Category Archives: photography

Today in Duran History – Duran Unseen

On this day in 2005, Duran Duran Unseen was published. (it was also re-edited for a later edition in 2008) This is a book by Kaspar de Graaf and Malcolm Garrett and features a very rare and extensive set of photographs by Paul Edmond. The photos were taken during the period of 1979 to 1982, at the very beginning of the band’s career.  The photos really show the transformation of the band as they went from being the resident band of the Rum Runner through to just before Rio took the rest of the world by storm.  The book features a period in time when the band was learning their own identity and what they wished to project, which makes it an incredible piece of history for fans to have and hold.

Duran Duran Unseen

-R

 

Pictures On the Wall, They’re All Friends of Mine

How do you feel about taking photographs and video at shows?  Today Anna Ross commented about the recent request from Kate Bush that no video or photos be taken at her shows – suggesting that she would prefer to connect and engage with the audience, not their phones.  Here’s the article.

I know that Duran fans have gotten into quite a habit of bringing out the phones and cameras at shows. Searching YouTube, one can find nearly video clips from every concert date the band has played in recent years, and in some cases – entire shows worth of material. When I attend shows and I’m anywhere aside from the first several rows, I have to duck down under the barrier of arms and hands holding up phones and cameras to actually see the stage. 

Last year, while attending a show for The Killers in Anaheim, I was probably about 5 rows back on the floor (GA), and I literally had a space of about 2-3 inches to peer through so that I could get a clear view of Brandon Flowers. At one point in the show, he looked down and saw me peering through the arms and chuckled – it was obvious he saw the insanity. I asked one guy if he actually watches the show and he told me no – it’s too difficult to watch when he’s filming. He told me he’ll watch it all when he gets home. That show was the worst I’d been to as far as cameras and mobile phones went, and there were several points during the show where I decided that venues SHOULD stop allowing them because they ruin it for everyone else.

For many of who were brought up in the 80’s and prior, getting cameras into the shows is sort of a new thing. I can remember when one of the major threads on any message board was whether ______________ venue allowed cameras. It wasn’t until after the reunion that I ever had the opportunity to take a camera into a show, and believe me, I was overjoyed to be able to say that I took my OWN pictures of Nick, Simon, Roger, John and Andy (and of course later on, Dom as well!). I would imagine that many other Duran Duran fans felt similar. It was new to be able to have these photos, and for a while, I snapped pictures right along with everyone.

It wasn’t until a show at the Sears Center in 2006 that I truly realized what I was missing from behind a camera lens. At this particular show, Amanda and I were running very late. When we got to the venue, we flew out of the car, grabbing our tickets and running because we didn’t want to be trying to find our seats as the lights went down.  Once in the venue, we realized we’d forgotten our cameras in the car. I suppose we could have gone out, gotten them and returned, but we agreed that we’d just get our seats and not worry. I’d forgotten how nice it was to watch an entire show without the distraction of switching lenses, changing batteries, or worrying about getting that perfect photo. I danced, I sang, and I had a great time. After that show, I stopped worrying so much about taking pictures and worried more about having a good time.  The experience matters more to me than the pictures.

That’s not to say I never take a single photo. Of course I do! There are certain points in the set where I’ll snap a quick picture or two, but I’m really at the point now where I’d rather watch the band with my eyes and not through a screen. It’s not enough for me to “watch it on YouTube when I get home”.  I’m right there. I paid for the tickets – I want that LIVE experience.  I’m sure there are many who will argue about the video – they want it and it’s not their problem if holding their arm up in the air blocks the view for others. I can’t argue with those people, because if they’re bound and determined to take photos and video, this blog isn’t going to stop them. Kate Bush certainly won’t stop them, and I know Duran Duran didn’t stop them when they requested similar for their UK”rehearsal” gigs prior to their AYNIN world tour in 2011-2012. 

What I’m wondering though, is how other fans really feel about such a request?  Is it crazy to ask fans to leave their cameras, cell phones, etc in their purses or at home?  

-R

iPhoria

If you’ve visited Twitter today, you may have noticed that TV Mania is back tweeting again after a decidedly long absence.  Admittedly, I love their tweets. Quirky as they may seem, invariably they get me thinking about media or just society in general, and if you haven’t quite picked up on that theme here in this blog, we’re sort of into trying to understand what makes us all tick.

It’s nice to see something, ANYTHING, happening in the Duran Duran Stratosphere. That’s right, I’ve elevated their world to a stratosphere.  What of it?

However, along with a quizzical tweet or two, TV Mania tweeted a specific photo/comment.

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In 1996 Euphoria. 2014: iPhoria

That statement is so true. I myself have an iPhone…well, at this point it’s really a dinosaur posing as an iPhone…but it still works. Slowly.  In any case, the thought of thousands of arms holding up cell phones at recent concerts I’ve been to came to mind.  Last May, I went to see The Killers, and although I was in about the 4th row on the floor, I had a terrible time trying to see them. Why? Cell phones being held up everywhere. Eventually I found myself kind of ducking down a bit, looking underneath the cell phone being held by the man in front of me just so that I could see Brandon Flowers. You’d think that people would eventually put down the phone so that they could watch the damn show, but no. No…why watch when you can video it for later, right??

Back in the 80s and 90s I only saw Duran Duran live a couple of times, and to be honest, I was always so far back that there was no point to bringing the camera, so I never did. Then around the time of the reunion, my husband decided to try bringing it. When we saw the band at 4th and B in San Diego, he brought a piece of junk disposable camera just to see if he could get it into the venue, much less take photos, but it worked and I was overjoyed. After that,  I was a woman on fire. I tried bringing my camera to every show. I took photos constantly, and felt like each clear photo I took of a band member was a trophy. In 2006, I went to a show at the Sears Center, just outside of Chicago.  My plane had been late getting in, we were rushed to get to the hotel and even more rushed getting to the venue.  In the all of the craziness, I forgot my camera in the car. I was mad, but what could I do? I enjoyed the show. I danced. I sang. I was likely one of the two most enthusiastic fans in that place. (I laugh because that’s what the lady in front of us told Amanda and I at the end of the show.) I experienced that show in a way I hadn’t for a long time – and it remains one of my favorites to this day even though I don’t have a single photo. Amanda and I talked about that show (and still talk about that show) for a long time. We both agreed that at least part of what made it so special wasn’t that the set list was especially creative or that the band was on fire (although they were), it was that we allowed ourselves to fully experience that moment without distraction. My memories are in my head and heart.

I still bring a camera to the show, but I really try to resist the urge to use it…for most songs. There a few regularly occurring songs in their set that Amanda and I have dubbed “photo ops”, but even then – how many pictures of Dom Brown can I really take?

Don’t answer that.  Shhh.

-R

Sing Blue Silver revisited

Have you listened to the BBC podcast with Denis O’Regan about the recently released photography book Careless Memories? In case you missed it…

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/5live/williams/williams_20131211-0015b.mp3

One of the best stories in the podcast is about the lyric “sing blue silver”.  Simon got it from book he read as a child – Children Move Through Time. I guess you just never know where some of the most iconic ideas will originate!

During much of the podcast, Denis’ approach and career is discussed as opposed to just Duran Duran (which makes sense, it’s Denis’ who is being interviewed!). Duran Duran mentioned in a recent interview that Denis became a sixth member of the band – touring with them and becoming part of the group – which gave him the space to really become a part of the “inner sanctum” without being too close. (so that he could still maintain an unbiased point of view in order to photograph them)  I thought that was interesting, and they do expand upon that a bit more in the podcast.

What really struck me, and the reason I suggest giving it a listen – is to soak in the sheer amount of music history that Denis has experienced through his photography. While it is absolutely true that I feel the book Denis has done is incredibly priced – it is also true that Denis O’Regan is not your average band photographer. Having photographed everyone from our beloved Duran Duran to the Rolling Stones, Bowie, The Damned, Deep Purple and so on, one cannot help but have plenty of respect for his experience, even if his latest collection of photographs is priced to the point where most Duranies cannot even begin to hope to own a copy of even the cheapest edition of the book. For me, this is not really much different than learning about an artist and respecting their work, whether Picasso or maybe even Dalí, even though I know there’s absolutely no way I can buy anything more than perhaps a mass-market printed coffee cup to enjoy at home.

I’d like to extend a thank you to Salvo (Duranasty) for finding this podcast and sharing it on Facebook. I would have never found this piece on my own, that is for sure. This is one thing I really appreciate – those of us who write blogs or do webzines, etc tend to share information freely with everyone. This isn’t about who posts something first, or which one of the websites, fanzines, blogs or podcasts comes up with the best material. I feel as though we’re all in this together out of a love for this band. We work together, create a special brand of Duranie synergy, and make sure the word gets out.  We work to make sure that Duran Duran keeps getting talked about, even when there’s no new music or a tour happening. In doing all of this, we extend one another a sort of professional courtesy by taking that second to say thank you, or to say “Hey – I didn’t find this first, another fan did, and I just want to say thanks for finding it.” I realize it’s not always popular to admit that we weren’t first to find something – and maybe it’s even embarrassing for some to see that a mere fan came up with a news byte or a fantastic picture first – but let me just say this: giving credit where credit is due is important. It creates a tight knit, trusting environment – which is key for a loyal fan community – where information is openly shared, as opposed to a competitive, unfriendly environment where fans are clamoring for even the smallest mention because acknowledgment and credit is rarely given, not to mention that it is the professional and right thing to do.

Food for thought.

-R

Guest Blog: Careless Memories: Photo Exhibition, London 27 Nov-5 Dec 2013

Once again, Daily Duranie is everywhere…thanks to good friends both near and far!  Today we bring you a first hand account from our “Special Correspondent” Anu Lehtinen.  Anu was able to be in London (she’s from Finland) to see the pop-up gallery for Careless Memories, and she was kind enough to share her experience. Additionally, we have some fab photos from Byrony Evens, who was on hand for the arrival of the band to the gallery opening and book release party.  Thanks to Anu and Bryony!!

By Anu Lehtinen & Bryony Evens

photo by Anu Lehtinen

WOW! YES! The possibility to see never before seen photos taken during Sing Blue Silver tour, in a gallery – pure coincidence! A late November trip to London was planned well ahead, with gig tickets bought, but this time on the menu was Howard Jones, Ultravox and Simple Minds.


And then Duran Duran, Denis O’Regan and Olympus announced the collaboration for a pop-up gallery right in the heart of London for a week or so. It would be open from late November to early December. Definitely a MUST visit while in London. What a chance!

The address was clear when on Friday 29th eyes wandered to find the green entrance. Huge video installation was running in one window, the other contained two prints. The gallery was dimly lit. A humble sign hanging on the door said open. Another sign stating opening times was also on the door, but no information was written on it. Should we go in? Is it really open?


Few people were inside. I did not really notice any of them. Instead the rough industrial surroundings in a warehouse type of a setting complete with portable lamps, LED candles, familiar looking photos and large video screens – they all took my attention. This was a photo gallery setting – as quality art photos would and should be shown, getting all the attention they need. No fuss, no bling, and certainly no luxury. The stars of the exhibition were the black and white photos. Never before seen though? I’ve seen that… And that…And that. Was my memory playing tricks? There are so many photos from over the years. So many published from Sing Blue Silver. At first I felt like I must have seen them all.

Took a while to breathe and take it all in. There were about 40 photos. One video playing on 5 screens and one wall. The video was the same on all screens, but unsynchronized so that you have different picture on each screen at any given time.

Are we allowed to take pictures? No signs saying no. No one stopping them from being taken. As soon as I took the first photo, I realized how cleverly the lighting was arranged. Lamps, lit furniture and LED candles all made sure photos would have reflections. Perfect for the art and artist.

Behind a makeshift reception desk, a very helpful lady told that 90% of the photos were new

– as in not seen before. They had a familiar feeling since there was always more than one picture taken from every occasion, and only a select few made it into the Sing Blue Silver book. One of them being John’s huge stage grin. Other photos were merely just similar, not exactly what had been seen, so while many of these photos might be recognizable, most have never been seen. All photos were available for purchase. Most of the photos in the gallery had 25 prints for purchase, but some just 5.


I asked her about the video. These were still photos, and in some of the video the photos seem to have a 3D effect. She explained that it is an expensive technique available nowadays. Photos are broken down to layers, and these layers are then placed to form the effect. It is actually a 2½D effect. For full 3D, you would need 3D equipment to start with. That is an expensive technique used sometimes by companies. For this exhibition they wanted to try it for some photos.


And then out of the blue, she asked me a question, “Would you like to talk to Denis?” What? He is here? Would I really? This is his work. His photos. The subject just happens to be Duran Duran.

I asked him, “How difficult was it to organize a pop-up gallery?” “Very!” he said. Location is key. It was really difficult to find an empty location in central London that would be fitting for a gallery. And then everything needs to be done in the time frame when the location is rented – setting things up, marketing, opening. Some of the things take more time than expected. The flyers for this exhibition were printed in Italy, and they are not here yet (on Friday). They were expected to arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

He continued, “Then there’s two prints arriving later today (on Friday). Two photos are printed on huge acrylic sheets. Both are two meters wide. They will arrive later today and be in place tomorrow.

Anu with Denis O’Regan

“One other thing I thought about trying with the prints, was to print some as a work desk cover. The one with Simon, where there’s a lot of white – that could work nicely. You could have your laptop and papers in one part of the desk.” (I suggested that a similar setting was behind him, with Andy and black background.) “That’s true”, he said.  “The other one I had in my mind, is the contact sheet of John and Nick taken in France. That contact sheet from a photo shoot could really be a nice desk top.”


We talked a bit more about the book, promotion and travel. He found it amusing that some preorders had been made for a specific copy of the book – 7, 58, 60, 61, 62, 78, 80, 81, 82, and so on. Yes, we sometimes have our fixed specifics. Duranies!

Returned on Saturday to see the HUGE acrylic prints, and enjoy the peaceful exhibition once more. Impressive!

I do remember there was music playing softly in the background. What it was, I cannot recall.  I thought the choice would be pretty clear, but it clearly wasn’t what you might have expected…
And if that weren’t enough, we have some wonderful photos and video taken from the band’s arrival at the gallery opening and book release party, along with this short postscript from Bryony that everyone should give everyone a chuckle:

On the evening of the reception, 5th December: the band was due to arrive, and the very lovely and helpful door manager at the venue kept getting calls & texts to say the band would be arriving ‘in five minutes’, then when they didn’t was very apologetic. The fans had to explain to him that we understood completely, and even had a word for it: Durantime!

Nick’s arrival: (sorry this is a link but Blogger won’t let me upload it directly)

Anu Poukka lives in Helsinki Region, Finland. Her DD journey began in May 1982 with purchase of two LP’s – entering the record shop to buy Rio and only then realising that it was the second album of this fantastic Band! Nowadays she’s not sure which is more fun – touring with Duranies or the actual DD shows!










Bryony Evens has been an unashamed pop music fan for the last 30-odd years. Here’s all you need to know in musical terms: first album: Super Trouper by ABBA; first single: Rio; all-time favourite song: Dr Mabuse by Propaganda; favourite band: you need to ask?!; favourite solo artist: Liverpool’s elusive Thomas Lang; all-time perfect non-DD album: ABC’s Lexicon of Love; guaranteed mood-lift song: the 12” of Walk Out to Winter by Aztec Camera; compulsory-to-dance-to song: OT Quartet – Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like a Skyscraper mix); favourite classical music: Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Rach 3 and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances; first gig: The Sugarcubes; bands seen live most often: either Duran Duran or Misty’s Big Adventure; next gig: Glasgow’s A New International – truly a band to discover; best new album: Electric by the Pet Shop Boys. She loves to sing. She also plays the viola badly

Careless Memories…for a price.

Due to technical difficulties…the review we had planned for today will not run. Instead we bring you the following piece of news from Duran Duran and Denis O’Regan.

This sounds like a wonderful collection and something to treasure.. take heed, my fellow Duranies…to own this book, it’s gonna cost ya. A lot. $400 USD for the least expensive book option. I am certain some will happily pony up the cash, and that’s great. I need to put my kids through college and be able to retire at some point, to be blunt!

And I’ll follow this up with an additional item: Durandy (Andrew Golub) has come out with his own coffee table format book of Duran concert posters…full color, and done with all the love and care in the world because he’s a fellow fan, and while I do not know the full price, I am willing to bet my own poster collection that it’s less than this. I’m working on editing an interview I just did with him via email that will be up on the blog next week.  Andy is a fascinating person who has put so much effort and time into maintaining his archival collection of Duran Duran ephemera – I can’t wait to share the interview with our readers.  Watch this space!
-R

See original press release here. 
November 21st, 2013  

Duran Duran and photographer Denis O’Regan release new coffee table book: ‘Careless Memories’
On December 15th 2013 Intense Books will publish Duran Duran’s ‘Careless Memories’, a limited edition coffee table book by photographer Denis O’Regan, documenting the band’s record breaking 1984 ‘Sing Blue Silver’ tour. Containing hundreds of exquisitely restored, previously unseen photographs, taken mostly during the North American and Japanese legs of the band’s tour, ‘Careless Memories’ provides an unparalleled visual history of Duran Duran’s ascent to the top, with a commentary from the band members themselves.
Priced from £250, each special edition ‘Careless Memories’ large format, hard cover book (373mm x 249mm) will be bound in cloth, and will contain 200 pages of both colour and black and white images. The deluxe edition (priced from £500), will be signed by all five original band members, and is delivered in a cloth-bound presentation box that will also contain limited edition, signed photographic prints, published by Off Beat. Five Unique Editions of the book (priced at £2500) will also be made available, containing contemporary fine art prints and 1984 vintage prints, together with handwritten lyrics of one of the band’s classic hits by Simon Le Bon.
A selection of photographs from the book will be on display at a dedicated pop-up store, at 15 Foubert’s Place, off Carnaby Street, in Central London, (not far from the band’s original 1984 office) from November 20th to December 6th. The night before the exhibition closes, members of Duran Duran, Denis O’Regan and Intense will host a launch event for ‘Careless Memories’, with the proceeds of a silent auction that will run throughout the life of the exhibition, going to the Ace Africa charity.
Speaking from their studio in London, where they are working on a new album, keyboardist Nick Rhodes said “There was a growing sense of achievement as we got further into the tour – we were winning over the audiences and the reception we received was astonishing every night. As we traveled from city to city, it almost felt as though we were on a political campaign trail, but having an awful lot more fun. It was undoubtedly the ’84 tour that sealed our reputation in America, and as it drew to a close, I think we all knew that it was never going to be the same again.
“We chose Denis to accompany us on tour based upon his work and his reputation. He was one of a small elite group of rock photographers who really knew how to shoot a live show properly. We had seen the stunning results he achieved with other artists and wanted him to do the same for us. It helped enormously that his personality fitted in so well too, we laughed a lot together. If you weren’t able to keep up with the constant humour we survived on, you really didn’t stand a chance. Denis rose to the occasion admirably!”
Lead singer, Simon Le Bon added: “Photography has been massively important to us throughout our career, as it enabled us to maintain a worldwide presence while we were on tour. Denis’s photographs provide a wonderful document from that period.”
1984 was a particularly exciting year for Duran Duran, as this was when they really conquered the US market, playing their first arena tour amidst the kind of mass hysteria from their fans that hadn’t been witnessed since the Beatles had first set foot on American soil, some twenty years earlier. They were touring in support of their third studio album ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger”, which spawned a series of hits, including their first international #1, ‘The Reflex’. It was a year in which they won two Grammys, graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine (who donned them ‘The Fab Five), and played to more than three quarters of a million people in less than five months. With MTV now a powerful promotional vehicle for bands such as Duran Duran, who had been quick to embrace the medium, the stage was set for the five boys from Birmingham to become what appeared to be an overnight global sensation. In actual fact, this period followed five intense, non-stop years of hard work, as the band toured the world, breaking territory after territory.
Photographer Denis O’Regan exclusively captured Duran Duran’s Sing Blue Silver tour, joining the band in France, where they were filming the video for their single ‘New Moon On Monday’, and staying with them until the end of the run, covering their Japanese and North American dates, as well as a number of other European shows and promotional appearances. His unprecedented access to the band gives the ‘Careless Memories’ book a never-before-seen insight into the lives of Simon, Nick, John, Roger and Andy as they won hearts around the world. It documents the excitement of the shows, the hysteria and mayhem that surrounded them, and the tedium of life on the road as they became prisoners of their own success.
Denis O’Regan has toured the world as official photographer to David Bowie, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Spandau Ballet. He was the official photographer at Live Aid, and continued that tradition as official photographer at the Concert For Diana, MTV European Music Awards, and most recently Download, Coachella and Glastonbury festivals.
‘Careless Memories’ will be available for pre-order at www.ddcarelessmemories.com.
The ‘Careless Memories’ exhibition runs from November 20th to December 6th.
-Duranduran.com