Category Archives: Steve Aoki

We’re living our lives in a networker nation

Tour riders. I really know nothing about them other than they exist, and that for some bands and performers – they can get pretty wild with their expectations and demands. For Duranies, I’m fairly certain I can assume that we’ve ALL seen/heard the clip from SBS where dear old Spy Matthews (Tour Production Manager for the Sing Blue Silver tour in 1984) is on the phone, presumably with some lowly assistant venue type person, reading them the riot act over the band’s demands…aka…their tour rider. I didn’t know much about Stolichnaya vodka until that fateful video viewing…but of course after that, I had to try it when I got to college, and yes, I always remember Stoli because of Sing Blue Silver. (Note: I don’t hold the band responsible for my underage drinking in college, nor do I blame them for their bad taste in vodka.)  Cristal though? Not bad, actually. Good times.

I am way, way behind in my news reading, but something caught my eye today as I repeatedly pressed the “delete” key while going through my news…and the item comes from none other than Mr. Steve Aoki, DJ Extraordinaire. Apparently a few weeks back Steve’s tour rider became public information, and every news outlet from here to London and back decided it was news worthy of running. The rider contained seemingly wild things such as packs of underwear and t-shirts, organic fruits, champagne… (His rider notes that it must have a cork!  In the name of Duran Duran – what in the hell are people trying to pass as champagne these days???) and 1 1/8 ounces of local grass. Well then. There you have it, right? Not so fast…because not an entire day after this tour rider surfaced, Steve responded on his own blog, clearing up a few things. You can read his entertaining and yet educational response right here.

As I said, I really don’t know much about tour riders. In the past I did some work for a band who was really just starting out, and their tour rider was fairly non-existent. Those guys were just hoping some fans would pay for their dinner and get them some cigarettes, and you know – a cooler with some cold drinks would have been nice. They openly dreamed of the day they could have a rider like Duran Duran (They had opened for them for several shows while they toured the US in 2005), and during some moments of humor – they would talk to me about Nick’s rolling wine storage cabinet that accompanied the band while on tour. I don’t think those guys knew much about wine, but they were certainly impressed. Now that I think about it, they never mentioned much in the way of excess beyond the wine storage cabinet, but I can’t lie – reading Steve’s rider makes me wonder what Duran’s must look like, or did look like back in the day.

So, I invite you to have a little fun, get creative, and think outside the box a bit. What would you want on a rider if you were touring?

Happy 4th of July to our US readers today – enjoy those fireworks and be safe!!

-R

Guest Blog: Duran Duran’s NYC Show with Aoki, Cynical Version, Take One

 By Jonee Howell

What follows is a completely fictional account of the recent, much talked about Duran Duran/DJ Aoki show. Like all fiction, there may be a kernel or two of truth somewhere. Case in point: there was, in fact, a ticketless pigeon waiting in line to see the band. Alas, she could not take the heat and
flew away well before doors opened.

There have been tons of comments made since the show: on twitter, the ‘See What Unfolds Live’ Facebook site…

This one is just for fun.

Act One – Whose Nutball Idea Was THIS?

DD Official Person:
Hey Durans! (ooo, nice shoes, Simon!) We’ve been approached by Trident (yes, THAT Trident) to participate in a show with DJ Steve Aoki as a superduper-secret surprise guest! It’ll be great!

Random Band Member: Well, that’s sort of a different fanbase than ours, don’t you think? How will we be received? I wouldn’t want the crowd to leave as soon as we got onstage…I don’t look good wearing embarrassment…

DDOP: Don’t worry! We’ve been given eleventy-umpteen tickets. For FREE! We’ll give them out to your superfans!

RBM: Umm…I don’t know…I don’t think they’d really be hip to an Aoki-style rave, ya know? Our fans are older…Some of them are actually mature…Well, a couple are…

DDOP:
Got that covered! Check it–we have a contest for VIP members to win free tickets to a secret Duran Duran show. We won’t actually TELL them what it is. They’ll eat it up!

RBM: Errrr…I’ve heard he throws cake on people and spews champagne outta his mouth…I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in an audience with that staring at me…

DDOP: Oh, lighten up! A little cake never hurt anyone! You LOVE cake! And I’ve got it all planned out–
We’ll announce the winners (everyone who enters), but we won’t exactly tell them what they’ve won! And we’ll require an official rsvp BEFORE we tell them the actual details!  It’ll be a surprise–yeah, a surprise!–performance! We’ll give details ‘as soon as we know them’ (wink wink)…Let ’em think whatever they wanna think…a surprise can be ANYTHING.

RBM: But how will we plan our wardrobe if we don’t know what the show is? You know we have trouble planning what to–

DDOP: Stop! YOU’LL know what it is, but THEY won’t. Not until they’ve been sucked into the Duran fan vortex…and once the especially dumb ones have bought their plane tickets, they’re IN. There’ll be no turning back! (muahahaa!)

RBM: Hmm, I dunno…sounds sorta shady…

DDOP: Relax! You’ll have plausible deniability! No one will ever have to know this is how it went down! You DO want to broaden your fan base don’t you? You don’t wanna encounter a bunch of rave kids giving you blank, acid-trip stares when you walk onstage do you? You want DURANIES there–your superfans–screaming for you…You know, in case the youngsters don’t quite get it on their own.

RBM: I sure hope this goes off like you plan…if it gets screwed up, I’m gonna play dumb, got it?

DDOP:
(that’ll be a real stretch.)

RBM:
What was that?

DDOP: Nothing, nothing…Listen-it’ll be FINE. What could go wrong? It’s TRIDENT, for God sakes. The kings of gum! They’ll put on a class show. At least you’ll be ON the stage instead of BELOW it.

Act Two: Fast Forward to Show Day–Wheeee!


Duranies Who Queue:
Man! It’s hot out here! Anybody got a portable air con?

DWQ: Nope! But at least we can sit down. (I’ve really got to pee! Is that car dealership open?) Only four more hours to go! Here–have a piece of cardboard–take a load off.


Watch out for that pigeon!!

DWQ: How long you been here? Since 9? Like, in the morning? Dayuuumm. And I thought I was die hard…Props.

DWQ: Anyone know who this Aoki fella is?

DWQ:
I hear he’s a DJ…Couldn’t check for sure, though, cause my google was down all week.

DWQ:
What’s a DJ? (Can you pass me my knitting? Thanks.)

DWQ: It’s newfangled. It’s a person who plays records on a turntable onstage. Should be nice! I like records.

DWQ: Me too, me too…but I LOOOVVE me some Duran Duran!

DWQ: (all together now) Wooohooooo!!!

***Hours pass (la la laaa)

DWQ: Hey! The door peeps are finally here! Let’s make sure they know we’re back here in the alley waiting patiently to get in!

DWQ: What? They’re gonna WHAT? Just let everybody go in however? Willy Nilly? But, but…We’ve been here ALL DAY! Waiting! Patiently! In the HEAT!

DWQ: I’ll poke ’em with my knitting needle if they don’t get their silly little act together! I swear! These venues never know what to do with us Duranies. Jaysis. Will you pass me some of that 90-degree water? Thanks, doll.

DWQ: Ok, ok…I think we’ve gotten THAT cleared up…We should be cool now…Just get through the door and RUN! (Sure hope I don’t break one of my 6-inch heels! I don’t look good in lopsided…)

DWQ:
Here we are! In our inalienable front row spots! Whew! That was close, huh?  Ahhh, front row, front row, I love you front row…Say whaaah? You want us to move back two feet to let Aoki’s fans be in the front? You’re joking, right? Where were THEY when we were sweatin’ large outside? What’s that? They’ll leave as soon as his set is done?  You sure? Well, ok…We don’t really need to be in front to see a guy play records…

***Push em back, push em back, waaaaaay back!

DWQ: Wow, it’s sorta crowded in here, yeah? I need my required three feet of dance
space, so skooch. I am a diva. STOP. SWEATING. ON. ME! 

***Enter Aoki

***And cake…

***And champagne…

***And a big-ass raft…with PEOPLE in it…floating on hands outstretched to their DJ Jesus…

DWQ: Aaagghhh! What have Duran Duran gotten us INTO? No one told us about THIS!  What were they thinking? They HATE us! And isn’t that JT? Up there in the balcony?  He’s laughing at us! See him? What a D*CK!

Random DD Fan Who Did Not Queue: Aaagghhh! What have Duran Duran gotten us INTO? No one told us about THIS! What were they thinking? They HATE us! And isn’t that JT? Up there in the balcony? He’s laughing at us! See him? What a D*CK!

DWQ: My goodness, these youngsters are STRONG! They’ve knocked quite a few people down with their juvenile rave antics! Where IS that blasted security guy? The one who made us move at the beginning? Is that him? Over there at the side having a beverage? Yooohooo? Could you (ugh) please come over here and (ouch) get this pesky child off my HEAD, please and thank you?? *waves old lady hanky*

DWQ: And I thought WE were bad! My stars, the youth of today…Wait! Is that NICK?  Behind the screen? Yeah!! They’re coming onstage!  GET THE F**K OUTTA MY WAAAAY, B**CHEZZZ!!!

—The End—

(Ha!)
Okay…Little serious moment now.
I find myself laughing a lot about this loony experience. No, none of it went down the way I’ve presented it (well, SOME of it did), but it gives me a chuckle nevertheless. In all honesty, I don’t know why Duran chose to pair up crowds with Aoki’s – to ‘See What Unfolded’ perhaps? Good idea? Bad Idea? It’s their little red wagon at the end of the day I suppose. I do think some things could’ve been handled better though (Umm,
guys? Serious up…next time you rely on someone else’s planning of an event–even if you are a mere guest–please check on the deets just a wee bit, a’yite? Security at a rave is sort of important.) And fully disclosing what we are ‘winning’ before people make unchangeable travel arrangements can only show that you respect us as fans and as people. I know, I know… It was our decision to do this. Yep, it was. Still, the feeling that
we were somehow purposely duped remains for some. Just sayin’.

This was an unforgettable Duran experience for sure, and truthfully, I had a complete BLAST until some guys started to go nucking futs and use themselves as human wrecking balls. Most of the people there were just other fans trying to have fun, dance, jump around, not a care in the world. I dig that. But having to expend the majority of my energy to simply remain upright is not my idea of a good time: impedes dancing–trust me on this. I’m SO not whining about being caught up in a sweaty mess of crazy, I’m talking about the actual seriously mean, violent guys who did their best to ruin the show for everyone: Duranie and Aokian alike. I’ve since heard stories of people getting choked, punched, kicked, stomped on…That is not ‘normal’ rave behavior (so sayeth the bonafide ravers on Facebook, anyway). It is not ‘kids having fun’. It is beyond what my exhaustive google-pre-researching of Aoki and of Terminal 5 led me to believe was in store. I’m just glad nothing worse broke out. Got reeaallll close at times though, cause bruthas and sistas, there was no security to be found ANYWHERE, and that is my gripe with this gig. Once Duran started playing, a guy looked at me with an incredulous, wild eyed look on his face and screamed at the top of his lungs that a fan had bitten him (Uh huh. BITTEN). What could I do? (Must’ve been that old, Duran-fan ‘mom’ look I werk.)  He was screaming for security, and every camera guy in the pit just shrugged and walked away.

It was mos def enjoyable to see the band again–it really was (Love you guys! Mwah!).
Even if I WAS completely flattened against the barricade. ;D

Rock on Duran Duran! Looking forward to the next show like crazy!

Jonee has been a fan of Duran Duran ever since she saw John Taylor running down the streets of Sri Lanka bare chested in Hungry Like the Wolf when it came on Friday Night Videos (she was 12). She missed a great deal of touring since her first show in ’84 (life, college, grad school, family, yadda yadda), but has since come back into the Duranie fold just in time for this whirlwind All You Need Is Now tour. She loves the band and all the ridiculously cool friends she’s made through them. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the mom of two kids, 7 and 4, and is currently trying to convince her sweet husband that she needs to see Duran Duran just one more time…

Too Old for This???

Lately, age has been on my mind and not in a happy sort of way.  First, I have been watching my father deal with his getting older and not being able to do as much as he once could.  Second, while I think I am immune to the aging factor, clearly, I’m not.  Last night, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to go out with a couple of people I worked on the campaign with.  These campaign staffers are a lot younger than me.  A LOT younger.  While it was great fun to drink, tell stories, and remind each other of the fun aspects of working on a political campaign, it hasn’t been so fun today for me.  Let’s just say that when I was 20-something, the hangovers weren’t fun but tolerable and were short in duration.  Now, the hangovers are horrible!  I still feel like hell and I stopped drinking 18 hours ago!  What the hell was I thinking?!  Then, of course, age also seemed to come up in Duranland, especially in connection to Wednesday’s performance for Trident Gum with Steve Aoki.

From what I have been reading about Wednesday’s event, there was a mosh pit on the floor, which included a lot of pushing and shoving.  If that wasn’t bad enough, I heard things about cake being thrown and champagne being poured.  Oh boy.  In reading these stories, I saw a number of comments mentioning about how they were “too old” to deal with those kind of concert antics!  I have to admit that I had the same thoughts!  Heck, I felt like I was too old way back in 2006 at the Voodoo Festival where we had to deal with the crowd surfing, trying to keep our spot and more.  I knew then I was too old to stand for literally hours in the exact same spot without food, water or bathroom breaks in order to be up front at a festival.  This experience was so bad, for me, that I made a silent vow that I would and should seriously not go to any Duran event in which they were playing with someone else (unless that someone was Duran like).  I realize that if everyone followed my rule then Duran wouldn’t have any supporters at various events.  That is unfortunate, but I have to look out for my rapidly aging body!  Am I the only one who has this rule or wants to avoid any scene with crowd surfing, mosh pits and flying food?!

Of course, the band has to deal with aging issues as well.  Just the other day, I posted a picture of John on my personal facebook and got comments from non-Duranie friends about how he is “an old fart now”!  Wow.   Don’t think that is really necessary.  Of course, many other friends responded with how good he looks, though, and he does.  They all look good for their age.  Of course, the media can be just as unkind as my friend.  Just today, we were sent the link to an article in the Daily Mail about how Simon is way too old to wear what he wore on Wednesday.  If you feel like reading this horrendous article, it is here.  I am always irritated by this kind of thing.  First, as I mentioned before, they still look damn good.  We could only be so lucky.  Second, that’s the only kind of insult you can give, media person?  It is unintelligent and shows a true lack of effort to find a real criticism to make.  Here’s a new flash:  Duran Duran is a band.  They make and play MUSIC.  Why don’t you focus on that?  No, that would require work and an IQ above 70. 

As much as I acknowledge that I can’t and/or won’t do things like I did when I was younger, I am constantly motivated by the band.  Just when I think I can’t tour like I use to.  I remind myself that the band can still do it.  Thus, I should be able to as well!  Today was definitely a reminder about how I can and should approach our little tour in August.  I can still do shows and hopefully survive a GA show, too!  I can still travel through the 7 states that we will pass through.  Yet, I need to do this with more moderation than I would have when I was younger.  This won’t make the tour less fun, just more successful for us! 

-A

New York Werewolf on the Loose!

So, heard about any crazy gigs happening lately??

You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard stories of green cake and champagne showers, rafting over audience members and mosh pits full of sweaty, cake lathered people at the Trident Gum gig last night at Terminal 5.

In my “expert” estimation, I would have to say the scene sounded as bad, and probably worse, as Voodoo was for me in 2006. That gig brought an end to my festival days. I just don’t need to be roughed up quite that badly in order to see my band of choice and get something out of the show.  Call me crazy.

Many came out of the show saying nearly the same thing – that it was great to see the band, but that if they never saw a Steve Aoki DJ set again it would be too soon. Are boycotts on Trident gum next??  (Of course not, but it’s an amusing thought all the same.) Another widely held opinion was that the DJ set (90 minutes) was far too long, and Duran’s appearance was of course, far too short. (Naturally, we’d all say that even if they had played a full-set, wouldn’t we?) Lastly, many were shocked and disappointed that not a single mention was made of John’s birthday, nor were there band introductions made, but again – this was not a Duran gig, only a special appearance. We have an extra-special blog coming from someone who was actually at the show last night in the next day or two, so watch this space. I believe it will be worth the wait and the read.

So that brings us to the reason for the appearance.  The newly minted remix of Hungry Like the Wolf. (Of all the songs on the planet…it had to be this one. Of course it did.)  I have to say, I’ve given it several listens, and it’s nothing like I would have expected to come out of the original song, yet it’s exactly like what Steve Aoki is known.  What I think fans need to recognize and respect before giving it a fair listen is that this really is not Duran Duran.  I mean yes, they collaborated on the remix, but this isn’t about Hungry Like the Wolf ending up to sound like Hungry Like the Wolf dance remix. The remix is very techno and electronica and even a bit trance-like. If you’re not into that type of music, this is probably not going to please your ears much. Me? I like it, but I’ve got to ask where the guitar went.  Did Dom melt in the New York City heat or something?  Normally I wouldn’t have expected to hear guitar on a remix like this one, but in the interview I heard in promotion for this, much was made about the fact that the remix incorporated each member.  I hear bass, but just as I believe in “More Cowbell!!” I believe in “More Dom!” Some have called the remix boring (um, how about trance-like??) and generic, and perhaps that is so, but it’s the type of music I can put on while I’m writing and it’s not distracting.  Yes, I can actually write and get work done to this.  I don’t know what that says about me other than it blocks out the sound that 3 kids can make in the morning running around this house in complete chaos.  

If you haven’t given it a listen, here’s your chance.  Hungry Like The Wolf: Steve Aoki vs Duran Duran — The New York Werewolf Mix.


Just as a point of reference, as much as I am sick to death of Hungry Like the Wolf – I’ll be buying this one.  If nothing else, it’s good music to keep me working!!  


-R

Good Morning America (and the rest of the world of course!)

It’s never a bad thing to wake up, turn on the telly and watch Duran Duran tear it up on Good Morning America. It’s one of those early morning “breakfast” TV shows I typically avoid (Ok, I’ll be honest – it has more to do with it interfering with the beginnings of my day with driving kids to school and blogging than anything else.), but today I made the exception. Besides, it’s the first Monday that two out of my three are out of school, thus I could take my time today!

The band looked fantastic, they sounded even better, and I think they’re in fine shape for a good summer of touring…as long as they’re not asked to cut the ending of Sunrise short. 😀 (What was that screech on the guitar about Dom? Yes…I think we all heard that! I’ll chalk it up to your 5am call time and some jet lag.)

If you missed GMA and want to see the interview, go here.

We all know that this summer is going to be the last of the shows for some time while the band takes something we call “a lengthy vacation” and…if Roger Taylor is to be trusted…they will get back into the studio in January to start the entire process over again. I have a few general feelings about this:

1. Extreme melancholy because I hate to see good things come to an end, even if it’s just the tour for an incredibly good album.

2. Relief for my bank account. (and my husband’s extreme patience).

3. Anticipation for a fantastic 3 or 4 city “tour” of my own later this summer as a great way to end what has been a few of the best “fan” years of my life so far.

4. Anxiety. Why? I’m Rhonda. What’s life with me without some anxiety of what comes next?!  🙂  The band makes music and I worry. It’s what I do, and I do it well.

One thing I know for sure: I still love this band, and I think it’s fair to say I love them more now than ever. Even after all of the traveling, the crazy heartache, the annoyances…I still love them and I’m still having fun. Who can really ask for more than that?

See What Unfolds – Live…

Sometimes I completely miss things. For example, I never saw that DDM had a sort of contest going for people to go and see a private show in New York City later this week. I don’t know where I was or what I was up to – but I missed the news. In my own case, it didn’t matter much because there’s no way I’m getting on a plane to fly to New York, but the fact is – I didn’t even see the opportunity come up, so it came with great surprise to me when people started announcing they’d won tickets for a private show. I thought they were talking about getting into the studio for the GMA show until someone gave me a quick run-down on the details. Not much info was making it’s way to the fans other than the show would be in the evening in an indoor venue in Manhattan. Seems reasonable, right?

Well, as Gimme A Wristband reported late last week, this show is a general admission show sponsored by Trident gum and DJ Steve Aoki for 3,000 lucky fans. As I understand, 500 tickets were given away to DDM members, with the rest of the tickets going to other people. I hope they’re fans of some sort, otherwise this could get ugly. The purpose of the show is, as it’s named, to see what unfolds. The band will play 4-5 songs, Steve Aoki will remix an original live track and the crowd will go wild. Right?

Somehow, given the various excited posts with hopes and dreams listed for all to see – I worry (see, more worrying!) that this is not quite the show fans were thinking it would be. Of course, the show hasn’t happened yet so it’s hard to tell how it will all go over, but when I’m reading things about how fans hope they play some B-sides and how “intimate” they hope the show will be for John Taylor’s birthday party with fans, it’s not hard to see that at least some may have quite the let-down coming.

Realistically though, is this any fault of the band or their “people”? I’d have to argue no. In no way have I or did I see any mention of what type of show this would be beyond the albeit very generic description of “4-5 songs in an indoor venue”. That leaves the door pretty open for interpretation, and while I do think the band could have made it a little more clear (perhaps saying that it’s a GA show for up to 3,000 people), I don’t think they intended for fans to believe they were going to get the show of a lifetime, but rather a fun opportunity to see a short performance from the band. Over the weekend I saw more than a few pointed remarks made on the band’s Facebook page or tweeted to them, requesting special perks for fan club members (early entry as well as other meet and greet requests), who, by their own accord had spent a lot of money being able to fly to NYC on relatively short notice. It’s easy to say “Buyer Beware” here, sure. The fact remains that we’re all adults, and we should all know better than to book a flight at the first mere mention of a show, even if I myself am among the very guilty at times!  Even so, should we decide to make those flight arrangements, we have no one to thank but ourselves when that “show of a lifetime” turns out to be little more than watching a DJ remix a song live in front of us. That said, it could easily turn out to be a fantastic show. No one really knows what will happen, and the potential for a good time still remains. I certainly hope that the fans who attend have a great time. The show is Wednesday night, and I hope to hear great things!

If you’re looking for a good example of what Steve Aoki might do to a Duran song – look no further.

With that, I bid you adieu, and I’m still looking for Guest Bloggers!  If you want to review a song, an album, a concert or share a rare tidbit on the band (among almost any other DD topic in the world), please – send it in because we’d love to post it here on the blog!!

-R