Category Archives: Duran Duran

DDM: Fan Club? Fan Community? Both?

I originally planned on posting a guest blog today as I’m in Boston visiting my brother but after reading everyone’s comments to the blog yesterday about DDM, I felt like I had more to say (Don’t I always?!) Anyway, one thing I truly love about doing this blog with Rhonda is that I have always pushed to think. I am forced to think when I write and then I think when I read your comments (here, Facebook and twitter). Yesterday’s blog post focused on one aspect of DDM: Member extras. It wasn’t about the presales and it wasn’t about message boards. Nonetheless, people’s responses to the blog did bring up the boards and the presales. One other large aspect that seemed to come up is cost, which in turn brought out the idea of exclusivity vs. inclusivity. This blog then asks more fundamental questions surrounding DDM and the “official fan community.”

As we all know DDM is Duran Duran’s official fan community and it costs money to join. Before we dive into the various aspects of what DDM has to offer, let me ask this. Should fan communities cost money? Obviously, in this case, the fan community costs money with the idea being that it offers things to the members. This idea isn’t new. Lots of things work like this and I can think of many examples. People buy gym memberships in order to use the various equipment, take classes offered there, use the pool, etc. You pay for these opportunities. This is designed in the same way. It is done with the idea being that if you offer the right things and things that cannot be provided anywhere else, people will pay and join. Should fandoms work that way, though? Why or why not? I’m sure from a band’s point of view it is a way to get money without the hard work of recording an album or playing shows. I can understand that. I can also understand the fan’s desire to join a fan club or community. Certainly, I get that. I want to admit that I’m a fan. Isn’t that how the first fan clubs got started, as a way to show one is a fan and to find other fans? Yet, as soon as money is involved, it could start to exclude people. It may no longer being about being a fan and now becomes a fan with money. Yes, I obviously know that DDM isn’t a fortune. Yet, it does cost and that extra might be too much for some.

The next question that comes to mind is what should a fan community do. The more and more I think about the fact that DDM calls itself “Duran Duran: The Fan Community”, the more and more I question their use of the word, community, to describe it. Is it a community or a club? What’s the difference between the two? To me, a community involves people interacting with each other. A club means that people join something and may or may not interact. Clearly, DDM tries to do both. They push the community by having things like the message boards and they push the club by offering presale tickets and other items like Katy Kafes. Is this what DDM should be doing? Should they be trying to do both the community and the club? If they should be a club only, what features should they offer? What should they offer if they focus on being a community? Perhaps, part of the problem is that they don’t have a focus. There is no real game plan.

A couple of things that came up yesterday in the various comments is that DDM is no longer, if ever, really able to come up with a community, which is ironic since they is what it is entitled. People want a place to get the news about Duran and they definitely don’t feel like they get that there. Then, if it is going to be a community, a place for fans to come together and interact, how should that be done? I’m happy that a number of you feel like this place is a better place for community. People mentioned that they are able to freely speak their minds without worry. Yes, people may disagree but it is done respectfully. Rhonda and I would like to think that we have helped to create this open and respectful environment. It should also include EVERYONE, no matter where you live, what your favorite Duran stuff is or isn’t, no matter how many shows you have been to, no matter how many times you have met or haven’t met the band, etc. This leads back to the first question. Should being part of a fan community have anything to do with money? Should having the ability to talk to other fans be based on a fee? What about those VIP tickets? People complain that there are not guaranteed meet and greets with VIP tickets, which is a valid point, but what about the fact that not everyone can afford those? Does the way DDM runs create an exclusivity between fans with the money factor? Obviously, the idea of joining a fan club is a way to differentiate oneself from a non-fan. Does DDM do this or just keep us, fans, separated from each other?

I don’t have answers to these questions but I do think they are fundamental questions. What should Duran’s fan club be like? Is that the same as the fan community? Should it be? How should it be done to include everyone? What do you all think? -A

Should We Bother with DDM?

The other day, I went to DDM, or DuranDuranMusic.  This is not a typical action on my part but I went over to see if there was anything interesting on the boards.  While I was there, I checked the home page, which includes the news.  I found myself not only sadden by what the boards have become but annoyed by the overall site.

One does not need to be a paying member to see what is on the homepage, but, of course, you do need to in order to get all of the details on the articles/information posted, to get to the member exclusives, etc.  Once I click on the log in button, the site immediately takes me to the presale information page.  On one hand, this can be extremely helpful during presale “season” so that I don’t have to waste time getting to the presale page.  When there are not presales, why would I even go there?  Why would anyone?  It doesn’t make sense.  Wouldn’t you want to offer the latest and greatest offering by sending us back to the homepage where we started?  Maybe I’m doing it wrong.  I don’t know. 

Typically, then, I go back to the homepage myself in order to read what is new.  Here’s where my annoyance kicks into full gear.  It is hard to even see what is news or what was new to me as the news isn’t listed in chronological order.  Clearly, some “news” on DDM’s home page is deemed more important than others.  While I get that, the presale information about presales that have already taken place seems no longer then most important. is able to give the latest information first except for in VERY rare circumstances, which I like.  Why can’t DDM?  Clearly, it isn’t that no one is updating this page at all as there is current information listed.  So, why not put the news in order by most recent?  Then, if some other bit of info needs to be at the top, put it at the top and indicate that.  Heck, this is what message boards do by having a specific symbol that shows that topic to be “stuck” to the top.  The problem here might be user error because I just can’t see what is new.  For example, I looked the other day and discovered that there was a new Katy Kafe there and had been there for over a week.  How come I didn’t see it the last time I was at the site?  Probably because the blurb about it was hidden on the third column on the news page.  Huh?  It just doesn’t make good sense to me. 

Of course, I could have found out that there was a new Katy Kafe if there was some advertising done.  Why can’t someone/anyone put a tweet out there that a new Kafe has been posted for paying members?  Why can’t a facebook status indicate that?  Yes, I realize that not every fan is a paying member but why not alert those who are?  Why not give us a reason to actually go there?  At the same time, it might encourage non-members to join.  Why wouldn’t Duran headquarters want that?  I don’t get it.  Yes, I realize that most of the members now are there simply for the presales.  If it is that, then why put an exclusives on there at all?  Why bother?  It seems to me that the site would be better as either simply a presale location OR a real fan site.  If they are going to include cool extras (which obviously can be debated), why not do it right and TELL people about what is there.  Rhonda and I post our blog topics elsewhere everyday, why can’t DDHQ do the same when something new is there? 

Now, I’m sure that many (most?  all?) of you reading this are thinking to yourself–“Why does Amanda bother?  The rest of us left or never paid for DDM to begin with.”  The response to this is simple.  Yes, I could just stop going over to the site.  Yes, I could just stop paying.  I could.  I absolutely could.  Yet, I do enjoy the Katy Kafes, including this month’s with Simon rambling about tennis, the state of the world and more.  I like seeing exclusive pictures and videos.  I think that is what a fan club should be doing.  Of course, I would like to see much more focus on the fan community aspect, but I have gotten past that.  Hence, why Rhonda and I have tried to fill in some of those gaps by starting conversation here, on twitter and on facebook.  We are all trying to bring people together in meetups and other events in the future.  Therefore, if a fan club isn’t going to try to bring the fans together, they should be offering us something for our money, in my opinion.  I think they could do this in a way that is more efficient and more effective for both them and us. 

I’m sure that 95% of comments will be about how I’m sucker to continue over there.  Logically, I’m sure that’s right.  Emotionally, I am not ready to give up on something that has such potential.  Thus, I tried to offer a couple of means to improve it.  It may not bring people back or restore people’s faith in it but it could be some steps in the right direction.  Right?  Maybe, it would just annoy me less.


Live Aid Revisited

Every morning, I post the “Today in Duran Duran History” fact for the day.  This morning, this fact discussed the Live Aid event from 1985.  Obviously, this was a significant event in Duran Duran history.  In fact, if we were to write a history book on the band, that day, that event would be considered a massive turning point.  I would compare it to shots being fired, beginning a war.  Tensions had been building and now action had finally been taken.  Much like events in history, the true effect of the event wouldn’t be known for months or even years.  No one knew that day that it would be the final performance of the classic line-up until the Fab 5 reunited about a decade ago.  It would be almost 20 years before they would get back on stage together.  No, most people acknowledged the terribly missed note during A View to a Kill but no one knew that it was the end (for a long time).  Interestingly enough, most people commenting today on this fact aren’t bringing up the significance for Duran Duran.  No, they are talking about where they were on that day.  I’m no different.  I, immediately, thought about my life at that time.

If I go back in time to 1985, I was 10 years old but, like many of us, was a huge Duranie!  My best friend, at the time, and I watched Duran videos all the time and squeed over pictures of John Taylor in magazines like Bop and Tiger Beat.  I was, generally, a happy kid at that time.  Yet, there was a huge black cloud on the horizon.  My family was in the process of moving.  We didn’t move that far–about an hour away from where we were but it was like moving from one world to a totally different world.  When I became a Duranie, I was living in the Chicago suburbs.  I had access to Top 40 radio that played Duran all the time despite constantly making fun of them and I had access to MTV.  While Duran wasn’t super popular in my elementary school (Michael Jackson was king in my neighborhood!), there were enough Duranies around that I felt safe.  That all changed when I moved to a small town.  More to the point, this place didn’t have Top 40 radio and didn’t have MTV.  I felt like I had gone back in time!

On July 13, 1985, my family, including myself, was doing what we always did on weekends that summer, which was to drive to the new house to take boxes and other items that needed to be moved.  My dad was already living there as he was working in the area so he needed supplies.  Plus, it would make the big move easier, or so went the theory.  I so protested this trip.  I, obviously, wanted to be watching Live Aid.  Why couldn’t I stay at my friend’s house?  I asked my mother over and over again.  The response I got was simple:  I had to help the family.  I rolled my eyes, grumbled to myself and felt like I had lost a friend.  It was like an additional kick to the gut.  I couldn’t even watch for Duran!

Interestingly enough, we got back “home” right before Power Station came on!  I didn’t miss them, after all!  I was still upset about being forced to help make this move that I desperately didn’t want to happen, though.  I remember my parents getting Chinese for dinner and I refused to move from the TV, in case Duran came on.  For some reason, my parents didn’t force me away from the screen.  I don’t even think I ate dinner that night.  I think I kept thinking that Duran would make me feel better, but they didn’t.  I almost felt worse after they came on.  I don’t know why.  I could say that I had a sense that something wasn’t right but I doubt it.  My kid brain wouldn’t have been able to move beyond my own thoughts, life, problems.  I probably didn’t even notice Simon’s bum note!

A little over a month later, the big and final move took place.  That, of course, is another day that I’ll never forget in my life.  I was walking around outside when a neighbor girl rode her bike up to me, which was actually very nice.  We started talking and, of course, I asked her if she liked Duran.  Her response, “Who?”  She had never heard of them.  The kids in the neighborhood spent most of their time making and playing game outside or riding their bikes.  They weren’t glued to MTV like I had been.  Now, I can understand how both cultures (and that’s what they were) had their positives and negatives but as a kid, I couldn’t see it.  I missed my best friend and listening to the radio.  I think, at that point, my Duranie-ness grew.  I held on to it for dear life.  As summer turned into fall, I tried to make friends but that didn’t go well.  Neither side wanted to learn about the other person’s interests.  No one wanted to learn about Duran, which I totally couldn’t understand.  Soon enough, this divide between me and my new classmates grew and turned ugly as they found out that I was a religious minority in a small town in which everyone was the same religion (or so it seemed).  The kids used this along with the fact that I wore a lot of black and red along with my black rubber bracelets (I wonder who else was dressing this way in 1985?  Hmm…could it be…John Taylor?!) to make fun of me pretty frequently.

By 1986, I was pretty lonely as I didn’t have a lot of friends in my new town and my best friend from home had decided that Duran was done.  By now, we knew that Roger and Andy left the band.  It seemed to me that my feelings of dread on Live Aid were justified.  Going back to the original analogy of how Live Aid was a turning point, it definitely was.  It was for me and for the band.  On July 13th, 1985, no one really knew what exactly was going to happen, but what did happen was significant.  My life was changed and the band member’s lives changed, too.  Thus, not a year goes by that I don’t remember that fateful day.  I’m relieved I made it through this not-so-happy time in my life and I am so glad that the band was able to go on as well.

What about the rest of you?  Is this a fateful day for you?  Are there other days in Duran history that have personal meaning?  I love to hear your stories!


Traveling to the Edge of America

I’m convinced there is a conspiracy to keep me away from the local beaches.  For the third time this summer, I announced to my 3 children last night that we would be going to the beach today, and for the third time I woke up to see increasingly cloudy skies.  I hear there’s a threat of thunderstorms as well.  I would have thought we were close enough to the beach for it not to affect our weather (here in So Ca it’s the inland valleys and deserts that tend to get the thunderstorms), but apparently not.  As I’m writing this blog I’m looking out my back window and see the sky getting more and more cloudy and grey.  If only it were about 20 degrees cooler and little less humid!  Ah well.

Of course, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking all about the trip I have coming up in August.  I’m excited that I will be seeing the band yet again – I’m rather spoiled at this point and I know that, and I’m going to be seeing them in places that I’ve never been before.  I fly into New Orleans and then Amanda and I will pick up our rental car and drive to Biloxi to the Hard Rock Hotel to meet up with fellow fans that night for dinner.  For info on that meetup, see our FB event page.  I think that night will be a lot of fun – I’m looking forward to meeting new friends!  The next day of course will be spent in the line for General Admission to the show that night.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I’m deeply concerned about sitting outside in that heat all day.  Amanda keeps telling me that all things Duran are worth it.  I sure hope so, and I also hope I don’t end up with heat stroke.  That’s not a good way to start a trip!

After the show that night, assuming that I in fact DO survive the GA line, we’ll be leaving to begin our drive to Atlanta, which is the second stop on the Final Daily Duranie All You Need is Now Tour!  (Yes, I’ve named it. No, we’re not touring “with” the band…trust me, this is OUR tour because no one else would be crazy enough to drive the amount of miles we’re going to be driving).  Yes, we’re insane to leave right after the show.  I know this, and Amanda knows this.  You have to remember though that my body time clock will be three hours behind, and this gives us a chance to make it part of the way since it’s a pretty long drive between Biloxi and Atlanta.  (about 6.5 hours)  Yay for Starbucks and adrenaline!!

So we’re on to Atlanta for a couple of nights.  The first night, we’ve organized a meetup for fellow Duran fans before the show at a place called “Shout”.  Want to come along?  See our Facebook event page for info here.  Another thing we’re trying to work out for that night is transportation to and from the show.  Apparently (and keep in mind that Amanda and I have never been to a concert at Chastain Park Amphitheater), this venue is in a sort of neighborhood, and taxis are slow to come out there.  So, we thought about getting a car service…which then turned into finding a Duranie party bus!  If you are going to the Atlanta show and don’t want to worry about parking or finding a taxi, we’ve got the answer for you!  For $45.00 a person the Duranie party bus will whisk us away from Shout, take us to the venue in style , and then be waiting for us after the show to take us back to the Buckhead area of downtown.  The party will be non-stop, and it’s a perfect opportunity to meet new friends besides.  Hit us up on the Atlanta preshow meetup page (link is above) for info on the party van to the Atlanta show!

The day and evening following the Atlanta show, we’re staying in Atlanta.  I’ve never been there, and there are a few things I’d like to see and absorb before moving on.  (Truthfully, it might also be a day of detox. One just never knows.)  If there’s anything you think we absolutely must see, send us a note here on the blog (dailyduranie(at)gmail(dot)com)!

The next day is our travel day to Durham.  In the meantime we will have picked up one additional passenger and roommate, and are looking forward to continuing the party from here!  Once again, we’ve got about a six hour drive ahead of us.  Yay for more Starbucks, adrenaline and good tunes!!

Once in Durham, we meet up with another roommate, and head on over to our Durham Pre-Show meetup at West End Wine Bar. Again, if you’re not involved on our event page, let me direct you here for info! We are very excited about this get together because it appears we’re going to have a huge crowd. Besides, it’s at a wine bar. Next to Duran Duran, what could really be any better??? By the time we get to the venue it’s going to really be rocking, and I have high hopes to continue the party after the show!  Since there are so many people coming for the show, we were able to set up a true Duranie Dorm for this stop – check out the event page for info. There are so many people coming from all over the country for this gig, and I’m thrilled that Daily Duranie is a part of it!

The very next morning – we have helped to organize a caravan to the next and final final stop for Amanda and I, which is Portsmouth.  That’s right – are you driving from Durham to Portsmouth??  You should check out the event page for the caravan and come along with us – we’d love to have you!!  One of the girls involved with the planning has come up with a wicked design that she’s looking into having screened on t-shirts as well as something we can put on the windows…it’s bound to be a crazy drive and we invite you to come along with us!

In Portsmouth, we have yet another meetup planned at Griff’s Restaurant and Sports Bar in Olde Town.  If you’re going to the Portsmouth show and want to meetup or find out where everyone is staying – check out the event page for this meetup, we’d love to see you! Since this is the last night of our tour, I plan to end the evening out right with friends, laughter and plenty of fantastic music before I turn into a pumpkin and fly home the next day.

So basically, there is going to be plenty of meeting up with friends – both old and new, plenty of driving, plenty of laughter, and of course plenty of outstanding music.  It’s hard for me to believe that this little tour will be it for a while, so we are planning to do it all up right.  It’s true that the organizing and planning have taken us time and patience, but Amanda and I think it’s worth every moment.  We’ve read many times that people want these experiences – they don’t want being a fan to be quite so singular, and neither do we.  We want to bring fans together so that when any of us go to a show – whether it’s in the US, the UK, South America or even Istanbul, that there’s always someone there we know.  Talk about celebrating the band – we envision a fan community where no matter the show location, there’s a FAN family reunion celebration going on right under the band’s nose(s).  Many argue that we can’t all be friends.  That’s true, and it’s ridiculous to assume that can happen.  Our goal is simply to bring people together.  You all can handle the drama side of it all on your own.

Naturally, there is a budget to adhere to – and sadly, Amanda and I have probably far exceeded that limit at this point.  We just can’t do it ALL.  (But hey – if someone wants to pay or bankroll the deal for us to go to these shows and host fan meetups, you just let us know!)  There are only two of us here at Daily Duranie, and there are literally thousands of fans and places to go out there.  (And quite frankly if I even breathe word of traveling and spending money on another DD show for a while – I am liable to be single again!!)  We just hope that in seeing how much two little fans can do, some of the rest of our readers will see that things really CAN get organized, and take on a little something for themselves.  We also want the band and their management to see that yes, things really can be better – all it takes is a couple of fans who insist on it.

Next year, it’s liable to be pretty quiet on the band front…which is why the gears in my head have already been turning and collecting ideas for weekend meetups!  We can’t let the party stop now, can we?

Off to find a movie and herd my children….


My (Our) Own Way

Yesterday I blogged about Taste the Summer being added to the setlist, and typically when we blog, we also post the topic on Twitter and on Facebook.  Different people comment in different places, and altogether a good discussion takes place.  As I probably could have predicted before I even hit “publish”, there were a million different points of view about Taste the Summer.  Some love it, others can’t stand it…and many are in the middle.  Once again I think it’s fair to say that we Duranies are simply impossible to please.  We had people commenting that they couldn’t believe we’d applaud the addition of a single new song into a setlist that (not MY quotes here) “has been around since 2004”.

Let’s be fair here, although I am not one to shy away from busting the band when necessary. There ARE songs on that setlist that are new.  Anything from All You Need is Now is new.  (Ok, newISH at this point.) Am I right?  I think the main source of trouble is that the setlist seems to have the same skeletal bones it’s had for quite a while, and that of course is because our band isn’t selfish…as Nick Rhodes reminded us in the interview he did for Yahoo! Music that came out yesterday.  They don’t play all new music or all the obscure old music that only the diehards know.  They play for everyone.  (I would just like to take a moment to applaud Nick’s ability to spin ANYTHING in a positive direction.  It’s impressive, really.) It’s all true though – when you go to a Duran show, there’s something for everyone, unless of course you’re a diehard who simply cannot imagine leaving this earth until you’ve heard live.   They’ve got a lot of hits and even a couple number ones to play for the people who want to hear them, plus a ton of back catalog material that hasn’t seen the light of day for many years.  It’s a nice problem to have, unless of course you’re a diehard fan.  Right?
During the discussion yesterday, one of our smartypants commenters suggested that Amanda and I do the setlist.  We’re always asking for everyone’s opinion – but we don’t offer our own up.  (Truthfully here, I do offer mine up. Probably entirely too often for the band’s taste!)  We actually did post setlists back in August of last year, but that’s so…last year.  So, we’re going to do it again.  Today.
Each of us came up with our own lists, and aside from my complaints of where to begin and that I couldn’t decide what to cut…we really didn’t compare notes much.  We each have our own parameters and comments about what we decided to include and why, and you’ll find those under each of our lists. Oh, we each chose 20 songs.  Their most current set list hovers around 18, but you know – I’ve decided those two extra songs won’t kill them. Start on time and it’ll be fine! (*cracks whip*)  Without further adieu: 

Before the Rain

Planet Earth
Secret Oktober
All You Need is Now
Make Me Smile
The Reflex
Fallen Angel
Last Chance on the Stairway
Is there Something I Should Know
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
Edge of America
Lakeshore Driving
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Red Carpet Massacre
Late Bar
Careless Memories
White Lines
OK, so before you all start slinging mud in my general direction…what I did to begin with was copy their current setlist, and then I just started cutting songs that I either didn’t think needed to be played.  I attempted to follow Nick’s rule by keeping in the songs that I feel get the most crowd reaction and appeal to a wide variety of fans – both casual and diehard, yet replacing songs that I KNOW are tired.  (Admit it, Hungry Like the Wolf is so tired that wolf is CRAWLING now.  There’s no chase left in the poor thing, and no you cannot fool me by starting it differently…I’m on to you!!) On my first attempt, I realized my list was very heavy in songs from the first and most recent albums…so I tried again, hoping to unearth some songs from the middle albums.  I also realized that it wasn’t humanly possible for Simon to be able to sing it all, so I tried to find some other slower songs.  In my original list I had included Friends of Mine and New Religion…but as you can see here I ended up cutting them.  I probably could interchange White Lines for one of them, but since White Lines seems to be a big crowd pleaser when they play it live, I left it.  You might notice my list has both Secret Oktober AND Late Bar.  Dreams are free, people!!!!  I also included two songs that I think would blow the audience away if done properly – and it’d show off Dom on guitar too – those are Edge of America and Lakeshore Driving.  That’s more of a jam, and so Simon would get a break because I think this setlist might kill him otherwise, never mind the rest of them.  I put Leopard back in the setlist because it belongs there – it is SO good live and if the audience doesn’t get it – they’ll at least get the clapping!  I’m most proud that I included Red Carpet Massacre.  I can’t stand that album but it’s the one song on there that deserves another tour of duty on the setlist.  Finally, there’s a couple of gems in there that, unless you’re a diehard fan you might not know – and quite honestly I don’t think it’s selfish of US as fans to want that sort of thing from time to time.  It’s like a sign when the band plays something like that – they get us, they love us, and they know we’ve been on a long road together.  It’s all good.  🙂

Before the Rain
Planet Earth
Hold Back the Rain
Secret Oktober
Lonely in Your Nightmare
All You Need Is Now
Sound of Thunder
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
New Religion
Careless Memories
Late Bar
Seventh Stranger
The Reflex
Red Carpet Massacre
Wild Boys
Girls on Film

My process for choosing songs was similar to Rhonda’s.  I started with their current setlist.  Then, I used the blog I did last August in which I followed the these parameters:  Some from latest album, some played all the time/classics, some that they have played but not for awhile, and some they maybe have never played.  I also wanted to make sure I included a variety of tempos.  While I might enjoy those faster tempo songs, I also like medium tempo songs and some slower ones.  In fact, you may notice that I totally changed the slow ones.  While I know that many people love Ordinary World, I’m VERY tired of it.  I think it has lost of its emotional impact by being played so much.  I want to appreciate it again and that won’t happen if I hear it live another five times.  Then, of course, I chopped Come Undone.  I hate that song.  I won’t lie and I certainly don’t need to see Simon lick his fingers ever.  That said, I don’t think that diehard fans won’t mind the inclusion of Lonely in Your Nightmare or Seventh Stranger.  Other songs of note are TBYSB, SOT, NR and Vertigo.  Too Bad should be a staple from AYNIN.  It would go over so much better than Safe, in my opinion.  As far as Sound of Thunder, I, originally, had Friends of Mine but I love SOT equally and it hasn’t been played since 2005.  Then, Vertigo is a song that I have recently been into more than ever before.  It would be a good track from that Notorious era.

Overall, we would be pleased with either one of the setlists presented here.  Do we think that the band would follow our suggestions?  Nah.  We do think we offer some good alternatives.  So, what about the rest of you?  What would your setlist look like?

-A & R

Taste the Summer!! (No really, it was in their setlist!!!)

Summer is killing me right now. I can’t complain about the heat – well, at least I couldn’t until this week, but even so – 90 degrees F isn’t THAT bad, but it’s my schedule that is really killing me. Or maybe it’s the lack of schedule. I can’t really decide. Suffice to say that the punishing daily schedule I had when all three of my kids was in school has drastically changed, both because it’s summer (no school) and because while my oldest is out of school, my son has started his homeschooling program and my youngest is still going to school. Where I once had “free” time for exercising (my least favorite thing but it’s still a must) or writing the book I am now supposed to be supervising PE (also exercise, but not my own) for my son, or I’m supposed to be teaching…or maybe I just need to change his schedule to better suit my own. I really don’t know. It’s just taking some getting used to, but I always feel out of sorts until I know what I should be doing and when. Mondays come and go and I feel like it should already be midweek, which is where I’m at today. It’s Tuesday here, but I feel like it should be Thursday.

I have to admit something: I have no idea where the band is today. (Here’s a quiz – does the BAND even know?!) I know they either were or maybe still are in Istanbul, but without looking at their tour schedule, I really don’t know. All I do know for certain is that this is July 10th where I am, and I recently saw a set list that I had to look twice at to be sure I was really reading what I thought I was reading…and it’s true, Taste the Summer was on the setlist for Istanbul! At first, well, after making sure I really read that correctly, my reaction was more along the lines of horror. “What? THAT song?!? Really. REALLY? Out of all of the songs in their catalog they picked THAT one?” What’s funny here is that Amanda did a sort of poll recently on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  To make a long story short, Taste the Summer was the one song on the final list of songs that people do not wish to ever hear again that was not currently found on their setlist. (I hope that makes sense. Basically – they don’t typically play the song live and yet the fans still don’t wanna hear it.)

Now, either the band is playing with Daily Duranie for doing that poll – ha ha very funny – or they want to show us how good it can really be. Assuming of course that they have no idea who we are or what Daily Duranie is (I think it’s pretty safe to assume), I am fascinated and curious why they chose to awaken Taste the Summer from it’s deep slumber. I am hoping to find a clip of it live from Istanbul on Youtube and see it. I suppose the obvious is that yes, it’s summer!

We’ve all mentioned that it feels about time they breathe some new life into the setlist. Just today I read an article on Yahoo music, and Nick mentions that they are not a selfish band.  They don’t come out on stage and play only their new album with no other hits. This is true..and I suppose in this regard the band just gives, gives, gives! Many of us (myself included) have slammed them for not playing new stuff, gems from the back catalog, etc.  Well, they’ve played something different now. While it might not have been an obvious choice to me (I still stand by Secret Oktober and Late Bar even though they played SO in Brighton and I love them for it….and I’m not afraid to say so.), I have to admit my curiosity has been peaked. Mostly I wonder – when on earth did they find time to practice this, and if they can pull this out of the bag, what ELSE can they do?!?

I really hope this is not a one-time thing. It’s really nice to hear things we wouldn’t expect, and I have to admit – I sure wasn’t expecting Taste the Summer. They’ve got me looking forward to August when it’s my turn to see them again!

Speaking of August, have I mentioned my fear of melting in the Biloxi heat while braving the General Admission line hoping for my one and only shot at front row?? If there were ever a moment where I wish I had an “in” with the band, I’d beg them to take mercy on Daily Duranie and get us to the front rail without having to die in that line all day.  Yes, I know – keep dreaming.  We ALL have dreams,right? Hopefully that dream will keep me from heat stroke that day!


A Diamond in the Mind Facebook Premiere – The Daily Duranie Review

Happy Monday!

Before we begin our review and reactions from the Facebook Premiere of A Diamond in the Mind yesterday, the blog has hit a milestone that we’d like to share and celebrate with all of you. As of yesterday, our blog hit 100,000 page views!!  That’s amazing, and we have all of you to thank! It was back during the beginnings of our blog in January of 2011, when we heard from someone who came to be one of our most inspirational readers and kept us going when we weren’t sure anyone besides ourselves and a handful of close friends were reading. That person simply encouraged us to keep writing and sharing our story, and we have. We have you to thank, Enitupsar for keeping our spirits up and all of your wonderful support.  We really can’t put into words how much we thank you!  Not sure if you still read, but if so – we hope the blog continues to both entertain and enlighten. (at least we try!)

So yesterday was the big Facebook/Qello Premiere! Did you catch it? Daily Duranie (both of us) saw the premiere as we chatted via phone. Both of us also had our iPads out so that we could tweet & chat. It was technologically very overwhelming, and we don’t mind saying that after the show, we were exhausted, and it wasn’t even our own production! Overall, the technology behind the premiere worked, but not without various bugs and issues. Success in viewing the broadcast depended upon what a viewer was attempting to watch it on (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, SmartPhone, etc.) and what type of browser they were utilizing. To begin with, many people were frustrated with a blank screen and continued to refresh until finally a video appeared…a sigh of relief was heard worldwide! Some others had trouble chatting, it was extremely slow depending upon what you were viewing the broadcast from. Many people, including Daily Duranie, noticed that the broadcast was not nearly as clear as we would have expected. At times the resolution would improve, but then in others it was extremely pixelated. The technical reasons (warning: this is being translated rather poorly from “engineer-speak”) behind that include that the information rate coming to your modem might be slow, and also that unlike YouTube, who has servers in every major regional area of the US, Qello likely does not; therefore broadcasting from one central location – bit rate gets lost, and pixelation happens!   Still one other problem was that the commentary for the first portion of the show was unheard by many.  It wasn’t until after 25 minutes into the broadcast that people started figuring out how to get the commentary to work.  Even in the case of Rhonda, once she figured out what to click or unclick for the commentary – it wasn’t until she refreshed the page several times that the commentary finally began to work. Fans are still confused (including us) whether this commentary was truly exclusive for this premiere only or if it is to be included on the DVD. Obviously we would hope it was included somewhere because there was so much information – the show itself, chatting with fans across the world and the commentary on top of it all – one would truly need to view it all more than once to really grasp everything that was happening.

Where to begin with the commentary? It took some adjustment in getting used to the fact that while you’re watching the show, all of the sudden the music would lower in volume and you’d suddenly hear Nick, John, Roger or Simon. The information given was enlightening, in particular during the few moments when they’d speak about the show itself rather than the history of each song. It’s not that we didn’t want to hear the history of the songs of course, but it was more pertinent to the DVD when the commentary was about the Manchester show.  For example, Amanda really liked hearing Nick talk about the heads above the stage and how difficult it was to program them to be in complete sync with the sound. Both Amanda and Rhonda were reminded of how fabulous Leopard is live when they were discussing the decision to have everyone clap in unison during the beginning of that song. (It really is one of the most special parts of the show when you turn around and see that every single person in the venue is clapping together – this song deserves to be PUT BACK IN THE SETLIST!)  Rhonda loved hearing John talk about the ending moment of Rio and that feeling of exhilaration we all feel, that the show can’t possibly end. It was those moments that made the commentary so special and we really wish we could hear it all again.

The show itself of course, was amazing. It reminded both of us of all the UK shows over again and how special each one truly was. We are both anxious to watch the DVD again simply because with so much going on, there were assuredly many subtle moments that were missed due to so much additional stimuli. We need to watch the DVD again in the somewhat peace of our homes.  We need to watch with no one around so that when we squee over John and Dom playing Hungry Like the Wolf right in front of the camera no one threatens to send us to the funny farm or divorce us…well, Rhonda. (*ahem*)

Immediately following the show was the question and answer session. Fans submitted questions to Qello that would be answered by the band. Part of the issue here was that there were no clear expectations set for fans by either the band or Qello. None of us really knew how this portion of the broadcast would be handled. We didn’t know how long the band would be “chatting”, we were unaware of whether this would be via phone, internet, video, etc, nor did we know how many FAN questions would truly be addressed. As such, there were many, possibly unrealistic, expectations on the part of the fans, including Daily Duranie. Basically, several still photos of the band came on the screen in a sort of slideshow type presentation while very poor audio quality voice-over was running in the background.  One had to have their speakers turned all the way up, and even then it was difficult to hear the band – the only way we can really describe this is to have you picture a conference call or even a radio interview heard online. The sound was that poor. So, any thoughts of actually chatting with the band or connecting with them were instantly put to rest. There was an interviewer who asked questions of the band that were handed off to her by another employee of Qello – so there was really no communication between the band and fans as was likely expected by many. During this question and answer session, it appeared that very few fan questions were actually asked – the band spent twenty minutes on phone with the Qello interviewer, and of that time, we believe that there were about 5 questions that were addressed as being “Fan” questions. Of course, there could have been more than that asked – but only 5 were given a fan name and location (of the fan). Many fans were disappointed that so few fan questions were addressed. Naturally, the explanation was given that there were thousands of questions submitted and so only a few could be asked, but that begs the question as to why the interviewer simply didn’t just stick to fan questions. I suppose we’ll never fully know that answer. For the most part, it would seem that diehard fans (and we have to assume that it was mainly diehard fans that tuned in) really didn’t learn anything new from the Q&A, although it was still entertaining. Once again we have to say – if expectations are set in advance and information is given openly, perhaps just maybe, less people would be disappointed. Maybe.

The fan reaction to the entire broadcast varied wildly. Many fans enjoyed the show, as did we, but the Q&A did ultimately seem to fall very flat and ended the “party” on a down note, unfortunately. Plenty of fans commented very publicly that the Q&A felt much more like a recorded broadcast than a live show. We would have to agree, even though we are well aware and convinced that it was in fact – live!  (Note to band: there’s no need to post photographic evidence because those conspiracy theories are going to run wild no matter what. You’re dealing with a very cynic and stubborn bunch!) Our point is simply that due to the band needing to call in and not interact directly with fans, it just felt like we were listening to a radio interview. Not that it wasn’t interesting or that it wasn’t live – it was, but it didn’t have that same excitement as even tweeting with John or Simon when they are on Twitter. It just wasn’t the same. Perhaps for future shows like this, it would be easier for all involved to really do something using Twitter. Nick took to Wendy Laister’s Facebook page (via Wendy of course!) after the show, responding to comments that fans didn’t believe the call was live – and in doing so he also answered a few questions from fans on her page. Just taking the short amount of time to speak directly with fans made all of the difference. Sometimes it’s not all the flashy technology, it’s taking that little bit of time. Five minutes of direct response on social media vs. twenty minutes of a third party interview…it’s worth considering at the very least. One might not need to spend six hours tweeting with fans during an all-day/evening tweetfest party such as Andy Taylor has done in the past, but we have to say the thought counts. There were many fans, however; that chose not to watch the broadcast at all, citing that they were getting the DVD and that they were insulted by the idea of having to pay money to see it online. We can’t even count how many times we have read those very words online in the past week or so. While yes it’s true that one needed to pay in order to see show, the amount of money was so nominal that it would seem other issues must really be involved and we have to ask why, and what can really be done to make a broadcast like this more attractive for fans in the future? Our fear is that there were so many small negatives, but negatives all the same commented about all over social media that there’s no way to get people interested enough to tune in next time…and yet for many yesterday (including Daily Duranie), we would easily do this again.

Both of us loved the show and we thoroughly enjoyed being able to chat with friends from all over the planet while watching. There was a sort of party atmosphere that took place, and while yes – we were definitely overstimulated after it was over, we would do it again in a heartbeat. None of the negatives, even the Q&A, were enough to make us not want to pay for another premiere. Just how often is one able to put aside their daily lives for an afternoon and get together with fellow fans and friends from all over the world and celebrate the band we all love? That’s what yesterday was truly about. Sure, we could really spend a lot of time and energy complaining about our high expectations, and we are sure that many Duranies will do just that – but at some point we have to realize that it was all FUN. The small stuff is really just that, the small stuff. We’ve learned over the past couple of years from writing the blog that Duranies are nearly impossible to please, and we are the most impatient bunch of people on the planet. We recognize that fact in both ourselves and in all of you (mostly).  Yes, we could and probably do spend more than enough time complaining and probably not nearly enough time just enjoying the band…so we’re taking our time right now to thank them.  We had a great time yesterday. We live about 2500 miles apart, and so seeing the premiere together would have been impossible without a plane ticket involved, and let’s be honest here – we try to save those plane tickets to come and see you, the band, perform. Yesterday was the closest we could come to seeing the show together, and we had an excellent time.  We hope the band does it again and that more fans will join in on the fun and leave the negativity at the door because at the end of all of this, the memories we will have will be of laughing and celebrating our fandom with all of you – not of whether the Q&A session was live, how many of our fan questions were answered, or how sharp the resolution really was.

-A & R

Parachutes, Sparkly Pants, Froggies and Diamonds…

How about that Facebook Digital Premiere of A Diamond in the Mind?

Rhonda and Amanda spent their afternoons glued to our computers, cell phones, iPads, Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else watching the premiere.  There is much to be said, applauded, lauded and laughed over….which will be done in tomorrow’s edition of Daily Duranie.  We hope you’ll check it out and laugh with us.

In the meantime, we are putting out a personal appeal – did you see it?  What did you think?  Here is your chance to sound off!  Send us a comment here, Facebook, or Twitter.  We want to hear from you!!

Until tomorrow, may your dreams include sparkly pants, tambourines, leopards, guitar picks, drumsticks and a generous helping of JoSi.

Rhonda & Amanda

Today’s the Day!!!

It is an exciting day in Duranland!  Duran’s latest DVD, a concert performance entitled A Diamond in the Mind, is being premiered via Facebook at 2 pm EST.  For some of us, it will be the first chance to see most of the performance (I have seen a few clips like Planet Earth and Wild Boys).  Others have had the DVD in their hands.  Yet, for all of us, it will the first time to see the live question and answer session with the band.  Also, and perhaps more importantly, it will be the only time to watch something like this together.  Yes, obviously, all Duranies can’t be together today but we can via the internet!  It reminds me of those Live from London screenings that others mentioned earlier this week on this blog.  For those of you who weren’t able to attend one of those in late 2005, it was a great time!  I was lucky enough to be able to drive to Chicago and see the screening with friends.  There were 10 screenings around the country in which the Live from London DVD was shown in movie theaters.  The band had filmed some introduction that was also aired.  Now, some could argue that it seemed wasteful to watch a DVD in a movie theater, it was completely worth it.  The theater was full of Duranies and by the second song, we were all singing along.  It felt very similar to a regular concert atmosphere.  I suspect this will feel the same!!!  Of course, I think this might be a step better as it isn’t limited to people close to 10 screenings but is open to everyone!  Yes, the time doesn’t work well for everyone but it still allows for everyone (no matter where they live) to participate if they so choose.  Also, instead of filming a clip, the band will appear live to answer actual fan questions!  We didn’t have that opportunity for Live from London. 

I will be watching today’s premiere from a friend’s house.  It will be a little Duranie party!  I will also be in communication with Rhonda (duh) but I hope to be around various social networking sites so that I can participate with all the Duranies around the world!  See, to me, this truly is a win for the fans.  We get to watch Duran all together.  We get to ask questions of the band.  It has all of the best qualities of fandom, in my opinion!  So, how about the rest of you?  How are you going to watch today’s premiere?  Will you be watching by yourself?  With other Duranies?  What about questions to the band?  Did you ask any?  I confess that I asked one.  Obviously, I won’t hold my breath that my question gets asked as I’m sure there were TONS of great questions asked!  Will you be participating with other fans online?  Where?  Twitter?  Facebook?  Message boards?  Some other place? 

I’m sure you all won’t be surprised to know that Rhonda and I will be reviewing it all tomorrow.  I’m not sure how much detail we will go into about the actual DVD part as we might wait to do that when we actually get our copies.  Yet, I’m sure that we will talk about the question and answer session.  We will also be discussing what it was like for the fan community!  As you can tell, I’m excited!  I can’t wait to see the show!  I can’t wait to see my local Duranie friends!  I think today will be fun to be online and react to everything together!  It is a good day to be a Duranie!


If you need more information about today’s digital premiere of ADITM, I refer to Rhonda’s posts earlier in the week, which you can read here.

Are You a Groupie???

Last night, I was with some friends at a local comedy club.  Before and after the show, of course, we talked about what is new in our lives and plans we had for the summer.  When I was asked that question, I hesitated.  Do I tell them about the tour I have planned next month?  It is certainly on my mind as Rhonda and I were on the phone, right before I left, talking tour and other things.  Why hesitate?  Why not share something that I’m looking forward to?  Well, I think I gave that some thought before responding about touring because non-fans might not understand.  They might think it is crazy to fly into New Orleans, drive to Biloxi for a show, drive to Atlanta for a show, drive to Durham for a show and then drive to Portsmouth for a show before turning around and going back to Durham to fly home.  Worse than crazy, they might ask one question I always dread:  “Are you a groupie?”  Luckily, they didn’t ask that question and seemed generally excited for me.  That said, there have been times I have been asked that and I’m sure there will be more in the future.

When I have been asked if I was a groupie, I never know how to respond.  First, I never know how they are defining a groupie.  Is it the female lead character in a movie like Almost Famous?  Is it like Pamela Des Barres in her books?  Do I assume that?  If so, then, I assume that they are asking if I follow the band in order to get the ultimate autograph (some sort of sexual contact).  Obviously, the answer here is no…but my answer is really not the important part.  Of course, some may use the word to describe someone who just follows a band.  Nonetheless, the term never feels good.  It never seems positive.  It always feels like some sort of put down. Then, I wonder if I’m the only one who has been asked this.  Are other fans asked this?  What about male fans?  Do they get asked this?  Do fans of actors or sports teams get asked this?  Certainly, movies like Bull Durham would say that there could be sports fans who follow a team in order to have some sort of sexual contact.

Do you know what I think is really strange?  I have seen and heard other fans call each other groupies or have implied that other fans are displaying stereotypical groupie like behavior.  At those times, they certainly aren’t using the term to tell someone that she is fabulous.  Nope.  They used them as insults.  Why do this?  Why would other fans use a term like groupie?  What purpose does that serve? 

So, let me ask the rest of you here.  How do you define “groupie”?  How do you think others typically define it?  Is it a term used only for females?  Is it a term used only for fans of rock/pop bands?  Have you been asked this question of whether or not you are a groupie?  What do you think the best way is to respond to that?  Have you seen fans call each other groupies in an insulting fashion?  Any ideas why fans would do that?  Obviously, I would welcome any and all answers to this.  On top of my concern about having to respond last night, I’m also working on a chapter in the book that mentions groupies.  I generally would like to know how people define it and how it comes up in our fandom, in Duranland.