Category Archives: Nick Rhodes

July 2017 Katy Kafe with Nick Highlights

Sometimes, I sit down to write and I have no idea what I’m going to write about.  Other times, I have it planned out.  Today, I knew exactly what I was going to write about and then…I get news that there is a new Katy Kafe out!  I scrap my plans and opt instead to listen to the Kafe and report on the highlights here!  I’ll save that other blog idea for another day.  As always, when Rhonda or I report on a Kafe, we are only sharing some highlights and our thoughts on them.  If you want to hear the whole thing and everything that is mentioned, I recommend getting a membership to Duran Duran Music yourself!

San Francisco:

Nick talked about how he enjoyed going to the City Lights book store in San Francisco and how much he enjoyed the American Beat poets.  I, for one, wish that we would have been able to get there to check out the book store for myself.  That said, I did not know that Nick enjoyed that type of literature.  Good for him.

Calgary:

The best line of the whole Kafe definitely had to be when Nick talked about how he looked out into the audience there and all he saw was a “sea of cowboy hats”!  Yeah, that is not common at Duran shows!  How funny!

Hawaii:

Nick discussed how the shows have been great.  He said that since there are not many of them, they have been “soaking up” every minute of them.  That makes sense!  He also mentioned that this is the first time they are playing in Hawaii and that there are not many states they haven’t played in, including Alaska, one of the Dakotas, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and a few others.  (For the record, Rhonda and I once thought about that as a goal–to see the band in every state until we realized that there are some states that Duran has never played in and some states they probably won’t ever go back to.)  Interestingly enough, while the band has never played in Hawaii, Nick has visited for a holiday.  Apparently, he, along with others this time, did visit Pearl Harbor, which he called “sobering”.  Indeed.  Nick has been taking photos, including the sunsets, even though he is trying to cut down on his photo taking to give himself a chance to create prints of the photos he has taken over the years.  He might do exhibits and even sell some once he gets more prints made.  (I bet there are Duranies who would love that!!)  He even has a book of photos ready to go and is hopeful that it will be out before the end of the year!

Randomness!

When asked about Hold Back the Rain, he said that the band had gotten pressure by China Chow to put it in the setlist.  Fun fact.  I had no idea who she is, so I had to look her up!  Guess I learned something new today and I thank her from all of the fans.  On a different but equally random note, Nick has seen the Elvis concert from Hawaii.  Alrighty then…

Future Concert Locations?

Nick mentioned that he would like to check off those missing states but that there are a lot of cities in Europe that they need to hit as well.  He also would like to play in China and India someday.

Overall, Nick seemed in good spirits and enjoying his time in Hawaii. I wish there had been some scoop about the 40th and what they are planning or thinking of there, but no luck.  Maybe next time!

-A

Happy Birthday Nick!

Happy Birthday to Nick – our favorite keyboardist!

The word “rapid” comes to mind today.  “The years fly by, in rapid succession.”  I would swear I just wrote a birthday blog for him, and here I am, writing another!

Every year, I try to come up with some sort of personal anecdote when I’m writing a birthday message. It isn’t always easy because I don’t see the band every year (although it’s fantastic when I do!). This year though, I think I might have one!

My favorite “Nick” moment as of late has been at the shows. Since the most recent (for me) was the second show at Agua Caliente in March, I’ll go with that one. In the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to get good seats at the shows. By “good” I mean that we’re in the first few rows, and I have a decent line of sight to the band. In March though, I was up front and center which afforded me the opportunity to really be able to see every band member and watch their expressions at various times during the show.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but “Hungry Like the Wolf” is not my favorite song.  I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it….given that the band plays it at EVERY SINGLE SHOW.  Well, as the opening chords begin, I have a difficult time of not rolling my eyes. I can’t swear to it, but I think the band might know this, because there have been moments when I would swear upon a stack of bibles that some members look my way when it starts just to see my reaction. Typically, I hang my head in defeat for a brief second, then remember that – oh yes, they can see me (whether or not they really do isn’t the point) – and I try to get back in the program. I’ll look up, and invariably, Nick is peering down over his keyboards with the most amused expression on his face.

(I almost hate to let him down by not having a reaction….even though I think he knows that yes, of course I expect them to play it. And sometimes, they even play it TWICE because they have to start over. Really?? Is that even necessary????)

Truthfully, I don’t even know if he’s looking at me. It seems like he might be, but I don’t know. I’ve never asked!  So, I go about the business of singing and dancing along because really, what am I going to do, just stand there?!?

Then there’s later in the show, when “White Lines” comes on. Now this song has always been one of my favorites when they play it live. There’s just something about it, and that “something” is the hard-driving guitar. (and the guy playing it isn’t bad either…but that’s another story for another blog later in the month) In ANY case, over the past couple of years, and remarkably coinciding with the closer seating that Amanda and I have paid an outstanding amount of money to be in, the song has taken on a little different of a meaning.

Basically, it marks the point in the performance where I grow increasingly worried about how close my seats may or may not be to “the spit zone”.  Several years back, I’d rock out with out much care. I’d see Simon spit the water up into the audience and think “eww” glad I’m not up there. Well, lately, I have been up there, and I gotta tell you – I am semi-convinced that sometimes – there’s been a little bit more “aim” placed on the spitting!

However, this most recent time at Agua Caliente, we were right there. I didn’t give that much of a thought until “White Lines” began. All of the sudden, I realized what was about to happen. I couldn’t stop the look of shock and horror that went across my face, and again, I happened to look Nick’s way. I didn’t even know he could still smile that wide….

Even so, I tried to brush the thought aside while in my head I was thinking “Did Nick seriously just nearly CACKLE onstage while looking my way? Nahhhh….Couldn’t be.” Instead, I lost myself in the song and in a particular fangirl moment involving a guitar player.  Before I knew it, I was watching Simon head toward the drum riser to grab a bottle of water and take a drink. I knew what was coming, so I did what any sane person would have done and just looked down.

I felt the deluge hit the back of my head and run down my back as I winced and laughed. I mean, I didn’t see Simon spit, but he had to have aimed right for us. Come on now! I looked up, and Nick was laughing while looking right at the front. I laughed too, because it was FUNNY! I remember how horrified I was the first time – way back in Biloxi during the All You Need is Now tour, and how disgusted I was by the whole thing. I don’t know why, I don’t know how – but I don’t care so much anymore. After all, I’ve been “baptized” a few times now. The shock has worn off, but my reaction probably won’t change much. It’s still funny. And really weird. But whatever. It’s a thing, and while Amanda and I still hate it, I’ll admit I’m amused, and Nick’s reaction is priceless, whether or not he’s really looking my way or not.

All of this reminds me of a time not so long ago when Nick was missing from the shows. It’s true that MNDR did an outstanding job and musically, I didn’t notice much of a difference without Nick there. That said, to look up and see someone manning the keyboards during that time was just wrong – and I’m glad Nick is back touring with the band again. I can’t help but smile when I see his 10,000 watt grin. We don’t see it often enough.

Happy birthday, Nicholas. I hope you have a wonderful day, and I’ll see YOU in about a month!

-R

January 2017 Katy Kafe with Nick Rhodes

Friday came with a surprise: a brand-new Katy Kafe for January 2017, complete with Nick Rhodes in the guest seat!

As always, I begin my post of the highlights with a simple disclaimer: this is not going to be a complete transcript of everything said. My notes are copious but not perfect, so if you want to really hear the entire thing – go get yourself a DDM membership.  Thanks!

The sound for this Katy Kafe really bothered me. Nick was very quiet, and Katy was extremely loud, to the point of being distorted – and I want to be clear, I’m not complaining about her speaking, just that it came out sounding distorted as though she were way too close to the speaker (but I don’t think that was the case). I found myself toggling the volume loud for Nick, and much softer when Katy would speak. Katy mentioned still having problems recording the Kafe. I get it…and I am only mentioning this because I might have a solution, otherwise I wouldn’t say a thing. She gets enough criticism as it is. Anyway, Amanda and I have the same trouble from time to time. I know there is software readily available for recording podcasts, and I know that Skype calls can also be recorded…and not just the video kind, but the VOIP (voice over internet provider) kind as well. I believe we spent about $50 on our software to record our video calls, and it was money well-spent, but I also am aware that more and more software is available now so that maybe it wouldn’t cost a thing, particularly for the voice-calls.  Just a thought.

Nick Is Back!

Initially, they chatted about Nick resuming his DD duties. The thing is, Nick never really stepped completely away from Duran Duran, he simply couldn’t be where they needed him to be – so rather than cancel shows, they were lucky to have Amanda (no, not THAT Amanda – MNDR, actually!) to step in and be able to do a fabulous job while Nick was away. There was no additional information given to his absence, not that I expected otherwise.

New Year Shows and Beyond for 2017

It has been many years since Duran Duran did shows around the New Year holiday, and he said it was fun, mentioning the there was “not too much expectation”, that people were just out to have a good time. He did mention that there would be some additional shows later in the year for the US, and South America.

He elaborated on South America, mentioning that they hadn’t been there in a while (about four years, he guessed) and that they have some of the best audiences in the world there with an amazing energy. They will be there for a couple of weeks, visiting Argentina, Chile and Brazil for Lalapalooza as well as an additional show in Brazil.

The subject of Australia continues to come up – and yes, it would seem the band is at least aware of the need to tour there. Dates have been, and continue to be, discussed, but nothing has been booked. They are looking at September time-period, and they’re also hoping to get to Japan and other areas (he mentioned Hong Kong for one) in that general vicinity.

Katy asked Nick if they were hoping to tour on and off for 2017 and then get back into the studio, but Nick seemed unwilling to commit. The last time Nick was in the Kafe, he seemed to think they’d go back to the studio around the September time period, but because they are now talking about Australian dates during that same time,  I have to think that the studio has been put off.  If you’re as dialed in to DD’s typical pattern,  it’s probably a smart guess to assume they won’t be going back to the studio in 2017 if they’re going to tour in September/October because typically, after a tour – they take a fair amount of time completely off before resuming. Maybe 2018? But then….that’s their 40th anniversary.  Will they tour yet again? The time frame seems to leave a lot of questions.  Time will tell.

The Musical!

One subject Nick spent a fair amount of time discussing is the musical project that he has been working on with John. Can you believe it has already been six years that they’ve been working on it?   Nick says that they are very close to finishing the first draft, mentioning the time frame and that it has been difficult for them to really have solid working time – grabbing a week here, a week there. So when in fact they’ve probably spent a solid three months time writing, it’s been spaced out over the course of six years. (I so get this from my own writing experiences with Amanda!)

The music is meant for stage, they know that for sure. What they are still thinking about is where they’ll release it. Do they put the show up first and then the soundtrack? Do they do the music first?  It’s been a very different way of writing. Imagine it – they know the characters, they know the story. Each song is a matter of getting from point A to point B and so on, but how to say it using the characters voice? He mentions how they know what each character eats for breakfast, explaining the same sort of intimate knowledge that an author might have for their own characters, and yet they’ve got an entire cast to “know” that thoroughly.

Nick mentions that the process has not been quick. On the same note – he and John have not had a lot of arguments about the direction and so forth. Once they locked down the story they wanted to tell, it was a matter of working together as a full collaboration. Nick uses Tommy (by The Who) as an example, but is quick to add that Tommy is in fact a rock opera as opposed to a musical.

He sees the musical writing/staging process as similar to a live show. Each takes the audience on a journey, following up to say that while a play writer might not have any experience with the pacing involved in a live show, he and John certainly do. He wasn’t ready to share the subject matter or theme to the musical, only saying that the story is universally appealing and that he knows of no other musical that covers what they are covering.

The Live Show

That brought the Kafe to discussing the pacing of their current live show. One of Nick’s favorite moments in the show is when the confetti cannons go off. I think most everyone is aware of the cannons during “Pressure Off”, and he says that it was really fun to watch the people’s faces as the confetti showers the crowd. He talks briefly about opening with “Paper Gods” and how Simon has enjoyed that because the song is within his natural range and is lengthy, and then compared that to opening with “Before the Rain” during the last tour.

Nick says that he has enjoyed playing all of the songs in their set for various reasons, but he does miss playing Only in Dreams and Love Voodoo, which they performed during the UK shows. They were cut because the show was becoming too lengthy (I don’t even know what this means….is there really such a thing?!?)  He explains that it becomes very difficult when pacing a show, because some songs are really only identifiable by the diehards in the first few rows, and while they might be jubilant, the rest of the audience is standing back and asking “What is this?” He says that they are constantly striving for a balance of new songs, intrigue, and old songs, and they never get it quite right. Over the years, they’ve tried adding several songs into the set list without a lot of crowd success beyond the first five rows:

Secret Oktober

Come Up and See Me

Serious

Late Bar (One that he says no one knows beyond the first couple rows – a painful, terrible truth, I might add!)

Seventh Stranger (Katy mentions that on an informal survey that Richard Blade did during the time that JT came to visit him at Sirius radio, this song was the most requested “obscurity” to be played.)

Faster than Light (The song that JT would like to do live, in response to Richard’s survey above)

However, those of us that would love a show for purely obscure songs that the rest of the world doesn’t know have a friend in Nick – he says he would love to play a show where they don’t perform a single hit! Mentioning Palomino along with Crime & Passion, he muses…and then says “whether we’ll get ’round to doing that, never know.”  They did do something similar to warm themselves up for the last tour (he is talking about the UK rehearsal gigs they did prior to the All You Need is Now tour, after Simon’s vocal issues – these were gigs just to get themselves back into playing live mode.)

They end the January 2017 Katy Kafe by  Katy thanking him, and then making quick mention that maybe they should look at doing smaller theater shows for their bigger supporters, and that way they could look at doing some of the more obscure songs in their catalog.

IF ONLY, AM I RIGHT?! 

On to February, when Nick joins Katy again for their annual Oscar Kafe!

-R

 

The Lights Turn On: New Year’s Eve!

Rumor has it that it is a show day!  A Duran Duran show day!  Woohoo!  Yes, that’s right.  Duran Duran is playing tonight at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.  They are playing a New Year’s Eve show, in fact, with the show starting at 10:30.  Therefore, fans in attendance will actually ring in 2017 with Duran Duran.  This significant event pulled a lot of fans like myself to the Washington DC area.  Has Duran Duran ever played a New Year’s Eve show?  I don’t think so.  They have done TV appearances for New Year’s (MTV, Carson Daly, etc.) but I don’t think they have played a whole show on this date.  (That said, someone correct me if I’m wrong!)

Show Details:

As this show has loomed closer, my social media focused on Duran started hopping.  A few days ago, an article, which you can read here,  was shared by many fans planning to attend tonight’s and/or tomorrow’s show.  The two big pieces that most focused on were the cost to get in and the dress code.  According to the article and the email that ticket holders received, the casino is charging $75 on New Year’s Eve, in order to enter.  These tickets must be purchased in advance through (my favorite) Ticketmaster.  Good news is that ticket holders to the Duran show just need to show their tickets to enter WITHOUT paying this $75 charge.  This is a good move for the casino since our tickets weren’t cheap!  I, for one, will be interested to see what the crowd in the casino will be like with this additional cost.

The other big piece of news that attendees is focusing on, which is the dress code for the weekend.  According to the article,

“MGM is also instilling a dress code for New Year’s weekend. Visitors are asked to wear “upscale or semi-formal dress, suitable for the occasion.”

MGM also points out that “appropriate attire will be required throughout the weekend, Friday through Sunday. No athletic gear, T-shirts, shorts, torn or cutoff clothing, offensive prints on clothing, baggy clothing … athletic shoes, flip-flops, sneakers, chains, ball caps.”

What exactly does that mean, people wonder?  I question it myself.  My assumption is that you can’t look like a bum.  You have to look like you wanted to look nice.  For tonight’s show, I’m wearing dress pants.  After that, I’m planning on wearing nice jeans to the New Year’s Day show.  I’m sure it will be fine.  If not…well, then, I will deal.  Unhappily.

Nick News:

If anyone was on social media on the 29th, the big topic of discussion was the Cancun show, specifically the lack of Nick.  As far as I know, there was no announcement saying that he was not going to be there nor was there an announcement saying that he was.  Yet, many/most people expected him to be there because he had just played with the band in London not that long ago.  If he was able to perform then, surely, he would be able to perform now, right?  Once people realized that he wasn’t there, speculation grew.  Why?  What is going on?  People wanted to know.  From what I could tell, it wasn’t out of a desire to be nosey or to violate Nick’s privacy.  No, it was more about wanting to know what to expect from Duran Duran.  Could people expect Nick to be at upcoming shows?  If not, shouldn’t fans know that before buying tickets?

It didn’t take long before DDHQ responded with the following tweet:

Obviously, this is what all Duranies wanted to hear.  We all want Nick there.  It doesn’t feel like the same band without him.  While I was relieved to see that tweet, part of me will still worry until I see Nick on stage for myself.  I’m a little paranoid.

Drinks!

If anyone is planning on going to the show tonight or tomorrow night, come join me at the Lobby Bar (that’s the actual name of a bar in the casino) before the show.  I am planning to be there a couple of hours before show time.  After all, I want time to see people, have good conversation, and maybe have a drink or two!

-A

December 2016 Year End Katy Kafe with Nick Rhodes!

Another day, and this time it is Nick Rhodes in the December 2016 Year End Katy Kafe! Nick talks about everything from briefly mentioning his absence from the US tour, to shows he’s seen this year, and heading into the 40th anniversary of Duran Duran.  Here are the highlights:

World Event

Naturally, Nick mentions losing David Bowie, and then Prince, Leonard Cohen…and many others.  He commented that it was one of the worst years in memory (I’m sure many of us might agree), going on to also mention the political scenarios taking place, adding that he wouldn’t go into them because they would consume the remainder of the Katy Kafe.

He also talks about missing the US tour, saying that it was strange to miss, but that there was something in his life that needed to be dealt with.

Favorite Entertainment/Culture:

This portion of the Kafe was lengthy! If one ever had reason to wonder what Nick does outside of Duran Duran, or was curious if he ever got bored – I can tell you just from listening to this very Kafe that the answer is NO.

Favorite Album

He mentions a few but Blackstar by David Bowie was his first answer, saying that it is hard to listen to (agreed), but is very interesting (also agree).  Extraordinary to think he was so very ill when the album was recorded, certainly.

Also mentions: Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree, and The Weeknd’s Starboy.

Movies

Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals; Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; Andrew Rossi’s First Monday in May.

Fashion Shows

He saw a “few”, but mentioned Alexander McQueen and Pam Hogg’s shows.

Books

Antony Cairns Night City Night City Night City; Daisuke Yokota Matter/Burnout

Art Shows

Beyond Caravaggio – London

Picasso Portraits – National Portrait Gallery London

The Vulgar – Barbican

Erwin Blumenfeld – London

(some of these exhibitions have ended, so I just included interesting links to articles as I found them)

Nick’s own My V&A exhibit on YouTube

He also went to Art Basel with John, where they spent a day running around to see as much as possible!

Live Shows (Music and Theatre)

The Cure

Bjork

Lazarus (David Bowie’s last work)

Favorite DD Moment (there were several!)

American Tour (Or at least the shows that he performed), notably: Barclay Center and North Carolina where they signed the LGBTQ petition.

Italian tour, mentioning both Taormina and Verona, which was on his birthday.

Cornwall/Eden Project

Buckingham Palace on March 16!

Personal Moment:

The tour

He’s also spent a lot of time working outside of DD projects this year – when he came “back” (I am not sure what he meant by that, but the way he said it made it at least sound as though he meant when he got “back” from whatever personal thing took him away from the DD tour) he worked more with The Bloom Twins. He is enjoying that process because they have no preconceptions to battle, they’re not spoiled by success and are willing to try anything.

Looking forward to 2017

Here’s the thing, Duranie…this is the part I was waiting for. Don’t get me wrong, I took good notes about all of the art things he’s seen and I plan to go back and do my own searching on a lot of it because I very much enjoy that sort of thing, but for the sake of this blog? We’re all about the DD, and we want to know what’s coming next. I’ve made a list!

  • Finish musical with John! They are nearly done with a first solid draft (great work – it is HARD to finish big writing projects, this much I know!)
  • Publish photo book – he wanted to get that out last year, but it is completely finished and just needs a home. Stay tuned….
  • Heading towards 40th anniversary of Duran Duran (this is alarming to me. Did we miscount??). Although the “original” Duran Duran began in 1978, Simon didn’t join until 1980. I wonder when we’ll celebrate the 40th….or when we’ll stop!  😀

More shows…and….

MORE NEW MATERIAL

Yes, you read that right. Not only did Roger say the words in his Kafe, but Nick mentioned the “S” word (for studio) in his Kafe too. Katy asked him about when he’d think we’d be seeing new music, and while Nick assured her that he would never make that bet, he thought maybe they’d return to the studio to begin writing in perhaps September.  They are still hoping to get to Australia and Japan and perhaps other countries “in that area” this next year.

All I can end with is…watch this space. You never know what that band will be up to next!

-R

 

 

 

Nick Is BACK!

While doing a quick glance through my timeline yesterday, a certain tweet caught my attention:

Wait, what?!  What’s going on?  Duran Duran is playing a show?!  Today?  For real?  Are these pictures from today, too?  I asked myself. I had to find out more!

Time Out London provided the following information about it:

Wonderstruck scientist Brian Cox and bookish comic Robin Ince join forces for a night of comedy and music

Everyone’s favourite dreamy-eyed scientist, Professor Brian Cox, and superb, erudite comedian Robin Ince join forces for their annual Christmas blow-out at the Hammersmith Apollo. The pair are co-hosts of Radio 4’s ‘Infinite Monkey Cage’, and these live shows will be similar, but with more of a variety feel, bringing together an array of scientific minds, stand-ups and musicians.

What is even more cool about this event is that the proceeds go to charities like Médecins Sans Frontières UK (Doctors Without Borders) and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.  As I’m sure that many of you know Doctors Without Borders is an organization that works in over 60 countries to provide medical care.  The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, on the other hand, an organization working creating respect for subcultures.

While all that is super awesome, the big news for Duranies is that a certain keyboardist was in this picture!  Does this mean that Nick is back?!  Indeed, the band’s twitter featured a picture of Nick with the hashtag #duranlive, #thecontroller.  Well then!  Now, I realize this show was in the UK, but most fans are hopeful that whatever caused him to leave the tour in the summer is no longer impacting his attendance for future shows.  Does this mean that he will be at the Cancun show?  The NYE shows?  I think most of us are hopeful.  I know that I am.

While the band did not play a full show, they did perform a number of fan favorites with the following setlist:

Planet Earth
Wild Boys
A View to a Kill
Ordinary World
Notorious
Pressure Off
Rio

New Years at MGM National Harbor?

I got word of the official announcement that Duran Duran will be playing on New Years Eve AND New Years Day this year in National Harbor – a new development just outside of Washington DC. The venue (The Theater at MGM National Harbor) is 3,000 seats – so it is intimate, and the casino (MGM National Harbor) will provide just the right atmosphere for late night festivities in order to welcome 2017. It sounds like just the plan for Duranies on the east coast, or anyone willing to make the trip.

As you are reading this on Tuesday morning, the pre-sale for the show dates are likely already taking place. You can find ticket prices and details here.

No, the tickets are not cheap. These shows are taking place on New Years Eve and New Years Day, which are both holidays, and events typically sell at a premium. I can’t blame them even if I can’t join them! The hotel (MGM National Harbor) is also very expensive – stays for that period of time are ghastly prohibitive to many Duranies unless you are willing to share a room with twelve or more of your closest buddies, but I hear there are other hotels in the area, too.  Good luck!

I’ve seen many a complaint, as always, ranging from the price of the shows (with Ultimate VIP – a guaranteed front row seat – the tickets could easily reach $600, but cheaper tickets are available), to the fact that yes, these shows are once again in the US.  I am empathetic to those outside of the US, because it is true – they have spent a good portion of time here lately.  I know it is a difficult truth, but the fact is: the band makes money here. Duran Duran is not a charity, and they don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. They sell tickets here. The music industry is here.  It is what it is. I do wonder if the band is really going to be doing shows in Europe or anywhere else net year, but at the moment…I’m more curious about something else entirely…

Is Nick going to be appearing with the band?

In the past, this would not have even been a question. In fact, I feel a little silly for even wondering because, well…this summer was just a fluke, right? Of course he’s coming back. Right?

However, after missing the entire leg of shows this summer, the question still hangs in my head. I didn’t have to wait long to see if anyone would ask. When the subject came up yesterday on Twitter, Katy responded that she did not have the answer to that question at this time.

Wait, what?

You mean, there really IS a question hanging in the air about this?!  I guess for me, I’m sitting here wondering how Duran Duran can plan shows without even knowing if their keyboard player is going to be there. But then I remember that MNDR played the entire tour, and did a fantastic job. Even so, wasn’t that really just a one-off thing, or is this “something” really more of a permanent deal?  Or maybe, it’s that Katy answered honestly. She didn’t want to say yes or no because it wasn’t something that had been discussed yet. I can see that. I mean, you can’t really commit to something you don’t know. Perhaps by the time this is published (I’m writing ahead!), all will be known and this will be a non-issue.

I guess the one thing I know for sure is that at some point, Duran Duran should choose to come clean on this and say whatever it is that needs said, even if that’s to say that of course Nick is going to be performing.  Having the question hanging in the air is worse than having the words out there in black and white. Fans have the right to know who is going to be playing keyboards before they shell out a handful of money to see another gig.

Amanda and I have openly chosen not to press the issue with Nick because we accepted that he wanted whatever he needed to do kept private. We get that. I get that.  To be clear, I am not requesting that the band give any more details besides whether or not he is planning to appear.  This isn’t about privacy, or Nick’s health…or needing to know every last bit of minutia.  However, if he isn’t going to tour with the band, I think it’s time to just say so.  I believe this is owed to their fans and the people who have stuck by them through several guitarists, drummers, and even bass players over the years. I think the fans have more than proven their staying power, and dammit – we’re pretty supportive when given the opportunity.

I’d like to be given that chance.

-R

 

I Need Your Blind Full Secrets

Sorry the blog is late today, I was in training for most of the day and I’m now squeezing this in between extracurricular activities. I suspect this might become a pattern with Tuesday and Thursday blogs, but I will do my best.

Admittedly, things are quiet now in Duranland.  After nearly a year of relatively constant activity, I’m finding myself back in the pattern of needing to think about what to write rather than have topics swimming in my head. Again, I’ll do my best. If there is something that you’d like to see Amanda or I cover that we haven’t lately, or if you have ideas for fun polls or activities—don’t hesitate to let us know.

We will once again be doing our now Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest in October, so get your creative juices flowing! Details on that to come soon.

Like many of you, I’ve been curious to see what DDHQ pulls out of the hat for that last North America concert date. No word yet on when or exactly where on the east coast it will be, but I saw a little birdie mention that news of that might be coming in October. Stay tuned…

Not sure if anyone noticed the recent photos of one Nicholas Rhodes floating around—he was in attendance at the Pam Hogg show for London Fashion Week, and there are a few photos of him with Yasmin and Antony Price, as well as one of Nick and Nefer at the LOVE magazine party in London on September 19th. (I am not posting the photos here, but you can easily locate them on Duran Duran’s Facebook and/or Twitter pages).  It is good to see Nick out and about, particularly since none of us really saw him this past summer during the North American tour.

Nick was certainly missed this past summer. It was very strange to look up and not see him grinning from his keyboards. I keep saying it, but MNDR did a fabulous job in an incredibly short period of time to learn everything. Even so, I can’t imagine the band without Nick.  Can anyone?? Maybe they’d all start wearing DENIM…or baseball caps on stage without him!!! <evil grin here>

Amanda and I have done our best to respect his privacy and not speculate. We have no idea why he needed to miss the US dates. But yes, both of us would say that for Nick, of all people, to miss the entire US tour – we’d have to think it was important. I can’t say we went to a single show where it wasn’t brought up. We heard far too many rampant rumors coming from people who, if they really DID know the truth – shouldn’t have been going around telling every fan they ran into.  Then again, I suppose that alone says it all.

Now that he’s out and about again, fans are thrilled.  It’s good to see him. I know people will continue to speculate, because that’s what fans do.  Sure, even I wonder. The guy looks healthy and fine, and I  wonder what kept him away from an entire tour. Of course. But, I also respect that not everything is up for public knowledge, scrutiny, and debate. So, I’m just happy to see he’s out and about. Hopefully the rest of the world will be able to experience the Paper Gods as we know they were meant to be.

-R

MNDR for Remainder of North American Dates

Last night, Duran Duran posted the following on social media:

If you haven’t had a chance, read the terrific Yahoo Music interview with MNDR, where she talks about her experience touring with Duran Duran.  We’re happy to announce she will be continuing on the Paper Gods tour for the remainder of the N. American dates!

As you might imagine, the fan community reacted.  As I looked through the comments on both Twitter and Facebook, I found 4 basic types of reactions.

  • MNDR was great at ____________ show and the keyboards are in “good hands”
  • My worry has increased since Nick has been gone so long that it must be serious.  Can we please have an update about what is going on?
  • Happy?  Why use the word ‘happy’?  Who is happy about it?
  • So upset that Nick won’t be at ______________ show.  Expected him to be there when bought the ticket.

None of these reactions surprised me.  Whenever some upsetting news is given, people respond with all sorts of emotions.  It happened in July when the announcement first came that Nick had to return to the UK and it has happened now.  I can’t blame anyone for his/her reaction as they are all very human responses.

MNDR Was Great:

I have to admit that I would probably fall into this camp.  Both Rhonda and I have mentioned numerous times over our shows this summer that we thought she did a fabulous job.  I still think that.  Does that mean that I preferred her over Nick?  Of course not.  It just means that I was happy that the shows could go on and that the quality of the music was not harmed significantly by a replacement.  Many of us have held tickets to canceled shows in the past.  There is not much worse than that.  If the band had canceled, when would they be able to return?  Who knows?  They might not have and if they did, would I have been able to attend the show(s) then?  Who knows again?  Having MNDR fill in was the best choice, I believe.

Increased Worry:

I totally understand people’s concern.  We all want everything with Nick to be fine and for him to attend the shows.  Yet, we know that he is physically fine based on the Katy Kafe that was posted on the 10th.  Clearly, he wishes that he could be on tour but he has something to take care of.  Who I know what that is?  No.  Do I need to know?  Not really.  I look at my job.  Do I tell my students every time I need to be gone from work?  No.  I don’t tell them anything that won’t effect their classroom experience.  If it doesn’t affect the job, it doesn’t need to be stated.  I understand why people want to know.  They care.  They worry.  Yet, clearly, this is something that Nick wants to keep private.  As hard as it is for all of us who care about Nick a lot, I think we have to try and respect that wish.  I know that it is much easier said than done.

Happy???

Ah..word choice.  As someone who writes a blog, I am well-aware of how ONE word can upset people.  Those who are upset about the use of the word, ‘happy’, do you really think that DDHQ means that they are happy Nick is gone?  Or do you think they are happy that someone good can stand in so the shows don’t have to be canceled?  Again, as someone who writes and puts thoughts out there to be consumed by the public, I wish people were a less little critical and assume that there was nothing but good intentions behind it.

Upset

Again, I totally understand those people who have tickets to shows and expected Nick to be there.  I, too, would be upset.  Heck, I was upset that he wasn’t at my shows.  Again, though, I ask that people assume positive intentions.  Nick and the DDHQ didn’t do this to anger people or frustrate ticket buyers or to dupe people out of money.  Things happen.  We don’t have to like it and we can be angry at the situation but I don’t know that the anger should be directed at the band or their team.  I also ask people about the alternative.  Would people really prefer the shows be canceled only to possibly NEVER happen?  Yeah, the situation sucks.  For sure.  Yet, I believe that something is better than nothing.

On that note, I continue to send love and support to Nick and his family with whatever it is that is being dealt with.  Clearly, there are  a lot of people out there doing the same.

-A

August Katy Kafe with Nick!

Duran Duran Appreciation Day was a little extra special this year.  Not only did fans show how much love there is for the band all over social media, but DDHQ posted a new Katy Kafe.  This one featured Nick!  His presence in the Kafe was VERY welcomed by many as the concern for him has been growing since his departure from the tour in early July.  I have heard many fans ask questions anxiously of anyone and everyone who might know something, anything about what is going on with him.  This questioning, generally, has been done out of love and concern as it is hard for people to sit back and be patient when worried.  Others have attempted to reassure by stating that no news is good news and that Nick is where he needs to be.  The real reassurance came this week, though, when fans could actually hear Nick’s voice for themselves in the latest Kafe.  Hearing his voice put a smile on my face, too!  Soon enough, I was itching to capture the highlights here on the blog.  Of course, if you want to hear it all (and I know you DO!!!) and without my commentary, then make sure you are a member of DuranDuranMusic.com.

Update on Nick’s absence:

Nick reminded everyone that he had to leave the tour to return to England to deal with a family matter and that this was the first time that he had to miss dates.  He is a little concerned that if he doesn’t return soon that Simon will take over the lead for the most times on stage with Duran Duran.  He described it as “relinquishing his crown,” which I thought was super cute!  Then, he apologized for not being at the shows but thrilled that MNDR could stand in for him.  He misses everyone but isn’t sure when he will return.  He felt strongly that the show was in a good place with the lights, the production, the setlist, etc. so he really didn’t want to cancel dates.  (As someone who attended shows, I’m couldn’t be more pleased that they didn’t cancel!)

Bloom Twins:

Nick is writing and producing their album with them and has been over the last 9 months.  The plan is for him to finish when they resume working in September.  He has been enjoying working with them because they are young and open.  Clearly, the implication is that they aren’t jaded about the business like others who are older or more experienced might be.  This is the first band Nick has worked with like this since the Dandy Warhols.   Speaking of projects that he has been working on, he and John hope that the writing for the musical is done this year as well.  (So do I!!)  Interestingly enough, Nick says that the Bloom Twins work really quickly, the opposite of Duran Duran.

MTV Anniversary:

August 1st marked MTV’s 35th anniversary.  Nick talked about how awesome the channel was when it first started.  The channel was started by “young, vibrant, passionate” people who really had a pulse on what was happening.  Whenever Duran showed up, MTV just went with whatever idea Duran came with.  For example, Duran brought Andy Warhol with them one day and that was cool with MTV.  Later, though, the channel shifted to be less flexible and even later became “game show” like.  (Like with so many other things in my life, I find myself wishing that I could have been there to witness those experiences Nick talked about with MTV in person.)  Nick and Katy discussed the possibility of MTV rebooting to once again show videos.  Both didn’t think that was going to work despite Nick’s obvious sadness over the loss of what MTV was.  (I feel his pain as I’m sure most of the people reading this do, too.)

BBC Music Day:

Duran participated in this by playing a show from the Eden Project, which is an attraction focused on plants from different environments, that was then broadcasted for people in the UK to see.  (It is on YouTube now, if you want to watch it for yourself.)  Nick hasn’t seen the broadcast and isn’t very good about watching his own shows.  He does like that the band was able to participate in something new, though.

Appreciation:

Nick sent his appreciation to everyone who has come to see the band on the Paper Gods tour, to all the fans who have been with them “forever” and to all the new fans.  He describes it as “quite a journey.”

2017 Dates??:

When discussing possible dates for 2017, the Far East, Australia and South America were all places mentioned that they need to get to since they haven’t been there yet during this tour.  I’m sure that would make MANY fans very happy!!!

Overall, we didn’t get much in terms of scoops or new information about what is going on behind the scenes.  That said, I, for one, was very glad to hear Nick’s voice and to know that he isn’t giving up his day job anytime soon!  That is something we can all appreciate!

-A