Category Archives: Duran Duran

A Diamond in the Mind (or what I call a potentially really good idea!)

Day 3 in the diary of a headache.

Ok not really. Well, this isn’t the diary, anyway. I am sitting here at my table, trusty mug of coffee (second mug of the day, which *never* happens here) within reach…and not a single writing inspiration has come to mind. I hate when this happens. So, I reached out to the only people I know for topic ideas. Some of which were downright amusing! (and you can bet I’ll be writing that critique of a certain bandleaders dancing very, very soon!) I already have the title in my head…

But for today my friends, we’re going to talk about fandom. I hear the cheers and I thank you.  (A little sarcasm to start my day.  Ah yes.)

Seriously (a word I use far too often but don’t care enough to change today) though, Amanda and I have been kicking around an idea for a few months now and it’s really high time to share our thoughts. Not that many years back when DDM was first started, the idea – well the idea that fans had anyway, was to create a real community. Does anyone remember back when VIP tickets gained you entry to a pre-show party? A little known truth about me: I liked them. I liked feeling a little special, to be honest. That said, I’m one of those people who loves valet parking. I love having my bags taken to my room rather than schlepping them myself…and if there’s a side entrance somewhere that I have access to use that others don’t, it makes me smile. I suppose I am exactly whom DDM wants to market those VIP tickets….too bad I’m not a DDM member these days, isn’t it?!? ANYWAY, my point is simply that while the party itself might have been a smidgeon on the lame side, the idea was good.  The party allowed concert goers to chat, visit, take photos with long-lost friends, and at least the idea was supposed to make us feel special. The key for me though (besides feeling a bit exclusive and pampered) was the feeling of community. At that point, DDM went to the trouble to set up Duranie “dorms” – basically calling a hotel and getting a group rate so that interested parties could take advantage. This served several purposes: it directed many DDM members to the same hotel so that plans could be made, parties could be set up, and as a bonus – many of us could get kicked out of hotel bars. Good times. It also tended to deter people from staying at other hotels that may or may not have housed members of the band.  *gasp!* I can’t honestly remember how many times my friends and I took advantage of the “dorms” (maybe only once or twice?), but I really liked the idea. So many times after a show we’re looking to get together with friends for drinks – none of us are ready to call it a night after such great shows – and having a central place to hang out and continue the evening seemed perfect. Sure, I know as well as you do that many want to go and find the band, and that option is always available, but for those like me who rarely know when or where – hanging with friends seems like the more viable alternative. I’m sure the band appreciates that.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line – the whole sense of community has been lost.  Naturally, this isn’t ONLY due to the mechanics of DDM, but it’s something that Amanda and I both feel could be improved, which is where she and I come in. Part of the reason we started the blog was because we felt that there needed to be a place that topics could be discussed without judgement. Sure, there are times when we all disagree. That happens. It shouldn’t mean that we can’t find common ground, and in our case – it’s the band. No matter what each of feels about the guitar players over the years, the management, the choices in singles, promotion, etc – we all still love the band. That’s enough to build on, and is the other part of the reason the blog was started. We want to bring fans together. We’re not all going to be best friends. That isn’t the point or the goal. If the paid “official” fan community can’t see past the dollar signs enough to build a community, we can do it ourselves….and better because we know what it’s like to be a fan.


I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s become clear to me that unless someone stands up and decides to bridge the gap between the DDM mechanics of getting to a show (i.e. buying tickets) and what it really means to be a fan and enjoy fandom, our community is lost. While the show themselves may never completely lose their luster, the other half of what makes it fun to be a fan will be gone. The shows where I have gone by myself with my husband are fun, but there’s something very special about attending a show where there are other friends in attendance. I have as much fun in planning the before and after get togethers as I do in plotting how I’m going to get my escape from my house!  I am a fan.  Amanda is a fan.  We know what we like, and we’re betting that our thoughts aren’t going to be all that dissimilar to yours.

To begin with, we’re waiting for US concert dates.  (We’ve got to start in the US purely because it’s where we live and what we know) It’d be great if the band would work with us on this and send them – but seeing as we’re just fans trying to do the work that their own fan community has completely dropped the ball on – we’re not counting on a single thing except our own determination. (However, if somebody wants to send us some hints, we’ll gladly take ’em and get our planning started so that we can seem organized….*wink, wink*) Once we know the dates of the shows, we really want to work to get “dorms” set up if there are people interested. In addition, we’re going to set up more meet-ups for fans, whether they are before or after the shows, and we’re going to have fun even if it kills us.  We want you, our friends, fellow fans, readers, etc….to tell us what, where and when.

(I’m pretty certain Amanda is going to love that last sentence.)

No, we’re not getting paid by anyone. No, we’re not getting free tickets to the shows. No, we haven’t lost our grip on reality, quit our jobs or sold our possessions (and as such no, we’re not going to be able to be at every single show. We need your help!)  We just want to make this community fun again. That’s it. If you have ideas, want to help out or just plain want to bitch at us – email us at dailyduranie@gmail.com or leave a comment.  You know we’ll answer you!

Watch this space…

-R

PS – we’re going to do something different on the blog, and by different I mean that YOU can ask US questions.  Have something you’re dying to ask?  Send us an email, talk to us on Facebook, send us a Direct Message on Twitter (otherwise we’ll miss it).  Amanda and I will answer your questions on an upcoming blog.  By “upcoming” I mean in a week or so – no DuranTime here – so get your thinking caps on and send us some creative questions!

The lesson to be learned is the point of no return

I don’t think I’ll ever get too old to learn a lesson, and yesterday was no exception.

To begin with, there was the little matter of a presale. I snuck onto Twitter to see how the presales were going, only to see that tickets appeared to have sold out rather quickly. I hadn’t heard from Amanda, so I figured she checked presale availability to find that the tickets did not meet our parameters. . After figuring out that I’d somehow logged myself out of my email and missed Amanda’s first four emails of the day, I saw that while many of our friends on Twitter had gotten their seats for the Durham show, Amanda had come up empty.  Sure, she might have had third row seats in her cart for a moment and thrown them back in a fit of greed for more – but the presale had somehow sold out. Or had it?

I really wasn’t angry or even disappointed by the lack of tickets. I knew we had several options available to us, including coming to our senses, realizing that this show was clear across the country, and deciding to wait for better (and closer) shows. I decided to go ahead and blog for the day. I no sooner finished the final sentence of the blog when my phone rang. It was Amanda, and she was calling to tell me she’d gotten tickets after all.

After I picked myself up off of the floor, I realized that she was telling me that she’d gotten tickets and that I’d be flying across the country. I also discerned that I would need to get my husband very, very drunk at some point during the summer and only then would I tell him about this upcoming adventure!

She decided to keep checking Artist Arena, and realized that if she waited, tickets that might have been placed in someone’s cart weren’t always bought, and those would get thrown back into the mix of available seats. She just waited until she found tickets that interested her enough to buy. The trouble was, where were our seats?  Due to a difference in the seating charts that Artist Arena had verses what the venue had – it has been very difficult to understand where our seats are located. I’ll save you all the agony here and just say that after careful thought, our seats are in the second row of orchestra. Or maybe the fourth row.  Either way, we’re sitting on Dom’s side. Yes, again. We didn’t intend for that to be the case, but you know – Things Happen! With all of our talk about being calm, not buying any seats as a typical “knee jerk reaction”, and trying to be methodical about planning what shows we’d attend and how we’d get from place to place – when it came time to go through the sale, all of our sanity went right out the window. Amanda did a great job with the tickets.  She didn’t give up (I SO would have), she waited (I’m horrible about waiting), and she even inspected the seating chart before buying (my typical M.O. would have been “There was a seating chart?!?”). She really thought she knew where we were buying, but because she was in a classroom and couldn’t exactly block out her students – and because she couldn’t really call and converse directly with me, it made buying the tickets much more difficult, and perhaps we bought tickets that we might not have purchased under normal circumstances.  Not sure that anything we might have done would have changed what we ended up with, but we did learn that being greedy isn’t good!  So now we’re destined to be Dom’s super special stalkers once again…

Which brings me to lesson #2 for the day.

In my excitement over our ticket purchase, I posted a note on Dom’s wall.  I really don’t know what I was thinking – only that I thought it’d give him a chuckle. I’m just a fan like anybody else. Naturally though, other people, whether they are also fans or personal friends of his, don’t know me. They don’t care that I’m a fan. They just see that I’ve posted on his wall before, and that I’m posting again. They don’t realize that I’m happily married, extremely well-educated, that I know my husband is lucky to have me (no really, he is!), and that quite honestly (and not at all humble of me) – I’m a catch. (Of course after I tell my husband about this North Carolina show this may all very well change and I may find myself very much available and not nearly so much of a catch!!) People don’t know that I sat across from Dom on a plane many years back and that I am likely to be one of the first “fans” he made from his tenure with Duran Duran. Amanda and I held up his very first sign at a show. (you can see this in our slide show at the right side of the page)  Most importantly or unfortunately for this particular person – he had no idea that I’m a blogger. He had no idea that I’ve written articles for other websites besides my own, that I’m in the process of finishing a book, or that he was going to end up being the “star” of my next blog on Daily Duranie. (Hey, “name- whom-I’m-choosing-not-to-make-public-out-of-complete-KINDNESS-because-other Duranies-would-tear-you-limb-from-limb-for-being-a-jerk” Congratulations and enjoy your 30 seconds of infamy!!)

**Note to readers: I really don’t intend on continuing to wield the blog as a weapon – this particular instance just happened to provide a teachable moment, I promise!!**

None of that matters on Facebook to people who don’t know you. They see you post regularly or try to interact and come to the obvious conclusion that you *must* be a stalker.  That said, I don’t deny my obsession with Duran Duran.

I am in my forties and write a DAILY blog about being a Duran Duran fan.  That “stalker” thing? That ship sailed a long, long time ago. It’s funny, and I know it. I embrace the funny! However, I do deny the term “Frumpy”..and don’t even get me started on the whole “Old” comment. In fact, had the less-than-wonderful person who wrote that comment been standing in person right in front of me, I can’t honestly guarantee that he would have remained standing for long. Not only am I not frumpy, I’m not afraid to stand up for myself however needed. Regardless, I was completely and utterly mortified. Sure, maybe I should laugh the episode off and pretend it meant nothing, but the fact is – I am completely embarrassed, even this morning. This didn’t take place on MY Facebook page, or MY blog or MY message board, but on Dom’s. His Facebook page isn’t the place for those kinds of comments, and the idea that a post I’d written caused such a thing completely floors me. I can’t even begin to apologize enough for that. I’m a big fan of Dom and the last thing I want to do is cause him trouble. Don’t like me? Jealous of me? Want to make fun of me? Post on my page. Send me an email. Message me on Twitter or Facebook, but don’t be rude on someone else’s wall.

So I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. While I can laugh ruefully at the idea of being called a frumpy old stalker, the truth is – that’s not how I wish to be viewed. It’s funny how you can befriend people that you’ve met maybe one time (if at all!) from all over the world, post on their page and it’s seen as just being friendly. Do the same on a celebrity’s page and it’s taken completely differently – even though they are all just people like you and I. I post on Dom’s page the way I would any other friend, for the most part. I just never thought it was that big of a deal and I certainly wasn’t posting anything that could be construed as my making myself “available” to him. It wasn’t ever like that. The lesson here is that if you post on a celebrity’s page, regardless of whether they recognize you and are friendly with you or not, it’s seen as a desperate attempt for attention. You’re seen as a deranged fan. A stalker.  

After thinking the entire situation over, I really think there are more lessons to be learned here. I might have mentioned that those comments didn’t come from a fellow female fan.  I think I might have expected that, actually. Women can be horrible to one another, and in our particular fandom, there’s a certain competitive nature that takes right over at times.  It’s not classy or pretty, but it exists. This person who called me out was actually male. I have no idea if he’s a fan or not, but he made it very clear that he was sick of seeing women post on Dom’s wall. Never mind that the guy also posted on Dom’s page. Never mind that he also must have been reading his page somewhat regularly to even know I’d posted, because that’s somehow different. Why – because he automatically assumed that because I’m female I’m “after” Dom as opposed to just being a fan of his music? In and of itself that’s pretty fascinating because it doesn’t seem as though he quite understands the whole “celebrity thing”. I’ve ran into my share of male fans though (of Duran Duran and otherwise), and while they are typically kind people for the most part, I’m always a little surprised to see how differently they view things. Men tend to believe that the only reason to be a fan is for the music, and to a large degree – they don’t seem to think that women can grasp the concept.  While it might very well be “cool” for a guy to like bands and things – women can’t possibly like bands for the same reasons. We’re much too “silly” for that. We can’t possibly understand the technical nature behind the music because we’re too busy having fantasies of John Taylor to even begin to understand the intricacies of music. There’s a definite stigma to being a female fan, and in the situation I encountered yesterday – that particular fan made his point very clear.

How will I do things differently? Well, I’ll think twice before posting again, sadly – and maybe I needed to learn that lesson. I suppose I was very naive. As I explained to some friends yesterday, and this is a feeling I’ve read over and over again from other female writers, bloggers and journalists in the music industry: I want to be taken seriously. Sure, I’m a fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to hop into bed with any musician or roadie I can find. (Sorry boys) I have a great time at shows. I have fun when I’m out with my friends, but never does that mean making a play for a member of any band.  When I’m home, the blog (for me) is as much a part of my fandom as it is a part of my burgeoning career as a writer. The last thing I want is to be summed up as a groupie, a stalker or be taken less than completely seriously about my writing. Respect is key. Most of the female fans I know feel very similar. Having fun at a show, or going out with friends before and afterward does not equate to being a groupie, nor does it mean we would even invite the opportunity.

Especially from jealous male “fans”.  

-R

The air of desperation

So the update on the presale is this: people who jumped at tickets got them, and currently they are showing the presale as completely sold out on DDM (Artist Arena).

Is that really a surprise to anyone though?  I think the bigger surprise would have been for the presale to have been dead as far as actual sales go.  That would have shocked the pants off of me this morning!  To be fair, until that day comes, and presales have no activity, the “Duran Duran Machine” will never react to our complaints, concerns or suggestions.  It’s truly a shame that a system which is so incredibly flawed and stupid will remain in place purely because of the stench of desperation that clouds the Duranie airspace.  Naturally this is a case of demand and supply.  Supply is low, demand is high, and customer service is at an all-time low.

Truly, we have no one but ourselves to thank for this.  As long as we keep buying, things will never change…and most likely, they will get worse.  Not long ago I wondered how the lack of information flow could get worse. Well, finding out the ticket prices, what they included and STILL not being sure where tickets would be located (meaning price bracket to seat location) until the moment of sale seems fairly worse.  Not knowing if more shows will be added, how long they are touring, or where they’ll be going also seems worse.  So, I won’t even venture to guess how it could get worse from this point.  I don’t want to give anyone any ideas!!

Oh, make no mistake – Amanda and I don’t blame anyone for buying tickets.  That isn’t the point, and we don’t judge anyone but ourselves here.  That air of desperation?  It’s as thick here in my house as it is in Wisconsin, Washington, or even North Carolina.  The trouble is that it doesn’t smell nearly as badly once you’ve got second or third row tickets in your hot little hand, does it? It’s the curse of being a Duranie.  I just have to point out that if we don’t like the system the way it is – we’re doing no one, not ourselves, not anyone, a favor by continuing to buy. Until that changes – we can expect for presales to stay exactly as they are.  It’s shame, but it’s reality.

-R

Durham Pre-Sale Outrage

I try to give the benefit of the doubt.  I try to find a reasonable explanation when things in Duranland aren’t what I and many other think it should be.  In this case, I’m struggling.  I’m truly struggling to understand, to explain, to remain positive.  As we all know, last week Duran announced a new date in Durham, North Carolina, on August 21st.  Okay.  That could be cool.  Last week, in the wake of this news, Rhonda and I both talked about how difficult it is to plan for shows when we only know 2 in isolation.  As some people have pointed out, these dates probably have been released by the venue rather than the band’s team.  Okay.  I get that.  Nonetheless, it is frustrating when you want to put together a logical tour for oneself, which includes shows close together, both geographically and time wise.  I get that the band’s team, for whatever reason, isn’t ready to put out the rest of the dates, assuming there are more.  See I’m being understanding…well, I was until I found out about the presale for Durham. 

I found out about the presale from a phone call from Rhonda who found out from Julie, one of our readers.  Apparently, it was also “announced” on the band’s twitter.  I didn’t see it on their facebook, however.  Now, I’m a member of DDM and have been since 2004.  Why don’t they send emails to their members when presales are announced?  Do they assume that everyone goes over to DDM on a daily basis?  (I don’t, by the way, especially since there rarely is information provided that way and the boards are soooooo….slow.)  Anyway, luckily, someone was paying attention and was kind enough to point it out to us.  (Thanks, Julie!)  So, now we are about 15 hours or so from the start of the presale.  What information do we know?  Pretty much NOTHING.  We know that there will be two ticket options from Artist Arena:  the regular ticket price and the enhanced merchandise bundle ticket.  Are prices given for these options?  Nope.  Do they describe the possible location for these options?  Nope.  Do they give details about what is included in the merch bundle?  Nope.  I had to look at ticketmaster to have an idea of what the ticket prices MIGHT be.  Why should I have to search that much?  Why isn’t it given?  Why don’t we know where the tickets will be located, in general?  Is this enhanced merch the new name for VIP?  If so, can I assume that the tickets will be in the first few rows?  Honestly, the customer service here sucks.  Yes, yes, Artist Arena, at least, says exactly where your seats will be when you add seats to your “shopping cart”.  That is literally the only good thing about them that I can find. 

Back in the good old days of DDM (and I can’t believe I’m saying that or believing that!), there were VIP packages and there were Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and sometimes more.  VIP included the first 5 rows, merch, a chance for a meet and greet, and a preshow party.  It wasn’t cheap but…at least you knew exactly what you were getting.  Tier 1 tickets would also be specified.  Before the presale began, you would know exactly which sections and rows were included for Tier 1.  They were the same as the regular priced tickets but you could get 6th-15th row, at least in my experience.  The other tiers would be further back or in the balcony.  Again, though, you would know exactly how much those tickets were and where those seats would be located.  Thus, you could get decent seats through DDM without buying VIP.  I truly don’t think that is the case now that they are using Artist Arena.  For example, for LA this past year, I tried to get regular seats and got something like 32nd row.  Many people I know tried to get seats for the Chicago show that way and couldn’t get any.  They didn’t have many seats under the regular ticket heading and I’m not sure how many VIPs they had either.

While I can understand having a couple of dates out there before the rest of the tour is announced, I don’t get why Artist Arena is so pathetic with their information.  I also don’t get why the presale wasn’t announced everywhere.  I don’t get why members weren’t alerted.  Don’t they want to sell these tickets?  Don’t they want to create excitement?  Then, why can’t they give information about the prices, the merch, the seating locations?  They must know it and, if they don’t, why the heck not?  Thus, Rhonda and I still don’t really know what the best plan for us is.  Do we buy tickets tomorrow?  If so, will we regret it later when we find a different group of shows to go to?  Which tickets do we try for?  I don’t know.  I’m beyond frustrated, though.  I realize that the band members themselves aren’t doing this.  I realize that it is Artist Arena and DDM that has created such a bad situation for us fans.  I am sure that the band isn’t even checking on these groups but have people to do that for them.  That said, it ends up making THEM look badly and will eventually chase a lot more people away besides the large number of people who left a long time ago.

Come on, DDM and Artist Arena, you can do better than this!  Come on, the Duran Duran machine, check on who you have working for the band.  Make sure that they are doing a quality job.  Do it before people walk away for good.

-A

Australian Interviews

Some days, I’m not very focused.  Today is definitely one of those days.  I could blame the desperate need for a break from work, which will be coming after next week.  I could blame it on the fact that I got 11 hours of sleep, which shows how tired I was!  I could blame it on the anticipation of Duranie alerts about presales and more shows in the States.  I could blame it on all of the above!  On days like today, I find it necessary to take a step back from the insanity, the merry-go-round of life and of fandom.  This means I will head over to my parents for a home cooked meal and do a little shopping with my mom.  It also means that I will not comment over the fact that there appears to be a presale on Monday for the show in Durham, North Carolina.  Nah, I’ll wait until tomorrow to comment on that.  Who knows?  Maybe then there will be more news on the touring front!  Speaking of touring, Duran Duran continues to tour Australia.  While there, they have been doing some interviews.  A couple of those interviews have been available to people like me, on the other side of the world.  Perhaps, watching these will ground me and give me focus, too!

The first interview I saw the other day was from an interview with John and Simon at the Mix 94.5.  You, too, can view the interview here.  I was a little confused when I clicked on it to view as they had one clip labeled as Duran Duran In Full.  Yet, below the video were other clips of them to view that were not included in the video “In Full”.  I highly recommend watching all of the clips.  Overall, I thought that both Simon and John looked relaxed and seemed in good spirits.  They didn’t seem to mind any of the questions and seemed to be enjoying their time in Australia.  The interviewer asked some familiar questions, but some questions that were not as common.  This probably is the best way to approach interviewing a band that is fairly well known to a lot of people but maybe not to everyone. 

Some of the questions include how big of shows they have played, how they replace the love they feel on stage when they are not on stage, what moments in the band’s history that they wished they had captured but didn’t, how invested they were in those early videos, what happened with Simon’s sailing adventures, what John knows about sailing, what they do during their free time on tour, how well they can get around without having people recognize them, what the rivalry between Duran and Spandau was like, how popular Duran was in Australia, what they would tell their daughters about guys like themselves in 1980s, what they think about social media, what music they are listening to and more.  They also asked them a series of “quickie” questions that they weren’t suppose to answer with a lot of detail, which was unfortunate as some I definitely wished for more info!

Some answers that I was most interested in included when John said that there is no longer big gigs or small gigs, instead the current show is just THE gig.  Simon pointed out that if they are committed to making this current show the best show, then they know that they entertained the people.  Another response that caught my attention is Simon talked about how people dealt with the capsizing of Drum back in 1985 that could have resulted in a very bad outcome for Simon and the rest of the crew.  For the first time ever, I heard Simon acknowledge how much people struggled, emotionally, to that event.  Some people clearly showed that it was traumatic and some never returned to sailing after that.  This, I suppose, says something about Simon that he was able to overcome whatever emotions he had to get back on the boat and to still loving sailing today.  Of course, I was curious as to what their answer might be to whether or not they get recognized walking around and how they deal with it.  Simon said that he gives off vibes to show that he is not approachable whereas John said that people could give off signals that says I am exactly who you think I am, approach me now.  Fascinating.  Would that translate to that Simon would not be friendly if you saw him out in public but John would?  I don’t know, but it does make me wonder.  As far as the question about what to tell their daughters about guys like themselves, John sort of avoided the question by saying he hoped it would never happen and Simon said that you can’t tell them to avoid guys like them because then you might be pushing them into a worse situation.  Are these statements an insight into their general parenting?  I don’t know but I can wonder.  Some of their answers during the “quickie” questions were fun, including that Nick takes the longest to get ready, John likes bacon when “hungry like the wolf” and Simon like porridge.  Of course, the answer I wished they had explained was that they recognize “regular fans who follow they around”.  How many fans do they recognize?  How many fans would fit into this category?  How would they define “follow around”?  Two or more shows on tour?  10 shows a tour?  Would these be fans they seen at places outside of the concert venue?  Oh, to be able to ask follow up questions… 

The other interview I saw was on Mix 102.3 and can be seen here.  This interview unlike the previous one was that it was just John and the interviewer was a fan who had won a contest.  Before I talk about the interview itself, can I just say how many of us would love, love, love to interview one or more band members?  Anyway, I thought she did a good job.  I would have been horribly nervous, especially if it was John who I had the chance to interview!  I wish that there wasn’t music playing in the background because they made it difficult to hear, at times.  The interview starts with a question about Diamond in the Mind, the upcoming DVD.  I wish that John said exactly when it will be out, how to purchase it, etc. but, alas, he didn’t.  He did say that he believes it will be on TV in Australia!  How cool!  I would love if that happens here!  Then, the next question was in regards to the upcoming tour plans.  Nothing was said beyond Europe in the summer.  John was asked about what tours/bands/artists he wished he had seen but didn’t.  His answer was very John Taylor with talking about Chic, Sex Pistols, David Bowie, the Beatles, etc.  The next question was about accessibility to music now with the ability to download and the internet.  The final question was about whether or not John had a bucket list.  He talked about places he would like to travel to and sexual positions he still hasn’t tried!  Naughty!

Overall, I enjoyed both of these interviews.  I like getting a little insight into what they think and do.  I also like that they take me away from all of the drama that comes with being part of Duranland.  For 5, 10 or 15 minutes, I forget about presales and I forget about drama between fans.  I just get to smile, laugh and enjoy Duran.  Just what I needed on a day like today!

-A

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!!

-A

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!

-R

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”!

-R

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!

-R