Category Archives: Fandom

You mean that band is still around? Really?

This morning I was in Target, picking up the usual: milk and that sort of thing.  I was in line – a very long line I might add, and my cell phone rang.  My ringers are personalized depending upon who is calling, and this person has a DD ringtone assigned to them.  (Those calls get answered first, especially when it’s Amanda’s ringtone I hear!  Other calls, such as the ones with just a regular ring, typically get ignored, and I’m not even kidding.  All of my kids school numbers – as in the office number for their schools – are assigned to Reach Up for the Sunrise because the chorus is so loud it nearly makes me jump out of my skin…so I know to pick up immediately!)  Anyway, after the call, a woman behind me asked if my ring tone was Duran Duran, to which I smiled and said “Yes”.  That’s when she said “I loved them back in the 80’s, but they aren’t even together anymore.”  Well, my eyes about bugged out of my head at this point, and I took the time in line to correct her.  She was shocked, and even more so when I explained that they have several albums out that she should really look into getting!  (Her fascination ended at The Wedding Album. *sigh*)

I don’t know about anyone else, but this happens to me quite a bit, and mainly because of my ringtones!  I’m pleased to help out the band with their grass roots marketing, but also completely annoyed that people have been living under a rock for the past 20 years.  I have many friends from high school who have found me on Facebook, and one of the first questions they ask me, obviously after scrutinizing some of my pictures and things, is whether or not I’m still a Duran Duran fan.  Some are nice about it, but a lot of them try to tease me by saying “What? You’re still into them?  Aren’t they dead yet?”  (Yes, people REALLY say that…)  After which I take a deep cleansing breath and attempt to answer their questions as nicely as possible.  Sometimes, I even succeed.

After my excursion to Target, I came home, knowing that I needed to blog and that I didn’t really have much of a topic in mind.  That’s happening a lot lately.  I’ve got tons of book ideas, but the blog is tougher right now.  There’s not a ton of Duran news, and what news I do have doesn’t really affect me to the point where I have an urge to write.  It’s either feast or famine sometimes.  Anyway, I hopped onto Twitter to see if something would get my creative juices flowing, and I saw the #questionsIhateanswering topic trending for Los Angeles.  My answer?  The topic of this blog.

It’s not even that I hate answering the question,  it’s that it is even a question at all.  I can’t help but be frustrated that such a fantastic album like All You Need is Now has gotten so little notice from the general public, and what’s more – I’m completely annoyed with my fellow 30 and 40 somethings out there that they haven’t stayed more in touch with music in general.  It’s sad that once we hit the age of 30, 35 or 40 we stop paying attention to what’s out there.  Granted, I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s no wonder that our demographic no longer seems to matter to anyone but ourselves, and that’s incredibly sad.

One person commented back to my rantings on Twitter that she’s over it.  She just loves the band for what they give us (I’m totally paraphrasing here, my apologies), and the rest of it just doesn’t matter.  Most days, I would agree.  Today…I’m missing that mark.


The Bigger/Better Fan

In response to yesterday’s blog, I had some interesting conversations.  The conversations started from comments about how Duran doesn’t seem to really care about the hardcore fans.  For some people, this was determined by the fact that they play the same setlist over and over again and that setlist isn’t one to deviate much from the hits that “casual” fans would recognize.  For other fans, this comment stems from how Duran always tours the same places over and over again.  I can’t obviously disagree with either of those statements.  The setlists don’t vary much and they do seem to tour the same places over and over again.  Anyway, from there, the conversations became about how the fan community expects people who consider themselves to be big fans to be willing to travel and willing to pay the money to go VIP.  Obviously, then, this is problematic for those fans who cannot travel.  At the same token, I have also seen fans be made to feel bad because they can and have traveled and/or gone VIP.

First, is there this assumption that big fans would travel and would go VIP?  Obviously, I can’t be everywhere in the fandom at all times.  From what I have observed, though, I wouldn’t say that it is an assumption.  I think people who travel become more involved in the fandom, whether they want to or not.  They can’t help but to meet more people, have more experiences surrounding the band, and have more knowledge of certain elements of Duranland.  Would it make sense that people who have more first hand knowledge and have more friends in the community be considered bigger fans?  In some ways, it does, and I’m not saying that to put anyone down.  Hear me out.  I look at it this way.  In a real life community, a city council member might be considered a more significant member of the community.  Why?  Well, that person might know more people in the community from campaigning, from communicating with different people to make decisions about the city, etc.  At the same token, the rest of the community would probably know that person as well even if that city council member hasn’t met them personally.  It just happens.  Now, does that mean that the city council member is a more important member of the community?   Absolutely not but that person can’t help but to have more influence in terms of what happens in the city, both directly and indirectly.  Thus, I think that it is possible that fans who travel be look at differently than the fans that don’t.  In many cases, I’m sure that it isn’t that these fans want to be seen as bigger/better.  For many fans, I’m sure they don’t want other people to view them as conceited, arrogant or whatever insult they could be called.  Now, are there fans that do think that fans should be willing to travel and/or buy VIP?  I’m sure that there are.  I think it is hard for people to put themselves in other people’s shoes.  Thus, if they can do, others must be able to, or so it is thought.  I’m sure that there are many fans who do save and sacrifice in order to be able to travel and/or go VIP and some of them might not be able to understand how other people can’t do that.  Perhaps, the assumption is that if going to a show was that important to fans, then they would sacrifice many other things in order to go.  Personally, I save all the time for shows.  I have to, if I want to be able to go.  For me, this means that I sacrifice other things. 

In these conversations, I was told that this assumption that traveling equals bigger/better fan is both stated outright and is implied.  Lately, though, I have also seen the opposite.  I have seen people avoid talking about traveling to go to shows, about how many shows they can get to, about having good seats, about going VIP, etc.  These fans don’t want to talk about their experiences because they don’t want to be thought of as boasting or rubbing it in others’ faces.  Thus, they don’t get to enjoy their experiences like they could because of this.  While fans who can’t travel should be made to feel badly about this, fans who can shouldn’t feel badly either.  I know that Rhonda and I are constantly being told how lucky we are that Duran tours here so often.  In some ways, this is true.  We are lucky.  We admit it.  Yet, I sometimes want to point out to people that Duran hasn’t played in my city since 1984 and hasn’t played my state since 2005.  Of course, what is the point of saying this, really?  There are other fans who have it much, much worse than I do.  I know this.  That said, I bet that we can always find fans who have it worse than someone else.  That’s the nature of all things in life.

Do I think it sucks that Duran doesn’t tour everywhere?  Of course, I do!  I, seriously, want all fans to be able to experience shows.  Even better, I wish that all fans could have great seats at shows!  I do.  How would it help me if I didn’t want that?  Yet, I can’t control where they go.  No fan can.  I can’t control who can travel and who can’t and I can’t control how other fans react to this. I can only control what I CAN do.  I can only control how I react to other fans.  Yes, I offer and will continue to offer sympathy for those fans who haven’t had shows anywhere near them (by that the city, state, country, continent or hemisphere!).  I will continue to wish that Duran gets everywhere to make all fans happy and I will be thrilled for those fans who get a show who haven’t ever or haven’t in a very long time!  That said, I don’t want to see the fan community to be such that fans are made to feel bad if they haven’t be able to travel or go VIP but I also don’t want to see the community treat those who have traveled or can travel to be made to feel badly for being able to.  Yes, I’m sure that I’m responding to this is a very naive, let’s all get along way.  Yet, I think we can all do things in order to make sure that all fans feel like part of the community and an important part of the community.  What can you do or not do to help with this?


How Much Do the Hardcore Fans Matter?

The other day, I read a new interview with Roger Taylor.  You can read it here.  Overall, I found the interview to be rather annoying as it seemed that the interviewer didn’t really like Duran much and really wanted to paint the band in a bad light.  Roger, on the other hand, I think handled it well.  One comment of Roger’s really caught my attention.  The interviewer asked about Mark Ronson and whether or not he was an “involved collaborator”.  In answering the question, Roger said the following:  “It hit the mark with the fans and you’ve gotta get your hardcore fans first because if you don’t get them you’re in trouble.”  The “it” is obviously the album, All You Need Is Now. 

It seemed to me that Roger was saying that, in general, the fanbase loved this album, as opposed to the last album, and that the fanbase is essential to Duran.  First, I agree with this statement.  I do think that the fans fell in love with AYNIN.  Yes, obviously, there are fans who don’t like the album but there doesn’t seem to be many of them, at least in my observations.  I would also agree that, at least, a significant part of the fanbase did not like Red Carpet Massacre.  I look back at that time and cringe.  While I’m one of those fans who doesn’t like RCM, I didn’t like what was going on in the fandom more.  The fan community felt divided.  Those of us who didn’t like the album felt the band had moved in the wrong direction, musically, or had made an album very unDuran like.  To me, the music felt soulless and it bothered me that Duran wasn’t writing their own material for the first time.  Then, the other members of the fan community spent hours defending the band and the new album.  It wasn’t a fun time for most of us, I think.  Some fans walked away.  Maybe, they walked away because of the new album, because Andy left or because of the lack of fun in the community.  Thus, no matter what I think of the music on RCM, I doubt that I will ever look back on that album, fondly.  As we know, that album didn’t do well commercially.  Yes, I know that AYNIN isn’t doing well commercially, either.  That said, I do think Duran is in a better place now.

It seems to me that a lot of fans returned to the fandom when the original members reunited.  Some of these people came back simply to fulfill a childhood dream to see the Fab Five perform live.  Maybe those fans would have walked away no matter what album had followed Astronaut and the reunion.  Yet, I think that if the band had released an album that felt very-Duran, like AYNIN does to many of us, I think some of those fans would have stayed.  Their interest in Duran would have grown stronger.  Instead, it was easy to walk away from a band that no longer was the Fab 5 and didn’t sound like them, either.  Of course, many of us remained fans throughout RCM.  Our fandom was tested and lasted.  That said, how many of us would have walked away if the band had recorded something similar to RCM?  I think that many of us put up with that time because we knew that it could be better.  If it seemed like it wasn’t going to ever get better, I have no doubt that many more people would have left.  It could have marked the end of the band, if the majority or a good chunk of their fanbase left. 

Now, in 2012, most of the fanbase feel good about Duran.  Most of us love AYNIN.  Our fandom has gotten stronger and we have gotten over the icky feelings during RCM.  This is important to the band’s future because…well, let’s face it.  They aren’t going to be bringing in a ton of new fans.  Yes, there will always be people who discover the band.  I’m sure that’s true for Elvis, too.  It isn’t like the Wedding Album era, though, when new fans came by the hundreds.  Now, it will be a slow trickle of new fans.  The truth is that there is little means of non-fans to be exposed to them.  They aren’t and probably won’t ever get radio play.  There is no MTV to showcase their latest video.  While youtube has their clips, people still have to choose to see them.  Thus, the band will need every fan that they can.  They need the majority of us to like what they do.  They need us to buy the albums and, even more importantly, to fill their concert venues.  They lose us or even a significant portion of us, they won’t be able to continue, at least, not in the way they are used to.  Besides, after all this time, shouldn’t they be wanting to make us happy?  We have been with them for years, for decades.  It could be a really nice way to show their appreciation.


Would You Really Rather?

Over this past weekend, one of the “Would you rather” questions asked if you would rather see a taping of a Duran Duran TV performance or go to a convention.  The point behind the question (and yes, it really was a pointed question) was to see how fans viewed their fandom.  Is it that they are here (in the fan community) simply for the band, or is it about making connections and friendships with other fans as well as the band.

Truth be told, I was pretty sure how the answers would play out.  Most would jump at the taping, and a select few might say the convention.  I wasn’t surprised to read that most people want to see the band at all costs, whether it’s for one song or twenty. That’s why they are fans, and naturally, the band brought me to this point as well.  I get it.  
I was fairly careful and measured with my words and response on our Facebook page, because the last thing I want to do is alienate people, and that goes without saying even here on Daily Duranie.  This should be a safe place to be a fan.  I’m happy to read that we all still want to see the band live. Otherwise Roger might need to go back to farming, John might reconsider that acting career, Nick might…well…I’m not really sure what Nick would do (or what he would NOT do), and Simon?  Well, Simon might actually take up writing, and I would spend countless hours attempting to decipher his words (incorrectly, I might add).  We really cannot have any of that.  I am sure the band thanks all of us for our seemingly endless devotion.  As soon as I read the responses on Facebook that day, I knew I’d be blogging about this same topic here.  I let the subject stew a bit over the weekend, hoping that I’d find words to articulate exactly how I feel without being judgmental.  I highly doubt I’m successful.  
There are two reasons I am here:  the band, and the fan community.  To begin with, I am a fan of Duran Duran.  I love the band as much as anyone else.  I go to what shows I can, and I enjoy myself when I’m there.  I hope the band knows that, but I highly doubt they recognize when I’m there or not.  Yes, I support the band.  Don’t we all in our own way?  So, I’m a fan of the band.  Then there is the fan community.  Certainly I could remain a fan of the band and never once consider myself a part of the community.  There are many, many folks out there that simply go to the shows, whether it is one show or ten shows, one appearance or fifty, and we might never know them.  Sure, you might recognize them from place to place, but unless they actually take part in the “community” side of things, you don’t know them.  There have been times when I’ve met people in line for general admission shows that have been fans for just as long as I have, but they just go to the shows.  They don’t get involved online or do the whole fan thing with other people.  They are still fans, but they don’t do the community.  Then there are people who are more like me, where they are fans, and because they are fans – they sought out other people.  They wanted to make friends with other people who love the band. This my friends, is where community comes in.  
I’m not going to sit here and argue the merits of being in the fan community, nor am I going to attempt to explain to someone they are incredibly shortsighted for choosing to see the band over going to a convention.  All I’d like to do is share why I would never bother to see a taping of the band if I could do a convention instead, and why there is a small part of me is almost sad for those of you that would.  
I’m sure everyone knows by now that I was involved planning a convention here in the US several years back.  It was probably fairly small since I think just over 100 people attended, but at the time it felt huge.  My life changed direction that weekend, and I know that my self, my psyche, was also changed.  It is very difficult to put into exact words how one silly weekend changed things forever – but I’ll share this much – the very reasons Amanda and I write this blog every single day came out of that weekend.  For me, being a fan and being in a real community came together that weekend.  I felt whole, and I know how weird that sounds.  I guess one way to look at it is that up until that time, I experienced being a fan as a single person.  Sure, I’d go to shows and have a great time, but other than my dear, ever tolerant husband, there was no one to share my excitement with – and somehow screaming “I love you Roger!!!” wasn’t really that much fun with Walt staring at me with wide, incredulous eyes.  So yeah, I didn’t do much of that.  I could take out my “inner Duranie” as though it were a costume, put it on, enjoy the show, and as soon as it was over I’d put it up in a box at the top of my closet.  I’d watch other people at the shows and see that they’d go over to people and hug as though they were old friends, and at the time I’d wonder how in the hell they knew so many people.  I got the sense that I was missing out on something.  
After the convention, I found what I was missing: friendship.  Now I’m one of those who goes to the shows and runs to hug people I haven’t seen. I chat with people online, I plan to go to shows where I’m going to be with friends – even if it means that I travel to see them and don’t do as many shows per tour because I’m spending money flying – because for me, that’s what makes being a fan fun.  At the end of all of this, I’m not going to be sitting around tallying up how many shows I did verses how many someone else did.  I’m going to be sitting down for drinks with the people I met along the way, reminiscing about the crazy things that went on, and talking about how much we miss those times.  The shows, the band, the conventions, my friends and the good times are completely interwoven together in a tight fabric now.  I can’t separate one thing from another without the threading coming apart, and I wouldn’t even want to try.  
Live TV appearances and tapings with the band can be great.  I hear you get to show up hours ahead, stand around for hours, then in a rush of adrenaline you run to find spots as close to the stage as possible, and then gloriously they come on stage to do a few songs, or even a few more if you’re lucky.  You might get from reading that I’ve not been to a taping, and you’d be right.  I can’t fault people for wanting to support the band by going – because gosh, if they didn’t go, who would?  Only the people who were already planning to be at the show for other guests, right?  There are priorities, and for the people who want to be at every show, every taping, every possible event – this is key.  Friends are fun, and there are times and places for all of that.  I can’t and won’t fault them even if I sound a bit judgy.  I just know that for me, that’s not even half of why I’m still here.  I would have gotten very, very bored by now if it were only about the band. (apologies to the band, but I suspect that they’ll get my point)
Interestingly enough, I think I’ve stumbled onto answers regarding this topic – for some fans, it’s not at all about the community, and that’s OK.  For me, it’s ALL about the community.  I’d still be a fan, but I wouldn’t be writing the blog or writing a book about fandom if I didn’t care about the community, and that’s where we all differ.
I try not to be disappointed when I read comments like “It’s all about the band”, or “TV taping because the guys are there”.   The people who write them typically mean nothing by them other than to say that they love the band, and you know – I can identify with that feeling!  That said, there is another very dark, very ugly part of being in our fan community where those comments really can tread dangerously into the waters where community is all fine and good until the band shows up.  In which case fans might slit throats to get to them first.   Yes, shocking as it is to read those words, this is exactly how it feels to see the cutthroat mentality that comes out like claws when the band is even rumored to be in the same place.  It is exactly that portion of  fandom that I despise most.  Make NO mistake, however; this isn’t about the people who commented that they’d rather be at the taping.  Some of those people who replied that way are in fact my friends, and I am in no way accusing any specific person who replied that way of the behavior.  There is a specific, yet almost invisible dividing line where seeing the band, interacting with the band, etc. somehow becomes so important that we’d do one another in before offering someone a hand up.  How does that factor in with being in a community? 

The Real Fan

Have you ever taken one of those fan purity tests?  You can find one on John Taylor here.  The basic idea behind these type of tests is to prove how big of a fan you are.  This determination is made based on the answers to the questions.  Some of the questions on John’s include ones on owning all of his solo albums, knowing family information and following in his fashion footsteps.  Obviously, tests like this are made for fun.  I doubt if fans would really take something like this and use it to prove who is the biggest fan, the second biggest fan, etc.  Yet, I suppose that it could be since you get a score at the end and defines the amount of “Johnner” in you. 

Part of me wishes that fandom really is this easy. If a fandom test did existence, a person could take a test to determine whether or not s/he was a fan and how big of a fan.  Yet, I think that most of us agree that this is truly silly.  Who is to say if someone is a fan?  Who is to say if someone is a big fan?  The obvious, clear cut answer here is no one, except for the individual person.  I’m a fan because I say I am.  I’m a really big fan, I could admit.  Yet, it seems to me that people who identify themselves as fans, including me, constantly try to determine this for other people.   I saw this in a couple of ways this past week as part of our “Would you rather” game.  This week, we asked people which album they prefer between two choices.  Most people just gave their preference and moved on.  Some people engaged in healthy discussion with other people about their opinions and reasons.  It was cool.  Then, I noticed that some people made the comment that basically said that fans should like all of Duran’s albums.  I also spotted a number of responders who had not heard the albums listed, which also bothered people. 

Now, I understand these shocked like reactions as I, too, have had them.  I have this type of reaction or something similar when I hear or read about a fan who expresses his/her fandom in a very different way than I do or sees being a fan in a way opposite of what I see being a fan is.  Yet, if I think about these reactions, logically, they seem a bit…harsh.  Do Duranies have to like EVERYTHING that the band has done?  I don’t really think so.  I doubt that the band likes everything they have done.  Maybe they liked it at the time and change their minds.  Perhaps, they never really liked something but their record label or manager(s) did.  I don’t know.  It is possible that one member likes something and another member doesn’t.  To me, being a fan means that you love the band.  I don’t love every song or album they have ever made.  Yes, I have given everything a chance but while I love Planet Earth, I hate Zoom In.  That’s me.  Perhaps, some people wonder how I can be a Duranie or a big Duranie if I don’t love everything.  It is simple.  I love Duran as a whole, as a package.  I love them unconditionally like I do a family member.  That said, like a family member, I don’t love every little detail or aspect.  Now, this doesn’t mean that someone who does love everything the band does is wrong.  S/he is just different than I am.  That’s okay.  Both should be allowed to express their opinions.

It is also okay if a fan hasn’t heard every song.  This does not make him/her any less of a fan.  Nor does it make me a bigger fan because I think I have heard every released song.  It means that we express our fandom differently.  While I get obsessive and want to consume every single thing connected to the band, others are either content with what music they have or need to be more compelled to check some things out.  Neither fan is right or wrong, just different. 

To me, I guess, a fan is someone who says that s/he is a fan.  If someone declares him/herself as a Duranie, isn’t that good enough?  Then, does it matter who is the bigger fan?  Does it even matter if someone is a big fan?  I don’t mind too much, if someone says that I am a big fan.  In fact, I will even admit that I feel proud about that, especially if it is connected to our blog and comes from someone outside of the fandom.  Yet, I don’t really say it about other fans and don’t feel comfortable if that comes from other fans.  Why?  I don’t think I’m qualified to make that judgement and don’t really want people to feel pressured to make that statement about me.  Plus, I know that those words carry weight within a fan community and can lead to hurt feelings.  I don’t want that.  Can’t we all just agree that we are all fans, perhaps, even big fans?  Isn’t that enough?


A Duran Duran Cruise!?

Today was day two of our month long game of, “Would You Rather?”  In this game, we give two options related to the band and ask people to make a choice and explain it.  Today’s question was, “Would you rather be on a cruise with the band or in a band’s video?”  Over the course of the day, many people shared their varied opinions and reasons.  From what I could see, the options were fairly evenly split, which isn’t terribly interesting.  What is interesting is that a number of people brought up the fact that the band wouldn’t do a cruise.  Some pointed out that Nick doesn’t like boats, which is something he has stated a number of times in interviews.  Anyway, while the game is supposed to be just for fun, a means of living in a fantasy for a moment, it did get me thinking.  (Always dangerous, I know…)

Other bands have done cruises where the band members go on an exclusive cruise with their fans.  One band that I know of, for sure, is New Kids on the Block.  How come that band is willing and able to do a cruise like that and Duran isn’t?  Is it because of management?  A matter of scheduling?  The kinds of fans?  Personal preference for the members?  Let’s tackle the possibilities one at a time.

Could Duran’s management be the one stopping Duran from doing a cruise with the fans?  Obviously, I do not know their manager or anyone working with their manager.  Thus, I wouldn’t really have any idea.  The only thing I could do would be to analyze the role and purpose of the manager.  From what I know, which isn’t very much, a manager should be looking after the band’s current and future success.  For a band, I would assume that the focus is on money and popularity, which is a result or cause of money.  Would a Duran cruise help with their money and/or popularity?  As for the money, I honestly don’t know.  I wouldn’t have a clue about how much something like that would be to arrange.  Would they be able to sell enough tickets that they would earn a profit?  As for the next question, would it help their popularity, I honestly don’t know that it would.  While there are a lot of diehard fans, many of us have been around for a loooooooooooooooong time.  We still will stick around without something like that.  Would it bring new fans into the fold?  I doubt it.  Now, would it be a nice way to say thank you to the loyal fans?  I think it would. 

The second possible reason that Duran doesn’t do fan cruises is due to scheduling.  This seems possible to me.  They obviously couldn’t squeeze it in during a tour or in the middle of writing and recording an album.  This would leave those downtimes, much like we are in at the moment.  It seems to me that Duran likes to take their time off to vacation, to spend time with family, and to work on other projects.  They wouldn’t have as much time if they throw in a fan cruise once every few years or so.  This leads right into personal preferences of the band members.  Perhaps, some of the band members would be interested or okay with doing a fan cruise.  Maybe, some members don’t want as much time with family as others.  Maybe, some are more focused on pleasing loyal, diehard fans.  Maybe some hate boats like it appears Nick Rhodes does.  Maybe there is an alternative that Nick would do instead.  Maybe more band members hates cruises over the ones who like them?!

Of course, most people assume that the reason Duran doesn’t or won’t do fan cruises is because of the fans.  I assume that the concern here is that the fans would either act inappropriate around the band or each other.  I have to ask, though.  Are fans of New Kids really that different than Duranies?  I, seriously, don’t know.  On paper, they don’t seem that much different.  Both bands were really popular and really popular with young people, especially young girls.  The young girls often fancied one or more band members.  Both band seemed to have a dedicated fanbase that could and did create quite the scenes back in the day.  So, how are they now?  Are New Kids fans able to handle being in the same place as the band and Duranies aren’t?  Yes, obviously, I’m generalizing.  Is it that New Kids think that their fans could handle it and Duran doesn’t?!  Perhaps, the concern has more to do with how fans interact with each other.  Maybe there isn’t as much drama in that other fandom.  Duran’s presence might make more drama or more intense drama.  They do on tour.  That said, if the fans can’t handle it, does staying away from them help or does it make the problem worse?  I have always thought that part of the problem with Duranies is that we are all fighting for a very small amount of attention.  The supply of Duran Duran, so to speak, is very low.  Thus, they are always in demand.  Sometimes, the demand is so great and the supply so small that people behave in ways that they wouldn’t normally.  Maybe the desire to have a moment of recognition, of validation for fans becomes so great that they have to release it somehow and, too often, it is released in a way that is not productive or healthy for themselves, for other fans, and for the fanbase as a whole.  Therefore, if the band made themselves more approachable, some of these other issues would lessen by amount or degree.  They could try to do this slowly, as it feels like they have begun to do with social networking, and increase it over time until one day, they will be ready for their own cruise. 

What do you think the reason is that there are no Duran cruises with fans and no plans for one?  Is it an issue with the fans?  Their management?  Their preference?  Something else entirely?


Would You Rather and Other Observations!

Some of you may have noticed that we are starting to change/add a few things here on the blog as Rhonda mentioned yesterday. One of those things is Game Day Thursday! Obviously, it might take awhile for us to work out all of the little details. That said, we want to hear from you about what you enjoyed and what you didn’t like as much! We are giving props today to our buddy, mercblues, on twitter, as she was the first one to complete yesterday’s word search! Way to go!!!

Another new piece to the Daily Duranie is a little game that we are starting that will go from today until February at this time! It seemed to us that many people liked the Daily Duranie Challenge we did a while ago. To that end, we tried to come up with some fun question to ask everyday. We are calling this little daily game, “Would You Rather…?” The game is pretty simple. We will give you two options about something related to the band. You pick your choice and tell us why. Simple and fun. 🙂 We will post it here, on our twitter and on our facebook. The first question is:

Would you rather be a band member’s best friend or a band member’s personal stylist?

My answer: I would rather be a best friend. I would be able to share everything with that band member (John. LOL.) as opposed to just clothes, hair, accessories, etc.  A best friend is able to hang out, talk, get to know to the other person, get to be there for him/her.  If I was his personal stylist, I would only interact in order to deal with his style. While it is appealing to be able to throw out clothes that I think are silly or unflattering, that isn’t enough of a draw from me.    Now, your turn.  What would you rather be?

Now, on a different note, another element we have added to our blog is the Today in Duran History piece. I am constantly amazed and in awe over the band’s history and the fact that I have been around to see most of it! Okay, I’m a little scared of that, too! 🙂 Today’s day in Duran’s history relates to the Neurotic Outsiders, a side project that John was involved with in the mid-1990s. When we did the Daily Challenge a few months ago, I discovered that many fans had not been aware of this project. I hope that some of them checked them out and enjoyed what they found. That said, this made me think about my own personal fandom.

Now, I know that this is going to shock many of you when I say that I like to know as much as I can about my fandom. In Duranland, this includes their side projects and solo work. Of course, I have various opinions about these other projects. Some of them appeal to me more than others but I still want to know about them. In fact, as a kid, when I discovered Duran, I read as much as I could about them. Obviously, some of the information about them included their influences. How many 9-year- olds do you know that go out of their way to hear records by Chic and by the Sex Pistols? Yep. That was me. I am happy to say that this “research” actually helped me to find other music that I enjoy and enjoyed. Other people seem to just be content with whatever part of their fandom they find. I can understand that, too. It is supposed to be fun and many people don’t enjoy research. The fact that I do enjoy research probably explains why I have a history degree, am writing a book on fandom and write this blog, huh?

So, where are you on the spectrum of fandom related research? Are you like me and have to learn as much as you can as fast as you can? Are you the opposite in that you want to just sit back and enjoy the Duran you know and love? Maybe, you are somewhere in between. If you have a chance to find out more, you do but stop if you find you aren’t enjoying what you find. I loved to know where other fans are with this so let me know!!!


OK…enough quiet!!!

Last night, I finally had the opportunity to listen to some CD’s that Amanda has graciously made the two of us…that may or may not have included live performances of the concert(s) we went and saw in the UK, including Brighton.  I have to say, hearing these songs again brought back some good memories from that week spent traveling all over England and Scotland.  Yes, I’d still do it again.

When I first got home, as much as I tried to keep up with the Duran goings on, I had family schedules to contend with, and I swear the month of December went by as a blur.  I blinked and it is now over.  I guess it didn’t bother me so much when the band “signed off” for the holidays because I kind of needed a break too!  It’s tough to be a blogger sometimes!  (whine, whine, moan…wine! Yes, that kind of wine!)  So all went quiet.  Even our blog stats went way, way down. Scarily so, to be honest….but we forged on!

It’s now January 4th.  I have not heard hide, nor hair of that band for a couple weeks now – aside from a few facebook postings from the batcave, or “headquarters” as the rest of you might call it.  Oh, and one curious posting from Mr. LeBon on New Years Eve… We’re not fooled, the band is still on holiday, and I say – it’s time to get back to work!  Do you hear that whip cracking?  Of course I’m joking.  Mostly.

Fans are fickle.  We love the band to pieces because it’s what we do, but then the band goes quiet for a while, and we become uneasy.  Some move on to whatever other obsessions they have.  I actually do a lot of reading in my *laughs* spare time.  HA.  I have now read every e-book I had ready to go for my trip. (clearly didn’t do much reading in the UK…)  I’m finding myself googling each and every band members name simply to see if news pops up that I’m somehow missing elsewhere.  I have now read every single biographical essay that seems to exist for each band member, including Dom Brown.  (be afraid)  We’re bored now, and as such, we’re now in danger of chewing one another up just for the sheer sport.  Sometimes I wonder if the band sits and reads their Facebook and/or Twitter feeds for the fun of it….then I realize that only other fans could possibly find our drivel amusing.  It’s sad, but it’s reality.  I suppose I could be cleaning my house….but really what fun is there in doing that all day?? It’s a good thing that as of tomorrow all of my kids will be back in school, because I need to get out of this house, even if it is just to drive them all over the county!

Amanda and I were once called “impatient” by one of our most favorite readers.  That person was right.  I’m not really looking for new US dates (although hey if someone wants to clue me in to when those will be, I won’t turn you away!)…I’m just looking for activity.  The thrill of seeing some tweets from John Taylor, perhaps.  Some joyous postings from Roger Taylor.  How about some posts from Simon that need deciphering??  I am up for that challenge!  Yesterday while on Twitter, I came across a couple of comments that saddened me just a little and smacked me right back into reality mode.  I won’t quote, but it was intimated that perhaps the band only posts when they want to sell concert tickets.  I can’t argue that – because let’s be fair – does anyone aside from my husband go to work even when they aren’t being paid??  The band is their “job”, in the same way that my husband’s job is to sit at his desk and be on conference calls all day, go to trade shows, or fly to the Far East for meetings with clients.  The difference of course is that we’re the bands customers, and we’re far more demanding than any client my husband might have (Granted, I do not call John, Nick, Simon or Roger at 1:30am and expect them to answer their phone…then again, I don’t EVER call them….and yes, that really does happen in my house on a regular basis…).  Still, the reality can be sad (for lack of a better word) at times.  The band doesn’t necessarily chat us all up because they really want to know us.  They chat occasionally because we’re a big part of the machine that is their career.  Where you and I might very well wish to be on Twitter chatting with people, they might not.  While Facebook is how I keep in touch with my friends – Duran fans and otherwise – perhaps maybe the band doesn’t bother, and certainly not with us.  Once again I’m reminded, and fairly so, that the line between fan and friend is very defined, and I am squarely on the appropriate side of that line.

The one concern with the internet that I continuously see fans struggle over is that line.  We know the band.  We know the John Taylor that is up on the stage that he cares to share with us.  We know Simon, Nick and Roger in the same regard.  There has got to be a difference between those personas and their private lives – I just can’t see any of them surviving celebrity any other way.  I would imagine it’s a very compartmentalizing life at times.  That said, it is very, very easy to forget that fact as a fan – especially having been fans of the band for 30 years.  It is easy to assume we must know one another.  Well, we know them.  They, however, do not know us at all.  Sure, I’d love to think the band has checked out my personal Facebook, they read the blog, they read my Twitter – but none of that is true.  It’s just not reality.  I am one of a million faces they see (maybe) on tour from the stage.  With the interaction we’ve had from the band, however little it may seem at times, it’s difficult to remember that while we might be following them, they are not (for the overwhelming majority) following us.

Maybe they damn well should!   I am fascinating, aren’t you???  (that should be read with dripping sarcasm)

Time for another walk down memory lane for me…I have a few more CD’s to play!


What does jealousy really do for you?

Good morning…I’m a third of the way back to sanity.  Well, maybe I should call it insanity, but it’s my normal all the same.  One out of the three kids went back to school this morning!  It’s a very quiet morning in my house, as my youngest still isn’t up yet!!  (I suspect that when she does arise, there will be evidence of illness…*sigh*)  I’ve been watching CNN (I’m a news junkie and since the Iowa Caucus is tonight, I’m paying more attention than usual), and even enjoyed an interruption free shower…with hot water!  It’s the small things that make my life super special.

One can certainly tell that things are quiet out in Duranland.  How so??  Within two minutes of checking my Twitter timeline – it was clear that drama had once again taken its rightful place in the community.  I have to say, we’re nothing if not predictable…and 90% female.  (Apologies to the guys out there, who are always very quick to steer me into a good conversation about Duran’s music or other news.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that sort of diversion!!)  Come now, you all knew I’d have to write a little about the drama.  It’s part of what makes our community tick, and to be really blunt, it’s one of the things that fascinates me most.  It’s not the drama itself that entertains me, although there are moments.  It’s the mechanics of it all that make me stop and stare.  I understand the competitive nature of women.  I understand what it means to be territorial, even if that feeling is completely misguided.  I know it is downright exciting to receive a retweet, be followed, or even get a post from a band member.  What I don’t understand is why it’s worth ruining both your own reputation as well as others by saying horrible things about the recipient of said attention…regardless of whether said things are truthful, slight exaggerations, or downright lies.  What you say online is out there permanently. Yes, this is the internet, and I would love to be able to say much of it is done based on the safety of being behind a somewhat anonymous screen – but I’ve seen a lot of you live and in person.  It happens no matter where we are, what we’re doing, or whom we’re with.  We can certainly be a vicious people.  I know it is hard to be excited for someone else when they’ve gotten attention that you’ve been desiring for so long – but is it really that other persons fault? Does it really help to lessen the reputation of that other person??  I am as guilty as anybody else of wondering why “so and so” has been able to find the band so many times, or why that girl always gets a reply back from someone, etc. etc.  What I’ve come to realize though is that sometimes, it’s my own doing!  I’m not the type of person who is just going to barge on up to the front of a line, beg for a pick, insist on a hug, or even run up to the front of a stage….thinking back to Glasgow where for one frightening second too long Amanda and I actually considered staying in our SEATS because we didn’t think it was fair to run to the front of the stage. We missed our chance for a front row spot as a result.  Stupid, I know.  I’m not much of a risk taker I suppose.  I didn’t even ask for a drumstick or a pick when I had the chance.  Why?  Good question, and aside from not wanting to be turned down, I don’t have an answer.  My point though is that sometimes, even when given the chance to have that all-important interaction or attention, I’ll literally run in the other direction!  While there are times when I do catch myself feeling just a little jealous, especially when I feel like some of what I think is the worst behavior possible is rewarded, I remind myself of all the moments I could have had but didn’t take.  Then there are the times that I feel are golden: when someone I know who has had very few opportunities to see the band, have interactions with the band or otherwise has their moment.  They might get a retweet from John, be followed by Simon, get a post from Dom or Roger…or get a picture with any and all them.  How on earth can I be mad about that?  I can’t!  I get as excited for them as I would for myself, and oddly enough, it is in those moments when I am happiest about being a fan.

Let me tell a brief story here.  When I first really got involved in the community, well before I ever became a blogger, I had my own fits of jealousy when someone else would have their moment(s).  I think it got to the point where I would take the time to even consider if that person was deserving, and yes – I’d judge them!  It was disgusting of me, and embarrassing to admit here.  It wasn’t as though I felt like I owned the band and didn’t want to share as much as it was just that I was jealous.  The more it would happen to people I knew and maybe didn’t like so much, the worse it got; and honestly – the worse I would feel at the end of a weekend, a show or even after being online sometimes. I know it got to the point where I worried more about finding the band after a show, or who (fans) would be at the show or who would post the next picture with a band member, than I thought about having fun, and that’s when I realized it was time to change things; specifically – change my own outlook.  I will say it loudly, clearly and brutally honest right here: at first, it was REALLY, REALLY hard to just be happy for other people.  I was so jealous of reading how someone got another photo, or another picture.  I kept forcing myself to simply be happy for someone else, regardless of how well I knew them.  Then in time, it got easier and easier.  Amazingly enough, I am so much happier now than I ever was before.  I don’t spend a lot of time scowling at shows, or after shows, when I hear about someone finding the band.  I don’t get as upset if I don’t see them myself.  I genuinely and honestly am happy to hear good news from other people.  I know a lot of people who say that they just don’t care when someone gets a retweet or whatever.  Well, I *do* care.  I’m thrilled for them.  I like reading that sort of thing, and on top of that – I love being that kind of person, that kind of fan, and that kind of friend these days.  It’s much easier to just be happy than it is to be mad or wonder why it didn’t happen to me…because sometimes….it *does* happen to me, and I can see when friends spend time wondering why it didn’t happen to them.  I don’t have that answer, but I can honestly say that its a lot more attractive and fun to be happy than it is to be angry.


What Would Duranies Do?

In a vain attempt for some peace this morning (peace from my family, that is), I attempted to escape online to Facebook for some “me” time.  Upon doing so, I checked the Daily Duranie Facebook page, and saw that our buddy Kitty from Gimme A Wristband should now also be known as Kitty from Andy Taylor’s blog.  While I pondered that progression of events with pride and joy for her, I noticed that there was in fact a new blog up on Andy’s site for today.  You can see Andy’s brand new website, along with the blog and tons of other goodies here.  The blog itself is very short, referring to yet another blog written by the folks at Gawker about the Beliebers – those lovely, lovely Justin Bieber fans.  You can find that blog here…and I strongly suggest you take the time to read because todays blog is in reference to both blogs.

To summarize and probably oversimplify a bit, the Gawker blog focuses on an event in Times Square where about 50 Justin Bieber fans (the aforementioned Beliebers) gather to do a “buy out” of a music store.  According to the blog, these buyouts are actually attributed to helping Justin’s album sales figures over the years, and his management actually goes the distance to organize these events.  Kitty in turn asks what Duranies would have done back in the day with this sort of technology (social media such as Facebook and Twitter) to allow fans to mobilize and even form troops.

Its funny because the first thought is that it would have created complete chaos, as though there wasn’t quite enough of that back in the 80’s, right?  Most Duranies (that commented regarding the blog) immediately jumped to the thought that they would have only used the technology for themselves – learning of the bands whereabouts, waiting online for interaction from them, etc. etc.  I think its fair to say that yes, much of that would have happened – but along with chaos, there could very well have been a stronger level of commitment to the cause.  We long time fans readily admit that we tried to buy everything and anything that was available for the band.  Why wouldn’t we have done the same with a little more direction and focus?  Had the band been able to actually mobilize us using social media – imagine the buying that could have been done!   I’m sure the band wonders about that at night as they’re drifting off to sleep.  If that scenario doesn’t thrill you or at least make you think a bit, let me throw another thought your way:  Why don’t they use us now?   Or DO they?

In fairness, I think the band was very late to the social networking party, and I don’t honestly understand why that was.  I think their learning curve has taken quite a while, and while I have no doubt that at least John Taylor and probably Roger Taylor, Simon LeBon and even Dom Brown are beginning to recognize the strength of the masses (that would be you and I) and the loyalty that comes out of simply acknowledging the fans as people, I don’t necessarily think any of them really know how to effectively harness the power of fandom.

What could really be done?  Granted, none of us (or at least very few!) are teenagers these days.  We all have lives that are incredibly busy beyond the world of Duran Duran.  How many of us could conceivably drop everything and run to wherever the band needed or wanted us to be within a matter of hours?  I’m positive the answer would be not many.  This is proven by the amount of times something, like perhaps a TV appearance on Jay Leno or otherwise, has been announced literally within three or four hours before “showtime”.  Less than a handful of fans are able to show within that kind of notice, and understandably so.  Social networking requires planning and it requires nearly constant attention in order for it to really work effectively – planning being the operative word. Of course that’s not always possible, but should be the exception, not the rule. With proper planning and a little “out of the box” thinking, fans could be mobilized to do similar buyouts, get togethers (to promote fans working together), showing up en masse to various events and things…and really, aren’t those things part of the fun of being a fan?  I would suggest that perhaps giving the fan base focused tasks and direction might even create or foster more loyalty in the long run.

I hate to say that Duran Duran could learn something from Justin Bieber.  In fact, I feel nauseous as I type…but the truth prevails.  There is something to be said for the strength and spirit of the Belieber Army.  While many could argue that there isn’t much stronger than the spirit of the teenage fan, I have to believe that with the right motivation and management – Duran fans could change things.  5 million views of Girl Panic could be just the beginning.