Category Archives: Duran Duran News

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!

South Africa saga, Day 2

It’s 12:25 in the afternoon my time here in lovely Southern California, and I have yet to write today’s blog.  I’ve been sitting here, scouring the boards and trying to come up with something “smart” to write for the better part of the morning as our construction team is downstairs ripping out our fireplace.  If I were a better writer, I would probably be able to make some sort of fantastic parallel between the demolition of the fireplace and the reconstruction of my family room to the band and their current state of “remodeling” with the upcoming album. (All You Need is Now, available on iTunes on December 21.  How’s that for a free plug?!?)

One day later in the South African show cancellation saga and the news continues to spur speculation within the community.  The news articles coming out of South Africa continue to blame low ticket sales for the cancellation, and there have been no further updates from the band.  The truth is that we fans may never know the entire truth behind the dates being cancelled, and we are probably going to have to be OK with that.  That said, I can’t help but fan the flames of the speculation fire a bit by saying that perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle of “the tour promoter defaulted on the contract” (notice that no reason was given as to WHY the promoter defaulted) and “low ticket sales”.  Other news bytes on the topic quote the promoter as saying that they tried to renegotiate fewer dates with the band as a result of the low ticket sales, but they were not able to come to a favorable resolution with the bands management.

Oddly enough, after one looks into the venues where the band was slated to play – the story seems to become clearer to some extent.  The band was to be performing 5 shows throughout  South Africa: one in Durban, two in/around Johannesburg, and two in Cape Town. The venue in Durban accommodates 15,000; the venue in Cape Town from 8-10,000.  Those are large venues, to say the least.  It isn’t a surprise if the ticket sales really were lower than expected, but that would seem to me to be on the shoulders of the promoter.   Chances are, the promoter realized the shows would not come close to being sold out, tried to back out on the agreement, and the band held their ground.  Whether it was a mistake for the band to back out on the chance to play ANY South African shows is up for others to decide.  


Other writers from South Africa have touched upon the subject today (you can read one article here ), and they’ve painted a far less positive picture.  As a fan, I have to wonder how it is that Roxette can sell tickets well and Duran Duran was not – although once you read the article it’s pretty clear: Roxette sold 5000 tickets for 3 shows coming up in May.   These South African shows were not given nearly the same amount of sales time between announcement, onsale date and show, and if that’s not enough to convince the naysayers out there, 5,000 tickets is only 1/3 of the capacity of just one of the venues that Duran Duran was to play during their 5 show run.  Doesn’t seem as though the author is truly comparing apples to apples….


Regardless, the speculation will go on.  In the meantime, I will sit and listen to the roar of saws, nail guns and hammering in my house!  Who had the crazy idea of taking out the fireplace and getting new flooring anyway?!?   (um, that would be me!)

-R

Happy Thanksgiving

I’m sorry for my tardiness in getting today’s edition of Daily Duranie out!  As most readers know, I’m the mom of 3 – their ages span from 13 (and she tells me that she’s “almost 14” now, which threatens to add more worry lines to my face at every passing moment) down to two and a half.  They are all home today, and we’ve been working hard to get the house into order and some of the cooking done for tomorrow, because for America – it’s Thanksgiving.

With tomorrow being our holiday of giving thanks, I would like to give out my own thanks here on the blog.  I know it’s not very Duran-related, but I’ll do my best!

I am thankful for my writing partner Amanda, because she continues to make me laugh, make me think about things differently…and let’s face it, she’s one heck of a touring partner.  Looking forward to 2011!!!!

I am thankful for my Duranie friends, both those that have come to mean far more to me, and those that I’ve only walked a short time with along the way.

I am thankful for our crazy, mixed up fan community.   We are a fantastic case study…that’s all I can say.  I look forward to seeing all of you on tour next year!

I am thankful for DuranDuranFans.com  because it was my very first Duran home away from home.  My best friends were met through that site, and I often wonder where I would have ended up without it!

I am thankful for my family, as insane as it is.  We’ll just leave it at that.  😀

I am thankful for the band…because without it, I’d probably be stuck writing about 60’s pop culture, or maybe nothing at all!  It’s about the music, the friends, the constant learning, and the constant complaining we all do about whatever decision you’ve made most recently.  Good times, good times.  🙂   I laugh and poke fun, but what you give us, your blood, sweat, tears and music – are truly a gift.  Thank you….can’t wait to see you all on tour even if you have NO idea who I am.  (perhaps that’s a good thing)

Thank you readers.  I hope our blog makes you laugh, and maybe even think a little.  We might not always hit the nail on the head with what you believe, but I hope it at least gives you something to think about.

Happy Thanksgiving – whether or not you live in the US and celebrate the holiday, I believe we all have something to be thankful for.  Peace!

  -R

Fever Pitch

I know that there is probably a ton of news that I should be commenting on this morning – but I’m going to be honest and say that at this moment, there is far too much rumor, not enough in the way of fact – and it’s all completely overwhelming to me for processing.  With that in mind, I’m going off on a completely different tangent today.

Has anyone out there ever seen the movie “Fever Pitch”?  Alright…probably all of you at this point.  I’m very late to the party on this one, but if you saw my kids and saw my daily schedule, you would understand.  This weekend, I had the opportunity to sit and watch the movie with my friends, who were visiting from out of town.  I had heard about this movie, and had been told that there were quite the number of parallels between the movie and my real life as a Duranie.  I have to admit I was skeptical, purely because I couldn’t imagine someone being THAT obsessed about a baseball team.  Never mind MY real life…

It became pretty clear within the first few seconds of the movie that I’d be able to identify with the main character (Jimmy Fallon).  He plays a single guy named Ben who is a school teacher, but is also a Red Sox fan.  “Fan” is probably putting it very mildly.  He’s completely obsessed, from the sheets on his bed down to the shower curtain in his bathroom and the “artwork” on his walls.   (at this point I would like to make it clear that I do NOT have Duran Duran on every wall in my house.  Only in my closet.   Hmm.  What is that really saying about me?  Another subject for yet another blog, methinks.)  Much of the movie is about how Jimmy’s character deals with his life as a Red Sox fan and how he can make that fit into his life as someone’s partner; or perhaps it’s the other way around – how his partner (Drew Barrymore) is able to deal with Ben’s life as a Red Sox fan.

Before I go headfirst into how this art imitates my life, my very favorite part of the entire movie is when Ben receives his season tickets for the year.  He’d been a season ticket holder since he was a child, and yet each year when that package arrives, he acts as though it is Christmas morning.  He races down to the UPS van, scribbles his signature on the electronic pad to sign for it, then races back up to his apartment.  He waits until his friends (all of which are fellow Red Sox fans) to get to his apartment, then he opens the package.  They all grab sheets of the tickets, admire them, and then smell them – commenting on the smell of the cardboard and ink.  This scene, fellow readers – I am very familiar with!  I know what it feels like to anticipate tickets arriving in the mail.  I know how anxious I am to open the package, and yet I want to wait to experience the moment with the very people who get me best, and I know exactly what the smell of ink on cardboard is like, and how crisp the thin cardboard feels in my hand, the bumps of the untorn perforations of the ticket stub on my fingertips, and the sharpness of the corners.  It was a scene that any fan of just about any thing should be able to recognize themselves in.

The trouble within the movie is that not everything is perfect when you are an obsessed fan.  It  is very difficult to draw the line between the fandom and normal every day life, even more so when you are involved in a relationship with someone who is not quite as big of a fan, or if you have a family.  Sacrifices must be made, and often times – it is the fandom that is sacrificed.   At one point in the movie, Ben is faced with choosing between the love of his girlfriend or the love of his team, and another character (oddly enough, it’s a kid) says to him “I know you love the Sox, but do they love you back?”

I know that question, and I know it well.  There’s an argument to be made on both sides.  To begin with, of course the Sox don’t LOVE anyone back, per se.  They are a team.  Baseball is a sport – it’s not a personal relationship; in the same way that Duran Duran are a music group and our “relationship” with them truly ends at the concert stage or CD player.  I feel 100% confident than no one in the group knows my name, and they absolutely could not pick me out of the crowd at a concert, much less love me in the way that my kids or my husband know me and love me.  The best I can hope for is a wink and a smile when I see them at a show, and that’s fine.  (to be honest, I’d be far more concerned if they DID know my name…)  That said, I’m not sure that love is really the right question to ask.  The Sox have provided the right backdrop or background for relationships to be made in the very same way that we Duran fans have our fan community.  In fact, the season ticket holders have held their same seats for so long, they’ve become a family.  When Ben comes to the opening game each year, it’s like a family reunion.  He knows not only the history of the team, but also the history behind the other fans seated around him.  He’s seen people grow up, grow old and pass on; just as those of us in Duranland have done.  Yes, we have our differences.  No, we’re not friends with every single other Duranie, but we’re still a family.  Ultimately, I believe that my fandom is part of what makes me – Rhonda – myself.  If I took that away, if I stopped being a Duranie, or stopped following the band, I would honestly be changing who I really am.  I guess that’s what happens when you follow a band as closely as I have, or as you readers have, for almost 30 years now.  Being a Duranie is a part of my personality, and I have to embrace that, or I lose my own identity.   Of course, my husband sees it far differently I am sure.  I’ve been married now for almost 16 years, and I think that for my husband, he looks at my obsession with Duran Duran as being a choice.  I “choose” to read the message boards, I “choose” to go to concerts, etc. etc.  I can’t argue that it’s not a choice (that would sound more like an addiction, and while I know many feel as though it might be at this point – I’m going with the idea that it’s not for this blog!), but I see it as the same thing as choosing to quit a career, or getting divorced at this point.  Both of those things: changing careers, getting divorced – change you as a person.  They are life changing events.  Not being a Duranie would be life changing for me at this point, even if my husband thinks I’m crazy for saying so.  (love you dear!)   As much as my crazy Duranie behavior drives my husband crazy at times, my husband wouldn’t want me to change such a big part of what makes me the person he loves anymore than I would want that for him, just as the ending resolution of Fever Pitch.  We work with what we’ve got, and apparently most of the time, it works out rather well.

The weekend with my Duranie friends is now over – I dropped all 3 of them off at the airport this morning, with agreements to have a full conference call as soon as tour dates or other equally exciting information descends upon us.  I miss the laughter of my three “sisters from other mothers” in my house, but I can’t really be that sad, our next adventure is right around the corner!

-R