Category Archives: fan cynicism

Duran Duran Fans: Skeptics?

Some may have noticed I was late with the date in history for yesterday. At this point, it might just be safer for mankind if they wrap my house in orange biohazard plastic and call it a day. I used to say that there is nothing worse than having two kids get the stomach flu at the same time. I was wrong. THREE kids with stomach flu is in fact worse. Most of us have moved on to sore throats, coughing and all of that fun now, so I’m back to blogging.

I try to comment and make sense of things I see being said around the Duran Duran fan community. I suspect the band doesn’t bother reading or cares much about what is being said these days, and perhaps the same goes for management. I just believe that our voices deserve the right to be seen and heard.

I used to see many shout-outs of 2015 being the band’s year (and prior to that – 2014!) Lately, I see a whole lot more of “Maybe mid 2015…or beginning 2016, but it could be a lot longer” than I do anything else. Not many Duran Duran fans believe that the band will tour this year, and still fewer believe that the album will actually come out during the summer. Yes, I know what the band has said. The band has done it’s job incredibly well over the past few years – letting Duran Duran fans know at each turn that they’re in no hurry to finish the album, that they aren’t necessarily ready to get back on the road, and that we fans should just get used to it.  Duran Duran fans have lived through the band’s comments of not knowing when the album would be completed to “maybe late-2014”, to “early 2015” and most recently, “June at the earliest” and “definitely sometime in 2015”. Ambiguity reigns. We’re almost through to Autumn 2015 and it’s not even the end of January yet.

The one thing I’ve always known about Duran Duran fans – the vast majority, anyway – they are an incredibly optimistic lot. One might say their fandom LIES in their optimism. After all, this is a fan community that rallied for the fab five to reunite many years before it actually happened. Once that reunion was announced, it was believed that just about anything could happen with this band. This wasn’t just optimism…we all believed it. We LIVED it. Duran Duran fans were mostly undeterred by Andy’s eventual second departure, believing that the band was still very far from finished. Duran fans are positive, uplifting people – likely because they took that cue directly from the band.

At this point it’s clear that the Great Duran Duran Fan Optimism Train has made it’s way over the Great Hill and is now powering downhill straight into the Valley of Darkness. Some of the most positive people I know (and I’m not counting myself in that crowd) in the Duraniverse are openly and publicly questioning the year(s) to come – and I can’t really blame them. After all, they listen to the band  – whether that is through interviews, tweets, notes or news. They fear that even as the band says the words of excitement for this album, the emotion doesn’t quite match their voice. Even the most optimistic amongst us takes notice after a while.

It is 100% possible that Duran Duran fans have misread the band. Perhaps it isn’t a lack of interest, but exhaustion. Maybe not boredom, but instead the effects of spending entirely too long in the studio. Isn’t that still a problem? After all, it is not just the voices heard in Katy Kafes that fans question – it is the collective retreat from social media, lack of engagement with fans, news or updates from the studio (as opposed to prior albums we have heard precious little about this one, other than that big names they’ve had in the studio) and the lack of interest in giving album info on Katy Kafe that has led many to this point of skepticism.

In order to make fans believe in this project and shout about it from rooftops, the band has to first sell Duran Duran fans. I cannot help but recall the days before Red Carpet Massacre was released, as more and more often I am seeing direct parallels. The sense of skepticism in the community was palatable. In hindsight, I really believe the band was completely unaware of just how unsure Duran Duran fans were of the project. Instead of taking our connection to them as real and powerful – fans were mostly ignored. We didn’t matter in the long run because to the band, we were really just some sort of vague entity instead of real, live people that walked hand-in-hand alongside them. They didn’t see us that way, and if the past few years are any firm example – they still don’t, which is unfortunate. The fan show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City 2007 was some sort of partially tethered life-preserver thrown to the fan community. Some caught the life line and many others never did, forced to make their own way or drown. I dislike seeing similarities between the two projects, but they are out there.

I would like to believe this next album to be different. After all, it is far easier to see the overall “state of the fan base” these days. Between Facebook and Twitter, not to mention this blog, it’s fairly simple to get an idea, if one cares to pay attention. That of course, is key: you’ve got to pay attention in order to see what is in-between the lines. Some Duran Duran fans will never be deterred because for them, the band IS their life preserver. Many others will simply move on, because life does not stop. Even personally, I have to force myself to make the time to stay present in this fandom. I make the time, because otherwise, it would be simple to fade away.

This is not 1984. Duran Duran fans don’t automatically believe and worship every thing they say…and if the current prevailing attitude and skepticism over what the band is really going to do in 2015 doesn’t prove that, nothing will.

-R

 

 

We’re In Business, You’re On the Hit List

You can file this under the ever-growing “Can’t we all just be HAPPY?” tab in the Duranie cabinet.

Today’s news brings the tidbit that alas, I will not be making a hasty drive up to Monterey next week. I will not be missing the chance to  walk my youngest into her new first grade classroom on the first day of school, and I will not have the incredible opportunity to (probably) hear Hungry Like the Wolf again.  *deep, sigh* (whether that’s a sad sigh or a cleansing one clearly depends on your point of view. I’ll let you decide)

Seriously though, I’m OK. Sure, I was disappointed when I didn’t win, but I kind of figured it was a slim chance anyway. I got over the idea that I wouldn’t be driving five hours up and then another five hours back home within a 24-hour period pretty darn quickly. My luck is pretty terrible by nature, and I’ve gotten used to the fact that “many enter, few will win”.  I hope the winners all have a great time!!  I just don’t have time to be negative, you know?

On the upside, Duran Duran announced something today that I think could be fun –  the show they’re playing at next week is for Mazda (I love it when my detective work pays off and is correct!) to unveil the Mx-5 Miata in Monterey. The good news is that the show, or highlights thereof, will be filmed, and WE can view it online at Mazda’s YouTube channel.  Check out the details here on duranduran.com I don’t know how much of Duran’s performance will actually be shown on YouTube, but given that most of us haven’t really seen them play since 2012 – we’ll take what we can get! Daily Duranie will set up a viewing party very similar to what we did for Duran Duran Appreciation Day…so be on the lookout for information in a future blog. We’re looking forward to “seeing” all of you!

Back to the point of this post though, why can’t we all just be happy they’re playing?? I’ve seen so much negativity today, it’s really kind of pathetic. Much of it comes in the form of “You’re totally selling out by doing shows like this.”  Really?  Could someone please explain to me how playing shows they’re being paid to play is selling out?  ‘Cuz…you know when YOU buy a ticket to see them play somewhere, they’re being paid, right?  That’s kind of the way this all works. Is it just a matter of who is paying them?  So it’s OK for the band to make money off of the people who love them and have worshipped them forever, but it’s not OK for the band to make money off of brands and/or products.  Interesting. Or, it’s OK for the band to make money off of fashion, perfume, maybe even alcohol brands (because you know they’ve done shows sponsored by Baileys and Smirnoff among others)…but not cars.  You also know that they’ve done private gigs for people able and willing to pay them before, including corporations, right??

*scratches head*

This is all ridiculous. While I wouldn’t necessarily argue that yogurt felt a little weird – the point is that the band is being paid to play, and I’d probably guess they’re being paid a lot of money to play. Good for them. It costs real money to create and record an album. Nile Rodgers doesn’t work for free. Neither does Mark Ronson. I’m sure Ben Hudson isn’t free….and for that matter, neither are Dom and Anna, or management or their team or the many, many other people that work for Duran Duran.  I’m well-aware that the band doesn’t NEED to record albums and they don’t NEED to play live. But the fact is, they choose to do those things, and it costs money to do them….and we’re VERY glad they do! This is a BUSINESS. The band doesn’t put their own personal paychecks or savings right back into the band to pay producers or put on tours…not after 30 years of being a band.  The business has to self-sustain, so in order to make those albums, they’ve got to have money. In order to tour, they’ve got to make money, and that’s not exactly as easy to do now as it was back in 1985. Before fans say they shouldn’t act as shills for cars or anything else, perhaps fans should take a basic business economics class and understand what they’re saying first.

Bottom line, be glad the band is still playing.  Who really cares where?  It’s one show of many to come. Pay attention to the music, support the band however you can, and BE HAPPY.  Life is incredibly short, stop wasting time with negativity.

-R

 

 

 

 

New Romantics?

Hi everyone – hope you all are having a good Monday. Mine is beginning with a new schedule to get through, so this blog is probably going to be posted later than normal on Mondays from now until June. Once again I find myself needing to be in 3 different places at the same time. Never a dull moment. Never.

Amanda and I spent time over the weekend listening to the recent roundtable that Katy conducted with the band while they were at the end of their tour. As she mentioned, both of us listened, and then I sent her my notes to compare with her own once she was finished listening.

One topic that came out of that entire conversation that stood out for me is that we as fans have an extremely romanticized image of what being in a rock band must really be like. We assume that the band takes the time on Twitter with us because they want to know us. We probably once thought that the band lovingly signs each of those CD’s with care, and that when they do all of those photo shoots – it’s us that they are thinking of. I would imagine that many out there still believe that the band cares enough to have say in where they tour, what venues they play in, and even what dates they appear. I mean, when I watch those videos – I am POSITIVE they smile in my general direction, aren’t you?? It’s natural and normal to assume that the band is in business simply because they want to share the music with us, and if it wasn’t that way, especially now that we’re all older and wiser (well, somewhat anyway), perhaps fans would start to become more cynical about the process as hand and maybe wouldn’t fawn quite as much over those posters they still have hanging in their bedroom closets at home. Or is that just me? (the closets..not the cynicism!)

Just last night the subject of Twitter came up. It seems to be a pretty common curiosity as to why the band, or members thereof, are on Twitter. Is it because they really want to talk to us?  Is it because they really want to promote whatever it is they’re selling? No one wants to believe that John or Simon consider Twitter as just another part of their job – no one really wants to believe that they’d rather forget the fans even exist at times. I hate to say it, but of course all of those things are true. It’s a hard reality that for the band, it is simply a JOB. That doesn’t mean they aren’t curious, and it doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when Simon – who uses Twitter as a vehicle for being as unprofessional as possible (which is really kind of funny when you think about it!) – wants to tweet and see what gets thrown back at him. It doesn’t mean that John isn’t curious about how we see things sometimes, but yes – it does mean that if it weren’t for the band, they probably wouldn’t have sought us all out. Then again, if there wasn’t a Duran Duran, what are the chances I’d be following them, either?  Hmm. Now that’s a subject worthy of an “insomniac” hour or two between the hours of 3 and 5am.

A fan or two asked questions about touring that Katy graciously passed on to the band (even though I am pretty sure she knew what the answers would really be). Fans want to know why the band plays where they do – and why they completely miss other places in the world. I still have the feeling that fans believe the band huddles around a table with a map in the middle, and I think they simply throw darts at a map on the wall and see where they land. The reality is, as Simon mentioned – unless they really have an issue with a particular place, they let the concert promoter do the work.  I can’t really blame them here. Everyone has their own expertise, and the band’s is the music. That seems reasonable to some extent. The band doesn’t have the time to plan their own tour. I really don’t know a lot of bands out there that have their hands that deep in the mix – even bands who are just starting out. They trust their manager to find a good promoter who is able to book them in the appropriate places and they pray that they won’t be sleeping for too many nights in the back of their van along the way. I know this can be maddening to fans who want the band to come to their area of the world, or to their state, the venue down the block from their house in the “right” month, or in my case: my backyard anytime of the year. Let’s be honest, it’s much nicer to think about the band trying to cater to all of our needs than it is to see the reality: it’s all business, it comes down to money, and it’s not about pleasing the handful of diehard fans that may or may not be present in any one place. It’s really not. Should we whine now or later? I could hear the collective sound of a rejected sigh come over the fan community when a question of doing a tour of B-sides came up. Let me be clear: I would love a tour of B-sides as much as the next person. When I complain about…well…certain songs that I promised never to mention again…it’s mostly in jest. I know they’ve got to play those songs, or a variety of them, most of the time.The reality? A B-side tour just is not marketable as a concept for an entire tour. Simon was very honest when he said that for them – this just isn’t a hobby. Touring is how they make money, and they have to play things that are going to keep people coming back for more. Aside from the few thousand – give or take – of us that will pay money to go to a show to see B-sides, how on earth would they make money off an entire tour of them??  There is just no way to make that economically viable, and while yes – it would be lovely to continue believing that the band does this simply for the love the music and the fans, that just is not reality.  Reality is hard to live with in fandom, because for us – it is our escape. It’s our little island of utopia, and on utopia – the band plays out of love for us. Am I right??? The one concept that I think is genius in the making is doing a sort of multi-night “residency” in a few cities, so that they can do a different variety of songs each night. Maybe one night they play all of Rio, the next night they do B-sides, maybe a night they play So Red The Rose…and so on. How many of us would buy multiple nights? Um….all of us! I personally love this idea because it would mean traveling to ONE location (because goodness knows I can’t see the band in Los Angeles – that would make far too much sense!) and then staying there. I really love that idea and while I feel that there’s almost zero chance of this happening (it’s right above the chance of that career anthology box set), I pledge to buy tickets as soon as they’re offered, even if it means traveling to Africa to see the shows. (Note to self: get PAYING job. Quick.)

Another fan asked if the band ever looks to the fans for inspiration or direction when they are writing music. Simon had no trouble answering this question with a very emphatic “No.  Sorry, but no.” I have to say, I thought it was pretty funny how quickly this idea was shot down on one hand, but on the other – I have to ask about Red Carpet Massacre. You’re telling me that it never once entered their minds how much that single album took their fan base aback – some deciding that it was time to close the door on Duran Duran forever? I guess I question that only because later on in the roundtable it was brought up how the band, and specifically Simon felt that if the fan base didn’t care for All You Need is Now, he felt they would be finished, that they would have done everything they could do, and that they would be finished. That isn’t to say that the band didn’t love Red Carpet Massacre. I’m sure they did, because all of their albums are a labor of love for the band. That doesn’t make them a hit…and that my friends is a tough reality for the band. That said, I highly doubt the band thinks about what WE would like as fans when they go in to write and record an album, and you know what? They shouldn’t! Doing that would be very much like “deciding” to go in and make a hit. It doesn’t work that way.

When a critic writes a bad review, or a journalist lauds the band for being picked to play at the Olympics, fans go crazy…including us here at Daily Duranie at times. It’s easy to become outraged over the stigma of simply being a fan, or at the audacity of journalists that don’t get themselves educated on the subject of which they are reporting. We think the band has the right to be furious about such things, and we think that if we just brought it to their attention…they’d DO something! Hell hath no fury like a Duranie scorned…….even if the band doesn’t care…. Wait, what?!? This isn’t about the band caring or not caring about critics though. I’m always amused when a fan (usually it’s a male fan, but not always) takes the time to chide Amanda or myself, reminding us that the band doesn’t care and that we should just love them for the music anyway. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I’ve done PR for bands before, and trust me – I’ve seen more than one bad review written over the years. Some were even rightfully so! I think the bad reviews tend to wholly outnumber the good ones no matter what band. Yes, I know they don’t care and that even with all of the horrible reviews they’ve gotten over the years they have still done amazingly great things and had an outstanding career. That doesn’t mean that the rest of us shouldn’t take notice and use the topic as a starting point in a discussion. That’s sort of like saying that since it’s generally accepted that women continue to make less than men in 2012 we don’t need to talk about it and that we should just be thankful for our jobs regardless. Are you kidding me? Romantic images of the band reacting aside, these reviews make for good discussion. Sure, we get emotional, and sometimes even angry. That emotion tends to equal passion, and Duranies are nothing if not passionate.

The romantic image we have of John, Simon, Roger & Nick staring at us from the posters on our bedroom walls is one that I think most of us have trouble shaking. We all expect for the band to love each of us as much as we love them – and some of us may have deluded ourselves into believing that this “relationship” between fan and band is far more than the transactional one that actually takes place. Over and over in the roundtable I would hear Katy ask a question to the band, and I could almost feel them all exchange looks like “Are you kidding me? Why isn’t this OBVIOUS to them (the fans)?” Invariably when it came to conversations about business related items, various members would say “Well, it’s very obvious.” My reply to them is “Obvious to whom?” Surely not fans. Most of us have very little clue as to how the business side really works – and in all fairness, I don’t think most people would stomach it very well if they knew. When the band looks out into the audience at a show, we all want to believe that they aren’t thinking about what they’re going to do after the show, how they would rather be napping or at home with their families. When John decides to chat with us on Twitter, we want to believe that he genuinely WANTS to be there and doesn’t feel forced… and unfortunately, it’s like falling down on concrete when we take our heads out of the clouds long enough to realize that just as we each go to our jobs each day (Paid or not!), Duran Duran is in fact a job for these four (five) men. Perhaps that is one good reason to keep the backstage curtains firmly closed and just enjoy what is happening on stage.

-R

Boys on Film

Duran Duran played in Manchester tonight.  While that is exciting, what is more exciting is that the concert was filmed.  Duran’s facebook and twitter have made numerous references to this fact in the status updates and tweets.  John has mentioned this as well on his twitter.  I have seen other fans talk about this filled with such enthusiasm over the idea.  Initially, I was right there with everyone else!  I mean what kind of Duranie wouldn’t like them to film a live show?!  We all would, right?  I definitely would love a permanent, edited version of a show on this tour as it has been a special one for the Daily Duranie.  Heck, I would love a live DVD of at least one show per tour, even if the tour wasn’t all that exciting.  I would buy a copy of each one even if I didn’t attend any shows during that tour.  That said, I find myself wondering if this excitement will be short-lived or not.

Duran Duran has recorded many, many moments throughout their long careers in some way, shape or form.  Nick, for example, takes photographs during shows and has for many, many years.  I can’t remember the last time that he didn’t take pictures.  Yet, we haven’t seen all of those or even a tiny fraction of them, I’m sure.  Heck, we haven’t seen any audience pictures from the UK tour AT ALL (yet)!  I, for one, would love to see all of them.  I want to see every single picture that Nick has taken.  I’m sure that he has many photos of fans and many photos of the band.  I would love them all, I think!  Beyond the photograph is all of the footage that Duran has taken before on film!  I’m still waiting for Drama Americana about the ’05 US Tour.  I bet I’m not the only one who wants to still see it!  Yes, yes, I know that they recorded and released Live from London.  That quality DVD is from shows in 2004, which is a long time ago now!  I’m willing to bet that they have other shows recorded between Live from London and tonight’s show in Manchester.  So, where did those other shows go?  Don’t they realize that they could be making tons of money by releasing live shows on DVD?  Heck, people would pay money to hear live shows on CD or mp3.  I guess my point here is that I hope that this recording will actually be made available to the public.  I would buy it and I bet others will, too!

My desire to buy such a product comes partly from my insane desire to have everything Duran related but the other part comes from my wish to have a show on this tour captured.  I want something to refer back to when I describe what these UK shows were like.  I want one so that I don’t forget what they were like!  Shows on DVD can take you back in time, at least for a couple of hours, and remind you of what a great experience you had!  Of course, I’m making a huge assumption here.  I assume that this show was similar to all of the rest.  I would hope that they would be capturing simply one of many shows with the same flavor and not something completely new.  It should represent the tour, which includes all of the elements found in the UK Tour ’11.  I want to see Simon have a fan start the Reflex or to hear John talk about tweeting to introduce tweeting #Duranlive during Tiger Tiger.  I want the authentic experience.  Live from London seemed to do that (I didn’t go to any shows in the UK then so I’m assuming….if I’m wrong, let me know).  I’m not sure I could say the same for As the Lights Go Down.  Did all of those other theatrical elements happen?  Probably not, I suspect.  While my ten year-old self appreciated that and even my grown-up self can appreciate the artistic quality, I would still want something accurate, something true to the shows.  They don’t need to add anything.  The show is good enough!  Trust me, it was!  Then, of course, there is Arena.  Like many other Duranies, I own it.  I still don’t understand the point of making it sounds not-very-live.  What purpose was served by that? 

I hope that the filming went well today and that they are able to make a quality DVD out of it, one that the public may purchase.  I hope it is representation both of the time but also stays true to what it is, a live show.  Live shows are filled with glitches and other problems.  I want those, too.  I want it all.  While I want to be excited by Duran being “Boys on Film” today, I don’t want to get my hopes up too much in case it is never made public or in case it doesn’t show the fabulousness of these shows. 

-A

What in the hell keeps us going?

Happy Halloween to anyone out there that celebrates this godforsaken holiday.  It is not one of my favorites these days.  Funny how that changes when you’re a parent!!!   I say that will all of the cynicism and jaded attitude that comes with being a mom.  Candy+tired kids=migraine 4 me tomorrow.   I fear for the teaching profession in the morning, and I apologize in advance to my son’s teachers at his middle school.  My oldest daughter’s teachers are on their own…she’s a teenager and in high school. That’s all I can say.

I’ve had a couple of conversations recently that have coaxed my brain into pondering about why in the hell I’m still a fan.  There are all of the obvious things: the music, the band, the nostalgia, etc. etc. etc.  Those are a given and not what I’m really considering here.  I’m thinking about all of the other things.  The things that we don’t really talk about much on this blog, but are very much a part of the whole Duran Duran ambience.  I’m talking about going to a show, being super excited to see them after X number of years, only to have the setlist shortened by X amount of songs (as opposed to other shows on the same tour).  I’m considering those very much fan treasured meet and greets where one band member or another doesn’t bother to show (granted, there may be good reasons for someone not to be in attendance, but if that isn’t acknowledged by the band or their management…what is a fan to think?), or perhaps those meet and greets where it’s very apparent that one or more wishes that they could be somewhere, anywhere else.  I suppose that in most individual instances, they are easy to explain away, dismiss, or otherwise cast off as not being a big deal and certainly not something to dwell on.  I would stick my own neck out here and say that I myself have said that people need to “get over it” at times.  It’s true.  Quit whining and get on with it…that’s what I try to even tell myself when I’m annoyed. What happens when those kinds of things seem to happen continually or at least often enough to draw comment?  I have friends who have all but walked away from this band as a result of seeing them truly bite the hand that feeds, and at the time, I’ve shaken my head and told myself that those people simply have bad attitudes and don’t really get it.  Of course they were bound to be burned.  Well, is that really the case?  I doubt it.  I think it is probably more of a case where they’ve finally just seen and done enough and don’t have an urge to put up with the B.S. that comes with being a fan.  Let’s just take a second and admit that – there IS B.S. that we all put up with, whether it comes from the band, fellow fans or just life in general. It’s OK to say it and still be a fan (in my mind anyway), so let me hear it!!

Is there really a point where you’ve seen and done enough and just realize its not worth the trouble, and if once you get to the point and cross it – can you come back?  Hell, should you?  Is that where the infamous “end of the line” resides??

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard about a bad fan experience someone had with the band or even their management over the years, I think I’d probably be a pretty wealthy woman right now.  At the very least I’d be able to finance my UK tour.  (I’m feeling a new career coming on here….) To be fair, the good experiences FAR exceed the bad ones that I’ve heard and perhaps that’s the point, which I’ll get at later. The trouble is, where at one time I would almost start to scoff at the “bad” experiences – trying to find a reason behind why something would happen, almost to the point of making excuses for the band (who doesn’t even know me or pay me to do so…), it’s getting to the border now where I’m finding that there are just too many good people out there having the same complaints for me not to notice.  I wish I had the right answers, but I do not.

The fact is, we’re talking about humans here.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed “Listen, the band CAN have bad days.  We can’t judge them based on a single incident.  They do have the right to private lives…etc. etc.”  ALL of those things are true.  Goodness knows I’m in a bad mood much of the time (Yes I am indeed a scorpio.  Approach carefully, with coffee in hand.), so I get it.  The trouble is, the impression they leave behind – and I use the word “they” collectively here because I’m not going to single out individual members – is that they don’t give a damn as long as they are kept in the manner to which they’ve grown accustomed.  (She  who used this quote this morning should be aware that while I won’t name her publicly I am giving credit in my head privately. :D)  Of course none of us have any idea whether or not this is true.  I would strongly suspect that my writing partner Amanda disagrees wholeheartedly with that sentiment.  I know she believes they really do care about the fans and about the band, that they would have to after so many years. I am not nearly that sure.  I think they all (mostly) need to keep working, whether that’s financially or egotistically speaking, and I think they definitely care about the direction of their careers, but I think they all have their moments because they are all entirely human.  Well, everyone except that little alien they’ve got playing keyboards.  😉  There are days when I couldn’t care less about the blog OR the band because I’ve got other issues (I really wanted to say crap but I’m trying to sound somewhat intelligent today…so far its not working for me.)  The difference being that I don’t get paid to care. (Not that it would change, but I must call a spade a spade)  Regardless, I suspect the same to be true for them.  The difficulty with that of course is that their entire career is played out in public, as well as much of their private lives.  With that I say a hearty “Thank god it’s not me – I might not have a mansion or a private plane, but I can also say what I will, go about my day and not have cameras in my face either!”  It’s an excruciatingly difficult balance that none of us can really understand unless we were them, and we are not.  It’s entirely healthy to recognize that sometimes, they completely screw up and piss us off, and yet we’re still fans.

It’s the end of a tour – the US tour – and for many, it’s a letdown emotionally.  It’s easy to misread the depression of the tour being over and not really knowing the direction from here as anger towards the band.  It’s also easy to feel as though let down because we didn’t see the shows we wanted, we didn’t meet John Taylor’s glance when he was playing right in front of us…..we didn’t get that front row seat we were dying to have….and we didn’t get to sit between Dom & Roger at a bar that won’t be named here…..oh wait, that’s just me.  Moving right along….

At the bottom of the Trick or Treat pillowcase are all the leftovers from the night.  There’s a few crumbs in there and probably some dirt from when I dropped the sack as I was running away from the house with all the fog and the zombie dude saying he was going to eat me and all of my friends.  All of the candy fell out and in the haste of shoving all of it back in the sack so that I could run and catch up with my friends for the next house, I probably threw some dirt and pebbles in there too, and it settled in the bottom of the pillowcase in the seam.  But amongst that dirt and those crumbs…and of course the leftover JuJuBees (I can’t stand those!) is one perfect Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.  That’s what the good times are like as a fan, and that’s why I’m still a fan…even when I think the band should be spanked, and not in a good way!  (Get your minds out of the gutter people, I’m being stern here!)

-R

Is it really like that?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this summer, thanks to my trusty iPad and it’s Kindle application.  I love it, and I don’t feel bad about ordering books constantly now because they don’t take up space in my very small closet/bookshelf/Duran Duran shrine! (no comments from the peanut gallery on this one)  One of the books I’ve been reading is by Rob Sheffield; Talking To Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest For True Love and a Cooler Hair Cut.  Naturally, I was most interested in the “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran” part, but as it turns out, the entire book is a really good glimpse into what it was like growing up in the 80’s.  I love the way he uses the music he loved to help weave the stories from his adolescence and teen years into a cohesive tale.  His book could really be the book that any of us who grew up or were influenced by events in the 80’s could have written, and many of us wish we had!  One chapter of the book is called “Ask” (1986), and I have quoted a couple of excerpts here:

“We all have our Ally Sheedys, the things we cling to and do not leave behind at the bus station.  All men have Ally Sheedys and mine is Stephen Patrick Morrissey.  he has devoted his life and mine to making me a lamer, dumber, more miserable person.  I can’t leave him behind, because I’ve tried, and yet he follows me everywhere I go.  Six years on my trail?  I should be so lucky to get off that easy” (page 183 – Kindle edition)

I should explain that the Ally Sheedy reference here is to the scene at the end of St. Elmo’s fire where Rob Lowe’s character leans into Judd Nelson, takes his arm and tells him not to let Ally Sheedy’s character go, even though we’d just seen the part where Ally and Andrew McCarthy’s character are creating their own steamy shower scene.


….


“I broke up with Morrissey after the second Smiths album, Meat is Murder, came out in the spring of 1985, because he was just….too much of a jerk.  I was desperate to get out of the humdrum town Morrissey had helped me build in my brain.  My lie had gotten totally grim – I just sat around my dorm room in a depressive stupor, too distracted by gloom to get any work done, too afraid to shave or answer the phone or go outside.  Morrissey had turned into a lame self-parody, and so had I. 


I have to admit, it was acrimonious.  I went from idolizing the Smiths to despising them.  Shit got ugly.  I blamed them for all my problems – and if that didn’t make me a true Smith’s fan, what could?  Hell, Morrissey had taught me everything I knew about blaming my bad personality on people I’d never met.  In a way, hating him was my sincerest possible act of fandom.” (page 187 – Kindle edition)





“Then, just when I’d gone to all the trouble of purging the Smiths out of my system, they did something really offensive, which is they got good again.  The first night my friend Martha played me The Queen is Dead in her room, I was consumed with rage at the fact that it was so unmistakably, ridiculously great, and the fact that Morrissey was making fun of himself and doing a much better job of it than I could.  Morrissey had beaten me to making all the changes I wanted to make – he was now funny, self-deprecating, apologetic about what an asshole he’d been to me, and (unfor-fucking-givable) blatantly trying to make me like him again.  Bastard.”  (page 189 – Kindle edition)
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just so I don’t get into trouble here…please see the end of the blog for the proper Works Cited.  


I know what Sheffield writes here.  I know it all too well at this point.  Fandom is an interesting phenomena, because you can go from loving something with a sincere and pure intensity to thinking that same thing is absolute crap in the time it takes to make one album.  One book.  One movie.  One marriage.  You get the idea.  I think we’ve all experienced that moment of absolute defeat when we see, hear, witness something from an idol (in the case of this blog: Duran Duran) that just pops the balloon of joy, or takes the wind completely out of our sails.  I’m betting that most of you, if not all of you, can name a moment or two where that’s happened.  I know for me, I’ve called the band pretty much every name in the book – and I reserve the very best ones for when one of them really pisses me off!  I’m not the kind of fan that sees everything as a “good thing”.  I don’t turn a blind eye when they make idiotic decisions, and I do call a spade a spade.  Then again, I’m not the type of fan that hates more than I love, either.  I’m in the middle somewhere, until something sets me off in one direction or another.

A good example is Red Carpet Massacre.  I won’t rehash the album, that’s not the point – it’s that for many, it is indicative in a sort of crossroads in their personal fandom.  Many loved the album, so for them – it was just a reaffirmation of sorts.  For others, within one listen they knew it wasn’t for them.  Some disliked it, some flat out hated it.  Others felt it as a personal attack.  I can’t tell you how many times I myself read the words “The band didn’t make the album as an attack on anyone – you can’t take it personally.  Why get so mad about it?  If you don’t like it, so what?”  At the time, I knew what they meant.  It did seem rather silly to get so worked up about one single album.  I mean, no one forces us to be fans, right?  We make the choice ourselves every time we buy new music, go to a message board or buy concert tickets.  My problem at the time was that I did feel let down.  I did take the album personally, as much as I knew in my head that I shouldn’t.  It’s just music.  Isn’t it?

At the time, I felt very much as though the band purposely took a direction on that album many of their long time fans from way back when wouldn’t be able to follow.  I think it’s fair to say that the purpose of that particular album was to help find some new blood to fill the fan base – and yes, I really do believe they were trying to write hits as though by having some magic formula of “producer” and guest “artist” (the quotes there are intentional – my blog, my opinion, thankyouverymuch) they would strike the immediate and profound motherlode.  In that moment, yes – I felt it really was personal, and I was pissed.  Just as Sheffield says he went from “idolizing the Smiths to despising them”, I felt the same about Duran Duran, and it didn’t feel good.  Part of me hated them, and the other part of me missed them terribly.  Talk about conflicted with a huge side order of narcissism! (because yes, I really did believe it was all about me.  Wasn’t it? :D)

Just as I was getting used to pretending that my love for the band would indeed end at Red Carpet Massacre, I went to shows again.  As I’ve mentioned previously – I’d ignore the songs from RCM for the most part.  I would be thoroughly annoyed that the band would still be good live, but in a large way, the band had lost a lot of that unique “luster” it once had.  I came out of most of the shows I went to during the Red Carpet Massacre “era” feeling like I do when I go to see INXS or perhaps even Johnny Vatos and Friends;  the shows are good, I really love the songs and I’ll go again and again and again to see them, but somehow…it’s just not quite the same.

Flash ahead to around December of last year when I first heard All You Need is Now.  I have to tell you – the emotional toll that one song took on me was almost unfair.  I know what Sheffield means when he says the Smiths did something really offensive by getting good again.  I had just gotten myself to the point where I felt that after this book was written, I could probably walk away and feel good about doing so.  I would always love Duran Duran, but I knew that I would get my closure and be able to end this incredibly long saga in my life.  The band of course had other plans.  When I first listened to All You Need is Now – I cried.  I almost never cry.  That stupid band had the audacity to make me like them again.  How rude!! Of course, I didn’t post any of those feelings (of anger and injustice!) on the blog.  Even I have the good sense to keep some of my thoughts to myself.  I listened to the album a lot, and realized what I should have realized all along:  I will never be “rid” of Duran Duran.  They follow me where ever I go, whether it’s to the grocery store (since when is Duran Duran muzak?), to the hospital (I heard “Hungry Like the Wolf” as I was giving birth to my youngest), or when I’m walking around the mall – convinced I’m hearing “Sunrise” everywhere I go.  I can’t be rid of them even if I want, because they are imbedded in my youth, my young adult stage, and now my middle age.  They’re kind of like stalkers that way.

-R

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Works Cited

Sheffield, Rob, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love  and a Cooler Haircut, Copyright July 2010 Penguin Books Ltd, London.

To Be a Duranie or Not To Be?

I have observed something interesting in the Duran Duran fandom in the last few months. Some Duran fans do not like the term “Duranie” and would never refer to themselves in this way. This is fascinating to me. I have always called myself a Duranie and never thought much about it. To me, the term equals any other term used to identify fans. For example, my brother and sister-in-law are Trekkies. (I realize that some Star Trek fans prefer the term, Trekker, but the idea is the same.) So why wouldn’t someone want to be called a Duranie?

I am not sure where the term came from or when it started. I did listen to Top 40 Chicago radio as a kid and remember hearing the term then (early to mid 1980s). Even as a young age, I remember understanding that the term was not always used in a complimentary fashion. I knew that some of the DJs were making fun of Duran Duran fans even as they played Hungry Like the Wolf. Could this be part of the reason that some fans don’t like the term? They don’t like it because it was/is used by people to make fun of the fans? I can understand not wanting to be made fun of. Then, there is another part of me that says that I don’t care what people think of me. If they want to make fun of me because I’m a Duranie, go ahead. It won’t change how I feel or that I’m a Duran Duran fan.

I heard rumors that the term started in America. (Is that true? Does anyone know that for sure?) Perhaps, if this is true, that could cause negative feelings toward the term. If the term is connected to American fans, I can understand the rest of the world being annoyed. After all, Duran Duran fans are everywhere and the band themselves are from England. They aren’t an American band so why should the fans there get a nickname to identify them, right?! If the term just reminds people of American fans then that isn’t good. Yet, I wonder and worry if the dislike towards the term has more to do with the stigma involved with being a Duranie or a fan, in general.

It seems to me that fans get a bad reputation. Fans are often seen as slightly crazy, slightly obsessed. People, sometimes, think of fans as people who haven’t grown up. They worry that people who identify themselves as fans might be stalkers who follow the band or celebrity. Maybe they would do something harmful to the famous person/people. Now, obviously, there are fans who cross the line. While it is rare that fans actually want or do harm the subject of their affection, there are people who seem to take it a bit too far. Thus, is it possible that normal fans don’t want to be associated with these fans who have gone too far? Yet, I believe that normal fans have nothing to be ashamed of because we know where the line is and would never think of crossing it. We shouldn’t let those who are unstable ruin something that we enjoy or make us ashamed. I, instead, embrace the fan in me.

Of course, another possibility here is that our fan community has forced this anti-Duranie feeling. Perhaps, people have seen or been in the line of fire with other Duranies. Our fan community is not always one of love and inclusiveness (as much as we like to think otherwise). Duranies can and have had arguments. They do not always get along and have talked about each other, both in public and in private. Thus, is it possible that some fans reject the term because they want to reject this negativity? I think that is possible and is understandable. Yet, again, I refuse to let that type of activity influence me. I realize that this type of behavior happens within the community. While I hate it, I’m still going to do what I want to do and be proud of who I am.

I am a Duranie. While I realize that there are negative connotations to the term, I don’t let that control me. To me, the term means that I’m a Duran Duran fan, nothing more and nothing less.

-A

Stop Fretting and Enjoy the Now!

Duranies are obsessed.  Well, some Duranies are obsessed with Duran’s future.  For some Duranies, this means that they feel like they should offer advice about what the next steps should be in the band’s career.  For others, it means adding the nails to the coffin by talking about how much they are failing to have success in the current music industry.  Of course, there are those fans who don’t think about things such as this and focus on the latest picture John posted of Roger by the pool.  Guess which group I’m gravitating towards today? 

I, honestly, get frustrated with some fans’ never-ending focus on how the album is doing and where it is in the charts.  I swear they focus more on these things than the band does.  I haven’t heard John tweet much about album sales or chart placement except when he gives out a little cheer for something good.  The rest of the time, he is tweeting about his quest to quit smoking or what they are doing on a rare day off.  He seems to be focused on the now, not on album sales.  Of course, he and the rest of the band could be fretting behind closed doors.  I can acknowledge that as a possibility.  I guess I just don’t understand why some people are so obsessed with this.  I suppose that, for them, they are obsessed because they think it matters to the band and will ultimately determine the band’s future.  This could be very similar to fans of TV shows focusing on ratings and worrying about whether or not a series will be cancelled.  There is a very big difference, though.  In TV, some network executive is the one deciding the show’s fate.  For Duran Duran, they are deciding it.  So, the question comes down to will the band call it quits if this album doesn’t do well?  I don’t honestly know.  I’m not in their heads.  I do know a couple of things, though.  First, I know that they have been through hard times before and I’m not even sure that I could or would call this a “hard time”.  Do you think it was really fun to be in Duran during the Pop Trash era?  It sounds like Simon didn’t think so based on interviews I have heard/seen.  Forget about album sales, he just didn’t seem happy.  Isn’t that the important thing here?  Are they happy now?  Again, I don’t know but they don’t seem UNhappy.  I see lots of smiles and laughter in behind the scenes footage, which leads me to my second point.  They have a long history.  Nick, for example, has been in Duran all of his life.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to have been involved in something like this band since the age of 16!  Do you think that Nick is all that excited over the idea of starting something completely new?  This is what they know.  They know Duran.  They know how to make music, how to tour, how to do interviews, etc.  It can’t be all that easy to walk away, even if things aren’t great on paper.  Thus, I think those fans who hear or read some interview about how Duran is going to call it quits might be making a huge assumption.  Now, they might be right in that assumption but they also might be wrong.  Duran might not be planning to call it quits no matter what happens with album sales.

Then, there are the other group of fans who focus on what the band should do in the future.  This segment of the fan community assumes that they will be around but that they need advice about how they should proceed from here.  Some of the advice includes who to work with or who not to work with, where to play, what types of venues are good, what the setlists should be, etc.  Geez.  I suspect that the band might have thoughts about all of these topics and more.  Maybe they would like to do things a little differently but have run into problems.  Maybe they can’t work with everyone they want to work with due to scheduling issues.  Maybe their management is unable to get some venues for whatever reason.  I don’t know.  I understand both groups.  I definitely get the fear that many of the first group has.  I, too, don’t want Duran to end things.  If I thought that my offering solutions for the lack of album sales would help keep them around longer, I would go for it.  I don’t think the fans will have anything to do with it, however.  Likewise, no matter how good the suggestions are for the band, I don’t know that they will pay attention or be able to follow any of them.  I realize that both groups of fans mean completely well and just want the best for a band that they care about.  I get that.  Yet, I don’t understand why we can’t just live in the moment and enjoy what we have now.  We have a great album.  We have a band on tour.  Isn’t that reason alone to celebrate?  Shouldn’t we be focused on the now like the song, AYNIN, is reminding us to do?  Why do we as a fan community always have to find some problem? 

Perhaps, this negativity is what is drawing me to the third group of fans who are pretty content to look at shirtless pictures of Roger.  It isn’t that I don’t like discussion about what the band is doing because I do, but I don’t like it if it feels focused on failure and a failure that has yet to really be determined.  It reminds me of judging a baseball batter in April because he is batting less than .200 Will the same guy be batting the same in September?  It is hard to say.  Maybe that ball player will end up getting sent back to the minors because he couldn’t handle it and this will be the end of his career.  He might, though, end up batting over .300.  Why not enjoy today?  Why can’t we be happy to still have the band around?  There isn’t many bands who have lasted this long.  Isn’t that reason enough to celebrate?  Reason enough to stop fretting about statistics?  The future is obviously unknown.  Will Duran end soon?  I don’t know.  If they do, I don’t want to spend the last album and last tour thinking about chart positions.  I want to enjoy them.

-A

The Spectrum of Fans

This past week I was reminded of the spectrum of fans.  This spectrum could be referring to age, location, political opinions and more, but, in this case, it refers to the spectrum of positive and negative.  On one end of the spectrum are those who seems to think that everything the band does is fabulous and that they can do no wrong.  On the other end of the spectrum, every move the band does is met with criticism.  Most of us live somewhere in between, I believe.  Nonetheless, this whole idea of a spectrum of this sort calls into question if both kinds of fans are good for the fan community or not? 

This idea that there is span of positive and negative fans started early in the week when I was on some social networking site and saw that a friend of mine had posted something about an actor she likes who just signed on to a new project.  I glanced at it quickly and planned to move past until I saw that she wanted people to comment on this new project, but only if the comments would be positive.  She didn’t want to read negative reactions at all as she just wanted to be excited and happy about seeing her favorite actor in some new show.  I almost responded to it, but not to react to the actor news but to respond to the no negative statements wanted comment.  I didn’t, though.  Then, a couple of days later, Simon hurt his back and the band had to cancel their appearance on Sirius radio.  Immediately, there were negative reactions to the news as some seemed to think that this would stop Duran’s ability to do a lot of promotion and to play shows, which would seriously harm their chance at success for this album.  Again, this type of reaction caught my attention and again, I thought about commenting, but didn’t. 

To me, both of these types of comments are extreme.  As far as the “I don’t want to hear anything negative” person goes, this seems not only silly to me but detrimental.  Are all moves that a band, actor, sports team or author does good moves?  I don’t think so.  I have seen Duran Duran make moves that I thought were fabulous and I voice that opinion here, on social networking sites or on message boards.  Like many Duranies, I was beyond thrilled with the reunion and expressed my excitement all over the place!!  That was a great move, in my opinion.  On the other hand, I have also seen moves that make me cringe.  For example, the decision to work with Timbaland was one that I questioned.  Now, years later, I might conclude that this was a bad move for them.  Yet, do all Duranies agree with me?  No way.  I’m sure that there are many fans who liked Duran with just Simon, Nick and Warren.  Maybe Warren was their favorite member.  I’m also sure that there are those who think that working with Timbaland was great.  Disagreements are going to happen.  Should fandoms just accept the idea that everything the band/actor/author does is fabulous?  I don’t think so.  Part of fandom’s goal, in my opinion, is to discuss what is good and bad.  I think this type of discussion keeps people involved and engaged and that once people become unengaged, then they will leave and the fandom dies.  Of course, the fandom could also struggle if every fan is on the other end of the positive/negative gamut.

Some fans always seem to find something to criticize about the focus of their fandom.  In these cases, it is almost like the band/actor/author/sports team can’t do anything right.  In Duranland, I,sometimes, feel like these fans are just sitting and waiting for the next move because no matter what the band does, it isn’t right.  It reminds me of those parents who aren’t satisfied with their kids getting Bs and As on their report cards because they should have gotten all As.  It is never good enough.  As much as I don’t understand the “let’s always be positive fans”, I really don’t understand the others.  Isn’t there something positive and good with the band/actor/author?  There must have been at one time or another or else I’m assuming that they wouldn’t have become fans in the first place.  Now, I’m not saying that people should stop having opinions.  I don’t think that.  I also realize that there are times when it might seem that all of the moves are negative but if that is all that there is, then why still pay attention?  Why still care what the moves are?  If they are all bad, why not just walk away?  Plus, I don’t think it does anything to help the fandom thrive, either, as this doesn’t lead to meaningful discussion either.  Maybe there can be some good conversations, but after awhile, people will stop listening or caring about what Mr. or Ms. Negative is saying.

Luckily, I believe that most people in any given fandom are somewhere in between these two extremes of all positive and all negative.  Most of us, Duranies, think that most of the moves have been generally good, but will agree that some haven’t been.  We like to discuss which moves are which.  People then engage in conversation and get to know other fans.  This helps the fandom stay alive as people get a personal connection and remain part of a community and a community with diverse thinking.

-A   

The Trouble with Hindsight

Every morning after I get my children off to school and clean up from breakfast, my first line of duty is to write the blog.  It’s a daily thing, if you hadn’t yet noticed.  Truth be told, at first I thought this was going to be easy.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Sometimes yes, the topics come very easy, and then other days I feel as though I’m having to dissect my own brain in order to find the words (and topics).  My brain at 40 isn’t an easy thing to dissect;  there’s cobwebs, endless to-do lists, and sometimes I have the attention span of a tse-tse fly….wait, what I was going on about??   Regardless, I read the boards, check out Twitter, do whatever I need to do in order to find something of interest.  As you all well know by now, there isn’t always Duran Duran news to comment about.  Today is one of those days, so far.  Invariably though, I will write a blog for the day, and an hour or two later something exciting will come up and I’ll have to simply walk away from the computer, otherwise I’ll feel tempted to scrap the already posted blog and write something completely different, which kind of ruins the whole point of the blog.  It’s supposed to be the thoughts within that moment of writing.  This isn’t a newspaper, and we don’t really do breaking news….although sometimes I think we should!  So, the act of writing daily blog about Duran Duran has presented far more of a  challenge than I thought.  

In my morning board perusal, there was a thread of interest on Mark UK’s board (here…but if you’re not a member, you’ll need to become one in order to read the board.  I HIGHLY recommend doing that – and I’ll see you there at some point!).  It was titled Lost Opportunities, and naturally it was specifically about Duran Duran.  Whenever there is downtime in Duranland, it seems to be the natural thing for fans to examine the past and debate where the band has gone wrong.  Hindsight being 20/20, of course.   A few years ago, I would have written volumes on where I thought the band went wrong, and done so with bravado.  Sometimes I’ll comment on things that I felt could have gone better here in the blog, but the fact of the matter is, the subject has gone stale with me lately.  I’m not sure why – but I think part of it is that at some point I sat back and realized that I couldn’t have done any better myself.  I’m no more of an music industry expert than anyone else, and even if I were – being the musician is a far cry from being the manager, or being the promoter.  I don’t always like the choices the band has made, but for whatever reason – I don’t get to make the decisions for the band.  Go figure.  For instance, if *I* were in the band, I’d have already announced the tour dates – because I know that the fans, are DYING FOR THEM.   (yes, that’s my personal plea.  It’s my blog, I get to make a plea.  Wanna plea for something?  Write your own blog!)   I suppose that a large part of me has decided that I’m in this for the enjoyment, and if I’m constantly second guessing the band AFTER THE FACT, what good is that really doing anyone?  Sure, it’s a conversation topic, and I’m really not trying to take that away from anyone – least of all the people who have posted in that thread, I just don’t know that it does any good in hindsight.   We’re simply the fans.  Our “contract” with the band is simple:  they produce the music.  We choose to buy it and support them, or we choose not to.  Very easy.  I don’t know how interested the band really is as to why the fan base feels that Liberty was a horrible album, that Thank You shouldn’t have ever been done, or that Red Carpet Massacre completely divided the fan base.  Maybe they care, maybe not.  Maybe it’s too late for them to worry about it, because just as this blog is my writing during one specific moment in time – so is their music, and the choices they make.  What I wrote yesterday may not even be relevant today, but that doesn’t make it any less important or relevant to me during the time I wrote it.  (which by the way – still totally relevant, in case you’re wondering.  I still need that milk…and those tour dates, John.)  Perhaps we have overstated our importance to ourselves and one another.  I too, might possibly have been guilty of that a time or two…or three or four.  *wink, wink*  I know that as a long time fan, it’s hard to get past our own individual notion or belief that they’re writing and playing just for us.  It’s hard to believe that while I really don’t care for Red Carpet Massacre (the album as a whole), there are many fans out there that love that album and think I’m just as crazy as I know they must be!   It’s even tougher to believe that there are actually fans out there that think this new album stinks.  (the aforementioned “I think they must be crazy” belief still holds true here)   The one thing fans are never short of: opinions.

I believe that for the most part, fans are genuinely good people.  We tend to be a little opinionated, perhaps a bit obsessive, and maybe just a little bit over-the-top at times, but for the most part, we’re good people.  Posting about what have been the downfalls of the bands career seems to be at the edge of where we stop being constructive and have started to deconstruct the bands history.  The funny, or not-so-funny crumb of this topic is that by looking back the way we have been, we’re completely ignoring the very message that Duran Duran set out to share with us in this new album.  We don’t need to look back, we really don’t need to look forward, because the only thing that really matters is this little bit of road we’re on right here and now.  Sometimes, I think the fans forget that.  I know I have.  At some point, when all of this is said and done, we’re going to have a lot of extra time on our hands to completely dissect the bands career.  It’ll be over before we know it, sadly enough.  At that point, we’ll have the full story in front of us; beginning, middle and end.  We’ll know the answers, and most of us will be able to say we watched the entire story unfold. At that point, it will be more about reliving the past and having the good memories of our lifetimes matched with an awesome soundtrack of music.  For now, it seems to me that the important thing to do is enjoy the moment we’re in, because it certainly doesn’t last for long.

-R