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….
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. 😀
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.
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!