Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spreading Hope through Music

I know that by now, surely you’ve seen it and have had a chance to absorb the words, feel the emotion, and understand it’s significance. Yesterday afternoon, there was a note from John that had been posted throughout social media. In the note, he explained that about three weeks ago, he had tested positive for COVID-19, but that he is feeling okay now. In John’s case, the symptoms were mild, a “turbo-charged” flu. It did not sound as though he needed any sort of hospitalization, and naturally the best news is that he’s fully recovered.

Oddly, and yet pretty much exactly as it should have been, Amanda saw the note first. I had texted her about something else entirely, and she made sure to tell me that I ought to go read Twitter. So I did. I have been mostly off of social media, and I’ve tried very hard not to watch the news – although I do watch my (very) local news each night. I’m not going to sugar coat it – I can’t handle it all otherwise.

Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but this is my life right now. Each day feels very much like the one before. Last week, I found that getting out of my house into the sunshine (we had wonderful spring weather last week) helped a lot. I weeded, took care of my chickens, cleaned out the coop…and tried to forget what is going on outside of my gate. This week, we have rain. It’s rained 2 and a half inches just since yesterday. It’s a mess outside, and we’re all stuck inside. We watched movies yesterday, and I sat and made some progress on a blanket that I’m crocheting for my youngest. I felt incredibly antsy the whole day, and didn’t sleep well last night. Sure, we’re only being asked to stay at home, and that doesn’t sound hard – but it is. We know what is going on around the globe. Not watching the news doesn’t make that go away, but I also don’t linger on every single number being thrown around, or remain critical of every single word a leader mumbles off the cuff. I just don’t need it. I do need, however, a little bit of hope.

Seeing that John tested positive and has recovered definitely put me through some emotions. Of course I was concerned – who wouldn’t be? It’s frightening to see that someone I know of has had it. (John is the second person I know – albeit not personally – to have tested positively for the virus) I was also filled with love and joy, too. He cared enough to share with us, and he cared enough to make sure we saw that yes, there really is hope out there. Not everyone dies, despite the lack of media coverage regarding recoveries. It’s good to see and have evidence of that.

Throughout this experience thus far, the one thing that I’ve found fascinating on a personal level is the sheer swing of emotions from day to day. Some mornings, I wake up believing that we really will get back to normal. Someday, I’ll go to another concert, or I’ll see my friends. For that matter, I’ll be able to go back to Fossil, my favorite wine bar in Atascadero. Shopping won’t be such a trial, and yes – toilet paper will be found in stores once again. Then other days, I’m not sure if we’ll ever get back to what we once were. Will it always be like this each time COVID-19 rears its head if it is indeed seasonal? Sometimes I feel completely fine and at ease. Other hours, I feel like climbing the walls. It seems as though most people feel that way, too.

I have all three kids here. At the onset of problems, we immediately requested that my oldest and her boyfriend come to stay up here. I was willing to take the chance that they’d been exposed (and vice-versa), plus we knew that they may need our help financially because they were both out of work for a bit. They’ve been here for the past three weeks, and they’ll stay until the stay-at-home orders have been lifted. My house, although spacious, is indeed full right now. I have more animals living here than people (four cats, two dogs….and eight chicks in a brooder in the laundry room, not to mention the other twelve outside in a coop!), but with at least five different daily schedules to manage and two different diets to accommodate, this has been an interesting experiment in patience. But, we’re making it work, and every night is game night!

As I told John in a reply yesterday – hope is really important. Hope gives a huge boost to the immune system. I think we could all use a little of that right now. Music is also supposed to help, which has been a struggle for me lately. I just don’t take time to listen. My brain can’t process it all…which is why, I for one am thankful that our good buddy Jason has agreed to do another DJ set. Aptly titled The Music Between Us, it takes place this Friday, April 10th. The fun begins at 1pm PDT, or 9pm GMT and will include “visual treasures from the Durandy archive”. I believe Jason is going to stream this directly from YouTube this time – but stay tuned for details on that!

Until tomorrow, take care of one another!

-R

March 27, 1984

Last Friday, I celebrated the anniversary of missing a Duran Duran concert in 1984. If my parents knew I would be live streaming a Duran Duran DJ set almost 36 years to the day, they might have acquiesced to my persistent demands to travel the 39.1 miles to the venue on a school night. This sixth grader may have lost that battle but the band and I won the war. They’re still making music and I’m still writing about it. I’ve taken the motto of “Always Go To the Show” to the extreme at times but here are three shows I’ll always regret missing.

Thompson Twins – January 5, 1986

Sorry, Howard Jones, someone is to blame for this one. Me. Not yet in high school, I was dependent on the parents to take me to shows and if my grades slipped, the concerts were on hold. Too much goofing around must have led to some B’s or maybe, gasp, even a B- so that semester in 1986 was a “no-concert” time of my life. Lesson learned but little did I know that Thompson Twins were close to the end of their imperial phase.

It wasn’t until 2014 when I finally saw Tom Bailey (the lone Twin) and heard the band’s incredible songs live. Bailey was playing a swimming pool at Mandalay Bay because, you know, its Vegas. Despite the hours standing in the pool, it was well-worth the wait. Even better, I stalked him earlier that afternoon and he kindly signed one of my vinyl albums. I’m sure he had better groupies in the 80s but at least he is back making music.  

Oddly, there is little to no footage of the Twins from that tour online.

Cowboy Junkies w/Townes Van Zandt – May 13, 1990

This one hurts twice as much in retrospect. It would have been my first Junkies show and I was already in high school with car so I should have tried to attend. At the time, the venue was 18+ so I didn’t. Knowing the band now, I’m sure a wide-eyed fan hanging out near the stage door would have been snuck in out of kindness (they’re Canadian). 

I wouldn’t have known Townes Van Zandt at the time but now I’m pretty certain he is one of the greatest American songwriters to have ever lived. His songs are full of wonderful sadness. If you want to cry, listen to his music. I never saw Van Zandt but his live album Live At the Old Quarter is the first record I’m saving in a fire. Missing a chance to see him will always haunt me.

I’ve made up for lost time with Cowboy Junkies having seen over 100 shows so this one stings a little less with time. I even made it to the same venue to see them in 1996. I took my mother and she fell asleep. To be fair, the band can play very quietly! After the show, I met the vocalist Margo Timmins for the first time. All these years later, I count her and the rest of the band as friends and seeing them in Chicago two weeks ago will be the last shows I see for awhile, I assume. Duran Duran and Bryan Adams have both cancelled in the coming weeks. 

Duran Duran – March 27, 1984

Thank you @adora2000 for sharing this pic. She was there!

Every viewing of Sing Blue Silver haunts me because I missed the band’s biggest tour. Those moments in popular culture are fleeting. Bands do not stay that important for long. Yes, U2 still fills stadiums but nothing would have compared to the shows supporting The Joshua Tree. The energy of that moment in time can never be re-captured once it’s loss. Duran Duran certainly never matched it again. But, I was only 10 so it wasn’t my time, yet. That would come in 1989 at the Miami Arena. 

Everything I’ve read about the tour seems to be that the din of teenage fans drowned out the band. Even so, it would have been a special tour to experience. They were at the absolute peak of their popularity and when I finally saw them in 1989, it was a far different band and audience. If you were there in 1984, what do you remember most?

So, which concerts will you always regret missing?

A New Moon Revisited

In January of 1984, Duran Duran arrived in Noyers, France with director Brian Grant to film their video for “New Moon On Monday”. Throughout the years, the band members have not looked back fondly on the video shoot, mostly remembering the freezing temperatures and how much they drank to stay warm. While the video might have lacked the excitement of their earlier videos, there was a certain charm to “New Moon On Monday” and it’s story of the band as underground revolutionaries trying to stage a coup. Through the magic of Google Maps, I set off to find Noyers where the boys of Duran Duran once lit their torches and waved them for the new moon on Monday.

Our journey begins with the video itself because some of you may not have seen it in a few years. Ladies and gentlemen, “New Moon On Monday”.

The video opens on stage in an opulent theatre with actors rehearsing a scene in French. After exploring Noyers on Google Maps, I realized a theatre this grand would probably have been in Paris or London and filmed separately from the rest of the video. Director Brian Grant, who would go on to an exceptional career in film and television, was kind enough to point me in the right direction. We begin our journey in Paris and the Theatre Des Champs Eysees. As you can see in the picture, the theatre remains almost identical to how it looked when the band filmed there.

I’d guess that Simon sat in the little mezzanine just above the chairs at the bottom.

After making eye-contact with a mysterious women, singer Simon LeBon heads out of the theatre and gets on her motorcycle. Being in the world’s hottest band in 1984 had its perks and one of them was being able to cast Miss France, Patricia Barzyk, in their video. Grant remembers, “When we cast the girl, we asked her if she could ride a motorbike. Of course I can, she said. Classic mistake. When we got on set we found out she’d never been on a bike in her life.” What could go wrong? LeBon and Barzyk ride down an ominous street in Paris at night before the video moves to the small village of Noyers.

Noyers in France

After loading wooden crates labelled explosives aboard a horse drawn wagon (as all 80s rock stars did), Nick Rhodes and John Taylor ride through town at night on their mission. As you see below, the stone archway they come through looks the same today as it did in 1984. The window shutters are closed in the video but look virtually unchanged.

John & Nick arrive!
The archway they came through.

Come sunrise, LeBon arrives in Noyers, still on the motorbike. Since Barzyk had exaggerated her ability on a bike, the director had to improvise. “If you look at the aerial shots of Simon on the back of the bike driving through the French countryside, it was the Gaffer, dressed up as a girl, who is driving,” remembers Grant.

Tracking down the country road they are headed down took some work. The town appears on their left and as the camera pans away from the motorcycle and the river curving around one edge of town comes briefly into view. That allowed me to orientate the direction of the large work shed they pass and identify the likely road. A smaller grey shed occupies the space where a dirt lot had been in the video which looks like it was cleared for upcoming construction.

Simon LeBon and the gaffer rolling across the French countryside.
Notice the cleared lot on the right where construction looks about to begin.
The grey shed was built after the video.

The little glimpse of the river at the bottom of the town in the video helped orientate the search for the road. Without that, I don’t think I would have found the exact road.

The river flowing just below the village.

Drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Andy Taylor are next to appear in Noyers, coming out of an alley into the village square. With only a handful of streets to explore on Google Maps, it didn’t take long to find the alleyway. The wooden frame of the house on Roger’s left helps pinpoint the location.

Andy and Roger arrive!

They turn the corner and find themselves face to face with the uniformed soldiers who are oppressing the town (or so it is implied). The interesting house in the distance helps to confirm this as the spot where Roger and Andy once stood.

One dead end that not even the director could shed light on was the cafe where the band members and the pouty Miss France huddle to discuss their plans. Grant was positive the scene was shot in Paris but could not remember which area of town and there are far too many cafes in Paris for me to explore so we skip the cafe scene. 

The plan they hatch involves handing out cryptic pamphlets on the street. The location was found thanks to the stone arch that frames the door behind LeBon. If you look closely, you can see the sagging frame of the house directly behind LeBon has fallen further over the years.

Now that the elderly folks of Noyers have their Duran Duran flyers, it is time to take action! In rides John Taylor and Nick Rhodes with their explosives through the same square where Roger and Andy had been earlier in the day. The curve of the street and the arches on the left help pinpoint the spot.

Roger and Andy are entrusted with signaling the coup by flying a kite from the church tower. Being the only tall structure in the village made this easy to find. The street on the top right (below) is the one they run up to the church tower in the distance.

The kite goes up and people take to the streets. A wave of soldiers on horses ride into town which were an actual army reserve unit according to Grant. The fireworks scare them away and the town is liberated. I think. At this point, it was clear the band was well into the adult beverages and everyone looks properly sloshed. Just another day being the most popular band in the world at the time. If anyone ever visits Noyers, please get me a shirt of coffee mug!

If you enjoyed this trip into the wormhole that is useless video trivia from the 1980s, check out this impressive piece on Men Without Hats’ legendary video for “Safety Dance” which inspired this adventure in Duran Duran geography.

Something Else I Meant To Tell You

Got a lot to lose

Lately, I’ve noticed an abundance of musical artists reaching out to fans through music. Now more than ever, artists are recording performances online. They post to YouTube, Instagram, or as I saw last night in email – Live From Home by Live Nation.

Sadly, it is likely to be several months before concerts will be back in the collective vernacular of the general public. As I recall back before the words “coronavirus” or “Covid-19″ became a part of my vocabulary, concerts were a huge part of the musician’s income. Record sales, in contrast, were not. Streaming, while widely accepted by the public, didn’t pay the artist “diddly-squat”, in technical terms. So I have to wonder how anyone expects to make money these days.

As I mentioned above, Live Nation proudly announced Live from Home yesterday. It was described to be “updated daily with live streams, content and more to keep you connected to your favorite artists”. It appears that this is at least part of Live Nation’s grand plan to remain in firm control of how concerts are viewed, and who gets paid. I scrolled through the website this morning, noting how easy it was to see what content was available and where. Live Nation made a quick jump from concerts to curated content, similar to a cable TV guide. The twist here is that Live Nation doesn’t appear to actually “host” the shows, but instead advertises and promotes them. For example, want to see Miley Cyrus? She’s got a show on Instagram at 11:30am (all times are local). Awolnation appears on Instagram at noon, while Melissa Etheridge will be on Facebook Live at 3pm. They’ve certainly hoisted their flag over their slice of real estate.

Nothing better than being with you

What does strike me though, and I’m still trying to decide how I feel or how this might affect the band, is Duran Duran’s own response to these online gigs. Two band members on two separate occasions have said that they don’t think playing without an audience works.

In considering this, I’m assuming that they meant a live audience. In fairness to the band, I too have to wonder how it might be playing onstage without an audience. The whole thing seems like it might be just a touch eerie. Sort of like a rehearsal, but not really. Having attended more than my fair share of gigs over the years, and being everywhere from the very back to the very front – audiences matter to Duran Duran. I can’t say that about every band I’ve seen over the years, though. Some bands – and I won’t name names – don’t seem to care.

Those bands don’t interact with their audiences in the same manner as DD fans might be used to seeing or experiencing. In some cases, they’re far more into their musicianship than they are their showmanship. Duran Duran is very interested in how they sound, don’t get me wrong, but the SHOW is equally important, and they know exactly how the show is going by how the audience responds, in real time. I don’t think it is an overstatement to claim that the give and take between band and fans, or the circle of energy between them is paramount to a Duran Duran concert. So, I can understand their misgivings.

Everything to gain

However, these circumstances are indeed different, and there is no firm end in sight. Just last night I read an article that suggested we will likely lose an entire summer of live festivals and gigs, as well as there is a fear of Covid-19 reappearing in late autumn, winter, and spring. Then this morning, Duran Duran cancelled their May 1 and May 2nd shows at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino (not postponed, mind you – cancelled with full refunds at point of purchase).

How does a band survive months of nothing – and not just this band, who arguably already had their moment(s) of success, but any band? How does a live music starved public survive?? For their stake in this territory, Duran Duran is as much a business as it is an art. The last I’d heard – touring made them more money than album sales. If they were to release their next album without the ability to tour live, and they weren’t ready or willing to do streamed shows – would it matter? Never mind that in my head, a streamed show still provides an audience, albeit a much different one than this band knows. I don’t have the answers.

I’ve seen a plethora of artists who sit down in front of their computer with a guitar and record away. They post to YouTube, or they do Instagram or even Facebook Live. They join other artists by doing short sets for charity – but the difference is, of course, that they’re singular artists. Duran Duran is a group. I don’t know how playing together could possibly work live during the era of social distancing unless one used the magic of editing. (hence, it ain’t gonna be live!)

When I think about it

Don’t get me wrong, like many – I wish the band was able to stream appearances. It would be great to actually see and hear them talking to us over Instagram Live. Twitter is great too, although I think we’ve all had that moment of “This is so dumb, I can’t even follow what they’re saying!” or we’ve wondered if it’s really the band answering. (For the record, I’m sure it is.) It is simply that I can understand why they aren’t necessarily jumping on the bandwagon, even though I’d sure love to see Drama Americana (A unreleased movie similar to Sing Blue Silver about the 2005 Astronaut tour) right about now. Talk about a watch party – that one would be epic! Perhaps live streaming a gig wouldn’t work, but releasing previously unseen video that I know exists might be??

-R

DD Chat with Roger

Today, Roger took 30 minutes to answer as many questions as he could on Twitter. I counted (yes, I really did), and there were over 500 questions submitted from 3:30 UK time on, and out of those, he replied to 22.

Even more difficult to follow than last week, many found that they were unable to really find all of Roger’s replies. So, I took screenshots and will put them here. I think I missed one or two that were just shout-outs, but the good content is here. Enjoy!! (They are not in order – I’m good, but not THAT good!) -R

A Crack in the Ocean

Hello, world. It’s Thursday, March 26. I’m still surviving. At my house, the sky is brilliant blue with a few scattered clouds in the distance, and it’s about 46 degrees (F) this morning. I’ve already been out, feeding my chickens and breathing some fresh morning air. When I go outside, it seems unthinkable that there’s a pandemic. The world almost feels normal, and I can nearly trick myself into believing it’s just a regular day. Only when I come back inside and see the belongings of my oldest strewn throughout, notice the time – it’s well past when I would have normally driven Sabrina to school – and hear my husband on a conference call in his office, that I stop to think about the enormity of what is going on. It’s not just my family, my city, or even my state or country. The entire world is fighting.

Surely, this is a once in a lifetime experience (and not a good one, I might add). Not that long ago, I might have said that living through the days of 9/11 would be the one “mark” on my life. It would be the one “thing” of my generation. Never in my dreams – I mean sure, I watched the movie Outbreak, and I’ve even watched the cable show “Doomsday Preppers” enough to know that some people plan for this sort of deal. I just never did. I mean, not really. A global pandemic just seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie. And here we are.

The good news, if there is any to be had here, is that we really are all in this together. Right now, we’re really all one another have. I know that when Jason came up with his brilliant idea to host a DJ session later today, and when Amanda and I talked about hosting an online video party, our thought was to try and connect with fans – or to provide a vehicle for fans to connect with one another. Most people are social – even if only to a limited extent. It is bizarre to go for weeks on end without really seeing a single soul, even if it’s just to see someone when you’re out shopping for groceries. Which is why each and every time someone comes up with a new idea to pass the day – we jump at it as though it were a lifeline.

Yesterday, one of those lifelines was thrown to us by Duran Duran – DDHQ – as they suggested we watch Sing Blue Silver together as a community. The idea was simple – watch your own copy of SBS, or find it online somewhere, then use a hashtag to tweet about it. Follow the hashtag, and join the conversation. Commune with your fellow DD fans. Easy, and fun! These online events don’t have to be a big thing. We’re pretty self-sufficient – we watch a video, chat about it, and suddenly the day doesn’t seem so darn gloomy. And it didn’t.

I was having a tough time yesterday, and to be fair – I’m having a tough time period. I am thankful I have room to walk here (although I question my intelligence in buying a property that is so damn hilly as I struggle to make my way up to the mailbox or front gate for a wine delivery. (thank goodness our local wineries have started a delivery service – it keeps them in business, not to mention my own mood!) Food? Who needs food? Wine though? Listen, I have seven people living here (including myself), four cats, two dogs and 20 chickens. I’ll take the wine, thank you. So, when DDHQ sent out the tweet about this vaguely familiar type event, I was giddy.

Ok, so I was giddy for a couple of reasons. First, it was something new to break up the monotony of the day, and who doesn’t want to watch Sing Blue Silver? As I tweeted yesterday, I have seen that movie probably a hundred times now – and yet there are moments I still forget about being in there. I never get tired of seeing it! Second, I’m not going to lie, nor will I mince words – watching videos online together and chatting via Twitter? Yeah, that’s Daily Duranie territory. We have been doing those parties for a long time now, and it made me happy to see the band use the idea and put it to good use. We weren’t so crazy for thinking that kind of thing was fun after all, I guess.

Naturally, real life doesn’t stop here. The aforementioned full house keeps me kind of busy. Right as my clock struck two and I clicked on the link to SBS (YouTube), I was working to shape some dough into hamburger buns for dinner. Yes, I’ve taken to making my own bread rather than run to the store – more on that another time. Then there was a tussle between the two dogs. My dog Gizmo seems to have lost most of his eyesight now, and so noises scare him, as does Mallie, my daughter’s sweet Alaskan Husky. It’s my job to keep them quiet and happy. I forget what else was going on here, but it was very hard for me to take more than a glance or two at the television while I ran around the house, but I managed. I’d do it again in a heartbeat just to give myself a little bit of normalcy and levity, that is for sure.

This afternoon, I will be doing more of that, as I tune in for the live streaming DJ session that my buddy Jason (Velvet Rebel) will be hosting. I may not be able to have it turned up as loudly as I might like, but I’ll definitely listen while I clean up around here. He’s going to post the web address to his stream a bit later – look for it. Come hang out and enjoy!

I’m a little sad this is my last blog for the week. It’s the one way I consistently connect with people beyond my family. Last night I got a text from our neighbors and nearly cried – they’ve become such close friends of ours that we would routinely meet up after dinner, or spend time on the weekends doing anything from wine tasting to listening to records, and I miss them. This blog has come to serve as my major connection to the outside world. Thank goodness there is our Zoom video party to look forward to on Sunday! Hope to see everyone there!

-R

You’ll Come Out of it All in Time

I’m getting later and later with this…

I have to say, I’m sick of my house. Tired of the whole thing, including cooking. Never have I been so happy as to have room to walk around outside in my “yard”. That said, the other day I was outside, and a text came through from my neighbor. She was very concerned as to why Walt and I were outside.

For the record, we were checking on our apple and fruit tree orchards, feeding our chickens, and doing all the things that need done. Those things don’t stop because of a pandemic. I felt kind of strange when she asked though, because as the texts went on, she shared her concerns that Walt and I weren’t following the rules or distancing ourselves. Anyone who knows me, should already see where this was going – I value my privacy, and I don’t like having to explain myself, or defend my choices. I haven’t left my gate since Sunday of last week – and that was only to go and pick up groceries to last for several weeks. It was an awkward conversation that I managed to keep friendly, and oddly – not long after that text exchange, I saw her husband outside, working hard to clear a dead tree that had fallen during a winter storm.

Meanwhile, the news is enough to drive my anxiety to new, dizzying heights. I’ve found that I can only listen for a short time, before needing to change the channel or find a distraction. It is hard to imagine our world ever returning to normal. The longer it goes on, the more I wonder what “normal” may look like when the time comes.

I find a bit of comfort in the small things, when I stop and think about it. Music still works, thank goodness. The internet helps me remember that there ARE other people here besides my family. Being able to sit for five minutes and do something other than watch the news is good…but don’t ask if I’ve taken any time to practice my clarinet lately. I don’t know why, but I don’t have the heart to even pick it up right now. I’ll get there (probably when I find out we’re rehearsing again and realize I’m screwed unless I buckle down…) but at this moment, I don’t know what is wrong with me. As I am writing this, I just got another email from my band, reminding us that rehearsal is cancelled tonight. As I read the email, all I felt was sadness. I miss playing, and picking up the instrument to play on my own just isn’t the same. I dearly, dearly loved being in a band again. There’s not any way I can explain it other than to compare it to seeing Duran Duran in 2001.

That night, which now that I think about it was 19 years ago this month, I felt myself come alive. That show reminded me of something I’d misplaced, yet didn’t know was missing until I had it again. That’s exactly how I feel about band. The sting I currently feel is particularly pointed because we were getting very good. We had a thriving clarinet section for the first time in many years (or so I’m told). I knew exactly how to play the pieces we were given, and my confidence was growing each week. Until of course, it all came to an abrupt end.

Just as Duran Duran has concerts scheduled for the coming weeks and months, I do too. My community band is currently set to play a concert on Mothers Day, and we have an entire summer of weekly (yes, weekly) concerts-in-the-park coming up. I was looking forward to them. I liked the challenge of perfecting an entirely different two hour concert of music each week. So to have all of those things just stop….well, it’s a bit much. Every single one of us has lives that, for a large part, came to an immediate stop. There’s no reboot button in sight.

Overall, it is hard to look away. Sometimes I want to stop reading and watching the news – and I do stop – but inevitably after a day or two, I feel like the whole world could have disintegrated and I wouldn’t know, so I check again. Sadly, the news is never better. I can hardly wait until its good news. Will it ever be good news again? I know that at some point, it has to be. Yet sometimes, in those quiet moments at 2 am where everyone but the worriers are sleeping, I wonder.

I think it’s normal, under these circumstances, to have bad days. Maybe this is one of mine. I’m not sure. I just know I’m very, very tired. Not sick, mind you – but tired.

-R

Daily Duranie Zoom Meetup!

During a time when video meetings are quickly becoming the norm, Daily Duranie has jumped on board the train! As we brainstormed of ways to try and connect with other fans, even while concerts and tours are being cancelled. We thought about how we could incorporate videos and chat together in one single place.

Previously, we’d have these video parties by putting together a YouTube playlist, then chatting on Twitter, making sure to use a hashtag so that others could follow along. It wasn’t easy, particularly if you only had use of a single screen. We found that we could either watch the videos OR chat, unless we had a phone and a laptop or some other combination of screens.

Suddenly, it hit us that maybe we could use Zoom, particularly now while it is free for people to try it out. So, we are going to set up a meeting on Zoom for next Sunday 3/29. The party is scheduled to begin around 11:30 am PST so that way perhaps we can reach at least some people around the globe (we’ll start the meet up by explaining how to use Zoom for video viewing), and we’ll go from there. Our plan is to have a 3-4 hour video party, same rules as always – participate, have fun, and if you’re so inclined – have a cocktail or two! We’re trying to give everyone notice so that if you do not already have Zoom on your laptop, you can get it downloaded. Once we have the meeting details (there’s an ID number and password for each meeting), we will post those details on our FB event page that is going up this afternoon.

Hope to see many of you on Sunday – what better way to spend time than with Duran Duran and friends?!?

– A & R

Look out of the Window

Is anybody bored yet? To be fair, I’ve had quite a bit to do here at home. Cooking and cleaning for the family proves to take up quite a bit of my day. I can’t say I’m all that domesticated, but you know – I really have no other alternative at the moment. Woe is certainly not me when I look around and see that I have it far better than most.

Even so, boredom is a thing. I mean, one can only disinfect so many times, right?? I have learned to crochet – the one thing I can truly say that most females on my mom’s side of the family kind of passes down from generation to generation. Up until now, I’ve been incredibly resistant. But this year, I decided I wanted to learn how to both crochet and knit before I turn 50. Let’s just say I’m “practicing”, and leave it at that for now.

I also had kind of a spur of the moment meeting of sorts with Amanda yesterday. It was the highlight of my week, although at the time we were working the kinks out of an idea we’re putting together for next weekend!

Collectively, a few of us have ideas of things to do to help console one another through this unusual period of time, and also help others at the same time. While I won’t give away details and steal his thunder, be on the lookout for an announcement from Jason (VelvetRebel) – he has a great idea to keep you singing and dancing. In addition, Amanda and I are working on another Daily Duranie video party to take place next Sunday.

How can you be filled with doom and gloom while watching Duran Duran videos, interviews and other assorted gems, all while chatting with other DD fans? Our hope was to find a site that would allow us to watch videos and chat all in the same window – that way we wouldn’t have to mess with Twitter or use a hashtag to keep everything tracked and organized. We tested Zoom yesterday, and it seems like that’s going to work well for our purposes. If you’re interested in participating, you should go ahead and look into downloading the program/app now so you’re ready. We’re hoping to do the party in the middle of the day California-time, that way perhaps getting some people from other parts of the globe involved too. Be on the lookout for details as the week rolls on!

Along with all of that, of course – is Duran Duran. If you were online last Friday, perhaps you were treated to the sights of Simon attempting to answer questions from fans at rapid fire pace for about 30 minutes. It was amusing to watch just how quickly Twitter can go!! The questions ran the gamut from suggesting a good cocktail for pandemic lockdown (admittedly that was from me and no it did not get answered) to requests for Simon to be someone’s lockdown buddy. (no comments needed from me…or Simon, as it turns out!) All joking aside, there were also questions about his favorite B-side. (after a few other mentions, he settled on Secret Oktober, which of course as far as I’m concerned – is the correct answer!) The one thing that struck me, was how quickly Twitter devolved from being more of a running conversation right back to a firing line of questions and even demands from fans. When the band is online, it’s a tough situation. One of them, thousands of us – you can see the problem. I wish there was a better way.

Meanwhile, I have baby chicks to raise, and a couple of banners to photoshop – so I’m off! Remember to be on the lookout for fun fan things to do online this week! Stay safe, wash your hands, and keep the space!!

-R