Category Archives: guest bloggers

Our Day with Duran Duran

By Heather Hagler
I have had many significant days in my life: my wedding day, the days my children were born, the day I finished graduate school. But I wouldn’t classify those days as “fun”. I can honestly say that April 4, 2011 was the Most Fun Day of My Life.
I’m not a blogger – no one wants to read the dry details of my average life. Since I have lived over half my life as a fan of all things Duran Duran, I wanted to tell you the story of my amazing day.
My adventure started when I discovered Duran was booked to play in Atlanta, GA, our closest city, the day after my birthday. What a gift! I decided to treat myself to my first live show (I know, and I’ve been a fan since 1980!) and to bring my daughter along. At eleven years old, she was the same age I was when I bought my first Duran LP.
The birthday gifts grew when I won 2 tickets in a radio contest for an acoustic mini concert and a Q & A with the band! Funny, but the first person I called to tell I had won the tickets was my mom; only she could appreciate the significance of those tickets, after all the posters, albums, videos, and general hysteria of the last 30 years.
My daughter and I started with the challenge of driving into downtown Atlanta and finding our hotel – country girls loose in the big city. We checked in, parked the car, and bought tickets for the train to the hotel for the mini concert.
Our train took us to the ultra swanky W Hotel where we gathered with the other contest winners. Because I am insane, we were 45 minutes early and one of the first people in line. We had a great time chatting with other fans. Another mom brought her 9 year old daughter, so my daughter had a friend for the event.
Thanks to my craziness we were one of the first through the elevators to the fourth floor to meet the radio staff. There we learned the “Q” part of the Q & A time with the band would be from the fans, and I was selected to submit a question to ask the band.
I gave the emcee of the event my question, but after a bit of discussion, we decided my daughter would be the one to have the microphone and talk with the band – I thought it would be a better memory for her and, frankly, I wasn’t sure I would be able to speak.
We were ushered in to a large meeting room with a small stage set with guitars, microphones, and stools. Of course we chose a seat on the left, next to the bass guitar (all the closer to JT). In a few minutes the room filled with about 75 people, and the band was introduced. Inside I was having a huge squee moment when I saw John, Simon, Dom, and Anna up so close, but I behaved myself – no fainting spells or screaming! But, of course, I had my eyes on John most of the time…
At the Q&A time, an employee from the radio station carried a mic around the room to each person when it came their turn ask their question. When they called out for our turn, I pushed my daughter up to stand at the mic. My eyes were on John when they called my name, but I felt my daughter reach out nervously for me to hold her hand and stand up with her. John looked at me and smiled when my daughter reached to hold my hand with one hand and hold the mic with the other. Sigh! A definite highlight!
My question: If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you be? Simon answered Brad Pitt! John said he would be an RAF fighter pilot in World War II.
After my daughter asked the question and we were returning to our seats, Simon said, “That was a very good question, my dear.”
The band sang 3 songs and had a very informal and funny time of talking in between. I am amazed at how smooth and clear Simon’s voice was, and we had a laugh at John’s socks! After 45 minutes it was time to go. Too much fun and sad for our time to end.
After a train ride back to the hotel and some time to rest, I thought we could go early to concert, park and have dinner before getting in line for the concert (the tickets were General Admission). But I was wrong. When we arrived, the line for the concert was already around the block! Girl Panic! We quickly found a parking lot and got in line at 5:00 for the 8:00 show! My daughter was such a trooper, she stood in line without complaining, even without dinner!
I had a great time in line talking with other fans. Everyone was very nice, and we all had stories to tell about growing up with Duran. Some were trying to be impressive by naming off obscure bonus tracks and B sides they know and love.
We got into the show at 7:00. And thanks again to the insanity we had seats right in front – five rows from the floor and on the aisle.
We had over an hour to wait, but we were patient. As we waited a reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution who was working on a story about parents taking their kids to concerts asked us questions, wrote down our names and took our pictures. The story ended up on the paper’s web site.  I’ll either the cool mom for taking her daughter to the concert, or on the Family Services list for observation.
After an hour and a half wait finally the concert started! Breathtaking! We were shoulder to shoulder with 1300 other crazy people screaming and dancing and having the time of our lives. My daughter took over the aisle for her dance floor, and fans who came by gave her high fives all evening!
The set was a mix of old and new songs, and the audience was a mix of men and women, old and young. The best new song – my opinion and the opinion of the guy next to me – was Girl Panic; best oldie was Rio (you could hardly hear Simon singing over the crowd belting out the tune!).
At the end Simon introduced the band with traditional chants and an awesome drum solo from Roger that had the crowd roaring his name.
We were delirious and exhausted as we walked to the car with our ears ringing. God bless GPS to get us back to the hotel.
My daughter had dinner out of the vending machine (another strike for Family Services) and we sat up talking until midnight.
When I told Jillian it was time for bed, she said, “But I don’t want to go to bed, Mom. This day was so perfect; I don’t want it to end.” That was the ultimate thrill for me – not swooning over JT or dancing with 1300 of my closest friends to the greatest band of all time – but having a very memorable day with my wonderful daughter. A day to remember, indeed.


Heather Hagler lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, where she is a children’s program director and frustrated novelist. Happily married with two children, she shows her 80s style by proudly wearing her Duran Duran concert t-shirt to the grocery store and leading karaoke sessions with her kids in the mini van.





It’s not quite Mediterranea…

While Duran Duran is in Italy this week, it would seem that many of my friends are packing up and getting ready to join them. I’m slightly envious and wish I could join the fun, alas I will live vicariously through their posts and things as they get a chance to update me with the current happenings. I might even live a bit through various band members as I did last week when Dom, John and even Simon would post pictures of their opportunities for tourism offstage!

My own vacation is creeping up now and I don’t mean the one where I go galavanting across country with Amanda. My own family is going to be taking a vacation soon and I will be completely unplugged for a while. (I’m getting the shakes just thinking about it, so chances are I will cheat – yes I’m already planning to cheat – and I’ll probably check in when I’m able to find an internet connection!)  Want to know where we’re going? We are going camping up near Mount Shasta in Northern California. Trailer and all. (Somehow I suspect this might be along the lines of Nick Rhodes’ personal version of hell, which makes me laugh!  The photo above is our camping trailer just after we’d arrived last year and barely settled in.) Five of us, including the 4 year old little girl, the 13 year old gamer son (just imagine his withdrawals because that computer is NOT coming along!) and the 15 year old teenager, in this trailer for two weeks.  Will we all survive? Why do I suddenly have the chills?? I might post pictures on twitter from time to time so you’ll have to check in to see our madness. The good news is that once we’re there, it’s absolutely gorgeous and QUIET…which lately, I’ve found myself craving. There’s a lake for the kids, a beach for me (see picture below), and my husband can do as much hiking and fishing as he’d like.

We did this last year for a week and I survived quite nicely, so I’m hopeful that I’ll come back recharged once again just in time for my trip to meet up with Amanda (and many of you) to see the band. That’s right: Rhonda needs a two week vacation just to get ready for this Daily Duranie tour! This week I’m busily looking around my house and realizing I don’t have a moment to really spare. I have lists to make, a chapter to finish and blogs to prepare.

What I can tell you is that while I’m gone, you shouldn’t notice any difference in Daily Duranie. We have been planning ahead for my absence because we certainly can’t allow Daily Duranie to go dark – we publish DAILY. (Yes actually there are many, many moments when I question my…our…intelligence in naming the blog The Daily Duranie. I also question why I’ve followed a band for over thirty years. There seems to be a bit of a pattern there, no??)  What we do need though, is help from YOU, our readers.

While I am gone, we will be doing two weeks of themed blogs. The first week, we will be blogging about our favorite concert experience. This can be a blog about an entire show, one fleeting moment, or maybe a certain song that knocked your socks off. The second week, we are blogging about meeting the band. This can be one member, all members…at a signing, in the middle of a grocery store, at the record store, or out in front of their hotel or even their home(s) if you were ever that brave for that matter. We want to hear from you!

Send us your blogs no later than Saturday July 28th to our mailbox. Please include a thumbnail picture and a short bio to be included on the blog, and if you need ideas – just look in our archives under “guest bloggers”. If for some reason you would prefer to submit your blog anonymously, feel free – just let Amanda and I know.

So, with that must get myself down to business here. I have spreadsheets to make, lists to go over….and a chapter to finish!!
-R

Duran Games for the Obsessive-Compulsive

By C.K. Shortell
Let me start by clearly identifying myself as one of those odd Duran Duran fans, i.e. a heterosexual male who has followed the group since the 80s and never left, even when every Taylor and most of the general public did! So for me, it’s really always been all about the music and less about how the guys looked or what they wore or whether it was Andy or Warren (or now Dom) on guitar etc. Like the guy in Office Space says—I celebrate their entire catalogue!
My biggest struggle with their music is objectivity vs. nostalgia.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve listened to their latest album over and over again, usually convinced it was their best one to date, until some time went by and I was able to see which songs I tended to revisit vs. skip. I guess my obsessive compulsiveness about the band is the need to put their catalogue into context… I have to understand (in my mind) why, for example, I think Notorious is better than The Wedding Album, or Medazzaland better than Astronaut. And how to be truly objective about the early work, which garnered so much radio play (so as to make me sick of most of the early hits) yet also is so dear to me in a way the subsequent albums just aren’t?  For example, my mind tells me that Seven and the Ragged Tiger is a relatively weak album once you get past the 3 singles and The Seventh Stranger. My mind also tells me that pretty much all their other albums—yes even the 90’s work—are deeper and better. And yet…when I listen to “Cracks in the Pavement” or “Shadows on your side,” it’s 1984 again, my parents are both alive and healthy and I’m 12 again…so my heart takes huge issue with any criticism of SATRT even if it may not have 12 songs with 7 good to great ones…
So whether it’s the sports fan in me or just a personality disorder, I need to know where Duran’s records rank…and I’ve found an outlet for this. My job entails a lot of conference calls (doesn’t everyone’s these days?) and they’re bearable because on many it’s possible to multi-task at my desk and get other work done. But there’s still the occasional in-person meeting…and those can be interminable, especially for a relic like me who has refused to get a blackberry or smart phone. Without those toys, how to pass the time in a boring meeting ? I’ve devised two games that are simple—all you need is a pen, some paper, and your imagination.
Create the set list:  Pick the venue (not really important but still fun) and the era (much more important) and pretend that Duran is performing for 3 or 4 nights in a row…and create the set list! Sounds easy, right? Of course you have to play by the “rules” the band has established over the years:  their concerts will always be about 66% to 75% hits (understandable to draw in the casual fans) with the other 25%-35% of songs being from the latest album and/or crowd favorites. (New Religion etc.) Then there’s Nick’s rule about never playing all of the hits in one show. You can’t have them play for 3 hours— you need to be realistic and have anywhere from 14-18 songs, include one or maybe two encores, save a hit or two for the encore, etc… NOW go and create 3 or 4 nights worth of set lists in the same venue that will appeal to a broad audience while not boring the hard core fans like us.  You will kill all sorts of time doing this and it will likely lead to bitter arguments with yourself (e.g., “so is ‘Sunrise’ now a hit? Do I have to include HLTW? Would they realistically play “The Flame” in 2004?”) etc….)  At the end of it all, you’ve hopefully killed time in an otherwise boring meeting.  Maybe you’ve even been inspired to write a guest blog! 
 
Duran brackets:  Other sites do these with albums and bands: Pair them up in brackets and have fans vote round by round until there is a winner. Well, take this concept and apply it just to Duran Duran songs, and you’ve got a way to kill a good hour or so in a boring meeting.  There are easy ways to do this (e.g. pair up songs from Rio and Liberty in one bracket) or just list songs as they come to your mind. The fun of this exercise is that eventually, in the later rounds, you will be faced with impossible decisions. Sure, “Hold Back the Rain” may easily blow by “Hothead” and “I take the dice” but what happens when it’s matched up against “Last Chance on the Stairway”? Or if you’re a big fan of their late 90s work like me, what to do with a “Midnight Sun” vs. “Pop Trash Movie” match up? (Note:  Rhonda and Amanda have been doing this on twitter and even their one question a day has had me writing, erasing, and rewriting my tweets in response…multiply this out by an entire bracket full of Duran songs and you’ll be muttering to yourself and shaking your head all through that boring meeting!)
 
Another potential outcome of either of these games is that it may prompt you to go back and listen to a song that you haven’t heard in a while and maybe even form a new opinion. This has happened on several songs for me. I rediscovered my love for “Vertigo,” finally acknowledged how much I can’t stand “Lava Lamp,” and also made a weird connection between “Friends of Mine” and “All You Need is Now” (the song)—that they seem to be very similar in structure and style, with soaring choruses that don’t quite fit with the grinding verses…
Finally…I will close this by leaving you with my dream set list (at least as of today)…in this scenario, I’ve won the lottery and hired the band to play at Madison Square Garden and gotten Nick, er, I mean all of them to agree to play this list exactly as requested. I’ve blatantly decided that, since I’m paying the band, the general public doesn’t need to hear all the hits… many thanks to Rhonda and Amanda for allowing me to guest blog…happy summer to all, and let the music play a little longer…
The Valley
All you need is now
Hold Back the Rain
Union of the Snake
Planet Earth (night version)
Seventh Stranger
Pop Trash Movie
Nice
The Flame
Shadows on your side
Runway Runaway
Khanada
Proposition
Being Followed
What Happens Tomorrow (original version w/ 3rd verse from 2003 tour)
Save a Prayer
Tel Aviv (air studios version)
ENCORE 1:
I don’t want your love (single version, not 2004 tour version)
Sunrise  (current tour version)
ENCORE 2:
Beautiful Colours
Girls on Film (w/ band intros, 1984 tour version)
Wild Boys
C.K. Shortell is a lifelong Duran Duran fan who lives in the northeast with his wife and two sons, one of whom loves watching concert footage of the band.  When he’s not struggling to explain to a two year old why the guitarist always looks different or just what exactly Nick is doing, C.K. is constantly reminding co-workers and friends that the band never broke up.    


Guest Blog: Duran Duran’s NYC Show with Aoki, Cynical Version, Take One

 By Jonee Howell

What follows is a completely fictional account of the recent, much talked about Duran Duran/DJ Aoki show. Like all fiction, there may be a kernel or two of truth somewhere. Case in point: there was, in fact, a ticketless pigeon waiting in line to see the band. Alas, she could not take the heat and
flew away well before doors opened.

There have been tons of comments made since the show: on twitter, the ‘See What Unfolds Live’ Facebook site…

This one is just for fun.

Act One – Whose Nutball Idea Was THIS?

DD Official Person:
Hey Durans! (ooo, nice shoes, Simon!) We’ve been approached by Trident (yes, THAT Trident) to participate in a show with DJ Steve Aoki as a superduper-secret surprise guest! It’ll be great!

Random Band Member: Well, that’s sort of a different fanbase than ours, don’t you think? How will we be received? I wouldn’t want the crowd to leave as soon as we got onstage…I don’t look good wearing embarrassment…

DDOP: Don’t worry! We’ve been given eleventy-umpteen tickets. For FREE! We’ll give them out to your superfans!

RBM: Umm…I don’t know…I don’t think they’d really be hip to an Aoki-style rave, ya know? Our fans are older…Some of them are actually mature…Well, a couple are…

DDOP:
Got that covered! Check it–we have a contest for VIP members to win free tickets to a secret Duran Duran show. We won’t actually TELL them what it is. They’ll eat it up!

RBM: Errrr…I’ve heard he throws cake on people and spews champagne outta his mouth…I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in an audience with that staring at me…

DDOP: Oh, lighten up! A little cake never hurt anyone! You LOVE cake! And I’ve got it all planned out–
We’ll announce the winners (everyone who enters), but we won’t exactly tell them what they’ve won! And we’ll require an official rsvp BEFORE we tell them the actual details!  It’ll be a surprise–yeah, a surprise!–performance! We’ll give details ‘as soon as we know them’ (wink wink)…Let ’em think whatever they wanna think…a surprise can be ANYTHING.

RBM: But how will we plan our wardrobe if we don’t know what the show is? You know we have trouble planning what to–

DDOP: Stop! YOU’LL know what it is, but THEY won’t. Not until they’ve been sucked into the Duran fan vortex…and once the especially dumb ones have bought their plane tickets, they’re IN. There’ll be no turning back! (muahahaa!)

RBM: Hmm, I dunno…sounds sorta shady…

DDOP: Relax! You’ll have plausible deniability! No one will ever have to know this is how it went down! You DO want to broaden your fan base don’t you? You don’t wanna encounter a bunch of rave kids giving you blank, acid-trip stares when you walk onstage do you? You want DURANIES there–your superfans–screaming for you…You know, in case the youngsters don’t quite get it on their own.

RBM: I sure hope this goes off like you plan…if it gets screwed up, I’m gonna play dumb, got it?

DDOP:
(that’ll be a real stretch.)

RBM:
What was that?

DDOP: Nothing, nothing…Listen-it’ll be FINE. What could go wrong? It’s TRIDENT, for God sakes. The kings of gum! They’ll put on a class show. At least you’ll be ON the stage instead of BELOW it.

Act Two: Fast Forward to Show Day–Wheeee!


Duranies Who Queue:
Man! It’s hot out here! Anybody got a portable air con?

DWQ: Nope! But at least we can sit down. (I’ve really got to pee! Is that car dealership open?) Only four more hours to go! Here–have a piece of cardboard–take a load off.


Watch out for that pigeon!!

DWQ: How long you been here? Since 9? Like, in the morning? Dayuuumm. And I thought I was die hard…Props.

DWQ: Anyone know who this Aoki fella is?

DWQ:
I hear he’s a DJ…Couldn’t check for sure, though, cause my google was down all week.

DWQ:
What’s a DJ? (Can you pass me my knitting? Thanks.)

DWQ: It’s newfangled. It’s a person who plays records on a turntable onstage. Should be nice! I like records.

DWQ: Me too, me too…but I LOOOVVE me some Duran Duran!

DWQ: (all together now) Wooohooooo!!!

***Hours pass (la la laaa)

DWQ: Hey! The door peeps are finally here! Let’s make sure they know we’re back here in the alley waiting patiently to get in!

DWQ: What? They’re gonna WHAT? Just let everybody go in however? Willy Nilly? But, but…We’ve been here ALL DAY! Waiting! Patiently! In the HEAT!

DWQ: I’ll poke ’em with my knitting needle if they don’t get their silly little act together! I swear! These venues never know what to do with us Duranies. Jaysis. Will you pass me some of that 90-degree water? Thanks, doll.

DWQ: Ok, ok…I think we’ve gotten THAT cleared up…We should be cool now…Just get through the door and RUN! (Sure hope I don’t break one of my 6-inch heels! I don’t look good in lopsided…)

DWQ:
Here we are! In our inalienable front row spots! Whew! That was close, huh?  Ahhh, front row, front row, I love you front row…Say whaaah? You want us to move back two feet to let Aoki’s fans be in the front? You’re joking, right? Where were THEY when we were sweatin’ large outside? What’s that? They’ll leave as soon as his set is done?  You sure? Well, ok…We don’t really need to be in front to see a guy play records…

***Push em back, push em back, waaaaaay back!

DWQ: Wow, it’s sorta crowded in here, yeah? I need my required three feet of dance
space, so skooch. I am a diva. STOP. SWEATING. ON. ME! 

***Enter Aoki

***And cake…

***And champagne…

***And a big-ass raft…with PEOPLE in it…floating on hands outstretched to their DJ Jesus…

DWQ: Aaagghhh! What have Duran Duran gotten us INTO? No one told us about THIS!  What were they thinking? They HATE us! And isn’t that JT? Up there in the balcony?  He’s laughing at us! See him? What a D*CK!

Random DD Fan Who Did Not Queue: Aaagghhh! What have Duran Duran gotten us INTO? No one told us about THIS! What were they thinking? They HATE us! And isn’t that JT? Up there in the balcony? He’s laughing at us! See him? What a D*CK!

DWQ: My goodness, these youngsters are STRONG! They’ve knocked quite a few people down with their juvenile rave antics! Where IS that blasted security guy? The one who made us move at the beginning? Is that him? Over there at the side having a beverage? Yooohooo? Could you (ugh) please come over here and (ouch) get this pesky child off my HEAD, please and thank you?? *waves old lady hanky*

DWQ: And I thought WE were bad! My stars, the youth of today…Wait! Is that NICK?  Behind the screen? Yeah!! They’re coming onstage!  GET THE F**K OUTTA MY WAAAAY, B**CHEZZZ!!!

—The End—

(Ha!)
Okay…Little serious moment now.
I find myself laughing a lot about this loony experience. No, none of it went down the way I’ve presented it (well, SOME of it did), but it gives me a chuckle nevertheless. In all honesty, I don’t know why Duran chose to pair up crowds with Aoki’s – to ‘See What Unfolded’ perhaps? Good idea? Bad Idea? It’s their little red wagon at the end of the day I suppose. I do think some things could’ve been handled better though (Umm,
guys? Serious up…next time you rely on someone else’s planning of an event–even if you are a mere guest–please check on the deets just a wee bit, a’yite? Security at a rave is sort of important.) And fully disclosing what we are ‘winning’ before people make unchangeable travel arrangements can only show that you respect us as fans and as people. I know, I know… It was our decision to do this. Yep, it was. Still, the feeling that
we were somehow purposely duped remains for some. Just sayin’.

This was an unforgettable Duran experience for sure, and truthfully, I had a complete BLAST until some guys started to go nucking futs and use themselves as human wrecking balls. Most of the people there were just other fans trying to have fun, dance, jump around, not a care in the world. I dig that. But having to expend the majority of my energy to simply remain upright is not my idea of a good time: impedes dancing–trust me on this. I’m SO not whining about being caught up in a sweaty mess of crazy, I’m talking about the actual seriously mean, violent guys who did their best to ruin the show for everyone: Duranie and Aokian alike. I’ve since heard stories of people getting choked, punched, kicked, stomped on…That is not ‘normal’ rave behavior (so sayeth the bonafide ravers on Facebook, anyway). It is not ‘kids having fun’. It is beyond what my exhaustive google-pre-researching of Aoki and of Terminal 5 led me to believe was in store. I’m just glad nothing worse broke out. Got reeaallll close at times though, cause bruthas and sistas, there was no security to be found ANYWHERE, and that is my gripe with this gig. Once Duran started playing, a guy looked at me with an incredulous, wild eyed look on his face and screamed at the top of his lungs that a fan had bitten him (Uh huh. BITTEN). What could I do? (Must’ve been that old, Duran-fan ‘mom’ look I werk.)  He was screaming for security, and every camera guy in the pit just shrugged and walked away.

It was mos def enjoyable to see the band again–it really was (Love you guys! Mwah!).
Even if I WAS completely flattened against the barricade. ;D

Rock on Duran Duran! Looking forward to the next show like crazy!

Jonee has been a fan of Duran Duran ever since she saw John Taylor running down the streets of Sri Lanka bare chested in Hungry Like the Wolf when it came on Friday Night Videos (she was 12). She missed a great deal of touring since her first show in ’84 (life, college, grad school, family, yadda yadda), but has since come back into the Duranie fold just in time for this whirlwind All You Need Is Now tour. She loves the band and all the ridiculously cool friends she’s made through them. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the mom of two kids, 7 and 4, and is currently trying to convince her sweet husband that she needs to see Duran Duran just one more time…

A Matter of Feeling (and perspective!)

For the past couple weeks we’ve enjoyed driving our friends crazy with questions such as “If you were deserted on an island, what ten Duran Duran songs would you want with you?”  It’s been very fun reading the responses and having people curse at us for making them choose. (it’s really Amanda you’re cursing at though – these questions are her gig!) Yes, it can be painful to choose!  

For this week, Amanda decided to ask what ten DD songs you would NOT want to hear live.  I love these questions, mainly because I laugh when I read the answers.  It’s all in fun, right?  It’s not a personal affront to the band when we ask that – because although they are very kind to themselves and swear they don’t have favorites or songs they get tired of playing…I think they’re either fibbing again or they’re as alien as Nick Rhodes.    I would bet my RCM album that if I got one or more of them alone in a dark corner that they’d admit there’s at least one song they’d like to ditch for a while.  (no comments about the dark corner.  You all have YOUR nasty little fantasies and I’ve got mine!)  
Interesting enough though, some fans take it all so incredibly seriously.  While most people can certainly separate the difference in poking fun for fun’s sake or even being blunt that we’ve heard enough of certain songs to last ourselves a lifetime, there are some who insist that if you don’t love every single song as though it were your own firstborn that you simply must not be a fan.  Some are even a bit more violent.  To those few, I say perspective can be your friend.
Newsflash: you’re still a fan if you, like me, would rather go get a drink than have to listen to Hungry Like the Wolf again.  Dom Brown and his onstage delightful antics aside, of course.  (Oh wait…that’s probably just me that enjoys that sort of thing…and that’s OK…I can accept that.  It’s a tough job.)  
One thing Amanda and I have noticed since way back in our days of being on message boards is that we can go months touting the successes of the band, lavishing praise upon them and never hear a word from anyone.  Let us say one slightly negative comment, and people come out of the woodwork with hoods and pitchforks at the ready.  Fans absolutely hate to hear less than wonderful things about this band, and yet they’ve said it themselves – they’re not perfect.  Neither are any of us, and I’m really kind of OK with that.  My gosh, I make mistakes on a pretty much hourly basis around here.  I even posted a blog a few weeks ago that was about one band and named yet an entirely different band in the blog.  I’m amazing!!  It happens, and I laugh a lot at myself.  Sometimes I even cringe and worry that someone important (i.e. ALL OF YOU!) read my mistake, then I remind myself that I’m not trying to save lives here, and that this isn’t about world domination.  Well, at least that’s the story Amanda and I stick to publicly.    My point is simply that it’s OK to not love every single thing the band does and you’re not going to have that Duranie card taken away by the mere mention that you’d prefer if they never played Save a Prayer live again.  
Conversely, we as fans probably need to make more of a reminder to ourselves that others (i.e. people who are not nearly as besotted by the band) have a right to their own opinions.  Even I feel that knee jerk reaction to send a nastygram to folks who dare to say less-than-stellar comments about this band – I’m human.  We have to learn to stop ourselves, or at least take a moment to slow down before threatening violence (I wish I were kidding).  The truth is, people are going to keep hating.  It’s what they do, and all you and I can really do is spend our energy doing the things that matter most to us…and using negative energy trying to sell this band to people who refuse to get it just isn’t the best use of our unbridled enthusiasm. 
Speaking of enthusiasm, we are putting out another call for guest blogs!!  We would love to hear your own story of how you became a Duranie.  Tell us about your very first show, or your first experience meeting the band.  What about a story behind your favorite DD song, picture, video…or relate a childhood memory to the band!  Summer is coming, and we’d love to run some blogs from all of you!  If you’ve got something you’d like us to read and print – send it to dailyduranie@gmail.com  along with a thumbnail picture of yourself and a short bio.  We want to read your stories!  
-R

Guest Blog: There is Something I Should Know

By Michelle Coldwell-Simons

There are some songs by Duran that I am sure I still haven’t heard. I am absolutely terrible at Duran song titles, especially album tracks. When people abbreviate Duran song titles on twitter for example, I have to really really think hard to decipher some of them! I can’t remember Duran member’s birthdays and I don’t know the names and ages of the Duran member’s kids. I couldn’t tell you the Duran albums in order of release except for the first three that I remember buying on vinyl –  Duran Duran, Rio and Seven and The Ragged Tiger. (Then I bought Arena, then I bought…..oh I don’t know.  I would have to look it up on Duran’s wiki page or something!)

I have no idea what Duran’s tours have been called either. I always just call them by the album they were promoting at the time. I do know that my first Duran gigs were on the Strange Behaviour tour – but I have always called it the Notorious Tour. I have seen Duran play at least one gig on every tour they have done in the UK since 1987 but I couldn’t tell you the NAME of the tours.  I would be totally flummoxed if you asked me to even hazard a guess.

I have loved Duran since I was 12 years old; that is 29 years people – and I am still not an expert. In fact I am so far from it it’s laughable!  I am not sure you should be an expert on a band just because you like them. I like the fact I don’t know everything there is to know about them. I like to be surprised when someone tells me something that I haven’t heard before about Duran. Recently I have been learning new facts about myself as well whilst doing some research for a Duran Duran quiz that I am compiling for the Fan Convention in Birmingham this November. There is a lyric section in the quiz and because of this I have had to look up lyrics for accuracy. This is how I learned that for quite some time I have been singing quite a few Duran, well, WRONG!  Examples of which are as follows:
Lonely In Your Nightmare. I used to sing ‘Heat beneath your window’ instead of ‘Heat beneath your Winter.’ I am originally from the East End of London and when spoken with an East End accent the word Window is pronounced WINDA! Bless my little cockney pre-teen self!

There are lots of lyrics from the song Hungry Like The Wolf I get wrong too. I sing ‘Seen in the subway earth is afire’ apparently it’s ‘STEAM in the subway’. I also sing ‘Stuck in the forest too close to hide’ It is apparently ‘STALKED in the forest’! And another ‘High Blood drumming on your skin it’s so tight’ I’ve always sung ‘MYblood drumming’……wow I really get that song wrong when I sing along to it!

Sometimes it is just one word I get wrong and I have only learnt this NOW because I am researching for this quiz. In Hold Back The Rain I have always sung ‘No time to worry cause we’re on the ROAD again’. Its ROAM not Road!

I am sure most of you reading this will experience some lyrics mistakes. I suppose we all hear what we want to hear. Although I will continue to sing the songs with my version of the lyrics that I have always sung, I must remember to use the right lyrics when doing the quiz in November.

I will leave you with one more of my Duran Lyric mishaps. In Last Chance On The Stairway the lyric is ‘I just get a picture of sun in your eyes, the waves in your hair’.  I always sang ‘I just get a picture of sun with your eyes away from your head’. I know Simons lyrics are bizarre but that is plain macabre!

Michelle was born in 1971 in the East End of London but thinks she is still about 18. Her formative years were spent travelling around London and the home counties meeting Duran Duran at various studio’s and other places of interest. There she met lots of new people quite a few of which she is still friends with today. Michelle writes about her teenage years and beyond with Duran in her Duran Diaries which will amuse and astound Duran fans but bore the butt off anyone else. When she grows up she likes to think that she will write a book one day as well as be a famous portrait photographer. She has been with her husband Gary for 21 years (poor poor man) and has two daughters aged 15 and 11, four cats, four fish and lives by the sea in Brighton, UK.

Guest Blog: Get Snuggly!

By Michelle Coldwell-Simons

How often do you listen to music? Every day? Just on the radio in the car? Plugged in to your generic music machine to go for a run? Me? I listen to music every day.
I always have. I do all those things above. (Except for running. I don’t run. Ever!) I listen to the radio in the morning to wake me up. I listen to the radio in the car to drop the kids at school. I listen to my iPod in the car, blaring out loudly when no-one else is with me, singing along like a mad woman. I listen to music late at night after a few glasses of wine; trying to be a super cool DJ for my very tired husband who is falling asleep and all he wants to do is go to bed……

I listen to all kinds of music too, not just one genre. When I was younger my dad was hugely into reggae and ska. My mum loves the Supremes and Abba. My brother blasted out Pink Floyd. My husband loves old school rap, Jay-Z, Kanye etc. My eldest daughter loves Lana Del Ray and my youngest loves all kinds of music and she seems to know all the words to every song she hears, even if she has only heard it once.  Music is a massive part of my life.
One thing about music that I don’t like is people making assumptions because of my obvious love of Duran.  People know I love Duran and therefore think that Duran are ALL I listen to. Or that because I love Duran the only music I listen to is music from the 80’s. I do listen to Duran. I do listen to music from the 80s. But I also love to listen to new music. For example this week my husband bought the new Maverick Sabre album for me, I think it is superb. I am lucky enough to have won tickets to Radio One’s Big Weekend that is happening in June which features acts like Jay-Z, Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Example, Jack White and The Ting Tings. I can’t wait!!

But. I suppose I am playing right into the hands of those who assume when I write the next few sentences…….. If I want to get anything done, I put on Duran. I try my hardest to put on something else. I have a huge and varied CD collection and an iPod stocked with many of the aforementioned artists and genres. But it is Duran I put on to get things done. I am listening right now to the Duran first album. (But I hate the fact that the copy I bought on CD many years ago which is now downloaded onto my iTunes contains ISTISK and that was NEVER part of the first album – WHY PUT IT THERE???)

If I have to do some housework, it is Duran I put on. If I have to concentrate on something like writing emails (or trying to write a blog!) it is Duran I put on. If I want to cheer myself up on a rainy Monday ‘cause it’s been pouring on Sunday, it is Duran I put on. If I have had a particularly bad day at work I blast a bit of Duran in the car on my short journey home. If I can’t sleep at night I have created a playlist on my iPod of soothing mellow Duran/Arcadia tunes to help me off to sleep. (Land from Big Thing I find particularly restful).
I don’t even really listen to the tracks most of the time if I am honest. It is because I don’t have to TRY to listen to the music. I don’t have to learn the words. I just let it wash over me; knowing the majority of Simon’s frankly bizarre lyrics, enjoying the incredibly sexy heart beat bass lines John produces, being amused at the little funny tweaks and squeaks that Nick makes, Roger’s loud and powerful drum beats, Andy’s fantastic guitar riffs and Dom’s amazing talent on the latest album…. It’s like my little comfort blanket. It is security. It is an aide to concentration. It is reliable. It is just there in the background to cheer me, soothe me, boost my energy and put a smile on my face.  I know it, I have heard it thousands of times and I don’t have to try too hard to listen. I LOVE that. 
So if like me you love your music and because you are reading this you love your Duran, blast them out with pride when you are sweeping your floors, cheering yourself up in the car or when you are just dancing around your house with wild abandon – I know you all do it! Embrace that Duran comfort blanket, wrap it around you and swaddle yourself in the sublime snugly snuggliness that is Duran Duran.


Michelle was born in 1971 in the East End of London but thinks she is still about 18. Her formative years were spent travelling around London and the home counties meeting Duran Duran at various studio’s and other places of interest. There she met lots of new people quite a few of which she is still friends with today. Michelle writes about her teenage years and beyond with Duran in her Duran Diaries which will amuse and astound Duran fans but bore the butt off anyone else. When she grows up she likes to think that she will write a book one day as well as be a famous portrait photographer. She has been with her husband Gary for 21 years (poor poor man) and has two daughters aged 15 and 11, four cats, four fish and lives by the sea in Brighton, UK. 

Guest Blog: Perfect

By Krissie Richardson

The other day, I was driving home from work, listening to a mix CD I’d made of my most favorite songs by Robert Palmer.  I’ve been a serious fan of his since the first Power Station album, and his death left a little hole in my musical soul.  The first song on the disc is “True Love” from the “Rhythm and Blues” album, and I found myself driving down I-75, singing along at the top of my lungs with tears rolling down my face.  It wasn’t grief over Robert’s passing, but rather that the song, in my musical opinion, is perfect.  Not “good”, not one loaded with memories and emotional attachment, but one that is so perfectly written and executed it moves me to tears.  There’s not a single note I would change, nothing in the arrangement or mix that irks me, not a single goofy lyric.  It’s just simply so perfect it moves me to tears with its beauty.
I had a good laugh at myself, realizing what I must look like to other drivers.  Thinking about it, I realized there are a handful of other songs in this perfect category, and they have the exact same effect on me.  “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash is the most perfect of perfect – it’s the song that, to me, is the end-all be-all of music.  “Rendez-Vous IV” by Jean-Michel Jarre, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, and “The Golden Age” by Beck all fall into the realm of perfect, too.  I can’t listen to them with strangers for fear of being committed into the nearest padded room.
As I went over my list, I realized that was no Duran Duran included on it.  That fact hit me like a punch to the diaphragm.  I’ve been a Duran Duran fan since I was 10 years old – three quarters of my life, for those doing the math.  For a long time, my fandom was my life – I worked not to keep a roof over my head, but rather to travel the world following Duran and/or John’s various solo projects.  I have multiple DD tattoos, half the stamps in my passport are there only because of Duran shows, I’ve helped to run fanzines and fan conventions.  I identify myself as an American first, a Duranie second, and everything else doesn’t much matter.
How could it be that Duran Duran music doesn’t move me as much as other music?  What in the world could have happened to me that the band I’ve built a fair portion of my life around just doesn’t move me like other artists can and do?
My hypothesis is that there are two reasons for this.  First, I think that just because a band is your favorite doesn’t mean they make the music that reaches you the most, and sometimes artists that aren’t your favorite manage to grab a hold of your soul with a song or two.  Take Beck as an example from my life.  I like some of Beck’s work, but his “Sea Change” album is by far my favorite of his catalog.  It’s a complete departure from the rest of his work, and his hard-core fans view it like we look at “Thank You”.  The first time I heard it, the very first song put me straight into tears with how perfect it is.  The rest of the album is hit and miss, but “The Golden Age” moves me to this day.  Beck probably wouldn’t appear on my top 10 favorite artists list, probably not even the top 20, but in that one song he created a moment where we understand each other implicitly.
Perhaps that discontinuity is why the music can be so powerful.  It’s completely unexpected.
The second reason is more interesting, and harder to understand.  I’ve come to believe that fandoms grow and change, almost like separate personalities.  My love of Duran Duran has changed from youthful lust to musical obsession to an all-consuming passion to a comfortable hobby.  I’ve evolved in my fandom, or rather my fandom has evolved around me.  I’m such a different person than I was in 1995, when I got heavily involved in “the scene”.  I’m different from who I was when I got out in 1999.  I don’t even reside in the same universe as the person I was at the reunion and during the planning and execution of the Friends of Mine convention.  It’s only logical that my passions would be different as well – in some ways it surprises me more that any of my interests remain the same as they were “before”.
I’ve come to think that Duran Duran may not be my favorite band anymore.  My Duran Duran fandom is my favorite (and I have many, across many interests), though.  I don’t think it’s contradictory to say it like that, either.  I do lots of different things that involve fandom, like sporting events and sci-fi cons as well as Duran Duran shows and fan gatherings.  The Duran events are still my favorite, but not because of the band.  Instead, it’s because of the friendships I’ve made because of Duran Duran.  Rhonda, Amanda, and many other people make my life better because of the friends they are to me, and we would have never met one another if not for Duran Duran.  I wouldn’t have heard of Robert Palmer, a man who was able to reach me so deeply with his music my life would be less without it, if it weren’t for Duran Duran.
So even though there isn’t a Duran Duran song yet that reaches me as deeply as a select few songs by other artists, my fandom is an entirely different animal than it was at any other point in my life, and is probably more important to me now.  The friendships and experiences I’ve had as a Duranie are themselves perfect, and are vastly more meaningful that what album I choose to put into the player first.

Krissie is originally from Ann Arbor, MI but currently resides in central Kentucky.  She is an almost life-long Duranie who spent several years as a co-board member of theICON in the mid to late 90s.  With over 70 Duran Duran shows and at least 10 Duran Duran fan conventions under her belt, you might have already met her.  At the moment, she is finishing her BS in computer science at Eastern Kentucky University.  Along with her extremely patient husband, Don, and her two 80 pound lapdogs, BJ and Bear, she is eagerly anticipating what adventures await after graduation!

Save a Prayer, Leave a Light On…and let us get through the stress!

Stress is not fun.  I don’t think many people would disagree, although I’m sure there’s somebody out there who likes a little stress.  Under normal circumstances, even I can handle a little stress.  Sometimes, I can even handle a lot of it, until that stress has something to do with one of my children.  Then, for some odd reason – I can’t.  Right now, I’m having one of those moments with my son.  I don’t want to get into details (Although if this keeps up for any length of time you never know…), but he’ll be thirteen in July and he’s decided he has everything all figured out.  No need for school, no need to strive for decent grades, no need to follow the rules.  When I’m awake at 2:30 having panic attacks about what trouble my son will create or find next, I realize that I’ve already been through this sort of thing with my oldest at approximately the same age.  We all survived, and I’m at least semi-hopeful that we’ll survive this with my son as well. Ah, to be a teenager and know absolutely everything again….

My writing partner Amanda has her own stress going on.  She is deep within the throws of a hotly contested campaign to recall the governor of her state, she is extremely passionate about the issues, and this is very important.  All the while, she is considering changes within her career and finishing up the school year for her students.  Truth be told, Duran Duran has taken a bit of a backseat for both of us in this moment.  That’s part of life though, the natural ebb and tide, the give and take.  It’s not always easy or simple to find a way to accommodate our interests as well as take care of business.  Don’t even ask us about book writing….

Rest assured, we will continue writing Daily Duranie.  We are hoping to share some rare interviews and other tidbits as well as the same type of blogging you’ve all grown to expect over the next few months while our lives are working themselves out.  We discussed taking a bit of a hiatus (we’ve been at this with no break for over a year and a half now), and while we may still take advantage of that, neither of us want to stop writing the blog completely. I promise to keep going however we can!

So, with that in mind, we want to open the door to our readers.  We are looking for guest bloggers for Daily Duranie.  Is there a subject we’ve missed that you feel a burning passion to write?  Did we miss the mark somewhere and you’ve been dying to revisit a topic?  Amanda and I would love to hear from you and give you space to write here on the blog!  Drop us a line at our gmail (dailyduranie@gmail.com) and let us know what you’ve got in mind!

-R