Category Archives: Duran Duran

“I hate to bite the hand that feeds me”..how about that Olympic concert?

I have to be honest, I never thought I’d see or hear of Duran Duran playing in the Olympics.  It’s just not something I ever gave any real consideration, and not because I didn’t think they were worthy.  (They certainly are!)  I guess I chalk that up with being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in that I suppose it would be a nice gesture, but there’s something a little “establishment” about it all at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I think it really is outstanding that they are playing on Friday in London, and they should be very proud of themselves. I certainly am a proud fan. I just never expected such things, in the same way that I never expected MTV to get off of their high horse and give them the credit they deserved for helping make that stupid station what it became (and then lost in a blaze of ignorance) for all music history.  When it became apparent that rumor was to be reality and the band was truly going to be playing at the Olympics, one of my first comments was “I’ll be damned.  That band really *does* matter to someone other than the fans. Who knew?”

One question that has been asked MANY times to Daily Duranie is if we know whether the concert is to be televised.  On one hand, I appreciate that so many think that Amanda and I are really that in the know.  I’m also completely humbled when I have to tell those people that I have absolutely no idea, but that I doubt it.  I wish I had better info, but I just don’t unless I myself do the research to find the answer.  So, research is what I have attempted to do.  I’ve searched online only to see that the concert is being held at what is called the Olympic Festival – and that the opening ceremonies will be broadcast on giant screens at what appears to be the same time as the ceremony itself.  That leads me to believe that either the concert will be shown at a different time, or it will not be televised at all.  I’ve checked my own  television stations, NBC (in America that is who is coordinating the Olympic broadcasts)….and I’ve found absolutely nothing.  A few fans are saying that the concert will be streaming online, but so far all I have found on that have been reports that the Olympic Ceremonies will be streaming, not the concert at Hyde Park.

More than a few fans have posted nastygrams to the band’s Facebook page, wondering why no information for viewing has been posted, and quite honestly some of them have been rather pointed in their assumptions that management isn’t doing their job or doesn’t care.  It is probably a little more rare than it should be that I find myself standing up for management. In this case – I feel it necessary.  To begin with, I highly doubt that the organizers for the concert have taken the trouble to let the band’s management know how fans in each country of the world can tune in to see the concert in their particular set of circumstances – if in fact the concert is even going to be shown, whether streaming online or otherwise.  Call me crazy, but I would imagine they have quite a bit going on at this moment in time.  It’s probably one of those things that might get mentioned at some point, but I feel pretty confident that if in fact the band’s management knew – they’d gladly share the information.  I also feel confident in saying that while yes, it would be nice to have management come out and say “Hey, we aren’t sure about broadcast information just yet” just so that way we all know and recognize there’s no conspiracy here….I suspect they’d have to be posting that nearly continually in order to satisfy Duran fans.  Sometimes it is just better to say nothing than continually say “We don’t know.  We STILL don’t know.” I try very hard to remind myself that while I am fairly good about managing a household (My kids might say otherwise….), I have never managed a band before. I don’t know what their job is like, and to be honest, I don’t want to know.  It makes my head hurt to even consider what it might be like at times. It’s not always easy to remind myself to hold my tongue or fingers when I think something should be done better, but I try.  Most of the time, I fail miserably.  I think we would all agree that it is far easier to sit on the sidelines and find fault than it probably is to be on the inside actually doing the work.

In the meantime, if you find good information on where we can all watch the concert – post it on our Daily Duranie Facebook page or tweet us – we’ll gladly repost it!!

Friends of Mine … the story behind our book!

Last week we were asked a question regarding our book and how we settled on the topic of fandom.

The long story is that from the very weekend Amanda and I met, we joked about writing a book about being Duranies.  We just thought it would make a great story!  To catch everyone up, Amanda and I first came in contact with one another on a now defunct message board called duranduranfans.com.  I was involved in a group that planned a US convention in 2004, aptly named 78-04: Friends of Mine Duran Duran Fan Convention. My contribution to the process was handling registration and customer service. I was in contact with each person who registered.  My job was simply to make registration easy, and to make people happy if they were having trouble. Anyway, at the time I never really talked much to Amanda.  She was busy, presumably working, and so I actually “spoke” more to the friend that she was traveling with to the convention.  It wasn’t until we actually got to the convention, and even more specifically not until the night of our buffet/dance party that I had much of a chance to meet and talk with Amanda.  I don’t know what it was – the fact that we tended to laugh about the same things or the fact that she didn’t make fun of me when I reacted to “Arcadia” era Simon, but we hit it off immediately.  (This is starting to sound more like meeting a future spouse than a best friend, but stay with me…)  That night, we did a bar crawl down and around Bourbon Street along with many of our friends, ending up in a little ‘ole club called Howl at the Moon. (which has since changed names)  It was at this club that the bunch of us were requested onstage to sing none other than Rio.  It was a sight (and sound) to behold.  I know that the video still exists, and once again I admonish those that hold the video – should it ever end up on Facebook or YouTube, I will come for you. Just as I will never, ever Ta Na Na Na with Simon during the opening of The Reflex (no matter how much Dom coaxes…), I feel strongly that the video of the Duranies singing Rio should never see the light of day.  Some things just never need to be heard or shared.  Thank you.

Where was I???  Ah yes…

After that evening, Amanda and I continued to be in contact, and we even made plans to room together in Chicago at the Duranie Dorm (O’Hare Doubletree, which has also since changed names).  It was at that show that we realized we worked well together, and continued to tease one another relentlessly about what should “go in the book”.  We would laugh and continue on our way, but I think both of us had the idea firmly planted in the back(s) of our mind(s). I suppose you could say that between the two of us, we have a lot of stories that could either be used to entertain…or as blackmail should the need ever arise!

It was at some point between the Astronaut tour and the release of Red Carpet Massacre that we really started thinking that we could write a book, but at the time we really didn’t have any firm idea of how the book should read.  I don’t think either of us wanted to do a tell-all, we certainly didn’t want to do a super-smooshy love note to the band, but we couldn’t decide where to start.  We agreed that we would have an entire road trip (From Pittsburgh to Connecticut, Atlantic City, Montclair New Jersey and back to Pittsburgh) to sort out what we were going to write, and it was during that trip that the book started taking form, although since then it has changed shape entirely.

During our numerous discussions, Amanda and l agreed that while our fan community was loyal and strong, it was not especially large, and our goal was to write a book that would have appeal beyond our fan base.  We wanted to write the kind of book that would translate well from casual reader to academia and pop culture enthusiast.  Our original idea was simply to write about what it is like to be fans of a rock band…what is it really like to function as a part of this fan community?  After many discussions, we determined that what we really wanted to do was examine the Duran Duran fan base or use it as a type of case study on fandom.  The most basic question our book attempts to examine and answer is simply why people become fans, why they continue to be fans for great lengths of time, and how it is all accomplished.  Not easy questions, and definitely not with one simple answer. We’ve continued to learn a lot about ourselves, other people and even the band along the way.

I won’t speak for Amanda, but I have to say that this one project has taught me more about myself than going through college and grad school combined, and I’m not quite finished yet.  We have the band to thank for providing us with the motivation to start, and the persistence to keep going.  We’re nearly finished and we have ideas for other books and projects ahead.

The blog of course came as a by-product of writing the book.  The more we wrote, the more we could see that our community was missing some of the very things that we all needed.  The blog came about simply as a way to communicate the thoughts that were floating in our heads, especially as our “home” message board became quieter and quieter.  The blog is not necessarily a carbon copy of our book – we might introduce topics here that we’re currently writing about, but the blog is really more of the fluffy fun stuff that makes fandom fun.  We still try very hard not to make this place too gushy though, because I think the band has heard “I JUST LOVE YOU_______(enter band member name here)______” enough.  I’d like to think that the band is curious about what makes their fans really tick and why on earth we find the time to follow them as (mostly now) middle-aged people. I’d also like to think that we fans have enough brain power to get past their looks and really talk about the fun and maybe even the not-so-fun things about being a fan.  The goal is to bring fans together as a community, one blog at a time.  We’ll just keep our heads down and continue writing, and we hope you keep reading.

-R

Insane? Driven? Selfish? All of the above?

I have a big, fat headache.  I’m not sure why.  I keep thinking that it will go away but it hasn’t so far and I think it might be getting worse.  Thus, I haven’t been very productive today.  Maybe the headache is a hangover from yesterday’s activities.  No, I didn’t drink too much.  It isn’t that kind of hangover.  Nope, this hangover is due to the stress from focusing on tickets.  Why?  Well, it isn’t surprising to find out that we want the best seats possible.  Frankly, we got spoiled during our UK shows, especially that final show in Glasgow where we were second row center.  It was an almost ideal spot.  Center is key since I’m kinda a fan of Mr. John Taylor and Rhonda kinda likes that Mr. Dom Brown guy.  Center makes us both happy. The only thing that would have made those seats better would have been to in front. 

The point of this blog post isn’t so much about those seats in Glasgow as it is about our insanity or drive or both to get the best seats possible.  Is it normal for us to want to have the best seats?  I like to think so.  Do other fans try for better seats?  Again, I have seen others attempt to improve their seats.  Here’s the thing.  Rhonda and I have both been to many shows.  We are well into double digits of shows.  Yet, we have yet to get front row seats.  We have gotten to see them play in their hometown but have never had front row.  We were close as I mentioned in Glasgow and we were close to the dreaded Voodoo Festival in 2006.  Interestingly enough, we see many, many, many friends of ours now only have front row but front row MANY times.  Obviously, we are happy for all of them.  We, too, want to experience this, though.  That isn’t asking too much, is it?  Of course, I’m probably opening ourselves up to much ridicule here as I can imagine our readers who never get a show thinking how lucky we are to be able to go to so many shows.  I get that.  I know that we are lucky.  We also sacrifice for our shows.  Make no mistake there–we go to shows instead of doing other things or buying other things.  We have made the shows a priority in our lives. 

I guess my point is that I don’t think our desire for front row or close to it is rare.  I think that most fans would understand and have probably had the same hope.  Based on our experiences compared to others, I wonder what the heck we are doing wrong or what are our friends doing right?  How come they have gotten front row and we still can’t?  I feel like I’m missing some information or that information has been kept from us.  One answer that I’m sure will be coming is the chance for front row goes up with general admission.  Okay.  That might be true.  There are many other reasons that I HATE GA but…I can buy that explanation.  Even so, I still don’t feel like I know the secret to that.  How early do you get in line for front row?  Do you have to have VIP early access for that?  Maybe, getting up front has to do with people you know.  I don’t know.  If that’s the case, clearly, we don’t know the right people. 

Rhonda and I are not going to give up on this dream.  We are driven to have the best tour we can have.  While we both realize that our spot at the show isn’t the only element leading to our enjoyment, we both know the benefits of having good seats.  So, I’m openly asking…what suggestions can you all give for us to get those front row seats?

-A

“I Know the Answer…but…I’m Asking You the Question”

For the last month or so, our “daily” questions have become weekly ones.  Specifically, we have been asking people what they would like to ask the various band members if they had a chance to do a serious interview.  I went with this theme for a couple of reasons.  First, we are always complaining about how lame most questions are in an actual interview.  Heck, I think a lot of thought that of the non-fan questions asked during the Diamond in the Mind premiere were boring.  Second, this would give people an opportunity to think, seriously, about what they would like to know.  Unfortunately, the band has not asked us to present these questions to them.  (Have no fear, though, I have saved them…in case, pigs fly, and they do ask!)  Thus, we are not able to get the actual answers but, like everything else, this theme has taught me about our fandom, which is always a good thing! 

Each week, I asked what 10 questions people would like to ask a band member and I named that band member.  When it got to this week, which was the guitarist spot, I played it safe by allowing questions for any of the guitarists (Andy, Warren or Dom) or a combination of two or all three.  What was fascinating to me was which member received the most questions (John) and which one received the least (Simon).  Why is that?  Of course, not every question I got was of a serious nature no matter how many times I emphasized that.  Thus, I did not count things like, “Can I have your baby?” or “Will you marry me?” or things like that.  I definitely understand the instinct to do that.  Trust me, I do.  Nonetheless, I didn’t include those as I would never ask that for real and doubt that most fans would.  So, why did John receive the most questions and Simon the least?  I don’t really know but I could make some conclusions based on the responses I did get and based on our fandom.  First, people have gotten pretty comfortable asking John questions since he joined Twitter.  In fact, in most cases, when John is on, he is responding to questions or comments directed at him.  Simon, on the other hand, doesn’t use Twitter in the same way.  While he might respond to people every once in awhile, he doesn’t do it consistently like John does.  Second, people either seem to believe that Simon wouldn’t be serious in an interview or that they would not be able to ask him a question due to nerves, excitement, etc.  I can definitely understand being nervous!  I would be ridiculously nervous as well if I ever had the chance to ask them one question…never mind 10!  Again, though, I find it fascinating that people would be more nervous with Simon over John, Roger, Nick, Andy/Warren/Dom.  Why is that?  As for Simon not taking the interview seriously, I actually disagree with this.  Yes, I have seen Simon be “silly” but, for the most part, Simon is very pleasant and personable in interviews, at least in the ones I have seen.  Maybe, someone can point out interviews in which he doesn’t take them or the interviewers seriously. 

Beyond who got the most and least questions, I was also fascinated about what topics each band member was asked about.  Roger’s questions focused a lot on his decisions to leave the band and rejoin the band as well as the time in between.  I get wanting to know about that.  Of course, there were other topics touched on, including his family, touring, fans, music in general, health and DJing.  Nick’s questions, on the other hand, focused a lot more about art, fashion, photography, and traveling.  Nick was asked about Andy but Roger wasn’t.  Why is that?  Of course, Nick was also asked some questions about TV Mania, occupations, keyboarding and more.  John’s questions focused a lot on his life experiences, touring and Duran’s music.  In fact, John got the most questions about Duran’s music.  That fascinates me.  After all, John wasn’t there for an album and a half and there are many fans out there that feel like Nick and Simon are at the heart of the band (I don’t agree with this, by the way.) but they weren’t asked about Duran’s music nearly as much.  In fact, John was asked 21 different questions relating to their music and career.  Nick was asked 5 and Simon was asked 4.  What does this mean?  Does it mean that John is more about their music whereas Nick is more about the art/fashion/image that goes with the music, or so people think?  I don’t know, but I do find it interesting. 

Then, of course, when I asked about the guitarist, people responded in a fairly predictable way.  People’s preferences for one guitarist came through loud and clear.  Many seemed annoyed at the band for not making Dom an official member.  Others seemed irritated that Andy left and still others pointed out Warren’s contributions to the band.  I was not trying to stir the pot or bringing up old wounds.  I just wanted the guitarist spot to be treated equally, no matter who was occupying that position.  Obviously, what I was reminded of is how strongly people in our fan community feel about their guitarist of choice.  We aren’t united on this issue at all.  While some would welcome Andy back in a heartbeat, others now prefer Dom.  Yet, Warren would make others happy, if he returned.  It is not surprising to me that we are all so passionate about the guitarist.  After all, they have their own unique styles and represent very important times in the band.  It is difficult to separate the player from the music he was involved with.  For example, Andy will always be part of the Fab 5 and those early albums that many of us fell in love with.  Warren, on the other hand, was part of the album that brought the band back into the spotlight and many can argue that saved the band’s career with the Wedding Album.  Some prefer where the band is now with their latest, All You Need is Now, and would never want to replace Dom because of it. 

This weekly question theme was not as popular as our daily questions, but I am glad that I asked them.  Some things I knew about our community was reinforced, like how people are divided over guitarists.  I learned other things that surprised me, including that people would focus on Duran’s music and history with John.  Starting on Monday, we will go back to daily questions.  In fact, we will be doing brackets for Duran songs as influenced by one of our guest bloggers and guest blog, which you can read here.  I doubt the responses will be as insightful as these have been but I’m hoping that they are fun for all involved!

-A

No Time for Worry Cause We’re on the Roam Again…

Well, we aren’t on the roam again yet, but will be soon enough!  I have just gotten back from visiting my brother in Boston.  After a nice but very hot trip, I realize that Rhonda and I have less than a month before we go on tour.  Before I go any further, I have to explain that phrase “go on tour” as some of our readers might be confused by that.  When we say that we are going on tour, this doesn’t mean that we are going with the band.  Hardly.  They take a private plane to their gigs.  We drive.  When they do drive, someone drives for them.  We drive ourselves.  They get food no matter what.  We are lucky if we remember to eat.  They can request special food and beverages.  Sometimes, we drive or walk around for hours trying to find something that would work.  So, why do we say we are going on tour if we aren’t going with the band and we certainly aren’t playing ourselves?  Honestly, it is phrase that we have used for years and so have a lot of our friends.  To us, to go on tour means that you are going to multiple shows and that those multiple shows require traveling of some sort (usually a plane).  It means seeing Duran perform in more than one city, state or country in a very short period of time, like a week.  We are sorry if our use of the term bothers people but we like it and plan on using it still.  🙂

Back to the topic at hand, I just got back from a trip and Rhonda leaves on her family vacation very soon.  We leave to go on tour in less than a month.  What does this mean for the Daily Duranie?  It means that we have things to do, details to sort out!  Now, this isn’t our first tour and (hopefully) won’t be our last.  Thus, we have gotten pretty good at getting everything together.  We have quite a few of the big things sorted, including flights, hotels, and car rental.  The general information for the meetups are set with some minor details to fill in.  For example, we have to message the people going to the Biloxi meetup.  We also have to reserve the car service for Atlanta.  Speaking of that, if you are going to the Atlanta show and want to ride the party bus to and from the venue, let us know!  We are looking for more people!!!  It will be a good way to avoid parking, traffic or getting a taxi!  Plus, it will be a heck of a lot more fun!  We are also trying to find fun places to go after shows.  If you know of any fun, open late places in Atlanta, Durham and Portsmouth, please share!

Now that most of our “tour” is planned, I have the job of organizing it.  I have a binder, which has been affectionately named the “tour binder”.  It is obnoxiously anal as there are various dividers in the binder, including a section for plane information, hotel information, ticket information, restaurants and clubs, city information like maps, a place to keep track of costs and more.  In the very front, I will have a typed agenda, which includes dates and times and a general plan of activity.  Some might say that all of this organization is overkill and unnecessary.  Others might say that it takes all the fun out of a trip.  I disagree.  Let me explain.  First, everything important is kept in one location, which makes it that much easier to keep track of, which can save time.  This is very important when you are traveling on a daily basis or when you have consumed an adult beverage or four.  Second, this allows complete freedom while actually on the tour.  I’m sure many of you are questioning how this allows for that, especially with an agenda.  The agenda, while including times and dates, isn’t that specific.  It is detailed enough so that we know when we have to get on the road in order to be on time for the next activity or when we have to be at the airport, but it is open enough to allow choices.  That said, the more research done ahead of time the better.  For example, the agenda might say, “Get dinner”.  That’s logical, right?  Well, then, one just has to go over to the restaurants section to find a list of places that people recommended or looked good.  Thus, time would not be wasted on finding a place.  The agenda gives an outline, nothing more and nothing less. 

Here’s the thing.  No one wants to think on vacation.  No one wants to waste time on vacation with such limited time.  The more prepared we are ahead of time, the less thinking and wasting time happens during the actual trip.  Less thinking equals more fun.  At least, it does for us.  Of course, I’m sure that there are a lot of other ways people get ready for a tour.  How do you do it?  Do you just get the big things taken care of and will by the seat of your pants for the rest?  Do you map every minute out?  I would honestly like to know.  While we think we have a good system set up, I’m sure that there are other ways of getting ready that we could learn from. 

No matter what method or what system is used, the same thing is true.  Planning and organizing a tour means that a tour will happen.  Now, that I, officially, have the binder out, it means that it is serious now.  The tour is quickly approaching!  I cannot wait!!!

-A

Be My Icon

So far, today has been one of those mornings for me. I have my mind spinning in about a thousand different directions and have a full “to-do” list that needs tackling. That must be why I attempted to slide a small dish of cat food in front of my 4 year old for breakfast (she was not amused when I told her it was time to eat and I was even less so when she started whining that she was NOT going to be eating cat food!), and also why I poured cream in my coffee cup…without putting coffee in it first.  I’m feeling the panic of needing to get a lot of things accomplished in a fairly short amount of time, because during the month of August I will be at home a total of ten days. There are just four days that I have set aside to deal with school shopping for my oldest, and if I don’t stop now I’ll be stressing out before I really even begin my day.

So a couple of reminders:  we are still looking for some good blogs to post during my absence.  The two topics we are looking for are:  meeting the band, and a favorite concert experience (a song, a show…whatever you would like!)  I know that there are many people out there that love to tell their own “band” story – here is your chance!  Please send us your work by next weekend – July 28-29.  Looking forward to reading some great blogs!!

I took some time this morning to catch up on some of the little video “vlogs” that the band has been posting on Facebook.  These have got to be a lot simpler to accomplish than writing a blog and if I weren’t so concerned about scaring people with my morning appearance – I might just start doing the Daily Duranie blog as a “vlog”!!  In any case, I’ve enjoyed these small little “snapshots” the band has given during their tour, which I know must be feeling incredibly long to them by this point.  Not only have we seen sights of where they’ve been, but they seem to like giving a tiny taste of what they’ve seen and done culturally, which I really enjoy. I have added a few things to my own personal “Must see before I die” Bucket List this week as a result of these little videos.  For instance, Nick mentioned my most favorite word in the video I saw this morning:  Jewelry.  He was speaking of the Ottoman Empire jewelry collection from Turkey…a collection I studied pretty extensively in my antique jewelry courses, and I made a note that yes, someday I need to see that in person.  I find myself doing that quite a bit these days.  Dom posted a photo of the famous Trevi fountain in Rome, and that is something else I’ve yet to see, and so it too was added to the list.  Eventually, I’ll make it to these far off places. As it is, I accomplished a couple of things on my Bucket List:  I saw Duran Duran in their own country.  That was one thing I really didn’t think I’d ever do, and I still have plans to return for the convention later this year in Birmingham.  I can’t wait.

It’s funny how we all have these “lists”, whether they are in our heads or actually down on paper.  Amanda and I have this crazy (and probably unlikely) goal of seeing the band in every US state.  I don’t know exactly when we agreed to make this a goal for ourselves – I am sure she knows – but we’re making some head way now.  It’s difficult though because there are states that the band has never even gone, so it’s unlikely that they’ll travel to those places.  Like Hawaii for instance.  What’s up with that?? Let me say this: if they ever go to Hawaii – I’ll definitely be making THAT trip and I will be making it an extended trip!  I suppose the issue there is shipping all of the equipment must be a fortune, and it’s not like they can do several shows easily.  The same probably holds true for Alaska.  Oh well.  Maui will have to make due as “just” a family vacation once again.

What is really funny about our state goal is that as time has worn on, I’m finding that I’m less and less interested in seeing them here in my own country – I would rather travel abroad to see them so that I can experience something completely different and see friends that we’ve made online over the years.  There are a few places I’d love to see the band, should they tour again.  I’d like to go to the UK, meet up with our friends there and travel into Europe with them, I’d really like to go to Australia, and I’d also really love to see the band in South America.  Wistfully, I recognize that the years are somewhat limited. I don’t know that the band has plans to out do The Rolling Stones in the length of their career, so the chances that I will be able to do everything are slim.  Amanda and I will have to make choices as to where we should go, and I’m truly hopeful that the band really will go back into the studio and be successful writing and recording another album.

I’ve read several times this past week that the band is very tired.  These statements come from the band.  They’ve been mentioned to people, and let’s be honest – our community is small.  Word gets ’round.  There has been some irritation “voiced” more than once that fans aren’t giving the band space and privacy as they desperately need, and that the band is pretty sick of touring. Fair enough. A year and a half is a long time, to be sure.  Everyone needs an extended recharge now and then, and I don’t think that fact comes to light nearly as brightly as it does when you are in a place where privacy is non-existant, as is personal space.  I think it’s one thing to be in the same hotel as the band.  I prefer to stay at nice hotels myself and I’m willing to pay for them, but once again I feel it necessary to remind fans that these band members ARE PEOPLE.  It is simply not acceptable to interrupt their meals, their peace or their downtime. It is not OK to run up and grab them as though they are your long lost best friend.  The band probably doesn’t know you, no matter how long you’ve been a fan. It’s RUDE no matter where you are from or what your culture.  If they are out and about and make the attempt to hang out with fans in the bar, that’s one thing.  If they are out by the pool trying to relax, why is it so difficult to recognize the situation for what it is and leave them be? I have to believe that if we fans allow them a little dignity and space, that the respect will be returned.  

The band still have a busy month of touring ahead, and they’ll finish supporting All You Need is Now here in the US.  I don’t mind saying that I saw them a few times at the very end of the tour for Red Carpet Massacre when they were in the Northeast US. It was beyond obvious that they were sick to death of touring, of playing and unfortunately of fans bombarding them. I am hoping that this won’t end up being a repeat of that finish for them because they are completely burnt out.  We fans can help them by giving them some respect, privacy and space when we see them.

-R

(If you’re wondering why I chose that particular title…read the lyrics.)

For your reading pleasure….

Who here is excited to get their hands on John?

Ok, OK….I was just kidding.  Trying to wake y’all up on a Wednesday!  (Note to the readers: I really don’t say “y’all” much in real life.  Like ever.  I don’t know what made me type that. Things happen sometimes.)


We were treated to both the UK/Australia and US press releases for John’s book today, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran.  I hear that at least for the US, it’s coming out on October 16th.  So we’ve got one fairly “dry” month to get through before we will get the tactile pleasure of having John between our fingers and whispering in our ears. (audio version…get it?)

Wow.  I’m just going down a road on this blog today that I probably shouldn’t really travel.  Something must have been in my coffee this morning.  

One thing I have to say about this book is that…well, actually there are a few things…in the little bits and pieces that I’ve seen/read/etc. is that the big selling points for everyone who is NOT a Duran Duran fan seem to be the sex and drug highlights.  I’ve read about how the band had a number printed on the morning “This is what date it is, where you are, and what we’re doing here” paper that they received each morning.  That number told them what the age of consent was in that particular place.

My comment?  Nice.  I guess there really WAS a reason I wasn’t allowed to go to concerts alone back then.

All joking aside, I really hope that the book is less “tell-all sensational” than the press seems to be making it out to be.  I really hope to gain some insight beyond John’s drug of choice and why.  I mean, that’s all fine and good – but I really want to know about him.  I don’t think I’m alone in that desire, but I also completely recognize what sells books.  It is just business, even though I’m still hoping for that cathartic moment when I read or write – where it all just becomes clear.  I kind of think this is one of those many situations where you can go into it just expecting far, far too much.  I’ve seen so many fans hoping that he’s just going to open up the flood gates and tell us everything – from why he changed his name to what exactly happened (and all the dirt contained within) in his marriage to Amanda, and just why it is that he and Andy seem so incredibly bitter towards one another.  I suppose that from my point of view, I just think John has to keep something for himself.  I have no idea what he does or doesn’t reveal in this book – but if I had to guess, there is plenty that he simply chooses not to say at all.  While it might drive fans crazy, I can’t really blame him.  There’s a saying I’ve heard amongst musicians and even some actors/actresses.  They leave it all on the stage for our enjoyment, and whatever is left over is theirs, and theirs alone.

Seems fair to me, even if my natural curiosity about people makes me wonder what’s beyond that glossy sheen we see in the photos, in the music and on the stage.

Here are the press releases, for your reading and gawking pleasure.

UK/Australia

North America

I personally can’t wait to have John telling me his story….I’m definitely getting that audio book and I dare say it might even sell better than the printed version.

-R

Lonely In Our Nightmares: Fantasy, Reality & Arcadia

Good morning from cloudy Southern California. I’ve been taking some time this morning to catch up, and as I did I kept thinking that I smelled a campfire. At first I thought I was imagining it – maybe I was daydreaming a little too carefully about our upcoming trip! When I got up to put a dish in the sink I could really smell smoke outside. This is the time of year when typically if I smell smoke that means there’s a fire in the canyon near my house. (Our neighborhood does back up to the canyon, but the fire would have to climb up the ravine and ravage an entire neighborhood including the elementary school and cross a street before it got to my house. Even so, no one wants anything like that.)  We haven’t had a fire down there in the canyon for a few years, so I’m really hoping it’s nothing serious, and of course sense it’s cloudy here (The July version of June Gloom!), I can’t see smoke. It’s been a fairly dry year, and that is never a good thing. I haven’t heard/seen anything on the internet yet, but I will keep checking. Never a dull moment, right?  (The update is that the fire is actually in Camp Pendleton, which is a Marine base about 15 miles south of me.)

The band is apparently in Rome today (a special thanks to John Taylor for tweeting that – once again, I have lost track.  I would be completely useless to the band if I were supposed to be the one telling them where they’re going.  When Amanda and I travel – I depend on her to tell me!)  So far I have heard that their Verona show was very good – in fact they put Mediterranea back on the set list and I really hope it stays there for the US. I love that song, and more distinctly, I love Dom’s guitar on that song. I’ve also heard that the fans are pretty intense in Italy.

Intense is a curious word for me. Truthfully, I can’t imagine what that really means. I’ve only seen shows here in the US (Crazy, loud…and as Roger has said…we can be raucous. It’s true and it’s something I’m not especially proud of, but sometimes you have to step away to really see yourself the way others see you.), and the UK. (Far more respectable and comfortable with the band and vice-versa) I don’t think I ever really saw anything that came close to intense. So when I read yesterday that fans had literally swarmed the hotel that the band was staying at, and that they really couldn’t move about freely, I was surprised. This is 2012, not 1984. I suppose part of the problem is that the band hasn’t been to Italy for a while, and they are far overdue for those shows they missed last year, but I really don’t know. I would imagine that for the band, it’s a double edged sword. They probably enjoy being loved that much on one hand, but on the other – I would guess it’s difficult to get used to once again. I’m not a celebrity (In fact it’s even a little odd when someone recognizes me just from a message board!) and so I don’t know what it’s really like to never be able to leave my house without being followed, photographed or “loved” by fans. I guess it’s part of the job, but even so, I don’t think I’d enjoy it much. Truth be told, I’ve stayed at the same hotel as the band before, but even when it has happened – I haven’t attempted to go wandering up to them as though we’re buddies. They don’t know me, and I really don’t know them, either. I know them from the stage. Period. Not that I wouldn’t welcome them if they wanted to talk, but the fact is – they’re people. They aren’t just the objects from our fantasies or our little piece of utopia when we tour. They deserve a little space, and you know – if they want to go downstairs for coffee or exercise in the morning I’m not going to bug them.

I know I’m definitely not the only fan who has stayed at the same hotel as the band – whether by chance or otherwise planned. The funny thing is, once we’re at that hotel we are immediately branded as “FANS”. I don’t know if it’s somehow stamped on our forehead, or if it’s the way our eyes dart around the crowd as though we’re constantly on the lookout for something, or if it’s the way we tend to move around as though we’re bees getting close to the beehive, but it is apparently obvious. This drives me crazy. I mean, there’s not much more condescending than to have a band member or even a member of their entourage look at you with that painful look of disdain as though they’re saying “Oh, of course you’re staying here.” I am truly surprised they don’t roll their eyes when they see us. On one hand, I’m almost immediately sorry I booked at that hotel, and on the other – I’m completely offended that must think they’re the only people on the planet that want  or can stay in such places, AND that they’d assume that because I appear to be a fan (that damn branding mark on my forehead again, apparently…) I would even think to go running up to them begging for attention. Of course, I am but one person of thousands, and as I’ve seen, although I will control myself, others will not. Sure, I get excited seeing John or Roger, but I’m not going to have a freak-out as they walk by. I would definitely smile to myself if I saw Dom (I have not ever seen him.), but I will not be the one running up to them or causing a scene.  That’s embarrassing for all of us. I cringe for the fan, for the band, and for myself, because I know that once that happens (and it always does), the band is going to be chalking us all up to be exactly the same way. It’s one thing to smile and nod or say “good morning” like I would to anybody else, it’s another to throw myself upon them as though they are just as happy to see us as we are them. Maybe that’s just me?

My husband reminds me of something when he talks about going to trade shows that I try to keep in my mind as I’m traveling – and that’s when I’ve been with him after a long day and we make our way back to the hotel lobby, and we’re stopped by yet another customer as we’re headed upstairs. It’s annoying. He’s exhausted and the last thing he wants to do is talk more business, and I’m thinking in my head as I’m smiling and nodding “You know, you’ve had him all day. My turn now.” That has got to be the way it really is for them, and I get it.

I’ve been writing a lot for my chapter on conventions this week, and I’ve been doing some research at the same time. One of the topics I use in the chapter is the idea of a “weekend only” utopian world. For those who don’t really understand what a utopia is – it’s basically paradise, our own personal Garden of Eden, so to speak. For most fans, our fandom is our escape, and in our case specifically – the band is our fantasy. We use our fandom as a way to sort of recharge, and when we go away, whether it’s to conventions, a meetup or even gigs or shows, we are submerging ourselves, even if only briefly, into that utopian world.  Part of that fantasy is staying in great hotels, and living that pretentious lifestyle, if only for a weekend. Sure, part of the allure for many is the possibility of running into the band, but I also believe it has as much to do with being able to stay at the nicest hotels and truly escaping from our normally mundane and regular lives. I think that part of our problem with the band, especially when we run into them at a hotel or offstage, is that our brains expect for them to carry through the fantasy we’ve sorted them. Moreover, our brains do not recognize the fantasy for being the Arcadian place we go in our heads. Instead we see fandom as offering not an escape, but rather an alternative reality. (and one that I try to get to as often as possible!)

So, is fandom our Second Life?? What???

I’ll let you all sort that one out while I return to my regular life and do some gardening.

-R

It’s not quite Mediterranea…

While Duran Duran is in Italy this week, it would seem that many of my friends are packing up and getting ready to join them. I’m slightly envious and wish I could join the fun, alas I will live vicariously through their posts and things as they get a chance to update me with the current happenings. I might even live a bit through various band members as I did last week when Dom, John and even Simon would post pictures of their opportunities for tourism offstage!

My own vacation is creeping up now and I don’t mean the one where I go galavanting across country with Amanda. My own family is going to be taking a vacation soon and I will be completely unplugged for a while. (I’m getting the shakes just thinking about it, so chances are I will cheat – yes I’m already planning to cheat – and I’ll probably check in when I’m able to find an internet connection!)  Want to know where we’re going? We are going camping up near Mount Shasta in Northern California. Trailer and all. (Somehow I suspect this might be along the lines of Nick Rhodes’ personal version of hell, which makes me laugh!  The photo above is our camping trailer just after we’d arrived last year and barely settled in.) Five of us, including the 4 year old little girl, the 13 year old gamer son (just imagine his withdrawals because that computer is NOT coming along!) and the 15 year old teenager, in this trailer for two weeks.  Will we all survive? Why do I suddenly have the chills?? I might post pictures on twitter from time to time so you’ll have to check in to see our madness. The good news is that once we’re there, it’s absolutely gorgeous and QUIET…which lately, I’ve found myself craving. There’s a lake for the kids, a beach for me (see picture below), and my husband can do as much hiking and fishing as he’d like.

We did this last year for a week and I survived quite nicely, so I’m hopeful that I’ll come back recharged once again just in time for my trip to meet up with Amanda (and many of you) to see the band. That’s right: Rhonda needs a two week vacation just to get ready for this Daily Duranie tour! This week I’m busily looking around my house and realizing I don’t have a moment to really spare. I have lists to make, a chapter to finish and blogs to prepare.

What I can tell you is that while I’m gone, you shouldn’t notice any difference in Daily Duranie. We have been planning ahead for my absence because we certainly can’t allow Daily Duranie to go dark – we publish DAILY. (Yes actually there are many, many moments when I question my…our…intelligence in naming the blog The Daily Duranie. I also question why I’ve followed a band for over thirty years. There seems to be a bit of a pattern there, no??)  What we do need though, is help from YOU, our readers.

While I am gone, we will be doing two weeks of themed blogs. The first week, we will be blogging about our favorite concert experience. This can be a blog about an entire show, one fleeting moment, or maybe a certain song that knocked your socks off. The second week, we are blogging about meeting the band. This can be one member, all members…at a signing, in the middle of a grocery store, at the record store, or out in front of their hotel or even their home(s) if you were ever that brave for that matter. We want to hear from you!

Send us your blogs no later than Saturday July 28th to our mailbox. Please include a thumbnail picture and a short bio to be included on the blog, and if you need ideas – just look in our archives under “guest bloggers”. If for some reason you would prefer to submit your blog anonymously, feel free – just let Amanda and I know.

So, with that must get myself down to business here. I have spreadsheets to make, lists to go over….and a chapter to finish!!
-R

DDM: Fan Club? Fan Community? Both?

I originally planned on posting a guest blog today as I’m in Boston visiting my brother but after reading everyone’s comments to the blog yesterday about DDM, I felt like I had more to say (Don’t I always?!) Anyway, one thing I truly love about doing this blog with Rhonda is that I have always pushed to think. I am forced to think when I write and then I think when I read your comments (here, Facebook and twitter). Yesterday’s blog post focused on one aspect of DDM: Member extras. It wasn’t about the presales and it wasn’t about message boards. Nonetheless, people’s responses to the blog did bring up the boards and the presales. One other large aspect that seemed to come up is cost, which in turn brought out the idea of exclusivity vs. inclusivity. This blog then asks more fundamental questions surrounding DDM and the “official fan community.”

As we all know DDM is Duran Duran’s official fan community and it costs money to join. Before we dive into the various aspects of what DDM has to offer, let me ask this. Should fan communities cost money? Obviously, in this case, the fan community costs money with the idea being that it offers things to the members. This idea isn’t new. Lots of things work like this and I can think of many examples. People buy gym memberships in order to use the various equipment, take classes offered there, use the pool, etc. You pay for these opportunities. This is designed in the same way. It is done with the idea being that if you offer the right things and things that cannot be provided anywhere else, people will pay and join. Should fandoms work that way, though? Why or why not? I’m sure from a band’s point of view it is a way to get money without the hard work of recording an album or playing shows. I can understand that. I can also understand the fan’s desire to join a fan club or community. Certainly, I get that. I want to admit that I’m a fan. Isn’t that how the first fan clubs got started, as a way to show one is a fan and to find other fans? Yet, as soon as money is involved, it could start to exclude people. It may no longer being about being a fan and now becomes a fan with money. Yes, I obviously know that DDM isn’t a fortune. Yet, it does cost and that extra might be too much for some.

The next question that comes to mind is what should a fan community do. The more and more I think about the fact that DDM calls itself “Duran Duran: The Fan Community”, the more and more I question their use of the word, community, to describe it. Is it a community or a club? What’s the difference between the two? To me, a community involves people interacting with each other. A club means that people join something and may or may not interact. Clearly, DDM tries to do both. They push the community by having things like the message boards and they push the club by offering presale tickets and other items like Katy Kafes. Is this what DDM should be doing? Should they be trying to do both the community and the club? If they should be a club only, what features should they offer? What should they offer if they focus on being a community? Perhaps, part of the problem is that they don’t have a focus. There is no real game plan.

A couple of things that came up yesterday in the various comments is that DDM is no longer, if ever, really able to come up with a community, which is ironic since they is what it is entitled. People want a place to get the news about Duran and they definitely don’t feel like they get that there. Then, if it is going to be a community, a place for fans to come together and interact, how should that be done? I’m happy that a number of you feel like this place is a better place for community. People mentioned that they are able to freely speak their minds without worry. Yes, people may disagree but it is done respectfully. Rhonda and I would like to think that we have helped to create this open and respectful environment. It should also include EVERYONE, no matter where you live, what your favorite Duran stuff is or isn’t, no matter how many shows you have been to, no matter how many times you have met or haven’t met the band, etc. This leads back to the first question. Should being part of a fan community have anything to do with money? Should having the ability to talk to other fans be based on a fee? What about those VIP tickets? People complain that there are not guaranteed meet and greets with VIP tickets, which is a valid point, but what about the fact that not everyone can afford those? Does the way DDM runs create an exclusivity between fans with the money factor? Obviously, the idea of joining a fan club is a way to differentiate oneself from a non-fan. Does DDM do this or just keep us, fans, separated from each other?

I don’t have answers to these questions but I do think they are fundamental questions. What should Duran’s fan club be like? Is that the same as the fan community? Should it be? How should it be done to include everyone? What do you all think? -A