Category Archives: touring

Collections

This week, Duran Duran played a show in London, which marks the beginning of their year’s touring season for them and for us.  For some of us, extremely lucky fans, this means that we will get to see our or one of our favorite band in concert (again).  Yet, for others, these shows will not only give the chance to see them again but will also provide the opportunity to expand one’s collection.  Obviously, many Duranies have a collection of their albums and singles.  Yet, some fans go beyond collecting the music to collecting other items related to the band and related to touring.  Collections may include t-shirts, tour books, bootlegs, posters and more.  These collections can and do grow during touring season.

Many fans of bands and other things like to show off their fandom through wearing t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.  Interestingly enough, Duranies do, too.  When I was a young Duranie, I didn’t have many Duran related clothing but what I did, I wore ALL the time.  For example, I had a Duran Duran nightshirt that I wore until that lovely picture on the front faded.  Now, I have many Duran t-shirts.  Some of these were gifts or purchased on their website but most of them were bought at concerts.  I really appreciate the ones that had tour dates on the back that show what tours I have attended!  I’m such a dork!  Now, I admit that you can’t wear Duran Duran t-shirts everywhere, but I do try to sneak them in my wardrobe when I can.  I suspect that when I hit my first show or two, I may have to buy another one or two, especially if they look cool.  I did see a picture of the t-shirts they were selling this past week.  I wasn’t wild about it–it was a group picture from the video but lacked color. 

The other item I will look for at my next show is the tour book.  I have a number of them from previous tours and look forward to this one.  One thing about Duran is that they tend to have really quality products when it comes to things like a tour book.  They want to make sure that all of their products are well-done, which is a quality that I admire.  I’m hoping that it is something like the Astronaut one, which just seemed huge!  Plus, the Astronaut one had a pop-up piece to it!  Who didn’t love setting up the pop-up band members and being able to move them around the little stage?!  Of course, I would be happy with something like the book for RCM, which wasn’t too terribly fancy but still had quality.  These items will, unfortunately, increase my costs at the shows, but they are well worth the price to me and to my collection.

One collection that might not require a lot of money is one’s bootleg collection.  It is not uncommon within fandom for people to have bootlegs of concerts.  These bootlegs could be video or audio.  (Now, I’m not going to talk about the legality of bootlegs here-just acknowledging that they exist in fandom.)  For some people, they might want to have a copy of the shows they have attended and, for others, they might want to have every show possible.  Perhaps, they hear something new or different with each show.  Maybe, they feel like they are on tour this way, even if they aren’t.  It seems to me that most bootlegs in Duranland are not passed around for profit but are done through trading from one fan to another.  Thus, new shows mean new bootlegs.

It seems to me that having a collection is one way for fans to show or express their fandom.  Each fan who wants to express their fandom this way decides which thing to collect.  Some may focus on the music.  Others may focus on something like t-shirts that can travel with them.  It doesn’t matter to me, but think anything that increases or reinforces one’s fandom is a cool thing.

-A

I’m seeing the band WHERE?

Today is Wednesday March 9, and that must mean it’s Presale Wednesday!  Like the dutiful Duranie I am, I got up and proceeded to stand (or rather, sit!) watch…waiting with much anxiety while the clock ticked ever closer to 10am PST.  I read the boards, got two children off to school, cleaned up numerous messes from the one still here at home with Mommy, got my credit card ready for show time…and waited.  I worried about whether or not my credit card would work (we had real trouble with the UK shows in that area. I later found out it was because my credit union didn’t like that I was trying to purchase tickets overseas from a website. Food for thought for the next time I guess!)  I worried about whether or not every other Duranie in California also wanted to go to the show. I thought about whether or not my husband (who is going to be my date for that night since none of my partners in crime will be in the state of California at the time!) will be willing to leave work early enough to drive out to Pomona for the show, and I bit my nails.  A LOT.  Once the clock hit 10am, I was quick like a bunny and got my tickets to the Fox theater show in Pomona California – bounding in and out of the presale in about 2 minutes, and it only took that long because I made triple sure I’d bought the right tickets to the right show. (somehow, I think my husband would have had plenty to say had I clicked on ‘VIP’ tickets instead of regular….)  All of my worrying for basically nothing.  (well, we’re not at the show yet….we’ll see if my husband will actually make the effort to get home early so we can get there on time!)

After the anxiety of the morning, I decided to take advantage of the beautifully clear skies and 80 degree Southern California weather and go for a walk with my little one.  I needed a break, and she desperately needed a change of scenery, so off we went.  As we were walking, my normally very chatty little girl became quiet and I was alone with my thoughts. (very, VERY unusual around here!)  I thought about the upcoming shows, the momentous UK trip, and about presales in general.  I realized that this is the first presale that I’ve actually done, for myself, for a show in the state I actually LIVE in…in a very, very long time.  I believe the last show I went to here in my home state of California was the show at the Pacific Amphitheater (Costa Mesa) in July of 2009, and I didn’t buy those tickets (thanks goes to Amanda, because she is the Queen of Presales)!   Prior to that, I don’t think I’ve been to a show in California since 2003, and I’m not kidding!  I believe the last Duran Duran show I went to in California was KROQ’s Inland Invasion Festival – and that feels like a lifetime ago.  I suppose that for me, it really was – I’ve had a baby since then!  I missed their show here during Astronaut because I had the audacity to be vacationing on a cruise ship at the time (and I wasn’t giving that trip up, even for Duran Duran!), and so for that tour I did shows in Chicago and Milwaukee, then later that same year I saw them in Las Vegas.  Then during the Red Carpet Massacre tour I had a newborn.  In fact, the very night that they began their North American tour, April 29th, 2008 I was in a hospital having the strangest childbirth experience EVER. (another story for another blog – but I will say that as I was coming out of it – Hungry Like the Wolf was playing in the background and I thought I was in Hell.  Like I said, another story for another blog!)  That point was a very difficult time in my life, due both to having a ridiculously messed up childbirth experience as well as my father dying two weeks later.  A concert was the very last place I could go, both physically and mentally, so I missed that tour here.  I did catch them later on…for three shows on the east coast…because really, why see them anywhere nearby?  😀  It’s been a joke between my friends and I that the band would never be able to place a face to my name along with where I lived or normally saw them because I’ve seen them everywhere BUT where I lived, which is really kind of true.  Not that they would know me from anyone else at this point – and yes – I do take comfort in that.  😉

So that brings me to once again realizing just how lucky I’ve been.  I know there are many of you out there that haven’t had the opportunity to travel to see the band, and still more of you that have to wait just so that they even come to your country. I know how lucky I am to have the chance to see them somewhat regularly, and I also realize how unfair it must seem to those of you who do not. This blog isn’t gloating, although I suppose one could read it that way – please do not.  I think that mostly I’m counting my own blessings.  I came from a very modest upbringing, in fact – I hadn’t even been on a plane more than twice before I was married, and the very idea of going to a concert was a luxury, much less traveling out of state to see a band!  If I had only known in 2001 that just by my husband taking me to one single Duran Duran show at the House of Blues in Anaheim that I would find myself here – well, I would have jumped at the opportunity a lot sooner, and I think my husband may have thought twice before insisting I go to that concert with him!!  It’s been a wild, strange trip at times, and I’m very much looking forward to getting back out there to see my friends, meet new ones, and of course to exchange a smile or two with the band!

So Pomona, California – here I come!  -R

Sell Outs!!

No, not the band exactly!!  I’m talking about their recently announced shows here in the US!  I don’t know how many fans would have guessed that the shows would not only sell out, but do so within minutes of going on sale (general sale).  

Yes, we can say that the venues are small.  Absolutely.  I think most of the venues that they’ve announced hold around 2000 people, give or take.  We can even say that the fans were chomping at the bit for tickets, definitely.  But weren’t we chomping at the bit back during the Red Carpet Massacre tour?  Weren’t a lot of those shows in smaller venues?  Yet – I don’t remember there being quite as much of a scramble for tickets and hearing of shows selling out within two or three minutes.  So what is the difference with this tour?

I think a few moves are in play this time:  to begin with, the band is touring with a brand new album that we’ve not yet heard live.  Yes, they’ve played a few songs at various appearances, but not really “live” to many of us, so it’s “new” for the most part.  I also think that generally speaking, this album seems to be better received by the fans.  Do not send mail about how much better of an album Red Carpet Massacre was, because that’s not what I’m saying.  I’m simply saying that I don’t hear of AS MANY fans wanting to use this album to line their cat litter boxes or as a backboard for darts.  This can’t be hurting the band!

Naturally, the venues are smaller and I think a lot of fans really want to see the new album played in an intimate setting as well.  That said, we’re US fans – and here in the US, GA (standing) shows aren’t well-loved.  Yes, we’ll still go to the show and we’ll still have a great time – but a lot of us hate the idea of having to continue to fight for our spots the entire night, and here in the US – that’s the way concerts are.  There’s no respect for space, or for one another for that matter.  There are the people that assume that they must be the ONLY real fans of Duran Duran, and so therefore everyone else should allow them to move to the front row, even if the people who are in the front have been there since 1pm that afternoon, first in line to get in, first to the front.  Then there’s the two girls (and there are always two…usually a blonde AND a brunette) who are typically very pretty, with long hair, shorter skirts than necessary….and they typically have no idea who the band really are, but since these girls know they’re gorgeous, obviously they have room with their name on it in the front row.  They’ll wait until the show starts, and then start to make their way to the front, assuming that they’re good looks are somehow going to get them through the crowd to the front of the stage.  They smile very condescendingly at those of us who are in their way and then nonchalantly wait for us to move aside (because obviously – why would we block their beauty?) so they can move up front.  You know they must be thinking to themselves that the other women in the front aren’t nearly as hot – so why should they be allowed to stand there?  Never mind that yes, those women they are eschewing have been at the venue since 1pm that day.  Then there’s the drunk, older woman who seems to show up at about mid-show.  You know who she is and you can see her coming because she’s been hanging out between the side of the crowd on the floor and the bar most of the night.  She’d been dancing most of the time, and it becomes very obvious when the alcohol has done it’s thing because she starts laughing loudly, stumbling about since she’s wearing heels that are far, FAR too high for someone her age. Then she starts plowing through the crowd, unaware that yes, there really ARE other people there, and that yes, she is really, really drunk and looking fairly lame.  And on it goes….
is it like this everywhere else in the world, or is just in the US where people are this inconsiderate?

Wait.  Maybe you shouldn’t tell Daily Duranie this publicly – I mean, if you did, we might all move to your country!  But I digress… (and I’m sorry for my rant above, but you’ve gotta admit – every GA show seems to have the same crowd!!!)

The fact is, here in the US, we’d sooner pay more for a seated show, and yet these GA venues have still sold out within what I would consider to be lightening speed.  Sure, we can account for why these sell outs are happening, but I prefer to think that there is still a great demand for this band, even after 30 years.  This isn’t a bad thing, and while I might be cursing that demand on Friday as I try to get tickets for their show in Pomona, CA (Fox theater)…I will try to remember that this is really a good thing!

-R

Unfinished Projects

Yesterday’s blog about the upcoming release of the regular and deluxe versions of the album reminded me of an all too frequent occurrence in Duranland, which is unfinished projects.  Rhonda mentioned this interview with Duran Duran’s manager yesterday, in regards to the upcoming album.  Like Rhonda, I believed that there would be many different versions released, depending on location, type of store, etc.  Right now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  While each location for pre-order seems to have something slightly different, there isn’t enough of a difference to say that the band followed this idea.  I suspect that these differences between track listing has more to do with the ever-changing list of finished, extra tracks rather than releasing a bunch of different versions.  I’m willing to bet that by March 21/22, the track listings all match based on the country.  This leads me to wonder if this idea about many different versions is another one of Duran’s ideas that faded from reality.  I would have liked to have seen as many versions as possible, not because I need or want to spend a ton of money (goodness knows I don’t have it and may soon have a lot less) but I want as many new Duran songs as possible.  Therefore, this was one idea I hoped to actually see happen.

Another project that I long to see completed is the Drama Americana documentary of the spring 2005 U.S. Astronaut tour.  Like many of you, I’m sure, I have seen the trailer on youtube.  This brief clip just makes me want to see it even more.  That spring was such a great time for so many of us.  For some people, it was the first opportunity to see the Fab Five all together.  For others, it was the first chance to really tour or to get to know other Duranies or get to know them better.  For me, it was both.  I was able to see five shows in a week during that tour and was lucky enough to experience those shows with tremendously great and fun people.  Beyond my personal experience, it seemed to me that everyone was SO excited by Duran and by the reunion.  It was like no one could get enough of the band, of shows, of each other.  Plus, we were all celebrating Astronaut, an album that most of the fans embraced, from what I saw.  I loved the idea of a documentary about this time.  I was hoping it would be like an updated version of Sing Blue Silver!  It seems to be about done, too, if there is a trailer.  Yet, for some crazy reason, it hasn’t seen the light of day.  Why?  What happened?  They don’t have to release it through some big distribution.  They could release it just on their website.  I’m sure that many of us would still buy it!!!

On the opposite end of the unfinished projects is Second Life.  For those people who can’t remember, this was the idea that they would appear in this virtual world and eventually play a virtual concert there.  At that announcement, Duranies flocked to the website and signed on.  It seems like many people got into it, too.  Apparently, real life money is exchanged for or through the website.  I don’t really understand.  Yet, we haven’t heard anything about it in a long time.  Obviously, Duran was still thinking about it during the recording of RCM since Zoom In makes direct references to it.  Again, I have no clue about what happened to the idea or why.  Unlike the Drama Americana documentary, I don’t know that this one would have much interest, if it was resurrected.  Second Life was too hard, for me, to get into.  I’m not one to play video games and didn’t even like setting up my avatar in it.  Then, I didn’t understand why I should talk to people or how.  It seemed like way too much work for me and very time consuming.  Plus, while I love Duran shows, I don’t think a virtual one would be nearly as exciting as a real one. 

I’m sure that there are a bunch more unfinished projects just sitting somewhere.  Maybe they are sitting in the Duran archives.  Possibly Nick is storing everything in his non-human like brain.  I don’t know.  Some of them I would love to see come to fruition and others not so much.  What projects would you still like to see them do and why?

-A

Choices

So some US dates have finally been announced!  I know plenty of fans out there that must be pleased by now!!

I did a quick glance at the upcoming dates; it seems that the band is going to do a quick sweep of the country in April before heading back to the UK for their shows in May and early June.  I’ve read that the band plans to return to the US at some point later in the year – I think many assume they’ll do a more thorough tour here at that time, and that these are just warm-up dates.  I really don’t know what the plan is, so I’m along for the ride like anyone else.

I’ve had a few friends ask if I plan to do any of the US shows in April, and the answer from me is no.  To begin with, I made a deal with my husband when we discussed the possibility of going to the UK, and that was I wouldn’t be traveling to shows again any time soon.  It’s all about choices for me, because I can’t possibly be going to every show I might like.  There are also timing issues that come into play since my husband travels rather extensively for work and we really cannot both be gone at the same time, but ultimately it comes down to the choices I’ve made and honoring the terms under which I made them.

At one point, I would have a fair amount of jealousy for the people who could attend more shows than I.  It really bothered me that some people seemed to be able to do anything and everything they wanted without answering to anyone.  It’s pretty obvious that isn’t the case with me – there are 4 other people who are directly affected by my choices, and I never do anything without thinking about them first.  It’s a chore at times, a downright drag at others, but I would never trade what I have here at home for the ability to travel at the drop of a hat.  No way.  Pretty rapidly during the announcement of the Astronaut tour dates, I realized that being jealous would get me nowhere – all that does is breed anger, and I don’t have any time or energy left for those feelings.  Sure, I’m envious of everyone who is planning to attend the US dates, but many of those same people probably are also envious of the planning I am doing to go to the UK.  Or not!  It really doesn’t matter in the end, because we’re all going to have our moment to enjoy the live show – and contrary to what I believe to be popular belief in the fan community: there is NO prize for attending the most shows.  I know, I know – hard to believe isn’t it?  🙂

With regard to my UK planning, we’ve hit a major snag.  For reasons that I probably shouldn’t go into here, more than one of my traveling companions has had some major life changes as of late.  One of them has been laid off, the other also has her own work challenges.  It appears as though at least one of them will still be going, but there is some major concern about the other, and it’s enough of a problem to where planning had to stop until we know for certain what will be happening.  In the meantime, a couple of my companions are planning to do a US date in April – and while I said above that I’m not jealous, there is truthfully a small part of me that is downright furious about the situation for my own selfish reasons.  These UK shows are most likely to be the only shows I will do this year (and probably next!), as it has been made very clear to me in recent days that my traveling for the band days are coming to a swift end – this is the “last hurrah” so to speak.  Of course, there may be future negotiating to be done, but I have to agree for now.  Again, it’s all about choices.   When we initially planned for the UK shows, it was done so under the belief that we would all be going since we work with the information we have available at the time.  I felt that since I was going to be flying ridiculously far to attend, and that I’d have a real discussion on my hands with my husband – I was going to go “all in” or nothing.  So I did, and I played my hand the best I could. Since then of course, things have changed, and I find myself wondering if I’m doing the right thing at all by going.   The entire situation is very trying for all of us involved, and is likely to remain that way until we can resolve the question of who is really going to end up going to the UK.

Some say that once we’re there, all of this will be worth the effort.  At this particular point in time – I am really not sure that’s going to be the case.  It’s not about seeing the band, or about the fun we’ll have over there, obviously.  It’s about the choices we all are having to make, and the future consequences we will all endure in order to get there that concern me right now.  I’ve never been the type of person to only worry about myself – I worry about everyone and everything, and so the enjoyment of planning has been put on the backburner for the time being, and I hope to rekindle that excitement again very soon!

Good luck with your own choices for the upcoming tour!
-R

Debate about Fan Expectations for Celebrities

Yesterday, Duran Duran officially announced some dates for North America as part of a mini-tour.  The dates are as follows:

4/2 – MGM Grand at Foxwoods (Mashantucket, CT)
4/4 – Center Stage (Atlanta, GA)
4/6 – Warehouse (Houston, TX)
4/16 – The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA)
4/20 – Ogden Theatre (Denver, CO)
4/23 – House of Blues (Chicago, IL)
4/25 – Phoenix Concert Theatre (Toronto, ON)

Hopefully, some of you will be able to attend one or more of those shows.  Right now, I plan on attending that Chicago show.  It works out well for me in that it is a Saturday night.  I also won’t be working the week before (my spring break) so I could make it a longer trip, if I want.  Anyway, I’m anxious to hear if other people have plans on attending shows and which one(s).

I suspect that as these shows get closer, there will be an increased conversation about “meeting” the guys.  Some fans will discuss among their friends and others might try to get information about how to find the guys from other fans.  Discussions about past meetings may increase as people want to share their experiences and others will want to know what they were like.  How long did you talk to them?  Who was the kindest?  Did you get a picture?  These types of discussions are common place in Duranland for obvious reasons.  I get it.  Yet, interestingly enough, these types of discussions shift to be a bit more serious in that a debate about celebrity and fan expectations begin.

One side of this debate feels that once someone becomes a celebrity then that person knows and should understand that fans will want to come up to talk with them or to ask for an autograph or a picture.  These interactions with the public comes with the territoryy, so goes the argument.  The other side feels that the individual celebrity should have the right to privacy in public.  So, where do I stand on this issue?

I have been lucky in that I have been able to see members of Duran Duran in public a few times.  (Now, I’m not going to answer where or how.)  Despite that fact, I have only spoken to them a few times.  Why?  The answer to that is simple.  I do believe that they deserve personal space.  Yes, they are famous.  Did they want to be famous?  I think they wanted to sell a lot of albums and make a lot of money.  Maybe they did want people coming after them for autographs or pictures.  Maybe they still do but I believe that they should be able to choose how and where.  Yes, being “famous” is part of their job but do they work 24 hours a day/7 days a week?  Does anyone?  Should anyone?  Doesn’t everyone deserve time off?

Let’s play out a scenario.  Let’s say people find the hotel that Duran Duran is staying at.  They show up after the show.  The band had completed their job for the day in playing the show.  They are now going back to the hotel to do whatever they want to do.  Some members may want to go up and go to sleep.  Others may want to stay at the hotel restaurant or bar.  What should the fans do?  I obviously can’t and won’t tell others how to behave.  I can only tell you about what I’m comfortable doing and why.  I have approached them and didn’t feel good about it.  To me, it would be like someone approaching me about work when I’m at home or out with friends.  It felt inappropriate.  On the other hand, I had a situation when one of them has come up to me and talked to me.  That moment is one of my best Duran moments because it was genuine. 

Many people have complained that Duran is not very responsive when it comes to the fans.  They have often seemed like they don’t want to interact with us fans (and I won’t argue that), but I wonder why that is.  Is it because they are jerks?  Maybe.  I don’t know them.  Is it because people bother them?  Possible.  It is hard to say.  It is quite possibly a bit of both.  For me, I wouldn’t want them to stop talking to us fans entirely and I worry that might happen if people don’t give them space.  Therefore, I think it is important to show them respect.  To get respect, you must give it, right?  Maybe, I’m naive about how this all works.  Maybe I should ask for more.  I just always want to think about how I would want to be treated.  If I was someone famous, I would want my space.  I would want to know that I can hang out in public and not be bothered.  Yes, some can argue that this is the trade off for being rich and successful.  I disagree.  They wanted to make music.  Our role is to buy the music.  If they want to interact with us in person, great, I’m all for it, but it should be on their terms. 

-A

Escape from Reality

I honestly have no idea what is happening in Duranland and that is pretty much a first for me in years.  Years!  I won’t go into too much detail (for the sake of your sanity and mine) but I’m a teacher in the state of Wisconsin and, if you have seen the news lately, you understand my lack of time and energy for Duran.  So, here I sit after a VERY long, stressful, exhausting week and think about Duran and what the band and being a fan brings to me.  It seems to me that life is hard.  It is really hard for all of us.  Yet, for many of us, Duran Duran provides the escape.  The music can definitely give you an escape from whatever you are dealing with at any given moment.  The videos do, too.  The tours even more so. 

I always have found it interesting when I hear/read statements talking about how Duran Duran exhibits Margaret Thatcher politics in the 1980s.  I honestly have no idea what they thought of her or how they voted.  I have often wondered where that assumption has come from and the only thing I can figure out is that people took Duran’s videos as reality.  They believed that Duran really did live on big, beautiful yachts and drank champagne everyday.  Obviously, Duran had plenty of money then and seemed to live a very glamorous life.  Does that mean that they would support more Conservative politics?  Who knows?  Who cares?  It certainly didn’t matter to us fans during the 1980s as those videos and images meant something different to many of us.  Yes, they did show wealth and luxury but they also showed a world VERY different from the one we experienced.  For many of us, these video clips allowed us to escape for a few minutes as we were transformed to their world of glamour.  Now, of course, we attempt to reach the same type of escape by touring. 

One element of touring that I love the most is the lifestyle I lead for that day(s).  When I go to a Duran show, I must travel.  I have never attended a Duran show where I live.  Now, they have come to my city but it was in 1984 and that was before I lived here.  Thus, I always have to go somewhere to see a show.  It may be a close city, which I can get to in a couple of hours, or it could require a plane ride.  Nonetheless, Duran shows mean that I get out of town, which is always a good thing.  It is nice to get out of town and let it all go.  Then, typically, a show always means that I get to stay in a hotel and, if I’m lucky, a half way decent one.  (I am spoiled on this front!)  Obviously, staying in a hotel is very different than staying at home.  Of course, the show is (with any luck) a perfect two hours of escape.  Let me ask you, fellow fans, do you ever think about your problems when you are watching a good Duran show?  I don’t.  Every problem seems to melt away, at least for a little bit!  Then, if things go well, the escape continues after the show by whatever my friends and I do, whether it is going to a club or just hanging out in a nearby bar.  In many cases, after show times means having a ton of fun by hanging and partying with my friends and fellow fans. 

I long for this escape right now.  I would love to have a show tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I have to deal with reality for a bit longer.  Perhaps, this will just make me appreciate this escape even more when it does come!

-A

Durama!

Before I completely forget – I wanted to say a VERY Happy Birthday to Andy Taylor today.  While you may no longer be a member of Duran Duran, without you – there would have been no band, and as a result there wouldn’t be this blog or my friendship with so many Duranies around the world – including my writing partner Amanda.  May you continue to enjoy good health and happiness Andy!!

As of late, I have not had a lot of time to be a constant presence on any Duran Duran message boards.  I try to check in when I can, but I seem to only have a few seconds on any given board, not nearly enough time to read, process and write.  It seems as though between my regular duties as “Mom” and writing the blog – there just isn’t enough time leftover for anything else.  That would include writing for the book, which is an entirely different issue that I need to address on a different day.  *takes deep breath*

Yesterday, I decided that it was beyond time I spend some quality time with the few DD boards I tend to visit on any kind of a regular basis and get caught up.  One of those boards is duranduranmusic.com (DDM).  I have to admit that I have grown sick of that board, mainly because there’s never really any good “news” on there.  Where other boards will dissect the music and talk about things that I actually care about – that one just doesn’t.  I’m sure the regular members there would disagree, and that’s OK.  I can only read so many threads about John’s looks, or what members are thinking of right in this moment….those threads are great and they are the things that bind a community together, so I’m not finding fault, it’s just that my time is limited and I have to pick and choose carefully.  I’ve never felt as though I was a part of that board – there seems to be one particularly close knit group that “runs” the board, and although I know some of the people within that group, admittedly I am not one of the “cool kids”, so I’m really not involved.  No bitterness there – I know where I fit in and where I do not.  🙂

So yesterday morning I sat down and began browsing the various threads on DDM.  Almost immediately I noticed that things were not calm and friendly on the board.  There was a battle of nearly epic proportions taking place between members, and unlike other scuffles that have taken place over the years, this one wasn’t really just confined to one thread – it carried over into other threads, and kind of cast a pallor onto the entire board, which is unfortunate.   After getting my fill of personal attacks, name calling and other behavior that I thought I left behind in my sorority house in college, if not middle school or high school (oh yes, I really WAS a sorority sister.  Just imagine that for a second….Ha!), I went over to another board I’ve mentioned here before – www.duranduranboard.proboards.com to read some real news.  Even over on that board, I could feel the tension.  People are ready to snap at anyone, for any reason.  Odd.

Rather than discuss the board issues here, (and I’m really not sure if there is just one issue for either message board….) my point in bringing it up is to draw attention to a strange sort of phenomenon that seems to happen any time there is downtime, desperation and anxiousness in the fan community.

Since December, we have had a single released (AYNIN), the iTunes 9-song version of the album released, and a handful of dates announced – both in the UK and in the US.  We’ve seen the band doing some promotion work in various places.  None of us have a physical album to have and hold, and those who have either not been able to take advantage of buying tickets for the announced dates, or are in places in the world where dates have not been announced don’t even have shows to look forward to.  (yet!)  We all know something is coming our way:  the physical album is coming in March, the tour is coming….well, we know it’s coming.  Eventually.   Duran Duran management has announced the revamping of both dd.com and DDM, but to my knowledge as of this morning, nothing has been completed yet. (although DDM has gone through some big changes as of the website and the pre-sale handling – I just don’t think it’s completely done yet.)  I would assert that the overall sense of anxiousness has led to desperation during this period of downtime.  I keep joking that the community is ready to offer up one another as a sacrifice to the Duran “gods” in return for tour dates – the only thing is that I am really kind of not joking, and the in-fighting on the message boards is only leading up to deciding which one of us is going to be the sacrifice! Go on to any message board these days and you can cut the tension like a knife.  It’s like being in a sorority house on any college campus right before Rush (this is the time spent in early fall and early spring where the houses are trying to recruit new members) – the girls are typically ready to kill one another.  It’s not pretty.  Talk about a Red Carpet Massacre, wow.  Some say it’s like Duranie PMS, and in my opinion they aren’t exaggerating.

While I’m on the subject of Red Carpet Massacre, ever listened to that song with the fan community in mind?  It gives you an entirely different prospective.  During your downtime, I highly recommend it!  Go listen and let us know what you think!

The constant state of Durama seems to come to an ugly head each time we get close to an album release or a full tour being announced – sometimes it’s far worse than others, and of course each message board handles it differently.  Some boards have personalities that are able to diffuse the conflict, and others tend to just allow it to breed and seep throughout the membership of that board.   The cure?  Well, that’s easy – when the band announces the tour and the album is finally (yes, FINALLY!) released, they’ll be far more threads about who is going to what show, where people are staying, and of course the ever-popular “What I’m wearing to the show”.  I almost feel sorry for the male fans sometimes…. 🙂

I’ve had a few fans comment to me that you don’t find the Durama on Twitter.  Oddly, I think you still do.  First of all – it’s probably not quite as inflammatory as it is on the message boards because of the blessed 140 character limit. (as wordy as *I* am, it’s a tough limit to follow!)  However, I’ve seen groups of people gang up on others to the point where they’ve deleted their account, whether justified or not.  I’ve seen the same name-calling as on the boards, and I’ve seen people talk about what is happening on the boards. (hi kettle, meet me, I’m the pot.)  It’s funny how we can all agree that it’s ridiculous, but yet none of us know how to stop ourselves.   I’ve also had more than one (actually FAR more than one) tell me that they don’t consider themselves Duranies because they can’t deal with the drama.

Hell, if I thought that doing that would have stopped it all – I’d have done that years ago and just stuck with the music!  The fact is, you can call yourself anything you want, but if you’re a fan and you’re at all involved in the COMMUNITY – whether it’s on Twitter, on Facebook, on a message board or even the paid fan community – you’re one of us.  You’re a fan.  Learn to love it.  😀

So at this point I humbly and kindly request for the band and their management to take pity on their fans and release some tour dates.  It’s like throwing fresh meat to the lions….it’ll be a frenzy at first, but we’ll all be so busy that we’ll forget what we were fighting over in the first place.   🙂

-R

The Revolt of the Fans

Last night, at about 7:45 Central Standard Time, I, like many others, received an email from Duran Duran Music, or whatever Duran’s fan community is calling itself these days.  This email told me about a show in Thackerville, Oklahoma on March 18th.  When is the presale?  Yes.  It was today at noon.  It was literally about 17 hours after the show was announced!  17 hours!!!  What used to be a day or three in between announcement and presale is now down to 17 hours!  17!  Wow.  Now, with normal presales, fans would be complaining about the lack of notice all the while accepting it as the way it is.  This time, I heard more than a few rumbles from fans saying that they were “done” and that they weren’t going to play this game again.  Honestly, I can’t blame them.  What the hell are the band’s team thinking here?  Seriously.  How does this help album sales?  How does this help ticket sales?  How does this help keep diehard fans?  Clearly, at this point, it doesn’t.  I’m willing to bet that not a lot of fans are going to this show and not a lot of fans bought tickets through today’s presale.  That said, I do realize that it is a lot more complex than that and that there are other issues surrounding this show beyond the lack of notice and the utter lack of ALL CONSIDERATION for fans. 

I have to admit that I do not understand the method to their madness.  Why are they able to play large venues in the UK but are playing places like a casino in the middle of nowhere (no offense to those people who live there or near there)?  Then, there is the little matter of when are they coming to the US.  We know that they are playing in Oklahoma on March 18th, Miami on March 25th and then nothing until April, when they play San Francisco on April 16th and Coachella on April 17th.  Are they doing dates in between?  What kind of dates are they doing?  Festivals?  Casinos?  Random GA shows?  I don’t get it.  Then, of course, I’m left to wonder why they announce the shows they do, when they do.  Clearly, they didn’t need to announce San Francisco since there has been NO presale at all and no mention of when it might be.  This just makes many of us think that there is no plan and that they (being the band’s management) are just flying by the seat of their pants.  What a great image to convey…

Now, last night, when news of this show spread across message boards and social networking sites, people responded with annoyance, anxiousness, and even anger.  Interestingly enough, John Taylor showed up on Twitter soon after the email went out.  As one can imagine, people immediately began tweeting him about the lack of notice for presales.  While I understand the urge to do this, I can’t imagine that John had anything to do with it.  I’m sure that the band has hired people to deal with this stuff and just expect them to do it.  Now, will tweeting John alert him that this is a problem?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Even if he learns or knows that this is a problem, will it change anything?  I don’t know about that either.  How does any organization change?  Typically, organizations or businesses change when they are forced to.  Can we force the band’s management and team to change the way they announce tours and shows?  Can we force them to change the way presales are done?  I don’t know.  Obviously, some can argue that they will change if the fans stop buying.  I’m sure that’s true but…is that harming ourselves as well as them?  Yes, I’m sure that we can get tickets through a regular sale but will they be what DDM has been able to do?!  I know that people will tell me that they have gotten good seats without DDM.  That may be true but is it a guarantee?  Or are those good seats just lucky or through people who have connections?  So, what choice do we have?  I wish I had an answer.  Does anyone out there have a clue???? 

-A

Official Announcements

There are many complaints in Duranland and one of the most commonly heard one has to do with the band’s official website.  It seems that dd.com is almost always the last place where Duran Duran news gets posted.  This news could be something as simple as the band’s collaboration with Dior or something as big as information about album releases and tour dates.  Goodness, before the UK tour was announced on dd.com, I saw many of the dates listed on a fan run message board.  I have yet to see an official announcement about when the actual physical release of All You Need is Now is, but have read articles that state it is coming out on March 21/22.  Many online stores have the album for pre-order, which includes a track listing of 14 songs.  Is the final track listing?  I have no idea because there hasn’t been an official announcement that I have seen.  While lack of official announcements about albums are annoying, they are not nearly as frustrating as the lack of information regarding tours.

I suspect that many fans in the US will increase their demand about US tour dates now that the Fan Jam is over.  The writing is on the wall.  If the band is playing in the States between now and the UK tour, tour dates better be released soon.  I have seen as little as 6 weeks in between the official press release and a show and as much as 3 months for the same.  Duran should be announcing then anytime between now and the middle of March, unless they plan to come to the US later.  As I type this, I can hear Duranies mumbling under their breath about the lack of advance notice.  I would probably join in on that mumbling.  Why must they wait until the last minute to announce a show(s)/tour?  It seems like they officially announce only when they have to and by have to, I mean that the sale to the general public is happening within a few days.  Look at the UK tour.  They announced early on a Tuesday and the fan presale happened early the NEXT DAY as regular sales happened on the following Friday.  Is that any way to show consideration to fans?  I don’t think so. 

Part of my problem with the lack of advance notice is that I don’t understand it.  Why wait to announce?  What purpose does it serve?  Does the person/people making this decision think it will help ticket sales?  Does it help to increase the fandom?  Does it make new fans?  Does it help to keep fans?  Somehow, I doubt it.  I think it works to frustrate us as fans.  Worst yet, I think it makes the Duran Duran team look ill prepared.  How is that good for anyone?  Maybe I’m missing a key here.  Yes, I realize that they don’t want to announce anything before it is ready but you can’t tell me that they only know a day or two before a tour is announced?!  It doesn’t make sense to me and it doesn’t make sense to most of the other fans I know and come into contact with. 

So, if I could offer advice to Duran’s people, have dd.com be the definitive source for news.  Fans should not find out new and cool things that the band is doing from message boards or social networking sites.  News should come from the official website.  Also, news regarding tours should be given out as soon as everything is locked in.  The outside world would perceive Duran Duran and their team as organized and prompt.  Duranies will be happy to have the time to truly evaluate the dates and see what, if anything, works for them.  I suspect that the longer people have with tour dates, the more likely they are to work something out and be able to do more, which would help everyone.

-A