Anyone read any interesting articles lately about Duran Duran? I have. In fact, one article, in particular, was so interesting that I posted it both on my personal Facebook and on the Daily Duranie Facebook and Twitter. I posted the article in order to get some perspective, in order to not let any initial reaction by me dictate what I think and feel about it. I wanted to hear from other people about what they think and feel about it. I also wanted time to process my thoughts. I’m not sure I’m completely there yet…but it is time.
What article as I talking about here? This one here: “‘Lindsay Lohan got us hot and bothered in the recording studio” says Duran Duran.” Since I had originally posted the article, another one has popped up entitled: Lindsay Lohan left Duran Duran ‘hot and bothered’. Both articles discuss Lindsay Lohan’s appearance on the upcoming Duran Duran album, “Paper Gods,” due out in September. Now, we have talked about Lindsay Lohan and her working with Duran Duran a few times on this blog. Just recently, we mentioned her when discussing the press release about the album, which you can read here. What new information did we get from this article? What do I think about it? What do many other fans think about it from my observations online?
These articles don’t shed a ton of light on Lindsay’s appearance on the album beyond what we already knew. Again, they mentioned that she is featured on the song, “Danceophobia”. In it, she provides the voice of a doctor, which we already knew. Simon, in these articles, described her role as a doctor talking to someone in a “naughty way”. It sounds like they had this part and needed someone to fill it when Simon thought of Lindsay. Then, according to the articles, it took a month to get her into the studio and almost didn’t happen due to her busy schedule. In the end, it required Simon and Ben (Mr Hudson) to go and get her and her sister. According to Simon, she “had exactly the voice for it”. He also stated this about working with her, “We were hot and bothered for about three weeks after she left the studio” and “We’d absolutely like to work with Lindsay again.”
General reactions to the article:
While I admit that there were some variations in the responses I got from posting the first article, there was a general theme. Let me quote some of the thoughts from other fans and frankly most of these are the nicer quotes:
“I’m surprised with all her previous problems keeping a job, showing up for a job (Without blowing the project budget) or completing any court appointed assignments, the band even expected her to follow through.”
“Why would they want her anyway?”
“I just feel there must have been someone – anyone – better..”
“Not one, of their prouder moments, I would imagine…ick.”
“No, Simon! NOOOOOOOOO!”
Many fans questioned the point of using her. Was it a push from the label? Was it an attempt to reach a younger demographic? Was it to get publicity? I, obviously, don’t have the answers to those questions and I think they are good one. Did the label have a role in this? Maybe. We know in the past there was label encouragement to use people like Timbaland (Yes, I know that was a different label. My point is just that major labels do push artists into working with people who they think will get the artists attention and/or a hit.). Was it an attempt to reach a younger demographic? That’s possible. After all, Lindsay is still in her 20s and the band is…not. Most people in their 20s might be unfamiliar with Duran and this might get people to try listening to Duran, maybe? So the theory would go. Could it be an attempt to just get publicity with the idea being that any publicity is good? Maybe. This is the band that did the Girls on Film video in 1981 and even held up a sign saying that some people would do anything to sell their records, in the easter egg version of the video.
What I Think:
In full disclosure, I’m not a Lindsay Lohan fan. I tend to avoid people who get in the fame spotlight for whatever reason and become the frequent topic of entertainment new sites, tabloids, etc. Those aren’t the celebrities who ever interest me. Yes, many people will give her sympathy because of her family or her addiction or whatever. I get that. As much as I might sympathize, that doesn’t equal being a fan. That said, when I heard that Duran was using her, like many, I grimaced and hoped that it wouldn’t be as bad as many fear. I tried to maintain an open-mind and be positive. Then, this article came out. I read it. I read it again. I read it a third time after backing away for awhile. After a day or so, some thoughts of mine aren’t changing.
What/Who Really Matters for the Album:
I want to see Duran getting all the attention in the world for this album. I really do. Yet, it wasn’t Duran getting the attention in these articles, it was Lindsay. It wasn’t even Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson or countless others who worked on the album who were getting attention. It was someone who, from everything I could tell, has a VERY minor part on the album. Someone asked me why I was making a big deal out of one little piece to the album. The fact is that I’m frustrated that the little piece was getting attention over so many larger, more important pieces and people.
Publicity for Publicity Sake:
Did they really use Lindsay because she was the BEST person for this role? Out of all the people on the planet with a great voice, she was the best? Or was it that she was the most famous and could get the most attention? After all, the band had to know that she would result in articles like the ones I posted above. This makes me wonder if they chose people to make the best album or to make the most news and I HATE thinking that. I do. I want to assume that the band chose the best people for the work, for the art, for the music. It shouldn’t be about promotion before the art or the music. Now, of course, I know that promotion has its place. Duh. Every product out there needs to be promoted. We recognized that fact with the convention we put on and we even recognize it with this blog. Yet, I want Duran Duran to get promotion because of THEM, because THEY deserve it. They shouldn’t take the back seat. The music shouldn’t take the back seat.
Initially, I like many were not impressed with this statement of Simon’s in which Lindsay Lohan got them “hot and bothered”. Then, Rhonda pointed out that Simon is smart and he is. That is a statement is going to get headlines. So, if you are going to go for any publicity, use what works. Be as out there as possible. Embrace it, right? They did that with the Girls on Film video that we are all still talking about 30 plus years later. Is Simon just really that good at dealing with the press that he, in fact, chose words to get that headline, to get the attention?
The Worse Part
Do you know what I think the worst part of all of this is? That for many people, that song is already tainted. People are already judging, including myself. Maybe, she was the best person for this role. Unfortunately, her reputation and everything that goes with her, including articles like these don’t help fans have an open-mind. It also negatively impacts fans’ enthusiasm for the album. Is that fair or right? Probably not but fans are human and imperfect and also feel a LOT when it comes to the subject of their fandom. We want Duran Duran to do well but we want them to do well because of THEM, not because of anyone they chose to work with.