Category Archives: Duran Duran News

Instant Connection

As you reading this blog, the two partners of this blog and their friends are all together in the first time in over a year.  The four of us became instant friends when we met each other in person at the convention in 2004.  While it could be argued that this is something unique to our friendships, I actually would argue that this is a common occurance among fans. 

Over the course of my years, I have met many people in the name of fandom.  While most of those people are part of the Duran Duran fandom, some are not.  Yet, the immediate connection has been felt, no matter the fandom.  Why is that?  Why do fans bond so quickly with other fans?  Yes, it could be said that fans typically share commonalities like race, age, gender, etc.  They may be the case but I do not believe that this is what makes the connection happen so strongly and so easily.  It isn’t that we establish our friendship on these basic, obvious elements of who we are but on something deeper, much more personal.

When someone becomes part of a fandom, it is because the object of that fandom (in our case, Duran Duran) grabbed a hold of the person, emotionally.  That band/team/author/movie/actor made us feel passionately.  In many ways, we fall in love when we become fans as we feel such extreme joy, excitement, happiness as we become more and more interested (obsessed!).  This love often translates into spending a lot of time on the fandom, thinking a lot about it, and even making a committment (in our case, that has included YEARS of being fans as well as working on projects devoted to it).  Thus, when one fan meets another fan, there is instantly understanding.  We both know how the other person feels on some level since we both love the same thing.  Often, our choice of loving this over that says something about us as people as well.

Why did we become fans of Duran?  Obviously, I can list and describe many, many reasons why we think Duran is wonderful, talented, etc.  The truth is that, for some reason, they made us feel good.  Maybe they were an escape from frustrating daily lives, for some.  For others, they represent nothing but happiness and parties.  It doesn’t matter, specifically, what drove us to love them over other bands or other things.  What matters is that we did and that decision (conscious or not) was and is personal.  It is a part of who we are in a way that is much different than what we do for a living or where we grew up.  It is pure emotion.  After all, people don’t become fans with their heads but with their hearts.  Thus, when we meet other fans, it is often like meeting people whose hearts know and understand each other already.  That may (does) sound sappy but I believe it to be true.  This heart-to-heart connection starts with the fandom, but often and easily moves into other avenues because of this instant understanding. 

-A

The Return of the White Jazz Shoe

I’m pretty sure every Duranie within reach of a computer is aware that Duran Duran played with Mark Ronson and Business Int’l on the 28th in Birmingham.   I’ve watched the videos myself “a few times”, and of course I’ve been keeping one eye pretty much glued to the computer all week, just in case the band decides to spring dates on us with 2 hours to presale or something.  (Can you tell I’ve been around a while??)   Besides writing this glorious blog, we also keep up with Twitter. (friend us – we’re @dailyduranie)  Yesterday, Mark Ronson (@iamMarkRonson) posted a picture taken by none other than Nicholas Rhodes.  The picture was taken backstage – and by Mark’s own description it was “artsy”.  Well, I took a gander;  lo and behold, there were white jazz shoes on the floor, and certainly not just one pair!

I remember white jazz shoes fairly well – I lived in them when I was in about 8th grade.  They were some of the most comfortable (and easy to take care of thanks to white shoe polish!) shoes I’ve ever had!  I believe I even ditched my beloved Vans to wear them most of the year.  🙂    By the following year though, their popularity had wained in favor of whatever else came “in-style”.  I can’t seem to recall, but I think it might have been the ankle boot – I know I had a pair of those my freshman year of high school.  Then again, I was never a fashion maiden.  *sigh*

Regardless, my joy at seeing the jazz shoe was quickly cast aside as I realized that I must REALLY be getting old.  Not only did I live through the fashion once, but it’s already making a second trip around!  *gasp*   This line of thinking isn’t especially helpful to someone who is already having a “slight issue” with turning 40 next month (for crying out loud I bought “reviving” eye cream for the first time yesterday!!), but I digress.   The item of interest here really isn’t MY age…it’s that the band isn’t exactly getting younger either.

As a fan, I really try not to notice the small things.  Yes, they’ve all acquired some character lines.  Yes, it’s true that John doesn’t really bleach his bangs any longer (he doesn’t even really wear bangs), it’s also true that Nick hasn’t shown up with red, green, orange or even purple hair in a very long time.  (I have to wonder if his platinum blonde is a genius way of disguising his true white hair…or if it’s really from a bottle….or none of the above!)  I just try not to notice because you know – ignorance can be bliss.  If they haven’t aged, neither have I, right?   The thing is, when I saw the jazz shoes yesterday, I did think about the fact that they aren’t the young kids they once were.  How long can they really keep going?  (I hope a very long time – I plan to be wheeling my oxygen tank in to shows with me if need be!)  They can provide rocking chairs for those of us still around – and I won’t even care if they play sitting down. 🙂

I don’t know if other fans really think about the inevitable “end” to Duran Duran.  I do.  There was a point a few years back when I’d really felt as though I’d had enough.  I felt as though I’d gotten the closure I’d needed, and I didn’t think the shows really excited me the way they’d used to.  I almost felt as though I was giving in to the fact that I’d finally grown up past the band.  I was very angry with them for putting out an album that I *still* feel was a complete sell out. (that album was Red Carpet Massacre, and yes – for the record I *STILL* feel that way, and I’d tell that to the band themselves if I ever had the opportunity.)  I just didn’t think that I could get behind the band and feel like a real fan again.  I didn’t go to shows for a while, both because of the album and because I was pregnant with my third child.  Then they came back for some shows on the east coast, and I went.  At first, I half-heartedly enjoyed the shows.   Then something clicked with me and I think I realized that every single time I go to see them could be the last time, so I’d better enjoy it.

I really don’t know how I’ll react when the inevitable day comes and the band is finished.  I honestly don’t know ANY fan who truly knows how they’ll react.  I suppose it will feel as though a very close family member, or even a part of myself, has just died.  I can’t even begin to fathom what the reality will hold for any of us at the time.  I just know that I will continue to go and enjoy each show as though it could be the last.

All we really need is now….and a good pair of white jazz shoes.

-R

New Album Title – the sequel!


So John Taylor tells Katy that the new album is to be named All You Need is Now.  Quite a departure from King of Nowhere, I’d say.  🙂  

Where King of Nowhere could possibly be very telling as to the bands’ overall mood at times, if I’m going to be fair and truthful to all that has ever been Duran Duran, All You Need Is Now is probably a much better title for one of their albums.
I don’t think Duran Duran has ever really been the brooding type of band, so sunk into reality that they can’t see the beauty in just living.  No, I think the band has probably been just the opposite.  Simon himself said in one of the promo videos for the Astronaut album that the band is about pure joy (as was the song [Reach up for the] Sunrise, off of that same album).  The band has always been about enjoying the here and now, and let’s face it – if All You Need is Now is to be the next album title – that truly embodies the full spirit.  
Even more interestingly to me were the reactions from the fans as the community contemplated King of Nowhere as the album title, and once again All You Need is Now.   With King of Nowhere, many fans were disappointed – they felt the title was too depressing, too negative – and some were even concerned that it was going to end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. (clearly those fans haven’t been around since Astronaut – the last album title was Red Carpet MASSACRE, folks.)   Last night, I took a peak around some of the boards after this latest news was announced, and amazingly enough, the fan community as a whole reacted far more positively, saying that the title reminded them of the type of hope, love and joy that they believe the band stands for.  
I think that the fantasy life – the yacht, the wealthy (young) men, the models, the champagne, the exotic locations – is the package that once sold the world on Duran Duran.  It’s not just one part of it, it was the sum of all of the parts that made the group what we know it.  Many of those same fans are around today, and I can’t speak for all of them, but for me, my reality is pretty far from the life Duran Duran once portrayed in their videos and songs.  The band is still very much an escape at times (heck I even travel to shows in order to escape from the present!), and during those times – I really do try to live in that present.  I only get a weekend or two a year at the very most to spend with my friends, and when you’ve only got those few moments – you tend to try and only live in that moment, right?
Even back in “reality”, living in the now is a lesson all of us should learn.  Not long ago, my father was very ill, and while I would sit and worry and ask him how he was feeling – he would constantly tell me not to think about it.  “What will happen will happen, but while you’re alive, you need to LIVE.”   I don’t think I ever understood that until the day he died.  It’s a simple, but very difficult lesson to put into practice….and I stand even more fascinated that the band is continuing to teach and challenge their fans, should they take the effort to look a little deeper than the surface.  

Oh No, Not Again?

Once again, information seems to have gotten out of the bag before it was intended…contrary to yesterday’s interview with Mark Ronson (as well as the MTV blog) that King of Nowhere was to be the title of the next album, officials from Duran Duran are saying that is not the case.

Ultimately, you and I will not know the album title until it comes out…but this kind of back and forth is very typical of Duran Duran in general.  It’s almost laughable at this point because every time a piece of information gets “out” before management can decide to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, inevitably management will come out with a “That has yet to be released” statement to negate whatever piece of information was released without their say-so.

You would think that after so many years in this business, they would know to react faster (it’s been a full 24 hours since the blog and video were publicized), and you would also think that they’d have mentioned it to Mark Ronson….but hey, maybe not.

So, while I am absolutely not going to pull my prior blog from earlier today….  I do have to say that at least for now, we’re not sure what the album title will be.

I wonder if the band knows!

Over the weekend, I received a friend request from a Duranie who lives in Italy.  She and I have never met, and unless she makes trips to the US for shows – I doubt we will, since I don’t normally travel to Europe, shows or not.  As I accepted her friend request, I thought about how far technology has come since I was 11 – in late 1981.  Back then, computers were something that took up entire rooms, and I definitely do not remember ever hearing much about them in my 6th grade classes at school, other than they were something the government used.  Twitter, Myspace, Facebook: all things that I am sure I never would have anticipated being my every day reality.  Mail was conducted with paper, a writing utensil, an envelope, stamp and some hope that the letter carrier would get it to it’s proper address.  Fan clubs of any kind were all done through the mail by newsletters, special little cards, pictures, and that sort of thing.  If I think back on it, it’s no wonder I grew bored of fan clubs pretty quickly back then – they were almost completely non-interactive unless you were lucky enough to have friends nearby that were in the fan club with you!  Fast forward to 2010, where I am coming down the pipes to the big 4-0, fan clubs are almost entirely online, snail mail is almost so non-existent that stamps keep going up in price (to account for the thousands of pieces of mail that are sent electronically), I work on a computer that literally sits on my lap and is thinner than a pad of paper, and I can keep up with Duran Duran’s happenings on a daily basis, and quicker than it takes me to make my coffee in the morning.

My contemplation for the morning is “Is it better to be a fan in the year 2010 than it was to be a fan in the year 1981…or 1984/85 for that matter?”  I think each fan has to answer that for his or her own self, but here are my own thoughts:

I believe that in order to truly appreciate being a fan today, and vice-versa actually, I’m glad I was a fan in the 1980’s.  Yes, I got to live through the bands hey-day.  I was there when the videos started playing on MTV, I was listening when Richard Blade announced their albums on KROQ (Los Angeles), and I suffered the heartbreaks when Roger, Andy and much later John left the band.  That said, let’s list what I did NOT get to do:  I was too young to go to shows (according to my parents), I did not ever go back to their hotel after the shows were over, I didn’t know any other fans outside of my circle of friends in school, I certainly never traveled to shows, obviously; and I never met the band.   Once again we fast forward to the 2000’s, just after the reunion was announced.   I’ve gone to shows, traveled to shows, communicated with people who live in other countries, gone to their hotel after the shows (to hang out in the bar – not to their rooms, of course), and experienced many of the things I missed out on in the 80’s.  I feel as though for the most part, I’ve had the chance to complete the circle of what it means to me to be a fan.

With that in mind, I feel so lucky to have gotten to experience my fandom in virtually two eras of my life.  The first era being my childhood/adolescence, and the second as an adult.  As much as I felt that I may have missed out on some very cool things back when they were the biggest band in the world, I’m almost relieved that I wasn’t older (like my late teens/early 20’s), because if I had been, I’m not sure I would still have the stamina to go and see them now.  I would not have met the fantastic friends that I treasure, I don’t know if I would have gone ahead and created a facebook, a myspace page, or become friends with people in completely different countries.  What some consider obsessive, I consider to be pure luck.

-R