Category Archives: Paper Gods

The Perfection of the Paper Gods Track List

The other day we posted Jason’s blog about how the track list for Paper Gods is all wrong, in his opinion. As I read it, I found myself shaking my head. While I appreciate that he didn’t like some of the tracks as much as others or that he felt the order was not quite right, I believe strongly that the track list is as it should be. (You can read his original post here.) Now, he was coming at the question from a purely musical standpoint and used previous albums as his guide. I get all that but I tend to look at the Paper Gods album very differently. As Rhonda and I have hinted or stated on here before, we believe that the album is about their career. If that is the case, the order of the songs might be essential and might not fit the traditional method that Duran typically uses. (The same is true for Red Carpet Massacre’s track list being a story but that it the topic for another blog.)

Paper Gods

The song, Paper Gods, is a perfect opener to let listeners know or remember about how too much of the public and most critics see/saw Duran Duran. They see them as “paper thin”. Back in the 1980s, they were so easily dismissed as being nothing because of the fact that girls liked them and had posters of them on their walls.

Last Night in the City

I don’t know about the rest of you but this song screams touring to me and I think it does for the band, too. All you have to do is check out a verse like, “I’ve been traveling around now, big world with my brothers, always moving’ to a new town, no time to put the roots down, We can’t stop believing, can’t stop, now we believe in you, Coz when you’re standing in the spotlight, the only thing that matters is tonight.” This track is essential and certainly describes their early years of touring, staying up all night, etc.

You Kill Me With Silence

This one might be harder to place in the band’s career context but it describes someone who keeps in a relationship despite criticism. Couldn’t that all be about Duran Duran with the rock critics? I vote yes.

Pressure Off

This track is similar to Last Night in the City in that it could be about live shows since there are lyrics like, “searchlight the crowd.” Could it be about how Duran could let go of all the pressure to be acceptable to the media when they played live? Again, that makes sense to me.

Face for Today

This song’s lyrics lead me to think it is about the band’s acceptance of fame. “You can fight it or invite it.” Couldn’t that it be fame? Then, the idea of “hold on to your time boy,” could be a reference to recognizing that the fame thing might not, probably won’t last forever.

Danceophobia

Could this be a song about how they needed to be reminded not to take it all so seriously, especially as the early 80s became the late 80s? Could it be a reminder just to enjoy the music and the dance even if people might judge them? Maybe even that they should be themselves, musically? That it is okay to make dance music?

What Are the Chances?

To me, this is the part of the album that represents the time in which Duran Duran has fallen off the top 40 charts and away from the media spotlight. Fame has ceased to be as all-consuming as it once was. Now, they are looking to change the direction they seem to be heading. “I’m just trying to change my luck.” Part of this process includes remembering to appreciate each other and what they do have, especially since they really lucked out in finding each other in the first place.

Sunset Garage

Despite this effort to change the direction that they seem to be headed, it isn’t working much. So, they need to remind themselves that it will be okay. “Whatever happens we’re OK – hey we’re still alive.” They reassure each other that they can make it on their own, without the support of record labels, the media, etc. “..if it all goes wrong we’re gonna make it on our own.” I feel like these lyrics represent Duran’s ability to keep going despite the obstacles.

Change the Skyline

By the time the late 1990s roll around, the band members seem to realize that a change needed to be made. They seemed to be realize that it was “time to change the skyline”. This meant that they will have to watch the current version of Duran fade (the Simon, Nick and Warren version) if it means a new one can be born (current line-up), “An empire in a day, Built on hope and burnt by the sun, But I’m happy to watch it fade, What I can raise it up again.”

Butterfly Girl

While the band recognizes that they need to “change the skyline”, they also need to come to grips with where their heads are at. John Taylor is the classic example here as he fought hard to overcome addictions, which I’m reminded of in the lyric, “There’s only one kind of happy in that glass of wine.” I also think of Simon who, from everything I read, was unable to really write a lot of lyrics for Pop Trash. He was in a lyrical hole just like the Butterfly Girl, so to speak.

Only in Dreams

This song always makes me think of the reunion and of our fan community. Wasn’t the reunion in our dreams for years and years and years? We also definitely don’t want to wake up if it means finding out that the reunion and the return of Duran as many of us knew them wasn’t real.

The Universe Alone

For a long time, I think Rhonda and I were convinced that this song was about the end of the line. Could this be why Duran put the album together in such a way that seemed to tell the story of their career with the Universe Alone at the very end? After all lines like, “It’s beautiful the dying sun, The end of everything and everyone” followed up with “I’ll see you in some other lifetime.” Even the very end, musically, with the choir singing left me believing it was the final curtain that was referenced in Paper Gods. Maybe it is them just preparing for the end because they did add bonus tracks, which could be a sign that they are continuing on, especially that first one.

Planet Roaring

This bonus track seems to summarize how fans still want to see and hear the band live. Maybe, this is why they are still doing what they do as opposed to saying good-bye like they could be doing.

What do the rest of you think? Could this album be about their career? In my opinion, the songs say that it is. Take a hard look at each of the lyrics and think about Duran’s career. Maybe you will see what I see. I might argue that the cover also focuses on their career. (An idea that we have covered already.)

-A

Give Me a Sign

Sometimes, it takes me a little bit before I realize something. I generally like to make many observations before I start to make make some inferences, some conclusions. In this case, I have been thinking about the VIP package for these upcoming shows without really thinking about what is included. It took me a few days of just looking at the bag before I started to really think about what I could learn from it, which I know sounds weird. Stay with me, though.

First of all, while I noticed that the bag was white, red and black, I didn’t really think about why that might be significant. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see picture below.

What’s the big deal with the color scheme? Well, when I bought tickets to shows coming up in February, I assumed that these shows would be shows connected to the Paper Gods tour. After all, I tend to think that any show is connected to the most recent album until new music comes out. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule. Shows in 2003 weren’t connected with Pop Trash but with the reunion. That said, shows in 2009 still feel like they are a part of the Red Carpet Massacre era.

So, I assumed that these February dates would be like the shows in 2017 or 2016 in that they would be Paper Gods focused including the set list. Now, I am not so sure about that. First of all, there were discussions on the most recent Katy Kafe about songs that the band is “dusting off” to play at these songs. If they were keeping things exactly as is, I doubt be practicing new (old) material. Then, there is the color scheme. Paper Gods was all about light blue, pink, light purple. It was not black, white and red. Could this be a sign that these shows won’t be really be Paper Gods focused in the same way? Obviously, I don’t have an answer but I like there is a mystery, an unknown. It makes me more excited about the shows. Will I be disappointed if it is still Paper Gods tour like? No. What about if it feels new? I would be good with that, too. I’m not picky. It just makes me wonder where these shows fit in the Duran tour timeline.

While I ponder that, I examined the bag some more. As I stated in the blog post about this package, the bag has the song titles in order on the bag. These titles seemed to be in order by album. Is that really true? The answer from what I can tell is sort of. The first album is listed in this way: Girls on Film, Planet Earth, Anyone Out There, To the Shore, Careless Memories, Night Boat, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine and Tel Aviv. No Is There Something I Should Know. No b-sides are listed. The Rio album seems normal with no b-sides listed. Then, it moves right into Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Still there is no Is There Something I Should Know. Interesting. No Wild Boys. No A View to a Kill. Uh. Notorious through Pop Trash all seem normal and in order without any sort of b-side or bonus track listed.

What about the most recent albums? Astronaut does not list any bonus track like Virus. Red Carpet Massacre does not include Cry Baby Cry. What about All You Need Is Now? This one has the 14 tracks from All You Need Is Now to Before the Rain. Paper Gods only has the 12 main songs listed. No bonus tracks there either. I’m not sure what if anything that means. No matter, I still find it interesting. They clearly decided to include only songs that appeared on albums, rather than the one offs. Bonus tracks and b-sides were not listed either. I wonder how much space those songs would have taken if they did.

While I think it is super cool that they listed the songs on the bag, I have to wonder if this isn’t a step into that 40th anniversary celebration. After all, it could be a way to acknowledge the songs found on the studio albums. What do the rest of you think? Should they have included those songs that are missing or is it good to focus on songs on albums only? All in all, these little signs make me wonder what is going to happen from here. I like to see these little shifts. I give me the security knowing that they are still working, still trying to think of new ways to send out the Duran brand.

-A

‘Tis the Season

Yes, I suppose that is a strange title to use since it is almost mid-January but it feels appropriate to me. Why is that? There are a couple of big reasons for this. First, Rhonda and I finally exchanged Christmas gifts. Second, those Vegas shows are right around the corner, which means not only will we get to see some shows but also have an opportunity for some of our more common antics…

Over the course of my friendship with Rhonda, we have come up with some pretty good gifts for each other. Unsurprisingly many of our gifts to each other relate or connect to Duran Duran or being Duranies. This year was no different. Rhonda got me a really amazing necklace that looks like a cool pendant while at the same time says the names of the band members over and over again. I look forward to wearing it as I assume that I’ll be wearing it a lot on tour! The one item that I got Rhonda that I think fits the best with what will be coming up is a little 8 ounce flask that I gave her. It is even personalized in that it is the property of the Daily Duranie. Ha!

As Rhonda and I chatted (or skyped as the case may be), it became clear that the time to give that band a hard time is coming. In fact, the first show in Vegas is 6 weeks from today. 6 weeks to give those five guys a hard time. We cannot wait. What do we mean by that? Well, the best explanation might be to review some of our finer moments of the Paper Gods Tour (and more).

Our Setlists

Suggested set list for Hollywood Bowl

Now, we have said that we will not criticize the band over the songs that they decide to play. We will be okay if the setlist is exactly the same as the last show we saw. There will not complaints or long diatribes about why setlist changes matter. Nope. We promise to be good. For the most part. Even though we won’t complain, we still might offer some suggestions in the form of a setlist. I’m certain that the band will appreciate having us come up with songs and order for them. You’re welcome, Duran Duran.

Pants

Truth be told, there were a lot of sentences written, video blogs recorded and more that focused in on the band’s outfits. I, especially, was drawn to talking about John’s pants. Now, some might say that he made it darn easy to tease him since they were so noticeably short. Then, of course, when the picture above appeared, it provided us a little challenge to find our own pants. This is what we came up with. Good times, indeed.

Enthusiasm

Chula Vista

Once upon a time, Rhonda and I sang our hearts out in between our screams and comments welcoming people to the band. We were so into the show that people in front of us turned around to comment about how enthusiastic we were. I certainly look forward to being so in the moment that I appreciate every look, every silly dance move, every ridiculous facial expression and more. We will certainly let them know what we love and what we find hilarious. Oh yes, we plan to bring it and we expect the band to bring it right back in whatever fashion that they choose.

Can’t hit me, Simon!!!

Yes, this might be a risky move since we are center for both shows but we are willing to face that music. Someday, we just might bust out an umbrella or raincoat at just the right moment say…during White Lines. No one will be able to say that we did not provide a warning.

On that note, I cannot wait to see what will come next. Will there be more lime green shoes? I cannot even imagine but I am looking forward to it all!

-A


Where Forever and Yesterday Collide

Where forever and yesterday collide…

I think those words, which I am borrowing from my friend @BoysMakeNoise, sum up the emotion of this day.

Today, we commemorate 9/11.  I had a friend lose a daughter that day, not a single Patriot’s Day goes by without my thinking about Lisa Frost or her family. I don’t take the date or the memory lightly, nor does anyone else I know, whether they are here in the LA area or in the east. My thoughts are with those who lost friends and family that day. We will never be the same, we will never forget, but we are learning how to go on.

September 11th has also become a day to remember something else in addition to the day our lives changed forever. We were given a cause to smile, if not quite celebrate. Paper Gods was released on this date in 2015.

My feelings about Paper Gods has almost certainly evolved over time. This single album is responsible for teaching me so much about myself, I am forever indebted. When I think back on where I sat three years ago, I assuredly see and feel personal growth. It wasn’t that I sat in a chair, hit “play” and felt an epiphany. If only.

No, when I first heard the entire album, I was aghast with some of the choices. I can’t say I fell in love immediately. In fact, I struggled. Rather than keeping quiet about it, I shared my tug-o-war. Probably not the smartest blogging decision I’ve ever made. People I deeply respect and very much care about had put their blood, sweat, tears into the making of the album, and yet I panned a major portion of it.

I still carry a fair amount of guilt about that. When I say I’ve learned from those mistakes, believe it. I sat with friends I admire and look up to, and did a lot of listening and soul-searching. I own my feelings about the album, but I wish that I had given myself more time to fully digest it all. Blogging for eight years has been a constant challenge and source of education for me, and that’s not an exaggeration. I’m definitely not the same person I was in 2010, and I have this blog to thank for much of that growth and adaptation.

Paper Gods isn’t an easy album. It is deep and complex, possibly in reflection of the band’s career. I sense the struggle in writing and recording it, and even the moments of anxiety and despair mixed with joy and satisfaction. It took me an incredibly long time to find my own way with Paper Gods. Great music can be that way, and I didn’t account for any of that when I gave it a knee jerk review. The pressure to be first outweighed the concern for being right or fair, which ended up being altogether wrong – at least for me. I’ll never do it again, that is for sure.

People tease me occasionally about my review of “You Kill Me With Silence”, a song that took me months to come to terms with. I loved the verse, but it was the chorus that bothered me. I liked the painstakingly slow and torturous melodic structure, but the chorus felt so bright and almost happy, it made me mad. It took me months to realize that the music perfectly described an emotionally abusive relationship, just as did the words. When that light bulb finally turned on for me, I embraced the song on a deeply personal level.

I also grappled with “The Universe Alone”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the song. It is likely one of the most brilliant pieces of music the band has ever written. At the time though, I felt like the song was carrying me into a whirlpool, threatening to take me down into an emotional abyss I wanted no part. I may have taken the meaning of the song far too literally. If it was to be Duran’s end, I wasn’t going down quietly. Silly? Probably. I just wasn’t ready to even think about the end. But you know, in the three years since first hearing the song, I have a different understanding. For the band, each “last song on the album” is really kind of the end. It’s a new world on the other side, and this band never knows where they’re going next. Do any of us?  How will I feel when it really IS the end?  I’ll grieve and feel like there can’t possibly be a tomorrow, but the sun will defiantly come up again anyway. It always does, and we will all have to learn how to go on.

Then there’s “Danceophobia”. I have found reason to smile and even laugh with this one. Doesn’t it make good sense it was included on Paper Gods? On an album filled with seriously deep and complex feelings that appropriately seem to cover the entirety of their career up to this point, shouldn’t laughter and silliness be one of them?

I still have Paper Gods in my car, three years later. It is an album that I almost always play from start to finish, and I let myself listen and be carried by the current through all of the sentiments the music evokes. Lately, it has been exactly the therapy I’ve craved. The idea that it can sit side by side with their debut album, Rio, and even All You Need is Now and completely hold its own is worth celebrating.

On a lighter note, I think about all of the fun I had while the band toured this album. I can’t help but be filled with gratitude. Once again, the band was the backdrop for some of the best moments of my life. I can hardly wait to do it all again…and then some. I miss Amanda, Lori and Suzie terribly.  I can’t wait to watch Nick laugh at us, share knowing grins with Simon, maybe even scream for Dom. (Maybe??!) I look forward to seeing friends again and meeting new ones. The band might not be ready just yet, and we may have quite a while to go, but I’ll be ready when the time comes. Will you?

-R

Before We Write the End: New Territory

Today, I am charting new territory. It is the first full day I’m here at home with only one child. I won’t lie, there have been various moments over the years that I’ve fantasized about how it would be with just one. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it has been 19 years since I have only had one child, since my kids are so far apart in age. The first two are only 2 and a half years apart, but the youngest came along about nine years later. Yes, I’m aware that had we stopped at two, I’d be an empty nester right now. I’m so glad we didn’t. I’m not ready.

I recognize that this has nothing to do with Duran Duran as far as you’re concerned. The funny thing is that for me, it does. When we first began writing about Paper Gods, I was moving my oldest to college. I distinctly remember that the day we moved Heather to the dorms. It was a very hard day for me, I remember driving home alone, and crying in the car on the way. I knew my life as a mom would change after that, and it did. I’m still learning where the line is drawn, so to speak. It is very hard to be unceremoniously made redundant, which is kind of what happens when your children leave the nest. I will forever equate the release of Paper Gods with that moment in time.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to pack Gavin up for his move to UC Riverside, right as the Paper Gods tour has wound to a close. I half-paid attention to the band’s last dates in Japan, getting confused as to where they were and when.  Sunday morning arrived here, and I saw a tweet from Dom saying he was back home in London. The finality of it all hit me, particularly since yesterday was our move-in day. We packed up the bins that we’d used for Gavin’s things, and drove him out to his new home away from home.

His move was FAR easier than Heather’s. We were done with his room in less than an hour, and none of us felt like we were going to collapse from heat exhaustion. (props to the air conditioning in the dorms at UCR!)  Unlike my oldest, after he dutifully went to lunch with us and we came back to his room, he was ready for us to go. No tears, no anxiety. He hugged us all and sent us on our way, with no mention of how he wouldn’t see us again until November at the earliest. Gavin was never much for socializing, but not hearing movement upstairs from him is strange, and late November feels like a very long time from now.

We piled into the truck and headed for home. I thought about how weird it is that now I’ll probably always remember that the Paper Gods era ended with Gavin’s move to college. I also thought about how I really hoped I prepared my son for this new territory, and how once again, I’m also in uncharted land myself.

My house is quiet. I can’t hear Gavin in his bedroom. I don’t hear the clicks from his typing on the mechanical keyboard he loves so much. I don’t hear him talking on the professional microphone he uses for his video streams, and I don’t hear his chair banging into his desk. I also don’t see his dishes piled in my kitchen sink or his clothes waiting to be washed this morning. I have one child at home now, who is both looking forward to being the only child for a while, and missing her brother and sister. It’s all new territory for her, too.

The internet is quiet too. The band is probably readjusting back into whatever lives they lead when they’re not rockstars on stage. I don’t know when we’ll hear from them again, although there’s plenty of “real life” going on to fill my twitter timeline, that is for sure. Even so, there’s that feeling of uncertainty that comes with the end of the tour and album cycle. I know they’ve got some sort of idea of where they’re headed, but it will be months, if not years, before the fans have any sort of clue. It’s new territory for all of us.

-R

Paper Gods – Which Is Your Favorite?

As I continue to kind of sort out my final thoughts on all things Paper Gods, I’ve been thinking about the album itself.  This album took a while to grow on me.  Amanda and I spoke about it on the way home from San Francisco, and she surmised that this was a ‘thinking person’s’ album.

I think she’s right about that. In my case, it wasn’t an album that reached out and grabbed me, but instead it kind of sat bubbling in my head, percolating away. For what seemed like months, I’d listen to the album on repeat in the car, and then I’d put it away for a bit. Then I’d pull it back out, and listen to it again on repeat. I would think about the lyrics, the meaning, the possible story, and the music itself.

There were a few things about the album that just didn’t sit well with me. I struggled with the idea that Dom was barely on it, for instance. Yeah, I’m loyal. I know he’s not an “official band member”.  Whatever. He’s been with them for so long, it sure feels like he’s official. It bugged me. I wasn’t totally in love with the feel of the album at first, either. It felt very electronic in parts, and oddly un-Duran Duran like in others. I kept listening. I did not want a repeat of Red Carpet Massacre – an album that I never really enjoyed – so I kept at it, trying to bond.

Somewhere along the line, I must have done just that. The songs no longer sound foreign to me. They no longer feel too electronic, or not DD “enough”.  I don’t even think about who played or wrote what song. They feel just right. Even so, I have favorite songs on every single Duran Duran album. I think we all must have tunes we enjoy more than others, and this one is no different. I also think that looking back on this tour has kind of given new meaning to at least a few of the songs I once struggled with.

When I think of Paper Gods though, a few songs come to mind: Pressure Off, Last Night in the City, and What are the Chances. I am certain this is because the band played all of them on tour, and so they come to mind easily. I also think about The Universe Alone, Planet Roaring, and Cinderella Ride. It’s kind of hard to pick a favorite from that list, but in the end it is purely sentiment that drives me.

While I know he didn’t write it, there’s no arguing that Dom owns the guitar solo in What are the Chances when he plays it live. He took something that wasn’t really his and made it so, and the album version is every bit as beautiful, of course. I feel just a teensy bit guilty that I had to remind myself on the way home from San Francisco that John Frusciante actually wrote the guitar part – I’d gotten so used to Dom doing it that I’d forgotten.  I’m not normally a ballad person, but on this album it’s the two ballads (What are the Chances and Cinderella Ride) that I love hearing most when I’m at home.  The words for both ring very close to home for me in completely different ways – which is something I can say for 99% of the album. The lyrics really hit me.

There is a lot to like on this album, and since it’s release, I’ve fallen in love with much of it. It may not have been an album that knocked me over upon first listen, but it is definitely one that made me think, reconsider, and ultimately embrace. It’s been a great ride.

-R

On the other side of what we’ll never know

Today is my last post for the week. I’ll be back on Monday as usual, but in the meantime, I have a very important event to attend on Saturday. My son Gavin will be graduating from high school. Those are words I wasn’t quite sure I’d ever get to write.

It marks an ending, and a beginning. I remember when Heather, my oldest, graduated. It really was “A Big Thing.” I had no idea what to expect. Would we remain close?  How would she do in college? Was dance really the right path for her?  As I recently said to a friend whose first-born is graduating this year, it is hard to be sad, excited and scared all at once. I broke down many times, always in the shower, and tried very hard not to show my feelings. I figured she was having a hard enough time adjusting without the added pressure of mom’s emotions added to the mix.

Oddly, Heather’s graduation, and now Gavin’s graduation, mark the beginning and end of the Paper Gods album cycle. As the soundtrack of my life continues to be written, I think it’s kind of poetic that I will always equate Paper Gods with the graduations of my two oldest children. Even the album itself—lyrics and all—work well with this part of my life. I don’t know how Duran Duran does it, but they did it again. I’ll never think about this time of my life, with its endings and beginnings, without thinking about Paper Gods.

Gavin’s graduation, on the other hand, is weird for me. I thought I would be far more emotional than I am. I’m excited for Gavin to start college. He needs the challenge, and I have no doubt that Astrophysics will provide! I will miss him at home, but I am also ready to stop being his teacher. Honestly, I think he was ready for me to stop being his teacher about two years ago, but we survived! That said, when I think about just how far this kid has come since seventh grade when he looked me in the eye and told me, with all the seriousness that a twelve-year-old can muster, that he didn’t see the point of school because he was going to be a YouTube star, and by the way I’m failing out of school anyway….well, it’s been a long road with many crying sessions in the shower. I’m incredibly proud, and not just of Gavin. I’m proud of myself. Heather was my first baby and I learned how to be a mom with her. Gavin was my second, he was a challenge from day one, and he taught me how to advocate for my child. I’m so grateful.

Homeschooling has been one adventure after another, and I will never regret a single day. Gavin went from working very hard to fail out of school, to wanting to become a research physicist. Despite being told by more than one of my in-laws that I wasn’t smart enough to teach him—I did it anyway. My kid is not only going to college, but a UC school. I am ridiculously proud of Gavin. He learned to use his Autism as a tool and turn it into a positive. Sometimes, defiance is a wonderful source of energy. I embrace it.

Duran Duran is similar in many respects. To begin with, this day marks a couple of notable anniversaries in their world. It’s the date that the first album was released in 1981. (thirty-six years ago, but who’s counting??) Critics called them a flash in the pan, a one-hit wonder, and just about anything else they could think of.  Duran Duran didn’t shrink into the night because the critics couldn’t pull their heads out – they defiantly continued. Do they still have something to prove? Not in my mind, but I get the motivation. I live it every single day. If that weren’t enough, just two years ago, Pressure-Off, the lead single off of Paper Gods, was also released on this date. The full album came out a few months later, and what did that album do?  It soared to the top ten. So much for being a flash in the pan, right?

I don’t really know what will come next for my family. I’ve always halfway joked and expected that when the right opportunity came up, that Gavin would move far away and we’d get the occasional postcard. This is not a child who is going to stick close to home out of affection or loyalty – it’s not who he is.  It is very hard to stand back and let your child fly from the nest without knowing what will happen, particularly when you’ve spent the majority of his life front-loading him for even the smallest changes in schedule. I am not living his life for him though, he’s got to live his own. I have to let him go, and I will. I would imagine Duran Duran feels the same way when they release an album. You put all of this time and energy into something, and when it’s done and needs released, it’s no longer yours. They tour with it, show it around, and then it’s done.

I feel the same with my kids. Things don’t stay the same after they graduate. Yes, we all get together sometimes – but not nearly as often as we did when they were little. Nowadays Heather is in her own apartment, and is home here occasionally for dinner. (Free food brings them home every time!) I treasure the nights when everyone is home and we play board games or cards and laugh a lot. I can’t really look back with sadness at the loss of their childhood, though, so I don’t. I adjust to what is new, and embrace what comes next.

In the meantime though, I might just spend a little more time listening to Paper Gods, and sneaking in an extra shower or two before Saturday.

-R

Happy Anniversary Paper Gods!

Today is the one year anniversary of Paper Gods.  It is hard to believe that the album was released a whole year ago.  In order to celebrate the anniversary, the band released the official video for Last Night in the City (at midnight Eastern time) and then a little video from Simon discussing the special occasion.

Last Night in the City:

Here’s the video of Simon:

Of course, Rhonda and I had lots to say about the video, Simon’s video and the anniversary itself.  In order to fit our thoughts into one blog, a video blog seemed most appropriate!

After listening to all of our thoughts, what you think about the video or about what Simon had to say?  We would love to know!

-A

Buy the Concert Tickets

March 25, 2016. For most readers of this blog, that day kicked off Duran Duran’s 2016 North American tour supporting Paper Gods. For me, it was an unforgettable day for a different reason.

I am fortunate enough to have great tickets to three of the July shows for the Paper Gods (see you in Toronto, Boston, and Camden). So when Duran announced the Niagara Falls shows — just 1 week after I spent all that money on the July shows, mind you — I had a tough choice to make. Niagara Falls is only 1.5 hours from home, the shortest travel time to any Duran shows for me to date. Not to mention, the shows were on a weekend and kicking off the 2016 tour. That never happens for me!

But as much as I wished I could go to the Niagara Falls shows on March 25-26, I knew the right thing to do (financially) was to pass on them. I already spent too much money on the July shows. My best Duranie friend was going to one of the shows, and I’ll admit it was tough to stay excited for her. But of course I wished her good ticket karma on the presale and hoped to hear some great stories.

Then, on Wednesday evening, March 23, I came across a post on Instagram from Prince announcing two shows in Toronto on Friday, March 25.  Concert tickets went on sale the next morning. Holy sh!t. I knew that he usually announced shows only a day or two before the performances, and that was part of the reason why I followed him on Instagram and Twitter. But I never expected one this close to home. And by “this close” I mean 3 hours away. When I saw the ticket prices, I nearly fainted. These tickets were more expensive than almost any ticket I’ve bought for a Duran show. But hey, odds were low that I’d even get a ticket, so if I got one I’ll figure out the rest. And if it didn’t work out, I could still try to get a last-minute to Duran’s show that same night or the next night in Niagara Falls.

I’ve had good ticket karma for the last 6 months so I hoped it would hold out for just one more show. When I got to work Thursday morning, I promptly blocked off my calendar for 10:00 so that nothing would interrupt this chance (c’mon, you’ve done it too). In my 9:30-10:00 meeting, I exhausted my telepathic power to make the meeting end early. When it finally broke up around 10:04, I busted out of the room and went right to my desk to log in and try for a ticket. And then I got it: 4th row, just off to the left. (By now Ticketmaster must know I prefer John’s side.) I think I blacked out a little after I clicked “Purchase”.

My logical brain was saying “You chose NOT to see the opening night of Duran Duran’s tour but you spent nearly three times that amount on concert tickets for Prince? What happened to saving money and spending wisely?” But my heart was saying, “Life is Too Short, Buy the Ticket!” As much as I love the boys, I knew I needed to take this opportunity and see Prince.

Buy the ticket

I’ve seen this photo making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, and it was my mantra when deciding to go to three Duran shows this summer. Trust me, I’m not well off financially. And I wish we all had enough money and the luxury of seeing every concert we want to see. But sometimes you need to realize what you want out of life and do what you need to in order to make it happen.

So as I drove along interstate 190 on my way to Toronto on March 25, I could see Fallsview Casino and Niagara Falls off to my left and I wished the boys a good show. It was a little heartbreaking to know they were this close and I wasn’t going to see them, but knew in my heart I had made the right choice. I reminded myself that on this day, I needed to keep heading north and see one the last artists on my concert bucket list. Little did I know that it would be the 2nd to last show he’d perform.

Today I mourn with the world at the loss of this gifted virtuoso. And I call myself fortunate to have been able to see him just a month before he passed away. You may think that my recollection is glowing only in hindsight; trust me, as soon as Prince walked out on stage, I knew I had no regrets in my decision to buy the concert tickets. It was an amazing, impressive, and entertaining performance that I’ll never forget.

-PamG

Falling for Paper Gods in (Where else?) Niagara Falls!

As always – we welcome and encourage show reviews of any kind from our readers! This review of the Niagara Falls shows was sent to us courtesy of one of our Canadian friends, enjoy!! 


Last weekend I attended both shows in Niagara Falls. Originally I was only going to see the second show on Saturday night. Since we would already be there on Friday,  I would see if I could get tickets for that show as well. I had been watching a couple of tickets through a private seller the week before the show. He lowered his ticket price, so I ended up getting some great seats – second row to the left – and we all know who owns that area of the stage!

Where to begin? It was quite an amazing whirlwind of a weekend! We stayed at the Fallsview Casino Hotel, which doubled as the show venue. Our room was on the 35th floor.  As we went up to our room, we noticed a gentlemen knocking on the door two rooms down from ours. Who opens the door? Simon!!  I was on the same floor as the band! I couldn’t believe my luck! I didn’t say anything to him, as we  went into our room.  Once the door was securely shut,  I began to dance around like a 13-year-old girl. My husband found me quite amusing!

We went downstairs around 8pm as the show started at 9. I met one of my Facebook friends who was there from Colorado and we hung around for a bit before the show. It was great to finally meet her in person! The show started shortly after 9pm, and the band opened with Paper Gods. That was the perfect opener for the show. The background effects and lighting were just wonderful. The guys looked great and Simon’s voice sounded wonderful.

They played the usual classics along with a few songs from Paper Gods. They added a special homage to David Bowie by playing Space Oddity  in with Planet Earth.  It was so beautiful and moving! They had a picture of David on the big screen. Most of us there were also Bowie fans so I saw a lot of teary eyed people.

The show was short, which was disappointing. Apparently there was a time limit so were not able to play as much material as usual.
“Save A Prayer” was done during the encore, and Simon took a few moments to talk about the Paris attacks and the Eagles of Death Metal, who had been playing onstage at the Bataclan at the time of the attacks. Rio was also a part of the encore. As they were ready to leave the stage everyone started chanting “Reflex Reflex Reflex” So they stayed and granted us our wish!  (The video for The Reflex was filmed at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, so Canadians obviously feel a special connection to the song. – R) I didn’t see any disappointed faces in the crowd. Everyone had a smile on their face as they were leaving.

My husband is not a DD fan and he even appreciated the show. This is his second time seeing them with me, and he seeing another DD show in Montreal with me on April 11th, so I think I am slowing turning him into a fan!

We waited awhile before we went upstairs to our room. When we finally went up guess who was going into his room? Simon! I didn’t say anything to him as he looked really tired, and I wanted to respect his space. A few minutes later, I decided I wanted to get something to drink so I went to the vending machine down the hall. When I came back who did I see? Nick! He was almost standing in front of our door with their manager Wendy. His room was in front of ours. I spoke to him for a minute and asked him if he would autograph my Paper Gods book and also got a picture with him. He was so nice!

Nick and Janice

The next morning we decided to go downstairs and shop in the mall part of the hotel. We were walking around and I see Simon and Wendy walking toward us. I went up to Simon, said hi, and told him that I have been a fan since ’83 and shook his hand. I asked if I could get a picture with him. He responds by asking, “Aren’t you the girl down the hall from me?” I was thrilled! He picked out a spot with good lighting and my hubby took a few pictures. He had just come in from seeing the falls and his hands were cold. He was rubbing my arm! It was such a thrill to meet him. I think I played it cool when I met him, but when we walked away I was overcome with emotion. I’m thankful my husband was there with me.

Simon and Janice

Saturday was such a wonderful day. It was great finally meeting some of my FB friends that are also DD fans, and I even made some brand new friends. We all had such a great time. At the Saturday night show I went solo and sat in left balcony. Once again it was excellent. If I were a millionaire I would go to every one of their shows in every city.

This was a very special weekend that I will always remember. I never thought in a million years that I would meet Simon and Nick or end up as hotel neighbours with them!

If you have never seen DD I suggest you see them. They do not disappoint. They are better than ever!


Janice has been a Duranie since 1983 and is from a small town north of Montreal in Canada where she lives with her wonderfully patient (and potential DD convert!) husband.  She is excited for the upcoming show in Montreal this weekend, and says she will always love Duran Duran!