Category Archives: image

Got Your Picture

One of the most common criticisms of Duran Duran and their fans is that their music isn’t good and that the only reason that they have a lot of fans is because they look good.  I think about that infamous press conference filmed in Sing Blue Silver.  During that press conference, the band was asked if they thought they would sell as many albums if they didn’t look good.  The band was always good about blowing off those kind of questions with a joke and a laugh, but I can imagine that it didn’t feel good to people working hard to create fabulous songs.  This is an insulting stereotype to both the band who writes and performs the music and to the fans who are assumed to be musical idiots.  We wouldn’t know good music, right?  It is all about how the band looks, or so it is believed.  I hate this stereotype because I completely believe that I’m a fan because I like their music.  I believe that most fans are the same, right?  Now, of course, I think that the band members look good.  I think most fans would agree.  Did that make me a fan?  I would say no but did their looks reinforce my fandom?  It probably did.  I won’t lie.  Yet, I will always say that the music matters more and it does.  Always.  Rhonda and I review their songs and not their photographs, after all.  Again, I assume that every fan is like me in that the music matters a lot more.  But does it???

As anyone who reads this blog regularly or is connected with us on social networking sites knows that we ask a daily question of this or that about a variety of topics related to the band.  We started out by asking about songs.  Girls on Film or Planet Earth?  We got quite a few responses to that.  In fact, when we asked about regular Duran songs (singles or album tracks), we would get about 60-75 responses or votes.  That isn’t bad.  More people could have contributed since we had a lot more than 75 friends/followers, but whatever.  Then, we started asking about Duran videos.  Those would get about 50-65 votes.  I was reassured that the stereotypes about Duranies was wrong.  We care more about the songs than we do about the videos.  Cool.  Then, we asked about side and solo projects.  Once we got passed Power Station and Arcadia, the responses, the votes decreased dramatically.  Then, we would get about 10-15 votes.  How did the side and solo project videos go then?  Even worse.  We would get about 5-7 votes.  I already hear people responding by saying that we aren’t all fans of every side/solo project and that we aren’t all familiar with those.  While it is true that not every Duran fan is a fan of every side/solo project, it still seems strange to me that the numbers would decrease THAT much.  As for familiarity, that argument doesn’t hold up to me.  In this day and age, we have so many songs at our fingertips.  We have instant downloads, online music sources and YouTube.  On top of that, for the side/solo projects videos, I went and put every single one of them up on a blog and referenced that blog every single day.  People didn’t even have to search to watch them.  Anyway, we have moved past the music and videos.  Now, we are asking about people’s preferences about pictures.  That’s right.  We are asking about image and image alone.

Since we have been asking about pictures of Simon, how many responses have we been getting and how do they compare to the music or videos?  We have been getting between 70-100 responses when we asked which pictures people like better.  This is 10 to 30 more than we got about Duran tracks and 20-35 more for videos.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love to have people participate.  We want that.  Ideally, I would love to have every single friend/follower vote.  We want people to say what they think.  That said, I have to wonder why more people participate when we asked about pictures over songs.  What is that about?  I fear that this might say that the stereotype about Duranies is true.  We do care more about what they look like than what they sound like.  Their looks appear to matter to us more.  Many of you reading this, I’m sure, are saying that this isn’t you because you participated through all of the questions.  Obviously, there are always exceptions to every stereotype.  Every assumed belief about a large group has many people in that group that doesn’t fit the assumption. My goal here is not to criticize anyone or to get anyone to stop participating.  I’m just trying to point out something that I realized about our fandom that makes me uncomfortable.

Maybe, I’m the only fan who is uncomfortable with this.  Maybe, for everyone else, this is completely fine.  After all, fandom is fun, right?  I’m all for having fun.  I appreciate how the band looks.  I’m not blind.  I’m human.  Yet, I just wish that what they create matters just as much, if not more.

-A