Yesterday’s winner: New Religion
Which VIDEO do you like better: Planet Earth or Careless Memories?
Yesterday’s winner: New Religion
Which VIDEO do you like better: Planet Earth or Careless Memories?
It is Saturday, which lately means that I post a poll to continue voting for songs that Duranies think would be great to include on a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set. This weekend, however, I’m doing things a little different. This weekend’s focus is on Duran Duran demos or songs that were written but not released on an album. In some cases, demos might be complete with all parts ready to go. In others, they are far from done.
Because these songs were never officially released, many people might be unfamiliar with them. Therefore, today’s blog is focused on giving people an opportunity to hear these demos before actually voting on them. I have included demos from released songs, or songs that might be familiar to fans, if they changed dramatically from the original writing to being released. Tomorrow then, we will vote as well as give results about b-sides voting that took place last week.
Demos in alphabetical order:
A Matter of Fact:
Anything For You:
Be My Icon:
Girls On Film:
In Between Woman:
Money on Your Side:
People Like You (PL You):
Salt in the Rainbow:
See Me Repeat Me:
Take It To Me:
TV vs. Radio:
Working the Steel:
Now, I fully admit that I didn’t include all of them. If I could not find a video, I didn’t include it because I thought that would bias the voting. On top of that, I’m VERY certain that I don’t know every Duran demo out there. These are the ones I know about. If you know of other demos that I should include, please let me know before tomorrow (Sunday) so I can include it on the vote! I would appreciate it!!!
Yesterday’s winner: Hold Back the Rain
Which song do you like better: New Religion or Hold Back the Rain?
Last Sunday, Duran Duran celebrated a little anniversary. The Reflex was released 33 years ago that day. 33?! Rhonda often talks about how she cannot believe that this song or this album was released decades ago and I’m right there with her. In this case, this anniversary represents my personal anniversary. I mark it as the date that I became a fan, a Duranie. 33 years ago. I work with teachers who are younger than that.
Anyway, why does this particular song represent my embrace of Duranie-ness? Simple. While I remember liking many of their songs and videos before this one, the Reflex pushed me over the edge into obsession. I couldn’t get enough. I had to watch each time that the video played. In fact, whenever I saw the video I had to call my best friend at the time and vice versa. At our sleepovers, we were glued to Friday Night Videos and MTV in hopes that it would air. We saw it so often that we learned all the moves. In fact, I think I have a picture of my friend doing one of Simon’s classic dance moves.
When I think back to my childhood and doing things like memorizing moves or rewinding videotapes in order to pause when John Taylor turns to the camera, I can’t help but sit shaking my head a bit. It is not that I think we did anything wrong or that we demonstrated our fandom in an obnoxious way. It is more like I wish I could go back in time to see how I experienced my fandom then. I have memories of it and some of them are very vivid, including the ones I shared here. Part of me wishes that I could go back to that time when that love for Duran was so new and so amazing.
I always think of new fandom as being like that “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship when you can’t get enough and no wrong is done. It feels perfect. As an adult, I now see the imperfections of both the band, the fans and even myself. That flawless image cannot remain, just like it never does in a relationship either. No one is perfect and fandom is not either.
The other part of myself wants to give some insight to the young, almost 9 year old me. I want to warn, almost, the younger version of me about how media and others will criticize Duran Duran. They will attempt to be the thumbtacks to my fandom balloon. Perhaps, I would explain how as time goes on, changes happen. Bands evolve and experience change. Some of it will sting a bit but that the heart of Duran Duran will continue to beat on for decades. I would want to ensure my younger self that I’m not wrong for becoming a Duranie. Some points I might make include about their staying power and about the fabulous songs they wrote and performed after the current Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.
Beyond the band, I might point out where fandom took me personally. Maybe, I would talk about the states and countries I have visited just to see the band live or about all of the friends I have made as a result. Then, if my younger self handled all of that, I might share the fact that I have written a daily blog with my best friend about being a Duran fan for years. Many years.
What do I think my younger self would say to all of this? I imagine that I wouldn’t be shocked that the band has been around for decades. I might laugh and say something like, “Of course they will be around! Duh!” As far the concert going goes, my 9 year old self would have struggled with that more. After all, at that point, I hadn’t attended a single concert. I could imagine that I would have questions and a couple of exclamations! “Do you dance like the audience did in the Reflex? Do you sing along? What is it like to breath the same air as them? I probably would pass out if I was anywhere near them. Is John as cute as he looks?” Then, my older self could blow my younger self’s mind when I tell her/me about how I have pictures of the band, that I have spoken to them and seen them up close.
As far as the blog goes, my younger self definitely would have been confused by that idea. After all, I would not know anything about the internet for another decade. Overall, though, I think I would have been in awe. Jealous. I would have been excited to grow up and have the experiences I shared. After this conversation, the adult me, the real me might have remembered the feeling of pure joy and innocence that exists in brand new fandom. Then, I will think about the love that can and does grow over time. It isn’t despite the imperfections but because of them. Fandom isn’t perfect and either is the band. What it is, though, is mine. I don’t mean that in a possessive, I’m the only one sort of way. Just that Duran is a part of me, part of my history and always will be. Maybe, someday, I’ll be writing about my 43rd or 53rd anniversary of being a Duranie. That might be just as cool as talking to my younger self.
Yesterday’s winner: New Religion
Which song do you like better: Friends of Mine or Hold Back the Rain?
On this date in 1981, Careless Memories was released in the UK. If my math is right, that was 36 years ago.
Thirty six YEARS? Well, then. Age is but a number, right? I don’t know about the rest of you reading, but with every passing year, it is getting harder and harder to believe how long this catalog has been around…and particularly difficult to believe I’ve been a fan for this long.
I was listening to Duran Duran yesterday in the car (I know, it’s difficult to believe, but true!) with my youngest. I heard her humming along – I can’t even remember what that song was at the time, unfortunately – but she was humming and I was wondering to myself if that music sounded “old” to her. What I mean by that is, when I was a kid and my parents would put on Elvis Presley or whatever it was they would listen to, I would think of the music as “old”. It was their music, not really mine. I can remember my mom reaching up to the top of our refrigerator at home and switching on the radio. My mom loved listening to the radio as she would clean the house or whatever. I don’t know what station she listened to, but I can remember the DJ saying it was “The best of the oldies” or something like that. In my car, I listen to a few different stations, but thankfully – none of them use the word “oldies”. I can stomach a lot of things, but that is not one of them. Yet. I didn’t ask her about my music as we drove – I just enjoyed listening to her hum along.
Later on, after I’d dropped her off for dance, an ad came on the radio for an 80s festival that is taking place on a beach near me in a couple of weeks. At first, I thought about the festival itself and briefly contemplated whether or not I should go. The music would be fun. The crowds and sun, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily a selling point. My thoughts drifted back to the whole “oldies” thing again because I was thinking about how cool it is that we have these festivals focusing on music I enjoy. I don’t only listen to 80s music, but Men Without Hats is playing at the festival and it’s a band I’ve never seen live. As I thought about that, I wondered how a festival like that must sound to my 20-year old. When I was her age, had my mom talked about a festival that played 50s or 60s music, for example – I would have called that an oldies festival. That makes my stomach churn a little. Yet, it’s kind of interesting that I don’t remember there ever being festivals like that. In fact, I don’t remember my mom and dad ever talking much about concerts at all back then. My parents never really went to concerts the way I do, so for all I know – they just didn’t go. I think my generation is a little more outgoing when it comes to things like concerts and even buying music. We don’t let our age stop us, and we shouldn’t. We’re not dead yet, and we shouldn’t stop living just because of a silly number.
So, instead of thinking about how “old” Careless Memories might be today, I’m going to celebrate how ALIVE that song still makes me feel. And it does….so I’m hoping to hear it again live. Soon! Until then, I’ll watch this video from Houston of this year!
Yesterday’s winner: Hold Back the Rain
Which song do you like better: Rio or New Religion?
I love writing this blog.
No really, some days, I love it. And then there are other days when I REALLY LOVE IT. Those are the days when I get to gush on and on about something I’ve enjoyed or am particularly fond of.
On this day, it is both, because my trusty desk calendar reminded me that on this day in 2012, Blue To Brown was released for pre-order.
Ok, now I realize that it is likely a good portion of you are sitting there, squinty-eyed, wracking your brains trying to remember what Blue To Brown might be. Others may have probably already rolled their eyes once, perhaps even twice. I know this is an uphill battle, but one I don’t mind taking on.
First of all, yeah – I’m seriously expecting you all to champion a blog post where I am celebrating not even a CD release, but a pre-order. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though, so let’s start at the beginning.
Blue To Brown is the album recorded by Dom and his father. It is a blues album (I think it might be the only one I own, not counting the vinyl collection that Walt has amassed!), and it is very, very different from Duran Duran. When it was announced that Dom would be taking pre-orders for this album, the deal was sweetened a bit by saying for the first 100 orders, Rob and Dom would sign the CD inserts.
I was in!
I mean, I was “in” as soon as they announced I could order an album, but having one signed by both Dom and his dad definitely didn’t hurt. While I knew I’d probably be able to ask Dom to sign something eventually, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see his dad. (and I haven’t, actually!) So I ordered away. Did you know that our lovely Anna Ross performs on the album? She does fantastic work for Blue To Brown.
It is true, I adore Dom. Any time I can interject his name here in a positive manner, I’m happy to do so. He’s a good guy, a hard worker, and he was the first person I’ve ever interviewed….EVER…for this blog or otherwise, so yep, I’m in his corner. Blue To Brown is a solid blues album with some fantastic guitar, so if you don’t have it yet, get it on his website.
It’s hard to believe that I pre-ordered that album five years ago today. Without knowing the date, I would have thought it was just a year or two ago…three at most!
Yesterday’s winner: Friends of Mine
Which song do you like better: Planet Earth or Hold Back the Rain?
Nearly every Duran Duran fan I know has a favorite. It is one of the first questions we asked one another when we met, as though it’s some sort of way to identify one another. “Oh, that’s Suzie—she’s a Simon-girl.”
Well, my favorite original band member is Roger. My friend Lori believes it’s like imprinting, once you pick a favorite – that is it, he’s your favorite for life and it isn’t as though you really have a choice. It just happens. I can’t really say for certain that is the case, but I can tell you that my “favorite” came about in exactly that way. I saw him in a picture or on a video, and that was that. I really liked that within my group of friends, I was the only Roger-girl, and I didn’t have to “share” him, even if that meant I was only having to share pinups or posters out of the magazines we’d look through during breaks and lunch at school!
It was a happy existence, right up to when the Sing Blue Silver tour finished and I stopped really hearing much about Duran Duran for a while. I stopped seeing as many articles about them in the teen magazines, and instead heard little blurbs about how there was Arcadia, and Power Station…and then I saw Live Aid, and then nothing. By then, rumors were really circulating that Duran Duran was done or that some of the members were quitting. I didn’t really know what to believe, but I knew I didn’t like what I was hearing.
The one thing most Duran Duran fans will tell you is that throughout our history with this band – fans find out the news first, and then the band will finally come out with a statement. It does seem to be a pattern, even if I have more understanding now of why it all happens that way. I think most fans knew something wasn’t right with Duran Duran way before they ever announced Roger wasn’t coming back, but hearing the words – reading the words, made it real.
I can remember hearing about Roger leaving the band on the radio. I couldn’t tell you what station I was listening to, or even who said the words, but my heart sank that day in 1986. I don’t think it was really a surprise to me when I heard the news, it just felt real. I knew things wouldn’t be the same after that. I still followed Duran Duran for decades (obviously!), but from that day up until 2001, there was always a little hope that he’d return. I remember hearing rumors of a breakdown, and wondering what really happened. I never collapsed into a fit of tears or anything quite that dramatic, but the magic of Duran Duran just didn’t feel the same after that. Silly me – every time I’d see them in concert, I’d hope Roger would make a return. Hope springs eternal, right?
For me, the worst part was not Roger’s absence, but the questions of why he left—which have all been answered. Sometimes, I don’t think the band necessarily understands THAT piece of it – that for fans, it isn’t the fact of whether or not someone left, it’s the why.
I wouldn’t say (necessarily) that it’s because we want to intrude on their personal lives—although I can understand why some would assume that we’re just nosey, but the reasons are much more complicated. In order to understand, I think you have to recognize that to a fan like me—I’ve “known” the band for many years now. (Seriously, I have known and loved Duran Duran longer than any other person in my life, other than my parents and sister. Think about it.) For example, Duran Duran have been in my life for so long now that I assume I know them. How can we not be family?? As family, we all feel like we have the right to know what’s going on….except to the BAND….they don’t know us at all. I mean, there’s only a handful of fans that they generally know. This goes back to general math: five of them, thousands of us, you get the idea. Even so, our relationship (as fans) with them, is really intense. It’s personal. We feel like they’ve saved us, or we’ve cried over life with them in the most intimate of moments. That isn’t crazy behavior, it’s just being a fan. Many of us have been fans since we were very young. On some basic level, It is unconscionable to us that the band (or their representatives) wouldn’t explain full reasonings to us when things happen.
Sure, as an adult, I get it. I don’t NEED to know why Nick left the tour last year, for example. It’s none of my business. I understand privacy and I respect his. But back when Roger left the band, I would have given anything to have been told why – and not just a pat answer some PR genius wordsmiths together – but a real reason. Yeah, I wasn’t even quite 16 at the time. I still lived in fantasy land and loved it.
I quietly shut the book on fairy tales until some point in 2001, when I read something about a reunion and nearly fell off of my chair. I can remember saying as much to Roger a few years later at a signing for the Astronaut album, as I told him he had always been my favorite and thanked him for coming back to the band. Thankfully, he didn’t make me feel like a complete imbecile that day, and instead said it was sweet of me to say. I swooned all the way home.