Most of us have been thoroughly convinced that All You Need is Now is a fantastic album. There are still a few naysayers out there (not sure what they would need in order to admit that the band still puts out good albums), but by-and-large, we all loved it. For a brief moment back when it was released – what was that, 2010?? (that went by VERY fast!) – I blinked back thoughts that we’d returned to the 80’s. Number one? Are you kidding me?!? Of course, that brief shining moment didn’t stay long, but they never really do. I know the moment meant a lot to the band, because they still continue to make mention from time to time. Naturally, there is much more to a great album than whether it hits number one. One look at the Top 40 charts these days, especially those here in America, will tell you that.
My real question here isn’t about why the band isn’t on top of the charts though. It’s really about whether or not the music industry is being completely stupid by not cashing in on MY generation. I hate to break it to those guys in the suits – but we still want to attend shows, and our demographic has the money to spend. I hear you all saying “But what about the recession?” True. Times are tougher now than they were, but I’ll tell you what – even in my family where our income has taken a huge hit in recent years, I FIND the money to go when I want to go. So do the rest of you Duranies out there. I know you do, because I see you at the shows I attend. What we do NOT want is to go to shows and be beaten to shreds by kids who are half our age. (Well, at least not most of us. There’s a few of you out there that like that sort of thing. I don’t judge. I just move out of your way.) I can’t speak for everyone, but the fact is – I actually care about where a band plays. I LIKE going to the unique venues, such as the Chicago Theater, that is steeped in great history. I like the plush seats, I loved the architecture. I liked not having to stand in wait for the band to arrive onstage. I’m not old, but you know – I like being treated as an adult and not a 40-year old teenager. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a great arena show like some of the ones I attended in the UK just last year at this time. (Seriously, it really was this time last year that I was there rocking it out with the band. Secret Oktober in Brighton? Come on now. They had ME like putty in their hands at that point. Following it up with Meditteranea?? I could have fallen on the floor. I chose to remain standing, but I could have easily…and not just due to jet lag!) The truth is though, the venue matters more when you’re an adult. I like being comfortable. I like space. I like not having the sweat of another man’s armpit slathered across my face in the second row of the GA pit. (I still get shivers when I think of that – and they aren’t GOOD shivers, either.) I might be standing there cheering, screaming, and singing my heart out for each and every member of Duran Duran, but dammit I am a lady! I just wish more bands, especially the bands I grew up listening to, but some of the newer bands out there, actually clued in to the fact that my generation still goes to gigs. We are just more choosy about where we go and whom we’ll bother to see, so the industry would be wise to put their money and marketing into bands who might appeal.
I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. Just this past week, Mike Doughty, who writes the blog Immutable/Inscrutable on Tumblr wrote a brilliant blog titled “Forget Piracy, the Music Industry’s Biggest Money Loser is an Inability to Connect with Older People That Used to Spend Money on Music and Don’t Anymore”. (Go here to find and read it for yourself) The key here is that older people (and he is focusing on the 30-50 year old age group – doesn’t he know that 60 is the new 40??) CAN buy music. WE want to make those purchases. WE don’t feel as though we should hang it all up just because we’ve hit 30, 40 or even 50. The trouble is, we don’t hear what’s potentially out there because no one bothers to market anything to our generation. I hate having to do the dirty work myself, but that’s what Spotify (and countless other music apps of that nature) is for, I suppose.
I’m not like my mom. I still revel in finding new music that I like. While sure, I listen to a lot of Duran Duran and other bands that I grew up with, I would love to fall for a new band…and not just Blue to Brown. That doesn’t count. (Sorry Dom) Who wouldn’t? I’m a wife and mom, I’m not dead! Music was a huge part of my life while growing up, and I really don’t want that to end. Obviously. You read this blog. It’s pretty clear where I stand. I love being a fan. My mom gave up all of her fangirl dreams after she married my dad, had my sister and I and became a housewife. That’s when I really got started, so no – I’m not giving this up. I keep saying that I’m not done, and I’m not kidding. *shakes fist at sky* I will not quit!
Doughty ends his blog by asking who might buy physical copies of albums. Gee, I really don’t know. I’ve only got a garage lined with shelving that contains nearly 4,000 albums. (We’re collecting them should the apocalypse occur, you see. No canned goods, but dammit we’ve got our music!!) He is right in saying that the people who grew up buying it probably would continue. I just wish the industry would grab a clue. Here all of us are, sending them not-very-well coded messages telling them exactly what they need to know, and yet very few listen. Who wants our money?!?
Duran has got it right. They know their audience well, and they know we’re sticking with them. Too bad the very industry they work within thinks the only people that really matter or care are those who weren’t even around when music mattered most.