Epilogue: I saw the band again in August of 2012 and was able to have a do-over on the meet-and-greet. Sara wasn’t able to go, which was too bad because I know she wanted to prove that she could do it without passing out. It was very calm and devoid of paramedics. I was able to introduce myself to them all, shake hands and say hello, have them sign my ADITM CD, and have a lovely photo taken. Much more like the scenario my fifteen-year-old self had imagined.
Going to see Duran Duran in their hometown is always a lot of fun! Although, I admit I’ve only ever seen them in Birmingham so I can’t compare it to anywhere else. It always feels like it’s a special event, though!
Hailing from Birmingham, England, Jane has been a fan since late 1981. She is married to a musician with two children. The youngest, being a ‘Directioner’, always asks about Duran Duran fan related stories and Jane thoroughly enjoys re-telling them. Aside from Duran, she works part time in a school and loves rock music and reading.
I really have no idea what Amanda is going to do while I’m gone. Given the last week or so, I wouldn’t truly be surprised if she lit a match to the whole blog. No, not really, I promise! She is going to take over my blog writing for me, I’ve written a couple of themed blogs for her – and we have a few guest blogs to share during my absence as well. Have no fear, the blog will go on!
On that subject, if you are feeling creative and want to share, we could still use a blog or two on any regrets you have as a fan. What does this mean? Well for example – maybe you missed a show or a tour that you really wish that you hadn’t missed. You can blog about what you missed, the reason why you missed it and so forth. Sometimes, humor helps, but sometimes, there are heartfelt reasons things happen – now is your time to share. If that topic doesn’t float your boat, you might want to write about your favorite band member. That is a favorite talking point amongst fans – I get asked about it every time I run into someone. They want to know who my favorite is, and then the next question is why. If you know our blog, then you know it’s not enough to tell us the obvious answer of “He’s totally hot!”…surely there must be more. In a lot of cases, you’ve had the same favorite band member for thirty years now – by now there must be more to it than his looks, so ‘fess up and send these, or any guest blogs, to our gmail address.
Typically when I’m gone for any length of time and I’m completely incommunicado – which will be the case for the second week of my absence (I’ll be on a cruise ship), the band starts announcing things. Shows, appearances, things like that. They have said there will be no shows in 2013 – and I’m holding them to that while I’m gone. Otherwise, I do have a backup plan, and she’ll do whatever must be done. Just let me know when I need to be on a plane. Thanks Amanda!!
As always, a vacation would not be a vacation if something funny didn’t happen to me before I left. This time, it is an injury. I’ve been doing this crazy workout plan for about 50 days now called Insanity. It’s not at all easy, and for someone like me, one of my greatest fears each day is hitting “play” on my DVD player. There’s this Insanity meme going around that says “Your workout is my warmup.” It’s not a joke. The workouts really ARE hard, but I was seeing improvement in myself and what I could actually finish each day, so that kept me going. Until month #2. Month 2 was like starting all over again. The workouts were nearly impossible at first – and they are almost twice as long. That first week was pure hell, and to top it off, I started noticing some pain in my right knee. To be fair, I’ve been in pain all over my body for a while now, and I think I spent most of month 1 in some degree of soreness each day. It’s just my muscles building from the ground up, and let’s face it – each day I’m burning myself out with these workouts. But this was different, and at first I did what I do with most things – I ignored it and kept going. The trouble is, my knee got worse. It now hurts to bend it, and at some point it started hurting when I was doing absolutely nothing. This past week though, the pain was nearly excruciating when I’d try to do a simple squat, never mind some of the stretching we do, or the plyometric moves – which involve a lot of jumping. (which as I’ve been told – are Satan’s exercises) And, there’s this really NOT cool sound like dry spaghetti being broken that happens at certain times when I’m trying to get up off the floor. Yeah, that’s bad. Even I know that, and don’t even talk to me about going up or down my stairs. So, I’ve made an appointment to see our sports medicine doctor – the one that my oldest goes to for her dance injuries. I can hardly wait. (that is sarcasm right there!) I wish I could say this was just arthritis, but sadly – it’s not. My daughter had something similar (she says it sounds exactly like her injury but I’m in denial) last September and ended up with a metal framed knee brace and crutches for six weeks due to a cartilage injury.
That does not sound like fun while walking all over Florida…or on a cruise ship. Or packing and unpacking for that matter, and don’t even get me started on what it will be like in the airports. So for now, I’ve been wearing a brace on my knee, which seems to help, and staying off of my feet as much as possible. I’m a mom of a five year old, which means – I’m not off of my feet very often. So, let’s hope for the best or else it’s going to be a very long vacation.
With that in mind, I have a pile of laundry to finish and some packing to start. Try to behave while I’m gone, be nice to Amanda, and I will “see” you all in August!
Obviously, nothing really new here. Rhonda and I still post a blog every single day. That isn’t changing and won’t change. We enjoy doing this and hope that you do, too! Yet, it is summer. I have taken a vacation and Rhonda will soon be taking one. When I was gone, she held down the fort and I will do the same for when she is gone. During the time of her vacation, we will be doing a couple of themes here. Those themes will have blogs from both of us and then they will have a few guest blogs. If you are someone who has submitted a guest blog to us, we will be using those! Have no fear! In fact, I would keep checking throughout this month and next. 🙂 We still have a few spots for guest blogs, if you are so inclined. In fact, we are looking for the following blog posts:
*Regrets you might have about your fandom-
Maybe this about a show you wished you did or some event you wished you had attended. Maybe it was about a situation within the fan community. Perhaps, you didn’t purchase something or got rid of something and kick yourself about it to this day!
*Favorite band member-
We are looking for thoughtful posts about why your favorite band member is your favorite band member. Obviously, we are looking for something a bit deeper than, “Band member x is so hot!” What drew you to that band member beyond the physical and more.
Admit it, how many of you even remember that we are writing a book? Do you remember what it is about? We don’t talk about it a lot but it has been featured more and more in our thoughts and in our daily to-do list. To refresh people’s memories, the book is about fandom–what it is, what is included in it and most importantly, why do people participate. Yes, obviously, we use Duran Duran fandom as our case study, as our example. I am very happy to admit that we are getting there with the book. We have pushed through all of the tough stuff and moving on to the next BIG steps. We are honest in saying that it has taken us a lot longer to do than we wished but…at the same time, we are thrilled we are where we are. We didn’t lose our commitment and are seeing the project through! Besides, I bet that a lot of people would have struggled to write a book while doing everything else that we do (work, family, this blog, other outside projects), especially since the book is research based. It required a lot of reading, thinking, organizing, outlining, drafting, etc. Frankly, I’m feeling pretty dang proud right now about it. We aren’t done yet but are really getting there! By the way, those of you attending the convention will be getting a sneak peek!
Durandemonium (The Convention!):
It is way hard to believe that we are a little over 3 months away!!! The committee has much to do and things are starting to get done. This is exciting!!! The more we get done, the more excited I am! I am starting to see the details fall into place. If you don’t have a ticket yet, it isn’t too late!! We have tickets for the entire weekend (October 18-20 in Chicago) and we have tickets just for the banquet (Saturday night only-October 19th) for those who can’t attend the entire time but want to join in for the dinner and dance! All information and link to get tickets is here: http://durandemonium2013.webs.com.
A couple of other things you need to know, if you attending:
*Fan Book Questionnaire Information has been sent to your email! I will be sending a reminder to those of you who have not filled out your information to be included. If you have problems or continue to have problems, let me know!
It became apparent that we weren’t the only ones running late. Fran and I couldn’t do much except to wait. We struck up a conversation with the lone security guard that was by the entrance gate–a guy by the name of Charles Connor who told us he was the original drummer for Little Richard (how cool is that? Got his signature and a picture taken with him after hearing that). As I was talking to him, I stopped mid-sentence when I noticed a slate grey BMW pull up into the lot. I noticed three occupants inside and seated in the driver’s seat was JOHN TAYLOR!!! Right there, all conversation was DONE! My heart fluttered and I began to tremble. “It’s him! It’s him! Omigosh, it’s HIM!”. Now, I have a confession to make. John has been my favourite Duran member for the longest time. I can’t begin to tell you how much I fantasized about him as a young teenager (hint: A LOT!!!) and this was caused just by seeing his image on TV, in magazines, on wall posters and on album covers. So you must understand why my brain shut down and my insides turned to jelly at the sight of JT–the man in the flesh–slowly walking towards me. My inner child (forever 12 years old) managed to squeal out “JOOOOOOHN!!” really loud, right in front of Patty Palazzo (graphic designer, PunkMasters.com/one of JT’s personal friends) and Atlanta (his daughter) who were walking beside him. I’m sure my adult self was mortified with embarrassment and wished there was a tranquilizer gun nearby to shoot down the crazy but inner child JUST DID NOT CARE! When John got closer, I held out cutout madame and sheepishly asked, “Can you sign me?”. He smiled and gamely penned his signature.
I uttered a meek “thank you!” and then he strolled inside the building. It took a while for my mind to descend from cloud nine to realize what had transpired. Suddenly, I remembered to breathe. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t take a picture of my encounter with John but, thankfully, Francesca did (See? That’s what friends are all about. Kind people who got your back and act as your thinking brain when yours abruptly goes on hiatus).
WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE, AMAZING, FANTASTIC DAY!!! Francesca and I returned to the car and drove back to her home. Given our mental and emotional states, I was surprised we made it there in one piece. I couldn’t function for the rest of that afternoon except to frantically type up a report for my absent message board friends. I did it! I actually, truly, positively did it!!! FIVE SIGS DOWN, ONE MORE TO GO!!
Concert Day, July 16th, 2003 Someone from the LK board had organized a pre-show party at ahotel for all local and out-of-town LKers. Fran and I (with cutout madame in tow, of course) attended the festivities and met several board members in the process. Shared my KROQ story and gained a few more signatures. I had no idea of how I was going to get Le Bon’s autograph but that wasn’t the foremost thought in my mind at that moment. I was too busy enjoying the company of my Duranie comrades. After spending roughly an hour there, Francesca and I headed out the door early. As we walked towards her parked car, she said to me,
“Madame…I have some good news and some bad news.”
Wow. Talk about coming right out of the blue. Not sure of what could possibly be wrong, I tried to brace myself for the worst. “Alright, tell me the bad news first.”
“You’re NOT going to get your cutout signed by Simon.”
Ummm…okaaay. I was puzzled by her air of certainty and wondered how she knew since we still had a couple hours to kill before the concert’s start. Geez, hasn’t this woman learned the lesson from two days ago that “anything is possible”?? But, eh…whatever. Not getting Simon’s signature NOW just meant that I had to wait a little longer for it to happen. I’ve already waited for twenty years to see Duran Duran in concert so another momentary delay didn’t seem like a big deal in comparison. “So”, I calmly asked, “what’s the good news then?”
“You and I are going to meet the band right now.”
Can you run that by me again??
Girrrrrrl…this is NOT the time to play with my emotions! Seriously…ARE YOU JOKING WITH ME???
Francesca proceeded to explain that she had won a radio contest where she and a guest were to meet Duran Duran AND get two tickets to the Costa Mesa show (which turned out to be upgraded seatsfrom what she originally bought). The reason behind her urging to get me flying down to California was because she wanted to surprise me with this gift of being her “guest”.
[pause for tears welling up in eyes and clearing of lump in throat]
Well, I won’t bore you with any details of how that meet-and-greet went since cutout madame wasn’t there (we couldn’t bring stuff to get signed–that was a rule set up by one of the organizers. A very fan-unfriendly move, I know!). Anyway, here’s what my 2-D twin missed:
Gosh, that was easy! I went up there and found Warren’s assistant, Sarah and a few other people hanging around. It looked promising. After waiting for well over an hour, the promise of meeting the band faded. They didn’t show up at all. Disappointed with the let-down, I spent the rest of the night driving around downtown Las Vegas searching for Duran Duran in vain (I later learned the band was at the Hard Rock Hotel the entire time but were seen by fans in an entirely different area to where I had been directed. Grrrr!!!). My trip was drawing to a close and time had run out for me in getting Simon’s sig. Another DD concert was set for the following evening but since I couldn’t attend, I had to make the gut-wrenching decision of leaving cutout madame behind in Vegas for someone else to complete the task. I returned to Canada, empty-handed. I eventually got cutout madame back albeit in somewhat rough shape. She was bent and sustained multiple creases because some CARELESS American Airlines attendant forced her to fit into a tight cylindrical container during the flight (The nerve!). Sadly, the cutout guardians had no luck in obtaining the prized signature either. *sigh* How long must this torture last???
My thoughts immediately turned to the still corner of the room where the cutout rested. Ten years on…gosh, shouldn’t I have outgrown this crap of chasing down rock stars? By now, I had lost contact with almost all the LKers I knew. The once close-knit community had dispersed into the ever-magnifying scope of the Internet. Without the group’s enthusiasm and support behind me, the task of getting that final signature seemed bleaker than it was back in 2003. The long wait had begun to take its toll; a sense of weariness started to creep in. Maybe it was time for me to just give up, settle with what I’ve achieved and be happy with the memories.
Or maybe not.
At this time, I was a member of Lizard King’s Duran Duran website–a popular online community where DD fans would gather and talk (my screen name: “madame duran”). The band–now reduced to a trio consisting of Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo–was touring to promote their album, Pop Trash. The LK message board was naturally abuzz with excitement as people were making arrangements to meet each other at various stops along the tour route. The biggest draw was Las Vegas (aka “Party Central”…for obvious reasons). Many fans planned on travelling long distances to be there. Of course, I was unable to attend because I had just spent big money on a trip to Barbados to visit family and was flat broke. One evening, while I was in the LK chatroom, a friend asked me if I going to Vegas to see Duran Duran. “Sadly, no” was my unsurprising reply (she, on the other hand, was going). During the conversation, we amused ourselves with the thought of, “wouldn’t it be cool if we sent a cardboard cutout of you to the concert instead?”. We laughed at our silliness and thought nothing of it afterwards…that is, until the Vegas concert date drew closer. Call it desperation or wild impulse but something deep inside me stirred. I couldn’t bear the thought of missing out YET AGAIN while everyone else was revelling in all the fun. Something had to be done.
About a month prior to the concert, I emailed a full-length photo of myself to my chatroom friend,”Fan4Life” (Francesca). She saved the picture on a disk, went to her local Kinkos shop and asked them to print out my image to “life size”. She cut my image from the paper, glued it to bristol board then reinforced the cutout by laminating it. The whole process cost around $80 (U.S.). I was absolutely ecstatic with the final result. I immediately announced on the LK board that I would be one of the attendees for the Vegas show…well, a version of me anyway. The news was greeted with lots of enthusiasm by the LK crowd as none of them had ever met me before. The novelty of meeting my 2-dimensional self just served to heighten the level of anticipation. I was no longer on the sidelines; “cutout madame” was to become an intricate part of the craziness that was about to unfold. I wanted to create a memento of the event so I encouraged all the Vegas-bound fans to add their signatures on the back of the cutout. Getting signatures from the band members, however, seemed implausible to me but being suddenly buoyed by optimism, I figured “why not?”. I decided on a whim to notify Katy Krassner (DD’s fan liaison rep) at duranduran.com in the hope that she would alert the band of cutout’s upcoming appearance in the audience. To be honest, a part of me had doubts that my email would get noticed so it came as no shock when I didn’t receive any reply from her. Oh well, it was worth the try.
Finally, the day of the concert arrived. Fan4Life and a couple of other Lizard King members (Gretchen aka “GretchieLove”, Julie aka “JulieDuranie”) were assigned “guardianship” of cutout madame. I had nothing to do except to wait for the inevitable concert reports to stream in on the message board. On the morning after the show, I woke up to read a discussion thread entitled, “Madame Duran kidnapped by Simon LeBon!!!”. WHAAAAT WAS THIS??? Apparently, Duran Duran’s lead singer spotted cutout madame as JulieDuranie brought it closer to the stage. He then grabbed the cutout and proceeded to dance with it! The audience erupted in loud cheers and laughter. The whole scenario had me in a fit of giggles. Warren, DD’s guitarist, placed an adhesive backstage pass on Cutout Madame then gave it to one of the side stage workers. “Wow…that cutout is such a lucky girl!”, I wistfully thought to myself. Had the cutout’s journey ended at that moment, I would’ve been impressed with its achievement…but, fortunately, it didn’t stop there. At some point in the evening, Warren Cuccurullo’s assistant Sarah (“Redsexy” on LK) managed to bring cutout madame backstage by staging a mock confrontation with the venue’s security, insisting that her “friend” had to meet the band. The commotion roused Nick’s attention but he was relieved to discover that the intruder was just a harmless prop. While holding a glass of wine and snickering like a naughty school boy, Nick gleefully signed the cut out and drew a few “cosmetic enhancements” all over its face (e.g. lipstick, eyeliner). Joe Travers (tour drummer) and Wes Wehmiller (tour bassist) also signed. I couldn’t believe it. This outcome was better than anything I ever expected.
Sitting at home, I openly wondered how a paper thin representation of myself had better luck at meeting Duran Duran on the first attempt than I ever had in close to twenty years. Outrageous!!! By all accounts, cutout madame’s stay in Las Vegas was a blast (except for the instant where it almost landed in a dumpster by mistake but was eventually
Until then, onward and upward, right? Today the band is at the amfAR gala in Cannes. I’ve never been to Cannes (someday, oh yes…someday I will make it there), for me it’s another one of those far-off places that seems more like a fairy tale than it does an actual destination. I chalk it up with Monaco…I can’t imagine what they must be like. I did see a photo of their sound check, and I heard a rumor that we can even watch the show online. I’m somewhat wary of that really happening, both in part to that the website mentioned a fashion show, not a concert AND my computer seems to hate streaming (listen, if I can’t even get it to do simple word processing at this point, I’m thinking that streaming is a little “pie in the sky” of a dream, but I’m going to give it my best shot), if it happens – I’ll be sure to post about it on the @dailyduranie twitter. Regardless, I found myself with that familiar “butterflies in the tummy” feeling when I saw the photo of the sound check and the news that we would be able to see their performance. August was a very long time ago, wasn’t it? I miss the excitement of seeing them take the stage, watching the band and of course, having them play five or six feet in front of us. I do miss that rush!
Naturally, as my dear friend Faby reminds, she can’t “promise that HLTW will be off the 4 song set list” Anyone care to make a bet??? (I wouldn’t take that bet either!)
Today on Facebook I saw that Duran Duran had posted a link to an article from Gibson, compiling what they believe to be ten of the greatest alternative rock bands. You can read the article here! Duran Duran is on that list, along with The Cure, Depeche Mode, REM, Violent Femmes, Dinosaur Jr., New Order, The Smiths, Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü. The list seems to be a decent compilation – and of course the taste of the writer is reflected. What is curious though, is the comment made under Duran Duran’s notation, “…even though the bands popularity didn’t last long…”
Now, before we start gathering our pitchforks and shovels, I think it’s probably fair to point out that the writer of the article might have a different litmus test for popularity than say, we might. In Anne Erikson’s defense, perhaps she was just considering chart popularity, or radio play. I’m really not sure. All I do know is that the band is still hugely popular with us, and while they might not be playing in stadiums all across the world (although they DO play in arenas in many places), I think they still make a fair dime or two. More importantly, I wish that these writers would stop with the qualifiers every single time they post an article about Duran Duran. The band does well. They have proved their staying power far beyond what anyone (anyone besides their fans, obviously) ever thought. A little respect is not only warranted at this point, it should be required. I don’t know if I will live to see the day when this band is given their fair due, but I certainly hope so.
Lastly, I want to throw out another reminder (I’m begging here) that we are looking for guest blogs this summer. Do you have the urge to write for Daily Duranie? Here’s your chance! We are doing a few themed series this summer, and are looking for blogs on the following topics:
- Proudest moment as a fan
- Something you might regret as a fan (a meet and greet gone awry, missing a show, etc.)
- Favorite band member (we are looking for thoughtful blogs on this subject – why you feel more “in touch” with one band member than another, as opposed to a love note to this particular band member!)
Who are you and what do you do? My name is Elisa Lorello. I’m originally from Long Island but am living in New England after having spent six fabulous years in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m the author of the best-selling Kindle novels Faking It and Ordinary World (yep, inspired by the song), Why I love Singlehood (co-written with Sarah Girrell), and most recently, Adulation. I’ve also been teaching writing at the college level since 2000, but am taking a sabbatical at the time of this blogpost.
What is your favorite song and why? Tough question – so many to choose from! “Ordinary World” has a very special meaning for me, and not just because it inspired me to write the novel of the same name. That song helped me to get through one of the lowest points of my life. On top of that it’s a beautifully written and well-produced song. I also love “New Religion” – it has so many fantastic musical layers to it, from Simon’s manic vocals, to Andy’s jazzy guitar riff, to John’s funky bassline, to Roger’s smooth rhythms to Nick’s haunting intro. The new album has some great tracks as well (“Runway Runaway” is like musical chocolate, and “Blame the Machines” sounds like something my older brother would’ve written/produced.)
Runners up: “Rio”, “Girls on Film”, “Come Undone”, and “Someone Else, Not Me”, to name a few. (On a different day you might get different answers.)
Tell us about the first time you saw the band live. April 3, 1984 was the first time I saw the band (and my first rock concert in general at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island – I was 14). My favorite gig, however, was August 21, 2012 at DPAC in Durham, NC. I went with friends who’ve never been to a Duran Duran show, and frankly I think they had more fun watching me having the time of my life. I think it was also emotional because it was at the end of the All You Need is Now tour, and I was moving back up north two months later, after living in North Carolina for six years. The band never sounded better; they’ve musically aged like a fine wine. Plus there’s a mutual appreciation and respect between them and the fans now that we’re all grown up. The set was full of energy, and I was dancing the entire time. Neither the fans nor the band wanted it to end. I don’t own a smartphone, but even if I did I wouldn’t have taken it out because I didn’t want to miss a moment of real time.
Runner up was in 2004, on Long Island, during the Astronaut reunion tour. I love Dom, but it was so great to see Andy back on stage. Not counting Power Station, I’ve seen Duran Duran 9 or 10 times – I’ve lost count!
The age old question: which is your favorite band member? If you don’t have one, tell us about your favorite piece of Duran memorabilia. John! I know, big surprise. In retrospect, I don’t think it was only about his looks – although, let’s face it: he is quite the looker. After reading his blog posts on the Duran site and then his memoir, it seems to me that we have a similar kind of introspection and artistic viewpoint of the world. And I really love how much he’s grown as a musician.
And yeah, it’s about his looks. 🙂
As for memorabilia, there are so many things that, in hindsight, I wish I’d bought and collected (like the calendars for example) but unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of money when I was a teenager. I’m trying to collect some things now (especially vinyl), but of course now it’s all even more expensive! I noticed some things on eBay that I already own, like an ad featuring John Taylor for the Aria Pro II bass guitar that I got from a music magazine, some pinups and centerfolds from Star Hits and couple of picture discs. Some of my favorite pieces include “A View to a Kill” on white vinyl and an unopened complete box of trading cards. I also still have the concert jersey from my first show in 1984, and the bag it came in. There are a few pieces I wish I’d taken better care of – for example, I wish I’d kept that 1984 Rolling Stone cover intact. But hey, what did I know back then? I was a dumb teenager! I also lost some ticket stubs when my keepsake box was stolen.
|The drawing of John Taylor – finally framed!|
I used to draw and paint when I was younger, and recently framed a few portraits of band members. One is a drawing I did of John when I was sixteen – it’s finally hanging in my room, over 25 years later.
How do you feel that the band has influenced your career? In some ways, they were (and still are) a muse. As I mentioned above, when I was a teenager I used to draw and paint, and I copied their portraits from all my pinups and album covers. I also wrote a lot of fan fiction during that time. In later years when I became a novelist, the song “Ordinary World” was the inspiration for one of my novels, even though the song/band is never mentioned. And even though my novel Adulation is about a celebrity screenwriter and a fan, the seed of the idea was planted following the Duran Duran concert I attended in 2005 – originally it was going to be about a woman who meets her 80s idol, but I couldn’t find the proper angle, and then the movie Music and Lyrics came out, so it kinda killed my buzz.
I also recently announced that I’m publishing a memoir about my thirty years as a Duran Duran fan (so I don’t wanna give away all the good stuff here! Hahaha).
And of course, I listen to them constantly – just about every day, in fact, so I think they indirectly affect my creative process. It’s always been about the music for me.