Category Archives: message boards

Chats with Band Members

Twitter and facebook have been incredibly crazy places to be lately!  As Rhonda mentioned in a post a few days ago, these sites, particularly twitter, have begun to feel like the old days of message boards where there are a ton of people on, day and night, and that it is VERY challenging to keep up.  In fact, the only way to really do that is to stay signed in at all times.  Why is this?  Well, first, everyone has discovered that everyone else is there.  It is the place to be.  Like the message boards, it is the place to exchange ideas about the band and meet people.  Second, and more interestingly, it is the place where the band members have been interacting with us fans.  It seems that John has been holding a daily chat session with fans where they ask questions and he answers as many as he can.  During those sessions, the fans are not only trying to get their questions answered but also chatting with others about what he said or about the questions asked.  After he leaves, there continues to be some flurry of activity as people react to what they saw/read, publicly, and some behind-the-scenes commenting as well.  A couple of days ago, Rhonda tweeted something about how this was just like being at a bar or club after a show.  Now, I’m not sure how many of our readers have experienced being at a bar or club after a show with a bunch of Duranies and a band member or two but it is quite something and, in many ways, the social interactions are playing out in the same way here in cyberspace as they do in real life.

On the surface level, fans have expressed their joy and excitement over being able to chat with John or Simon.  They get to share this excitement with others who feel the same way.  For some people, this thrill is shared among friends and for others, it is a way of getting to know and becoming friends with other fans.  On this level, everything seems very positive.  No one is being negative about the questions asked (at least not among our followers and the people who follow us) and everyone seems genuinely happy for the people who get their questions answered.  Yet, I worry that this positivity won’t stay or that there is more going on underneath the surface.  For example, are Duranies talking about other Duranies behind the backs, based on their reactions, their questions, or their level of excitement?  I suspect that there are.  Are people paying attention to whose questions are getting answered and whose aren’t?  I bet they are and I bet that some people might be feeling REALLY good about themselves if John has answered multiple questions from them.  They might even be feeling a bit superior because of it.  (Note:  I don’t know this, for sure, but I just saying that it might be a possibility.)  Then, there is the actual interaction between the fans and the band members.

In real life, I find being in the same location as the band and the fans to be fascinating.  At times, I have felt like everyone has been really respectful of each other and the band members.  At other times, I have felt this sort of dog-eat-dog mentality where some fans just push other fans out of the way in order to get more time with the guys.  I have seen people give Nick or Roger or whomever their space and I have seen other times when they did not appear to have much, if any.  Do I know if this bothers them?  Nope.  I don’t.  I am just saying that I have observed a spectrum of behavior.  I am wondering if I am not seeing similar types of behavior taking place online.  Are some fans trying to get as much time as possible with the guys?  Sure.  Am I blaming them?  Not really.  I understand that desire because I have it, too.  Do I think they are trying to push other fans out of their way?  I don’t really know.  It is possible, I guess.  Even if they are, is it malicious?  Maybe, for some, but, I doubt it.  Nonetheless, I am concerned.

I, like every Duran fan who has been witnessing or participating in these little chats via twitter, want them to continue.  I LOVE being able to ask John or Simon questions and have them respond.  I LOVE that they seem to care about what we think and want to interact with us.  That said, I want to keep it positive, for all of us fans and for the band.  I don’t want this to turn into a means of gaining status within the community.  I also want us fans to always be respectful and considerate of each other and of them.  We need to remember to share and to give space.  Then, I think it can remain as fun and as exciting as it has been so far!  If not, I fear that they won’t last.  Some fans will stop logging in and participating and maybe the band will stop as well.  If so, that would hurt all of us. 

-A

Message Board Revival

Do you remember the best days of duranduran.com?  You know the ones – back when the board  had plenty of members, and you could get on the message board day or night and keep yourself busy for hours because messages were flowing like water?  Do you remember back when something would be posted, you’d comment, and then you’d have a difficult time finding the post without going back through 5,000 pages of threads?  Then over time, the board slowed down.  There were still plenty of posts, but most of them had absolutely nothing to do with the band whatsoever.  Then of course there were the times when the board would be visited by some guy posting as stillbreathing.  Ah yes, good times, good times.

Those moments ended several years back when the message board forum for dd.com was shut down and members were “encouraged” to cough up $35.00 (USD) to join the “official” fan club.  For a lot of fans, this is where their journey with the online fan community ended.  Jump ahead to late 2010, and it’s obvious that we’re starting to get a glimmer of what the dd.com forums used to be – but this time, on Twitter.

At first, Twitter seemed to be a useless time waster to me.  The idea of “following” my friends, only to read that they were at work, school, etc. seemed so, well, dumb!  I’ve had a twitter account for about 2 years now (give or take), and I never really got much out of it.  I “followed” celebrities I liked (which seemed very voyeuristic to me at the time), and checked in occasionally.  I’m even more fascinated when people I don’t even know start following me – because lets face it – my life isn’t exciting enough to attract attention beyond my circle of friends.  Then Amanda and I decided that a good way to chat with fans about various DD news and happenings would be through twitter, so we set up the Daily Duranie account.  At that point, Twitter started becoming more and more populated with other Duranies, and today – I can go online at any time, day or night – and read tons of DD tidbits, or get opinions from other Duranies about blog topics, their latest album or even their latest video.  If that weren’t enough, Simon and John have graced Twitter with their presence in recent months.  Simon has had his account for a while (but he’s tweeting almost daily now), and John has embraced Twitter with vigor.  If you don’t think that Simon and John have added to the fun (insanity)…I invite you to be on Twitter when they are tweeting.  Seriously.

I’m not the only fan to notice the similarities to the old days.   Just today I read a quote from @Ramona44, “Okay, I just realised that this twitter thing is like the old fan forum on crack. lol No wonder why I’m here al the time. ha! .  It’s true…and it’s very addicting.  Another buddy of Daily Duranie @fanGirlsOnline (coincidently she is also doing a study on fandom) made a similar comment today on Twitter “.in which case it’s like DDM on crack + an after-show-party showdown at the band’s hotel bar, lol. Wot a mess.” (please ignore the grammar/spelling – it’s a 140 character limit on twitter.  We get creative)  The fact is, with members of the band occasionally on twitter, exchanging tweets with fans – and with the tweeting back and forth with one another, it certainly does remind me a lot of touring.  


Even six months ago, I would have gone so far as to say that being a fan wasn’t as much fun as it once was.  The band felt incredibly “far” from the fan base, the fans themselves weren’t frequenting message boards, and while I know many of us were still looking forward to the new album – I know I wasn’t alone in thinking that the best times were in the past.  Lately though, I’m not so sure.  Seems to me that being a fan at this point in my life is liable to be just as much fun, if not more, as it was before!  


-R











Tour Date Rumor Reactions

I am dying for tour dates as are much, if not all, of the Duranie world.  I would like to be able to call my blog and touring partner who is away from home this weekend to give her some touring alerts!  I want to be able to figure out if I can go to whatever dates and how.  Of course, my desire for dates has increased by both the announcement of a show in July in London at the iTunes festival and by rumors.  Some of the rumors I have heard include the following:  1.  Duran will tour the States in the spring-possibly April.  2.  Duran will play at the Coachella Festival in mid-April.  3.  Duran is playing in Amsterdam in June.  4.  Duran is playing one or more shows next month in the UK.  Some rumors have indicated that there will be 4 shows in the following cities:  Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham.  Others have said that there will be more than one show in London.  I have heard the middle of the month, around Valentine’s Day, and I have heard the end of the month.  Some of the rumor include that the shows will be like those on Broadway were in 2008.  While all of those are interesting to me as I try to figure out which ones might be right, what I find even more interesting is fan reactions to the people who provide the rumors.

It seems to me that each time a rumor about an upcoming show or tour is posted, the reactions by other posters is often fascinating.  Sometimes, the other people shower the rumor provider with lots of positive attention and often will try to get to know this person better in order to get more information.  Other times, the poster is slammed by fellow fans.  S/he gets slammed because they often announce some rumor without much evidence to back it up.  Often, s/he claims that the information came from a close friend who has some sort of connection but can’t reveal too much for whatever reason.  This seems to irritate other posters.  Some assume that the rumor is false and that is why the person can’t back it up.  In those situations, the other fans think that the person must be trying to have fun at their expense as rumors like these create a GREAT deal of excitement in the fanbase.  Perhaps, the real reason there is annoyance or anger directed at the rumor producer is because s/he only shared so much.  Maybe they voice their displeasure about the lack of support for the rumor when, in reality, they want to know more and are really angered that the poster didn’t say more.  Perhaps, it is because these fans want to be the ones who have the knowledge.  After all, who doesn’t feel superior to some extent when they know something as juicy as tour dates before anyone else.  Maybe it is a combination of all of the above.

Honestly, I can’t imagine being the person with the information as I have never really been that person.  I’m usually the one checking the band’s website over and over again or following the boards as closely as possible to see if any information has been given or if there were any hints provided.  Part of me would absolutely LOVE to be the person who knows something ahead of time.  Then, the question that pops up is:  If I had the information, would I share it?  What are the benefits?  What are the risks?  On one hand, by telling, I would be giving information that people are desperate to receive and MANY people would appreciate it.  (I know that I would love to know more info now!)  People might seem more interested in me, which is great, but would they just be using me?  Then, what about the people who just criticize the person who gives the rumors?  How would I deal them, especially if the information was actually correct?  Would the appreciation be worth the ridicule that could happen?  Would it be worth letting people in on your secret?  Of course, I suspect that for some people posting rumors, they might just be too excited to keep some info to themselves.  I can understand that! 

I think that, in most cases, it would be extremely risky to post a rumor without having something or someone to back you up.  From my perspective, though, I hope that people do continue to post these rumors as they are helping me get through this black hole of tour dates.  Of course, Duran could help out the situation for all involved if they were to just post the dates and ALL the dates, no matter when and no matter where.  The rumor debate would end and I could begin to plot my tour!!!

-A

New Music Discussions

Apparently, a number of Duranies have heard or are in possession of the new album.  While I could write about what I think about this in regards to the legal issue or future record sales or morality, etc., I am not going to.  What I find interesting is reading all of the reactions to the new album.  There are countless discussions about how good or bad it is throughout the Duran fandom.  While discussions like this are not new, my reaction to them is different.

Like many Duranies, I joined the online community during the band’s reunion.  I was aware of how the web was creating a place for fans to be in order to be excited together, to discuss, to meet other fans and more.  I, personally, decided to jump in with the reunion because my excitement over the return of the Fab Five was too much for me!  I needed to find others who were just as thrilled as I was!  I knew that I wanted other fans to go to shows with me and to discuss the new album, Astronaut, with me.  At that time, I remember reading some negative reactions about the album, how the band was promoting it, how the label was promoting it, etc.  In my mind, those negative statements were small in number and were by fans who couldn’t or wouldn’t join in the party I was having.  I learned very quickly who seemed to embrace the positive and who didn’t.  Those who didn’t could be ignored by me.  Then, Red Carpet Massacre came and I joined in on a lot of the criticisms.  I absolutely hated that the album was causing so many of us to be upset, but I understood the need to express one’s feelings. 

It seems to me that being a fan means that you are passionate about something and this something has made you feel so good or so happy at some point.  Therefore, it is understandable for people to feel the need to vent or to offer praise about something that creates such intense feelings for them.  Obviously, these intense feelings can be positive about something, like my feelings were during Astronaut, and negative about others like they were about RCM.  During both of those times, I was in the majority group.  Now, I am seeing a ton of people who are in love with the new album, but I am also seeing others who are not.  I would have to put myself in the first camp in that I have loved what I have heard and have loved reading people’s reviews who are positive.  Negative reviews are upsetting to me.  Why?  I understand people’s desire to say what they think.  I also completely believe in the freedom of speech.  So, why are these views causing me distress? 

I have given this a great deal of thought.  Perhaps, it is because the criticism was grouped together differently during the Astronaut era that I could ignore it easier.  Maybe I only found the negative views on a certain message board, for example.  (I honestly can’t remember.  Maybe Rhonda does or maybe our readers do.)  It is possible that there was such a small minority of voices going against the album that they could easily overlooked.  Those are definitely possible reasons.  Another reason could be that I also went through the era of RCM where a lot of people disliked what they heard, including me.  Is it possible that I’m struggling to understand how people could group RCM with the new material?  After all, if they are saying that they didn’t like RCM and that they don’t like “All You Need Is Now”, aren’t they saying that they are both bad?  Maybe not equally as bad but bad still.  That I can’t understand.  I wonder what those fans are looking for, then.  If it wasn’t RCM and it isn’t AYNIN, then what?  What kind of Duran material would remind them of why they loved Duran in the first place? 

The last possible reason for my personal difficulty with the criticism is that I am more invested now.  Yes, I was a long-term, die-hard fan for both Astronaut and RCM like I am now.  This time, I am writing a blog.  It has been become even more personal to me.  Being a fan is personal enough.  Being part of a fan community is even more so.  Then, writing or being creative in a way that connects you is way more personal, at least to me.  The reality is that it is all of these things, I suspect, that has frustrated me with the negative reviews.  Of course, time will tell whether or not, I will continue to feel this way.  I may decide that the negative views are more like my view than I originally thought.  I know that I will continue to read the reviews and even welcome the less-than-excited opinions of others even if I disagree or even if they upset me.  After all, everyone has the right to their opinions just like I do.  I can appreciate the discussion because I do know that it is these types of discussions which keep the fandom alive.

-A

Can I Become a Professional Duranie?

This blog post is obviously a bit late tonight.  While this time of year is always a busy one, right now, it is especially busy, if you are a Duran fan.  As you all know, Duran Duran released a new single and is on the verge of releasing their 13th studio album on December 21st.  This would be exciting in and of itself.  The new song would provide plenty of discussion among the fans on various message boards and social networking sites.  Of course, the discussion might also include speculation about the other new songs, possible touring and more.  All of that reading and posting would take up time.  Lots of time.  Yet, it seems to me that Duran is finding other ways to keep us busy as Duranies on a daily basis now. 

Today was a good example of this.  I know that I saw and heard a new snippet of a song, “The Man Who Stole a Leopard” on the band’s official website.  Roger posted pictures from the video shoot on facebook.  There were more tweets, including one from John talking about how almost all of the reactions to the song were very positive.  Then, there was a live twitter chat with Simon and Katy where the fans could ask questions of Simon live and he would respond to them.  This isn’t all, I bet.  I suspect that I probably missed a thing or two.  Now, I’m not sure how the rest of the Duran world is feeling but I’m struggling to keep up.  I’m having a hard time finding a balance between keeping up with Duran news and real life.  I admit that I had gotten used to nothing much happening after the RCM era past and I am having a hard time realizing that in this is a new era of Duran Duran.  This era appears to be an extremely busy one.

Do not get me wrong here.  I am not unhappy with all of the Duran happenings.  On the contrary, I love reading about something new and discussing it with other fans.  Love it.  Since the single came out, I have spent more time on the phone and on the computer than I have in weeks in order to discuss the new material!  I have even found myself up late way.  Now, somehow, this lack of sleep hasn’t impacted my working performance yet.  The key word there is “yet”.  I suspect that all of my excitement about the new material is helping with the tiredness I should be feeling.  Anyway, despite all of the time spent on the latest Duran information, I don’t feel like I know everything.  Up until recently, I would have said that I was able to hear or read about every little detail about Duran Duran.  I never feel caught up!  Now, I feel lucky if I caught between 50 and 75% of what is new.  Today, I heard about so many things that I couldn’t even figure out what to blog about!

Where does that leave me now?  Well, I could wish for Duran to settle back down and just give us a piece of information once every week or month, but I don’t.  I LOVE all of the action taking place and cannot wait for more action with both the album release and tour dates (hopefully and soon!).  What is another choice then?  I know.  The band could just hire me to be a professional Duranie.  The job would allow me all the time in the world to see what is happening in Duranland and to respond to it.  Alas, I doubt this will happen so I’ll be left with trying my best to keep up while making another pot of coffee!

-A 

Male fans

There has been a lot going on in the world of Duran lately – much ado about the new single hitting iTunes tomorrow (my motto: download early, download often!) aptly named All You Need is Now.   I’m looking forward to hearing the entire song the way the band intended rather than the youtube clips that are rather distorted and muddy sounding, and I’m sure all of our readers are as well.

Not long ago, I was on a search for a new Duran Duran related message board.  The one which I had called home for quite a few years had dwindled to the point where I could go weeks in between visits and still not see many new posts.  Oddly, I am still good friends with several of the people I have met on that board, it’s just that our friendships have transcended the original platform of “Duran Duran”, and we use many other avenues of communication, including facebook.  That said, I still enjoy to read about what is going on within the fan community, and so I was on a hunt for a new place to read and mingle!   I won’t go into detail (in this blog) as to what I found on some of the boards I visited, suffice to say that what is comfortable and right for me is probably not what is right or comfortable for someone else.  That’s OK, that’s the way the system works and it’s a very good thing that there are still 50,000 and then some pages still dedicated to Duran Duran out there.

The board that I have ultimately “chosen” is a much different place than where I began.  My current board is populated by a much higher percentage of active male posters – which is really exciting for a change!  I find that as I grow older, my interest obviously changes, and while at one time it was enough to talk about the band members, exchange “new” photos we’d found of them online, and of course we’d chat about the music from time to time….now I find that I’m really mainly interested in the music!  (I could easily add a cornball line here about how “The music’s between us”…but I won’t.   No really, I won’t!)

The men that I’ve exchanged posts with, debated, and even traded insults (!!!) with have been the ultimate in Duran fans – and I think it’s refreshing to see that in this day and age, it’s finally cool to be a male Duran fan. (I feel very odd calling them Duranies…so I just won’t.)  It makes no difference whether they are heterosexual, gay, metrosexual or a combination of everything – it’s about the music, and none of them are afraid to let me know when they think I’m wrong, which again is something I really appreciate, oddly enough!

At one time, back when my Duran Duran fandom was in it’s infancy and I was in middle school, it was made very clear that if you liked Duran Duran, you were totally an outcast.  It was even worse if you happened to be male.  I knew very few, and I mean VERY few, guys who would even admit to listening to their music, much less admit to being in the fan club or going to concerts and reading articles about them.  In 2010, it’s a mixed bag.  Yes, there are plenty of female fans out there, and I would imagine that there still might be more females than males….but there is plenty of room for men to join in, and find issues to debate with vigor.

The board that I visit is a “closed” board, in that you must request permission before you’re allowed access to read and post, but I strongly urge anyone who is interested to come, request membership and check it out, especially those male fans out there because this is a great place to talk about the music.  The address is www.duranduranboards.proboards.com – I hope to “see” you there!  It’s bound to be a busier place in the coming weeks, so now is the time to join in!

-R

Once upon a time, there was a suburban OC mom who happened to stumble upon a Duran Duran message board.  It was a very small message board at the time, which allowed for her to get to know several of the “regulars” on the board.  One of those regulars was interested in starting plans to have a convention, and the mom jumped on the bandwagon.  She got to know the committee, and within a year, found herself standing in the ballroom at Hotel Monaco in New Orleans, welcoming fellow Duranies for a weekend of fun and friendship.  Her roommates for that fateful weekend included the first friend she’d made on the message board, along with two other close “online” friends.   The weekend proved to be a great success, and out of that weekend, this mom met many others, including someone from the midwest (and the co-writer of this blog!), as well as a gal from New Jersey.

The interesting part of this story is that under any other circumstance, the mom isn’t at all sure that the three of these women would have connected.  At the time, the mom was the only married woman in the group, and is still the only one with children. (well, children that she doesn’t leave at the end of a work day….mine follow me!)  She lives in California, two within the group live in the midwest, and one is from the east coast.  The mom doesn’t work for a living, the other three work very hard – one is a special education teacher, one works in human resources, and the other is a nurse. The one connection that binds them is/was their love for Duran Duran.

As time has worn on, two out of the group have expanded their horizons.  While Duran Duran is probably still a favorite to some degree,  there are other bands that have piqued their interest, and they’ve been known to travel to see them.  The other two, on the other hand –    write a daily blog about the band, are in the process of writing a book, and have ideas for others.  Their friendship has really transcended their interest for the band, so to speak.    Of course, if a tour comes up, we try to travel together.  It doesn’t always work out, schedule-wise, but we try.  While the four of us together are friends, we’ve also sort of “paired” off.  Two go off and see INXS, the other two have actually gone on tour to see Clear Static.  The beauty of it all is that what started as a friendship due to a common interest has become a friendship based on far deeper trust.

As you might have guessed, the suburban mom in the story is me, and the other three women are my closest friends.  We started making plans to meet up whenever there was a tour, but as usually happens – Durantime takes far too long – and we’ve ended up meeting for long weekends instead!  Tomorrow, the girls descend on Orange County CA, and they’ll be staying at my house this time.  There really won’t be much Duran on the agenda (although I am sure we’ll do our fair share of video watching and laughing), but for a change – it’ll be about our friendship.

Lately there has been much talk on the boards about fairness, and about the duranie-eat-duranie world of the fan community.  I’ve written about it here in our blog as well.  I’ve had it brought up to me that not all of us are going to be friends, and still more of us won’t like one another.  That’s obviously true.  We can’t all get along – although I *do* think a lot more of us can and should try to remember that our connections to one another will far outlast the band.  My own friendships with the girls I’ve met through the community will prove that.  I’m going to remember the times I’ve had traveling with Amanda, or the way that Jessica and I “handled” check in at the fan convention…or the way I’ve full-out laughed until I’ve cried when I sit and listen to the stories Machelle has told me over the years, FAR longer than I’ll remember that I was snubbed by so-and-so at the last show or meet up.  Hopefully while reading the blog, some of you will remember the fun you’ve had rather than the way you thought you were wronged by another fan….because really, isn’t that the point?

-R

We Tip our Fedoras to the Lizard King!

A few days ago, an announcement was made on the longtime Duran Duran fan-managed website, Lizard King.  The site is closing in November, after a commendable 13 and a half years.  I have to admit that at first, I was shocked and saddened to read that the site was closing.  Lizard King was the very first site I ever stumbled upon when I discovered there was an entire online community of Duran Duran fans to connect with.  I learned more from that single website than I could have ever thought possible!  I remember doing a web search for Duran Duran websites after I’d come home from a concert at the House of Blues in Anaheim – I want to say it was March of 2001.  (don’t bother sending me hate mail if I got the date wrong – I’m a mom, and quite frankly I’m lucky I remember all of my children’s names and birth dates these days, much less the exact date of a Duran Duran concert.  No joke!)  The search brought up the official Duran Duran website along with several other fan-managed sites, and I clicked on Lizard King because it sounded the most interesting.  (yes, I really DO get sold on things because of the name!)  I always thought I had a pretty wide breadth of knowledge regarding the band, but once I got there – I found out pretty quickly that I was a complete failure in Duran Duran intelligence.  I was mortified, embarrassed, and a VERY quick study!  For example, (and I’m a little surprised I’m admitting this in a public blog – but so be it.  I’ve seen the worst of the Duranie behavior, and I think I’ll live.)  I had not one clue of a song called  “Fallen Angel”, much less “Falling Angel”; I knew next to nothing about Warren Cuccurullo other than he took Andy’s place….and I didn’t even OWN Pop Trash at the time.  There was a lot more I learned just from studying Lizard King’s site and reading the message board, and I credit the site with saving me from certain public flogging on other message boards.

As I said, at first I really was shocked to hear of the closing, but then I really gave it some thought.  The very website that I ended up making my online “home”, so to speak – shut the actual website down a few years ago now.  The message board is still up, but I’ve often wondered when the day will arrive that the owner will shut that down as well because it just is not getting the traffic it once did.  There are just so many other resources available now that were not even 5 years ago, videos can be found via youtube and probably many other sources online, pictures are in thousands of different places and websites online now – there’s no need to set up a site with a picture galley.  Information-wise, google is our friend now.  Anything we want to know about the band can be found by a few keystrokes – and I have to say that back in the year 2001, or even back in the year 1997 when I was a brand new stay at home mom with nothing but AOL to rely on, we were not nearly that lucky until Lizard King came along.  I suppose I’m somewhat short changing the band’s official site by making such a broad statement, but Lizard King’s information was so complete even back in 2001 that I felt even the band’s website was behind a bit.  So now we’ve come to a point in time where a lot of websites, and not just Duran Duran related ones, are shutting down because they are redundant to what is already available.

It’s not even just websites now – I hear of forums shutting down every day, and it’s due to places like Facebook or Myspace (to a lesser degree).  I can’t share with you the number of times I’ve read posts on message boards from people who say that they spend the majority of their time over on Facebook – and they just can’t make it to the boards any longer.  I applaud the accessibility of Facebook, really I do, but I also wonder if we’re not hurting ourselves in the long run by allowing our boards and websites to be shut down.  I’m a “friend” of Duran Duran on Facebook – and yet I very RARELY see posts from people I actually know from the Duran Duran message boards I’m on.  With that in mind, I’m wary of posting too much right on facebook – there are SO many “friends” of Duran Duran – I don’t know them, and I would venture to guess that I haven’t met most of them either.  There’s a lack of privacy, a lack of intimacy, and a lack of a true connection when you’re just commenting on something the band has posted on their facebook page.  It’s far different when you’re a member of a message board – even if it’s a completely public board, there’s a group of posters that end up being the most “active”, and you tend to form bonds and connections with those people.  I just feel that on facebook, it’s far more difficult – yet I’m a very active fan in general.  Imagine how hard it must be for someone who has just discovered the band to try and “meet” people on Facebook.  Nearly impossible, really.

At the end of the day, it is the fans – you and I – who are going to keep these message boards running.  It is going to be you and I who promote the band, who continue to be the so-called “goodwill ambassadors” for the fans who are new to the community, and those who decide to come back into the fold.  I just hope that we continue to have places of our own online, because I know that at least for me (and surely I am not the only one), the websites and message boards have been invaluable for me to catch up the band, connect and bond with other fans, and immediately get a real sense that even at the age of 30, 35 or even 40 – it’s OK to still be a Duranie.  That, my friends, has been worth it’s weight in gold.

 The bottom line is that although I am sad a part of my own history with the band is ending, I suppose I need to be honest with myself and say that I guess I’m not surprised.  All good things must end, and better things are always right around the corner.  Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, Lizard King!

What the Fans Really Think

While my blogging partner had a chance a couple of days ago to comment on John Taylor’s South African interview, I didn’t.  Obviously, she picked out a great deal of what I had focused on when listening to the interview.  One line, in particular, has stayed with me, days after hearing it. 

When talking about Red Carpet Massacre, John said the following:  “The fans were like we can’t hear you, John.  We can’t really hear Roger.”  Okay, confession time.  I said that and I know Rhonda said that.  I also read something similar on many posts in a variety of message boards.  Did I say it to him, personally, or to any other band member?  Nope.  Did Rhonda?  Unfortunately, no.  Did the countless other fans say it to him?  I somehow doubt it.  John isn’t typically out in social gatherings where fans would have access to him.  Could fans have made comments to Roger or Simon who are?  I doubt that, too as most fans don’t try to talk shop with the band in a relaxing setting.  Even in non-relaxed settings, fans don’t often have a chance to provide in-depth thoughts during events like concert meets-n-greets or record store signings.  Lastly, even when they do have a chance, would they utter something negative, even if it was constructive criticism that probably needed to be said?  My guess would be probably not.  I suspect that most fans use their few minutes with the band to tell them about how they have inspired them or touched them in some way.  They might ask for autographs or pictures.  Maybe they would make comments about the show but to talk seriously about the instrumentation of the album?  I doubt it.  Of course, I could be wrong.  Besides, even if some fans do use that opportunity to make some serious statements, how many fans would that be?  Should the band trust that those feelings represent most of us?  I don’t think so. 

How did John Taylor find out that many fans were thinking that about the lack of instruments on RCM?  How would any band member?  How does the band learn about what we REALLY think?  It can’t be from face-to-face interactions, at least not in high numbers.  Of course, fans can submit questions to Katy but those are usually questions and not comments.  She controls what is shared there.  Fans can also post ideas, praise, complaints, etc. on message boards.  Would any of them go on message boards to see what the fans like?  Would they do it on a regular basis?  Which board would they choose?  How would they sift through all of the other discussions to actually discover what we think?  Do they hire someone to do it?  How do they determine if the posts are representatives of the fans as a group, since some people just lurk.  I have heard them answer the question about checking the message boards and I distinctly remember Nick saying something about how terrified he would be in an interview from 2005 or 2006.  This leads me back to the original question.

How does the band learn what fans really think?  If fans knew that they were watching and reading, would that alter their behavior or stifle their thoughts?  Would this be a good thing for the fandom or a problem?  I’m sure that most fans would love for them to know what they are thinking but I’m also sure that fans wouldn’t want them to think less of them.  It would be an interesting sociological experiment to introduce the guys into a message board and see how it changes.  Maybe it would only matter if they post themselves.  I don’t know but it sure would be interesting to find out!

-A