Category Archives: UK Rehearsal gigs

Let It Shine–2011 Highlights

Last Sunday, I talked about the documentary featured on Duran’s latest DVD release, A Diamond in the Mind.  I questioned why it wasn’t talked about more and then I introduced the main topics of the documentary.  Before I dive into the first of those big topics, I want to explain what I learned after last Sunday’s blog.  The reason that many people aren’t talking about this documentary is because they don’t have it.  Apparently, the iTunes version, for example, did not include extras.  Thus, the only people who have access to it are people who bought actual copies (DVD or Blu-ray).  There was also some confusion between this and the commentary.  Let me do my best to clarify.  The commentary is not included on the actual copy of ADITM.  The commentary was played on the day that ADITM premiered through the Qello application on facebook.  Later, it was made available to download on Eagle Rock.  This was/is the only means I know of obtaining it.  The commentary is much like a movie commentary in which voices talk about the show over the original visuals.  The documentary, on the other hand, is available only on actual copies and features interviews with the band as well as other footage, including behind the scenes shots. 

The first main topic of the documentary is the 2011 highlights, according to the band.  Nick introduced this topic by talking about how the year was so exciting and renewed their music and live show.  Simon then listed many of their highlights, including the release of All You Need Is Now and their participation in some American festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella.  Nick and John later discuss the Unstaged show with David Lynch.  After watching, I wondered if I agreed with their assessments and what my own highlights were.  Let’s take each of those 3 highlights, one at a time. 

The first highlight that the band mentions is the release of All You Need is Now.  I would think that anytime the band releases an album that must be THE highlight of that year since they haven’t released that many albums.  It isn’t like they release an album a year or more than one album a year.  Writing, recording, mixing, and putting out an album must be an incredible amount of work.  I really can’t wrap my head around how much work it must be.  I know how hard it is to write a book.  Maybe I could compare book writing to album making.  Like recording an album, you can’t just sit down and publish a book.  You have to take time to outline the book/chapter, then you have to write it which often takes a great deal of time as serious revisions can happen.  You start thinking the chapter might be one way only to have it go in a completely different direction.  I am sure the same thing happens to songs.  Then, you still have to edit, perfect, add, change, fix everything that is written.  Even after that, there are more details to add.  In our case, for example, we add quotes to separate sections of a chapter.  Perhaps, this is like all of those little sounds, pieces that get added to Duran songs.  Once all of that is done, there is still all the packaging that needs to be figured and what is going to be included, etc.  My point is simple.  Releasing an album is a ton of work and a super big deal.  Of course, the other important detail to this highlight is that the album is FABULOUS.  Frankly, this album should always be a Duran highlight and not just for 2011.  It is a career highlight, in my opinion.  It is filled with quality music that feels like essential Duran.  If anything, I was surprised that they didn’t talk more about the album on this.  Although, maybe they felt like they shouldn’t because the iTunes version was available at the end of 2010. 

The next highlight was American festivals.  They mentioned South by Southwest briefly before spending more time talking about Coachella and the scene there with the sunset that really created a special moment for the band.  I wasn’t surprised that they talked about this one as I know John talks about it in his book.  (Hope that wasn’t too spoilerish!)  I also know that it was a huge crowd and that this festival is a big deal in comparison to many other ones.  It was one of those shows that aired online at the same time they played so that the rest of us, who weren’t there and wouldn’t step foot on a festival’s grounds even if paid, could watch it.  I enjoyed the show.  I did and I thought that the band sounded really tight that night.  Thus, I completely understand why it was a highlight for the band BUT I don’t know that it was a highlight for a lot of us, fans.  Obviously, fans, like me, would have a different set of criteria.  Festivals aren’t for fans.  Yes, some fans attended, including some friends of ours, but they typically don’t get to play a full set and include ONLY greatest hits and a few new ones.  Yes, I realize that appearances in festivals could broaden the fanbase.  I get all that.  Yet, when I think highlights, I think it has to either be something that had a HUGE impact on a large number of fans or majority of fans or really do or say something about the band’s success.  This event didn’t do it.  Frankly, they should have mentioned those rehearsal shows in the UK in the late summer of 2011 in which Simon practiced his voice for the first time since he had vocal problems and in which the band played lots of obscure songs in small venues filled with all fans.  I wasn’t there at any of those shows but I do know that they meant everything to all of us.  It was proof that Simon was going to be okay and that the band would continue.  That meant everything. 

The last big highlight that was mentioned was the Unstaged performance/production with David Lynch.  For this, the band played a live show in Los Angeles while the David Lynch production was streamed online with numerous effects and images shown on top of shots of the band performing.  Again, I wasn’t surprised that the band mentioned this one.  After all, many (most?  all?) of them are fans of David Lynch’s.  It also got a lot of attention.  I think there is something to be said for doing something different or showing something different.  I applaud it for that.  Yet, I know that when I watched it, I found myself either wondering what the heck was now on the screen or why I couldn’t just see the band perform.  In my opinion, it was too much style and not enough substance.  All of those images almost took away from the quality of the band’s performance.  As a Duranie, I don’t mind some additions to a live performance but this felt like it wasn’t a live performance and I was sad by that.  My full review of this could be read here.  As I said there, it was cool, to some extent, but I missed just seeing the band.

If I had to say what the band’s highlights of 2011 were, I think I would have to say the album’s release, the return of Simon with those rehearsal gigs and the UK tour at the end of the year.  I’m not surprised that my highlights for the band didn’t match theirs.  After all, we have different priorities.  My highlights have to impact a lot of us or all of us.  For them, they thought about their personal highlights or thought about those big events that are easy to pick out.  I get that.  I can understand that.  My highlight choices are personal, too.  Did those events I mentioned help the band’s career, though, at the same time?  I actually think they do.  It is a big deal to release an album and an album with super quality.  It is huge to be able to perform again after the fear we all had that Simon would never be able to sing again.  It is so cool to be able to play shows like they played in the UK at the end of the year.  It was the proof that they really are back and are 100%! 

What about the rest of you?  Do you agree with their highlights?  What are your highlights for 2011?


I don’t have a lot of time to write this blog. We had internet issues earlier today and have been traveling to Birmingham on a long train ride from Bournemouth. Now, we are getting ready for the show and we are meeting people beforehand. Nonetheless, I did want to summarize the Bournemouth show. It wasn’t like Brighton, which was an amazing, well worth the wait, once in a lifetime sort of show. Bournemouth wasn’t that. It was a learning experience, though.

Many of you might have heard or read that there were many technical issues with the show. Most of them were surrounding John’s bass. It wasn’t his fault and he did the best that he could. After the technical difficulties, the band had a hard time getting back on track. I have to admit that we did as well. Of course, if we had the same setlist as we had the night before, that would have helped as well as we were missing Secret Oktober, greatly. On top of those technical problems, the crowd also sucked. Seriously sucked. We were 4th row but off to the side. Too much to the side. Anyway, our area SAT for a lot of the show, including the first number. Who the hell sits when Duran is on stage?! I don’t get that. The other thing is that we have a lot more fun being around people who are our friends. During Brighton, we were in a section with a bunch of totally fun people who we have now gotten to know. It was way better for that reason alone!

Thus, the lessons learned were less about the band and more about the circumstances surrounding a show. It matters where we sit. It matters if the setlist is long and varied. It matters who we are around. It matters what the crowd is like. It matters if the techs can do their jobs properly to ensure that the band sounds as good as possible. That said, we are here in Brum and we cannot be more excited!!! We had a good pizza and some champagne to celebrate this show. We have waited a hell of a long time for this show and have been through a lot to get here. No matter what happens tonight, it will be a night that Rhonda and I will never forget.



I’m feeling emotional today.  Part of it definitely has to do with being exhausted from work but part of it has to do with today being the last of 4 rehearsal shows for Duran.  It sounds like the show ended a short time ago and from everything I have heard it was another smashing success!  I have seen a lot of tweets in all caps about how amazing it was, including a tweet from JT indicating that they were ready for the US part of the tour.  This, of course, is such good news.  Part of me has been definitely holding my breath, hoping that everything would be okay but trying to prepare myself for things not to go well.  All signs are pointing that everything is back on track, which means that plans can move forward.  Obviously, I love having something to look forward to and there is nothing better than having Duran shows to look forward to!  The success of these shows also indicate that Simon really is better and able to perform again!  Honestly, I didn’t know if that was going to be the case.  I’m thrilled that the shows will go on and that it seems like we can enjoy Duran for a little while longer!  That said, I am not going to lie and say that I am as excited as I could and probably should be but let me explain.

Earlier today, the Daily Duranie received pictures and updates from many of our new friends, from people we had met in the UK in May.  I loved seeing pictures of them all excited and was generally thrilled for them!  Yet, a part of me couldn’t help but to be a bit sad.  Again, maybe this is because of work and things related to that.  I think, though, it has to do with the fact that I wish that I was there.  Yes, I’m sure that there are many, many, many people who feel the exact same thing.  I think I’m feeling it intensely because these rehearsal shows were in the UK, the exact place that Duran had to cancel first.  Those cancellations includes four shows that I held tickets for.  4 shows that I flew across an ocean for.  I would have loved to have celebrated the return of Duran with the people I had met and became friends with as well.

I have attended many Duranie get togethers and parties, including a number of them before shows.  The London party we organized with Kitty from Gimme a Wristband was a first for me.  That night will forever be etched into my brain.  I remember how determined we all were to make the best of the night.  We still tried to have fun and we did, for the most part.  Yet, there was this cloud of sorts in that we had learned that the shows were canceled.  The future was unknown.  This cloud was filled with a bit of grief and a bit of fear.  Honestly, I feel a special bond with those people who I met and partied with that night.  We all experienced something together.  I remember how most of us seemed to have a moment at some point during that night.  For many of us, those moments seem to take place when a Duran song was playing and when we were dancing.  Those moments were the realization that we had lost something.  At the time, we identified that lost as a canceled show to two but now I know more.  Yes, now Duran seems to have returned and, for that, I’m extremely grateful for but we lost was more than shows and it won’t be returned as easily as Simon’s voice.  I don’t think we will ever be so carefree again when it comes to Duran.

We have all learned that we should appreciate Duran now because nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow (pun intended).  In this case, we now understand on both an intellectual level AND on an emotional level that Duran will not go on forever.  It could end tomorrow.  Yes, of course, the band may be able to continue without any other problem for a long time.  Obviously, I hope so.  Yes, the longer things go without a problem, the more secure it will all feel.  I doubt, though, that I will ever really be able to forget how I felt that night partying with my friends and fellow Duranies at the Reflex club in London. 

So, I guess I wish that I could have experienced something wonderful with all of them after sharing that tough night with them back in May.  I know that we are planning on meeting up again in December but that isn’t soon enough for me.  I have been really patient, I think, but now, I don’t know that I will be.  I still have 6 weeks until I will see the band in Chicago but a long time before I see my new friends.  While I’m looking forward to the show in Chicago, I don’t think it will be the same as when I see the band in the UK.  Maybe then, when I see them on stage there with my new friends, I will feel like I got back what I thought might be lost.  Maybe then, everything will be right again. 


Cambridge, they’re coming for ya!

Happy Thursday!!  I feel a weekend coming on…

Before I launch into the blog, I have to give a short update on my son.  After “suggesting” that he remove himself from my vehicle yesterday in order to go to school (No really, I told him to get out of the car, otherwise I think we’d still be sitting there in the parking lot), he made it through the first day without incident.  Of course, the real test will be today…and the next 179 school days or so…  😉  You’d think I was back to taking my kindergartener for the first day of school. (for my readers who live outside of the US – it’s our first “real” year of school here for the public school system.  Prior to that is preschool, or nursery school as some call it.  Kids in the US are typically about 5 when they go to kindergarten.)  I feel a little silly, but at least I care.  He’ll be fine!

So tonight is the Cambridge show.  I know people who are already in the line, or queue (I love that word for Scrabble!) to get in to the show.  I can’t wait to hear how it went and what was played.  It’s the first night of three shows, and as much as I’m curious about tonight, honestly I’ll be more curious about the 3rd show since this will truly be a real trial for Simon.  He’ll know exactly what to expect while he’s on tour, and I’m hoping it will be an accurate indicator of his vocal chord health.  

I read a short article on Simon just this morning, thanks to Amanda who shared with me.  Here is the link for the rest of you: Simon .  In the article, Simon says his voice is back on form but the experience as a whole was “demoralizing”. (apologies for the US spelling…)  This wasn’t really a surprise to me, as from the beginning (meaning back when I was in the UK in May, particularly the day that they rehearsed and Simon came out to talk to those of us who were standing outside), I contemplated more so about how he must have felt than anything else.  That one day really made Simon seem so much more human…more mortal to me, than any thing else.  I have to liken it…to some small extent anyway…to the day that I was with my father  when he was told the seriousness of his lung disease.  It’s hard to describe other than to say that up until that point, my dad was sort of like a super hero to me.  He was Superman, and then suddenly I realized he could no longer move mountains or “save” me.  To me, Simon was the rather obnoxious frontman on stage.  The guy who acted as though of course we should love him, how dare we not!   As much as I love the band, I never loved that attitude much.  Some love that about him, and that’s OK.  That day in May changed my thoughts completely.  I’ve never seen Simon so humble, even during a moment where he could have EASILY played it all off as not being a big deal – that you know, that’s just the way it goes and the fans are just going to have to wait.  So what that people flew from all over the world to see them, right?  Well, that’s what I would have expected.  Simon made the point to come out to the sidewalk to talk to all of us, and I’ve never seen him so much like a regular person.  He almost looked and sounded broken, and definitely completely disappointed.  I’ll never forget that because contrary to what every fan might think,  he didn’t have to show us that side.  He could have played it off, never apologizing, never thinking twice about any of us out there.  Simon the frontman might have, but this Simon did not.  Was that a mistake?  No.  It’s never a mistake to be human.  The whole way through this long process of healing, I’ve wondered how much Simon worried about never getting all of his notes back.  It’s one thing to be laid off (made redundant) from work, or to change careers entirely, or to even have your instrument break and have to get a new one.  It’s a different story when that instrument is YOU and it’s all you’ve ever done.  I guess you learn never to take such things for granted – and yet it would seem to be so incredibly easy to do so when it’s your own voice.  What a real lesson to be learned.

I hope the folks in Cambridge have a great time rocking it out with the band tonight.  Be sure to send Daily Duranie a word letting us know how it all goes!!  -R

Stay with the Music…Let It Play a Little Longer…

Thursday night, Duran played the first of four rehearsal gigs.  My heart soars as I type the word, “played”.  I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see Duran play again after the cancellations in the spring and summer.  Thursday was filled with much activity in Duranland as there were fans there and the rest of us sat back and waiting for any and all reports about the show!  Now that it was a couple of days ago, like many of you, I have read many reports from those there and saw a couple of clips via youtube.  From everything I saw and heard, it sounds like it was a fabulous show and that Simon demonstrated a solid voice.  This, of course, has been greeted by much celebration throughout the community.  In fact, there seemed to be little discussion about Simon and much more discussion about the setlist.  Thursday’s setlist featured many gems, including some new songs that have never been played or rarely played, older songs that needed the dust wiped off them and some songs that they don’t play very often. Many of the old standards were not played at all. 

Most of the fans seemed excited over hearing songs like Leopard, Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, Secret Oktober, Tiger Tiger, and Shadows Are on Your Side.  Strangely enough, though, there were still many fans who complained about the setlist.  I can’t really understand that for three big reasons.  First, shouldn’t the best part about the show be that it happened at all?  They haven’t played since May and we were facing an uncertain future.  Did those fans forget that?  Or is it that they are never satisfied?  Second, it was a rehearsal gig and not a full set.  There are other songs that can be played at the next show.  This isn’t exactly the definitive setlist for the upcoming US tour.  Will they play some of these songs?  I bet they will since they are practicing them.  Will they play songs that they haven’t publicly practiced?  Quite possibly.  Lastly, it seems to me that Duranies are constantly complaining about the setlists.  Most hardcore fans want something other than the big hits.  This setlist is exactly that.  Again, I have to wonder if people would ever be satisfied.  I know that I didn’t love every song played but was still way excited about it for the reasons I have already mentioned.  They were able to play at all and they chose non-standards.  Yay!

Based on people’s reports and the setlist, I was terribly excited by the fact that it seemed that Duran had returned and returned in a way in which they will really please their dedicated fanbase.  Then, I saw Simon’s tweet about being on “vocal rest”.  Am I the only one totally worried about that?  Granted, I don’t know exactly what it means to be on vocal rest.  Does it mean that he can’t sing at all?  Does it mean that he shouldn’t talk?  Maybe to keep things to a minimum?  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, it scares me because he needed to be on vocal rest after just ONE show and it wasn’t a full show, either.  How is he going to do in a few days when they are due to perform 3 shows in a row?  How will he do with the upcoming US and UK tours? 

Perhaps, I’m being overly concerned and for no reason.  Maybe I’m trying to protect myself by thinking the worst now in case it goes badly, it won’t come as a complete shock.  It’s possible that this is just my crazy reaction after flying all the way over to the UK for shows and didn’t get any.  Nonetheless, I’m a little surprised that I don’t see many people sharing my concern.  Is it because they want to believe that everything is cool?  I can certainly understand that.  There is a part of me that desperately wants everything to be great (and maybe it is).  I can’t imagine how I will deal if it is not.  I have plans for Chicago and for the UK.  Beyond that, a lot of my life is focused on their band and the fan community.  That said, I’m sure that I’m over-reacting.  Someone please come and reassure me.  Please! 

No matter what, I will be looking forward to the upcoming shows at the end of the week.  If those go well, I will feel much, much, much better.  Then, I, too, will feel much more like celebrating!


Rolling into September!

It’s the last Monday in August, and while typically at this point I’d be mourning the last of my “carefree summer days”…I’m actually a bit anxious for this week, and really September as a whole, to get moving here.

I’m not going to lie, the rehearsal gig shows begin this week, and I’m excited/anxious/nervous/etc to hear how they go.  What self-respecting Duranie out there, and in particular any Duranie who lost out on a show or more in the spring and/or summer and is still paying close attention, isn’t  a bit nervous?  Every time I hear that Simon is doing well or ready to sing opera I cheer, and every time I hear he’s got a sniffle, woke up in a grizzly sort of mood (and I’m not just talking about the beard and his attempt to reincarnate Grizzly Adams here), or didn’t seem “enthusiastic” I start biting my nails again.

People much wiser than I take their moments to remind that the band wouldn’t have possibly planned the shows if Simon weren’t well, and that everyone gets a cold once in a while.  I’m sure the band wouldn’t have planned the shows if they didn’t think Simon could do them – that’d be near suicide at this point and I think we’re all on that page together; and I agree that everyone gets a cold.  The trouble of course is that I remember in May how he had a cold, and look where that got us.  Besides, as I’m reminded by my own sister from time to time, I tend to be negative.  Not really though.  I’m just a realist.  AND a worrier.  The band doesn’t really have to worry much about this tour, because I’m doing that for them.  They can thank me later, and this time I won’t even charge them for this service!

Once again I find myself in the semi-precarious position of trying to play the game of planning to go to some shows, but waiting to see if the scheduled gigs take place with a fair amount of success before I go on a plane ticket buying, hotel reserving spree.  Hence, I’m ready for September to begin on a successful note.  I daresay that one might think I would have learned my lesson after the UK gigs and stopped wanting to travel to see this band, but the fact is, I have not, and I don’t apologize for that.  If anything I have even more resolve to see them play on their own soil, as well as travel to a couple of shows here in the US again.  There are many who believe that this may very well be the band’s final hurrah – the last real tour – and while I myself do not own the crystal ball that tells that future (or any future, mind you!), I believe that I’ve got to take my moments when I can get them, and make the very most of each of them.

September also marks the one-year anniversary of this blog.  For almost a year now, we’ve written the Daily Duranie each and every day (I think we’ve missed twice, both times due to circumstances beyond our control) hoping to entertain, hoping to make you think, and hoping to do our part to draw our fan community together.  It’s been a crazy journey at times, and while there have been days that I’ve sat at this table (I write at my kitchen table each day), twiddling my thumbs and sometimes laying with my head directly on the cool surface in the morning hoping that something brilliant will come to mind, most of the time I actually find something to write about!  Sometimes it’s junk, other times it’s fluff, and still other times there’s a tiny gem of hope that my college education didn’t go to complete waste.  (admittedly those times are few….)

Since it’s been a while and we’ve had some comments and questions come over the wire about who we are, and honestly what we are; let me explain.  The Daily Duranie is comprised of two fans, myself (I’m Rhonda) and my friend, partner-in-crime and fellow writer, Amanda.  We are just two ordinary, every day fans like anyone else.  We are not paid by the band, we don’t currently work in the music industry, and we get NO insider information. (but if anyone would like to hook us up, we’re all for that!)  Amanda and I are not a couple as it turns out,  we’ve been asked several times about that now.  Here come our mini-biographies:

I am actually very happily married to my husband Walt, and we’ve been married for 16 years now (I can give you the amount of months and days as well, but let’s not go that route, shall we?). I have three children who span in age from my oldest daughter who is 14, my middle son who is 12, and my littlest princess who is 3.  That’s right, I spend my days in the car and at home begging one not to pee her pants, convincing my son that there really is life beyond the computer, and trying to teach the other one not to allow anyone IN her pants.  *sigh*  It’s joyful.  My husband and I are AMAZING planners, can’t you tell?  My work, at the moment, is my children, this blog, and a book that Amanda and I are desperately trying to finish. (writers block be damned!)  That said, I have a BA in American Studies (It’s a sort of combination between history, pop culture, sociology, literature and writing.  LOTS of writing), and my degree/certification(s) in Gemology and Appraisal Studies in Decorative Arts.  My plan, prior to child #3 was to go into gem/jewelry appraisals.  Then suddenly my youngest decided to make her presence known, and my plans changed!   At some point, probably around the time my husband retires and our youngest is out on her own (I’m not even joking – it seriously is about the same time), I’ll actually do appraisals for real money.  Until then, I will do them for friends, family and pretty much anyone who asks nicely.

In her “spare time” when she’s not writing and/or touring and plotting with me, Amanda is a special ed teacher for middle school.  She works with all kinds of children with all kinds of different abilities that come from all different types of backgrounds, including both high poverty and high wealth, and quite frankly her work exhausts me and I feel less-than-productive when I complain about the troubles of only mothering three.  She also spends a fair amount of her time volunteering for various political campaigns and causes, but she can probably give you a much better idea of how she spends her days.  She truly is the more productive, attentive, educated, and organized one of the two of us, but she lets me play along anyway!

We met through in 2004 prior to a fan convention that was hosted by that message board.  At the time, there was a group of us who bonded through that message board, yet over time many have dropped away to have very productive lives away from the Duran Duran fandom.  Amanda and I stuck together, choosing to do mini-tours together and basically share our insanity for this band.  We used to joke about doing a book together, and then the joke became a reality, and then I had this brainiac idea last summer to start a blog.  Here we are!

The whole point of this blog is to write from the fan perspective.  We share the trials and tribulations of being a fan, what we’re thinking, what we’re trying to understand – and sometimes, we even get a little “fangirl” on you.  (For that we humbly apologize)  The blog is NOT about crushing on the band (well, not often anyway), doing the hard hitting news, finding the right people to interview (we’ve never done an interview at all, actually), or making the right connections to get us front row tickets to shows. (however, if anyone out there would like to bestow those upon us, we will graciously accept – please inquire within!)  No, the band has not ever read or commented on our blog, to the best of our knowledge.  We have even asked them not to tell us if they do read or respond, mainly because this blog isn’t about the band, it’s about the fans.  Don’t get us wrong, we would love for them to read (and we’re both certain they’ve got all the free time in the world to do so..SURE they do…), we just feel that if fans knew, hell – if WE knew – they were reading, the blog would somehow be changed to reflect that.  This is our place of honesty, of our opinions, and our concerns, whether those are right, wrong or otherwise.  You can be assured that when you’re reading something here, it’s how we really feel about something on that given day at that given time, and yes, sometimes those feelings change.   We’re not perfect, but yes – we do think we’re right, and if you want to bitch about something we’ve written, we’re going to defend ourselves just as anyone else would. Don’t like that?  Go write your own blog.  We do not get paid for our super amazing work ethic, our ideas, our stellar reviews, or the fact that we simply try to support the band even when we might like to line them up and smack each one of them.  We do this simply for fun and enjoyment.

I didn’t say we were smart.  🙂

So with that explanation in mind, if you have questions for us – send them!  We LOVE getting comments on our blog, even when they are dissenting opinions, constructive comments or even calls for our beheading.  For those who are shy or want their comments to remain private, we offer our gmail and we always make an effort to respond –  We also welcome you to our Facebook page (we’re Daily Duranie) and Twitter – @dailyduranie .  Happy reading and we hope to hear from you!