I have been watching the new episodes of the X-Files that have been airing for the last month. A couple of weeks ago, an episode entitled Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster. This episode caught a lot of attention for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reason was its inclusion of what is called “easter eggs”. What exactly are “easter eggs”? According to Wikipedia, “An Easter egg is an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in an interactive work such as a computer program, video game or DVD menu screen. The name has been said to evoke the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt.” Okay, so if easter eggs are like inside jokes or hidden messages, why would a TV show opt to include them in an episode? The answer is simple. It is a way to include fans. For example, when Mulder says at the end of the episode, “I WANT to believe,” all X-Files fans recognize that phrase from the poster that was behind Mulder’s desk for the 9 years that the series originally ran. The fans could watch the episode and feel like they had inside info that a non-fan would not. Fans felt included, important.
While the use of so-called “easter eggs” is usually done in various media like DVDs or TV episodes, I believe hidden message and inside jokes can be found in any fandom. I believe that “easter eggs” can be found in the Duran Duran fandom, too. There are actions or phrases that might be seen at a show, for example, or in a video that means something to Duranies. Other people viewing the same thing would not see this actions or phrases as anything. They would be seen as unimportant to non-fans. This got me thinking about what are those in Duranland. What are those actions and phrases that only Duran Duran fans would get or think of as important/interesting/cool that show some sort of recognition to fans?
When I think about the answer to my own question, I cannot help but think of lyrics in recent albums that seem to speak directly to fans. Here are some that come to mind:
- “I’ve been traveling around now, big world with my brothers”–That is what touring feels like for fans who can do that! (Last Night in the City)
- “Search light the crowd, I fix on your face”–seems to reference live shows and fans, right? (Pressure Off)
- “And still they come to hear the drum”–fans going to concerts (Planet Roaring)
- “Everybody’s gunning for the VIP section”–reference to ticket sales through their fan club? (All You Need Is Now)
- “Sway in the moon the way you did when you were younger”–asking fans to stay with the band. Heck, that whole song (All You Need Is Now) seems like an easter egg!
- “The music’s between us” (Sunrise)
I’m sure that there are a ton more. What can you think of that would function as a hidden message to fans? What would you WANT to see if Duran filmed a new documentary, for example? What are phrases or actions that always catch Duranies’ attention? Some of the examples I think of here go back to early videos or Sing Blue Silver. Here are some of the things I thought of:
- “Gimme a wristband”
- “Hello. Good evening and welcome to our show!”
- “Roger needs two hands for his.”
- “Switch it off!”
- “We’ll have to spend more time in nightclubs!”
- The New Romantic dance from the Planet Earth video
- Using pink and blue phones or drinks from the Rio video
- That punching like dance move from Wild Boys (Heck, Simon sort of dances like the actors did in Wild Boys now.)
After thinking about all of this for awhile it hits me, Duran sort of did this very thing by the cover of Paper Gods. Those images all mean something to the FANS. We all know that smile is from Rio or that angry mouth is Wild Boys. Other people would look at that cover and not get it. Non-fans wouldn’t know that those are images from Duran Duran’s past. The fans knew that, though. Thinking this gives me a little bit more appreciation for that album cover now.
I think all fans want easter eggs, in order to receive validation that they matter. Fans want to know that their knowledge and loyalty are appreciated qualities. Easter eggs do more, though, as they work to separate casual viewers and listeners from serious fans. On that note, I would not mind, at all, if Duran Duran wanted to do more inclusion of easter eggs moving forward. It doesn’t matter where they put them–song lyrics, videos, live in concert video, documentaries, tour books, album covers, etc. It is a nice way of acknowledging shared knowledge between the object of fandom (in this case–Duran Duran) and the fans. Fans deserve that.