Category Archives: reunion

Today in Duran History – Nagoya, Japan

On today’s date in 2003, Duran Duran played at Century Hall in Nagoya, Japan.  Fans will remember that these shows in Japan were the first shows of the band’s reunion, and this show at Century Hall was #3. Many fans and Duranies traveled from all over the world, including the US, to go to see these first shows with the Fab Five back together again.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any clips from this particular show (plenty from Budokan, though, which leads me to believe that: A. they were able to get cameras into the Budokan but not others. or B. They had finally recovered their senses enough from seeing the other shows that they could take video of this one!!)…but I do have the set list!

Friends of Mine
Hungry Like the Wolf
Planet Earth
Come Undone
What Happens Tomorrow
New Religion
Virus
White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)
(Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel cover)
Night Boat
Still Breathing
Is There Something I Should Know?
Save a Prayer
Ordinary World
A View to a Kill
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
Notorious
The Wild Boys
Careless Memories
The Reflex

Encore:
Girls on Film
Rio

Today in Duran History – Andy and the Reunion

On this date in 2001, Andy Taylor confirmed that the band was reuniting on his website at the time, andytaylor.com.  I wish that I had been around to see that, but I was not paying a whole lot of attention to Duran Duran in 2001.  I was overwhelmed with becoming a good teacher and going to graduate school for my Master’s.

I find this particular fact in Duran history very interesting considering that I posted a poll yesterday about the Up Close and Personal Tour, which lasted from February to June of that year.  Clearly, this confirmation took place in the middle of the tour,  a tour that featured Warren on guitar.  While I knew that the reunion became known during the tour, it is another thing to see actual dates in black and white.  Then, the impact of this news is greater, more significant.

Do any of you remember seeing this and/or discussing this?  I would love to hear about how the fan community reacted to this.

-A

Today’s Date in Duran History – Denied!!

Ok, so if you’re paying attention and reading the blog, you’ll remember that yesterday I posted the daily point of interest being that on that day in 2001, reunion rumors for the original five broke out on the internet. I am beyond tickled that today’s tidbit, always in good turn, is that on this day, also in 2001, The Powers That Be (otherwise known in fandom as TPTB…it’s true, check it!) denied such rumors of a reunion on dd.com.

*gasps for overdramatical effect* How I wish this blog had audio sometimes….

The plot thickened…and I’m fairly certain, given what I know about DD fans, that this statement did nothing but continue to fan the flames of gossip, intrigue and rumor about such things. I can almost see the posts now…

“Well, you saw it – management said it wasn’t happening, and until they come out and say it really is happening – I don’t believe it.”

“Do you REALLY think the band is going to admit that they’re reuniting until they’re ready?  Don’t be stupid!  Management is never going to tell us first anyway. ”

Better yet…

“Since when does the band ever bother to really use this website anyway? Remember when a fan hacked into this site just to update it so that people would know what was going on?”

Well, we all know what ended up happening, don’t we? And…I’m pretty sure we can all guess as to why management needed to deny the rumors until the band was ready. Contractual issues between band members past and present (well…I guess that’s past and past now), a web page needed to be constructed and so on. Darn those gossip web sites!!

I still smile when I think about the evening I went online and read the news about the reunion. I must have read the press release five or six times before it really started to sink in. My brain refused to believe what my eyes were reading, and I’m sure that I was not the only one feeling that way. There are many, many times when I really wonder why I got so involved in this community. Like anyone else, I’ve seen my share of cut throat behavior, both in-person and online , and it can really be disconcerting.  But then I think back to pivotal moments I’ve experienced as a fan, and I realize: I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is a perfect point to close this week (for me, since Amanda will be writing tomorrow through Sunday), so I bid you all adieu til Monday.

-R

Today’s Date in Duran History – Reunion Rumors

Ah yes, 2001.  That was a very good year if you were a Duran Duran fan.  At that point, I wasn’t very active on the internet – I’d check in to  dd.com once in a while and read the message boards, but admittedly I wasn’t on the boards when the first teensy whispers of a possible fab five reunion started leaking about. I couldn’t say whether or not the rumors were being discussed on the boards or kept totally under wraps.  I only remember the evening I happened to check into dd.com only to find that a new splash page had been put up with five faces on it…and I wasn’t entirely sure who a couple of the faces belonged to!  My brain was saying one thing “Can’t be”, and my heart was saying another “PLEASE! You KNOW who these people are!!”

Every once in a while I’ll see a tidbit for a date in history that Amanda unearthed from one place or another and I’ll be surprised.  I’m either surprised that she stumbled across that little bit of trivia, or surprised that such a thing happened. This is one of those tidbits…for both reasons.  On this date in 2001, rumors of rehearsals for a tour with the original five hit the internet at allstarnews.com.  I’m just guessing here, but I’m pretty sure those rumors must have set dd.com alight for the first time in at least a few years, no?  Anybody out there???

-R

 

Return to Now

Once in a while, I’ll check in with Facebook and see that a lot of my friends had somehow read my mind and posted various old clips, interviews and the like. Plenty of times, I have to ignore those posts because I don’t have time to sit and watch, but today I’m nursing some sort of weird back thing (I slept last night. Obviously that must be the problem.) so I’m not about to get up and go running (Ha – I’m not being chased, so that definitely isn’t going to happen) or clean much today. So I took some time this morning, and I’ve got to say, sometimes looking back really IS good for the soul moving forward.  

One clip that I am going to find again and attach here is a three-minute clip from the Forum Show in London back in 2003.  If you don’t recognize the significance of the date, it’s a show with the original five back on stage together.  I think it’s fair to say that many of us have seen more than a few clips from gigs over the years.  Most of them make me at least crack a small grin, some make me smile, and then….there is this one.  I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll just post the clip here so the rest of you can experience pure joy.
I must be getting really soft with age, or this band is just killing me slowly, because tears sprang to my eyes when I watched the video.  The reaction from the audience is the closest thing to pure joy that I’ve really witnessed without being an actual part.  
I know much has happened since this moment.  It’s been nine years since this gig, and in many ways, it feels like a lifetime. That still doesn’t stop me from looking back with fondness and feeling some of that same joy I felt back in 2003 when I experienced my own first gig with the original five.  Never mind what came later, just being in that one moment again feels good. 
Many in the community haven’t been able to reconcile their feelings regarding the band or regarding Andy since these moments in 2003.  I can understand all of that, and whether you became a fan in the 80’s, the 90’s or even just recently, sometimes looking back helps you to feel better about going forward.  
Take a look back and just absorb some of that pure electricity and joy.  As for me, I’m going to attempt to sit back, take some Advil, contemplate calling the chiropractor and watch some DVD’s that some friends have made for me of shows from the past couple of years.  Can’t wait to hear some Hungry Like the Wolf again.  HA!!!
-R

Funny…or Not?!

I thought I would take a break from the usual deep thoughts to find something to share with all of you.  Thus, I found myself on youtube and tried to pick out a song, a video, a something that would catch my attention and yours.  After a bit of searching, I decided that I should pick out an interview.  I like interviews!  Interviews give a little bit or more of insight into the band.  Now, the only question was which one.  After all, I have shared quite a few on facebook and twitter as part of the daily questions or today in Duran history.  I wanted to find something that would be new to a lot of people.  I picked out a clip from 2004.  This interview featured John, Simon and Roger and was on some show in the UK.  I know nothing about the show or the interviewer.  Perhaps, someone can give us more information on it and whether or not this type of interview is common!  Now, here’s the clip!

Obviously, the clip is meant to be funny!  It isn’t filled with tough, thought-provoking questions.  In fact, it isn’t filled with many questions at all.  It is more about showcasing the band and their history in talking about a “comeback”.  Does this make sense in 2004?  In one way, it does.  In another way, it does not.  For the general public, Duran Duran hadn’t been around for years or even a decade.  For those of us in the know, we knew that they had always been around.  Thus, it could be annoying that the interview was framed in such a fashion.  On the other hand, maybe, it isn’t so bad.  Maybe, it was good in 2004 to talk about a comeback, to emphasize Duran’s attempt to get back into the spotlight.  What do you think?

Now, I have to admit I enjoyed Duran’s reactions.  Poor Roger couldn’t keep much of a straight face with some of the questions.  John and Simon did better with “acting” and tried to seem annoyed at some of the questions.  I have to admit that I smiled quite a bit at John’s reaction to the question about grandkids or Simon’s reaction to his revealing that he has been married for awhile!  I also loved when John asked if a “rockin'” type song would be “Eye of the Tiger” or when the interviewer included “Walk Like an Egyptian” as a Duran hit!  Talk about placing Duran in the early/mid 80s!  The only part that didn’t really amuse me much was the idea that Duran needed famous collaborations.  That hit home a little too much after the whole RCM deal with Timbaland and Timberlake.  Interestingly enough, they didn’t really seem all excited about that idea even in a joking manner except for maybe Roger. 

I tend to be super critical of Duran interviews.  I usually think that the questions asked are too surface, too common, too annoying.  They typically seem like they haven’t done any research or know very, very little about Duran.  In this case, they didn’t try.  It feels like they knew that they couldn’t do a regular, serious interview well.  Therefore, instead of trying to be serious, they would embrace the silly.  I can appreciate that.  I admit that the interview at least amused me to some extent.  What do the rest of you think?

-A

Silver Lining

I usually title my blogs first, oddly enough.  I know Simon feels that you can’t really name something until you’ve seen it – but I do it backwards.  (that is so typical for me!)  In any case, this time – I can’t title it yet.  Hopefully something will hit me before I need to publish, otherwise this blog is going up without a title.

I have a calendar that Amanda, my writing partner for the blog, created.  It’s a daily Duran Duran calendar – each date has a specific event listed.  There’s no need for me to worry about whether the band is going to publish an “official” yearly calendar because I already have my own, and I love it.  Every night I change out the page for the next one (it’s in a small plastic frame in my room), and it gives me a brief moment to reflect on the memory of the event, or in some cases, I just say “huh” and go on to whatever task I have happening next.  Last night, when I finally got up to my room for the night, I turned the page only to reveal that on this day just 4 years ago, we got the “official” announcement that the Fab 5 partnership had once again been dissolved and we were now at 4.  Truth be told, I had already learned of Andy’s leaving a couple of weeks prior – but I was sworn to secrecy, and to this day I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone just how much earlier I’d known what was going on.  I don’t even really have “insider” knowledge – it was just odd luck, and it was something that at the time, I didn’t want to believe and I certainly didn’t want to share in hopes that it was false.  Regardless, as I turned the page and put it into the frame, I remembered how I felt that day when I got several phone calls from my closest friends.

I think that for me at least, I don’t know that I ever expected Andy…or Roger for that matter, to stay for long. I guess it just all seemed way too perfect.  I know of many, MANY Warren fans out there, and good on all of you for being able to accept him so well, but for me he was never a part of MY Duran Duran.  At least not the one I fell in love with.  For me, that band has 5 members, and you know their names, including those 3 Taylors.  So, when the reunion was announced and I saw them live again, it WAS perfection.  It was my childhood, adolescence and adulthood all coming full circle – and it was a perfect, shining moment that I never thought would last.  Of course, it didn’t.  I saw Andy perform with the band 4 times, and I do treasure those times.  Regardless of what anyone says about his work ethic or his playing style, he provided something to that band that can’t be replicated, and I thank him for coming back at all because in doing so he allowed me to live out a dream – and that was to see all 5 of them together.

That day 4 years ago, as I spoke to friends on the phone, I had very mixed emotions.  I know I was really angry – many fans have been and still are to some extent.  However, I think that if anything, my anger was directed towards the rest of the band more so than Andy, particularly because from everything I’d learned about the upcoming album – it was going to be nothing like what I expected from Duran Duran (and it wasn’t).  I was (and still am) convinced that the direction of the new album was at least partially responsible for the dissolution of their partnership.  Many will argue with me, saying that I couldn’t possibly know what went on – but one thing I *do* know, is that if Andy were truly interested in being in the band and recording the album – he never would have allowed for a stupid travel visa (or lack thereof in this case) to be the reason he didn’t show up for recording.  Out of all of the lame reasons I’ve ever heard in my lifetime – and trust when I say that working in HR and staff management – I’ve heard more than my share – that is probably one of the worst.

I also knew that I was about to board a plane headed for Chicago, where I was going to see Duran Duran be the opening concert for the brand new Sears Center.   I’d already seen Dom Brown as their guitarist for a few shows – so I knew the band would obviously still play, but I wondered how they would be as they came onstage.  They would be facing a lot of fans with a lot of emotion behind them – and many of us were following them on to New Orleans (they would play the Voodoo festival later that weekend) from there.  It was important that they come out on stage that night and play the show of their lives to prove they could still do it without Andy – at least, that’s how *I* felt about the show.

I went to the show with a heavy heart, but also an inner yearning.  I wanted that band to come out there and blow my socks off.  I needed to hear that they were going to be fine, and I’ve always felt that I could tell how the band was doing by the way they were playing – they aren’t that great of actors, and I think it’s become fairly clear (to me, at least) when things aren’t great backstage.  They came on that night with a fire in their bellies, that is for sure.  They all sang and played with more fire and conviction that night than I’d seen since they played at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa in 2003.  John Taylor played his heart out that night, while Amanda and I sang right along with him.  😀  I looked over at Dom several times that night, wondering how he must have felt.  It’s one thing to take over for someone when they are ill – but it’s quite another when you know it’s just been announced that they aren’t coming back and for the near future, you’re the guy.   Dom stood off to the side, respectfully played the guitar and did a fine job.  He interacted with the band, but not overly so, and I found myself being more and more drawn to him.  Mostly, I wanted him to see that the fans wouldn’t eat him for dinner just because Andy wasn’t coming back.  I found myself wanting to give him the heroes welcome in a lot of ways, because truly – had it not been for Dom’s ability to step in and play a superb guitar, we would not have had a show that night.

Later that weekend, I ran into Dom on a plane bound for New Orleans.  He sat right across the aisle from me – and after I picked myself up off of the floor both from illness and from shock, but I took a second to thank him for playing, and I commended him on being able to step into some very big shoes.  We talked a little bit during the flight, Dom was very, very kind and he’s earned my loyalty as a fan, whether he’s playing for Duran Duran or playing his own shows. (someday, I will make it to the UK to see him, or he’ll come here – but I will see him one of these days!)  I know he’s not Andy Taylor, and of course he never will be – but he’s a gift to us in his own right.   That weekend, Amanda and I made Dom his own sign for the Voodoo festival (and we waited all day, were practically trampled by My Chemical Romance Fans and narrowly avoided being rolled on by the lead singer of Flaming Lips in a huge hamster ball in order to show it to him), to us – he’s part of Duran Duran and therefore part of the family.  The sign said “We Scream for Dom” – and I don’t know if he ever saw it, but Simon and John did – and they were trying to point it out to him.   It was just our way of saying thanks and welcome.  To this day when we see the band in concert and it’s a GA show, I try to position myself somewhere between Simon and Dom, that way I can see Dom, and I get a great view of Roger as well.   I have no idea if Dom remembers me – but he’s got a fan until I can no longer get myself to the shows, and even then – I can still keep listening.   For me, he is part of the silver lining.

Nile Rodgers once posted that the gift is always there, even in the worst of times – you just have to find it.  I think that our gift is that many of us finally got that opportunity to see and hear all five together again.  How many of us really thought that would ever happen??  Certainly not me.  It was a brief, shining moment – and one that I continue to treasure.

-R

Careless Memories

Last night, a couple friends of ours were watching old Duran footage and posting about it on facebook.  They watched As the Lights Go Down, which is basically a concert from 1984 with some weird imagery thrown in for good measure, and videos, including the fan favorite of New Moon on Monday.  I have to admit in being jealous in not being there with them.  Of course, I have my own copies that I could watch everyday.  I don’t because it isn’t the same as watching Duran with other Duranies.  When Duranies watch together, we are allowed to *squee* at the same shots, laugh at the silly Simon dance moves, make fun of the cheesy “special effects” and comment about why the stuff was and still is so great. 

Thinking about these videos bring me back to happier times.  I think about when that footage was fresh (1984) and what it was like to watch them for the first time.  I remember how I could not get enough and watched as much as I could over and over and over again, thanks to the magic of the VCR or of the constant reairing on MTV or Friday Night Videos.  I am also reminded of the reunion in the earlier years of this decade when Duranies came out of their Duranie closets to once again admit that they love this British band.  At that time, old footage was played and replayed as we were all excited to find others who loved as we loved.  It built up our excitement about what the new album with all five members was going to sound like or how the next tour would be.  I think all of us, whether we admitted it or not, felt that we had the chance to experience 1984 not as the children or teens that we were but as the adults that we are now.  This meant that we could follow the band to as many shows as possible within our means and have a very good time while doing it.  Now, life in the fan community isn’t as rosy or as positive.  We have come back to reality, somewhat, as we have witnessed Andy leave again and an album that left many Duranies wondering. 

As we sit and wait for the next album and tour, I cannot help but to hope for a little bit of that 1984 or 2004 magic.  I wish for excitement and positive energy.  I long for moments of *squeeing* at the band members and feeling like I was part of something with a bright future.

-A