Category Archives: Duran Duran

No Time for Worry Cause We’re on the Roam Again…

Well, we aren’t on the roam again yet, but will be soon enough!  I have just gotten back from visiting my brother in Boston.  After a nice but very hot trip, I realize that Rhonda and I have less than a month before we go on tour.  Before I go any further, I have to explain that phrase “go on tour” as some of our readers might be confused by that.  When we say that we are going on tour, this doesn’t mean that we are going with the band.  Hardly.  They take a private plane to their gigs.  We drive.  When they do drive, someone drives for them.  We drive ourselves.  They get food no matter what.  We are lucky if we remember to eat.  They can request special food and beverages.  Sometimes, we drive or walk around for hours trying to find something that would work.  So, why do we say we are going on tour if we aren’t going with the band and we certainly aren’t playing ourselves?  Honestly, it is phrase that we have used for years and so have a lot of our friends.  To us, to go on tour means that you are going to multiple shows and that those multiple shows require traveling of some sort (usually a plane).  It means seeing Duran perform in more than one city, state or country in a very short period of time, like a week.  We are sorry if our use of the term bothers people but we like it and plan on using it still.  🙂

Back to the topic at hand, I just got back from a trip and Rhonda leaves on her family vacation very soon.  We leave to go on tour in less than a month.  What does this mean for the Daily Duranie?  It means that we have things to do, details to sort out!  Now, this isn’t our first tour and (hopefully) won’t be our last.  Thus, we have gotten pretty good at getting everything together.  We have quite a few of the big things sorted, including flights, hotels, and car rental.  The general information for the meetups are set with some minor details to fill in.  For example, we have to message the people going to the Biloxi meetup.  We also have to reserve the car service for Atlanta.  Speaking of that, if you are going to the Atlanta show and want to ride the party bus to and from the venue, let us know!  We are looking for more people!!!  It will be a good way to avoid parking, traffic or getting a taxi!  Plus, it will be a heck of a lot more fun!  We are also trying to find fun places to go after shows.  If you know of any fun, open late places in Atlanta, Durham and Portsmouth, please share!

Now that most of our “tour” is planned, I have the job of organizing it.  I have a binder, which has been affectionately named the “tour binder”.  It is obnoxiously anal as there are various dividers in the binder, including a section for plane information, hotel information, ticket information, restaurants and clubs, city information like maps, a place to keep track of costs and more.  In the very front, I will have a typed agenda, which includes dates and times and a general plan of activity.  Some might say that all of this organization is overkill and unnecessary.  Others might say that it takes all the fun out of a trip.  I disagree.  Let me explain.  First, everything important is kept in one location, which makes it that much easier to keep track of, which can save time.  This is very important when you are traveling on a daily basis or when you have consumed an adult beverage or four.  Second, this allows complete freedom while actually on the tour.  I’m sure many of you are questioning how this allows for that, especially with an agenda.  The agenda, while including times and dates, isn’t that specific.  It is detailed enough so that we know when we have to get on the road in order to be on time for the next activity or when we have to be at the airport, but it is open enough to allow choices.  That said, the more research done ahead of time the better.  For example, the agenda might say, “Get dinner”.  That’s logical, right?  Well, then, one just has to go over to the restaurants section to find a list of places that people recommended or looked good.  Thus, time would not be wasted on finding a place.  The agenda gives an outline, nothing more and nothing less. 

Here’s the thing.  No one wants to think on vacation.  No one wants to waste time on vacation with such limited time.  The more prepared we are ahead of time, the less thinking and wasting time happens during the actual trip.  Less thinking equals more fun.  At least, it does for us.  Of course, I’m sure that there are a lot of other ways people get ready for a tour.  How do you do it?  Do you just get the big things taken care of and will by the seat of your pants for the rest?  Do you map every minute out?  I would honestly like to know.  While we think we have a good system set up, I’m sure that there are other ways of getting ready that we could learn from. 

No matter what method or what system is used, the same thing is true.  Planning and organizing a tour means that a tour will happen.  Now, that I, officially, have the binder out, it means that it is serious now.  The tour is quickly approaching!  I cannot wait!!!

-A

Be My Icon

So far, today has been one of those mornings for me. I have my mind spinning in about a thousand different directions and have a full “to-do” list that needs tackling. That must be why I attempted to slide a small dish of cat food in front of my 4 year old for breakfast (she was not amused when I told her it was time to eat and I was even less so when she started whining that she was NOT going to be eating cat food!), and also why I poured cream in my coffee cup…without putting coffee in it first.  I’m feeling the panic of needing to get a lot of things accomplished in a fairly short amount of time, because during the month of August I will be at home a total of ten days. There are just four days that I have set aside to deal with school shopping for my oldest, and if I don’t stop now I’ll be stressing out before I really even begin my day.

So a couple of reminders:  we are still looking for some good blogs to post during my absence.  The two topics we are looking for are:  meeting the band, and a favorite concert experience (a song, a show…whatever you would like!)  I know that there are many people out there that love to tell their own “band” story – here is your chance!  Please send us your work by next weekend – July 28-29.  Looking forward to reading some great blogs!!

I took some time this morning to catch up on some of the little video “vlogs” that the band has been posting on Facebook.  These have got to be a lot simpler to accomplish than writing a blog and if I weren’t so concerned about scaring people with my morning appearance – I might just start doing the Daily Duranie blog as a “vlog”!!  In any case, I’ve enjoyed these small little “snapshots” the band has given during their tour, which I know must be feeling incredibly long to them by this point.  Not only have we seen sights of where they’ve been, but they seem to like giving a tiny taste of what they’ve seen and done culturally, which I really enjoy. I have added a few things to my own personal “Must see before I die” Bucket List this week as a result of these little videos.  For instance, Nick mentioned my most favorite word in the video I saw this morning:  Jewelry.  He was speaking of the Ottoman Empire jewelry collection from Turkey…a collection I studied pretty extensively in my antique jewelry courses, and I made a note that yes, someday I need to see that in person.  I find myself doing that quite a bit these days.  Dom posted a photo of the famous Trevi fountain in Rome, and that is something else I’ve yet to see, and so it too was added to the list.  Eventually, I’ll make it to these far off places. As it is, I accomplished a couple of things on my Bucket List:  I saw Duran Duran in their own country.  That was one thing I really didn’t think I’d ever do, and I still have plans to return for the convention later this year in Birmingham.  I can’t wait.

It’s funny how we all have these “lists”, whether they are in our heads or actually down on paper.  Amanda and I have this crazy (and probably unlikely) goal of seeing the band in every US state.  I don’t know exactly when we agreed to make this a goal for ourselves – I am sure she knows – but we’re making some head way now.  It’s difficult though because there are states that the band has never even gone, so it’s unlikely that they’ll travel to those places.  Like Hawaii for instance.  What’s up with that?? Let me say this: if they ever go to Hawaii – I’ll definitely be making THAT trip and I will be making it an extended trip!  I suppose the issue there is shipping all of the equipment must be a fortune, and it’s not like they can do several shows easily.  The same probably holds true for Alaska.  Oh well.  Maui will have to make due as “just” a family vacation once again.

What is really funny about our state goal is that as time has worn on, I’m finding that I’m less and less interested in seeing them here in my own country – I would rather travel abroad to see them so that I can experience something completely different and see friends that we’ve made online over the years.  There are a few places I’d love to see the band, should they tour again.  I’d like to go to the UK, meet up with our friends there and travel into Europe with them, I’d really like to go to Australia, and I’d also really love to see the band in South America.  Wistfully, I recognize that the years are somewhat limited. I don’t know that the band has plans to out do The Rolling Stones in the length of their career, so the chances that I will be able to do everything are slim.  Amanda and I will have to make choices as to where we should go, and I’m truly hopeful that the band really will go back into the studio and be successful writing and recording another album.

I’ve read several times this past week that the band is very tired.  These statements come from the band.  They’ve been mentioned to people, and let’s be honest – our community is small.  Word gets ’round.  There has been some irritation “voiced” more than once that fans aren’t giving the band space and privacy as they desperately need, and that the band is pretty sick of touring. Fair enough. A year and a half is a long time, to be sure.  Everyone needs an extended recharge now and then, and I don’t think that fact comes to light nearly as brightly as it does when you are in a place where privacy is non-existant, as is personal space.  I think it’s one thing to be in the same hotel as the band.  I prefer to stay at nice hotels myself and I’m willing to pay for them, but once again I feel it necessary to remind fans that these band members ARE PEOPLE.  It is simply not acceptable to interrupt their meals, their peace or their downtime. It is not OK to run up and grab them as though they are your long lost best friend.  The band probably doesn’t know you, no matter how long you’ve been a fan. It’s RUDE no matter where you are from or what your culture.  If they are out and about and make the attempt to hang out with fans in the bar, that’s one thing.  If they are out by the pool trying to relax, why is it so difficult to recognize the situation for what it is and leave them be? I have to believe that if we fans allow them a little dignity and space, that the respect will be returned.  

The band still have a busy month of touring ahead, and they’ll finish supporting All You Need is Now here in the US.  I don’t mind saying that I saw them a few times at the very end of the tour for Red Carpet Massacre when they were in the Northeast US. It was beyond obvious that they were sick to death of touring, of playing and unfortunately of fans bombarding them. I am hoping that this won’t end up being a repeat of that finish for them because they are completely burnt out.  We fans can help them by giving them some respect, privacy and space when we see them.

-R

(If you’re wondering why I chose that particular title…read the lyrics.)

For your reading pleasure….

Who here is excited to get their hands on John?

Ok, OK….I was just kidding.  Trying to wake y’all up on a Wednesday!  (Note to the readers: I really don’t say “y’all” much in real life.  Like ever.  I don’t know what made me type that. Things happen sometimes.)


We were treated to both the UK/Australia and US press releases for John’s book today, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran.  I hear that at least for the US, it’s coming out on October 16th.  So we’ve got one fairly “dry” month to get through before we will get the tactile pleasure of having John between our fingers and whispering in our ears. (audio version…get it?)

Wow.  I’m just going down a road on this blog today that I probably shouldn’t really travel.  Something must have been in my coffee this morning.  

One thing I have to say about this book is that…well, actually there are a few things…in the little bits and pieces that I’ve seen/read/etc. is that the big selling points for everyone who is NOT a Duran Duran fan seem to be the sex and drug highlights.  I’ve read about how the band had a number printed on the morning “This is what date it is, where you are, and what we’re doing here” paper that they received each morning.  That number told them what the age of consent was in that particular place.

My comment?  Nice.  I guess there really WAS a reason I wasn’t allowed to go to concerts alone back then.

All joking aside, I really hope that the book is less “tell-all sensational” than the press seems to be making it out to be.  I really hope to gain some insight beyond John’s drug of choice and why.  I mean, that’s all fine and good – but I really want to know about him.  I don’t think I’m alone in that desire, but I also completely recognize what sells books.  It is just business, even though I’m still hoping for that cathartic moment when I read or write – where it all just becomes clear.  I kind of think this is one of those many situations where you can go into it just expecting far, far too much.  I’ve seen so many fans hoping that he’s just going to open up the flood gates and tell us everything – from why he changed his name to what exactly happened (and all the dirt contained within) in his marriage to Amanda, and just why it is that he and Andy seem so incredibly bitter towards one another.  I suppose that from my point of view, I just think John has to keep something for himself.  I have no idea what he does or doesn’t reveal in this book – but if I had to guess, there is plenty that he simply chooses not to say at all.  While it might drive fans crazy, I can’t really blame him.  There’s a saying I’ve heard amongst musicians and even some actors/actresses.  They leave it all on the stage for our enjoyment, and whatever is left over is theirs, and theirs alone.

Seems fair to me, even if my natural curiosity about people makes me wonder what’s beyond that glossy sheen we see in the photos, in the music and on the stage.

Here are the press releases, for your reading and gawking pleasure.

UK/Australia

North America

I personally can’t wait to have John telling me his story….I’m definitely getting that audio book and I dare say it might even sell better than the printed version.

-R

Lonely In Our Nightmares: Fantasy, Reality & Arcadia

Good morning from cloudy Southern California. I’ve been taking some time this morning to catch up, and as I did I kept thinking that I smelled a campfire. At first I thought I was imagining it – maybe I was daydreaming a little too carefully about our upcoming trip! When I got up to put a dish in the sink I could really smell smoke outside. This is the time of year when typically if I smell smoke that means there’s a fire in the canyon near my house. (Our neighborhood does back up to the canyon, but the fire would have to climb up the ravine and ravage an entire neighborhood including the elementary school and cross a street before it got to my house. Even so, no one wants anything like that.)  We haven’t had a fire down there in the canyon for a few years, so I’m really hoping it’s nothing serious, and of course sense it’s cloudy here (The July version of June Gloom!), I can’t see smoke. It’s been a fairly dry year, and that is never a good thing. I haven’t heard/seen anything on the internet yet, but I will keep checking. Never a dull moment, right?  (The update is that the fire is actually in Camp Pendleton, which is a Marine base about 15 miles south of me.)

The band is apparently in Rome today (a special thanks to John Taylor for tweeting that – once again, I have lost track.  I would be completely useless to the band if I were supposed to be the one telling them where they’re going.  When Amanda and I travel – I depend on her to tell me!)  So far I have heard that their Verona show was very good – in fact they put Mediterranea back on the set list and I really hope it stays there for the US. I love that song, and more distinctly, I love Dom’s guitar on that song. I’ve also heard that the fans are pretty intense in Italy.

Intense is a curious word for me. Truthfully, I can’t imagine what that really means. I’ve only seen shows here in the US (Crazy, loud…and as Roger has said…we can be raucous. It’s true and it’s something I’m not especially proud of, but sometimes you have to step away to really see yourself the way others see you.), and the UK. (Far more respectable and comfortable with the band and vice-versa) I don’t think I ever really saw anything that came close to intense. So when I read yesterday that fans had literally swarmed the hotel that the band was staying at, and that they really couldn’t move about freely, I was surprised. This is 2012, not 1984. I suppose part of the problem is that the band hasn’t been to Italy for a while, and they are far overdue for those shows they missed last year, but I really don’t know. I would imagine that for the band, it’s a double edged sword. They probably enjoy being loved that much on one hand, but on the other – I would guess it’s difficult to get used to once again. I’m not a celebrity (In fact it’s even a little odd when someone recognizes me just from a message board!) and so I don’t know what it’s really like to never be able to leave my house without being followed, photographed or “loved” by fans. I guess it’s part of the job, but even so, I don’t think I’d enjoy it much. Truth be told, I’ve stayed at the same hotel as the band before, but even when it has happened – I haven’t attempted to go wandering up to them as though we’re buddies. They don’t know me, and I really don’t know them, either. I know them from the stage. Period. Not that I wouldn’t welcome them if they wanted to talk, but the fact is – they’re people. They aren’t just the objects from our fantasies or our little piece of utopia when we tour. They deserve a little space, and you know – if they want to go downstairs for coffee or exercise in the morning I’m not going to bug them.

I know I’m definitely not the only fan who has stayed at the same hotel as the band – whether by chance or otherwise planned. The funny thing is, once we’re at that hotel we are immediately branded as “FANS”. I don’t know if it’s somehow stamped on our forehead, or if it’s the way our eyes dart around the crowd as though we’re constantly on the lookout for something, or if it’s the way we tend to move around as though we’re bees getting close to the beehive, but it is apparently obvious. This drives me crazy. I mean, there’s not much more condescending than to have a band member or even a member of their entourage look at you with that painful look of disdain as though they’re saying “Oh, of course you’re staying here.” I am truly surprised they don’t roll their eyes when they see us. On one hand, I’m almost immediately sorry I booked at that hotel, and on the other – I’m completely offended that must think they’re the only people on the planet that want  or can stay in such places, AND that they’d assume that because I appear to be a fan (that damn branding mark on my forehead again, apparently…) I would even think to go running up to them begging for attention. Of course, I am but one person of thousands, and as I’ve seen, although I will control myself, others will not. Sure, I get excited seeing John or Roger, but I’m not going to have a freak-out as they walk by. I would definitely smile to myself if I saw Dom (I have not ever seen him.), but I will not be the one running up to them or causing a scene.  That’s embarrassing for all of us. I cringe for the fan, for the band, and for myself, because I know that once that happens (and it always does), the band is going to be chalking us all up to be exactly the same way. It’s one thing to smile and nod or say “good morning” like I would to anybody else, it’s another to throw myself upon them as though they are just as happy to see us as we are them. Maybe that’s just me?

My husband reminds me of something when he talks about going to trade shows that I try to keep in my mind as I’m traveling – and that’s when I’ve been with him after a long day and we make our way back to the hotel lobby, and we’re stopped by yet another customer as we’re headed upstairs. It’s annoying. He’s exhausted and the last thing he wants to do is talk more business, and I’m thinking in my head as I’m smiling and nodding “You know, you’ve had him all day. My turn now.” That has got to be the way it really is for them, and I get it.

I’ve been writing a lot for my chapter on conventions this week, and I’ve been doing some research at the same time. One of the topics I use in the chapter is the idea of a “weekend only” utopian world. For those who don’t really understand what a utopia is – it’s basically paradise, our own personal Garden of Eden, so to speak. For most fans, our fandom is our escape, and in our case specifically – the band is our fantasy. We use our fandom as a way to sort of recharge, and when we go away, whether it’s to conventions, a meetup or even gigs or shows, we are submerging ourselves, even if only briefly, into that utopian world.  Part of that fantasy is staying in great hotels, and living that pretentious lifestyle, if only for a weekend. Sure, part of the allure for many is the possibility of running into the band, but I also believe it has as much to do with being able to stay at the nicest hotels and truly escaping from our normally mundane and regular lives. I think that part of our problem with the band, especially when we run into them at a hotel or offstage, is that our brains expect for them to carry through the fantasy we’ve sorted them. Moreover, our brains do not recognize the fantasy for being the Arcadian place we go in our heads. Instead we see fandom as offering not an escape, but rather an alternative reality. (and one that I try to get to as often as possible!)

So, is fandom our Second Life?? What???

I’ll let you all sort that one out while I return to my regular life and do some gardening.

-R

It’s not quite Mediterranea…

While Duran Duran is in Italy this week, it would seem that many of my friends are packing up and getting ready to join them. I’m slightly envious and wish I could join the fun, alas I will live vicariously through their posts and things as they get a chance to update me with the current happenings. I might even live a bit through various band members as I did last week when Dom, John and even Simon would post pictures of their opportunities for tourism offstage!

My own vacation is creeping up now and I don’t mean the one where I go galavanting across country with Amanda. My own family is going to be taking a vacation soon and I will be completely unplugged for a while. (I’m getting the shakes just thinking about it, so chances are I will cheat – yes I’m already planning to cheat – and I’ll probably check in when I’m able to find an internet connection!)  Want to know where we’re going? We are going camping up near Mount Shasta in Northern California. Trailer and all. (Somehow I suspect this might be along the lines of Nick Rhodes’ personal version of hell, which makes me laugh!  The photo above is our camping trailer just after we’d arrived last year and barely settled in.) Five of us, including the 4 year old little girl, the 13 year old gamer son (just imagine his withdrawals because that computer is NOT coming along!) and the 15 year old teenager, in this trailer for two weeks.  Will we all survive? Why do I suddenly have the chills?? I might post pictures on twitter from time to time so you’ll have to check in to see our madness. The good news is that once we’re there, it’s absolutely gorgeous and QUIET…which lately, I’ve found myself craving. There’s a lake for the kids, a beach for me (see picture below), and my husband can do as much hiking and fishing as he’d like.

We did this last year for a week and I survived quite nicely, so I’m hopeful that I’ll come back recharged once again just in time for my trip to meet up with Amanda (and many of you) to see the band. That’s right: Rhonda needs a two week vacation just to get ready for this Daily Duranie tour! This week I’m busily looking around my house and realizing I don’t have a moment to really spare. I have lists to make, a chapter to finish and blogs to prepare.

What I can tell you is that while I’m gone, you shouldn’t notice any difference in Daily Duranie. We have been planning ahead for my absence because we certainly can’t allow Daily Duranie to go dark – we publish DAILY. (Yes actually there are many, many moments when I question my…our…intelligence in naming the blog The Daily Duranie. I also question why I’ve followed a band for over thirty years. There seems to be a bit of a pattern there, no??)  What we do need though, is help from YOU, our readers.

While I am gone, we will be doing two weeks of themed blogs. The first week, we will be blogging about our favorite concert experience. This can be a blog about an entire show, one fleeting moment, or maybe a certain song that knocked your socks off. The second week, we are blogging about meeting the band. This can be one member, all members…at a signing, in the middle of a grocery store, at the record store, or out in front of their hotel or even their home(s) if you were ever that brave for that matter. We want to hear from you!

Send us your blogs no later than Saturday July 28th to our mailbox. Please include a thumbnail picture and a short bio to be included on the blog, and if you need ideas – just look in our archives under “guest bloggers”. If for some reason you would prefer to submit your blog anonymously, feel free – just let Amanda and I know.

So, with that must get myself down to business here. I have spreadsheets to make, lists to go over….and a chapter to finish!!
-R

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.  DD.com 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.

-A

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!

-A 

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….

-R

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: 
Rhonda’s:

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
Mediterranea
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Red Carpet Massacre
Late Bar
Sunrise
Careless Memories
White Lines
Rio
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.  🙂

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

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