Record Store Day 2019

How was everyone’s Record Store Day? Did you buy anything? Maybe a certain Duran Duran vinyl? My RSD was…well..interesting and different than previous ones.

The past few years I got up pretty early to get to the largest record store I know in Madison. This, of course, meant waiting in line in what is never a warm spring morning. Then, I would eventually get in to successfully buy whatever Duran Duran album was for sale. This year held some similarities and some major differences but it definitely didn’t go as planned.

My plan was to follow previous years with a couple of what I thought were slight adjustments. Instead of getting up super earlier, I figured it was safe to let myself sleep a little but that I would have no problem buying one for myself and even one for Rhonda. I needed to sleep because I had little sleep over the course of the week as grades were due and I had to drive to pick up my sister and niece from Chicago. So the plan was simple: sleep in a little, pick up the family and head over. We arrived at about noon with my eldest niece joining me as the rest went to a few stores. As normal, there was a line to get in. The wait allowed my niece and I to catch up as I enjoyed the free beer.

After waiting a half hour or so, we got in from the cold and immediately sought out the Record Store Day albums only to come up short. No Duran Duran. I checked a few other sections to make sure that I didn’t miss it. What the heck, I wondered. There were at least five copies of Devo but no Duran Duran. That didn’t make sense so I looked again and again. Finally, I had to give in as the rest of the family was waiting for us. That said, I still felt confident that I would be able to find it at one of the other stores participating in Madison.

The visit to the next store had to wait, though, as we had plans to go take a look at my mom’s latest art show. I tried to be patient as I fretted internally. Would I be able to find it? Why didn’t I ask at the store? Why didn’t I call first? Finally, we headed over to store number two. I silenced my inner voice of negativity and reminded myself that the hunt could be part of the fun. Again, we entered the store and made a beeline to the RSD section. This store had dividers for each artists. Awesome. This would make it easier to….not find it. No Duran Duran divider. No As the Lights Go Down. This time, I asked and received an uncertain response, “Uh…I think we had it.” Really?? Why no divider then? I start swearing to myself and vow to call the third store, which I do after complaining a bunch only to find out that the third store didn’t have it. Well…shit.

So, when I returned home from more errands with the family, I did what I had to do and ordered a copy from eBay, probably paying twice as much as I should. Yet, I would not be defeated. As I tried to move on from my frustration, I had to acknowledge that I made two wrong moves. First, I assumed that the stores would carry it. I’m not certain that they ever did. If I had called ahead of time, I would have known. Second, if the stores had copies, then I should have planned to get there super early. I could have gone back to sleep after. Lesson learned.

While I wished that I could listen to As the Lights Go Down today, I must be happy knowing that my copy will eventually come to me. The anticipation will just increase my enjoyment, right? On that note, how did everyone else do? If you were not successful, did you opt to get it elsewhere like me? If you were, how does it sound?

-A

I Heard You Were a Duran Duran Fan…

I do not have a typical place of work. It isn’t like people surround a copy machine or a water cooler to have discussions about the latest episode of a popular TV show or to ponder the latest moves out of Washington DC. Conversations happen in hallways and classrooms and usually focus on the most ridiculous thing said that day by a kid. Occasionally, there might be discussions about having digital copies of a handout or what people are doing the next day in whatever class. Rarely is there discussion about personal lives or what people are doing over the weekend. Those types of conversations only happen if people go out for a drink after work or on those teacher work days. We just don’t have time for anything else, which is why I didn’t know what to do earlier this week when I popped into the staff lounge and had to react to an actual personal question!

As I walked into the staff lounge to heat up my coffee, I spotted a women who is a frequent substitute flipping through a magazine who glanced up when I walked in. We greeted each other with some normal small talk when the conversation takes a turn. “I heard you were a Duran Duran fan,” she said innocently enough. I literally stopped moving. I didn’t know what to say. For some reason, I felt uncomfortable, almost awkward. Why? I responded in the affirmative, hoping that this ended the conversation. Instead, she continued by telling me how much she loved them when she was in high school and how cute John Taylor was. I nodded while I watched the microwave time. She went on to say that she thought the “original” drummer was really cute, too. I could no longer keep quiet. I questioned, “Roger? Yeah, he still looks good.” This caught her attention. “The original drummer?” she wondered. Like I might respond to a student question, I explained how, yes, the original drummer, Roger, was back and had been back for over a decade. Ignoring that statement, she brought up when Simon almost drowned when the yacht capsized and asked if I remembered that. As I tried to keep up with what seemed like random memories, I nodded. As the microwave beeped, I gave a silent, “thank goodness,” as I turned to leave.

Before I could get out, she asked me about Vegas. “Oh yeah, I heard that you went to Vegas to see them. How was the show? Was it good? I know someone else who went to the show.” I couldn’t ignore the comment and told her that I did, indeed, go to Vegas and that, yes, the show was good. She repeated the question, “It was good?” At this point, I swallowed the urge to just let all things Duran in a quest to educate her and restrained myself by saying, “Yeah, they pretty much always put on a good show. I have seen a few shows.” As I left the room, I realized that I was uncomfortable the entire time. Why? What’s that about?

My first thought about why was the stigma that fans experience. Did I feel judged or that she thought less of me because I was a fan? I don’t really think that was the case. There was no judgment. If anything, she demonstrated a level of enthusiasm that I should have appreciated. Was I upset that she knew I was a Duranie? I don’t think so. After all, I have worn Duran shirts and have a Duran Duran lunch bag. I have pictures of the band on the wall by my desk so I am not hiding that fact. Was I weirded out that she was almost too enthusiastic? In many ways, she sounded like so many people who loved the band in the 80s as they find themselves back in the fandom. She definitely knew some stuff from the band’s history in the 80s.

As I try to figure out my weird reaction, I have to acknowledge that it is all on me. She didn’t do anything wrong or weird. This is all on me. So what is the deal? While I’m not sure I think it is a couple of things. First, I resisted the urge to really tell her all about the band even though I desperately wanted to. I longed to tell her about the reunion and all of the albums and tours since then up until the present day but…I didn’t. Why? One reason is the lack of time that exists on a daily basis at my job. I had to get ready for my next class. On top of that, I knew that if I started talking Duran, I wouldn’t be able to stop. After all, I have a lot to say about the band and being a fan of theirs. I know that sometimes my intensity gets to be too much. While I love sharing all I know, others, even fans, might not. I recognize that.

The other reason that I felt awkward at this conversation is that the term “fan” didn’t feel right. This isn’t because I’m ashamed of my fan status or that I worried about the stigma connected with the term. No, it was the exact opposite. Fan felt inadequate. I’m a fan of Reese peanut butter eggs and wearing jeans. My connection to Duran Duran feels a lot more than that three letter word. Yes, I’m a fan but it is more than that. I bet a lot of you reading this get what I’m trying to say even if I am being totally inarticulate here. Reading and writing blogs about a band and being a fan of that band means that you are more than just a fan but a serious one, a hardcore one. That is really what I wanted to say. I wanted to say, “Heck yes, I’m a fan. I’m a huge Duranie. I have seen them live more than fifty times and hope to get at least one hundred times more. I love them so much that I have a blog about being a fan. In fact, my friend and I who write the blog post pretty much each and every day. We are that dedicated (or insane–depending on how you look at it.) If you love the band as much as I do, then I would love to share what they have been up to for the last decade or so. I think you will fall in love with them all over again.” But I didn’t say any of that. It would have felt too personal. It is like this random person would know too much about me and what I love.

-A

Atlanta Roaring, anyone?

It’s the sound of celebration

I have friends who are meeting in Atlanta this weekend – Saturday to be exact. They’re going there for #Atlanta Roaring3 (three, already??) – which is really a fan-organized party for Duranies to gather, hang out, dance, etc. I wish I were able to go. Actually, I wish I had the funds so that I could fly whenever and however I wanted. Alas, someone has to be at home to manage the zoo. Or farm. (I couldn’t decide which term sounded better!)

Although Amanda and I didn’t really plan much for Vegas in terms of fan meet-ups, we normally love hosting and attending them. The band can’t always provide the purpose for the gathering – and we appreciate fans who decide on their own to set something up. It is these sorts of gatherings where connections are made and friendships are fostered. I love the idea because typically, these gatherings get past the general “noise” of social media and fandom. They’re a way to see one another for who we really are, versus the online persona.

There are a lot of fans out there that want to go to gatherings like #AtlantaRoaring3, but can’t afford the flight or can’t really get away. It doesn’t have to take major planning over the course of six months or a year to put something together. Amanda has had more than one Duranie party over the years. She’s even designed party games, like Taboo, with a Duran theme! I know other fans who have done sleepovers, or have gone to nearby clubs in their city for 80s-night. Need somewhere to publicize or put out the word? I happen to know a blog that would be willing to help….

Can you hear the planet roaring

A few of us were talking last night on Twitter about a club in San Francisco named The Cat Club. It was the club Amanda and I went to (along with our roomies) after the San Francisco and Oakland shows on the Paper Gods tour in 2017. Similar to the club that I spent many Friday and Saturday nights at in my early 20s, it was dark, edgy, and felt like home. We talked about setting something up after school gets out in June – so look for news about that as we get closer to June! It would be a lot of fun to meet up for a fun night out or even a weekend.

As much as I know everyone wants more – whether it is more music, more live shows, more Duran Duran – we are genuinely lucky. We’ve found a real family here in this community.

We are the song

After the first show at The Chelsea in The Cosmopolitan in Vegas, I was walking down the hall (well, it was towards a bar – but I never quite made it to the one I wanted!) and ran into Dom. He looked like he was headed somewhere, and so was I, so I didn’t want to hold him up but we stood and talked for a minute until other fans started noticing he was there and wandered over. As people tentatively walked up to see him, they exchanged hugs and hellos with me, too. This surprised Dom, and he commented to me that we really do have quite a community.

We really do! I recognize people from all over the world at this point. It’s mind-boggling, and very cool, all at once. It never gets old to see people that I’d only previously “met” online, and I hope I never forget how fortunate I am to have landed here as a Duran Duran fan. The music is wonderful, but my friends? You are all what makes being a fan so much fun. You’re the reason I love going to see shows. I mean, the gig only lasts a couple of hours – there are memories there, but it’s the before and after show time that I think of most often.

We carry on

Not so long ago, I wouldn’t admit to myself that I sometimes get sad or lonely. I’d play it off as though I didn’t really need people. Well, I live in the country now. Atascadero isn’t a super tiny town – there are about 30,000 people who live here, but the city limits are pretty big. It isn’t like my old neighborhood at all. I miss my two older kids – they can’t come home whenever they feel like, and that’s been a tough adjustment for me. Gavin hasn’t been home and I haven’t seen him since the beginning of January, for instance; and it’s been a month since Heather has been home. It was our choice to move, but I do miss my kids.

It turns out that even I can get lonely. I miss my friends, and yeah – I definitely miss that band. That’s why meet ups and parties like #AtlantaRoaring3 are so important. It’s like group therapy, but more fun!

If you’re in Atlanta this weekend or can get there – you should go to Atlanta Roaring (details below!). You never know what might happen. Lifelong friendships could come out of it, and maybe even a guest blog could be written! If anyone finds themselves there and the DJ happens to play “Anyone Out There”, “Sound of Thunder”, or even “Late Bar”…think of me! Have fun!!

My friend David (podcaster for #TheDSide, GuyFansofDuran/ @boysmakenoise on Twitter) is the host for #AtlantaRoaring3 – April 13, 2019. Contact him for more info or questions! The days events include: celebrating Record Store Day at @CriminalRecords, Duranie meet up at Atlanta’s @Dogwoodfestival with a possible visit to #TheDSide, and then partying until the wee hours at @AmsterdamAtl

Have a great weekend, everyone! Looking forward to seeing plenty of stories, tweets and pictures from #AtlantaRoaring3!

-R


Hold On To The Memory

Welcome to Wednesday! I don’t have a lot to chat about today, so I’m just going to cover a couple of quickies before closing shop to do some chores around the house. Not fun, but necessary!

Do You Believe In Shame is 30 years old! Stop the madness!!!

On this day in 1989, Do You Believe in Shame was released. This is a song that I never really thought I’d hear live, but it was played in 2009 at The Pearl (Palms Hotel) in Las Vegas. As Simon introduced the song, I remember he mentioned the passing of Michael Jackson.

The song was the third and final single off of Big Thing. The meanings behind the song are fairly universal – meaning just about anyone can understand the place it comes from. At the time Simon wrote it, however, he attributed the meaning to the loss of three friends: Alex Sadkin, Andy Warhol and David Miles. 30 years, really???

As the Lights Go Down on vinyl – get yours this Saturday!

Next up, Record Store Day! Don’t forget that is this Saturday! We Duran fans have a special “hunt” going on – and that is for the vinyl edition of As the Lights Go Down. I don’t think it will be difficult to spot with its pink and blue cover! (although there are only 5500 copies available. Worldwide!) This is a 3-sided pink and blue LP, which admittedly – I’m a sucker for the colored vinyl – the 4th side is etched. The recording is from way back on the Sing Blue Silver tour in 1984. Happy hunting!!

That’s it from me today!

-R

The Wild Boys are Calling

On their way back from the fire

So, Kensington Palace was apparently the place to be last night. Anybody there? My invite was lost in the mail again. Rats! I heard it was some sort of investors conference. I have to admit wondering about how raucous that crowd could have possibly been. The visions I have of it floating in my head center around they idea that they’re already at a palace, which would seem a bit stuffy for an atmosphere. What would I know anyway? I’m American. We don’t have palaces here!

Amidst the tweets and posts concerned with what they played and why they were playing, there were a fair number lamenting the fact that they played at all. “Oh, a secret show again?”…”They sure seem to do an awful lot of these.”…”When are they going to play a REAL show in England?” and my favorite… “So they DO know where the UK is then, apparently.

They tried to break us

Despite chuckling at some of them, because I really do appreciate good sarcasm…I couldn’t help but notice those that questioned why the band plays so many of these types of shows. I’ve written about it several times in the past. Yet, it still continues to come up every single time they play a corporate or private gig. I even saw a few people saying that they wish the band just wouldn’t say anything about playing these gigs at all, which struck me as a bizarre request. Is it fair to assume the band has sold out for money?

As a primer here – the band is a business. LIKE IT OR NOT. I don’t know of a single band out there that doesn’t need to make a little money here and there. Bands pay for studio time. They pay producers, engineers, session players (session guitarists!)…and that’s just the beginning. Once the album is made, and they pay all of those people along the way, the album has to sell in order for the band to make money. It is far more complicated than I’m willing to get into, but this is the basic idea. Albums don’t sell the way they did in the 80s. Spotify sure as heck doesn’t pay well, either. So now what? They tour.

Tours are expensive. The outlay of money just to get going is tremendous. Think of it this way, every single thing needed to even tour – right down to the duct tape used to adhere the paper set lists to the stage floor – is paid for by Duran Duran. It’s not like that stuff is donated! Anyone who has done any reading lately should know that bands make more money touring than through album sales. (don’t read this as they make a lot of money – most do not!) Even so, do they make enough to pay for studio time? Management? Sales? Marketing people? Bloggers?

Ok…not bloggers. Just kidding. I was just checking to see if you’re paying attention!!

Looks like they’ll try again

So then what? Sir Spends-a-Lot calls management and says “Hey, I will pay Duran Duran a boatload of cash if they come and play at my private gig!” Management replies by saying, “We will need TWO boatloads, thank you!” Sir Spends-a-Lot thinks it over and then responds. “Fine! I’ll Venmo you!” (Ok, I’m joking about that. The Venmo part, anyway. I just thought it was funny.)

Duran Duran is now booked to play a private gig for two boatloads of money. They’re not supposed to announce it because the gig is private, and apparently Spends-a-Lot doesn’t want 5,000 Duranies showing up at his house. I can’t imagine why. But hey, the band will have a ton of money in their bank account just in time to pay whatever big name producer shows up in their studio next! (I was going to make a joke here about Timbaland, but I decided to skip it. Overkill, you know.)

Anyway… the process just isn’t nearly as pretty as we all want to believe.

Bloodstain for your pain

Fans seem to have this romanticized vision of a band that isn’t in it for the money. They love playing. They would live in their cars to be able to play for their fans. It’s ALL for the fans and the love of music. Gosh, that’s a lovely fantasy.

Listen, I have no doubt that some of that drives the band. I mean, they’re not ogres. Of course they love what they do. My husband loves working developing and managing products for a fancy speaker company, but he also needs to pay his bills. His wife – that would be me – insists on it, actually. That said, it is just silly to think they aren’t looking to make money.

Even if Simon, John, Nick and Roger agreed that they would never again make a dime from Duran Duran, I highly doubt the people who work for them would agree to the same terms! From the touring musicians, roadies and techs, right down to the people who answer phones in the office – everybody needs to be paid. Those people aren’t in the business for the “art”. They’re trying to make a living and pay their bills. Most of those people don’t even get to have fun at the shows, either!

While you’re dancing in the rain

Here is the real problem, as I see it. For you and I – the fans, that is – listening to music, going to live shows, and even social media is all just FUN. Concerts ARE fun. Amanda and I have said countless times that we wish we could tour for a living. That is because on our end, it really is all fun and games. We aren’t responsible for much other than getting ourselves to a venue and into our seats on time. (And, I might add that we barely managed to even do that successfully while in Vegas!!) I think we forget that while it is all about having a good time for us, it is not the same thing for the band. Part of that is by design. We’re supposed to be able to forget about real life, and we do! The band though, is a different story.

They have shows every night, and each time they need to look like they’re having as much fun as they did the night before. If they’re sick, if they’re tired, if they’re hungover – the show happens anyway. I just think we have to remember that for most of us, it is a show or two (or five), then we go home and back to real life. For the band – that really IS real life. It is their job, however much “fun” we think it must be.

Where is glory

Maybe I’m weird. I can accept that. I like knowing about the private gigs. Knowing about their corporate shows makes me smile, even if I’m not personally going to be at any of them. Even if I didn’t write Daily Duranie, I’d be happy hearing that they’re playing live. It keeps their engine oiled, and it’s good to know they’re doing something. Sure, I wish they were playing more regular shows. Who doesn’t? That all costs the band a lot more money though than playing a private or corporate gig…or even a festival.

Yeah, downtime is tough. I think we can even qualify it as boring for a lot of fans. We get anxious when we see shows for people that probably don’t appreciate them. I also know that people in the UK are beyond miffed that a band from their own damn country hasn’t bothered to play a single show in many months (years). This blog isn’t directed at those people or that issue. That’s something different, and I don’t have answers that anyone is going to like or accept. I wish I did.

-R

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!