Category Archives: Duran Duran

Withdrawal Symptoms

I woke up this morning sick to my stomach.  The symptoms clearly said it was some sort of flu with nausea, stomach craps, alternating between chills and sweating and exhaustion.  Of course, I posted my illness on my personal facebook while I called the campaign I’m working for to tell them that I needed someone to cover me at today’s canvass.  The consensus on facebook was that I had been pushing myself too much and that a day off would do me good.  While it could be a virus or a virus that was able to hit due to working so much, I suspect that there might be something else going on.  I was able to put it together after receiving an email from Rhonda and seeing her facebook status.  She, too, has been battling illness this week and experienced insomnia last night.  My sleep has been awful lately as well.  Now, we don’t live near each other.  I’m in Wisconsin and she’s in California.  There is no way that we have the same virus or do we?!?

Today is September 22nd.  Where were we one month ago?  We were in Portsmouth, Virginia, going to our final show of the All You Need is Now tour.  This was the last show for probably years and we both were well aware of that on that day.  Strangely enough, I also had a weird dream last night in my very restless sleep.  The location of this weird dream:  Portsmouth, Virginia.  When I woke up this morning, I thought it was a strange location to dream about since we weren’t there very long and it wasn’t the most memorable location or show of the tour.  Yet, my subconscious was thinking about it.  Clearly.  In this dream, I had to get to a show.  I was in a rush to get there but I kept running into roadblocks, both literally and figuratively.  Traffic was a nightmare in my dream as was road construction.  I only had a few hours to get there, to the show.  Rhonda, too, was struggling to get there.  I assumed that she wasn’t going to make it.  I found myself slowly accepting the fact that we weren’t going to make it on time for the show.  In fact, I decided I wasn’t even going to see Rhonda.  I tried to accept it.  At the last minute, Rhonda showed up in what I assumed was a hotel room.  The last thing I remember saying to her was, “We might make it but it isn’t going to be easy.”  When I woke up, I thought I was talking about making that show and maybe I was.  Now, though, I think it is bigger than that. 

This dream connected with my symptoms, Rhonda’s symptoms and today’s date only means one thing.  We are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Yes, this means that we are addicted.  We are Duranaholics.  I am standing up as I type this and admitting it.  My name is Amanda and I’m a Duranaholic.  Clearly, now I know that this addiction isn’t just mental but physical as well.  Now that I have taken the first step and am not longer trying to deny this addiction, what do I do?  Do I try and break the addiction?  If so, this means I have to continue through this detox and, frankly, I have no choice as there is no time with the band in my future.  Although, I keep hoping, despite all evidence that it won’t happen, for at least, a tiny fix with a John Taylor signing in…say…Chicago.  Okay.  *deep breath*  So, I must continue through detox.  Then what?  Meetings?  Do they have to be in person meetings or can twitter and facebook be enough?  I know that there are many Duranies in the Madison area or within driving distance.  Should I organize DA (Duranaholics Anonymous) meetings?  What if I’m the only addict?  Yes, many people may be able to enjoy Duran in small quantities and might be able to really control their usage.  Do you think that they would be able to encourage my change in lifestyle or will they be enablers by showing Duran clips or playing Duran music?  Then, there is the issue of Rhonda.  Will she walk this path with me or will she continue to use? 

Of course, I could just decide to keep using.  Maybe I can do enough Duran like to keep the mental and physical suffering away for the most part.  What should I do?  Which path should I choose?  How do I survive until the next fix?  How are the rest of you surviving without Duranlive?! 

-A

P.S.  I do truly understand that real addiction is a disease that should be taken seriously.  I was only comparing fandom to real addictions for fun.  No offense was meant.  I promise.  🙂

Chains

It is pretty funny when a quote affects both Rhonda and I so much that we both have to blog about it, but that is what John’s quote from the speech he gave at his former school did.  The quote was the following:

“For me, passion is the most important asset a person can have. To work with feeling for something. To care. That’s why I think it is most important that we connect with what it is we want to do- not someone else’s idea of what we should be doing with our time and our lives. Sometimes people are old and grey before they realize they have been following their parents dream, not theirs- and they wonder why they are so unhappy.

Find your passion and you will find happiness, because there is nothing more important in the adult world than enjoying your work. That has been my experience. And if you enjoy your work you will find work, because you will be appreciated wherever you go. ”  -John Taylor

Yesterday, Rhonda blogged about how this applied to her life and her discovery about her own passion.  This quote also caught my attention, especially after the questioning I have been doing with my own life lately.

I, too, feel like I have a passion.  For a long time, I have felt my passion was my work, my career.  I have been a teacher for a long time.  In many ways, I find it hard to believe that I have been in classrooms since 1997.  I thought experienced teaching would feel very differently than it does.  I went into teaching for a pretty unique reason.  I wanted to make a difference.  Yes, I think that a lot of people go into teaching for the exact same reason.  The difference between my reasoning and most is that I wanted to make a difference in a broad, whole society, big picture sort of way.  I had spent most of my college years reading, analyzing, writing and researching about social movements.  Thus, I thought teaching would be a perfect way for me to do my part to continue the necessary progress of many social movements that I studied, including the Women’s Movement, Civil Rights, etc.  In particular, I chose to focus on students with disabilities who also lived in poverty.  Many of my students are also students of color.  Such an idealist I was!  Then, as settled into my teaching career, I took on something else, something more.

In 2008, I decided to get involved with a political campaign.  (I’m sure you can guess which one!)  I found this work fulfilling.  I can organize well.  It truly is my strength.  I can also lead people and explain things well, especially since I have been doing that for years in the classroom.  On top of that, I loved the intensity of it.  Loved it.  I also loved the win.  I had only felt that kind of high at concerts of a certain band we all know.  After election day, I couldn’t let it go.  It seemed like such a logical addition to my work in the classroom.  Fast forward four years later, I’m still teaching.  I’m still politically organizing.  Teaching is more than a full time job.  That said, I’m in a new position this year, which definitely is less stressful and does not require as much time after work.  Campaigning, though, is taking up about 20 hours a week.  If you are doing the math, that equals at least about 60 hours per week.  I’m sure you are all wondering why I’m “sharing” so much here.  I’m getting to the point, I swear!

What I have left out in this story of my “career” is this.  Rhonda and I started thinking about the book, seriously, a few years ago.  Soon, we started writing, reading, researching.  It worked well for me, for Rhonda.  Then, we added this blog.  Still, all was good.  We added twitter and facebook.  This year, we started adding the today in Duran history and the daily/weekly questions.  I get up an extra 30-45 minutes to do that everyday.  We have more up our sleeve and just need the time to finish the book, get it published and do other related projects.

So what is the point?  How does this connect to John’s quote or to the title of the blog?  Here’s the deal.  I thought my passion was to help others, to help make the world a better place.  I am proud of the work that I have done both as a teacher and as an organizer.  If I died tomorrow, I would know that I have done my part.  Unfortunately, though, I’m not sure if that is my passion.  Was it ever really my passion?  Did I just want it to be?  Would it still be if I wasn’t just exhausted, both from working so much and from working so intensely for so many years?  I don’t know, for sure.  The only way to really be able to answer that is to step away for a long time.  After doing some soul searching, I think I know a little bit about where my passion really lies.

I love doing this blog.  I love writing the book and I’m damn proud of all that we have done so far.  I enjoy doing the daily tasks on twitter, facebook and here.  It has become a third job of sorts as it is also time consuming and believe that it could be a lot more.  Right now, 3 weeks into the school year and 46 days until the election, I find myself wishing I could just dedicate myself to this, this crazy thing that Rhonda and I created.  Is it because this is about Duran?  Sure.  Of course, the band is part of it but it isn’t just because of the band.  It is a lot more than that.  Is it that I  am uninterested in my other jobs?  No, it isn’t that.  I still love watching and talking politics.  I enjoy being with kids and teaching them.  Yet, I’m just not feeling the passion there.  Maybe, in many ways, the true passion here is for writing, researching, reading, organizing around something.  Something that matters.  In our case, it is reading, researching, writing, and organizing in order to make OUR world, OUR community better by bringing people, Duranies, together for fun, for discussion.  After all, part of what Rhonda and I wanted to do with this, with the book is explain our lives as fans and to show that being a fan is good, is worthwhile.  Now, if I could just figure out a way to pay my bills this way…maybe those chains of the other careers could be lifted.

-A

My Own Way

Passion is something I’ve looked for, without knowing what I was looking for, throughout adulthood. It wasn’t to be found in parenting, no matter how much I love my kids. It certainly hadn’t been in my previous job. I know I had passion when I was a budding musician back in junior high and high school, but that was many years ago and it was right for that time in my life. Now it’s become more of a hobby and I’m happy with it there. Still I searched for something… I took classes, I took up hobbies, still nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all of it, but there’s a huge difference between enjoying something and wanting to live to do something.

When Amanda and I began writing the book and later blogging, I wrote with vigor. I loved the writing, and I wanted to do it all the time. I would start writing and completely lose myself – then I’d look up and realize I was late to pick up the kids from school!  I’d have to tear myself away, go get them, and then try to rush back and pick up where I left off. (Not easy when you’re in the “zone”.) I felt that passion, and I loved it!! The trouble was, when I would explain to people what we were doing, I immediately felt the scorn. Friends would immediately ask “Are you a groupie then?” I’d try to explain that no, no we weren’t – we were fans like anyone else, but that we were curious about studying the fandom. Then they’d say “Oh well isn’t that the same thing?”, then they’d follow up with “What does Walt say about that?” In my head I’d think, “Who in the hell CARES?!? Since when do I have to ask him about writing a book?!?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked those same questions since I started writing.  The same happens even with family, and I’m pretty careful about with whom I share “book news”. Invariably my family – the very people who should be the most supportive – are simply not. I had a conversation this past summer with one family member who literally chuckled and scoffed about the book. “It’s just a little hobby that’s gotten out of hand, Rhonda. I mean, how are you even qualified to write something like that?” I had to remind this person that I actually did go to college, and that my degree was based in writing, very similar writing to what I’m doing for the book, and that makes me qualified! The immediate reaction is typically to downgrade what I’m working on to a hobby at best, and something slightly more icky at worst. For me it’s a personal game of tug-o-war between feeling as though people (and my family most specifically) should simply accept me for who I am and be supportive, and feeling like I’ve got to hide my interests because they just aren’t quite as acceptable as being President of the local MOM’S Club or working at the kids’ school. It’s constant and honestly, it is even degrading. I feel like I’ve got to keep the one thing I’m passionate about to myself, or face the scorn and disapproval from friends and family.

I try to keep my lives as separate as possible. I don’t talk too much about the blog or the book on my personal Facebook, primarily because it’s the way I keep in touch with a lot of my family. I still use my Facebook to comment on friends pages, and sometimes – I even comment on the pages of band members, never usually considering who might be reading because I don’t really say anything that I’m ashamed of saying. Yesterday though, that too came to a crashing halt because an extended family member inadvertently noticed a comment I’d made on a Facebook public page and commented in return. It was completely innocent and innocuous, but it forced me to explain some things that I’d previously kept quiet, and as a result it’s become the subject of a bit of uproar in my extended family. “A book about a rock band? Are you serious Rhonda?” (Well no, it’s not really about a ROCK BAND…it’s about being a fan) “Being a fan? Isn’t that something you should have given up by now? You’re not a young woman anymore? Who would buy such a silly book? Does Walt agree with this?” (A. Yes, I’m a fan. B. No, I won’t give that stuff up until I’m dead because I enjoy music. Why is that bad and why don’t you have your own life? Oh…and I’m not THAT old! C. I’m not even going to go into who would buy the book because obviously you’ve already made up your minds about my “silly book”. D.Why even ask?) I’ve found myself left with quite a bit of anger and frustration as a result. You’d think that I quit school and joined a rock band or something…!!! (Irony is a funny thing.)

Perhaps it was naive on my part to assume that my family wouldn’t notice. I’m always telling my own kids that you never know who is reading what is posted online, and I probably should have followed my own advice. I didn’t post anything that I’m ashamed of…it’s just where I’d posted that is apparently the problem…and apparently now my posting is under more scrutiny as certainly family members have gone back to see what else has been said/written, and they are reporting back to my husband. I guess that the boundaries and considerations I afford my family members are simply not extended to me.  I’m frustrated, mad and bewildered today. So I’m doing the only thing I know to do….I’m writing.  

 As our readers know, I’m a stay-at-home mom. (I still don’t know why they call it stay-at-home. I’m a glorified, volunteer chauffeur and houseslave. Home has nothing to do with it unless I’m cooking or cleaning.) Once upon a time, I did work outside of the house – I wouldn’t have called it a career, but I did earn money. (I was a staffing coordinator/account manager for a few different staffing companies after I graduated from college. Basically, I interviewed and placed applicants for temporary light industrial and clerical jobs.) I can’t really articulate just how much I hated that job, no matter what company I worked for at the time (there were a few). I felt horrible telling people “No, we don’t have work for you today.” thousands of times each week. I despised getting the phone calls at 5pm from clients saying that they needed 100 people on a job site the next day, knowing that our company policy was to stay until the “order” was filled – whether that meant we left at 5:30 or we left at 2am.(and there were plenty of those days – we’d leave at 2am and have to be back at work at 7:30am. I lived 40 minutes from work, so you can do the math as to how much sleep I would get.) I despised the companies that would call and ask for specific races/ages/skill levels of people (no joke), and I honestly didn’t like the applicants that would come in and assume I worked for THEM when in fact it was the other way around. It was a horrible place for me to work, and I had zero passion for the staffing industry. My job had an enormous amount of stress attached to it – it’s never good when people call you and start crying when you tell them there’s no work, or when they call you and shout at you over the phone because a job has ended. So, when I found out that I was expecting our first baby and my blood pressure got so high my doctor insisted I stay at home, I quit. Gladly. With great enthusiasm even! The only passion I had for that job consisted of dislike.

Let me be clear, I love being a mom. My children ALWAYS come first, except in those very few times when I attempt to do something for me – and in those times – I typically feel guilt. I feel like I have to say that out loud, often – because the people around me (whom I will choose not to name) tend to believe otherwise. I have made certain decisions to ensure that my kids remain happy, cared for, and whole. Many times, I’ve made those decisions at the expense of my own happiness. I don’t regret those choices and decisions, but make no mistake – I live with the consequences of those choices every single day. Sometimes I wish I could scream that at the top of my lungs. Not because I think I deserve an award or something, but because again – there are people that believe otherwise, and I guess to some degree I still feel as though I need to prove my self-worth. Other times I think I need to say those words because I need to remind myself of what I’m doing or what is the final goal. I’m not sure that any of that constitutes real passion. I just know what has to be done for the love of my three beautiful babies. (They hate it when I call them that!) Regardless, the one thing in my life that I am the most proud of is that I’m a very good parent, and that I love my children more than they’ll ever really know.

Even so, there’s been something missing in me, in my spirit, for years, and John Taylor hit the nail on the head in the speech he gave to his old school in Redditch this past week.  Here’s a short excerpt:

“For me, passion is the most important asset a person can have. To work with feeling for something. To care. That’s why I think it is most important that we connect with what it is we want to do- not someone else’s idea of what we should be doing with our time and our lives. Sometimes people are old and grey before they realize they have been following their parents dream, not theirs- and they wonder why they are so unhappy.

Find your passion and you will find happiness, because there is nothing more important in the adult world than enjoying your work. That has been my experience. And if you enjoy your work you will find work, because you will be appreciated wherever you go. ”  -John Taylor

I found my passion. My passion is writing. I’m lucky that I can take that passion and use it to fuel an interest, which of course is Duran Duran, but I also have the interest and passion of bringing people together…creating a community…fostering a community. I want people to feel the connection, the sense of belonging, and the sense of place that I have struggled to find for most of my life. For far too long I’ve allowed the scorn, disapproval and flat out judgment of others decide my fate. No more.  

To begin with, my family really needs to respect some boundaries. I don’t follow anyone, including my husband, to their places of business. I don’t read every email they send, listen to their phone calls, or even see if they are on Twitter. I allow them to do their jobs, scorn free. I also do not ask how much they get paid and then decide if their job is an appropriate career choice based on how much they make. That isn’t MY business, and it certainly isn’t anyone else’s either. My statement is simply this: I write, and yes – I write about a rock band and about fandom. I am thrilled with what I do. I can only hope that others feel the same about the work they’ve chosen.  

Finally, I need to respect myself and recognize that I really am fine. As Amanda knows – I talk a good game but the fact is, my self-esteem has taken a beating over the years. It isn’t an easy thing, but I recognize where I’m at. I have a favorite saying that I tell my oldest two children pretty often, “Nobody gets out of childhood unscathed”, and I’m no exception.  Of course, that’s not where all of this comes from, but it’s the beginning. It’s time to live my own dreams and my own passion and stop worrying about proving myself to the rest of the planet.  I’m happy, and really – isn’t that the point?  

-R 


Who Do WE Think We Are?

I’ve been thinking a lot about books lately. I can’t imagine why. So many people have talked about John’s book and comparing it to Andy’s book that I started trying to remember back to what Andy had written. We’ve never properly tackled Andy’s book here on the blog, so I decided to take it out, dust it off and give it another good look. Andy’s book Wild Boy was published in 2008. It’s been quite a highway I’ve been traveling on since that time. I’m curious how my eyes and brain will process his book now as opposed to four years back. So, if you are inclined and have some time, pull Andy’s book off of the shelf and read along with me.  My plan is simple: I’m going to read a few chapters at a time and discuss them here on the blog.  We have four weeks until John’s book is released here in the US, and we’ll finish Andy’s book during that time.  Chances are, I’ll discuss the chapters in Andy’s book on Mondays – just as we’ll do with John’s book. However, I want to stress: I am not comparing the two books. We can certainly do that on a blog if need be after we’ve finished both books, but for now, we’re reading each book on its own merit. (Which really, that’s the way it should be. The truth is not the same for everyone.) So for this week, I’m reading from the prologue through chapter three. 77 pages. We can do this!

**********************************************

There has been a little chatter about some of the questions and comments that John has been fielding during his Q&A sessions. Most of the questions have been great, but there always seems to be one that makes me scratch my head and wince, and some even make me blush! (If you know me, you know this isn’t really that difficult to do…) I just have to wonder why it is that some people seem to have absolutely no filter for the things that should be asked verses the things that should honestly be kept in one’s brain.  I’m not talking about the slightly cheeky questions that get asked – I’m no prude, and I laugh as easily as anyone else. I’m talking about the really off-color comments that would make nearly anyone wince. I recognize that John is likely an expert at navigating slightly unnerving questions these days. I am pretty sure that things that make me want to squirm in my chair are probably topics he handles without batting a single eyelash. My question to all of you though is “Why does that make it OK to ask those questions or make those comments?” Yes, I realize that in some cases these comments will get a laugh out of the audience, or even out of John. (honestly – what is he going to really do otherwise? Throw the person out? Call them names? Get angry? Of course not. He’s going to be a gentleman because in all honestly – he HAS to be if he wants people to like him and buy his products.  It’s part of the deal.) I maintain – why does any of that make it OK?

This is the same topic we’ve discussed before, in different wrapping. These guys are still human, aren’t they? I know we joke about Nick being alien, but I think he has more than proved that yes – he’s really still human! In the same way that I would expect people to treat me with respect and kindness – I suppose I expect the same for the band. Why is that so unusual? Admittedly, I’m incredulous when people respond (and they always do when this topic comes up) that they’re celebrities and they should be “used to that” by now. Being used to it and knowing how to handle it doesn’t mean the band gives any of us the “permission” to be rude or make off-color statements at the onset, does it? I see it over and over again, and if I’m not right there to hear it – I get told about it much later. People will be at a bar or pub after a show, a band member will show up, and fans will think it’s perfectly acceptable to go up to that person and pet them as though they were an animal, or make comments as though they’ve been lovers for quite a while. It’s bizarre and uncomfortable to witness for me, and I can’t imagine how it must feel to the band themselves.

There is a fine line here that is incredibly difficult to walk even under the best of circumstances. We all want them to know we’re fans and we support them. We also want them to know that (most of the time), we’re pretty sane. I know that *I* would prefer them to walk away thinking that I’m respectful, and in return, I’m worthy of a little return respect. I wouldn’t want them talking to me as though I was to be their next nightly conquest. (I realize that not everyone agrees – some really do WANT to be the nightly conquest and to you I say “More power to ya”. I need to be able to look myself in the mirror and my children in the face in the morning, and for me – I couldn’t do that if I were just looking for a one-nighter.) I guess for me, it comes down to simple respect. I believe the same could be said for the majority of my fellow fans out there.

-R

Second Life with John Taylor

I’m late with the blog today and I apologize. Up until about 5 minutes ago I was eyebrows deep in the beginnings of the American Revolution, and I think I might have even told the story well enough to keep my 13 year old son from falling asleep.  That’s progress!!

I don’t know how many of you have seen the video from You Tube of John’s reading and Q & A session on Second Life, but it’s actually REALLY good.  I was one of the skeptics, not really sure how it would turn out, and for reasons that have to do with Homecoming Dress Shopping (A very serious drama-filled in our house right now for my 15 year old…and for those unaware of the term “homecoming”…it comes down to a fancy high school dance for us.), I couldn’t even attempt to be there on Sunday, so I was thankful for the video.  (A huge shout-out and thanks to Johnny Beane for taking such great video and putting it up on You Tube for all to see!)  To begin with, John was there for a really long time!  I was surprised.  I know the readings and signings he’s done so far have been fairly lengthy, but I guess I figured his stay in Second Life would have been shorter?  Regardless, it was a nice surprise.  I loved that he interspersed the section readings with questions from those in attendance, and the questions were great.

There’s so much to comment on, and yet since I don’t want to give book details away, I will stick purely to a few topics asked in the Q&A.

To begin with, do you want a signing in your US town?  At the moment, John says they have signings planned in NYC and LA, but he is working on convincing Dutton, the publisher, to do more.  He says they have to really be pushed a bit – so he suggested that fans write the publisher.  If you’re on Twitter, they have an account there as well. (@DuttonBooks)  I have to admit that I’m surprised more emphasis isn’t being put on the US market.  It’s not as though John has no fans here, or people willing to buy the book.  I would think that if he’d do a few signings, including one in Chicago…that it wouldn’t hurt sales.  I guess that shows just how much I know about books though.  I’m an avid reader, avid iBook person, but signings?  I’ve never been to a single one.  Maybe that says something.  Not sure.

One thing that I’ve noticed, and surely John has noticed at this point, is that fans are eager to try and compare his autobiography to Andy’s. I think this is partially natural and it probably would happen regardless of who was writing. On another hand, I think there’s also a propensity to create more tension and drama where there might already be plenty to go ’round. At each Q&A I’ve heard or seen video…I’ve heard someone ask if he did his book as a sort of answer to Andy’s. I can see why this is a valid question, and I’m sure John can as well. He was very kind during the Q&A on Second Life when he said that he was glad that Andy had done a book, and that he hopes other people do them as well. (In fact he encouraged ANYBODY to write a book about Duran Duran. To that I coyly reply, “Be careful what you ask for, Mr. Taylor.”) In some strange sort of kismet that I’ve yet to really figure out, my son and I are doing a unit in his Language Arts class that asks the “Big” question: “Is the truth the same for everyone?” I think this question of John’s book to Andy’s is of the same vein. Both people were in the same band, and a lot of their experiences were shared, but the truths are very different. Perception is everything. I can’t imagine John sitting down and trying to “right” whatever stories were told in Andy’s book – that wasn’t his purpose in writing, and honestly, I think that his story comes off very genuine as a result.

Another fan asks about collaborations – a very common question the band has gotten over the years, and they never fail to stun me with their answers, until today anyway.  I think my mouth dropped open (in pure unadulterated joy, mind you) when I heard John say that there just wasn’t anyone he was interested in collaborating with.  I stopped the video, then stood up and applauded.  Then I played it back again to make sure I heard him correctly.  He says that he and the bands would wrack their brains coming up with appropriately “cool” answers when they were asked in the past, but at this point, he’s happy with what he’s got.  So are we.  Completely.

I would be disappointing myself if I didn’t mention John’s comments about Dom. Someone asked if Dom would ever be made a permanent member of the band. John answer really kind of took me back, to be honest. He said that Dom already is a permanent member and he is welcome to stay until he chooses to leave. After I picked myself up off of the floor, I heard John explain that Dom is not, however, a Founding Member. It would be difficult if not impossible to bring someone into that sort of circle of trust at this point. History cannot be rewritten, and I think most people would understand that. On one hand, I was happy to hear that at least as far as the band is concerned Dom isn’t going anywhere…on another hand…I’d really like to see Dom included in future press, PR, merchandise…and listed as an actual member of Duran Duran if in fact he’s really part of the band and not just a member of the “onstage ensemble”. I guess I’d like to see him get the same sort of billing that other guitarists and a drummer or two who were not “founding members” enjoyed during their tenure(s) with the band. I would think he had more than proven himself to be worthy by now, but I also completely recognize that for the band – this goes way beyond just “fitting in” and the longevity of nearly nine years. I realize that for the band, a lot of this is purely business. However, for fans? Completely different matter entirely. It’s a matter of fans seeing for themselves that yes, Dom is truly a member of the band – that the band in fact accepts him as such, not quite as much the “hired gun” that some fans continue to claim him to be even though he was given writing credit on nearly all of the All You Need is Now album. Maybe with the next album this will happen, we shall see.

John talks about his excitement with the Second Life community, and I think he really appreciates the visual he gets – I suppose it’s a little like being on Twitter but with pictures.  He said that it was “easy”, which makes me wonder if Second Life has been completely overhauled since I last visited.  I had a tough time doing anything but flying – and even then, I’d fly into buildings and things.  *big sigh*  My son (the video gamer in the family) would have not been proud.  He definitely doesn’t get the gaming genes from me.  I don’t know though, if the band really does continue doing things like this on Second Life, it does make me think I should give it another try. How hard can it really be???  (Famous last words, right??)

I know there were many, many things John answered in the Q&A, but these were my favorite “highlights”.  I smiled as I heard John comment that there’s comfort in that where ever he gets on stage, he can always count on some of us being in the audience.  This is true, and we’ve been through a lot together, haven’t we?  It’s been a great ride so far, with more to come.

-R

For those who haven’t seen the video:

Still sipping on the high of desperation!!

I really don’t know what I was thinking, but I thought I could wait. I figured that it wouldn’t bother me, and that I would simply sit back and wait until it was our turn. Then I got busy with my family vacation, going on a road trip to the southeast, and getting ready to homeschool. Then at some point last week, I realized I was missing out. I’m not sure if the moment hit me when I saw friends headed to London, or when I saw pictures of the signed books….or maybe it was on Saturday morning when I realized that even a lot of my US friends had a copy and were ravenously pouring through the book as though it was their last meal. No matter to me, right? I could simply wait.

Nope.

By Saturday afternoon I was climbing the walls. It didn’t help that every time I went onto Twitter OR Facebook my senses were being assaulted with images of signings, of John himself standing and speaking, or even better – interviews explaining in the vaguest of terms what I was already missing. My curiosity was strangling me, and I knew of only one thing: I wanted that book.

I’m not even a huge John Taylor fan. (OK, that is such a lie. I really am, but I’m not one of the millions of “John-girls” out there. I could probably have a reasonably intelligent conversation with the man and not even swoon slightly. Well, at least that’s what I tell myself. Listen, we ALL have fantasies!!) I think that’s why I didn’t just go ahead and buy a UK hardcover version of the book to begin with – I figured I’d just wait it out. I mean, I already sort of know the Duran story, don’t I? What could possibly be in there?! If we’re going to really get to the nitty-gritty here, I don’t even think I realized that the US release was going to be a month later until last week. Yeah, that’s how much I was paying attention. All I really allowed myself to think about was that I had something I was working on for late Septemberish, and John’s book was coming out for the UK, but then the US release would be in mid-October, and that there might be signings. I figured I’d wing it when the time arrived. I love all of the band members without question, but I just didn’t think a book was going to make me as crazy as an album release.

Clearly, I was very, very wrong. By Saturday afternoon I was starting to twitch wildly as I sat at the computer. I wanted a copy, and I thought of my options. I could order one and have it shipped quickly – which might end up costing as much as a ticket to a gig…or I could do what others suggested and simply order off of Amazon.uk and get it for the Kindle app on my iPad.    That’s when a light bulb went off. I saw a bright flash and I don’t remember much after that, until last night when I finished the book.

Now I know what some of you are saying right now. After you finish begging me for no spoilers (There will be none. We’re waiting until the US release to do any sort of book club), many of you are saying I cheated. You’re right, I totally did! Still others are wondering if I still have the US book on order (I do. I have the normal hardcover copy as well as the audiobook, thankyouverymuch.)…and then there are those of you who want to know how I downloaded it because they want to do it themselves. Of course you do. (email me)

To begin with, as I said above, I did cheat. I also think it’s completely lame that the US release is a full month later than the UK. I am not a book publisher, and so I don’t really know why this is the case, but I still think it’s silly in this day and age. Normally I pay about zero attention to release dates for books; but, since it’s THIS book that THIS community will want to read, it is of paramount interest and speculation. Isn’t that typical? Regardless, I did feel somewhat pathetic (OK, very pathetic!), sad and dirty going to the trouble to change my amazon account to a UK account for one simple order, but that certainly didn’t stop me. I did think about the fact that I already have two books coming, but now I’ve got all types of media covered, just like I would have done for an album. This reminds me of the day All You Need is Now came out and I went on an all-out search to nearly every Best Buy in the area trying to find a single copy. I don’t know why I didn’t order it beforehand (Personally, I think it had something to do with post-traumatic stress from Red Carpet Massacre…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!), but Amanda and I decided that I needed the copy so that we could do a review.  She of course had responsibly ordered hers ahead of time and had it in time for release day. It was ridiculous: I had people crawling on their hands and knees looking through their shipments to find the SINGLE COPY that the store had been allocated.  That’s no joke.  Anyway, you are right and I own up – I cheated. Proudly.

About the other books I have on order though: I am a collector. I like having several versions of whatever it is that I want. I think I’ve got about 3 or 4 different versions (not actual copies…those number at about 10 now.) of All You Need is Now…and many of them remain unopened, preserved for all eternity. I have vinyl in our garage that is still in shrink wrap, along with the same exact copy that HAS been opened and played. I’m funny that way…and not funny ha-ha. Funny as in, “You are mental, Rhonda.” Do I have a problem? Um, YES.  Yes I do and OCD is likely only the first minute issue – according to my husband, anyway. Admitting it is the first step, but the reality is – I’m perfectly happy right here. Someday one or more of my children is going to have one hell of a collection to enjoy. (They’d better keep it all or I will definitely haunt them.) I do want to make one note though, and that’s of the “Catholic guilt” I felt while I was downloading the UK copy. (My grandmother would be so proud…) I did think more than twice before I did it, and not just because I couldn’t quite figure out how to change my Amazon account properly. I thought about whether or not I’d somehow be hurting John’s book sales, but I’ve still got those same US copies on order, and all I did in downloading this Kindle version was give John and his publishing company another sale.  Even so, I did feel deliciously devious….

What I will say today, since I finished the book (and so did Amanda) last night, is that I am even more of a fan now than I was before, and that’s of both John Taylor as a person AND of Duran Duran. Talk about feeling connected, I certainly do. It almost makes up for the decades prior where I felt as though the band was this sort of enigmatic vision or mirage that was completely untouchable aside from the posters on my bedroom walls (closet!). They put out the music, we bought the music, attended shows and nary between the two shall meet…am I right? Keep in mind that I didn’t grow up in the UK, nor did I have any possibility of ever seeing/writing/connecting with the band until Twitter or Facebook came along. There was no waiting outside of a band members home or going to the studio…I grew up in Glendora, California and trust me – no rock bands hung out in my little town or did studio time nearby. (Well, except for Motley Crue. Then again, those guys went to my high school and graduated well before I got there. That’s not really the same thing.)  It’s a completely different world in which to be a fan these days.

There will be no spoilers in this blog because that really would be unfair and unkind, but I’m very proud to call John Taylor one of my idols.

-R

Guest Blog: An Evening with John Taylor


A little bit about how I came to love Duran Duran. I’m your average 17 year old girl except for one thing – I love DD. As a child, my mum and dad would play CDs in the car. Looking through all of my parents’ extensive collection, I stumbled upon the Greatest CD when I was about 12/13, that would change my life. Soon after that I was given a CD that came free with The Daily Mail which had 10 live tracks from the reunion tour. I identified immediately not just with the sound but with one special person on the front of the CD sleeve, John Taylor, who was wearing a white shirt and black waistcoat standing behind a billiard table. Since then I have seen the band on the All You Need Is Now Tour in December of 2011 and at the Hyde Park Olympics show. Growing up I have never been a fan or really liked any bands that are around today – mum calls me her retro girl.
 
Anyway I jumped at the chance to buy a ticket to go to the Leicester Square book signing from Alison, whom I follow on twitter, as they were sold out when I tried to book them. Details of the ticket were arranged the night before the signing, talk about last minute! Thursday 13th September: My dad drove me into town so I could buy the book and go to college. Once I had finished college I got the train to Leicester Square and arrived there about 5pm. By this time I had already read up to chapter 30!

Outside the venue were a crowd of Duranies all eager to get into the theatre. With everyone sat down in their seats, it was time for John (and Tom Sykes the co-writer) to come on stage. After a very warm welcome from the audience, John and Tom talked about the production of the book and how it all started. John rose from his seat to read the first chapter to the audience, beginning with “Are you sitting comfortably?” After this both Tom and John shared their favourite parts of the book and anecdotes about the writing of the book. John read a few more chapters of the book before having a Q and A with the audience. A short break followed, so that a desk could be set up on stage, for the row-by-row signing. This gave me a chance to read up to and beyond chapter 39. If you notice carefully there is a typo “On 5 October 5,1982” on page 207 – the beginning of chapter 39. As I get nearer the stage I think to myself ‘It’s a do-or-die, now-or-never moment’. I hand over my book and camera to a woman. John looks straight at me and says “Penelope” in a questionable but interested tone. It is at this moment when I nervously say “Correct me if I’m wrong but I think there is a typo.”  He immediately says, “There’s gonna be one somewhere.  Where?”  Me (pointing):  “Chapter 39, page 207.”  Making a face he crosses it out, draws a line and scribbles on the page, “HORRID TYPO!”  Everyone around us has gathered to see the typo, we exchange glances once again before him ending with, “You’ve ruined it” (humorously) and me apologising.

  
 For a girl who has never caught a train or been to London on her own, I think it was very successful and a night I will remember for the rest of my life!
By Penelope Gush
 
Bio: Penelope Gush is 17 and lives in Essex, England. She is studying at college and hopefully going to university to become a primary school teacher. Her passions include ballet and music.


Taking Off Makes Motion Sickness

I hope everyone has been appreciating the John Taylor lyrics as blog titles for the last few days.  I just can’t seem to stop focusing on that bass player guy for some reason.  It’s bad and I don’t even have the book yet.  *Deep sigh*.  I did note an article yesterday that featured John but had much more of a focus on Nick, his illness and the band as a whole.  The article was featured in the Huffington Post UK and can be found here.  The article provided additional information on Nick’s illness but also pondered the future of Duran.  According to the article, Nick had “hit the wall” from working too hard.  He then began to have fainting spells, which resulted in seeing a doctor and being directed to rest.  John points out how Simon had lost his voice early in the tour and Nick had this at the end.  As John points out, these illnesses were warnings to them all and that they may need to rethink the way that they tour.  Lately, their tours have consisted of 3 or 4 shows a week, usually never in the same place two shows in a row.  It is not uncommon for them to be in three different states in one day.  Obviously, as I read this, a thousand and one thoughts popped in my head.

First and foremost, I thought about Nick.  I can’t imagine how scary it is to have fainting spells like that.  It isn’t like getting a cold or an upset stomach in which you know that you will be feeling better in a few days.  No, something like this could be caused by many things, serious and not-as-serious causes.  Now, it sounds like in this case that the conclusion is these spells were caused by working too hard.  This gives me some relief as there is a simple, not serious cause and a simple, easy way to treat it.  As much as I am hating the idea that Duran won’t be in the studio until February or won’t be touring for a long time, I’m glad that Nick will have plenty of down time.  It sounds like he needs that.  Part of me feels like I can relate–not to his job or his schedule but I know what I have felt like when I have been working two full time jobs, doing this and trying to maintain my day-to-day tasks.  There have been times that I truly question how much my body can take and I’m younger than Nick.  I have had times when my caffeine intake has been through the roof along with getting only 3-4 hours of sleep a night and being under a tremendous amount of stress.  Thus, I sympathize with Nick.  I’m sure that he just wanted to get through the tour.  He might have even been counting down so that he could rest and relax.  Unfortunately, his body forced him to rest and relax early.  I’m hoping he is already feeling better.

Second, I thought about the theme of this last album and tour.  All You Need is Now.  I thought we had learned that lesson with Simon.  Heck, I was already ready to live up this past tour even before that as evidenced by the fact that I flew to the UK in the first place.  The point that is again emphasized by Nick’s illness is that nothing lasts forever.  Nothing.  While we would all like to think that Duran will play forever and that their tours will last well into the following decades, we don’t know that.  Foxwoods could have been their last show.  Obviously, we hope not!!  That said, every show, every album, every tour could be their last.  I have to admit that I was shocked by all of the people who didn’t go to a show this last tour and could have.  Most of the reasons I saw had to do with seeing them earlier in the tour or being sick of the setlist.  That said, there was an underlying assumption there that there would be a next time.  Do I think that there will be more?  Yes, I do.  They haven’t altered their plans to go back into the studio so I have confidence that they will do this next album.  My point is, though, we should embrace the now because tours, opportunities may never happen again.  Thus, if, for example, John does do a signing that I can reasonably do, I’ll go.  I am not advocating being illogical with what one can do but I am saying that people should do what they can, when they can.  No putting off what can be done today. 

The last thing I thought about with reading this article was about how Duran tours might be different in the future.  I couldn’t help but to think about this past summer tour.  I pointed out how hard it must be on the band to do outdoor venues in the summer.  I still think that.  The heat might have been a contributing factor to Nick’s illness.  While I understand that the band allows their tour people to organize the tour, I think it would be both practical and beneficial for them to do more than one show in a place.  I’m not advocating for them to do a whole run of shows in some place like Vegas but why not do two or three shows in the major cities.  I’m sure that large cities would have a big enough draw to bring people to the shows, which would keep ticket sales up.  It would also help the band in that they wouldn’t have to travel as much and would have more time to rest in between shows.  For those of us who travel, it would be SO nice to see shows this way.  It would save us money and give us a chance to enjoy the places we are traveling to.  I’ll give an example.  During the 2008 tour, we did the Atlantic City show.  We had done the Foxwoods show the previous night and did the Montclair show the night after.  This resulted in us being in Atlantic City for less than 24 hours.  I feel like I was never there because it was so fast. 

While Nick’s illness is not a positive, I’m hopeful that it turns into a positive in the long run.  I’m hoping that it is a reminder to the fans to do what we can when it comes to the band and I’m hoping that it results in a better touring schedule for all involved! 

-A

Proving One on One; It Can Be Done

My mind is spinning from all of the John Taylor news and updates the last couple of days as his autobiography has been released in the UK and Australia. This release has been accompanied with a media blast all over the UK and signing/book talks in many UK cities. I know that our facebook and twitter were filled with tweets and status updates from many a happy Duranie after getting a copy of the book signed by the man himself. With all of this activity, I struggled with what I should focus on with this particular blog post. Do I focus on the fan reports? Do I talk about how jealous so many of us are here who are unable to experience what people went through yesterday? Do I ponder why there aren’t more signings? Do I mention what I have already learned from brief appearances on TV shows like Loose Women and Yahoo UK? All of the above? I swear, sometimes, when it rains it pours in Duranland…

In many ways, I think most of this is connected. Obviously. While I could talk about those media appearances, I think I will focus more on the fabulous book talk and signing that many were lucky enough to experience and how so many more want the same thing. From what I heard via social media and friends, this signing in London yesterday was golden. I only heard of positive experiences! The format consisted of having John do a book talk first before people were able to line up to get a copy or two signed. To me, the book talk really adds to the experience. Don’t get me wrong. I would always love a chance to say something to John and to have John say something to me. Who wouldn’t?! That said, I truly am anxious to get my hands on the book. I want to hear what John has to say about it and the process of writing it. The signing part would be like the icing to the cake. It adds sweetness to something that is already wonderful. Anyway, the signing portion of the evening definitely pleased everyone we heard from. According to what I heard, he was charming and took the time to personalize each and every copy! He was open and conversed briefly with the fans there. Friends of ours were able to exchange a few sentences with him and I didn’t hear one mention of feeling rushed. This one-on-one time, I’m sure, meant a lot to each and every fan who was able to participate. The fans felt appreciated, from what I could tell, and I’m sure they are all still grinning today!! I think this type of experience helps people’s fandom not only survive but to grow. It doesn’t take much to please most of us and it sounds like John did that and more yesterday!

Of course, as thrilled as we all are for our friends across the pond, many of us here in the States openly wonder why is there only one signing here and the one planned doesn’t sound like what they had yesterday, either. As far as I can tell, it is just a signing in New York.  There will be no book talk. So, why the difference in focus between the UK and the US? By the way, I’m in no way saying that there shouldn’t be events in other parts of the world besides the US and the UK as I wish for everyone to get an event like the one that happened yesterday! Nonetheless, I’m still wondering why the focus ONLY on the UK. Of course, we don’t know for sure that there won’t be more signings. There might be. I’m just preparing myself that there won’t be. I admit it. I would be disappointed. Why wouldn’t the publisher be pushing the book here? I see no upcoming media here either. It is like the book is only being released there. Now, I do know that it isn’t coming out here for another month. Thus, again, it is possible that events will be added but…some people have started to wonder if it isn’t because the publishers or the powers that be (Note: I know NOTHING about how this sort of publishing works or who makes decisions.) think that the book won’t sell well here. Others have asked if it isn’t because of the contents of the book.

This makes me think about the point of the book and the audience of the book. The teacher in me would say that when anyone starts to write, s/he needs to consider the intended audience. Rhonda and I did for our book. I’m willing to bet that John did, too. In my opinion, the audience of this book isn’t just for fans. It is for Duranies but it also tells the story of one person who experienced a tremendous amount of fame and everything that went with that. It seems to me to be the story of an extraordinary life. This is a broader story and one that should be easy to market. It seems to me that a lot of people are interested in life stories such as this. Thus, I have a hard time believing that it couldn’t sell here. *shrugs*

While I will continue to hope that the people with power reconsider adding more signings and book talk events, I will be paying attention to the stories from all of the lucky fans who have had or will have their moments with the Bass God himself. It sounds like the time one-on-one definitely sent a powerful message of appreciation between both John and his fans.  What a great experience!

-A

P.S.  We would love to have a first-hand account so if you were there and would want to share, please get in touch with us!!!

There’s Got to be a Message Here This Time-In the Pleasure Groove Book Discussion

For those of you who are familiar with John Taylor’s solo work, you probably recognized the lyrics in the title from the song, “Immortal”. That line, that song seems extra fitting today, on the day that John’s autobiography is released in the UK and Australia. First, I’m sure that there are many messages throughout the book. I don’t mean that John will be preachy or anything like that. I just mean that we will see John and his life through his eyes. We will gain some insight. Second, the song, “Immortal,” also seems fitting because of the meaning of the word. Immortal means to live forever. We, fans, all know that John Taylor was already going to live forever through all of the music he helped to create despite the lyrics of this song. Now, his life will live on. As a John fan, this truly is a gift. Since it is our (Daily Duranie’s) birthday today, I feel like he gave us a gift by writing and publishing his story. We thank him and we don’t even have copies yet!

I remember a few years ago when dd.com started putting up blogs by the band. It seems to me that each band member’s personality and style showed through in their blogs. (The same is probably true of us here.) Much of the discussion on the various message boards, at the time, was how John really should write a book. His blogs were lengthy and filled with details.  More than that, his voice really showed and people felt an emotional impact after reading.  (The blogs are still available under the writing section at dd.com.) Little did we realize that we would be sitting here in the fall of 2012 either holding his autobiography in our hands or waiting to hold a copy of it. Personally, I don’t have a copy yet. Unfortunately, the States has to wait another month. That said, I openly admit that I couldn’t wait. Nope. I ordered a copy from the UK. Now, of course, it still won’t be here for a while but it will be faster than waiting until mid-October. I know that I’m not the only one who couldn’t wait, either! Apparently, some of us aren’t very patient. The same thing is true with setlists. I always look at them. Always.

The question that you all might be thinking is how we are going to deal with the book. Will we just acknowledge it and move on? Will we analyze each chapter like we would do songs on an album or something in between? I’m sure it won’t surprise any of you that we must do something! After all, Rhonda and I are full of thoughts, reactions, words that we just can’t keep to ourselves! Why would this be any different? Of course, a book is a very different deal than a song. While we could do what I’m used to doing at work, which is grading on the writing quality based on the six traits of ideas, organization, sentence fluency, voice, conventions and word choice, we will instead be a little more open. We thought we would lead a book club of sorts. I’m not sure how many of you are in or have participated in book clubs but the ones I have been involved with look like the following. Everyone in the club is expected to read something. (It isn’t school, though, so you won’t be graded for doing homework. You all can thank me later!) Then, when it is time for discussion, someone leads the discussion and people chime in with their thoughts, reactions, etc. It is not so formal that each section is talked about in great detail. It is more about what hits people. It is about what causes people to react and then talking about it. Of course, in real life, people often share snacks and drinks at book club. I recommend then getting a cup of coffee or a glass of wine along with a treat before settling down with the discussion.

Rhonda and I decided that our book club, of sorts, will be held on Mondays. The key here is that book club won’t start until the Monday after the book is released here in the States.  According to my calendar, this is Monday, October 22nd. We will then discuss the book chapter by chapter. I will introduce topics that I thought were interesting or that I wanted to discuss, then I’m hoping that you all would want to respond to my topics and/or add your own. It would be nice if there was a real dialogue, a dialogue that not only flows from us to you and back but one that allows for everyone to respond to everyone.

Until the beginning of book club, I’m going to be frequently checking the tracking status of my copy from the UK, waiting to hear about the various signings in the UK and wishing over and over and over again that he would signings in other cities here besides New York City.  I hear that Chicago and Los Angeles are lovely places!!! There are lots of book buyers in those cities, too!  *sigh*  Well, if I can’t have a copy yet and I can’t go to a signing, I can at least watch a JT video, right?  Perhaps, you, too, will be thinking about John’s immortality with his book and this performance of his.

-A