Category Archives: history

Rolling Stones Continuous History of Rock & Roll

On this date in 1983, Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film” was featured on a radio album called “Rolling Stones Continuous History of Rock & Roll”. It was show #85, and it was released by ABC Rock Radio Network on this date.  It was meant to be aired on the various stations within the ABC network, and if you look hard enough for it online – you’ll find copies floating around.

The show itself was entitled “The British Rockers”, which seems appropriate, and was an hour-long program. It featured songs from the 1960’s up to 1982.  The album was used for license broadcast in the USA on this date, and was even issued with cue cards for presenters. So, if you listened to the broadcast in Los Angeles, for example, your local radio host would be presenting the broadcast in the same format with the same script as the host in New York.

“Girls on Film” was included on this album, and as fans will remember, it did not chart during its initial release. Rolling Stones Continuous History of Rock & Roll: 85, having been released in 1983, took place just as the song, and the band itself, became wildly popular here in the states.

Track Listing:

 

  • Girls on Film” – Duran Duran
  • “I Saw Her Standing There” – The Beatles
  • “Come Dancin” – The Kinks
  • “Get Off My Cloud” – The Rolling Stones
  • “The Shape You’re In” – Eric Clapton
  • “Eminence Front” – The Who
  • “All Right Now” – Free
  • “Spirits In The Material World” – The Police
  • “Red Skies At Night” – The Fixx

 

Z100 press conference to announce Power Station dates

For today’s post I want you to sit and think back to May of 1985.

What comes to mind?

If you’re like me, you’re going through the possibilities in your head. Was Duran Duran especially active then? No…they’d already finished the Sing Blue Silver tour, and it was before they played at Live Aid. It was quiet as far that goes. Power Station though, wasn’t this right during that time??

Yes, yes it was. For me personally, Power Station was kind of like the band that kept me going. After all, John and Andy were both in it, and I will admit that I appreciated the heavier sound. It wasn’t until later this same year that Arcadia answered the Power Station record with one of their own, So Red the Rose. I don’t think I even knew Arcadia was about to be “a thing” in May of 1985. So, Power Station was “it”.

On this date in 1985, Power Station held a press conference on Z100 radio in New York to announce dates for their upcoming tour.

I don’t remember if this was simulcast to any stations across the country, but I do remember hearing the upcoming dates on at least one of my local radio stations. I begged and pleaded with the parental units. In 1985, I was 14. Surely I was old enough to finally go to a concert?!?

My parents weren’t quite so sure. Yes, they were pretty protective and strict. People think I’m joking, but I gleefully tell a story about my mom and how for the first ten or so years of my life, I wasn’t allowed to cross the street…in our neighborhood…without her standing outside to watch me, if not holding my hand tightly while I crossed. I’m really not exaggerating. Hearing the tales of friends taking the tube to hang outside of the studio where the band was recording or standing outside one of their homes seems very wild to me. I wasn’t even allowed to walk down my street without having a conversation with my mom first! (and no, I didn’t walk myself to school either. Are you kidding? gasp I had to cross several completely quiet, very safe, streets to get there!)

So, the jury was out as to whether I’d be allowed to go, and it definitely didn’t cross my parents minds that if they were so concerned, they could just go with me. Yet, fate had plans for me. I am the second youngest grandchild on both sides of the family. The title of youngest goes to my sister, Robin. Most of our cousins are ten years older than we are, and I even have one cousin that is only four years younger than my mom. In any case, I do have one cousin that is only a couple of years older than I am, and her older brother agreed to take us to see Power Station. So later that summer, I finally saw not only my first concert, but two Taylors on stage…and THAT is my memory of the Power Station tour!

Anyone remember listening to that Z100 press conference?

-R

Looking Back to 1983

The other day DDHQ tweeted this:

I saw it when it was tweeted but had no idea what it was about.  Sadly, I didn’t have much of a chance to look closer at it.  I had a sense that the quote about the band lacking a private life was something said in the 80s but I didn’t even notice that People was listed in the tweet.  Now, because it is the weekend, I have had a chance to actual click on the link.  If you haven’t done it, I recommend it.  You can go here:  “Duran Duran Was ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ for Stardom-And Then Came Along MTV.”  

The link is to an article that appeared in People magazine on December 5, 1983.  Well, I read it.  On one hand, it was exactly what I was expecting and on the other, it wasn’t.  Frankly, I know that Duran faced a boatload of criticism during the 80s and assumed that this article would be filled with insulting language.  While it wasn’t perfect, it could have been worse.  Interestingly enough, the most negative statements came from quotes from critics not involved in this particular article.  A perfect example of this was this paragraph:  “How important was MTV in the rise of Duran Duran? All-important, some critics contend. As David Handler put it: “After all, the clips are a heckuva lot more striking than the music, which is little more than pasteurized, synthesized pop-rock with video launching pads for lyrics.”  What always fascinated me then and still does now, why is having MTV important to Duran’s success a bad thing?  I know that the critics would say something along the lines of how their music should speak for itself but isn’t MTV just a means of getting their music out there?  Is it really that different than appearances on shows like Top of the Pops or American Bandstand?  After all, fans can see what they look like on those shows.

I appreciated the fact that the article featured what I saw as generally accurate history of the band’s formation.  Beyond that, People magazine reported on the recording of Seven and the Ragged Tiger and how their fame had really become overwhelming.  The best line, though, of the whole article, in my opinion, was not the one that DDHQ quoted but the last line.  “We don’t want to be has-beens by the time we’re 25,” said Roger. “It would be the worst thing in the world to go around saying to people, ‘Do you know who I used to be?’ ”  Oh, Roger, if only I could have told him in 1983 that they definitely wouldn’t be has-beens by the time that they were 25 or 35 or 45 or even 55.  People still know who they are.

-A

Memories of The Belasco Theatre 2016, or “GA lines aren’t that bad”

A couple of years ago on this very day, my husband kindly drove my friends and I up to LA for a show at the Belasco Theatre. It was a very warm day for it only being May, but we found a shady spot to spread out, and wait the day away in the GA line.

By contrast, today it is raining, and cool – at least by “Los Angeles-in-May” standards. Oh, and Duran Duran is NOT playing today. Yes, there is that, too.

I remember the day outside The Belasco well. Despite my plans to sit down and relax, I found myself up and walking around, talking to everyone I knew. The hours seemed to fly by as I chatted away with fellow fans from all over. I am one of the first people to say that I don’t like GA shows (I really don’t), but I have to say that standing (sitting) in line with everyone all day is not all that terrible. In a lot of very bizarre ways, it’s like a giant pre-show party.  You see people you haven’t seen in a long time, you gab about the band (of course), music, other shows you’ve attended, and maybe someone goes on a food run.

While sure, the waiting can be monotonous, and sure, I suppose it can be a bit cutthroat when you have people around you who are more concerned with being at the rail and loudly asserting that no one dare get in front of them than they are with making (and keeping) friends. I find that many times, those people are the minority, and in the end, don’t need to make a difference in my evening unless I allow it. For the majority of people who are there to have a good time, even if they end up in second, third row or beyond, I can think of far worse ways to spend a day.

The weird thing is that I did know a lot of people in that line at the Belasco!  It was a stark contrast to even a few years prior, when I went to a show at the Mayan Theatre. That show was also GA and required many hours of waiting in a line, yet I really didn’t know that many people then. I kept mostly to myself, talking with my husband and a couple who stood behind us, although I did say hi to the few people I recognized.

Everyone I know who isn’t a huge fan of a specific band the way I am always asks me how I can keep going to shows. They don’t mean financially – although my husband has certainly asked me that very question over the years! Ha ha! They just can’t understand why someone would want to see the same band fifty or sixty times, or more than once during a tour. The thought of going to fifteen shows during a single tour blows their minds. Yet, as we all know, my experience is tame compared to some who have gone to twice or even three times as many shows.

My answer is always the same: it isn’t purely about the band. In some ways, my life might be a lot easier if it were ONLY about Duran Duran! For me, seeing my friends is everything. I don’t live near them. Sometimes, weeks go by without even a single text…and those are just my close friends. There are many people that I just don’t keep in that close of touch with, yet I do consider friends. I see them when I go to shows. I look forward to seeing and hugging those people as much as I do seeing the band. After all, Duran Duran is only on stage for about 90 minutes these days (give or take). What in the hell do I do with the rest of the time while I’m away from home?  I talk to my friends. We get together. We go to lunch or dinner.  We do video blogs. (this is true…and we’ll do them just about anywhere, right Amanda?)  We have vodka tonics or sodas in to-go cups with lids that don’t fit! We try to squeeze in as much time together as we possibly can during the time we’re gathered.

 

 

I don’t know how I missed out on all of that for so long. The Belasco show was in 2016. The Mayan show was in 2011. Before the reunion, I’d only gone to a few Duran Duran shows, and I definitely didn’t know anyone from the fan community. In a lot of ways, I think I’m making up for lost time, now. When I think to my friends in the UK or even a few on the east coast – I can’t help but be a little envious. They grew up together. They spent their teenage years going to shows, waiting in the GA line (and yes, even waiting for band members outside of studios). I spent mine doing anything but all of that. I didn’t meet my touring buddies and best friend until after I’d already grown up, gotten married and had children. So now, I don’t miss an opportunity to go and be with them. It is a truth that is sometimes difficult for my family, but it is something that I don’t want to give up.

Yesterday, I had a student and parent at my desk at school. I was looking something up for them on my computer and they noticed my mousepad. It is one of my prized possessions these days – Amanda had it made for me. It is filled with pictures she and I had taken at various Duran Duran shows. I always smile when I look at it, even during the toughest days at work, and lately – there have been quite a few. Anyway, they wanted to know who those people were (the student, who is in middle school and is now one of my very favorites thought that one of the men must be my husband. HA). I explained that they were Duran Duran which of course led to a full discussion of how many shows I’d been to, who was my favorite band member, and of course – this blog – which I honestly try NOT to publicize at work. The question asked by the parent was simple “how long do you think you can really keep going to these shows and not feel silly?”

My answer? “How long can Simon and the band keep going?  They’re older than I am…and I’m not going to give up before they do.”

Note to the band: YOU’RE NOT DONE YET!

-R

 

To be a Fly on the Wall

Imagine yourself, invisible to those around you, sitting in a studio. Or a hotel room. Or someone’s home. You can see and hear everything around you, but they can’t see you.

Now, imagine that scenario on this date in 1986,  as John Taylor and got together in London to discuss “the next Duran Duran album”.  Keep in mind, this is after Roger and Andy had left the band. Simon, Nick, and John were left to figure out the next step for what was arguably (at the time) the biggest band in the world. Where to go from there?

I don’t think I would have envied their positioning. After all, the higher you climb, the farther the potential fall. At this point in 1986, I was 15 years old. The idea of Duran Duran ceasing to exist, or the idea of “new” people ever being in that band were unfathomable to me as a fan. I am quite certain I wasn’t alone. What to do when two of the original members (as the fans knew) left?  Bring in new people? Continue as a threesome? How would Duran Duran look and sound?  Would the fans still respond?

Important questions, to be sure, and I’m not as certain that the answers were all that clear. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to consider moving forward? Sure, there was probably quite a bit of ego and bravado at the time, given their previous success. I’m also certain that at least in part, they wanted to prove to Andy and Roger that they really could go on without them – and that is likely what motivated and drove them to keep going. Even so, I have to wonder what that first meeting to discuss the next album was like.

We could likely debate all day about the outcome. Notorious, the band’s fourth FULL album (Arena was released in 1984 but was not a full-length studio album), and was their answer to how they would move forward. I can remember hearing the album for first time, just after I turned 16, and saying that they didn’t sound the same. It was just different without Andy and Roger, and to be honest – at the time I wasn’t sure I liked it. Their sound had matured more than my musical tastes at the time, I think. Like many of their albums since, it took me a long time to come to terms and have an appreciation. That’s not a critique of the album, but rather my more-ridiculous musical interests of the time.

Even so, I have often wondered what it would have been like during that initial planning, and certainly not just for Notorious!

-R

Memories of Spy Bar, 2013

A few years ago, I took a short trip to one of my favorite cities: Chicago. Duran Duran wasn’t even playing, but I did spend time with my best friend Amanda, who happens to live a couple of hours to the north. Amanda’s birthday is the 29th of April, same as my daughter’s (which is the strangest twist of fate!), so we celebrated her special day a bit early, AND…..we did happen to go see Roger Taylor do his DJ thing at SpyBar. Oh yeah, there was that, too.

Hard to believe that happened five years ago today!  Not only did we dance to Roger Taylor (I can truly say my inner thirteen year old was grinning from ear-to-ear that night!) but we also celebrated his birthday, once the clock announced it was past midnight, making it the 26th of April.

The night was crazy and fun. We had gone in with several others and gotten a VIP table with bottle service.

I think Amanda and I danced most of the night, and I’m not even going to lie when I say I don’t think either of us really knew what we were dancing to most of the time. It didn’t matter. We had a blast anyway.  Then we went out for much-needed pancakes afterward, because who doesn’t need carbs at 2 or 3am??

I miss times like that, particularly when life seems to continue to throw a series of blows – one right after the next. But, memories like SpyBar make me smile, and no – it isn’t because we “met” Roger. In fact, we didn’t!  There was a velvet rope surrounding the DJ platform that we didn’t dare cross, and even when Amanda attempted to toss him one of our Daily Duranie wristbands – he basically threw it aside.  Chances are, he didn’t even know what it was or who threw it. We stayed on our side of the rope and had fun anyway.

I’m not complaining that the band thinks they’re going to go into the studio this year but they don’t know when. Who really knows how long it might be before they tour again? I’m not mad that they’re taking time and doing their own thing this year, or doing corporate shows when they need. My life is so screwed up at the moment that I couldn’t necessarily get myself to a show even if it were in my own backyard. (Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but I think you get the point!)  That doesn’t mean I don’t miss all of the fun that comes along with the gigs and road trips and live music.  Sure, I could (and will) go see other bands this summer, but there’s something special about seeing Duran Duran with my friends.

Life is simpler on tour. Or at a DJ gig, as the case may be!

-R

 

 

From Wembley to Website – my family

Get out your Live from London DVD’s, everyone.

On this date in 2004, Duran Duran played at Wembley Arena in London. During their Reunion tour, they played Wembley five times in the month of April and first of May.

April 13, 14, 24, 30, May 1.

The shows were sold out (of course!) and, lucky for all of us whether we were there or weren’t smart enough to board a plane and get ourselves, there – we have the Live from London DVD to enjoy.

I wasn’t even there, and I still believe the shows were electric. The band was on fire, and these were moments to never forget. It is difficult to believe it has already been fourteen years since those Wembley Arena shows. Sometimes I feel like I just blinked and ended up in 2018. Other times, I think about all that has happened.

In 2004, I was a fan but I barely knew a soul. I hadn’t even really been  to more shows than I could count on one hand. I didn’t have fellow Duran fans as friends, and trust me – blogging wasn’t even on the radar. I knew nothing about fandom other than I felt really silly about admitting that at one point, I’d spend entire afternoons scouring magazines for pictures and information about Duran Duran, or that I mapped out my entire bedroom so that I could plan how I was going to rearrange my posters. In 2004, I regained my sanity by joining a message board, and making friends with people that had NO problem admitting that they too, loved Duran Duran.

I write about it all the time – and every single time I do, someone responds, thanking me for writing the words they couldn’t. Before I joined Duranduranfans.com – I was isolated. My world consisted of taking my two kids (who are now nearly 19 and 21…and have a younger sibling who is about to turn 10!) to and from school. My socializing consisted of the ten minutes before and after school where I would stand and chat with other parents outside of the classroom.  I didn’t have friends, I didn’t “do lunch” (I still really don’t do any of that OC “ladies who lunch” crap. My real friends don’t live here and I’m pretty proud of that, actually.) Even so, I can honestly say my life was pretty damn dismal at the time. I should have been very happy – I had two beautiful kids, I was going to school, which I enjoy – but I wasn’t. I didn’t feel satisfied.

(I still have work to do)

I was looking for something. Anything. I needed a hobby, an interest…(and probably a job but we’re not going to talk about that) I felt SO unsatisfied with my life. For crying out loud, I was the president of my local MOMS Club, and then became an Area Coordinator for them purely out of boredom. I needed something. It was by luck that I found DDF, and that I was even brave enough to begin posting there.

The first women who were there (and yes, it was all women for quite some time) – Robin, RovOstrov & JTDuran, they’re the first people I really “met” online. They made it OK for me to be a Duranie again. I will never, ever be able to thank them enough because what they really did was teach me that it was perfectly OK for me to be ME. In a lot of ways, they saved me, or at least they helped me to save myself.

The only way I can even sort of describe how I felt that year was to ask you to imagine being thirsty and finding a natural spring somewhere. At first, you ask yourself whether or not you should even drink the water. I mean, you might get sick, right? But then, you convince yourself that since it’s a spring – chances are minimal and it’s probably healthier than the tap water you’re drinking at home. So you take a tentative sip. You sit back and let the coolness wash over you. I mean, you can feel that water hit your belly as you swallow and it feels great. So you drink more. Before you know it, you’re grinning from ear to ear, and filling up your water jug. You’re contemplating how you might be able to take more of it home with you because that water is so good you’re never going to be able to go back to just having tap water ever again.

Finding this community was just like that. No, it’s not perfect and yes, the people have changed a lot. Even so, it’s home for me. It isn’t purely about the band, or about the message boards, and it isn’t even about this blog so much as it is that this is my family.

Not that long ago, I tweeted to Dom that he had been around so long that he was a part of this crazy family whether he liked it or not.  It is true. We don’t all get along, and we haven’t all been fans for 40 years – but we’re a family. It takes all of us, from the band, the touring band, roadies, and management to fans, bloggers, website owners and everyone else in between – to make this fan community a family. Through good times, and really bad ones, it’s home.

-R

Roger leaves the band, 1986

Due to the nature of this about-to-be-written post, please put on the most melodramatic, schmaltzy, sad, music possible, and grab yourself some tissues.

On this date in 1986 – there was a statement released from Duran Duran. Roger Taylor, the white knight, prince of my dreams, my boyfriend-who-didn’t-get-the-memo (or meemo)…left the band.

gasp

And we wonder where and when my abandonment issues started. Hmm.

Ok, in all seriousness, it is true that on this date, a mere 32 years ago,  Duran Duran announced that Roger Taylor had quit the band. For those of us Roger-girls (and guys) out there, it was a dark day. Sometimes, I can hardly believe it happened, given where we are today.

Sometimes, as I read the continued debate over guitar players—who should return, who was the best….who wore blonde hair the best (Ok, maybe not that one)—I wonder why it is/was that I never see the same debate over the drummer.

Do we all agree that Roger is the best?  What about Sterling? What about Steve Ferrone? Joe Travers??

I’m not really trying to start an inferno, here. I am trying to make a point though. Why have we beaten the horse to death (and then some) over the guitarist and not the drummer? I’m sure some would say it doesn’t matter. Others might even say they’ve never thought about anyone else. I wouldn’t disagree with the latter – I can’t even picture another drummer in this band at this point. Maybe that’s just it, there’s no debate necessary here. Roger hasn’t left, and while we appreciate those who carried on in his absence, we know who belongs up on those risers, behind the drum set.

As much as I remember feeling lost and sad when I read about Roger leaving the band, I have a much better memory of the day I realized he had returned. I still smile and chuckle when I think about it, because DDHQ had a new splash page designed for DD.com with a digitalized image of each face of the five original band members. I didn’t immediately recognize Roger.

That’s teenage love for ya.

-R

Happy Anniversary, Mad World!

Four years ago, I spent my extra time reading a new book that I continue to avidly use as a reference. Mad World, a book written by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein, was released on April 15, 2014. It blows my mind that four years has gone by so quickly.

I know that today is April 16, but I don’t post on Sundays. A day late, but with no less enthusiasm, I wanted to celebrate the anniversary of Mad World.

I am a very avid reader, although lately I’ve found less and less time to dedicate to reading much beyond the current curriculum I’m using to teach my youngest. Over the years, I’ve read books about 1980’s music as quickly as they’ve been released. I tend to read them twice: once at my normal lightning speed, and the next, to savor and digest each word. Don’t ask how many times I’ve read and listened to John Taylor’s autobiography at this point. (Enough to have some sentences memorized. What can I say? I love audiobooks!) Mad World is without question one of the best books about the music that made me into the person, no…into the fan I am. It is by far, my most favorite book about New Wave music. I don’t write those words lightly, and I don’t post them just because I consider Lori a friend.

I didn’t know Lori Majewski before Mad World. She and I are easily as different as Amanda and I, on nearly every level imaginable. Lori is an avid vegan, I am, well…not. (Although I do sneak in a meatless meal to the family—don’t tell them—and even on my own, on occasion!) She has always had appreciation for Red Carpet Massacre, I’ve had to work on my feelings about that album over the years. She’s a John-girl, I’ve been a Roger fan since Planet Earth. Like Amanda, she is far more politically savvy, and definitely more active than I am. Lori is delightfully positive and centered, and me? Well, I’m more of an un-centered, slightly critical, realist. People tend to either like me, or they want me burned at the stake…or both, actually.

Despite…or more likely because of all of those things, I respect Lori. Whereas I have sat and dreamed of what I want to do with my life, she’s done it, and then some. She is unafraid to try, and I am incredibly fearful of failing. Lori is a powerful, positive force to admire. She’s a great listener and advice-giver, too. I consider her a friend and mentor, and someone I obviously don’t mind gushing about on Daily Duranie.

Mad World is an excellent book. Jonathan and Lori devised the book in such a way that they chose a number of bands from the New Wave era, and out of those bands, they chose a song to focus on. They interviewed the artists and bands who wrote (or performed) the songs, and wove those interviews into a very substantial music history of the 80s. Even though I’ve read nearly everything that has been written about 1980’s music, I learned a lot from Mad World.  I continue to pull that book down from my shelf as a resource, noted by the binding that has given way over the years. My copy is well-loved.

Since Mad World, Lori has been working on her own Sirius XM morning radio show with Nik Carter. She’s been featured on more than one documentary about New Wave music, and she’s even broadcasted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies. I realize this is more gushing than necessary, but I think it’s awesome that someone I know is actually on the radio, and not because he/she won a contest by calling in, but because they host the show!

Jonathan continues to write his Bridget Wilder book series (my nearly ten-year-old daughter gives them a big thumbs-up), along with a plethora of other books that every one should have already read or is reading currently. He is the also a co-writer for Unsane, a movie that I am, honestly, too frightened to even go see. (I don’t do scary movies. It’s a mom-thing and I’m not even kidding about that.)

What I really want though, is a follow-up to Mad World. What I don’t understand, is why publishers aren’t busting down their door(s) to get one. Someone, fix this. Immediately.  In the meantime, I’m going to go back to brainstorming about my own next attempt at a book proposal. As I’m sitting here writing about the fabulous careers of others, I realize that giving up is not an option.

Happy Anniversary, Mad World! I don’t know where the time went, but I’m awfully glad to have the book on my shelf, and great people continuing to inspire me!

-R

The curious history of Do You Believe in Shame

I learned something new today. I didn’t realize it, but back on this date in 1989, Duran Duran recalled the CD version of “Do You Believe in Shame”.

The single was initially released in the UK as a 7″ triple pack in 1989. Each disc had a picture sleeve of a band member, but it was discovered shortly after the release that the single included on each disc in the pack had a longer playing time that disqualified it from appearing in many of the sales charts. Typically, radio edits and/or singles need to be somewhere between 3 and 4 minutes in length.  At 4:23, DYBIS was significantly longer, and particularly in the UK, it was ruled out from many sales charts. So, the single was recalled and then reissued a few days later. Unfortunately, during that period, the single was unavailable in stores. I cannot imagine that helped sales, and only reached #30 in the UK, #72 in the US, and #14 in Italy (Ah, those ardent Italian fans!!)

If all of that weren’t enough, “Do You Believe in Shame” was successfully challenged in court over a close resemblance of the melody to that of Dale Hawkins’ classic song “Suzie Q”.  The band maintains that they did not intentionally copy music, saying that it only sounds similar due to a basic blues progression. However, ASCAP writing credits were changed accordingly.

Does anyone out there (!!) have this 7″ triple pack?

Interesting little bit of Duran history, in my opinion!

-R