Category Archives: Duran Duran

DDM, Pre-sales and Historical Perspective

This week’s announcement of an additional show in the US and the reaction that followed got me thinking.  Duran Duran’s Facebook posted that the band will be playing in Durham, North Carolina, on August 21st.  Instead of being excited, many people expressed annoyance, outrage or confusion about how the Duran Duran machine is announcing these dates since we have just 2 dates, which are 8 days apart.  People would like to have all of the dates at once.  They would also like to have time to figure out what they can do before the presales and they would like notice for those as well.  The announcement of dates and presales would also come months before the actual shows, according to most fans’ wishes.  I don’t think that any of these requests are unreasonable but are they unexpected?  What has Duran Duran typically done for show announcements and presales?  Those of us who have been around for a few years might think that we remember, but do we? 

I have a Duran Duran scrapbook.  This scrapbook isn’t filled with magazine clips but with documents from my touring experiences.  I wanted to have it all to refer back to.  Thus, when thinking about how Duran has been doing tour date releases and presales, I referred back to the actual documents!  (Do you think it is obvious that I have a history degree and worked in museums and archives?!)  Now, the first tour that I could go back and look at is the 2005 Spring US Astronaut Tour.  I wasn’t able to participate in any of the 2003 reunion shows as I was finishing up my action research project for my master’s degree.  Then, the band didn’t really tour in 2004.  Yes, they played a few random dates here in the States but it wasn’t a tour.  Thus, the first one I know anything about is that Astronaut tour. 

The Spring 2005 Astronaut tour was announced on December 5, 2004.  On that date, they posted 40 dates that began on February 8th, a full 2 month before.  My first presale took place on December 8th, 3 days after the shows were announced.  They did end up adding at least one date after that announcement and after those presales as they added Milwaukee in January.  That presale happened on January 27th for a shows that was taking place on March 19th.  The next tour was for that summer of 2005.  In this case, at least one show was announced before the rest and that show was Dayton.  Those tickets went on sale on May 7th but DDM did not sell regular tickets, just VIP tickets.  The rest of that summer tour was announced on April 29, 2005, for a tour that began in July.  The presales took place on or around May 17th.  The next tour here was in the fall of 2006.  The first date that was released and it was released by itself was for the Voodoo Festival at the end of October and was announced May 8th with a presale that day.  Later, they added a few dates like the one I went to in Chicago before Voodoo.  Those shows were announced in early September with a presale on the 13th.

2007 saw the fan only show in New York City on June 17th.  That show was announced on May 2nd.  For that show, there was a lottery that lasted until May 6th so people who were interested would put in a request.
Then, the tickets were purchased on May 13th.  Of course, 2007 also saw the Broadway run again in New York City from November 1-12.  A press release about this run was posted on September 27th.  I don’t honestly know when the presale was because I was not planning on going.  Thus, I didn’t participate but later bought tickets from someone to go.  Later in 2007, Duran did a few shows around Christmas.  I don’t have information for that tour, despite going to a show in Chicago.  The band did a larger tour in 2008.  For that tour, they announced all of the dates at the same time.  The presales were in mid-March for a tour that was at the end of April.  They also played a small tour again at the end of 2008.  Those shows were announced in a press release on October 3 and they released all of them all at once.  Presales took place on or around the 8th.  2009 saw a few dates during the summer.  In this case, they informed us fans about the show in Orange County, California, before the rest on April 6th.  The presale for that show was on April 7th.  Later on April 27th, they added more dates.  Those presales were on or around April 28th.  All of those shows were taking place in July.    

2011 saw two tours of the States.  The first one was in the Spring and announced on February 27th, which included most of the dates, which began April 2nd.  They added at least one how later.  The first round of presales was March 2nd.  The fall tour was, as I’m sure we all remember, by using social networking on August 2nd.  Presales were on or around August 11th.  That said, the date for Atlanta was announced much, much earlier.  Let’s summarize my archives:

Spring 2005:
Announced almost all dates December 5, 2004
Presales began December 8, 2004
Shows began February 8, 2005

Summer 2005:
Announced one show in early-mid April
Announced rest of shows on April 29th
Presales mid-May
Shows in July

Fall 2006:
Announced Voodoo Fest May 8th
Presale for Voodoo same day
Announced other shows in early September
Presale on September 13th
Shows at end of October

Fan Show 2007:
Announced May 2nd
Lottery until May 6th
Show June 17th

Broadway Run 2007:
Announced September 27th
Presale information unknown
Shows November 1-12th

Christmas Shows 2007:
Information unknown

Spring 2008:
Announced March for all shows
Presales in mid-March
Shows began at the end of April

December 2008:
Shows announced all at once on October 3rd
Presales on October 8th
Shows start on December 1st

Summer 2009:
Orange County announced on April 6th
Presale on April 7th
Rest of dates announced on April 27th
Presales began on April 28th
Shows in July

Spring 2011:
Most shows announced on February 27th
Presales on March 2nd
Shows began April 2nd

Fall 2011:
Announced through social networking on August 2nd
Presales around August 11th
Shows begin at end of September

What do we learn from doing this?  Generally, they do announce most or all of a tour at the same time, but there has been many exceptions from 2006 on.  Tours are generally announced 6 weeks to 2 months before it takes place.  Presales can begin as quickly as a day or two after to a week or so after an official press release.  Now, that we have looked at what is traditionally done, how is Duran right now in terms of a summer 2012 tour of the US?

Do we know all of the dates yet?  Absolutely not.  Based on this information and when the tour actually starts, we may not know until June.  I don’t know about you but that sounds horribly painful.  If we do get the dates before that, we should appreciate that because it truly isn’t common.  That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out the rest of the dates in a huge chunk with all of most of the dates listed.  Then, we will have to be prepared for presales as they could happen very quickly.  Comparing the historical pattern to right now, Duran seems to be pretty typical.  Of course, the real question is:  Is that good enough?  I guess that is for each of us to decide for ourselves.  I can only speak for myself, though, when I say that I would really like them to break out of these patterns and announce the rest of these shows sooner rather than later!!!  It would send a message to the fans that they really do care about what we want and need in order to not only be happy Duranies but to best support the band!!


An open note to whomever is reading…Is There Something I Should Know?!?

Does anyone out there suffer from anxiety besides me?

I’ve been working on a new blog submission for another site – Andy Taylor’s site actually.  (If you haven’t checked it out, you really should.  He’s doing some great things over there!) It isn’t really in the same vein as my Daily Duranie blogs, as this particular blog has more to do with the music industry in general from a fan’s prospective. I really need to tighten my writing up a bit and sound like I know what I’m talking about. Yesterday I spent some time in the morning trying to get it finished. At one point, I happened to glance at my Facebook account and noticed that Duran Duran had snuck – and I do mean SNUCK – a newly minted concert date up on their Facebook page. No fanfare, no “Hey guys – here’s a new US date for you!”, nothing. Just the date (and probably a hasty retreat before the complaints began to roll in!). I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one to take a while to notice the date, because at the time the post had already been up for a couple hours and there were less than ten comments underneath the posting.  

Immediately my brain started processing the information.  The show is on August 21st in North Carolina.  That’s only across the country from me.  (Listen, when you’ve flown over a large ocean to see them, crossing the continent tends to seem pretty easily done!)  Of course I emailed Amanda straight away – the title of said email? You’re going to love this – “THIS IS AN OFFICIAL DURANIE ALERT!”  That always tends to grab her attention, and of course this time was no exception.

Guess how much more of that blog for Andy’s site got edited and completed yesterday?  Yeah, none.  I rock that way.

There are several stages that I go through whenever a date is announced.  The first is interest and excitement.  “Oh wow, here we go again!”  Then, there’s annoyance.  “It’s on a TUESDAY.  A Tuesday.  Really guys?  How am I going to make THAT work?”  Then there’s worry.  “How am I going to convince my husband to stay at home again.  How am I going to justify going across the country AGAIN to see this stupid band?”  (yes, I really did say that.  Sorry…these things just come out!!)  Then I just get mad.  “Those F*CKERS.  They only gave us ONE date.  One. Their tour announcements are like a damn coffee drip!  How can I plan when I don’t know where else they’re even going, when the tour starts, when it stops, etc?!?” (Again, sorry…like I said, these things just come out!!) Then I typically write  something to Amanda that goes a little something like this, “You know, I’m just not going this time.  I can’t.  That week is school registration, I have no way of getting the kids where they need to go without involving my mother, and that’s going to be a pain.  I’m going to have to miss the show and they’ll just have to play Hungry Like the Wolf to someone else this time.”  Then I sniff, looking down my nose at my laptop, and fold my arms, annoyed at the entire process.

Of course later that day, Amanda will generally call me and by then I will have settled down a bit.  I will have listened to All You Need is Now or some other song and realized that of course I’m going.  I can’t NOT go at this point.  I’m not going to miss out on an opportunity to see them.  The trouble is, how to plan.

This is what I desperately need the band to understand, yet I very much realize I’m writing this completely in vain.  Consider this part of my therapy I guess.  The fact is, and I know this is difficult to believe, you’ve got fans who are willing to travel to see you.  Some might be traveling a couple hours, some might be traveling across the state, and still others might be completely insane (points to herself) and will travel across the country if necessary and appropriate.  (Truth be told, I’d travel even if it weren’t necessary, but that’s another blog.)

It’s become reasonably clear to me over the years that I’ve been a fan that for whatever reason – your management, or the people who run the Duran Duran Machine, tend to give dates one at a time. Maybe they don’t have all the information solidified.  Maybe they really have no idea where you’re going and when. Maybe they don’t care about the fans. I get that.  I mean, it’s business and the whole fan thing – well, let’s be honest – we’re a little overwhelming, aren’t we? I know. There are a ton of people who come to your shows that are not insane. They do not own every single poster, t-shirt, album, single, CD…calendar or even Christmas ornament that you’ve ever agreed to do. Those people don’t need more than a day or two notice for tickets to go on sale.  They don’t insist on presales, and they don’t even insist on good seats.  They are probably your bread and butter because again, lets be honest, the hard core fans aren’t THAT numerous. We don’t fill arenas, even though we like to believe we do. I’m still shocked that the vast majority of the people who come to your shows want to hear Hungry Like the Wolf and don’t even know Secret Oktober!!!  (Please note the sarcasm there…)  

The trouble is though, there are still those of us who DO all of those things. We’re long time, long term fans. We’re not going anywhere, and I think that to a large degree, we’ve proven our loyalty over the years. I don’t think we necessarily need to be rewarded for that (although sometimes it probably sounds as though I do, and I apologize.), but I do think some mutual respect is probably warranted, along with a generous portion of balance and moderation (HA!). While yes, many of us are very over the top, raucous (I use this word whenever possible because of the simple fact that Roger Taylor called US fans raucous once, and I think that’s funny. And true!) and probably extremely high maintenance, there IS something that could be done to help, especially when it comes to tour dates. It’s a small thing, but I really do believe it might help a teeny tiny bit.

I have no idea what it takes to put a tour together. Yes, a lot of it SOUNDS simple enough, but I think it’s probably wildly unfair for fans (including me) to assume it’s just about putting dates on a calendar.  There’s the whole logistics thing, there are contracts to sign, insurance to gather and a million details that make me start to itch just thinking about them. I’m pretty sure that most of us feel as though it’s all about us (isn’t it?!?), and we don’t think about the thousands of moving parts that make this all work. We also tend to forget that yes, no matter how perfect we all think you are, you’re in fact…human.  (I hear gasping from around the world…)  I also know that many fans honestly believe you all sit around someone’s kitchen table and decide where you’re going to go on tour. There are still others that believe giving out one date at a time is done on purpose. Why? I suppose it could create a false sense of demand. If there’s only one date to buy tickets – more fans will buy tickets to that one show.  The trouble is, when other dates are released, those fans get really angry. I happen to known this first hand. It’s impossible to plan, and yet we really DO want to be able to go to shows and be supportive. Perhaps I just need to befriend the right people to get the information ahead of time.  (More sarcasm is just what we need!!)

The truth is, most of us sit around and try to figure out what you’re going to do next. Where you’re going to go on the next “leg” of your tour.  How long you’re going to be in any one place.  Whether you’ll stay the night somewhere or move on to the next stop.  Hell, some people even try to figure out where you’re staying!! (more gasping I’m sure)  Speculation is part of the hobby, I guess.  Some people pride themselves on finding out the information, then telling the rest of us in some sort of glorified tone of “I told you so.”  It’s annoying.  Amanda and I are typically among the last to know the news. Yes, we’re bloggers. I never said we were journalists. 😀 So, my point is that it’s become quite a sport to try and figure you, the band, out.  I especially enjoy when real news will finally be released and someone will always say “Oh, I knew about that WEEKS ago.  The told me.  I just didn’t want to share the info.  I couldn’t.  I swore I wouldn’t.” That’s when the rest of us, including me, are rolling our eyes in disgust, and in the next breath scrambling to try and figure out how we can or can’t get to whatever show or appearance is announced. It’s tiresome and frustrating.

That one thing that might help? Assuming of course that for whatever reason, giving out all of the dates, places and information at one time can’t be done. Well, I know this is going to be tough to believe, but I’ve been a fan of other bands before. (Do I hear more gasps out there?!) Granted, Duran Duran is at the top of the heap, but I do take notice of a few others out there. In quite a few of those cases, they’ll actually give us information. For instance, one of the bands often says something like this “Hey guys, we’re going on tour!  We’re planning to be in the US from until about . We’re hoping to start the tour in and end it . We don’t have firm cities and dates for you yet, but check back soon – as soon as we have them, we’ll share! Sure, it’s not huge.  It’s not even firm information because as most of us realize, things change. Now I know, you run the risk of feeling the wrath of fans out there if those dates change – and that’s true.  People can be crazy and incredibly unforgiving at times. I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily think that piece of it can be helped because some people really believe that if the band announces it – it’s set in stone. That said, in the fan community I’m thinking of that makes those kinds of announcements – I really don’t see the type of anxiety or anger that I see in our own. Perhaps it’s because I’m not as close, but I also think it’s because the information isn’t thrown at them in the way it is with Duran Duran.  It’s simply food for thought.

Now, I’m posting this knowing that I’ll be receiving all kinds of hate mail from other fans. I’m sure I’ll get many “That’ll never work.” or “Do you honestly think they’re going to read this or that they care?”

The answer? No. I don’t expect anything. I’m just a fan!!! I said this was my therapy, get it? That said, you never know until you try…. and in the meantime I’m going to continue scratching (anxiety gives me hives as it turns out) and get my other blog finished!


New US date! Big anniversary dates!!!

First of all, did you see Duran Duran’s Facebook page this morning?  If you did, you probably already know that they are playing in Durham, North Carolina on August 21st at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  So to recap:

August 21 – Durham, North Carolina
August 29 – Chicago (Ravinia), IL

Did they give us the first and last dates of the US “superquicklikeabunnytryandcatchusifyoudrivesuperfast” tour?  Hard to say, but I look forward to filling in the rest of the dates.  That’s a serious HINT to Duran Duran’s HQ.  😉  I could continue to speculate, but instead I’m trying to figure out how I can drive to Wisconsin, pick up Amanda and then continue on to North Carolina.  Oh, and I’ve got to come up with a plan on how to convince my husband that this is all necessary and prudent.

Please be aware that if Duran Duran announces more dates throughout the day, this blog WILL be updated!

This date also marks two very special anniversaries in the lives of Duranies as well:

On this date in 1984, Duran Duran played Madison Square Garden in New York City.  I was not there on that fateful evening, but I was at home in Glendora, California.  The show was broadcast on KIQQ – which was a local radio station at the time (now defunct).  Somewhere, deep in my Duran Duran collection, lies a CD of this show.  What I love about the show, or at least the memory of it, was that on that night I was in my bedroom, observing the ridiculously obscene bedtime that my parents insisted upon.  I knew the concert was going to be on, so I went to bed on time, and snuck my Walkman into bed with me, slipped on the headphones and wrestled with finding just the right position for the Walkman so that it’d pick up the station without static.  All was fine and good until the band came on and I got excited.  I must have giggled at some point or something because it wasn’t long before my dad came in and busted me!  He took the Walkman away, I was grounded for a week, and never got to finish listening to the show until about 2004 when one of my friends happened to give me the CD.  True story!

If that all weren’t enough, the European release of the full All You Need is Now album happened just one year ago today.  What a year!!  There have been some major highs and serious lows to the year, with more to come on the horizon I’m sure.  There are days when it feels like I’ve barely blinked since the release, and then there are other days when it feels like last May and the UK-tour-that-wasn’t was a lifetime ago.  Makes me both wonder, and even kind of fear…what will come next!

If you haven’t checked Duran Duran’s Facebook page lately – you really should!  They announced that they’ve switched to Facebook’s “Timeline”, and they’re inviting all Duranies to come and share.  I’ll be curious to see what that timeline looks like in a week from now with all of the “sharing”!


Is this a mid-life crisis?

There is a phrase in the English language that I despise.

 “Mid-life Crisis”

I don’t really even know what that means.  When I think of that phrase, the image that fills my head is one of a balding man speeding down the road in a convertible Corvette. I remember going to dance clubs when I was in my early 20’s. My friends and I would be out dancing on the floor, and occasionally one of us would be approached by what we would consider to be an older man, hoping that we’d agree to dance.  I often wonder if those men were really that old, or if it was just that I was that young. My friends and I would scoff at the idea of some old guy hanging out at a club, hoping to get the attention of a young girl. Naturally we’d laugh and swear we’d never be continuing to hang out at clubs when we’re that age! (whatever age that was…and the lesson there is “FAMOUS LAST WORDS”!!)

When I was really young, I am sure I must have been around ten or so, my grandmother used to come and stay with us for the summer.  My parents both worked and felt my younger sister and I were far too young to be at home alone for an entire day.  This meant sharing my room with my grandmother for the entire summer.  Oddly, she was not a big Duran Duran fan, and I can remember her constantly telling me that she wished I’d take down my posters because she always felt like they were watching her! (Oh, my poor grandmother!)  I’d watch her in the mornings when she’d get up, and it always seemed to take her three times as long to put on her clothes as it did me.  When she would finish,  she’d always turn to me and say a single sentence that has been burned into my head for all eternity.

“Don’t ever get old, Rhonda Lynn.  It’s hell.”

 Who could ever blame me for wishing to avoid the whole aging thing??  I had it on decent authority that it wasn’t something I’d enjoy!!  When I think back on those days now, it seems so funny that my grandmother always seemed old to me, yet she only died about ten years ago at the age of 86.  I really hope that I’m more active than my mom or my grandmother in my later years – I want to be able to say I really LIVED every ounce out of my life that’s possible.  I’m sure both of them feel as though they got plenty out of life – and my mom is still alive and kicking.  She’s had a brand new beginning to her life, brought on by my father’s death nearly four years ago.  I’m proud to see her going and experiencing new things, even if it’s with a new “friend”.

I think things must be different for my generation than they were for my mothers generation.  She never went out with friends while I was growing up.  There were no concerts or girls nights out for her.  I never heard her talk much about music, and I know she never really went anywhere without my dad.   She really thinks it’s strange that I have this incessant need to have my own interests, friends and experiences because she never felt that way when my dad was alive.  In comparison, I live for those moments! I cringe when I hear the word “cougar”, or when TV shows make fun of people my age going out, as though once you turn the age of 30, you’re supposed to settle down, never to have fun again.  It’s even worse when the words “mid-life crisis” are thrown around, as if to explain our behavior.  Trust me, this is no “mid-life crisis”.

Yes it really is true, I still enjoy going to concerts. I love getting together with friends for the weekend over music, friendship and the occasional martini.  (make mine extra dirty!)  When I was younger, Friday nights were spent not sleeping, but staying up to watch late night videos, listening to records and fantasizing about what eyeliner Nick Rhodes used.  My friends and I would get excited over whatever band was coming on tour, and while most of the time I had to stand back and watch as my friends would get tickets to the shows – that never did stop my excitement at the prospect!  We’d call one another over the newest songs we’d hear on the radio, we’d try to one-up ourselves over who had the best Duran Duran pictures, the latest news, the “closest encounters”  (I’d typically lose that one…funny how that still holds true!), and the best information.  These things really haven’t changed, although admittedly most of my normal Friday night activities don’t typically include having a girl-talk session with my husband about makeup.  In my opinion, a mid-life crisis is all about capturing whatever youth you’ve got left.  I’ve never let my youth go to begin with, so there’s nothing to capture – it’s still here!

Is this – my Duran Duran fandom and everything that has gone along with it – really a mid-life crisis?  I doubt it, otherwise I started suffering from it when I was ten years old.  My life, and the enjoyment I get out of living, is what keeps me young.  My feeling is that when life stops being fun, I’ll be ready to exit this great planet of ours for whatever Duranie retirement home “in the sky” is next.

Pity those who dare call it a mid-life crisis, for they’ve already stopped living. -R

Duran Duran saved my marriage!

So yesterday marked seven fateful years since Amanda and I, along with many of our friends, saw Duran Duran at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.  Today marks seven years since I actually had the nerve to lie to my husband and travel up to Milwaukee to see the band play at the Riverside Theatre.

What?!?  I lied to my husband?!?  Yes.  Yes I did.  Proudly!

Poor Walt.  I don’t think he really quite knew what he was doing back in 2001 when he bought tickets to see Duran Duran (Simon, Nick & Warren) play at the House of Blues in Anaheim. He opened a door to something I’d long since closed.  It wasn’t as though I was no longer a fan, it was that I’d moved on in life. I had a husband. I had kids.  MTV didn’t really play videos any longer…I didn’t have Roger Taylor occupying my walls….

Of course, after that initial show, I was desperate.  Then the reunion was announced, and I saw the Fab 5 live for the very first time. I made friends, went to a convention, and was virtually hooked.  Wishful thinking “plans” were being thrown around by my friends, and when the Astronaut tour was announced, I think we all had about 48 hours to decide on a game plan.  I knew I could not be at the LA show due to a family vacation, so I tried to figure out what show(s) I could possibly attend.

 At the time, I’d never traveled for a single show, and my husband is the epitome of “moderation”.  Walt is an engineer.  He’s very measured.  Very easy-going, yet very serious when he needs.  Walt doesn’t do “frenzied” or “fanatical” about anything.  He doesn’t have an obsessive personality about anything, and at the time – he certainly didn’t understand the need to travel to see a rock band.  He had a very difficult time understanding that I’d made friends online.  “Online? Rhonda…you don’t even know these people.  You need to wonder why they’d even want to be friends with you.  You have nothing in common with any of them.  You’re married.  You have children.  Yes, I know you went to a convention with them, but you told me then that it wouldn’t be an ongoing thing, that you were just trying to see the planning through.  Now you want to go to how many shows?  This isn’t even necessary!”  He had an even harder time understanding why I would want to go to more than one show on a tour.  “Aren’t they all the same? It’s the same songs night after night!”  So, there were plenty of “discussions” between the two of us.  It was understood that I would fly to Chicago, see the show the following day, and then fly back home on what I think must have been Sunday afternoon.  Never mind that the rest of my friends were going on to see the Milwaukee show the following night – Walt felt that there was no reason to see any more than one show. I had to book my flights so that I was able to take the kids to school before I flew out (he was not very helpful, and I think even he would agree that he did everything he could to make the trip as difficult as possible for me so that I wouldn’t try it again.), and I had to be back in time so that he wouldn’t miss any time from work.

All that was fine and good, except for the small detail of the Milwaukee show.  I really wanted to go!  I was already going to be in the area (it’s about an hour and a half from Chicago), and it seemed like such a small thing.  So, I told my friends to count me in on the ticket, and I’d deal with the consequences later.  Much later.

The truth is, the show was outstanding and I was not wrong in my decision to get the ticket.  Our seats were great, the band saw the signs we’d made for the show, and at one point we’d even gotten a wave from Roger Taylor as he stood off stage during The Chauffeur. (We were wearing light up horns and he saw them.  Yes, we really wore them, and at the time it was fun. Thank goodness that tradition has been left in the past!)  That night also marked the first time I’d ever waited outside of a theater for the band to leave…and the first time we ever attempted to follow them back to their hotel in Chicago!  It was the first time we’d ever gotten a hotel room for the pure purpose of storing luggage (a tradition that I am hoping we’ve kind of left in the past – I require a bit more sleep now than I did seven years ago!), and it was the first…and last time, I ever lied to my husband about a concert….except for that time in New York City for the fan show…. (another blog for another day!)

I don’t quite remember how long it was after that show that I finally came clean about the tickets, but I doubt it was long.  The thing about my husband is that he’s very smart.  He sees the anomaly very quickly when things are odd, and so I have little doubt he already suspected that I’d gotten a ticket before I’d even left.  Thankfully since that time my husband has figured out that this obsession isn’t really going to go away, and he also understands why I go to more than one show.  He also understands why I’ve traveled overseas to see them.  Twice.

Since that show, I’ve seen the band “a few times”.  I’ve traveled to see them more than I’ve seen them here in my state, actually.  While I’m the first to admit that my traveling has been expensive, I don’t think my husband really minds much beyond the cost.  When this whole obsession started for me in recent times, I think the one thing Walt was concerned about was that we’d somehow grow apart.  I’d have my fun times and experience things without him, and from there we’d have separate lives.  Oddly, exactly the opposite happened.  I had my own stories to share with him, and I always do.  I love that my conversations include far more than just what goes on here in the house on a daily basis.  It used to be that when I’d have the chance to get out of the house, travel to a show and see my friends, I felt like it was an escape from captivity.  It’s funny, now that I feel like I have the freedom to travel (within reason), I’m much more content here at home, too – and so is my husband.

While I wouldn’t recommend lying to your husband about getting tickets to see Duran Duran, I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone to go and see them.  I run into so many fellow moms who ask how my husband is with my traveling to see the band.  To begin with, I don’t go that often.  Twice a year at most – and typically my trips are for long weekends (4 or 5 days…5 is pushing it, my husband says!).   I don’t usually expect the impossible.  I can’t be gone for 6 weeks on a tour, and really – I would miss my family if I did.  (no really, I would!!)  Also, as turnabout IS fair play, I should share that my husband is gone at least once or twice a WEEK these days.  They are typically “day trips” that means he takes our oldest to school, gets on a plane, and is gone until about 11 o’clock at night.  He likes coming home to sleep, even if it’s just for a few hours.  Then there are the extended trips, which means he’s gone for about a week or so.  Those happen 5 or 6 times during the year, and we all hate those due to the time differences.  (His travel is typically to the Far East or the UK/Europe)  So, we’re used to the travel here in our house.  Of course, his is for work..and mine is for research, *coughs* and fun! I always tell fellow moms and fellow wives that it’s important to have your own interests.  Being married does not mean losing your own identity.  That’s a common thing that women seem to forget, especially when they marry young as I did.  I really can’t explain how liberating it feels to be able to share my own experiences and stories with my family.  I think it’s important for my kids, but especially my 15 year old daughter to see that even when you’re married and have a family that a woman really can and should have her own interests that don’t necessarily include the rest of the family.

Did Duran Duran save my marriage?  Interestingly enough, in some respects – they really kind of did!


Starting to Remember…

Each day, the Daily Duranie acknowledges some event in Duran’s career in our “Today in Duran Duran” post/tweet/status update.  Today’s event was the Chicago show in 2005.  I always, always, always think of that show when this day rolls around.  It is one of those shows that bubble up to the surface of shows that I have been to.  It was a memorable night and a memorable weekend.  Last year, I also blogged about this date, which you can read here.  Obviously, in that blog post, I was comparing that spring 2005 tour to our upcoming tour in the UK.  I talked about going VIP and what the show was like, in terms of the band.  Yet, today, Rhonda reminded me that there was so much more to that show than the 2 hours the band was on stage and that it is important to remember moments, times, experiences that solidify one’s fandom.  She’s right. 

For me, this show was the first I had been to in a LONG time and was the beginning of a little run of shows for me.  I was way overdue.  On top of that, I was going to be hanging with people I had met only months ago at the Duran Duran Fans Convention.  Many of us out of that group were doing both Chicago and Milwaukee together that weekend.  Before that weekend, I was looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe!  I had a countdown going since December when the presales had taken place.  I remember leaving work on Thursday, the day before the show, after basically having my colleagues push me out the door.  Apparently, I had been driving them nuts with my excitement!  It is funny now, looking back.  I didn’t even entertain the idea that the weekend would be anything less than fabulous!  I could never imagine a less than satisfying show and never even knew or thought that anything could go badly with the people I was going to be with.  Lucky for me, I was right!  Both the show and the other fans reinforced my fandom.  In fact, I think the experience was so good that I’m still looking for a repeat or something that would equal that weekend.  I, honestly, couldn’t have asked for more.

During that weekend, many/most of my expectations for touring were formed as were many of the traditions that Rhonda and I continue to this day.  Obviously, both the Chicago and the Milwaukee shows were amazing, despite having a very fresh Dom Brown there (Andy went home to be with his ailing father).  The crowds were great!  I now expect nothing less!  That weekend also saw very little sleep due to all of the fun we were having.  In fact, we got something like 7 hours of sleep in 3 nights.  We didn’t sleep at all that last night, which caused Rhonda and I to discover that when we are sleep deprived, we get the giggles.  That happens to this day as I think back to Rhonda laughing hysterically in the middle of the show in Bournemouth this past December!  How did we survive on such little sleep?  The answer to that is simple:  adrenaline, coffee and alcohol, which reminds me that we weren’t so good about eating that weekend either.  At one point, we had gone like 38 hours or something without eating!  Obviously, we were having WAY too much fun to worry about eating or sleeping!  We figured that we would do plenty of that in our normal lives!  The whole experience felt so amazing that I desperately wanted to do more!  The experience showed me that the band REALLY was fabulous live, that Rhonda and I were compatible touring partners, and that Duranies really could be fun!  So many of the people who were at either or both of those shows are people I still know and still feel lucky enough to call “friends”.

What is the point of sharing all of this with you?  It isn’t because I think that any of you would really care about our lack of sleep or eating over a wild weekend seeing Duran live.  It is to point out a few things.  First, in my experience, there is a lot more to a Duran concert than the two hours they are on stage.  A Duran show means great music, but it also means fabulous times filled with good friends and a ton of fun!  Second, this weekend 7 years ago today hooked me for life.  I had been a Duranie since 1984 and wasn’t really planning on not being a fan but after this particular weekend, it became something more, something deeper, something addicting.  I saw and learned about being a fan in a whole new way.  I will be forever grateful for this.  Third, when things seem ugly in the fandom, when it doesn’t feel fun to be a Duranie, when I’m frustrated by something to do with Duran Duran or their team, I remember this weekend.  I remember not only what fun I had, but I remember that weekends like the one I’m describing is really what fandom is all about.  It is about friendship.  It is about fun.  It is about amazing experiences, which, in this case, were made possible by Duran Duran and their music. 


Tour Dates Recap and Speculation

This week in Duranland more tour dates were announced.  The Chicago date was made official and 5 European dates were listed.  Those dates are as follows:  Prague (June 27), Budapest (June 28), Verona, Italy (July 16), Rome (July 18), and Lucca, Italy (July 21).  So where does that leave the world tour in 2012?  Will more dates be added?  Where?  When?  Obviously, I don’t have a clue but I can give a recap about what we do know and then I can ponder about what I think!

Here are the complete list of dates that we do know for 2012, courtesy of 
March 19-Melbourne, Australia
March 20-Adelaide, Australia
March 24-Perth, Australia
March 27-Sydney, Australia
March 31-Hunter Valley, Australia
April 28-Brasilia, Brazil
April 30-Rio de Janiero, Brazil
May 2-Sao Paulo, Brazil
May 4-Buenos Aires, Brazil
May 8-Santiago, Chile
June 27-Prague, Czech Republic
June 28-Budapest, Hungary
July 16-Verona, Italy
July 18-Rome, Italy
July 21-Lucca, Italy
July 23-Carcassonne, France
August 29-Highland Park, Illinois, US (Chicago)

Okay.  Where are there gaps?  When is it likely that they will take a break?  Have they gone everywhere we expect them to go?  (The key word there is expect.  We know that there are MANY places that they probably won’t go to and should!)  The first question I have is whether or not all of the cancelled shows from last summer have been rescheduled.  As we know, this is not the case.  There are many places that were due to have shows that haven’t been rescheduled.  Some of those places are:  The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, and Norway.  While there are shows scheduled in both France and Italy, those shows are in different locations than the ones scheduled last summer.  Obviously, there are a lot of places that are due to have shows!  When could they be added to their schedule?  Then, of course, we have all heard that they are due to come back to the States, which fits with that Chicago show.  (Again, I’m not saying if I think this is good or bad here, people.  Just acknowledging the fact.)

Right now, they will be in Australia until the end of March.  The next group of shows happen at the end of April.  This leads them about 4 weeks of break.  Of course, some of that time might not be a real break as they might have promotion to do, including interviews and whatnot.  The group of shows in South America ends May 8th.  The next group of shows is the end of June.  This would give them a “break” from shows of 7 weeks.  While I think 3-4 weeks seems common for Duran, 7 weeks seems like a long time.  Will they then add shows before Prague and Budapest?  Maybe.  They could schedule for some other places in Europe.  After those 2 shows, they have about 2 weeks before Italy.  Will they fill in other European dates there?  Again, that seems possible to me.  Then, there is a month between Italy and the first known US date.  Will more US dates be added before or after Chicago?  Maybe Chicago is in the middle of the US dates.  Will anything be added after the US?  None of us know as of yet but time will tell. 

I am sure that there are many, many fans who are anxious to see what else Duran has planned.  On top of that, I’m sure that there are many, many fans who really want this information sooner rather than later!  I know that I will be waiting, watching, speculating and then commenting about what they do or don’t do!!!


Is There Something I Should Know – The Daily Duranie Review

Happy Friday everyone – today we’re continuing with our reviews, and this day brings us the opportunity to revisit and review Is There Something I Should Know.   For those who are unaware, the original 1981 release of this album did not contain ITSISK, but instead To the Shore (we’ll get to that review, I promise!). The initial 1981 release did not do well here in America and went largely unnoticed.  The New Romantic movement received very little attention from mainstream radio or media, and British bands just did not get airplay. It wasn’t until after Rio was released in 1982 and began to climb the charts in earnest that the band went into the studio in December of 1982 and recorded ITSISK (with Ian Little) initially as a stand-alone single.  The song was added to the 1983 re-release of Duran Duran’s first self-titled album, and ITSISK climbed to #4 on the US charts.  To many Americans – Rio was the first Duran Duran album, and it was only in time that a fan became aware that the initial pressing of the album was in 1981 and contained To the Shore.  In fact, the reason Amanda and I chose to do this review first (rather than To the Shore) is simply because for both of us, this is what we knew to be “the first album”.

Rhonda’s turn:

Musicality/Instrumentation: So here’s the real deal with this song:  it’s my very favorite Duran Duran song ever…and I mean EVER.  Other favorites come and go, but this one is forever. (if that’s not cornball – I just don’t know!) If you’re looking for an unbiased review, I am honestly going to say right here, right now, that you’re probably not going to find it from me. That said, please join me in my moment of happiness while I listen to this song over and over again this morning. One thing I will say about this song is that while it’s on their very first album (the US version – which is the version that both Amanda and I grew up with and knew to be “the first album, which is why we’re reviewing it today), it’s extremely evident that the songwriting had evolved.  I still think there’s balance – but the melodies aren’t quite as pure.  I can still pick out each individual instrument, but there’s something different about this song over the others on this album that I’m having difficulty naming.  If I push myself to characterize it, I’d say that it just sounds more complicated.  More layering? More tracks of individual instruments?? I think that for this first album, this is the one song that Nick’s synths do seem to “take over” in parts, specifically the chorus.  Signs of the times to come??  What is it about Andy’s guitar riff that makes me smile so widely, or the fact that John’s bass just works beautifully with Roger’s drums?  This band still knew how to work together to create a complete sensory experience.

Lyrics: Are you kidding me?  My entire adolescence was spent trying to figure this song out!
All I really know is that I am no easier than a nuclear war (this is probably true). I think there have always been a few lines of this song that amused the heck out of me “I know you’re watching me every minute of the day, yeah.”  (humble much there Simon?)  I’ve always felt that this song was saying everything that I felt about boys (back in the day) and men in general (now).  Granted I’m sure Simon was probably not speaking of men when he wrote the lyrics, but that’s how they always served as a sort of anthem for my life.  I think all of us run across people that we just don’t really get, and this song applies to all.  Sometimes I even think it applies to various friendships I’ve had over the years.

I just want to know who does NOT mimic the video during the “Don’t say you’re easy on me, ‘cuz you’re about as easy as a nuclear war?” line?  I literally have to FORCE myself not to do  it – especially when I’m seeing them live. (but I’ve been known to do it at random in the car, or even in the grocery store if I hear it while I’m shopping – which embarrasses the kids! Bonus!!)  I just love this song.  So much so that Amanda had her mom make a postcard sized art quilt of her representation of this song.  I need to take a picture and post it – it’s among my most prized possessions.   Song lyrics=perfection for me on this one.

Vocals: Stacking harmonies.  I really feel that this was the first song where we really started hearing the stacked harmonies.  Yes, I know other songs on this album had similar effects, but when I listen to this song, the harmonies are much brighter, much stronger – it’s a totally different effect than on say, Anyone Out There.  The entire chorus is stacked higher than a two-story building, and it has that “smack you in the face” type feel to it.  Not a bad thing, just completely different than the rest of the album.  I would go a step farther and say that when the general public thinks of Duran Duran or even Simon LeBon specifically – it’s these types of vocals that comes to mind.  This is Simon’s signature style that has now come to signify what is Duran Duran.  Is it my favorite vocal style that he’s had over the years?  Oddly, no.  It’s true.  I do love this song, but I actually prefer Simon’s natural voice – the slightly darker tonality that we find on earlier recordings.

Production: This is the first Duran Duran song where I can honestly say that production started to out do itself.  I don’t think I’ve ever forced myself to sit down and really listen to the differences in production style – especially between songs on the same album.  When you listen to Planet Earth, Careless Memories or even Anyone Out There and then listen to this song – it’s is VERY apparent that this song was recorded later. The production is slick, fancy and lacquered to a super shiny finish.  I don’t know if I would say that the production was more sophisticated, but I would definitely say there are far more special effects. This song is lush where their other songs on this album are balanced and far more “pure”.  I have to say it gives me a much different opinion of the song overall. (don’t worry – I still love it, but I see it much differently now!)  It’s very clear this song was recorded with the United States listening audience and radio stations in mind – they were desperately trying to break this market, and this song was one good way in.  The way this song is produced reminds me far more of the production of Rio or Hungry Like the Wolf rather than Planet Earth, that is for sure.

Overall: It’s funny how you can view a song as perfection for so many years, but when you’re forced to sit down, listen and judge it against history – you’re still able to see it’s flaws. I embrace the flaws, but they are still there. I can’t apologize for loving the way the song was recorded even though I know the production is a bit overdone. (I might even suggest that this song is a perfect example of how Americans love excess ANYTHING.)  The truth is that I’ve heard the song this way for so many years I’m not sure how it would sound with anything but the lush production. For me, this song is quintessential Duran Duran.  It signifies complete joy for me, and it’s very difficult to separate that feeling from the technical merits of the song. That said, the answer for me lies simply in the fact that while yes – there are definite signs of overproduction making it’s nasty way into the studio, the song accomplishes everything it set out to do.  I don’t know that I can say the song doesn’t sound dated at all – I do think the recorded version is very easily heard as being from the 80’s (but the live version kicks ass), but I think for the time of its recording, it was very appropriately finished.  I still love it even if I can’t call it perfect.

Cocktail Rating: 4 cocktails!!

Amanda’s turn:

Musicality/Instrumentation:  This song is so vastly different from the last song we reviewed, which was Careless Memories.  They might be next to each other on an album due to the 1983 release of the debut album but they are far apart in how they sound.  Careless Memories went out of its way to showcase individual instruments while this song seems to push the blending of the instruments.  Now, of course, all of the instruments are present and accounted for but it takes a much more serious listen to separate them and appreciate them.  On top of that, this song feels so light in comparison to the darkness of CM, including the instrumentation.  Even during the brief interlude that features the harmonica, the song still feels hopeful and not so serious.  Perhaps, this is created due to the emphasis on the vocals.  In Careless Memories, the listener couldn’t hide from the the instruments and in this song, the listener can’t hide from the vocals.  The instrumentation works to provide the background to these vocals.

Lyrics:  This is the first song where the lyrics appear to be rather straight forward, even if they contain some silly lines about nuclear war.  Goodness, even that line can be easily explained.  Clearly, the song is about some person trying to figure out what s/he has to do to get this other person’s attention and that this other person isn’t making it easy.  Can’t we all relate to this?!  I know that I can at various times in my life!!  At the same time, the lyrics are extremely catchy and grab one’s attention right away as the song starts with that ever recognizable “please please tell me now”.  This is one of the first songs that I really began to sing along to.  Each word seemed extremely clear so I knew exactly what I was singing as a kid!  

Vocals:  To me, the focus of this song is definitely the vocals.  There is no musical introduction before the very first line.  Again, comparing it to the rest of the first album, Simon’s vocals are very different.  He no longer seems to be singing in a dark, low way that he did on songs like Anyone Out There.  On top of the vocal change, now there is the ever present harmonies.  These harmonies definitely create the feeling, the mood that this is one dude singing this song but many people, a group.  This works for this song because the topic is so universal that one can easily understand how many, many, many people would feel the same way as the singer.  Clearly, the era of simply having Simon sing was over. 

Production:  Like with every other element on this song, one can tell that the production on this song was very different from the rest of the album.  To me, it feels like this was the result of a couple of years of real learning about writing and recording songs and production.  They were no longer going on instinct alone.  Everyone involved put that knowledge together to create what on the surface seems like a very simple song but underneath that simpleness is a much more complicated process.  As soon as Simon added harmonies, it would have been more complicated than the previous songs.  In many ways, this newly learned knowledge was helpful, I’m sure.  I can’t help but to wonder if some of this knowledge didn’t hurt them in the long run.  Would the band overthink the writing and recording process?  Would they try to make songs more complicated than they needed to be?  Were they taking away both the flaws but also the beauty in the purity?  If you place this song in Duran context, the next material to be released after this was Seven and the Ragged Tiger, which only works to make my questions here more interesting.  

Overall:  In many ways, I view this song as the perfect pop song.  It is light with solid vocals and lyrics that make you want to sing.  It gave the listener the sense that this was a group of people who had some issues but they were happy people without much real concern.  It is feel good music, to me.  Every time I hear this song mentioned in Duran documentaries, I am reminded that the song debuted at number one in the UK, which was a feat that hadn’t been accomplished much except for people like the Beatles.  To me, this always felt fitting as it seemed pretty clear that the Beatles were a HUGE influence on this one.  This is a good thing, especially since the song really did make it fun to listen to.  That said, I do wonder if they took some steps here with either their writing, recording or production that changed Duran.  They could no longer be that raw, dark sound that they had with the rest of the first album. 

Cocktail Rating:  4 cocktails!!

John Taylor, this Wahwah is for YOU!

One of the things that John Taylor spent a bit of his time doing before he left for the Pacific Rim (and Dubai – is that really considered Pacific Rim??), was sharing some new music links via his Facebook page.  Out of all of the things John has done, aside from just chatting with fans on Twitter, I really appreciated the links the most.  Truth be told – I actually liked them even more than his somewhat unscheduled impromptu twitter chats because I caught a very small glimpse into what he might be listening when he’s not playing with the band.  I really like finding new music to listen to, and yet I’m going to be honest – I don’t make the time.  I really should, and as a result I feel very behind a lot of the time.  Where do I get most of my “new finds”?? Embarrassingly enough, I hear them on the radio.  The radio.  Out of that one sentence you’ve learned two things about me: 1. I’m WAY behind, musically – probably for the first time in my entire life, actually.  2. I still listen to radio. (it’s true.  I still keep hoping I’ll hear something good – and occasionally I do.  It’s rare, but sometimes I do.)  All of that nonsense aside, I really enjoyed a lot of what John shared (including the album art by Christian Marclay), which was why when I saw news of a brand new app called “WahWah”….I felt inclined to share!

All of the techno-mumbo-jumbo aside, is an app that turns your phone into an internet radio station.  It scans your phone for music and then you’re able to choose what you’d like to broadcast.  Click “play” and presto – you’re live for all to hear, Duranie or otherwise.  What a great way to share what you’re listening to, and quite honestly – it’s yet another excellent way to reach fans and connect.  Not that you’re horrible at that, but this is another way of talking without really “talking”.  Not a bad plan for a man on the go.  What fan wouldn’t want to hear what their favorite member of Duran Duran has playing?

Of course, it’s not just artists that can use wahwah.  Anybody can download the app and use it, and another thing that I really like – you can get off a plane, step out of a car, turn on the app and know relatively quickly what other users are around you (and listening to based on a real-time live feed), and amazingly – you get a snapshot of what the local music scene is like.  How cool is that?  It also appears that privacy settings can be used so that you are able to manipulate what can and cannot be seen (such as your location) by other area users.  I like that as well.

My opinion?  This app may end up being a huge step forward in the music industry.  While at one time we had to call radio stations and request songs – now we can broadcast them ourselves, and users around the world can see what we’re broadcasting and choose to listen.

The “small” downside is that at least for the moment, you need an iphone…so John, that Blackberry has got to go.  (yeah, yeah – I know all about how the Blackberry keyboard is better. I had to get over that too, and I still curse at my husband for the autocorrect.  No, he’s not responsible for that, but the touch chip??  Yep.)  However, my guess is that an Android app will likely be forthcoming – there’s just too large of an audience out there to ignore in favor of only using iPhone.

That nasty licensing stuff?  Royalties??  I don’t know.  I’d imagine the suits are going to be busy playing tug-o-war with this one for a while. In the meantime – I think I’m in the group that says promotion is promotion, and if “everyone” is getting music for free anyway – why not be the one who is broadcasting?


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Billboard embraces the digital revolution! Now, will it make a difference?

Go on any Duran Duran message board and I’ll bet you’ll find at least one thread talking about chart figures.  Duran fans cannot seem to get past the bands absence on the Top 20.  Or the Top 40.  Or even the Top 100 at times. Naturally this leads to discussions of all kinds, going from the somewhat obvious “Why aren’t they on the charts?” to the more obscure but still ever-popular “Why isn’t this band being promoted properly?!?“.

What I don’t necessarily see being discussed often is Billboard charts do not include figures for Spotify and Rhapsody, among a few others.  Granted, Spotify and Rhapsody are subscription based services – and users do not necessarily own the albums or songs they are hearing when using those services.    However, one could reasonable debate that point by saying that when we listen to radio – a FREE service unless you’re talking satellite radio – users do not own those albums or songs either, and yet radio figures have been used in Billboard charting for years.

Well, discuss no more!  Today, Billboard announced the inclusion of Spotify & Rhapsody figures in their charting.  Here’s the blurb from Hypebot below:

Billboard Magazine‘s Hot 100 chart is finally joining the digital revolution with the addition of digital music services like Spotify and Rdio to the radio airplay and digital song sales that currently define it.  Editorial Director Bill Werde, told the Wall Street Journal that the magazine had waited to update its charts because music streaming services “have only recently hit a critical mass”.  A full list of the services added to the chart:
  • Spotify
  • Rhapsdy
  • Rdio
  • Slacker
  • Cricket’s Muve Music
  • MOG
Still missing is, at the very least, music on Youtube.

Personally I think that streaming services hit critical mass a while back and Billboard is just extremely slow to react to major industry changes.  I picture them, along with most everyone else in the industry – label and artist alike – being dragged kicking and screaming into the new reality.  That said, it’s a welcome change and a good beginning to an overhaul from the last century to the one we’ve been in for the past ten years.  
Until Billboard starts including YouTube music figures though, it would seem as though the chart definitions will continue to be lacking.  It seems to me as someone who is admittedly “Just a Fan”, that until Billboard and similar start giving proper credit to services such as YouTube, and stop relying so much on land based radio play lists for these charts (does anyone really listen???), we’re still not going to be getting the full picture.  Let’s be honest – radio playlists are based on whatever the programmers (who once again are hamsters kept in a very dark basement in New York City) decide.  Artists who want radio time know how to get it. (and if you want to talk payola with me and how it’s illegal….I’ve got a bridge to sell you in the California desert!)  Spotify, Rhapsody, the other services mentioned and even YouTube are slightly different animals because, oddly enough, the consumer – that would be you and I – decide what we LIKE and WANT to listen to.  According to what I’m reading, that is what will be tracked (in addition of those nasty NYC hamsters spinning their wheels!) What a concept!   
Will this change a single thing?  Time will tell.