Category Archives: interviews

Duran Duran History: Gottschalk Live

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back 3 shorts years to 2012 when John Taylor and Simon Le Bon appeared on the German TV show, Gottschalk Live.  The show was filmed in Berlin.  During this time, Duran Duran were touring Europe as part of the All You Need Is Now Tour.

I did manage to find a clip of this show.  Simon and John come out at about 13 minutes in.  They talked about vinyl records, working with John living in LA, Duran’s audience and lots more.

What did you think of it?  Reaction to it?

-A

Duran Duran History: Richard & Judy

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back ten years to 2005 when the band was doing promotion for Astronaut.  On this date, Simon and Nick were interviewed on Richard & Judy (Channel 4) in the UK. From what I know, Richard and Judy are a married couple who had a number of different TV shows over the years in the UK.  In 2005, their show was in the format of a daily chat show that aired in the early evening.

This interview apparently has been included on the bootleg entitled “Astronaut Promotion 3”.

Has anyone seen this?  If so, please share some details!

-A

 

Duran Duran History – Loose Ends

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back just four years ago to 2010 when Simon was the guest on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends.  Based on the date (late 2010), I would assume that Simon was doing some initial promotion both for the All You Need Is Now single, which was released on December 8th, and for the album, which was released on December 21st.

Perhaps, some of you would be able to hear this here.  Maybe, others of you could check it out here.

What do you think?  How does this compare to how Duran Duran seems now?

-A

Today in Duran History – Rosie

On today’s date in 1997, Duran Duran performed on the Rosie O’Donnell show in support of Medazzaland.  I remember this show very clearly because it was the very first time I’d seen the band on TV in many years – probably since college.  I sat and watched the show with Heather on my lap (she was a tiny baby back then!) and saw them perform “Electric Barbarella” and of course, “Hungry Like the Wolf”.  I watched it again this morning and felt like I’d been shipped back to 1997 for a brief visit.

-R

Inside this gilded cage

I was able to take some time and catch the Robert Elms (BBC London) interview with Lori Majewski and Nick Rhodes. Here’s the link for those of you who want to listen. (It starts with Girls on Film at about the 2:31:00 mark)

For the first half, Robert spoke with Nick as they were having “technical difficulty” getting Lori patched in from New York. They talked about New Wave, and how even on American charts – most of the acts were British. Nick spoke of how British acts really wanted to make their mark in America. He also talked about the diversity of the charts and what was available at the time.  At this point, Lori is on the line and is able to say that we were very much caught in “middle-aged” American tastes. She’s right. I can remember being at my sitter’s house after school and having to listen to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” over and over again. On 8-track. It really is a wonder how I made it through that year before I finally discovered KROQ and heard Planet Earth for the first time.

They continue on this theme, and it seems almost astounding to Robert Elms, and I suppose many Brits, that here in America it wasn’t places like New York and LA that drove New Wave. It was suburbia.  Lori makes the point that MTV didn’t arrive in NYC or LA (proper) until 1983, but places in middle-America had MTV far earlier. It was when radio stations began getting requests to play Girls on Film in the middle-of-anywhere Kansas or Florida that suddenly New Wave got a foothold. Thank goodness, otherwise we might still be listening to the Piña Colada Song…

Lori also talks about John Hughes films, which, if you’re not from America, I’m just not sure the importance comes across. You just cannot really imagine how vital those films were to 1980s coming-of-age. Movies such as Pretty in Pink, the Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire…those films were what framed our adolescence. They set the bar for what American teens wanted to look like and be like, and that music really became not only part of the soundtracks for those movies, but for our lives. Much of that music IS New Wave.

I think back on my pre-teen/teen years and it’s really impossible to untangle it all. Unlike many people who chose to write off the 80s as some sort of style experiment gone off the rails, those years matter to me. They made me who I am. I interviewed Lori Majewski several months back (you can read that interview here) and we talked the reasons why Duran Duran fans respond so emotionally to the band, even today. Why does this band matter so much to us?  Many of us were so young when the band was at the height of its popularity, I know that in my case, I didn’t even have the opportunity to see them (Duran Duran) until I was in college.  Even seeing them today has the potential to live out (some of) the fantasies that rolled through my head back when I was twelve. That undaunted, unbridled, RAW teen emotion still exists within. For many, that emotion is not only what keeps us returning for more, it is also what drives us to do some of the crazy things we hear about. Not that I’m judging.  After all, I’ve bought tickets to shows I openly swore I would not be attending, I’ve fawned over a band member or two in my time…and I write a blog. When I picture my fandom, I see it as that leopard in a cage that a certain song mentions. Occasionally, the leopard gets out. I’ll bet yours does too.

-R

Here’s one you don’t compromise

Every once in a while I run across something – an interview or video clip – that I’ve never seen before.  This happened today as I stumbled across a complete, uncut version of an interview I vaguely remember…maybe…from a long time ago, but I had not seen the full-length interview before.

I could commentate on many, many things here – it’s nearly 38 minutes in length and I had plenty of time to notice everything from John’s chiseled chin and cheekbones to Nick’s lip liner and Simon’s hair – but one thing that overshadowed everything else for me was the amount of anger Simon, Nick & John had towards Andy at the time. There were comments made about his personality, about his inflexibility (with regard to the writing of Wild Boys, which comes near the end of the interview) to the court case that Simon, Nick & John were hoping to win in 1987 against Andy.  There was no love lost between any of them at this point, and during the interview they even made strides to make sure it was understood that Roger and Andy left the band under very different circumstances. I have to admit that it all had me wondering, more than once, how a band this far apart could have ever even considered getting back together.

Of course now we know that the “back together” part of the story wasn’t meant to last. None of us, well…probably very few of us…really know what happened. We can make assumptions, surmise…even make an educated guess, but we weren’t there. It was a great time while it lasted, but it certainly wasn’t meant to last.

In amongst the discussion and perfectly placed stabs in Andy’s direction, John makes mention of Warren and how he was on the album (Notorious) and would be touring with the band, but that he was not a “member”. John’s comments were that the three of them (Simon, Nick and himself) were just too close to allow someone in. They were a solid unit, and Warren would only be a part of the touring band. And the writing band… But not the official band.  Sound at all familiar?

The reality of course is that Warren *did* become a part of the band, for better or worse, and of course opinions to that placement are as varied as the personalities of Duranies across the world. What’s more, this is a subject that, to this very day, is STILL debated with relish within the community. As it turns out, we Duranies take our guitar players seriously. Perhaps even more seriously than does the band (so it seems)…although I suspect if asked, any one member of Duran Duran might have a little something to say about that.

The other day…I believe it might have been Monday, actually, I noticed that DDHQ picked Dom’s FB page as the “Page of the Week”.  They called him the “guitar extraordinaire”, which I thought was nice…as well as completely accurate. (My bias is already showing, and I’m not apologizing.) I was thrilled to see that several had commented that he should be made an official member, and I agreed with those people.  Even if I don’t necessarily think it WILL happen…I can certainly agree that I wish it would, and I do.  For me, it’s every bit as easy as saying that I love the rest of the band. But, on the other side, there are still many that believe the only person who should be on guitar is Andy Taylor. Still others feel the spot belongs to Warren…and to some degree, each one of us is right.

While I suppose I could comment on our tenacity to continue debating about people who haven’t played with the band in a very long time, and I could continue to argue here on the blog….what good would it really do?  No, in this case what I find most incredible is the function of the community as a whole.

Amanda and I have spent the better part of five years studying and writing about fan communities.  We learned what makes a community. One of the things we discuss in our manuscript is that communities – groups of people – create their own culture. They make up their own dialogue, their own way of speaking, communicating…even their own look.  We talk about how this continued dialogue between community members brings about general consensus.  For example, we might say that a general consensus about Duran Duran is that the band looks good in eyeliner…or that this is a band who likes the finer things in life. (these are JUST HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLES) The point being, we’ve all talked about these subjects or thought about them in our heads for long enough that it’s just accepted thought by the majority of fans. What is especially interesting to me about the Andy, Warren, Dom debate is that the general consensus here is that there will never really BE a consensus. It isn’t always the case that a community agrees, and this is certainly one topic where there may never be an answer. This, along with a myriad of other topics I am sure…will always be a source of debate amongst fans, regardless of the stance one takes.

With that in mind, watch the video – it’s really fascinating to sit back and watch it in hindsight.

-R