We decided to throw the blog out to our readers for a change, and what resulted is the following Q&A! None of the questions has been edited for content, and we hope that once everyone sees the questions, they can come up with a few more of their own! Send them to our gmail address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and once a month or as warranted we’ll happily answer them!
How do you guys manage to get the fundage and the time off of work to do all the traveling you’ve been doing this past year? I need to know your secret! LOL!
Rhonda – Well, my “work” is basically raising my 3 kids, finishing the book and writing blogs each day. I do a lot of things and don’t really earn a monetary payment from any of it, so going to the shows and traveling is what I consider to be my payment! It’s kind of a much-needed break for me, as my husband travels quite a bit and so much of my work is 24/7!
Amanda-The “fundage” is much less stressful for me than work. Basically, I am constantly saving for Duran trips/tours. I am also willing and able to sacrifice other things in order to pay for trips. It helps that I don’t have a family outside of my kitty to worry about. That said, I live in a one bedroom apartment, have a crappy TV and don’t spend money doing things like going to the movies. As far as work goes, as a teacher, it is challenging. Luckily, I do have set breaks and am able to take a few personal days but it is NEVER easy and often takes weeks or months to arrange it.
If you ever meet DD,how do want it to happen?
Rhonda – I’ve already “met” the band at a signing in Los Angeles back in 2004. I’m sure it was as memorable for them as it was for me. (Hardly!) The truth is though, of course I’d like to meet them again, and perhaps under circumstances where we can actually speak would be nice, too. That said, I’m lucky to have ever had the chance to even get that close. Many people out there haven’t even had the chance to go to a signing, and I’m well-aware of my good fortune.
Amanda-Like Rhonda, I, too, have “met” them at a signing. Of course, I never even know if that really counts as a meeting since I barely exchanged words with any of them except John. Thus, if I were to meet them again, I would like it to a situation where they are relaxed, which probably means that there won’t be a TON of other fans around.
Would you rather have them autograph a prized possession or have a photo taken with a fave member or the whole band?
Rhonda – One of my most prized possessions is a signed Astronaut album that is signed by all 5 original members. I’ve given instruction to have that, along with my other prized Duran possessions to be buried with me in the event of my death. Of course, that’s assuming that they’re still burying people by that time. If not, my instructions are “DON’T BURN THE DURAN!!!” Sorry…got sidetracked. I would love a photo with the band, but I don’t dare hope for such things. I’ve already been very fortunate with the places I’ve been and things I’ve done. (but yeah, it’d be nice for Daily Duranie actually have a photo with the band!)
Amanda-Again, I follow Rhonda on this. I have signed CDs. Thus, I would LOVE a picture with any member and/or the band. That said, once I get them, I would gladly step aside to allow others to get photos. One photo is good enough for me!
What song do think should have been released as a single that wasn’t?
Rhonda – This is a really difficult question for me. After giving it some thought, I have to say that I think they should have gone with Nice off of Astronaut rather than Sunrise. It’s not because I think Sunrise was a poor single, and it’s not that I think Nice was much better – it’s that Sunrise was already a single (granted a different version of it) when the Queer Eye soundtrack was released, so going with a different single off of Astronaut would have given the band yet one more way to showcase the album. All of that said, I personally think the band has done a good job of picking singles. No, not all of them have done well, but that has more to do with other factors than it does the quality of the song at hand.
Amanda-My immediate thought here is Hold Back the Rain. Of course, they didn’t need another single at that time. For me, though, it is my second favorite song and I would have loved to have seen a video for it!
What random Duran earworms do you two get in the oddest circumstances? I’ve got a few at work: one of our books is called Planet Cake (that one’s obvious!) and I used to have a colleague called Mette Fentz, which frequently set off my Edge of America earworm (I’m just a number on a metal fence…anyone?)
Rhonda – My answer isn’t as much of an earworm as it is a case of seriously thinking that I was hearing things. Amanda and I were in a mall just outside of Chicago killing time before my plane took off in 2005 and we both swore we could hear Sunrise playing in the background, but we could never find the source of the music OR if we were both really hearing it!
Amanda-I get lyrics in my head at weird times! For example, when walking around London with Rhonda, I had no choice but to start thinking the lyrics to Careless Memories. I have also been known to quote the lyrics to other favorites like Red Carpet Massacre or Leopard. Sometimes, we have even tried to have Lyric Day in order to speak in as many lyrics as we could!!!
What is the most outrageous story you’ve told in order to go to a DD concert?
Rhonda – Hmm. Aside from telling a very small lie of omission in order to go to the Milwaukee show in 2005 and perhaps “forgetting” to mention that I was buying a VIP ticket (as opposed to a regular ticket) to attend the NYC fan show in 2007, I don’t think I’ve ever had to tell a story! It’s gotten to the point where my husband doesn’t even bat an eye under most circumstances unless I’m missing Fathers Day or his birthday. (of which I’ve done both!)
Amanda-I haven’t really told a story to get to go to a DD show. I have been pretty lucky in that I have been able to be pretty honest except for when I have had a bit of Duran sickness. ;D
Have you indoctrinated your kids yet? If so, do they like DD? What songs?
Rhonda – Ah yes, my kids. Well, my oldest has seen them live with Amanda and I once, and she also went with me to the signing in Los Angeles. She and her brother were both big fans of Sunrise when they were younger. My son isn’t a big fan, but he’s not really into music generally speaking. I keep waiting for the “bug” to hit… My youngest however LOVES the band. Her favorite songs are Planet Earth, Careless Memories, Sunrise and All You Need is Now. She requests them Every. Single. Day. in the car and sings along loud and proud!
Amanda-While I don’t have children of my own, I do have 13 students currently at work. My students have been exposed to Duran to some extent. My kids typically refer to Duran as “my band” and they are aware that I’m writing a book. While they support ME, they aren’t really keen on the music. They are urban kids of today, after all!
What is your favorite movie where DD music has been used?
Rhonda – I haven’t the faintest idea. I did go see A View To a Kill even though I was never into Bond movies though.
Amanda-I would probably choose Donnie Darko. First of all, I found the movie fascinating with the questioning of reality, mental health/mental illness, society’s standards of behavior and more. Then, the use of Notorious was genius due to the particular nature of the scene.
I heard one of DD’s song in a commercial on TV very recently, and I can’t remember what it is. Do you know what product and the song used?
All You Need Is Now is being used in a Dior ad.
Should DD explore more opportunities in using their music in commercials, as other artists have done? What about in being sampled by other artists? Have they been sampled by any artists that you know of? [i.e. an artist paying for use of some element of their music in their own music]
Rhonda – I think I’m glad I’m not their manager, because I can say that THIS IS NOT MY JOB. 🙂 I do know though that where at one point it was almost cheesy to have ones music connected to a particular brand – now it’s considered to be a lucrative, smart move, so I’m not surprised the band is exploring this avenue. I think Duran Duran music, generally speaking, lends itself to being sampled. I’m not a big fan of much that’s out there, though.
Amanda-Notorious BIG and Puff Daddy sampled Notorious. I have heard that Duran is pleased with the result. As far as being used in commercials, I would understand if they chose this route. Yet, I would hope that they choose the brand well. For example, being connected to Dior makes sense to me since Duran has always been connected to the fashion world.
Can you say more about your book plans? I know you refer to it, but don’t know where to find other information about it. Love to hear about it!
Rhonda – Our book is basically a case study of fandom. The Duran Duran fandom is the specific fandom we’re studying. It’s meant to be both a celebration of our fandom, as well as an academic type glimpse inside what makes a fan community last and thrive. We are nearing completion of the first full draft (although we’ve edited some along the way), and then we’ll go back and do the first hard edit as well as find a publisher. We’d really like to find a publisher because we have other books in mind for the future.
Amanda-I’ll just add that we hope that all fans, no matter their fandom, will be able to read it and relate. We also hope that people who are not involved in fandom will read it and understand why people choose to be part of one!
What bands have admitted that DD has been a major influence on their music?According to wikipedia, some of the artists who claim Duran as an influence include Moby, Barenaked Ladies, Gwen Stefani, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Goldfrapp and Dido, to name a few.
Have any of the very, very early songs a la Wickett & Duffy + JT and NR –been released or exist anywhere? I think these are some of the titles: [Big Store, So Cold in Eldorado, Hold Me Pose Me, Signals in Smoke, Dreaming of Your Cars, Reincarnation, Working the Steel, early “embryonic” version of Girls on Film, See Me Repeat Me -early version of Rio, Enigmatic Swimmer, Ami a Go Go] Have you heard any of them? If so, how do they sound and where might one find them?Some of those songs that you mentioned are available on the Devils album. Those songs were done with Duffy. You can find information about that particular side project here . Some of the other songs you mentioned (See Me Repeat Me, Reincarnation, Girls on Film, and Working the Steel) were demos with Andy Wickett. Those demos were floating around the fan community for awhile as a bootleg. Then, there are some that we have never heard and would love to know more about them.
Are any of the band members dual citizens (US + Great Britain)? JT must be as he married a US citizen, right?
Rhonda – To the best of my limited knowledge I don’t believe that any of the band members carry dual citizenship, and none of them are US Citizens. As for whether John is a citizen purely because he married Gela – I happily pass on this website for citizenship requirements.
Amanda-I do remember reading/hearing that John does have a green card but, at least, as of 2008, he could not vote, which would indicate that he is not a citizen.
Was the band able to finally secure complete rights to their work from Gloucester (post-Berrows bros.)?
Amanda-I believe that in most, if not all, situations that the record labels maintain rights, especially those songs recorded with EMI. Does anyone know more?
What’s the relationship like with Andy? I get the sense that he was gonna be on board for AYNIN but then backed out. What’s the story?
Rhonda – As far as I know there was a rumor that circulated about Andy during the writing/recording of AYNIN because Andy’s personal Facebook or website disappeared, and his location apparently “changed”…but again, that was pure rumor and hopeful speculation. I am not aware of his relationship with the band, but I will say that it seems that all involved are very happy with their current situation, so more power to them!
I read in Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran (AT) that during the Sing Blue Silver tour in US (c. 1984), that Charlie (Simon) knelt down to sing in tight leather pants, they split, revealing his “crown jewels” to all the audience as he wasn’t wearing underwear. To your knowledge, is this true?
Rhonda – Before I kick this one over to Amanda for proper answering, I would just like to say that if in fact I were ever present to see Simon’s “Crown Jewels”…after I tried bleaching my brain to erase the image ever from my mind, I would NEVER publicly admit to having seen such a thing or have knowledge of such a thing ever taking place. No offense to Simon, but I just never ever need to see that. It’s similar to my feelings about Santa. I know he’s there and yet I don’t need to see him to make it so. Thank you.
Amanda-I have heard people talking about Simon’s lack of underwear. I do not know if this is true, nor do I have desire to find out. I’m not sure about that specific story you reference but I do remember hearing of another time (more recent) in which Simon’s pants ripped. He ran off stage and thought that a brilliant solution would be to staple the pants together. Unfortunately, as Simon moved around, the staples popped open, resulting in open pants and Simon getting poked in the ass. When I heard this story told in an interview, I remember John following up with the question about whether or not they were playing “Cracks in the Pavement”! Hilarious!
I have yet to hear any lyrics with curse words, although some videos have been risque. Have you noticed curse words in their songs or absence of them? It is quite a feat to not use explicit lyrics these days.
Rhonda – I’ve been called Mother F*cker a few times by John at concerts (along with everyone else in the audience)…does that count??
Amanda-That’s strange! I, too, have been called a motherf*cker at shows! I know that they use the word “damn” in Careless Memories and Hold Back the Rain. I also know that Simon changed the damn in HBTR to f*ck often when performing the song live. While I don’t think they record curse words much, John and Simon, at least, have both used curse words frequently.
I want to get a tattoo like JT got on his upper right arm after reuniting with the band. I don’t like the idea of pain, and it would not be nearly as large as his. Do either of you have any DD related tattoos or considered doing so? [I am 44 with college aged kids]
Rhonda – No. No thank you.
Amanda-Nope. In my luck, I would probably be allergic to the ink and have a major problem!
How does JT maintain his sobriety? Does he have someone as a part of their entourage that helps him with this? I admire him for doing so.
Rhonda – I really have no idea, but I’m thankful that he’s doing so well.
Amanda-I echo Rhonda’s sentiments. I have heard people complain that John doesn’t come out after shows much. In my opinion, I would gladly sacrifice this if it means that John stays happy and healthy.
That being said, professional sports teams have docs, trainers, etc. on the field and road with them. Who is a part of DD’s team? [I’m willing to volunteer as their band psychologist 😉
Rhonda – Again, I have no idea. This is definitely an Ask Katy type of question!
How does the band practice self-care on the road? This tour seems awfully demanding and I worry about them!
Rhonda – Another Ask Katy as I have not the slightest idea!
Amanda-I have heard that Simon and John like to get massages on the road. 🙂
Are they traveling the world in their regular plane? It seems so small in pictures I’ve seen. They can’t possibly travel on one plane for so long and maintain sanity and healthy relationships with each other! I hear Nick can be an a-hole and Roger has trouble with anxiety. After a day with my kids, I’m exhausted and can’t wait for them to leave. I love them, but just because they are adults, doesn’t mean they still don’t act like kids when they around each other.
Rhonda – I’m still laughing about Nick being an….well, never mind. I know that they have traveled by rented plane here in the US at times when it has made sense to do so. I also have seen that the band – the 4 of them – will fly in the plane while other members of the onstage band and behind the scenes people will take other transportation, whether that is van, bus, other commercial flights or even trains at times. It just depends.
Do any of the members travel separately?
Rhonda – I think they travel separately when logistically it makes sense to do so. John lives in the states, so obviously if he’s meeting them anywhere he’ll need to fly from here to get there, for instance.
Other than sleep on the plane, when together, do they practice? write? play sudoku?
Rhonda – Not a single clue. I think they do what any other person does on a flight, you know?
Amanda-Maybe someone will ask John or Simon the next time they are on twitter!!
Any mention of writing for a new album?
Rhonda – While I appreciate the vote of confidence here, I have to say that the band never really takes the time to inform Daily Duranie of what’s going on. This might have something to do with the fact that if we found out, we’d mention it on the blog, and what fun is there in that?!?
Amanda-Rhonda is right. I have also heard that they don’t write on the road. Thus, they probably haven’t even thought about it yet!
I hadn’t noticed, but a review of one of the concerts said that Dom wrote half of the lyrics for AYNIN. I haven’t looked at the writing credits, and I love it that Dom is a great addition. But as I understand it,history suggests that DD songs come together when working together, including lyrics coming out of the notes and all throwing ideas in. Thoughts?
Rhonda – As I look over my liner notes, I see that Dom had writing credit on several of the songs, but I took that to mean writing credit for music, not lyrics. I believe that back when they were writing and recording, Dom was an active participant in the studio as well.
How did you first become a Duranie?
Rhonda – That’s a long story. Are you sure you’ve had enough to eat and drink today, because this could take some time! Ok, the really short version is that back in 1981 I was in 6th grade, and there was a DJ on one of our local radio stations (KROQ) named Rodney on the Roq. Rodney was known for playing unknown bands and artists, and one night he played Planet Earth by Duran Duran. I remember him saying that they weren’t getting airplay but to keep watching for them because he knew they were going to make it big. Next thing I knew, Richard Blade (another DJ for the same station) started playing them and along came the videos. One look and I was a Roger fan for life. The other guys weren’t bad either.
Amanda-I’ll keep my story short since we did blogs about how we became fans, which I will reference after my story. I got into Duran from listening to Top 40 radio and watching MTV. I got the songs stuck in my head and thought that bass player guy was kinda cute! It also helped that my best friend fell for them at the same time! Here are the blogs: Part 1 and Part 2!
Many hardcore duranies share likes/dislikes (for example everyone I know wants to hear SO or LB live and most would rather skip HLTW) what is one like/dislike you have that isn’t one that’s commonly shared?
Rhonda – I have a few that I don’t talk about much, believe it or not. For instance, I could probably live a very long and meaningful life even if I never heard Save a Prayer, Ordinary World OR Come Undone ever again. A less common one though? How about I Don’t Want Your Love…definitely not one of my favorites.
Amanda-I have 3 songs that I could definitely live without that are popular: A View to a Kill, Come Undone and Ordinary World. I think that I might be excited about Ordinary World again at some point if I don’t hear it for like 10 years.
Power Station or Arcadia?
Rhonda – this is a toughie for me as I really like both bands pretty equally overall. That said though, if I were forced to pick I’d have to choose Arcadia Simon. Um…I mean Arcadia. Oops.
Amanda-As a kid, I was much more into Power Station. I was a John girl, after all! I was also a miserable kid in 1985 as I had just moved to a small town from a Chicago suburb. Thus, Power Station was my choice! Plus, I couldn’t get into the arty quality of Arcadia. As an adult, I think I prefer Arcadia’s music.
What was the most stressful travel experience you’ve had as duranies?
Rhonda – Are you kidding me? Go back and read our blogs from last May, and then again from last November, and then dare to come back here and ask that again. 😀
Amanda-Rhonda’s right. Both trips to the UK were filled with STRESS! For the first trip, the travel was fine. The rest of the trip wasn’t. For the last trip, we had no idea if we were going to get there due to a public workers strike. Luckily, that did not stop us and turned out to be the trip of a lifetime!
Any duran experiences that were completely unplanned and just happened in the best way possible (i.e. serendipity)?
Rhonda – Oh boy. Well, I haven’t had that many chance meetings…but there was ONE time that was completely unplanned, but definitely not one of my best moments. It was on a plane going from Chicago to New Orleans in 2006 for the Voodoo Festival. I found out that very day just how allergic I am to milk products of ANY kind, and I was just praying to stay alive through the plane ride, I was that ill. As I was feeling more and more green, who should come walking down the aisle towards the direction of my seat but none other than Dom Brown, followed by Simon Willescroft. I think I might have groaned audibly, and if I could have somehow melted into the floor, I would have. Then to my complete and utter horror, they sat directly across from me, and if that weren’t enough – my stupid VIP bag was on the floor AND visible, so there was no pretending that I didn’t know who they were. I felt horrific, but Dom was very nice and only asked me for my Sudoku puzzle if I wasn’t going to play it!
Amanda-I can’t say that I have a cool story like Rhonda’s. During that same trip, I was on a different plane that included the roadies, merch people, etc. I thought I was super cool until I called Rhonda and found out that she had the back-up players! Clearly, I wasn’t that cool! LOL
Proudest duranie moment?
Rhonda – After really thinking this over for the past couple of days, I would have to say that I am hoping our moment hasn’t really arrived yet. This isn’t just in hope of continued longevity for the band, but also because I really believe my proudest moment will be when our book is finished, printed, and in my hand. I have to wonder though if my pride will come from really being a Duranie, or from the blood, sweat and even tears of the last few years. Regardless, I am really looking forward to that moment!
Amanda-I definitely agree with Rhonda on this one. Our published book will be the proudest moment!!! It will be the result of a heck of a lot of work, dedication, and persistence. There were many, many times when we could have just quit but we haven’t so far and don’t plan to until the job is done! As far as moments that have already happened, I’m proud that we went back to the UK to see the band play there. We could have let the disappointment of May destroy, at the very least, our fandom, but we didn’t. We stayed the course, fought through our tears, had patience and became stronger, better fans and friends because of it.