Category Archives: shows

The Importance of Seeing Duran Live?

In the last couple of days, the Daily Duranie 30 Day Challenge has focused on live songs.  Yesterday, we asked what people’s favorite song was that they have not heard live.  Today, the question was the least favorite song you have seen live.  Basically, what song have you not seen performed but really want to and which song that you have seen, could you live without.  Yesterday’s results varied quite a bit.  33 different songs were given as answers.  The most popular choices were Shadows On Your Side and Late Bar.  Other popular choices were Land, None of the Above, the Chauffeur, Last Chance on the Stairway, Lonely in Your Nightmare, To the Shore, and Hold Back the Rain.  I have to admit that some of the answers surprised me as I have seen a number of these songs live.  What surprised me even more is that a number of fans haven’t seen them live.  This really got me thinking.

It seems to me that most fandoms have some way of celebrating what they are interested in.  They all have some event to really look forward to.  It may be the Superbowl for football fans or the convention for Star Trek fans.  I have always felt like tours were ours.  It is what we all seem to look forward to, what keeps us going as fans.  Now, that I know that a number of people haven’t been to shows, I have to wonder if my assumption was wrong.  Are tours not as important to the fandom as I thought?  Could it be that tours are the big party for some fans but not others?  Could it be that our fandom wasn’t united with this common element of fandom?

I am pretty open about the fact that tours are a big deal in my life.  I look forward to them and definitely countdown to the next one once I have tickets in hand.  Tours represent fun, travel, friends and more.  Yet, even more importantly, they represent shows.  Concerts.  Gigs.  They are filled with seeing the band perform live.  Let’s face it.  Duran is a band.  They play music.  The two ways they provide us with the music are the live shows and the albums.  While I love, love, love the albums, I don’t know that they are enough for me.  If you look at Duran’s history, they actually don’t happen all that often.  How many studio albums have there been?  13?  That isn’t very many for a band that has been around 30 years.  Are those albums enough to sustain interest?  Enough to keep fans?  I don’t think they would be for me.  While I love the music and can listen to the albums over and over again, I know that my fandom is reinforced at most shows.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that a great show actually increases my love for Duran.  Shows makes the music more powerful, more meaningful.  Then, of course, when I see their reactions to the music and their interactions with the crowd, this pushes my interest as well.  Yet, obviously, there are other fans who don’t share this outlook with me.

I wonder why people haven’t been to shows.  Yes, obviously, I realize that many fans probably have wanted to but haven’t been able for a variety of reasons (financial, health, other responsibilities, no shows near them, etc.).  I wonder if there are some fans who don’t want to see them live, who don’t think it is important.  Is it that their fandom needs are met through the albums?  Maybe they get enough through videos or dvds.  Perhaps, social interactions with other fans give them what they need.  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, it seems to me that my initial assumption about tours being essential isn’t totally right.  Tours might be key for some of us but not all of us. 

-A

Lesson: Duran Duran Live

A topic that seems to be coming up again and again lately is going to shows with people who aren’t quite as…obsessed as you are.  One of our readers talked about how she gave her companions a little “tutorial” about Duran before they went to the show.  (How did everything go, Amanda?)  This got me thinking that I, too, should provide not only my show companions with a little lesson but also give it here so that others may use it, if they are in a similar situation.  I apologize in advance, if I give away too many secrets and if I forget something!

The first thing to know about seeing Duran live is the current touring line-up.  It includes four familiar faces of Simon, John, Roger and Nick.  People you might not be as familiar with are Dom Brown (guitar-he’s totally great, by the way), Anna Ross (back-up singer) and Simon Willescroft (saxophone).  Obviously, Andy Taylor is no longer in the band as he left in 2006.  The second most important is to know the songs.  Based on the setlists so far in 2011, here are the songs you must know as they have played them every time:  Being Followed, All You Need Is Now, Notorious, Girl Panic, Sunrise, and Girls on Film.  Other songs that you really, really should know since they have played them at almost all of the shows are Hungry Like the Wolf, Ordinary World, and Safe.  Then, you really should know these, too, as they have been played frequently:  A View to a Kill, Rio, Leave a Light on, The Reflex, Friends of Mine and Careless Memories.  Now, if you have a bit more time on your hands, I would also recommend Runway Runaway, Come Undone, Wild Boys and Planet Earth.

After you know the songs, it is important to know what to look for and what other people in the audience will be looking for.  Some of those moments are connected to specific songs and others are not.  The first general thing to look for is JoSi.  What is JoSi exactly?  Well, literally, it is a combination between John and Simon.  On stage, this might mean a moment when the two of them are singing together using the same microphone.  It may mean a look exchanged between them.  It might also mean an arm over the other’s person shoulder (usually Simon’s arm over John) and, if you are really lucky, it might mean more body contact.  This is a warning, though.  If something like that were to happen, many, many, many people in the audience would NOT be okay.  There will be massive amounts of screaming.  Many people will attempt to take pictures and videos quickly.  Some may faint.  It would not be pretty.  My understanding is that some fans who saw the kiss in Vegas in 2005 did not make it out in one piece.  Now, fans will also appreciate another interaction between members and that is DoJo.  This is the combination between Dom and John.  In this case, it is more musical as it is when the two of them meet and seem to battle of sorts with their instruments.  Good stuff.  Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to individual band members because they do can be entertaining all on their own (Reminder here:  Roger and John are on the left and Nick and Dom are on the right side of the stage).  Roger, for example, likes to twirl his stick, which will induce screaming.  The other member in the back, Nick, isn’t as flashy but it is possible to catch him snapping pictures as the show moves along.  John fans will be watching for his famous pouts and smiles.  I, for one, always loves when he sings along with the song, microphone near or not.  Then, there is Simon.  Some love him and some are entertained by him.  The one thing you can say about Simon is that he is never boring.  He can keep us all laughing by his silly dance moves, for instance.  Pay attention to the end of Notorious when he squats down and begins to punch the air (click on the title to see a clip!).  It is highly possible that Simon will forget the words at some point and probably the order of the songs on the setlist as well despite the fact that there are many copies of the setlist taped on the stage.  If you are at a special show, you may witness a fall like at this show:  Simon falling in Paris in ’05

There are many moments to look for that are connected to songs and many of these songs are being played on this current tour.  First, they have consistently playing Girls on Film, which has featured band introductions for years.  Here is the song from Foxwoods of this year:  Girls on Films with introductions.  If you notice John’s introduction included a little chant, which many of us love and goes something like this:  “Play the f***ing bass, John.”  Be prepared to join in.  Another song that has been consistently played is Sunrise.  Again, here you should be prepared to reach up for the sunrise by raising your hands up in the air.  Notice that this song also features a JoSi moment.  Another fairly common song is Rio.  There is more audience participation in this one as the audience claps at the end.  Planet Earth is my personal favorite and features all of my favorite things.  This clip shows JoSi moments and audience participation.  The crowd screams out “switch it off” after the line about “the tv sound”.  John also encourages everyone to clap during his little solo.  Now, Nick fans might appreciate the Reflex more as he often gives a reason why he does not “use it”.  This clip shows us that Nick left it about 3 and a half minutes into the song.  Simon girls tend to love Come Undone where Simon licks his fingers about 1 minute into the clip.  These Simon girls will scream in delight while the rest of us hide!  While we are on the subject of specific songs and Simon, be aware if they bust out White Lines as they have been doing once in awhile.  This clip shows the best and worst of Mr. LeBon.  First, he does a lovely kick then proceeds to forget the lyric.  Then, he spits out his water while tilting his head back.  Oh boy.  I couldn’t make this stuff up!

Now, while waiting and watching for these moments and more, fans are also hoping to interact with their favorite band member.  Perhaps, they will be watching for a smile from John or Dom.  Maybe, they will be waiting to sing with John.  Some might be watching for Simon to get close enough to flirt with while others are looking at the best way to get Roger’s attention in the hopes that he will throw a drumstick to them (which happens at the very end of the show).  They watch and wait while they are standing, dancing, singing and screaming.  Typically, the only people sitting down are not Duranies.  Be prepared to be on your feet for the two hours of the show and more.  Many people will also be taking pictures.  This is all very normal and expected.  Another common occurrence at a Duran show is the feeling that you have just stepped into a weird reunion as Duranies know each other.  Thus, it isn’t uncommon to see women run up to each other, exchange hugs, and take pictures together.  Perhaps, the pictures also explain why many people like to look nice at the show.  Now, that doesn’t mean that people are wearing formal dresses but nice tops with nice jeans or pants is common.  Some women will wear heels. 

Beyond the other fans, the songs and the band members, you should really expect the following to happen.  You should know that you will lust after the band members by the end of the show.  You will also want to go to more shows.  This will happen.  It happened to me for the first time in 1993 and I suspect that it will happen again after each show this year.  Good luck and have fun!

-A

Longevity

One of the major themes for our book is longevity, both for the band AND for the fan community. Interestingly enough, you can’t really have one without the other to some extent.  Sure, The Beatles still have fans, and I would assume that somewhere out there there’s a fan community….but I don’t think it’s quite the same as a fan community for a band that is still very much in existence.  Perhaps you might disagree, and that’s OK. (leave a comment below as I’m sure this would be an interesting discussion comment!)  I don’t really know of many bands that have the longevity of Duran Duran, yet there’s no fan base.  If you can name one, let me know.  I’ll check it out!

The goal of our book is two fold: Why does a fan community exist, and how does it thrive for so long.  For a lot of us, we’ve been fans since we were in that wonderfully awkward adolescent period of our lives.  Yes, there are fans that may have been older, a lot that are younger – but the one thing that I feel makes our own fan community or fandom unique is that most of us literally grew up with the band in our lives.  Many of us are now entering that also delightfully awkward “middle” age period (you’re welcome for the reminder – I know of what I speak, every morning MY back and knees remind me too!), and yet we’re still huge fans of the band. At times, we even forget that we’re not still 12!   The point of our book is to answer why.  I’m not sure that Amanda and I will ever be able to say we have the definitive answer – I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are fans, but we really hope to encourage fans to embrace their fandom and celebrate what brought us all here, and why we stay.

Last week I blogged about a thread I’d read on a board about aging fans.  Naturally, this hit home with me because I am one of those fans.  I won’t lie, it hit a raw nerve – and perhaps I shouldn’t have let it bother me so much.  I’m human as it turns out, so it did – and I blogged about it.  Many agreed with me, but there were a few dissenting opinions as well.   Over the weekend, my husband and I had a date night, and in the discussion over what we should do and where we should go, my husband wanted to go bar hopping in an area that we used to go when we were younger.  Much younger, as in I think the last time we were over there – I had just one little one at home.  That “little one” is now 14, and she’s got a younger brother that is two years younger, and a little sister that is 11 years younger.  So yes, it’s been quite a while.  I can remember the days when I would jump at such an offer – but this time, I stopped, looked at my dear husband and laughed.  Admittedly, I was tired that night.  He’s been traveling quite a bit which means my days are very long, and with three kids – it’s tough.  The real truth is though, I had zero interest in going clubbing.  I remember when clubbing was fun, but nowadays, I go into those places and feel extremely over dressed (I have on far more clothes than anyone else), very old (self-explanatory here), and I’m typically shocked at the crap (aka really bad music) they’re playing.  If those aren’t signs of impending old age, I’d be surprised.  We ended up deciding to go to dinner (sushi, one of my favorites) and a movie (Adjustment Bureau – very interesting but nothing like what I thought it would be).  It was a fun night, and when I woke up the next morning, I didn’t feel like I was about to die, which is always a bonus!

When I first really got back involved with Duran Duran, and by that I mean joining the message boards and getting to know others in the fan community, going to shows and that sort of thing, I was about 33.  When I went to the convention in New Orleans, I had no trouble staying out very late (as in seeing the sunrise), having many beverages on Bourbon Street, and pretending I was in my 20’s.  In 2005 when the band toured for Astronaut, I was still feeling good.  I didn’t look like I was about to turn 35, and I pretty much ignored the threat of middle age.  Somewhere in 2006 though, life decided to toy with me.  I had major surgery in October of that year, and I swear to you – it aged me a good 5 years.  It was insulting, rude, and uncalled for, in my opinion.  Every time I went out with friends, rather than taking a few hours to undo the damage – it was taking days.  Then in 2008, I did the craziest thing ever – I had a baby at the age of 37.  If that didn’t almost kill me (and it really did), going through the grief after my father died two weeks later didn’t help matters.  It took me forever to really get back to myself after all of that, and it wasn’t until September of that year when I attempted to party it up like I was still in my 20’s again.  As it turns out, I’m not!  The hangover from that trip (it was to see what I thought I would never see – my good friend Jessica getting married!) lasted about two weeks, I swear.  The stitches I received from getting smart with the ceramic soap dish in the shower took a little longer to heal. *sigh*   Later that year, I went with Jessica, Amanda and our good friend Mac to see some DD shows on the east coast.  Between the time difference, the driving every day (I believe we did 800 miles in what – 4 days or so -because we’re clearly insane), and the shows – there was a moment as we were watching the band at the House of Blues in Atlantic City where I thought I was really going to hell, hard and fast.  I had to go and sit down – which has NEVER happened at a DD concert before, and I realized then that as much as I might try, I am not 18 or even 25 anymore.  I went to bed fairly early that night (2am really IS early when I’m with the girls on a weekend trip!), and prayed to any god who would listen to give me some energy to finish the trip.  I mentioned some of this to my friends, who naturally looked at me as though I’d grown three heads, and they seemed to laugh it off, telling me to grow a pair and get on with it.  I would have laughed with them, except that my body hurt too much!   I finished out the weekend, and have even been to a show or two since then, but I have to admit – I’m much more careful now.  I recognize the differences in my body between the ages of 35 and 40 – and for those of you who haven’t had the joy of looking into the mirror and wondering why you STILL have bags under your eyes even though you’ve had a full night’s sleep for the past 3 months, enjoy.  The bags come quickly and they don’t have the decency to leave!  Never mind the grey hair or the aches and pains.  Seriously, turning 35 sucked and 40 isn’t being much kinder!

All of this begs the question – when will I be done?  I’d love to say never, and that they’ll have to pry my cold dead hands off of my Duran Duran albums at some point, but I’m not so sure anymore.  Well, they’ll probably still have to pry my cold dead hands off of my DD albums, but as far as going to shows…I really am not sure.  Is it cool to keep going to concerts into my 50’s?  I’ve asked these questions on the boards before, and I’ve had fans remind me that the band is in their 50’s now and that I have to stop aging myself and the band.  I guess the thought is that if they can still do it, so can we.

Could someone just tell my BODY that?  😀

Types of Venues

It seems that Duran Duran has announced a special show in London on March 7th.  I’m not really sure what is special about it beyond the fact that it is for a BBC Radio 2.  Maybe I was the only one hoping that they would play the entire album at one of their upcoming shows and thought something like that might be considered “special”.  Anyway, another thing that I have been seeing and hearing about over and over again is opinions about the venues.  Some people seem to be more excited by this special show simply because of the venue, which is fascinating to me.  Likewise, I have seen people complain about the choice of large venues for the UK tour.  This is interesting to me because I don’t really have a venue preference.  Is that weird?

I have seen Duran Duran in all sorts of venues.  I have seen them at large outdoor venues, at arenas, at smaller theatres, at places like House of Blues, and more.  I don’t really have a preference other than the fact that I like seats.  I know that I have mentioned that a million times before but I’m not a fan of general admission.  I hate standing for hours and having to fight to keep my spot.  I’m sure that a lot of people have a preference for a specific type of venue because they have seen better shows there, especially if they were better Duran shows.  I can get that.  Yet, I have seen really great shows at all types of venues.  For example, I loved the Chicago show in the spring of 2005, which was at a large venue.  I also really liked the Broadway show that I went to in 2007, which was at a small theatre. 

What I find particularly fascinating by this preference isn’t that it is there, but that it has been a factor in some people’s decision to go to a show or not.  Obviously, I can understand other fans wanting to go to the best Duran show possible.  For me, though, I think all Duran shows have the chance to be really great–no matter the type of venue.  A show is more than a venue or even the sound quality that comes from the right type of venue.  A good show for me depends on the crowd, the band’s energy, interactions with the band and other fans.  Yes, bad sound quality could definitely have an impact on a show (I won’t ever forget the 2007 fan show…).  Yet, I haven’t seen much of that.  Of course, I have seen not great performances and some problems with the sound but, typically, they haven’t been that bad and they don’t usually last long.  I don’t know.  Generally, I guess I feel pretty lucky to be at a Duran show at all. 

-A

Setlist Wishes

Last night, I showed Songbook to a friend of mine.  For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, it was a show that aired in the UK, in January of 2009, in which the band discussed making certain songs and performed those same songs live.  Well, the second song happened to be Late Bar, which is one of the Daily Duranie’s favorites.  Both Rhonda and I LOVE the song and would absolutely love, love, love, love to hear it live.  We thought we might have a chance during the summer of 2009 as they played it once during the US’s mini tour, but not at the shows we were at.  Huge disappointment.  Anyway, this got me thinking about the songs I have seen live, the songs I hope to see live and the songs I hope never to see live again (or at least for a few years or more!). 

I openly admit that I’m a big Duranie dork.  I am.  I am such a dork that I have a list of every single song I have seen Duran perform live.  This list not only includes which songs but how many times I have seen the songs performed.  The songs I have seen the most, which are probably not hard to guess, are:  Ordinary World, Girls on Film, Rio, Sunrise and Wild Boys.  Now, I’m fortunate in that I generally like those songs.  Unfortunately, there are a ton of songs that come close to those top 5 and some of them I am sick of.  These songs are:  Hungry Like the Wolf, A View to a Kill, and Come Undone.  I can just imagine that some of you will instantly disagree with me as one or more of these songs might be your favorites.  I get that.  I know that I would be bummed if they stopped playing Planet Earth.  This brings me to a larger argument.  How in the world do they come up with the setlist?  How can they please all of us diehard fans with our different favorites and please those people who have come to the shows just to hear the hits?  I don’t think there is an easy answer there.  I hear many fans complain about how the setlists are always the same and are always the greatest hits.  I understand that, but I know that I have been at many shows where it seems like only half of the people there know non-singles and songs from 1988 or later.  It is a problem.

One thing Duran can do is simply include more and more hidden gems from their back catalog.  I know that some of the songs that I have loved the most live are songs like Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, Serious, Is There Something I Should Know? and more.  These are songs that they have played live but not to the same amount as the previously mentioned songs above (at least at the shows I have been to).  I have also loved more obscure choices like hearing Election Day live for the first time a couple of years ago.  (Can I put in a plug for Late Bar again????)  I have been lucky enough to hear two albums (Rio and Red Carpet Massacre) entirely and would love to finish other albums.  Now, of course, Duran has to also balance the new songs as well.  Like many Duranies out there, I want to hear them all!  I know that I will be incredibly disappointed if I don’t get to hear The Man Who Stole a Leopard or Girl Panic.  What about the songs from the last couple of albums?  Will we hear anything from Astronaut and Red Carpet Massacre?  I suspect that we won’t hear many, but if I could choose a couple, I would choose Sunrise and Red Carpet Massacre (the song). 

What about the rest of you?  How do you think Duran could make everyone happy at a show with the setlist?  What songs would you love to hear that you haven’t?   

-A

It’s Next Week Already!

It is Sunday.  According to my calendar, this means that it is a new week and, as many of us know, it isn’t a “normal” week as both John and Simon indicated that tour dates will be officially announced on dd.com this week.  Most people, of course, are assuming that they are only the UK dates based on Simon’s tweet where he specifically mentioned the UK and based on Simon’s recent interview where he spilled the beans about the 14 UK dates during the month of May.  Now, many people in the fan community anxiously await this announcement, including the authors of this blog!  How in the world will we survive until the dates are known?  What are you going to do to get through this painful wait?  I’m not sure what I will do as I have used up many of my tricks so far.

One of the things I typically do while waiting on tour dates is to speculate.  I like to have an idea of what they might look like.  Where will they go?  How long will they be there?  How many shows will that include?  I try to take all of the rumors and organize them.  Then, I also look at past touring history then I combine the rumors and the history to make my best guess.  Sad, isn’t it?  I want to be prepared, though, as best as possible.  Of course, saying this, I know that I will be surprised or shocked by something.  I suppose then it is a false preparedness.  It also helps make the time go faster and increase my excitement.  So, what is known about the upcoming tour?  What are the rumors?  What is the recent touring history?

Here is what I know:
Coachella Festival in California on Sunday, April 17th
14 dates in the UK in May
ITunes Festival in London on Saturday, July 16th

Some of the rumors:
Italy show on Monday, July 11th
Original rumors listed the US from March 31st and the UK/Europe starting in June
Special show in New York City based on a tweet from Wendy Laister, their manager

Touring history for the US and Europe (yes, I realize that I have left out a HUGE chunk of the world but I had to focus on what I might be able to do!)
2003: Random shows through the summer and fall in the US to equal about 4 weeks worth
2004: About 3 weeks in the UK (could this be similar to 2011?)
2005: About 11 weeks in the US (6 at one time and 3 at the other) and 8 weeks in Europe (6 at one time and 2 at the other)
2006: About 1 week in Europe and 3 weeks in the US
2007: About 2 weeks on Broadway
2008: About 6 weeks in US (4 at one time and 2 at the other) and about 7 weeks in Europe

This leads me to wonder when exactly they will be touring the US.  Will they do US around Coachella since they and their equipment will already be here?  If so, then, they better announce those dates as well.  Will they squeeze in the US dates in between the UK and the ITunes festival?  Maybe later in the summer?  Your guess is as good as mine.  (Although, if you do know something more and would like to share it with Rhonda and I, feel free to email us at dailyduranie@gmail.com.  Thanks!) 

Beyond speculating about what the tour might actually look like, I have been talking to my friends, specifically my touring buddies.  Part of those conservations have included developing an ideal plan.  What does your ultimate tour look like?  Do you want to do a show in your city or one nearby?  Do you want to travel?  If so, where specifically do you want to go?  How many shows do you want to do?  Obviously, in these discussions, we are all aware that the ideal probably won’t happen as we are not financially independent and do have other responsibilities but it is fun to think about!

Now that I have used up both of these methods of distraction, I’m forced to rely on the usual methods, which include frequent check-ins on the band’s official site, other message boards, and social networking sites to try and learn the latest info!  I will also make myself available to receive phone calls, emails or text messages as it is quite possible that I won’t be the first one to get the “Official Duranie Alert”.  So, readers, how do you plan on making it through this most anxious time?  What are your secrets? 

-A

Are you going to live in the moment for this one?

We’re really coming down to release day on the new album. (Once again in case you didn’t read yesterday: All You Need Is Now, available December 21 on iTunes.  The single, also named All You Need Is Now is available December 14 – also on iTunes!  Duran Duran needs to pay me for my plugs, don’t you think?  Kidding boys, no worries. :D)  Just last night some very excited and enterprising Duranies found that for a very short time – one could download Mediterranea from iTunes UK (not sure if that’s still the case – I’m in the US so I couldn’t do it), and for an even shorter time – All You Need Is Now (the single) was up and available for purchase.  I never heard if anyone actually got that downloaded.  I’m assuming yes, but don’t send it to me – I’m waiting until I can buy it legally on December 14th.

Since the last concert that I attended in support of Red Carpet Massacre, my friend and writing partner Amanda and I have been talking about our dreams and game plan for the next tour.  We really want to live life to the fullest on this one, because as I’ve touched on before – you just never know when is going to be the last time.  I’ve always had to hold back on shows, whether it’s by only doing a show or two, or not trying to get front row – and the fact is, seeing Duran Duran in the front row is on my “bucket” list. (things I want to do before I kick said bucket!)  Another major item on my list – seeing Duran Duran in the UK.

Truth be told, just 10 short years ago, I never thought I’d be seeing Duran Duran anywhere but near my home in LA – much less even considering the idea of seeing them on their home soil. I thought it was odd to go to more than one show on a tour! (and my delightful husband still thinks it’s weird – “Don’t they just play the same songs every night?”)  Well, I don’t think it was as much that I felt it was odd, as much as it was that I figured it was beyond the scope of what I could ever do.  Now I’m talking seriously about flying to the UK and doing my own “tour” there if there’s an opportunity.

I just don’t want to look back in 5, 10 or even 3 years from now and say “I wish I’d done…..”  I want to live in the moment and enjoy the band at what I really believe will be their best.  I don’t care about the charts, I don’t worry about whether the band is going to be a commercial success because I believe all of that will take care of itself.  I just want to ride out the moment with them and I hope that you all will do that for yourselves as well, regardless of whether it’s going on tour with the band, or in other aspects of your lives.  Enjoy the moment!

-R

South Africa and Rio

I am not a news writer.  I take that statement very seriously, because I have almost zero interest in being the first to print a story, or the first to uncover juicy information about the band.  I’m also not a music critic.  I love music, and while you will read my opinion on songs here from time to time (as well as shows that I’ve been to), I know that I’m no expert.  My interest is in pop culture and the fan base – and I try my best to stick to that format here at Daily Duranie.  That said, from time to time, a news byte will come up that seems to cross over from news, and I’ll cover it as I see fit.

Last night, Duran Duran announced that they are having to cancel their South Africa shows in December.  By my count – they had little more than a week to go before performing, and in their press release, the band cited that the promoter defaulted on the contract, forcing them to cancel their shows.  You can read the official announcement here.

As the night wore on, speculation – Duranies L.O.V.E. to speculate – rose. (including this one. Hence the blog…)  Announcements were released from the South African promoter that the ticket sales were low.  They wanted the band to do fewer shows, and they could not come to an agreement.  Interestingly enough, I had just read that the shows were selling well, but of course, I am not in South Africa, and I have no idea what “well” really meant.   Naturally Duranies all over the globe wonder what this has in store for the band.  Does it mean the band will play elsewhere?  How does this affect the promotion for the new album?  Is this a sign of what is to come?  The speculation goes on…

My take is simply that while it’s unfortunate that the band had to cancel shows – this this a touring band by all means – it is not the end of the world.  I don’t know how large their audience really is in South Africa, and I don’t mean to diminish their worth – but the fact is, if they had a huge audience there, I have to think that they’d have made it a point to perform there far more often than they have.  From the time they announced their shows in South Africa, I questioned the value in choosing to perform there and possibly perform new music there first – but it was more a question rising from lack of knowledge about the South African fan base than anything else.   I do feel for the fans who are not going to have the opportunity to see them in December, because ultimately it is those fans who will come away as the victims in this business.

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The question of Rio has come up on the boards once again – perhaps it never really left – and I find it necessary to address it on the blog.  Just this morning I read a thread  where a fan mentioned that the newer music (the very few snippets we have heard so far) sound nothing like the classic sound from Rio and that the band is still trying to play the modern sound – and that it won’t work.

Of course, for every fan that feels that way, there are several others that will take that fan down in flames.  The replies varied from those who tried to prove that the snippets did in fact sound classic, to those who questioned why someone would want a recreation of Rio to begin with.  Interestingly enough, I myself have wondered that same thing from time to time, and I’ve done some very unscientific research, which I’ll share.

It seems as though the younger the fan, the less likely they are to want an album that sounds like it should have been the follow up to Rio (or even less likely – a recreation thereof).  That alone speaks volumes to me.  My assertion is that it’s not really just the music that the fans want recreated.  I would suggest that for all of you out there who look back to Rio with a certain fondness, that perhaps it’s the spirit of the time you’re looking for.  The fans want to experience that moment again – the newness of the music, the fact that the band was sitting on top of the world, the youthfulness of 1985 (because most of us were in our early to mid-teens at that time)….it’s the spirit of the time as much as it is the music.   Music is very much about sentimentality.  When we identify with a song as deeply as some us did with the Rio album, or the first album, it truly seems to take on a life of it’s own.  It becomes part of the soundtrack to our lives, so to speak.  We each carry memories that go along with that music, and for some of us – it’s a moment in time that we want to live over again, even if we don’t necessarily cognitively acknowledge it.  I would guess that most who read the blog are saying “No way.  I want that classic sound because it’s what is Duran Duran.   I don’t need Rio over again, I just want the band to sound like Duran Duran.”   I would agree.  However, I would also say that for many, the Rio album = Duran Duran.  They can’t separate the two, and their feelings for one blend into the other.  I would go so far as to say that’s why Mark was so set on having the band embrace that and own it as opposed to trying to recreate the wheel to a certain extent, which truthfully – I think the band has tried to do over the years, even if they themselves don’t recognize that in themselves.

Ultimately, it will never been 1983, 1984 or 1985 again.  While those moments were fun, and I will never forget the glee I would experience when watching the band on MTV or sitting through the American Music Awards or the Grammy’s just to get a glimpse of the band if they were there, it’s far past time to move on from there.  Rio was a wonderful moment in time that I never hope to recreate.  Some things are just too perfect to mess with.

-R

A Field Trip

Today Amanda & myself are going on a little field trip with two friends of ours to see Duran’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  For those who aren’t aware, their star is just outside of the doors to Capitol Records.  We briefly considered walking on in to Capitol and requesting that they confirm the rumors about whether or not the album is to be released on their label…but then shelved that idea in contemplation of doing a little “construction work” outside of Capitol…

we’re not doing that either, so please don’t send the cops for us.  🙂

Last night, we watched three Duran Duran concerts – one was Working for the Skin Trade, the show that was included with the remastered Big Thing package, and then Budokan from 2003.  Those shows included some of the best and worst of Duran’s history, but still very much a part of their history; the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  By going to the star today, we’re acknowledging their history, but also the fact that the band has had quite an impact on popular culture and music, despite (or in spite!)  of their not-so-glamorous or not-so-proud moments.

-A & R

Dying for a Show!!

I am dying for a show.  It is as simple as that.  My desire for a show is increasing with every piece of news and every rumor about the new album.  Non-fans might think this is silly or obsessive but I’m willing to bet that most other Duranies are feeling like I do (except those lucky fans in South Africa!).

The last show that I saw was in July of 2009.  It is simply unacceptable that I have gone almost a year and a half since I have seen the band perform live.  To me, there is nothing better than a fantastic Duran show, one that is filled with energy and includes lots of fun interactions with the fans.  I miss singing with John Taylor, screaming for Dom, laughing at Simon’s classic moves, and grabbing Rhonda’s arm during all JoSi moments.  I’m longing for those pre-show meetups when Duranies gather in some restaurant or bar to meet each other for the first time or to see people you haven’t seen for awile.  Those post-show gatherings are great, too, as we are ready to have more fun to burn off the energy we got from the show!

I miss making all of the plans in regards to shows, to tours.  I love that moment when the tour dates are announced and I can begin plotting about which shows I might be able to get to!  My partner-in-crime and I then get to *squee* together as we begin to formulate our plan about which tickets to buy, which hotels to stay at, how to travel to each show, etc.  The message boards are usually full of activity as everyone posts which shows they are going to and meetups discussions start, which works to build everyone’s anticipation!  I miss all of this!  I long for all of this! 

To me, this time in Duranville is much like a long road trip.  On a long trip, I’m usually good for the first few hours but the last half hour is simply unbearable.  I know that we are close but aren’t quite there yet.  I am beginning to see the exit and can’t get there fast enough.  My patience is almost gone.  I need something to keep me going.  I don’t care if it more snippets of new songs or an actual release date or an updated website but I need something!!!  (Although, I would really like some dates…)  😀

-A