Category Archives: Duran Duran

Fingers in my brain

Are you on Twitter yet?  If not, there’s still time…

A few days back, I noticed, thanks to Duran Duran’s Facebook, that TV Mania has it’s own Twitter. I won’t lie, I was curious. First of all, who would be tweeting and would I be able to tell? Secondly, what would they say?? Thirdly, I really kind of wondered if they’d use the account of all. Let’s face it, there are plenty of celebs out there that have Twitter accounts and never use them. So, I did what any other curious fan might have done – I followed @TVManiaMusic and heard nothing. At some point over the weekend, I wrote it off – figuring that someone on the “Social Media” team from the band set up the account, but that neither Nick nor Warren would ever tweet. Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Well, yesterday late afternoon my time, I was on Twitter and noticed a few tweets in my timeline from @TVMusicMania. Surprise!! Let me share them with you…and more than a few came with their own photos to illustrate.

Is it possible that she’s been dreaming all this time? Heaven forbid that she ever comes down, for her fall will be all too sudden.

Wide eyed and restless, Sassy was in no mood to settle down.

I found this in your purse.

They promised to keep all information entirely confidential.

He would’ve been 32 this year. 

Job 17:14 “I have said to corruption, You are my father: to the worm, You are my mother, and my sister”

And finally….with bravado…

First of all, I want to know how they got hold of that first photo, clearly from in the middle of the night when my youngest snuck into my room. Back when she was about two, she developed this habit of sneaking into our room in the middle of the night. I would stir and there’d she’d be – staring at me. Scary.

Truthfully though, some of the tweets are very much on the other side of creepy. The “dark side”!  …“I found this in your purse.” I actually had to fight the urge to run to check!  ….”He would have been 32 this year.” And then there’s a blurred photo. No, that’s not creepy at all.  

If I have nightmares, I’m blaming Nick and Warren. Anyone else?

So I have to ask, dear readers – what does it all mean? Nothing? Something? And I forgot to mention that somewhere in the midst of the sudden burst of tweets last night, a very cryptic-but-not-really-so-cryptic map was shared. Not a single word added…just a tweet of a link to a map. Of Queens…because that’s not going to get speculation going at all, right?

I must admit, it’s all a little intriguing. (and creepy. Have I mentioned that?)  What’s even worse is that I keep going back to check for more! I have to applaud them for two things: getting my attention; and making me think. I like that. It’s been a long time since I was able to sit and overanalyze something to death, and obviously, we like that sort of thing here on Daily Duranie.  

On the other hand, I never thought I’d actually tweet Warren.  


Book Discussion–In the Pleasure Groove (Chapters 70-72)

It’s book discussion Monday!  We are getting to the end of our discussion on John Taylor’s autobiography.  This week, we discuss chapters 70-72.  These chapters cover the years 1998-2003.  During this time, John dealt with the death of his mother and his new marriage to Gela.  Professionally, the band reunited and despite challenges faced, the reunion was successful and John maintained sobriety.  For many of us, this reunion reawakened our inner Duranie and many of us found ourselves participating in Duranland in amounts and intensity not seen since the 1980s.  With that context, let’s dive in!  As always, feel free to respond to the discussion questions posed and/or add your own!

Chapter 70:  A Different Kind of Profound
What were your thoughts while you read of the passing of John’s mother?
A – This is one of those chapters that I definitely found myself in tears.  I am fortunate to have both of my parents still with me and absolutely dread when one of them goes, partly because of what John talked about with his dad.  As John pointed out, after his mother died, his dad was never the same and found himself in isolation.  I’m sure my father would be the exact same way.  Despite my utter sadness reading this, I found myself relieved for John and his parents that he was sober for this event.
R – I swear that this book, or at least parts of it, were almost therapy (for me). I found myself relating to much of it, and probably in completely different ways, or at least on different levels, than John probably ever considered. My point is simply that many people, fans, friends and probably family alike – can probably find something in this book that is relatable and speaks to them.  Like many of you, I have lost a parent.  My dad was sick for the last three years of his life, and he spent the last three weeks of his life on a ventilator in the hospital.  It’s so strange how you can think you’re over the sharpest pains of grieving and then just one sentence can send you right back, feeling the knife dig in just a little farther to remind you that it is something that will be carried forever.  That’s how reading this chapter was for me.  

Chapter 71:  The Reunion of the Snake
Were you surprised by Gela’s role in encouraging the reunion?
A – I admit that I was.  It isn’t that I don’t think she is supportive.  I know that she is as I remember the big billboard Juicy posted in Times Square when Astronaut came out.  I also knew about that Juicy promo show in which Simon did a guest appearance.  In fact, I’ll include that here.  I think it is important for Duranies to watch it and see if the vibe towards the reunion was there.

Anyway, I just didn’t realize that it was Gela who proposed that Simon participate in this show. I’m grateful that she did.
R – I was very surprised, to be honest. I didn’t know Gela on any level prior to John’s return to the band. I wasn’t there at the time and I have no idea what really happened – but sometimes all it really takes to build a bridge is someone innocently providing the pathway to begin, and I think that was Gela’s role.  

Based on what John mentioned with the reunion, what do you think was the most challenging aspect of it?
A – The possible choices here are obvious, including having Warren leave, repairing relationships, managing the band and financial decisions, musical differences or lack of interest from the fans and the general public.  It seems to me that having Warren leave wasn’t tough, at least that was the impression I have from reading this.  I was surprised that John didn’t focus more on the manager and financial debates as Andy seemed pretty fixated on these elements.  Is that because Andy was given such a different percentage of their earnings?  Maybe.  Is it because, for John, other issues were more difficult?  Possibly.  Whatever the reason, it seems like the toughest element of the reunion, even though John didn’t mention much in detail, was repairing those relationships.  I knew that Nick was upset that John left but I didn’t realize that their relationship suffered more than brief disappointment.  Yet, of course, it makes that sense that it would.  It seems clear to me that we are all lucky that they were able to overcome enough to see the reunion through as it seems like it was fragile.  Very fragile.
R – I never felt completely confident in the reunion.  I don’t know that I recognized that at the time, but looking back – I think that’s why I was so set on seeing them as often as I did that first summer out (2003).  I have mentioned before that when it was announced that Andy wasn’t returning that I was shocked at how much I was not shocked. I think I saw it coming.  I’ve said many times that the reunion of the original five was so perfect, it just wasn’t meant to last – it was meant to be a precise moment in time, and that it was. I don’t believe there was ONE aspect more challenging than any other, it was simply “A Challenge”.  Did they meet the challenge?  Yes, I think they did.  I think they did what they set out to do – and while it might not be the most popular opinion, I believe that their time as that particular five person band was simply finished.  (I’ve also learned never to say “never”.)  

Chapter 72:  Osaka Time
This chapter is a tough one to discuss since so much of it deals with religion, God and spirituality.  Do you think that John addressed this the best way he could?
A – First, let me say that I think most people, most John fans, most Duran fans reading this chapter are interpreting this description of John’s spirituality through their own personal lenses of religion and spirituality.  What I mean by this is that we have all very strong feelings when it comes to this topic.  Thus, we are all reading this chapter and interpreting how we want to interpret it.  This isn’t a criticism of any reader as I’m sure I’m guilty of it, too.  My point here really is to say that John was very careful to not alienate anyone.  He admitted that he has a new version of God but did not specify much to that, other than the idea of a higher power.  It seems to me that John wanted to be open and truthful about what he thinks and feels but understands and respects others enough to not say too much.
R – I think John relayed what he felt was important to relay. I don’t personally have issues with what ever his relationship with spirituality might be, only that I’m glad he found whatever he needed to find to get through that particular moment in time for him; and that would have included being absolutely supportive had he said he had NO spirituality in that “power above” sense.  I guess I just feel that we all find our way through life, and there’s so much to have opinions about – in this one particular area I have no answers, and my beliefs are no better or worse than anyone else’s.  

What role did fans have in Osaka, do you think?
A – John ends this chapter by saying that the band still had it and the fans still wanted it.  It made me feel that it was the fans that pushed the reunion to keep going.  The band could see and feel that the fans were still here and still loved them.  That was enough of a reason to keep going even when tensions were high.
R – Do you know what strikes me most about the reunion?  The fact that the band seemed surprised by our reaction to them. I must really be living in a bubble, because there seemed to be no other possible reaction to the original five members reuniting.  There is very precious little of which I am absolutely sure of in life – but when the band announced this reunion, I had no doubt whatsoever that fans would embrace them as before. I knew I couldn’t possibly be alone – it was a dream come true that (at the time) I was convinced would never happen.  I remember proclaiming all over the boards at DDF ( that we – the fans – never really left them; but the band left us. I felt that way again after Andy left during the time of Red Carpet Massacre. They’re back now though, and this time, I’m hopeful they stick around.  

Final Thoughts:
In a recent book club, the section of chapters we read and discussed seemed to all fit into the idea of lessons learned.  These chapters seem to be the application of the lessons.  John worked hard to learn how to cope with difficult situations without the use of drugs and alcohol.  These chapters saw tests of his effort.  First, he had to deal with his mother’s death then he had to struggle through the difficulty of the reunion.  The band’s trip to Japan could have been a disaster for John and the band.  Instead, John found a way through and he and the band got stronger because of it.

On that note, we will finish the book next week by discussing the last remaining chapters of 73 and 74.  After that, Rhonda and I will present our thoughts of the book overall in the following week.



Step Into My Flame: Reflecting On Arcadia

By C.K. Shortell
I could walk into a room full of Duran fans and incite a riot with any number of comments. I could pick on Andy or Warren, as each has a dedicated following; I could shout out that Red Carpet Massacre is actually one of their best albums (don’t worry—I don’t think that—but confess to loving half of it); I could say they were better off with Sterling Campbell than Roger…(well maybe that’s just bordering on the absurd…)….I could say that if Dom were the guitarist from the get-go, Duran would have more hits and more stability and would be rightfully enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and routinely performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl (okay, now I’m just blatantly kissing up to the management of this blog)…anyway, I think we DD fans are an easy group to get riled up, on any number of topics. 
However, I’m not here to do that today. I don’t think I will, anyway—we shall see. Rather, I’m curious about what the readers of Daily Duranie feel about one of the band’s most famous and successful side projects: Arcadia. My general sense of the fan community’s attitude to the album is that, in context, it was a relief to know that Simon/Nick and (sort of) Roger were “doing something” while Andy and John were off with Robert Palmer and The Power Station.  Thus it was nice, in 1985, to hear Simon’s voice on a song on the radio while “Some Like It Hot” and “Bang a Gong” were being played nonstop, and John and Andy were jamming out in front of toilets and scantily clad women on MTV.   
I also think there is a segment of the fan base that treated So Red the Rose as Duran’s fourth studio album—listened to it over and over again, poured over the artwork and lyrics that accompanied the vinyl and/or cassette release, watched for the videos on MTV like a hawk.  I count myself among this group—I absolutely love the album.  But is loving Arcadia akin to, say, also loving Medazzaland or Pop Trash (count me guilty there too)? For the most part, I think the current Duran fan base dismisses those albums, which his fine—to each his or her own. Or is my affection (obsession?) with So Red the Rose more widespread and shared among the fans?
I am not a musician so, at least consciously, I can’t claim to know or be attached to Andy’s guitar style or John’s style as a bass player, etc. For me, Duran Duran begins and ends with two elements: Simon’s voice and Nick’s synths. So I guess it’s logical, given that perspective, that I gravitated toward Arcadia.
I scanned the past blogs and comments on Daily Duranie to see what people said about the project. Amanda’s blog on October 12 of last year addressed the question of why some of the later side projects were not as popular among the fans as Arcadia and Power Station.  Two replies to that blog cited the fact that other projects like The Devils and JT’s solo albums weren’t their style of music, while Arcadia was “amazing” (wrote Joel) and “a great vehicle” (Jetrell69) for Nick/Simon and “Roger’s drum machine.” (LOL-and I don’t use that term loosely!).
But not everyone loved So Red the Rose. In response to another blog that month (on October 23, the anniversary of the release of Notorious), Heather Todd wrote that, “Arcadia went down a road I wasn’t interested in taking. I wanted more Wild Boys!” I can relate to that point of view. Let’s face it—Arcadia was weird. Even I, as a devotee of the album, can say that.  It had odd artwork, all those numbers, the guys with their black hair, the Grace Jones spoken word portion that is the only thing I don’t like about “Election Day,” and all those six and seven minute songs on the second side…it certainly was a far cry from tight, pop-oriented “Seven and the Ragged Tiger.” It was Nick unleashed, unbridled. 
At the time, and for many years later, I viewed Arcadia as Duran’s second best album.  I know that statement is fraught with controversy on multiple levels…but it simply reflected how I felt. I even grouped the Arcadia cassette with the Duran Duran ones, always slipping it in between Arena and Notorious, in its proper chronological place. Why did I like it so much?  I thought it was extremely catchy. I loved the diversity—if you wanted guitar, you listened to The Flame; if you wanted a pop song, you listened to Election Day; if you wanted to be absolutely depressed and sad, you listened to Missing; if you wanted powerful songs with a message, you listened to Goodbye is Forever and The Promise.
So Red the Rose had the “meat” and depth to it that Seven and the Ragged Tiger (SATRT) lacked. It was like a bizarro, alternate universe counterpart to Rio—darkly mirroring it in everything from the artwork to the running order. (Yes, Lady Ice is Simon’s first of many pseudo-Chauffeur songs and probably my favorite.) And it did represent a return to that “darkness” that harkened back to the first album. I remember listening to the second side of Duran Duran and creating all of these dark videos in my head, and the second side of So Red the Rose evoked a similar response. (Rio does that too, although I think that’s as much about the videos as it is the songs themselves, e.g. I’m not sure I would associate Save a Prayer with running on the beach if I had never seen the video).
It was weird, dark, moody and gray…but it was also cool. How great was it to hear Sting and Simon sing on a song that wasn’t “Do they know it’s Christmas?”?  Or David Gilmour’s killer guitar on The Flame? 
I listened to So Red the Rose over and over again in 1985 and 1986. The only thing that tore me away was getting Notorious for Christmas in 1986 (I was 14—too young to drive and get it on release day!). But in 1987, I purchased the Playing for Keeps soundtrack because it included “Say the Word,” the lone b-side from Arcadia (remixes notwithstanding). I loved “Say the Word” but was glad it wasn’t on So Red the Rose—in much the same way that I love Secret Oktober but was glad it wasn’t on SATRT—it just functioned better outside the album. 
So, over a quarter century after its release, where do I rank So Red the Rose? I would say it’s in the upper tier of Duran albums. Off the top of my head, I probably like it better than anything after 1990 with the exception of Medazzaland and AYNIN; I’d say it’s on my Mt. Rushmore of Duran albums: Rio, the first album, AYNIN, Notorious, and Medazzaland.  (My Mt. Rushmore has six faces!).
Jetrell69 had also commented that, “I had hoped we’d see another Arcadia release.”  I recall The Devils album being billed as such in 2002, which of course led me to be very disappointed in it. The closest we’ve come to an Arcadia follow-up is likely Medazzaland.  Musically, maybe I’m way off with that comparison, but it seems to be the most similar in style and tone to So Red the Rose
You’ll notice that I did not get into an Arcadia vs. Power Station analysis. I avoided this for several reasons. For starters, I never even bought The Power Station album until 1990. I simply had no interest in it before then. Admittedly, I loved it, and that I think the ’96 follow-up, Living in Fear, is excellent and I still listen to that on occasion. 
However, to me, Arcadia is unique among all Duran side projects because of Simon’s voice.  I would no more compare Arcadia to The Power Station then I would Arcadia to any other band—it’s apples and oranges. Maybe that’s a topic for another blog or poll question…but not today.
I’m curious what you think. Am I overrating Arcadia? Is it truly “the most pretentious album of the decade” as Simon called it? Or do you view it as I do, as the dark companion to those early, classic Duran albums, and the bridge from the “original lineup era” to what followed?  Don’t keep us in the dark…comment below!!!
C.K. Shortell is a lifelong Duran Duran fan who lives in the northeast with his wife and two sons, both of whom love watching concert footage of the band.  When he’s not struggling to explain to a three year old why the guitarist always looks different or just what exactly Nick is doing, C.K. is constantly reminding co-workers and friends that the band never broke up.    

Interpretations of New Moon on Monday

Today is my last blog of the weekend as I’m going out of town for the Inauguration.  Do not fret, dear readers, there will be a blog tomorrow.  It is a gem of a guest blog so make sure to check it out.  Likewise, there will still be updates to Today in Duran’s History and the question of the day.  Yet, I hope to be leaving you with a blog that both bring a smile to your face and make you think a bit.  This blog will continue the new series of interpretations of various Duran songs.  This week, I tackle another song off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger, which is New Moon on Monday.  This song is one that many fans seem to like and one that I often hear requested to be paid live, despite the difficult notes that Simon would have to sing.  Personally, I like the song and, like many of you, I adore this video.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is my all-time favorite video.  The video has become so connected to the song for me that I can’t separate the two, really.  In fact, if asked what the song means, I would probably pop out with an underground movement pushing for a revolution against a tyrannical government.  Do the lyrics support that idea?  Let’s take a look and see but before we do that, let’s watch that fun video first!

So, what about those lyrics?

Shake up the picture the lizard mixture
With your dance on the eventide
You got me coming up with answers
All of which I deny
I said it again
Could I please rephrase it
Maybe I can catch a ride
I couldn’t really put it much plainer
But I’ll wait till you decide
Send me your warning siren
As if I could ever hide
Last time La Luna


I light my torch and wave it for the
New moon on Monday
And a firedance through the night
I stayed the cold day with a lonely satellite

Breaking away with the best of both worlds
A smile that you can’t disguise
Every minute I keep finding
Clues that you leave behind
Save me from these reminders
As if I’d forget tonight
This time La Luna


Now, what are the online theories about what this song means?  There are a few main theories about what the song could mean.  These theories are as follows:

*About an ex-girlfiriend who the guy is interested in getting back together

*Trying to date a shy or indecisive girl

*Revolutions or attempted revolutions

*Guy Fawkes conspiracy

It seems to me that these theories fall into two main categories:  relationships or revolutions.  Could the song be about trying to get back together with an ex-girlfriend or trying to get together with a shy or indecisive girl?  Well, the line about waiting for you to decide in the first verse could indicate these theories.  Heck, the line about coming up with answers that are denied could imply that the guy could have gotten an answer and is ignoring it or denying it.  The second verse could be about how the guy is looking for clues that says that the female really is interested.  Perhaps, he is remembering time spent together when they were together, which the line about “save me from these reminders” could be about.  What about the chorus?  Could the chorus be about the decision being told on Monday, which starts a whole “new” life?  After all, the guy has survived being “cold” or alone and “lonely”.  This theory seems possible.

What about the other major theory that the song really is about a revolution?  After all, the video showed that.  Did they come to that storyline because that actually matched the meaning?  Let’s see if the lyrics fit.  Shaking up the picture definitely could be a reference to changing something.  I’m not sure about the lizard part as the lizard symbolizes really different things in different cultures.  In Western cultures, it has been used like a snake to indicate evil.  The next couple of lines could be about how the government gives answers or statements to the people in order to get the people to think something.  Yet, this person denies the truth to these statements.  Perhaps, this person sheds light on to the propaganda or the lies.  Of course, there are warning sirens as a result.  The chorus definitely could indicate a change, which is what a new moon implies.  This change could be celebrated with a dance.  Then, what about the second verse?  It begins with the idea of “breaking away”.  Again, this could indicate a change.  This breaking away is also keeping the best of both worlds–maybe some elements of the old government would stay when combined with the new government.  I’m not sure about the clues part.

Then, there is the possibility that it has to do with Guy Fawkes.  Who was that, many of you might be wondering.  Well, from what I understand, Guy Fawkes was one of 13 men who plotted to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605 because they felt the King was mistreating Catholics.  The plan was simple.  They would store gunpowder in the cellar.  Yet, some of these men had second thoughts and sent out warnings.  This resulted in their arrest and execution.  That night, bonfires were set to celebrate the safety of the king.  Typically, these bonfires were accompanied with a fireworks display.  This story is fascinating to me since there seems to be a lot in common with the video.  Hmm…

Which theory do I like best?  I don’t know.  As a historian who has focused on social movements and political revolutions, I love the idea that it is indeed about a revolution or an underground movement.  Plus, I admit that I have a hard time separating the video from the song.  Thus, I immediately go there.  That said, I could definitely see it being about the attempt to getting with or back with a girl.  Could it be about something else?  Of course.  What do you the rest of you think?


P.S.  Suggestions for the next song?

The Flu For Me, Video Day for You!

Happy Thursday!

If there were ever a day to call in sick for me…this would be it.  It is my turn to catch the flu that has been circling my house (and I’m the last one to get it this time). I’m having difficulty forming sentences from incoherent thoughts, so this blog is probably going to be a bust unless I take drastic measures. So, while I make my way back up to my room and sleep my way back to good health, I am going to post some videos here for you to enjoy.

MTV Unplugged – I haven’t watched this in years. Fascinating to see this after all this time. I’m ignoring that they opened with HLTW. 
Working for the Skin Trade – another one I haven’t watched in many years. What I find interesting in watching these videos is just how many elements of their live show they’ve continued for all of these years.
ITV One Night Only – I love this performance, and I think the band just keeps getting better and better. I’ll even go all-out and say that when I watch this after watching the others, it is as though the band has come full circle back to what I knew them to be in the 80’s, and it’s not just 4/5 of the lineup – it’s the energy and vibe.
Alright, that’s nearly 3 hours of video watching for you today.  Better get started! On the other hand, I am headed back to bed.  Flu be damned!  

Wallpaper in my Room

I am a fan.

Duran Duran have been a relative constant in my life since I was about eleven. For me personally, the music came first. It was only later in the same year of my discovery (of the band) that I actually saw what they looked like. Up until then, I had my imagination doing the work. (I was so wrong. I can’t remember what my mind had decided they looked like now, but I do remember how completely wrong I’d been.) I remember being shocked that they weren’t American. I have no idea why that surprised me, although once again, I was only eleven. Prior to Duran Duran, a single Shaun Cassidy poster was on the backside of my bedroom door and I had one Rick Springfield poster on the sliding door to my closet. I still listened to kid albums with my younger sister (Chipmunks, anyone??), and I think I had difficulty straddling those years between youth and tween. (as opposed to youth and teen…*sigh*)  Those were my awkward years, no doubt. I think that I’ve remained a pretty loyal fan since then, though. Recently, Amanda and I had a discussion regarding some research that her brother had forwarded to her. This research concerned the various “categories” of fans, and I find myself thinking back to the conversation every time I begin to blog…so here goes:

I have never really been the type of fan to collect every single thing every printed on the band. I had my fair share of posters and pin-ups until we moved just after I’d graduated from high school and went off to my college, but I don’t think I came close to owning every single article written on them or interview they’d completed. I tried to stay up with the news, bought their albums on vinyl and/or later CD (and probably even a few cassette tapes in there although I hated the quality), but I was no collector. I just loved their music. Sure, I liked the bands looks – but for me it was their music. It was really only later on, when I was grown and had my own money, that I began to collect special things (to me). I own most of their music on vinyl at this point, although there are still things to add to the collection. I still don’t collect their interviews in magazines, although there have been a few special interviews and things that I’ve kept. For example, I have an article that was written on them in the OC Register (My local newspaper) when they came to the Pacific Amphitheater in 2003 for the reunion show.  I bought a few really old posters of them that I now have up in my walk-in closet, but again, I bought the posters that were special to me as a kid. (Found those on eBay!) Ask me about all of the remixes though, or bootlegs to shows… chances are, I don’t have them. Merchandise or t-shirts? I have some of the things I really want, but I have never felt OCD about needing everything. That said, I *do* own two Duran Duran hoodies now thanks to Amanda and my sister, and I adore them. Let’s just say I wear them a lot!  Other things like photos and those precious picks and drumsticks? Well…I still don’t have photos with the band, although sure, I have plenty of pictures from being at shows. You know, I remember in 2003 when the band first came back to California for the reunion shows. I saw them at the Pacific Amphitheater, but then I saw them at the 4th and B Theatre in San Diego. 4th and B is this tiny little theatre that reminded me a little of the House of Blues. It was a GA show, so I had my chance to get up close. As we walked into the theatre that night, my husband handed me a disposable camera. He was afraid to bring our nice camera for fear of it being confiscated by security, but he wanted me to have the chance to take pictures. I was thrilled. THRILLED. I couldn’t believe I was going to have pictures of the band. Finally! I still have those pictures, and they are by far the most blurriest, horrible photos I’ve ever taken. I’ve never shared them with anyone, but man am I proud that I have them! Funny. I know other fans who have had plenty of opportunities to have pictures of themselves with the band. They ask for a photo every single time they see them. I know a lot of people wonder why they feel like they need to do that. I think that for them, it’s simply what they like in the same way I like collecting vinyl. Would I ask for a photo every time I saw them if I had the chance? I have no idea. Someday I’d like the opportunity for just one…and then I’ll let you know. I know other people who go to shows and collect drumsticks and picks as though they are trophies, and for those people – they really ARE trophies. I have a couple picks myself. Yes, they are from Dom. Yes, I am glad I have them and that he gave one to me himself! For me personally though, that’s enough. So am I a “collector fan”? I suppose in some ways, but not extremely so.

I don’t think that I was really much of a casual fan, either.  A casual fan is someone who likes hearing them on the radio.  They might even buy an album if they like what they hear, and if they have the time and are able, they’ll go to a show if it’s convenient. I didn’t just sit passively when they came on the radio, and I certainly didn’t just say “Oh, they’re pretty good.” when asked about them. I loved Duran Duran, and I had no difficulty in owning up to that when I was younger. I very much wanted to go to their concerts, but at the time my parents just didn’t have extra money for such things, and they were extremely protective. “No daughter of mine is going to go and hang out at rock concerts at the age of twelve, Rhonda Lynn.” That was my dad’s favorite line when the subject would come up. I could practically recite it for him… just change out the age with each passing year/tour. At the time, I don’t really think I gave a lot of thought to what type of fan I really was, only that I was very much a big fan! There was a time though when I only listened with one ear as to what they were doing, and that was during the mid to late nineties when I was busy learning how to be married and be a parent. This was also when I bought Medazzaland, heard the album through one time, and proclaimed that the band had moved on without me. That was a pretty sad day for me.  I felt dejected and almost angry that yes, I’d finally grown up. That was it? My childhood love over?  Wow.  So that is what it meant to grow up. I wanted no part, thanks. Of course, that whole “growing-up” thing was completely shattered the night that I went to see the band back at the House of Blues in Anaheim in 2001. I’ve told the story here countless times. I didn’t want to go, but Walt insisted (foolish man). We went, and at first I really just wanted to stand in the back. So we stood by the bar, but something crazy happened when they got on stage. I felt this overwhelming need to get as close as possible, and the floor wasn’t even completely filled – so I just hurried down the steps to the floor and got about twenty feet away from Simon. The rush I felt was incredible! We all know it went downhill from there, right? I kid you not – it was like giving an addict crack again, and I apologize for that analogy but I swear it was like feeding the addiction again. And now? Well, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m no casual fan. This blog, if nothing else, is probably evident of that.

Research says that there are very, very few hardcore fans out there…and that is fans across the board, in any and all types of fandom. There are plenty of casual fans, those who will go to shows but maybe not drop everything to be involved. There are less “collector fans” out there, but there are still many of them. Hardcore fans, the ones who take their fandom and do something productive; the fans who clearly live and breathe and attach part of their own personality to whatever it is that they are a fan of and vice-versa – are hard to come by. In my own well-educated-but-certainly-not substantiated-by-any-amount-of-research opinion, I think that there’s something within the personality that creates a hardcore fan, and a small part of me wonders if it’s not really the same thing that creates addiction. I’m no psychologist, but I think there might just be something to that whole “addictive personality” thing. Just so YOU, dear reader, are clear: being a hardcore fan does not mean the “best” kind of fan. There is no “best”. These categories are simply that: categories of fans, and I still say that the line between fan and fanatic is blurred at best. What does interest me though, is why fans are the way they are. What makes someone into that “hardcore” fan? Why do some fans really feel that need to collect whatever it is that they collect? Why will some fans stop at nothing to do everything possible and still others are good with a show or two? Is it really because one fan is more “hardcore” than the other – and more importantly (to me) – how do those fans see one another? Fascinating. That’s why I keep studying.

What kind of fan are you – and how do you see some of the other types of fans I describe?


I’m over the hiatus!

Just a general welfare check on the blog today…who is dying for some shows?!? News?!?  Excitement of ANY kind?!?

I hear you…and I’m raising my hands right along with all of you. Let me just say that the last couple of days have been…well…challenging…in my household. Illness is afoot. Or underfoot.  Or just sitting here with me.  My entire house has taken turns being sick, and it seems my own immune system is toying with me.  My throat will start to get that slight scratchiness and my head will start to ache, and then it goes away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled it goes away, I just need it to stay away permanently. Last night, I was up for most of the night, unable to sleep.  At some point, as I lay there trying to relax, I longed for the sweet days of being couped up in a tiny vehicle, driving hundreds of miles in a single day to follow Duran Duran on tour, only to get up the following day and repeat the entire process.  (and darn it I would do it again. Gladly!)  Oh, let’s just pull out a few pictures for amusement, shall we??

Amanda, at the wheel….I taunted her plenty on this trip, just for the sport of it.  Good times!

My lap looked like this whenever I wasn’t driving.  Something would make a noise and I would struggle to figure out which devise it was…which was probably amusing for everyone else in the car!  Don’t even get me started on Abigail, our ever-trusty GPS…I think I just started cursing at her whenever she’d speak up towards the end of the trip!
And this is Amanda’s lap.  We had GPS, we had road maps… we had the Tour Binder (our version of the Bible)…we were set!

And this is me in line in Biloxi. Keep in mind…this was the FIRST SHOW and I was already down for the count.  Wow.  Gotta love those GA lines, right?

The Stolen Leopard…I could use one of those about now. No really, I could!

And this is us screwing with the band. Again. We decided to make our own setlist, and I kid you not, had I figured out how to slip it under the door backstage…I would have!  

Yes, it’s time for therapy. Again. So we must find something to amuse ourselves in the interim.  Thankfully, someone in Duran Duran knows us well….

I’m sure you’ve all heard of TVMania by now.  I have to admit, even *I* am intrigued by the project at this point.  Naturally, anything named “Bored with Prozac and the Internet”, A Soundtrack to the Digital Age grabs my attention by default.  Did you catch the new piccie that was shared this morning? (well, it’s morning here where I am…)  Oh, please allow me to share…

please keep in mind this is not my photo and I am giving full credit to whomever took this over in the Duran Duran official camp headquarters.  🙂

Honestly.  If you’re not curious just from the press release that you can read right here , aren’t you just a teensy bit curious from the get-up they’ve got going on in this picture??

A. What is that on Nick’s face… and…

B.  What is on Warren’s head???

I can’t imagine this album will be at all boring.  Rest assured, we’ll be reviewing it here, although I have to admit that I personally will likely be settling for the simple “gatefold” edition vinyl.  Those of you with a bit more disposable income will have to share the splendors of the deluxe package with the rest of us.  We promise not to drool.

That’s it from me today – I’m off to find a nap while I can!


Book Discussion–In The Pleasure Groove (Chapters 65-69)

Is it Monday already?  Where did the week go?  While I’m way less than thrilled that my weekend is over, I’m always happy to have a book discussion, especially when it is on John Taylor’s autobiography!  This week, we move on to Chapters 65-69.  These chapters cover right after the Wedding Album to John’s solo days (1994-1998/9).  Both Duran Duran and John Taylor faced a ton of changes during the time period.  Duran recorded an album of covers, Thank You, which was released in 1995.  John formed another side project, Neurotic Outsiders.  While this project was not long lasting, John’s time with Duran ended until the reunion in 1997.  The band moved on without him and he worked on a solo career.  Personally, he had a successful experience at rehab.  He also divorced his wife, Amanda, and met and married Gela, which resulted in a blended family.  Much to discuss!!!

Chapter 65:  A Million Tiny Seductions
Why do you think the chapter was called “A Million Tiny Seductions” when it really describing John hitting rock bottom?
A – I don’t have a good answer to my question, but one that I’m left wondering about.  Is it a reference to the drugs?  They seduced him a million times.  Could that be it?  Could it be that all of the seductions John had been involved with were not enough?  He still ended up unhappy and addicted until he sought out the help that he needed.
R – I really don’t think it’s was JUST the drugs. I think it was the fact that there were seductions around every single corner and yet none of them were ever enough.  I mean really – wasn’t that truly it?  The man had everything most of us every really even think of – and yet none of it was ever enough, and some of it was just way too much.  

Did you find any thing surprising about John’s decision to enter rehab?
A – In some ways, his story seemed common.  His last night of partying that he described in this chapter was bad, but not life altering.  Yet, it seems to me that it isn’t always some dramatic moment that leads to the decision to admitting that one needs help.  It also didn’t surprise me that John heard about the rehab facility and thought it wasn’t for him, at first.  I think that is common.  What did surprise me is that those around him didn’t seem to really get that John was suffering as much as he was.  Now, I’m not saying that to be critical.  It could have been that John was such a functional addict that people didn’t see it as a problem or that John doesn’t remember them being concerned.  It is just unusual.
R – I’ve been thinking a lot about that whole “English-way” thing.  I know from my own family they just don’t talk to one another! It seems to me, as the hopeless American, that they hide quite a bit and just keep going (but they don’t call it hiding).  My point being that I don’t think he would have gotten any of his bandmates to ever tell him that it was too much until it was too late.  Maybe John hid it well, maybe the band members had their own worries, and maybe it was just expected behavior.  I don’t know.  I did like the little tale about his assistant at the time who just kept driving and dared to say “You never know John, you might make some friends.”  Good on her for not giving in to his fear – because that’s exactly what all that was – fear. You know, if John Taylor ever said “F you” to me – well, he’d think twice before doing it again. Just saying. I’d have calmly stopped the car and told him to get out and walk the rest of the way to rehab, and those of you who really know me understand that I’m not kidding. Good times.  No, I wouldn’t have made a good assistant.  

Chapter 66:  Tucson
John mentioned that he blamed his parents for some of his problems while at rehab.  Does that fit with the rest of the book?
A – I think John did a marvelous job presenting himself and others as the complex people that they are.  While his love for his parents is obvious, he never said that they were perfect.  It seems to me that John had to walk through the process of acknowledging and forgiving his parents for being human in order to heal.
R – I’m not surprised he blamed his parents for some of his problems.  I am rather fond of the saying “No one gets through childhood unscathed.”…and that’s true.  I think it’s normal because our parents very much mold us into who we become to some extent…and parents are still human.  We make mistakes every single day (as I am told).  I think it is all part of the healing process, and I still believe this book is very much a love letter to his mom and dad as a way to honor their memory.  It’s not really about Duran Duran, although I think many out there see it that way. 

Chapter 67:  Day 31
Why do you think that John believed that it would be difficult to continue his career sober before he saw the interview with Michael Douglas?
A – John didn’t explain this very thoroughly but he did comment that magazines like NME taught him that he needed to be wasted.  Why would he need to be wasted?  As we know, NME was not kind to Duran ever.  They did not think that Duran deserved the success that they had.  So did he feel like he needed to be wasted to be able to blow off the negative feedback?  Was only able to be a rock star when he was wasted or so he thought?
R – You know, some part of me thinks that John Taylor, along with many many other young celebrities out there, really just didn’t get it – it being his life, his career, etc.  I came away from the entire book thinking that it must have been very difficult to reconcile your sense of self as an individual entity away from the celebrity self.  They seem to be two very different things, and I think it takes a certain amount of self-awareness and even maturity to be able to really handle celebrity.  It’s only natural to attach yourself to whomever that “onstage” persona might be, and navigating the span between the two must be incredibly difficult.  I really don’t think being a drug addict had anything to do with dealing with the negativity as much as it did for him to deal with real life – the time when he wasn’t onstage working and was trying to function as John Taylor.  Or Nigel for that matter.  Who was he supposed to be?  I think that was just as much of the issue as anything else.

Chapter 68:  A Fine Bromance
Why do you think John included Neurotic Outsiders versus something like his acting?
A – Clearly, he learned an important lesson from playing with this band, which was that he could have fun playing music again.  It didn’t always have to be career focused.  I also think it was important for him to be around other rock stars who were in a similar situation in celebrating their sober lives.  They probably acted as a support group of sorts for each other.  On a completely different and unrelated note, I love the song, Better Way, and was happy that John included something about it.
R – I think the lesson was important for him.  He needed to see if it was still fun.  I really don’t know what acting really was for John other than maybe an aside – could he do something else entertainment related?  I’m not really sure.  It’s all self-exploration when it comes down to it, but I can understand why he left acting out of the book.  

Chapter 69:  Gela
Did you feel like you understood why John left the band?
A – John didn’t go into too much depth for why he left Duran.  He mentioned how he had to travel less in order to really focus on his family and blending it successfullyWhat I find interesting is that I had forgotten he was still in the band in the last couple of chapters.  It seemed like Duran was the last thing on his mind.  While I’m sure that part of that happens after being in a career for awhile, but he didn’t talk about making Thank You or starting to work on Medazzaland.  It seems to me that John explains it more as he talks about his solo days.  He needed to see who he was or if he even existed outside of Duran Duran.
R – Admittedly, I am so fuzzy on details when it comes to this point in the history of Duran Duran. I don’t have the timeline straight in my head until I re-read what he says.  I was busy trying to define who *I* was during this period for very different reasons, so Duran Duran wasn’t really on my mind much either, I guess.  In my opinion, his quitting the band was as much of a statement as to the fact that John had finally figured out how to BE John as it was anything else. He was able to distinguish his own self from the band.  I have to applaud him for being able to walk away from that and just exist.  

What lessons do you think that John got from being solo?
A – Clearly, he learned two very important lessons.  First, he learned that he really could connect with people through music.  The machine of Duran had/has gotten so big that it must be hard for the band to think of making connections with individuals.  I’m sure it is far easier to think of us as “The Fans”, collectively, rather than a group of individual people who have something in common.  Second, he learned to really love playing live and that each gig should be approached with the idea that this gig must be the best one.
R – I think you pointed out all of the same points I was thinking!  In some ways, it is a shame that the Duran Duran “machine”, as you put it – got so out of control in the 80’s.  I don’t think it was just John that didn’t have any idea how to deal with us, “The Fans” on any sort of individual level.  I mean, let’s face it – it’s been many many years and I think it’s only just recently that they are even SORT of beginning to feel comfortable with us as people.  Sort of.  I can’t really blame them in some respects.  We’re very overwhelming as a whole.  As individuals – which might be easier to see with Twitter and Facebook, we might not be so bad, but it takes a long time to reprogram yourself to think that way after the days of the 80’s where we were a huge mob just after anything and everything we could get.  Anyway, it’s clear that he needed to see what it was like to connect with fans again.  Like he said, standing up in front of thousands was easy, but 8?  Maybe not quite as simple in a completely different way. 

Final Thoughts:
This section could be called the lessons learned part of the book.  It seems to me that John learned about himself, about the disease of addiction, about how to forgive and stop blaming, about how to stand on one’s own two feet, about how to really be in a family, about how fun music can be especially when making connections with others.  It seems to me that we could all benefit from remembering some of the more universal lessons ourselves.

Next week, we will be discussing Chapters 70-72.  This is a short section that covers his mother’s death and the reunion.  It should be interesting.  Until then, grab a beverage and chime in!


Media Representations of Fandom–Duran Songs!

What does Duran Duran say about fans?  More specifically, what do they say in their songs about fans?  I ask as part of my continuing series of blog posts regarding media representations of fans.  In previous weeks, I have looked at movies, TV shows and books.  Now, I ask about music.  I ask about what the subject of our fandom has to say about fans.  Do they show fans to be normal but passionate people?  Do they show one or more of the common stereotypes like being obsessive or demonstrating behaviors common with “stalking” or being a “groupie”?  Do they show fans as unthinking or immature?  Do the fans in Duran’s music have lives or they just focused on fandom? 

What songs discuss fans or fandom?  It seems to me that there are a couple of songs in which fans or fandom is the obvious subject matter.  Still there are other songs which could be metaphors for fans or fandom.  Likewise, Duran has quite a few songs that deal with being famous, which I will not discuss at this time.  Thus, I’ll focus on the obvious songs and leave those songs for another blog.  To me, the obvious songs are Be My Icon and All You Need is Now.  Let’s discuss in chronological order.

Be My Icon:
This is a song featured on Duran’s Medazzaland album.  As many of you might know, this song’s lyrics started out dramatically different.  John Taylor was on vocals and the title was “Butt Naked”.  The focus of those lyrics, from what I have heard and believe, is John’s ex-wife.  Obviously, after he left the band, the lyrics and title changed to what we have now.  Here are the lyrics:

I follow you, I wait for you
You know there’s no escape from me
You’re more than wallpaper in my room

I write you letters and bring you gifts
I’m going through all your trash
I love you so much,
I keep your cigarette butts

Now is the time to come out
Come out of the shadows

No need to be scared
You’re gonna be so happy
I built you a shrine
Now you can Be My Icon

I’m out on the edge
There’s no way back inside
All my friends are gone
They didn’t understand me

It makes so much sense
It’s no coincidence
Just you and I alone here
And I need you

How many hours have I stared at my face in the mirror
I get worried sometimes that the image will shatter

No need to be scared
You’re gonna be so happy
I built you a shrine
Now you can be my icon
No need to be
Now you can
Be My Icon

I know this is real
Believe it
We belong together
What ever happens
You’re gonna be with me

Be my icon
You will be my icon
Be my icon
You will be my icon

How does this Duran song represent fans and fandom?  Not good.  Not good at all.  Let’s assume that this is about one fan.  Clearly, this person has become obsessed and stalker like.  The very first line after all is about following the celebrity and that the celebrity cannot get away from this fan.  Then, of course, this person searches through the celebrity’s trash and keeps some of it, including cigarette butts.  In fact, this person is so obsessed that s/he has lost all of her/his friends because they don’t understand the obsession and the behavior that goes with.  What is the ultimate goal?  The goal is to have a relationship with the celebrity with lines like, “We belong together.”  The celebrity, in turn, is freaked out.  What will this fan do?  What will this obsession lead to?  Of course, not everything that this fan does is unusual or out of the norm of fan behavior, including having posters, buying gifts or writing letters.  The key is moderation and it is clear from the rest of the song that there was no moderation.  At all.  Now, are their fans like this?  Certainly.  Are there fans like this in Duranland?  Definitely. 

All You Need Is Now:
Duran has been introducing this one by saying it is a message to the fans.  Let’s look at the lyrics and see what that message is and how they show fans and fandom.

It’s all up to you now
Find yourself in the moment
Go directly to the voodoo
Now the channel is open
Lose your head
Lose control
You come on delicate and fine
Like a diamond in the mind
Oh whoa oooo, yeaaaa

When you move into the light
You’re the greatest thing alive
Oh whoa oooo

And you sway in the moon
The way you did when you were younger
When we told everybody
All you need is now

Stay with the music let it
Play a little longer
You don’t need anybody
All you need is now

Everybody’s gunning
For the VIP section
But you’re better up and running
In another direction
With your bones in the flow
Cold shadow on the vine
But your lashes let it shine
Oh whoa oooo, yeaaaa

Every moment that arrives
You’re the greatest thing alive
Oh whoa oooo

And you sway in the moon
The way you did when you were younger
And we told everybody
All you need is now

Stay with the music let it
Play a little longer
We don’t need anybody
All you need is now

All you need all you need is now
All you need all you need is now
All you need all you need is now

And we will sway in the moon
The way we did when we were younger
(When we were younger)
When we told everybody
All you need is now

Stay with the music let it
Play a little longer
(A little longer)
We don’t need anybody
All you need is now

Oh whoa oooo
All you need all you need is now
Oh whoa oooo
All you need all you need is now
Oh whoa oooo
All you need all you need is now
Oh whoa oooo
All you need all you need is now

The very first line that catches my attention in relationship to fans is, “you come on delicate and fine
like a diamond in the mind”.  This time the fan isn’t coming on strong.  The person is like a gem, something to be treasured.  A few lines later, the fan is the “greatest thing alive”.  From there, of course, Duran encourages the fan to “stay with the music”.  Obviously, they want the fan to continue to be a fan and to embrace the now.  In fact, the fan could “lose your head, lose control”.  This is the exact opposite of Be My Icon.  In this song, the fans are absolutely welcomed.  Interestingly enough, the fan is also encouraged to not try to be in the VIP section.  Could this mean that while the fan should stay with the music, the fan shouldn’t worry about being the biggest and best fan?  Maybe.

In the two songs that Duran really focused on the fans, they really show two very different pictures.  On one hand, the fan seemed obsessed and demonstrated stalking behavior, for sure.  It painted a picture of the extreme fan.  It also feels like they are just talking about one fan, an individual.  All You Need Is Now, on the other hand, feels like they are talking to a group, more than one fan.  In this case, the fans are welcomed. They are more than welcomed.  They are treasured and admired.  What is the take away then?  How does Duran show fans and fandom?  It seems that their depiction of fans is balanced, from the celebrity’s point of view.  Some fans can be nightmares but most fans are dreams.  That makes perfect sense to me.


Interpretations of Palomino

This week, for my weekly analysis of Duran song lyrics, I decided to tackle the song, Palomino off of the Big Thing album.  Why choose this song of all their songs?  Simple.  It has been suggested a few times.  Now, I have to admit that when this song was requested, I wasn’t that excited.  I don’t feel like I have a connection at all to this song.  It is one of those Duran songs that I would have to go through album lists to come up with.  It is one, for me, that faded into the background.  It isn’t that I don’t like the song.  It just isn’t one that I love or hate.  No strong emotional reactions pop up when it comes on.  Perhaps, though, this is the best reason to analyze it.  Maybe, I will get more of a connection by doing so.

As always, I begin my analysis by posting a video of the song and the lyrics.  Now, this track did not have an official video but I was able to find this live gem from the Milan show in 1988:

She lays on the wall watching the strangers drift away. Mid-day’s o’er thick with the sun of Arabia. She surrenders her voices; they gather on the wind – talking, chanting, breathing into her body. Yesterdays. Mmm mmm mmm mmm. Awaken beside the scent of burnt sugar on her skin. Painting eyes -thick- with the colour she brings in. Oh, it’s sure and strong as the lightning tumbles down. Don’t you frown. Everything will be in time for this evening.

If there’s secrets she has to be party to everyone of them. If there’s heaven she gets to the heart and you’ll wonder…

Why she stays when I run out of blue
Help me rise and stand – now I can run to you.
Why she stays when I run out of blue.
Give me red instead -now let me run.

If there’s secrets she has to be party to everyone of them. If there’s heaven she gets to the heart and you’ll know just…

Why she stays when I run out of blue
Help me rise and stand – now I can run to you.
Why she stays when I run out of blue.
Give me red instead -now let me run.

Hey! Hey!

Why she stays when I run out of blue
Help me rise and stand – now I can run to you.
Why she stays when I run out of blue.
Give me red instead -now let me run.

What kind of theories are out there about what this song means?  Well, interestingly enough, this song was the topic of 2 Ask Katy questions.  In those answers, Simon mentioned that the chorus came from a quote from the famous artist, Pablo Picasso.  The quote was a response to a question that asked Picasso what he did when he ran out of blue paint to which he responded, “Why, I use red instead!”  The connection to this quote of Picasso’s is obvious.  The other Ask Katy response by Simon mentioned that the song is about a beautiful girl he has known.  Would that make sense?  Well, the pronoun used is a she.

The internet theories about this one aren’t numerous but do include the following:

*A Horse


As always, let’s take them one at a time.  Palomino is a coat color in horses in which the horse has a gold coat and a white mane.  These types of horses are often featured in movies and in parades.  Their origin is most likely European/Asian with a rich history in Spain and is a Spanish word.  Do the lyrics fit this type of  horse?  The first verse could be talking about a horse spending her day outside with the wind.  Color is emphasized as well with the line “Painting eyes -thick – with the colour she brings in”.  The only line that throws me slightly is the line about Arabia.  The image then that pops into my mind is that of a desert and bright sunshine.  Were Palomino horses found in Arabia?  Maybe, they were in the Crusades??  A horse could definitely take in secrets in that she would be around to hear all the people talking and she could, as any animal like this could, get into someone’s heart and be loved by that person.  The chorus could also fit this with the image of letting someone run.  Does this mesh with Simon’s statement that it is about a beautiful girl.  Sure could.  That beautiful girl could be a horse.

What about the other commonly suggested theory that it was about drugs?  According to the theory, the burning of sugar is related to drug use.  To me, this is quite a stretch.  Yes, I realize that the use of some drugs require burning them in a spoon to liquify them.  Yet, it isn’t sugar that this is done with.  Could sugar stand for the drug?  I suppose but there doesn’t seem to be much else in the song to indicate drug use.  On the other hand, that sugar could be referring to the white mane of a palomino horse or even sugar cubes that the horse could have.

To summarize, I think in all likelihood the song is about a horse.  Could it be about a woman who is outside, is told secrets, is able to be loved, and is able to let someone run or be free?  Absolutely, it could.  We find this pattern throughout Duran’s history, haven’t we?  Take Leopard for example.  Is it about a leopard or a woman?  Either way, those theories make a lot more sense than the drug use one!  Now, what should I analyze next?!