Happy last day of 2012, everyone. We decided to continue the tradition of chronicling our year with a “Best of” list, and we encourage all of you do review your year with your own list. Unfortunately, this interrupted the book discussion day, which will just be pushed back until tomorrow!
May your new year bring you nothing but the best of luck, happiness, health and good times…and we hope to see many of you either “on the road”…or at a Duran Duran Fan convention in the Fall in the US. Place, date & times to be announced soon…we promise!
Duran Duran Moment: Wow. Just one?? I’m really in between two…so I’ll post both:
1. Durham, North Carolina. Not only was the show fantastic, but there was a brief moment after the show when the band got into their vans that I won’t ever forget. I’m just glad I found my way to the back door to say good-bye to the band.
2. Biloxi, Mississippi. Also in the front row, for the very first time ever, and Simon just HAD to do his super-special White Lines trick. I don’t know why I forgot the moment was coming until I looked over at Dom and saw his eyes widen at just the right moment, only to look up and see LeBon towering over Amanda and I…but just far back enough to where when he sprayed the water up in the air most of it landed on himself and the stage. Of course, we were still baptized, and I looked up to see Nick Rhodes laughing (probably at the face I was making!). Even though I made a mad face and wanted to strangle Simon, I did have to laugh and I still chuckle when I think of the scene unfolding.
Personal Moment(s): In this category there are bests and worsts. I can’t let the year go by without remembering my best friend from college – Laurie Peralta, who died in a horrific car accident back in August. She is never forgotten and I miss her all the time. Picking up the pieces and moving on is proving to be quite a challenge for all who loved her. Thanks to all of you for your notes of condolence and kindness, they were much appreciated.
I am a proud mom. I have seen my son go from D’s and F’s in school to a 3.5 GPA (homeschooling works for us!), I have watched my little one dance on stage this year, and my oldest performed as Flora in the musical No No, Nanette. She was a very convincing blonde bimbo – and I say that with all the parental pride in the world.
Finally, I am proud of how much this blog has grown. I thoroughly adore bringing fans together, uniting people, providing a vehicle for making friendships and allowing fans to really have a voice. I hope we do all of you proud.
World Events: The reality is that for me, there is only one event that really shook me to the very core, and that was the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. There just isn’t anything that I can really say about that, except that I constantly think of those children and their families…and I take time to hug my kids a little tighter each day. I also think back to Superstorm Sandy and how people I know of lost their homes, cars, etc. It’s been a tough year for so many people in the world, and I just have to believe that 2013 will be better. I hope.
Blue to Brown: Ok. I know what you all are thinking here. Yes, it’s Dom Brown and this being a favorite of mine is probably a given. You’ve got me on that one. However, I am not a blues fan. Or should I say, I wasn’t a blues fan. But since getting that album, I’ve been listening to other blues. Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker…and a few others. Check out Dom’s blues list on Spotify – I’ve been listening to many of those artists on there too, as well as Jimi Hendrix (who clearly has blues roots) and one of Dom’s favorites – Jeff Buckley (although he’s not really blues). Blue to Brown opened the door for me to check out some “new” music that I probably would have continued to ignore otherwise. I still wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of the blues, but…I’m a more educated listener now.
Single: Can someone tell me exactly what a single IS these days? I don’t know that the “chosen” song that is promoted for radio airplay is really of any specific function now. I still listen to radio once in a while, but I find myself turning it off more and more often. I did like M83’s Midnight City before it became an overplayed cliché, and after that Imagine Dragons It’s Time….but that was ruined within weeks for me as well. So I end up turning to Spotify and just playing whatever I come across on there. Much of it…not a “single”, and definitely not on the radio. One song I ADORE that I found via Spotify?? Amor Fati by Washed Out. I love Spotify because I can listen to anything and decide if I love it before I buy it.
I’m adding a category here because I can’t get through the year without mentioning it again….
Book: We’ve all said some lovely things about John Taylor lately. His book In the Pleasure Groove was my best read of the year. It changed the way I look at the band, at John, and even myself and my own dreams. The book is smart, well-written, and even funny at the appropriate times. Reading the book was cathartic (for me). As an aside, if I haven’t said it before (I have), the smartest thing John Taylor has done in recent years was join Twitter. That connection he talks about with fans in the book? It’s there. I see it nearly every day.
Movie: I always have a difficult time with this one because we really don’t go to the movies that often. Just last night we went to see The Hobbit, and I also saw Breaking Dawn II, Wreck It Ralph, The Hunger Games and Mission Impossible in IMAX (never ever again). Truthfully, none of them were “the best” for me.
Gig: Isn’t this a given? So with that, I will say my favorite gig of the year HAS to be Duran Duran in Durham, North Carolina. I can’t even really say if it was because the band was on fire that night, the company – meaning all of the Duranies who came out to pre-party with us at the wine bar that night, or going out Pinhook (a truly terrific dive bar in Durham) afterwards, but it was a fantastic night. The band was on their game, our seats were greatly improved after the first few songs, and I had the time of my life. What more could I want?!?
Another gig like that one. Soon. Please.
Most looking forward to in 2013: There are so many things…I am really excited to go live with our new website, I’m anxious to get started planning the convention, hearing if there are to be summer shows for the band, I can’t wait to watch my son graduate from middle school and see my youngest start kindergarten. Most of all though, I think I am really looking forward to finishing our book and finding an agent and publisher. Fingers crossed that it will go well. We’ve worked very hard and will continue!
Duran Duran Moment: I have a few. First, I immediately thought of the fact that Rhonda and I finally can say that we had front row. I think the part of that which makes it a favorite of mine isn’t that it was the best experience ever (I sucked at being in the front but promise to be MUCH better if I have the opportunity again!) but because we had a plan and followed through with it. We got what we wanted because we were focused and committed. I think that is a lesson we learned and need to remember. Second, the John Taylor book talk and signing was so very special. I debated about going a million times for a variety of reasons but I’m glad that I went. It was amazing to hear him read from the book right in front of me and made it all the more emotional. Then, I was lucky enough to share that experience with so many great Duranies! It reminded me of the best of fandom. Lastly, while this isn’t a moment, I can’t help but appreciate the fact that the band is still going. I am thankful of that everyday.
Personal Moment(s): I have two personal moments that I’m sure that none of you will be surprised at. First is meeting the President on October 4th. To me, meeting any president would be super cool, but this went way beyond that! To have him hug me and thank me was huge. It was so nice to have my work valued and appreciated. Then, it felt so wonderful to see that he truly is as warm and genuine as I had always believed. The second personal moment surrounded the John Taylor signing in Chicago. It wasn’t the interaction, which was very nice, of course, and it wasn’t hearing him read from his book or having him sign my copy. It was seeing him wear the Daily Duranie wristband that I had given him. I honestly believed that he would just glance at it and put it to the side with everything else that he had been given. I wouldn’t have blamed him either as I can’t imagine giving so many things from so many people all the time. Anyway, seeing it on his wrist also felt a bit like validation to me and that what we do here isn’t stupid and means something.
World Events: My world event is tied to one of my personal moments and that is the re-election of President Obama. I promise I won’t get political here but to get the result I wanted after working for over 4 years and working a tremendous amount of hours, all for free, was an unbelievable feeling. It was a feeling of such intense excitement when it was announced that he won my state and won re-election that I can’t imagine getting that feeling anywhere else or for any other reason. For me, personally, it was also a moment of pride as we turned 13,000 more votes for him in my county than in 2008, which is beyond awesome.
Album: While Rhonda hates the movie category, I hate this one. I so rarely bought music this year. I was so swamped by campaigning and politics that the news tends to be my background, my soundtrack. Even now, as I type this, I have the news on. That said, it isn’t like I don’t like to hear new music or get excited by new music. It just hasn’t happened. I was hoping for the new album from the Killers for Christmas but it didn’t happen. I’ll probably download that one over break. 🙂
Single: Again, this is just like the album category. I have songs that really hit me this year but they might not have been “singles” and frankly they might not have been from this year. I tend to also listen to music to motivate me or to explain how I’m feeling at any given time. Thus, I found myself listening to songs like Finest Worksong by REM to motivate me during campaign season.
Book: I would do better in this category. In this situation, I’ll echo Rhonda’s choice with John Taylor’s autobiography. While I can’t say that it changed the way I look at the band or John like it did Rhonda, it felt to me like meeting the President did. I had all of these thoughts and beliefs about John Taylor that I had believed to be true, had hoped to be true. Reading the book confirmed those beliefs. In that sense, it made my John Taylor fan status all the stronger.
Movie: I don’t take the time to go to the movies much or even watch a lot of movies at home. This usually makes this category a very tough one for me. Yet, this year, I have an answer! I’m sure you might all guess it, too, and that is the movie, Lincoln. First of all, it sang to my have a history degree background. I can’t say that Civil War history or even Presidential history is my thing (I focused on contemporary history, specifically history of social movements of the 1960s and 1970s) but this movie reminded me why history is so fascinating and how much can be learned from history. Second of all, the focus was on the end of slavery, which is a social justice topic of epic proportions, which is right up my alley! Third, the political junkie in me loved watching all the political moves taking place. If all those weren’t reasons enough, the performances, writing and direction were all fabulous.
Gig: I haven’t seen any gigs beyond the Duran ones I saw this summer. I thought about going to see the Killers when they were in Chicago but it didn’t work out, which was for the best as I was sick at the time. So, what was my favorite out of the ones we saw? Clearly, the answer had to be Durham. I thought it was the best out of the four in terms of energy, band interactions with each other and the crowd, and the audience enthusiasm. Of course, I’m hoping that there might be some Duran shows in 2013!!!
Most looking forward to in 2013: A lot of my list would match Rhonda’s including getting the book published, having a successful convention, updating and upgrading our website and more. For Duran, I can’t wait to see and hear what they come up with in the studio with Mark Ronson! On a personal level, I hope that 2013 brings about some more connections and/or deeper connections. Maybe, just maybe, these connections will help answer some deep questions I have, too!