are gone, but she does still ask about Andy every now and then.  She was my biggest cheerleader when I recently wrote a blog about Andy’s new website for Daily Duranie, and yet again when I wrote my Direct to Fan article that was published directly on his website.  She still thinks that Andy is the coolest – in fact she believes he was “simply too cool” to be a member of Duran Duran.

I’ll let that thought alone because I still can’t quite decide if she meant it as a compliment for Andy, or a backhanded dig for the band.  Or both.  Probably both…and probably a dig at mom too, since I’m a fan of Duran Duran AND Andy.  Teenagers.  Gotta love ’em.  Can’t sell ’em.

I’ve always loved Andy.  He was the one that I wanted to sit with at a bar and have a beer and a chat.  I’d still welcome the opportunity whenever he’s ready. I know when I was growing up, he might not have been the one that I fawned over most, but my respect runs deep.  There’s no question when I heard he was returning to the band I was overjoyed.  I just about fell off of my chair that night when I went to dd.com and saw the news.  I remember blinking and reading the screen over and over, as though I couldn’t quite believe it to be true.  I stood motionless when they appeared on stage in Costa Mesa for the reunion tour – I could hardly believe I was seeing all 5 of them and watching Andy tear it up the way it hadn’t been done properly in 20 years.  I also knew that the time was precious, shining and perfect, and for whatever reason, part of me knew it couldn’t possibly last.

The day that we all received news that the original 5 was not to continue, I don’t think I was surprised.  Shocked – probably; surprised – no.  I’d already seen the band a time or two with Dom on guitar before they finally came out with the news, and to be brutally honest – I’d already received news from a friend of mine who worked at Sony/Epic in just the right department.  She’d asked me to keep it very quiet because it could mean her job – and I did just that.  My friend Jessica called me as soon as she heard the news, and I remember her asking me if I was OK.  I seem to recall saying that I was expecting it, but that it still made me incredibly sad, and even when I think about it today – I’m still sad, even though I know it was the right thing for everyone involved.  I’ll go one step farther and say that I think my respect for Andy has grown since that time.  It doesn’t matter to me who quit whom – I am fairly certain we’ll never hear the full story from any side, and even if we did – what would it change?  I just know the man hasn’t stopped, and he hasn’t let the giant ghost from his past (Duran Duran) beat him.

Today, Andy lives in Ibiza. He has a recording studio in his own home, he records what and when he wants, answers to no one except his wife (HA – we’ve all got a boss somewhere!!) and he has a group of very talented people working with him to run his website, which is nothing less than completely innovative and forward thinking.  For every fan that was glad to see him leave Duran Duran the second time and continues to hold a grudge or be angry and dismissive (and there are many, ready to beat down anything Andy has to say), there are plenty who see the road he’s headed and want to join him hand in hand.  The beauty of everything he’s doing is that it’s for THE FANS.  His website, and I encourage everyone to check it out, is about having real conversations with the fans.  Look no further than Daily Duranie for the proof.  Andy gave me, of all people, the opportunity to write a blog for his website.  He knows nothing about me except that I’m one of those pesky fans, but he wanted to read what I had to say.  He wants to know what YOU have to say.  The door is open for everyone, all you’ve got to do is walk in.  I’ll be there because I really believe in Andy.

So, on this day – I wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY Andy!  Thank you for being a fantastic guitar player, sharing your life’s work, and just being you.  I hope you have a fabulous year ahead with no spam from the Daily Duranie Twitter account.  😀

-R

The Daily Duranie Valentines Day Mashup!

Happy Valentines Day!  This is probably my least favorite day of the year, ranking right up there with Mothers Day for me.  I’m just happy because it means the Valentines Day themed advertisements will stop for another year.  Yay!

As I sit here at my trusty kitchen table trying to decide what to blog about, it occurs to me that there are several things I should touch on, so today is going to be a quick mashup blog.

Ask Katy: I’m not much of an Ask Katy person, in that I can’t ever think of good enough questions to send in. I sit back and let the rest of you more creative types out there ask the hard questions.  So, it is with great pleasure that I mention my friend (and blogging partner) Amanda had her question answered this past weekend.  You can find it on the band’s website if you want to read it verbatim, otherwise read on.  Last May, Amanda and I were wandering the Tate Modern in London.  You see, we’d found ourselves in London with “some extra time on our hands”, so we chose to go see some modern art – one of our shared interests.  Both of us really wanted to see the sculpture that inspired “Other People’s Lives” on the new album, and so we were really excited to have the opportunity to spend quality time at the museum.  In our search for the sculpture, we were also looking at some paintings by Dali – who is one of my more favorite artists.  For those who are unfamiliar with Dali, he was known as being a Surrealist, and his paintings are fun because they’re very symbolic.  For example, he has a pretty well known painting of some clocks that appear to be melting – and one of the meanings that could be derived from that is that time is just “melting” away.  (For you art experts out there, I’m being extremely basic here in the interest of not confusing the hell out of our readers.)  In any case, we were really looking closely at a painting of Dali’s called “Mountain Lake” (also called “Beach with Telephone”) – I was completely lost in the moment (Or suffering from continued jet lag…. Jury is still out on that, depending upon which one of us you ask.), and suddenly Amanda says “It’s Anyone Out There.”  I’m not going to lie, in that moment – I was trying to figure out what in the hell she was talking about.  I honestly thought she’d heard music playing somewhere, but as I looked at the painting it dawned on me what she was going on about, as you might surmise from checking out the painting below.  What’s funny to me about the incident is that out of the two of us – I’m the one with a certificate in Art History (although Amanda has art running through her veins as her mom is a very accomplished if not quite discovered artist in her own right.)  I needed it to become a decorative arts appraiser, yet she’s the one with the imagination.  Clearly!

We laughed as we continued to look at the painting, and Amanda wondered if it was possible that this painting inspired them.  If you look closely, you’ll notice that not only is the phone hanging on a pitchfork type telephone pole – the line is cut.  It gives the impression that no one is really listening. (Oh do I EVER know that feeling in my house with 3 kids!!!) There’s far more to the painting though, and I’d encourage you to google it if you’re interested in several interpretative meanings (Some of which make absolutely no sense, and that’s the beauty of art!) We agreed that it was worthy of an Ask Katy question, and when we returned to our homes in the US, Amanda sent in the question.  We’d never heard a thing after that, and I’d long since forgotten about the question.  Then last Friday we did the review of Anyone Out There for the blog…and Sunday the question and answer pops up on Ask Katy.  Coincidence?!?  We may never really know….

Something You Should Know:  Did YOU know that on this day in 2005, the website for Something You Should Know (A film about Duranies) was launched?  I know many a Duranie that was interviewed in detail for this film.  It took a few years, but the DVD finally came out (and is available on Amazon) for those interested.  I saw the film about a year and a half ago, and I have to say – it wasn’t at all what I’d expected.  I think I was expecting for the film to be a collection of oral histories captured on video with regard to being a fan, and instead the film focused on a few fans with “over the top” stories and examples of their fandom.  I’m glad the film was completed and I do give major props to the director for sticking with the process – it was a long one.  I just wish it had been a little less sensationalized and a bit more heartfelt, and I don’t mind sticking my neck out to critique it in that way.  It continues to apply a certain stigma to the idea of fandom, and not an especially positive one at that.  Perhaps someday in the future the real story will be told….

Have you seen it?!?  Sh*t Duran Duran Fans Say is a short YouTube video that’s worth watching for some giggles.  

In order to laugh, I think you’ve got to put your ego aside, and recognize that this person IS a fan, and it’s absolutely fine to laugh at ourselves.  I’ve learned to laugh on a pretty much daily basis.  Let’s face it – I’m over 40 and I’m blogging about a band.  Yeah, that’s worth laughing at.  Sure, I make it sound good by saying I’m writing about being a FAN of the rock band rather than constantly posting “I love you” notes…. (A creepy thought.  I’m sure someone has already done that though.)  but the reality is: I’m writing about a band.   So I’m giving you permission to find the funny in what we are…and if you watch this and find that you’ve never said any of it, at ANY time….maybe you’re just not a “Real Duranie”……Ha!!

With that, I’m off to bake some Valentines Day cupcakes with the cutest Valentine around, my youngest.  They’re fun when they’re little and still love you….

Have a great day everyone!

-R

The 54th Grammy Awards – The Morning After Buzz

Even though our daily blog is about being fans of Duran Duran, the truth is that I am a fan of music.  I am an observer, participant and student of pop culture.  Nowhere is pop culture, or at least the result thereof, more evident than at an awards ceremony – and last night the Grammy’s took place in Los Angeles.  There was much to see, absorb and make comment!  I’d like to point out that while old habits will continue to die hard (with me), this is the first Daily Duranie blog I’ve ever taken the time to outline in advance.

You may hold your applause.  🙂

I must give props where they are due, and LL Cool J deserves just that.  Both entertaining and authoritative, he cut to the chase at the beginning of the show with the statement “There is no way around this, we’ve had a death in our family”…and then did something I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed before: lead the audience in a real prayer at an industry ceremony.  Sure, the lines were likely written for him, but he handled what has apparently been a shock for everyone with class and grace, qualities that I can honestly say I rarely see in the music industry these days.

Last night’s show was probably one of the more thought provoking Grammy Awards I have watched in my lifetime.  I am an avid watcher of the show, and in more recent years I’ve watched with increasing apathy.  Last night gave me several brief glimmers of hope in an industry that I personally feel has become far too concerned with getting the most bang out of a cheap buck, then throwing away the leftovers and moving on without a second glance.  To put it bluntly, our landfills are getting quite full and it’s high time to rethink that recycling plan.

Let’s do a little celebrating, and for that I must begin with Adele.  Her return to the stage was incredibly triumphant, and as a fan I was thrilled.  I am indeed humbled by the sound of her voice and look forward to many wonderful years ahead for this talented woman.   She gives both my oldest daughter and I real hope that talent still reigns, and while no – her album was never intended to be a pop album, it has crossed over that line and gained fans that probably didn’t even realize it was possible to sing like that without the help of a computer. Naturally, I feel a special sort of kinship with Adele’s fan base simply due to her vocal problems – as it was very similar and timely to what we all dealt with last summer.  I cheered in happiness for all involved last night.  Oh, and her six trophy win last night wasn’t bad either, but we’d be mistaken if we all believed that was the real “winning” moment for Adele.

In more celebratory moments, the Foo Fighters came away with 5 trophies of their own last night.  I’ve had my special moments with the Foo, but I can’t say I’m a hardcore fan by any means.  However, I do believe that Wasting Light is worthy of many an award.  For crying out loud the album was recorded in Dave’s garage, and I will stick my neck out to say it’s a damn sight better than most of what I’ve heard this past year.  There is something precious and pure about recording with some mics and a tapedeck.  If I didn’t already have a bit of a love affair (in the most respectful sort of way) with Dave Grohl over some other statements he’s made, I definitely do after last night.  “To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of making music is what’s most important.  Singing in to a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft – that’s the most important thing for people to do.”  The crowd started to applaud and only grew louder as he continued, “It’s not about being perfect.  It’s not about sounding absolutely correct.  It’s not about what goes on in a computer.  It’s about what goes on in here (your heart) and what goes on here (your head).  Long live rock ‘n’ roll!”  The beauty is that the Foo Fighters album IS perfect. It is a representation of what they are and what they wanted to show the world in the moment they recorded.

Chris Brown is also exactly whom he’s already shown us, and it’s perplexing if not infuriating to me as to why this man continues to be allowed any sort of air time, respect, dignity or INfamy.  I don’t think I really need to remind anyone that he in fact beat Rihanna to a pulp in 2009.  Yes, I know that was three years ago.  The effects of abuse last a lifetime, not just three years.  While it is not up to me to forgive, it IS up to me (and you) not to forget.   Never mind that I don’t think the kid can sing or dance his way out of a tin can…it’s the fact that to this day, he has thousands of women believing that he’s the hottest thing since sliced bread.  That shocks me, saddens me and worries me to the core.  Forgiveness?  That’s not my job.  Forget?  Never.  He’s already shown the world exactly who he is, and we should have believed it the first time.

In much more of a celebratory moment, The Beach Boys took to the stage as a full group, complete with Brian Wilson for the first time in many years.  Granted, only the surviving Hall of Famers could make the show.  This group has had more than it’s fair share of deaths over the years, but there was something particularly charming and heart warming about seeing them up on stage together.  On a purely personal note I watched this group with very misty eyes, for it was the one group I went to see in concert with my parents (more than once!) while growing up.  There is something very special about hearing the song you were named after while standing beside your parents, and it was one of the two music groups I shared with my dad.  (The other being Tears for Fears – which is another story for another day.)  On the same token, my silent and persistent prayers were answered because neither Maroon 5 nor Foster the People (Who were too darn cute for words in their matching button down blue striped shirts – very reminiscent of The Beach Boys back in the day!) dared sing “Help Me Rhonda”.  There are some things that should just not ever be attempted.  That said, I did think that both performances were solid.  It wasn’t even remotely close to the cringing I did when I witnessed The Jonas Brothers DARE to perform Planet Earth.  *shivers* (Again, there are some things that should just never be attempted.) I digress.

The Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell) himself made what has to be one of his last public appearances.  I can remember my father humming that tune many times during my childhood.  I didn’t even realize I knew the words (Or that Paul McCartney knew them!) until last night.  It was a beautiful moment in time, and a true celebration of what he has bestowed upon music history.  My children have absolutely no idea who he is, which makes me think I have much teaching to do before I set them free on the world.

You want a triumphant, in your face moment?  How about Taylor Swift singing “Mean” up onstage at the Grammy’s?  My favorite line of the song is “Some day I’ll be singing this at the Grammy’s and all you’ll ever be is mean.”  The truth is, Taylor is among my 15 year old daughter’s favorites – and while yes, she’s young and yes, her lyrics can be a bit juvenile, there is something WONDERFUL about that in a world where 15 year olds are more grown up than I was at 21.  I don’t mind my daughter listening to Taylor at all, and you know what?   The girl *can* sing.  She might not be Adele, but I’d much rather my daughter aspire to be Taylor than aspire to be Nicki Minaj, say what you will.

I’ve been doing some blogging about the Bruce Springsteen fan community book I am currently reading, and so I did find it rather fitting and timely that Springsteen should open the show with his new song “We take care of our own”.  I can’t help but believe one of the many meanings for that song has to do with his own fan community.  Bruce is very close to them, and one standout theme for that book is how they really do take care of one another.  In fact, it’s shocking how much the fans look out and help one another – I can’t wait to tackle that topic in another blog.  The big celebration moment for me though, was at the very end of the show when Paul McCartney took to the stage again along with Bruce and Dave Grohl, among others.  You give as good as you get.  The love you get is equal to the love you make.  We take care of our own.

Do we?

In a moment that left even this blogger in tears, Jennifer Hudson left the house in stone cold silence as she sang her tribute to Whitney Houston last night.  Just Friday night I sat and watched Jennifer on Piers Morgan’s show as she recounted how much of an inspiration Whitney Houston had been for her during the formative years of childhood.  Who knew she’d be up onstage Sunday night singing in tribute?  The entire show left me wondering just how long we’ll continue to allow this industry to chew people up and spit them out.  It’s not just about who handed Whitney her first line of cocaine on a mirror as though it was just a cocktail.  It’s not just about who are the enablers, although we’d do ourselves welcome to look right in the mirror…our money lines the pockets of the idiots in charge.  It is absolutely not just one issue.  How much longer are we going to reward the worst behavior and overlook some of the best?  Sure, we can sit back and say “That’s just the way it is.”, or we can actively do something to change it.  In what kind of a crazy, messed up world are we going to seriously applaud a girlfriend beater because he can dance and maybe even sing?  Who CARES?!?  Why are we continuing to applaud people that truly don’t have an ounce of real talent in them?  They certainly don’t play an instrument and they clearly don’t know their craft but damn they look good in a photo…so that makes it fine?  How is that OK and better yet, why are we teaching our children those values?!? One of my favorite sayings is “If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” It lends itself perfectly to almost everything I saw last night, including my next comment.  If you haven’t already bought the Foo Fighters album, do yourself a favor and buy it.  Listen to it.  Understand how it was made, and respect the place it came from.  You don’t have to be a fan of the band, but every music lover out there should be a fan of HOW it was made. The album was made from human hands.  Human heart.  Human talent.  Let’s celebrate, support and applaud those facts.   Do we really take care of our own?  Perhaps the prevailing thought here is that we SHOULD take care of our own.

-R

Anyone Out There – The Daily Duranie Review

For those who are catching up, Amanda and I are doing a review for every song in Duran’s catalog.  It’s going to be a very long series that will hopefully recharge interest for some of the lesser-heard/lesser-known songs in their extensive catalog of talent.  😀  Today brings a review of the third song off of the first album – Anyone Out There.

Rhonda’s Humble Opinion

Musicality/instrumentation: It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard music in this genre where everyone just works together without screaming as though they’re dying to be heard.  Anyone Out There is a perfect example of a song where you can hear every single instrument, they all stand out on their own and you can pick out each part, yet when you the listener take a step back, there’s a vantage point where you hear the entire band as a single voice.  It’s balance.  Individually speaking, I want to point out that this is one of those songs where not only can I hear John’s bass – I can feel what he’s trying to convey.  John Taylor is a brilliant and unique bass player because of that ability to convey feeling.  Most bass players not only play a very simple bass line (not to ever be found in Duran’s music), but they just stand up and play.  Not so John.  During the sections of the song when he is featured directly, you can feel the determination in every note.  This is also a song that proves just how genius Andy Taylor is as a guitar player.  It’s not just about the riff, it’s recognizing his part in the band.  It’s about the lack of ego, it’s about the beauty with which it’s all brought together.  Of course I can’t forget to mention Nick and Roger.  There really isn’t a cleaner drummer out there during this period of time in this genre than Roger.  One of the things I’ve always admired of him is his total lack of ego and drama.  He is one drummer that doesn’t ever want to do a solo.  Fills are fine (yes, yes they are!), but he seems to recognize his role as rhythm keeper, and I think he fills that to a T.  For Taylor. (I’ll be here all week…ha ha ha)  What to say about Mr. Rhodes, other than there is no synth player out there that can orchestrate an emotion or atmosphere better than he, and Anyone Out There is as good of proof of that as any other, if not better.

Vocals: I have a confession to make.  When I was a kid, I loved singing along with this song, in particularly the chorus section.  I would play a game with myself where I would try to hit each harmony.  Let’s just say that while I can hear the notes, I am not a vocalist, and the world should probably be thankful I recognized that at an early age.  I also used to believe that the band must ALL be singers, because I couldn’t understand how Simon could sing all parts on his own at one time.  Yes my friends, I knew absolutely nothing about recording back when I was ten or eleven.  It never occurred to me that they could do more than one track!  Ah, the ignorance and stupidity of youth.  Naturally I have a little better of understanding over how it all comes together now – probably just enough knowledge to make me very dangerous, but I also recognize Simon’s talent.  He has a true gift of knowledge when it comes to harmony and depth of sound, and that is just one of the many things that makes Duran’s sound so unique.  When people talk about what would happen if Simon left or was unable to sing – this sound is what they think of even if they don’t quite articulate, and this song is a shining example.  Not only do his harmonies create a mood, they also fill the “void” (for lack of a better word) between the lines of instrumentation and his vocals.  As beautiful as it might be haunting.

Lyrics: There are a few songs that I listened to all the time when I was a brooding teenager, and this is one of them.  I can remember resetting the needle on my record player over and over, listening to this song, and it was due to the lyrics.  Who doesn’t feel like they’re not being understood when they’re a teenager?  (Hell, I don’t think I’m being understood NOW…but that has more to do with being a parent of two teenagers than it does being me….) I felt that the song was almost a mantra for me at eleven and twelve, and to this day it remains one of my favorites.  For me the song is about feeling completely isolated, unrequited, and misunderstood.  I have no idea what Simon really meant by it all, but regardless – it hit home with me in a way that few songs ever did.  If I really think about it, I can still feel that angst I once carried with me held so tightly to my heart, and to me that’s the very definition of lyrics that work.

Production: I can’t say it enough – why can’t we go back to production like this?  Sure there’s some on here.  I love the echo effect on Simon’s voice.  It’s slight, but it’s there – and it really works because it makes me feel as though he’s calling out, in much the way I’d like to go into my room, shut the door and scream…sometimes.  (can you sense my mood today?!?) It gives the song a particularly unearthly effect as though he’s calling from somewhere far beyond where we’re listening.  I love it.  Sometimes less is more.

Overall: Yes I’m biased, but I do think that this is one of the more underrated songs in the Duran Duran catalog.  It’s one of those songs that everyone listens to and yet very few actually feel.  It’s easy to put it on and forget about it in the background, which is why I love it so much and make an effort to stop and listen.  It’s one of their best, and I know they still have it in them to write like this.  Do yourself a favor and go put it on right now!

Cocktail Rating:  A completely biased 5 cocktails!

Amanda’s Thoughts:

Musicality/instrumentation:  One of the things I loved about this era of Duran’s music was how much it made me appreciate instrumentation and how that instrumentation could be used to create a mood, an atmosphere.  There are many songs and artists out there that seem determined to force a mood, a sentiment on an audience.  They are so determined that the lyrics are over-the-top obvious and that the instrumentation used is such that one can’t help but to feel a certain way.  While I’m sure that there are times and places for this, I always appreciated that Duran didn’t seem to do that.  They allowed the feeling to happen naturally (at least at this point in their careers).  This song always hits me in this way.  It creates such a dark, moody feeling without beating us over the head with it.  Rhonda mentioned about how she is reminded of her youth and I totally get that.  It creates a feeling of angst that many of us can relate to as we felt that way many, many times when growing up.  This feeling is created through instrumentation.  John’s bass really works to create a deeply felt layer of emotion that works so well when combined with Nick’s moody keyboards.  Roger’s drums are obviously complimenting John’s bass as well.  Then, there is Andy’s guitar.  I’ll be honest here.  I’m not the biggest guitar fan.  I like it fine but haven’t ever been drawn to that instrument.  That said, Andy’s guitar here blows me away.  I love how obvious is without being demanding.  If all guitar parts were like this in the world, I probably would have been more of a guitar fan! 

Vocals:  I really think that Simon’s voice was made for songs like this.  His voice can be so deep and full of emotion.  In many ways, Simon does angst well and we still see this today with songs like Before the Rain.  His vocals here add to the mood created by the instrumentation.  It amazes me how well they all fit together to form such a perfect package.  Of course, one part that I feel necessary to mention is the chorus.  I absolutely adored and still adore the chorus.  I love how it sounds like many voices echoing this question.  It completely adds to the feeling.  In my mind, I can picture the isolation that a lot of people, particularly adolescents, feel at some point in their lives.  Am I the only one?  Is there anyone out there like me?  The chorus seems to show that there are countless voices asking the exact same thing at the same time.  Genius.

Lyrics:  These lyrics definitely fit the song.  They are like fitting that last puzzle piece in so that the complete picture could be understood.  I have often wondered how Duran;s music sounded to people whose native language wasn’t English.  As a kid, I didn’t understand how someone who didn’t speak English would like them.  How could they sing along, my ignorant child brain wondered.  This is a song, though, that I did think that all people could get.  The mood was obvious and ran throughout the song.  Once the lyrics were understood, it would become even more clear.  The lyrics aren’t tricky or subtle.  They just really seem to come off the top of Simon’s head and used to express common emotions.  There isn’t anything fancy here and doesn’t need to be.

Production:  I am going to feel like a broken record when it comes to production on this album.  I’m always impressed by the producer’s ability to bring out the best in every member and his ability to create that balance.  While I think that Andy shines, for example, in this song, the song wouldn’t be as great without the rest of the band.  The producer had to have had a hand in creating this ability to allow one member to shine without taking away from the others.

Overall:  This song is absolutely fabulous.  Yet, for some reason, I always have to be reminded about how great the song is.  If there is any negative here, it is that.  The song doesn’t immediately stand out above the rest.  Now, maybe, that is because is part of a brilliant album.  Maybe it is because of where it is on the album (between Planet Earth and Careless Memories).  Perhaps, it is because that mood of loneliness isn’t one that people want to be reminded of.  I don’t know.  Of course, this issue could just be mine and mine alone.  I wonder if it would stand out more to me if I saw it live.  I bet it would since it is so good!

Cocktail Rating:  4.5 cocktails!

Links

So I hear there’s gonna be a strike…

Here’s the deal:  I’m not going to discuss it.  I completely recognize the right to assemble, the right to free speech, and the needs that are required in order to sustain a reasonable household budget. I don’t know the ins and outs of what the people in the UK are going through – and truth be told – I’m coming from a completely selfish angle here because in about 24 hours I’ll be leaving to go to the airport to catch a flight to meet up with Amanda in Chicago, and then on to what I believe should be Heathrow.  It’s my second time there in a year – and prior to this year I’ve been to the UK all of one time in my entire 41 years on this planet.  It’s the second time we’ve had shows planned that we aren’t sure we’re going to get to – and all of the “positive thinking” in the world is pretty much lost on me at this point.  I’m sure that most everyone is sick of reading about our problems AND the tour – I know I’m sick of it myself!  So, I’m not going to talk about the strike OR the trip.

The trouble is, what am I going to write about today then?  No idea.  Crickets are floating around in my head.  (I hear a song lyric in there…)

I was reading some posts on our Facebook page from over the weekend, and I ran into a small item of interest – a friend of ours has a virtual “album” of Roger Taylor that she apparently helps manage or administrate.  I was curious about it because I hadn’t heard of it before, and it got me thinking that there must many more sites, boards, open groups, etc. out there that are Duran Duran focused that not many of us know about.  I know that duranduran.com used to have a link page – but when I last inquired (I wanted to see if they would include Daily Duranie), I was told they weren’t taking any more links.  I have to say that at the time, that response puzzled me.  I guess I wrongfully assumed that the band would want to have a central place for links to fan pages, but if we operate on the assumption that to them, the band is simply a business machine – and those links aren’t making them any money (directly, anyway), and the advertising that duranduran.com would be providing is basically free – I suppose it makes sense.  If you’re Scrooge, anyway.

That said, I feel strongly that there really should be some way to group all of the Duran Duran links in the world together, and I think that Daily Duranie’s mission is truly to bring the fans together.  I hate the idea that I’m missing out on what I’m sure are some fantastic sites – and the fact is –  we should be working together.  We have a common cause, and instead of trying to one-up each other, let’s join forces.  Let’s remember that while our Daily Duranie site might bore some people to death – others really like it, and still others much prefer getting their Duran newsbytes from Salvo’s Durannasty site or even Kitty’s Gimme a Wristband site – and some like all of us, or none of us!  I don’t think that any of our websites, whether I’ve mentioned them or not, are exactly the same, so they are all worthy of being advertised by all of us.  We all make this fan community work.  I know we’ve got a link column on here – but maybe it’s time to think about expanding.  If you’ve got a link that you want published, let me know!

Time for me to get packing….

-R

The revolution of technology

I don’t think anyone who has actively participated in living over the past 24 hours (give or take) could have missed that Steve Jobs, one of the co-founders of Apple, passed away yesterday at the age of 56.  My first thought is to his wife and children and how sad I am for them.  Steve was not only the co-founder of Apple, but more importantly he was a husband and father.  My thoughts are with his family and friends.  My second thought was to how incredibly young he was, and that 56 is only about 15 short years away for me.  I have a lot of living to do!

There are many people out there that pooh-pooh everything that Apple is, and everything that Steve Jobs was.  For the most part, I won’t get involved in that discussion because Apple has quite a bit to do with the life I am currently living, and not just because there is currently an iMac, a MacBook Pro, several first generation iPods, at least 5 iPod Touches, and two iPads in my house.  (actually one of the iPads might be with my husband at the moment, but you get my point)  My husband works for a company called Broadcom, and from the moment he gained employment there, his job has revolved around Apple to some extent.  I don’t want to get into a lot of detail (mainly because I honestly have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to his job), but my husband was the product manager for the chip that controls the multi-touch functionality of that iPad, iPod touch, and I think even the mouse on the MacBook I’m using.  He’s moved on to other types of chips now. Needless to say, he’s had a little bit of background with Apple over the years.  I know he met Steve Jobs at least once over the years, and say what you will about Apple, their products or technology in general – the fact is, Steve did know what he was doing.  He definitely had a good sense of where technology should be going, and I’ll even go as far as to say that back when the tech industry was in a serious downturn and companies were tanking left and right (people say this was the dot com industry correction, but the fact is – every tech company felt it.), Apple started to make the turn around, and that helped a lot of other companies right side up again.  I would know, because it was at this point when my husband was hired and that brought our family back from the very brink of bankruptcy. I don’t personally thank Steve Jobs for that, but I know that Apple did have a lot to do with tech companies finding a renewed sense of direction that had somehow been lost in the late 90’s.  Funny how it really came down to a music player when I always thought Apple was “just” another computer company!  (I’ve read this morning that Steve Jobs never wanted Apple to be known as a computer company, but rather a technology company.  Shows you how much I know!)

I’ve had an iPod since the first year it came out, and I’ve upgraded myself once or twice during that period.  Right now I’ve got an iPod Touch that’s on it’s last little leg do to an unfortunate accident involving a toddler’s slobbery little mouth…but I digress.  I’m reading a lot this morning about how the iPod revolutionized the music industry.   I think this is where I see things differently, because I see the iPod as the beginnings of how technology was revolutionized.  Personally I think the music industry is still trying to figure things out and learn to swim without water wings, much less revolutionize.  We’ve all stood by and watched while countless record labels have gone under and still others have consolidated, changed business practices, played the blame game with the internet, and so on.  I still don’t think labels actually get what’s going on around them.  We saw Duran Duran be one of the first to embrace legal downloading, and we’ve also seen them hurt due to dismal record sales.  We witnessed Duran Duran agree to allow iTunes exclusive rights to distribute (digitally of course) AYNIN last year, and I have to commend them for at least trying to evolve their own business ideals as the times have certainly changed.  No, it’s not a perfect system, and that’s definitely beyond the scope of this particular blog.

Whether you love Apple, hate Steve Jobs, adore Microsoft or loath record labels, I believe there’s room to acknowledge the immense amount of change that our society has witnessed in our lifetimes, and that yes – quite a bit of it has ridden on the shoulders of men such as Steve Jobs and the thousands of people who have worked with him over the years.  Most of the band has made mention of Steve Jobs as of this morning.  Roger says Steve Jobs changed his life, Dom called him a “great talent”, and John Taylor commented just last night that Steve Jobs changed the way we hear and think about music.  I think Steve changed the way I think about technology.  (my husband would be so proud!)

-R

Inclusion

I replied to a comment on the blog today and it really kind of got to me, I suppose.  It’s about that feeling of inclusion.  It’s funny how a fan community can give the opportunity to experience two completely opposing feelings. (amongst a plethora of others)  On one hand, a fan community, or fandom, can make someone feel included.  After all, a community is defined by dictionary.com as a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct.  By definition if you’re in a community, you should feel as though you’re included in the group, right?  On the other side of that coin, and that’s the feeling of isolation.  I am pretty certain I’m not the only member of this fan community that has not felt isolated at one moment or another…whether that’s due to location, circumstance, or in result of the direct acts of others.  


I think everyone recognizes what it feels like to be isolated.  It’s not all that much fun.  A concert or tour could be announced and if you’re not able to go, it’s easy to feel like the odd-man out.  It’s difficult to go on Facebook or Twitter and not see the tour being talked about or plans being made.  Those who are in any other part of the world aside from the US or even the UK have probably had it with the those of us who are lucky enough to have a tour to talk about.  I can’t blame them.  It’s isolating at times.  Then there are the moments before and definitely after a show – it’s those moments where you’ve made plans to get together with people and then suddenly realize that plans are being made without you, or…as a few of my friends have experienced (as well as I) in their lives as Duranies, friends suddenly vanish after a show and don’t answer calls or return texts, then when you finally hear about where they were; they are either as cloudy about the details as tule fog in the central valleys of California or even better – the proceed to brag about meeting up with the band, “completely by chance! Oh my gosh, we met them and ________________ was so nice….look, I even have my picture with them!  What did YOU guys do?”   I love that one.  I’m to the point now where I will go to the trouble of replying “Well gee, you’d have known what we were up to if you’d bothered to check your phone or answer a text!”  Perhaps I’m giving certain fans within our community too much credit when I say that I am pretty sure they know exactly how rude this is to people they call friends, but yes, I do think they know exactly what they’re doing.  Daily Duranie gets the occasional email or comment, and I feel horrible when I read incidents like the above.  I know that feeling and I know it well, my friends.


I’ve never been a part of that “special” group.  You know the one – the group that always looks like they have fun, that they’ve walked off the cover of a magazine, the one that can consistently break the rules and still end up getting exactly what they want in the end.  Nothing goes bad for these people even when they’re met with what I would think to be bad situations…and they always know where the party is going to be.  Perhaps it’s because they themselves are the party.  I have no idea.  I just know I’ve never been in that group.  Not in middle school, not in high school…college is a bit of a blur….and definitely not now.  What’s funny is that I have friends, although maybe they’re really just acquaintances, in that cool group.  I always have, but for a variety of reasons, I am not even remotely close to being cool enough to be included.  From my point of view, it’s probably OK to go to a show with me, or make plans to share a room with me if there’s no one else to share costs with, but it’s not OK to include me on the plans for the cool kids – whether those are for before or after a show.  What’s amusing to me, as a completely uncool person, is that while these cool people seem oblivious to what they’re doing – it’s completely crystal clear to those of us who aren’t being included.  We get it.  While I might not be of the quality necessary to be invited to after show plans, I can see what’s going on around me without too much of a problem and I definitely get the point.  


I’m sure that most of the rest of you are nodding your heads about now.  Let’s face it, the real minority around here aren’t the uncool people.  It’s not those of us who are left in the dust after a show, only to spin around and say “Hey, where did everybody go?”…the real minority are the chosen few, the “cool” people.  The people who are in the know, who have the information, who somehow always seem to find themselves where the real party is after a show. (whether the band is there or not – I want to make that clear, because while I know finding the band after a show is a fun hobby to have, that’s not the point of this blog.)  So I ask, why is it that we feel so isolated when it’s obvious that there’s more uncool people like me than there are the chosen few?!?    Don’t you all feel lucky to be included with me!?  (that’s my sarcasm at work there!)


Sure, I could probably get angry.  I could probably decide that I’m done dealing with this particular fandom and walk away, or I could just decide to have fun anyway.  I know I’m never going to be the kind of fan that a band member or one of their people walks up to and says “Hey, we’re going to _______________ after the show, hope you can make it.”  (I’m always a little surprised by the chosen few that ARE given that kind of information, to be honest – but I’m not going to get into that here.)  That said, I *am* the type of fan and friend that wants to have fun with friends before AND after the show.  I want to be able to laugh and talk and socialize just like anyone else, and if you’re like that too, then we need to meet!  No need to feel isolated any longer, my friends.


With that in mind, I need to give out some updated information for our get together prior to the Chicago show on October 21st.  Due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. our original choice of venue for our meet up wants to charge me a ridiculous bottle service charge in order to make reservations or else we have to wait outside in line and hope for a table), we have to move our meetup to the following:


Hoyt’s Tavern – Hotel71.  71 E. Wacker Drive Chicago


Our reservations are set for 5pm and the hotel/restaurant is less than a mile from the venue.  I’m sorry for the change, but there was no way to accommodate everyone otherwise.  We still hope to see you there!!  


-R

No news is good news?

So today is Thursday…and I am still on vacation in San Diego. I’ve tried keeping up with the DD news this week, and that’s been very easy!

Unfortunately, the world of Duran is very quiet is week…and aside from Dom Brown’s studio mic not working…I have to think that no news is good news. I haven’t even seen anything from Roger about his newest family member arriving. I certainly hope things are going well and that he’ll share the good news soon. It’s amazing how difficult it is to find things to write about when there is no news or while attempting to blog on an iPad. I forgot my keyboard dock at home, and let me just say that I won’t make THAT mistake twice!

Everyone else seems to be off doing their own thing, enjoying their summers…which is exactly what I plan to do in a moment here. today we’re off to spend the day at Sea World. My little one is very excited to see Shamu!

Sorry for the short blog today…I’ll be back in full force on Monday! -R

A Short History Lesson

Did you know that on February 3rd (today’s date) in 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a small plane crash near Clear Lake Iowa?

I realize that for probably many of you – especially if you’re not from the US as I am – you’ve never heard of these people.  I’m happy to say that I wasn’t even a twinkle in my mom’s eye when this incident happened (which happens very rarely these days)!  From what my Rock and Roll Music History classes from college and beyond taught me (yes, I took 3 semesters of Rock and Roll history classes…some helped me towards my minors in music theory, and some I took for fun, believe it or not!), Ritchie, Buddy and The Big Bopper were mainly hitting in the US those days, and they were all just starting to make themselves really known when the plane crashed on that fateful day.

Why am I bringing this to your attention then?  Up until very recent times, radio was king.  If anyone wanted to make it big in the US, radio (and of course I mean LAND based radio, because that’s all there was!) was the way to do it.  Radio didn’t always play music, though.  My parents both remember(ed) the day when radio served the purpose of being the center of family entertainment.  They’d gather around the radio in the evenings, listening to programs and letting their imaginations provide the pictorials.   It wasn’t really until the mid-50’s that rock and roll music FIRST started being played with any kind of regularity – and then radio stations as we know them to be started cropping up.  Of course I’m glossing over Tin Pan Alley (30’s and 40’s) and the fact that when rock and roll was first being played a la Elvis Presley – the “establishment” completely freaked out!  They tried to ban rock and roll because it was the work of the “devil”!  Good old days, indeed.    Ever heard of payola?  That was back in the day when the music industry started losing it’s integrity. (bet you never thought it ever had any!) Imagine the horror when the public found out that music industry executives were actually paying radio stations to play certain artists.  I’m sure you are all completely shocked.   It’s OK, take a moment, compose yourselves.  I’ll wait.

Yes, those were the days.  So why is it such a big deal to remember Ritchie Valens (aside from the fact that he was the first artist of Hispanic origin to get any kind of radio play on US radio),  The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly?  They paved the way for those that came later.  While I’m sure that many believe that The Beatles – The Fab Four –  were the ones who paved the way for Duran Duran to come here much later; the fact is, had it not been for Elvis Presley, and later people like Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper (his real name is JP Richardson) and Ritchie Valens, American radio could have likely taken a completely different turn.  It’s not about the type of music they played, or really even where they individually came from, it’s simply about the fact that they were everything that made American land-based radio a phenomenon that changed and influenced American pop culture forevermore.

During a week where we’re remembering our own beginning as Duran Duran fans, it’s important to acknowledge the real history that made all of that possible.

-R

Happy 2011!!!

I am going against the time-honored plan of Daily Duranie and posting not one, but two blogs in one day in order to wish all of our readers (and your friends, because of course we want you to tell your friends!!) a very Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year!!

2011 is going to be a fantastic year to be a fan, and I know I speak for Amanda as well as myself in saying that we can’t wait to see and meet many of you when the band finally announces dates and goes on tour!  It’s sure to be a great time!!

Have a fantastic New Year everyone!!  See you in 2011!