Category Archives: Duran Duran

Take Five with Karen Booth! (Contest inside!)

For today I’ve decided it is time to Take Five with another one of my favorite people in the Duran community, Karen Booth! Karen is the author of one of my favorite books (soon to be two!), Bring Me Back, and as I’ve mentioned – she’s a dear friend of mine as well. I treasure her friendship, insight and overall “smartness” – she has unknowingly hauled me back from the edge of insanity more than once with just a simple yet funny tweet. Sometimes I just need the reminder to lighten up!

Karen is also going to be one of the author panelists we feature on a Q&A panel at the Durandemonium 2013 convention in October, so do your homework – get yourself a copy of her book so that you can ask her all sorts of tough questions in October!

Not only is Karen doing Take Five for us, she has agreed to a fun little contest to celebrate that Bring Me Back is now available in PRINT!  This is a huge deal and we send her a hearty congratulations – I am sure Christopher Penman is proud even if he knew it would happen all along.

The contest is very simple:  in the book, there are many references to Duran Duran. Some are very obvious, others might not be.  What we want you to do is to pick out your favorite, explain why it is your favorite, and send it to us via our gmail.  Creativity counts!  This is not going to be a random drawing – the more creative the reference and most importantly, the explanation, the better chance you have of winning.  Karen, myself and Amanda will be reading your entries and we are ready for some thoughtful, creative and entertaining ideas!

What do you win, you ask?  A signed copy of her book along with a super special Banks Forest T-shirt, suitable for wearing to our DD convention in the fall!! (If you don’t know who Banks Forest is, you should probably click on the link along the right side of the blog and go grab yourself a copy right away!)

Contest entries are due April 25, and a winner will be chosen and announced back here on the blog on May 2nd.  Good luck!!

-R

WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT DO YOU DO?  I’m Karen Booth, and I’m an author. The snappy part of my bio says that I was raised on 80s music, Judy Blume and the films of John Hughes. I’m also a mom, wife, Twitter addict and proud Duranie.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG AND WHY? This is so hard! I’m going to pick two old-school Duran songs and one new one. “Careless Memories” is the first of my old-school choices. Simon’s vocals are so great and it kicks ass live. I’m so glad they played it on the last tour. I have a soft spot for the video, too. Lots of adorable 80s-ness going on (puffy shirts galore!) and I nearly faint when JT unleashes the penetrating stare from beneath those burgundy bangs. The second would be “Save a Prayer”, which I realize is a pretty obvious favorite, but no other Duran song transports me to my adolescence like that one. I can feel what it was like to be sixteen and feel like Duran was my means of escape, hoping there were bigger and better things beyond the confines of my bedroom. As far as new songs go, I just love “Networker Nation”. The groove in that song is crazy.  My 11 year-old son groans when I put this on in the car. It was on extra-heavy non-stop rotation for a while.

TELL US ABOUT THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW THE BAND LIVE OR ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE DD GIG.  The first time I saw the band was in ’84. I don’t remember much about it other than what I wore (yes, a JT fedora was part of the ensemble) and what I did (Scream, dance, scream some more.) My favorite DD gig was actually the last time I saw them, August of 2012 in Durham, NC. First off, there was an amazing pre-party hosted by Daily Duranie. I got to meet and hang out with Rhonda and Amanda, as well as a bunch of lovely Duranie ladies I’d met on Twitter – Boston Michelle, TX Michelle, Angie, Anne, Jonee…I know I’m forgetting somebody and I will be horrified when I remember it later. We had cocktails called Stolen Leopards and enjoyed the pure fun of hanging out with other Duran fans. So much fun! I was then able to attend my second meet-and-greet, except this time it was free of traumatic incidents (it’s a long story, but my BFF fainted at the first m&g). Despite JT dressing more like The Man in the Yellow Hat than a rock star, it was a dream-come-true and I have the photos to prove it. Then there was the show, which was unreal. I’d seen them ten months before that in DC, so I knew they were firing on all cylinders, but the Durham show was off the charts. Amazing set list, incredible performance – perfect!

THE AGE OLD QUESTION: WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND MEMBER??…IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE, TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF MEMORABILIA.  I do have a favorite member although I can say with all sincerity that I adore the entire band and my first love is their music. That being said, it’s absolutely no secret to anyone that John is my favorite. No other man on the planet has captured my imagination for as long as he has (not even my hubby, but that’s not really fair…I “knew” JT years earlier). I was a goner the first time I saw that knock-kneed, lanky frame slinging the bass and sporting that heavenly mop of hair in the “Planet Earth” video.
Now, I realize I have already answered this question, but I have to share a cool story about Duran memorabilia. I used to have a ton of Duran gear—rare singles, picture books, tons of buttons, magazines. Unfortunately, we had a house fire in 2008, and I lost it all. One of my most prized possessions was a Japanese DD picture book that was ridiculously expensive, especially considering that I couldn’t read a single word in it. What sold me? The picture of John in a swimming pool wearing an itty-bitty bathing suit (something I generally abhor, but he pulls it off), holding a camera. If you’ve seen the picture, you’ll know why, in the era of no Internet and at the age of fifteen, I cherished that photo. I shared the story of the Japanese picture book with my writing critique partner, Karen Stivali, the day before she left for a vacation on the Jersey shore two years ago. The very next day, she came across a bag of vintage Duran buttons at a record store on the boardwalk and bought it for me. In that bag, was a button of the infamous John photo!
HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT THE BAND HAS INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER? I can honestly say that I’m not sure I would be where I am today without Duran Duran. They were the first band I became truly obsessed with and that set me on a lifelong journey of music devotion. My obsession led me to land a DJ spot on the campus radio station when I went to college. The radio station led me to an internship at Twin/Tone Records in Minneapolis, which eventually became my first music industry job. If I hadn’t taken that job, I might never have met my husband at a music conference. Years later, my love for the band influenced a post-mommyhood career change when I decided to write ‘Bring Me Back’, which was inspired by a dream I had about John Taylor. 

Hell hath no fury like a Duranie’s ego

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the polls lately. During the past month or so I have voted for Rio as the best album of all-time, I’ve made sure that Duran has taken out both Hall and Oates AND Rick Springfield in their mock race to the Hall of Fame (or infamy, if you prefer), I’ve voted to make certain that DD has properly whipped the collective spandex-clad behinds of KISS, I’m in the process of proclaiming that Duran’s eyeliner was MUCH better than that of Depeche Mode (our keyboardist makes YOUR keyboardist look like an amateur!), and I think I’m also voting that Duran Duran has made me spend more money than any other band or person in the world….except for maybe my oldest daughter.

You get the point, we’ve been voting a lot lately. All in good fun, and all to protect the reputation of Duran Duran. (Or is it??  More on that in a bit…) Take this past week for instance. We were up against KISS in a pretty tight contest for…well…I’m not really sure, but I think it’s for “bragging” rights in a mock-contest for who should enter the hall of fame (I still say it’s infamy). During the last week there was one point where the deck was stacked well-against our heroes, we were down about 80%, which was frightening. Any self-respecting Duranie was not going to see that go down without a fight. So there was voting. There was also a lot of coercion from DDHQ to go and vote, which certainly amused me. Apparently I am not the only one with a competitive streak! As it came down to the wire (and KISS fans certainly put up a valiant fight), Duran fans (Wait, was it the fans that won, or the band???) pulled out ahead, and now we’re up against Depeche Mode for the final.

Even more interesting than the poll itself, are the comments that are below the poll. For the first few times I voted, I didn’t really look beyond the “vote now” box. I was in a hurry to stuff the ballot box, so to speak. Then yesterday, something caught my eye and I began reading the comments. You would have thought that we were arguing over political beliefs, or even religion – which I suppose to some extent, we were. The comments ranged from explanations as to why KISS was far more innovative and long-lived than Duran Duran (I could do an entire thesis paper on this statement alone, but I will save that for another day.); to out-and-out insults, and to be fair – they were indeed hurled in both directions. I didn’t see any threats of bodily harm though, perhaps I didn’t read far enough?

Why do we do these things? Keep in mind, I was voting with vigor right along with the rest of you…but why? Does it really matter what a poll on the San Jose Mercury News website really says? Why do we care so much? I can almost read the comments I’m going to get on this one now – “I never vote in those stupid contests.”  “I’m about the MUSIC.”  “Who cares about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anyway?”  “Why are you writing a blog about this stuff anyway?  Don’t you have kids to raise???” (I think that last one will come from my husband….) The fact is, for all of you self-proclaimed “I don’t care-ists” out there, I know of many (Whose names I can mention right here!) that have voted their hearts out. They automatically know how to erase their cookies so that they can vote again and have that vote be counted, and they do it over and over again. I think most people know these are probably silly contests, but there is this competitive streak in a lot of us that just refuses to be ignored.

Fans of sports teams have a similar problem, but the way they “vote” is with their cheers at the games. While I know there is quite a bit in the way of ribbing going on between fans of sports teams, the “answer” is spoken at the end of each season, when we know who – at least for that year – is the “best” team. Music fans have a different problem.  It isn’t as though there is a constant “Battle of the Bands”. When we attend music events like concerts – typically unless it’s a festival there’s only a band or two playing, and they really aren’t in competition with one another. So it is only during polling such as this that we have to put our voting fingers to good use. None of us want to see the band of our choice sink like the Titanic.

The one sticking point is whether or not crusades such as these polls are about saving the reputation of the band, or our own egos. Let’s face it, art and music…it’s all about having different tastes. We all like different things. Somehow though, that idea of taste gets intertwined with what might be “good taste” or “bad taste”, and we all pass judgement on one another based on what we believe to be one or the other. So when we vote, are we voting because we really believe the band is the best, musically speaking – or are we voting and arguing over our vote simply because at this point, our ego and the reputation of the band is so closely bound that we can’t tell the difference?

No matter…I have voting to do.  🙂

-R

Wanna get in on the voting?

Check out the Duran Duran vs. Depeche Mode for the FINAL “mock” Hall of Fame bracket here.

Breaking open doors I’ve sealed up before

When I am stressed out about something, my creativity completely tanks. I don’t really know if that’s a normal thing for most people – or something that only yours truly deals with, but today my friends, I am stressed. In hindsight, I should have seen this coming, but even so – when the words are just put out there to the universe, it makes it all real.

On Sunday night, my oldest came downstairs to talk to her dad and I. Both of us knew something was up just by the way she walked into the room. She sat down on a chair and told us that she’d been thinking it over, and has decided that she’d like to return to her “home” high school for her junior and senior years, rather than continue to attend her school of the arts. On one hand, I should be thrilled. I hate that drive every single day and anything to keep me off the freeways of Southern California should be applauded. On the other hand, I am very sad. I have tried extremely hard to remind myself that this is her life, not mine, and her dreams are just that – hers. There are a lot of parts to this story, a lot of subtle things that I really can’t get into here on the blog, so I will just say this: she is growing up and I think that she is changing her mind about a lot of things. It is extremely difficult to sit back as a parent and be supportive of choices that you’re unsure about, but I trust my daughter implicitly. She has a good head on her shoulders, and if she really feels that her current school is no longer the right place for her, I have to remember that she is the one who has to be happy with what she is doing, no matter how “great” the school looks on paper.

I know that for most of you, this is probably something small. Who cares, right? If you knew my daughter (and a few of you have known her since she was seven!), you would understand just how big of a deal this is. While most young kids in our neighborhood played outside with friends, had slumber parties and did fun things during elementary school, my daughter was at dance class – a decision she made all on her own. She was a competitive dancer from the time she was five years old, dancing a minimum of 10 hours a week, up to her maximum of about 20 hours a week when she was twelve – doing everything from ballet to hip hop. At that time, she was injured while training and had a hairline fracture on her L5 that sidelined her for about six months while she was in intensive PT to help heal the injury and combat the curvature of her spine that was taking place as a result of the fracture. This is all going back a bit – but she has had lingering back issues ever since, and she had to quit dancing competitively, it is just too hard on her back, and to think that at one point they thought she’d be in a brace for ten months with possible surgery, I think overall she’s done very well. She never once complained, choosing instead to start doing musical theater. She worked her butt off to be accepted to the school, even more so to change from Commercial Dance to Music & Theater, and now she’s ready to leave it all behind. Truthfully, the news didn’t surprise me. She has had a difficult time this past year – the very nature of the school is such that kids travel from all over Southern California to be there, and so your friends might live an hour or more away from you.There’s not much getting together on the weekends, and “after school” is nearly non-existant, so it’s a tough life with little chance to make long lasting friendships, in her case. Lately she has been spending more time with her friends here at what would have been her regular high school, and I have always told her that if she wanted to return back to her regular school, the choice was hers. I didn’t want her to have regrets, or to blame her dad and I for missing out on the high school experience (her school doesn’t have football, cheerleaders, spirit days…that’s just not what it’s about). Of course, I never really thought she’d take me up on the offer. Funny how that happens. Naturally, this isn’t the end of the world, and she can still act, sing, dance and do all of the same things she is doing now – just in a different place with a set of friends that is truly supportive. I just have that normal parental worry, and now, rather than having one child to register into school next year, I have three. (One in kindergarten, one in a homeschool program for high school, and one in regular high school.)

So, I’m stressed. When I’m stressed, I have a tough time writing (and making SENSE).  My inspiration seems to be completely drained, and I’ve only been writing for a short time.  It makes me wonder how the band does it. What could possible inspire them after 30 years??? In the past, I’ve never really thought much about how the band writes an entire album.  I think the blank space, the “empty air”, would drive me crazy. The thoughts of knowing that you’ve got to come up with a good 15 songs, out of thin air, would be a constant source of anxiety. There are some mornings when I come downstairs, sit down, and there’s absolutely nothing.  I wonder if that happens to the band? I can’t really live my “real world” behind – I have no studio to step into or a door to close, but even if I did – I wonder how they get themselves going each day. Does Simon have as much difficulty writing lyrics when he’s stressed as I do writing this blog?

Many times, readers have asked Amanda and I how we do this each day (write the blog).  They think we’re nuts for ever calling it Daily Duranie. They want to know if we worry about ever running out of things to say. The thing is, Amanda and I are just like anyone else. We both have lives outside of what happens with Duran Duran, or what goes on here online.  Part of the point behind the blog is just to talk about what it is like to be a fan, and for me that includes the rest of my life and family. That alone gives me a lot to say, although the challenge, especially at times like this – is finding how it possibly relates back to the band.  One thing that I can say (and if I could just remind myself of this every morning) is that it’s only when I stop to think about having to write every single day that I start really worrying about what to say, and about whether or not I’ll run out of things to say. It is sort of like this: I sit down each day and just think about that one blog, that one day. If I start considering about the entirety, it’s only then that I feel daunted by the challenge…and never fear, we’re probably not going to run out of things to say just yet, even if writers block occasionally hits me in the face!

-R

Video Favorites!

As you all know, we ask a question each day on facebook and twitter.  This daily question always has a this or that format.  It is not open-ended and the people just have to pick their preference between the two.  This is a bracket format of sorts until we finally have a winner of that topic.  The topics we have covered so far include favorite song overall, favorite song of each studio album, favorite b-side, favorite merchandise hoped to be made, and now video.  This topic of videos seemed like a logical choice since Duran has made a lot of videos in their career and because they truly are great pieces of film.  On a personal note, I always enjoy seeing what others fans think and prefer.  The results of the top 5 videos weren’t terribly surprising  to me for the most part.  Here they are.  What do you think?  Are these your 5 favorites?

Save a Prayer:
I have to admit that this video is definitely one of my favorites even though the song is not.  It is truly a beautiful video with all of the beach shots combined with the lush colors of the jungle.  Yet, I think the part that really gets to me is the ending when they are all walking towards the large religious statue with bare feet then stare up in wonder.  There is something about that shot that makes me think a bit more than just being pretty.  Is it the awe of religious faith?  Is it the power of humanity to build something so enormous?  Is it showing truly how small humanity is in the vastness of the world?  All of the above?  Something else?
I Don’t Want Your Love:
I was surprised that this one kept moving through even though some of the votes were razor thin.  I have always enjoyed this video.  I don’t know that I would include it in my personal top 5.  The concept of having Duran on trial is an interesting one to me.  Yet, now, I wonder if this concept wouldn’t have been better for Notorious.  The only part that seemed to have a real connection to the lyrics is the dancing couple.  Yes, yes, I realize that Duran was never about having the lyrics and the actions of the video match completely.  I get that.  I am sure the idea is that a cheater, which seems to be what the song is saying, could be exposed and could be tried in a court, especially a divorce court!  All of that said, I, for one, appreciated some of the very nice shots of a certain bass player.  
Girl Panic:
I am fascinated that this made it into the top 5!  Yes, a lot of males seemed to vote for it.  Okay.  A lot of females did, too.  It seems to me that most people were voting for it take this video as a representation of Duran Duran with the luxury cars, five star hotels, parties, etc.  While I could respond to that at length about how I think these images are all stereotypes, I will just refer people to our VERY lengthy blog about this video, which you can read here.  I think it is a super intelligent video in that they are saying a lot, I believe, underneath all of the images with supermodels and fame.  That said, I would probably pick Falling Down for having real intelligence combined with more images with the guys.
Ordinary World:
I am not going to lie.  I am very surprised that this was the second favorite as far as the people who participate in our daily question.  If you notice videos like Rio or Hungry like the Wolf are not included in this list of top 5.  I understand that the garden shots in this video are beautiful as is the wedding imagery, which matches the album cover.  I also get that the wedding implies hope for the future, which, again, I understand.  Yet, I still have to wonder if people chose this video due to the song or was it really due to the video.  As we know, Ordinary World, the song, is a real fan favorite (authors of this blog excluded).  Does the video really rank as the second best of Duran’s?  Personally, it doesn’t.  
Favorite video—New Moon on Monday:
I have to admit that this is my favorite video.  While it is not as deep or as intelligent as Falling Down or Girl Panic, I love that there are different length versions with a real plot.  As someone who is political, who has teaching degrees in history, political science and sociology, I love the storyline of revolution from a government that is clearly tyrannical in nature.  I love the idea of them working together for a cause!  I’m a sap that way.  Is it cheesy?  Yes, clearly, at the end, during the neat little celebration with fireworks and dancing, it is cheesy.  It is fun, though.  Plus, can John Taylor look any better than he does in this video?  I also have to smile knowing that the band hates this one and the fans generally love it!
So, what do you think of the choices?  Do you agree with the list?  What are your top 5 favorite Duran Duran videos?
-A

I Won’t Turn You Out if You’ve Got Someone Else

I have a notebook of blog topics that I keep handy as I never know when an idea, a topic might hit me.  Of course, I don’t necessarily know when I might write about these topics as I will gladly move the more general, can talk about anytime topics out of the way for news or, at least, something new.  This weekend, I had hoped to talk about the packaging in the TV Mania vinyl that US fans who ordered it are now starting to receive.  Unfortunately, I can’t do that.  Why?  My vinyl arrived.  Unfortunately, big time, I am missing the booklet that is supposed to be included.  To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement.  Rhonda tells me that this booklet is a must have.  I’m sure.  I emailed Vinyl Factory and hope that they can just send me a booklet.  If they can, it will still take awhile to get to me.  🙁 

As I thought about this last night, it dawned on me why this happened.  It is karma.  It is psychic ability.  It is some supernatural power that Vinyl Factory or Nick or someone has.  What sin have I committed?  What crime have I done to warrant such a thing?  What stupid loser move did I make?  It is simple.  I cheated.  I have cheated on Duran.  How did I do this?  It is simple.  I bought concert tickets to see some other band!  Oh my gosh!  The horror!!!  It’s true.  I did.  I’m confessing.  I bought tickets this week to see Depeche Mode in August in Chicago.  Now, I’m sure it wouldn’t be that big of a deal but…Depeche hasn’t just been any old band for me.  They have a special place in my heart.  You see they were the first band that I saw in concert.  There, of course, is a reason for that.  As soon as I became a Duranie and saw Sing Blue Silver, I wanted to go to a concert.  Yet, I didn’t know about Duran’s 1984 tour as that it is just when I was becoming a fan.  By 1987, for the next Duran tour, I had moved further away from Chicago and knew that there was no way that my parents would drive me hours to go to a concert.  Plus, there was no way that they were going to let their 12 year old go to a concert by herself and they didn’t want to go with.  Nope.  I had to wait until I was old enough to go to a show by myself.  I was declared old enough by 1990 when I had turned 15.  Duran definitely wasn’t touring then but Depeche was.  I did what any inexperienced concert goer did in 1990 to secure tickets.  I called Ticketmaster when the tickets went on sale.  After calling for hours and getting nothing but busy signals, I got lawn seats for myself and two of my friends as every other ticket was sold.  The plan had been made.  My mother would drive us and drop us off.  Then, we would meet up with my mom’s friend’s son who was also at the show.  He would drive us back.  The venue for this first concert ever was also the first venue I saw Duran play in 1993.  Anyway, when I saw the Depeche dates for this summer/fall, I knew that I wanted to go, especially since they were returning that ever-important venue for me on a Saturday night.  Perfect.

Now, of course, I’m a much more experienced concert ticket buyer and goer.  Heck, sometimes, I think Rhonda and I should write a book about what we learned from being Duran fans.  One whole chapter would be devoted to presales, concert tickets, concert venues, etc.  When I was younger and inexperienced, I would just figure out the time the tickets would go sale then go online and let ticketmaster give me the “best available” and move on.  I know better now.  Research pays off.  I truly do believe that.  First thing I checked out was what were the presales and what did they offer.  I discovered that Depeche was doing VIP packages.  Hmm…how much were they and what did they offer?  Now, as much as I like Depeche and I do, I knew that I wouldn’t be going for a VIP package unless it was truly reasonable and it offered just the right stuff.  I wouldn’t want to break the Duran savings account too much for this.  Here are their VIP packages: 

VIP package: Around $350

  • One reserved ticket in the first 10 rows
  • Exclusive pre-show reception, including appetizers, beer & wine
  • One parking spot per order (where available)
  • Specially designed concert shirt
  • Limited edition tour lithograph
  • Official tour program
  • Depeche Mode VIP commemorative laminate
  • VIP commemorative ticket
  • Exclusive tour gift item
  • Early entrance into the venue
  • Crowd-free merchandise shopping
  • On-site VIP host

Tour package: Around $250
  • One reserved ticket in the first 20 rows
  • Specially designed concert shirt
  • Limited edition tour lithograph
  • Official tour program
  • VIP commemorative ticket
  • Exclusive tour gift item
  • On-site VIP host
Now, for me, the most important thing for any VIP package is the seats.  So the VIP package gives a seat in the first 10 rows and the Tour package gives a seat in the first 20 rows.  I noticed that it didn’t say that the Tour package seats would be between rows 11-20.  Thus, it seemed possible to get a seat higher than row 11 by not buying the VIP package.  I also noticed that you wouldn’t know your exact seat until later.  This is how it worked with DuranDuranMusic back in the day.  Now, of course, with Artist Arena, you know your seats when you buy, which I really like.  A lot of the rest of the packages seemed to be about merchandise, which is fine for those big Depeche fans.  In general, though, their packages seem a lot like the old DDM packages with the VIP parties.  The cost were similar as well.  I am surprised that they didn’t offer better seats, though.  With DDM, VIP got you rows 1-5.  Even now, with Artist Arena, you generally get rows 1-6.  In this case, it doesn’t seem like their packages are that much better than Duran’s, in my opinion.  I did think one thing was weird.  You didn’t have to be a member of a fan club or anything to have access to these packages.  This makes me wonder if Depeche’s biggest fans will buy them or will scalpers buy them and sell for more money.  No matter for me as I opted to just get regular seats. 
My research was not complete.  I looked to see what presales were available.  For Depeche, there were three presales:  Citi Card Members, Amazon purchasers and Facebook followers before the general sale.  Interesting.  I didn’t and wouldn’t know if there were some seats in each section that would be saved for each presale or would the Citi Card Members get the best seats, no matter what.  I had to hope that they did save some as I could only try for the Amazon one.  Before the day of the presale, I had printed out a venue map, which was a good one with rows clearly marked as well as seats so I knew exactly where the seats were when they came up on the screen.  I also checked into various ticket brokers to see if there were tickets available from that Citi presale and there were.  Thus, I knew what I could get that way and what the tickets would cost.  I knew that I had options that way and that I didn’t have to just take whatever came up.  
During the actual presale, the first tickets that came up were in the very back section, row XX or something like that.  Horrible.  Yes, they were cheaper but still.  Horrible.  I tried again.  This time, I got tickets in the front section but all the way to the left side, row Z.  Not horrible but not great.  I debated for the 1:30 minutes they allow you to “complete the page”.  I figured I would try again.  This time, I got the center/left section, row 13 with the first two seats on the center section aisle!  I couldn’t believe it!  Obviously, I grabbed them!  This will be the sixth Depeche show for me and definitely the best seats I have had for them.  The best part I think is that I didn’t need to pay for the Tour package to get them!  I also truly felt my research had paid off.  I knew the venue well enough from the map to know what were good seats and what weren’t.  I knew what might be available and what might not due to those VIP packages and the other presale.   Clearly, I have come a long way when it comes to buying tickets from that 15 year old buying tickets through Ticketmaster’s phone system.  All of my Duran ticket buying experiences taught me well!  I am looking forward to the show because I think Depeche gives a good show and I have these great seats, but I’m also looking forward to walking in that venue that started my concert going.  It will feel like returning home.  Now, all of that said, I’m still blogging about Duran.  I’m editing the last research chapter for the book that uses Duran fandom as the case study.  I’m still planning a DURAN fan convention.  I promise that my Duranieness is still solid and isn’t going anywhere.  Can I please get my booklet for TV Mania now?!  Please?! -A

From Live from London to A Diamond in the Mind!

Yesterday, Rhonda broke some big news about Durandemonium 2013, the fan convention we have been working on.  Saturday’s activities were outlined, which includes a panel with authors in the Duran universe, various Duran games, the dinner banquet, and partying all night long at Late Bar.  Yet, the piece that we are particularly excited about is the one time screening of A Diamond in the Mind on the big screen at a movie theater in Chicago!  Clearly, we aren’t the only ones excited by this as I have seen many tweets from people about what they are looking forward to with this.  For some people, it is seeing their favorite band member on the big screen!  For others, it is about seeing their favorite song played with the surround sound of a movie theater!  For me, it brings me back to one of my favorite moments of 2005, the Live from London screening.

In November of 2005, the band released the DVD of Live from London, a DVD of one of their live performances from Wembly in London in 2004.  This DVD came out after the band had released Astronaut and had completed a number of legs of a world tour, including two in the States.  Many of us were still on cloud nine from having the Fab Five reunite, from having them make a new album and from having them play live.  Personally, I attended a number of shows both in the spring and summer of that year.  Yet, my thirst for the band wasn’t quenched by all of those shows.  I wanted more.  I couldn’t get enough, in fact.  Thus, when they announced that the release of this DVD would be accompanied by 10 screenings all across the States, I knew that I had to go.  I was lucky enough to be within driving distance to go to the Chicago one.  This screening would be on a Tuesday night and I even planned a day off the following day.  The screening took place at a kind of crazy time for me.  First, the week before saw my favorite baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, and first fandom win the World Series for the first time since 1917!  During the series, I was up late for many nights in a row watching the games.  Then, from Thursday to Sunday, I co-hosted a long weekend gathering of Duranies here in Madison.  You can imagine how much sleep I got!  This resulted in me being sick as a dog with a bad cold and fever by Monday.  Yet, I was determined to go to the screening.  I also figured that it would be low key.  I could just sit back and relax.  Well, it wasn’t that passive…

The theater was full and excitement was high!  Many of us had gotten together before the screening for a pre-screening dinner, which allowed us to have a drink and to feed off of each others’ energy.  Yet, as I found my seat at the screening, I still assumed that it would be a relaxed, calm setting.  In fact, I think I said as much to the people I was with.  I said something like, “I hope people remember that the band isn’t actually here.  No reason to get all excited, right?”  I believe that they agreed with me before we began to discuss which song we were most looking forward to.  Yet, as the lights dimmed and the opening credits began to flash on the screen, I began to feel the twinge of real excitement.  I dismissed the little butterflies inside as I, logically, pointed out to myself that the band wasn’t there so I should calm down.  There was no reason to have the same reaction I get before a show.  No reason.  None.  Yet, I sensed that I wasn’t the only one who was experienced some subtle or not-so-subtle bursts of adrenaline.  The room began to buzz with excitement.  Again, I tried to rationalize the situation, especially since I couldn’t breathe out of my nose at the time.  I kept telling myself to chill.  After all, what kind of geek would I be if I reacted so openly with excitement to JUST a DVD?!

As Sunrise finished and Hungry like the Wolf, the second song, began, the sounds coming from the audience showed me that, obviously, I wasn’t the only one struggling with maintaining control.  I could hear some people beginning to sing while others were letting out little, muffled screams after a particularly attractive shot of their favorite member.  By the third song, Is There Something I Should Know, it was like the dam broke and the tidal wave of excitement was unmistakeable.  It was like everyone was given permission to let loose as every word and every song was sung by the audience after that!  Screams were no longer muffled as *squees* were loud and proud!   Duranie-ness was all encompassing and soon enough, the room felt like an island away from the real world where every fan could express their love towards the band, OPENLY and with no shame.  Soon enough, members of the crowd began to act out the band’s actions as well as just singing and screaming.  I, personally, remember the whole row I was sitting in doing Simon’s motions during New Religion.  We all knew them and could show this, proudly!  These motions didn’t just stick with the band.  At times, the crowd began to mimic the audience at that Wembly show as well as the audiences during the 2005 tour.  Here’s a clip I found on youtube taken at the screening in LA that showed how the audience not only sang along to Save to Prayer but also held their cell phones up to “make the stars come out” like they would do at an actual show.

Clearly, it didn’t take long to realize that this movie theater experience was going to be the opposite of a normal movie theater outing.  I wouldn’t be passive and I wouldn’t want to be.  I wanted to be a fan!  I wanted to express myself just like I would at a concert!  Everyone wanted the same thing.  I fully expect A Diamond in the Mind during the convention to be the exact same way.  We will all get a chance to just be Duranies with other Duranies, excited to sing along, excited to clap during Leopard or Rio, excited to follow Simon’s goofy dance moves at the end of Notorious, excited to reach up for the Sunrise and lots more!  As I look back to the screening in 2005, I was so glad that I forced my sick self to go as I forgot about my stuffy nose and head.  I am also glad that I went as this memory, this experience just makes me even more excited about the screening we have planned at the convention!!!!

-A

***This screening of A Diamond in the Mind is INCLUDED in the ticket for Durandemonium2013, the Duran Duran Fan Convention in Chicago over the weekend of October 18th-October 20th.  If you are interested in attending, you can purchase tickets at the Durandemonium website:  http://durandemonium2013.webs.com/

Lose your head, lose control…

Fans are funny. By that I mean me. And you.

We want the band. We want tours…we want gigs/shows/concerts…whatever it is that you call them…we want to see them in front of our faces as we feel the bass in the floor and the sound waves reverberate off of our bodies as we excitedly scream for more. Having a convention is all fine and good, but I know you guys…you want the band. I have even seen people post things on Facebook (and Twitter) about the convention, saying that “It might be fun, but I’d rather save my pennies for the tour.” While part of me winces a bit, thinking that there really should be more to this than simply collecting photographs and drumsticks…I can’t help but get it. I’m a fan too! The band is the reason we all came together in the first place, even if it’s not the only reason all of us stick around. If I were to announce that the band was coming (They’re not.), I’ll bet we’d sell out tickets fast.

So the question becomes, how to have a great time with the band without them really being there? For people similar to me, it’s really enough to have a couple great nights out with “the girls”. For others, it’s going to take more than that, and we acknowledge the challenge.  As I’ve said – I see the talk on Facebook and Twitter. I know that many of you think that the convention is just one night, and that we have nothing else planned to keep you busy. I challenge YOU to read on and then tell me what you think.

At some point during the last tour – and I may or may not have been enjoying a vodka tonic at the time, I turned to Amanda and said “We should rent out a theater and do a screening of Diamond in the Mind ourselves.” (Sometimes, I say really dumb things.) She looked at me as though I were crazy (that’s pretty much how she normally looks and responds to me…especially when we’re touring or road tripping together.), and then said, “Well you know, the band did it for Live with London. Why couldn’t we?” Exactly.

There are about 2,000 reasons why we couldn’t do it….but we figured it out and got it done.  After some research, phone calls, nail biting and tears (Mine. Funny how I never started crying until I started planning this convention. Hmm.), I am REALLY excited to announce that on Saturday morning (10:30 am, so set your alarm clocks early for breakfast!!) of the convention, we are taking a little “field trip” from the hotel to the Showplace Icon Theaters in Chicago for a special, private “one-time-only” screening of Diamond in the Mind. We will see the DVD the way it was meant to be seen, on a very large screen. This my friends, will be a good time.

I don’t know how many of you went to the various screenings of Live from London in the theaters across the country (I don’t know if these were done elsewhere in the world, so I am speaking mainly to those fans in the US), but this was once again, something I missed. I am really looking forward to this screening – and I won’t lie, the idea of having all five of them larger than life in front of me isn’t a bad thing to consider for the next several months.

Additionally at that screening – we are going to use the theater for an Duranie turned author panel Q&A. The details of this panel are still being worked out – we know who is speaking, but we are still working on the mechanics, but this will be your chance to hear presentations from a few Duranies who have taken the inspiration the band has given them and turned it into something amazing. And they say that fandom and obsession is a waste of time…. we’ll see about that.

Once the screening and author panel is over in the early afternoon, the rest of the afternoon has several options available to you. To begin with, we are working on putting together a list of suggested places for lunch (on your own with the new friends you have already made), and after lunch, you can take the opportunity to explore the city, or you can head back to the Hotel Amalfi for a few Duran themed games we’ve got planned, such as our own versions of Taboo, trivia and even a sort of photographic scavenger hunt thing we call Duranie Road Rules. There will be prizes, fun and debauchery to be had by all…and the best (and probably most important part?)  All of these activities, including the movie theater screening of Diamond in the Mind, are INCLUDED in the price of your convention ticket. 

Don’t forget that on Saturday evening, there is the managers reception at the hotel that begins at 5:30, and our banquet at Harry Caray’s and our club night at Late Bar Chicago immediately follows.

I’ve said this a few times this week, but if you leave on Sunday afternoon and you’re not exhausted, feeling the DD love from a ton of new friends, excited for a new album and tour…and quite possibly hung over, it will not be our fault. This just simply is not a one-night affair. It’s a full weekend, because we are STILL working on things for Sunday to bring the convention to a close. We hope that this pushes those of you who might still be “on the fence” to buy your tickets and treat yourselves to a fantastic weekend with friends. I continue to say this, but I promise you won’t leave disappointed unless you are the type of person who does not like having a great time.

Please check out the Durandemonium 2013 website for information, and Registration on Eventbrite for convention tickets.  We can’t wait to see you in October!

-R

“Rolling Stone” 2022 Interview Part 3

Another day, another soundtrack suggestion for this epic masterpiece…this time, turn on “Undergoing Treatment”.  Cheers!!


We are undergoing treatment
Watching others on the net
Studying our worst actions
They say we’ll get over it
Disappear like disco
To the sight of our few pageviews
Resign to the outer circle
If you see us standing by the stage door
Don’t ever give us an autograph
If you ever catch us in the hotel lobby
Don’t even stop for a photograph

We are undergoing treatment
‘Til our fandom bites the dust
Laid out on Blogger
They crave our loyalty
Ignored by the idols
Exasperated Estrogen
But why do we still face the music?

If you see us texting about Pippin’s
Don’t ever ask us…

Now and then we get the strangest notion
That there’s someone reading
But it keeps we guessing
Wild ambition can you really blame us?
Can you entertain us?
Can you give a little more?

If you see us standing by the stage door
Don’t ever giving us for an autograph
If you ever catch us in the hotel lobby
Don’t even stop for a photograph

We are undergoing treatment
But will the doctors ever cure
These delusions of grandeur?


The following is an excerpt from an interview in “Rolling Stone”**

July 2022
Rolling Stone:  This is the third in a three part series featuring interviews with the present and past members of Daily Duranie, one of the world’s longest and most successful fan blogs that is over a decade old and has seen millions of hits from every corner of the globe.  In May, we spoke with C.K. Shortell, a former member of the blog, and last month, we spoke with founding member, Rhonda.  This month, for our final installment, we ask Amanda to fill in the gaps to get a complete picture of this very successful online monster of a blog.  Amanda, of course, is known to be the organizer, the keeper of the dates/time/daily questions of the blog.
RS:  Thank you for speaking with us.  I know this isn’t your most comfortable of venues. 
AP:  True.  Interestingly enough, I have never had a problem speaking in front of teenagers or in front of political volunteers.  Yet, this setting makes me want to hide in a dark corner somewhere. 
RS:  Yet, you felt like you had to do this interview.
AP:  Of course, when Rhonda and I decide on a course of action, we follow through.  Oh, do we follow through.  (rolls eyes)  The blog is evidence of that, isn’t it?  Ten plus years and it is still going strong.
RS:  That’s true.  You and Rhonda have always been described as committed.
AP:  (snorts)  Committed.  Yeah…as in mental hospital, certifiable, committed.  We could have starred in that Falling Down video that people still don’t seem to get. 
 

RS:  Is this why you walked away from it for awhile because you thought you were too committed or that people might think you were crazy?

AP:  (laughs hysterically)  People have known I was crazy for years!  They certainly knew that Rhonda and I were flew to the UK twice in a year.  Heck, they knew it when we praised TV Mania back in 2013.  No, the reasons I left were much more serious than that!
RS:  Rhonda claimed that the reasons you left were for “differences” and how politics always got you.
AP:  Sure, I’m sure that she is partly correct.  Yet, she forgets what life was like then.  This was when the only people who really recognized our hard work were some dedicated readers, mostly friends.  We weren’t making any money from it and the band certainly didn’t acknowledge us then.  Remember we couldn’t even get a picture with the band!!  One single picture!?!  Even when we got front row, it was because we waited for hours in line!  We wrote a blog EVERY SINGLE DAY and got nothing.  I could get pictures, as in plural, with the freaking President of the United States but nothing with that band.  Add on the fact that we were making no money doing the blog, at that point, and I was so tired of that.  Years of teaching and years of volunteering for political campaigns combined with this daily grind got to me.  I wanted a real income and I wanted recognition.  That isn’t too hard to understand, is it?
RS:  It isn’t.  The Clinton Global Initiative gave you the income and the recognition? 
AP:  It definitely did!  When President Hillary Clinton called to offer me the position, how could I turn that down?  When the President recognizes your work and requests your services, you don’t feel like you have much choice.
RS:  It sounds like you left without thinking twice.
AP:  Oh no, it was still an incredibly tough moment.  (wipes tears)  I didn’t want to leave the blog.  It had been a significant part of my life for so long that I couldn’t just walk away without feeling a serious loss.  I would have stayed if I had gotten the recognition for the blog…not to mention those fan events like the conventions or for the books.  Yet, I felt like it had run its course.  I had wanted to get out for a long time.  I wanted to do something for myself for a change.  But, I worried about my friendship with Rhonda when I left and I worried about what was going to happen to the blog.
RS:  You and Rhonda are fine now, though, right?
AP:  Yes, of course.  We love each other like sisters and we still can have such a blast together.  I never laugh at much as I do when I am with her.  Yet, when I rejoined the blog, I realized that our relationship suffered when I walked away.  We had to work on it.  I didn’t really get it even though I should have.  All of the blogs featuring the lyrics to “Buried in the Sand” should have clued me in but it didn’t.  When we talked about getting back together over lunch, I wanted to just go on the road, read some fan favorites but Rhonda insisted on writing new material.  Yet, as Rhonda would say, I was ready.
RS:  What were you worried about with the blog when you were gone?
AP:  Well, @Rhondaslap should be a clear example to show how things moved in a very different direction once I left.  Rhonda and I took pride in our maturity, our intellect, our sense of humor.  Yet, once that twitter handle appeared, I knew things were going to be very different.  Can you believe that someone asked me once if I would consider doing a twitter handle like that?!  I calmly explained that was one reason Chris was no longer a blogger with us.  Although, I think I really knew at that 2013 convention that Chris was after my job.  He went out of his way to make an impact with hours and hours of songs that have truly gripped me in emotional intensity.  I mean, come on, he played ZOOM freaking IN.  Enough said.  The only other songs that he could have added to make more of an impact would have been Come Undone and Hungry Like the Wolf. 
RS:  Are you surprised that Rhonda blamed the band for the change in direction for the blog?
AP:  Of course not!  (laughs)  Truly, if we can blame the band, we will!  In all seriousness, it didn’t help when the band decided that social networking wasn’t their thing.  I wanted to be understanding, and I was for a long time but years after years of watching the fans go after each other in between albums was too hard.  Duran downtime is a killer, truly.
RS:  Did you feel badly that your return the fold resulted in C.K.’s departure?
AP:  I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed and upset.  C.K. handled it like a gentleman no matter what his personal feelings were.  Yet, I definitely worried about the C.K. readers out there.  I know how personal one’s favorite blogger is for the readers.  I swear they will be debating which one of us is the best until the cows come home.  Yet, I definitely wanted us to return to the original lineup.  As you know when we first got back together, we wrote blogs that we thought fit with the older material.  There was nothing better than being with Rhonda.  It felt so nice.  Yet, it didn’t have the same level of success as our older work.  When that didn’t get the attention we thought it would, we brought in a popular publisher that took us in a completely different direction to get us more hits.  This publisher didn’t work like we typically did.  I had to explain to him what sentences were!  What was worse is that our readers didn’t get it.  Luckily, we got a different publisher, a true fan, who could remind us again about what we do best.  With that, the readers returned.
RS:  What’s next for you, Amanda?  Rhonda talked about a side project.
AP:  Well, I guess I wouldn’t blame her.  She has been holding down the fort here for a long time.  Projects outside of the blog only work to help us grow, I think.  That said, my plan is simple, we’re gonna take it back, take back the life we want to lead.  We’re going to make this stand the Finest Hour that we see. 

– A & R, C.K. Shortell




Amanda and I would like to thank C.K. Shortell for sending us one of the funniest blogs we’ve ever (not) written…let this be a lesson to you, C.K….we will take your work and create a monster every time!  

And for the rest of you, once again we feel compelled to remind – all characters and events portrayed in the above blog are fictitious…not to mention that it was a JOKE. Any resemblance to real persons or organizations, living or dead…or even undead, is purely coincidental.  

 

 

“Rolling Stone” 2022 Interview Part 2

Continuing with the young man’s delusions of grandeur from yesterday…


Once again, we have a soundtrack suggestion…this time it is “Pop Trash Movie”.  Enjoy!!

Saw a close up of my pretty lap
Overnight tweetsation
Holding technology
From all around the world
If I rewind back to 2010
And stop the blog there
No one knew who we were
But now they’re at our site
We’re living in a pop trash movie
We write together in every post
We’ll all be infamous for just a few seconds
Part of an internet curse

Reading Twitter going tweet-by-tweet
Might have blurred our vision
Our lives went flashing by
Where did it all go wrong?

We’re living in a pop trash movie
We write together in every post
We’ll all be infamous for just a few seconds
Part of an internet curse

We’ll write in the hotel for you
We’ll change your lines for you
But now the blog is final you know, it’s time to go
So we’ll have to say goodbye

We’re living in a pop trash movie
We write together in every post
We’ll all be infamous for those few hits
Part of a social networking curse
We write every single day
And it’s never quite what it seems

(Never)

We’re living in a pop trash movie
I know we’ll make it with this stupid blog – yeah
We’ll all be infamous for those few hits
The apex of Nick’s social networking nightmare – yeah!


The following is an excerpt from an interview in “Rolling Stone”….**

June 2022
Rolling Stone:  Last month’s article with C.K. Shortell created a virtual tidal wave of emails and response to our offices.  Daily Duranie began as a simple fan blog somewhat late in the career of the band – and somehow outlived the band’s existence and became something quite different.  People demand a response from it’s founders, and we felt it was time to allow Rhonda – infamous for lengthy blogs, biting replies to comments, and a wicked sense of sarcasm (she forced us to print that.) – a chance to set the record straight.
RS:     So Rhonda, why speak now? 
RR:     Well, as I recall – you called me.  I could ask you the same. Why is important that my side of the story be told now and not say, two months ago?
RS:      Fair enough, but what do you say to your readers? You’ve been out of sight for a while now.
RR:     I’ve been writing the blog since September 13, 2010, and it has been a daily blog. Twelve years. Not monthly, not “whenever the mood strikes”. No…it is daily, even on Sunday and even when we’re sick. We never stop. I’m extremely tired and need a bit of a break. I need to be bored. I guess I need to stew in my own juice again and let the creativity happen.  This isn’t goodbye for ever, it’s merely a break. A hiatus.
RS:     Let’s start from the beginning then, shall we? How did the blog begin?
RR:     (takes deep breath) September 13, 2010 – it was my father’s birthday, although he is no longer with us. I think on that day I was feeling very introspective. I felt that I had so much to say.  Amanda and I had been working on our first book together and I felt that we needed to create an audience before we tried getting a publisher. The blog seemed like a logical way to establish ourselves. For a long time, no one seemed to read, much less respond. We did have one incredibly supportive “anonymous” reader who encouraged us to keep going, and that really provided the sustenance we craved. 
RS:     How long then before you met C.K?
RR:     It is so strange to think of him as C.K. Seems so stuffy. I called him Chris. We didn’t meet until the Durandemonium convention in 2013, but I believe he started doing a blog or two for us back in 2012. He had a great wit, wonderful sense of humor and the same biting sarcasm and love for the band. He was a natural fit…..(trails off)
RS:     And his tale about singing ‘Shotgun’ at the convention?
Appropriate way to deal with Silva Halo or Sterling Campbell?

RR:     (drops head to hands and begins mumbling) All true.  Listen, I really don’t want to go into that. (puts hand to forehead) It had been a long night.  I’m sure he had the best of intentions. However…five hours of continuous Silva Halo, Yo Bad Azizi and Zoomin In? Really?! No fan needs or deserves that. No ONE.  Don’t even get me started on Sterling Campbell….It was all I could do not to just finish off all the vodka in the city. After that Shotgun came easily.  EASILY. Let’s leave it at that. 

RS:     But I thought you were a Duranie.  A big fan? 
RR:     Everyone has their limits, my friend. All of us.
RS:     (brief silence) Good point.  Ok, so tell us about the direction after Amanda left.  CK mentioned it was to be an 18 month mission to Africa?
RR:     Yeah. 18 month Clinton Global Initiative Trip my ass.  Damn politics gets her every single time. I love Amanda, I really do. We’ve been writing and business partners for a long time – but we are very different people with two distinct personalities.  For once let’s not say it was creative differences that got between us and just call it what it was: DIFFERENCES.  She didn’t even bother to tell me she was going, although I should have seen the signs.  We never could make a buck trying to blog about a band that never acknowledged our existence.  She wanted to move on and the blog held her back. I know that. (wipes tears)  So C.K. called me, mentioned that Amanda was gone, and that he was my new blogger. I laughed off the phone call at first, knowing that Amanda would never just quit without saying anything.  I thought he was an insufferable egomaniac, assuming that the job was somehow his – but there he was, and he was right about Amanda leaving.  I actually found out by accident, catching an interview with her on TV about her mission.  Honestly.  So there I was, up a creek without a paddle – and Chris was there.  He was damn good and did things with our blog that Amanda just couldn’t. Except that Star Trek and NFL nonsense.  We’re a Duran Duran fan blog. Period.  Trying to tie those fandoms into our blog is like a pop band doing Hip Hop or Urban dance music.  It makes no sense.
RS:     What about the other directional changes with the blog?  How do you answer the critics that say it killed the spirit?
RR:      To be honest, I blame the band.  Way back even in 2013 Nick gave an interview to Katy Krassner where he mentioned that he hoped the future would create less of a role for social networking. He wanted even less interaction with fans, apparently – which fascinated me since it seemed like such a terrific way to create energy where one clearly lacked even as late as 2009. I always wondered if that was their downfall. The fans wanted to have more of an active role rather than a transactional relationship – and the fear of the crazy people won.  The band dropped off of (what used to be called) Twitter, and of course the demise of Facebook – well none of that helped. We only changed direction because we had no choice. The band didn’t allow for any sort of synergy. Shame. I still don’t have pictures with any of them! 
RS:     So tell us about @Rhondaslap.
RR:     (silence)
RS:     We did discuss that this subject would be brought up.
RR:     (interrupts)Yes, I know. I just don’t see the importance. Yes, there was a twitter handle. It started as a joke. Amanda would take pictures of my lap while we’d be road tripping to see the band on tour. Maps, GPS equipment, phones…I guess I have a big lap?!? Chris thought it would be funny to come up with a twitter account for it – and I did tweet from there once in a while. It was sophomoric humor while it lasted, but it ended badly. I understand that everyone wants to know…I have a responsibility to the people around me. To my family. My husband. My friends. There just isn’t anything to say as it is in the past. I don’t spend a lot of time looking back, because it is really just this little bit here that matters most.
RS:     But you did sever ties with C.K….
RR:     Well, we did agree that with Amanda returning, there just wasn’t a proper place. He felt that he had plenty of other opportunities and endless talent to share, and we wished him well. At some point maybe we’ll get together and see if the magic is still there. You never know.
RS:     Are you saying there is a chance you’ll do something as a trio?
RR:     Oh, I’m not saying that. Definitely not.
RS:     And the restraining order?
RR:     Oh that? Does that sort of thing actually stop any Duranie out there? Listen, we will always be friends. He is a fantastic writer and I wish him well. I don’t know that we could successfully collaborate with him again.  Chris…uh I mean C.K, is just not used to working as a team on a daily basis. His blogging is so…well…synthetic. I mean, he’s a great writer, and everything he touches turns to gold…but it’s like working with a producer who has only used a beat box and sampled from others. I prefer a more organic approach.  If we ever work with someone again, and that is a big maybe, that person will be a writer but they will never again be part of the business. That’s is just something we couldn’t share. Amanda and I have been together too long for that.
RS:     So what is next for you?
RR:     I’m thinking of doing a side project, actually. I am all about growth, and doing a side project that is completely different from Daily Duranie would give me a chance to spread my wings a bit. Not that I feel stifled by only writing about Duran Duran every single day or anything. Sometimes I just feel like I’m the last man standing.



 

To be continued with the final installment tomorrow…
 
 
The moral of the story is never send us a blog as a joke and assume we won’t use it to laugh at ourselves (and the band), because we will.  
 
**For those who remain confused, all characters and events portrayed in the above blog are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons or organizations living or dead is purely coincidental.
 
 
 

“Rolling Stone” 2022 Interview Part 1

Before reading on, we have a recommended soundtrack for your reading pleasure today.  Turn on the song “Drive By”…
It was the silliest day in April
And all throughout Daily Duranie
creativity stood still
And the clicking of computer keys
Would stretch all the way from East Coast
Back to West Coast.
And they met within cyberspace
Young man was sitting at the computer
On his way to write a fiction
Turned off Red Carpet Massacre
Turned on Pop Trash
And began to hallucinate
Out over the Duranland
He saw the ideas forming
Like great lines of lyrics
Ready to come tumbling down
Any day now
Not a day too soon
(any day now)
And as the music drifted in
From Lady Xanax
His fingers start to type
This is the story of his dream
Write…
(Euphoria, Daily Duranie Euphoria)
 
This is the story of his dream.
The following are excerpts from interviews published in the May 2022 editions of Rolling Stone.**
May 2022
ROLLING STONE (RS):  We’re here with former Daily Duranie writer C.K. Shortell for a glimpse into the workings and history of one of the world’s longest-running and most successful fan blogs.  Let me start by asking–C.K.–to what do you attribute– 

CK:  You can call me Chris. 

RS:  Oh–okay…then what’s the deal with “C.K.”…? 

CK:  Oh, you know, just a pen name…if Nigel can become John I can become C.K.! 

RS:  (silence). 

CK:  You were asking…? 

RS:  Ahem…yes…well, l wanted to start by asking you how you first became associated with Daily Duranie. 

CK:  Well, it all started when Rhonda and Amanda–the co-founders of the blog–allowed me to write a few guest blogs.  

RS: Okay, but legend has it that you really made an impression on Rhonda and Amanda at their Durandemonium 2013 Fan Convention.  Tell us about that. 

CK:  Well…I thought it would be really cool to surprise everyone at the convention. I kept thinking and thinking…what would people want…obviously, I couldn’t get the band there, which would be the number one wish for anyone.  So I did the next best thing: 

RS:  You got a former band member… 

CK:  Yes!  I was able to get Sterling Campbell to do perform a live, 3 hour drums only set that included all material from “Liberty” as well as his take on classic Duran hits!  
RS:  And how did this go over…? 

CK:  People were so happy they were speechless!  It was amazing!  You should’ve seen the looks on Rhonda and Amanda’s faces!  I knew then that this was the start of something special…. 

RS: I’m sure…and wasn’t there some incident…I mean, something special you did at the nightclub?CK:  Yes!  I worked with a producer and created a five hour Duran Duran mix for the DJ to play!  It was a mash up of Silva Halo, Yo Bad Azizi, and Zoom In!  They loved it! And then we ended the night by singing “Shotgun” acapella!

 

RS:  Well that certainly sounds interesting…so was that when Rhonda and Amanda “made you part of the band” so to speak, with regard to Daily Duranie? 

CK:  No…funny you should say that…I didn’t hear from them for quite a while after the convention.  There were server issues or something…but finally, some months later, I learned through some contacts at the Clinton Global Initiative that Amanda was going to Africa on an 18 month teaching mission.  So I wrote to Rhonda—who didn’t know yet—and said, “Hey, I’m your new blogging partner!” 

RS:  She must have been thrilled. 

CK:  Oh she was!  Overwhelmed, really…so that’s how it started… 

RS:  Now there are some who claim that you took the blog in a different direction, that somehow the true spirit of the blog was lost when you replaced Amanda…what do you say to those critics? 

CK:  I respect all the Amanda fans out there, I really do.  And I think we have different talents we bring to the blog.  

RS:  Yes, that’s for sure…well, adding “Star Trek” and professional football as daily topics was certainly one direction to take “Daily Duranie” in… 

CK:  You’d be surprised how many Trek fans are also Duran fans!  And who doesn’t like the NFL?  

RS:  So, initially, you and Rhonda got off to a good start, but then something happened… 

CK:  (silence) 

RS:  You knew we’d have to address this… 

CK:I know. 

RS:You wanted to take “Daily Duranie” to the next level…and so you created a new twitter account that certainly took on a life of its own…Chris, let’s talk about @RhondasLap

 

CK:  Okay—yes, this was controversial—but before you judge me, here me out…we needed money…the label was pressuring us for more blogs, more followers, more hits…it’s all about publicity…the great God publicity… 

RS:  I’ve heard that somewhere before… 

CK:  So…Rhonda and Amanda had posted all these pictures of when they would travel to shows..and there was this running gag about “Rhonda’s lap” and I thought it would be a funny persona to create…you know, like all the stuff in the car is arguing about who gets to be there- 

RS:  Oh, yes…sounds hilarious… 

CK:  And it took off…we got all sorts of followers…revenue went through the roof…Rhonda was  a good sport about it…she would post tweets..the fans loved it!  
RS:  And did Rhonda’s and your families love it too?  
CK:Um…that caused some problems. 

RS: And then you got the letter… 

CK:  Yes…(quietly sobbing) 

RS:  And it said…

CK:  (sobs)…terminate the relationship…unworkable gulf…Amanda coming back from Africa… 

RS:  And that ended your association with The Daily Duranie. 

CK:  (softly) I still read it.   And sometimes I comment.  

RS:  And the cease and desist…? 

CK:  I had to take down the “Rhondaslap.com” url.  And I’m barred from entering the states of California and Wisconsin.  

RS:  Well…I don’t know what to add…what a story.  Thank you for your time and insight.  Daily Duranie is legendary and you certainly added to its…notoriety. Any last comments? 

CK:  The whole experience was so…unreal…to be at the top of the world…and then banished…it makes you wonder…am I dreamin?


-C.K. Shortell
 
 
To be continued tomorrow…
 
 
The moral of the story is never send us a blog as a joke and assume we won’t use it to laugh at ourselves (and the band), because we will.  
 
**For those who remain confused, all characters and events portrayed in the above blog are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons or organizations living or dead is purely coincidental.