Yesterday’s winner: Like an Angel
For the win–
Which song would you rather see live in concert: Sunset Garage or Like an Angel?
Yesterday’s winner: Like an Angel
For the win–
Which song would you rather see live in concert: Sunset Garage or Like an Angel?
Lately, my questions of the day have focused on which songs people have seen Duran Duran perform in concert. This idea came from the ever-frequent discussions regarding set lists and how there are many within the fan community who are tired of hearing the same old songs when they go to Duran Duran shows. For example, I could do without Come Undone and Ordinary World, just saying. Yet, as I started this set of questions, I heard from some fans that they have not had the opportunity of seeing Duran Duran in concert. After hearing this more than I would have thought, I did what I usually do and began to wonder why, especially as someone who would like to understand fans and our fan community, in particular.
Could it be Duran Duran’s fault that some fans have not seen them i concert? Are they a band that don’t tour much? While there definitely has been times that they haven’t toured much, those dry spells don’t last forever. Now, of course, the band tours in some places more than others. For example, we are all aware that Duran Duran tours the U.S. a lot more than they do…many other places like South Africa or New Zealand. So, I can definitely understand that for fans living in those rarely toured countries that they might not have had an opportunity to go. The same is obviously true for those fans living in countries that the band has never toured. Yet, it seems to me that there are many people living in the United States, for example, that haven’t seen Duran Duran. Perhaps, for some of those fans, they might say that while Duran Duran comes to their country, they don’t come where they live. That’s true for many states in the US. For example, I don’t think Duran Duran has ever played in Alaska or Montana. Heck, I live in Wisconsin. The last time they played in this state was in 2005. The last time they played in my city, though, was in 1984. Therefore, if I want to see the band live, I know that I have to travel. I have to.
This leads me to wonder if everyone can travel. I’m sure that there are some reasons that might truly stop people from traveling. For example, there might be some physical limitations due to health conditions that might stop people. What else could stop people from traveling? In the US, the main means of traveling are car/bus, train or plane. Are those options all available to everyone in the hopes of getting to where Duran Duran might be playing? For the most parts, cars/buses can get you anywhere you want to be in the lower 48 states. You might need a lot of time, though, to get to where you want to go. Trains would be a good alternative but they really aren’t available everywhere. Planes are available in decent sized cities but do cost the most. It is clear that traveling isn’t always super convenient either due to time it takes or the cost. Many Duranies do accept this as a price to pay, though, in order to experience Duran live. I know I do. Ask anyone. I’m not a fan of plane travel but…I do it. I do it for Duran Duran concerts.
Speaking of prices to be paid, clearly, there is a cost involved to going to a Duran show. Ticket prices have gone up since the first time I saw them, especially if one is interested in a VIP package and the opportunity for a really good seat. That said, there are usually cheaper tickets available. For example, the California Mid-State Fair that just went on sale had tickets starting at $41, which isn’t too bad. I suspect that most people have to actually save money in order to go to any concert, but especially when it also requires money for traveling. Speaking only for myself, I have to admit that I really do prioritize Duran Duran over lots of other things. For example, I desperately need new carpeting and a new fridge. Yet, those will get funded only AFTER my Duran fund has been met. Some might think that it is crazy but that is my preference. I figure that I can put a little bit away each month to feed my fandom.
Another aspect of going to Duran Duran concerts that I have is the fact that I have a touring partner, a buddy, a partner-in-crime. I have someone to go to shows with and someone who I travel with. That is huge. Here is a little secret. The main reason that I started hanging out at Duran Duran message boards was to find someone to go to shows with. I knew that none of my close friends where I lived was into Duran. Thus, I had to seek elsewhere and was lucky to find someone I have a ton of fun with! Could this be the problem for some fans? This is part of the reason that Rhonda and I do what we do here. We are hoping to help others make connections and friendships with other fans. We were lucky that we did.
What am I missing? What else might stop someone for going to see Duran Duran live in concert? To me, there is nothing better than going to see Duran Duran live. Nothing. I would love for everyone to be able to experience a Duran Duran show for themselves.
Today, for my teacher meeting, I was asked to bring in a favorite t-shirt. I have many, many t-shirts to choose from. The t-shirts I considered included some Punk Masters t-shirts as well as some Duran Duran ones. Yet, the t-shirt I decided to go with is a t-shirt that my friends and I got made in 2006, which says, “Work Sucks! I’m going on tour!” Part of me wondered if this t-shirt was the right choice or not. After all, it seems pretty in your face. It seems very anti-work, right? Plus, is it so good to have my fandom out there so much?! Is this my sad attempt at reaching a balance between teaching and what I do in relationship to fandom?
I have a love/hate relationship with work. I am sure that many people feel that way about their job. I love the actual teaching part of my job, including writing, creating and delivering lessons to teenagers so that they understand some historical event, era, concept, etc.. Generally, I have great relationships with my students. This week, I was reminded again of the fun that I can have with my students. Let me give an example. On Tuesday, I wanted to celebrate the anniversary/birthday of Planet Earth. So, I played the video at the beginning of each class period. Most of my students didn’t know what to make of the song or the video. I did have a few kids who declared that they liked Duran Duran. Although, in fairness, some might have said that just to earn some extra brownie points from their teacher. Still, other students took this as an opportunity to give me a hard time about my musical taste. No matter the students’ reactions, I had fun introducing my favorite band to them. It gave me a chance to talk a little musical history and fandom.
On the other hand, I am sitting in meetings all day today, which is not what I want to be doing. I have grading that I’ll be working on over the weekend. In fact, I work so much on nights and weekends that I get pretty excited when I get a day “off”. If that wasn’t enough, I spend a lot of time trying to do tasks that are required of me by my school, district or state that doesn’t do much to help me or my students directly. I don’t really hide some of my frustration over these “requirements” and extra work. Let me honest here, too. Part of the problem is that these extra tasks often interfere with other things that I want to be doing. I want to be writing and researching about fandom. I want to be organizing and holding fan events. Therefore, is my bringing this anti-work t-shirt too much? Too negative? Perhaps. Yet, it is honestly how I feel a lot of the time. I would rather be on tour.
I also wonder if this type of t-shirt show too much of my fandom? Should I hide my fandom at work? Some obviously would argue that I should hide it and that it has no place in a professional setting. Yet, it absolutely doesn’t interfere with my duties. My social media interactions should prove this as I’m rarely able to be online at all during the day and only during my lunch and planning periods. Yes, my students know that I like Duran Duran. I don’t think it is wrong for my students to see me as a person with likes, passions, interests. I hope it encourages them to share their interests, their fandoms. Plus, one thing that I want all of them to understand is that there is nothing wrong with being in a fandom. There is too much stigma already with fandom. If I keep my fandom closeted, so to speak, I would think that I’m sending the message that fandom should be hidden, secret, something to be ashamed of. Do I worry that my supervisors would think less of me? I don’t for two reasons. First, I am good at my job. My fandom doesn’t impact that. Second, I don’t want to hide who I am for anyone or anything.
At the end of the day, the real question isn’t whether or not to hide my fandom. The real question is how to keep the elements of my job that I like while allowing me the time to focus on other interests like my work surrounding fandom. Any suggestions?!? Anyone offer me a deal so that I could go part-time with my teaching?! Can I get paid for going on tour?
This is just a short blog today, as I am getting prepared to head out with my family to celebrate New Year’s Eve. We party pretty heavily here, with a dinner out and then home for an extended session of Rock Band if we can convince the kids to play…HA!
I wanted to take a moment to wish our readers a very happy and peaceful New Year. I am hoping that 2016 brings everyone a sense of calm, happiness, health, love, great music, and enduring friendship.
One of the more romanticized parts of New Year’s Eve is not knowing what the future will hold, yet looking ahead and hoping for the best. Like anyone, I also think about the future with a sense of hope, something that I suppose has grown to be more difficult to do recently with the crazy world we live in.
I hope to see many of you at the upcoming US shows next year. They seem to be a long way off as I write, but I know that the time will fly by as it usually does, and before long I will be compiling notes from the shows and sharing news here. As always, there is an open, standing invitation for guest bloggers, whether you would like to write a show review or your thoughts on any part of fandom or Duran Duran fandom. Please check out our page on guest blogging for more info – and if you’d like to cover a show or two for us and be a Daily Duranie Special Correspondent please let us know! 🙂
I’m off until Monday, so have a wonderful New Year!!
Tuesday brings a 2015 year-end Katy Kafe with John Taylor – this time in video! Let me properly set the stage: John is sitting at his computer in a cozy sort of room with white paneling. There is an upright piano (complete with obligatory metronome) sitting against the wall to the back right of him, and above the paneling around the room, there are figurines of some sort. (To be honest it reminds me very much of a room at my grandmothers old house, and this shelf is exactly where she would display her salt and pepper shakers. I’m pretty sure John isn’t the type to collect salt and pepper shakers [???], and my eyesight isn’t THAT great so I couldn’t tell what they were. As I continue typing, I’m starting to think that perhaps it’s a little weird for me to even notice…but whatever. Fan blog. Need I say more??) As I further considered the setting, I was thinking “seems like a den”, and at that same time, John mentions that Katy has caught him in his den. And for you John girls out there – he’s wearing a fedora-type hat (although the brim doesn’t seem wide enough to be called a fedora, but it’s along those lines.) So there you have it!
He recalls Simon saying that this tour was the best ever to the audience on the last night of the UK tour. He said that he meant to ask him later on if he really meant it because he was feeling similar. “Every show was great. No throw-aways. No one lost their voice.” He continues by mentioning the audiences, “The crowds this year have been on another level.” John says that this past year, he’s felt very loved, unconditionally, which has been encouraging.
In retrospect, he feels very good about 2015, saying that the band still seeks success in a number of avenues, and that touring does help to achieve part of that. “Every night, getting positive feed back. [It is] A validation of what we do.” John speaks of the press, partially in answer to the subject of whether or not he is surprised that in 2015, Duran Duran is still touring and creating albums. He surmises that perhaps, had the band not shot straight to the stratosphere, but instead had a much more steady rise and build up, the press may have seen them and the band’s future differently.
The album comes up naturally in conversation several times over the course of the Kafe, as John refers to the two years the band spent in the studio writing and recording, “Pulling hair, but still having the inkling that the team still has something to give.” Conversely, touring isn’t all “the band”. The audience has something to add to that conversation. He explains that he isn’t like Nick – he likes the studio, but loves being onstage, “I want to perform.” For John, the albums are produced so that they have material to keep the performances fresh. He talks about how on the UK tour they integrated video into the show and that they’re all “still learning and putting it all together and it has been fun. It hasn’t always been that way. We are enjoying who we are.” He uses a very interesting sort of analogy to drive his point home, talking about how you can look over the course of the band’s (or anyone’s) career or life in photos and see the various “detours” (as he put it) and you can say “Oh yeah…there’s an apparent midlife crisis happening there.” But right now, they know exactly who they are.
As a commentary, I found his statement interesting because there are still plenty of people out there that feel Paper Gods was written with the idea of attracting a wider audience (as opposed to just their core fan base) in mind. Katy feels that Paper Gods is emblematic of who they are and their career at this point in time – yet many others disagree, saying that the band is trying to be something they are not. It’s clear John very much believes that Paper Gods is an accurate representation of who Duran Duran is in 2015. I tend to feel, after blogging and engaging with the fan base for the past five years, there is a certain faction within who believe unless the band is recreating the sound from the first album, Rio and perhaps even Seven and the Ragged Tiger to a limited extent, they’re not being true to themselves. I suppose to those fans, Paper Gods is a tough sell, which is a shame. I’m sure many would disagree, but that is my take-away after having written and observed the fan base for the better part of a decade, for what it may be worth.
Since the Kafe is happening in John’s den, we have the added benefit of John being able to pull the albums directly from his collection. His first “grab” is Julia Holter’s Have You In My Wilderness. (Is this an appropriate time to mention that I’ve never heard of Julia Holter but I’m going to Spotify right now to find her?? Two songs in and I’m sold, btw – it’s a great album for relaxing, which is EXACTLY what I need right now. Thanks John! This is one reason why I love John Taylor and miss him from social media. He feeds me new music discoveries.) He goes back to the record pile and grabs another – this time coming back with Bjork – I think he held up Biophilia but I’m not positive and forgot to make note. One last grab, this time holding up Beach House’s Depression Cherry. He seems to like female lead singers, as Katy mentions. Lately, he’s been in to them, he agrees. He also lists Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and Hot Line Bling as other favorites for the year.
Without skipping a beat, John announces that Mad Max is his favorite movie of the year. Katy questions him a little about the modern Mad Max, wondering if it is at all like the original. After limited discussion it is agreed that it is its own animal. As a runner-up, John mentions The Clouds of Sils Maria (with Juliette Binoche and Kristin Steward).
Finally a topic that causes John to take pause. He contemplates, and says he’s watched a lot of TV this year – mentioning that he just finished bingeing on four seasons of Scandal. Katy assumes he’s watching that with Gela, but no…John is watching this by himself. I chuckle, because well…it is also a favorite of mine.
John read Jonathan Franzen’s book Purity, which he liked…but that caused him to read his book Freedom, which he LOVED. He mentions that not only is he not a fast reader, he doesn’t finish a lot of the books he starts. I struggle with that myself these days, sadly. Then he grabs a book from his desk by Ian McDonald called Revolution in the Head, which is an incredibly accurate breakdown of Beatles Songs and the minutia of how the band wrote and recorded them, calling it his bible.
Complexity. “Everything is a grey area”
John likened the experience to being in a punk band. He summarizes the feeling that night by calling it confrontational. Keep in mind the pub had about 120 people in it, and the band was quite literally playing in the faces of their guests (again, wishing my invite hadn’t been lost in the mail…) On a typical stage, you don’t have that same confrontational aspect. He talks about how he’s standing there, weapon in hand (that’d be his bass guitar of course), and he mentions the heat in the pub and that everyone is sweaty…and how he really enjoys those experiences every once in a while because it keeps the performance from getting too sanitized (or as I like to call it, “choreographed”, which I can definitely see being a hazard of the large stage show.) “There are no small stages.”
I find it fascinating how differently the band sees next year. They all agree that yes, they’re touring – but where Simon and Roger talk about the entire year being a “touring year”, John mentions more than once that it’s really only 3-4 months at this point. He talks about the two months of touring in the US, saying that it is very ambitious for them, and that he wants to get through it “peacefully”, meaning that no one gets sick or loses their voice or anything like that. He continues, saying that they are in a great position right now and that the show has “just begun”. He doesn’t know what opportunities it will bring, only that it will bring some. Katy does ask him about the possibility of doing other shows around the world, but I have to say – at least from my point of view as a listener/observer – John seemed hesitant to commit to more. I got the feeling that perhaps, at least at the point of this Kafe, nothing had been decided yet. Couple that with what Simon had mentioned about not knowing where the band was or was not going next year – I would venture to guess that beyond the US, the band has not necessarily committed to more dates as of this writing. Perhaps it all comes down to money (funding) and finding the right promoter, and perhaps the band really just does not know what is in the process of being organized. After all, this isn’t a band who gets involved in the day-to-day tour development. They handle their end, and someone else manages the business, which makes sense.
The subject naturally turns to the world at hand. “Glad we’re out there publicly at this time.” With the events from Paris and elsewhere, there is a lot of fear out there, being “stoked by the media and who knows who else.” Katy talks about how she doesn’t necessarily want to take her kids into the city or on public transportation (A feeling that as a fellow parent, I completely, yet sadly, share…and I am not that way normally.) “People are scared,” John surmises, “and looking for reassurance. You’re gonna get it from us.” He explains that he never takes any of the freedom with which they are able to play in the UK and “the country that embraced us – the U.S.” for granted. I like it when he describes it as always going out there and playing as though it were their last show, because for their fans, that’s exactly how many feel each night. “We’re gonna fight to keep those lines of communication open.”
Beautifully, John describes that horrible night in Paris for music lovers as having their bubble popped. It really was like that. The concert hall (or pub, bar, arena, etc.) is the escape for many fans. It is utopia. To have that feeling destroyed – well, it rocks one to the very core, doesn’t it?
Even so, John is really looking forward to getting out there. He talks about one of the greatest moments of his life being in Denver as he looked out onto the stage to see Chic playing, knowing that Duran Duran were to follow.
I have no doubt that Duran Duran fans look forward to 2016 with the same images in mind and excitement in their heart.
Funny thing while writing this post earlier…I had just finished this 800-word blog and saw that I needed to delete one single word. I navigated to the word, hit “delete”, and the cursor moved, deleting each letter. Then it kept going. No matter what key I hit or how much I screamed (because you know that I was), the cursor kept going. 700 words later, I finally got it to stop. Well, that’s lovely.
I really don’t know what I hit, but it was user-error of epic proportion. So, I did what any human on a time-constraint might. I said several four-letter words, and slammed my laptop shut. So here I am, back for round two!!
Real life has been “challenging” as of late for me. As those tests mixed with a few frustrations surrounding getting tickets for shows, I’ve found myself starting to think more and more about selling the tickets I had (or asking Amanda to sell them) and just not doing any shows next year. Too expensive, too stressful, too unfair, and real-life problems are not sorting themselves out fast enough for me. So off and on I’ve considered that perhaps it is time for me to sit this one out.
This thought was in my head quite a bit over the weekend and truthfully I’m still not sure what I need to do. I am hoping that by not doing anything right now and just letting it all sort of “stew” during the winter holidays, perhaps after the first of the year the right answers will come. Like anything, it’s complicated.
As these thoughts were floating around in my head, I went about my business until I came across a quote posted on Anna Ross’ FB page.
I stopped and read the quote, and then really thought about it. Oddly, I haven’t been listening to a lot of music lately. Even when driving back and forth to take my kids to school – I’ve kept the radio off and driven in silence. (I needed peace) Even so, the quote hits home with me. It isn’t just about hearing the music, although sometimes the music is great. It’s the memories.
No matter how many times I’ve heard some songs live – new memories seem to be made each time. One example I can give, and I tend to hesitate greatly with this one, is “Hungry Like the Wolf” (cue groaning). I was so sick of hearing that one live…until the All You Need is Now tour when Dom and John started coming to the front of stage to taunt…..err “play”…..part of it. I almost look forward to it in the set list now! “Save a Prayer” is another good example. I have seen it played many times and while I’ve always liked it, my memories of the song were mainly hearing Simon ask us to light up our mobile phones, that is, until the last time I saw it played at Agua Caliente. When I think about the song now, I think of driving all the way to Berkeley, back to Palm Springs, and then to my house. 1000 miles gives you a lot of time to think, rethink and overthink the simplest of things. I remember Amanda reading me texts from friends while I was driving late at night, or walking to dinner and navigating uneven sidewalks in Berkeley while reading and answering email. “Wild Boys” takes me to the morning after the Agua Caliente show when I drove like a crazy person from Palm Springs to LAX in order for Amanda to make her flight. It rained most of the way – which is pretty unheard of during October in So Cal – and that didn’t help me make-up time. “Pressure Off” makes me think of a party, complete with confetti cannons – which is a perfect description of the last tour in many respects. I can’t really even think of “White Lines” without laughing at the memory of me ducking down behind a friend as Simon did his infamous water trick. Farther back in my mind, I think of listening to John’s “Fields of Eden” as Amanda and I traveled in the UK by train, and “Secret Oktober” will forever remind me of being in Brighton – making it to that first UK show ever for me – and having the band break that one out.
The music would not be the same without the memories of people, places and things attached. The thoughts of those people, the places I’ve gone to see them, and the things I’ve done with them make me smile, even through some of the more painful portions of life.
I might not have all of the answers, but when I think about all of the fantastic memories I have from over the years I’ve seen Duran Duran – and all of the people I count as friends as a result, I don’t know how I could even think of missing shows next year. We will see.
I received the most interesting phone call yesterday at about 5pm my time. I was in my car, driving frantically from Office Depot, of all places, back to pick my youngest up from her singing lessons. I was pushing it, time-wise, and cursing while waiting for a lengthy traffic light to change when my cell phone rang. Normally when this happens, I ignore it unless I happen to see who is calling – so it was just dumb luck that I noticed it was Amanda. I had exchanged texts with her earlier, so I couldn’t imagine what it was she needed, but I answered the phone.
She seemed a little too joyful for what was about 7pm her time, so I immediately knew something was up. Naturally, and I really should have guessed this, but the dates for the North American portion of the Paper Gods 2016 tour were emailed to members of DDM. (Did I not warn all of you to get your membership??!!)
“Honestly Amanda. ONE HOUR. I left my computer for ONE FREAKING HOUR.”
Amanda laughs, of course, because more often than not – this is how our “tour planning” begins. I would swear I’m always in my damn car, without any way to really check the calendar or have any sort of visual reference as to what being told to me. All I’m thinking of in the moment as she’s listing the tour dates: A. Gotta stay in my lane and not get into an accident. B. Why in the hell does this have to happen NOW?
Somehow, I make it to pick up my daughter, and get us to the grocery store to buy food for dinner (yes, I’m that organized…which means I’m not at all…), then back to my house to prepare said dinner. All the while in nearly a full panic as I try to understand and commit to memory that Durham is in April, Washington DC is happening on my 21st wedding anniversary (not gonna even attempt to go to that one), Chicago is NOT in the spring, but instead in July…when both Amanda and I are as free as birds (Not to be taken literally…), and they’re even coming to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, which is five miles from my house. FIVE MILES! I don’t even know if that’s what the amphitheater is still called – they change names constantly – but I haven’t seen the band there since the 90s when I was still in college. I don’t really even have to take the freeway or toll road to get there and on a clear day I can SEE it from my street!
For the first time, Duran Duran managed to not only book a tour during a time of year where neither Amanda nor I need worry about scheduling – but they’ve even managed to NOT have dates during May or June – which are disaster months for the both of us. At first, we bantered about going to shows in Florida during the spring, but ultimately we agreed that we couldn’t do them all – and since it was easiest for both of us to travel during the summer, we would do what shows we could during that time. July it is!
Before I get much further, I just want to take a minute to be thankful. Duran Duran made our choices difficult this time, but not because there wasn’t anything to choose from. No…just the opposite, really! Most of the shows are centered around weekends (I’ve seen many say they’re during the week, but I didn’t find that to be the case in the shows I considered), they’re during a time of year when Amanda and I can both be away from our homes, and I personally think they’re in great places. But no, they can’t cover the entire country, and yes, there ARE really outstanding places left out completely. There is no winning this game for the band unless they spend the better part of the year traveling here. That said, it was nice to HAVE choices, and quite frankly it was nice to have dates at all.
Yeah, I know the pre-sales are tomorrow and that Christmas is a couple of weeks away. This isn’t the first time that’s happened, and its definitely not the first time we’ve been given less than two days until a pre-sale begins. Optimal? No, it’s not. I am not a fan of Ticketmaster and even less so of the scalpers who will likely leach the tickets before I even have a chance to find decent ones. I’m disappointed that DDHQ decided to go that route, but I’m not in charge and I don’t know how the system works for them at all. There’s always going to be something, and there’s always going to be someone who can’t buy tickets for one reason or another. I’m also well-aware that we’re going to be doing pre-sales for shows that are over six months away. That does seem excessive, until you look at other bands who do the very same thing. To be fair, none of us know how tours work for Duran Duran. I would imagine that deposits have to be made on some of these facilities, people need to be paid, etc, etc…and that money has to come from somewhere. So, pre-sales have to happen. Yes, it sucks and YES…I DO wish they would give us more than 48 hours to make decisions. It isn’t ever going to be perfect.
Additionally, and more importantly at least in my mind, we’re lucky we’re getting shows at all. I may be the only one who feels that way, but I’m still going to take a minute to say it here publicly. We’re fortunate to have dates to even consider. There are many other fans in many other places of the world that would love to just be given the opportunity to go to a show – much less have Amanda and I do parties and meet-ups, so I can’t complain about the system not being perfect for everyone. I see a lot of grumbling and complaining, both good-natured and otherwise, and I just wonder if we’ve taken the time to acknowledge how lucky we really are to have Duran Duran coming here to tour again. After all, this isn’t a band who stays on our “Top Ten” charts for long, if at all. This isn’t a band who has a ton of radio play here, either. Thankfully, they still come here because our market is valuable to them, and I appreciate that.
We’ve already heard from many of you out there, asking us where we’re going, suggesting we come to this show or that one, hoping we’ll set up meet-ups and pre-parties everywhere we go. Rest assured, the time for planning and partying will be coming soon. I can hardly wait to start getting sleep so that I can stay awake the entire month of July to see as many of you as possible!!
After major negotiating and planning with my cohort, we do have some shows in mind. Chicago speaks to both of us because we love that city and there are two dates there. We’re hoping to make Detroit and Toronto as well since I can fly out do those dates in a single trip. We’d really like to do Vegas, as well as Irvine and Chula Vista, which means Amanda would fly out to me and then we’d road trip those together. That’s a lot of shows, and to be perfectly blunt – it’s expensive. We would really love to be able to plan pre-show parties everywhere, because we see the difference it makes when people come to a party for fans, BY fans before the show (and after the show, too!). The reality is, we just can’t unless we win the lottery, find wealthy benefactors, or suddenly figure out how to turn this into a business so that our costs can be covered. Until then, we do what we can, and we sit a lot farther back! As the tour gets closer, we will keep everyone updated on our plans for parties and meet-ups here, on Facebook, Twitter, and our message board.
In the meanwhile, I extend the best of luck to everyone with pre-sales tomorrow. May your ticket prices not bankrupt you, your seats be fantastic, and good vodka be ever close at hand. 😉 (Ok, maybe not the vodka for a lot of you…but I figured while I was at it, I’d just throw that in there…)
PS – can you believe we’re all doing this again?!?
In my 45 years on this planet, I’ve become quite the cynic. Though, I don’t think I’ve ever been characterized as an optimist, to be fair, It is also true to say I tend to think the worst of situations (and people) as a knee jerk reaction a lot of the time. Seems silly to apologize for something that is as integral to who I am as my love for music, so I’ll just admit it’s something I continue to work on (and I often fail). However, even cynical-old-me takes notice of what happens every single time we find ourselves climbing out of the darkness of whatever tragedy has hit most recently. I’m writing of those tiny glimmers of good or the shining moments that tend to remind us that not everyone is bad, the world isn’t a horrible place, and yes, there might just be some hope left.
This week, I’ve taken notice of quite a few of these posts on Twitter and Facebook:
The funny thing is that I remember seeing a tweet from Dom a couple of weeks ago as Duran Duran was about to perform on TFI Friday Live. He tweeted they were about to perform with Eagles of Death Metal and Josh Homme (Who, at least at one point in time not that long ago, was one of Dom’s favorite guitarists). Dom went on to say that EODM had done a “great cover of Save a Prayer recently.” I kept that in the back of my mind as I went about my day and later watched the performance, which I enjoyed. I made a mental note to download their album (EODM) later when I had a chance. I didn’t think much more of it until last Friday of course, and we all know how irony works…
Once again, even through all of this pain and anxiety many of us are feeling, music works to bring people together. That feeling is pure, and it feels good to buy a song that somehow has just a little bit more meaning today than it might have two weeks ago. I also kind of feel as though the two bands: Eagles of Death Metal and Duran Duran, have a bit of a kinship now.
Quite noticeably, Duran Duran very quickly began promoting the efforts to get the Eagles of Death Metal cover of Save a Prayer to number one on their own social media. I know there were many that pointed out, almost immediately, that Duran Duran stood to gain the most out of this campaign. Yes, I’ll admit the thought crossed my mind as well. I pushed the thought aside and chose to wait and see how Duran Duran might respond. It is sometimes easy for the cynic in me to assume that it’s all about the money. On this one occasion, I wanted to believe there was more than just a few bucks (or quid as the case may be) on the line. I’m glad I waited.
Even as I’d cast aside the niggling little thoughts in my head about who really stood to profit from this venture – I felt that even IF Duran Duran profited in the end, there was still a lot to be said for this campaign to get Save a Prayer to number one. I don’t know how to express succinctly it in words except to write that at least for me, it was about more than just the song. More than just Duran Duran, and more than just the Eagles of Death Metal. I guess that for me, it was about people from all over taking what was truly a horrible nightmare that I can’t even begin to imagine, working through pain, sorrow, loss and who knows what else – and using that energy to do something good.
Can any of us really imagine what it must have been like to be the band (EODM) that night, up on the stage at the Bataclan? I’ve thought about that a lot. There they were, experiencing so much joy in one moment, and complete horror in the next. The band even lost their merchandise manager that night. No, it wasn’t one of the band members (thank goodness), but Nick Alexander was someone’s child, someone’s boyfriend, and the friend of many. I can’t even begin to know how those people must feel. So their fans took Save a Prayer to heart. It has become a sort of “you can wound us but you will not destroy us” type of anthem for them. They’ve vigorously campaigned on social media for people all over the world to buy it to show support. I don’t know, maybe I’m really living in Fantasyland, but for me, the positive energy speaks volumes. This coming from me, the cynic, no less.
It wasn’t long of course before Simon himself addressed the niggling concerns of profits from downloads of Eagles of Death Metal’s Save a Prayer, saying that the band would donate their profits to charity. As of this writing, Duran Duran hasn’t determined what that charity will be, only that they are considering those that are “peaceful, effective, and unifying.” As a fan, I can’t really ask for more than that. Maybe others disagree, but I still believe the good that the cause itself is doing (unifying music lovers from both bands at this point and getting our minds on something good coming out of the sadness and shock from last week that seems to grow worse with each passing day) is far greater than whatever concerns might be had about who really stands to gain.
For the record, I did buy the cover, as well as the album. I don’t live in the UK, and obviously the sale doesn’t count for the UK charts as result, but that really isn’t the point for me. For one, I think the Eagles of Death Metal did a great job on the song. Secondly, Dom did a good job of pointing it out because I wouldn’t have known about the cover otherwise. (and quite frankly the man has great taste in music which is why I bought their album and might even go back for more.) Thirdly, I wanted to make some show of support, somehow.
I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel so far away from my friends right now. Here I am, in sunny Southern California with a population of “ridiculous”, and yet I feel really alone, particularly when it comes to my fandom. I guess buying the song, at least for me, made me feel just a tiny bit closer to people I love and care about. The rest of the states, the UK, South America – there are a lot of people I wish I could hug right now. Silly? Maybe. I guess there IS still a bit of sap and kindness left in my hard heart. Dammit!! No matter, I want to encourage everyone to buy it. I believe the song is only $1.29 here in the states, it definitely doesn’t suck, and you know – let’s just make something good come out of this disgusting, appalling, tragedy. So it might not hit the charts here in the states, that’s really beyond the point for me personally. I don’t know about anyone else, but every single morning it feels like the news just gets worse and worse, and it’s time to let a little light come out of the darkness, you know?
I just wanted to say publicly how much I value Simon, and Duran Duran of course, choosing to address both the social media campaign and the concerns about who would really stand to gain. I love Duran Duran. I am incredibly proud to be a fan, and I didn’t really think I could possibly love them more than I did last week or last month. It turns out, I was wrong.
I think I’ve been watching the news non-stop since Friday afternoon. I’m a news-junkie to begin with, but this weekend I haven’t been far from the TV or my phone, as I monitor news from Paris.
I am still wrestling with what happened on Friday and how. I remember half-listening to the TV as I worked on a display for a history festival at my kids’ school on Tuesday. (I am actually using my gemology degree to teach kids!) All of the sudden, the news broke in regarding Paris and I walked to the center of our living room so I could better hear what was going on. Of course, the very first thoughts that went through my mind were:
It seemed with every passing second, my stomach sunk lower and lower. Talk of a bomb at a football game, a hostage situation at a concert, gunfire at restaurants and bars. All in Paris, and nothing from DDHQ to indicate whether the band was still in the city. In between frantic texts with Amanda, I tried telling myself that of course the band was gone, that there’s no way they could be anywhere near all of this. I tweeted Dom and DDHQ – as if they were actually going to answer me. (because seriously, who in the hell cares? I’m just another fan…but I had to at least try.)
Of course, we all know how it ended. Dom did tweet, to which I responded telling him that I’d hug both him and Martha if I could. As relieved as I still am, I can’t get the idea of those people being gunned down in the Bataclan out of my head, no matter how hard I try. The attacks in Paris, Beirut, and the hundreds of places it has occurred over the years are all horrific and have left their mark on me as a human, but the Bataclan sticks out for me because going to a concert is something many if not all of us have done. Just another night out, just another gig. Except of course it wasn’t.
I highly doubt I’m alone in saying that I think a lot about those people in that theater. It’s not as though I was even there that night. I was thousands of miles away, here in my own home. I’ve never seen the Eagles of Death Metal live. I don’t really know their music that well, but I still identify with those concert goers. I love music. I live for live shows. I don’t care what kind of music it is – classical or rock, jazz or blues – something magical happens when you watch a musician play, and I live for that.
When I sit and think about how I feel when I’m at a show, the word that comes to mind is “free”. I’ve written that I feel most like myself at a Duran show. It’s the one place I can leave reality behind for two hours, and just enjoy myself. I treasure that time. I give up a lot in order to have that time. I’m sure the people in attendance on Friday night in Paris felt similar. I don’t think the choice to attack that theater was pure coincidence or random – the terrorists struck where people were just doing normal things. It’s hard to get that thought out of my head – that this could happen anytime, anywhere. No warning.
I live in earthquake country, and as a result, I’ve been through a few during my life. Everyone who is not from California likes to tell me that they could “never live here” because the quakes are random and come without warning. This is true. I used to be so afraid of them when I was little that I wouldn’t/couldn’t sleep at night, and my dad would patiently sit with me and give the same speech over and over, “We can’t live in fear of them, Rhonda. You have to just go about your day because you can’t fear for things you don’t know are ever going to come – you’ll waste your whole life worrying.” He was right, of course. I’m still a worrier, and things still do not roll off my back, but he was right and I still hear his voice in my head telling me that I’m going to worry my life away.
During the last few days, I’ve seen the reports of U2 having to cancel their show in Paris, and the Foo Fighters canceling their tour. I saw Madonna stop her entire concert one night to say a few words about the attacks in Paris and specifically about the Bataclan. It would be a mistake to assume that just because we may not be fans of Eagles of Death Metal or since we were not personally there that night that this attack didn’t affect each and every one of us. Of course it did. We’re music fans. We are people. John Taylor himself once said that concerts are like group therapy sessions (I am paraphrasing from a sound byte many years ago). Music heals, and yet on Friday night – that is exactly the opposite of what happened to those people in that venue. But we cannot let evil win. We cannot live in fear.
I’m still struggling. There’s a part of me that very much wishes I were going to the Duran Duran shows in the UK just so I could see the band in person, for myself, and feel good that they’re OK. Then there’s another part of me that wants to keep my children here at home with me and never leave the house again. Fear can be pretty powerful. Last night my husband and I made last-minute plans to go to Vegas next week for a few nights. It’s a long, crazy story (aren’t they all?), but we’re going. I’ve been wanting to see the Beatles Love Cirque du Soleil show for years now – but every time we’ve gone, I’ve either been denied due to timing or circumstance. So last night, I bought tickets. Just before I hit the “buy now” button, I paused. Did I want to risk being in a big crowd right now, and for that matter – is it safe going to Vegas at all? I heard my dad’s booming voice in my head telling me to knock it off, stop worrying, and go.
We can’t let them win.
My Duranie-senses are tingling. Yours??
As we grow ever closer to Thanksgiving break, and vacation time comes closer (for me)…I can feel something brewing. 2016 tour dates, maybe?!?
Granted, I’ve been wrong before, and let’s face it, the UK dates are right around the corner anyway….but I sense something delightfully wicked coming, and it’s not just my regular cooking-for-turkey-day anxiety (because that’s not even delightful!!). Even so, a Facebook page dedicated to Caribbean tourism posted that Duran Duran would be visiting the island of Puerto Rico in late spring for a concert on April 30th. The date has not yet been confirmed by DDHQ, and there really is no telling if this is pure rumor, speculation, hopes…dreams…or if someone should be getting their knuckles rapped for posting information too early. No matter, all it does is remind me that it will not be long before the world rejoices in harmony as 2016 tour dates are announced and pre-sales begin.
However, just in time to tide us over, Duran Duran announced yesterday that they are performing for Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth that is planned for November 13-14. Mr. Gore is broadcasting from the base of the Eiffel Tower, and Duran Duran will be performing from that Paris stage. There are a number of other performers signed on to act from locations throughout the globe. For more information, check out www.24HoursofReality.org, which is also the site that will be live-streaming the entire event.
In the meantime, I want to give another shout out to the boys of Rio – the Duran Duran Tribute band from Southern California. I was present for their most recent show at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood this past Saturday night. It had been quite some time since I’d last seen the band, and the first gig I’d seen with their new “Andy” (Daniel Coffeng). I don’t want to say that I was surprised by the tightness of the band, but they were great and continue to improve each time I see them. The new “Andy” (Rio apparently has carried on the tradition of that ever-revolving guitarist!!) did a fantastic job on guitar, and the band even broke out a few songs I’d yet to hear from them including My Own Way, White Lines, and my personal favorite – Late Bar – which made my entire night. I don’t mind mentioning that I’ve never been present to witness the REAL Duran Duran play that one live, so you can just imagine my excitement for that one!
I’ve been following Rio’s career now for a few years. Their demand as a working tribute band is growing quite rapidly. Instead of solely playing the occasional gig in So Cal as a hobby of sorts, they’re traveling for shows in Nevada, Arizona, and even Washington. I have said it before and will say it again – this band is very much worth the drive to go see, and I can promise you’ll find yourself up on the dance floor cheering and dancing away. The band makes the show fun, yet they take their craft seriously. Despite some incredibly difficult-to-recreate sounds and musical arrangements, Rio sounds very much like the Duran Duran we expect. Each time I see them they’ve improved and I see no end in sight for them. There is much that sets them apart from other tribute acts out there, not least of which is the fact that the band are truly fans of Duran Duran. There is a lot of love and respect that flows through their performance. The band also loves their supporters, and they never hesitate to stop to chat or take a photo – no matter how exhausted they might be after their set. Take the opportunity to go see them!
Upcoming gigs for Rio:
Kool-A-Palooza (Salt River Fields), Scottsdale AZ 11/15
Totally 80s Bar and Grille, Fullerton CA 11/21
Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas NV 12/30
Fremont Street Experience Las Vegas NV 12/31
Point Casino, Kingston WA 1/30
That’s it from me for now – I’m back to waiting on pins and needles for 2016 tour dates to add to our calendar and dreaming of meet-ups to plan!