Category Archives: Looks

Reaching Out, Calling Out: Top 25 Song Reminder and Predictions

Next week is Valentine’s Day.  Normally, that is day that I dread and not for the reason you think.  As a middle school teacher, Valentine’s Day is a day filled with heightened emotions and drama.  Yet, this year, I have something to look forward to!  I get the final results for our fun Duranie homework!  That’s right, kids, you have one more week to get your list to me with your Top 25 Duran Duran songs!!!!  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can get all of the details and directions on how to participate here.  Basically, we will be compiling everyone’s favorite songs into a solid list of 25 based on the position of the songs in people’s lists.  We have gotten many, many lists so far but I would love to get lists from every single Duranie!  After all, the more lists we get, the more accurate the compiled list will be, statistically speaking!!!!

I have to say that I have found the results so incredibly fascinating.  As someone who studies things like groups of people and patterns of behavior, I can’t help but be interested in the patterns I have seen or the lack of patterns.  I had some predictions in my mind based on discussions we have had here or observations I have made throughout my tenure in the Duran fan community.  Some of my predictions have been proven true and others…not so much!  So, with a week to go, I figured it might be fun for all of you to make some predictions yourself about the results.  Then, you, too, can compare your ideas with the results and with what is shared about the results.

*How many different songs do you think made it on people’s lists?  (Obviously, not everyone is going to have the same songs as favorites, right?  So how many different songs were named by, at least, someone?)

*Are all the albums represented?

*Which albums are represented the most?  The least?

*Are the majority of songs on people’s lists hits?  Were they the singles?

*How many of the songs had videos to go with them?  Do the fact that they do or don’t seem to make a difference in people’s preferences?

*Are ballads more popular or are songs you can rock out to more popular?

*How many are cover songs?

*How many are b-sides?

*How many are demos that clearly should have made the album?

*How many were from the height of their popularity?  Their 1990s comeback?  Post reunion?

*Which songs do you assume with make the final 25?  (Which songs do you think are most popular in Duranland?)

*Which songs are played live all the time?

*Which songs should be played live from the list?

Perhaps, these questions don’t interest you.  What are you looking forward to finding out the most?  What didn’t I think of to analyze?  Ponder?  Seriously, if you have predictions for any of the questions above, I would love for you to comment here so that we can all compare later.  If you are anything like me, you will probably get some right and some…not so right.  Either way, it is okay as this is all in fun!  I can’t wait for the final results and for the predictions!!!  Each time we do something like this, I learn so much about our fan community!  I love it!

Speaking of learning about our fan community, if you haven’t already figured out by now, we have moved our “daily” question/poll/vote over here now.  There are a number of reasons for this.  First, I don’t have to count both on Facebook and twitter anymore and hope that I’m accurate in my counting.  Second, it eliminates the possibility of people trying to vote “both” or first one answer and then the other.  People have to choose as was intended.  Lastly, people can see the current results right after they vote!      I will always try to remember people on Facebook and Twitter when a new question/poll is up, but you can always look for it at the top of our home page as it will always be a “featured” blog!  No worries, we will still be asking a new question each and every day.  Now, if you have been following this series of questions (pictures of the band members!!!), you know that we have just completed Simon and have moved on to Roger.  Lots of people sent in Roger pictures so it will take awhile to get through him.  Then, we will move on to the rest.  If you are interested in  the order, you can read the original blog post about it here.   Just like the top 25, I hope everyone keeps voting daily as the more people who vote, the more accurate the results!

Now, fellow fans, make sure you are sending us your list of your Top 25 Duran Duran songs (b-sides, covers and demos are okay but no side or solo project songs) numbered in order by next Friday, February 14th!!!  You can send them via email at dailyduranie@gmail.com or through a private message on Facebook!    It may not be the easiest of assignments but it is fun!!!

-A

If You Can’t Destroy It, Might As Well Enjoy It

Duran Duran has always been thought of as a “good-looking band”.  Their image has always been important, to some extent.  The band took a lot of time and thought into their look and everything visual connected to them right from the beginning.  For example, logos were important.  Album and single covers were important.  Then, once videos were added in, they were important.  Fans ate up all of those images.  We couldn’t get enough.  We *squeed* when we got a new magazine that featured new centerfolds and we carefully added those new pinups to the walls of our bedroom.  Friends would often share in these moments by looking through magazines together, by watching videos together and *squeeing* at the same time.  The pictures from those early 80s are still shared, posted and *squeed* over to this day.  I’m sure there are many Duranies whose computers, Facebook accounts or twitter accounts feature many images of the band from those days.  The general public also got those images stuck in their heads.  In fact, they might be able to recall those images over the music of Duran.  They might mention the scene of Rio with the entire band singing on the yacht wearing those beautiful suits.  Other videos might be the first thoughts that come to mind, including Simon running through the jungle in Hungry Like the Wolf or the band on the beach in Save a Prayer.

As time went by, Duran’s images might not have not had the same level of coverage as they did in the early 1980s, but they didn’t go away.  With every new project, with every album, with every tour, image still seemed to be important to the band and the fan.  Fans still get excited about new pictures and will get upset if the image presented is not what they want.  For example, when the album cover for All You Need Is Now was released, there were many cries of disappointment because it did not feature a picture of the band.  Image and visual representations still matter.  What the band looks like still matters.    It seems to matter to the band and it still matters to a lot of the fans.  I don’t know that anyone could deny this.  Now, the question of the effects of that importance is a different deal.

While Duran’s image and good looks definitely got them attention and got people thinking about them, it wasn’t always positive for them.  When they first got success and fame, the band was often asked if they were only selling records because they were good looking.  The assumption there is that their fans didn’t know or care about the music.  They just liked them because the band members were “cute”.  Many critics assumed that because so many of the fans in the early 80s were young and female.  These young and female fans couldn’t know about music.  They couldn’t like them for their talent, it was believed.  Wrongly, I might add.  What choice did Duran have?  Do they stop worrying about their image and looks to get more critical acclaim?  Obviously, they did not change how they were doing things.  They stayed on track.  Yet, that criticism of people only liking Duran for their looks remains.  I frequently read articles on Duran or reviews of shows that still spend a lot of time talking about what they look like over their music.  This truly bothers many fans as well who feel like they are fans of the MUSIC and the music ONLY.  They don’t want the looks to be emphasized by the band, the media or the fans.  Perhaps, they even get frustrated when fans still focus so much on the band’s looks or images.  To them, this behavior stops Duran from getting the respect they deserve.  Maybe, Duran fans would be treated better as well.  While I understand that concern and desire to have Duran get kudos for their fabulous music, I can’t deny that their image has been important and continues to be.  The band hasn’t run from posting pictures of themselves.  Instead, I believe that fans can celebrate both–the music, first and foremost, while appreciating their good looks.

Thus, we will acknowledge the good looks by including them in our daily questions.  Here is how this is going to work.  We will ask people to send us their favorite pictures.  Then, we will vote between two pictures a day in our usual format until we find a favorite of each band member then groups. People need to send us their favorite pictures because we can’t choose from the thousands that are out there and don’t want to be voting on pictures forever (and we probably could!).  Ideally, I would also like people to send pictures of each time period:  1980-1989, 1990-2001, 2002-present.  We are going to go in the following order:  Simon, Roger, John, Dom, Nick, Andy, Group, side projects.  Right now, we have a little over a week left of questions about side and solo projects videos.  Then, we hope to start asking about Simon pictures.

Here is what we need right now.  We NEED YOUR HELP!  We need you to send you favorite pictures of Simon!!!!  You can send them to our email (dailyduranie@gmail.com), send us a message on Facebook, or send us a direct message on twitter with them.  The key is that we would like to reveal the pictures slowly–two per day.  You have from today until Saturday, December 14th to send us pictures!  We appreciate it in advance and I’m sure that others will appreciate when we start posting them!  😉  Thanks!!!

-A

The More Things Change…the More They Stay the Same

Duranland seems to be in a slight frenzy this weekend over Nick Rhodes’ birthday.  No, it isn’t that people are still wishing him a happy birthday.  It isn’t that.  People seemed to be done with that on Friday.  No, what has gotten so much attention this weekend is his party!  Based on everything I have seen and heard, this seems like it was quite an event!  Pictures of the party are all over facebook.  Heck, even dd.com posted about it!  DD.com’s post described how Nick thought it was “extraordinary” and listed many of the celebrities in attendance.  The pictures posted that I have seen included pictures of various band members along with other guests.  According to dd.com, the event took place at Hamilton Gallery in London.  If my google search is correct, this gallery focuses on photography, which would make sense for Nick Rhodes. 

Now, it seems to me that neither this party nor the fans’ reaction to this party is any different than any other time in Duranland.  Both seem to be rather predictable.  First, no matter where Duran is at, career wise, financially wise, they still manage to throw or be at quite the parties.  I, obviously, wasn’t anywhere near this party or any other party that they have been a part of in their 30 years plus career.  I just find it fascinating that they are still involved in such elaborate affairs.  Perhaps, this says a lot about the band, but I suspect that it says a lot more about Nick.  After all, he has always been the band member to be out and about at elegant affairs.  He is the one who is most often spotted at art shows, at gallery or movie openings, at fashion events or some other but equal type of events.  Thus, this type of event seems fitting, seems normal for Nick.  I’m not judging it other than pointing out that this is common for Nick.  I’m sure it is also more common for the rest of the band in comparison to boring people like me.  Thus, no matter if the year is 1984 or 1994 or 2012, Nick is still being Nick.  What is more interesting to me is that the official website and those who run the news articles felt it necessary to post about it.  It isn’t really news about the band.  It doesn’t get me excited for the upcoming shows this summer or make me think about the fact that they are going back in the studio in 2013.  Why do it then?  Do they want the general public to think that nothing as ever changed and that the band parties at glamorous events with other celebrities?  Does it help their image somehow?  I’m not asking Duran to change.  I’m just wondering why the official website wants to post about this. 

The fans are still being like themselves, too.  Many, perhaps even most, of us have moved past just liking Duran for their looks, if we ever did.  We are far more interested in talking about the music now than we might have been in 1983.  Back then, conversations surrounded a variety of topics related to Duran and only a small percentage might have been about the music.  Perhaps, a lot of fans spent time talking about the videos or some interview they saw or read about.  I’m willing to bet that a lot of us talked about the latest photos to come out.  Heck, I’m sure that a lot of bought one magazine over another based on the pictures included.  I can tell you that I, personally, compared centerfolds, how many pages focused on Duran and more when deciding which magazine to purchase in the grocery store.  After all, as a kid, I had a pretty fixed budget!!!  Anyway, it is fascinating to me that this party of Nick’s is getting so much attention from fans now in 2012.  Is it because we still get all giddy with the latest photos?  Is it because it gives us proof that they are alive and doing well?  Is it because we are so thristy for any Duran news at all?  In all likelihood, it is a combination of all of the above.  What does that say about our fandom?  Has it changed?  Has it evolved at all? 

It seems to me that events like Nick’s birthday bash brings all involved in Duranland back to their roots.  For the band, it means partying with fabulous, famous guests at fancy places.  For fans, it means that we try to find the pictures from the events to get all excited about.  Is this good for us, fans?  Is it good for the band?  Do these events not matter at all?  I leave that for all of you to decide.

-A

*Edited to add:  I just watched a video on DDM that was a member only video with Roger talking about Nick’s birthday.  He talked about how every guest needed to paint a picture or submit a photo.  Why didn’t the official site talk about that?  To me, that is very Nick Rhodes.  No, instead, the official site focused on which celebrities were in attendance.  If they really felt it necessary to talk about who was there, why not include the artwork they gave?  Again, to me, that would have celebrated Nick’s birthday more.*

Looks or Music?

Not too long ago, I saw a brief discussion on Mark’s UK message board about the band’s looks.  No, it wasn’t about whether or not people think the band members are attractive but about whether or not we, as fans, should care about their looks.  Those posters who basically said that fans shouldn’t care about their looks but instead about the music were guys and the people who said that fans can and should acknowledge the band’s attractiveness were women.  Hmmm…

I think Duran’s good looks have both helped and harmed them.  On one hand, the fact that they are good looking guys definitely helped draw people’s attention or kept people’s attention.  Let’s face it.  MTV really helped kick start Duran’s career, especially here in the States.  As I sit here in my living room in 2011, I try to remember what it was like to see those first few videos.  Let’s assume that I hadn’t heard the song, Save a Prayer, before but I was glued to MTV and the video came on.  I would have continued to watch it because it was a beautiful video.  Then, maybe, I would watch it the next time it came on.  Pretty soon, I found myself singing the chorus.  I would then find myself wanting to hear the song as much as I wanted to watch the video.  I would have no choice but buy the single or the album.  Thus, the videos and their good looks drew me and many others to the band where then the music would take over. 

Of course, many of these original fans who became fans through the videos, were young and female.  Let’s face it the guys did look good and the videos created such a fantasy with their exotic locations and the storylines.  It makes sense that a lot of us were attracted to that.  Unfortunately, it seems like whenever young people and young females, in particular, like something, that thing is criticized by the media, the press and critics.  This, of course, was the case with Duran.  This, of course, brings me to today.

Many of the original fans still think that the guys look good.  That said, most of us who do aren’t in it solely for their looks.  As I pointed out earlier, the looks might have grabbed our attention but isn’t what really made us fans.  The music is what did it.  Now, the looks just add to the package.  Think about it this way.  Duran spends a lot of time thinking and picking out album covers.  Why?  It isn’t like it changes the quality of music.  Yet, it might draw attention to the album, which might give people a chance to listen to the music.  This might create new fans.  Will looks keep fans?  I don’t think so.  As attractive as they all are, they aren’t young anymore (none of us are!).  Their looks aren’t going to attract 20 year-olds, for the most part. 

It is interesting to me that many of the male Duran fans are worried about Duran’s chart success, album sales or ticket sales.  To me, this focus could be because success in this way reminds them of the past, reminds them of what it was like to be a Duran fan back in the 1980s.  The same can be true for those of us who get excited over a new picture of the guys.  We all want to have those moments when everything seems easy and right with the world, when everything seems easy and right with Duran Duran and their fans.  Yet, the reality is that it isn’t as easy as 1982 for any of us.  That said, I don’t blame anyone for trying to have a moment of goodness, a moment of happiness with either commercial success or with new pictures.  Fandom is supposed to be fun, right?  Thus, we should all be allowed to enjoy what we can.  🙂

Of course, in my opinion, fandom requires a balance.  If all people were focused on were the good looks for the member of the band, that might be a problem since they are a BAND and play MUSIC.  I also think that anyone that focuses solely on commercial success might be missing something, too, as QUALITY music matters as much as commercial success to me. 

-A

The Biggest & Best Party Band in the World

Those words have a familiar ring about them, don’t they?  I have to suppress a laugh when I read them, because back when they were correctly used to describe a certain band I know a little bit about – I had absolutely NO IDEA what they meant!  At that time, my idea of a good party was hanging out with my friends (from my high school marching band, no less) and listening to 80’s music, trying to decide whether to head over to Round Table, or go and toilet paper (don’t ask) a fellow band members house. (who dared not to show at the aforementioned “party”)  Yes, I really lived it up well in the 80’s, didn’t I?

I suppose that scenario would hold true with many of the fanbase, seeing as a good portion of us were either just barely getting out of elementary school, or just entering high school during the infamous 80’s time period when the band held their reign over the land.  Even if you knew what it meant to really party – I can’t imagine that many of us really did, and definitely not to the extent that the band may have meant at the time.

All of that said, do the words still hold true today?  Recently I’ve heard Simon proclaim it to be so in a few interviews.  He seems to find a good point to put in a jovial and enthusiastic “We’re still the best party band in the world!” just as he’s finishing describing the bands new album All You Need Is Now. (available on CD March 21 in the UK and rest of the world, March 22 in the US!)  When I first heard him mention it – I grinned.  I mean, the idea of still feeling youthful enough to say that is great, isn’t it?  There are days when I WISH I felt that way, and then there are days (not really all that coincidental that it’s when I’m “on tour” with my friends….) when I truly feel like I’ve still got the world by it’s tail.  As much as I’m sure that collectively the band wishes I would forget (along with everyone else) – we’re talking about guys who are either now 50…or darn close to it.  Yes, age is but a number, but energy that goes along with youth is something entirely different.

Last week, I sat with my oldest and youngest daughters to watch Duran Duran perform at the Fan Jam for the Super Bowl.  As Amanda already mentioned in her blog, it was great to see the band again.  It’s been quite a while, and just watching them onstage together made me very excited in anticipation for my own upcoming trip to the UK.  That said, I didn’t feel that the performance was their best.  Meaning – I’m sure the band  felt good about what they’d done, but in my “vast” (yes, that’s sarcasm) experience, there’s more than one part to the full equation of what makes a great show.  There’s the band and all that goes along both behind the scenes and on stage, and then there’s the little matter of the audience.  Naturally the band can only be responsible for so much, and they can really only do so much to get the audience going.  In regard to the Fan Jam, the audience seemed rather flat, and in return, that made it difficult for the band to look energized.  A show like that is a tough sell by any means, simply because you’ve got people in that audience that range from loving the band – to only being there because someone else they love is going to perform next, and they can’t stand Duran Duran.  The age range looked pretty wide to me, and judging purely from a social science standpoint – it was pretty obvious that the show was designed to touch on three very different musical genres.  The promoters or organizers of the show cast a pretty wide net with the acts they’d chosen, and I would venture to guess that the overlap of fans between the three acts (Jason Derulo, Duran Duran & Kid Rock) was nil to none.  The overall appeal of the show had to reach a huge demographic, to say the least, and each act seemed to have a pretty tough hill to climb, regardless of whom was your favorite.   When the band was onstage, as much as I’d like to say they looked youthful and vibrant, they did seem tired to me.  This wasn’t so much as a fault of the band as it was the setting they were in.  How do you stand up to acts that are likely at least 20 to maybe even 30 years younger and not seem out of place?  Sure, the band and their music is timeless.  To ME….but in the words of my oldest, who knows how much I love Duran Duran “Mom, they are really starting to look old.”  OUCH.   (yes, she’s still alive.)    I’m sure that’s part of the reason Duran Duran was put on the bill that night – to appeal to the “older” demographic in the viewing audience, both there in person and in their homes….but that brings me back to the original sentence.  Is this band still the biggest and best party band in the world?

That’s a very tough sentence to really sell, and as much as a part of me is screaming yes – there’s a very big part of me that is screaming no.  What’s more – why SHOULD they be?  Haven’t they really already proven their staying power?  One of my least favorite “industry” words these days is “relevant”.  Duran Duran aren’t going to prove themselves “relevant” just by saying that they can still party it up with the best of them…..and on the other side of that coin, do they really need to PROVE that they are relevant?  Isn’t that what All You Need Is Now is really about?  They already own that space.  There’s nothing left for them to prove to anybody.  There’s no need for them to continue to proclaim themselves as worthy, and I would argue that every time they come out with a statement like that, it’s comes off as though they doubt it, which they should not.

About 6 months ago, I went to a concert with my husband up at the Gibson Amphitheater (Universal Studios) in LA.  As we were coming out of the show – I happened to notice a familiar face sitting in the back of the section we were sitting in.  I’m omitting the name of this person because I would think it’d be rude to do otherwise with what I’m about to share, but I will say it’s someone who has worked with certain members in the band in past years.  In any case, this person was sitting with a few MUCH younger people – and in general, he looked very desperate to prove himself “still young”.  He was wearing more leather than I’ve seen on cows, and a bandana wrapped around his very cropped and gray hair.  His face was tanned and wrinkled, almost beyond recognition (clearly it worked because only a few people recognized him) – but the young kids who were milling around him were obviously there to make an impression both on him AND on everyone else that passed.  He seemed to go from looking bored (when he noticed people recognizing him) to looking desperate for attention.  Both my husband and I commented that overall – he looked sad, lonely (funny how you can look completely lonely even when you’ve got people sitting on all sides of you) and the epitome of a aged rock star who didn’t want to admit he was all but washed up.  Honestly, it was pathetic and made me think more than twice about Duran Duran.  Even if you think you know whom I’m talking about, please do not post it here – this blog isn’t about naming names that way.  I certainly wouldn’t want someone outing me the day(s) I look like death warmed over in my bathrobe and slippers, and regardless of how public the person might be – I think I can afford him some dignity.

I don’t want the band to end up that way.  I want to see the band embrace their age with vigor, respect, and dignity.  That doesn’t mean I want them all using botox and hair dye until they’re 90 – it means that I know they’re not 20 anymore, and I’m perfectly OK with that.  I love them for who they are.  Am I the only one??   On the same token, I think that at a certain point, it’s going to become almost laughable to hold on to the same “branding” they had back in the 80’s.   Maybe it’s time we start taking them seriously as the treasure they really are, rather than reverting back to the less-than-serious notion of just being a band known for their partying skill.  I guess I’d rather see them in their dark Armani suits looking dignified and handsome rather than pretending they are still going to be relevant to kids the same age as my daughter, because truly – (tongue firmly planted in cheek) what do those youngsters know at 14 anyway??

-R

Is It Just About the Looks?

Whenever new pictures of the band members are released, there always is some discussion about how they look.  This is not new.  Many of us fans did the same thing whenever a new issue of Tiger Beat, BOP, or Smash Hits came out or whenever a new interview or video aired on MTV or Friday Night Videos.  Yet, the criticism now can be harsh.  Back in the 1980s, if there was an unflattering picture, we could easily dismiss it as such.  We were reassured that the next shot would be better.  Now, the criticism isn’t about the camera angle or the pose.  Now it is about age and everything that goes with getting older.

Many fans have become critical of how Simon, Nick and John look.  I cannot think of much criticism of Roger but I’m sure that it will be coming.  After all, he, too, isn’t getting any younger.  In Simon’s case, there has been constant teasing over the year about his weight.  People cannot come to grips with the idea that he is no longer a skinny 23 year-old.  As for Nick, the judgement centers around his hair and the fact that it appears that he is combing over the hair to hide balding.  Interestingly enough, John has been the object of scorn lately for the fact that he has appeared with grey hair.  People are saying that he isn’t looking good with it.  Here is what I do not understand.  They do not like that Nick tries to hide this physical flaw of balding but they also do not like that John isn’t trying to hide the grey.  In reality, I suspect that they do not like that they are aging.

Part of me understands the desire to keep the band members looking as young as possible.  Who wants reminders that we are all aging?  Why do they need to be better than us, looks wise?  They did not become famous solely for their looks, did they?  I thought it was because of the whole package:  music, style, creativity, looks, etc.  Does that mean we should think less of them when they show that they are human?  After all, they still could have the rest and that is something that I think still bears celebrating.

-A