Category Archives: Durantime

Are We Living Too Fast?

Has anyone noticed that I sure have blogged a lot lately?  Why is that?  I have pondered that quite a bit lately.  Heck, I am sitting in my sister’s living room right now with my sister, brother-in-law and nieces.  In the past when I have visited them (they live far away in North Carolina), I have opted not to blog while here.  I would either do posts ahead of time and just do the questions of the day.  Yet, now, I still want to blog.  Why is that?

I think part of it is that we are in the beginning of Duran activity cycle.  Life seems exciting again in Duranland.  Am I right?  I know that there is an album coming out in just a few months.  I have a new song to listen to.  I have tour dates coming up.  Just yesterday, in fact,  Rhonda and I exchanged emails in which we talked about how we were both anxious for the fall while, at the same time, didn’t want to rush past summer.  It has been a long time since I have felt the pull to make a countdown for some upcoming event.

Of course, it isn’t just because there is something to look forward to, in terms of Duran activity.  It seems to me that there is a lot of Duran activity happening right now, too.  For example, yesterday, my timeline and news feed was filled with people at the Night at the Park festival.  Then, I watched for a setlist.  While, yes, I was sad that I was not there and slightly jealous (of course!  Duh!) for those who were there, I loved knowing that Duran was doing something, that they were playing somewhere.  Seeing Duran activity makes me feel like everything is right with the world.  It feels good.  I knew that I was missing them during Durantime but I didn’t realize how much until they came back.

Yesterday, I went and saw the movie, Inside Out.  Without giving anything away about the movie, it focuses on emotions.  One of the questions that the movie addresses is whether or not all emotions are needed.  It made me think about Durantime and the season of winter.  I have always said that I like living in the Midwest because I really appreciate nice weather when I have it because our winters are so long and so intense.  To me, there is nothing better than the first day that the temperatures rise above freezing  and the ice begins to melt.  Is that what we are going through now in Duranland?  The giant thaw?  The spring?  Maybe.  The question then is, do we, as big fans, need Durantime to appreciate Duran activity?  As someone who was super critical of Durantime, I wouldn’t say that we need as MUCH time as we had (especially since this was the longest stretch with NO activity ever) but maybe a little bit, a tiny bit, a very tiny bit isn’t so bad.

Of course, this is super easy for me to say now that there is activity.  Maybe this is me on vacation.  Maybe this is me when I get enough sleep or don’t have work to worry about.  Right now, I prefer to think of myself as a fan, SO happy to have things to talk about and things to look forward to.

-A

I Gave Up Asking Days Away

See any interesting tweets or status updates lately?  Anything related to Duran Duran?  I have!!!  (This is a miracle, too, since I’m knee deep in material for my evaluation at work!  By the way, if you know occupations that require more work, extra work than your usual job, in order to be evaluated on that job, could you let me know?  I’m keeping a list! Right now, all I have is teaching.)  Enough of that!  Let’s return to the fun stuff, those tweets and status updates about Duran Duran!  Here’s what has caught my attention and why!!

Gibraltar Music Festival

Duran Duran is playing/co-headlining at the Gibraltar Music Festival on September 5th!  Tickets, I believe, went on sale yesterday!  To read the full scoop and where to get tickets, head on over to the band’s official website!  It seems to me that Duran Duran has a number of festivals booked this year.  Want to see a complete list?!  Of course you do!

June 20th:  Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain
June 27th:  Night at the Park in The Hague, Netherlands
June 28th:  Killarney Festival in Kerry, Ireland
September 5th:  Gibraltar Music Festival in Gibraltar
September 11th at the Bestival Festival in Robin Hill Park in Isle of Wright, UK

Now, will I be able to attend any of those?  Unfortunately, I do not plan to attend any of those.  Yet, I’m still excited about them!  Why?  Simple!  I’m thrilled for those who will get to attend those!  It also gives me a little bit of hope that an announcement of something that I could go to might just be around the corner!  Heck, just this morning I caught a tweet or two about a possible festival appearance in Las Vegas…

Life is Beautiful Festival:  Las Vegas–September 25-27???

According to this blog, Duran Duran is set to headline the festival along with Stevie Wonder!  Now, of course, this hasn’t been announced by any official source.  Therefore, it is always possible that this isn’t true but I suppose it could be.  That could be exciting!

Of course, there is more than just the announcement of Gibraltar and the rumor of Vegas to increase my hope for a show for me!  Can you guess the other reasons I’m hoping for more announcements of shows soon?  I bet you can.  First of all, as Rhonda mentioned in this blog here, Simon stated in a recent Kafe that there is something BIG planned for the U.S. and I doubt that it is this festival in Vegas.  Thus, I cannot wait to find out what that is!!!    Second, we know that there is usually a lot of activity surrounding a new single and album and those appear to be coming in the summer/fall.  Finally, yesterday, Duran Duran tweeted about an auction, which you can see here.  While auctions of this nature for a meet and greet for charity aren’t unusual, what caught many Duranies’ attention was this line:  “UK tour dates will be announced within 2 months of auction end.”  When does the auction end?  In 3 days.  That means that UK dates should be announced by July 19th.  Will there be other dates for other places by that time, too??!?

Could the “B” be…

In this case, the tweets that caught my attention wasn’t by Duran Duran or a member of Duran Duran but tweets from friends about this interview here with Brandon Flowers.  During this interview, he is asked about appearing on Duran Duran’s album.  He denies it but “squirms”, according to the author of the article.  Fascinating considering that in a recent Kafe, Roger mentioned that there was another surprise on the album and that his name started with a B.  Brandon Flowers certainly does start with a B.  As someone who loves Brandon’s music, I would be super excited if there was some truth to this rumor.  Sadly, though, I’m doubting it based on this article on NME in which it is revealed that he has been working on New Order’s album, which I still am excited about.  It isn’t Duran Duran but it is something!

How to Deal

Here’s the thing.  I see many Duranies out there frustrated, annoyed, sick of Durantime and how long Duran has taken with this album.  I can’t blame any of them for feeling this way.  I’m more saddened by the people, the Duranies, I used to speak with frequently over social networking who seem to have just vanished since it has been quiet on the Duran front.  To me, when people stop caring and walk away is way worse than those who complain/vent/express frustration.  Durantime isn’t easy.  No one wants Durantime. No FAN wants Durantime.  So, I figure right now I have a choice.  I could either complain or I could try to find a way to push through.  I’m trying for the second choice.  I’m opting for focusing on what cool things could be coming up.  The assumption I have is that the album will be fabulous and that I’ll do my part to make sure that everyone I can reach out to knows that!

That said, let’s go, Duran Duran.  We are ready.

-A

Durantime: Kitchen Mixers Are Forever

In the past three or four years, I’ve written a lot about how Durantime feels, and how fandom wanes. I’ve commented on how much life can change in a year or four, that sometimes, the momentum seems to flow away from the band. I’ve counted on other people, other fans, to keep my excitement at a reasonable level. September 2014 hit, and my attention was abruptly turned. Something as simple as a “layoff”,  or “reduction-in-force”, changed my outlook on nearly everything, including Durantime. This isn’t the first layoff we’ve weathered as a family. Unfortunately, as great as technology is, it’s not always so great for the people who make technology their career. Product lines end, tech-companies reorganize a lot, and technical marketing people like my husband get shuffled around quite a bit. This is the fifth layoff we’ve been through in the twenty-three years I’ve known my husband, and this one has the dubious distinction of being the longest he’s ever been out of work. Jobs are definitely out there, but there are probably four or five times the amount of people needing work, no matter what the government tells you about job seekers. Take it from someone who is on the front lines as an observer, there are a TON of people out of work. It isn’t easy, and it is financially devastating to families, regardless of your budget or what other people may think. No one really knows what goes on in a family unless they’re IN that family. Never mind that my oldest is in the middle (literally right smack in the middle) of having to go audition for college dance programs….there is a lot of upheaval going on at Casa Rivera at present, never mind Durantime

The past several months of Durantime have become something far more involved than just waiting for the band to get their act together and drop new music or announce a tour. I’ve thought a lot about what I’ve gotten out of this fandom, and what more I really want to do. I’ve considered where I am with this blog and if I want to continue writing. I’ve also really thought about my husband and my kids and what is best for them. For a while, I put myself first in a lot of ways. If I had extra money, I had no trouble slapping down money to go to a show.  My husband always had this weird comment whenever I’d ask if it was OK for me to travel to _______________ and go see the band play. He’d say “If that’s how you want to spend our money, that’s fine.” I never thought twice because it was exactly how I wanted to spend our money! I didn’t think about the vacations I could have taken with my own family or the fact that maybe Walt would have wanted to do something else. I figured he’d let me know when he wanted to go away….and so I went! Things change.

I’ve traveled to the UK. I’ve done ridiculous things and traveled insane distances just to see the band. Some might say my priorities were out of whack. I’d say that I was doing a little escaping and that it harmed no one. I have done many things over the years where Durantime didn’t matter. I’ve hosted a couple of conventions. I have hosted a few pre-show meet ups. I’ve co-created a blog that went from zero readers to more than 12,000 hits per month at its peak. It has been really, really fun. More fun than I probably deserve. I’ve also thought about the things I’ve never done. I haven’t really spoken to the band before outside of an album signing. I’ve never interviewed any of the founding members. I have zero photos with any of them: founding member, ex-member, or Dom! I’ve never been backstage for a meet and greet, and I definitely have not gone to any after parties. Somehow though, I’ve come to the conclusion that if it really all ended and I never am able to get to another show, which at this point is a very real possibility unless things change drastically, I am very happy with what I’ve done. I have some sense that things have run its course. I could always do more. Can’t we all?  But if I don’t, I’m OK. I don’t regret not having “physical evidence”, because my memory is intact. Durantime hasn’t made me forget the rush of seeing them on stage. I have not forgotten what it was like to see that yes, John Taylor really did actually mouth “keep singing” to Amanda and I so many years ago. I haven’t forgotten seeing Simon roll his eyes at Heather (my daughter) when she dared to do the devil sign at him during Tempted. Of course I remember seeing Dom play guitar in front of me and how lucky I felt to be standing there. I still recall the email from Dom telling me that he’d be happy to do a Q & A with Daily Duranie. Those memories don’t just dissolve, and no photo will ever be able to capture how I feel about those moments. I’m happy with what I’ve done. I could always do more, but if I didn’t – I’ve not a single regret.

For the past few years at Christmas, my mom has given me a little money. Her intention was always that I buy myself something, but typically I’d put the money into my drawer, knowing that I’d save it to see the band or for travel expenses. This past year, I saved it thinking I might need it if things really got bad here with Walt’s job hunt, but I also thought that I’d use it for my concert fund as usual.

Instead, I bought myself a mixer for my kitchen.

That’s right. I, Rhonda Rivera – hater of all things domestic, bought myself a stand mixer. You know, one of those expensive Kitchenaid mixers with all of the attachments? I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why. I just know that after one late night infomercial where I saw the mixer in action – especially with the ice cream maker – I had to have one. I read about them online. I read the reviews. I researched the different models and options. I also saw the insane price tag. I found an excellent deal on Amazon that cut the cost down to something I could afford. I knew I had the money for it, but did I want to part with my possible Duran fund??  I struggled with Duranguilt during Durantime…but after much soul-searching, I gleefully bought my new toy last night. It’s the first tangible, expensive thing I’ve bought myself that had nothing to do with Duran Duran in many years.

I don’t know what this means exactly, other than what Amanda and I have been saying about fans drifting away is really true, and I am proof of that. I also know that because I spent my Duran fund – it’s only a matter of time before a show is announced. (you all can thank me later) When I was a kid, I could focus solely (or almost solely) on Duran Duran. I didn’t mind waiting four years in between albums. Durantime didn’t matter, I didn’t mind waiting. It never occurred to me that there would be a time when I might not be able to see a show. Things are different now. I have a daughter graduating from high school and two more kids at home. My husband is job hunting and yes, we’re really worried about what our future may bring. I’m thinking about whether or not to go back to work, and if so, what am I going to do? If I had extra money right now, I can honestly say I wouldn’t spend it on Duran Duran. I don’t even KNOW when I would have ever said that before and in a lot of ways I’m really saddened that I feel that way. Damn it I’ve grown up, against all of my attempts not to do so. I can’t stop life from happening while Durantime carries on around me. Kitchen mixers are forever.

-R

It’s a Chain Cuts Across My Soul

It feels like absolutely forever since I have written a real blog, a long blog.  There are many reasons for this, but I won’t bore you.  Let’s just say that there has been a lot going on in my life.  Yet, no matter what else has been going on, I still find myself thinking about Duran Duran, despite the fact that they are busy in the studio and away from public life.  When Rhonda and I were last writing a lot of lengthy blogs, we talked about or seemed to talk a lot about Durantime, how long the album was taking, the apparent shift from how things were going with the band during the All You Need Is Now era and other related topics.  When we did, we got a LOT of criticism.  A LOT (and I mean a LOT) of people disagreed with us.  That wouldn’t have been so bad, except a lot of the criticism was based on negative assumptions about us.  People assumed or seemed to assume that it didn’t matter to us what the album sounded like, that it was more important that the band get a new album out than it did about the quality of music or that we didn’t care about the band as people.  We weren’t acknowledging that they might have family needs or personal needs to take care of.  The assumption, again stated or otherwise, was that we just wanted them to be music making machines without concern about their needs and feelings and without care to their creativity.  For the record, let me be perfectly clear, that is the farthest thing from the truth.  We do want this album and future albums to be quality.  We do.  Of course, we do.  Likewise, we both care about them as people and understand that there might be other things for them to focus on, personally.

I, now, realize that I wasn’t doing a very good job explaining where I was coming from.  Yes, of course, I want the album done as quickly.   Of course, I do.  Do I want it without concern of quality?  Of course not.  Do I care more about the album than I do about them as people?  Absolutely not.  Yet, I’m a fan.  Fans like new products of their idols, don’t we?  We want to hear new music—that is what being a fan is, isn’t it?  I thought it was about liking their music.  I also want them to be able to experience more of the success that they had with AYNIN.  I worry that the long interval won’t give the results that they want or that we want and I don’t mean that in some commercial success way.  For me, personally, there is also the fact that I have decided to make Duran Duran such a big part of my existence.  There is not a day that goes by without me thinking about them.  I have to put up the daily question, for example.  Yet, even without that, I would think of them.  This blog exists because of them.  Our book exists because of them.  Durandemonium 2013 happened because of them.  My dreams shifted due to them.  Please, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  I’m not saying I’m a bigger and/or better fan.  No way.  I’m just saying that I have a personal commitment.  This commitment I made myself.  Willingly.  I could stop, but I don’t want to.  I never want to destroy what Rhonda and I built up here.  It is more than just this blog or our book or meet ups or conventions.  It is now something PERSONAL to me.  While I will always defend fandom, what we have here is more than fandom.  It is tied to personal pride, to my identity.  How can it not be?  I think anytime that someone puts forth a lot of effort, dedication and themselves into a project it becomes tied to pride and identity, to emotions.  Do these emotions stop me from being objective?  No, I don’t believe that.  Yet, I am acknowledging that my experience and perspective is going to be very different from most people.  I didn’t understand where they were coming from and they didn’t understand where I was coming from.  Instead of assuming the best of intentions, everyone started to assume the worst.

Beyond this daily focus on the band and everything connected to this blog, I can also acknowledge that I miss touring.  I miss it intensely.  I miss touring the most when life is full of problems and complications like my life is now.  What do I miss?  I miss traveling.  I miss planning how, where, when we would go.  I miss seeing new places or places that have represented good times in the past.  The longing I have to escape real life, as everyone does once in a while, was fulfilled by touring.  There is nothing better to forget one’s problems and live in the moment than touring.  It is an amazing experience and one that cannot be replicated by simple traveling.  There are elements that are missing.  Of course, there are the hours spent with the band in front of you on stage, but more than that, there is the adrenaline of the concerts, there is the excitement, the utter JOY that comes from being surrounded by Duranies, by people who GET you.  Yes, I’m sure that some of you will point out that I have been very spoiled by the touring I have done.  I have been very, very, very fortunate to have been able to tour as much as I have.  My fortune doesn’t make me miss touring less and I absolutely wish that everyone could the joy from touring as well.  This is where the album comes in.  I know that Duran typically doesn’t do large tours unless it is followed by an album.  Thus, a new album means touring or, at least, a break from the “we don’t need to tour” vibe coming from the band.

More than all of this and something that I think every single person can relate to is that I miss the people.  I miss sharing experiences with other fans, with my friends.  Most significantly, I miss Rhonda.  I miss my best friend, my partner-in-crime.  While we are often in touch, it is so not the same as touring.   All of those shows, those experiences have been what they were, not just because of the band, but also because of being able to be together.  Could Rhonda and I get together without a tour or a convention?  Of course and we have, but it isn’t the same.  We don’t have the same motivation.  We don’t have the same desire to sacrifice.  Without something Duran related, we are too practical, too logical.  During a tour, we become a lot more passionate and emotional.  We embrace fun, which we aren’t good at doing in real life, away from each other.  We are much more willing to sacrifice for a tour.  Yet, even now, despite letting the practical side dictate, I still don’t regret any of the tours or shows that I have done.  No, I find myself appreciating them all the more.

Thus, the reality is that I miss my best friend.  I miss screaming at Dom, singing with John, and giving LeBon a hard time on stage.  I miss late night conversations filled with analysis about the show and hours and hours spent giggling.  I miss having my only calorie intake be from caffeine and alcohol and wondering why I don’t have a voice.  I miss the planning and plotting that goes along with any and every tour.  I miss it all.  I miss the lack of sleep, trying to get around work and other responsibilities, spending money that shouldn’t be spent and more.  I miss it all.  Thus, don’t be angry at me for wanting to cheer on my favorite band, their music and their live performances.  Don’t be angry with me for missing my friends and what has become such a big part of my life.  Trust me when I say that my concern and frustration over the time with the album truly just masked a lot of anxiety that I wouldn’t have any more of those amazing experiences or that I wouldn’t be able to take those opportunities when they came or that what we have done here doesn’t matter.  It also came from sadness—from missing my best friend, from missing them.  While I don’t know them, personally, I still miss their presence in my life.  Looking at the past is fine and should be appreciated but it isn’t the same as having news, something current.  I just long for the next chapter and hope that I can enjoy it at least half as much as I did this last one.   What is wrong with that?
-A

Today in Duran Duran History – DD14

One year ago today, the band entered the studio to begin work on what we openly refer to as #DD14.

Maybe some of you are thinking, “Wait a minute – weren’t they in the studio prior to this?  They were on ‘hiatus’ after the tour for a few months, right?”  The answer is yes.  The tour ended with Nick  becoming ill at the very end of August (although the final scheduled tour date would have been September 1st.), and shortly after we did hear that members of the band had met at Dom’s studio – whether actual writing was done or it was just a jam session (oh to be a fly on the wall…), we may never really know.  But the band also took holidays, convening on this date last year to begin work on DD14 in earnest.

As recently as this past weekend, John Taylor spoke to fans at the London Bass show, telling them that he doubted there would be an album this year (and I’d just like to say that Roger Taylor was SO off on his estimate of having an album ready by the end of 2012…ha ha!!), and that the band was in no hurry to get back out on the road…which is the same basic thing he has said for the past year.  Nick and other members, on the other hand, seem to be a little more optimistic about the release of an album this year.  It is only the beginning of March, and anything can happen.

Whether that means we’ll have an album in a year from now or even farther out remains to be seen, and I’ll leave the rest up to our readers to discuss and mull over.

-R

 

Facts, Figures and Dates about Duran’s Touring and Album Releases

Durantime has been a major topic of discussion lately.  The debate, like many in Duranland, is full of complexity and cannot be broken into a simple Durantime is good and healthy vs. Durantime is bad and unhealthy.  Part of this debate, though, even unsaid, is based on the idea of how much time is too much time.  In thinking about this myself, I realized that there isn’t actual information about what Durantime or Duran downtime has been like in the past.  Thus, I thought it would benefit all of us in actually compiling that information.  I know having information, facts, together helps me in my thinking and maybe it will help you, too, in drawing some conclusions about the current Durantime.

First, it seems to me that one should look at touring, as that is a big event that gets a lot of fans excited.  We all know that Duran has taken breaks from touring, but how long have the breaks been and when?  To answer that question, I referred to dd. com’s complete tour list and here is what I found.

Tours or individual dates took place in the following years:  1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992 (2 dates), 1993, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (private/corporate), 2011, and 2012.

The longest time in between tours was 3 years from 1984-1987 and 3 years from 1989-1992.  That said, 1985 saw a tour from Power Station.  Perhaps, that should not count as 3 years then.  Then, we know that they did not tour after Liberty.  We can then debate that this was a good choice or not.  Interesting that their longest time in between tours, STILL featured a new album, still had Duran news.  Since the reunion in 2003, the band has toured every year since then until 2013.  If they don’t tour until 2015, this will the longest stretch since 1989-1992.

Beyond touring, how long has it been between albums or album release dates

Self-titled debut album:  June 1981

Rio:  May 1982 (11 months after last one)

Seven and the Ragged Tiger:  November 1983 (1 year and 6 months after last one)

Notorious:  November 1986 (3 years after last one–although Power Station and Arcadia happened in between)

Big Thing:  October 1988 (1 year and 11 months after the last one)

Liberty:  August 1990 (1 year and 10 months after the last one)

The Wedding Album:  February 1993 (2 years and 6 months after the last one)

Thank You:  April 1995 (1 year and 10 months after the last one)

Medazzaland:  October 1997 (2 years and 6 months after the last one)

Pop Trash:  June 2000 (2 years and 8 months after the last one)

Astronaut:  October 2004 (4 years and 4 months after the last one)

Red Carpet Massacre:  November 2007 (3 years and 1 month after the last one)

All You Need Is Now:  December 2010 (digital release) (3 years and 1 month after the last one)

Based on this information, the longest the band has gone between albums is 4 years and 4 months with Astronaut.  Obviously, I will point out that this is when the Simon, Nick and Warren version of the band ended and the original five reunited.  4 years and 4 months from All You Need Is Now will be April 2015.  On average, though, the band has taken 29 months or a little less than 2 and a half years to release a new album.  We are past that, at this point.

Does this information clarify the discussion of Durantime?  Does it help you make sense of people’s perspectives?  Of yours?

-A

Durantime: 2014 edition!

I don’t know how many of our followers watch for Duranasty – the Duran Duran Webzine that our friend Salvo creates.  It is a labor of love and art, so if you haven’t treated yourself to reading through it, you really should. Salvo has the ability to visit the band on a much more regular basis than we could ever hope, and as such – he really has a relationship with the band, is recognized by them, and they very much know and approve of his work.  So, if you want news – he is the standard.

In any case, there is a brand new sparkly edition of his webzine out now, and naturally you’ll find plenty of good juicy bits to read and sort out, as well as plenty of beautiful pictorial layouts.  I read through it all last night, and the one thing that stuck out in my reading is that the band seems to be leaning towards this album coming out in the latter part of 2014, and perhaps even into 2015.  It would seem there will be no touring to speak of this summer, and maybe not even in the fall as previously mentioned, depending upon what actually takes place. There does not seem to be a worry to rush to market with the album, and they all still seem to stand by the fact that they do not need to tour this year, which really should be no surprise.

The reality of course is that no band NEEDS to tour.  That’s the beauty of being a band though – they drive their own journey. They can do as they so choose.  I’ve worked for bands who didn’t want to bother much with touring. They didn’t want to take the time, and they didn’t want to make the commitment.  They believed their fans would wait forever, and that they’d still be there when they decided it was time to hit the road. Unfortunately for those bands, it was also the final nail in their coffins, because without touring on an extremely regular basis when you’re a newbie band out there – you make no money and gain no fan base to speak of, and you tend to LOSE the fans you thought you had, because fans are very, very fickle.  They lose interest quickly. (Unless you’re us, of course.) On the other hand, obviously – Duran Duran has had a long career and as such, they are not young pups needing every last bit to survive.  These are seasoned professionals who clearly feel as though whatever they choose to give to their fans, and whenever they choose to give, will be more than enough.  They have gone so far as to compare themselves and their popularity to that of U2 and Arcade Fire…and even the Rolling Stones at one point or another, so clearly they feel they’ve reached a certain pinnacle. I can’t say whether or not their fan base agrees, and will come out in droves to support them again – I’ll leave that for you all to decide yourselves at a much later date.

I did see a comment today that seemed to indicate surprise that the band may take as much as another 10 months to finish, and the person mentioned that this one seems to be taking a while. I couldn’t tell if the comment was serious or made in jest, but I do agree.  The other day I saw some discussion that centered around the idea that this is art, and that people should be absolutely patient and supportive that the band is taking their time to record and get it right.   To begin with, I don’t know for sure what “getting it right” means, but I have to suspect it means right for the band. I’ll leave that alone for now and avoid the hooded figures with pitchforks coming to burn me at the stake for saying anything that could even possibly be construed as not supportive.  Hey, even *I* know when to quit!

I want to make clear that we fans DO have the right to express our anxiousness and our excitement about a new album.  I don’t know when this became an issue, and I don’t know why it has suddenly become the “cool thing” to act like it’s wrong to want the band to hurry up – but I’m more than happy to put my name and face out there saying that it’s OK to be excited and anxious. That’s called “BEING A FAN”.  For the rest of you who are playing it calm and cool and acting like it’s horrible for fans to be excited… “how dare you want to rush them!” *gasp*….I have one thing to say: “oh please. Who do you really think you’re kidding??”  You’re fans. I know you. You scream at concerts just like the rest of us. You completely lose it when the band walks by, and I’ve WATCHED how you behave when Simon smiles at you during a show.  So, you’re not fooling me.  I know you’re secretly hoping that album comes out sooner rather than later.  Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.  It’ll be our little secret.

-R

 

 

Going Right Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Earlier this week, my writing partner dared to say, “Durantime sucks”.  She explained that she is impatient and gave reasons why she might be more impatient this time around than previous times.  Fair enough.  The blog post, which if you didn’t read, you can find here focused on how her fan experience and Durantime.  Yet, this post is going to focus not on how Durantime hurts me (and it does) but how it hurts Duran Duran.  It seems to me that fans just aren’t talking or thinking about Duran Duran much despite many efforts, including ours to keep the conversation going on a daily basis.  It feels to me that apathy is growing.  I’ll give you an example from my personal life.  Recently, Duran Duran posted a couple pictures of John in front of a computer screen with captions to increase our interest.  Now, I don’t think it is any secret that my Duran fandom is a big part of my life.  I’m half of a blog that writes EVERY SINGLE DAY.  We have written a book on fandom with Duran Duran as the case study.  We have planned a convention and meet ups and working on a future convention.  Yet, when those pictures were posted, I found myself (ME!!!!) saying, “Yeah, whatever.”  Honestly, it didn’t catch my attention or make me excited.  Then, what was the result?  That John did a video about his perfect album?  That’s fine–no criticism there, but it just didn’t excite me or interest me, when in the past, it would have.  This led me to start looking around at Duranland.  If I’m finding myself apathetic, what is the rest of the fan community like?

In general, it seems to me that people just aren’t that interested right now.  Conversations about Duran have dwindled.  Just look at our stats.  They have gone down and every time we bring up the question of why–we get the same response.  “There is no news right now.”  Twitter seems much, much quieter on the Duran front than it did a year ago.  Of course, two years ago during the height of All You Need Is Now, twitter was filled with constant activity.  I felt like I couldn’t keep up at all.  Now, I don’t even feel like I need to check in much to know what is happening.  What about Facebook?  Well, there are always groups posting pictures and things and some people participate but it seems like a small dedicated group rather than a vast population of fans.  Now, of course, you might be saying something like, “As soon as the album comes out, fans will be back.”  Will they?  Have they always?

Ask anyone who has been around Duranland for a long time about momentum.  Long time fans will point out that Duran often doesn’t capitalize on momentum.  The examples are many…from doing side projects in 1985 rather than continuing as a five piece, not touring after Liberty was released, doing an album of covers right after a comeback album, etc.  The time in between albums has always been a problem since the mid 1980s.  I am willing to bet that each and every time Duran has taken a long time between albums or chosen a path that doesn’t capitalize on success, they have lost fans or lost potential fans.

When I look around at the Duran fan community now, in 2014, I’m struck by the fact that the majority of us are adults with some significant responsibilities.  Many of us have families that we need to worry about.  Careers are screaming for our attention.  We have a lot of real life worries to focus on.  This makes it even easier for any or all of us to walk away.  We have other things that need our time and energy.

Now, of course, people are going to point out to me that they are still on Twitter and still talking about Duran.  Yes, I know that there are some.  I would point out that many of us who are still around have made CONNECTIONS with other fans.  Many of those connections have been made on tour or online, sure, but many of them have been made through attending meet ups and conventions.  Having time to meet face-to-face solidifies any connection made online.  I know that there are people I feel closer to after having met them in person.  For example, there are many people I now call friends after having met during the summer of 2012 during one of our meet ups and having the chance to get to know better at the convention last year.  These connections are keeping people in the community during this downtime.  I would go so far as to say that they might be keeping many of us…fans.  Certainly, we know that excitement is infectious.  Thus, if you are around other people who are thrilled about something, it is likely that you will become that way, too.  This means that those with significant connections will feed off each other once there is news and something to really be excited about.  Those without connections might not even care when news happens.  The band have completely slipped from those people’s minds.

Connections matter.  They, especially matter, in a fandom in which the idols take a long time between projects and don’t always capitalize immediately on success.

-A

Give Me Strength At Least Give Me a Light

I have to apologize in advance for this blog post.  I’m tired and super duper crabby.  This has been a very busy week for me at work with progress reports and two reports on a specific student.  If that wasn’t enough, I had to go to an all day meeting and prepare for a substitute teacher.  Anyone who knows anything about teaching knows how much work that is!  It took away time to work on these reports.  I have been trying to complete my work at home with no luck as the computer programs are not working.  Of course, they are not.  Like I said, I’m in a bad mood.  Bad is an understatement.  Perhaps, this bad mood and stress is why I’m so frustrated that there is not a lot going on in Duranland.  I could definitely use the distraction.  Yes, I know that the band was at the exhibit of Denis O’Regan’s photography and book launch in London yesterday.  I have seen some pictures but have not heard many details.  I would love to get a guest blog from someone who was there to not only give the details but also a flavor of what was like!!!  Hint, hint…

Besides that appearance, I have heard nothing about the band.  I have seen nothing.  Now, before you all start criticizing me, yes, I do know that they have been working in the studio.  Yes, I know that creativity takes time.  I am also aware that it is a busy time of year for many/most people and that they have responsibilities to themselves and their families.  I get all that.  I do.  That said, the quiet is getting to me!  Durantime can truly suck.  Please tell me that I’m not the only one!  Am I the only one anxious for that album to get done?  Am I alone wishing that I had a tour to plan?  For whatever reason, I am really longing for those moments when a tiny snippet of a song appears on the internet so that I can spend time listening to it over and over and over again to try to figure out if it sounds like some other song/album/project and to get a sense of what this album will be like.  I remember when Mark Ronson played about 30 seconds of Blame the Machines on his radio show.  Rhonda and I listened over and over while discussing and dissecting it all.  What did we hear, musically?  What were the lyrics all about?  Now, I know that John talked about how they would release snippets when they were closer to getting the album out.  I admit it.  I’m impatient.  I also can’t help but to think about this time of year about 3 years ago when part of All You Need Is Now was released on iTunes.  While we didn’t have it all, we had enough.  We had more than enough.  We had new music and a new video to watch, to absorb into our Duranieness.  I am just missing that level of excitement, the sense of something new, the sense that the future would be nothing but fun.  Yes, new music means that there is something significant to look forward to.  Yet, right now, we wait.  I should be used to this by now, right?  We all should be.  Most days, I’m good.  I can be patient and understanding.  Today, though, I am weak.  This week, I suck.  I need something to look forward to.

Of course, on top of the stress from work and lack of time to work on much else, I also have been thinking about the UK Tour of 2011 and the East Coast Tour we went on in 2008.  This time of the year has seen many tours and shows for Rhonda and myself.  Now, I realize that we can’t go on tour now.  There are no shows to go to.  Yet, what I wouldn’t give right now for the distraction of planning a tour, which is dumb because I have a lot of other things that I should and do want to get done.  However, I can’t help how I feel.  I want tour dates.  Most Duranies get pretty dang excited when tour dates are announced.  Tour announcements mean lengthy conversations as Rhonda and I brainstorm which show(s) we could do, how we could travel there and travel between shows and more.  The planning trait of mine kicks into gear and I can’t settle until our plans are set.  Maybe it is a sickness that this kind of thing is enjoyable to me.  It means, though, not only seeing my best friend but also seeing other friends, traveling to fun places, meeting new people and seeing my favorite band do what they do best!!  As I type this, there is not even one little hint that a tour might be coming anytime soon.  I have to be patient, I know.  I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve unable to get to sleep due to excitement over Santa visiting except that I don’t know when Santa will be visiting.  Ugh.  Clearly, I’m just pathetic.

Maybe, I am just worried that I will run out of blog topics.  Yes, I realize that this might be hard to believe that I could run out of things to say or that Rhonda could.  After all, we blog every single day and have for over 3 years.  We have almost 1200 posts on here.  Obviously, we are opinionated and full of ideas, beliefs, observations, etc.  Eventually, we might run out of things to say if nothing new happens, right?  It is logical.  Okay, so I have a few things left to talk about.  One of those things will begin tomorrow.  While Rhonda is diving deeper into fanfic, I’m going to dive deeper into conventions.  Fan conventions.  I’ll let your mind wander about why.  Until then, I’ll continue to be annoyed at my paying job, wish my paying job was fandom related, and long for news about the album or a tour.  I promise to be calmer for the rest of the weekend after some sleep and a drink or four.

-A    

Waiting for a Look, The Invitation

There are times when Rhonda and I seem to be on the exact same page.  Lately, as the summer begins to move into fall, I feel like Rhonda and I are dealing with similar issues.  She has to deal with scheduling with school and home along with everything else that she is responsible for.  I have also been dealing with the “how in the world am I going to fit everything in” feeling.  You see I have returned to work, to school, to teaching.  Is this what I want?  No.  We all know that it isn’t.  I sent off applications over the summer and looked for something different with no luck.  I am still looking, sort of.  I just don’t know how to balance that, which does take considerable amount of time, with my regular job responsibilities, this blog, our book, and the upcoming convention.  I’m feeling exhausted all ready and the kids don’t show up until Tuesday.  I know that I will get into a rhythm, a pattern where I’m not so tired and where I can get things done after work but I will feel a little bit like I’m drowning until I get to that spot.  Interestingly enough, Rhonda and I have spent time talking about the craziness of schedules during the beginning of the school year but we find ourselves talking about how anxious we are for news from the band.  We want to know about the album.  We want to hear how it is going.  We want to know that they are working on it and that it is on schedule for a 2014 release with a TOUR.  Now, should we be taking the time to worry about this?  Absolutely not.  Do we already have plenty on our plates that we don’t have the time or the energy to do things like plan a tour?  Very much so.  Yet, we still find ourselves yearning for something, anything from the Duran camp.  This is when it hit me.  What is the only thing I’m not doing right now and didn’t do this summer that I have been doing?  Campaigning.  Yes, the summer of 2013 was the first summer that I didn’t campaign since 2009.  Welcome to Wisconsin where politics is an all year long ordeal from January 1st to December 31st with little to no breaks.  Maybe, though, I should use my not-being-used skills.  Perhaps, a new campaign will keep me fresh for those political positions that I should be searching for and applying for.  Hmm…what could that campaign be for?  President is done for awhile.  My state doesn’t have senate races until 2016.  Governor is far too painful.  What about focusing my campaign skills on what I’m missing the most?  That silly band we all know and love!  Yes, that’s it!  I could run a campaign focused on Duran Duran!

Now, there are two kinds of campaigns.  There is electoral campaigning, which focuses on a candidate and getting that candidate to win a specific election.  That doesn’t fit here.  We don’t need Duran to win anything.  They won us over a long time ago.  No, we need the other kind of campaigning.  We need issue based campaigning.  Okay.  Then, we have to pick a goal.  Typically, most issue based campaigns focus on getting a law passed.  An example might be that there are organizations I am connected to that are fighting to get Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Their tactics then focus on the members of Congress.  Simple enough, or so it sounds.  It is a clear cut goal.  They want it to pass and they know that they need so many votes in the House of Representatives before it goes to the President to sign into law.  Thus, they work at convincing the members of Congress to vote for it.  Let’s think then.  What could we campaign for with the band?  We know that it takes time to finish an album.  We don’t want the album to suck so we can’t really push on that too much.  What should we campaign for?  I have got it!  We could campaign for news about the album, especially since we didn’t get any with Simon’s recent Katy Kafe.  Let’s be even more specific.  What kind of news?  How much news?  We know that there are 8 songs.  Should we demand to hear part of one?  Should we ask for their timeline and how they plan to meet it?  What is reasonable?  Since I believe strongly in democracy, I will ask all of you to help me determine the campaign goal.  I can definitely be campaign manager but I need to know our goals first.
Once our goal is determined, then, we get to choose what kind of tactics to use.  As I’m sure you all know from watching electoral politics, we could either be persuasive through positive means or by negative means.  A negative tactic could be something like a strike.  Obviously, this is a political action often used by labor unions who want their employers to meet some sort of demand like a wage increase or a change in a working condition.  The strike is often effective because it hurts the employer in their pocketbook.  They lose money and will change in order to avoid this loss.  The same is true with a boycott.  We all could decide to stop buying their products and stop talking about them.  What if the Daily Duranie blogged about something that had nothing to do with Duran or started blogging about other bands?  Well, that probably wouldn’t hurt the band at all…okay.  Heck, if they knew about us at all, maybe, stopping would make them cheer!?!  We don’t really want to do that.  Also, it is good to be aware that the tactics mentioned (strikes or boycotts) could cause us harm.  We would be removing something that we enjoy.  Yeah, those ideas might not work here.  
What are more positive tactics?  What about a petition?  If we get enough fans demanding news, a timeline or a snippet of a new song, would that work?  On one hand, if we showed that there tons of fans around the world wanting this, that could be pretty powerful.  That might be enough to convince them.  What if it isn’t then?  Petitions are often used with members of Congress and not always with success.  Then what?  In the world of issue campaigning, we try to use that petition to convince the people who have power over the member of Congress.  Those people could be the people who vote in his/her’s district, state or nation, but they could also be the contributors.  Who would it be with Duran?  Their management?  Their fans?  We could use the petition to show the fans who haven’t signed that the cause is worthy of their signature.  We could also convince management by sending it there, too, right?  We could, if think that will be effective.  Another option could be direct action…a little protest or three, some speeches, an occupation or two usually helped major social movements.  Hm…so many options!  So, team, what shall we choose?  What would persuade them to give us a taste, some info, a little fix to keep us going?  The desperation is increasing as I type!!
Of course, maybe, they would take pity on me, on all of us and give us something without having to go to all of this work.  Maybe, they would want to give us all something to keep us going, to keep us interested, to thank us for being obsessed….I mean, dedicated.  Of course, they would, right?  They want to make us all happy, yes?  I like that idea.  It feels so positive, so optimistic.  I guess if that doesn’t happen…well, we could always still could campaign!!!  ;D
-A
You all get that I’m kidding, right?!  For the most part…