Happy Birthday Dom Brown!

One thing that everyone in our fan community should know by now is that no matter how much you try, some secrets simply do not remain secret, whether intended or not! As many know by now, today is Dom Brown’s birthday (no matter how much he might have tried to keep his birthday from getting out!)…and just as Nick celebrated a milestone last week, this week it is Dom’s turn as he turns 40!  Welcome to the club, Dom! The tequila is better on this side…although it will hurt you twice as bad the next morning. How do I know that? Erm….

The first time I saw Dom on stage with Duran Duran, it was back in March of 2005. I believe that at the time, Andy was out sick with the flu, and I won’t lie – I was incredibly disappointed that he wouldn’t be at the show.  It felt very much like it had in the late 80’s and 90’s for me, where I simply tried to ignore that side of the stage and pretend Andy was still there. Of course, out of the corner of my eye I watched Dom that night at the Allstate Arena. He respectfully stood off to the side, in the darkness (no spotlights) and played his part. There was no flash, no personality in the music, although he did smile from time to time as he played. I didn’t pay a ton of attention that night, but I appreciated that someone was there to play because otherwise there wouldn’t have been a show. 
Naturally, that wasn’t the last I saw of Dom on that tour. The next night he played Milwaukee, and although Andy Taylor did come back for part of that year (the last time I saw him play with the band was in Vegas for the Agassi charity gig), Dom played quite a few shows with the band, and then in October of the following year it was announced that he would be the guitar player until further notice. I’ve told the story before of seeing him play at the Sears Center, also in Chicago, and it was that night that I felt he really became part of the band, at least for me.  
Over the years, I’ve seen many a hurtful thing written about Dom, whether it be that he’s not Andy (true), not Warren (also true), or that he doesn’t play well. (Not even remotely close to true) The one thing I can and will say here is that from day one, he’s had an impossibly difficult responsibility to handle. Can you imagine having to replace Andy or Warren?  You’ve got about half the fan community hating you upon first glance and the other half just barely willing to tolerate your presence. Not fun. He’s had an uphill battle the entire way.  I think that’s why I gravitated towards Dom, because I wanted to show him that not all fans were willing to set him aflame in some sort of sacrificial measure to get the guitar player of their choice back in the band. I wanted to give him a chance, and come to find out, I really like him.  
If I used single words to describe Dom, respectful would be at the top of the list. I’ve never once heard him ever utter a single cross word about any band member, present or past.  I’ve also never seen a single sign of disrespect towards fans, who sometimes have been a LOT less than respectful towards him at times; whether that is in regards to his role onstage or just because they think they should be allowed to treat him as a circus animal in person offstage. He seems to have time and a smile for everyone at all times, and that’s refreshing.  
I’ve seen the tide of the fans begin to change towards Dom. At first, I was pretty certain Amanda and I were among the very select few that really liked him, and most wouldn’t even dare to admit that sort of thing. I know we held up the first sign for him at a show (It was at Voodoo in New Orleans), and yes, I’m proud to say that. It’s my one claim to fame and I’m sticking with it! (You can see the sign somewhere in our little slide show that desperately needs updated off to the right) Little by little, I’ve seen more fans take the time to add him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. (Yes, I check. Yes, I need more hobbies.) I hear of less fans wanting to sell their seats at shows in favor of getting a more coveted seat on John’s side of the stage even if it’s farther back. That said, it’s still nice to know that I don’t have to fight 50,000 other fans to get a little wink or a smile from the guy, and I don’t have other girls/women threatening to throttle me for saying he’s my favorite. It’s the little things, you know.
In all honesty, I know he’s not yet an official band member and that for many – that matters.  I know of people who literally refuse to refer to him by name, saying “Who’s that?” whenever his name is mentioned. There are a ton of fans out there that refuse to believe that Andy isn’t coming back, no matter whether that fan rumor about Reportage being released next year is true or not. (I know it says that on Wikipedia. It also says that the world is going to end in 2012.  Do we really need to believe EVERYTHING that is online???) That doesn’t stop Amanda and I from believing that Dom has proven himself worthy of being on that stage, being included in the band, and we support him 100%.
Dom, Amanda & I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, that you take the time to celebrate with your beautiful wife and kids, and just remember that while turning 40 sounds ridiculous….you’re in really good company. (Says Rhonda…the resident 40-something here…)  See you in August!
-R

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dom Brown!”

  1. Rhonda, I am a bit surprised… Is it really his birthday? And not a single word on facebook or the official site??? Wow this is not very nice. Ok he is not an official member but he is there. You know me very well by now and so you know that my heart goes with Warren. But Dom is there and doing well his part in general. Andy is one of the most unpleasant artist I saw. But he was part of the magical years of the band and deserve admiration for that. I agree with you that Dom had a very difficult work to do to replace Andy when most of the people (I mean everybody except me probably) was happy that he came back pushing Warren out of the band. A lost dream is hard to take and when it come for the second time worse. Another hard thing is that he came just when the band produce their worse album ever RCM. Not that the songs were bad but the production was terrible (thank you Timbaland and co)and the guitar was almost nowhere in that record. That didn,t help him and it was not his fault at all. The AYNIN album is great but not very much guitar in it. And this is sad because when they give him space he did a superb job with Mediterranea, in my sense one of the 3 best songs in the album specialy because of the guitar. When I had the oportunity to saw them in Montreal I was a bit disgusted to see how much little light was on him. I believe we saw more Anna than him! Ok I have to admit that I love to see Anna she has huh… a lot of beauty to look at! (This is just a macho bad joke sorry) He was most of the show in complete shadow… I have no idea what they are going to do with his status. It don't look good that they didn't mention his birthday. I hadn't heard that Reportage was going public next year. Another rumor? As you said not everything on internet is true. But that would say that Andy would be back… I can hardly believe that. At that time it would almost be ridiculous. This love-hate relationship is a bit sour. So I hope Dom had a great birthday! And for the rest we will see.

    Pat

  2. Hi Pat,

    Yes, it really was his birthday and from what I understand – not even Katy was sure of the date and had to ask before anything was posted (and eventually they did post something). Dom got plenty of greetings though, so I'm happy to see that.

    I feel fairly confident that Andy won't be back whether Reportage ever sees the light of day or not…but yes, that rumor seems to have been unearthed from the gravesite once again. Whether it's true or otherwise, I have no idea. I can't even imagine… Time will tell I guess.

    As far as RCM goes, you know exactly how I feel about that album, and yes – much of that has to do with the lack of guitar. I believe that a lot of the reason for the lack of guitar is because Andy did not take part in the writing/recording process while they were working with Timbaland, and seriously, he (Timbaland) wouldn't have known how to record a guitar player anyway. He sure didn't know what to do with a real bass player or a real drummer…. Some of the songs off of that album are a tad more palatable (for me) live because of Dom's guitar, but that is purely my own opinion.

    I have to say that in more recent shows, Dom does get into the spotlight more often and I feel like he's genuinely a part of the onstage band now and not just a rent-a-guitarist standing off to the side. (which in my not-even-remotely-humble opinion is completely degrading!) He gets up there, interacts with everyone and seems to be a part of the show. I hope he gets a reasonable amount of onscreen time with the video. (Diamond in the Mind)

    I don't know if they'll ever make Dom a part of the band via his contract – but I know his fan base is growing, and I'm very happy to see that. He deserves the support.

    -R

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