Category Archives: interaction

It Begins and ends with you

As I was doing my very quick perusal of Twitter this morning, I came across an interesting group of comments directed at DDHQ…or at least the Duran Duran twitter handle.  The person was clearly disappointed that he/she was never acknowledged, and attributed this to the fact that they are a younger fan. Their feeling was that the older fans are acknowledged all of the time for showing off their collections and so forth, and that younger fans are ignored.

To begin with, I don’t know this person, and I really am not sure what “young” means. Even so, I was curious by their statements. I’m not entirely sure that the band, or their management or DDHQ, really takes the time to notice whether a tweeter is young, old, or something in-between when they’re acknowledging people. I think it happens far more fluidly than all of that, and I’m not entirely sure that fans understand just how many comments the band has in their twitter feed at any given time, and that’s during the times when they themselves haven’t tweeted!  Let them ask a question or call out an upcoming “Tweetstake” and their feed goes wild. So while I can understand wanting to be acknowledged, I think we have to be fair. There is just no way the band can respond to everyone. They would have to have one person dedicated 24/7, and even then, I highly doubt they could keep up.

Acknowledgement is important.  Social media, and specifically Twitter, is one way we can have an ongoing “conversation” with the band. Relationship building is very important, and is done completely differently now than it was even a decade ago. It’s taken us several years to even get to THIS point, where we’re all kind of beginning to understand how Twitter (and other social media) can be used most effectively.

Much to my dismay and that of many others…it is NOT used so that the celebrities of choice are on there to chat with fans all day every day.  I know, I know…it’s a shock….but we will overcome! (in case you didn’t read the sarcasm, read again. It’s there, I promise!)

It’s difficult to be a fan sometimes. Even I have found myself wondering what the point really is when weeks if not months goes by without a single interaction – and I’m not really talking about being singled out or acknowledged as much as I am saying that for me personally, it’s not as much about DDHQ remembering to say “Happy Birthday” as it is seeing members of the band active on social media from time to time. Then a day will come and without warning, John will post a photo, Dom might tweet something…maybe even Roger will post a picture on Facebook and dare to ask for it to be captioned.  I’ll see these things, smile, maybe even respond…and all is well.

What is it about THOSE moments that are so special and turn me right back into a giggly teenager?!?  I can’t help but laugh over the silliest of things, whether it is providing a snarky caption to the picture Roger Taylor posted on Facebook and believing he’ll actually take the time to look at the comments (it is not my fault that he left the door WIDE open to my constant teasing after practically promising to have the album completely finished by his year end Katy Kafe…), or noticing that Dom wore a particular t-shirt in a photo. It’s those tiny little things that make me (and hopefully others, otherwise I am way more into this “fan” thing than I thought…) believe that yeah, maybe they care just a little. Is it crazy? Probably so, but it’s fun. I’m sure you readers know that it’s fun as well. Otherwise, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t keep bothering. We’d listen to the music once in a while, maybe catch a show when it was convenient…or find reasons why we couldn’t..and say that we once loved Duran Duran.  Past-tense.

I’ve spent time observing fan behavior. I know that sounds bizarre, but when writing a manuscript about fans…you tend to observe. For some fans, that teensy bit of acknowledgment really matters. Some go out of their way to get it, by tweeting and retweeting the same article or photo over and over again.  When they are finally granted that RT from a band member or DDHQ, they wield it like a trophy, and I have no doubt that to those people – it really DOES matter that much. This isn’t about making fun, it’s about observing behavior. That’s why social media works, and that’s why bands like Duran Duran spend so much time doing it. For other fans, they like seeing the tweets from the band members, and if they are lucky enough to get a tweet back – they’re thrilled. To them, this little bit of interaction feels genuine, not forced, and as natural as chatting with a celebrity is going to get. Still others recognize Twitter and Facebook as just another advertisement for the band. They see it as a sales opportunity and don’t expect the band to really chat. They’re surprised by those who want or expect more.  Still others might be there to watch the whole thing unfold, but they’re disgusted by everyone else clamoring for attention. For as many fans as there are, there are at least that many expectations…resentments “in training”.

All of that in mind, I’m still not sure how fans can ever expect the band, or DDHQ, to acknowledge them. There are tens of thousands of fans. On Twitter alone, there are over 134,000 followers. That is a LOT of tweets. As someone who writes a blog dedicated to being fans of Duran Duran, it’s rare when the band responds or notices we’re alive. I’ve had friends ask the band to acknowledge my birthday or even the blog’s birthday and it goes unnoticed. I’ve said many, many times that if we were writing the blog or were fans purely because we wanted to be noticed, we should have never started. Sure, I could take all of that personally…but I didn’t become a Duran Duran fan thinking that someday I would be best pals with the band. I became a fan because I loved their music.  I fell in love with Planet Earth before I ever saw the faces behind the sound.  The rest was just fantasy. Fun, delusional fantasy…but still just fantasy.

-R

Daily Duranie Guest Blog – Just Very

Today we’re very lucky to have a guest blog from none other than Fabiana Torras, who along with her cohorts from Argentina, were the winners of the TV Mania Franchise contest with their song “Just Very”.  Fabiana explains all about the franchise, and how they created such a brilliant entry!

By Fabiana Torras

The idea of the TV Mania franchise was to open things up for people to become TV Mania elsewhere, as explained on the TV Mania website. We figured people could be TV Mania by actually following our Manifesto and for fun, and actually adhering to certain principles that TV Mania has, like using samples of people talking along with rhythm boxes and sampled analog synthesizers, and then putting it all together.  So you just simply apply for a license to be TV Mania. So, If you´re in…Buenos Aires, and you wanna be TV Mania Buenos Aires, you have a look and then you apply and we give you an official TV Mania license. And then you can perform, send us music and video material, remixes, anything you like, and we put them up on the site. So we´re hoping that there´ll be a lot of TV Manias around the world”. – Nick Rhodes (answering my question at a TV Mania event in Second Life)

TV Mania for Daily Duranie 4 Manifesto
In case you ever wondered what that TV Mania Manifesto was really all about…

That might just be the best answer I ever received to a question  I asked. As an extra bonus, it was Nick Rhodes who answered it. On that exact day, March 2nd 2013, not only did I receive an answer to what I wanted to know on the first of the Second Life TV Mania events; I also got the name of the future franchise Gerardo, Pablo and I would apply for: TV Mania Buenos Aires.  This was not an instant thing, though. We had to wait for six months for the franchise to be up and running, but at this point we all know Durantime affects side projects as well, don´t we?

Last September, as soon as the franchise was up, we applied and got the confirmation email with our name´s approval and the download links for the “Franchise Pack”, which included samples and music of the songs Euphoria, Beautiful Clothes, Paramount and I Wanna Make Films. We were in! All we needed now was an idea and time to make it happen.

Our first meeting was set on a Friday night after we all got off work, mostly to discuss what direction our project would take. To be honest, we didn´t actually meet face to face until there was a deadline; as much as we loved the idea of “being the band” and enter a contest with absolutely fantastic prizes for any Duranie, everyday life makes you so tired that sometimes if someone doesn´t push you, you just do not move (See? Limits are good!). We had to make a song or a remix and shoot some video for it, since every song you sent was going to be uploaded to TV Mania´s official Youtube playlist. And from the first moment we started thinking about our franchise project, we all agreed it had to be something related to our local TV and the video had to show our city to the world, but in a “TV Mania” sort of way.

A list of famous phrases from Argentine TV was made and we recorded about 50 at Pablo´s home (he has a little studio of his own there), but ended up using only 9 of those. You can hear the three of us on our track, along with Pablo´s wife, Cecilia, who was very happy to help. We also wanted to include samples of Nick and Warren in our song, so we asked permission to use the audios of the Second Life events to sample the guys and we were very happy to get a green light from TV Mania. There was a precious bit of Nick we were dying to use where he said “TV Mania Buenos Aires”; I mean, we just had to have that, right?

Once we chose the bits of Nick and Warren that were going to be used, we wrote and recorded the samples in English (it is my voice you hear, by the way), and afterwards we began to write the music, which was completely new. We decided not to use anything from the downloaded franchise pack and try to come up with something fresh and original, respecting the TV Mania essence. For the video, the plan was to film different Buenos Aires landmarks and ourselves in what we thought could be TV Mania-esque outfits and colours.  That was how “Just Very” was born.

Here’s the video link to watch for yourselves!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WLnDzsAlDE

Now, as I write and tell you all of this, I get the feeling it doesn´t seem to be that hard, does it? But there are lots of things you need to know how to do in order to make all of this happen. It´s not that easy to make and mix music, operate a camera and film proper video, edit both music and video, and I am not counting the “standing in front of a camera” process which many people may find uncomfortable (with zero budget, little time and no volunteers, it´s you and you alone doing that!). There were many things we had to use to accomplish our goal and I am glad we were such a great team, because I know that I alone could never have done what we did as a group.

Nevertheless, being more than one person doing something together means you have to find a common ground to stand on when you make decisions, and you can trust me when I say that isn´t always a simple task.  For example, when the time of sending the final song to TV Mania came some of us did not want to include the samples in Spanish and some of us did. It took us a LONG TIME to agree on that. In the end, we put it to a vote and decided to send an “Ambient Mix” of our song that didn´t have samples in Spanish. For the video of that one, we simply added some colour effects to the original one and sent both “Just Very” and “Just Very (Ambient Mix)” for approval.

A few hours later we got the news of our videos being up on the official TV Mania Franchise Playlist on Youtube, and a couple of deadlines later (the contest deadline was pushed twice extending it for 2 and a half months) we found out via TV Mania´s Twitter account that we were the TV Mania Franchise Grand Prize winners for “Just Very”.

To this day, we still think it´s a dream….which is why I’ve included this photo (a memento from the Skype session we won with Nick and Warren as result of the contest!)

IMG_0029

Just as Duran Duran likes to do for their liner notes…we’re including a list of what we used:

  • Ableton Live 8
  • Synths: Albino Vst synth/Atmosphere Vst synth/Korg M1  Vst Synth/ Korg wavestation synth/Orange vocoder
  • Electronic drums: 707 sounds/808 sounds/Ez Drummer
  • Guitar: Fx Boss GT8 / digitech rp7 valve/ Steinberger Spirit guitar
  • Adobe Premiere (video)

yo

Fabiana is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She´s been a Duranie since 1988 when she was 10 and loves the band, side projects (well, duh!) and mostly all the fan-tastic people she´s met because of them. She has a major in Journalism and Communications and at the moment is finishing her Community Manager & Social Media graduate studies. She works for a private university where she manages an academic department (not as fun as seeing #Duranlive!) and is looking forward for the next Duran Duran album and tour. No need to convince an angry boyfriend to let her go see them live: he is a huge Duranie!

Like a radio tune I swear I’ve heard before…

I don’t think it’s going to come as a big surprise to anyone who has read the blog…or knows me personally…that I have a bit of an issue with patience.

I like things to happen on time. I don’t like waiting, and being kept waiting is even worse. My kids know that if I ask them to do something once…they’d better get moving because if I have to ask again, trouble is coming. Nobody wants trouble, trust me.

So, when I say that I hate Durantime, it is from this vein that the emotion arises. (Yes, you probably should feel sorry for my children.) HOWEVER, I also very much believe my impatience, is substantiated in this case. I will reference a brief conversation I had with my dear blogging partner last night.  I’m paraphrasing because there was a lot more being discussed than just this one thing…but you’ll get the point:

R: So I argued with someone about Durantime, because I dared to say that I think it sucks. 

A: AYNIN WAS shorter.  They toured (did a few dates) in Summer of 2009.  It wasn’t a full tour, but we did see two dates.  (Las Vegas and Costa Mesa, in case you’re wondering as you read this…)  Then in December of 2010, they released All You Need is Now (single).  That is 16 months from the final show that we saw (Amanda and Rhonda) to single.  It has now been 17 months with virtually NO end in sight.

Let’s all take a deep, dejected sigh, shall we?  Do it right now.

Go ahead and argue with Amanda about her dates.  I know better (and she’s right on this one anyway).  So while I would agree that this is all part of the process and they need to take their time to get it done the way they want – I’m really not asking them to rush, I swear I’m not!  There IS a reason why I’m beginning to feel antsy. Even better? It’s OK that I’m starting and maybe YOU are starting to feel that way.  (Although truth be told I was feeling antsy last May….but even I know when I’m being unreasonable!)

All of that aside, I’ve been thinking to myself as to why it feels so much longer this time, and for me, it really does feel like forever since we last heard great things from them, much less saw them in person at a show or even on TV. I made the comment yesterday that I don’t know how I survived before FB and Twitter… but when I think back to the years between Red Carpet Massacre and All You Need is Now, I recognize a few things:

1. I was not in love with RCM, and so for me personally, I think I was almost dreading the next album, assuming that it would be more of the same. I can remember hearing who was producing AYNIN and getting bits and pieces out of the studio, all the while wondering if I’d dislike it as much as I did RCM. I was interested, but a little worried all the same.

2. Amanda and I spent many, many hours writing the beginnings of our manuscript during that downtime between albums. We didn’t start Daily Duranie until September of 2010, so our extra time was spent writing. We were living in our own bubble of Duran, so to speak.

3. On a personal note, I had a toddler in my house back then. Duran who??

4. I never even had the smallest hope of seeing the band on Facebook or Twitter, much less tweeting to them and getting a response of any kind – vague or pointed, retweet or “I’ll answer you directly but I won’t use your name so as not to draw unneeded attention”. <insert smile here> So, it didn’t occur to me to miss what I never had.

Of course, it wasn’t long after we started the blog that John Taylor joined Twitter. He made the wait fun, as did Simon – who I’m not intentionally ignoring here, it’s just that he’d already joined Twitter many months prior (even if he didn’t use the account very regularly). Then Roger joined on Facebook and for a while, he even participated. Where IS that drummer these days, anyway?? The more I heard about the album, the more anxious I became..and of course I was excited at the possibility of seeing the band again too.  I don’t honestly know when Dom joined Twitter, but I loved seeing all of them tweet. It felt like they actually wanted to talk with all of us, see what made us tick and get an overall feeling for what was going on. It made the wait fun. More importantly, it created a bridge between the fans and the band – something we’d never had before.

Naturally, we all get involved in things and can’t make our way to socialize every day. (Although I usually do… but you know, that’s part of the deal with blogging, and it’s part of my personality at this point. It’s the only way I can actually talk to my true friends, the ones I really care about…so I make the time.)  I probably should spend less time on Twitter and updating FB so that I can finish the various pieces to the publishing proposals…. Maybe the band is similar in that they really have to remove themselves from the world in order to get work done…I don’t know.  This blog really isn’t a statement of whether they should be on Twitter, or whether they should be engaging fans, or just sending me emails for that matter. HA!  However, this post is a simple statement of my impatience, and the fact is – we all miss them, whether it is that we miss shows, new music, promotional appearances, tweets and posts, or all of the above.

If I could talk to any of them – and as is typical I must make the statement that I highly doubt any of them are actually reading my mindless drivel – but I digress.  If I could actually speak to them, I’d tell them that while I know among the most asked questions is “When is the album going to be finished?” and that has to be incredibly annoying, I hope they can see that they’re actually MISSED. I know my counterpart never loved having John on Twitter because of any number of reasons that I won’t go into here. I, on the other hand, did.  It wasn’t necessarily because I traded messages with the guy – he didn’t respond to me any more than anyone else, and many times I came online well after one of his much beloved “Tweet-fests” anyway and missed them…but the point was I loved just seeing a teensy snippet about THEM as people. I don’t know how to better articulate that. I know their music. I see their videos, read their interviews, etc, etc.  But back when John tweeted, and even when he would occasionally post things on Instagram – it was kind of like getting a glimmer of him as a real person.  That’s cool.

While my personal favorite band member hardly ever tweets these days (I’m looking directly at you, Dom.) – the one thing I do like about his tweets is that they’re rarely about music or the band. He’ll post what he’s watching on TV (Game of Thrones though? Really??  How about Sherlock?!?) or he’ll just mention that he’s out with his family doing whatever it is that they’re doing at the time.  It’s not like I need or want to know when he’s going to go brush his teeth – but in some basic way it is as though we’re (collectively – the fans) communicating with him as though he’s a normal person, not just a guitar player for Duran Duran.  It makes him more real.

No, I don’t really need to know when the album is going to be finished and they’ll be back on the road…I guess…but it’s also kind of nice to just be like normal people.  Almost like friends, except that we’re not really going to meet for coffee or speak because there’s some weird unspoken “You’re a fan, I’m a rock star” deal.  So bizarre.

I’m WAY over my allotted word count for the day (week!), so I’m going to go back to being unsatisfied and impatient, and you all can go back to whatever it is you spend your time doing each day.  I’ll catch ya all on Twitter or Facebook….well, everyone ‘cept the band I suppose….hope the studio doesn’t swallow ’em whole!

Cheers!

(Yes Amanda, I really did use words from Come Undone to title this.)

-R

(Fans) Waiting for a look, the invitation…

Every now and then I read something from a fellow fan on Twitter that cracks me up.

The other day I was on Twitter, and a dear, kind-hearted fan posted that he/she was on a serious campaign to get the band to do a fan-cruise. Yes, you did read that correctly.  He/she wanted to know my thoughts, and then they kindly asked if I’d be willing to start using a hashtag for a DD cruise to get the idea trending.

Now I’m sure there are many fans out there who believe, in their kind little Duranie hearts, that the band would love for nothing more than to spend an extended weekend with an entire cruise ship filled with Duranies. I mean, we are fun people, right?!?  But then again, those who have been around for any length of time know what it can be like when the band is around. (What I wouldn’t GIVE for a good photo of two girls ripping each others hair out to get new John Taylor right now… Ok, here’s what we’re going to do: envision Sing Blue Silver and the rush that takes place when they open the doors to the arena.  Don’t remember? Go get your DVD and watch it!)

The fact is, and I really hate using this word to describe my fandom – but we’re just a little on the overwhelming side. Yes, I’m aware we’re all adults now. Yes, I know that we should have outgrown this fascination and fantasy that we could end up with one of them as our forever mate. Yes, I know they’re all either married or involved.  The question is – has any of that really stopped us?

I think we all know the answer to that.  There’s really no need to embarrass ourselves by posting the answer. *winks*

However, even with all of that aside.  Would the band really consider a cruise?  I have trouble even asking that question without laughing.  As someone reminded me – the band IS known for yachts and champagne.  Yes, yes, I am well-aware.  A yacht and a cruise ship are very, very different things.  Somehow, I just don’t see Nick boarding a neon-glitzed cruise ship, ready for several days of chatting it up with fans, a few rounds of bingo and maybe hitting the buffet. Call me crazy.  I can’t imagine Simon putting up with ANY of us for very long without being under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol (perhaps that’s the point?).  Never mind poor John – I don’t think he’d ever leave his stateroom or balcony for fear of actually running into a screaming crowd of us in one of the narrow ship hallways.  Roger – well, Roger might be found tanning on an upper deck, but he’d always have to be on the lookout for John hiding behind a planter, ready to take Instagram photos at any given moment.  Funny, I could see Dom going along with the idea, but only because he has no idea what he’d be in for. (I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.)

As much as Duran Duran is known for being the jet-setting, champagne-consuming, supermodels and sunshine type of band the media and their branding has made them out to be over the years – the difference is that they don’t typically do these things with fans. Those that have seen those inner-workings are among the prized few. And, I would argue  there is something about the fact that they’ve always been a little elitist and a bit removed from us common folk, that we secretly like.  Maybe it’s a love/hate sort of relationship.  We hate that they spent so much time portraying themselves as being above us when we were younger, to a lesser extent I think they still try for that image now, but in some respects, we love it.  We love the chase. We romanticize the idea that if they’re really the elite and they’re noticing us…well…that’s gotta mean something, right?  Self-esteem boost, here we come!!

Otherwise, what’re we all still doing here?? Is it really just about the music?  Maybe for some, but for everyone? Give me a break. I SEE the Facebook groups we’ve been invited to join, guys. It’s not just the music between us.  Sometimes it’s a little girl panic, too.

So, while I might be willing to board a cruise ship with my friends for a weekend of girl fun, I’m not expecting to run into Nick at the buffet, Simon at the art auction, Roger on deck, or John pretty much anywhere on the ship.  (Yes, I know I’m leaving out Dom. Truth be told – I think he’d go even AFTER my warnings. Silly man.)

-R

Here I go again, I must have flowers in my brain

Sometimes, it takes so very little. A wink. Maybe a nod and smile. Perhaps a retweet, or if you’re lucky – even ^DDHQ gets into the act and will retweet (RT), answer a question or comment on something you’ve said. Those teensy little moments, probably just fractions of a second, and yet they matter.

The same thing has happened at shows. For many years, I sat in the back. I couldn’t have hoped to afford a seat on the floor, much less near the front. So I’d sit in my treasured nosebleeds, jam to the music, and to be honest – I wouldn’t even bother trying to see where so-and-so in the band was looking. Didn’t matter, because from my seat in the rafters, it surely wasn’t coming my way! I can remember being thrilled if I could actually make out their faces without the help of binoculars! The only thing that kept me going to the shows back then WAS the music, and in some ways, I was probably better off. But, as the years went by and my income rose out of the depths of despair, I was able to afford better tickets. By the reunion shows, I was up in *gasp* 16th row! Not close enough to actually exchange glances, but I was able to make out John’s eyebrows and watch desperate fans vie for the attention of the band, and I could see their excited faces turn towards one another in triumphant glee when someone looked their way. At the time, I really hadn’t had so much of an opportunity for this to happen, so I was intrigued. What did it feel like to have Simon really look at you and smile, or to have John raise his eyebrow – you know exactly what I mean by that, or to even have Andy nod your way? I didn’t know, but I wanted to find out.

Time flew by, and I tried over and over again for better seats. Eventually, I did as many others have, and bought VIP. My first really close seat was in Chicago of 2005. I was in the third row on John’s side.  Nothing could have prepared me for that concert. Nothing. I really don’t think I slept for a week before the night of the show, I was so excited – and yet at the time I didn’t even know where I’d be sitting. (back then, tickets were handed out the night of the show and you didn’t know where your VIP seats would be until you got there – something I had always absolutely hated.) When I saw that we were third row, I was thrilled. I mean, front row seemed completely out of the question, and I was happy to just be anywhere NEAR the front. So we got to our seats, and I could feel those familiar butterflies in my stomach, indicating the amount of endorphins coursing through my veins. We were so close! Then the heartbeat started…and the five (well, four actually, Andy was not there…and people wonder why I’m a Dom girl? He’s been there since nearly the beginning of my most recent madness!!!) made their way to the front of the stage and just stood there. I nearly came out of my skin. I couldn’t take a picture, I couldn’t stand still, and I really couldn’t put a clear thought together. All this before they played a single note.

The truth is, I don’t remember much from that night. I don’t remember any of them really looking my way, that is for sure. I saw John smile at a few other girls though, and I did see a red-haired guy standing WAYYYYY off to the side across the stage in the darkness….but that’s really all I remember from that night. It wasn’t until the next night in Milwaukee that I first got my taste of real insanity culminating from being noticed.

The following night, we went to a show in Milwaukee at the Riverside Theater. (I’m always amazed that I can remember the name of the theater I saw the band…but I can’t seem to recall what I was supposed to buy at the grocery store without a list.  Anyone else??) I don’t know what row we were in, but it was not 3rd row, that is for sure. On that night though, a few of us proudly wore light-up horns (a since-retired tradition). We had them on throughout the show, and during a particular moment during The Chauffeur, we saw Roger and Dave Casillas (Dave is their security guy) backstage. Dave was pointing at us…and for whatever stupid reason, I waved.  Like an idiot, I waved…because yeah, like Roger Taylor was going to see me out of the sea of fans in the audience?? Stupid, right? Well, Roger waved back. I nearly died. It was truly a nanosecond, but for that single nanosecond, I actually existed in his world. OUR world. I couldn’t believe it!! After the show we raced around to the side of the building and I stood there, horns on head, sign in hand (I had a sign for Roger) and when they came out and got in their cars to leave – Roger saw my sign, pointed, and waved to me.  Well, I thought it was to me. Surely it must have been. Yes, there were many others around me…but I had a sign!! (as did plenty of others, as it turns out.) You get my point. It matters.

Those moments are important, and they make a huge difference. Let’s face it – these are guys that plenty of us have had occupying space on our bedroom walls for years. To have one of them come to life in front of you and actually see, even for that very tiny brief second, that you’re alive – well, it’s tantamount to a miracle, isn’t it? That’s what it feels like. I think there’s also a certain amount of “Wait. He couldn’t have. He didn’t really…he didn’t actually wink at ME, did he?” It’s so unbelievable that you can’t really believe it. Yet we do believe it…and to be honest, we want everyone else to believe it as well. I remember when DDM was first getting started, or even my own message board at DDF – people would post photos of themselves with the band, and the rest of us would get so excited. I think that at least at the beginning, part of the reason people would post those photos was to show that yes, it really did happen!! Up until that time, I know I didn’t see many pictures of fans with band members – how could we? These message boards though, they provided an avenue for sharing things like that. I don’t know if I was ever really jealous…but sure, I was envious. Who wouldn’t be?  Not only are you getting that second of being noticed, of existing in the same space as a band member – now you’ve got photographic, permanent evidence. A fantastic souvenir of a memory. So not only can you tell the story, but you can show the photos and now everyone else will believe it happened as well. It matters!

Nowadays, we need not only rely on in-person smiles, nods, photos and even for the lucky few – hugs. We have social networking. Twitter. Facebook. I see fans wanting that acknowledgment on an almost daily basis. I have to admit, I often wonder what the big deal about getting a RT is – so many will ask a celebrity to RT them, and so they do – simply recopying the message and adding the RT, it seems silly to me, but to those people, it matters. That tiny bit of attention, the acknowledgment that yes, we all are on the same planet and have the possibility of interaction, is important. There are those who jump on Facebook, Twitter and various other types of media in hopes of trading a note with any one of them – even I do. Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I’ve tweeted Dom before. I’ve also posted very excited (and silly) notes on his facebook page telling him that once again, I have scored tickets on HIS side of the stage. Why on earth would I be so stupid (and possibly crazy) to even bother? Good question, and one that I ask myself sometimes – usually while I’m in the middle of tweeting Dom. (My apologies, Mr. Brown)  I suppose on one hand I write for comedic relief. I figure that I’m not hurting anyone, and goodness knows I don’t actually expect for anyone to answer me! On the other hand though, I figure that if I don’t at least put myself out there from time to time, there’s no way to know whether or not I’d ever have a chance at being noticed/acknowledged/recognized. I don’t know whether anyone actually reads their tweets or not…but let me tell you a story that I still wince about from time to time, and this should probably either convince you all that I’m still very much a fan like anyone else, or you’ll be convinced that I need to spend some QT in a psych ward.  Or both!

Around this time last year – give or take several weeks, a show for Durham, North Carolina went on sale. As soon as it was announced I was telling Amanda that there was no way I could go. Several days later, we bought tickets to that show because we are sick and desperate people. I immediately bounced on over to Dom’s Facebook page and left a post saying that I was going to the show and that once again – our seats were on his side of the stage. Now, as I wrote that very post, I knew in my head that he probably wouldn’t read it – but I was being silly and I didn’t really care. I figured other friends WOULD read it though, and then we’d chat. Well, not long after I posted, someone decided to be mean. Some guy, whom I do not know nor have ever spoken to, replied that poor Dom must get sick of these frumpy middle-aged American women posting on his Facebook page. I have to tell you – my first reaction was to be mortified. Completely and totally mortified. It’s the kind of thing I’ve heard before, unfortunately from people I care about – and it plays into every last insecurity I have. I wanted to go and erase my post and never, EVER post again. I mean, not only did friends see that response, but I knew that Dom himself would see the response if he actually read his page. That was truly embarrassing for me. I have not trouble acting as though I don’t care here online, but if you knew me in person, you would know that is not the case. As I sat there thinking about this jerk and what he said to me, I got mad. Really mad. My Italian temper came to roost in a major way, right beside my injured pride. Perhaps in real life I have a hard time standing up for myself, but there was no reason to allow this one person the pleasure of knowing he got to me. I was going to go back there and stand up for not only myself, but for the other fans out there that excitedly post. I can’t have this jerk take our moments away from us… So I went back and I let him have it with words, and not long after – so did a few others, including a few people that I truly admire.  I have no way of knowing whether Dom ever saw that post, but I *do* know he saw me at the show that night in Durham, and yes – I did get noticed, and it definitely mattered. Not long after that show was over, I flew back home to California. I spent my time trying to keep updated with the news from Nick (he was ill and the tour was possibly ending), and one evening I was on Twitter after it was announced that the tour was in fact ending.  As I watched my twitter feed roll, I saw a tweet from Dom, basically saying that he was sorry it ended but that he had a great time.  Then he sent something thanking the fans, and that we were incredible – we knew who we were, but that we were incredible. I gasped in surprise. Well surely that was to me. I mean, there’s only what – five gazillion people on Twitter and all as it turns out, and I’m pretty sure that every single seat (at least the ones in the front) were all taken every single night of the entire tour, even the ones in front of Dom, and he probably winked, smiled and handed picks to thousands of people on tour… but hey – I was there….along with all of you….so I think it was to me, erm…all of us…right??

(I hope you got the sarcasm there. I am not nearly that self-assured. Truly not.)

It matters.

-R

Am I the Only One?!?

This is a blog that I have been thinking about writing for awhile now and keep pushing it away.  I have been doing that for a number of reasons, including that other things keep coming up AND because I’m not sure if I will be able to explain myself well enough.  Today, I’m going to try.  I am feeling brave.

Since the election ended, I have had more time on my hands.  Yes, that is the understatement of the year.  How does someone like me fill up about 20-40 extra hours a week?  I pay more attention to Duranland, including the Twitter-verse.  In many ways, I have enjoyed this because I like to talk to people or to see what others are thinking and talking about.  As part of my more frequent observations of twitter, I have noticed a bit of a pattern.  This pattern, which probably won’t shock any of you, is that people tweet to John and Simon.  I realize that isn’t new.  Of course, it isn’t.  What I noticed this time, though, that I somehow missed before is that people tweet to them ALL the time, even when they aren’t on and haven’t been on.  Sometimes, the tweets will be repeats from previous tweets that was sent.  Other times, they will be tweets that people think would be interesting to one or both of them.  None of that would be that terribly noticeable to me but I couldn’t help but to notice the sheer volume or number of tweets.  In many cases, these tweets would be from the same people, too.  My timeline would be filled with them so I cannot imagine what it must be like to go on to Twitter if you are John or Simon.  As I noticed this, I obviously realized that I didn’t do this and wondered what they said about me.

I don’t tweet very much to John, Simon, Dom or even Duran’s twitter.  Now, I won’t say that I never have because I have.  I do it in two certain circumstances, generally.  I either do it when they are on and I have a burning desire to respond to something one of them (usually John says) or when some event is happening.  For example, I’m sure that I tweeted to John when his book came out and I finished reading it.  I also tweeted before the signing/book talk in Chicago.  Basically, I tweet when and only when I really have something to say.  I don’t try to find a reason to say something.  If I have something to say, I say it and I say it only once.  Now, I’m not criticizing the people who do tweet to them all the time or say the same thing more than once.  I understand why they do it.  I even wonder if I should follow in their footsteps.  I don’t know.  That is what I’m trying to figure out by this blog post.

It seems to me that the people (fans) who tweet to the band members do it to get a connection with the band member or to get the band member’s attention.  (If I’m wrong, please, let me know.  I’m just guessing here.)  I can’t fault them for that.  After all, don’t we all want a connection or be noticed by a band member, especially a band member of choice?  I’m sure the idea here is that the more you tweet, the more likely the band member would see the tweet(s) and feel compelled to respond.  I get that.  Maybe they are on to something with this idea, too.  As I have already stated, I don’t tweet to them very much at all.  I also don’t ever get responses from them.  Heck, the couple of times that John responded to a tweet from the Daily Duranie, he responded to tweets that Rhonda had typed.  Would I love, love, love to get a tweet from John?  Are you kidding?  Of course, I would.  Who wouldn’t?  I do notice that many of these people who tweet to John or Simon do get responses.  I have no doubt that some of those fans are the ones John even referred to in his book.  So, why don’t I follow in their footsteps?

First of all, I won’t lie.  I’m not great with social interactions to begin with.  I can observe until the cows come home but actually going and being social isn’t very natural with me.  Could that be part of it?  I’m sure but I don’t think it is the only thing.  Second, sometimes, I think I’m not a very good fan.  Why?  I don’t feel very comfortable doing many fan like things.  For example, I wouldn’t approach any of them if/when I see them in public unless I totally knew it was okay.  Why?  Simple.  If I was them, I wouldn’t want to be approached by fans all the time.  I would want to be allowed to go into public without feeling like I was “working”.  For me, it is a respect thing.  I’m sure that many of you are saying that twitter isn’t the same.  That’s true.  It isn’t.  Yet, I do have to wonder what it is like to get so many tweets at you.  Is it flattering?  Annoying?  A bit of both?  I guess there is a part of me that would be worried that it would be annoying to them, which is part of the reason I don’t do it much.  I would hate for them to see my “name” and think “annoying”.  Of course, if I’m really being honest, maybe I don’t think my tweets would be interesting to them.  Maybe, they would think they are stupid.  Again, I wouldn’t want them to think badly of me.  I’m sure that some of you are thinking to yourself that this seems particularly stupid since I blog about what I think.  Yes, that’s true, but the band doesn’t know about it and wouldn’t read a FAN blog.  Lastly, and perhaps, most significant for me is that I’m not friends with John or Simon.  I don’t have a connection with them (as much as I would like to).  I’m a fan of theirs.  They have no idea who I am.  Heck, even if we were friends (yeah…dreams are free) or had some sort of association, I wouldn’t tweet to them all the time.  I don’t do that with my friends or associates now.  It feels unnatural for me to attempt to do that with them.  *shrugs*

So where does this leave me?  It leaves me tweetless, that’s where.  It leaves me continuing to have a battle with myself.  Am I approaching this the right way or should I try to be more like others?  What do I gain if I do?  What do I lose?  How do you approach twitter with the band members and why?  Do you think I’m approaching it the wrong way?

-A  

What Should Fans Expect from the Band

Yesterday, I brought up one of, what I consider to be, the taboo subjects in Duranland:  What should Duranie be expected to know.  Another taboo subject that seems to come up again and again in Duranland is what fans expect from Duran Duran.  Let’s face it.  We all expect many things from the band but they are definitely not the same and I may not understand why you want thing x from them and I might not understand what you want thing y from them.  So, let’s talk about what we, the fans, expect from Duran Duran.

First, this goes without saying, but, we all want good music from them.  Will we all agree as to what that is?  Nope.  Yet, how much of their material should be deemed good?  Should we expect every album or every song to be at a certain level of quality?  For example, not everything is going to be as good as Leopard but everything should be as good as All She Wants Is.  I don’t know.  Is it fair to expect, at least, every other album to be good?  Perhaps, we want every album to have a certain vibe to it?  I don’t know.  This seemed to be a particular issue during the Red Carpet Massacre days.  There seemed to be quite a bit of tension in the fan community.  Yes, some of it was between the fans who liked the album and those who didn’t but there was another kind of tension as well.  Some of that tension was between the fans who thought/felt we should always support Duran, no matter what, and others that thought we should be able to criticize the band and their music. 

Second, should we expect the band members to be on social networking sites?  If so, should they be on both facebook and twitter?  Should they participate regularly; and how do you define regularly?  What if they are only on social networking sites when they are going on tour or trying to sell an album?  Is that okay with us?  While this question might, again, seem like one with obvious answers, it isn’t.  Some fans feel like band members should be on social networking sites as this might be considered part of the job in 2012.  Others feel like it is a great thing that they are and that it enhances the connection between band and fans, but that it is not necessary.  Their only job should be to make music and try to sell it by going on tour, promoting songs/albums, etc.  So, I’m asking.  What should we expect of them?  Let’s have that debate about what is fair and reasonable.

Third, should we expect the band to want to meet fans?  In what capacity should this be done?  Should the band have meet and greets at every show?  Some shows?  Why or why not?  What about in public?  Should the band welcome fans when they are out at a bar or a club?  What about at their hotel?  Should they be approachable then too?  Then, when meeting fans, should they be willing to sign autographs and/or take pictures?  Should there be limits?  Again, on the surface, this question about the band meeting the fans doesn’t appear to be one that would create friction, but it does.  Some people feel strongly that the band should be left alone in public.  Others are passionate about the idea that part of their job is meeting fans and being willing to sign autographs and take pictures.  Then, likewise, those two sides may get annoyed or bothered by the fans on the opposite side.  So, let’s really talk about what we expect from the band.  It would certainly stop some potential bad feelings if we knew what people thought about the issue. 

Lastly, what should fans expect when it comes to the team surrounding Duran?  Should they be held accountable, even if they are far removed from organizations like Artist Arena, or should we understand that they don’t oversee every little aspect of Duran Duran?  Some fans obviously expect that Duran knows and does something about the people that are working for them.  Others think that they have a lot on their plate so they can’t pay attention to everything that is happening.  Perhaps, both sides get annoyed with each other then.  One side thinks that the fans who complain to Duran about their team are being negative and the other side thinks the positive fans are naive and being taken advantage of. 

So, readers, I ask you.  Where do you sit with the question of the day?  What should we expect from Duran?  What about those fans who don’t agree with you?  How can we get consensus about issues regarding the band?

-A

Be careful with that double edged sword!

I’m deep in the dark chasms of social media, at the moment.  The current chapter I’m working on has to do with the places we live: MySpace (Our starter homes), Facebook (what I would consider to be the single family home neighborhoods of social networking), and Twitter. (I think of these as the high rise apartment living in the city)  Funny thing: I thought writing this chapter would be easy, since I am online every day and deeply enjoying the sanctities that come along with social networking.  Well, as it turns out – its neither easy to write, nor is it easy to understand.  Perhaps that’s the real problem: I am trying to make what is/are truly a very complicated relationship(s) very simple.

To begin with, Facebook, Twitter…all of it really, IS very simple.  The UI (User Interface…and oh my god I’m starting to sound like my husband…*shivers uncontrollably*) is not difficult to follow, which is why all of us are here. (isn’t it?)  Anything that requires a manual, perhaps a tutorial, or god forbid a video series to explain…is far too much.  So, I think it’s safe to assume we’re all here because Facebook and Twitter (I’m sticking to those forms of media just because it’s what we all tend to use with regularity these days) is EASY.  The trouble comes when one starts actually using the media for which it was intended, and that is to make connections between people.  For our purposes here, I’m specifically talking about celebrities and other fans of those celebrities…and more specifically, the band members (past, present, future, backup band, etc) and us.  The Fans.  


On one hand, we’ve got the band.  People like John Taylor for instance.  I don’t think there’s any argument from anyone that he started using Twitter simply as an avenue to get the album promoted and sold.  In fact, I know he’s done interviews saying as much.  Simon was on Twitter well before John ever joined, but I don’t think he really used it much.  As we’ve heard since then, John is downright addicted to Twitter in a lot of ways, and it sounds to me as though he gets a certain amount of enjoyment (much to his surprise?) out of using Twitter.  He’s indicated that perhaps he’s getting more than just promotion out of Twitter, that maybe he’s even having fun communicating with fans to some extent.  I would imagine that this is far more than he would have expected.  Simon seems to enjoy Twitter to some extent as well.  Fans in turn probably read this to mean that the band loves talking to their fans…and thus we travel down the slippery slope to whatever fantasies we’ve got going on in our own heads, which we’ll come back to later.

In the other firm grip of the other hand, there are the fans.  You and I.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was on Twitter before the band. I had my own account way before Amanda and I started Daily Duranie, but I didn’t get it.  I wondered why anyone would care what I was doing during any part of my day.  It felt very voyeuristic to begin with, and so my Twitter visits were kept to a minimum.  I stuck to following the few friends I already had…which was truly bizarre since I already knew what those people were up to, and didn’t bother with much else. I just didn’t see the purpose.  I don’t read the gossip rags, I don’t watch those types of shows on TV, and to be blunt I don’t give a shit what Lindsay Lohan or Donald Trump is thinking in any given moment.  Unless one of the news stations was going to tweet that the world was ending…I just didn’t think Twitter had value.  I’d still check with Twitter from time to time when I thought of it though. (you can read this as: I would check Twitter when I’d remember – which meant every 3 months or so, and then pray I still remembered my password.)  Once we started blogging and I got the @DailyDuranie account started though, I checked it every day and started actually communicating – it was a great way to tell people when the next edition of the blog was up each day.  I liked that Twitter worked in real time, and after a while I noticed you could really have a conversation with people.  It wasn’t about just saying what I was up to – it was like a giant chat room, and that part was fun.  I would imagine that other fans had similar experiences.

Then one day, John and Simon actually started tweeting.  And answering FANS.  Suddenly Twitter wasn’t about just chatting with friends.  It was about seeing what the band was up to.  It was a lifeline while we were waiting for the new album.  John openly teased us with tour and album tidbits. (I still haven’t forgiven him for ruthlessly dropping Coachella hints before the announcement…then telling everyone that no, it wasn’t going to happen…and then disappearing right before the announcement was made.  If there was ever a good moment for spanking….Oh. Boy.)  Simon posted…well….Simon-types of tweets.  I scratched my head a lot.  It was good.

Are you wondering about that double edged sword yet?

Social Networking is complicated.  Why?  Here is the newsflash: no matter how much we want to believe otherwise – it is part of a celebrity’s JOB.   While yes, John and Simon (and Dom, although he really needs a bit of a tutorial. :D) probably enjoy tweeting and reading funny or nice things back from the fans, they are not our friends.  They have no idea who we are.  Sure, they might recognize our screen names.  They might even follow us.  (not a chance in hell when it comes to Daily Duranie and that’s OK.)  However difficult it is to understand, Twitter is not a pure unadulterated two way street of friendship between band member (celebrity) and fan.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that interactions with fans probably equals sales of tickets, albums, etc.  Duran Duran would not be a band…or at least not a very lucrative one…without sales of some sort.   This one tiny kernel of truth – that it is at least a small part of the band’s JOB to interact, even if they enjoy it – is what makes social networking a double edged sword for both the band and the fans.

Yes, it’s very good to connect; it is also very good to establish boundaries.  It’s also very good for the fans to in turn respect those boundaries, however slippery, vague or hazy they may seem.  The trouble there is that some fans have a difficult time navigating the boundaries without crossing the line.  It’s not all that difficult for any of us (or at least it shouldn’t be) to understand how it happens.  We’ve all been there in that exciting moment when Simon is online.  He’s tweeting…you’re typing as fast as your little fingers can type so that you can hit “send”, hoping he sees your tweet and responds back, and bingo – that precious moment arrives.  You might have sent something so incredibly interesting that has absolutely nothing to do with Duran Duran (my guess is that this in turn is a very precious moment for them: when they can actually talk about something other than that blasted band of theirs…), and you get more than one reply….or even *gasp* a Direct Message.  *more gasping*  Let’s be honest here, we’ve been fans for 30 years.  We think we know these guys.  I get that.  My gosh, I KNOW that feeling.  It’s OK to admit that, you’re not anymore of a freak than I am, and so therefore we’re all in good company here.  The trouble is that connecting through Twitter and Facebook can be so much of a seduction that we forget where that line between fan and friend really lies, and it happens to everyone.  Even me.  Even you.

Saying the words that create the boundary for our relationship(s) with the band is simple.  Typing them makes it all even easier until we start getting real.  Interacting with the band online is very similar to being at a concert and being in about the 10th row.  You think you’ve caught an eye from one of them, they wink or smile and you are positive it must have been intended for you.  The reality is that that they could have smiled at your (*MY*) general direction and you’d have still thought it was for you, right?!?  Based on that, you’re sure that when you go to the show the following night, you’ll get another smile because my gosh – they’ll recognize you!  And that my friends…is my own personal story here.  I’m that girl that is insistent that the band (or a member thereof) has smiled or winked at her during a show. As if I was the only person IN the audience.  How incredibly narcissistic?!?!  Yes, I know.  It’s OK to admit it here.  Call it therapy, I do.

So as I go back to trying to write this social networking chapter, I need to admit that this is never going to be simple. I can’t completely untangle the complicated relationship we have with the band, no matter how one-sided it might actually be…

or is it?  Ah.  Another blog for another day.

-R

The Perfect Meet and Greet

This week my students were given an assignment to write a paper on their perfect winter break.  We asked the students to give many, many details to really bring their experience to life!  This combined with today’s “Would You Rather” question has led me to this blog topic.  (By the way, the question was, “Would you rather win a meet and greet or go to a cd signing?”) 

A commonly heard compliant in Duranland is about the poor meet and greets.  I’m ignoring the topic of having meet and greets, period.  Now, I personally have not had a meet and greet, despite buying VIP tickets a number of times.  Yet, over the course of being a part of this fandom, I have heard many people’s stories of theirs.  While excitement seems to be part of most, if not all, there always seems to be something that wasn’t quite right.  Some examples I have heard include that not every member was there, one or more band members wasn’t smiling or chatting, individual pictures weren’t allowed, group pictures weren’t allowed, and more.  Almost all of the experiences I have heard mentioned something about how quick it was, often being done within a few minutes.  It seems that many people feel like they didn’t have the time for a real interaction.  In fact, in response to today’s question, a number of people used the phrase “cattle call”, indicating that the fans were just in some line, treated less than stellar.

Before I criticize the members of the band or their management for setting up what sounds like less-than-great experiences, I do want to acknowledge the strangeness of them to begin with.  First, I believe that most of them take place before a show.  This can’t be a time when the band has a lot of free time and aren’t preoccupied.  They have to get ready, which includes dress, hair, etc.  It also includes physically warming up and emotionally getting ready to face the crowd and whatever else is taking place at that show.  I know that I wouldn’t be my best before a performance.  Heck, I’m not super friendly before leading a big meeting at work, no matter how usual they are or how many I have done.  Second, I can’t imagine that meet and greets feel all that natural to them (or to us!).  They are forced to go and be friendly with strangers.  There, they are expected to sign autographs, take pictures and talk to people they have never met before or don’t know well.  Yes, I already know what you all are saying in your heads.  Didn’t they sign up to do this when they became rock stars/celebrities?  Maybe so.  That said, one really doesn’t know all of the little details of a job before you actually experience it, do you?  The usual focus of being a rock star is to make music and perform on stage.  Everything else is just to maintain that, right? 

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I do think that if they are going to do them, they should do them well.  Clearly, there are fans who want them so the band and their management should want to make sure fans are pleased with their experiences!  So, what would it take to make the perfect meet and greet?  Let’s break it down.  The setting should not be in a hallway!  That must feel so, so cold to all involved!  How about having them in a lovely room?  Obviously not all venues have great, warm, welcoming rooms, but there has to be a better place than a hallway.  An empty dressing room, perhaps?  A warm-up room?  Then, all band members should be there, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Perhaps, they need to take place AFTER the show, then.  It seems to me that John is a bit tense before a show, for example.  Wouldn’t it help him to meet fans after the show, then?  If this is going to be my perfect meet and greet, I honestly wouldn’t want a ton of other people there.  I would want to feel special and not like one of many.  Yes, I realize that this makes it more challenging to find spaces for fans to wait.  What about having a space for fans to hang out, mingle, enjoy some food and drinks while they wait?  Then two or three people at a time could go and meet the band?  The fans could go to the band.  Then, obviously, I would want the meet and greet to be long enough to be quality.  I would want a chance to exchange more than a few words with them.  I would want a chance to have a normal conversation with them.  Then, the autographs and pictures would feel more natural because then there was, at least, a basic rapport. 

Now, I would love, love, love, love to hear what you all think would make a perfect meet and greet experience.  Maybe some of you have had great ones already.  What was great about them?  What would you keep for future ones?  What would you improve?  Maybe you are like me in that you have never been fortunate it enough to have one.  What would you ideal one include?  What would it be like, assuming that it is still realistic, meaning that it can’t last for hours?  What would your perfect meet and greet be?!

-A

OK…enough quiet!!!

Last night, I finally had the opportunity to listen to some CD’s that Amanda has graciously made the two of us…that may or may not have included live performances of the concert(s) we went and saw in the UK, including Brighton.  I have to say, hearing these songs again brought back some good memories from that week spent traveling all over England and Scotland.  Yes, I’d still do it again.

When I first got home, as much as I tried to keep up with the Duran goings on, I had family schedules to contend with, and I swear the month of December went by as a blur.  I blinked and it is now over.  I guess it didn’t bother me so much when the band “signed off” for the holidays because I kind of needed a break too!  It’s tough to be a blogger sometimes!  (whine, whine, moan…wine! Yes, that kind of wine!)  So all went quiet.  Even our blog stats went way, way down. Scarily so, to be honest….but we forged on!

It’s now January 4th.  I have not heard hide, nor hair of that band for a couple weeks now – aside from a few facebook postings from the batcave, or “headquarters” as the rest of you might call it.  Oh, and one curious posting from Mr. LeBon on New Years Eve… We’re not fooled, the band is still on holiday, and I say – it’s time to get back to work!  Do you hear that whip cracking?  Of course I’m joking.  Mostly.

Fans are fickle.  We love the band to pieces because it’s what we do, but then the band goes quiet for a while, and we become uneasy.  Some move on to whatever other obsessions they have.  I actually do a lot of reading in my *laughs* spare time.  HA.  I have now read every e-book I had ready to go for my trip. (clearly didn’t do much reading in the UK…)  I’m finding myself googling each and every band members name simply to see if news pops up that I’m somehow missing elsewhere.  I have now read every single biographical essay that seems to exist for each band member, including Dom Brown.  (be afraid)  We’re bored now, and as such, we’re now in danger of chewing one another up just for the sheer sport.  Sometimes I wonder if the band sits and reads their Facebook and/or Twitter feeds for the fun of it….then I realize that only other fans could possibly find our drivel amusing.  It’s sad, but it’s reality.  I suppose I could be cleaning my house….but really what fun is there in doing that all day?? It’s a good thing that as of tomorrow all of my kids will be back in school, because I need to get out of this house, even if it is just to drive them all over the county!

Amanda and I were once called “impatient” by one of our most favorite readers.  That person was right.  I’m not really looking for new US dates (although hey if someone wants to clue me in to when those will be, I won’t turn you away!)…I’m just looking for activity.  The thrill of seeing some tweets from John Taylor, perhaps.  Some joyous postings from Roger Taylor.  How about some posts from Simon that need deciphering??  I am up for that challenge!  Yesterday while on Twitter, I came across a couple of comments that saddened me just a little and smacked me right back into reality mode.  I won’t quote, but it was intimated that perhaps the band only posts when they want to sell concert tickets.  I can’t argue that – because let’s be fair – does anyone aside from my husband go to work even when they aren’t being paid??  The band is their “job”, in the same way that my husband’s job is to sit at his desk and be on conference calls all day, go to trade shows, or fly to the Far East for meetings with clients.  The difference of course is that we’re the bands customers, and we’re far more demanding than any client my husband might have (Granted, I do not call John, Nick, Simon or Roger at 1:30am and expect them to answer their phone…then again, I don’t EVER call them….and yes, that really does happen in my house on a regular basis…).  Still, the reality can be sad (for lack of a better word) at times.  The band doesn’t necessarily chat us all up because they really want to know us.  They chat occasionally because we’re a big part of the machine that is their career.  Where you and I might very well wish to be on Twitter chatting with people, they might not.  While Facebook is how I keep in touch with my friends – Duran fans and otherwise – perhaps maybe the band doesn’t bother, and certainly not with us.  Once again I’m reminded, and fairly so, that the line between fan and friend is very defined, and I am squarely on the appropriate side of that line.

The one concern with the internet that I continuously see fans struggle over is that line.  We know the band.  We know the John Taylor that is up on the stage that he cares to share with us.  We know Simon, Nick and Roger in the same regard.  There has got to be a difference between those personas and their private lives – I just can’t see any of them surviving celebrity any other way.  I would imagine it’s a very compartmentalizing life at times.  That said, it is very, very easy to forget that fact as a fan – especially having been fans of the band for 30 years.  It is easy to assume we must know one another.  Well, we know them.  They, however, do not know us at all.  Sure, I’d love to think the band has checked out my personal Facebook, they read the blog, they read my Twitter – but none of that is true.  It’s just not reality.  I am one of a million faces they see (maybe) on tour from the stage.  With the interaction we’ve had from the band, however little it may seem at times, it’s difficult to remember that while we might be following them, they are not (for the overwhelming majority) following us.

Maybe they damn well should!   I am fascinating, aren’t you???  (that should be read with dripping sarcasm)

Time for another walk down memory lane for me…I have a few more CD’s to play!

-R