Category Archives: touring

Why Do Tours Matter?

Tours matter.  I’m sure you are thinking that I have lost my mind a bit with that opening sentence.  Doesn’t everyone know that tours matter?  After all, it is a means of any musical artist to advertise their music (albums) as well to earn money to make new music.  I’m sure it also provides feedback to them as well.  They learn which songs really touch their fans and which ones aren’t as popular.  I’m sure that they are energized by the love and support that is shown to them, assuming they receive a decent and excited crowd.  But, why do tours matter to FANS?  Typically, for Duran Duran fans, we don’t need to be sold on their music.  Many (most?) of us have heard all of Duran Duran’s officially released material and many own copies or multiple copies of all of it.  Some fans have even heard music that hasn’t been released.  While many of us are happy to help the cause in terms of making money to be able to make more music, I doubt that is why tours matter to us. 

I started thinking about this during my long afternoon at work.  Today seemed relatively calm compared to yesterday when I received many messages and phone calls regarding Simon’s statement on the radio about the band doing 14 shows in the UK during the month of May.  Yesterday, I did not get nearly enough work done so I should have been using today’s calmness (the calm before the storm???) to catch up on work.  Instead, I pondered why so many of us are anxious to see the tour dates that are supposedly being announced on dd.com next week.  Why do we get all excited for this announcement?  Why were so many of us refreshing dd.com’s website earlier in the week to see the instant that Duran’s participation in the Coachella Festival was announced?  I suppose the fast answer to the question is that it depends on the fan.

Some fans might be solely focused on the musical element of a tour.  Perhaps, some fans haven’t seen them play live before and are hoping that this is their chance.  Again, the question could be asked of why seeing them perform live is a big deal if people have heard and own the music.  The answer here could be as simple as the fact that music performed live is pure and could be felt more by one’s soul.  It certainly can sound better than any cd, vinyl record or mp3.  A Duran Duran concert is more than just music but a performance.  Not only do you get to hear them sing and play instruments but you get to witness them interact with each other (yes, I’m thinking about JoSi here!) and with the audience.  The music and songs become personalized through the introductions, through the performance and even through visuals that might be included.  Thus, for some people, touring means seeing a damn good band play live in concert.  Other people might be thinking about other elements of touring as well.

For some fans (including the authors of this blog), touring is much bigger than the shows.  First, for us, it often means that we get to travel.  Sometimes, these travels are within driving distance but it is common for them to require an airplane to get there.  (Please note:  We are very aware of how LUCKY we are to be to be able to do this!)  This provides an escape for the daily grind of work and family.  It is a vacation of sorts as many responsibilities are left at home, including cleaning the house, preparing for meals, etc.  Personally, I know that I appreciate the fact that touring away from home has given me a chance to visit many places that I wouldn’t have before.  I appreciate being able to see other places and while I can definitely do that without shows, going on tour pushes me to go right then!  Second, and perhaps, most importantly, touring gives us a chance to get together and be with other Duranies.  Rhonda and I don’t live close and while we have visited each other in between tours, somehow it is always better with Duran shows involved.  Beyond getting to spend time with each other, we get to see other Duranie friends we have made and make new ones.  There is truly something special when Duranies are able to get together and share our excitement over the band together.  It enhances our fandom, I believe.  It makes our love for the band stronger and certainly makes it way more FUN! 

Beyond the reasons listed above, I’m sure that, for some fans, it is also an opportunity to get close to the band.  Perhaps, some people look forward to shows because it gives them a chance to win a meet and greet where they will be able to tell the band members about how much they have meant to them.  They, then, might be able to get a picture or autograph.  Maybe fans are looking to see the band outside of the venue or at their hotel for the same purpose.  Perhaps, it the chance to fulfill a dream of meeting the band.  For some people, they might hope for more than an autograph or picture.  They might desire a conversation or more as their dream might be more than brief contact.

It is definitely possible to be excited for the tour for a combination of those reasons.  For me, it is the ultimate part of being a Duranie.  While it is wonderful to hear new music and I always appreciate the work that goes into making new songs, there is nothing like a tour.  It is the chance to sing along with my favorite band as they sing my favorite songs surrounded by friends who understand my love for the band in places far away from home.  It gives me a vacation with the most fun possible!  Why do tours matter to you?

-A

Late March

Today, a news article in Variety magazine was released with some updated news about the band and their upcoming tour.  You can read the article here.

Once again, Durantime rears it’s head, complete with bed-head hair and the remnants of last night’s makeup underneath it’s eyes.  Clearly, it’s been a wild-ride thus far.  In reading the news, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that in December, the plan was to release early February, then mid-to late February, then March…and now late March.  I’m sure that there are many reasons behind the release date that someone like me, someone who is just a fan, would not even begin to understand. That said, the point of our blog is to examine the news from the point of view of the fan.  Sometimes, that’s a good thing.  Like it or not, the fans are the lifeblood to the longevity of the band.  If we’re excited about something, that certainly isn’t a bad thing.  The converse also holds true, however.  If the fans aren’t on board – it’s tough to make headway.  I’m not trying to make the fans appear to be an unstoppable force (although one glimpse of us at a show and perhaps that would seem to be the case!), but I am saying that we’re a team with the band.  It truly is teamwork that keeps the band going, and really – that keeps US going as fans.  So, with that in mind, I forge ahead.

My first thought upon reading the news of the day is that it’s already been quite a while since the digital version was released, and as far as I can tell – our excitement has already began to simmer down.  I think that’s natural, and in this day and age with electronic media – what at one point took an entire month to cycle (as in a magazine), now takes days.  Information flows so quickly that we consume it and go on to the next thing in a blink of an eye.  This gives anyone, any band, much more of a challenge to continue to remain new, fresh and relevant;  momentum can be gained and lost overnight.  I think that’s really the energy behind Twitter and even Facebook to some extent, and if bands and artists don’t learn how to use it, well – they lose it.  This is where my concern lies with Duran Duran.  The “public” has already heard the new single.  They have a decent portion (appetizer or otherwise) of the new album.  Sure, sales were good that first week – I’m not really sure how they’re doing now but I have to imagine they’ve weakened since then, and that’s OK.  That said, now there’s a real wait on our hands until late March…and let’s be honest…it could easily be late April, as happens in Durantime.  (imagine if they had decided to withhold everything until then?  As my friend Jessica mentioned today – MUTINY!)

I have to ask – how is that going to help them?  They had real momentum in December.  It would have been very easy to continue to capitalize on that by doing a select number of shows, MANY more interviews, etc.  Instead it would seem as though there was a slight hiccup or misstep in the planning process, and now we’ve got this huge gap of time.  Make no mistake, 3 and a half or four months between the release of digital material and the actual physical CD is a LONG time.  I’ve seen artists have their work released, distributed, and sent BACK to the distributor in that amount of time. (not kidding there)  It’s a gamble, to be sure.  I know they are putting new unheard material on the physical album, the packaging is supposed to be very cool, etc etc.  It all makes me think back to (Reach up for the) Sunrise off of Astronaut.  Here was the first single from the original 5 members in over 20 years.  It was released as a single off of the Queer Eye soundtrack – a different version, yes.  Then, in what I feel was a very risky move – it was released as the single off of the bands own album in yet another version.  Did it gain attention?  Nope.  Not even from fans – we’d already heard it.  Been there, done that, so to speak.  I have some concerns that this album is going to garner the same sort of attention, or lack thereof.  Of course, there were many other issues present with Astronaut, and I’m sure one can find a myriad of reasons why the album didn’t do as well as it should have commercially – MY point is simply that once the fans have heard it and consumed it – we move on quickly.

Then there is/are the sheer lack of dates.  We’ve got what appears to be about 2 months and some before the album drops – I read tweets each day from the band saying that they’re working on bass, keys, vocals for the bonus material – and while that’s exciting, what would really fill the time between now and the album dropping are shows.  That’s right, shows.  You want to keep the fans attention?  Play some shows.  Yeah, it would require work.  Yeah, it would be a pain in the butt to get it all together, but it would keep our interest, and the band might even get some new attention from new fans too.  Of course, they could already be planning shows, I have no idea.  There are rumors of some UK dates in February (seems to me that those should already have been announced or else they’re totally behind the 8-ball…),   but otherwise, I’ve heard of nothing.

I suppose one could say that the wait increases demand.  I would say in return that you’re playing an awfully risky game.  Fans are fickle, and the last album should have proven that without a doubt.  Sorry to those of you diehard RCM fans out there, but a lot of fans simply gave up on the band after that album was released.  So now other bands are starting to announce tours for the spring/summer, and people who might have thought about going to Duran shows are starting to consider other bands – and trust me when I say that most people do not have the money to do it all.  Recession…United States…banks failing all over the world…any of that ringing a bell with anyone?  I just don’t feel that Duran Duran is in the position to play that game and win.

For all of the downer news, however – there is always some good.  For instance, the CD/vinyl will have 14 tracks (if you’re counting, that means we haven’t heard at least 4 or 5 of them, depending upon whether Mediterranea is included), and according to their management, they are looking at doing specific packaging and extras for specific retailers, which means plenty of versions to buy.  I suppose that could be deemed as bad news – but for me, I want it all and I’m not ashamed of that.   We know that they’ll eventually announce tour dates, because they are planning a tour in April (hurry up April!), and in time – all of this waiting will be a distant memory.  Heck, if they wait long enough – I’ll probably forget all about it! (memory isn’t what it used to be!)

I suppose that some will say I’m impatient (no, really?), and some will say I’m negative. (listen, even if the glass is half empty – there’s still vodka left in there, how is that not positive?!?)   That’s OK.  I’m positive most of the time, I try to see the good in the band, and there’s plenty of that to see.  It’s just very hard not to notice the missteps at times, and ANY fan should be able to recognize that.  I still love them all and really, the bottom line here is that if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t mention any of it.  For that matter, I wouldn’t blog.

-R

Are You Anxious?!?

I am anxious for tour dates.  I’ll freely admit that.  I’m to the point where if I were the neighbor of one of the band members, I’d probably go over to borrow milk or something just to see if they were packing for a trip yet!

I really thought they’d announce dates while I was gone this weekend.  My phone was even dead for part of the weekend (I let the battery run out – not on purpose, but it happens!), but still nothing.  This is ridiculous! (and I mean on MY part, not theirs)

Why am I really so anxious?  It’s not as though I’ve never seen the band live before.  It’s not as though I have nothing but time on my hands with which to plan.  The fact is, I’m fairly busy.  I’m supposed to be doing about 50 other things right at this moment, and the time I take to blog every day I am pretty much stealing from some other chore. (one of the more frustrating things I find in being a parent and wife)  I know that the amount of time that I can spend going to shows or traveling is fairly limited, and therefore I also know that once the dates are announced, there is a fairly good chance that I will end up being disappointed as to how much or little I can truly do.  So, why am I really anxious?!?

I think that for me, the tour signifies a chance to spread my wings a bit.  It’s the one time that I plan a trip just for me.  My husband typically stays at home (whether it’s under protest or otherwise), my children are usually not invited (definitely under protest…), and I spend weeks pondering how I’m going to get all of my usual “mom” duties covered, along with the excitement of finding the best airfare times/price, hotel, and making the general plans.  It’s a time for some much appreciated independence on my part, and it reminds me of what it’s like to just be Rhonda, not “mom”, not “dear”….and certainly not “maid”, “cook”, or “chauffeur”.

The trip itself takes place in the blink of an eye.  It amazes me how I can spend weeks planning for each second of the trip (and truly, my plans have very little to do with ME as they do with what I’m doing with my children for while I’m gone…), and yet the trip itself is over before I know it.  If that weren’t enough, to add insult to injury, as the trip gets closer, I find myself actually feeling guilty, and at times I’m feeling guilty enough where I’ve considered canceling my trip.  I feel guilty that I’m leaving my kids in order to have fun.  I feel guilty that I’ve spent money that I could be using for my kids to do things, I feel guilty that I’m asking my husband to not only change his own schedule to suit my trip, but that I’m insisting that he work all day only to come home and assume my normal duties.  It’s a lot of work, I should know!   Once I leave though, I have to admit that I enjoy knowing that for the three or four days I’m gone, I only have to worry about getting myself dressed, fed, etc.  There’s something very odd, yet peaceful about walking through the security line at the airport and realizing that I only have a purse to pick up at the end of the line; not a purse, a child, 5 pairs of shoes, four pillows, a blanket, a diaper bag and god-only-knows-what-else.   I’ve actually stopped on the way to my gate and thought, “I’ve forgotten something!”, only to realize that what I’ve “forgotten” is at home and probably playing happily with my mom!   Cognitively, I know that by going on these trips for me, I’m not being a bad parent.  I’m allowing myself a little bit of down time and fun, and in the end, that’s only going to make me a better mom and wife, but it’s still difficult to put into real practice.

This next tour, I have a little more ambition than usual.  I really would like to try and plan a trip to the UK to see the band.  That’s going to take more than a little luck on my part, both in scheduling it amongst everything else that goes on around here AND convincing my husband that this is a reasonable household expense.  (wish me luck!)  I know that with each passing day, if the dates of shows in the UK are only a few weeks out – such as the rumors persist – it will be less and less likely that I can get a trip together to attend.  So yes, I’m anxious, and still we wait….

Hey John, can I borrow some milk – and while you’re getting that – can we talk tour dates here?

-R

Tour Date Rumor Reactions

I am dying for tour dates as are much, if not all, of the Duranie world.  I would like to be able to call my blog and touring partner who is away from home this weekend to give her some touring alerts!  I want to be able to figure out if I can go to whatever dates and how.  Of course, my desire for dates has increased by both the announcement of a show in July in London at the iTunes festival and by rumors.  Some of the rumors I have heard include the following:  1.  Duran will tour the States in the spring-possibly April.  2.  Duran will play at the Coachella Festival in mid-April.  3.  Duran is playing in Amsterdam in June.  4.  Duran is playing one or more shows next month in the UK.  Some rumors have indicated that there will be 4 shows in the following cities:  Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham.  Others have said that there will be more than one show in London.  I have heard the middle of the month, around Valentine’s Day, and I have heard the end of the month.  Some of the rumor include that the shows will be like those on Broadway were in 2008.  While all of those are interesting to me as I try to figure out which ones might be right, what I find even more interesting is fan reactions to the people who provide the rumors.

It seems to me that each time a rumor about an upcoming show or tour is posted, the reactions by other posters is often fascinating.  Sometimes, the other people shower the rumor provider with lots of positive attention and often will try to get to know this person better in order to get more information.  Other times, the poster is slammed by fellow fans.  S/he gets slammed because they often announce some rumor without much evidence to back it up.  Often, s/he claims that the information came from a close friend who has some sort of connection but can’t reveal too much for whatever reason.  This seems to irritate other posters.  Some assume that the rumor is false and that is why the person can’t back it up.  In those situations, the other fans think that the person must be trying to have fun at their expense as rumors like these create a GREAT deal of excitement in the fanbase.  Perhaps, the real reason there is annoyance or anger directed at the rumor producer is because s/he only shared so much.  Maybe they voice their displeasure about the lack of support for the rumor when, in reality, they want to know more and are really angered that the poster didn’t say more.  Perhaps, it is because these fans want to be the ones who have the knowledge.  After all, who doesn’t feel superior to some extent when they know something as juicy as tour dates before anyone else.  Maybe it is a combination of all of the above.

Honestly, I can’t imagine being the person with the information as I have never really been that person.  I’m usually the one checking the band’s website over and over again or following the boards as closely as possible to see if any information has been given or if there were any hints provided.  Part of me would absolutely LOVE to be the person who knows something ahead of time.  Then, the question that pops up is:  If I had the information, would I share it?  What are the benefits?  What are the risks?  On one hand, by telling, I would be giving information that people are desperate to receive and MANY people would appreciate it.  (I know that I would love to know more info now!)  People might seem more interested in me, which is great, but would they just be using me?  Then, what about the people who just criticize the person who gives the rumors?  How would I deal them, especially if the information was actually correct?  Would the appreciation be worth the ridicule that could happen?  Would it be worth letting people in on your secret?  Of course, I suspect that for some people posting rumors, they might just be too excited to keep some info to themselves.  I can understand that! 

I think that, in most cases, it would be extremely risky to post a rumor without having something or someone to back you up.  From my perspective, though, I hope that people do continue to post these rumors as they are helping me get through this black hole of tour dates.  Of course, Duran could help out the situation for all involved if they were to just post the dates and ALL the dates, no matter when and no matter where.  The rumor debate would end and I could begin to plot my tour!!!

-A

My Crystal Ball

My name is Rhonda and I can predict the future.

Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement, really.  I only notice that a certain set of circumstances which occur with astounding precision each and every time a concert date, or a set of tour dates are announced by Duran Duran.

What are those circumstances?  Invariably, I am completely unreachable.  I’m typically out of town, either without an internet connection or…as seems to be the the norm, my cell phone inexplicably goes dead.  At first, it was merely humorous, but as the years have gone on (and specifically I’m talking about tours and concert dates beginning with the Astronaut tour in 2005), it’s become ridiculous!

A few notable examples:

In 2004, my family and I were in Las Vegas for a weekend – I believe it was Thanksgiving weekend, but honestly at this point I’m not sure where in the hell I was or why, I just know that when I got home that fateful Sunday night (about 5 hours later than we’d planned due to hellacious traffic), I had no less than 7 messages on our phone here at home because Duran Duran had announced tour dates.  My friends were “beyond excited, headed into hysteria” because no one could reach me, and presales started that next day.   Not only did I have to break the news to my darling husband that I wanted to go see Duran Duran, I had to convince him that I needed to fly to Chicago to do so, and that I wanted to go VIP.  It was a “great evening” in the Rivera household, to say the least.  😀  Good times, good times.

In mid-summer of that same year, my family and I were camping for the weekend.  I want to say we were coming home from Morro Bay when news broke that Duran Duran was playing the Agassi Charity gig.  Interestingly enough, my friends and I had already been planning a trip to Vegas during that same period of time – so this just added to the “fun”.  Naturally, no one could reach me though….and decisions had to be made!

The very best example came a couple years back when Duran Duran announced a show (actually two), while I was on a Spring Break vacation (also camping) with my family up in Monterey.  The day before, I had dropped my cell phone into a sink full of water, so it was completely out of commission.  I wasn’t worried though, because what could possibly happen?  I was with my family, my husband certainly had his own cell – so we were good, right?  Oh no.  Of course not.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, Amanda and another friend of mine were desperately trying to reach me to let me know that not only did Duran Duran announce an upcoming show, but it was to practically be in my backyard!!   (they were playing the Pacific Amphitheater at the OC Fairgrounds)  No one had Walt’s cell at the time, and since presales were also during the time that I was gone, there was no way to find out if I wanted tickets. (which of course I did!)  Amanda ended up buying tickets for the both of us, because as we’re fond of saying “We do what must be done.”  

So why do I think that dates will be announced this weekend?  I’m going to be out of town, of course.  I’m going to Las Vegas, leaving on Friday afternoon.  Yes, I’ll have my cell with me.  This time I’m even taking my iPad….but the reality is, I typically don’t hear my phone when I’m there, and chances are, the internet connection will suddenly go down…because that’s how this all seems to work for me.  

I suppose by posting this blog, I’m basically daring the band or their management to either prove me wrong by announcing dates before I leave….or doing the proper thing and waiting until I’m somewhere between Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga (yes, there really IS a town in California with that name) on the I-15 Sunday late afternoon/evening to announce the tour.  I won’t have internet connection in that stretch of the drive, and my cell phone service will even be spotty.  In either case, I’ll still openly and loudly complain about the band, laugh with Amanda, and begin our tour planning in earnest!

-R

Lounge Lizards and Grapefruit

It’s good to be back in true blogging form, I must say.  It’s Monday, January 3rd, and I’ve never been so happy to send my family off to work and school!  I’m almost finished putting the Christmas decorations away and it’s nice to see my house back to normal.  January is cleansing that way, and of course this year there is the added anticipation of news from Duran Duran in the form of tour dates!

This morning, I began my typical Monday perusal of the boards, twitter and facebook only to see that John Taylor had sent out a tweet regarding a discussion on the Coachella boards.  JT’s reply was only “interesting”, but of course it forced me to go and check out the situation.  There have been some murmurings of a rumor that Duran might play at Coachella this year, and this particular thread was deep in discussion over the idea.  Naturally there are some that are in total support of such an idea, and then there are some that think the idea is preposterous.

I was most amused by one comment/question that indicated Duran Duran must only play casinos these days.  Naturally, my initial reaction was that of disgust…”Ha!  Are you kidding me?!? What hole have you been living in, dude?”  But as I sipped my morning coffee, I began to consider the idea.  In 2009, I saw them at The Palms in Las Vegas.  They played at The Pearl, which is a fairly small venue inside of the casino.  Then I drove back to my home in  the good old OC and saw them at the OC fairgrounds, playing at the Pacific Amphitheater – a venue that is only open during the fair (although it’s a decent sized venue).  Prior to that, I flew to the east coast in 2008 and saw them at Foxwoods in Connecticut (a casino resort area), and at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, also at a casino.  In the recent past – they’ve also played at Morongo Casino near Palm Springs California (for the opening of the Key Club – a show I still kick myself for missing), and at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas more than once….oh, and there was also that Andre Agassi charity gig in Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as well.  Funny how my irritation began to dissolve into a smile as I drank my coffee and considered the situation a bit further.  At this point, I think it’s fair to say that yes, Duran Duran does play casinos.  They also play county fairs, the House of Blue venues, smaller theaters, arena openings such as the Sears Arena outside of Chicago, other arenas such as the Allstate Arena (also near Chicago),  Staples Center here in Los Angeles, Madison Square Garden in New York City, and even some festivals such as Lovebox in the UK, and Voodoo in New Orleans.

So, not only is it fair to say they play casinos, but they play a variety of different venues – and often times, all within the same tour.  Duran Duran isn’t a group that is likely to be pegged as just a casino band, nor are they the type of band that will only be able to play stadiums or arenas, and that’s just the way we like it as fans.  Let’s face it, it’s good to see the band being able to draw enough of a crowd to fill an arena, but it’s really fun to be in a smaller venue with them, too.  I can’t imagine that they can make the same sort of connection with fans in a huge stadium as what they can do at a small theater or at the House of Blues – but the fact is, they are versatile enough to be able to do it all and do it well.  I know some bands out there that are very popular and yet don’t have enough of a stage presence to be able to command their way out of a hotel room much less a small stage or heaven-forbid Madison Square Garden.

It’s funny that back when I was a kid – the only groups I knew of that played Vegas were the washed-up kind.  There were also visions of the Rat Pack, and older stars that found a final stage in which to perform their retirement away.  Vegas was a different place back then, though.  The super-resorts and attractions we see now were not much more than a glimmer in someone’s eye back then.  Nowadays, Vegas has a life completely of it’s own.  Concert venues attract artists of every genre, and the Rat Pack is remembered only by those old enough to have seen the transformation of Vegas from a small gambling town to a world-class resort destination.  As a direct result, other casinos across the country have gained respect and become far more than meccas for glitter, rhinestones, smoke and fanny packs.  My point being of course that Duran Duran are far more than lounge lizards – but naturally if you’re reading this blog on a regular basis, I probably don’t have to tell you that.

As for playing Coachella, which by the way is the grapefruit growing capital of the world (and is REALLY hot during the late spring, summer and early fall), I’m really not sure.  I know that with each year, the talk of the band playing Coachella has grown a  bit.  I know the festival attracts thousands of fans, as most festivals do.  There is a wide variety of artists and bands that play Coachella, but I wouldn’t be a fair judge of what would or would not attract a crowd. There was discussion about whether the band should be a headliner, a sub-headliner on one of the smaller stages, or if they should play at all.  I just know that Duran Duran played Voodoo in New Orleans a few years back, and I almost lost my life trying to watch them.  That’s where my interest in festivals ended, and it remains that way, Duran Duran or not!  I’m certainly of the age where I feel that it shouldn’t take so much work to simply watch a band – nor should it risk my life to do so.  That said, I’ll be waiting at the casino bar for them.  🙂

-R

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

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

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

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

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

-R

South Africa and Rio

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

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

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

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

******************************************************

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

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

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

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

-R

Rumor Frustration

There are times when the Duran world is quiet and then there are other times when there is something happening everyday.  Now, we are in between the two.  It isn’t exactly quiet but we are still all in wait mode.  Yet, this waiting is filled with rumors galore.  It seems that there is a new rumor each day.  There are so many rumors, in fact, that it is tough to figure out what all is being speculated.  Right now, Duranland is filled with discussions regarding what songs will be featured on the physical release of the album, when and where Duran will play on tour, the status of their websites, and which record label will actually release and distribute the new album.  While I’m thrilled that the message boards and conversations with my friends are filled with discussions regarding these rumors, I know that the authors of this blog are getting sick of them.

Obviously, part of our annoyance about the various pieces of gossip is that we want to know all of this now!  We definitely want to know which record label they are going with for sure, in order to just be able to learn the news, react, make our prediction on how it will turn out for the band and move on.  As far as tour dates go, clearly, we crave knowing the exact dates and locations in order to begin plotting.  Until we know these, we don’t know how many shows we will be able to go, what kind of travel arrangements we will need to make, where and how to get tickets, etc.  On a personal note, typically, tours are when we get together in person so we would like to know how long we will have to wait before seeing each other again.  Yet, this desire to know everything immediately doesn’t explain our annoyance completely.
I am wondering why there are so many secrets regarding all of these and more.  Why can’t the band share this information with us now?  What would happen if we knew the official record label?  Would that make us buy fewer copies?  Would that stop them from getting the promotional opportunities they hope and need to have?  How would that hurt the fan base?  As far as touring goes, I understand that they might not be able to give specifics like, “On April 9th, they are playing in city A,” because they might still be working out all of the details.  That said, can’t they tell us, for sure, that they will be playing in x country between date A and date B?  What harm would that do?  Would that stop us from buying tickets or going to the shows?  Yes, obviously, any and all information is met with possible criticism and praise from the fans. Yes, the possible negative statements would last longer if information was revealed sooner rather than later.  Yet, I would like to believe that the fans could take any and all information.  We are capable of learning the truth and dealing with it.  We have done it before and do it again.  
Thus, I’m asking, begging, pleading the band to provide us with more information.  Until then, I’m going to sit in frustration and annoyance and that can’t be good for anyone.
-A

Happy Birthday!!!

Today’s blog post is going to be short but sweet!  I would like to wish my blogging/writing partner a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!! 

It is amazing to me how attending a simple little fan convention in the fall of 2004 could have lead us here.  In the spring and summer of that year, we may have recognized each other’s posting name on DDF but didn’t know much about each other.  That all changed very quickly when we met in person at the Duran Duran Fans Convention in September of 2004 in New Orleans.  While my writing partner was an organizer of the event, I was a simple attendee.  We both were there to meet fellow Duranies and to be among others like us.  We wanted to share our extreme excitement by the band’s reunion and upcoming album, Astronaut.  The second night of the convention found the two of us bouncing from bar-to-bar on Bourbon Street with a group of fellow Duranies.  During that evening, a bond began to form as we just seemed to click.  That instant click was reinforced by the following winter and spring.

By December 2004, tour dates were announced and Duranies all over the world began to make plans about which shows to see and with whom.  Neither Rhonda nor myself thought it was strange to be making travel and concert plans with people we had only met once as we decided to go to shows in Chicago and Milwaukee together.  These decisions were not so carefree, in reality, as they featured money exchanges for tickets and hotels.  Again, the instant click moved right into instant trust.  I had no concern about money when I bought VIP tickets for us and another friend of ours.  She had no worry about reserving a hotel room.  During that brief weekend in the Midwest, we found ourselves laughing and enjoying ourselves in ways that have rarely been replicated for us at any point in our lives.  They were that unique!  We knew during that weekend that we had found a touring partner but that we also had found a friend for life in each other.

Since that first convention and first show together, we have attended many more shows together, traveled to see each other just for fun (without the band!), and have been there for each other during whatever real life situation comes up.  For all of this and more, I can truly only give thanks to the band that brought us together as friends and now as writing partners.  We know that this isn’t the end of the line for us but simply the beginning.

On that note, I wish Rhonda the best birthday ever and to remind her that the best is yet to come!!!

-A