Category Archives: Duran Duran

Front Row Podcast and Friendship

Do you listen to a lot of podcasts?  I don’t but I have many friends who love them.  That said, I’m always open to listening to one if it features members of Duran Duran.  Last week, the BBC Podcast called, Front Row, included a ten minute (or so) segment with John and Roger Taylor.  Of course, the purpose was to advertise the two TV specials, Something You Should Know and Boys on Film, that aired on Friday.  Whenever something airs outside of the U.S., I always worry that I won’t be able to see/hear it.  Luckily, though, a friend ensured that Rhonda and I could!

The Front Row podcast began by sharing the fact that the famous author, Neil Gaiman, first published work was, indeed, a biography of Duran Duran.  (That book costs a lot of money to buy, BTW.  Right now, you could buy a copy on Amazon for a cheap $157.)  Anyway, the podcast continued by discussing some of the highlights and lowlights of Duran’s career to introduce Roger and John.  The conversation, much like the documentary, runs in chronological order of the band’s career, obviously starting in the 1970s.  Interestingly enough, in describing punk, John talked about how the youth of that time were rebelling against their parents, the war generation.  That sort of made me sad as the World War II generation accomplished a lot like defeating fascism.  Nonetheless, I understood what he was saying.  Roger followed up talking about how all the family in his family held manual labor jobs.  In looking at his life, he acknowledged that just a couple of changes in his life or the band’s and he, too, could have been a manual laborer.  He’s really right.  Little moments and choices add to one’s life and any changes could make a big difference.

From there, they go on to discuss other topics, including the influence of glam and technology, the affects of having female teen fans, creating the James Bond theme song for A View to a Kill, the split in the mid-1980s, and advice for the young.  Which topic do you think caught most of my attention?  Yep.  I was most interested in what they would have to say about having female teen fans.  The interviewer directly asked if having female teen fans hurt the band when it came to the critics?  Roger acknowledged that it did.  He commented that it put them in a box with critics which resulted in having the music overlooked.  I don’t disagree with him at all.  That said, I wanted more.  Maybe I felt compelled to go deeper so I yelled  out in my living room the following (like Roger could hear me):  “Why is that Roger?  Why does having female teen fans mean that the music would be overlooked?  What would critics assume?”  So, what did  I mean about all of that?  Simple.  If a band has a lot of female teen fans, the assumption was that the band could not really play.  The only reason that female teens would like a band is because they were cute, not that they were talented musicians.  The implication, of course, was that female teens couldn’t judge music.  They weren’t smart enough, according to (probably) male critics.  Obviously, I think those assumptions are a bunch of bull.  I’m not sorry that I was a part of that group of fans, but I am sorry that sexism towards their female following hurt the band with the critics.

Overall, I enjoyed the podcast even though I wished it was longer and that I might have chosen a few different questions.  For example, I don’t think I would have asked about A View to a Kill because I have heard/read a lot about that.  I appreciate the discussion of the band’s origins but I would love to hear them analyze the reunion, for example, or the music industry.  All of that said, I completely appreciate our friend, Debbie, sending the podcast to us.  It means the world to us to know that there are people who know/understand how much we love Duran and want to be able to enjoy all media about the band.  It reminds me of what is really great about fandom when fans look out for each other.  Thanks again, Debbie, for both the podcast as well as the reminder.

I loved having new Duran stuff to write and talk about this weekend. Definitely added some joy when it was most needed.

-A

I’ve Seen You on TV: Duran Duran on BBC Four

Watch anything good lately?  Do anything fun?  I did!  Yesterday, I was able to catch the two new specials on Duran Duran that aired on BBC Four.  Thanks to friends who pointed me to tvcatchup.com I was able to watch!  I had to watch while the shows aired, which was fine.  Luckily, I had time to do so.  As I watched, Rhonda did as well, which allowed us to exchange our reactions via Twitter and text messages.  If you haven’t had to chance to watch, I recommend heading over to Duran Duran Argentina’s Facebook page here as both videos can be found there!

When thinking about this blog, I pondered which direction should I go.  Should I review the shows themselves?  I could even though I didn’t watch for that purpose.  No, I wanted to just enjoy.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t take notice to various things like neither Warren nor Dom weren’t mentioned or that whole albums were left out.  Yet, I didn’t want to let those things bother me.  Therefore, I don’t think I want to review the shows in that way.  I could at a later time but…not right now.  I would want to rewatch them first before, anyways.

Clearly, the focus of the blog has to be something else.  After I got done watching yesterday, I tried to get back to my to do list but I found myself thinking about how much has changed and what hasn’t.  When we started this blog, we had this idea that we would celebrate fandom, work to understand it as well as do the same with Duran Duran and our fan community.  This meant that we were critical at times, held up mirrors to ourselves and fellow fans, etc.  Looking back, fandom felt super important to me.  It was at the top of my list. Now, I cannot say the same.  It has nothing to do with Duran Duran or even fandom.  No, it has more to do with my life and circumstances out of my control.  My priorities have changed, which has caused my relationship with fandom to shift.

When fandom was essential, I felt like I had the freedom, the time, the ability to be a critical thinker, to be someone who loves to analyze what I saw, heard and read.  Now, fandom needs to do something different for me.  It must be the source of joy, fun, and love.  As Rhonda and I watched the shows yesterday, both of us were reminded of why we love this band so much.  When I watch shows that capture the band’s history, not only do I get to hear so much great music but I’m also reminded of their history, which in many ways feels like mine.  As the band talked about Ordinary World, for example, I instantly thought back to when that song captured my attention and meant the world to me as I adjusted to a significant change.  When the reunion came up, Rhonda right away pointed that this is when our story started.  All of this fills my heart with a joy that I struggle to describe.

Then, of course, the history of the band was followed with the band members sharing their influences.  Before that show started, I didn’t know if I was going to like it.  I worried it would be them introducing something and then watching that something for awhile.  I figured that the band would be talking only for a couple of minutes.  Instead, it was like watching a conversation between them, reminding me of the clear friendship between them.  Likewise, it showed their personal sides rather than the famous, rock star sides.  I loved it.

What did all of this tell me?  Some things have not changed.  I love Duran Duran as much as I ever have.  The best time is sharing that love with friends even if it is just through social media or text messaging.  That said, because of where I am at, fandom, Duran Duran needs to stay in that “joy only” box.  I cannot see myself getting upset about any little detail that might have annoyed me or made me question this, that or the next before.  No, Duran is just going to be my fun, happy place.

-A