Category Archives: postponed dates

Stay with the Music…Let It Play a Little Longer…

Thursday night, Duran played the first of four rehearsal gigs.  My heart soars as I type the word, “played”.  I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see Duran play again after the cancellations in the spring and summer.  Thursday was filled with much activity in Duranland as there were fans there and the rest of us sat back and waiting for any and all reports about the show!  Now that it was a couple of days ago, like many of you, I have read many reports from those there and saw a couple of clips via youtube.  From everything I saw and heard, it sounds like it was a fabulous show and that Simon demonstrated a solid voice.  This, of course, has been greeted by much celebration throughout the community.  In fact, there seemed to be little discussion about Simon and much more discussion about the setlist.  Thursday’s setlist featured many gems, including some new songs that have never been played or rarely played, older songs that needed the dust wiped off them and some songs that they don’t play very often. Many of the old standards were not played at all. 

Most of the fans seemed excited over hearing songs like Leopard, Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, Secret Oktober, Tiger Tiger, and Shadows Are on Your Side.  Strangely enough, though, there were still many fans who complained about the setlist.  I can’t really understand that for three big reasons.  First, shouldn’t the best part about the show be that it happened at all?  They haven’t played since May and we were facing an uncertain future.  Did those fans forget that?  Or is it that they are never satisfied?  Second, it was a rehearsal gig and not a full set.  There are other songs that can be played at the next show.  This isn’t exactly the definitive setlist for the upcoming US tour.  Will they play some of these songs?  I bet they will since they are practicing them.  Will they play songs that they haven’t publicly practiced?  Quite possibly.  Lastly, it seems to me that Duranies are constantly complaining about the setlists.  Most hardcore fans want something other than the big hits.  This setlist is exactly that.  Again, I have to wonder if people would ever be satisfied.  I know that I didn’t love every song played but was still way excited about it for the reasons I have already mentioned.  They were able to play at all and they chose non-standards.  Yay!

Based on people’s reports and the setlist, I was terribly excited by the fact that it seemed that Duran had returned and returned in a way in which they will really please their dedicated fanbase.  Then, I saw Simon’s tweet about being on “vocal rest”.  Am I the only one totally worried about that?  Granted, I don’t know exactly what it means to be on vocal rest.  Does it mean that he can’t sing at all?  Does it mean that he shouldn’t talk?  Maybe to keep things to a minimum?  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, it scares me because he needed to be on vocal rest after just ONE show and it wasn’t a full show, either.  How is he going to do in a few days when they are due to perform 3 shows in a row?  How will he do with the upcoming US and UK tours? 

Perhaps, I’m being overly concerned and for no reason.  Maybe I’m trying to protect myself by thinking the worst now in case it goes badly, it won’t come as a complete shock.  It’s possible that this is just my crazy reaction after flying all the way over to the UK for shows and didn’t get any.  Nonetheless, I’m a little surprised that I don’t see many people sharing my concern.  Is it because they want to believe that everything is cool?  I can certainly understand that.  There is a part of me that desperately wants everything to be great (and maybe it is).  I can’t imagine how I will deal if it is not.  I have plans for Chicago and for the UK.  Beyond that, a lot of my life is focused on their band and the fan community.  That said, I’m sure that I’m over-reacting.  Someone please come and reassure me.  Please! 

No matter what, I will be looking forward to the upcoming shows at the end of the week.  If those go well, I will feel much, much, much better.  Then, I, too, will feel much more like celebrating!

-A

Take a Moment to Appreciate

Yesterday’s question for the Daily Duranie 30 Day Duran Challenge was:  Best storyline in a video or song.  There were 19 different songs/videos chosen with Nightboat coming out as the winner.  Behind that was New Moon on Monday.  I wasn’t surprised by those choices.  After all, they featured the band talking in them, in some versions, anyway.  Seeing people talk about these videos made me smile as I thought about watching these videos as a kid with my best friend at the time, which is what I planned to talk about today.  Then, this morning, I checked online find out the latest news.  Like many people, I’m completely stunned and saddened at the tragic events in Norway.  While looking at the latest development there, I see breaking news.  Singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27.  I haven’t seen anything about cause of death, but I suspect drugs had something to do with it as she had a long history of battling drug addiction and had checked herself out of treatment a month ago.  These events made me realize how lucky we are as Duranies, generally.

When I stop to think about the long history of Duran Duran, I almost always acknowledge the fact that all of the members, past and present are still with us.  We are so fortunate in this as there were a number of close calls that we know about as fans.  Obviously, in light of today’s news about Amy Winehouse, I can acknowledge that the band is lucky that no one died as a result of drug use, which very easily could have happened through overdoses or accidents.  Not only are we lucky that no member died from drugs, but we are also lucky that this concern is no longer present.  I, for one, am very proud of the steps John has taken, for example, to not only get clean but to stay that way.   

Of course, the band members have also survived other scary events.  I’m sure that many of us remember when Simon’s boat, Drum, capsized in 1985, which could have resulted in not only his death but many of his fellow crew members.  Simon has had other accidents in his life, including the one on the motorbike, that he has been lucky to have survived as well.  Of course, they and we have been fortunate that they haven’t suffered from other, deadly, more common ailments.  Yes, they have had their share of sickness, like we all have, but nothing that I know of that was serious.  To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been cancer or serious heart disease, for instance.  Goodness, when I think of many of their associates, I realize how fortunate they have been.  Look at Power Station, for example.  We have lost everyone involved besides John and Andy.  Somehow, someway, our guys keep going. 

These recent tragedies remind me that even though we have been lucky so far when it comes to the health and well-being of the band members, we won’t always be.  Simon’s vocal difficulties showed us that we can’t and shouldn’t assume that everything will be perfect forever.  It simply won’t be.  The band may end tomorrow or they may end twenty years from now.  Therefore, we should remember to appreciate the now and appreciate what we have.  Isn’t that really what the band was saying with AYNIN?  I think it was.  It is upsetting, though, that it sometimes takes canceled tours, horrific events and personal losses to remind us of that.  Perhaps, we should all take a moment each day to just be thankful for what we all have.

-A

Now We Settle…

It has been about a week now since we all read/heard that Duran has been forced to postpone their summer tour.  There was a burst of shock and, now, people are coming to grips or questioning what all of this means.  While I believe that most of the fans have reacted in a kind and considerate manner as most have put their concern for Simon’s well-being first, many are still wondering what the future holds.  The specific elements of the future that they seemed to be focused on includes the future of the band, what to do about personal concert plans or the band’s tour plans. 

I have seen many people begin to question if this is the end of Duran or the beginning of the end.  I get this.  It seems that no one knows exactly what happened with Simon’s voice other than it was damaged and no one knows when it will improve, of if it will improve.  I think it is normal for people to worry because there are so many unknowns in this situation.  While Simon did have vocal issues before, he was a lot younger then.  This does not help people feel confident about the band’s future.  Do I think this is the end?  I have no idea.  I sure the heck hope not.  More than that, I’ll be beyond devastated if it is.  In fact, it is so upsetting to me that I just can’t go there in my mind.  Thus, all I can do for now, is hope for the best and offer support to the band. 

Like many others out there, as much as I’m offering good wishes to Simon and the rest of the band, I can’t help but to think about upcoming concerts.  As many of you know, we are planning on returning to England to get the shows that we didn’t get the first time we were there.  Will there be shows?  I don’t know.  Will there be shows before our shows?  I don’t know that, either.  Many others are in the same situation.  Perhaps, they bought tickets for the two US shows that are scheduled or bought tickets for the UK shows.  Maybe they wanted to buy tickets but didn’t.  The reality is this.  We may not know if they are able to play any of the scheduled shows until right before they happen.  We will not necessarily get a guarantee.  For some people, this is enough to turn them away from buying tickets.  For others, like us, we are proceeding with our plans.  One thing I learned in May is that it is always a risk to go travel or to buy concert tickets.  Things can happen.  In our situation, something happened to the band.  Next time, maybe, something will happen to me.  There are no guarantees even if Simon was 100%.  Whenever you travel, you risk something happening, something that can get in your way.  Now, I support anyone’s decision to not take that risk.  I can understand and appreciate that decision.  For me, though, I am willing to take that risk. 

While people are trying to make their own personal decisions about upcoming shows, I have seen some rumblings about the fact that the schedule now has 2 US shows and then the UK shows.  This has not sat well with all Duranies.  Some people are pointing out that the US has already had shows this year.  This is true.  Many fans in the UK point out that the next part of the tour should be there.  This is true, too.  It seems to me that this situation has opened up a constant debate within the fan community.  Why should the US get so many shows?  They aren’t from there and there are many locations that do not have nearly the same number of shows, if any at all.  What’s the answer to this debate?  I don’t think there is a good answer to this.  I wish that the band could play everywhere that there are fans.  Right now, though, I can’t help but to think that the focus should be that Simon gets better.  Shouldn’t that be the only thing we worry about?  Honestly, I don’t care if they play in Mongolia as long as they are able to play. 

As more and more time goes by, I’m sure that people will settle their own issues related to shows.  I’m hoping that the debate about US vs. the rest of the world is put aside so that we can also focus on what’s most important right now. 

Postponed dates and why I’m not stressing

So, the most recent bombshell to hit Duranland is of course the total and complete postponement of their summer European dates.  My good friend Amanda already covered this in her blog on Saturday, and by the comments and things being said in various places, it appears as though this topic has gotten just about as much attention as the postponement of the UK tour.

As you’re reading this, I’m likely to be sitting in a lounge chair in San Diego.  Hopefully my kids are playing happily in the pool in front of me, as I’m on a much needed vacation with my family. Perhaps that’s the reason why as much as I probably should be worried, I’m not.

I’ve seen a lot of comments from people who are completely freaking out about these shows being canceled.  They’re beginning to wonder if Duran Duran will ever be back to normal.  They’re wondering if the band is telling us everything (Of course not, but they’re telling us as much as they can, and as much as we really need to know!), they’re wondering if it’s all a big conspiracy (I love a good conspiracy and cover up as much as the next person – but is not the case here), and naturally people are wondering if the US dates are going to be postponed next.

The simple answer for all of it is that we don’t know.  We can’t know.  Only the band knows for sure in some of those cases, and even then – I don’t think they know for 100% certainty what is really going to end up happening.  I think that above all else, this is why I can’t worry.  I did a lot of worrying, soul searching, and quite honestly – hiding my own disappointment back in May.  There are still moments when I’ll think back to that UK trip and sit back in astonishment that I literally flew all the way over there to get almost nothing.  No shows.  A fleeting glance at a few of the guys – a few moments that I’ll never forget standing in front of Simon and listening to him tell us what’s really going on.  A few “field trips”….but not one single show.  That’s kind of mindblowing at times.  Yeah, I was thrilled to be in England for 9 days – but for me, the main reason for going was to see the shows.  I don’t dwell on that disappointment, but every now and then I’m almost shocked it all happened and I kind of have to remind myself that it was no insane dream of mine – it really happened.  Crazy.

Deep in the dark chasms of my brain (and there are many!), I suppose there’s a nagging concern that Simon might not ever get his full range back.  When I think of something to worry about, that is the one thing that comes to mind, and not because I’m worried about ever going to a Duran Duran show again.  I just would hate to read someday that he has to hang it all up because he just physically can’t do the job.  That said, I just don’t believe that’s going to happen right now.  I just don’t believe they’re done, and in return – I’m not finished with them, either.  I guess I’m demanding that way.

I may have mentioned to you all before that I’m a worrier.  It’s true, I am.  I’ll be up at 3am thinking about things I have absolutely no control over, full-well knowing that I’m either rehashing things that have long since been water-under-the-bridge, or worrying about things that there’s nothing I can do about.  Over the past few months, I have wondered about the band and how they’re taking all of this  – I can’t imagine it’s easy for any of them, yet in some cases, it might be a gift in surprise. (I’m thinking of Roger, his wife Gisella and their baby – in fact that baby may have already been born by the time you read this, in which case I’m sure congratulations to Mommy and Daddy are in order!)  I’ve also wondered about the “what ifs” and the “so then what’s”.  That’s always fun at 3am when I should be sleeping.

The sad truth is that all we can do is wait, be hopeful, be supportive, and certainly be understanding – which I believe seems to be the toughest part for my fellow Duranies.  This isn’t the tour any of us wanted, but in this case I really do believe the best is yet to come, even if it ends up being something none of us ever planned.  I have to believe that, and it’s likely because the alternative is absolutely unacceptable, which is why I’m sticking to not worrying.   I may be a lot of things, but I simply refuse to be a bitter, angry fan over this tour.  It sucks to pieces that they couldn’t support this album the way they should have been able.  It’s an amazing album and I don’t give care what the sales look like, people are stupid for overlooking Duran Duran.  I’ll go to my grave saying that, and I’ll also continue to believe that it’s not over and they will be back until the band tells me themselves that they just can’t.

It’s time for me to go and join my youngest as she splashes around the pool – she’s still kind of unsteady and ready to drown herself at any moment, so I’m going to excuse myself here and resume my mom (and lifeguard) duties!   Have a great week, everyone!  – R

European Dates Postponed

There was a big announcement on dd.com yesterday about the upcoming dates in Europe.  According to the press release, which you can read here, the band was forced to postpone the dates scheduled in Europe, which includes all dates in July, all dates in August and the first half of September.  As of now, the first date would be September 26th in California.  This announcement was filled with more information than we have had in quite awhile.  It explained that while there has been improvement with Simon’s vocals and getting his range back, it isn’t perfect and they want to ensure that no further damage be done.  To that note, they will not be “putting anything back in the calendar” until LeBon’s voice is at 100%.  They also wanted to do this in advance to be fair to the fans.

This news was met with a strong reaction, even by fans who had no intention of going to see any of these shows.  Most fans seemed sad and concerned.  Some were shocked.  Many were worried about their upcoming shows or about buying tickets to shows.  Obviously, all of these reactions are valid and understandable.  I, too, am sad.  How could I not be?  I feel down both for the band and for the fans.  It is a no-win situation for anyone.  The guys must be feeling terrible about having to do this.  Simon, in particular, must feel completely frustrated despite whatever progress has been made.  I, obviously, also feel badly for the fans who planned to go to those shows.  As someone who recently went through this myself, I understand how horrible that feels.  Do I think it is good that the band announced this a couple of weeks before the next show was expected to happen?  I guess.  Yes, I think it is good for people to know and for people to be able to change plans to save money and time.  That said, I don’t blame them for how they have handled things previously.  Would I have liked to have known that my shows were being postponed a week or two before?  Sure but it didn’t happen that way and it worked out as well as it could.  There is no one I could blame, anyway.

Am I worried more or less about Simon and the band’s future?  This announcement did not change my concern.  It is the same.  I wasn’t going to feel really good about Simon until I saw that he was able to perform at a series of shows.  I wanted to know that he was able to sing and hold up for a full tour.  One show wouldn’t have cut it for me.  That said, I was still surprised by this.  I had heard that things were improving.  Plus, I saw that they were adding more dates, even in Europe.  Yes, I was aware that things weren’t 100%, though.  I heard that radio interview with Roger and did notice that he said that Simon was 80%.  80% isn’t 100%.  I had hope, however, that he would be able to improve fast enough to play these dates.  Of course, I am glad that they have postponed these dates if it means that Simon has more time to recover and less of a chance of more damage or permanent damage.  Thus, all I can really do right now is offer support to both the band and the fans.

Once the community gets over this shock, I’m sure there will be more and more discussions about the chances of those US dates being played or even about those rescheduled UK dates being played.  I don’t have any answers there.  I wouldn’t know what to do if I was thinking about getting tickets to the California show or to the Atlanta show.  I’m not sure what Rhonda and I should do.  We had been operating under the idea that Simon would be better and that the shows would be played.  Will the UK dates happen?  I don’t know.  Will we know if Simon is able to do them in advance?  I don’t know that, either.  So, should we rethink our plan to go back?  Right now, we aren’t thinking that, but it is something to consider depending on how the next few months go.  The more that they tell us about Simon’s progress, the easier the decisions regarding shows will be, not only for us but for everyone.  Right now, we are all in the same boat.  Watching, waiting and hoping that everything will be okay.

-A

Can Duran Replace Band Members?

Some days are quiet in Duranland and others are busy, busy, busy.  Most days, lately, are in between.  Today was one of those days.  First, the band posted an updated tour poster for the UK dates.  Then, there was a radio interview with Roger Taylor that Duranasty was kind enough to put up for everyone to download.  Of course, seeing the new UK tour poster advertising the dates got us all excited, well, cautiously excited.  During Roger’s interview, he stated that Simon is about 80% back.  The reaction to that piece of information was mixed, as is the case with most things Duran.  On one hand, this is evidence that Simon is indeed improving, which is good considering that there are dates coming up in a few weeks and the postponed dates have been rescheduled.  On the other hand, it could remind us all that Simon isn’t perfect yet.  It has taken a very long time for him to get here.  This reminded me of something that has been bouncing around in my head since Simon’s vocal problems began.  Can anyone in the band be replaced?

In all of the discussions about Simon, I haven’t read many, if any, comments about how they should get someone to replace Simon for a few shows.  Most Duranies agree that Simon is the voice of Duran and it wouldn’t really be the same without him.  Then, the next comment is usually about Nick.  Many people say that they couldn’t do without Nick, either.  Some would say that they are the “heart” of Duran now.  Let me dissect this idea.  Why couldn’t we replace Nick?  Is it because he has so much of what is needed for a live show on his computer?  Is that why?  Okay.  That might make it difficult to have someone substitute for him for shows, but is it impossible?  I don’t honestly know.  I admit that I don’t really know what Nick does exactly on stage.  Yes, sometimes, I see him hit the keyboards but there are other times that I see that he has time to take pictures or whatever.  Would they be able to do shows without him?  Apparently they don’t think so as shows were canceled in 2008 due to his inability to travel for an ear infection.  As for replacing him in the band, I understand the idea that he couldn’t be replaced.  Yes, Nick has been there since the beginning.  Yes, he is often the one with many of their big ideas and the one to fixate over all of the details.  Is Duran his?  I have heard that he owns the name.  If this is true, then, I guess Duran is legally his.  Would the band be the same without him?  Obviously not.  Could it survive?  I don’t honestly know.  So, is Nick and Simon at the heart of the band?  I don’t know if I would say that either.  To me, that implies that John and Roger aren’t important.

I acknowledge that both John and Roger have left the band and have come back.  Obviously, the band can and has survived without them.  Would they postpone shows if they couldn’t play?  Well, in 2005, they canceled shows in Japan because Roger had broken his foot.  Clearly, they wouldn’t replace him anymore on stage either.  This leaves John.  Would they replace John now, even for a few shows?  I can’t imagine.  Why would he be any different than Simon, Nick or Roger?  Now, I know what you all must be thinking.  Then, what happened with Andy?  Good question.  I obviously have no inside track, no inside information.  For whatever reason, they felt like they could or should replace him for shows.  They decided this way back in late 2004 when Andy was replaced by Dom for the first time due to Andy being sick.  Then again, Dom came in during the spring of 2005 when Andy’s dad passed away.  What does this mean?  I don’t know exactly.  It could mean that it is easier to replace the guitarist for Duran than to replace a drummer.  It could mean that things with Andy were always different.  Maybe Andy wanted it this way.  Maybe he didn’t.  This leads me to wonder what they would do now in 2011 if Dom wasn’t able to play.  Would he be just as easily replaced as it appeared that Andy was? 

For me, personally, as much as I want shows to continue and did benefit from Dom filling in for Andy in 2005, I wouldn’t want any of them, including Dom, to be replaced for shows.  Does that mean that I disagree with the statement that Nick and Simon are the heart of Duran?  I guess in a way that I do.  I don’t like the idea of leaving out John and Roger.  Yes, I admit that they both left for awhile but they are in now.  I wouldn’t want them to have secondary status.  I would want the heart of Duran to be big enough for all four.  Heck, maybe someday, the heart will be big enough to squeeze Dom in, too.  To me, Duran is all of them.

-A

A Glimmer of Hope…

I have been looking and looking and looking for any signs of hope out of the Duran camp this past week, especially after seeing their mid-week announcement about canceling the remaining June dates in Finland and Russia.  I have been going to their official site and to Simon and John’s twitters more times than I care to admit.  Another part of my search for hope has been on the various message boards in hopes that someone had heard/read something and was able to share with the rest of us!  This kind of search isn’t something new for me.  I’m really an optimist even in the face of unbelievable odds and I’m not one to give in easily to matter the level of challenge involved.  Perhaps, these characteristics have allowed me to teach for as long as I have, too.  Therefore, no matter how bleak things were looking with Simon, I refuse to give up hope, which is the same motivating force that keeps me searching for signs.  (No comment, Rhonda!)

Yesterday, as part of my daily glance at all things Duran on the internet, I noticed that Duranasty site had been updated.  Now, anyone familiar with this site knows the time and attention to details that goes into every update.  Usually, the updates contain quite a bit of unofficial news.  This update was no exception and you can read it here.  This update provided me with that glimmer of hope, that oasis in the long stretch of desert that we have all been living in.  The information in this updated included a fan report of a conversation with Simon in which he stated that his voice seems to be coming back in small increments.  The band also feels confident that there will be shows played in July.

Obviously, I hope for those who have tickets for July and August shows that this is indeed the case.  Of course, this could also mean that the postponed shows could be rescheduled and announced as well, which is great!  However, this statement provides more than just tour possibilities.  I hope that it means that Simon is truly recovering and on his way to full health again.  For him, personally, I cannot imagine how difficult this must be on him.  It is one thing to know that a particular body part won’t work as it should, which many people experience, but to have that body part be essential for your career and your identity.  This made me think of my mother, who is a fiber artist.  She relies on her vision to create her works of art.  A few years ago, she lost partial hearing in one ear after a horrible ear infection, which is annoying to her but not as devastating if she had lost part of her eyesight.  Beyond Simon, personally, which is enough, there are countless more people who rely on his ability to sing, especially his bandmates.  Then, of course, there are the fans.  We rely on his voice, too, to provide us with the entertainment we have come to know and love.

Beyond the hope, I have to remind myself to be cautious.  While I’m not doubting this fan at all, I also know how emotionally invested we all are.  I wasn’t there and I don’t know exactly how the conversation went.  I also know that even with this hope, Simon may not be out of the woods yet.  He may be gaining some of his voice back and then can lose it again.  It may also take a LONG time to fully come back.  While I love the idea of having hope and the world knows that I need it, I think it is also good for me to be cautious and to try to be prepared for where we all go from here.  It may not be a smooth road.  It may not be a straight road that takes us directly from point A to  point B.  There may be many twists and turns along the way.  So, for now, I remain very, very cautiously optimistic.

-A

That Was Then…This Is Now

Four years ago today, I was in New York City along with my writing partner and another friend.  We were there for the DuranDuranMusic fan only show.  It was a Sunday night, on Father’s Day, no less.  We had arrived in the Big Apple on Friday evening and enjoyed ourselves up until that point.  As part of that weekend, we had done a little sight-seeing on one of those bus tours and had met a bunch of cool Duranies at the Pyramid Club get together.  With those happy experiences behind us, we were ready for the VIP party and the show! 

Let me take you all back to the state of the fandom at that point.  The summer of 2007 was one filled with both great anticipation and great anxiety as we were a few months away from the release of Red Carpet Massacre.  At this point, we knew that the band had been working with famous producer, Timbaland, and were hearing rumors about Justin Timberlake.  Many of us were still reeling over the departure of Andy Taylor.  During that time, it seemed that the message boards were filled with much debate over Andy’s leaving and about the collaboration with the Tims (Timbaland and Timberlake).  In fact, I would go so far as to say that the fanbase was divided.  Some were okay with Andy leaving and some weren’t.  Many fans were nervous about the band working with the Tims and others were excited.  In my opinion, it wasn’t such a fun time to be a fan.  No matter my opinions on these moves and I did have them, I hated that people were split!  I hated that we all weren’t as excited as we normally are about a new album!  I feared that many people would leave the fandom, either because they disliked the new direction or because of the contentious feeling of the community.  I worried that many or most of these people would leave and never return and it was clear to me that the fandom couldn’t afford to lose people.  Thus, I had really hoped that this fan show would prove to me and to the rest of the community that all was right with Duran and that we can and get should behind them.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.

The fan show, I must admit, was one of the most disappointing moments of my long history of being a Duranie.  I expected so much from the show.  Yes, I had hoped to hear new material.  Yes, I longed to see the band excited and PROUD of their work and where they were as a band.  I thought that the fans would notice this excitement and return it ten fold in what would be the best Duran concert ever.  As many of you know, either from reading about the show or from being there in person, the exact opposite happened.  I saw a band nervous about where they were, musically.  They seemed uncomfortable on stage, both when introducing the cd, which for the record, I thought was a bad move, and when playing Nite Runner for the first time.  Then, sound problems and Simon’s forgetting of lyrics added to the lackluster show.  I will never forget the look of shock and disappointment etched on everyone’s faces that night.  Many people responded with anger.  Others responded by being hurt.  Some stayed in shock for a long time.  I remember truly wondering for one of the only times in my life if this marked the beginning of the end for Duran, as I wondered if the whole album was going to be marked with problems and with a lack of enthusiasm.  I pondered if those upset fans would be able to work through all of the negative emotions to stay fans. 

Yet, we all know that Duran was able to overcome this horrible show and an album that divided the fans.  They were able to put on solid performances for the Broadway shows done in November of that year, to promote the album.  Many fans enjoyed the shows that they attended during the 2008 tour.  While some fans did leave, many stayed.  Most stayed or came back.  I suspect that they those who stayed, did so because they, knew that Duran could and would be better again and that they could make an album to unite the fanbase and put excitement back in all of our lives.  In my opinion, they did just that with All You Need is Now.

This current album of theirs is one that most fans seem to be enjoying.  Yes, there still is debate about the quality of music found on there.  Sure.  We are all still fans and part of that means that we are going to seek meaning through discussions of that nature.  Absolutely.  Yet, I rarely, if ever, people say really HORRIBLE things about it, which is something I heard about on a daily basis during those RCM days.  I don’t feel like there is an even split between those fans who love it and those fans who hate it.  I think most fans like the album to varying degrees.  There is definitely more harmony in the fan community now (at least on that front).  On top of that and, perhaps, more importantly, I saw a band excited and PROUD of their new album.  I saw it in their interviews, in their tweets and in their live performances.  They no longer seemed uncomfortable like they did on the night of June 17th, 2007.  My band had returned and I was proud that I stayed through the not-so-fun RCM era. 

Perhaps, this is why the loss of Simon’s voice and the postponement or cancellation of shows is so upsetting to me.  They deserved to be able to share this new music with people.  They deserved to celebrate an accomplishment.  We, as fans, deserved to celebrate and be proud with them.  They didn’t deserve this.  Simon didn’t deserve this.  Now, of course, I’m hoping that they will soon be back up and running to be able to share this gift with the world.  Then, we will have even more to celebrate.

-A

Not gonna lie – I’m worried.

I have to admit, I didn’t think the news could really get any worse after coming home from London.  That’s as much a selfish reaction on my part as it is pure hope that it was as bad as it was going to get.  The UK shows had been postponed.  I didn’t dare think past that, because as far as I was concerned, anything worse would be positively unthinkable.  So I didn’t think.  I set out about my business here at home.  Dealt with jet lag, planted some tomatoes…wrote some blogs.  Then this morning, I got online, obviously wondering if any news had been made public about the European dates for this weekend.  As I’m sure everyone is aware, there was some news.

First 5 European shows postponed.

It wasn’t the press release from the band that pushed me to the edge of my keyboard.  No, it was the statement directly from Simon’s Twitter.  Let me copy and paste for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.

“Very sad to announce that our [weekend] shows are cancelled, to be re-scheduled at a later date. There has been a little improvement to my voice in the last 3 wks.  There is obviously some underlying problem with is not shown by laryngoscopy…so I’m really trying to remain positive.  It’s difficult to stay relaxed when you feel like fighting hard.  I’m doing an MRI scan tomorrow.” – SimonJCLeBon (Twitter)


I have to give Simon credit, because I can’t imagine he’s not ready to climb the walls at home right now.  I’m just a fan and I’m sitting here, anxious to do something, yet I know there’s really nothing that I can do for him.  John said that they’re powerless right now, and he’s right.  Unfortunately – all that any of us can do is sit back and wait.

Simon will have an MRI tomorrow.  I don’t know how these things work over in the UK, but here – it takes a few days for results to come through, and tomorrow is Friday.  The one thing that I am hoping for, yet I fully understand the ramifications of doing so – is that Simon is able to relay to the fans what is really going on, good, bad, or otherwise.  There’s a good many of us that are sick with worry about him.  The trouble with Simon saying anything is that once again, this issue goes far, FAR beyond disappointing the fans.  They have employees, contracts, record sales, money, and entire plethora of worries that go way beyond some woman sitting at her keyboard in Orange County, California who says she’s “worried”.  I get it.  I suppose though, in times like these, our longevity as a somewhat very dysfunctional “family” of sorts counts for more than just dollar signs to their management.

Until I blog next, take care Simon.  I’m sincerely looking forward to the day when I can go back to teasing you relentlessly (on this blog), rolling my eyes at your tweets, and calling you LeBon….because that’s what I do.   Nile Rodgers reminds me that there’s a gift in everything – and I suppose the “gift” here is that I have seen a side of you that I wouldn’t normally have had the opportunity to see – but I still miss the cocky onstage persona at times.  Sort of.  😀

-R