Duran Duran Fans: Skeptics?

Some may have noticed I was late with the date in history for yesterday. At this point, it might just be safer for mankind if they wrap my house in orange biohazard plastic and call it a day. I used to say that there is nothing worse than having two kids get the stomach flu at the same time. I was wrong. THREE kids with stomach flu is in fact worse. Most of us have moved on to sore throats, coughing and all of that fun now, so I’m back to blogging.

I try to comment and make sense of things I see being said around the Duran Duran fan community. I suspect the band doesn’t bother reading or cares much about what is being said these days, and perhaps the same goes for management. I just believe that our voices deserve the right to be seen and heard.

I used to see many shout-outs of 2015 being the band’s year (and prior to that – 2014!) Lately, I see a whole lot more of “Maybe mid 2015…or beginning 2016, but it could be a lot longer” than I do anything else. Not many Duran Duran fans believe that the band will tour this year, and still fewer believe that the album will actually come out during the summer. Yes, I know what the band has said. The band has done it’s job incredibly well over the past few years – letting Duran Duran fans know at each turn that they’re in no hurry to finish the album, that they aren’t necessarily ready to get back on the road, and that we fans should just get used to it.  Duran Duran fans have lived through the band’s comments of not knowing when the album would be completed to “maybe late-2014”, to “early 2015” and most recently, “June at the earliest” and “definitely sometime in 2015”. Ambiguity reigns. We’re almost through to Autumn 2015 and it’s not even the end of January yet.

The one thing I’ve always known about Duran Duran fans – the vast majority, anyway – they are an incredibly optimistic lot. One might say their fandom LIES in their optimism. After all, this is a fan community that rallied for the fab five to reunite many years before it actually happened. Once that reunion was announced, it was believed that just about anything could happen with this band. This wasn’t just optimism…we all believed it. We LIVED it. Duran Duran fans were mostly undeterred by Andy’s eventual second departure, believing that the band was still very far from finished. Duran fans are positive, uplifting people – likely because they took that cue directly from the band.

At this point it’s clear that the Great Duran Duran Fan Optimism Train has made it’s way over the Great Hill and is now powering downhill straight into the Valley of Darkness. Some of the most positive people I know (and I’m not counting myself in that crowd) in the Duraniverse are openly and publicly questioning the year(s) to come – and I can’t really blame them. After all, they listen to the band  – whether that is through interviews, tweets, notes or news. They fear that even as the band says the words of excitement for this album, the emotion doesn’t quite match their voice. Even the most optimistic amongst us takes notice after a while.

It is 100% possible that Duran Duran fans have misread the band. Perhaps it isn’t a lack of interest, but exhaustion. Maybe not boredom, but instead the effects of spending entirely too long in the studio. Isn’t that still a problem? After all, it is not just the voices heard in Katy Kafes that fans question – it is the collective retreat from social media, lack of engagement with fans, news or updates from the studio (as opposed to prior albums we have heard precious little about this one, other than that big names they’ve had in the studio) and the lack of interest in giving album info on Katy Kafe that has led many to this point of skepticism.

In order to make fans believe in this project and shout about it from rooftops, the band has to first sell Duran Duran fans. I cannot help but recall the days before Red Carpet Massacre was released, as more and more often I am seeing direct parallels. The sense of skepticism in the community was palatable. In hindsight, I really believe the band was completely unaware of just how unsure Duran Duran fans were of the project. Instead of taking our connection to them as real and powerful – fans were mostly ignored. We didn’t matter in the long run because to the band, we were really just some sort of vague entity instead of real, live people that walked hand-in-hand alongside them. They didn’t see us that way, and if the past few years are any firm example – they still don’t, which is unfortunate. The fan show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City 2007 was some sort of partially tethered life-preserver thrown to the fan community. Some caught the life line and many others never did, forced to make their own way or drown. I dislike seeing similarities between the two projects, but they are out there.

I would like to believe this next album to be different. After all, it is far easier to see the overall “state of the fan base” these days. Between Facebook and Twitter, not to mention this blog, it’s fairly simple to get an idea, if one cares to pay attention. That of course, is key: you’ve got to pay attention in order to see what is in-between the lines. Some Duran Duran fans will never be deterred because for them, the band IS their life preserver. Many others will simply move on, because life does not stop. Even personally, I have to force myself to make the time to stay present in this fandom. I make the time, because otherwise, it would be simple to fade away.

This is not 1984. Duran Duran fans don’t automatically believe and worship every thing they say…and if the current prevailing attitude and skepticism over what the band is really going to do in 2015 doesn’t prove that, nothing will.




8 thoughts on “Duran Duran Fans: Skeptics?”

  1. oh just leave me here in the ‘happy whatever they do’ Cloud Cuckooland Durandreamworld’ 🙂 I’m one of those sickeningly positive fans you mentioned at the top of the post. It will be what it is, when it is. And I’ll be happy, I expect. 🙂

  2. I have loved Duran Duran since 1982 but admittedly with each passing year and each disappointing album since Pop Trash (2000) my heart gets harder. They just lack musical confidence and have for some time. Promotion for RCM was a nightmare the way they kept name dropping Justin Timberlake in every interview and with this upcoming project, they gush over working with Lindsay Lohan?? Gawd! Artists should be name dropping them! Maybe I am in the minority but I miss Andy sooo much and wish he would rejoin (again) and take some control away from Nick! DD desperately need an edge again especially in guitar because they are becoming what they tried for years to avoid- a travelling 80’s band playing the hits to loyal but dwindling crowds.

    1. I both disagree and agree…because I don’t think Andy ever took control away from anyone, nor do I think his return would necessarily prove helpful in any way. That said, I don’t necessarily think that Dom’s current position in the band is all that helpful either. This band seems to have a tendency to utilize their guitarists as an afterthought more than anything else of real value. I don’t know that they need an edge in guitar to bring back crowds as much as I do agree that they need confidence in their own songwriting that they seem to sorely lack at times.

      On the other hand, I think when you have to result to continually name dropping for an album it becomes tiresome – especially when nary a single has been dropped from said album and those names will come to mean nothing if the music isn’t where it should be. It is a risk, and while I have read that Katy says the album is totally worth the wait – I’ll reserve that judgment for myself when I finally hear it. With all due respect to Katy, but it’s her job to pump up the band. My opinions are unpaid. 😀 -R

  3. Be patient all..I am sure it will be a good record…not many bands of the 80’s are putting out new material..be happy our band still is..

    I think they are quiet right now as they are looking for a Record label to distribute..I think that is the issue now…

    1. Thanks for commenting, Andre. I think a good many bands from the 80’s still put out records though, to be honest…and really…does the band REALLY want to continue labeling themselves in that manner? I mean, if they continue to compare themselves to the likes of U2 and The Rolling Stones, one never sees those bands label themselves as being from the 80s…or 60s…70s…etc.

      As for being quiet, they’ve been relatively “quiet” since 2011.Whether that is due to writing, due to recording, due to mixing or due to looking for a record label, the points made in the blog still hold true for many fans out there, and I can’t blame them. I do see your points though, and as I said in the blog, there are many fans, such as yourself, that will always stick around no matter how long the band takes. You very much believe that fans should be happy the band is still recording, no matter what, and I understand that. That said, there are many others that have grown tired of the process – and I think their voices, frustration and lack-of-optimism are just as important to hear and understand. -R

  4. They must – now at least – accept it won’t last indefinitely. They must be thinking about future incomes etc. Vs fan interest. And with their 40th anniversary just 3 years away I’m sure that would be a logical time to release the occasionally mooted DD Career Anthology. After that… …will they want to be knocking out HLTW or GOF when in their 60’s? Not sure.

    Being a fan of over 30 years – 3/4 of my life – I’ve seen many ups and downs. I like any DD record with Andy but Warren was the best musician DD ever had. More recently, RCM was not a true DD record. It merely featured them. AYNIN was a veritable shot in the arm – as a fan I felt somewhat validated, even if it took Ronson to sort them out. And ideally DD14 will live up to the hype. But DD15? Given how long it takes them these days to put out an album from scratch (with good reason) maybe 2018 would see that career box-set followed by a farewell tour. And who knows? They might even include a lovely surprise…Reportage anyone?

  5. With the other Power Station fans, I’m going to organize the 30th milestone anniversary of the release of their debut album: March 1985 – 2015.
    The Duran album can quietly arrive later, I’ll be here, however.

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