I hate February. I think I say that every year. If you went back and looked at blog plots from February from last year or the year before or the year before that, etc., I’m sure there are sentences that are very similar to my first sentence. My students are going a little stir crazy as it has been months of cold temperatures and little sunshine. I’m dying for spring break but it is months away.
In thinking about this, I realized that the last few Februarys have also been quiet on the Duran front, too. The band has not toured during the month of February since 2005. Yes, they have played a few shows here and there in February but not a real tour. Before that, they did play a few shows in February in 2001 and 1993 with longer tours only during the years of 1994, 1989, and of course, 1984.
Ah, yes, 1984 is the year of Duran-mania. We all know about that year, that tour. After all, we all saw Sing Blue Silver, right? This scene always pops in my head when I think about Duran touring during the winter:
I bet that drive to Pittsburg (That is where they were headed in that scene, right?!) was a tough one. (I recently drove right past Pittsburgh in the middle of the night in the worst fog ever so I can relate.) In watching that scene, I always wondered if they feared that they wouldn’t make that show. This, of course, makes me consider why they might not schedule many tours during February.
Winter can be harsh. Traveling is certainly unpredictable during the this season. I worried about the weather in making plans to see Duran around New Year’s in DC. What if the weather sucked and flights got canceled? What if I couldn’t get to O’Hare? I had the same concerns in 2008 when I went to a few shows in the Northeast during December. Luckily, the weather cooperated both times.
I guess the band could tour just in warm places during the winter in order to avoid potential weather pitfalls. Then, they would be assured that they could get to the shows without a problem. That said, others might not be able to get to those shows as easily. Perhaps, they realize that there is a group of Duranies who are willing to travel to see them when they can. Their audiences are not just made up of local or nearby fans. Some part of the crowd consists of people who traveled to go. Therefore, tours during the winter could be problematic.
Really, I have no idea why Duran has not toured in the winter in the last ten plus years. It could be that weather factor or something else. As much as I understand the potential reason(s) why, I find myself wishing that there were shows coming up in a week or two. Maybe, it is just that I’m anxious for the shows in March. Perhaps, I just want a break from a reality that is beyond exhausting at this point. Whatever the reason, I’ll try to hang in here until the shows get started.
This week has been tough. Work has sucked on top of others things. I find myself needing distraction. When I recognize that I need something to take my mind off of real life and things that bother and/or upset, I go to the same people I have for decades. I turn to Duran Duran. Somehow, I suspect that others might need some of that distraction, too. After all, it is February. Many of us haven’t seen much sunlight for months and vacations are far away. Duran Duran shows are still more than a month away. We need something to get through it all.
My recommendation for this much-needed diversion is homework, Duran Duran homework. I like tasks where I am asked to pick Duran Duran songs for different purposes. (I’m weird. What can I say? Although you are reading this blog so maybe I’m not the only one!) This reminded me that my friend, Nat, had a suggestion when we were in DC over New Year’s. She thought it would be fun if people came up with their own personalized ultimate Duran Duran box set. I loved it and told her that I would share the idea here. Thus, your homework assignment is to create the Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.
Here is what must be included in your box set:
7 Singles (This is where you would put The Reflex and Hungry Like the Wolf, if you so desired.)
7 Album Tracks (songs that were never released to radio for chart placement like The Seventh Stranger or The Edge of America)
7 B-Sides/Demos (Secret Oktober and Late Bar come to mind as well as Beautiful Colours)
7 Live tracks (songs that should only be heard live, in person)
7 Side and Solo Projects (Arcadia, Power Station, John Taylor solo, etc.)
You can decide the order of each of those components.
YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT IS DUE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17. You can send your homework by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by private message on Facebook or by direct message on Twitter.
After I get everyone’s homework assignment, I will compile the results to create the fan chosen ultimate box set. I cannot wait to sit down to come up with mine (perhaps at today’s all day staff meeting!) and I am looking forward to what you choose!
It is getting to the time of year that I enjoy. Typically, January is a quiet month for Duran Duran. They’re coming off of a holiday break, perhaps they’re busy, but they aren’t necessarily doing a ton of public performances and press. So, the dates in history can be somewhat…well…unexciting. Yes, I said it.
However, today is January 30th. On this date in DD history, there are several items of interest, but the one I’ve chosen to highlight is their appearance and performance of Electric Barbarella on the UK Lottery show—particularly because I happen to have found video to share.
Yes, I know I should remain serious about the music, but this wouldn’t be Daily Duranie if I didn’t point out Simons fabulous demonstration of his “Hallucinating Elvis” moves. That alone is worth the time to watch!
1999….was it really that long ago? In some ways, yes. The lineup alone has changed twice since then (Warren left at the reunion, Andy left after Astronaut). In other ways, they’re still the same guys…and Simon’s dancing has not exactly improved. (It’s getting close to March and I have to get in a fair amount of teasing between now and the time they arrive, otherwise it just wouldn’t seem right!)
Back to business, I don’t know that I’d actually watched this before. Sometimes, I will stumble upon something that I either haven’t seen, or didn’t pay attention to the first time (!!!), which is an important piece of what makes writing Daily Duranie fun for me. I see and learn new things constantly. That’s one thing about Duran Duran, as prolific as they have been during their career – there is always something new to find, absorb, and learn. I love that! Hopefully, our readers enjoy what we post as much as we enjoy writing it all.
So yesterday, I blogged about Seven and the Ragged Tiger going platinum. In that blog, I made mention that the Sing Blue Silver tour was in full swing. This is true, the tour began the following year in November, making its way through Australia and then to the UK, taking a break over the winter holidays. Then beginning the 1984 dates with this one at the Sendai Sports Center in Japan.
My memory of the Sing Blue Silver tour always encompasses 1984. Back in that day, I suppose I was not terribly in tune with what went on in the rest of the world. I was young, and the world felt so much larger, without the internet to bring us together and bridge the distance. I would imagine that for the fans in the UK, they remember 1983 being their year, and are likely still a bit offended that the Sing Blue Silver DVD centered around the American dates. I can only assume that since the goal was to break (and keep) America, since that was where the money flourished, they chose to document the tour there as well.
As I sit here trying to think back, I also must admit that for me, my memory of Duran Duran—particularly concert-wise—sort of begins with the Sing Blue Silver tour. While I was a fan prior to 1984, I don’t remember hearing the band touring (although they definitely did!). When I look back through the tour list, I see dates in Los Angeles as early as 1981, but they were mainly in clubs and I was ten years old. In 1982 when the band toured again for Rio, they played venues like the Greek Theater, and I was eleven by then. All of that time is so fuzzy for me, that when I try to write about what it was like to be a fan back then, all I can really remember is sitting on the floor at my friend Marsha’s house and listening to their records over and over again, or calling radio stations and begging to have them play whatever song was my favorite at the time. The rest of my memories are sort of out of synch. I’ll get vague flashes of sitting on the grass at school and talking about Andy Taylor, or giggling over the Rio video (I don’t know why, but I was really fascinated with Simon drinking the glass of neon whatever-it-was under the water), or getting red in the face watching Roger be kissed by the girl in Hungry Like the Wolf. I was really young. I just can’t put the memories in any sort of chronological order to be sure of what happened when (definitely an issue when writing about my fan history with this band).
So for me, the Sing Blue Silver tour is really the first I remember, and even then, I didn’t actually go. It wasn’t as though I went from hearing Planet Earth one day on the radio, to hearing Rio and then suddenly the band was everywhere, but in my memory, that’s kind of how it unfolds.
Yesterday I said I wouldn’t go back to being thirteen. That’s probably true. I had a tough time in middle school. I was picked on a lot, and I was really awkward. I so desperately wanted to be popular and accepted, and unfortunately I think that just made it worse. The last thing I’d want to do is go back and relive that a second time. However, all that said, I wish I could have told the twelve or thirteen year old me to take accurate notes because I would need them later. Who knew?!?
So while Sendai, Japan was very much on the other side of the planet to me, the date marks the beginning of Duran time that I remember fairly well. Duran Duran were on the top of the world, and we were all riding the wave.
One of my friends likes to use the saying “ride it until the wheels fall off”. I’m still hanging in there, 33 years later. How about you, do you remember any of this in 1984?
Yesterday, I posted the results to some surveys I created regarding Duran fans and their collections of their albums as well as side/solo projects. I promised to do a little analysis about what I thought about the results. (You might realize that I like to do this sort of thing. I tend to analyze a lot. It is the social scientist in me, I guess. Plus, I like to try to figure out the Duran fan community the best I can!) If you want to read the full results, you can read the post here.
Duran Albums Owned:
In looking at the results, I figured that most people reading this would own Rio. Heck, it is probably the most owned Duran Duran album out there as I am willing to bet that there are a lot of non-Duranies who own it. Quickly following Rio was Seven and the Ragged Tiger, The Wedding Album, Self-Titled, Arena, and Paper Gods. Again, both Seven and the Wedding Album included significant hits for the band, which means it is logical for those to be owned by many. Paper Gods might be the only odd album in there except that it was the most recent one. Rounding out the top of the albums owned list was Astronaut, All You Need Is Now, Notorious and Red Carpet Massacre.
After that, the number of fans who own Greatest, Big Thing and Decade dropped. An even greater drop happened with the albums of Thank You, Liberty, Medazzaland and Pop Trash. In fact, the least owned studio album was Pop Trash. That does not surprise me in the least. Actually, I am not surprised by the last 4 studio albums of Thank You, Liberty, Medazzaland and Pop Trash. Why is that, though? Are those albums hard to find or do fans not want to spend money to buy them? What I found interesting, though, is that there are not many fans who own Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind. This leads to another question. Is it these fans don’t own the DVDs or that they bought the DVDs without the CD? I’ll ask those questions in later surveys?
Duran Albums Heard Completely:
I have to admit that the results of this survey surprised me a bit. While it wasn’t the order that make me think, I was just surprised that so many fans haven’t heard entire albums. For example, there were a number of fans who participated who haven’t heard the whole Big Thing album or all of the Self-Titled debut. While I can understand Big Thing, but the 1st album? All of songs off of these albums are available on YouTube so cost isn’t the reason. It isn’t that I’m judging. I’m just trying to understand. If you haven’t heard all of the Duran albums completely, can you please share why? I would like to know.
Side/Solo Projects Owned Completely:
Again, I could have predicted the results to this one. I knew more fans owned Arcadia and not many would own Roger’s Freebass. The only one that sort of surprised me was that there were a lot less fans who owned Power Station in comparison to Arcadia. Is that because of the second album of Power Station? I could ask more questions to find out. Again, though, I would like to know why fans own what they do, especially after seeing the results of the side/solo projects heard.
Side/Solo Projects Heard:
The results of the side/solo projects heard completely almost matches the side/solo projects owned. Most fans have heard Arcadia completely. Few fans have heard Freebass completely. Yet, the list changes when you look at side/solo projects that people have heard some of. In that case, more fans have heard some of Simon’s followed by Andy and John. In that case, I can conclude that many Duranies have heard some of the individual songs by Simon, John, Andy, etc. Would those fans want to hear more of the solo projects then? Lastly, a lot of fans haven’t heard Freebass at all. The same is true with Dom’s stuff and many of the side projects created in the 1990s and beyond. Do people want to hear those projects?
Those are my thoughts about these surveys. Every time I use surveys like this I learn something more about our fan community. What did you think of the results?
There are days when I am so thankful for this blog, this safe, happy place, that I wish I could hug it. Today is one of those days.
Yes, we had an election in my country yesterday. Some may be happy with the results. Others may be very unhappy. I am concerned. I don’t know what to write, or how to feel. Mostly I want to move on, but I can’t seem to find the right way to go forward yet.
John voted in his first American election yesterday. He tweeted a picture from the @duranduran account. I am sure that must have been a very exciting and proud moment for him, despite the results not turning out as he may have wanted.
I know the rest of the world is sick of our politics right now. I live here and I’m sick of it too. I’ve seen many a friend and acquaintance comment in a variety of ways about the election, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there is nothing I can say to make people happy. Once again our country has come to a crossroads, voters have spoken, and we find ourselves waiting for the other shoe to drop. There are massive wounds left behind to heal, and I would be insane to think I could do anything to help with that process.
So, I’m watching videos today. I may not know much, but I do believe that music heals. It makes ME feel better. Our world is not perfect. My country may not have voted the way the rest of the world felt best, but watching a video or listening to my favorite band still has the power to make me feel better.
I’m just going to shut off my TV, shut down my computer, put down my phone, and try to enjoy some music for a while. I invite you to do the same. Sometimes, you just have to take time out to breathe.
I like to believe that my timing is pretty good. If I want to be on time, I can be. This time, though, I’m even a little early. What am I early for? I’m early in wishing my partner-in-crime, my fellow blogger and Duranie a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Tomorrow is the actual day but Monday’s aren’t my day to blog, typically. On top of that, I will also be at work for at least 12 hours as I put in a full day and hold four hours of parent-teacher conferences after. Thus, I’m using my Sunday blogging opportunity to write a little blog, celebrating not only my best friend’s birthday but also to cheer the friendship that we have.
In looking back at a friendship that began in 2004, I recognize that we have shared quite a few emotions and a number of significant events together. I believe that strong emotions and significant experiences help to solidify friendships so that they can endure the up and down nature of life and relationships. This blog, then, will attempt to shed light on some of those feelings and events.
One thing is for sure—a lot of our friendship has been fueled by our shared excitement for Duran Duran happenings. Looking back, this began in December of 2004 when a flurry of phone calls took place surrounding upcoming tour dates supporting the reunion album of Astronaut. I still recall the feeling of pure joy in calling Rhonda mid-day later that week to report that I indeed was able to acquire VIP tickets for us for the Chicago show in March 2005. Of course, this type of activity has been repeated countless times since. The most recent being when the band released the video for Last Night in the City, inspiring repeated viewing and a little video review, which you can see here:
In many cases, those feelings of excitement translate to pure joy when the anticipation becomes reality. For us, over the years, generally, the joy has come from screaming, singing and dancing at a Duran Duran concert. It might even come when we squee over DoJo. The first one was in Chicago and the last one was in Chula Vista, California, with shows in between in various locations like the Northeast, the Southeast and even the UK.
Of course, our fandom has been more than video releases and concerts. A lot of our fandom has been about talking, thinking, discussing about all things Duran. I think of countless examples of times that we have watched or listened to something together. Last year, for example, we exchanged a series of text messages as the lyrics to different songs on Paper Gods sunk in. When we really paid attention to the lyrics of Last Night in the City and realized that the words described how we feel on tour, then the album began to take hold. Years earlier, we viewed the brand new video for All You Need Is Now together, squeed in delight and picked apart the images we loved the most. Sometimes, our need to discuss take place at strange times like when the video for Girl Panic came out. I couldn’t wait to talk to Rhonda about how smart the video is so I called her from my classroom during my brief lunch hour.
While our friendship has often surrounded fun and good times, we have also experienced moments of extreme worry. We grieved when Andy left for the second time, for example. Another instance was when we felt for that we were facing the end of Duran Duran when Simon lost his voice in 2011 and the UK spring tour had to be canceled. There we were in the UK, having flown for four shows and getting none. Instead of staying away from all things Duran, we ventured out to the band’s studio where we witnessed Simon explain that he didn’t think he was going to be able to sing followed by John’s look of devastation. Like others there, we put on a brave face. Rhonda and I did what was logical. We went for ice cream to drown our sorrows in dairy and sugar.
Unlike almost all of my other friendships, Rhonda and I took a very brave, but risky step to do more than just be friends. We decided that we would work together. Sometimes, this decision brought us closer together when we faced challenges and bonded over a shared realized that only we could understand what we experienced. Other times, we pushed and pulled against each other, wanting to dig in our heels about something or another while at the same time reaching for compromise. I look back at some of those moments and realize that the push and pull always brought out the best in us even if it wasn’t always easy. Yet, we weren’t afraid to have those little disagreements, knowing that our foundation as friends was strong. Clearly, we have worked well together on this blog, with fan events, with a convention and even with writing, despite any and all setback. Truly, I didn’t just gain a friend but someone that helps me bring out the best in me.
The thing is that a lot of friendship surrounds fun. Sometimes, our hard work has led us to celebrate. At other times, it is simply being together that brings fun, whether in person, on the phone or via Skype. Luckily, many of our in person good times have been at Duran shows. I won’t lie. We have held many “all night parties” and enjoyed many “cocktail bars”. At the end of day, there isn’t much better than having a vodka tonic or two and laughing over some ridiculous quote that one of us had uttered.
Looking at all of these emotions that we have experienced together, I also have to appreciate the little moments. I look back at all the times we were in a car driving to or from a show. Those moments were filled with listening to Duran while creating what we thought would make a great setlist. Other little moments that I have enjoyed include going to art museums together, dancing to 80s music at a club, or simply talking or exchanging emails.
On this day then I celebrate our friendship and the person, the friend who puts up with me and who has shared all of these emotions with me. My world would be a lot smaller, a lot less fun and a lot less happy. On that note, then, I wish her the happiest of birthdays and many more to follow! I also hope that all of you wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
I promised myself that I would get my act together with this blog and my new schedule. I wouldn’t miss blogging days, and it would all be fine.
Then Tuesday happened. I had no blogging ideas, I had no inspiration, and no time. It is a never-ending battle. There are moments when I long for what it was like in previous years. I could sit down to write at nearly any time. These days, I work out of the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and as it turns out I get asked to work remotely (from home) sometimes on other days as well. It leaves little time for writing, and unlike Amanda, who has discovered the knack for gathering ideas ahead of time—I haven’t.
All I can do is take a deep breath, smile, and say that I am doing my best. I appreciate your patience, but I could also really use some writing ideas and/or topics. My hope is to get to a point where I can blog on Mondays for both Monday and Tuesday, and then on Wednesdays for Wednesday and Thursday. This means that yes, I’ll miss out on “breaking news” some of the time, but it’s the best I can do for now.
Until then, I see that we’re still voting for the MTV EMA’s Best World Stage, as Mr. Le Bon mentioned today on Twitter. As he says, “it is time to mobilize”. (My autocorrect immediately switches to the US spelling and I’m not fixing it…sorry!)
Unlike the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is totally about the fans. I’m voting. I’ve been voting. Are you? I would love nothing more than to see Duran Duran win Best World Stage , particularly because I really believe their live show is outstanding, and they’ve earned it. Yes, it’s vain. Yes, it’s a popularity contest. Yes, I blogged earlier today about how I think the RRHOF is unimportant. This is different.
So here’s the link, go do your thing, Duranies. And if you’ve already voted: DO IT AGAIN. (In fact, do it over and over!)
Duran Duran was nominated for the MTV EMA’s! Those aren’t words I get to type every day, which makes this post especially fun.
No, awards don’t necessarily matter, nor do critics or poor reviews, but it’s nice to see the band review a few accolades every now and then. Duran Duran is nominated for Best World Stage. I looked this up because I wasn’t sure what the heck it meant, but then I remembered – the World Stage concert in the Piazza Del Duomo last year in Milan. Ah, yes.
I think this is something we can get behind.
First of all, let’s refresh our memory. I mean….to be fair about this voting thing we should at least remind ourselves, right??? It’s our due diligence!
I remember this show not because it was MTV…but because the setting was fabulous, and the band seemed like they were on fire. I remember seeing photos of the Piazza during the day and then that night. Stunning. Then the band came on stage and the Piazza was electrified. Shows like that are hard to top, no doubt.
At the time, I remember thinking that they’d been cheated out of performing on the actual show itself. Another show of music industry age-ism, no doubt. In hindsight though, I think they had the better deal, playing for fans in the middle of that beautiful setting.
The following night, they earned the very first MTV EMA for Video Visionary. Again, not a bad deal. Let’s remind ourselves of that grand moment! (this clip is from YouTube and was filmed from the back because – there’s another clip on MTV if you want a better one but I couldn’t get it to post here, although the link is below)
And, let’s face it, being nominated for an EMA isn’t a terrible payoff either. But now, we have work to do, Duranies, if we want to see them actually win.
We have to vote. A lot.
Here is the link to vote for Duran Duran to win Best World Stage at this year’s MTV EMA’s. Just click on the picture and it’ll take you to the website!
Now, I know many fans will scoff and say awards don’t matter, or that MTV doesn’t even play videos anymore…or that no one in the audience will even know who Duran Duran is, or better yet, that setting up and encouraging multiple votes lacks honesty and integrity.
Not with that attitude! It takes about two seconds and two clicks to vote for a band that we all love, and at the same time we are helping expose them to an international audience that might not know them as well as we do. Besides, it’s cool to see them get an award for something that we already know: They are amazing live and put on one hell of a good show. Supporting that is easy. Now go do it. Many, many times!
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!