Category Archives: history

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

 

Experience, Strength and Hope Award 2013

Sorry for the late blog today, I needed to attend to some real-life issues at home.

In the interest of time, I will keep today’s post short and sweet, but momentous. On this date in 2013, John Taylor received the Experience, Strength and Hope Award from Writers in Treatment.

I remember covering this special recognition on our blog – you can read more about it here.

I think this date in history is one to truly celebrate. Since completing his own rehab, John Taylor has gone out of his way to help other people through addiction. I have personally spoken to people who have been inspired by John. He encouraged and supported them while they worked incredibly hard to overcome their illnesses. John is definitely not someone who just spouts words, but works tirelessly to “walk the walk”.  I applaud that however and whenever possible.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that John was being honored with this recognition, nor am I ever surprised to hear that he continues to  work with groups like Road Recovery.  While I do not know John personally, I know enough to realize he is a man with integrity, kindness, and compassion. These are traits that can be difficult to find these days, and yes – I suppose in particular it might be difficult to find a rock star that is quite so self-aware.  John probably wouldn’t characterize himself as perfect…but he is likely closer than most! 😀  My pride as a fan is shared by  many, I am sure.

So while I would jump up and down with excitement at the memory of any award Duran Duran has won, I am especially proud to unearth this memory from the past.  When I think about what we all could have lost, I am grateful that John was able to get help, recover, and be here on this planet with us today. The music would never be the same without him.

-R

 

 

 

Do you remember the website for Something You Should Know?

During the frenzy of 2005, something else was going on besides just Astronaut tour dates. Something You Should Know was coming our way.

A director saw a story that needed to be told, and had spent time going around the country interviewing fans for a documentary named Something You Should Know.  M. Douglas wanted to tell the story of Duranies, explain why we were fans, and what kinds of things we would do to express our fandom. Many of my friends were among those he had interviewed for this documentary, and they were excited to know that at some point in the future, their tales might have ended up on a big screen.

The timing could not have been more perfect for such a venture. After a long hibernation for many, the re-emergence of the Fab Five with the Astronaut album provided just the enticement to come out of the shadows.  It seemed like I was running into fans nearly everywhere I went, and it made the journey that much more exciting. Like many of you, I sat waiting for the announcement that he documentary would be released. On this date in 2005, the website for Something You Should Know was launched.

While the documentary itself did not turn out quite as I had imagined – the storyline seeming to sensationalize the “slightly bizarre” behavior of fans rather than tell more of an honest story, I can remember being very excited to hear that someone even thought there was a point to fandom at all.  The irony (for me), is that now having been rejected a few times for trying to tell the honest story of fandom – I can see why it was easier to sell the sensationalized stories. I could easily step up on my soapbox and lecture why this is so wrong, but I’ll refrain.

You’re welcome. Happy Valentines Day!

This is one of those times where, as I’m writing, I’m thinking about how this feels like this happened so long ago.  A LOT of life has gone on since the website for Something You Should Know was launched. Even so, I remember…do you?

-R

 

Do you remember DD playing Jacksonville in 2005?

I find myself struggling to think of something to blog about on this fine Monday morning in February. The sun is out, it will warm up to the mid-70s here at my house in the OC today….and I can’t think of a single thing to write. Even the dates in history are failing me today.

Turns out, DD hasn’t done a lot over the years on the 13th of February. They’ve played a few times, but the shows haven’t been monumental….or at least there’s nothing about them that I can really remember that needs blogging.

So, I’m going to wing it. First of all, the show in Jacksonville was towards the beginning of the Astronaut tour. If you’re like me, maybe you’re saying “Hey, wait a second – didn’t they play Japan?” The answer is, well…yes…they were supposed to, but no…they did not. There were six shows in Japan during the month of January that were cancelled. So the band went straight from their show at the Hammersmith Palais in London on January 13th to playing the show in Puerto Rico on February 8th. Then they did two shows in Ft. Lauderdale on the 10th and 11. (the one on the 10th was billed as a warm-up show), then a show in Tampa, and then the show in Jacksonville. From then on, it was a crazed ten, fairly solid months of touring. If you don’t believe me, you should check out the complete tour list on dd.com.  They did take breaks in their schedule – but only for a matter of weeks each time (for the most part).  Although, if I think back, it did seem like that entire year was all about touring. Every time I turned around new dates seemed to be announced, and friends were always planning their travel around the band.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 2005 was a good time to be a Duranie. I didn’t even take full advantage of all of the touring, in fact I limited myself to only a couple of shows, while many others I know were gone for weeks, if not months, at a time.

Jacksonville was really only the beginning, but it was what they did on this date in 2005.  Do you remember?

-R

 

Out of My Mind (no really!)

On this date in 1997, Duran Duran began filming a video for a little song called “Out of My Mind”.  They had traveled to Prague, and were filming at a castle (Krumlov Castle)…as one does, or at least did! Right?

Here’s a little more “truth” to add to the story.  This is the ONE video from Duran Duran that I genuinely do not know very well. I didn’t even know it existed until a good many years after it was filmed. Out of My Mind is off of Medazzaland, an album that came out just as I was learning how to be a mom. I had no time to pay attention back then, and it wasn’t until much later that I really spent time listening to and appreciating Medazzaland.

I will go so far as to say that I didn’t even realize that Out of My Mind had been a single, or included on the soundtrack for The Saint until far later, much less know the video. (I will accept my award for “biggest loser fan” at any time now) My only reason for sharing this extra info here is simply to show that all of us have our times when Duran Duran just isn’t the highest priority. At this point in 1997, I was struggling just to keep my head above water. I had a newborn, I didn’t know what I was doing, and to be blunt – I felt like I was losing MY mind. So, there you have it!

So, before posting I watched the video again. I think part of the reason I feel so unfamiliar with the video is because, in short – the video is downright creepy in parts. Simon wears facial prosthetics so that he appears to age, Nick is, well…Nick…(that means delightfully wicked), and Warren is Warren…although there’s one part where someone bites his ear and then animated blood appears to drip.  So that’s fun.  In my opinion, the video works very well with the mood of the song, but it is a song (and a video) that I have to be in just the right mood to appreciate.

Check it out again and see what you think!

-R