Now I’m Lying Here Waiting: September 2019 US Shows

Here I am, I’m a dotted line

By now, you’ve likely heard that Duran Duran is coming back to the states this summer and doing additional dates surrounding the KAABOO Festival in Del Mar, California. (It’s a tiny little town just north of San Diego).

The additional shows are as follows:

September 7 & 8 at The Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada.

September 10 & 11 at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.

September 13 at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s Casino, Nevada.

Cut the corner, stick me to your door

So, let’s just address the very large, pink-spotted elephant in the room and get it over with. Yes, they’re coming back to the west coast. Yep, this is the third time they’ve played Vegas, and not only Vegas but the same venue in the past 18 months. I know, I know, they’ve played America a lot lately. I am feeling like I need to apologize to the rest of the world, and yet these choices in places, dates, and venues have absolutely nothing to do with me personally. I just am a fan who can potentially reap the benefits (or deplete my bank account by purchasing tickets).

Obviously, these are business decisions. The band has mentioned before that they don’t have a lot of input with where they tour or play gigs. Somehow, I suspect that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier, and I have to respect that. I am ever hopeful that they play in other places besides Denmark, Iceland and the west coast of the US.

That said, could it be that this third set of shows at The Chelsea is Duran Duran’s version of a residency? In the past, Amanda and I have commented on the potential for Vegas residencies here on the blog. Many artists do them. Duran Duran is not one to blindly follow the current, instead – they do their own thing. Could it be that this is their idea of playing several shows in the same place without committing to the same venue and city for weeks on end? It’s not really a residency, but I have to ask – how often do you see artists playing the same venue three times over the course of a year and a half that aren’t playing residencies in some form or another? Food for thought.

I’m a man who stepped off the path

The other, slightly less obvious (?!) elephant has to do with ticket prices. I’ve seen many fans experiencing varying levels of sticker shock since yesterday. Here are the levels of VIP ticketing and pricing being offered:

There are three VIP packages available for these 5 concerts. Members can purchase a maximum of two (2) tickets per person for Las Vegas and four (4) tickets per person for Saratoga and Lake Tahoe.    

1) The Ultimate Front Row Backstage Tour VIP Package. $600 + Ticket Price:

  • 1 Front Row Ticket
  • An exclusive “behind the scenes” escorted Backstage Tour
  • Unforgettable pre-show on-stage photo opportunity 
  • A limited edition autographed Duran Duran photo
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
  • An exclusive to Ultimate package stylish logo’d Toiletry Bag
  • An exclusive to Ultimate package logo’d bluetooth speaker
  • Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing rechargeable headphones
  • Logo’d stainless steel tumbler

NOTE: There is no meet and greet associated with this package. Details of the backstage tour will be emailed no later than 4 days before the show. The merchandise will be mailed.  

2) The GOLD VIP Package. $175 + Ticket Price 

  • One Premium Ticket in rows 2-8-
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
  • Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
  • Logo’d stainless steel tumbler

There is no meet and greet, experience at the venue or parking associated with this package. Merchandise will be mailed.  

3) The BRONZE VIP package. $65 + ticket price

  • One Premium Ticket (typically in rows 9 through 20)
  • A custom designed logo’d tote bag
  • Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard

There is no meet and greet, experience at the venue or parking associated with this package. Merchandise will be mailed.  

We will also offer regular pre-sale tickets which you can purchase on its own (not part of any package)

The world spins so fast

I’m going to be blunt: You want to sit in the front row? You’re gonna have to pay, and pay dearly. The law of demand and supply is in effect here. It’s going to be painful, and we’re all going to hate it. However, if you want to be in the White Lines Spit Zone, or stare deeply into John’s eyes as he’s playing Come Undone or Hungry Like the Wolf, it’s going to cost you.

Me? Oh hell no! I’ll happily sit a few rows back so that I can keep paying my son’s college tuition! (it’s not any cheaper than VIP, I’ll say that much!)

I might fly off

So with that, we’re back to the pre-sale anxiety jig. Will I get tickets? Are they going to be too far back? How many shows can I feasibly get away with buying? Watching the Ticketmaster countdown clock tick down to go time… It is definitely a love/hate relationship. Are you with me?

On the other hand, seeing shows added made for a very lovely Mother’s Day. Seeing as my darling husband went to the trouble of printing out an online Mothers Day card for me while I was out at the crack of dawn feeding our chickens and cleaning their coop….I am ready to buy ALL of the Duran Duran tickets.

Well, not really all of them. After all, there’s a two-ticket limit for Vegas and a four-ticket limit for the Saratoga and Lake Tahoe shows.

Meanwhile, my mother arrives tomorrow for an extended visit, I have a house to clean, groceries to buy, a bed is being delivered, hotel and pet kennel reservations to make, and a graduation to attend this weekend. It is crazy…as usual!

-R


A Chance to Find the Phoenix for the Flame

My colleagues and I use a framework at work called “Thinking Like a Historian” in setting up our lessons for United States History. Part of this framework includes asking students to do a variety of tasks in order to reach complete understanding. For example, they have to analyze events by looking at cause and effect. Another means of reaching understanding might be by asking the question, “What if?” I particularly like this one. What if the South won the Civil War? What if women didn’t get the right to vote through the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920? What if Stalin let the Soviet Union’s military back off in World War II? As you can imagine, the questions are limitless. Part of the fun is that there is no right or wrong answer. The answer is always a guess.

Obviously, the fun could be expanded beyond history but even to Duran Duran and the band’s history. What if MTV wasn’t around? What if the band decided not to go with teen magazines? What if the band didn’t reunite? Now, typically, this question applies to past events but we could apply it to the future as well. So, here is the question I pose. What if the band does not do anything for the 40th Anniversary? Now, before you all freak out, I am not asking this because I have some insider info that the band is not planning to do anything. I have no clue what they are going to do or not do. I am just asking the question to determine how much this celebration really matters.

I haven’t really thought much about the 40th Anniversary. Yes, I heard some fans starting to groan in 2018. For them, they assumed that 2018 was the date of the anniversary since the band formed in 1978. Heck, the band used to have t-shirts that said 1978 as a means of honoring their history. Those fans wondered why the band wasn’t doing anything in 2018. They felt that the band was missing an opportunity there. I cannot say that I was one of those fans even though I got where they were coming from. Maybe, I didn’t sweat it because I was so busy in 2018 with the Midterms. I also understood why the band might celebrate 1980 instead of 1978 since that was when Simon joined the band. So, I didn’t worry too much. I assumed that it might be 2020 before we saw some sort of celebration.

Since I figured that I would have a couple of years before any sort of announcement of shows or events, I just quietly started to save and talk some general ideas of participating with Rhonda. I won’t lie in saying that I have been saving money in hopes of making it back to the UK in 2020, assuming that there would be something amazing happening there. This idea appeals to me greatly. I would love to take a big trip with Rhonda. It has been far too long. On top of that, I really do love the UK and would love to see my friends there. But what if it doesn’t happen?

Would I be disappointed if there is no big party in the UK in 2020? Yes. Would I be sad if there was no celebration at all? Of course. I think most fans would. What are some of the reasons to be sad? First, I suspect that fans want to have something to push the band to do something really cool. People want something beyond just creating new music or headlining a few festivals (not that those aren’t cool). Obviously, a big anniversary would do that. After all, we have all learned the usual pattern. The band goes into the studio and creates new music. Often, this process takes years. Then, the band promotes the new music. They do it, first, through interviews and performances on TV before otherwise before hitting the road. Those concerts are filled with many of the new songs before the process starts over. Duranies know this pattern, get it and even like it. We all get excited by the new music and we definitely get thrilled with any sort of touring. But I think fans would like something more or different and an anniversary could provide the reason for it.

What do I mean by saying something different or special? I’m not even sure. Maybe it could include special releases or unreleased tracks. Perhaps, it would be special shows or a residency. I could see some special events beyond typical concerts. No matter the form, I think that fans want to see something. I think Duranies want to really celebrate Duran Duran. After all, this band means a lot to people. Maybe this would be a chance to really show how much.

On top of that, not doing something would definitely feel like a lost opportunity beyond the fans. Would the anniversary and everything that could come with it create some publicity? Some attention? I would think so. Then, how much money could those things bring in? Not only would the diehard fans buy but I could see other people who might have liked the band at one point purchasing as well. Could that bring people back into the fandom?

So, it seems to me that the answer to the question, “What if Duran does not do anything for the anniversary?” is simple. It would be a lost opportunity.

-A

Duranie Homework Changes?

There are many aspects of my job as a teacher that I love. For example, I get all excited when I come up with a cool way to share information about a topic that really matters. Another part of my job that interests me is the problem solving involved. Sometimes, it is large scale like how can I get my students to analyze documents better. Other times, it it all about one kid. How can help this kid to stop doing x behavior? Of course, problem solving can extend beyond my classroom to the campaign trail to even what Rhonda and I do here and with fandom.

A few weeks ago, I assigned some Duranie homework. Here was the assignment:

Assignment:  Determine the best Duran Duran lyrics! List 15 Duran Duran songs that you believe have the best lyrics. It is up to you to determine what best means. Could a song have great verses and a terrible chorus or vice versa? That is up to you. Could it be a side project song? A solo song? Again, that is up to you. Could you pick a song that has just a really great one liner? Sure. You may decide to put them in order of the best, second best, etc. but you don’t have to.

The assignment is due today! Unfortunately, not very many Duranies turned in the homework. Here is where the problem solving comes in. Why? I ask. Is it that I didn’t explain the homework well enough? Is it that the turn in procedure was not clear? Is it that I didn’t remind people enough? Something else that I did not even think of?

I think I explained it well enough. Is it something else? Is that the assignment is too hard? Maybe. Is it too hard to pick just 15 songs that have the best lyrics? Would it be easier if I made a list and had people pick 15 from there? If so, I would be happy to do it. I could also put the list into a poll of sorts. Of course, both would require some time but I would be happy to do so for more participation. If I turned it into a poll, people would not have to turn anything in. I could also easily see what songs were determined to have the best lyrics.

Of course, it could be a situation in which people forgot about the assignment or just got too busy. I know that I have been feeling like I have been on a runaway train which I’m barely hanging on. This means that I need some more time to get the assignment done myself. So what do I do from here? Seems to me that I have three choices:

  1. Look at the lists that were sent in and go from there.
  2. Change it to a list or a poll to make it easier on people.
  3. Give people an extension so more people can participate

What do you all think? I’m happy to do whatever. 🙂

-A

We Write in the Book

I had plans yesterday. I looked forward to these plans, which were to have a Skype session with my partner-in-crime and fellow blogger. Rhonda and I hoped to check up properly with being able to share the happenings in our lives in a way that is far more detailed than what can be shared via email or text. Unfortunately, this gathering of sorts did not happen as Rhonda wasn’t feeling good. Of course, I understood and hope that she is feeling better today. I look forward to getting it rescheduled as we have work to do!

That last sentence makes me laugh. As you all know, it has been a pretty dang busy year for me. I worked pretty substantially for the 2018 fall election. Then, I took three weeks off before I began running a campaign myself for a friend of mine who ran (and won!) a seat on the local school board. In between all that, I managed to somehow teach my 120 students some United States history and Women’s Studies. The last election ended at the beginning of April. I assumed that I would take some time to catch up on all the things I could not do while working two full time jobs before getting to the other things I love and want to do. How is that plan going for me? I have started to get caught up but I’m not finished yet. On top of that, teaching has kept me more than busy due to some events at my school and in my district. Part of me feels like I’m still on the hamster wheel that I lived on for months.

All of that said, the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen. What does that mean? Simple. The end of the school year is coming! Of course, it is not coming quickly enough. I still have five more weeks but the countdown to the end has begun. Beyond a lot of self-talk about how I can and will make it to the end, I’m also starting to think about my summer. Most summers revolve around a project or three. I think this summer will be similar. I have a few projects for work but I also have a list of things I want to get done in my house. For example, I plan on going through campaign materials to get rid of what I don’t need. Beyond the to-do lists around the house and connected to work, I have one other huge task that I would like to tackle. But, I need Rhonda for it. Don’t worry. She is aware of it.

What is this task? I would like to get back to writing. In my birthday blog, Rhonda acknowledged that I tend to feels things with my whole heart and soul. She is not wrong. I have given all of myself to teaching and to the candidates I have helped and I’m proud of that. I made commitments and stuck to it. That said, I know something else about myself. While I can narrow myself to one thing, one issue, one aspect of myself for awhile, eventually I need more. I’m not one dimensional in that way. Yes, I love to organize and strategize around political stuff but I also like to have fun. I like to think about Duran Duran and fandom. I need to have all in my life to be as happy as possible.

Therefore, this summer is the time to turn attention to fandom and writing. As you all may or may not know, we have a number of ideas when it comes to our writing projects. Some of them are further along than others. So, where to start? Do we go with something completely academic like sexism within fandom? It does combine multiple loves for me but…it might be a ton of work. What about something personal like about what we have learned over the years of being Duranies? That could be fun and something we have started but I’m not sure my head is there yet. Hmm…maybe we should go with something more Duran focused. We have a few ideas related solely to Duran. One of them we sort of started, unofficially. We have read some similar books for another idea to help us get started. A third project has actually been outlined. That one would be the shortest of the three.

Rhonda and I talked about writing a bit when we saw each other in February. I suggested the one we have outlined. The reasons for this are simple. First, it is the shortest idea, which might make it pretty dang doable in a summer. Second, I think it is a kick ass idea. Lastly, I love the idea of being focused on Duran Duran. Being so busy with other things has pushed Duran to a back burner. I’m hoping that this would bring them to the front burner, which I would love.

So, I’m hopeful that when Rhonda and I finally get a chance to really talk that we can start thinking about a plan to get some serious writing done.

-A

Until the Truth is Drawn

Something to remember

The other day, my oldest sent some pictures to me. She was dressed in her cap and gown, and had a photographer friend take some pictures using her university campus as the backdrop. Naturally, I marveled at how it was even remotely possible that she will be graduating in just under two weeks. (actually now it is nine days away, but who’s counting?)

I did what any parent might do. I tweeted a couple, and put them on Instagram too. I’m proud of her. College isn’t easy. Working while attending doesn’t actually make it any less difficult, either. Heather majored in dance, focusing on teaching and choreography. She likes being in charge, and quite frankly – she’s my bossy one – so it makes sense to me that she’s settled into this role for her career beyond college. While many of her peers within the College of the Arts at Cal State Fullerton focused on being on stage as much as possible, Heather likes being the one designing what goes on up there. Her cap that she’ll wear at graduation says “Work hard in silence and let success be the noise”. That’s exactly my Heather, and so I chose that as one of the photos I tweeted.

Picking through the pieces

Not long after I did my proud mama thing, plenty of my friends responded with notes of congratulations, including a fair number that couldn’t quite get over the fact that she’s already graduating from college. I feel the same. After all, I can distinctly remember trading messages in a chat room with JTDuran, Tracye, Mags, Nasty, Tarcia, Robin and many others while trying to keep the peace between Gavin and Heather. Those two children were either sleeping, fighting, or banding together to create chaos. (Sometimes, I actually miss those times. I must be losing my mind!)

Anyway, when I began hearing from those old friends, I started thinking back. Is it really possible that it’s been 16 years since I first began trading messages with them? For more than one of them, I’ve known them online all that time—and yet we’ve never met in person. We watched one another’s babies be born, grow up, go off to college, and now, they’re starting to graduate. I’ve seen my friends get married, divorce, move and/or travel the world – whether in person, or through the magic of the internet. Some of these women are among my most trusted allies, and we’ve never been in the same room.

What do you have at all

So often I hear fellow Duran fans speak of the atrocities done to them by others (fans). I hear about the faux pas, missteps, and even the ridiculous sense of competition. Somehow though, even through that crazy minefield, I was lucky enough to find women that could get past it all. I don’t know if it’s really such a surprise to hear that many of them aren’t quite as attached the fan community as they once were, though. Sometimes, you just get tired of the nonsense. The real friendships though, they last.

My good fortune to stumble upon a message board filled with women who shared good humor along with discussion, and exchanged life experiences right alongside music continues to pay off. My children – once preschoolers, are now college students. One is about to graduate and move into the “after-college” stage. I’m lucky there are friends to share the heartaches and triumphs, graduations, future marriages and babies; and even the gray-hair, hormones, and mid-life challenges. Whether I see them yearly, on occasion, or have never even met them in person – they matter. Call me crazy, but fandom doesn’t seem so terribly cutthroat when I think of my Duran Duran circle of friends. In fact, I’m grateful.

-R

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!