Category Archives: history

So Red The Rose: Arcadia or Power Station?

I don’t think I’ve spent much time writing about Arcadia or Power Station. I suppose to begin with, this site is dedicated to being a Duran Duran fan, so there is that. On the other hand though, Arcadia, Power Station, et al, have all been stops along my way. On this date in 2010, So Red the Rose was remastered and released. So, it seems appropriate to write a little about Arcadia today.

On the purely frivolous side, I loved Simon’s look during this period. Nick’s hair, longer than mine has probably ever been, was beautiful too.  It was as though they took whatever they’d done in Duran Duran and turned it up a notch with just a tinge more darkness. I loved it.  Their style was part of their branding, and I loved the whole package. The videos? I still watch them whenever I get a chance.

For me, Power Station was all about the music. It’s not that I wasn’t a John-fan or an Andy-fan, but I don’t know that I would say style was as much the focus as the music.  Many people describe Arcadia as an art project. Well, Power Station was a rock band. I embraced that.

This is the point where the discussion gets trickier (for me). Arcadia checked all the same boxes for me as Duran Duran. I loved the feel of the music, it was unique and different and nothing like anything else I heard on the radio. It was recognizable and comfortable to me because of Simon’s voice, but I cannot lie – I dearly missed John and Andy.

On the same token, I enjoyed Power Station. In the same way that I dearly loved AC/DC…Led Zeppelin….and just about any hard rock band of that era, hearing Andy and John lay it all out on the line in a way that Duran’s music did not allow was fantastic. But I missed the keyboards.

It was as though Power Station and Arcadia were the results of a very involved surgery to separate conjoined twins. Each could survive without the other, but should they? They weren’t quite the same on their own. Both bands were great, don’t get me wrong. I loved them both for their individuality, but if I could have smooshed them together to create one band, I think it might have been perfect.

Oh wait.

I see the debate anytime the subject of one or another comes up.  It always starts out by asking, “Which was your favorite?” For me, it depended on my mood and it still does. Yes, Roger was my favorite, and so you’d think I would have given the edge to Arcadia. Some days, I did. On other days though, I longed for that seemingly reckless guitar and deep bass groove. I never really had a favorite between the two of them. Sure, I loved the video for Election Day (who doesn’t?!?), but I also really liked Some Like it Hot. That guitar solo? Yes, please!  Invariably the discussion dissolves into who “left” the band and why, as though those facts alone should determine allegiance. It is just music.

In a nutshell, the Arcadia/Power Station debate is a very good metaphor for my own musical tastes, even today. On one hand, there is nothing like a great Duran Duran concert.  On the other, I really just want to stand in front of Dom while he’s playing his own music. I love Duran Duran. I also like Metallica. It’s not necessarily this OR that, but both…and why not?

So let’s watch some videos!

 

 

Enjoy!

-R

 

 

 

Anaheim House Of Blues in 2001 – were you there?

Today marks a kind of special day for me in Duran history. I almost forgot it…but thanks to the spreadsheet that Amanda has painstakingly amassed, I was properly reminded.

On this date in 2001, Duran Duran played at the Anaheim House of Blues. Just a normal date, on a normal day, right? Yes, except that at  this show, my fandom was reawakened.

In 2001, I was a young mom of two very little kids. My son Gavin was barely two, and Heather was four. At the time, Duran Duran was about the furthest thing from my mind. My days were spent doing laundry, trying to make sure my kids didn’t kill one another (you think I’m joking, but I assure you I am not).

At the time, Walt and I had annual passes to Disneyland and California Adventure, and we spent many a weekend taking the kids to the parks. On one of those weekends, we were strolling through Downtown Disney, and Walt happened to notice that the marquee for the House of Blues announced an upcoming show for Duran Duran. He asked if I wanted to go and I laughed. That’s right, I laughed. I hadn’t really listened to Duran Duran in years. I still had all of their albums, and fond memories, but I was in the throes of Mommyhood. I didn’t love Medazzaland, and admittedly, I hadn’t even bought Pop Trash.  Walt looked at me pretty insistently, saying I needed a night out (which meant getting a sitter, and that seemed like so much work!), so I told him to go ahead and get them. I really wasn’t excited, but I figured I might as well go.

Yes, telling this story makes me laugh…and kind of embarrasses me at the same time. It was like I was a completely different person back then!

I really was.

The night of the show arrived, and we got to Downtown Disney early enough to grab dinner. That’s right, I didn’t insist on getting there at 5am to grab a good spot. We walked by the line of people waiting to get in — it wasn’t very long — and Walt asked if I wanted to go wait. I said “No way, I want to eat dinner! I don’t need to be up front!!”

Insanity, I tell you.

We got dinner, went in about twenty minutes before the show started, and I decided I didn’t want to stand on the floor. I ended up being by the stairs in the back. Plenty close enough for me, because I wasn’t a huge fan. I’d given that up years before, right? Before long the show started and Simon, Nick and Warren took the stage.  I remember thinking to myself how, after all these years, I was finally in what I could consider to be the same room with Simon and Nick. Not the same arena, but the same breathing space. I was only a matter of feet from them. Yeah, Warren was there too, but I convinced myself that if I just ignored that part of the stage, it wouldn’t matter. (Sorry Warren fans. I was reliving the Fab Five as a Fab Twosome) John and Roger’s absence were noted, and I wondered wistfully what it would have been like with them there, but I didn’t dwell on those thoughts. I just lived and breathed the music that night.

I don’t remember much after that. I screamed, nearly cried and lost my mind.  Something happened during that show. Something deep, meaningful and visceral.  I remembered who I was before children, before getting married, before becoming whatever I was right then. I was reintroduced to the girl I once knew, and I really liked her.

That show was pivotal for me in so many ways. I can’t really talk about some of the things I’ve felt since then, or how that single show really woke me back up. I’m just thankful and filled with gratitude that I went. My life went from being pretty grey to complete Technicolor after that night. My husband didn’t realize what he’d done by insisting that I go with him to that show until it was far too late. I would imagine if he could, he’d go back and change that plan, in a lot of ways. On the other hand, that show saved me. I can’t even explain how or why—even for me, some things are just too private to blog about—but that show saved me.

I have a long, long way to go. But, I’ve reclaimed much along the way. I suppose in some way, I’m trusting the process (and what a process it is!). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am lucky. Yeah, I tease and joke about the band, and they drive me crazy at times—but I’m lucky I have this fandom.

I don’t know how many people think they grow out of something like this fandom, only to be reintroduced much later and jump back in with both feet. I did, and I’m not leaving. The Anaheim House of Blues on March 28, 2001 was a special night, I hope to never forget it.

-R

Duran Duran performed for One Night Only back in 2011 – do you remember?

I have this really cute desk calendar that Amanda created for me. She took the same dates in history that we use for the blog, found photos for them, and then put them together. Each day, I enjoy looking at what special event happened in Duran history, and often times it gives me something to write about, too!

Over the weekend, on March 12, my calendar told me that in 2011, Duran Duran performed for One Night Only in the ITV studios in London. (Incidentally, on that same date Duran Duran also performed at the Rum Runner in 1979!)  I was disappointed only because I really enjoyed One Night Only, and wanted to share the video.

So this morning arrives and I realize, “it’s my blog. I can do what I want.” So….I found the video, and here it is!

 

What can I say? It’s three days till #duranlive, and I am prepping myself!

-R

Have you been to the British Music Experience?

On this date in 2009, the British Music Experience opened at the O2 in London.

Amanda and I have actually been to the British Music Experience! We visited the O2 when in London back in  May of 2011 and went into the exhibit. Somehow, I think we felt that if we at least went to the O2, we’d feel better about the shows being cancelled (I am speaking for the both of us: it did not), and at least we would see the British Music Experience (wish it had been Duran Duran instead, but the BME was interesting).

Ok, so after writing that last sentence, I need to admit that I remember very little of the BME (and I really hope these memories are from the BME or else this entire post is about to get embarrassing) with the exception that I saw the blue suit that Roger Taylor wore for Rio (because really, isn’t that the most important thing anyway??) of which I recall two things:

  1. It was TINY.  I mean seriously small. I couldn’t have fit one leg into those pants, much less the suit jacket. I consoled myself by saying that he was practically a child himself when he wore it.
  2. It was so SHINY.  I wondered just how comfortable that fabric (silk) was in the blazing sun all day. Hot and sweaty I’m sure…

moving on…

I also remember that there was some sort of wall outside that served as a timeline (and in this moment I’m really hoping that I’m remembering these things correctly or else I’ve recalled another part of our trip entirely, which would be embarrassing…but not really all that surprising for me.) *sigh*

Oh, I also remember there being some sort of map thing in the center of the exhibit. I want to say it included the cities in Great Britain along with the musicians that came from there.  And that concludes my working memories from there unless I go dig through my pictures. I know there had to be a lot in there on the Beatles, and many other bands too, but you know….Duran Duran was on the brain.  As usual.

-R

London Bass Guitar Show 2014

Remember way back when it seemed like every day was filled with something “Duran” to write about??

Ok, maybe that’s just me.

In 2014 though, John was still out and about on occasion to talk about his autobiography, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. If you haven’t picked it up yet – you really should, and since I’m giving him a plug, I’d go for the audiobook.  He reads it.  Who wouldn’t want John Taylor reading to them???

I digress.

On this date in 2014, John Taylor found himself at the London Bass Show. If I remember correctly, there were a few Duranies there, and I seem to recall that John explained to them that the new album (Paper Gods) wasn’t finished yet, and that it would be quite some time before they’d be back touring again.

Admittedly, that was not easy news to hear, and we (Daily Duranie) were less than enthused.  That said, we survived.

Barely.

In any case, do you remember the London Bass Show?  Share your memories in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter, and have a great weekend, because today is my “Friday”!

-R

Come Undone, 1993 – Do you remember?

It’s March 1st! Did you say “White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” upon waking this morning?  Apparently, there is some sort of tradition (England? Scotland? Australia??) that if you wake up in the morning of a new month and say white rabbits three times before saying anything else, you’ll have good luck for the entire month. I’d never heard of this until Richard Blade started reminding people to do it on Facebook.

No, I didn’t remember to do it either.  I never even thought of it until I was in the shower, the potential for the month running down the  drain as quickly as I mumbled “good morning” to my husband…and dog. That’s how most “first of the month mornings” go for me. I remind myself as my head hits the pillow the night before, and by the morning thereof, I’ve forgotten everything except for where I need to be rushing off to, and what time I need to leave.  I did remember one time last year, but the joke of it all is since I don’t know what kind of luck I might have had normally – I suppose anything can be considered “good luck”.  It is all in how you look at it!

Of course, this month is already going to be fantastic because I have people coming to visit! Well, maybe not just for me, but there are favorite people of mine coming to California, nonetheless. I have 15 days until Amanda arrives, and 16 until we go to Rancho Mirage. I’m excited to see our roommates, I’m anxious to see people I haven’t seen since last August, and yes – I’m really looking forward to seeing Duran Duran, too.

Speaking of Duran Duran, did you know that they filmed the video for “Come Undone” on this date in 1993?  Twenty-four years later and I still feel uncomfortable when I watch some of the scenes, which in my opinion – is intended, and I suppose it is also a sign of very good art. When I first saw the video, I can remember the wheels turning in my head due to the emotional depth. There was a lot of discomfort going on for me, and yeah, it made me think.

At the time, I  was still operating on the belief that videos should be made, derived, imagined…from the lyrics of the song. That didn’t mean that the video needed to recreate the lyrics word for word in picture form, but I felt that the video needed to give a new view for the song, I guess. I think if I’m being honest, I still prefer videos that do that – but I also like when the video completely re-imagines the song, too. The naivety of my youth (we’re talking back when in the days of Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf, here) led me to think the band drove the ideas for their videos. Naturally in the decades since, I’ve learned otherwise. In some ways, I suppose I gave the band a lot of credit. I very much believed they were completely in the driver’s seat and created all the images they wanted their adoring public to see and feel.  When I saw “Come Undone”, I was struck by the stories within. It bothered me to see the child hiding from the supposed abusive relationship of her parents, or to see the girl in shackles under water. Truthfully, to some extent, it still bothers me, enough to where the song took on different meaning (to me) than it did originally.  Perhaps it is because on some level, I identified with some of what I saw on-screen. That’s what art is supposed to do, even if it causes some discomfort along the way.

Oddly enough, I always liked the song. I know that it is not Amanda’s favorite song – and she says it’s boring live, but I really like it. I’ve learned to enjoy the torment and tension the song has curled up within, and in my opinion, the song has aged extremely well… or maybe it is just that the song has grown to mean much more to me now as a 40-something than it did when I was just beginning to experience life in my 20s.

-R

Jimmy Kimmel Show 2005 – Do You Remember?

On this date in 2005, Duran Duran performed on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

I tried finding some YouTube footage, but there was none to be found…which surprised me. So, in order to find some sort of context, I went way back in the news archives on the band’s website. I had forgotten just how busy the band was back in 2005. I mean, their tour for Astronaut was underway, and they were announcing dates as quickly as possible, updating on nearly a daily basis. (For example, on March 1st there was a post that was the NINTH update for the US tour!) At the same time that the band was touring and performing, they were taking time to do shows like Jimmy Kimmel, and attend parties and things like the Vanity Fair Oscar party.  Roger and Nick attended that party, and were able to congratulate Cate Blanchett on her win (Cate had attended the DD show the night before) The band was running around like crazy, likely burning the candle at both ends. That same day, an article with the headline, “More than a Nostalgia Act”, was printed in the OC Register reviewing their show at the Staples Center. A day later, they were announcing the CD/DVD combo to Greatest. At the time, I don’t even think I really noticed the amount of activity as much as I noticed a day rarely went by without the band announcing some sort of news on their website.

Hindsight is funny that way, I guess.

Nowadays, while we wait for the band to make their return to the road, I think we’ve grown accustomed to their being less news, overall. It isn’t as though the band isn’t working hard, it is that I think we’ve settled into a new sort of “normal”. They still do press, they still attend parties, but it doesn’t seem quite so frenetic. The pace seems manageable, and above all – at least in my opinion – it doesn’t seem quite so likely that the candle is about to burn out.

At least, that is the hope I hold on to from day to day.  I’m not quite ready to bid this band, or any of the members within, a fond farewell.   So while I marvel at the pace kept in 2005, I actually enjoy the pace of 2017 a bit more. I can keep up!

So, do any of you remember the Jimmy Kimmel show from 2005?

-R

 

The Wedding Album was released on this date in 1993!

My first thought as I sat down to write this blog was that I graduated from college in 1993.  Today, that feels like a million years ago. I don’t know quite what it is about those mid-90s for me, but the years and memories all blend together. Not quite a black hole, but not quite distinct vivid memories, either.  Unfortunately for me, that includes The Wedding Album.

Sure, I remember hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio.  Who wouldn’t?  It was the first time in many years that Duran Duran seemed to be on heavy rotation. I also remember blasting “Too Much Information” in my car as I would drive home from school.  So, I know I must have bought the CD at some point.  I can remember wondering why on earth they (the band) went with the album being self-titled again, because it seemed so confusing. As it was, I always called their first album, well…their first album, as opposed to Duran Duran by Duran Duran. Why not just give it a name?  Turns out, we did it for them anyway. Everyone I know calls it The Wedding Album. I even capitalize and italicize it as though that’s the way it’s meant to be!

Where was I?  Oh yes, very few memories of this album when it came out. It is true. I suppose in some way, my experience is indicative of where I was in my life at the time. I was months away from graduating from college. I was trying to find a job, dating my boyfriend (who eventually became my husband), commuting a ridiculous distance back and forth to school each day, and I guess I really wasn’t paying as much attention to Duran Duran as I once did…or would again in the future.

I can tell you a few things about my own feelings about that album from day one, though.  To begin with, I really liked “Ordinary World”. My husband even learned the guitar part well after we were married and moved back to California because he knew how much I loved it. However, my favorite song on the album, both then and now, is “Too Much Information”.  I also liked “Come Undone”…and for me, those were really the only songs that hit me off the album.  I played it all the time in my car, but I found myself hitting repeat on those songs and skipping much of the rest.  All I can say is that we all have our favorites.  I’m glad the album propelled Duran Duran onward, because they’re still with us today as result.

From what I’ve read over the years, I wasn’t the only fan that was consumed by real life during this period. I wish I had more memories. One thing I do remember – very vaguely – is going to see Duran Duran play at Irvine Meadows later that year. I went in August, and I sat…wait for it…on the LAWN.  My friend had bought tickets for the two of us to go see Duran Duran together as a graduation gift.  I was excited to see the band – I think it was only the second time I ever saw them, actually.  I knew we’d be way back from the stage but it didn’t matter much to me, at first. However, even back then going to shows wasn’t without some sort of drama.  My boyfriend was more than a little annoyed that he wasn’t invited, and so he went and got his own tickets – much closer to the front – and went with one of his friends. This, my friends, was the one and only time that Walt has ever had a better seat at a Duran show than I’ve had, and HE WILL NEVER LET ME FORGET IT.  Good times!

That’s probably why I barely remember the show or much from this era – I blocked it from memory.  😀

-R

 

13 Years Ago…Outstanding Contribution Award

Fun fact:  I typically do Friday’s blog on Thursday night.  I do not have time to blog Friday morning before I go to work.  Sometimes, I plan ahead in my mind about what to blog about and other times the topic hits me when I sit down to type.  In this case, I knew that I needed fun, something light-hearted.  My Thursday was a little rough, to say the least.

In looking at this day in Duran history, I realized that Duran Duran received the Outstanding Contribution to Music Awards at the Brits in 2004.  I remember seeing the clip below in the summer of 2004.  I felt proud of them and proud to be a fan of theirs in watching.  Their speech as well as their performance clearly showed them to be the intelligent, articulate, professional musicians that they are.  In watching it, I recall thinking to myself that I have no idea how people cannot see their greatness.  See for yourself below:

The first aspect of this clip that I love is the montage in the beginning, showing clips throughout the band’s history.  Of course, they skipped some years and eras but I still love seeing the band’s accomplishments shown like that.  Tell me that I’m not the only one!

Then, Justin Timberlake reads a blurb about the band that shows off much of what makes Duran great.  He mentions everything from bringing in different genres, writing and performing their own music and embracing the music video.  Again, like the montage, I appreciate all that this description includes.

Lastly, the band clearly prepared and practiced a solid acceptance speech.  I like how they included so much in what they said.  Not only did they mention their influences, families and people who worked with and for them, they also acknowledged the fans. At that moment, I recognized that they, too, felt proud in their accomplishments.  At the same time, they appreciated who helped them get to where they are,.

After watching this clip again, I definitely believe that I chose well.  The clip made me smile and helped me escape the crazy, crappy day I had.  It also gave me the chance to silently congratulate Duran Duran once again from my own house, even 13 years later.

-A

Happy 56th Birthday Andy Taylor!

Today is Andy Taylor’s birthday.

I remember the last time I saw a show with Andy – I believe it was in Las Vegas at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Charity show. October 1, 2005.

That was just over eleven years ago. I don’t know where the time goes, but somehow, it went. Andy is 56 today, and I am hoping he is happily enjoying his life somewhere, with his family, and feeling at peace.

I can remember chatting with him during a tweet marathon a few years ago – I liked him.  I never had the chance to really know him as anyone but “Andy Taylor from Duran Duran”, but on that one day, at that time, it didn’t matter.  I was a fan, and that experience will stay with me forever.

Many may not know this, but I wrote blogs for Andy’s (now defunct) website – andytaylor.tv for a while. I don’t want to over-characterize it, I didn’t work for him, and the blogs weren’t paid submissions, but I cared.  Andy felt strongly that it was time for fans to get more involved, to have more of a voice, and I championed that cause. I still do, in many ways. I also see that once you’ve been branded with the title of “fan” it is engraved upon you forever. No matter who I really am, or what I really try to do, that name supersedes.  People from the industry – whether band, management, or something else entirely – meet me, and the initial assumption is always that I must be one of those “crazy fans”.  It can sometimes feel like a very high hurdle to get past, and it’s not just ME – it’s any and all fans.  Andy understood that, partially because he was faced with a slightly similar dilemma. No matter who he is or what he tries to do, he will always be “Andy Taylor from Duran Duran”.  That ghost seems to be very difficult to live with, or live without.

I may not have always wanted to agree with his assessment of certain situations, and perhaps I’ve learned to accept his absence and move on – I still miss him.  I hope he is enjoying life out of the spotlight, and has a wonderful birthday.  Fifty-six years and counting!!

-R