Category Archives: Happy Holidays

My Last Post of 2016. What is to be gained?

This is my last post of 2016. I don’t post again until Monday, January 2nd 2017, so have a wonderful New Years, everyone! I don’t know what Amanda has planned for her blogs this weekend, but I would imagine they’d have something to do with traveling and seeing some band from the UK a couple of times.

There’s a part of me that is jealous, but another part—the saner portion of me—that is a bit relieved I’m staying home. It’s not about the band, because I would love to see them and my friends again.  No, my relief is about the not having to pack, schedule out the time while I’m gone, get on a plane, and then come back before I have to be at work on Tuesday, that makes me a little relieved I’m not planning a trip across the country.

I’ve seen many say that 2016 has been a tough, cruel year. The loss has been pretty tough to take. While I don’t typically lose family members every year, invariably there is a celebrity figure or two.  They pass on, and we all stop for a moment to pay our respects, then life simply moves on.  This year, I daresay the loss seems to have felt more acute. Whether it’s the number of people who have left us, or the people themselves, 2016 has been a roller coaster.

I’ve seen so many people tweet that we need to wrap every member of Duran Duran in bubble wrap, as if that will somehow protect them from the dreaded 2016. I’ve said similar things myself, in jest, as if adding humor to the situation will make it all more palatable. The reality is that there’s nothing any of us can do to make this stop. I’m 46, and many of my idols, including the band, are hitting their mid to late 50’s now. Many others are even older. I remind myself that my own father died at 68. Death is a certainty, it’s a matter of when. And that thought is pretty damn depressing.

How many of us actually sat down at the age of thirteen that we’d have to someday see all of the celebrities and people we admire leave this earth? How many of us really thought about the day we’d read online that George Michael passed away? Or David Bowie? Or Prince?  I know I didn’t. I never gave mortality much thought. I lived in the moment, and didn’t think too far beyond what I might wear to school the following day.  Blissful ignorance of youth.  And then we grew up.

It is 2016. Many of you reading are also in your 40’s. This year alone, we’ve felt the loss of many legends and heroes. Death has this annoying way of forcing you think about life, and I think we all want to be able to blame some THING for why so many people are dying this year. So, we blame 2016. I highly doubt we’ll wake up in 2017 and the Grim Reaper will have decided to take his talents elsewhere, but it is how we make sense of things that really have no answer.

I suppose that I’ve come to the conclusion that this constant parade of RIP’s and tributes will not have an end until I leave this planet myself. I’m at middle age, my heroes are either my age or older, and none of us live forever. I can remember my grandmother sitting in her chair in my childhood home, watching the news in the afternoons during the summer when she’d babysit my sister and I.  Occasionally there would be news of a celebrity death, and invariably she’d take a sharp inhale of breath, shocked by the news.

She’d softly say something like, “Well, there’s another one gone. Soon there will be no one left.”  Then she’d look over at me and my sister, playing with Barbies on the floor and muse, “Getting old is terrible, Rhonda Lynn. You can’t move, and your friends die constantly.”

I can remember looking at her then looking over at my sister, who couldn’t have been much older than five or six. I’d give her a tiny smile and then roll my eyes. Why? Well, we were never going to get old!!

I don’t blame people for wishing 2016 away, mind you. There are a number of reasons for wanting this year to just end already. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that by this time most years, I’m ready to get on with it already. On the other hand, I’m also trying to be careful not to wish my life away. I have things to look forward to in 2017. A girls weekend in Rancho Mirage, seeing Duran Duran again, my son’s graduation from high school, more college acceptances for him (I hope!), and then seeing him walk onto his college campus for the first time.

Even with all of that, I’m trying very hard to put the art of enjoying each day as it comes into practice. I don’t like saying the words “I can’t wait” anymore (although I still say them out of habit) because as it turns out, I CAN wait. Anticipation isn’t a bad thing. It heightens and stretches out the enjoyment of what is to come.

If there’s anything to really be gained from the loss we’re all learning to accept these days, it is to learn that time isn’t to be wasted. There’s not an infinite amount somewhere. When your cup runneth out, you’re done. One of the first things I said when I heard about George Michael—after shouting “NOOOOOO” and grabbing my phone, of course—was that I never saw him live. He was one of my favorite artists, and I never bothered. I didn’t buy the ticket. Granted, I am sure I could cite reasons, and timing would be at the top of the list, but the fact is, I didn’t buy the ticket.

I lightly pounded my fist on the dining room table, startling my mom in the process, and proclaimed that no one could or should ever tell me again that I go see too many shows, or that I shouldn’t spend the money, because once these people are gone, they’re gone. I really don’t know if the sentiment was understood. My family was never into concerts the way I am, and they don’t really understand my obsession with Duran Duran anyway.

What it all boils down to is that in 2017, I’m buying the ticket. Before my husband has a fit—that’s a euphemism. I’m going to seize more of the moments. See more of the people I want to see, do more of the things I want to do. Fear plays a huge part in my life, and my goal for the year is to live just a little bit outside of that box. Instead of just dreaming, I’m going to try doing.

Happy New Year! Be safe and have a fantastic time if you’re headed to the shows in Cancun or DC!

-R

Merry Christmas 2016!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I am writing this blog post on Saturday afternoon, Christmas Eve, as tomorrow I will be driving to Chicago to pick up my brother and sister-in-law from the airport.  Their arrival signals the official beginning of the holiday.  My plan for the few days that they are around is simple.  I want to enjoy my time with them along with my parents.  If 2016 has taught anything, it is that.  Appreciate what you have now because the future may not be kind.

I wish that each and ever reader of our blog has a wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends.  I recommend adding a little Duran Duran to your holiday festivities as well.  First, take some time to listen to the band members’ holiday messages, if you haven’t already:

Holiday Greeting from Simon: http://duran.io/2hTzDKA

Holiday Greeting from Nick: http://duran.io/2i15fhg

Holiday Greeting from Roger: http://duran.io/2hTD83F

Holiday Greeting from John: http://duran.io/2hVkhYG

Then, you can watch a few clips on YouTube, including:

John and Simon making Christmas Pudding

A Diva’s Christmas Carol featuring John Taylor (and Nile Rodgers!)

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, and any other holiday you might celebrate everyone!!  I truly hope it is one filled with joy, love and peace for you and those you care about.

-A

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

I cannot believe that it is Christmas again!  Wasn’t it just Christmas like yesterday or a week ago or something?!  Time seems to be flying and we are here to wish you a Merry Christmas once again!  This year, I have the fortunate duty of doing this blog and providing some Duran and Christmas related gifts!  I hope that this blog post along with all of your family and friend functions provides you with joy!

At times, Duran Duran performed around the holidays.  Here are a couple of clips that I enjoy!

Top of the Pops in the UK from Christmas 1982:

 Top of the Pops in the UK from Christmas 1984:

 

The National Lottery Show in the UK from December 24, 2010:

It seems to me that Duran always does a fabulous job in wishing their fans a Merry Christmas.  Let’s take a look at some previous years.  Here’s a clip from what appears to be 1984 and in Spanish!

About about this Christmas greeting from Smash Hits in 1982?  Duran’s part is until 0:45 seconds!

Here are last year’s holiday greetings from the band:

This year’s holidays greetings are on audio and can be found here!  

Of course, no Christmas celebration would be complete without Band-Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas:

While we didn’t create this card, I couldn’t help but to share it!

On that note, we truly do wish each and everyone of you the very happiest of holidays!!!

-A

A Duranie Thanksgiving

Since November 1st, I have noticed a tread on my personal facebook.  This tread is a daily post about what that person is thankful for.  Since it is Thanksgiving here in the US, I thought it might be good to follow this tread, but I would tweak it a little bit.  The first change is that I didn’t post each day.  Instead, I’ll post my whole list of 30 reasons to be thankful all in one day, today.  The second change is an obvious one.  This is a blog by Duran Duran fans.  Thus, it will be what I’m thankful for as a Duranie.  🙂

Here is my (incomplete) list of what I’m thankful for, as a Duranie:

1.  Duran Duran songs that move me to feel, that hit me at the core of my being and seem to connect directly with my life.  Some of the songs like this that pop into my head include Before the Rain, Finest Hour, and so many more.

2.  Duran Duran songs that rock my world.  Of course, here I’m thinking of songs like Planet Earth, Careless Memories, Hold Back the Rain and a ton of others.

3.  Simon Le Bon.  As much as we here give Simon a hard time, I completely appreciate his ability to write powerful, thought provoking lyrics and I appreciate his unique voice and showmanship.

4.  Nick Rhodes.  Again, we like to give Nick a hard time for being “the controller”, for being super picky, for making Durantime a reality.  Yet, I know that his vision and determination for perfection has helped make Duran Duran the best they can be.

5.  John Taylor.  This year, I truly appreciate that he decided to share his story with all of us.  It seems to me that we can all learn from John’s journey as well as his ability to be so open.  On top of that, I am grateful that he, personally, has reached out to fans on twitter and has a tremendously cleaver way of sharing what thinks. 😉

6.  Roger Taylor.  I’m so grateful that Roger came back to the band and has stayed.  He truly does form the backbone of Duran’s music and live performances.  The rhythm section was not and would not be the same without him. 

7.  Dom Brown.  The band could have ceased existing when Andy left.  Instead, they sought a guitarist who could not only help the band continue but could add to the mix.  I’m grateful for his stage presence and the fact that he has been contributing in the writing process.

8.  Duran’s ability to appreciate and reach out to their fans. At times, we have all criticized Duran for being so removed from us.  The past couple of years, however, saw the band acknowledge us in songs like All You Need is Now and reach to us on social networking sites.  I think we can all appreciate that.

9.  Duran Duran concerts.  I’m so grateful that the band continues to not only play live but that they are at their best on stage.  They can be counted on to give fabulous performances and leave the audience wanting more.

10.   Duran Duran concerts that I have been lucky enough to attend.  I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to attend as many shows as I have and there are so many of them that have truly stayed with me.  These shows include Brighton and Glasgow in ’11, Durham this past summer, Chicago in ’06, and Chicago ’05.

11.  JoSi.  While those fantastic John and Simon together moments in concert as not as frequent or an intense as they once were, I still appreciate the heck out of them and know that I’m not the only one.  😉

12.  DoJo.  Ah, both Rhonda and I both appreciate the DoJo, or those moments when John and Dom meet on stage and truly rock out together.  *sigh*

13.  Duran Duran has forced me to travel.  In order to go to shows, I have often had to travel.  In some cases, this travel has been short road trips and, in others, I have had to fly.  Sometimes, I have combined them.  No matter where I have gone, I appreciate the fact that this travel has opened my eyes more to the rest of the world. 

14.  Duran Duran videos that captured so much attention, including mine, and truly set the standard for them.  Some of my personal favorites include New Moon on Monday, All You Need is Now, Planet Earth, and Sunrise.

15.  Duran  Duran’s intelligence and ability to be articulate their vision.  One does not need to look far to see the band members’ intelligence.  It comes through in every interview that they do.  It also comes through in each project that they have done.

16.  Duran Duran’s sense of humor.  This connects to the the previous one but I adore the fact that they are funny in interviews and in their videos.  I think of videos like Rio in which they were able to make fun of themselves or not take themselves too serious.

17.  Duran Duran’s connection to other art forms.  As the daughter of an artist, I have been surrounded by art my entire life.  While I lack my mother’s creative talents, I have a true appreciation of art.  One of the things I have always admired about Duran is how they bring in art, photography, and fashion into their projects.

18.  Duran Duran’s good looks.  Now, obviously, there is a ton of other things I appreciate about Duran but I won’t deny the fact that I appreciate that they look good.  After all, there is something pretty cool to be in a room when a collective *squee* happens.  Typically, this is done because a hot picture is posted or because one or more members does something to get the collective heart rate going!

19.  Duran’s longevity.  We should all be grateful that Duran has had the staying power!  There have been countless bands who have not been able to last one year, five years, ten years, twenty years, etc.  Duran has been going for decades, which says lot about the members’ personal determination and the quality of their music.

20.  Duran’s plans to go back into the studio and to continue on.  Like the last one, I’m so thankful that Duran plans on returning to the studio to make a new album.  Of course, I’m thrilled that Mark Ronson is joining them again.  This not only says to all of us that they plan on continuing to make music, but the goal is the same level of quality we had for AYNIN.

21.  Duran’s ability to motivate Rhonda and I to tackle projects like writing a book on fandom and writing a daily blog.  I, sometimes, question our sanity but, in general, am happy that they have inspired us in this way.  That said, I’m so thankful for each and every reader.  We couldn’t do it without all of YOU!

22.  Duran’s ability to motivate and inspire others to create.  I see the inspiration when I see fans create artwork of Duran, mixes of their music or even fanfic about their lives.  Fans feel so much and want to express their own creativity, which is so cool.  Beyond the fanbase, they have obviously inspired other artists to make music as well.

23.  Duran opening my ears to other music.  I have learned about so much music through my fandom.  I have given so many songs and artists a chance because they connect directly or indirectly to Duran.  In some/many cases, I have discovered new artists or songs that I have come to adore.

24.  MTV, Top 40 radio, the Reflex and my best friend as a kid for turning me on to this band in the first place.  I have a hard time imagining my life without Duran Duran.  In the early 80s, many forces came together at the right time to make me a Duranie.  I’m forever grateful to these forces I mentioned here.

25. Membership in a fandom and fan community.  Duran Duran gave me an interest.  The fact that I want to share that interest brought me to Duranland.  While there are times I get frustrated with our fandom or our fan community, I am generally pleased that they exist and that I’m part of them.  It is so nice to know that I’m not alone in my love for this band.  I feel included and a part of something big.

26.  The chance to meet other fans.  Over the course of years as part of Duranland, I have had the opportunity to meet so many other fans.  I have met some only online through message boards or social networking sites.  When I’m lucky, I have had the chance to meet them in person. 

27.  Some of the best times in my life.  When I look back to my life (so far), I have to admit that I have had some truly amazing times!  Many of them have been with other fans, especially on tour.  Truly, some of those tours have been the most fun I have ever had.  Perhaps, that’s why I keep touring, to try and experience more of that fun.  Touring wouldn’t happen for me without Duran Duran.

28. The ability to develop real, long lasting, essential friendships.  Since joining Duranland, I have met so many great people.  I’m so lucky that many of those same people are now true friends of mine.  My world would definitely be a smaller, lonelier place without them.

29.  My friendship with Rhonda.  Out of all of the friendships I have made because of Duran or through Duranland, there is none more precious to me than my friendship with Rhonda.  We truly enjoy each other’s company, seek each other out for support, push each other to think and be better, and have kick ass times together.  Frequently, those kick ass times have included situations where we laugh so hard and so much it hurts like when we made each other laugh during Leopard in Bournemouth or during a very late or very early morning in a cheap dive of a restaurant in the heart of Chicago.  Did I mention that we are also working together?  It is truly a once in a lifetime friendship.

30.  Overall, I’m incredibly grateful for the band and everything that has come with.

On that note, Rhonda and I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

-A

Merry Christmas, Duranland!

Today is my turn to wish people a Merry Christmas! My blog partner had the chance to do so a few days ago. I have had a lovely day so far! It started out early with opening presents, which lasted for hours! All I can say is that my nieces are spoiled! Good thing that they are good kids! The rest of the day will contain a big meal, playing games, watching movies, etc. I have been very lucky this year to have such a wonderful holiday! I hope that this blog finds you in a similar position!

Like my partner-in-crime, I will take a few minutes (or a few sentences, if you prefer) to give a few shout-outs even though she did a fabulous job a few days ago! First, I want to wish Rhonda a very happy of holidays! I’m sure that her Christmas has been busy with family functions and watching her three wonderful children enjoy their gifts. I hope that Santa was good to her, too! Maybe she will get some money for her Duranie account! (Dear Rhonda, I hope this is true as I feel more touring, more traveling in our future! That said, we have so much work to do that it isn’t funny!!! It will be a busy, fabulous 2012! I can feel it!)

I also want to wish our friends a joyful holiday as well!!! The truth is this: as much as the band keeps us interested, it is the wonderful people we have met that keeps us going as fans, as writers! This past year has been wonderful in terms of meeting people, some personally and some digitally. I know that I’m grateful for each and every one of you! Again, this makes me look forward to 2012 all the more as I hope it continues to be filled with all of the amazing people we now can call friends. Rhonda and I are SO lucky!

Lastly, there is the band. This past year has been an intense one for us, as fans. It was filled with both trials and triumphs. I know this much. They brought Rhonda and I together and have been the springboard to meeting all of you! My fandom has been renewed and intensified because of all of our experiences in 2011. I look forward to being entertained, excited, frustrated and more when it comes to Duran Duran! I hope that this holiday has been a great one for them as well. I hope that they have been able to enjoy it with friends and family as they have given us all many gifts this year!

With that, I’m off to play a game with the family! Merry Christmas, everyone!

-A

Happy Holidays from Duran

I received an email message from Duran Duran the other day as I’m sure that many of you did. In this message, they discussed their upcoming plans and included short holiday greetings from Simon, Nick, Roger and John. Now, I won’t lie. I opened the email at work and had to watch the videos, immediately. Then, I openly squeed! I’m sure my colleagues must think that I’m beyond crazy at this point. Anyway, there is much to discuss with this simple email.

As part of the holiday greeting email, the band discussed how they were taking some time to be with their families and then mentioned about their plans to keep on the road in 2012. Some of the places they mentioned were Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the US. They also mentioned something “special” for their UK fans. First, obviously, they mentioned about how they were going to take it easy for the next few weeks in order to let us know that things will be quiet on the Duran front. I’m not surprised by this since it is obviously the holiday season and since they have been busy touring for months. I’m sure that they need a break. I would! Now, of course, as a blogger I would like there to be news everyday BUT I get it completely. Might be a good time to introduce one of our games…As for the tour news, much of this information was not news at all since they have dates already in Asia, Australia and Europe. South America was completely new and I am thrilled for our friends who live in that neck of the woods. As for the US, there have been many rumors spinning. Now, we have confirmation. Obviously, we have no idea when they will be coming back to the US just that they are. That said, I will be curious as to what is the special something for the UK fans. Will this be SO exciting that I will be pushed into trying to go back?! If so, I hear that there is a convention being planned. It would be really ideal for those events to happen at the same time…just saying.

The videos were a lot of what I was expecting. Simon said happy holidays in a way that only LeBon can with a reference to Happy Nude Year. Then, Nick talked about technology as he snapped his fingers and various items would appear on the screen. So very Nick. Roger was lengthy but stayed to the party line by summarizing the year for Duran and what they are looking forward to for 2012. John’s was short but sweet. He mentioned about how he loved Christmas and wished us a good one. Nothing was out of the ordinary there. Strangely enough, when you went to the band’s official website or their twitter, another holiday message appeared. Dom recorded a holiday message as well. The official website, in fact, says happy holiday from Duran Duran then has all five of the messages listed and a picture of all 5 of them. I think this is fascinating. How come Anna did not do one? How come Saxy Simon didn’t do one? When I clicked on Dom’s message from their twitter, it reads holiday message from “Duran Duran’s Dom Brown.” He was referred to in a possessive way. Fascinating. Now, this might not mean much at all or it might. Only time will tell what it means if anything. Maybe they just want to point out that Dom is more than Anna or Saxy Simon or maybe they want us to start thinking of him as a member of the band. What do you think? Am I overthinking this? I probably am. That said, I would welcome him to the band.

Now, I should probably wrap this up so that I can join my family for dinner. Tonight will be a busy one of food, games and laughter, I’m sure. I hope that all of you as well as the band have a wonderful evening as well!!!

-A

Happy Whateveryoucelebrate!!!

Since today is my last blogging day before Christmas – I thought I’d send out my own holiday greetings to everyone.  Christmas is a pretty big holiday here for my family, we celebrate with my husband’s family on Christmas Eve, mine on Christmas Day…and then we have a big party on New Years Eve and typically don’t get to sleep until dawn, then spend the next day wondering why we thought we could still behave as though we were in our 20’s. (We can’t but we certainly try!)  By the time these weeks are over, I’m exhausted!  I love this time of year because it gives us a chance to spend time as a family, and if you’ve been reading the blog you know that my oldest has 3 years until she goes off to college.  Those times are special, and I hope all of you have the opportunity to spend time with the people you love and call family (whether by blood or by choice) as well.

Speaking of people we love, of course I want to send my best wishes for a wonderful holiday out to the band, regardless of what or if they celebrate, of course.  A holiday is a holiday – and I’m well aware that means a vacation in Britain.  They certainly deserve just that.  I have to get sappy and fan girl for just a moment and say that they have given me SUCH a gift this year.  Some of the very best shows I’ve ever been to happened this year, both before and after Simon’s vocal issues.  I really didn’t know if I’d ever see them play again after my fateful trip to the UK, and boy – did they ever deliver!  For those of you who are waiting patiently for the band to come your way, and I really hope they do, make no mistake – they are worth the wait.  I love each and every one of them and could not possibly be prouder to say I’m a fan.  Happy Holidays.

There are LOTS of other people in this world that I adore, and many of you are those whom I’ve met just this past year.  There are so many, I wouldn’t dare name all of you in fear of forgetting someone – but I hope you all know you are.  I don’t use the word “blessed” very often – I’m really not religious in that way, but I am SO blessed to be able to call all of you my friends. I thank my lucky stars each day that I met each of you, and I love you more than I could ever say on this blog.  It has really been a fabulous year when it comes down to the friendships I’ve made and continue to enjoy.  Its funny because I don’t even feel as though I need a single thing under my Christmas tree – I’ve already gotten anything and everything I could want.  Merry Christmas to each of you and your families.

Of course then there is my partner-in-crime.  Where to begin with that girl, I just don’t know.  We did it, didn’t we?!?  We actually saw that stupid band play REAL SHOWS in their homeland!!  They didn’t cancel the gigs when they heard we were coming, and they didn’t run the other way when they saw us in the audience….in the same basic seats….each night for the first four shows!  (and again I’m sorry to Dom Brown if he thought we were stalking him.  I swear we didn’t pick the seats – it just happened that way!!)  Unreal.  I still shake my head in wonder about the whole thing.  I had the best time, I really did, and I have you to thank for that.  (yes, there might have been other…people…involved, but we’re not talking about that here)  Thank you for putting up with my insanity, my forgetfulness and my scatterbrained self on almost a daily basis.  Who would have thought when we met in New Orleans that we’d dare try to change the Duranie world and write a blog with heart and soul?  Hope you’re working on  that chapter for the book….and yes, I need to finish my chapter too!  I hope you have the merriest of Christmases ever, and that 2012 is a better year.  Period.  I don’t know how in the hell we’ll ever top the latter part of this year, or if we should even try, but I look forward to more insanity ahead!

Lastly – have you followed Dom yet?!?  You haven’t??  Well get on it people!!  Dom on Facebook   Dom on Twitter    Yes, I see that he’s not Andy.  I know he’s not Warren.   Does it really matter??  He’s a good guy, a great guitar player (don’t even try to argue with me)….and he deserves our support!  So go, go do it now…and happy holidays!!

Peace, and I’ll be back on Monday!

-R