Category Archives: Nick Rhodes

Happy Birthday Nick 2019!

This blog is much later than I had hoped. I have not been feeling good all day so I’m going much slower than I expected. Today is a big day in all of Duranland as it is Nick Rhodes’s birthday! How best to celebrate the keyboard player, the controller, the alien?! I would like to highlight the moments/videos that make me really appreciate him and super glad that he decided to form Duran Duran with his buddy, John.

Let’s start with the video in which Nick first caught my attention. I thought he looked so cute in it and even thought that he might be my favorite after seeing it. More interestingly, after I saw this video, I decided to dress as Nick in this video for Halloween. This, of course, worked better in my brain than it did in my childhood neighborhood where people didn’t get it. I got a lot of, “Who are you supposed to be?”

Of course, I quickly found out how smart he is when I started to pay attention to interviews with him. I remember watching Sing Blue Silver as a kid and thinking about what an amazing vocabulary he has. Simon even commented there about the “agile brain of Nick Rhodes at work.” It impressed me and made me want to be equally as smart. (I’m not but I will always try!)

Then, as I got older and my fandom matured, I noticed different things about Nick. I had heard, for example, that his gum chewing (which the Nick girls love!) was to show his frustration with the decision to make Serious a single. I don’t know if it is true but the story amuses me. It also tells me that he is passionate about all things Duran and the decisions the band makes.

I also appreciate the artistic side of Nick. First, of course, there is the photography from Interference in the 1980s to more recent exhibits like Bel Incubi as seen here.

Then, there are other examples of his artistic side through projects like Unstaged when the band worked with David Lynch.

I also appreciate the heck out of Nick at live shows. My favorite live show moment with Nick definitely has to be in Brighton in 2011. After having traveled to the UK twice in a year to see the band play there, we were finally seeing them on stage. Rhonda and I were beyond excited. Then, when the first notes of Secret Oktober began, we couldn’t contain ourselves as we turned towards one and another to hug. As we focused back on the stage, we noticed Nick looking at us and laughing. Clearly, he thought our reaction was pretty ridiculous! Likewise, he always seems so entertained by people’s reactions of disgust to Simon’s water spitting during White Lines. Lastly, there is his addition to the Reflex live when he answers the question, “Why don’t you use it?” His responses are always so entertaining (when and if I can understand them!)

But I think the video that best captures how I always want to think of Nick Rhodes is the following one. As someone who got to walk through the same Brompton Cemetery, I feel very lucky because not only did I get an amazing place but I also felt closer to Nick for having done so.

On that note, I wish Nick a very happy birthday! I hope he has an amazing day and that it begins the very best year for him!

-A

Year End Kafe 2018 with Nick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A

Happy Birthday Nick!

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get this blog done.  This week marks the last week of the school year for me, which means that I had to grade over 100 essays and clean up my room within a week.  Luckily, I finished those tasks this morning, allowing me some time to wish my favorite keyboardist a happy birthday!!!

To celebrate Nick’s birthday, I figured it might be fun to share some of my favorite Nick clips.  Let’s start with the first song that really caught my attention as far as the keyboards in Duran goes:  Save a Prayer.

Yet, the first time I remember paying attention to him as a person was in the following video:

There was just something about Nick’s look in this video that I loved.  Funny story.  I loved it so much that I decided to go as Nick Rhodes for Halloween one year.  I, of course, chose this video as the one to model myself after with the black pants, blue shirt, white tie.  As I went around my Chicago suburban neighborhood, most people had no clue who I was.  Needless to say, I felt sad that I had to explain myself to all these people.  The people typically reacted by saying, “Wait.  You are a girl dressed like a boy who is dressed like a girl?!”  Clearly, they lacked some knowledge on a great deal, including the fabulousness of one Mr. Nick Rhodes.

Another video that I adored Nick in was New Moon on Monday.  As many of you know, it is my favorite Duran video of all time.  While I know that the band might not love it, but I do.  There is so much to love, including the storyline of the band members being a part of a resistance to an authoritarian regime.  I adored watching Nick and John working together with the older woman.  It gave me a sense of the strong friendship between those two.

Besides those clips and some of my favorite scenes in the classic Duran documentary, Sing Blue Silver, involving the game, Galaga, I don’t think I appreciated Nick as much as I should have as a kid.  No, it took until adulthood to do so.  I think it started with the Astronaut EPK, especially when the band members describe Nick about 4:40 in:

I loved this EPK because you could hear both the love and the honesty from each member about each band member.  Roger called Nick a “perfectionist” but he did it with a clear and obvious smile.

Around the same time, I began to go “on tour” or traveling to go to multiple shows.  I had heard so many stories from other Duranies about their experiences with the band that I desperately longed for a story or two myself.  Luckily, I had a chance to see the band in person outside of the concert venue in the summer in 2005.  While I lucked out in getting both John and Nick’s autograph then, Nick was the first band member who stopped to actually chat with the fans hanging around.  To say that he was friendly and approachable would be an understatement.  He readily agreed to photos and autographs to anyone who asked.  I was thoroughly impressed as he truly did not need to do any of that, especially after a show.

Looking back to that time with Nick, I realize how important this was to my fandom.  I found myself falling for the band even more, which I didn’t know was possible.  Just as important, I trusted that the band consisted of great guys who deserve the love and support from the fans.  Instead of accepting this amazing moment as the peak of my fandom, I wanted more.  This led to more shows, more tours, and even actions like writing this blog.  Had the experience gone badly, I might have been turned off from fandom, from Duran Duran.  Instead, the opposite happened.

In more recent years, I have adored Nick’s parts in both All You Need Is Now and Girl Panic.

As many of you know, Rhonda and I were lucky enough to be able to wander through Brompton Cemetery where Nick’s part was filmed.  It was a definite highlight for me.  Beyond being a completely cool cemetery (and very different from American cemeteries), it also was the sight of a hilarious moment for Rhonda and myself.  As we began to wander through, the clouds opened allowing it to not only pour but also to hail.  So imagine the two of us running and searching for any sort of shelter.  When we found a place, the only thing we could do was to laugh hysterically, knowing how ridiculous we must have looked like.

Then, there is Girl Panic.  I won’t lie.  Nick’s part might be my favorite.  His dialogue and conversation amuses me.

So on this day, I channel all of my appreciation into wishing Nick an absolutely fabulous birthday and hope that he has the best year of his life.

Happy Birthday, Nick!!!

-A

Year End Katy Kafe with Nick!

The final Kafe has been posted!  This one featured one Mr. Nick Rhodes who enjoyed a little white wine while he chatted with Katy about his 2017 highlights.  As always, I recommend tuning in yourself as I’m only sharing bits and pieces.  Hearing it for yourself is much better!  On that note, let’s dive in.

2017 Thoughts:

World Events:

Nick found most of the world events to be upsetting and depressing.  (For the record: Same here.  The low level depression is real.)  I wish Nick hopes that 2018 brings more common sense to the world and that we move away from the far right wing politics that we are moving towards. (Again, same here.  I won’t lie.  As someone with a history degree, my anxiety about the current state of affairs is high.)   He would prefer politics to be at the comfortable center.  That said, he discussed some of the fabulous exhibitions he attended, including ones at the Royal Academy, MOMA, San Francisco, Tate Modern and lots more.

Movies:

He has not seen many movies yet but will need to in order to participate in the Oscar’s annual discussion.  He did like Blade Runner and is a big fan of the original.  Like previous members have mentioned, it was really “beautiful” and “stylish”.  Nick mentioned a couple of other movies but many of them were hard to understand due to a poor phone connection between himself and Katy.   While he is not a big fan of war movies, Dunkirk was quality.  He did recommend a documentary entitled “Sex, Fashion and Disco,” about Antonio Lopez, a “talented artist.”  Sounds fascinating.

Books:

In the least shocking statement of all, Nick stated how he preferred picture books over other kinds.  One that he discussed was a book called Night Procession, which is available on Amazon for a tiny $120.  Well then…Nick does say that it is “magical” as it about photographs with animals at night in the forest.  “Beautifully strange,” indeed.  Katy thought that the photos are a little “creepy” but are “very Nick” in terms of style.

TV:

He has not watched much TV even though he has many shows he would like to see.   One that he is interested in is Twin Peaks, a show led by David Lynch.  I’m actually shocked that he has not seen it yet.  He tried to watch the new episodes live when he was in LA but alas…it did not work out.

Music:

Nick often depends on John Taylor to share the latest music that he has found, but this year he has been abandoned by John in this.  He has found some on his own.  2017, in Nick’s opinion, has been great for female singers.  He listed some, but again, I struggled to hear specific names.  (I blame my lack of knowledge about current/new musical artists.  I guess I need a John Taylor in my life to share things with me!)

Favorite Duran Duran Moment:

He mentioned Lollalapooza in South America, partly because they hadn’t played there in a long time and that there was a LOT of fans there this time.  Hawaii was a special show, which allowed them to cross out another U.S. state.  He also talked about how the tour ended in Japan.  Miami, their most recent show, got a shout out as well.

Personal Highlights:

When in Tokyo, he decided to stay there an extra week to make a documentary on Japanese photography.  He was then able to interview many of the greats from the last century.  Now, he is going to start piecing it together with no idea when it will come out since he is doing it all on his own.

What He’s Looking Forward to in 2018:

He mentioned finishing the documentary as well as the musical with John.  I laughed when he talked about how they started it 7 years ago.  I can relate.  Since the tour ended, they spent a few weeks getting it into shape.  Looking to release it to Broadway then to the UK, maybe, possibly.  (Makes note to start saving money now to travel to see it.)  He believes that it represents what they set out to do with it.  It fascinates me, that’s for sure.  Beyond those and more, he looks forward to his “day job”.  He stated that they already have some dates (limited ones) planned, including the one in Dubai.  According to Nick, this makes John and Simon happy, in particular, because they really miss the live shows.  (For the record, so do we.)  Then, 2019 and 2020 isn’t that far away.  Likewise, the studio is coming, sometime in the next few months with the idea that it could turn into a new album but it doesn’t have to in this day and age.  Katy did ask if they would tour for the anniversary.  Nick’s response?  There will be lots going on but he imagines that there will be shows.

Nick’s Kafe was nice and long!  In fact, it had to be broken up into 2 parts.  Of course, he will return before too long for the Oscars special.

-A

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