Category Archives: wives

Fame and Families

My friend Laurie used to say that people who studied Psychology wanted to know what was wrong with themselves, but people who studied Sociology wanted to know what was wrong with everyone else. When we were back in college, I used to laugh when she would say that. (Both of us were taking classes in branches of Sociology, oddly enough.) Naturally, she was being facetious at the time, but what she used to say does ring true. At the time, I think I was just learning how to be self-aware, but these days I see things pretty clearly. I know who is in the mirror, and sometimes – I can actually tolerate her! I’m far more interested in how we interact or behave as a community though, which is why this blog exists, and why we took the direction we chose with our book.  

A subject was raised in our comments yesterday that I wanted to blog about today. I actually wrote quite a bit in my response – but I wanted to highlight the topic here for further discussion. Read on…
As I mentioned, I’m fighting writers block. (Along with a massive headache which makes reading and typing difficult.) I’m not surprised I’m fighting this wall, given all of the changes my life has taken recently. Stress works in mysterious ways. So yesterday, I offhandedly mentioned that if anyone had blog ideas, to let me know. 
One commenter mentioned that maybe we should do some updates on family members of the band. I have no doubt that the commenter was concerned as s/he posted their suggestion – hoping that it wouldn’t be set aflame by Amanda or I, or even other fans.  Generally speaking, the subject of wives, and especially kids, seems to be taboo within the community. I think that there are several reasons for this, but the most obvious is that with the kids, they were still under-age, and it somehow felt icky to post photos or talk about them.  We have never done any of that here at Daily Duranie, even if we’ve mentioned the happenings of some of the wives from time to time. I know why we have chosen to keep the blog focused on the fans and the band, but what I am curious about – is what drives the curiosity.
Specifically, I’m interested in why people want to know what the kids are doing…why is it important to not only be a fan of the band, but also of anything that Gela is doing, or Yasmin?  This isn’t (for me) a sandtrap question – it isn’t a question made out of a judgment call, it’s a genuine question.  
There is some basic debate over the relevance of the topic. On one hand, I say it’s irrelevant purely because these other people are not the band, and for us here at The Daily Duranie – we stick to the fans and the band. On the other hand though, I’m not quite so sure. I think in most cases it’s pretty irrelevant as to what the wives and children of the members of Duran Duran are doing. I never became a fan of Yasmin’s or even of Gela’s – not because I don’t like their work, but the fact is – I’m a Duran Duran fan. Period. I love the band’s music, first and foremost. I think it’s fantastic that Gela has had not one but two successful couture clothing lines, and I do think that Yasmin is a gorgeous model, but their line of work simply isn’t of my interest, so I don’t really follow much about them. On the other hand, I know that Saffron, Simon’s daughter, sings – and at least at one time in recent memory, Simon made mention that she was singing a gig near their home and posted a link to her band. Out of curiosity because I love music of all types, I took a listen. I followed Roger’s son James and Andy’s son Andy when they were in the band The Electric City together back a few years ago because I really liked their music. Even so, I am not sure that I would have blogged about either Saffron or James and Andy’s band here on The Daily Duranie on an ongoing basis.  I might have made mention just to pass on the word, but I really don’t know. 
I think back to one time on myspace where one of Andy’s daughters graciously accepted friend requests from Duranies. She was still young at the time, although I do think she was over 18.  Everything was fine until Andy and the band split again – I’m not even sure it had been made quite public yet, and some fans started asking questions.  There were some signs that fans were being less-than-respectful about the situation, and within a short time she told fans to F off and blocked every last Duran fan she could.  It was an unfortunate situation, but one that was easy to see coming. 
This seems to be one of those topics where it would be easy to take what I think is the high road and say “absolutely not”, and in the case of the very young kids (Roger’s youngest or even Dom’s kids), I DO say absolutely not. It’s my mom instinct talking there. As I mentioned in my reply to the commenter from yesterday’s blog – as much as I want to brag about my kids here and show them off – I really can’t, and I’m not even famous. I respect the fact that their parents want to keep them safe, and as I’ve said before, those little kids didn’t make the choice to be born into famous families. Naturally though, a lot of those kids have grown up, and some of them are choosing to be in the limelight now. The same can be said for some, but not all of the wives. What I felt was a hard line is now a bit fuzzier, but I think that in the case of this particular blog – we still say no purely because we focus on the band.  
I throw the question out to you readers though. How do you feel about following the wives and kids? Is it any different than following a band member’s side projects, or continuing to follow Andy or Warren now that they’re no longer in the band?  What makes you curious about their lives, and where is the line or boundary, if in fact there one exists for you. There are no wrong answers here, and while we agree to disagree, we strive for no judgment. (That’s a reminder for everyone including ourselves.)
I’ll leave with that topic heavy in the air for discussion, and I’ll see you again on Monday!
-R

Being Followed

It is pretty rare when I drive attention to a blog written by an ex-wife of a band member.  That’s not because I don’t want to support anyone, but rather because I would imagine that just maybe that person or people would prefer to leave the Duran Duran days well behind, and with good reason I am sure.

All that aside on a day like today, because Julie Anne Rhodes posted a blog today that I think is well-worth reading.  It is focused directly on people like you and I. The fans.  It’s a reminder that these people we love so much – the band – really do have lives that go well beyond the stage.  Before I go much further, the link for the blog is here.  Please read it before you read the rest of the Daily Duranie blog today.

Naturally, Julie Anne’s point is really not about fans, but rather it’s about the time taken away from her daughter when she was young. I truly admire her for focusing on that specific aspect because as I know myself, above all else – I am a Mom. It’s funny because as I’ve mentioned – my husband is pretty well married to his Blackberry. It’s something I’ve grown used to out of pure spite, but I have to say – a dear, dear price has been paid by my children. My two oldest have had their father cut outings and even vacations short in order to get back home in time for a phone call, a meeting or a last minute business trip. My youngest is quite honestly surprised when her dad arrives home in time for dinner at night, and I’m not exaggerating. Granted, Walt isn’t a rock star by any means, but he also doesn’t save lives and there isn’t anything that annoys me more than having our family time interrupted (or my sleep!) by the persistent ring of his cell phone.  I guess I’m saying that I completely get where she’s coming from, and perhaps that’s why the boundaries are extremely clear to me.

There is something very, very wrong when we believe that we’re owed or entitled to more than a performance on stage. Yes, I know I’ve written many times about how the band should be on Twitter and interact with fans. That is really as much a part of their job as it is for Walt to answer his cell phone on our anniversary, Christmas or even while we’re on vacation.  I don’t like it, but it comes with the territory. (Although for the band, I’m hoping they know when it’s time to shut the damn thing off. My husband? Not so much!)  Sure, it’s normal and natural to hope for a smile or a wink when they’re out in public after a gig and catch our eye. It’s quite another to expect them to take time out of their day when they are at home, or even worse – to resort to saying nasty things about them, their families, their children, wives, girlfriends, etc.  These people really are human, and the band is simply their career.  Let me just say it here: if my husband’s co-workers or customers start showing up at our house looking for him to sign things, that’s the day when the electric fence goes up outside!  It’s funny, because that’s exactly what we’re asking of these guys when we show up unannounced whenever or where ever they’re going to be. Happenstance is one thing, but continually planning to be where ever they are is another. I just wanted to applaud Julie Anne’s blog and hopefully drive more people to read what she has so eloquently written.

It is so rare when someone writes about what it’s like “on the other side”.  I really hate that the wives, girlfriends, children, etc have to be so wary of fans, yet as I just said – they have to be. I can’t blame them. It’s just a shame that so few put the rest of us in such a horrible light.  In just the past two days I have heard of no less than three people on Twitter whom interacted with Daily Duranie that ended up being someone completely different from whom they indicated they were online. Sure, that’s a common thing, but it’s still disgusting, and let it be known – I won’t support that sort of nonsense. I’ve read about a couple fans who have stalked specific members of the band, and to be honest it all sounds rather sinister at this point.  I’ve had to block two people from not only my own Facebook page, but also Daily Duranie. I’m not even a celebrity for crying out loud, and I’m starting to believe that April is the month for Crazy Fans. I’ve watched a swarm of fans continue to tweet Simon without pause until he acknowledged them, and I’ve just gotta ask “Why?”

As much as I study fandom – both the social and psychological aspects, I just don’t understand and will probably never completely understand why people do not feel validated unless a band member acknowledges them. I try to remember that fans come from all different walks of life, all different circumstances and perhaps the ones that need the most hand holding really do NEED it, but to pester as though you’re still twelve years old and deep in the throws of puberty? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s really that I just don’t want to understand that kind of thought process.

And now, I must mentally prepare myself to sit through Glee tonight.  I hear they’re going to perform a couple Duran Duran songs.  I can’t even begin to imagine….

-R

Deliveries!

I woke up this morning to news on the baby front!  Apparently, Roger Taylor became a daddy again this morning to a baby boy!  I want to congratulate the entire Taylor family on their new arrival!  Of course, like many Duranies, I’m anxiously awaiting announcement about a name!  Lucky for Roger and the rest of his family, he has some time to spend with all of them now, too.  🙂

On a different delivery note, I received a package in the mail with some merchandise from DuranDuranMusic as I had recently renewed with an upgrade to the gold package.  As I had posted before, I knew that I was going to continue to be a member there as the presales have worked for me (or more to the point–I have no luck with regular sales).  I figured that I might as well go ahead and go for the “gold” as opposed to the “silver” membership.  It is only $20 more and you get a lot of merchandise for that price.  I received the following items:  A messenger bag, a t-shirt, a bookmark, a keychain/bottle opener, a copy of handwritten lyrics to All You Need Is Now (the song) by Simon, a welcome letter with copies of signatures, and an official card.  Before I describe what I think of these items, let me first give credit to DDM in this instance as the package actually arrived when it was supposed to.  I figured that it would be terribly late like most things in Duranland. 

As for the stuff itself, I generally liked what I received.  Of course, the biggest smile and cause of an actual out loud laugh was the card that states I’m a member of the VIP club or whatever.  Many of us have joked for years about how if we said or did something negative about the band that we would lose our Duranie card.  Obviously, then, we were talking about the figurative membership card.  Now, I actually have one!  Too funny!  Thus, the band better really watch out now as I might burn the card in a fit of rage, if they piss me off too badly!  HA!  I also really liked the keychain.  It is solid with a simple Duran Duran written across it in the current font.  No one would notice it says Duran at just a glance.  It doesn’t stick out.  It is also functional!  I know as I tried it yesterday.  😉  The last small object was a metal bookmark with a pink D on it at the top.  Now, many people have or are moving away from actual books, which makes this a strange choice, perhaps.  While I have books on my iPad, I still have a ton of actual books that I need to read.  For me, then, this will be used for a little while yet.  Again, I appreciated that they kept it simple.

The larger items included a t-shirt and the messenger bag.  I suspected that I might be disappointed with these items before I had seen them and I was.  The t-shirt has the bed from the album cover and a giant D over it.  Okay.  I don’t mind the D but I think the use of the album cover shots is a bit tiring.  It isn’t too much but still.  There were lots of great band shots taken.  They couldn’t have used one of them?  I was surprised that the bed was gray and the D was in black, though.  I figured it would be pink.  I was glad about this change, especially on a white t-shirt.  On the back of the shirt, it again says something about the fan club.  Okay.  That’s fine.  I wish that the shirt material was thicker, though, especially with a white t-shirt.  While I haven’t tried the shirt on yet, I suspect that it is REALLY long.  The size was what I ordered and the shoulders and sleeves look fine but it appears to be too long.  Ugh.  That said, I’m sure that I’ll still wear it as I’m a sucker for Duran shirts.  Now, as for the bag, I was more disappointed with this because I had great hopes for it.  First, the color is…well…ugly, in my opinion.  It is off-white with a gold/brownish accent color.  The font is normal and says Duran Duran but it is in gold.  I’m not a fan.  On top of that, it isn’t huge so I don’t know how much it will hold.  The main section closes with velcro and I much prefer a zipper as I think that is more secure.  There is a zippered section in the front, which is nice, and smaller pockets on the side.  I think I could live with the design flaws if the color was different.  I will have to get over that.

The last items were the welcome letter and the copied lyrics to AYNIN.  I appreciate that they were copied onto to nice paper and were packed well so that they didn’t get bent while traveling.  It is cool to see Simon’s handwriting on the song, especially this song.  That was nice.  As far as the welcome letter goes, that’s great that I have copies of their signatures.  I already have their autographs so that isn’t a big deal to me.  I thought the content of the letter was lame.  They had the chance to talk about how much the fans mean to the band and how this fan club could bridge the gap between us, but they didn’t.  Instead, it was all about what DDM offers.  I know what it offers as I have been a member for more than half a decade.  I’m not a newbie here.  It was almost exactly like the front page of the website.  They had a golden opportunity to make the members feel special and they didn’t use it.  Instead, they continued to sell their product.  Completely lame.

Thus, overall, the package was what I thought it was going to be.  I thought there were going to be some cool things (keychain, funny membership card), some okay things (bookmark, t-shirt, lyrics), and some lame things (bag and welcome letter).  Was it worth the extra $20?  For me, I still think that it was.  What does that make me?  It probably makes me a sucker.  😀

-A

Luxury Discussions and Pregnancy Announcements

Shock waves were felt throughout the Duran community yesterday when Roger’s confirmed his wife’s pregnancy.  Now, before Roger blogged, fans were already assuming this after seeing a picture, which showed his wife sporting a little extra around the middle.  Interestingly enough, his blog wasn’t really about his upcoming new edition to the family, but about Duran’s participation in an event for the organization, Walking for the Wounded, which according to their website is about getting wounded soldiers to the North Pole to show how amazing they are.  Since Roger’s blog, the Daily Duranie has received messages from other fans about the pregnancy.  I have also seen threads on message boards about it.  It seems to me that most people were wondering if it is true, offering congratulations, or giving opinions about whether or not it is a good thing.  As soon as I saw people reacting to the news, I had two reactions.  First, are we still 12?  Second, is this really an important issue to be discussing?

Does anyone else remember those days back in the 1980s when the guys got married for the first time and they began to have children?  I remember fans being so upset when Nick got married, for example.  I also recall how everyone thought that Andy’s oldest was an adorable baby.  Back in the day when we were kids, these events seemed HUGE!  We used to sit around and discuss every aspect we could about their family lives.  Was Giovanna good enough for Roger?  Who is this Yasmin person?  Will John ever marry Renee?  I do remember being glad that John was my favorite because he seemed so determined to NOT get married.  I was also so relieved to hear or read when he madee statements about not getting married because I just knew that I would be devastated if he ever got married, or so I thought.  The truth is that he did get married and I survived.  All of the Roger girls survived, too.  So did the Nick, Simon and Andy girls.  We lived.  When we were kids, we might have grieved a little over what we thought was the end of our chance to grow up and be what?  Their girlfriends?  Their wives?  Writing that now seems silly.  So, what is the big deal now?  While it seems to me that most of us responded to the news very differently than we did when we were kids, there were some people who reacted with some emotion.  Is it because we become kids again when we think about this band?  Is it because we think of the band members in a certain way and can’t deal with any changes with them?  Why?  Even when there wasn’t much emotion given in the post, I was still struck by the fact that this was the discussion topic of the moment.

Roger included this announcement about becoming a father again in one sentence of a blog.  The rest of this particular blog talked about how powerful it was when he met people in the organization, Walking for the Wounded, who had risked their lives fighting for a cause.  Yet, I didn’t see or hear much discussion about this organization or about soldiers in the fan community.  Obviously, the current state of the world is one of much strife.  Yet, for the most part, we don’t allow those world problems to enter our state of fandom.  In this case, we don’t even bring them in when the band talks about them.  Why is that?  Is it easier to talk about a band member’s personal life than it is to talk about the destruction that war causes?  I’m sure that’s true.  For many of us, fandom and Duran Duran, in particular, give us the escape from reality, from problems.  It certainly does for me and I’m forever grateful for that because otherwise I think I would be a basket case (no comments are needed!  LOL).  Yet, I wonder why Roger felt it necessary to blog about this particular event and organization.  Of course, he could have just wanted to write about something that moved him, emotionally.  That’s possible.  It also seems like maybe he wanted to raise awareness to an issue.  Perhaps, he wanted us fans to know about this and support this.  What do we do?  We talk about his wife’s pregnancy instead.  Is that the easier thing to do?  Yes.  Absolutely.  The best thing we could have done?  Maybe not.

-A

The Real Wives (and Girlfriends)

You might think that I would be ready and excited to talk about the rumored release date for the next album…someone posted on one of the boards that the release date for All We Need is Now (if that’s really still the title…they still have time to change it, you know!) is February 1, 2011.  As far as I’m aware in this moment, that is still an unsubstantiated rumor.  Regardless, the date rings very familiar – as in exactly 30 years prior to that date, Planet Earth was released.

Yes, you might think I’d discuss that.  But I’m not!  Perhaps my partner in crime would like to cover that omen this weekend.  Or not.  You’ll have to wait and see.

I was watching Anderson Cooper yesterday, and he interviewed Yoko Ono.  For those who have been completely buried in their Duran Duran cave for the past 30 years that they weren’t even aware that music existed prior to DD – Yoko Ono was married to John Lennon.  John Lennon was/is a god in my mind, but to the rest of you he was a member of The Beatles…the original Fab Four.  Second only to Duran Duran in my heart (and truthfully, I still feel robbed that I never had the chance to experience them live) – I’m a big Beatles fan.

In any case, Yoko has always been the bane of any Beatles fan’s existence.  To many, she was the cause of the group’s break up, amongst many other issues.  What always struck me about Yoko was her defiant attitude towards anything and anyone – yet I can tell that she loved John completely.  Keeping in mind that I was only 10 when John was murdered, I have very little memory of him being alive, most of my memory comes from the time after his death – and the emotion that his music, and that of the Beatles is what continues to live on.

As I watched the interview, Anderson asked Yoko directly as to why she thought the public hated her so (back then).  I was fascinated that even after all of these years, he’d ask such a question – and in his asking, she obviously felt she needed to answer.  Her response had more to do with there being issues with her culture (Japanese) and the fact that she was a woman.  Having not been alive back when she first met John Lennon – I can’t say for certain that being female and Japanese didn’t have anything to do with the public (or the fans) dislike;  but I can say that as a Duran Duran fan…I think she’s ignoring the obvious.  She married a heart throb to many, and an idol to still more.   Female fans loved John Lennon in much the same way that we love John, Roger, Simon and Nick.   I would bet that the wives of Duran Duran would have much to say about the fans treatment of them over the years – and yet they probably didn’t ask for it.  They just dared to love one of our idols.

That particular section of the interview with Yoko was short – but it caused me to really think about how we’ve treated the wives over the years.  It can’t be easy to be one of the wives, or girlfriends of a member of Duran Duran.  Admittedly, we fans are a bit (a lot!) overwhelming at times, downright intrusive at others – and mean spirited when we feel we can be.  It’s a shame because #1 – those guys are NEVER going to fall for one of us.  (Be serious ladies.  It’s a dream.  A good dream, but still…just a dream.)  #2 – those women are probably for the most part, very kind people and we should be respectful.   I’ve seen FAR less than respectful behavior come from fans towards them at times…myself included.  My goodness, I cried for days when Roger married for the first time.  Of course, I was only 13.  I didn’t cry when he married Gisella – after all, he had to marry someone else.  I was already taken.  😉

Maybe we all need to think twice when we see one of the girlfriends or wives – rather than sneering, maybe a smile is the better way to handle it.  After all, there is no contest to be won – the music is there for all to enjoy, and the band?  They were never up for grabs to begin with.

Have a great weekend everyone!
-R