Category Archives: Katy Kafe

March 2019 Katy Kafe with Simon

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! Just before going to bed last night, I went through the Daily Duranie inbox. It isn’t often that we get extremely pointed reminders from anonymous people, but last night, we did. To be fair, I was happy to have the reminder! I FORGOT THE KAFE! Oops!

Yesterday was crazy, involving now 4-week old chickens figuring out how to fly up and over their 3.5-foot high fencing. Essentially, they were then having free reign of the room where they are currently located. They’re not old enough to be outside of their brooder (think baby crib for chickens!) just yet. I’ll bet none of you can imagine my reaction when opening the door to find a REAL Late Bar party going on amongst the chickies.

My life. I have to laugh. Why would I expect anything less than “baby” chicks escaping??

Anyway, I’m back on my game, the chicks are safely in their appropriate brooder, and I’ve listened to the Kafe! Below are the just the highlights! If you want to listen to the entire Kafe (and you should!) we at Daily Duranie highly recommend getting your own DuranDuranMusic.com membership!

Simon is sick with a cold right now – mentioning that he is bringing a Virus to the Kafe. As am I (Bringing Virus, that is.)

At some point, he starts singing some crazy little tune I don’t think I’ve heard before. That’s only after going after his cat – who is trying to get into a room that is off limits.

Sounds like my house on any given day! First it was dogs and cats, now it’s poultry. I don’t know people…maybe I should start singing crazy obscurities too. Moving on.

Studio time with Mark

Thrilled that Katy asked about the band being in the studio with Mark back at the end of February! After the Vegas shows, and just after Mark won an Oscar, they met in a Los Angeles studio. They did some writing with not only Mark Ronson, but also Lykke Li and Graham Coxon.

It was the first meeting of Graham and Mark, as the band introduced them that day. According to Simon, they did a lot of work – and now it is about seeing how much of it they will actually use. It did not sound as though Mark is acting as the only producer, or even as a producer at all, but rather more of a collaborative writer. although Simon did not go into a ton of detail. As Simon explained, while it sounded great, it is very difficult to discuss the songs because so much changes over the process of writing, recording, etc.

It would be a good reminder here that thousands of hours can go into recording for an album, and only a small percentage may get used. Having your heart set on Mark, or anyone for that matter, being the producer or working with the band on what ends up as the finished product is setting yourself up for certain disappointment. Keeping an open mind is prudent!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

So, anyone hear that Simon and John have the distinct honor of inducting Roxy Music into the Hall of Fame? The ceremony, which is to take place March 29th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, should be interesting this year. Roxy Music, Janet Jackson, The Cure, and even Def Leppard (not to play favorites but those are the few I remember off the top of my head) are being inducted this year. I’m looking forward to watching the ceremony at some point.

Simon says he is flattered and very honored to be inducting Roxy Music, as they are crucial to Duran Duran. He feels as though it is a huge responsibility to make sure they are given the credit that is due. He and John will deliver a speech (usually these are incredibly impassioned, and honestly – they are what make the ceremony special, in my opinion). Simon says that John is mostly working on it because he is a massive fan. He has never been to an induction ceremony before, so I’m curious to hear what he thinks of it all after he’s gone.

February Mini Tour

Loved hearing Simon talk about the mini-tour. He commented that the show in Miami was just “okay”. They hadn’t played a 90-minute show in about 18 months (since Japan). I know we had discussions about the length of their set several times during the mini-tour. There were critics who mentioned it as well – to which I responded in a blog right here. Listen, I’m a fan – I would love a four hour long set complete with an intermission! However, this band is made up of humans, not machines. I don’t know how people like Elton John or Paul McCartney do a 3 hour show every night. Maybe they rehearsed for months beforehand, conditioning themselves?

I just know that when Simon feels like he’s got to comment on a Kafe that it has been forever since they played a 90-minute show that maybe, just MAYBE, we need to cut them a little slack. He said that Miami wasn’t that great – I believe he used the word, “okay”, but that they got tighter in Cayman and by the time they hit NOLA they were feeling good and the show felt smooth.

I can understand that, too. Duran Duran doesn’t rehearse a ton. Now, we can certainly have a discussion about whether or not that should be happening more regularly; however, the bottom line is that this isn’t a band that rehearses for months or weeks on end before a tour begins. As they perform shows, they play tighter, and smoother. That’s the way this band rolls!

The set

As we know, they added in a few extras to the set this time around. Seventh Stranger, New Religion, Tempted, and even Friends of Mine. For long-time fans such as myself – this was a dream come true. Simon commented that they like to change things up. “We have quite a huge catalog to choose from, and it would be a real waste to stick to the same 18-20 songs.”

Yes, yes it would.

What I found particularly interesting here though was that Simon said they tried to make Seventh Stranger sound more modern. This was after saying that if they’d written that song today, they would have done it very differently. I don’t know if he felt the song was incredibly dated as is written – but let’s be fair to ourselves a bit here. It was released in 1983, and one can assume it was written at least several months (if not a year or more) prior. Simon followed up by saying they performed it by using the musical technology available today as opposed to the way it was in 1980-something.

A word or two for Simon

Nick tried to get Simon to lip-sync to the video on the screen, and I got the feeling that Simon wasn’t sure if that worked out right. Let me clear that air for him by speaking to Simon directly here. IT WAS FANTASTIC. I can imagine performing it that way, and trying to stay conscious of what was happening on screen might have felt weird, but the full effect of seeing you at 20-something on the larger screen and then right in front of me singing in person blew me away. I’m not a very emotional person (I cry in private thankyouverymuch), but that performance took everything out of me. It was an incredible five minutes that I will never forget. I am not the only one, either. The audience was filled with people sobbing just like me.

That doesn’t happen without a lot of magic, my friend. And that’s what that song and performance(s) were like. Magical. Don’t downplay it, and take my word for it. I can be incredibly hard on this band, but those performances contained some of the moments my heart was craving most. I feel lucky to have been there.

And if that weren’t enough….they announced they’d be playing at Tinderbox in Denmark this year, and Katy says “there may be more this summer”. Stay tuned….

Record Store Day 2019

It is exciting to hear that As the Lights Go Down will be available on pink and blue vinyl as Duran Duran’s RSD offering this year. Humorously though, Simon says he doesn’t remember even recording it. Not a single thing.

I’m sure there’s a joke in here about drugs in the 80s and 90s, or age….but I’m gonna just let it slide for now. (after all, I can remember the words to every Duran Duran song, but can’t remember where I put the TV remote. It was in the cupboard this morning. So….)

He does say though that when he gets his copy, he’ll “give it a go”.

Well, alright then. Just maybe then I will, too.

Simon will be back during the summer, and I can hardly wait to hear what obscurity he’ll sing.

As for me, I’m off to check on some very loud squawking I hear. I can only imagine what I’ll find this time.

-R

January 2019 Katy Kafe with John Taylor

Lately, timing has been on my side. The Vegas weekend comes at a perfect time in that it is right after the primary for the campaign I’m working on. This will give me a great break before I have to push it hard for the general election in April. Now, on a smaller scale, this Katy Kafe comes at a good time as I was thinking about what to write about for a blog today. On that note, let me explain that I won’t be giving a full transcript here. Far from it. No, I’ll share the highlights and my thoughts about them. If you want to listen for yourself to see Mr. John Taylor had to say, then I recommend heading over to DuranDuranMusic and get a membership for yourself.

The conversation started with a brief discussion about New Year’s Even. JT was in London, apparently, and was able to get out, go dancing, etc. but it wasn’t like when he was young. The fun just isn’t the same. I completely relate to that.

The format to this kafe is simple in that fans send in questions on social media. Obviously, Katy did not ask all of them but give quite a few. The first question was about letters and whether or not he has any special ones and the last one he has written. He got a letter from the Obamas for his 50th birthday, which he thinks is pretty cool. (So do I!) All of the band members have a letter from Prince William and Prince Henry for their participation in the concert for Diana. John also saved letters from his daughter, which is sweet. The last ones he has written might be to his kids or just those letters of recommendation. (This reminds me that I have a letter of recommendation to write myself.)

The next question focused on a song that he hasn’t played in a long time but wants to. According to John, they have “dusted off” a couple for the shows in February. One that he has been practicing has not been played since the Arena tour. This, of course, has me thinking. I have some ideas but I won’t spoil anyone with my speculation! Personally, I would love hearing a new (old) song or two. I will definitely be on my toes in Vegas now!

Speaking of playing new material, one question asked about how often John plays at home. Here’s is where I learned something new. John has been taking piano lessons and learning how to read music. Not only do I think it is cool but I like the idea that he wants to keep learning. I can relate as I have been learning a lot about how to run an effective local campaign. Obviously, now, though, he has to get back to playing the bass to get ready for the February shows, which really are coming up quickly now!

How does John keep creative projects separate? He thinks that the various projects can provide inspiration for other projects and “create creative confidence.” My mom as a fiber artist definitely functions like this in that she always has a number of projects going. That said, he did admit that he often takes on more than he can chew and leaves projects undone. Again, I can relate. Rhonda and I have had a lot of projects that we have started that haven’t seen the finish line. Someday.

Of course, people wanted to know how the new music is going? John said that when they got into the studio before Christmas, everyone was ready, which made it good. He mentioned how they were working with a new producer and some new musicians who they had never worked with before. They plan to return to the studio at the end of February. Those new musicians made me wonder, I’ll admit. Who? Why? Hmm…

Someone asked about an artistic forum that John has not tried would like to. His response? Contemporary dance. This created quite an image for Katy and for me as I thought about his dancing during Danceophobia during the Paper Gods tour. He then clarified to say that he would like to create the music for contemporary dance. That said, maybe he would pick up painting once he retired to the British countryside. He wouldn’t be the first to do such a thing.

Bothered that people judge success based on charts? They benefited in the 1980s from charts. Now it is more about one’s sense of self and one’s own standards. Hard and painful when not on the charts but after a few cycles, you get over that. Now it is about numbers on social media, etc.

Here was an interesting question. What 3 words describe you as a young man and what 3 words describe you now? For when he was young, he said, “shy, happy, gangly(???).” (Anyone hear that last word clearly?) As for now, he said interesting, grateful, happy.

Along the same lines, what are three things we don’t know about you? Katy answered for him by saying that she didn’t know that he was so tall, so smart, and had such a big heart. John talked about how he is clothes horse and tries to be trendy, likes to collect books and misses his parents every day. Both of those answers made my heart swell a little bit.

The last question that interested me is whether or not the band can and does realize the influence they have had on their fans? John’s response indicated that they don’t want to pat themselves on the back too much or allow themselves to get big heads but he does admit that he has been touched by particular stories. He also loves how the band is a connector in that they brought people who wouldn’t be friends otherwise who now go to shows together and visit each other. Hmm…that sounds familiar. Very familiar. Yep, that lines hits close to home.

On that note, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular kafe. I give a lot of props to the questions people sent in as they were all awesome. I can never think of anything when offered something like that so good for all of you! I also appreciated that John suggested people send in their questions again if they didn’t get them asked now. Good for him. On that note, I’m going to go knock on doors in negative degree temperatures. Wish me luck!

-A

Year End Katy Kafe 2018 with Simon

This is it, the final year end Katy Kafe. This one focuses on Simon and his list of the top moments of the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these and Simon’s does not disappoint. Before I dive into the usual highlights, I recommend going to listen to the Kafe yourself over at DuranDuranMusic.com. Then, you can enjoy it as much as me.

As soon as the kafe began, I could tell that this was going to be a fascinating kafe as Simon explained about slow fruit, which is like a plum but lots smaller. It grows in the UK, which of course is connected to his drink of choice, slow gin. My only reaction to this is that I learn something new everyday. After a few minutes of this, Katy asked about the event of the year. Simon’s reacted by singing a song, a vaudeville song. Well, then. Nope. This kafe was not disappointing. I’m not sure how this is connected to world events but okay. Of course, Simon’s personal event of the year was the birth of his grandson. It is clear that Simon loves, loves, loves taking care of his grandson who is now 6 months old and starting to utter lots of sounds and noise. Now, he would like more grandchildren! Simon also mentioned that the band is back in the studio as a big event. (Yes! Agreed!)

Simon’s movie, “All the Money in the World” was one that he thought was great. (I hadn’t heard of it but it sounds interesting. It is the story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty and trying to get the family to pay the ransom.) Apparently, there is also a TV version. Interestingly enough, he has not seen Bohemian Rhapsody or A Star is Born. As far as TV goes, he mentioned “A Very British Scandal.” I remember hearing about this, which is about a political leader’s gay affair. Simon says that it is a “must be seen”. He also liked a series called, “Killing Eve.” Currently, he is watching “The Little Drummer Girl.”

As far as books goes, he liked “The Stocking Places,” about a guy from a gypsy family who goes on a journey to understand his culture as well as the negative stereotypes about them. The book helped Simon realize that he had prejudice, too, which is helping him to overcome it. To me, that is a major win. He doesn’t typically read non-fiction but this was one that really made him think. A book of fiction that he liked was Reamde by Neal Stephenson. Apparently, he plans on doing a Simon’s Reader about one of the audiobooks that he has listened to/read. Based on some of the books he talked about, I suspect that the next Simon’s Reader will be very interesting.

Simon’s favorite Duran event of the year was watching the BBC4 Takeover Documentary as much as he loved the perfumes. He enjoyed looking back at the band’s history especially since they don’t get that opportunity much as they are too busy in the moment. In 2019, he is looking forward to the next season of Game of Thrones and the shows in February. Before Katy let Simon go, she asked him the same question she asked everyone about when the album…I mean project will be done. He said that they had a great start with a great team but he cannot predict when it will get done. Fair enough.

Like all the rest of these year end kafes, I enjoyed this one as well. 🙂

-A

Year End Katy Kafe 2018 with Roger

Today, I’m moving on to the third of the four year end Katy Kafes. This time, this one, features Roger. As always, if you want to hear the entire thing or get a word-for-word transcript, I recommend heading over to DuranDuranMusic.com to listen for yourself as I will just provide some highlights and reactions. As I move onwards, I have to wonder what Roger will say about the studio work since the previous ones from Nick and John shared some good news.

The Kafe begins with a bang as Roger said that the band had an “amazing two weeks” in the studio. He did share a fun little story. The band apparently decided to use a studio in a more remote area of London, thinking that the fans would never find them. Well…after posting a photo on Instagram, the fans studied it and figured out where in London they were. It took about 3 days for those dedicated fans to find them. Hilarious! The band should never underestimate the fans!

The Kafe continued from there but not in the same order as the previous ones as Roger jumped in to share his personal event of the year, which was teaching his youngest how to tie a necktie. Apparently, Julian felt out of place because of all of his peers at school knew how to do it. Roger then came up a clever way to teach him, successfully. Shoelaces will be next, which is due to Julian’s love of football (or soccer, depending on your country). (By the way, I love hearing stories like this! I’m not the only one, right?) Speaking of that sport, the World Cup was the big world event, especially since Peru and England both played.

This led to quite a discussion about weather. Fun fact. Roger loves warm weather but appreciates the seasons. He talked about a time during the Paper Gods Tour when the band was in L.A. for about a month and after about two weeks, he wished for a cold and rainy day. (I like the seasons, too. We have seen pathetically little snow here in Madison, which is no fun.) He would choose the East Coast over the West Coast because of this.

Roger loved Bohemian Rhapsody as opposed to A Star is Born. He could relate to Bohemian a lot more. (No surprise there.) In fairness, a lot of people talked up A Star is Born so Roger’s expectations were too high, according to him. As far as TV shows, he did not watch any series and is more likely to put on a documentary or sports. In a similar fashion, Roger spent time reading (auto)biographies, including Roger Daltrey’s. Apparently’s Roger Daltrey’s teacher told him that he would never make it in music so he dedicated his autobiography to that teacher. This reminded Roger of visiting a school counselor and telling this person that he wanted a job in which he would not be trapped in an office or in a factory, but would travel instead. The counselor recommended that he became a mailman! (Another story that Roger shared that I smiled all the way through.)

Roger’s favorite Duran Duran moment was the return to the studio as the rest of the year was pretty quiet on the Duran front. Roger did state that the studio work was a new “record” then corrected himself to say “new material”. Apparently, he is not to use the word “album.” Katy did ask Roger about how long it would take to finish it. Roger firmed stated that it will come together quickly and agrees with Nick and John that it could be 2019 or 2020. He enjoyed the BBC Takeover and going back to see the sites where the band started in Birmingham. (I can relate after having walked around Birmingham at Duran related locations myself.) He has not watched the whole documentary because he does not like watching himself on TV.

I, for one, really enjoyed this one. Roger’s stories were such a nice touch and much appreciated!

-A

Year End Kafe 2018 with John

Yep, I’m still struggling with getting everything done this weekend. Did I mention that I am still Christmas shopping? I’m also still shopping with my dad. Thankfully, I got a few more presents out of the way. Some are definitely going to be late. (Sorry Rhonda!) I’ll be lucky if the ones that I’m supposed to wrap get looked at before Christmas morning. I’m truly awesome.

Nonetheless, I took a break from that insanity to listen to the next year end kafe. This one featured my favorite bass player and yours, Mr. John Taylor. As always, I’ll provide some highlights and my thoughts about those. If you want the whole deal, head over to DuranDuranMusic.com, get a subscription or log in and enjoy for yourselves!

Before I even clicked on the play button, I found myself amused. Why? John came to the kafe with notes. I laughed because I often take notes when I listen to these or when Rhonda and I write or video a blog about a set of shows or tour or something. The notes help us stay focused. I appreciate that we share that in common with John! I continued to feel some kinship with him when he described his event of the year, which was when some place (hard to hear) banned cell phones in school. He mentioned about how tough it would be on teachers to have to deal with those and, as a teacher, I thank him for that and concur. I hate cell phones. Hate them. I wish that the kids at my school would not be allowed to have them as I spend a lot of my day reminding them about the rule, threatening to take them away, etc. It is bad.

From there, Katy moved quickly into movies of the year. To no one’s surprise, he answered with Bohemian Rhapsody. (If you haven’t listened to the previous Kafe with John, he goes into detail there.) Like Nick, he also brought up the movie, Cold War. Based on his description and Nick’s, it is definitely one that I would be up to seeing. As far as TV goes, John mentioned the show, Bosch, about an L.A. homicide detective. One that is on my list to watch that John talked about was the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Someday, I’ll see if his recommendation was a good one!

As far as books go, John brought up a book by Brene Brown entitled The Power of Vulnerability. Interestingly enough, I read another one by the same author called Daring Greatly. I have to admit that I looked it up and it sounds fascinating as the author explored this idea of how vulnerability is often connected to weakness but in reality can lead to amazing experiences and purpose to our lives. John recommended it to anyone who is about to go into something in which there is worry that s/he does not have what it takes. (For the record, I started to think that John had been reading my diary or something as I recently started a new job that I have some knowledge and experience for but not sure if those will translate to the right outcome.) The other book he focused on was Englightenment Now which talks about how far humanity has come in terms of progress. It sounds fascinating and was on my sister-in-law’s wish list.

Katy then moved on to ask about music of the year. John’s response included a shoutout to the new Chic album and how excited he was that Nile Rodgers was able to get new material out. Of course, John listed plenty more but I struggled to keep up, which is how I, too often, feel when it comes to new music and artists, in general.

What about the Duran Duran moment of the year? For him, it was the BBC Takeover Night but he acknowledged that this is tough for other fans around the world but it was good fun for the band. They really enjoyed talking with the other band members about what they were into as kids. John did ask Katy if there was some place online to see it and what I thought was true was confirmed in that there is not Hopefully, BBC will do something with it so more people can see it or see it again. One super funny story that John shared was how Nick’s mom asked after about who had done their hair because they looked “terrible,” according to John. Hilarious! Another fun fact. John does not have any of the Duran perfumes!

John’s personal moment of the year was when he presented at the Brilliant Minds Symposium which John had to step out of his comfort zone to do. He did give a shoutout to Patty Palazzo for helping with the presentation. Sigh. I wished that I could have seen that! Katy would love to be able to share some of that on the band’s YouTube channel. (So would we!)

As far as 2019 goes, he looks forward to the gigs in February. He gave a big ole tease that they are planning a couple of new songs in the set, “assuming the rehearsals go okay”. Please and thank you. Like Nick, John expressed excitement to go back to the writing they had started in November. The plan is to return after the gigs in March. That said, no one is “ready” to admit that they are working on an album “yet.” Fascinating. He said that he suspects that they will be ready to make that statement by spring, which brought a big smile to my face. Katy asked if John agreed with Nick that the album could be done in a year and John hopes so! He would love to be able to celebrate the 40th with a new album. (Again, so would we!) He said that it is possible!

John gave me lots to look forward to! 🙂

-A

Year End Kafe 2018 with Nick

Before I dive into the blog, I wanted to apologize for the lack of a blog post yesterday and the extreme lateness of today’s. My schedule has been beyond crazy and it has taken its toll. This means that I’m trying to catch up and recover all at the same time, which means giving myself permission to not push myself to get things done in a certain time frame. I hope that once I get on track, it will be back to normal.

I suspect that there will be a theme with the blogs this weekend. No, it won’t be holiday related but it will be end of the year related. In December, each band member sits down with Katy for one final Kafe, sharing thoughts about the year as a whole. I always look forward to these as they give some insight about the guys and what they think. (I definitely recommend listening to these yourselves over at DuranDuranMusic.com.) This year’s set of Kafes began with Nick, which is where I will start. Now, of course, I won’t be sharing a word-for-word transcript. I will just provide some things that jumped out to me as well my thoughts and reactions.

Katy starts off by going with the event of 2018. Nick’s answer? It wasn’t about his schedule of art events but was instead the fact that the band returned to the studio in November to start work on some new material. As a Duranie, that was definitely the biggest Duran related event for me, too! It is one that gives many of us hope and something to look forward to! Plus, he said that they were “starting to capture something quite special.” Goodness, let’s hope so! Nick mentioned that they have been working with a producer, Erol Alkan, who recently worked on the last studio album from the Killers. Nick described him as understanding Duran like Mark Ronson and pushing their limits. (That all sounds fabulous to me!) Nick went on to discuss what the role of the producer is, which I found myself relating to as being a campaign manager is similar in that both are trying to get the best out of people.

Of course, Nick did comment on some of the art exhibitions that he enjoyed over the year. While I did not know about most of the specific exhibitions he mentioned outside of the Picasso show at the Tate Modern, I made a note to go and see some art soon as there is always something magical about art exhibits and museums. Maybe something I could and should do during my winter break.

The Kafe moved on to discuss movies and Nick declared that he was very behind in watching the movies that will be a part of the Oscars. (As I’m sure most of you know, Katy and Nick do a special on their Oscar choices.) Two movies that Nick raved about were Cold War and First Man. I would be interested in seeing both of those. Anyway, talking about First Man led Nick to talk about a visit to Florida to see some sort of museum about the history of the U.S. space program. From there, the two discussed movies that they have seen and would like to see. Much like the discussion about art exhibits, hearing the conversation made me want to watch more movies.

Katy did ask about TV shows and Nick admitted that he wished he watched more TV because he understands how awesome the shows that are being produced are these days. He has some things he would like to see but hasn’t, including the documentaries shown on BBC earlier this year about them! Similarly, Nick defers Katy to Simon to get the bigger scoop when it comes to books. That said, he did share some of the recent books he has purchased.

Nick does share some Duran highlights, which included the studio work, the BBC Takeover Night, and the fragrances created based on four Duran songs. Nick’s favorite? Skin Divers. Katy’s? Hungry Like the Wolf. Finally, Nick hints that some projects that they have been working on will take the next steps in 2019, including the musical with John, the work with the Bloom Twins, Nick’s art book project, his Japanese post-war documentary along with more studio work those shows they are doing in February. (Nick says that they are all really looking forward to those. So are we!!) By the way, Nick says that they will not be in the studio for 3 years this time. (Let’s hope!)

Of course, if you are interested in reading some of what Nick has shared on here, I recommend heading over to the band’s official website where you can read his list.

-A

John Taylor in the November 2018 Katy Kafe

I know that this blog post is late, both in terms of time and in terms of date.  Today has been the dreaded Sunday, the day of the week before I go back to work.  While I had a tremendously wonderful Thanksgiving, I opted not to do much around the house.  This, of course, is great for awhile but now…I’m trying to do 85 things at once.  I really hoped to be all caught up by the time I returned to work but…I don’t think that will happen.  I figured I would squeeze in some time to listen to this month’s Kafe (days late) and blog about my reaction.  Funny thing is that when I went to go listen to it, I discovered that I needed to renew my membership.  I did without question, which is good because there is nothing better than listening to a Katy Kafe yourself.  I definitely recommend it for this one, too, as I’m just covering some highlights and my thoughts.

This particular kafe focuses on Queen, both the band and the movie. John begins by talking about how much he loved the movie and thought it was a wonderful tribute.  (I saw it on Friday and totally agree.)  John had been lucky enough to have been friendly with Freddie Mercury and seeing the movie reminded him of the person Freddie was and those times.  I love that John shared a fun Duran fact.  Apparently, on the day Duran signed to EMI, the record label took the band to Wembly to see Queen play.  (I love stories like that.)  He goes on to say that while he does not list Queen as an influence, he knows that he wouldn’t be where he is now without them and that he always think about their live performances when playing large stadiums or festivals.

From there, Katy asked John various questions that fans submitted.  As I stated previously, I’m definitely not going to list every question and answer.  I’m just writing about the ones that hit me.  The first one focused on a photo of John and Freddie that has been floating around the internet.  Apparently, they went to the same musical and later partied together at the after party.  (I’m sure that would have been interesting to be at!)  Speaking of, I thought it was interesting that he and Nick called themselves fans of Queen and saw them when they came to Birmingham.  That said, by the time Duran came onto the scene, they weren’t considered as cool, according to John.  I am sure that there are many bands in my life that I might describe in the exact same way.

Queen did a musical called, “We Will Rock You.”  Duran would be interested in doing something like that but John thinks that it would be really difficult to get it right.  As a fan, I would love it but I think John’s point is valid.  It isn’t easy but if anyone could do it right, I think it might be Duran!  Go-Gos just did one!  Who knew?!

As far as songs goes, if John had to pick one Queen one, he would go with Bohemian Rhapsody.  As far as covers go, he could hear Queen performing Ordinary World and do it well.  Duran could play Radio Ga Ga, especially in a live show.  Hmm…

Of course, the question was asked about who could play John Taylor if there was a movie about Duran.  His answer won’t surprise anyone I don’t think  by saying no one he could think so.  He thinks it matters if they get the rest of the band right in order to get him right, which makes sense.  John quickly moved on to talk about the scenes in the movie with the band,  their dynamics and how much he loved them.  I felt the exact same way as they reminded me of all to the scenes I have watched over the years with Duran from Sing Blue Silver to Live from London and more.  Band dynamics are so interesting to me.

The final question asked was about Live Aid.  John was saddened when in the movie there is a listing of all the bands who were going to be playing and Duran wasn’t listed but REO Speedwagon was.  (Again, I have to agree.)  I do wonder why the movie didn’t mention Duran since they were so popular at that time.  Anyway, a part of John wished that they had played in London but loved the experience they had in Philadelphia.

John summarizes the movie by saying it is about “Freddie’s uniqueness” and the specialness of bands.  It reminds people that even with the greatness of Freddie, he still needed the band and vice versa.  I pointed out the exact same thing after having watched the film.  This led John to talk about how we are no longer living in an era of “the band” as technology fills in so much for artists now and Queen represents the golden era of “the band.”

The end of the kafe reveals one giant scoop on the Duran front which is that John is heading back to London next week to join the band in the studio!  This makes me even more excited for the next kafe which will feature all band members!  Who knows what we can learn then!

-A

October 2018 Katy Kafe with Simon!

Hello readers! I am sorry I continue to keep skipping out on blogging. I’m finding that it is very difficult to blog while attempting to sell a home along with being a mom, wife, and homeschooling parent unless I want to blog between the hours of midnight and 4am.   My current pay grade here at Daily Duranie doesn’t allow for those hours.

On with the important news: Simon was the October guest in the Katy Kafe! Here’s the thing: admittedly, I’ve gotten a little bored with the Katy Kafe’s lately.  I knew I needed to sit down and listen to it today, and yet I was putting it off…which is horrible. I suppose, in all fairness, I had been hoping for big news when there might not have been much to share on the band front.

That ends today, my friends.

The October 2018 Katy Kafe covered everything from sailing to a song title disagreement, once Simon – because he is Simon to you and I – insisted that Katy call him Charlie, as most of his friends do. I thought this was cute purely because when she called him Simon to begin with, he scoffed and asked her, “Since when do you ever call me Simon?” Katy explained she was trying to be professional and he just laughed. It was a nice exchange, to which I smiled and appreciated.  I highly recommend getting your own membership to DDM so that you can hear it all for yourself!

I tweeted this earlier, but it bears sharing here as well. I don’t know what has happened to me over the past year or two (three or four??).  Maybe I’ve lost what little was left of my mind. Maybe I’ve finally gone off the deep end. Perhaps gasp I’ve gotten SOFT, or have become a complete pushover, but hearing Simon makes me smile. Oh, I’m still going to give him a rough time…but I did smile.

To be clear: I don’t mean smiling in that fan-girly, giggly sort of way. No way. He’s SIMON, for crying out loud. Let’s not go overboard, here.

Moving on….immediately!

The highlights, as I have deemed appropriate:

Smell like he sounds

The taglines are too easy. Katy and Simon begin the Kafe talking about perfume. Simon co-designed the four fragrances from D.S. & Durga, deciding to do one scent per decade. Simon shared that he had someone “very close” to him test the fragrances, and she was not necessarily captivated by them all. This made Simon realize that he couldn’t really expect anyone to love them all, because they are very different. D.S. & Durga released 500 rollerball essential oil bottles for each scent, and the hope is that if they do well, in 2019 they will arrive in other places for those of us interested in a sniff or two!

I had to laugh, because Simon likes that one is named Hungry Like the Wolf. Of course he does…that earned a huge eye-roll from me. He also described each scent:

Hungry Like the Wolf:

Musky tone with forest scents. He even used the word “ecclesiastical” in the description because it reminds him of church incense. (patchouli, anyone?) He says this is very “raw”, and the name appeals to his sense of humor. “Who would ever name a perfume Hungry Like the Wolf?” “Who would buy it?”

I know who.

Come Undone:

Simon believes this might be everyone’s favorite. He says it is very subtle with a sexy, skin-element.

I have no idea what that description might mean, but I know I’m going to have to go and check it out when and if it ever makes its way to America. Is it weird to wear a Duran Duran inspired scent to a Duran Duran concert, right along with a Duran Duran t-shirt??

Yes, these ARE the types of things that go through my head on any given day.

Skin Divers:

Simon regards this fragrance as a day at the beach. He describes it as fresh smelling, like the ocean (not seaweed, but the fresh scent that comes with being out on the water), combined with the scent of a blow-up plastic unicorn that you use for a float.

A. He had me until the unicorn. Then I floated away on a Coppertone cloud of coconut, sand, plumeria and ocean.

B. I have to think that he just means that’s the vision that pops into his head when he smells it, as opposed to the fragrance smelling like…well…plastic.

You Kill Me With Silence:

He says this is deep, intense, woody and smokey-ness. It is dark and brooding. I’m imagining my temper in a bottle!  I’m curious about this one, too. During the description, Simon shared a little bit about the inner-studio discussion surrounding the title “You Kill Me With Silence”.

There were two camps: One that wanted the title as we know it, and another that wanted to go with “Kill Me With Silence”, which has an entirely different feel. I suspect that some may have felt the name was too long – but it is a very good example of how one word can change an entire phrase, or song title!

Sailing

I think many of us who have been around for a while know that sailing is in Simon’s blood, and it makes him the person he is. Recently he has gotten involved in the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which is a wonderful organization where they take kids out and allow them to experience the camaraderie of being out on the sea. They are currently raising money in order to buy their own tall ship.

Simon has also been keeping up with his role as a spokesperson for the Blue Marine foundation. He appeared at the Southampton Boat show for Sunseeker (a boat manufacturer). They decided to get involved with Blue Marine, not only by raising awareness for boaters, but also cleaning up their own manufacturing process. Every little bit counts!

Additionally, each year around this time, Simon comes to the Kafe with tales of sailing races, and this year is no different. After spending family time up in Languedoc, France, he traveled to Cannes to join the crew on Blitzen, a 57′ sloop built in 1938. They raced among similar wooden boats of the same age in the Regatta Royale, among a few others.

What is Simon’s job on the boat while racing? He trims the main sail, which is akin to working in the engine room on a powered ship, and when the boat owner is not present, he drives the wheel.

February shows and that set list…

Katy wasted no time bringing up the recently added shows in New Orleans and Las Vegas for February of 2019. She specifically asked a question that many have been grumbling about online – these show aren’t really  a part of the Paper Gods tour, so what can fans expect to hear? Will they maintain much of the current set list, or will they change it up?

I felt that Simon’s answer was both pointed…and vague at the same time. He opened by explaining that we should bear in mind that the last “new” material was Paper Gods, and so yes, the show will be based on that. He said they will keep “bits” of that in the set list, otherwise the show will be purely a Greatest Hits set.

Here’s the thing, Duran Duran is not a band that is going to drag out songs that the majority of their audience has never heard. They’re just not going to do that.  Too many people in the audiences have never heard much of anything beyond Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Come Undone and Ordinary World. No amount of complaining from fans will change that simple fact. If you are going to any of their shows hoping to hear Faith in this Colour, or Fallen Angel (or FallING Angel for that matter), you’re probably going to be sorely disappointed. I wish they’d have more faith in themselves beyond their hits, and I really wish they’d dig a bit deeper and challenge themselves in the process, but they just don’t.

Part of this is my own fault. I go to a lot of shows. I don’t do just one show a tour. I do many. I go whenever they’re nearby enough for me to sneak away.  I used to complain about hearing the same (or very similar) set over and over again, until I realized that this really is a ME problem. I’m the one going to as many shows as possible. Most people don’t. They go to one show, they hear all of the songs they grew up with including a few they probably never heard before but didn’t mind, and they go home happy. It’s the same thing I typically do whenever I go to a concert for any other band besides Duran Duran, and maybe The Killers or Tears for Fears. As a result of that, I learned to understand that I’m probably going to hear the same or similar set over and over. It is a trade-off, and for me, it is currently one that I am willing to make. I love the band, and I’m happy to hear whatever they want to play.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t jump for complete joy if they pulled a rabbit like “Secret Oktober” or “Late Bar” or even “All You Need is Now” out of their hat every now and then, though. I just know not to expect it.  Some wise person once said that expectations are future resentments or something like that….

This is also not a band that particularly enjoys switching up their set from night-to-night, beyond maybe a song or two. As Simon said, Paper Gods is their most successful album since the reunion. It would be utterly ridiculous for anyone to assume that they wouldn’t play any of it. That album is now a part of their history, and given that they don’t have anything new to play – my advice is to expect the same basic set list and be thrilled when/if they play something new. I am looking forward to hearing all of it.

Still gonna roll my eyes at HLTW, though. Old habits and all.

What’s this about studio time??

Katy said she heard a rumor about studio time before the end of 2018. Yes, that’s right…they’re going to actually go back into the studio again, and we get to begin the process all over again.

Yes, I did say “we”. It takes a village, y’all.  Who else is going to wax on, wax off with all of the tidbits of rumor, producers, song-titles, and all of the rest of the good stuff??

Speaking of…

Did we actually just get an album scoop??

Yes, you read that headline right too. Not only do we know that the band is going to meet, chat and begin the groundwork for the next album, but we were given a name.  Apparently Errol Alkan will be meeting with the band as they go back into the studio, and while the word “producer” was not used – I have to kind of think that’s at least the initial plan. They want somebody to steer the ship.

OK, so who is Erol Alkan?

(Come on, you know you were going to google his name, right?) Erol is a 44-year old DJ, producer and remixer. I mention his age because he’s not some wet-behind-the-ears kid, and he has absolutely worked with bands we have all heard of before, both by producing and remixing. Want names?

  • The Killers (he co-produced “The Man” off of Wonderful, Wonderful)
  • Tame Impala
  • Daft Punk
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Depeche Mode
  • Interpol… and the list goes on.

While I tend to think he’s more notable for his DJ/club and remixing reputation at this point, I think he has great instinct and is probably up for the Duran Duran challenge. It will be very interesting to see where this goes from here. Above all, it is outstanding to have a bit of news regarding a new album!

The Birthday

Simon turns 60 on Saturday. I have a hard time believing that. Even while listening to the Kafe today, I had a vision in my head of Simon in his twenties. Age is but a number, right?  He has plans to take over what he says is a very small restaurant, and celebrate with family and friends. As he should. Happy Birthday to you and your dad, Simon!!

Audible

I don’t keep up with Simon’s Reader because I’m too busy reading literature that I have assigned for my youngest (a by-product of homeschooling – there is a lot of reading. Right now I’m pre-reading Little Women). However, Simon has been keeping up with it – presumably in part because he’s subscribed to Audible, which is a subscription based-audio book application through Amazon, or Kindle. He touts the ease of being able to listen while doing anything and everything, which makes sense. In any case, he is going to be doing an “audio” Simon’s Reader very soon – so here’s your chance to catch up if you’ve been missing out!

 

That’s a wrap for the October 2018 Katy Kafe. I can hardly wait for news to trickle in during the coming months!

-R

 

September 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

Happy Monday!  As the week begins with a roar, there is a small matter I didn’t get to last week. It is the September 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger!

Roger loves the month of September. He appreciates the change in weather, the crispness of Autumn and the excitement with Back-To-School. Katy, on the other hand, isn’t a fan. Apparently Autumn only beckons Winter. (You see, I live in Southern California. “Autumn” isn’t even really a thing here until late November…and don’t get me started on “Winter”) She mentions the High Jewish holidays, and the return to school.  I get all of that. I love the idea of Autumn or Fall, however, all that really means for me are very windy and smoggy days ahead.  There are no boots, sweaters, or apple cider donuts here until the rest of you are complaining about blizzards and white-out conditions. We do have apple country, but it’s typically still 90 degrees and windy outside as you’re picking apples. Not exactly the same… I love the idea of back-to-school, but I’m not a fan of schedules and homework. Or homeschool planning…don’t tell my kids!!

This month, Katy collected questions from fans on Instagram and Twitter. I have to say that the questions this time are very creative and it was enjoyable to hear Roger explain his answers!  I can’t do the Kafe justice in this way, so do yourself a favor and join DDM to have access to the full Kafe. Otherwise, you’re just reading the highlights here!

How do you (Roger) keep your hands and wrists healthy from tendonitis?

Roger is lucky, because he doesn’t suffer from tendonitis the way many other drummers might. He does have trouble with his right knee (they can even go out and need replaced so he is very careful – but), but he is hoping to be able to keep playing for a few more years.

I was about to interject with “It had better be for a LOT more years, Roger” when Katy said it for me, citing Charlie Watts. Amen, Katy!!!

What artist(s) alive or deceased would be your dream collaboration?

Roger cites David Bowie for a deceased artist – that shouldn’t be a surprise to any Duranie at this point. The band saw Bowie as their hero in many aspects, and yet they never had a chance to work with him, unfortunately.

As an artist who is still living, Roger mentions London Grammar. Apparently Simon loves them as well, and Katy wrote it down for later…you never know!!

What habits do you have before, during and/or after a show?

Roger could think of only one true habit that he does before a show, and that is to warm up in a back room with John and Dom. I can remember when this started becoming a “thing” , and it’s nice to hear that they still try to set aside that time to warm-up even now. He continues by saying (tongue in cheek) that they don’t do any chanting or prayer circles just yet!

What Duran Duran songs do you recommend for a beginning drummer to play along with?

Roger has two: Planet Earth & Rio.

What were your favorite scenes for the BBC special that was recently aired?

Roger appreciated going back to see where he originally joined the band. He remembers his dad bringing his drum set in the back of the car, and then John bounding down the steps to help him get it out of the car and help him put it together. He said it was cathartic to go back to Birmingham.

Note from me: it was also cathartic for me to go and visit – if anyone EVER has the opportunity to go, they should. The entire experience made me see the band and their career so much differently. It added an entirely different dimension to my vision of who they are, and I will never forget it!) 

What did your parents think when they saw you on Top of the Pops?

They were over the moon. Roger explains that Top of the Pops was a show that everyone watched together. Families gathered just to watch the show together. If you made it onto TOTP, you’d “made” it. He mentions that he was nervous, even though the show was prerecorded and they lip-synched. It was just that big of a deal. I think that this show must have been similar to our American Bandstand here in the US.

What song would you like to play in KAABOO Cayman that you did not play on the Paper Gods tour?

He mentioned both My Own Way and Hold Back the Rain.

If you aren’t aware, Roger (along with John!) was included in a list of 175 Brummies that Inspire. Katy asked him how he felt about that.

Roger said it was “so cool” to have been chosen. He is very proud of where they came from, and very grateful. Not a bad accolade to mention, really!

In wrapping up the September 2018 Kafe, Katy mentions that she knows he doesn’t have any scoops or exciting things to tell her, because there are no surprise shows or studio time coming up. Roger clarifies that actually, there are plans to go back into the studio during the next few weeks. I have to think though that this may be for a specific “thing” as opposed to beginning work on an album, and that’s purely because of the way the topic was brought up. Nonetheless, any news is welcome, and when Roger peeks back into the Kafe in December, maybe there will be more to say then!

-R

Katy Kafe with Simon: July 2018

Throughout my teaching career, I have had to help students of various ages deal with crises.  Those crises came in various forms from having a classmate critically injured to having a teacher die in front of the building to national situations like the terrorist attack on September 11th.  No matter the size of the crisis or scope, many experts agreed that it is important to maintain structure after addressing the current crisis when possible, to keep things normal while students process.  The ordinary provides comfort.  At first, I questioned this.  Was this really the right way to go?  Then, I discovered that it not only helped them but assisted the adults, too.  It provided the necessary push for us to keep moving forward, one day, one activity at a time.

The last few days have been hard in Duranland.  I know that I’m still processing.  On top of that, I had a terrible scare in my own life.  I went with my mother for a routine medical procedure yesterday when all of a sudden, she reported “feeling funny” before having her eyes roll in the back of her head, mouth go slack, her heart rate and blood pressure drop as she passed out.  This resulted in calls for help from the medical staff present to other medical staff in the hospital as well as calls on the intercom for assistance in a “medical emergency.”  Thankfully, she came to within minutes and her vitals returned to normal.  The culprit appeared to be some sort of reaction to the medication given or the procedure itself.  Today, she is home and feeling good.  Still, it is moment that has replaying itself in my mind since then.  In response to both this terrifying experience with my mother and the reports in which someone accused Simon of sexual assault, I am left feeling shaken.  This is when I turn back to my training, my experiences as a teacher.  I attempt to keep that structure to provide me a little comfort.  To that end, instead of giving my two cents about this upsetting news in Duranland, I will instead take a listen to this month’s Katy Kafe, giving my reaction to some of the highlights.  As always, I’m sharing what stuck out to me.  For the full blown kafe, I would head to DuranDuranMusic to listen for yourself.

World Cup and Being a “Glamfather”:

Of course, the kafe opens with Simon talking about how he was looking forward to the football (soccer) match between England and Croatia.  Apparently, he was having friends over to watch.  (For the record, so sorry to my friends across the pond for England’s loss.  Big bummer.)  I’m slightly amused that Simon went on and on about his new TV and its wall mount.  Without much of a pause, he brings up both tennis and his new grandson, Taro.  Simon says that he is “absolutely beautiful.”  He describes him as quiet until he is hungry then he is loud.  Simon says that he can see himself in him.  It sounds like he is enjoying this experience immensely.  I, for one, am thrilled for Simon and the rest of his family.

Duran Duran Take Over BBC Night:

Simon thought the documentary was “brilliant”.  Katy zeroed in on Simon’s choir teacher at his church and whether or not Simon had been in contact before this.  Simon said that he had been a little bit and that his teacher is proud of Duran Duran.  Aww…as a teacher I know how proud one can be from seeing a student succeed.  Beyond that, Simon brought up this idea of putting those early songs out to raise money for the church.  (I hope this happens.  That would be cool.)

The other piece of the documentary that Katy brought up was the time when the band squeezed into the Citroen car and how difficult it was from Simon to drive.  Like much of the rest of the kafe, Simon quickly brought up the other cars that the band members drove throughout the documentary.  (This part of the conversation is much like the TV discussion in the beginning.)

Sadly enough, Simon did not see the Night In part of the programming when the band members talked about their media influences.  Katy said that she enjoyed that part better than the documentary.  (Again, I think about how I had little expectations for this program but it was so entertaining.  I loved seeing them interact in just a simple conversation between friends.)  Interestingly enough, the band got a bunch more followers on Twitter on the day those shows aired.  I have to wonder where those fans were before this!?!

Studio This Year???

Katy asked the question that a lot of fans want to know–will the band return to the studio this year.  Simon said that they were.  It just depends on logistics.  Of course, he also acknowledged all the work that went into the Paper Gods project and how they all want to enjoy themselves this summer.  So, Simon says later this year for the studio.  Interestingly enough, Simon mentioned that they would also consider show possibilities for the end of the year or next summer.  Hmm…

You know what is funny?  In the past, when I listened to a new kafe, I would always root for some big scoop.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still love when a band member shares something new, but I didn’t find myself fixated by that idea this time.  No, I found myself appreciating the way that Simon bounces from topic to topic (perhaps that was the caffeine talking) and the easy conversational flow between Simon and Katy.  Like the show with the band talking about what their influences were, I like that this kafe felt like hearing two friends just talk, catch up.  It felt easy and relaxed.  Happy.  It was just what I needed today.

-A