Models and Duran Duran…who would have thought?!?

Today and yesterday, we’ve been treated to a few posts here and there on the progress of the of the “Girl Panic” video shoot in London.  Apparently the video is featuring some well-known supermodels: Yasmin LeBon, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell amongst a few others.  
Honestly – I’m bored with the very idea of it.  If this isn’t *the* most cliche thing they’ve done as of late, I’d be surprised.  When this news byte popped up in my news feed on Facebook yesterday I actually rolled my eyes.  Yes, I know what the name of the song is.  Yes, I’ve seen Girls on Film “a few times” over the years, and yes, I know exactly who Duran Duran is.  That’s the trouble, isn’t it?
Back when I was 12, I think I was enamored with the idea that this band could attract supermodels.  I loved the idea that the band, the boat, the girls….they went together.  I wanted that life, in as much that I wanted the jet-setter lifestyle, the excess, the money…the band.  (they could keep the girls – I was kind of thinking I’d just have one of the band members, thank you.)  As I grew older, I can remember reading interviews where Simon would talk about marrying Yasmin, and how his tone indicated that OF COURSE he’d marry a supermodel.  As if there were no other choice for him.  Now, this blog isn’t a slam against Yasmin at all – I have great respect for her, primarily because she’s been able to deal with Simon for over 25 years now.  😀  That takes quite a woman!   Regardless, my opinion about models and the band going together changed a little over the years.   Mainly because I look at the band with a little more familiarity, and I realize that they’re people just like you or I.  I don’t put near as much stock in the idea that just because they’re rockstars, they are better looking and should only be in the company of the so-called beautiful people of this world.  Perhaps that’s just my 40 years of cynicism coming out to visit, I’m not sure – but I just don’t buy into it the way I did when I was 12.  Does anyone really?  I guess that’s part of the fantasy that lingers.  
Maybe I’m annoyed because doing a video like this tends to make the band look as though they don’t walk on the same sidewalks the rest of us do.  I’ve always felt that the band and their management worked very hard to keep the band looking “untouchable” to the rest of us.  Rather than appealing to the fan base, rather than allowing friendships and bonding to occur,  by creating that space – that “untouchable-ness”, it would create demand.  It worked, and worked well…in 1985.  It’s 2011, and sometimes I think the band and their management forget that.  They still believe that the band is as much in demand now as ever.  While that’s a fantastic notion, it’s not real.  The days of hit after hit and platinum records are pretty much over.  The days of pinups, coke parties and excess should pretty well be finished by now, don’t you think?  Many of their fans have stuck by them through 30 some years of highs, extreme lows, vocal problems, band members leaving and returning, canceled shows…etc.  There are many fans who have done quite well for themselves, with homes, cars, children, furry children, fantastic careers, they go on fabulous vacations, and travel to see the band all over the world.  There are many who have used their credit cards to their hilt in order to see the band and support them.  There are many who see the band once or twice when their on tour, but can still name all of the band members (past and present), their birth dates, their children….and even their wives!  We’ve all been around a long time now, and part of me wants to just say to the band “Cut the crap and get real.  The old routine of holding yourselves at arms length is no longer appealing. We know you’re rockstars, but we also know you’re human. I know it’s hard to believe.  Sorry.”  I recognize that the entertainment industry is far more about fantasy than it is reality, but the premise of this video seems to be taking a giant step backward in time.  Aging rockstars with models just doesn’t have a good ring to it for me, nor does the Rolls Royce with the G1RL PAN1C license plate (although it’s a nice car).  
What I find almost funny is that in reality – the videos are made for the fans, or at least they’re supposed to be.  The band chooses to put girls in their videos however and whenever they can.  As far as I’m aware – there’s always been a fair percentage of female Duran Duran fans over the years.  I know back when I was a kid – I wanted to chop the tongue off of the girl in Hungry Like the Wolf who kisses Roger.  I simply refuse to believe I’m the only one.  I’m fairly sure that there are women out there (and maybe even some guys) who wanted to drown the girl in Rio. (and especially when she laughs at Roger tripping on the beach and being “pinched” by the crab….)  The list goes on and on.  The band could make it much easier on us by just having themselves in videos, but I can hear John and maybe even Nick saying that we’d get bored of that.  (and they would be very, very wrong…)  It’s just kind of funny when you think that here we are, a bunch of women who can’t wait to see videos of the band we had as pinups on our walls, and yet we’re about to see the band sharing the spotlight with supermodels.  AGAIN.  Go ahead and continue driving that stake into my heart, why don’t you?  If you can’t agree with anything else I’ve written today – surely that statement has to hit a nerve!
Oh sure, there are some that can’t wait for the video because they’ve always aspired to be a supermodel, or they’ve always admired Yasmin, or they love the fashion, the art, the visuals, the whole fantasy package.   There isn’t anything wrong with that, and I think the band appreciates fans like you out there.  (they certainly aren’t going to be appreciating me much today, and that’s OK.) They think it’s fabulous that the band still hangs out with models.  I think it’s fabulous when the band decides to go to the same bar that they know fans are going to be at after a show.  Now that takes real bravery.  🙂 
The truth of the matter is, I haven’t seen the video.  I’m merely commenting on what’s been posted on Facebook and Twitter.  I’m fully expecting to receive hate mail from fans, and a severe scolding by the band, which I probably deserve to some extent.  I only know what I know about Duran Duran – and that all comes from what I’ve gleaned over the years as a fan.  I could very well end up eating a large amount of crow after seeing the video several months (Really Nick?  Months??) from now, and I’m OK with that, and I’ll probably laugh and poke fun in spite of myself. 
The real test comes much later when we see the end result.  I’m just hoping for a lot of onscreen time for the band, a LOT of screen time for Roger and Dom (throw the fans – i.e. ME – a bone and put the guitar player in the video!!!), and pretty much the rest of it will fall into place.   -R

5 thoughts on “Models and Duran Duran…who would have thought?!?”

  1. I was actually excited to see they are using true “supermodels” in their 40s and not some 20 year old waifs like they did in the Falling Down video.

    I'll withhold judgement until after I see the video, but I'm interested in seeing what they have come up with for the story.

  2. That is a really good point that I hadn't really considered. As I wrote my blog yesterday, I really didn't think about the fact that the models they used were, well….my age. I was just focusing on the idea that they used supermodels and how it always seems to come back to that “We're glamorous and don't you wish you could be just like us” attitude with Duran Duran and I feel as though at this point, it's overdone to the max. Truthfully, that IS the image they've always tried to present, so I can't very well say that this came out of nowhere. 😀 Like everyone else, I'll withhold real judgement until the video comes out, and chances are I'll be begging the band for forgiveness in some way, shape or form…which in and of itself should be entertaining for all of you. ;D Thanks for commenting! -R

  3. I totally agree. Its been done to death. At this point I just hope the video has some artsy creative angle that is different and interesting enough to make it likable.

    btw from what I can gather not all the models are the older supermodels either. Some are 20 year old kids…

  4. I had the same reaction – models? again? But then I was also a little bit relieved that at least they are using models in approximately their own age group, the models who were HOT at the same time they were, their “contemporaries” for want of a better word. I prefer that to the mess of waifs in the “Falling Down” video, or the group of 18-year-olds on the cover of Red Carpet Massacre. The models that posed with Nick & John in the LOVE magazine shoot were also quite young. Dudes, you're fast approaching ickiness when the models are the same age as your daughters.

    An even aside from that — what an original concept (having no idea of the particulars of the concept, aside from DD and extraordinarilyl beautiful women). I wonder what their thought process is when it's time to make a new video. Do they think “What would the fans like?” Or is it purely a creative exercise on their own part: “What would WE like to do?” Of course we all know, Duran Duran stands for glamour and fashion and escapism, they've embraced that wholeheartedly, so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. But it seems like there are so many other ways to apply that philosophy to video without resorting to cliches and supermodels.

    I also look forward to eating my plate of crow when the video comes out and I love it.

    (I have other issues about Duran Duran and models/notions of beauty bothering me and I can't quite find my way to write about it yet. I will probably hammer that out on my own blog.)

  5. @Semibold – I am so glad to read I'm not the only one thinking all of this. I really had this vision of myself being skewered and slowly roasted over an open fire when people read this…

    You should definitely right that blog! 🙂 – R

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