Category Archives: Roger Taylor

Do Music and Politics Mix?

People amaze me.  Roger Taylor’s status on facebook last night said something about how they were in DC and now sharing the air with Obama, as in President Obama.  As you can imagine, the responses came fast and furious.  As I type this now, this particular status had 120 responses.  Some of those responses were probably pretty typical responses that included statements like, “Have a great time!”, “Enjoy”, “Miss you already!,” and more.  I suspect he gets those types of responses all the time.  The other responses, however, were, generally, either ones filled with praise at this statement or contempt at the statement.  The last type of responses were people responding to the passionate responders.  It seems to me that anytime a member of the band voices any sort of opinion about religion or politics, people feel it necessary to tell them they are right or wrong.  I saw it happen earlier this year or last when John made statements about increasing gun control in the States and I certainly saw it happen when Simon declared himself an atheist.  Is this the same type of situation?  I’m not sure.  Is my opinion about people’s responses the same as before when I blogged about John’s situation?  Yes and no.

First, I am not even sure that Roger’s statement was political.  He stated a fact.  He is in DC where the President of the United States is and that president happens to be Obama.  Yes, he acknowledged him.  Is that wrong to people who are politically conservative?  Apparently for some, it is.  To me, though, he could have made a much stronger political statement, if that’s what his goal was.  Let’s assume as most people on that facebook thread seems to think that this was Roger supporting Obama.  Why didn’t he say something like, “It is so exciting to be breathing the same air as the wonderful President Obama”?  He didn’t.  To me, it seemed like Roger wasn’t really inviting a political discussion with that statement since he could have made it much, much stronger.  No matter his intention, obviously, most people assumed that he holds Obama in high regard.  Again, though, this could be just out of respect for the office.  I don’t know.  Anyway, for the sake of argument, let’s assume he supports Obama.  Did his fans respond appropriately? 

A number of people who responded to Roger’s status seemed to appreciate that he indicated support for President Obama.  People said things like “Yay”, “No wonder you are my favorite”, “This make me love you more”, “I always knew you were smart”, and more.  Does it matter what your idols think, politically?  It obviously does to many people.  I get this to some extent and then I don’t, on the other hand.  Now, readers, if you have been paying attention to my posts, I’m sure you know where I stand, politically.  Politics matters a great deal to me.  That said, I have many people who I care about who think differently than me, politically.  I do have some fundamental values that I couldn’t accept in others, however.  For example, I doubt I could really be friends with someone who is homophobic and against gay marriage, but I could accept if someone has a different opinion on what should be done with health care or the economy.  I guess I feel the same way when it comes to my idols.  I wouldn’t be able to accept them if the members of Duran indicated that they were racist or beat their wives.  Those would be a deal breakers but I could deal with the rest.  That said, I always remind myself that I became a fan of Duran Duran because of their MUSIC and not because of their political views.  Yet, many people on this facebook thread seem to feel differently than I do.

A number of posters on Roger’s thread said that they were going to stop liking him now that he seemed to support Obama.  Really?  It matters to you THAT much?  Other people who disagreed wanted to believe that Roger was joking or kidding in some way.  Still others gave him sympathy for his opinion or told him to stop drinking the “kool-aid”.  One person said that she was going to wear a Republican t-shirt to her upcoming show.  Another person said that Roger shouldn’t be holding Obama higher than the working people who come to his shows.  My reaction to their reactions was that of shock!  Okay.  People disagree with Roger and Obama.  That’s fair.  Why did these people respond, in my opinion, so disrespectfully?  Couldn’t they recognize that Roger has the right to an opinion (again, I want to put out that we don’t even really know his opinion)?  Couldn’t they respect his opinion instead of putting his ideas down by indicating that they were a joke?  As for the commenter who said that Roger was holding the President in a higher regard than the people who go to their shows, I really don’t understand that one.  Where did Roger say that?  I’m completely confused.  Now, there were many people who disagreed who were still respectful.  Those people made comments like, “I can’t say that I share your opinion but I hope you have a great show!” or “I disagree but I still like your music.”  To me, that is the right way to respond, if people feel it necessary to say something.  You can disagree without being disagreeable, I think.

This just shows me how divisive politics can be.  Maybe it would be better for Roger and company to leave politics out completely.  It might be easier and less problematic for people.  That said, I also feel strongly that they do have the right to their opinions and should be able to voice them, if they so choose.  One person said it well when she thanked Roger and the rest of the band for bringing people together, no matter the race, creed, nationality, religion or political beliefs.  I wish that everyone on that thread could acknowledge that Duran’s music can and does bring people together as we all share the belief that Duran writes and plays great music!  For me, right now, that’s more than their political beliefs!

-A 

Round 2, coming up!!

Good morning!!  Please excuse the short Daily Duranie for today…it’s a nutty day in my house so far.  As most know, it’s the first day of school, and I’m about to find out just how “wonderful” it’s going to be spending my afternoons driving to and from school pickups.  I’d post my schedule for all of you – but I don’t want to scare anyone, including myself, away.  🙂

So the GQ awards were yesterday, and the band was looking mighty fine in their tuxes as they went in to accept their Lifetime Achievement award.  I’m still amused by the fact that if any of them could see me on any given day, they would likely yank my “Duranie” card right out of my hand. (I’m referring to the completely fictional membership card we all have as Duran Duran fans.  This is not to be confused, of course, with the absolutely real membership card one receives if they choose to fork over the now $55.00 a year to be a “Gold” member of DDM….)  Fashion amuses me, mainly because I’m about as casual and probably fashion challenged as they get.  I don’t have the time, energy or money…but yet I follow a band that arguably has hung much of their career on being fashion icons. (whether that was intentional or just coincidence!)  But, until Nick kicks me out…I’m here for the duration!  One thing that knocked me off of my chair was seeing the picture of Roger with his absolutely stunning and grown up daughter Ellea.  It wasn’t the fact that she is every bit as beautiful as her mother and father combined (and she genuinely is a perfect mix of the two in her looks!), it’s that she is quite obviously grown UP.  When did that happen?!?  I swear I was just looking at a photo of her with her mom when she was about 13… Unbelievable.  I guess it’s very similar to my experience with my oldest.  I am pretty sure when I put her to bed last night she was still 3.  Or wait….maybe that was my youngest!  🙂    That must have been a very proud moment for Roger to have Ellea on his arm and I thought it was very sweet.  The band were well deserved in their honor and from the sounds of it, they’ve had very busy days since their Bournemouth show.

Tomorrow is their next show, this time in Cambridge.  Then they follow up with two more shows in a row – Bristol on the 9th and finally Oxford on the 10th.  I would imagine this is going to give Simon (along with the rest of us) a very good idea of what touring is going to be like this time around.  Naturally I’m wishing the band the best, and hoping that it all works out as planned.  Funny how even a year ago the thoughts that something could go wrong wouldn’t have crossed my mind, and now I’m actually waiting until the weekend is over before finally booking my airfare to Chicago and the UK.  My carefree days of travel are over in many ways I suppose – although I still have longings to see the band in as many places as possible, I’m not sure that I would ever book a ticket without considering the circumstances at hand.  I miss those moments, but I really do look forward to seeing the band live once again.

With that, I’m off to begin this first day of school!  As a personal update – my son, the middle schooler, absolutely refused to get up out of bed (although he’s now up and dressed), so we’ll see how this all goes.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing updates!!

-R

A Personal Appeal

Today I spent the better part of my day (thus far anyway) filling out registration forms and cleaning.  You see, my oldest started high school today, and my middle one registers for junior high tomorrow.  Then he goes and gets braces in the afternoon.  As I wrote check after check (registration is getting expensive nowadays!), bracing (ha – a pun!) for tomorrows payment to the Orthodontist, I found myself daydreaming about Italy and a certain DJ who apparently moonlights as a drummer for Duran Duran.  (My attempt at humor.  Don’t say I’m not entertaining!)  I know that it’s tough to believe I’d spend time actually daydreaming about Roger Taylor…but when you’re filling out form after form of names and emergency phone numbers, then signing checks, well…what can you do?

I hate to say it, but I’m jealous.  Make no mistake, I’d definitely be willing to do the hard time and take the place of anyone who was able to make it to Roger’s gig in Sicily a week or so ago, and then again to the gig in Italy a few days ago.  In return, that person could be “treated” to a day or several in the life of the suburban American Mom.  (that sounds like the name of a  TV show that will never happen…)  Never mind his Second Life gigs…I’d get stuck behind a couch, and not even with anyone interesting – I’d be alone, trying to learn how to walk or something.  Blah.  It wasn’t enough knowing that Roger was in a beautiful Mediterranean climate, he had to even send pictures.  Not that I minded – it actually helped in my moment of weakness this morning!

My question is – when is he coming to the US to DJ, and more appropriately in my case – when is he going to come to So CA?!?   I really don’t know how Roger himself feels about California (LA to be specific), but I do know that Nick isn’t in love with the place, and I’m pretty sure Simon’s feelings are fairly similar.  I just know that Roger has never made it here to DJ as of yet, and to the best of my knowledge – he hasn’t even done a party after a show here.  (again, sadness prevails.  *sigh*)  All of that in mind, if I’m going to be completely honest here, I suppose I understand the reasons.  First of all, I really don’t think our club scene is all that fabulous.  For live music, Sunset is the place to be, but I don’t think our clubs are as consistent as say, New York City, South Beach…or just about anywhere else.  I don’t know why.  (that’s not true.  I do know.  Our musical taste here in So CA is HORRID.  That’s why…but comparatively speaking I’m a crotchety old lady compared to a twenty-something.  It’s the cross I bear. *sigh*)  Our clubs are also very far apart – we don’t have places here where several clubs are all on one street or area.  That’s the curse and the beauty of the LA area.  It’s huge and you have to have a car to get around.

My shameless appeal follows:

The bottom line here, and I know I don’t speak alone – is that we want Roger.  Please.  No, we might not be young; and no, we probably won’t ever learn not to request Duran Duran; but we can dance (I didn’t say well…), and we do know how to have a good time.  Some of us even know how to behave!

We’ve got a few good months left on MY coast before cold weather sets in (although by English standards, it’ll still be warm here in December!!!), and if you time it right, you could take another picture of your favorite view in California….laying by yet another pool tanning away!  

-R

A Blog from the new Daddy!

I was up and raring to go today, which is unusual given that it’s Monday – a day I normally dread.  It always seems that no matter how “together” I’ve got things, come Monday morning it’s a complete free-for-all around here, even though it’s summer and technically, this time of year should be easy!  This morning though, I knew I had quite a bit to accomplish in a short amount of time, and although my back was screaming for me to slow down, and I practically needed to physically prop my eyes open with toothpicks, I was up well before I needed this morning.  (my brain woke up before the rest of my body, so to speak!)  I got downstairs to see that my favorite drummer had posted a blog – which is no small feat for him these days considering he is once again a new papa!

It was a good way to start the day, seeing that things are going well in the Taylor household, even if sleep is at a deficit these days.  He mentioned that seeing his new son has been a blessing in disguise, and that’s a great way to look at it.  Sometimes I guess enforced vacations have their point!  He also commented that sometimes we have to have things taken away from us to truly appreciate what we have.  Roger couldn’t be more right.  I have no doubt that the band has experienced that moment of realizing what all could be lost and how much they’d miss it….and I know that as fans, we’ve experienced very much the same.  I still think back on the months prior to my UK trip in May, and out of everything I considered “could” happen, never did I even think about the tour simply not happening as being an option!  To be honest, I’m still sitting here shaking my head.  I mean, who really thought all of this would roll on down the mountain??  Not me.  Definitely not me.

Of course, I’ve found my own blessings in all of this.  It turns out that that the band really IS human (for a while I really kind of wondered!), I made some new friends, and I even learned how to manage in a completely different country for 9 days.  I didn’t even land myself into trouble!  I’m planning to return for the rescheduled shows, we’ve secured tickets for the shows we intend to see – and get this – our seats are even better than the ones we had before!  We still have tickets to sell for the shows we’re unable to go to (inquire within if you’re looking for decent seats for Nottingham or London!), and we’ve yet to buy plane tickets, but that will happen soon.  Still have to consider hotels, but we’ll get to that point in due time.

I’m excited that I’ll be in the 3rd or 4th row for the shows I’m attending – pretty much right smack in front of Dom for all of them, and I’m going to see the triumph on the faces of the band for myself.  No, this year definitely did not turn out as any of us intended, but somehow I suspect the outcome will be that it turned out exactly as it needed for all of us.  After all, I won’t lie: sitting there in the audience as they play that first UK show is going to feel like we’ve all scaled a huge mountain together, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the band shine in a way I’m sure I’ve never seen prior.  It will be worth every bit of the wait it took to get there, I have no doubt.

I’m coming for ya, Roger, John, Simon, Nick AND Dom………..again!!

-R

Deliveries!

I woke up this morning to news on the baby front!  Apparently, Roger Taylor became a daddy again this morning to a baby boy!  I want to congratulate the entire Taylor family on their new arrival!  Of course, like many Duranies, I’m anxiously awaiting announcement about a name!  Lucky for Roger and the rest of his family, he has some time to spend with all of them now, too.  🙂

On a different delivery note, I received a package in the mail with some merchandise from DuranDuranMusic as I had recently renewed with an upgrade to the gold package.  As I had posted before, I knew that I was going to continue to be a member there as the presales have worked for me (or more to the point–I have no luck with regular sales).  I figured that I might as well go ahead and go for the “gold” as opposed to the “silver” membership.  It is only $20 more and you get a lot of merchandise for that price.  I received the following items:  A messenger bag, a t-shirt, a bookmark, a keychain/bottle opener, a copy of handwritten lyrics to All You Need Is Now (the song) by Simon, a welcome letter with copies of signatures, and an official card.  Before I describe what I think of these items, let me first give credit to DDM in this instance as the package actually arrived when it was supposed to.  I figured that it would be terribly late like most things in Duranland. 

As for the stuff itself, I generally liked what I received.  Of course, the biggest smile and cause of an actual out loud laugh was the card that states I’m a member of the VIP club or whatever.  Many of us have joked for years about how if we said or did something negative about the band that we would lose our Duranie card.  Obviously, then, we were talking about the figurative membership card.  Now, I actually have one!  Too funny!  Thus, the band better really watch out now as I might burn the card in a fit of rage, if they piss me off too badly!  HA!  I also really liked the keychain.  It is solid with a simple Duran Duran written across it in the current font.  No one would notice it says Duran at just a glance.  It doesn’t stick out.  It is also functional!  I know as I tried it yesterday.  😉  The last small object was a metal bookmark with a pink D on it at the top.  Now, many people have or are moving away from actual books, which makes this a strange choice, perhaps.  While I have books on my iPad, I still have a ton of actual books that I need to read.  For me, then, this will be used for a little while yet.  Again, I appreciated that they kept it simple.

The larger items included a t-shirt and the messenger bag.  I suspected that I might be disappointed with these items before I had seen them and I was.  The t-shirt has the bed from the album cover and a giant D over it.  Okay.  I don’t mind the D but I think the use of the album cover shots is a bit tiring.  It isn’t too much but still.  There were lots of great band shots taken.  They couldn’t have used one of them?  I was surprised that the bed was gray and the D was in black, though.  I figured it would be pink.  I was glad about this change, especially on a white t-shirt.  On the back of the shirt, it again says something about the fan club.  Okay.  That’s fine.  I wish that the shirt material was thicker, though, especially with a white t-shirt.  While I haven’t tried the shirt on yet, I suspect that it is REALLY long.  The size was what I ordered and the shoulders and sleeves look fine but it appears to be too long.  Ugh.  That said, I’m sure that I’ll still wear it as I’m a sucker for Duran shirts.  Now, as for the bag, I was more disappointed with this because I had great hopes for it.  First, the color is…well…ugly, in my opinion.  It is off-white with a gold/brownish accent color.  The font is normal and says Duran Duran but it is in gold.  I’m not a fan.  On top of that, it isn’t huge so I don’t know how much it will hold.  The main section closes with velcro and I much prefer a zipper as I think that is more secure.  There is a zippered section in the front, which is nice, and smaller pockets on the side.  I think I could live with the design flaws if the color was different.  I will have to get over that.

The last items were the welcome letter and the copied lyrics to AYNIN.  I appreciate that they were copied onto to nice paper and were packed well so that they didn’t get bent while traveling.  It is cool to see Simon’s handwriting on the song, especially this song.  That was nice.  As far as the welcome letter goes, that’s great that I have copies of their signatures.  I already have their autographs so that isn’t a big deal to me.  I thought the content of the letter was lame.  They had the chance to talk about how much the fans mean to the band and how this fan club could bridge the gap between us, but they didn’t.  Instead, it was all about what DDM offers.  I know what it offers as I have been a member for more than half a decade.  I’m not a newbie here.  It was almost exactly like the front page of the website.  They had a golden opportunity to make the members feel special and they didn’t use it.  Instead, they continued to sell their product.  Completely lame.

Thus, overall, the package was what I thought it was going to be.  I thought there were going to be some cool things (keychain, funny membership card), some okay things (bookmark, t-shirt, lyrics), and some lame things (bag and welcome letter).  Was it worth the extra $20?  For me, I still think that it was.  What does that make me?  It probably makes me a sucker.  😀

-A

Who is the “Paul” around here?

The more I think about Talking to Girls about Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut, the more I realize the book really IS about Duran Duran…or should I say the fandom surrounding Duran Duran.  The book is really excerpts about Rob Sheffield’s life, and he himself claims to be a huge Duran Duran fan, as are probably most, if not all of you who read this blog with any sort of regularity.  I find myself nodding my head in agreement after re-reading and re-hashing some of more intriguing parts of his book (to me, anyway).  One section in particular had me chuckling.  Rob writes a chapter about The Beatles, but more specifically Paul McCartney.  In all fairness here, I have to say that my all-time favorite band outside of Duran Duran is probably The Beatles.  They’re the one band I’ll never have the opportunity to see live, but I have seen Paul three times.  I don’t doubt that it’s not even remotely close to what I’d feel if I saw The Beatles themselves, but sometimes, you have to make due with what you’ve got.  And I do.

Mr. Sheffield makes some fairly outrageous claims that Paul is the only Beatle that people argue about.  I say the claims are outrageous mainly because I’ve never heard anyone argue about Paul…unless you count all of that “Paul is dead” stuff from the days of Abbey Road, Magical Mystery Tour and the White Album…but I don’t think that’s what he’s getting at here.  So yes, I think it all sounds outrageous.  Who knew?!?  According to Sheffield, nobody knows what to do with Paul.  (again, I scratch my head and keep reading.  Perhaps the answers will come to me if I read the section again!) He goes on to mention that Paul was the bitchiest Beatle, and that the other Beatles thought he was bossy.  This, I probably wouldn’t argue about.  He uses the example that in the 1990 Anthology documentaries, George Harrison “bristles” in his company.  (just for that one comment, I’m going to go and find the videos and watch them again, because now I’m fascinated.  Thanks a lot Rob.)  I do recognize though that Paul seemed to be the one to force the rest of them to get their shit together.  He was the one to tidy up, the one to finish the work and see it through.  I’m with him there, mainly because I can see the possibility.  Here is where the chapter gets funny, and yet remarkably recognizable…

“Paul is the bossy Irish sister in the Beatles.  Every Irish family has one of thse, and it’s always the oldest girl.  My cousin Graine in Dublin explained to me that this sister is called “the Alsatian,” which is the British Isles term for the breed of dog that Americans call a Doberman.”

“Any Irish brother can recognize what Paul was doing in the Beatles.  He was the Alsatian.  He kept coming up with more work for them to do, dreaming up big, daft ideas, sometimes brilliant (Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road), sometimes involving walrus costumes (Magical Mystery Tour).  He got mad if he didn’t think they were pushing hard enough.  It always cracks me up that some people describe “Getting Better” as a cheerful, optimistic song.  Nagging the other Beatles about how things could be better, a little better, all the fucking time – that sounds like Paul to me.”  (Sheffield page 154 – Kindle edition)


Hmm.  So naturally I’ve got to wonder, who on earth could be the bossy Irish, or Alsatian in our band??

Of course my mind (and yours too, if you’ll admit it!) went right for Mr. Rhodes.  The Controller. The Alien Vampire himself.  Truth be told, I’ve never seen or heard of Nick being angry.  Perhaps he does get angry, but I wouldn’t really know.  When I think of the word Doberman though, Nick’s face really doesn’t come to mind.  I can’t really think of a dog breed that is synonymous with Nick Rhodes, actually.  (perhaps that’s a good thing??)  I know just from the things Nick has said, himself, in interviews and in certain Q&A’s in the tour book for the tour that has yet to take place that he continues to seek perfection.  Not a horrible quality, but I wonder if he drives the other members of the band crazy…

So in order to be thorough and fair, I must consider the others.  What about Simon?  Well, in MY mind, at least up until May – I considered Simon to be a loose cannon of sorts.  I never knew what he was going to be like or say next.   I don’t really think of Simon as being a perfectionist – anyone who wears an eagle belt buckle one moment and a blue plaid flannel the next can’t honestly be a perfectionist, can they?  Although, he IS a scorpio, and that alone does speak volumes.  How do I know?  I *am* one.  We can be sweet one moment, and vicious the next.  Catch me on a bad day, ask the wrong question and I’ll skin you alive without even thinking.  Catch me on a good day and I’ll probably agree with you that yes, the blog is crap and that I should probably be paying people to read it.  Then I’ll thank you profusely and we’ll be friends for life.  Admittedly, sometimes I should really take deep breathing more seriously.  I would imagine that Simon can sometimes be the same, given the stories I’ve heard over the years. The trouble is, lately my opinion of Simon has changed quite a bit.  I think he might actually be far more of a grown-up than I ever thought possible.  I don’t know if it’s circumstance or if it’s that he’s really changed…or if it’s more that I’ve just never seen him outside of the US and our crazy behavior before.  So, could he be that Doberman?  Maybe…but I’m not sure.   I just can’t imagine him as the bossy one though.

Roger.  Yeah, I’m just not seeing that one at all.  I love the guy, but I don’t think he’s ever been bossy in his entire life.  I know a few fans that have had less than stellar moments with him, but ultimately I just can’t see anything more out of him than perhaps annoyance at the others for not being able to get along.  I picture Roger as the trusty Golden Retriever of the group.  He’s with them until the end, or until he just can’t take it anymore and they’ve got to retire him.  I still think of Roger as the sensible one (although I happen to know he has a crazy moment or two every now and then!), which is probably why I like him so much.  My husband is the same way.  Nope, can’t be Roger.

That leaves John.  John is emotional, and I love him for it.  I think he wears his heart on his sleeve, and while I suspect John might be just a bit high maintenance, I can’t really see him as the bossy one.  He might be the one to argue his way through situations, and he might be willing to step up and offer a differing point of view, but I highly doubt he’s the one burning the midnight oil in order to finish an album, or insisting that the band take a different direction just to keep things fresh, experimental, and new.  I think John will try new things to a point – but he still wants the band to be Duran Duran.  He seems to know they’ve got a sound that’s worth fighting for, and worth owning up to.  I wholeheartedly agree.

So I’m still sort of mulling this one over.  I really do tend to lean toward Nick, but what about the rest of you?  I hope to read your comments when I return from vacation!  Happy 4th of July to the American’s reading – enjoy those fireworks safely!!  I’ll be viewing mine from Mission Bay in San Diego!

-R
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Works Cited
Sheffield, Rob, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love  and a Cooler Haircut, Copyright July 2010 Penguin Books Ltd, London.

Happy Birthday Roger!

Roger Taylor was not my first crush, as it turns out.  That title is held by none other than Shaun Cassidy.  I think I was probably about seven, maybe even six years old when I decided that yes, Shaun was the man for me.  I had posters up on my wall, all of his record albums and read every magazine I could get my hands on that had articles of Shaun in them.  Sunday nights?  They were spent watching The Hardy Boys on TV, and yes – I even read the Hardy Boys books.  Then one day I heard he got married.  I was furious!  How DARE he forget about me!!  I calmly took his posters off of my wall – handed them to my younger sister for her viewing pleasure, simply stopped listening to his albums, and moved on to Rick Springfield.  My affair with Rick was intense, yet shortlived.  I collected his posters and pictures with care, I rocked out to Jessie’s Girl and I’ve Done Everything for You…and I loved his dog, too.  Somewhere along the line though – and perhaps even simultaneously, I heard Planet Earth.  Then I saw the video…and then I heard and saw Rio, and watched that video.  That, my friends, is what began my love for the drummer.   Below are some of my Roger memories from over the years.

There was something about him that just drew me in.  I’ll admit it, I go for brunettes.  The brown eyes, the olive skin?  Yep…it all works.  I liked the fact that he seemed quiet and shy because I could easily identify with that.  I loved the fact that he mumbled the words to ITSISK in the video and turned away from the camera – because I would have done it exactly the same way!  I think that I also loved that aside from the occasional eyeliner, Roger didn’t seem to wear much makeup.  I guess I like ’em masculine, although eyeliner works really well for me.  It was within the first 30 seconds of seeing Planet Earth that I proclaimed Roger to be my future husband, and I meant it with every fiber of my 11 year old self.  Age difference?  What’s 10 years among friends??   The fact that I wasn’t a supermodel?  EH.   I might not have the smokey sex appeal of a size 0 supermodel, but I was no slouch.  I’d learn, dammit!   Thus began the plastering of posters on my wall and the silent pleas with whatever god was listening that he bring Roger to me.  Yes, one year I really did ask Santa for Roger.  Santa laughed, damn him.  I never did decide if Santa was laughing because of my crazy request, or because I was probably about 13 at the time, making a trip back to Santa’s lap after a few years of absence just to see if it’d work!   It wasn’t very long after that request though that I heard some horrible news:  Roger was getting married.  MARRIED.  My friends consoled me as I pouted over the news.  I suppose a part of me wished for his happiness, and I recognized that simply due to the fact that he’d never met me – he had to move on.  *please read my BIG dramatic, teenage girl sigh right HERE*   Of course, that was only the beginning of the heartbreaks the man would provide me with for the next few years.  Naturally we all know that Roger left Duran Duran after Live Aid, which for me was the ultimate betrayal.  I was gutted and furious at the same time.  In a fit I know I tore at least one of his pictures off of my wall (yes, Andy came down as well!), but in time, I just grew to miss him.  I never cared whether he was the best drummer or the worst drummer the band had ever had – the fact was, he was *my* drummer.  I did learn to accept his absence, although I always wondered whatever happened.

As we all know, in 2003 – a miracle happened (at least for me!) and the band reunited.  Here is the funny thing – when duranduran.com first put up the splash page they used to announce the reunion, I honestly wasn’t positive which one was Roger.  I had to go through the photos one by one – obviously recognizing Simon, Nick and then John, which left two photos.  I couldn’t be sure which one was Roger.  “Awesome” (to be very Californian) fan, huh?  😀   Naturally I did figure it out eventually!   I went to the reunion shows, and finally was able to say that I saw the original 5 band members together.  A dream come true.

My next Roger “experience” was at the Virgin Megastores signing on Sunset in LA.  Up until then, I’d never been the type of fan to try and find them after shows, or go to hotels where I think they might be staying – that kind of thing always interested me, but I felt like at my age – what point would there really be?  By then I’d more than realized that while my husband has NO qualms about pronouncing my “hotness”, I definitely wasn’t rock star wife material.  I’m not   a size 0, my hair isn’t super long, I’m not gorgeous beyond all means…I’m not even sure you’d be able to pick me out of a crowd. (although my husband, bless him…says I’m the hottest Duran Duran fan around.  No, I’m not continually drugging him.  I’ll keep him!!)  In any case, I figured that this was the one and only chance I’d ever have at actually meeting the guys in any   kind of a situation that didn’t involve them being on a stage and my being many rows back.  As I approached Roger – he was seated last in line at the table – I swear my hands were shaking but I absolutely refused to allow myself to blow my moment and look like the desperate housewife I knew I probably was.  I smiled right at him, said thank you for doing the signing because I’d have never had the chance to “meet” him otherwise (and I seriously held up my hands and did the quote mark thing…good god…), and THEN…to finish up I told him that I’d been a fan since 1981 and that he had always been my favorite, and that he still was.  Then the floor opened up and swallowed me whole.  😀

Roger was kind enough to look at me, smile very nicely and say that was really sweet – and I think I believed he really meant it.  Then he saw my daughter Heather standing off to the side (at the time she was 7 and super cute – not that she isn’t still super cute, but she’s a teenager now – pigtails don’t really work the same way anymore!), he winked at her, told her to take good care of her mummy, and sent us on our way.

More recently, I did learn the fine art of hanging out at hotel bars with my friends – checking out the scene and if we were lucky, we’d see a band member show up.  One of those times was in Las Vegas, and Roger was the “lucky” band member of the evening.  I actually got a few smiles out of him that night, but I never once tried to approach him.  I’m not that bold, because while I know many, MANY people have been lucky enough to go up to him or any one of the band members for hugs – I wouldn’t dare.  I’d be the one they’d recoil back from, give a curt ‘no thank you’ to, and I’d be mortified, both at my boldness and at the result – and I am going to be honest, I think that would completely ruin me.  So, I watch others, think wistfully about what could be, and go away happy knowing that I didn’t create a scene, behave like “one of THOSE” fans, or…be rejected.   More power to those of you who have no issue.

You would think that by now, I’d have a drumstick or two.  He is my favorite band member to this day – although Dom Brown is an extremely close second.  (psst – he’s probably surpassed Roger most of the time, but Roger and I have “history” and that counts for something!  Don’t tell Roger!  Or my husband! *gasp*)  Sadly though, I do not have a drumstick OR a photo with him. (or any band member, actually)  There was one time though, that I was very close.  It was in New Orleans when they did the Voodoo Festival.  I can’t remember exactly how close we finally ended up to the stage, but given the crowd behind me – we were pretty close.  Maybe about 5th row?  Anyway, I had a sign specifically for Roger that I’d brought to a few shows since 2005.  I didn’t think there’d be a chance in hell he’d see it, but luck was in my favor that night and he did.  He motioned to me, asking if I wanted the drumstick, then he tossed it my way.  The girls in front of me even looked back to see me when I’d catch it, then this giant man next to me reached up, grabbed out of my reach and handed it to his wife.  I was shocked because I knew the stick was meant for me – but what do you do?  I know some fans who would have made an issue out of it, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that part of me wanted to – but what good would it have really done, and of course – it’s just a drumstick.  I looked up at Roger and kind of wrinkled my nose and shrugged.  And he smiled at me, winked and mouthed “sorry”.  That totally trumped getting the drumstick and I’ll never forget it!!  

I know I’ve told that story, and probably all of these before, to friends or maybe even on the blog – but my personal experiences with these guys are pretty far and few in between, so these tend to stand out.  Sure, I’d love a stick one of these days – and maybe I’ll be lucky and get one, but if not – that memory serves it’s purpose.

Roger is still my favorite (or ONE of my favorites).  I know people who haven’t had the best run-ins with him, but I can say that about every single one of the band members at this point – including those who are no longer with the band.  That doesn’t excuse whatever happened, but my point is that they all share one blinding characteristic, and that is that they are all male, and all human.  They aren’t perfect, and based on what I’ve seen over my years of being a fan, they all have had their personal boundaries crossed by fans, sometimes several times over the course of any one evening.  I’ll bet they get tired of it, and you know – they have that right.  For example: I’m a mom, I know what goes into the job and yet I chose to have three children. I still get very annoyed when I have to get up over and over again during the night because my youngest refuses to sleep and wants to wander the house instead.  It’s not fun all the time, and yet I chose this life – just as they chose theirs.  I try to remember that although it’s not always easy.

Happy Birthday Roger.  I wish you the very, very best for many healthy and happy years ahead…and hey, if you want to try throwing me a drumstick again in say – Birmingham – I’ll try to catch it this time.  😀

-R

Happy Valentines Day and other updates!

A hearty (yep, it’s another pun!) Valentines Day greeting to all of you!  Truth be told, Valentines Day is really more of a holiday for my kids than it is for the adults in our house.  I always get the kids some little treat, and tonight we’ll do a chocolate fondue for a special dessert, but otherwise the holiday really goes unnoticed.  That’s not to say my husband forgets, but with his schedule, it’s very hard – and I’m OK with that.  The trade off is that next weekend, we’re going to my favorite place in the USA – and that’s Napa, California.  I can certainly live with that.

Today wasn’t a disappointment – Duran Duran “gifted” us with a rather lengthy Nick Rhodes update this morning!  If you haven’t seen it – you can view it here  Nick shares news of tracks being mixed, and tells us that different tracks are going to go on various products.  That seems to corroborate earlier information that Wendy Laister, their manager, indicated.  It would seem that the band is putting out several different versions of the physical album, and on each version there will be different tracks.  While yes, I know fans out there are likely unhappy with the idea of buying 10 different albums in order to collect all of the songs, if you look at it from the business standpoint of the band, it’s a brilliant move.  Why fight to have 350,000 people buy a single copy of the album when you can focus on getting 35,000 fans to buy 10 copies each, or 75,000 fans to buy 5 copies each?  Wait…is my math right? (yes, yes it is.  Good for a Monday).  Yeah sure, I suppose that following Duran Duran can be a pricey habit.  So can drug addiction, buying cigarettes, being an oenophile (a connoisseur of wine) or even going to Starbucks every day.  It’s about choices, people.  No one is forcing you to buy all 10 versions…or however many versions they are.  It’s just nice to have the option to do so!   Nick also shares their excitement (John Taylor’s excitement) over playing Coachella – can’t blame him there, and he is welcome to send Daily Duranie a postcard or love note from the festival.  I’ll be sure to catch whatever videos I can find on youtube!   While there is absolutely no chance I’ll be braving that show, it’s going to be a great day for them I am sure!   For all intents and purposes, Nick gave a great update, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about these secrets and surprises that will be coming our way….

Before I part ways this morning (it’s morning in California!), I would be completely out of character if I didn’t poke fun at not one, but TWO members of Duran Duran today.   Once upon a time on duranduranfans.com , a list was formed.  This list consisted of statements or musings that we had decided Nick Rhodes would never say.  I believe the thread title was “Things We’d Never See or Hear Nick Rhodes Say” – I have no idea if Robin archived the thread, it’s from a while back.  In any case, it became quite the lengthy list – and some of the comments were very silly, and others were more serious in nature.  One thing that I am sure made the list – and would now need to be removed *gasp* – was the word “Y’all”.  Never in my life did I think I’d live to see the day Nick would use the word “Y’all” in a sentence…and he has not once, but twice!!  *more gasping*    If that weren’t enough (and rest assured, it really kind of is!), today I was on Facebook and saw that my darling Roger Taylor had left a Happy Valentines message as his Facebook status.  In his status update, Roger used the word “lurve”.  I had to read it twice to make sure he’d actually written that word….and then I paused….because once again, it’s a word I never thought he’d use.  Hmm….I wonder how that sounds with his British accent…..

The apocalypse is coming, people.   This is just more proof.   Prepare.  Repent.    😉  *tongue firmly in cheek*  Don’t send hate mail.  Just get a sense of humor.

Happy Valentines Day!!
-R

Favorite Band Member

I need a break from all of the current happenings with the band.  Last week was filled with tour news and planning.  This upcoming week will feature Duran Duran at the Superbowl Fan Jam.  I’m looking forward to both the tour and the performance in Dallas, which I hope to see via TV.  Right now, though, I need something silly and unimportant, which led me to think about recent discussions I have had with other fans.  One of those discussions focused on one’s favorite band member.  It seems to me that some fans have their favorite and that favorite has remained a constant for decades.  For other fans, their preference has changed.  Maybe, some people don’t have favorites. 

How do/did people pick their favorite member?  When the band came out and became popular, I’m willing to bet that most people decided based on the band member’s looks.  They might have also considered their style, their musical role in the band, their “personality” via videos or interviews.  I can imagine that many Simon fans appreciated his voice and lyrics.  Perhaps, they like his outgoing personality both on stage and in interviews.  John fans, I’m sure, were attracted to his good looks.  Many Nick fans probably appreciated his colorful looks and sense of style and fashion.  Andy fans might have liked his rock persona and Roger fans admired his quietness.  Does one’s personal favorite reflect on his/her’s own personality?  What if the fan changed his/her favorite over the course of the years?  Does that reflect changes with the band or changes with that fan or both? 

I should admit that I do have a favorite.  I will also admit that I started out having a different favorite but that only lasted a short while.  When I was a kid and first heard and saw Duran Duran, I initially considered Simon my favorite.  Why?  I suppose a lot of it had to do with the fact that he was the “voice” of the band and seemed to be at the center of attention.  Let’s face it.  He also looked pretty good in 1984.  Then, I saw the Reflex video and John Taylor.  Well, I immediately switched my favorite to John, which remains the same to this day.  See, it was a short while!  So, what attracted me to John?  Obviously, I thought he was “cute”!  I liked his personal style and didn’t seem as out there as Nick to my very young self.  It also helped that my best friend, at the time, also liked John.  Thus, when a new video or magazine came out, we would look at it and scream over John Taylor together!  We encouraged each other.  Of course, I didn’t really know much about John or any of them at that time beyond what was published in Bop magazine.  I memorized it all and could recite facts quickly.  The things I learned about John seemed so cool and I wanted to think those things were cool, too.  How many John girls watched James Bond movies because of him?  I bet a lot.  I’m sure that Simon, Nick, Roger and Andy fans had similar experiences. 

Fast forward to the reunion.  My favorite remained the same.  Other fans’ favorites changed.  Why?  It seemed to me that when the reunion happened, most fans initially went back to the childhood favorite.  Most message boards seemed to encourage this.  For example, over on DDM, John fans got to know other John fans and Nick fans met other Nick fans through the section of the board designated for that particular band member.  Like my experiences as a child, these sections were filled with pictures of the band member of choice and there was much screaming following posted pictures!  It also seemed that we all started learning a little bit more about the guys.  Of course, even now, we don’t know them.  We might have some guesses about how they are from their interviews, from meeting them if so lucky, from listening to the music and lyrics for so long, but we don’t really know them..  Nonetheless, it does feel to me that I know different kinds of things about John than I did when I was a kid.  Obviously, I know that he supported Obama in the US Presidential Election of 2008 and didn’t have a clue what his political opinions were in the 1980s.  I know that Simon does not consider himself to be a Christian now and didn’t have a clue then.  For some people, the new knowledge makes us appreciate the band member of choice but, for others, it might turn them off.

Can new information about a band member change someone’s favorite?  I suppose it can.  I feel like some people’s favorite has changed due to their interactions or lack of interactions with fans.  For example, I absolutely felt Roger’s popularity increase once fans realized that he was out and about with the fans after shows.  Where did these fans come from?  I am willing to bet that many of them were John fans first.  If interacting with fans matters, then it would make sense that John might lose fans because he isn’t so social after shows (personally I think that is the right move for him).  What if someone had a bad meet and greet experience with a band member?  Could that cause a change in favorites?  I think so.  I have seen it.  I have seen people warm up to Nick, for example, because he is always so friendly with the fans and I have seen people turned off by Simon’s can-be-perceived-as-a-diva-like-attitude in public.  What if people change their favorite simply because of how the band member has aged?  I suppose it is possible, even if I don’t like it.  Obviously, I admit that looks had/has something to do with it but I wish it didn’t have EVERYTHING to do with it.  That feels too much like objectification, to me. 

It also seems to me that is possible not to have a favorite.  Maybe you like and appreciate them all equally.  Maybe you really are focused on the music.  I can admire that.  Will favorites always be a part of the Duran Duran fandom?  So far, as long as Duran Duran has existed, there have been favorites and I’m willing to bet that there always will be!

-A

Thanking Ronson

Last night, I was battling insomnia so I was online rather late, trying to catch up on the news of the week (and by news, I admit I’m talking purely about Duran Duran news!).  I came across two articles that mention Roger Taylor’s thoughts on working with Ronson, and his thought process on the new album.  (All You Need is Now, available on iTunes as of 12/21!)  Links to the two interviews are here (this one is less “kind” and maybe not worth the plug I’m freely giving…)  and a better one here .

What I find the most interesting is the quote directly from Roger where he admits there was a certain amount of pressure coming into the writing of this newest album.

He said: “We all knew it was a very important album for us, it was do or die actually.

“After our last record didn’t perform that well, we thought: ‘The next one better be good, because it could be our last.”  


I think that as a fan who was deeply disappointed by Red Carpet Massacre in many ways – I know that *I* felt that way.  I’ll even go as far as to say that there was a time where I wondered if there really would be a new album.  When I saw them two years ago (two years ago yesterday I saw their show at MGM Foxwoods in Connecticut, today would have been the Atlantic City show, and tomorrow would be Montclair, New Jersey) – I remember walking away from the show thinking that although the performance was solid, there was something very clearly lacking.  It wasn’t so much that I thought the band looked defeated…maybe they were just a bit tired?  Maybe it was that they seemed as though they were getting bored by the process?  I’m really not sure.  I just know that they weren’t the same band I was used to seeing.  I also know that my own attitude was pretty nasty coming into the show.  I dreaded hearing some of the songs off of RCM, (although I still say, and will go to my grave saying that Red Carpet Massacre, the song that is, is one of the few outstanding moments on the album!) and I wondered if *I* was getting tired of the same old, same old at the shows.  I forced myself to have a change in attitude for the following night, and as a result, I enjoyed the show much more…although I swore after that night that I’d never wear heels to a show again!  Fashion be damned!  I digress….

So while I was a little surprised by Roger’s comment because I wasn’t expecting to ever really read how close to calling it over and done they might have been, I have to wonder why so many other fans seem to be reading the comments and reacting in anger, shock, surprise and even awe.   There are moments in my own fandom where I sit back and wonder what the hell the rest of the fans are thinking, and this is one of those cases.  I went to those same shows in support of RCM.  I saw them at the fan show back at Hammerstein – the performance that night was NOT of a band that was at all sure of themselves. I don’t care what Simon says, they may have made what he calls “a cracking album” – but they had no idea how to sell it to their fans, and make no mistake – that’s EXACTLY what a band does when they take to the stage.  I think that was the first real sign of problems. (never mind Andy’s departure, because although I’m sure RCM would not have been Andy’s first choice in albums to complete – much less the process with which it was completed, I firmly believe that the seed for his leaving the band had already been planted.  Can’t blame that album for everything, can we?)  Shoot ahead two years (give or take) to the shows on the east coast in 2008 and while it was obvious they were more confident with the material, they still looked very lackluster, very tired, very….well, NOT Duran Duran.  Not only that, the band didn’t even react to the fans the way I’d been used to.  There was very little “after the show” hanging out in a nearby club or bar – it was as though they played the show and got out of town as quickly as they could to go back to the relative safety of New York City.  Yes, that could have been as much about circumstance as it was anything else, but I say that when enough signs are pointing to problems – best not to ignore them, even if 90% of the fan base doesn’t see them.

So here we are, close to dawn on the new album…and Roger thanks Mark.  I think that’s a fair statement.  No, Mark didn’t write the songs (to my knowledge), he didn’t play every instrument, he didn’t write and perform the lyric.  However, he DID give the band back some confidence…and for that, why shouldn’t he be thanked?  It makes zero difference….read the words and believe them, dear fellow-fans…it makes zero difference whether the album sells one copy or 1,000,000 copies…if Mark gave the band back some of the confidence that I truly believe they lost after the last album, even if it was only by standing in a corner and being their head cheerleader, then yes he should be thanked.  Don’t we as fans WISH for the day when the band comes out and thanks us for sticking by them for 30 years?  It’s the same thing.  No, I don’t think they’re giving Mark all of the credit, although rest assured if the album does anything at all the press will certainly make Mark out to be the only reason why.  It’s just very clear to me that the band recognizes a certain amount of debt and gratitude that they owe Mark.  

Some fans may say that Mark owes the band, that they are in fact giving him his own shot.  Some feel that Mark took the band back to simply re-do what they’ve already done once.  I think that’s unfair, but there are some fans that will never be happy.  I don’t know what they’re looking for, I don’t know what they’re expecting, and it doesn’t really matter.  At the end of the day it comes down to our own musical tastes.  On our own blog we’ve seen very different opinions on the album, and we could spend an awful lot of time and energy getting angry, defending our opinions and getting nowhere in the process.  I encourage everyone to listen to the single, to buy the album when it becomes available and enjoy having the opportunity to form your own opinion!  

-R