Category Archives: touring

Past and Future

Some days in Duranland, I’m completely focused on what is currently happening with the band and there is a ton happening, including new leaked material, new shows, new interviews, etc.  I suspect that I will add some commentary about some of those things before this weekend finishes.  Today, however, I’m going to celebrate both my news of the week and an important show that took place six years ago on this very date!

As many of you have heard through both this blog and via social networking, I, finally, received approval from work to go on my trip to see the band in the UK in May.  I won’t get into the details here, but it was a long and painful month as I kept calling and checking and begging to be allowed to go.  This trip is more than just a tour for Rhonda and I as we both feel it is important to check in with the Duran fandom in their home country before we wrap up the book.  How can we truly talk about Duranies, if we are only covering American ones?  Yes, we realize that we are still not examining so many other places filled with Duranies, which sucks.  We would love to be able to get a flavor for all Duranies.  Unfortunately, our real lives do not allow for that.  Neither one of us has the time or the money to do that, especially within a few months. We both really want to finish the book as quickly as possible so we had to grab our opportunity when it presented itself.  Anyway, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to go and am so looking forward to meeting so many people when we are over there!  Yeah, I’m excited about the shows, too!  One of the things that will be special for this tour is that Rhonda and I are actually doing VIP.  We aren’t doing VIP for every show (trips like this are SUPER expensive), but will enjoy what we can! 

Rhonda and I don’t typically VIP.  We have had good luck with regular presales, especially with how it used to be with those Tier 1 seats through DDM.  Thus, we always felt we had a good shot of getting decent seats so VIP wasn’t super necessary.  We have VIPed twice before, though, and the first time happened six years ago today.  We attended the Chicago show at the All-State Arena together in 2005.  It was a significant show for us for a variety of reasons.  Yes, it was memorable because we went VIP, but more importantly, it was our first show together.  There was a fairly large group of us who decided to VIP for that show, including a number of people who flew in for it.  Rhonda was one of those people.  We had only met a few months earlier at a Duran convention in New Orleans, but had hit it off pretty quickly over a few drinks on Bourbon Street and singing publically to Rio (that’s a story for a whole other blog!).  Therefore, it seemed perfectly normal to be planning to go to a show together.  After much discussion, the group decided on who was going to get the tickets and how many as there were too many of us to buy our tickets all together.  I volunteered to buy the tickets for Rhonda, myself and another friend of ours. 

The show was amazing.  I often wonder if the show was really that good or if the setting made it so good!  Obviously, we had good seats.  Third row in front of John Taylor, in fact.  The arena is a large one-probably seats about 20,000 or close to it and it was packed.  The energy of the crowd was awesome!  The band seemed playful and really into it despite missing Andy Taylor that night.  For me, it was also the first Duran show I had seen in awhile, which probably always enhances my enjoyment.  Yet, I also think my concert partners made a difference in what I thought about that show.  I will never forget singing “We are Family” with them when the band dived into that song from Notorious.  I will also never forget the look on Rhonda’s face during Tiger Tiger.  I remember laughing with thousands of my closest friends about the fact that Roger’s drums had a problem after Wild Boys.  I’m sure that Rhonda thinks fondly of how I threatened her life when she got in the way of my viewing of JoSi.  Overall, everything seemed to fit together.  The songs, the band, the crowd, and my people were all together creating an incredible experience.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the rest of that weekend was amazing as well with another show the following night, lots of late night conversation and laughter, drinks, and more. 

The next VIP experience I will have will be with the same people and a new addition in Birmingham.  While I doubt that anything can really compare to that night six years ago, I’m hoping that Brum has at least a little of that magic. 

-A

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I don’t mind telling you all that today’s blog is going to be shorter than normal because I’m neck deep in UK planning.  🙂  That’s right – we’re back to planning!

Before I go further, I just want to take a moment and express my sorrow, concern and hope for those who are living in Japan.  My husband has co-workers and friends there, my daughter’s dance teacher is there right now, and we hope everyone is as well as can be expected.  I consider ourselves to be extremely lucky – he was in Japan exactly one week prior to the earthquake – a week earlier than he’d originally planned.  Unfortunately it seems as though the news gets more dire with each passing day.  I know that Americans can seem overly concerned about themselves and not really be aware of what is truly going on elsewhere in the world – and while I won’t argue that point (sadly it’s true) – my thoughts are with those in Japan.

Now for our daily dose of excitement!  Our big snag in the UK trip has been untangled, and I’m thrilled to be completely stressed about buying train tickets in advance, finding hotels and all of that good stuff.

If only I had the nerve to submit a question to the DD roundtable that Katy does with the band…my question would be “What is the fastest way to get from London Heathrow to Birmingham (New Street) the day of your show.  Is it better to take the train (even though I hate the idea of having to transfer in central London, which seems REALLY counter intuitive….), should we go ahead and pay a taxi, or better yet – can one of you pick us up on your way??

I’m kidding about that last part.                Mostly.

Driving ourselves is NOT an option.  First of all, I don’t want to kill anyone, including myself, and that whole driving on the left thing – forget that nonsense, especially with jet lag!  Secondly, if the first reason weren’t enough for you, I just don’t know what to say.

Oh, and if you have good suggestions, and if someone could explain the Oyster card to me – brilliant!  I understand the concept of the card, but I don’t know if it would really benefit to have one.  For much of our trip, we’ll be outside of London – going from Heathrow to Birmingham, then from Birmingham to Nottingham, next day would be Nottingham to Liverpool, then I think we’re going to back to Birmingham for a day, and then to London to finish out the trip.  What is the best way to do all of that??  Buy in advance?  Get a railcard of some sort?   To someone from the US who is used to just jumping in the car and sitting in traffic on the freeway, this tends to make my head swim.  Never mind what happens when I made the mistake of downloading a rail map….holy cow.

Well, I am off to find a hotel for Birmingham.  We already have the hotel for our first night, but Amanda and I are going back for an additional night before we head to London for the show at O2.  We’re not sure where to stay, but we do want to be near restaurants, shopping, nightlife and that sort of thing.  Any ideas? Send them to dailyduranie@gmail.com or post them here!  Thanks a bunch!!

-R

Training for the Marathon

On Monday, I blogged about longevity.  More specifically I blogged about my lack of being able to keep up with my friends – many of whom are 5 years younger than I am and quite obviously are blessed with FAR more energy and endurance!  

My dear partner Amanda was quick to remind me that the key is training and that tours are a marathon, not a sprint.  I’m not at all surprised that I had somehow forgotten this along the way.  Back in high school (oh SO many years ago now), I was on the swim team – and I was the sprinter.  If they needed someone to do the final laps in a medley or a relay race, I was the girl.  One day, one of my coaches needed someone to do the middle laps in a longer relay, and some brainiac on the team mentioned my name.  After convincing me that I was only a sprinter in my own head, my name was submitted for that race, and I quickly found myself jumping into the pool – we had a great lead and there shouldn’t have been a problem.  Except of course, that there was.  I was good for the first couple laps – it was what I was used to swimming and I finished them quickly, but then I had to keep going.  My brain quickly announced that I was insane, and my body began to feel like lead in water.  Well, you can imagine what chaos ensued from there. (contrary to popular belief – you actually *can* hear when your teammates and coaches are screaming at you to “get your ASS in gear and move, we’re losing the lead!!” as you’re swimming!)  In any case, my suspicions were confirmed that day: I am not an endurance competitor, nor am I all that thrilled about anything but the shortest swims.   My high school swimming career ended shortly after that first season on the team, but not really because of that race. (more likely because I hated the idea of swimming in freezing cold water that my school district was too cheap to keep heated in the winter time – keeping in mind that I live in Southern California where it doesn’t really freeze.  Read: I am a wimp!)  So, hearing that I must once again train for a marathon isn’t exactly good news.  
I’ll be honest with you, I’m the girl that is great for a one night knock down drag out party.  I can stay up with the best of them, and although I don’t want this to come across as bragging because it’s really not – I can drink my weight in alcohol without much of a problem.   I think I either take after my dad in that respect or I can thank my years as a Zeta Tau Alpha at Cal State Fullerton for that training – that’s right – I was a sorority girl.  (go ahead and laugh – I certainly do.  If you knew me, you’d realize that I am the antithesis of what a sorority girl usually is!  Unfortunately I think my sorority house found that out as well.)  The trouble is, I seem to burn out over the course of that one night.  The next day I wake up, and am generally useless.  I’m not necessarily hung over (although in recent years I cannot make such claims) but I have NO energy and the idea of doing all over again later that night isn’t a welcome thought.  Naturally, when I’m on “tour” with the girls, there’s no way I could beg off a night of partying.  They’d laugh, hand me a drink and say “shut up, it didn’t kill you LAST night.”  So, you would think I’d learn.  Of course, NORMAL people would learn, wouldn’t they?  I might add that normal people also don’t follow a band to the extent that many of us have for 30 years now…..but hey, it’s not my place to ruin the party.  
I suppose I should also add here that it’s all in the ambiance.  I don’t party like that here at home (very tough to do that with 3 kids), and as I mentioned on Monday – I don’t even like clubbing much these days.  I think I reserve all of that for when I’m with the girls for a weekend or I’m touring.  Don’t tell my husband!   Touring begs for living in hotels, living on cocktails (hey…isn’t there a song in there somewhere…like maybe “Hey Day” by Mr. John Taylor? :D), late nights, laughing and friends.  I wholly admit that to do all of that here at home just is not the same, primarily because my closest friends aren’t here.  So, when I meet up with those girls once or twice over the year, I think I’m making up for lost time!  
So that brings me to the topic at hand.  How does one train for such a marathon?  Normally my “touring” is limited to a weekend at a time.  I might get in as many as 3 shows, and by the time I’m headed to the airport for my flight home – I am completely spent.  Never mind how I get off the plane and resume my “mom” duties – my husband and I are somewhat at odds over what happens when I get home.  As I recall, he typically is running out the door for work in order to leave the chaos of the BOMB that went off in my home while I was gone; he claims that I spend the next two or three days in bed recovering.  (Don’t I wish…)  Regardless, there is no getting around the idea that I’m exhausted when I get home.  This time, aside from the couple of shows I am doing here at home over the next month or so, I am headed to the UK for 9 days.  We’ll do 4 shows, and I think we’ll be spending quite a bit of our time doing some quality assurance visits at every pub we can.  How can I prepare?!?  
I can make all sorts of promises to myself: I promise to sleep.  I promise to eat properly.  I promise not to drink all of the cider at any one pub on any one night….(yes, I love cider.  I also love red wine, beer of all kinds… and the occasional vodka tonic)  the reality is, I am sure I won’t be sleeping much, I will likely forget to eat (don’t ask how – I think it’s adrenaline), and I won’t even begin to discuss the libations.   All I know is that I’m getting excited by the prospects, and since we’ve already agreed that my partner-in-crime will be attending with me and we will definitely be blogging on the road (thank goodness we don’t do webcasts – I don’t think anyone needs to actually SEE the effects of my lack of marathon training), so you all can laugh right along with me! (or at me, as the case may be!)
-R
Did I even mention the band by name in this blog???  Oh wait – I did mention John.  *whew*  Close enough!

The Cost of Fandom

Some days, I know exactly what I am going to write about and other days I really struggle.  The days that I have difficulty with picking out a topic are the days, usually, when other things weigh heavily on my mind.  I wonder if my writing partner feels the same way.  Today is one of those days for me.  As I have mentioned here, I live in a state that has been ground zero for the discussion on workers rights and unions.  Despite weeks of hard work, sacrifice and protest, the workers lost their battle.  I am one of those workers.  Today, my union met and signed a contract extension, which will cover us for the next couple of years.  I should be happy about this and I am, but it only really will help with non-financial aspects of the job.  Based on this, I now know exactly how much money I will be losing each month beginning in July.  It is substantial.  Now, again, I’m not here to debate the politics regarding my job, my compensation, this bill or anything else connected but as part of dealing with the impending loss of income I began to think about Duran.  Fandom costs money.  It does.  It costs money to buy cds, to buy t-shirts, to go to shows and especially to travel to shows.  While I have in no way shape or form been someone financially able to do whatever I want in the name of Duran, I have been able to save money in order to go on tours.  Assuming that I stay in this position and stay where I am now (which is assuming a lot), this spring will mark the end for me.

My impending loss of compensation is so great that my days of touring will be over.  In fact, I will have to move from my apartment, if I stay where I am.  I cannot begin to justify going to shows or traveling for tours, if I cannot afford to keep my home (and when I mean home–I mean my one bedroom apartment).  Looking back at the last five or six years, I realize how lucky I have been.  I have been able to go to 20 shows since 2005 and most of those shows have required significant drives or flying.  I hope to have 5 more under my belt before summer hits.  Therefore, these upcoming shows better be the best ones ever because they may have to last me for quite a while. 

Now, do not get me wrong here, I am not giving up.  I refuse to have to move backwards like this and have been and will continue to fight it every step of the way.  Obviously, part of this fight might be to consider my options.  Different profession?  Different location?  Both?  I’m hoping that I do find something that allows me to keep this element of my life.  For me, Duran is both my escape and my fun, especially touring.  I do not want to give that up.  The band and everything that goes with enhances my quality of life.  Could I live without them?  Yes.  Do I want to?  Nope.  For one thing, it means that I won’t see my Duranie friends much as most of them live far away from me, including my co-author.  That is extremely upsetting to me.  It also means that I no longer have things to look forward to as I once did.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the queen of countdowns.  I normally count down every day until a big event like a tour because that countdown helps me gets through each day.  It gives me a positive thing to focus on.  Soon, that will be gone.  I can’t rely on Duran to be the lighthouse of relief in the sea of stress.  I cannot even begin to tell you how sad it makes me that I won’t be able to see my friends as much.  Yes, we are all on the internet but it is not the same.  I won’t have the money to travel and we won’t have the excuse of Duran to bring us together as much as we did because I won’t be able to afford it.

I now understand how Duranies who have always been in this boat must feel.  I apologize if I ever seemed uncaring or not very understanding.  I get it now.  I get it in such a way that these last shows will be appreciated by me in a way that I probably haven’t done since 2005.  I look forward to them as I desperately need the escape but I also dread them in a way because I know that they will be the last for a long time.  I feel like I do at every show when I hear the opening notes to Rio, which is typically played at the very end, because I know that the song will be great but I also know that the show is almost over.  It is always such a bittersweet moment.  Now, the whole show will be like that for me.

-A

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