Category Archives: radio

In the Self-Obsession Age: Are We Really Oldies?

A few weeks back, a friend of mine sent me a link to a contest for Duran Duran tickets in Washington DC.  At the time, I glanced at her note briefly, and then saved it for later when I had more time. As I looked at it later, two things caught my interest: one, it was a radio call-in contest, and two, the radio station is located here in the greater LA area.

I have a clean record when it comes to radio contests. I haven’t won a single one. Now, I can say that with a chuckle because it’s true, and because I don’t dare take them seriously.  I don’t have hours to listen to the radio each day, and I definitely don’t have time to continuously speed dial, so they’re hit or miss with me. So while it is true that I haven’t won, I also haven’t tried that often!

Mostly, I thought it was interesting that an LA radio station had a contest for Duran Duran tickets to a show that is being held on the other side of the country. I don’t know if this contest included airfare, but I believe it may have. Not a bad deal.  As I looked closer at the contest and thought about the station hosting it though, I started wondering why this particular station was involved.

The station was K-EARTH 101, and as I understand it, they’re one station of an entire group of them from coast to coast. That makes more sense. What threw me initially though, was that I have always known K-EARTH to be an Oldies station.

I realize the term “oldies” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. In my head, when I say “oldies”, I mean that it’s music my parents listened to. In fact, my mom still has the station programmed as a pre-set in her car stereo.

So then I wondered why on earth (ha!) this station would be having a contest for DD tickets. I mean, it would make no sense, right??  I thought about that for a bit and then something took my attention away until my mom came over last week for Thanksgiving.  She and I were talking, and she gleefully told me that she’d heard about those Duran Duran tickets on K-EARTH. When I mentioned my puzzlement about that stations listeners and why they’d give away Duran Duran tickets on an oldies station, she stopped, looked at me, and smiled. “Why Rhonda, they play your music on that station! They play Duran Duran. I heard Rio the other day!”

After I picked up my head from the table, I openly cringed. Does this really mean what I think it means, I thought to myself. No way!!!  It was an ego-crushing moment, and whats more, I think my mother enjoyed watching my reaction!

So today I did some research on K-EARTH. I needed to know what was going on there, because the last I’d checked, they were playing anything from Elvis Presley to 70’s era Elton John, and the world was happy. Could it really be that oldies now means…well…I can’t even type it. So I went to the internet (because everything you read on the internet must be true, right?). Turns out, K-EARTH has slowly been evolving their format from 50s-60s to 70s-80s, and now people are noticing they are even playing 90s music, and a lot less of the 50s and 60s. And I’ve just been sitting here, happily ignoring progress!

What’s more, one of the blogs I read on the station explained that the “mean audience” for K-EARTH was about ten when Reagan was elected.

That is me. I was actually nine, but I turned ten later that same year.

I was all set to write a blog about how I am not really sure Duran Duran really understands their audience, because on one hand – they are playing all of these festivals to appeal to a younger crowd, but on the other hand they’re offering tickets on an oldies radio station, never ONCE considering that I may in fact be one of the “oldies” to which they are appealing!  It’s been a rough morning.

The fact is, I knew this was happening. I know that in the past they’ve had promotional contests on other stations that I thought seemed a little out of their demographic, only to find out later that no, it’s that I’m still insisting I’m in my 20s when I’m really not. It’s just a brutal truth, and the first person that points out that age is but a number is liable to get punched in the nose.

So instead of the blog I had intended to write, I’m lamenting my age and questioning how this happened. I don’t think I’m particularly vain, until it comes to music, obviously.  I don’t listen to K-EARTH, obviously. I still listen to healthy doses of KROQ, sometimes JACK-FM because they don’t follow “rules” and I can hear anything from AC/DC to Michael Jackson in a single sitting, and even Star 98.7 in slightly smaller chunks of time. But K-EARTH? Good Lord no. They play oldies!

Somehow, I suspect my children say the same thing. About my music.

To round out this happy little blog post, I have to wonder how the band must feel. On one hand, they’re trying their best to get that younger audience, and I still say that at some moments – they do it at the expense of the audience they’ve always had.  But on the other hand, they’re considered an oldies act. Most of their biggest hits are from nearly 40 years ago now. Yet, they have music that is nearly brand new, and its style is current. The more “nostalgic” radio stations have formats that won’t accommodate their new music, and the more current stations won’t play the band because they’re played on those oldies stations. It’s a quandary, and it is one reason why many of us have not heard music from Paper Gods get air time.

In the meantime, I am going to sit back and attempt to come to grips with my place in this world…likely by watching a few Duran Duran videos.

-R

 

 

 

Simon LeBon Interview

Duran Duran tweeted that there would be a Simon LeBon interview on the BBC in the UK yesterday, and while we were thrilled to hear the news, we weren’t able to hear the interview ourselves….enter Debbie Craggs, who graciously agreed to listen to the interview and take notes to share!  Thanks Debbie!

 

By Debbie Craggs

Last night DD.com announced a Simon LeBon interview on the BBC. Our front man would be talking to Mark Lester on BBC local radio stations prior to the main event of the evening in the UK – the Brit Awards 2015.   (Some may have preferred to watch the great British Bake Off for comic relief but that’s another matter altogether.  In our house my One Directioner youngest daughter took control of the TV for the Brits.

So on I went to BBC, ready to listen and possibly hear any scoops for the new album!  As the interview began, the topic of conversation was clearly on the Brits. Simon stated he couldn’t remember how many Brits he has been to as he was drunk for most of them. He also jokingly accused organisers of putting something in the air conditioning to make people “off their faces”.

Simon described Brits as the premier UK music award show. Compared to the US Grammies, the Brits has an air of anti-establishment – everyone wants to have as much fun as possible. He recalled going to the Brits very smashed one year, and pinched someones seat, only to end up getting punched in the nose.

As they continued talking about the award show, Simon said it is difficult as it is such a massive venue (now hosted at the O2).  He described the evening as lots of different factions sitting round tables, record company bosses, etc. and sometimes it gets quite loud with parties around the tables.

Mark Lester asked about 2004 when Duran Duran was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music award, presented by Justin Timberlake.  Simon explained that meeting led to the collaboration which we all know as Red Carpet Massacre.  Simon also laughed that   you can stand there on stage looking out over all the columnists that have written horrible things about you in the past, thinking “Yeah, gotcha now!”

The conversation then turned to the War Child gig at Wilton’s music hall. Simon described this gig as spectacular and how one of the reasons for the band still being here after 30 years is because they still get along with each other. They are friends and have a laugh together and enjoy themselves.  Simon also made a comment that the music that they wrote, “…turns out to have been not that bad at all!”

They go on to discuss who would win at the Brits tonight. Simon  mentions Sam Smith, and says he would love Mark Ronson to win something (that prediction came true with Mark and Bruno Mars winning Best Single of the Year). Just as I was about to lose hope of any album news…Simon then says he is going to blow his own trumpet, and briefly talks about the new album and how they have been in the studio.  He explains that the band has done three songs with Mark and Nile Rogers, and that they are working with the “fantastic producer”, (that’s a quote directly from Simon) Mr Hudson.

Simon then gives some insider predictions, or tips, for tonight. He lists the winners as: Mark Ronson, Charli XCX, Sam Smith and Royal Blood.  For those who haven’t heard – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars won best single, Sam Smith won British Breakthrough act and also the global success award, and Royal Blood won the British Group award.

During the interview, Simon even had time to answer a question posed by a fan. They ask Simon about who should have the Outstanding Contribution to Music who hasn’t already received one.  Simon answers that Steve Strange should have something for the encouragement and involvement he had with the music in the 80s.

The interview ends with “All You Need is Now” being played.

Debbie CraggsDebbie Craggs is a single mum to three teenage girls in Northamptonshire UK where she works as a school nurse. She has been a Duranie since the 80s and in her spare time she plays clarinet at her local chapel.

Duran Duran History – American Top 40

Duran Duran history for January 28 has me thinking about the old days of Casey Kasem and the American Top 40 that I would listen to on the radio (and watch on TV) each Saturday morning here in Los Angeles.  On this date in 1984, Duran Duran was all over the countdown, as “New Moon on Monday” as well as “Union of the Snake” was featured on the broadcast for that day. It was a good time to be a Duranie!

-R

Duran Duran History – BBC Rock Hour

BBC Rock Hour 548 feat. Duran Duran

On today’s date in 1984, Duran Duran was featured on BBC Rock Hour.  BBC Rock Hour is a radio show vinyl album that was licensed for broadcast on BBC, and not only featured Duran Duran but also Wham! and Boy George.  The album is in a plain white sleeve and comes with cue sheets for radio presenters.

These are rare albums, but they’re out there for vinyl collectors to stumble across if lucky. If you can find them, snap ’em up!  Duran Duran was featured a few times on the BBC Rock Hour over the years, given their popularity in the 80s.  As you can see below, the albums are numbered, and the album for this particular date in history had the following:

Bands (including Duran Duran) for BBC Rock Hour 548

Human League

Eurythmics

Nik Kershaw

Depeche Mode

Culture Club

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Deep Purple

Julian Lennon

Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakley

Duran Duran

Paul McCartney

Wham!

-R