Category Archives: Simon LeBon

Fan Panic

Forget Girl Panic being filmed today – I think it’s safe to say that once again, the fans are in their own super special panic, again!    
For those who haven’t seen, the band had to postpone their Berlin show once again (it was set for June 8th), and Nick sent out a video “blog” of sorts on youtube.  This naturally set off another wave of panic amongst the fans.  
I’m like anyone else, every single time I read another postponement message from the band, a little part of me dies.  I wasn’t even supposed to attend the Berlin show, and yet I feel my heart sink in disappointment once again.  I can’t imagine what the band must be feeling like.  They sounded hopeful last week over Twitter, and I do believe Simon is healing.  It has to be frustrating for him, and yet I’ll bet he can’t even allow himself that luxury.  He has to just keep going, keep doing whatever the doctors tell him to do, and keep a positive outlook.  The very last thing the band wants, I would imagine, is to go out there, do a date or two, and then have Simon hurt his vocal chords to the point where he’s out for several more months – as happened back in 1993.   The voice is a tricky thing, because you can get your talking voice back well before your singing voice ever comes back, and if you’re not careful – the singing voice never quite comes back.  In 2005 I made the mistake of screaming a little too loudly at Roger Taylor as he came to the front of the stage during the heartbeat sounds at the beginning of their show at AllState Arena in Chicago, and then did it AGAIN the following night in Milwaukee, and as a result, I somehow tore a few small areas in my vocal chords.  I was put on vocal rest for 3 weeks when I got home, and to this day – I still can’t sing the way I once did. (not that I was ever really any good…but now I’m just really bad!)  I have a difficult time matching notes that I could once hit without a problem, and this sort of dry, scratchy feeling at the back of my throat comes and goes quite regularly even when I’m not singing along to Duran Duran.  None of that lessens the disappointment fans are experiencing right now though, and I hope that the band can get started again soon.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen fans throw their full support to Simon with exuberance.  I check in daily on Twitter, mostly just to see what everyone is chatting about because I’m nosy!   (Don’t even think of starting in with the lyrics from Other People’s Lives…) I have yet to look at my timeline without seeing at least ONE message to Simon (not from Daily Duranie, but from other fans I’m following) telling him that they are thinking of him and to get well soon.  I am pretty sure we don’t follow every single fan on Twitter, so I can only imagine what Simon must see when/if he checks his @ messages.  On Facebook, I have been reminded many, many times to think positive thoughts about Simon, and in a real testament to how much that man is truly loved by the fans – several groups of fans have taken to requesting that EVERY fan change their profile picture to one of Simon as a show of support to him.  Each time I look at my Facebook news feed, I see so many of my Duranie friends with pictures of Simon as their profile picture, if he ever had doubts as to how much he’s loved and missed right now, he should check out Facebook.  If you haven’t changed your Facebook picture yet – get started!!  I think it’s fair to say that many, many fans out there are anxious for the day when we read or hear that the band is ready to play shows once again!  
On a similar, yet completely different note (I’m nothing if not a dichotomy), I have a personal page on Facebook, and I haven’t changed my profile picture.  I was reading my news feed this morning and a friend who is encouraging people to change their pictures over in support openly asked why people haven’t done it yet.  I felt compelled to answer, primarily because I don’t believe I’m the only fan out there that hasn’t followed suit with their Simon photos.  To begin with, my personal page isn’t visible to just Duranie friends.  I have family, friends from school, friends from college and friends from my gemology program that can see various parts of my page (if not all of it).  I am also friends with fellow PTA (Parent/Teacher Association) parents, past teachers of my children, and respected professionals in the gemological industry.  It’s not easy to explain my interest in Duran Duran at this age, and to put it very bluntly, I don’t appreciate being called a groupie by people who can actually give me or my children grades in class.   (I think this falls under the heading that a fellow Duranie can call me a groupie, but not one else had better – because while my Duranie friends know that I’ve never “ridden the Duran Duran bus” – wink, wink – other people do not.)   Everyone has their own way of expressing their fandom, whether it’s by just buying their albums and going to shows; wearing Duran Duran t-shirts, writing a book and/or blog, or doing all of the above.  Not one way is the “right” way, and not every way is right for everyone.  In the case of Daily Duranie, we are supportive of Simon in every way – we went all the way to the UK and back without a single show, and yet I think that if we’re at all able – we’ll do it again.  So this is a warning, Simon – you haven’t gotten rid of us yet, and one way or another – we’re coming to the UK to see the band!  I am not letting go of that dream just yet.  Our profile picture on Facebook and Twitter is of Amanda and I (Rhonda is on the left, Amanda is on the right!), after many months of trying to remain “anonymous” in the community.  We haven’t changed it to a picture of Simon since we’ve finally decided to unveil ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less supportive.  I encourage everyone to do what they’re comfortable doing – and it never hurts anyone to throw out a kind word or two in Simon’s direction if they get the opportunity.  
Onward and upward from here!  -R

It’s gonna be a short one…

So today is one of those days where my real life is severely intruding into my online presence.  I have several places to be, things to do…and only one of me to be present and do them all with.  It’s the one thing I dislike about being a parent (ok, there may be several things, but this one is in the top 10 for sure!).  My husband travels quite a bit for work – this week it is Taiwan, and I feel for him because it’s hot, sticky and he’s working a trade show.  (I ruined your game again, Jessica!)  Anyway, tonight is Open House for my son (not sure if everyone knows what that means but basically I go and visit his classroom.  He’s in 6th grade, last year at his present school, so it’s a big deal.) At the same time that Open House starts, I must also be dropping off my oldest for her rehearsals – she’s in a musical called Anything Goes that opens here in a few weeks.  This morning, I have to drop that same child off at school which is a good 25 minute drive from the house, and be back here in time to take my son to school because he has to carry not only his backpack, but a major school project, along with 50 cookies for tonight’s festivities.  Did I mention that my oldest notoriously runs late,and I do mean LATE, for everything??


That’s just today.  Tomorrow I somehow have to get her to her voice lessons, a beach party and be back home in time to see my husband get home from his business trip.

I really need 4 more of me.  🙂

So, I’m writing this blog at 6:37 am California time, and hoping that I don’t run out of steam before I can get this house cleaned and back into shape so that it looks like I’ve actually done something while my husband has been gone. (because to be honest – the house has been the last thing I’ve thought about!)

I wish I had Duran news to share with you all, but I really do not.  It’s been very quiet on that front.  I don’t suppose there’s really much they can say until Simon is able to sing again, and unfortunately, none of us knows when that will be.  One thing that has struck me through all of this: each of us reads the situation entirely differently.  We all process it differently.  I think that has everything to do with why there are so many threads on so many message boards about it.  Each one of us posts something different, we read it differently, and are completely shocked when other people don’t see it the same way.  Then there are the people who are willing to sit back and wait it all out without saying a word.  Those people are probably more than annoyed at the rest of us who are trying to process it all by talking it over, guessing about what/when/where Simon will sing again.  The in-fighting that is going on right now on the boards is something akin to what it’s like just before an album is released.  I dare say it borders on frustration…and you all can decide for yourselves what type of frustration it is!   So, I’ve decided to steer clear of the boards, and really for the most part I’m trying to just move on with life in general.  It’s easier for me to focus my attention on something else rather than sit back and wait for the band to announce something.  I don’t want to think about it all, I guess.  That doesn’t really stop me from thinking, some might even say I overthink things, but I try.

Did you hear that Georgie Davies is likely to be really coming out???  😀

Hilarious, really.


Semitones and Simon

According to the music sites I visited today, a semitone is an interval equivalent to a half tone in a standard diatonic scale.  I am pretty embarrassed that I had to even look up the term – it’s something that even as an amateur musician, I should (and do) really know. Basically, for all of you retired high school band members out there like me – they are the sharps and flats.  The half-steps.  Why I couldn’t figure that out on my own this morning probably has something to do with early-onset Alzheimers, at least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself.  Won’t matter anyway, because I’ll likely forget the whole thing by tomorrow.  (Yes, that’s my idea of humor!)

What is the whole point of this semitone discussion?  I was greeted this morning on Facebook by a news item from Duran Duran.  Simon had written a blog and it was up for our reading pleasure.  Of course I was interested, and it is very much worthy of reading.  Once again, Simon shocked me.  (this is fast becoming a habit!)  I’m very used to reading Simon’s blogs, scratching my head, reaching for the vodka bottle, reading it again, and still not quite understanding what happened in the translation.  I jokingly say that one has to be under the influence to understand him, and reading his blogs can be somewhat like reading his lyrics at times.  This new blog is not that way at all, and he is kind enough to share details of what is really going on with him at the moment.  He explains that he seems to be missing 6 semitones at the top of his range.  At first, I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by semitone, but after looking it up – it makes perfect sense.  An octave is made up of 8 full tones and 12 semitones.  Why 12 and not 16? Look at a piano keyboard and count the notes.  That’s my easiest, non-theoretical answer. 🙂   Those black keys are known as the sharps and flats, and they fall in the middle (give or take) between each full tone.  Simon thinks he’s missing 6 of them, and thanks to my fabulous math skills I know that’s about half an octave – which is kind of a lot for a vocalist!  (although this morning in a fit of brilliance I said it was 2/3 of an octave.)  Regardless of the details, the Simon I am learning to admire these days is a far cry from the guy I’ve seen on stage over the years – and not in a bad way at all.  I really kind of like him when he’s not being mean spirited on twitter. (Which is probably required once in a while.  I’ve seen some of the tweets he gets!)

Simon IS cheeky, he can be funny at times – and not unlike the other males I share my life with, he can be a downright pain in the ass.   Coincidence??  Nah… This Simon though, the one I met last week in London, is someone new to me.  I don’t mean this to be a crack at Simon, it’s just that the lead singer I’m used to seems to be all about the ego.  Back when I was a teenager, I loved it.  That blondish hair, the way he’d smile slyly into the camera – who could ignore that?  Even into my 20’s, I thought Simon was amazing.  Once I hit 30, and then 35, and now 40, I will openly admit I grew tiresome of the huge ego.  It just seemed like it was time to get real.  I was loathsome of the way I’d hear he’d treat fans – whether they were stories, embellishments or otherwise – and as a result I had pretty much determined that I never wanted to meet him in person.  No reason to open myself up to being ridiculed just because he’s the lead singer in the one band I’ve always loved.  So, I avoided him at all costs.  In no way am I the type of fan who would just walk up to one of the band members outside of a gig and expect them to entertain me.  I may end up at the same bar, but I would never approach because for them, that time is “after work” and just as I wouldn’t appreciate having my boss follow me around after work (although I don’t mind saying that MY bosses live with me and I’m never off of work – just one of the joys of being a stay at home parent!), I recognize that perhaps they should afforded the same luxury.  If they want to come up and share a beer, glass of wine or a conversation – I’m all about being friendly, but I won’t insist on it by imposing myself on them.  I feel pretty confident with who I am, what I look like, and what I’m worth as a human.  I just don’t need one of my idols to openly reject me because I’m not a supermodel, I don’t have long dark hair, or exotic looks.   I know I’m not the only fan out there that feels that way…right??

It’s funny because this situation has made me see the band in a much different light.  I guess to some extent, I’ve always taken them for granted.  They would always be there, in some shape or form.  It never occurred to me that there would be “an end”, much less would there be an end without any major fanfare.  I figured I’d always know it was coming and would be able to prepare myself, but of course – it never happens that way, does it?  I’ve been home now for a few days, and I’ll find myself in the middle of say, folding laundry or something.  I’ll stop and think “Holy hell what just happened there?”  It’s as though while I was in the UK, I was just a robot going through the motions of every day, and it’s only just now that I realize I flew 10 hours there, spent 9 days wandering around only to see not a single show, then fly 11 hours back.  (gotta love the jet stream)  What just happened?!?  It reminds me very much of how I felt in retrospect after my dad passed.  For an entire month I wandered around this house, going through the motions of caring for a tiny newborn and planning every aspect of my dad’s memorial – and only several weeks after all was said and done did I look back and think “Wait a damn second here.  Did all of that really just happen?”  I’m not emotional, mainly just incredulous that I went all the way to the UK to live out a dream…and walked away before it really happened.    Now of course we’re all wondering when Simon will sing again.   I hope it’s soon, and I hope I have the chance to witness it for myself.

In any case, my heart continues to go out to Simon and I wish I could help – tap dancing here on this blog doesn’t seem like nearly enough.


The Beauty of JoSi

I cannot believe that next week Duran Duran will be here in the States playing shows!  It always seems SO long in between shows and tours!  Yet, for some lucky fans, the wait to see the band live in concert is almost over!  Personally, I cannot wait to see the band in a month in Chicago.  Cannot wait!  There are so many things that I look forward to when it comes to Duran shows!  I always enjoy seeing my Duranie friends and meeting new ones!  I love singing along to some of those classic hits!  This time around I’m so excited to hear the new tracks live!  I suspect that my love for some of them might increase!  One thing that I am always so excited for is the JoSi.  Am I the only one with this fascination?  JoSi, for those not in the know, is the combination of John and Simon.  In concert, JoSi means those moments when they not only sing together, sharing one microphone but also the little looks or smiles exchanges as well as subtle and not-so-subtle touches.  I admit it.  I find all of those moments…to be… hot.  I know that I’m not the only one, right?!

JoSi is an interesting element to Duran fandom.  It does not seem to be completely unique, though, as many other bands have moments when the lead singer sings with another member of the band.  Like Duran, those moments seem to get many of the female fans to start screaming.  Why is that?  What does that say about fandom?  What does that say about females?  Is this just a taste of guy-on-guy action?  Does this mean that we think or wish them to be gay and together?  I obviously can’t know why these moments get some people all…uh…er…excited, but I can acknowledge what I see in the Duran fan community.

First, every female fan that appreciates the JoSi knows that they are both married to women.  Do fans think that they are secretly gay and are in a relationship together?  Do fans want that?  Good questions.  I doubt that most fans think that they are gay.  Some might think that they are bisexual or have had experiences with members of the same sex, I don’t know.  It is possible that some fans want them to be in a relationship together.  I don’t know.  What would this mean, if that was the case?  Would it mean that they wouldn’t be into women at all?  Is that what female fans want?  I doubt that.  Many female fans want to keep a little bit of that fantasy that they could be into them.  Do they want them to be bisexual?  Maybe.  What does this mean to them?  Maybe that means that they would have stereotypically gay male characteristics while maintaining a possible interest in women.  I don’t know.  Could it just be that they think that two hot guys together are super duper hot?  I think this is definitely the case with a lot of them, including myself! 

Interestingly enough, I also see some fans like to see the JoSi but really hate the idea of them actually being together in that way.  I have to admit that I find this very strange.  Do they just like John and Simon together like this as a means of showing how good of friends they are?  Is it just because they are their two favorite band members?  I don’t know.  Maybe they don’t like the idea of them being together, romantically, because they are married and want to honor that marriage.  I can definitely respect that.  I hope that is all it is because, otherwise, I worry about homophobia.  I would hope that there would not be any disgust over the idea of any two men together as I truly do believe that everyone should be able to love and be with anyone they want.  Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time that Duran Duran has had homophobia connected with them.  In fact, I would argue that part of the reason Duran hasn’t had the critical acclaim that other bands have had is because they were deemed to be too “girly”, “gay”, “non-manly” because of their fashion sense, their use of makeup and their female dominated fanbase.  So, I would hope that their fans aren’t contributing to that and can just appreciate the beauty of the JoSi instead!

Personally, I cannot wait to enjoy it myself!  I have to warn the people I’m going to the Chicago show with that they better not get in the way of me seeing any and all JoSi moments.  I’m sure that Rhonda can help with that as I have threatened her safety and well-being more than a few times after she has blocked my view!  I should probably also give them a heads up that I might *squee* a little at those little moments, which may or may not ruin people’s hearing.  Just sayin’. 


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!


Duranie Smackdown

The Duranie Smackdown began a couple of days ago on Facebook.  It started innocently enough with a friend of mine saying that she had been “rockin'” out to AYNIN on her status.  My plan was to comment with a simple statement of support but before I could even do that, I noticed that another person had made a comment wondering if the band could “sing on key” or “play their instruments”.  How could I let that go?  I couldn’t and responded with a positive comment to my friend who was enjoying the album and another comment about how Duran had written and performed their own songs very well for over 30 years.  Now, the other person could have just left it at that, especially if she didn’t want a debate, a battle, a lively discussion.  She didn’t.  She followed up her first comment with another one about how Robert Palmer could sing on key but that Simon “always had a pitch problem”.  As for the rest of the band, she said that when she saw them live in 1984, they were definitely still learning their instruments and that she had more musical skills than them!  Insert lots of eye-rolling here.

So, I took on the job of educating her.  I explained to her that Robert Palmer was the lead singer of Power Station only.  I gave her some facts about how Duran have sold a ton of albums and have received lifetime achievement awards.  Her response was that the Reflex was off key and that I shouldn’t use their album sales as a means to show their talent because, according to her, Vanilla Ice had sold a lot, too.  Oh boy.  More eye-rolling.  She ended that comment with a statement about how she isn’t the only person to think this way.  Great, is she trying to say that she is a critic now?  Whatever.  I, of course, informed her of what I think the issue was with the critics in that they never gave any respect to Duran because GIRLS liked them.  She returned to make more comments, including that anyone who doesn’t hear that Simon is off key should go to the ear doctor and that I had provided her with lots of laughs.  That did it.  I calmly explained to her that it is fine to have a difference of opinion about music since like all art, it is subjective but that there was NO reason for her to be insulting.  Here’s where my friend and fellow Duranie (not the person rockin’ out to AYNIN) enters the picture.

My friend came in to be supportive and because she, too, thought that this person had gone too far.  She pointed out to the hater that there are things that she likes that her friends would think are horrible, too, but that they probably wouldn’t insult her about it on Facebook.  Of course, this person turned the situation around to where she was the victim as she said that my friend “baited” her and that we took it to a low level.  She claimed that she was just trying to have some witty banter but that we probably aren’t capable of that.  (My eyes were rolling around so much that I’m surprised they didn’t fall out!)  I couldn’t let that slide, either, and commented that she would have been more mature to have just said that she apologized for insulting us. 

So, what is the point of me sharing this story?  First, it reminds me so much of what elementary school felt like.  I will never forget sitting at lunch and debating who was better:  Duran Duran or Michael Jackson.  I was always on the losing side of that battle as there were a ton more Michael Jackson fans than Duranies where I grew up.  I can recall trying to explain to my classmates that Band-Aid came out first and was better than USA for Africa who just copied Band-Aid on the cause.  These classmates of mine didn’t want to hear any of the facts.  They couldn’t just accept that we had different taste when it came to music as it almost always went to the fact that Duran were “sissy like”.  (I usually argued at lunch with boys, by the way.)  This conversation felt just like I had gone back in time.  Of course, the really sad part is that this person is a grown woman.  My classmates had an excuse–they were just kids. 

Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t criticize Duran Duran as a whole or Simon, specifically.  The world knows that I love to give Simon a hard time as much as possible.  That said, I always do it from a place of love.  I know that they are capable for greatness so when they fail to reach that, I’m disappointed and I say so.  Now, this person doesn’t get that right.  She isn’t a Duranie.  She isn’t saying those things to give Simon a hard time.  Nope.  She is saying them to be mean—to the band and to their fans.  What does this say about me as a Duranie?  It says that I will ALWAYS defend them to the non-Duranie even if it is about things I disagree with.  I would argue that RCM was a fabulous album with a non-Duranie, for example.  I think that part of being a serious fan is about being passionate about something.  I’m passionate about Duran.  This passion can form into loving criticism with other Duranies or into fierce protection with non-Duranies.  That’s how it always has been and always will be.  


Loose Women

I apologize for the lateness of the blog.  I have gotten far behind the Duran happenings due to losing my beloved kitty.  I admit that I haven’t been very focused and have had lots of interruptions with people contacting me to express their condolences, which I completely need and appreciate.  Nonetheless, I did have a chance to see the band on the UK’s Loose Women and enjoyed every minute of it.  I only watched it once and admit that I didn’t hear every statement made but I did have a few comments.  Go figure.

I think many Duranies were excited about this particular show because, I believe, it is the first one where we have seen Duran perform a new song, their current single, “All You Need Is Now.”  Now, I can only imagine that playing a song for the first time in front of an audience might be unnerving.  I know that I saw them perform “Night Runner” at the fan show in June of 2007, at what was probably their first performance of that song.  Based on that performance, I did not expect much as that early performance of “Night Runner” seemed to me to be awkward for the band.  They did not seem at all comfortable.  Simon, in particular, seemed to be having a hard time figuring out how or when to move.  To me, this indicated that the band wasn’t all that comfortable with the new album and the direction that they were taking.  Therefore, I thought that this performance might be equally as telling about how they are feeling with their new material.  Based on what I saw, they are COMPLETELY comfortable with it.  They feel good about it!  Simon seemed to know exactly what to do with himself during the song, physically.  John and Simon kept sneaking glances at each other in a “look at how cool this is” fashion.  The chorus was a particular high note with the vocals of Simon, John, Anna and Dom blending together nicely.  Overall, they seemed happy.  I can’t be more happy that they are happy with this new music.  This makes me truly looking forward to a tour and seeing this song, in particular, live.  Of course, there was a lot more to the show then just this performance.

The fun, having-a-good-time feel ran through the interviews, especially when all four of them were being interviewed at the same time.  I had a hard time following because so many people were talking and laughing at once!  I noticed that they were smiling the whole time.  I don’t think I have ever seen Nick smile so much at one time!  Of course, I had a good laugh, as well, when Simon struggled to come out after his introduction as it appears as if he might fall!  He handled it well but I know that I was entertained by the moment.  Besides the solid performance and the carefree spirit of the interviews, I did gleam a bit of information as well.

There were three comments that I took note of.  First, I noticed that the interviewers said that the official release in February was to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Planet Earth, their first single.  Fascinating.  This was a rumor a couple of months ago and now appears that it might really be true.  I even blogged about it at the time!  When I first blogged about it, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.  Now, I’m not sure.  I like the idea of having AYNIN have a separate release date to show its significance but I also like the idea of connecting the new with the old.  After all, isn’t this album about celebrating the classic spirit of Duran Duran?  Besides, AYNIN will have a separate date with the early downloadable release next Tuesday via iTunes.  It seems more like a win now.  Second, I noticed that when asked about Mark Ronson being a fan, John commented that it was a lot better than being with a non-fan.  Hmm…is that a comment about Timbaland, Timberlake, or even Nate Hills from RCM?!  I don’t know but it is keeping me thinking.  Lastly, there was a question about Andy.  The question came from a fan who had emailed in and basically asked them if they would take Andy back if he wanted to come back.  John didn’t answer that.  Instead, he said that Andy didn’t leave twice, technically, as the interviewer had said.  That really makes me think about what he means by that!!!

Overall, the show did what it was supposed to do.  I want to see more performances of the new material.  I want to see them enjoying themselves, each other and the music.  I also want more information in regards to those statements I mentioned above.  Dang that band for keeping my attention on them and what they are doing!  Luckily, more shows and interviews are supposed to follow!  I cannot wait!!!


Election Day

Today is Election Day in America and I hope that all of my fellow Americans are heading to the polls to exercise their right to vote!  For those people who know me outside of message boards or this blog know that I have been very involved with campaigning.  I have always been passionate about politics but did not get involved in a political campaign in a serious way until 2008.  In May of 2008, I discovered that John Taylor agreed with me, politically, when he came out for the encore in Chicago wearing an Obama t-shirt.  At that moment, I felt nothing but validation.  Obviously, this feeling was not shared by all Duranies as some were supporting Obama’s opponent.  This led me to seriously consider how political I think Duran should be.

Duran Duran has never been a political band, not like bands like U2.  Of course, I knew that they did commercials for organizations like Amnesty International and, obviously, supporting getting food to famine victims in Africa in the 1980s.  Yet, none of their songs were about politics or political issues.  Even when they began to get more political on their albums, they did it in a very subtle way.  Take the song, Finest Hour, for example.  My understanding is that song is a reference to a speech given in World War II about how Britain had to stand up against Hitler and even if they lost, they should still be able to say that this was their “finest hour” as a people.  From what I heard, Simon’s lyrics wanted to use this reference as a means of standing up to Bush and the Iraq War, which was just beginning at that time.  Yet, people could easily listen to that song and assume it was about the band reclaiming its place in the world or about people reclaiming some element that they have been missing.  It is a song, like most Duran songs, that can be interpreted in different ways.  Is this the way that they should express themselves, politically, by using subtle references in their lyrics or should they be overt like John was in wearing that Obama shirt?

I don’t have the answer to this question.  On one hand, I absolutely believe that they should have their own political beliefs and should be able to express them.  I wouldn’t want to have to suppress my beliefs just because of the job I do.  On the other hand, should they risk alienating part of their fanbase?  I can’t imagine how I would have felt if they had been openly supporting McCain, for example.  I’m sure that I would have felt distant from them at the very least.  Now, I absolutely believe that politics can be an expression of one’s values and core beliefs about people, government, etc., but I also believe that people can have differences of opinion and still be similar at the core.  So, where does this leave me?  It leaves me, generally, glad that Duran hasn’t been overtly political, for the most part.  I need some part of my life to be just for fun, to be carefree because the rest of it, isn’t.  I don’t want politics to divide Duranies.  After all, there must be something special about Duran since they were/are able to bring all types of people together to form a very dedicated fanbase.

On that note, on this Election Day 2010, I leave you with this passing thought.  Can Arcadia Simon look any hotter than he did in the Election Day video? 

Can You Eat Elderberries?

It’s that time of year again!!!

I don’t know what it is with Simon and the fan community, to be honest.  I know that within my group of friends (including Amanda) – Simon has always been the band member we’ve “picked on”, so to speak.  I can’t really answer why, but perhaps it’s because he’s out in front, he’s generally not afraid to tell a fan to take a hike. (in much better words I’m sure – but surely you get the point) ….and he likes wearing that Eagle belt buckle.  🙂   For every good fan story I’ve heard about Simon, I’ve heard and read just as many that paint him to be “not the nicest” band member to meet.  On a personal note, I’ve never really met him – other than at the signing in Hollywood.  I don’t even think I’ve ever seen him out in public after shows that I can think of offhand, so I have no idea how he “really” is.  My guess is that he’s human…and very much a scorpio.

The thing is, at least in my case, I love Simon.  I also love to tease him.  I have to think that if he knew me – which he does not – he’d probably give me a hard time right back, and I’d enjoy that.  I also know that he is at the heart of Duran Duran.  The band would definitely not be the same without him – in the same way that it wouldn’t be the same (and isn’t the same) without all original 5 members.  Some will argue that certain members, such as Simon, can’t be replaced at all, and while I would wholeheartedly disagree (everyone can be replaced, but it would change everything about the band, and that’s really the point in question.), I wouldn’t want him to leave.  I need to see him in front of the band, I enjoy watching him banter with John (those infamous JoSi moments!), I would miss watching him “dance”….well, we won’t get into that.  (note to self: must learn how to upload video to blog.)  Have you watched yourself dance to Skin Trade, Simon???

My oldest daughter has met Simon.  She was seven at the time (she’s now 13), and it was when we went to the signing for Astronaut in Hollywood.  She remembers it very clearly and it ranks right up there with Andy jumping out of his chair to shake her hand on the same night.  She was carrying a book with her in line, it was a Nancy Drew book – and he was very interested in what it was about.  I think she might have impressed him when she stood there and told him what it was about, and whether or not she thought it was worth reading.  (she did, as I recall – it was her favorite series at the time!)  Then she told him she really liked the album, and with a twinkle of mischief in his eye he asked her what her favorite song was on the album.  I kind of think he thought she was just being kind when she said that, and that she wouldn’t know what to say.  She smiled and said “Sunrise”, because it’s the happiest song on the album.  He grinned and signed her CD.    Of course, Simon didn’t look twice at me as I went through the line right behind her – but that’s OK.  I enjoyed watching him with my oldest!

The second time my daughter saw Simon in person, it was from the audience at the Pearl. (The Palms show in summer of 2009)  We were up close to the front, and during Tempted, Simon flashed his devil horns.  Keep in mind, at this point – my daughter was then 12 and full of mischief herself!  Well, she flashed them right back at him, to which he rolled his eyes.  She turned around with her eyes as wide as saucers because she thought she’d offended him, which amused me all the more!!  What Simon doesn’t know is that we coaxed her to do it back at him, and we ALL laugh when he does the devil horns.  It’s right up there with the “karate” moves at the end of Notorious – and it’s what makes Simon, Simon.

I’ve even had my proverbial ass handed to me by Simon on occasion.  Some would have been mortified – but I LOVED it.  I’m not entirely sure he even really meant his comments for me, but I will say this – they were extremely timely.  As I’m sure most of our readers have figured out by now, Red Carpet Massacre isn’t my favorite Duran Duran album.  Last year at some point, we had gotten into quite a discussion about it on DDF .  We were talking about whether or not they’d lost their label (they hadn’t announced they’d parted with Sony yet), where they seemed to have gone wrong, and what would lie ahead for the band.  I was pretty candid with my comments since it’s my home board – and apparently sometimes I forget that anyone could be reading.  Within the next day or so, lo and behold a blog pops up from Simon about parting ways with Sony AND that “for the record” he was still very proud of Red Carpet Massacre.  I didn’t save the entire blog, but when I read it, it seemed very possible that he’d either read my mind, or my post on DDF. (which I am sure isn’t the case – it was just very, very coincidental.)

As far as the fan community goes, I hear the stories about his escapades after shows.  I’ve been told that if you ever want to attract Simon’s attention – ignore him.  I suppose the bad stories tend to go along with the good, and it’s not up to me or anyone else to judge.  Simon is who he is, like it or not, and that’s one reason why I do like him.   I know how much we poke fun at him for tripping on stage or for attempting to crowd surf, or for putting on a hat and sunglasses that make him look like a pimp.  I suppose it’s all part of our relationship, if you can call it that, with Simon.  I sincerely hope that he recognizes that most of it is done out of fun, and love.

As much as I complain about how some of his blogs in the past have almost driven me to drink because I couldn’t understand what the hell he was saying, and as much as I cringe when he decides to spit water on the audience (I swear I’m bringing a poncho and umbrella next time!!), he is part of what makes this band so terrific.  He is the reason my friends bring air horns and tambourines to shows, and without his amazing voice, we wouldn’t have songs like Ordinary World, Rio, Chains, or even Red Carpet Massacre.

So, to my fellow scorpio – a VERY happy birthday.  I didn’t send you a card or an expensive prezzie…but you get a blog instead.  🙂   Tomorrow it’s back to my endless teasing and ridicule, so enjoy, buddy.

Oh and Simon, you CAN eat Elderberries, but only if they are very ripe and/or have been cooked VERY well.  Don’t eat anything “green”. (leaves, stems, etc.)   You can make elderberry jam, wine, tea and brandy – I’m sure you have time to make that jam or brandy while you’re waiting for the album to be done, right?  That said, apparently elderberries contain cyanide…and I sure as hell do not want to be responsible for the lead singer ending up in the hospital.  Hmmm…yeah I’d probably just skip the elderberries altogether and go with raspberry tea!!