Category Archives: Duran Duran

Guest Blog: Get Snuggly!

By Michelle Coldwell-Simons

How often do you listen to music? Every day? Just on the radio in the car? Plugged in to your generic music machine to go for a run? Me? I listen to music every day.
I always have. I do all those things above. (Except for running. I don’t run. Ever!) I listen to the radio in the morning to wake me up. I listen to the radio in the car to drop the kids at school. I listen to my iPod in the car, blaring out loudly when no-one else is with me, singing along like a mad woman. I listen to music late at night after a few glasses of wine; trying to be a super cool DJ for my very tired husband who is falling asleep and all he wants to do is go to bed……

I listen to all kinds of music too, not just one genre. When I was younger my dad was hugely into reggae and ska. My mum loves the Supremes and Abba. My brother blasted out Pink Floyd. My husband loves old school rap, Jay-Z, Kanye etc. My eldest daughter loves Lana Del Ray and my youngest loves all kinds of music and she seems to know all the words to every song she hears, even if she has only heard it once.  Music is a massive part of my life.
One thing about music that I don’t like is people making assumptions because of my obvious love of Duran.  People know I love Duran and therefore think that Duran are ALL I listen to. Or that because I love Duran the only music I listen to is music from the 80’s. I do listen to Duran. I do listen to music from the 80s. But I also love to listen to new music. For example this week my husband bought the new Maverick Sabre album for me, I think it is superb. I am lucky enough to have won tickets to Radio One’s Big Weekend that is happening in June which features acts like Jay-Z, Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Example, Jack White and The Ting Tings. I can’t wait!!

But. I suppose I am playing right into the hands of those who assume when I write the next few sentences…….. If I want to get anything done, I put on Duran. I try my hardest to put on something else. I have a huge and varied CD collection and an iPod stocked with many of the aforementioned artists and genres. But it is Duran I put on to get things done. I am listening right now to the Duran first album. (But I hate the fact that the copy I bought on CD many years ago which is now downloaded onto my iTunes contains ISTISK and that was NEVER part of the first album – WHY PUT IT THERE???)

If I have to do some housework, it is Duran I put on. If I have to concentrate on something like writing emails (or trying to write a blog!) it is Duran I put on. If I want to cheer myself up on a rainy Monday ‘cause it’s been pouring on Sunday, it is Duran I put on. If I have had a particularly bad day at work I blast a bit of Duran in the car on my short journey home. If I can’t sleep at night I have created a playlist on my iPod of soothing mellow Duran/Arcadia tunes to help me off to sleep. (Land from Big Thing I find particularly restful).
I don’t even really listen to the tracks most of the time if I am honest. It is because I don’t have to TRY to listen to the music. I don’t have to learn the words. I just let it wash over me; knowing the majority of Simon’s frankly bizarre lyrics, enjoying the incredibly sexy heart beat bass lines John produces, being amused at the little funny tweaks and squeaks that Nick makes, Roger’s loud and powerful drum beats, Andy’s fantastic guitar riffs and Dom’s amazing talent on the latest album…. It’s like my little comfort blanket. It is security. It is an aide to concentration. It is reliable. It is just there in the background to cheer me, soothe me, boost my energy and put a smile on my face.  I know it, I have heard it thousands of times and I don’t have to try too hard to listen. I LOVE that. 
So if like me you love your music and because you are reading this you love your Duran, blast them out with pride when you are sweeping your floors, cheering yourself up in the car or when you are just dancing around your house with wild abandon – I know you all do it! Embrace that Duran comfort blanket, wrap it around you and swaddle yourself in the sublime snugly snuggliness that is Duran Duran.


Michelle was born in 1971 in the East End of London but thinks she is still about 18. Her formative years were spent travelling around London and the home counties meeting Duran Duran at various studio’s and other places of interest. There she met lots of new people quite a few of which she is still friends with today. Michelle writes about her teenage years and beyond with Duran in her Duran Diaries which will amuse and astound Duran fans but bore the butt off anyone else. When she grows up she likes to think that she will write a book one day as well as be a famous portrait photographer. She has been with her husband Gary for 21 years (poor poor man) and has two daughters aged 15 and 11, four cats, four fish and lives by the sea in Brighton, UK. 

Anxious for What Comes Next!

 It seems to me that there is much to look forward to in Duranland.  Right now, we are in a bit of a quiet period (which, personally, works for me as my life is insane right now), but there is much to anticipate!  Duranies have gotten pretty used to Durantime and pretty used to long stretches of time when nothing much seems to be happening in Duranland.  This is one of those times.  Normally, when there is a bit of downtime, I notice more drama between fans.  I haven’t seen a ton lately.  Is that because there really isn’t much or because I have no time to check in and notice?  Anyway, if there really isn’t drama, is that because we all know that this downtime is short lived?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that we do have many, many things to look forward to.  Now, I realize that not every fan in every corner of the world will get to enjoy as much as others but I always get excited that Duran is doing something!  Let’s recap what’s coming!

First, Duran Duran have announced an appearance on Good Morning America here in the States on June 18th.  According to the band’s official website, this will be a performance.  It is an interesting choice since Duran isn’t doing anything in the States until August.  I can’t imagine that it will be to advertise a new single.  It is also right before the tour in Europe starts.  While I may not understand the point of it, I’m still excited.  It will be the first Monday I won’t be at work for the summer so I can watch it live.  I’m sure that Rhonda and I will comment on it.  I hope that everyone outside of the States will get a chance to watch it, somehow. 

Second, Duran starts their tour of Europe a week after that on June 25th.  I realize that some of their originally scheduled shows were never re-scheduled, which has got to be upsetting.  Nonetheless, I still look forward to the tour.  No, it isn’t because I’m going to any shows but I do like to hear from others who have shows!  I get excited for others!  Plus, of course, in this day and age, I get to see clips via places like youtube.  I hope that everyone who is going to a show(s) reports in and tells us all about it!  Of course, as part of this European tour, Duran will be playing at the Olympics.  Again, I’m not sure what I will get to actually watch.  I’m excited for the band, no matter what/how much I get to see.  🙂 

Third, A Diamond in the Mind live DVD is also being released during the summer.  I SO look forward to this!  I will get to re-live the fabulous UK shows of last winter!  This will also get me even more excited for the tour in August.  Of course, like Good Morning America and the Olympics (if we get a chance to see the performance), Rhonda and I will review it!  By this time, we better have our plans set for the tour in August!  Here’s a hint, DDHQ, we would really like to get things situated with our shows, but it is hard to do when we can’t buy tickets for Atlanta yet!  Of course, we won’t be able to go to all of the shows so we will need to hear from others about their shows!

Lastly, the fall will bring the convention in the UK.  Rhonda and I are also looking forward to that!  We will get to see friends and a city that we have come to really enjoy!  I suspect that we will take some time for a real Duran tour then.  I’m hearing rumors about a mini-bus, champagne and more!  Can you just picture it now?  A mini-bus full of Duranies driving around Birmingham?  I can’t wait!!!  The fall will also bring John Taylor’s book and book tour!  Obviously, I’m hoping for a stop in Chicago in order to be able to go see him without too much cost and without taking too much time from work.  It will also provide more for us to review!  The new year promises a return to the studio for the band based on what I have heard and read, which means that we have another Duran album to look forward to at some point. 

Overall, there is a ton of stuff to look forward to in Duranland!  It is good to remember all that is coming!  Some days, some times don’t need heavy deep subjects.  On those days, we all could benefit from looking forward to the future!  It is good for all of us to be excited about what is coming!!!  It is a good day and time to be a Duranie!

-A

Twitmusic….what’s the point?

I’ve been sick, as in sick on the couch and try to sleep all day, for about 3 days now.  Not terribly long, but long enough to where I’m really all done with the nonsense and yet I am still not back up to par. It’s annoying because I have a lot to do and no energy to even start.  Regardless, I’ve still been forcing myself to blog in the morning and briefly see what’s going on in the world before I retreat to my couch, blanket and hot tea. Obviously, my attempts to keep up with the world have utterly failed – because this morning I found Twitmusic.

What in the hell is Twitmusic and why do I need it? To begin with, Duran Duran has found Twitmusic – and they found it before I did. That alone is enough to make me hang my head in shame. I checked it out though, and I’m going to be blunt: I don’t get it. It would seem to me that it’s basically just another way to share music, and it’s obviously tied into Twitter. You can sign into Twitmusic using your Twitter account, and then my educated guess is that while you’re browsing, Twitter automatically tweets what you’re checking out, becoming a “fan” of, and listening to so that way all of your followers can then go check out what you’re listening to as well. That being the only innovative tool that Twitmusic seems to have going for itself at the moment.

Sure, we all know that social networking is a machine and a band or artist needs to make the machine work for them. Twitmusic would appear to be yet another tool in that arsenal. My only comments are that Twitmusic doesn’t really seem to offer anything new or different that Facebook and Myspace can’t offer, and it’s also REALLY late to market, meaning that several other apps (including the aforementioned Facebook and Myspace) have already ‘been there, done that’. I’m not faulting Duran Duran for joining (Take your hand off of that “send mail” button right now.) – they’ve got to get the visibility where ever they can get it – I’m only faulting Twitmusic for not being new, innovative or really even all that useful.  It’s just another thing.

At some point, social networking has to stop treading water and start turning it’s wheels to move the water out of its own way and get somewhere, otherwise there’s really no point beyond making the connection with fans – and while you and I might think that’s lovely and warranted – the band (and if not our band, definitely others out there!) most likely has bigger hopes in mind. There are hundreds of social networking sites out there now. Most are either unheard of or rarely used, but the big ones are Facebook and Twitter. Each day I read several blogs regarding how to turn those “likes” into sales, or those “followers” into “fans that purchase”. No one seems to know exactly how to close the sale. It seems to me that each day, more sites like Twitmusic go live, hoping to be the answer to seamlessly transfer the followers into dollar signs, and typically – they fail to deliver. All of this incredibly innovation, networking and technology – and yet sales are still ridiculously low across the board. Why?

That’s the million dollar question these days.  Hey, I’m no different from anyone else.  I don’t claim to have the answers. I just know we’re on the wrong page in the wrong book! Many, many others seem to think they’ve got they know the formula, and yet no one has said anything that has made a difference yet. Whether it’s piracy, the economy, DRM (Digital Rights Management), or the fact that everything really is available at our fingertips every hour of every day, hence there’s never a sense of urgency to buy, the truth is that Twitmusic is going to do relatively little if anything to help curb the sales hunger.

Sure, be a “fan” of @DuranDuran on Twitmusic. We did because of course we want to support the band. Listen to their music however you’d like and perhaps you’ll spread the word of their newest album online to your followers. I don’t know if you’re like @dailyduranie – but at least 95% of our followers are you. Fellow fans. Preaching to the choir maybe?

Just a little, I’ll bet.

-R

Karaoke and Superfans…do we really need a tutorial?

This weekend I was out with my husband (I can’t even remember why we were actually out of the house without a child in tow…) and over lunch we had the oddest conversation. As we were eating lunch, completely out of nowhere, my husband asks me what I think would happen if one of the band members was in a karaoke bar (yeah, right there is when I should have tuned out…) and heard someone attempt to sing Rio, or Hungry Like the Wolf. Sigh. To begin with, I really need everyone to understand that Duran Duran really doesn’t occupy THAT many of my thoughts on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s my weekend. So once I snapped into reality and recognized that yes, he really wanted my answer to this question. I rolled my eyes as only a wife can do, and said I didn’t know. Sadly, this wasn’t enough for my dear husband. He continued on saying “Let’s say it was Simon.” (Oh yes, let’s!) “Does he go up and sing a DD song, or does he sing something else?”  Sigh. More eye rolling. I really don’t know what he’d do. Why would Simon go to a karaoke bar anyway? Isn’t that sort of like my husband hanging out at a trade show just for the fun of it??

Yes, these are the sorts of conversations we’ll have when my husband is left to his own devices. I still haven’t answered him.  Luckily, I found another topic to badger him about. Any guesses from the rest of you out there??

In a desperate attempt to catch up on the RSS feeds I chose to ignore last week, I was scrolling through some this morning and came across an article about superfans.  While reading, naturally I referred back to our own fan community here.  It talks about things such as naming your fans, giving approaching fans undivided attention, tagging fans (or allowing fans to tag themselves, actually) in panoramic concert photos (as in taken from the stage), sharing “dark secrets” on the blog, developing shared symbols, playing smaller venues, and a few others.  If you are interested in reading the original article that I’m commenting about before blasting me with love notes about how ridiculous it is to use the term “Superfan”….read it here.

I stopped to consider why on earth the article ever needed to be written, not really whether or not Duran Duran fans meet the criteria or whether the band employs these methods. (We’ve been fans for over 30 years in many cases. That should pretty much answer that, yes?)  I almost liken this to attempting to write a chart-topping ‘hit’. If you’ve got to TRY to create superfans rather than just allowing it all to happen organically out of loyalty to the band or to the music, is it really the same thing? In our case, much of the time we’ve had relatively little contact with the band directly. Sure, they’ve come on tour and we’ve gone to see them, but unless you happen to live in the UK to visit them at the studio, their homes, etc…most of us have never that chance on a regular basis, if ever. We’ve stuck by them from the beginning because we believed in the music, and many times, it wasn’t anything more than a transactional relationship that kept us there. It’s only been as of late that the model has really evolved to where we have more opportunity for interaction – whether that is through having the opportunity to travel, to see them locally, to get involved in social media, or other methods. I like the theoretical ideas of Fan Empowerment or Direct-To-Fan. However, when it gets to the point where manuals are created on the “How To” of cultivating superfans rather than letting the music chart the direction and fan loyalty create the ties that bind, we’re running dangerously close to having the same synthetic and formulaic feeling of many ‘hits’ that top the charts today. It feels like being stuck in a studio with Timbaland. (Yes, I dared to say that.) Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that Duran Duran hoped to create loyal fans and that their attempts to reach us on Twitter or by creating a fan club early on were all about cultivating that loyalty. Was it all really that mind-numbingly calculated?  I suppose the proof is in the pudding – somebody drop me a line in twenty or thirty years and let me know how it works out for some of these newer bands and their fans.

-R

“Daily” Questions

I have enjoyed our “daily” questions!  The idea to do daily questions was hatched on some train in the UK during our tour in early December last year.  The original idea was just to do the “would you rather” variety in which people were expected to do between two different choices/options.  We thought we could come up with enough questions for a month.  Well, people responded positively to the questions when we introduced them in January of this year.  They responded so well, in fact, that we felt like we should keep going.  It seemed that people looked forward to the questions and even began to prepare for what questions might be asked next!  I liked that people could just answer some quick question that made them think about Duran or something Duran related.  Then, as much as I can, I will try to post a video related to how/what people responded.  This gave me a nice start to my day as I would watch the clips I posted.  Everyday, then, is filled with a little Duran!  Who could ask for more?
Of course, as time went on, Rhonda and I felt it necessary to expand beyond the “would you rather” questions to more open-ended questions.  This doesn’t mean that we would never use that format again but it is nice to ask all sorts of questions.  Yet, up until this point, the questions we have asked required a quick, little answer.  Sometimes, it only requires a one word response.  At times, people would respond by saying that they couldn’t decide.  I, often, recommended just going with one’s instinct, to go with what jumped out in one’s mind.   Like Duran has always done, we don’t want to get stuck in a rut.  We want to always keep ourselves and everyone else on their toes!  Change wouldn’t be because it hasn’t been good because we think it has.  It is about staying fresh and fun!  Thus, we are mixing up the daily questions!
For a little while, at least, we are going to expand the daily questions to weekly questions.  The purpose of this is two-fold.  First, the questions will be such that more time will be needed to answer them properly.  In fact, most of them will require 10 answers. The second reason is that it frees my mind up to finishing up work and the campaign.  Now, I will give reminders each day so that everyone remembers to give answers within the week.  I will still total the results.  I will provide the top 10 of the answers given and a video clip of the most often given answer, if appropriate.  I will be keeping the relatively same pattern within the change.  It doesn’t matter to me when people give their responses within that week.  The only thing I ask is that give me the whole list at one time.  🙂
Hopefully, by now, you have this week’s question as it has been posted both on facebook and twitter as usual.  Perhaps, you have even begun to think of your answers!  I can’t wait to read what everyone comes up with!!!
-A

PS – Wanted to pass on the good word that Dom & his dad have a Facebook page for Blue to Brown now.  Go check ’em out and “like” the page…then go tell your friends!  Thanks!!  -R

Guest Blog: Perfect

By Krissie Richardson

The other day, I was driving home from work, listening to a mix CD I’d made of my most favorite songs by Robert Palmer.  I’ve been a serious fan of his since the first Power Station album, and his death left a little hole in my musical soul.  The first song on the disc is “True Love” from the “Rhythm and Blues” album, and I found myself driving down I-75, singing along at the top of my lungs with tears rolling down my face.  It wasn’t grief over Robert’s passing, but rather that the song, in my musical opinion, is perfect.  Not “good”, not one loaded with memories and emotional attachment, but one that is so perfectly written and executed it moves me to tears.  There’s not a single note I would change, nothing in the arrangement or mix that irks me, not a single goofy lyric.  It’s just simply so perfect it moves me to tears with its beauty.
I had a good laugh at myself, realizing what I must look like to other drivers.  Thinking about it, I realized there are a handful of other songs in this perfect category, and they have the exact same effect on me.  “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash is the most perfect of perfect – it’s the song that, to me, is the end-all be-all of music.  “Rendez-Vous IV” by Jean-Michel Jarre, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, and “The Golden Age” by Beck all fall into the realm of perfect, too.  I can’t listen to them with strangers for fear of being committed into the nearest padded room.
As I went over my list, I realized that was no Duran Duran included on it.  That fact hit me like a punch to the diaphragm.  I’ve been a Duran Duran fan since I was 10 years old – three quarters of my life, for those doing the math.  For a long time, my fandom was my life – I worked not to keep a roof over my head, but rather to travel the world following Duran and/or John’s various solo projects.  I have multiple DD tattoos, half the stamps in my passport are there only because of Duran shows, I’ve helped to run fanzines and fan conventions.  I identify myself as an American first, a Duranie second, and everything else doesn’t much matter.
How could it be that Duran Duran music doesn’t move me as much as other music?  What in the world could have happened to me that the band I’ve built a fair portion of my life around just doesn’t move me like other artists can and do?
My hypothesis is that there are two reasons for this.  First, I think that just because a band is your favorite doesn’t mean they make the music that reaches you the most, and sometimes artists that aren’t your favorite manage to grab a hold of your soul with a song or two.  Take Beck as an example from my life.  I like some of Beck’s work, but his “Sea Change” album is by far my favorite of his catalog.  It’s a complete departure from the rest of his work, and his hard-core fans view it like we look at “Thank You”.  The first time I heard it, the very first song put me straight into tears with how perfect it is.  The rest of the album is hit and miss, but “The Golden Age” moves me to this day.  Beck probably wouldn’t appear on my top 10 favorite artists list, probably not even the top 20, but in that one song he created a moment where we understand each other implicitly.
Perhaps that discontinuity is why the music can be so powerful.  It’s completely unexpected.
The second reason is more interesting, and harder to understand.  I’ve come to believe that fandoms grow and change, almost like separate personalities.  My love of Duran Duran has changed from youthful lust to musical obsession to an all-consuming passion to a comfortable hobby.  I’ve evolved in my fandom, or rather my fandom has evolved around me.  I’m such a different person than I was in 1995, when I got heavily involved in “the scene”.  I’m different from who I was when I got out in 1999.  I don’t even reside in the same universe as the person I was at the reunion and during the planning and execution of the Friends of Mine convention.  It’s only logical that my passions would be different as well – in some ways it surprises me more that any of my interests remain the same as they were “before”.
I’ve come to think that Duran Duran may not be my favorite band anymore.  My Duran Duran fandom is my favorite (and I have many, across many interests), though.  I don’t think it’s contradictory to say it like that, either.  I do lots of different things that involve fandom, like sporting events and sci-fi cons as well as Duran Duran shows and fan gatherings.  The Duran events are still my favorite, but not because of the band.  Instead, it’s because of the friendships I’ve made because of Duran Duran.  Rhonda, Amanda, and many other people make my life better because of the friends they are to me, and we would have never met one another if not for Duran Duran.  I wouldn’t have heard of Robert Palmer, a man who was able to reach me so deeply with his music my life would be less without it, if it weren’t for Duran Duran.
So even though there isn’t a Duran Duran song yet that reaches me as deeply as a select few songs by other artists, my fandom is an entirely different animal than it was at any other point in my life, and is probably more important to me now.  The friendships and experiences I’ve had as a Duranie are themselves perfect, and are vastly more meaningful that what album I choose to put into the player first.

Krissie is originally from Ann Arbor, MI but currently resides in central Kentucky.  She is an almost life-long Duranie who spent several years as a co-board member of theICON in the mid to late 90s.  With over 70 Duran Duran shows and at least 10 Duran Duran fan conventions under her belt, you might have already met her.  At the moment, she is finishing her BS in computer science at Eastern Kentucky University.  Along with her extremely patient husband, Don, and her two 80 pound lapdogs, BJ and Bear, she is eagerly anticipating what adventures await after graduation!

Meetup Update

I apologize for the absolutely horrible lateness to today’s blog.  It has been a very long day on the campaign trail (13 hour day).  Anyway, I wanted to take a moment or two to think ahead to the summer (I know, I know…I blogged yesterday about living in the moment.  The fact is that planning still needs to take place.  Sometimes, in order to really in the moment, planning is necessary!).  Obviously, the summer features some Duran shows here in the States.  Some of those shows are ones that we plan to attend.  Thus, for some shows, we have meetups planned!!!  Here’s where you get to plan your summer, too, in order to live well in the moment!!!  😉

1.  Biloxi, Mississippi–Friday, August 17th at 8pm at the Hard Rock Hotel
We are meeting up for drinks on the night before the Duran show.  We haven’t locked down a specific location yet as we hear that many of the bars there fill up fast, especially on a weekend night in the summer.  Yes, obviously, we didn’t plan anything for before the show.  As those of you who are attending the show know, this show is basically general admission and many of us attending will be waiting in line.  Thus, we thought it would be more fun to meet the night before.  It will certainly get us in the mood as it will be our first show together since last December!  If you are interested in attending, we have an event page set-up on facebook, which you can find here!  Looking forward to this one!

2.  Atlanta, Georgia–TBD
We are hoping to do something for this show, but we are waiting on the presale.  After all, we all have to get tickets first, right?  It appears that this show has seats based on the venue and from what we have heard from other Duranies who have attended shows there.  Thus, I suspect we would try to set something up for before the show, since the most people seem to be around then.  If not, maybe, after the show as people won’t be traveling right away as there isn’t a show the next day.  Anyway, as soon as we hear about this show, I’m sure we will figure something out and let you all know!

3.  Durham, North Carolina–Tuesday, August 21st at 5 pm at the West End Wine Bar
This is before the show there.  It appears that we have a lot of people attending, which is fabulous!  In fact, we are getting close to capacity there!  If you are interested in it, let us know as the facebook page is by invite only due to being close to capacity.  We want to make sure that everyone who is invited is serious about coming!

4.  Chicago, Illinois–Wednesday, August 29th, time and location TBD
Unfortunately, this is a show that Rhonda won’t be attending with me.  It is tough to get away right in the middle of a week, especially when the school year will have started.  The date isn’t the best for me, either, since I have to report to work the next morning.  Thus, it will be a quick turn around!  That said, I still hope to get something together for before the show.  If you know of a cool place near Ravinia, let me know!

5.  Midwest Meetup???
At one point, I talked about planning a get together for fans in the Midwest.  Of course, at the time, we didn’t know anything about these other tour dates and I realize that people only have so much time and money.  So, I’m putting it out there.  Is anyone still interested?  If so, I could still be game!  I would probably look at planning something for July as I will be super busy until the end of June and the tour starts in August. 

I’m looking forward to each and every one of these!!  I do enjoy meeting other Duranies!  I like sharing stories and building each others excitement about the band or the show!

-A
 

Countdowns

I hope this blog post will be fairly coherent.  Normally, I’m pretty confident that I will make sense but today finds me beyond tired, beyond fatigued, beyond exhausted.  If someone with more brain cells than what I have can find a stronger word, please let me know.  I will need to be using it frequently, VERY frequently in the next few weeks.  I worked a full week at my paid job and have worked an additional 35 hours at my not-paying campaign leader job.  While there is a part of me that kind of enjoys the level of intensity as we move towards an election day, there is another part of me that just wants to curl up and sleep until 2016.  So, how can I sustain, basically, 2 full time jobs and this for the next few weeks?  Obviously, part of the answer is dedication, focus, perseverance mixed with insanity.  The other thing I find myself doing at times like these, or when I have something to look forward to, is to make a countdown.  For example, I can tell you have I have 16 days left of the school year or18 days until the election for governor.  I should also be making a countdown for our tour in August. 

Interestingly enough, yesterday’s question had to do with which was Duran’s best era.  The most frequently given response was now.  I did not hesitate to post the video for All You Need Is Now.  It seemed fitting, right?  Then, I started to think.  A big part of the message of song is to appreciate the now.  Am I doing that with my focus on when things are getting done or what is happening?  Am I forgetting to live in the moment by doing that?  Does Duran do that?  I wonder.  They often say in interviews that they are just focused on the “now”.  They don’t spend a lot of time looking back on the past and they don’t really think about what they are going to do next.  Now, obviously, it is possible that they say that in interviews and don’t really do that in reality.  After all, typically, they are doing interviews to sell a current product.  Thus, they don’t want to talk about old projects or what they might be doing in the future.  It doesn’t help their current bottom line.  Nonetheless, I don’t get a sense that they really do spend a lot of time looking back.  What about the future?  Could they have their own countdowns?

Just recently Duran finished up a quick tour of South America.  It sounds like it was an absolutely fabulous tour!  As much as I’m sure Duran loved that tour, and all the other tours, were they counting down until the end?  Were they anxious to finish up, spend time at home with their families?  Were they excited to sleep in their own homes, in their own beds?  Would they or could they make a countdown for an album release?  I think of an album, like AYNIN, that they must have been so proud of.  Were they checking off dates in the calendar for the rest of the world to hear the album? 

Is my habit of counting down until the end of some horribly busy, stressful time something Duran would do or are they truly more focused on the now?  If they are focused on the present, do you think they could teach me to like getting very little sleep and being worried about how things are going to go?  It is definitely one lesson I need to learn.

-A

Too Bad THEY’RE So Beautiful

I can always tell when I’m really stressed about something because the words for my blog(s) just do not come easily, and right now is one of those times. What I would not give for a few days of relative worry-free peace.  It would be nice to be worrying about what beach to visit next, rather than how I’m going to get my nearly thirteen year old son through middle school, but alas…

Recently, Amanda’s questions of the day have taken on the theme of asking about various band members and what our opinions of their “best era” have been.  To begin with, I have to have a little chuckle that they’ve been around long enough for discussing “eras” about them. I’m not just laughing at their expense, but also my own – because let’s be honest, I’ve been a fan the whole time, and I am definitely not getting any younger myself.  (I should just be thankful that the tables are not suddenly turned and it’s not the band being asked about when their favorite “era” for the fans has been!)

In thinking of my own answers for these questions, I’ve found that some come to mind rather easily, and some have been more difficult.  For instance, the other day I knew right away that I preferred Nick best when he had orange hair.  I also remembered the days of Arcadia when asked about Simon.  However, today the question was in regards to Roger, and I really stumbled.  Interestingly enough, Roger has always been my favorite band member and yet there’s not really one period of time that I liked best over the others that came immediately to mind. I like it all, at least at first glance! Curiously, I started thinking back on my previous answers and realized that I wasn’t really answering the question with what I felt was their “best” period of time, but rather what might have been my favorite, and that “favorite” time may or may not have had anything to do with the band musically.  When I thought about Nick and Simon’s best periods of time, I thought about how they looked, not necessarily how they sounded, and that makes me kind of wince now that I think about it!

I must admit that at this point in my life, I would have loved to believe that being a fan of the band went beyond just their looks, and of course it does – but it’s also very clear that in as much as I love their music, it is the magic combination of looks, personality and musicianship that has continued to encourage me to be a fan for so long.  I would imagine that holds true for many others out there.  I think it’s that fact: the fact that the guys are still loved by so many for being the entire package, that helps make them so easily dismissed by critics. I could go into a long term paper on how incredibly sexist male music critics (and the occasional male fan) might be, but I’ll refrain for now.  Suffice to say though that just because they are loved by women that makes their music shallow and not worthy.  Naturally we female fans don’t help matters when questions like this come up and we answer with what appeals to us on a purely superficial level – but I suppose I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Call me crazy, but I’m just not into Mick Jagger or even Steven Tyler.  I like Simon, John, Nick, Roger AND Dom (my blog, my rules on who is in this band!)….and their music isn’t half bad either.

-R

How much is too much?

Last week I was chatting with some friends who mentioned that the band was looking quite tired after (during) their tour in South America.  This conversation coincided with some additional dates being announced by the band for their summer tour of Europe and America.  The question ultimately became whether or not the band was doing too much.

Naturally, all of us want to see the band perform, and the idea of having more than one opportunity to do so is exciting.  On the same token, no one wants to see the band driven to exhaustion, and there are at least a few fans that feel they’re overdoing it.  No one wants to have another summer like the last, when Simon was unable to sing, and yet all of us want to be able to have one more chance to see them onstage before the band goes on hiatus for an undetermined length of time.  Where is the happy medium?

I suppose I take somewhat of a hard line on the subject because while yes, I think touring can certainly be grueling – I also firmly believe it’s part of their job.  It’s what makes money, and it’s what is required.  I’m not heartless, but I also think there are very, very few professions where one can truly decide to take a year off in order to write and record an album along with time for vacationing and relaxing. Most other careers pretty much insist on the idea of continuing to travel and sell one product while concurrently developing the next product and getting it ready for market.  There’s no such thing as a “hiatus” or “downtime”.  It would seem that touring goes along with the job, and nowadays it’s required more than ever in order to make a buck!

Who is to say how much is really too much?  Is it the band?  Is it management?  Is it ticket sales or demand?  There used to be a saying in the industry – “leave ’em wanting more!”  Curiously, it would appear at least to me that audiences are requiring more and more, and yet as a fan I can say that when the band does finally leave the stage for the last time on this tour and retreats back into their offstage lives and personas – I will absolutely miss seeing them, and of course I’ll still be wanting more.   So have they done too much?  Is it enough?

-R