Category Archives: Roger Taylor

September Katy Kafé with Roger Taylor!

Ok, so initially I had this titled as October’s Katy Kafé with Roger Taylor. Obviously I’m trying to make this year fly by even faster than it already is…probably because I want to be able to laugh even harder at Roger Taylor for his year end Kafe….but more on that later.

Truth be told, these are probably my most favorite blogs to write at the moment. I LOVE the Katy Kafé’s. I love the camaraderie that Katy seems to have with the band, the fact that she’s able to joke with them, and basically she asks the questions that are swirling around in my head as she’s interviewing whomever she has in the Kafé. Once again, however, I want to give the same disclaimer as always: this isn’t a word-for-word translation. I listen to the Kafé straight through, take copious notes, and then pick out the highlights to share. If you would like to hear the whole thing, I strongly recommend that you join DDM. Let’s be honest, people – tour time is coming. Even *I* rejoined, and that was something I swore I’d never do.  So there’s my endorsement for spending $35.00. Do as you will.

Let’s get to the Kafé then. They open the conversation speaking about New York City. Roger loves New York, as does the entire band. He spoke of how the skyline and the city reminds him of a theater or movie set, because his entire life in England was spent watching videos set in NYC. I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone, as they spend a great deal of their time and promotion on the east coast.

Fashion Rocks: In case you haven’t been paying attention, Fashion Rocks is TONIGHT. If you’re in the states, you can watch it on your local CBS station (9-11pm EDT/PDT). I’m admittedly fuzzy on the information for international viewers, but I heard that you can see a live stream somewhere online. I checked and found a link for a backstage live stream, but I didn’t see anything for the actual show.  If I get a link, I’ll post it. The show itself features Usher, KISS, Jennifer Lopez….and a few others I don’t really care about…and then the REAL stars of the show (to us), Duran Duran. Keep in mind, their set is only six minutes (as Simon mentioned in a previous Kafé)…but it will be the best damn six minutes of this entire day. Roger talked about how someone asked him how KISS could be playing a fashion show (something I’d considered myself) and he said that he could totally see it – they had a certain fashion, I suppose. I mean, if you look at the 80s hair bands, you can’t really miss the pleather leggings and over-the-top wardrobe pieces, so I guess Roger is right. Begrudgingly I’ll agree, and Katy was right when she said that they put on an amazing show (I’ve seen them live and lived to tell about it). Interestingly enough, Katy once worked for KISS, years ago…and her comment about the experience? “It was very….’different’ from say, working with Duran Duran.” Oh, I’ll bet it was. And then some.  All I know is that I’m looking forward to seeing the band on TV tonight, and I’m really curious as to the surprise they’re doing for fans using the SHAZAM app. Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Check out the info here. My iPhone is a dinosaur and I can’t download the app…so I’m counting on the rest of you to tell me what it’s all about!

Unstaged:  Who is going to go see this tomorrow near them?!?  *raises hand* I sure am!!  I can’t wait!  Roger says that he is very surprised that this film has had the “legs” it’s had for so long. I must agree. The film is three-and-a-half years old now, and prior to that MoMA screening I figured it had been tossed in a drawer somewhere, never to see the light of day again. But, if you thought you were done hearing about Unstaged after tomorrow (or Saturday), think again. Katy is spreading rumors (somehow, I really doubt it’s a “rumor”…) that people may be able to watch Unstaged on their TV’s at home very soon….but she cannot confirm just yet.  Watch this space.

Nile Rodgers: Roger spoke about Nile, saying that he brought an energy and passion that he hadn’t ever seen before. Roger is convinced that Nile will make this record even better – “icing on the cake”, and will expand the quality of the album. Katy said that during all of the promo that Nile has done for Daft Punk and before and certainly beyond, that Nile never fails to mention just how proud he is of the work he has done for Duran Duran. Roger followed with saying that he thinks Nile is in a much different place now than he was with the Astronaut album. (for those who do not realize – Nile Rodgers did some production work for the band on Astronaut.) The recent success Nile has had gave him a lot of self-confidence.

Album News (You know you want it): They are going back next week into the studio to FINISH THE ALBUM. Mark and Mr. Hudson will help to finish. Roger says you get to a point where you have to just say “This is it”. (He didn’t say they were at that point, but I’m hoping….) He said that they’ve been working for nearly two years on it and that they’ll finish it “soon”. Then he raised his voice in case we didn’t hear and said “and it’s the TRUTH this time”. We’ll see Roger. We will see. Katy asked if they had a title yet, saying that she had heard one was swirling around but Roger said no, nothing is 100% yet. They have something in mind but it’s not definite.

Live performance and rehearsals before a tour: Katy then moved on to playing live. According to Roger, the band will tour to support live (I think I heard an audible sigh of relief from the community-at-large…or was that just me?), but they’re not to a point where they’re even thinking about it yet. They don’t record thinking about how something will sound or be replicated live, that comes later.  Katy then read my mind and asked about rehearsal time before a tour.  John Taylor has always been pretty forthcoming about the fact that this isn’t a band that likes to rehearse, but prior to a tour, according to Roger – they have to spend the time. This is probably due to the songs being new. It starts off very low key in a small room, and then they move up to a bigger room and then to a room that’s large – like the size of a venue. Roger says this is his least favorite part of the process because you’re performing like you would live but you’re getting absolutely not feedback from the audience. He was quick to add that the people at home might not realize it, but that the band very much feeds off of our energy at shows (Not to burst Roger’s bubble, but I think that it might even be interesting for him to know that we can tell that they feed off of us. The relationship is very mutual because the audience, at least among the most ardent fans in the audience, can very much tell when something is “off” with the band, and we feed off of THEM and their energy, too. It’s a symbiotic relationship!) As Roger aptly put it, rehearsing is like the chef doing all of the cooking in the kitchen before putting on the 3-course meal.

Mazda gig: Roger said it was good and that they enjoyed playing live again. He mentioned that it wasn’t a huge audience, and that he is always pleasantly surprised when everything comes back (meaning the music for all of them) so easily. He always thinks these gigs (where they’re playing older material together after a long time) are going to be a complete disaster, but that they turn out fine. He says that they are excited to play live again.

What’s next?: Katy prefaced this section by saying that the band would take a break in December for the holidays and then come back in the new year with a single. She then asked about a label – would the band go with one for this album? Roger said that it’s all still being negotiated but that they probably would go with one this time, that the last album was handled very differently and that went really well, but that this time they want the power from a corporation behind them. Katy asked about DJ dates for Roger – hoping for a scoop of some sort. Roger said that he hasn’t had his DJ “head” on in a while, but that once they get to mixing and finishing the album maybe then he’d think about it. Just as I was taking a big heavy sigh, figuring that this album must still be a very long way from being completed, much less released – Roger finishes the Kafé with a proclamation. Katy tells Roger that the next time he’ll be in the Kafé is for the year-end ones in December, and he says…of his own accord (clearly he did not learn from the last time he did this, poor guy…) that the record will be completely done by year end. “Mixed, done, and in the can!”

Oh dear. Well, I look forward to the near-relentless amount of “I told you so’s” that will happen in December, then. (Whether they are his or my own, actually!)

That’s all for this time, dear readers!!

-R

You Look Like You’re the Best

Sometimes, this blog really tells me a lot about Duranies, about our fan community.  Recently, we finished asking about which picture of Roger Taylor from the 1980s fans preferred.  Then, we moved on to John Taylor pictures from the 1980s.  We decided to break up the Roger pictures into decades (1980s and 2000s) simply because there were a LOT of Roger pictures submitted and some people, though clearly not all, were growing tired of looking at the pictures of Roger.  The very last thing we want to have happen is to have people get sick of what we are doing here.  Thus, we moved on to John Taylor.  It seemed relatively simple.  No big deal.  I didn’t think anything of it as I organized the pictures of John that people sent us. I didn’t think anything of it as I started to post them.

A few days after the John pictures started I noticed something.  Our stats seemed to be going up.  The poll numbers were higher than they had been.  At first, I thought it was just the shift from one band member to another.  Yet, the interest has remained high.  Here is an example.  The first Roger pictures had 82 votes.  The second one had 46 votes.  The third one had 32.  The fourth one had 48 votes.  So, how does this compare to the first four days of voting on pictures of JT?  The first day saw 62 votes, which is less than Roger’s first day.  Yet, the second, third and fourth days had 81, 66, and 69.  Those numbers are much higher than Roger’s (46, 32 and 48).  Will this trend continue?  Time will tell.

So, what does this tell us?  Well, if you had asked me a month ago where John’s popularity was within the Duran fan community, I would have said that he has slipped down below both Simon and Roger.  I might have mentioned that John is often not seen out after shows or that Roger has aged really, really well, according to many fans.  Yet, these numbers tell me something different.  Clearly, John still has a place in many fans’ hearts.  Perhaps, the votes are high for these pictures because they are from the 1980s when John was a fan favorite and that these pictures remind people of when they first became fans.  Again, time will really tell.  Will this trend remain when we get to pictures from more recent years?  Your guess is as good as mine.

-A

Today in Duran History – Roger’s Birthday!!

As anyone checking out this blog knows that on this date in 1960, a certain drummer was born.  That’s right.  It is Roger’s Taylor’s birthday!  Now, typically, when it is a band member’s birthday, we offer some commentary or some clips for your viewing pleasure.  This year I’m going for some Roger clips.  I figured that might be more fun than me going on and on about him in writing.  My plan here is simple.  Let me try to capture Roger in every era.

This first video really shows an image of Roger that I’m sure captured some attention.

Then, of course, we all could sense some of Roger’s shyness from this clip.

Of course, many (most?  all?) of us were deeply saddened when Roger decided to leave Duran in the mid-1980s.  Then, we were equally thrilled when we saw or found out that Roger appeared in this clip.

Then, the reunion happened bringing Roger back to Duran for good.  Here is a fan favorite, Roger’s version of Sunrise.

As always, Roger’s drumming shines through.  One of my favorite performances is in Before the Rain.

Ah, yes, Roger, certainly, has given us plenty of reasons to celebrate his birth each and everyday.  Happy Birthday, Roger!!!

-A

April Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor!

It’s April Katy Kafé time…and that means Roger Taylor is in the Kafé!

As always, I dutifully listened to the Kafé, took copious notes, and am ready to once again summarize, translate, commentate, and flat out poke fun at Mr. Taylor, although I will go easy on him since of course it is his birthday month. (Happy Birthday Roger!!)  It is a very tough job, but I do it all for you.  For YOU.

I will reiterate my disclaimer: I am not rewriting the Kafé word for word (are you kidding me?), you are merely getting my point of view, and if you were to listen to the Kafé yourself (and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do), it is extremely likely that you might hear things differently.  This is my blog, I write it as I hear it. Done.  

Mr. Hudson:  While I was a little confused as to whether Mr. Hudson was writing with the band or producing (and I still kind of am), Roger said that Mr. Hudson approached management about working with the band. Wendy called the band, mentioned that he was interested in working with them, and the band agreed to have him join them in the studio for a meeting and go from there.  From what I could gather, it sounds as though he worked with them on two songs – this Kafé was done a week ago or so (I’ve lost track of time) when Mr. Hudson was currently in the studio with them.  One of the songs is slower but is still “groovy” and has an “amazing chorus”.  The other is more uptempo.  Roger says that Mr. Hudson brought some new energy in the studio and quoted John as saying he gave the band a “musical face lift”.  It wasn’t made clear as to whether he was continuing to work with the band or if he was just doing those two songs .  What WAS made clear is that the songs he was working on with the band were both brand new in addition to the breadth of material they already have written, and they do not know what will actually be on the album yet.  As Roger put it, all of the songs are kind of fighting for placement on the team at this point.  At the end of the process,  they will sit down and decide what 9-12 songs belong on the album.  They try to keep an open mind throughout the process…which by the way Roger says they are 3/4 of the way through at the moment.

DD14: Personally, I cannot wait until I can start typing the name of the album. I know that’s a long way off, but it’ll be nice.  I have a feeling though that DD14 has earned it’s way into being the “forevermore” loving-moniker for this album by the fans.  In any case, Roger feels pretty sure that fans will have new music to hear by the end of the year.  He said that it would be finished by summer. I had a difficult time trying to decide if he meant one song, the writing for the album, or otherwise, but given that he believes they are 3/4 of the way through the process, I would have to assume that he means the writing and recording, but if someone wants to clarify that for me – feel free. I am not very privy to the process of mixing, but I gather that can take a very long time, which must be why Roger said “Obviously the album will not be out this year”, but they are really trying for early 2015.  I have to believe him, and hope we’ll have much more to talk about in the latter part of this year into 2015. Katy mentioned (and I thank her for this) that it’s been stone silence from DD in the studio.  She’s right, it definitely has, and Roger was quick to explain that right now, they’re in the mode of keeping their heads down, keeping focused, and working.  Again, I believe that, and have no doubt that is how it has to be in order for them to ever get this album finished. But, we’re human and can’t help but mention that we miss them.  Right?!?

The Reflex: Katy mentioned that they were working on something really cool for the fans to commemorate the anniversary of this album. I can only imagine…and chances are it’s being posted somewhere as I type this, because that’s typically how it all goes down.  Things happen when I’m not looking.  She asked Roger how it felt to be celebrating this anniversary.  Roger said that he’s gotten “used” to these anniversaries.  (Me too – although 30 years still feels like a really long time!) He said that he feels The Reflex is one of the most important songs they’ve released.  The album version didn’t “jump out” at them until Nile got hold of it and “turned it on its head” As I mentioned in my earlier blog from today, a good many fans look to this song as the one that turned them into Duranies.  I’m still wondering what DDHQ has cooked up for fans…

Fan Q&A:  (I tried to get names. I am probably misspelling them, and I apologize!!)

Michelle wanted to know if Roger has any hearing damage from playing drums all of these years.  Roger said that he was tested four or five years ago and was told that he had the same hearing as someone who has been through a war.  Roger takes this in stride, saying that it’s to be expected when you’re a rock musician, but that his hearing really isn’t too bad.

Christine asked about whether or not Roger contributes to lyrics or song titles at all.  He said that on this particular album there has been a lot of discussion amongst the four of them regarding titles and lyrics, but that Simon has taken the helm with the bulk of the writing on this one.

Athena asks about places that Roger hasn’t been on tour that he’d like to go, and Roger said he’d like to go to India, China and Israel.

Maia wanted to know if he’s used new technology on this album.  Roger said that he’s been using the brand new Roland TD40 kit a lot for this album and he seems to really like it.

Sam asked when Roger knew he’d made it as musician (pop star) and how it felt. He answered saying that at one time early on he and John went record shopping right after the release of Planet Earth and their appearance on Top of the Pops. Girls recognized them and they ended up having to run down New Street in Birmingham.  It was about that time that he’d been asked for an autograph for the first time, and he said that’s kind of about the time you start realizing that you’re famous.

Marilyn wanted to know if Roger would marry her to which Roger said that he would NOT say it depended on what she looked like but that it depended upon how she is, and that he liked her name.  But then Katy reminded him (good save, Katy!!) that yes, Roger is in fact already married.  “Oh, that’s right!!  Rewind…rewind!!”

Roger is lucky he is not my husband today…because he’d be getting a phone call.  😀

Lastly, what does Roger want for his birthday if he could have anything?  (I didn’t catch who asked this and I’m sorry!)  Roger said that he would like a brand new Aston Martin in dark grey.  Yes…because wouldn’t we all???   But he’s also going to the Maldives for a vacation for his birthday, and the only way you can get to the island is by sea plane (note to fans who might be thinking they can go find him there – I hope you are good swimmers!), which worries him a bit since he is not a fan of small airplanes.

He thanked everyone in advance for their good wishes, and was back in the studio within a flash.  Nice, short and sweet Katy Kafé.  No spoilers. No song titles…but we did hear a little bit about what’s going on in there, which is something!

-R

 

 

 

 

Today’s Date in Duran History – Thank You

On today’s date in 1995, Thank You was released in the UK.

Opinions about this particular album vary widely among fans. Some dislike it, others embraced the work.  One very good thing (in my humble opinion) the album did for the band was bring Roger Taylor back into the fray – albeit temporarily – for work on Perfect Day as well as Watching the Detectives. Roger also appeared in the video for Perfect Day.  How can that be bad?!?  (answer: it can’t!)

-R

Year End Katy Kafe with Roger

With all of the excitement over Nick’s year end Katy Kafe and Christmas, it seems that we forgot to comment on Roger’s Kafe.  I don’t tend to think of Roger as one who shares a lot of tidbits or gives a lot of insight to what is going on with the band.  That could very well be my perception when I compare him to John who can give things away through the infamous Taylor leaks, or Nick who shared so much on his.  That said, does Roger reinforce my thinking or make me reconsider his ability to reveal info on this Kafe?

Roger’s Kafe starts much like the rest of the band’s with a discussion of how he has been home most of the year and working in the studio.  Because he has been home, he is more ready for Christmas than usual, which has been nice for him.  His youngest has also been enjoying the season.  Quickly, though, the discussion turned toward the band highlights.  He talked about how the last few weeks in the studio were really productive and that they have some really strong songs.  How strong?  Roger put his hand over his heart and said that it will be one of the best Duran albums and that some of the songs were the strongest they wrote since the reunion.  He did mention that All You Need Is Now was an amazing record and that this one is on par.  That works well for me!!  I like how Roger described how he knows if a song is done or needs more work.

Then, the conversation flowed nicely into when the album would be done.  Now, remember, John said we would hear new music in August.  Simon said May and Nick said May as well.  Roger’s response was March to mix.  Katy clarified and asked when we would hear a single or a song.  The response was early summer.  That seems pretty dang close to the May date from Simon and Nick, right?  He continued to say that the album would then drop by late summer.  Could that equal August?  I think it does.  It sure sounds to me that they are all on the same page.  This is how I interpret it.  They hope to have the album written and recorded so that it can be mixed by March.  Then, the first song would be ready by May with the full album out by August.  What do the rest of you think?  Do you interpret it like I do or did you hear something different?  Yes, I know that some of you will say “Durantime” and, of course, you are probably right, but I did think it was interesting that they all seemed to be on the same page.  I suspect that they get more on the same page when the album gets closer to being written completely, too.

After the discussion about the studio and album release, they did talk about the Unstaged screening and how cool it was to have a Duran film at the Museum of Modern Art before talking about Roger’s favorites with music, movies, TV, etc.  He mentioned many of the other things that the rest of the band said, including Arcade Fire for music and Gravity for movies.  Of course, he did talk about little Julian is into as well and compared it to what Katy’s kiddo is into.

Overall, Roger didn’t change my opinion about him revealing any super duper interesting Duran insight.  What he did do, though, which I am excited about, is confirm the timeline for the album release.  While I definitely wish that things were further along for the album release, I do appreciate having a sense of when things will happen next year.  It is good for planning and plotting!

-A

September Katy Kafe with Roger!

Have I proclaimed my undying love and devotion for Roger Taylor lately?  I’m pretty sure I have not.  So I will take this short little moment to thank him for giving us some of the juicy bits that keep us going between albums, courtesy of the Katy Kafe!

Wait.  That might have sounded just a tad wrong. I’ll try again.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I like a little scoop once in a while. Amanda even blogged about it, and Roger certainly did not disappoint. We know who to come to for some real album insight, don’t we?? As always, I took the hit for the whole team (I do this for you, only for you, my dear readers) and listened to the September edition of the Katy Kafe, and I will go over some of the best highlights here. I wouldn’t be a very good fan if I didn’t encourage everyone to go and listen if you’re able, and I have to say – it’s a good one!

The Seasons: Roger loves Autumn….in fact, Roger loves all of the seasons, which is one reason why he could never live in my glorious state of California. Fair enough. I have trouble living here myself and I’ve been here for nearly my entire life. I’m ready to move away from the constant and experience real weather again (I lived outside of Chicago for two years – now there you’ll find some real weather!), so I won’t hold Roger’s toes over an open fire for not wanting to live here, I guess. Not surprisingly he loves the East Coast of America for the very defined seasonality there, and also spoke very highly of Washington DC.

Back to the Studio: Most people have been preparing for their kids to go back to school…and the band is going back to the studio. I don’t know why the thought makes me chuckle, but it does. Interestingly enough, Roger says that he’s not really sure how many songs they’ve got, but none of them are really done at all yet (I seem to recall Simon saying something a little different – but I don’t know how they qualify what stage a song is really in and so forth, so who knows??!) They aren’t to the point of really figuring out how they’re going to release it yet (meaning formats). As someone who knows absolutely nothing about what goes on in any studio, much less *the* studio, if they have no songs really anywhere near done yet…I’m kind of wondering if there’s any sort of chance they’ll have a release for us in the next six months or so. Katy touched on this with Roger in a moment that I almost want to print out and put in a frame for future chuckles and enjoyment, when she reminded him that he was the one that said he’d put money on this record being finished and released in early 2014.(and in fact he said he thought it would be done by the end of the year…not the mixing, but the recording…) Roger said he didn’t think he said that. Oh Mr. Taylor.  I beg to differ. In fact, as soon as I’m done with the first draft of this blog, I’m gonna go back and find the exact blog in which I quoted you, and I will link it right here (read the last paragraph and weep, Roger!) for all to enjoy. I warned ya, your words would come back to bite! Like I said, we’re Daily Duranie. We blog about this stuff!

Double album??: In a fit of what I believe is most assuredly insanity (and it’s OK because I have it on good authority that insanity seems to be contagious in the Duraniverse…), Nick commented to Roger that they had so much material that is on one hand dark and moody and on the other dance and club-like that perhaps they should have a two-part album. One part featuring the dance music and the other being darker. Roger responded asking if he meant like a double album, and Nick, holding true to form, said “Oh no, not a double album.” Roger said that he thinks what Nick is suggesting roughly translates to a double album, but was quick to add that he doesn’t know what place a double album really has in this current world. I would agree, and so I caution my fellow fans – a double album seems pretty unlikely, although I’m really hoping for dark and moody that I have to chew through and think about for ages with a side order of some easier to digest and enjoy dance!

Nick for President: After the double album discussion, Roger commented that Nick should have been a politician. I really wonder how many times I’ve said that myself over the years, and I still say – if the whole music thing doesn’t work out, he’s got a future in PR to say the least!  That brought a short Roger and Katy-fueled vision of the World According to Nick Rhodes (I would SWEAR we had message board topics with similar titles at one time…):  There would be no traveling in tunnels or over bridges, no public transportation at all, women would wear dark colors with bright lipstick (I am an epic fail here), the world would be in Manhattan and nothing south of the river in London. So there ya have it.

Twerking?: Katy asked if Roger caught the VMA’s. As luck would have it, Roger saw Miley…and even better, he didn’t know what that “dance” was called. (Quite honestly Rog, I’m not sure that really was dancing, no matter what the media calls it.) He said he turned the channel after about five minutes. (Oh how I wish I’d done that too..) Katy mentioned the reunion with N*Sync, and that they were on stage for about 30 seconds. Yep…and I completely agree with her assessments that he was up there for like 20 minutes and they should have at least done a full song. It could have been the shining moment from the show and instead it was just weird and awkward. Yep.

At this point, Katy asked some questions that she received from some wonderful tweeters around the world. I say “wonderful” because I’m one of them…I won’t lie.  🙂

Nathan (and this is the Nathan who helps with their social media – and you all thought Katy was the only one. Pshaw!) asked if Roger was using any new equipment on this album.  He answered saying that he was using a Roland TD-30 drum kit – they feel like acoustics but sound electronic. I looked them up online because I wasn’t sure of the model name – so if I got it wrong, I apologize.

DDBrazil asked a great question. If Roger had to choose one song (by another artist) to include on a DJ compilation, what would it be? He took a while to respond, but said Can’t Get Enough by Soul Searcher. Then he said he also likes early Daft Punk, which led to his commenting that Nile Rodgers really seems to be having a resurgence and that it’s great.

Mirella asked if he would ever consider doing a world tour as a DJ. Roger said that if he were offered one and had six months time away from Duran Duran that, sure, he’d do one.  Katy said that her next plan for Roger was to find him a vocalist to record with. I have to wonder how many Duran fans would like and support something like that. Speaking for myself, I’m not one for a lot of the DJ/vocalist music that’s out there – but some of it I do like – so I’d give it a try. Never know!

*I* sent in a question asking if they were planning to have any other producers on the album –  it’s very hard to ask a question in 140 characters on Twitter, but my point was that Simon and even John have mentioned that Mark is probably not going to be producing the entire album, and so I am wondering who IS going to be doing that. The band? Dom? Roger just said that he didn’t think there was anyone else going to be producing and that they were just sticking with what they’ve got. So whether that’s just Mark or themselves or no one, I’m not sure.  Maybe if someone from DDHQ sees this, they can clarify if possible? (Never know if you don’t ask, right?)

I don’t remember who asked, and it may very well have been Katy if Duran was willing to put out any short little snippets of what they’ve been working on for DD14. She qualified that Simon had said when they release a full song it sets people up with preconceived notions of what the album is going to be like, and I think that’s a really fair statement, but we’re talking about a 30-second max cut of a song here. I don’t know about anyone else, but when they sent out small bursts of music from the AYNIN album, I never came away with a clear vision of what they were really doing. It really only served to verify that yes, they really WERE recording album #13, and that the portions they sent us sounded nothing like anything I’d heard previously. Anyway, Roger reacted very positively, saying that when he gets back to the studio, he is going to suggest it. We can only hope the rest will agree to whet our appetites a bit!

The final question Katy asked was about new music. Personally, I need to thank John and Roger, because if it weren’t for them, I’d probably never listen to anything new. I just don’t have time to search for new music the way I once did, and often times – they mention music I’ve never heard of, never listened to, and yet when I do take the time – I like a lot of it. So these questions are great.  Roger’s answer was Bob Sinclair’s – I Feel for You. (Never heard it, which probably means I’ve been living in a hole all summer. It’s true.)

Roger will be back in the Kafe come December and I hope he brings holiday treats in the form of more tasty album information!!

-R

Heels, velvet ropes and how to be properly entertained!

I arrived home on Sunday night after a really great long weekend in the Chicago/Madison area of the Midwest. The first few days I spent at my sister’s apartment in Chicago. She lives in Uptown, which although is not exactly right in the loop – is still very much city living. (as opposed to my house very much in the suburbs of Orange County.) I didn’t realize how quiet it is at my house until I spent a day/night with my sister! It’s been nice to go to sleep here at night and hear nothing but perhaps the sprinklers that water the slope behind my house. So for the last day I’ve been digging my house out of the mess that happens when I’m gone, and celebrating the littlest Rivera’s birthday – she turned 5 yesterday, and it was a very big day. I have more of that coming this weekend when we host a party for her entire preschool class at a place called Pump It Up.Think giant jump-houses and a dozen five year olds. (What was I thinking when I agreed to that?!?) The good news is that the party is on Cinco de Mayo – which means virtually nothing (for me) except providing a good reason to serve margaritas in our backyard here at the house when our family comes back here for food, cake and a piñata. Yes, I know my last name is Hispanic and I should really be more into this stuff…. but I’m Italian!  

Enough about my madness, right? I know everyone read Amanda’s review of Roger’s DJ set, but I wanted to share what I took away from the experience. First of all, this wasn’t a Duran Duran gig by any means and I really went into the weekend with no expectations other than to see my sister and to spend time with Amanda for her birthday. Roger’s gig was a really great way to do several things at once. It’s true, Roger really didn’t have the opportunity to engage much with people at the club – it was a run into the club behind a velvet rope, he did his set – and then ran back out. Given the way a DJ set works, it wasn’t as though he had time to chat. I knew this going in, and while I suppose part of me was a little surprised that he wasn’t quite like other DJs who try to get the crowd involved or respond to the energy level in the club, I think I expected exactly what went down.(With the very notable exception of Hungry Like the Wolf. Did not see that coming. Touché Mr. Taylor..Touché.) So why am I even bothering to write about it? I think there’s an important point to be made. Roger’s job that night was simply to provide the soundtrack for the evening. The entertainment, on the other hand – was probably left to ourselves. Oh believe me, that was not a problem for my group! Did you see the bottle of Grey Goose that was consumed?  Good times….

So where was I? I guess my point is that Roger did his job. Keep in mind, I’m not really into clubs these days. My idea of a good time outside of the family is going to a gig, or hanging out with friends at a bar…or wine tasting…or a zillion other things. Clubs aren’t really my scene, so this was a little stretch, but I had a great time. I danced, I laughed (A lot!), I crowd-watched…and even though the music wasn’t my favorite, I still had a great time. Why?

Here’s the mind blowing part of this blog that you should already understand… but sometimes I think Duran Duran fans completely miss it: I WAS WITH MY FRIENDS. I didn’t GO there just to see Roger. If I had, I probably would have been deeply disappointed. He didn’t notice I was there (he doesn’t know who I am anyway!), and it’s not like it was the place for him to come and mingle with the crowd. I did see many people, assumably Duranies, standing near the ropes waiting for him, wanting to spend a second in his breathing space, and to some degree, I almost felt sorry, because that just wasn’t the point of the evening at all.  Mind you, I don’t know that any of these people went away disappointed, or if they even minded standing there, but from my own perspective, I’m glad I danced myself to exhaustion instead. I had such a great time laughing with Amanda, talking with my sister, laughing at ourselves, I didn’t need anything else and I didn’t go away disappointed in that respect.

One thing that I tend to neglect here that I should acknowledge is that everyone comes to the fan community with different goals in mind. Some just are not that interested in making friends, they don’t care about the relationships that could possibly survive long past the band’s touring days because they have those things outside of the fandom. Maybe some of those people standing there waiting that night were going along with that thinking – and you know, for them that’s fine. I just know that for me, the friendships I’ve made along the way have made the journey. So my advice to anyone who is out there wandering around this fandom: make the friendships. Take the time to get to know people. Put yourself out there just a bit, and maybe even forget that the band is standing in front of you. It is only in the moments when I stop thinking about my friends and start worrying about how or where I’m going to find the band that I stop having fun. It becomes more of a job, and a frustrating one at that. Maybe that’s just me, but I still put it out there for anyone who wants my take.

Amanda and I spent time this weekend casually talking about what our next “goals” should include. I don’t mean book goals or blogging goals – I’m talking about what we want to do next as fans. Where do we want to go on tour next? Do we want to go back to the UK again?  What about Europe? Should we just stick to the states and give our budgets a break?? No – the next album isn’t out yet and we’re not expecting it to be out any time soon, but a little story I like to think back on from time to time took place a few months prior to the release of AYNIN. Amanda and I were just getting settled into writing the blog, but both of us felt this immense positivity about the future. I remember thinking that we just didn’t know what was to come, but that whatever it was going to be – we wanted to make the most of it.  So I said “We need to go to the UK.” After Amanda stopped choking – I’m pretty sure she agreed. So we did it twice…because we’re crazy that way.  Best memories I have as a fan came from those two trips to the UK…sans perhaps that Durham show…but that’s another thing entirely.

I really have no idea what is coming next. I don’t know anything about the album other than what Roger used to describe a few of the songs that are in various stages of the process (and I believe he mentioned that they’ve got about 12 so far – not all of which will make the album of course, and not all of them are at the same level of strength) – and he said that they sound a bit like Radiohead meets Duran Duran. Did I mention that Roger feels very certain that the album will be finished this year and that they’ll be back on the road next year, and that if it doesn’t happen he will take full responsibility? I sure hope so, because Katy (I love her..she says exactly what I’m thinking while listening to the Kafe!) says that if that isn’t the case 5,000 of his fans will be listening to the Kafes in November to remind him. Obviously Roger doesn’t realize that Daily Duranie was listening. We blog about this stuff!!

Good luck with that Roger.   😀

-R

Roger Taylor: DJ Set

So, we are a little late with this blog.  We have been moving a bit slow today.  Can’t imagine why…I was only up for 25 hours and reached up for the sunrise after dancing, consuming just a bit of Grey Goose vodka, and going out for dinner and breakfast with a great group of people.  I’m sure you all want to know how last night was.  Of course, some of you might have been paying attention to our Twitter feed last night.  If so, you might have some pics of some drummer/DJ guy and a few pics of the authors of this blog.  I’m sure you all have enough information with just those tweets, right?  So, moving on…what else is new in Duranland?  Wait.  What?  You want more details than that?  Really?  Hmm…

The evening started out on a positive note as a group of us met up at Hop Haus for a little pre-DJ gig meetup.  The food was decent and the drinks were good.  Before too long, though, we were ready to head to Spy Bar, which truly was right around the corner.  Perfect.  Spy Bar is a typical club in that it is dark, long with the bar on the side highlighted by some neon lights here and there.  The club isn’t very big and the DJ booth was at one end, up high to look over the crowd.  The dance floor had a decent amount of space.  At the height of the night, it was crowded but not overly so.  In fact, I would guess that it didn’t sell out.  The DJ booth was roped off and security guards controlled who went in and out of that area along with the side entrance, which is where Roger came and went from.  The security guards weren’t super friendly and stopped a number of fans who definitely inched their way to the front to get a good view of Roger when he arrived and/or to take the perfect picture when he went by.

By the time we arrived, there was a small crowd and the music was pumping.  Of course, Roger didn’t come on until like 12:30 or so and mixed the tunes until about 3:30.  The DJs before him did a good job, we thought, and got the crowd moving.  They definitely paid attention to the crowd and would try to get people involved.  Yet, by midnight, people were definitely anxious for Roger to appear!  When he finally did show up, he only stood briefly on the side before venturing up to the booth.  It was clear that there were some people he knew in the crowd but didn’t say much to them, either.

Roger’s DJ set was very different than when Rhonda and I saw him DJ in Atlantic City in 2008.  In 2008, he played a lot of mash-ups by combining two or more songs recognizable songs.  There was very little of that this time.  Instead, there were more straight up remixes or just house/club music.  He did mix in more Duran than he did last time.  In 2008, we heard Notorious mixed with Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back.  This time, we heard remixes of All You Need Is Now, Girls on Film, Hungry like the Wolf and Wild Boys.  For the record, Rhonda’s reaction to HLTW was as expected.  I’m not going to lie.  I heard some swearing, some “colorful” gestures thrown towards that DJ booth.  My reaction was so predictable, which was to laugh my head off at my partner-in-crime.  It is so easy to get her goat this way!!    Out of the Duran stuff, I definitely enjoyed Wild Boys the most and it was just like it is during their shows–at the end.  I’m sure it is to leave people wanting more and all that.  During Roger’s set, we danced and moved around some.  It seemed like other people did the same. I won’t lie in saying that I, generally, like his set better in 2008.  I am not a huge fan of some of those house/club songs he was spinning.  I also didn’t really like how the booth was SO inaccessible to the crowd.  I get that the DJ booth should be in a location to see the crowd but this one was so removed with both the height and the security presence.  I thought the security was a little over-the-top, in fact.  No one could get anywhere near Roger, but, maybe that is how Roger wanted it?

Roger definitely didn’t do a lot of interacting, in any way, shape or form.  He didn’t look out into the crowd much and seemed to have the set pretty well nailed down before he arrived.  Thus, I don’t know if he would have/did change what he was playing depending on how the crowd reacted and there were clear times when the crowd was more enthusiastic than others.  I was also a little surprised by the lack of birthday anything.  At one point, a cake shaped in high heels arrived with sparklers.  It was brought up to the booth.  Roger saw it and then it was removed.  Perhaps, it was going to be enjoyed afterwards.  Yet, there was no singing of Happy Birthday.  Later, confetti fell to the floor.  Again, there was no connection to the birthday celebration.  Heck, no one said anything, not even Roger.  If I had just shown up to Spy Bar that night, I wouldn’t have even known that anything special was going on.  I was a little disappointed that the crowd didn’t, couldn’t wish Roger a happy birthday.

Speaking of disappointment, at the end of the night, with much encouragement from my friends, I approached a big, tall security guard and asked him if he wouldn’t mind handing Roger a Daily Duranie wristband.  The security guard passed it on to the other DJ who then handed it to Roger.  He, in turn, glanced at it and put it to the side.  Did he pick it up later?  We don’t know.  What we do know is that John Taylor, when he was presented with a wristband, looked at and, in fact, put it on.  Now, we are well aware that it might not have been the best setting.  We are also aware that he might have reacted differently if he knew that it came from a fan.  Nonetheless, it is disappointing.

So, all in all, despite whatever minor disappointments we had, it was a fun night!  We danced and laughed a LOT.  It was great to see friends and enjoy a good time together!  Of course, our weekend has just begun with more clubbing tonight and a Duranie get together tomorrow night!

-A