Duran Duran Bootlegs

I’m officially on summer break now, or as I call it, “Retirement 2.0”.  While I’m supposedly enjoying my time off, I’m also cleaning out, organizing, and packing up the house. I’m not sure how successful the tasks are going so far, because my house still looks pretty much the same, but currently in my garage I have about thirty-two black and yellow large bins from Costco that are stacked four high and about four deep. Moving has been wonderfully cleansing so far, and I’m not even done yet.

While I’m at home, my husband Walt lives in Santa Barbara during the week. Often, I will get texts from him exploring new places, and I won’t lie – I’m a little envious as I’m cleaning out the closet, packing up my office, or weeding in the backyard. This past Monday though, I got a very curious picture from him.

He had been wandering around State Street during lunch, and found himself in a record store. He is apparently far better trained than I realized, because he immediately looked for any DD vinyl. When that didn’t pan out (I already have everything they had in stock), he looked at their CD’s and DVD’s. Hitting the jackpot, he texted me this picture:

Now, curiously enough, I didn’t recognize these DVD’s. Upon closer inspection, Boys on Film was filmed from an MTV appearance at New Year’s Eve Rock and Roll Ball at the Palladium in NYC 1982 (12/31/82). Then there’s Duran Duran Coachella, filmed in 2011. Lastly, there is Duran Duran San Francisco 2016, which was filmed at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. All of them must be bootlegs.

I didn’t ask, but Walt dutifully bought all of them anyway. They all have varying copyrights and addresses – two of them are archives (one says The Archivists Society and the other is Duran Archives, each has a different UK address), and the other is from Duran Films in New York City. I haven’t watched them yet (that is today’s assignment), but I can hardly wait to see the quality of what I am fully expecting to be shoddy iPhone video. We will see.

It turns out that only after he’d already bought these, he saw even more of these DD concert bootlegs for sale. It’s almost unnerving. I mean, Duran Duran has no control over what is being filmed and later sold, and naturally – none if this is new or even news. I just haven’t seen so much of it gathered in one actual brick and mortar store before. (I don’t get out much, apparently!)

He also picked up a CD for me, which might even be worse than the DVD’s. It’s called Duran Duran Ultra Rare Trax.  Let me just say, the trax are not rare…and the only thing “ultra” going on here are the ultra-tacky descriptions of the songs compiled on this clearly homemade CD.  Below is just a sampling of the titles and descriptions:

  • Notorious (Disconet): Title track from their 1986 LP. Pushed forward their chic influences to the fore. Cutting funk guitars and slap bass supply the backdrop to a fine Disconet Mix.
  • I Don’t Want Your Love (Prime Cuts): The Prime Cuts people get to work on this Duran Favourite, with its excellent back track it rolls on and over. Another Prime Cut.
  • Save A Prayer (DMC): A nice up-tempo dance version of this usually classic ballad. The Earliest Duran number we could find a dance version of.         (I don’t think they looked very hard, just saying.)
  • A View to a Kill (Art of Mix) 007 meets POP! Duran go big screen. A great track given the Art of Noise treatment.
  • Duran (Megamix) The first time ever DMC mix available for the first time on CD format. Previously a cassette 1984 release. Coupling together some Duran classics – Is There Something I Should know, Planet Earth, Girls on Film, Rio, among others.

It goes on from there. Writing is clearly not this bootlegger’s forte. I can hardly wait to listen, though.

I’m not one to encourage bootlegging, but I have to admit I’m more than a little amused to sit down and watch some fairly recent Duran Duran shows. I can’t think of a better way to spend my break – particularly since the alternative involves more packing!

Is there a place for bootlegs in the industry? On one hand, the band seems to have no control over what is filmed and sold – and the economic impact to them is pretty clear. I mean, it is their music and their image, and it seems wrong that they shouldn’t get some royalty from that. On the other though, there are people out there may actually want videos from shows they attended, or maybe even for those who can’t get themselves to places in the world where the band has played.

What about unreleased music? I own Duran Goes Dutch, which is a fairly rare and collectible vinyl that isn’t official at all. The music is rare because the songs are arranged very differently. The band didn’t necessarily take advantage to press that vinyl, but someone else did. Fans like me have benefitted from being able to own the record. I’ve also read that bands, perhaps not Duran Duran – I really can’t say, have bootlegged their own material at times because their label wouldn’t commit resources to doing so for various reasons. It’s a sticky situation, not nearly as black and white as it may seem, and I definitely am not claiming to know the ins and outs. The issue is certainly worthy of discussion.

I’m going to sit and think about all of this while I watch my new videos today!

-R

 

June 2018 Katy Kafe Highlights!

It is time for a special June 2018 Katy Kafe with one of June’s birthday boys, Nick Rhodes!

Record Store Day

Katy began the Kafe asking Nick about Record Store Day. Nick hopes they continue to offer something for RSD, saying that they did the Budokan show as a strictly limited item, and they wanted to do something unexpected. Nick collaborated with John to choose the songs from that show, and then they worked with Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo along with John Warwicker to do the cover.

As an aside, Katy and Nick briefly chatted about filming the show from the Budokan. Nick says that this film is currently in editing and should surface at some point later this year!

Tim Berners-Lee

He is the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Nick met with him a month or so ago at a screening of the film about the trajectory of the internet.

ForEveryone.net film on PBS (only available to stream in US at the moment!)

Nick suggests everyone watch the documentary. I’ve seen it myself and it is well-worth your time. The web is changing, and unless each of us stands up to protect it, the way we use it today will soon cease. Take the freedom seriously and educate yourself.

One note to make here: I don’t know if even Nick is aware, but he and TimBL (as he is also known in Silicon Valley and the web world) share a birthday! 

Nefer’s Birthday in Venice

What started as a simple diner to support a charitable foundation grew into a somewhat more sizable and lavish Gothic-Glamour themed gala!

Nick didn’t say a lot about the party, and much has been mentioned about the way certain magazines referred to Nick as Nefer’s husband and so forth. I’ll cut to the chase: nothing was said.

Surprise, surprise.

Update on the Musical

According to Nick the first draft of the musical he has been writing with JT is finished, and they’ve been in talks with various people to decide what to do with it from here. Although it was written to be a full stage production, there are plenty of other options, from a virtual “experience to Netflix, Broadway and beyond. They are exploring all avenues to decide what is best.

Cayman Islands KAABOO

Nick said it sounded fun at that time of year (February of 2019). He mentioned that they haven’t put in many concerts this year because they’ve all been working on other projects that will hopefully see the light of day over the next 18 months….I suppose we will all stay tuned!

Nick also commented that maybe, just maybe later this year there might be a concert or two. He didn’t commit, but he did say that they have nothing on the calendar as of yet but that you never know. In this day and age, there is no reason to plan 100 shows two years in advance. Doing a few shows here or a one-off there can be planned fairly quickly.  Then he talked about how this year they might not be doing many but next year (2019) they’ll do a few more, then the following year (2020) quite a bit, and the next year (2021 by my count) even more!  He actually sounded open to the idea of doing shows later this year though, which, in my opinion – isn’t a bad sign!

My advice? Don’t hold your breath…start saving your pennies (or dollars) and don’t give up hope!

Residencies, anyone?

John had mentioned he would be open to a residency in Vegas at some point, under the right set of circumstances. So Katy posed the same sort of question to Nick. Much to my surprise, he was open to the idea. All kinds of opportunities exist to do different sorts of things in Vegas, and it is manageable cost-wise. He’s not adverse to the idea, but did say that something like that would need to be different to what is already being done (of course!). Nick isn’t interested in being in Vegas for a year, but shorter runs would be fine.

One thing he did mention that I found interesting – Vegas allows for a transient audience. Most people don’t go to Vegas for much more than a weekend at a time. It isn’t like playing to the same people for every single show, which, at the risk of calling myself out since I’ve actually followed them for a week or two at a time, can grow stale, I believe.

Hold up your hands, how many of you would ignore Nick’s comments about playing to different people all of the time and “move” to Vegas for a week or two if the band were in residence??

While Katy asked Nick what he was planning to do for his birthday (He says he may nap!), she also quickly slid the whole “when is the band getting back into the studio” question past him.

The answer?

Surely at some point in the next few months. They have some people they want to work with.

It’s always exciting to hear possibilities. Keeps MY mind off of the boxes piling up in my living room, which I am off to go tackle!

-R

There is Definitely Something You Should Know! DD on BBC Four

I love it when there’s news!

As I checked my email this morning, there were a couple of Google Alerts.  In full disclosure, I typically ignore them. More often than not, the alert is about someone with the last name of Duran, which has gotten really old at this point. This morning though, that was to be the case, as I uncharacteristically stopped scrolling and opened the alert.

My Duranie radar must still be working, because the alert announced that Duran Duran will be taking over BBC Four on June 29th!

At 9pm (GMT), viewers will see Duran Duran: There Is Something You Should Know. According to the press release on duranduran.com, “Back2back Productions has been granted exclusive access to the legendary group. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor open up about their extraordinary career, talking more candidly than ever before about the highs and lows they have endured together over the years.”

Yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing a brand new interview. I miss those guys.

Then at 10pm (also GMT), the band talks about their early inspirations as they look back together over TV programs, music and films that they grew up with from the 60s, 70s and 80s in a show titled, Duran Duran: A Night In.  Also from the press release, John Taylor notes, “Without the BBC, there would be no Duran Duran. Forty years ago this October, the BBC first aired ‘Barbarella’. It was while watching that late-night screening of the Jane Fonda sci-fi epic that members of a burgeoning Birmingham post-punk band decided the name of one of the films characters – Durand Durand – would make for a cool and unusual band name.”

I think this show would be very interesting, particularly since I’m from the US. I’d love to see it!

But wait!

Most fans know that the BBC is in the UK. While there have been a few requests to stream the shows so that fans may watch worldwide, if you’re not in the UK, you’re pretty much out of luck for this one, at least for now. <cue tears>

Invariably, these types of programs eventually make their way onto YouTube or are passed from fan-to-fan, and I think we can probably expect the same for this one in due time. For now, as it should be…no matter how painful it might be to know I’m going to miss out, the UK fans will be able to experience the shows first. Yes, I absolutely believe they should have the opportunity to see it all first. Make no mistake, I am 100% envious knowing that I probably won’t see this material for a while, but certainly not angry or spiteful. There have been many times the US has had Duran Duran playing live shows here, with very little regard to the country from which they were born. The UK is their home, and as John mentioned – without the BBC there would be no Duran Duran.

People get so angry about the silliest things, such as this night of television. I’ve seen so many upset comments this morning!  Sure, I’d love to see these television shows. I love this kind of thing and I have no doubt that Amanda and I would have tried to watch together and we would have had many vodka tonics and laughed our way through it because these guys crack us up every single time.  Experience tells me though, that I probably will still have the chance to see these shows at some point, just not on June 29th. Somehow, I suspect I’ll likely survive the famine. Maybe.

I just don’t think I am exactly in the position to be complaining here. Duran Duran didn’t get their start here in the US. They certainly weren’t born here in America, and they didn’t cut their teeth in some dank and dark nightclub in an alley in Los Angeles or New York. It wasn’t American TV that embraced them first, like it or not.  I can’t be angry about a TV show or two being shown on the BBC, that is for sure.

Their 40th anniversary celebration isn’t over yet. It’s just begun! It is likely that we can look forward to other special events opportunities in the months to come.

However, if you want to get a sneak peek at the trailer, take a gander at the link below! I’ve watched it about 50 times now, so that should tell you just how badly I wish I could see the show with my UK friends. So sure, take my envy and laugh your way through to June 29th. If anybody figures out a way to watch the show, don’t forget to whisper it to your good friends Rhonda and Amanda!  We won’t tell!!

Duran Duran Take Over the BBC – Trailer!

-R

 

I’m Lost in a Crowd

In this discussion I had with one of our readers regarding buying tickets, the question, “Does it really matter who buys the tickets?” came up.  I gave an answer that I thought captured my thoughts and feelings well, but is one that I realized that I wanted to explore further.

The commenter asked, “Would it matter to Duran Duran who bought the tickets to their shows?” or something to that affect.  On one hand, do they know who buys the tickets?  No.  Does any band?  Any artist?  No.  They can see how many tickets were sold, what percentage of capacity that is and what the bottom dollar was.  Heck, let’s be real.  The band might not get that information at all.  They have people to watch that kind of information for them.  If I was a member of a band or someone involved with setting up tours, would it matter who buys the tickets as long as someone does?  Probably not, at least not before a show.  I would want as many tickets sold as possible.  That is what matters most.  I think about when Rhonda and I were selling our own tickets to our convention.  Did it matter to us who bought the tickets before the convention?  No.  We were far more concerned with whether or not we had sold enough to cover our costs.  I’m sure touring acts feel the same way.

That said, I do believe in the power of fans and fan communities.  Does it matter who is in the audience at a show?  I cannot help it.  I feel like it does matter, to both the band and their fans.  First, does an audience affect a band’s performance?  My response–how can it not?  Let me give some examples to explain what I mean.  If the crowd is filled with record label executives and the band is trying to get a deal, does it matter to them?  Absolutely.  They might be more nervous in that setting.  Perhaps, they also practice more or put more into it than they would have otherwise.  What if the crowd consists of people who had never heard of the band or doesn’t like their music?  Could that impact the performance?  Again, why wouldn’t it?  The band might play harder to try and win people over, but a band might also feel deflated if the response is lame.  (By the way, I’m speaking in generalities.  On top of that, that is not a criticism.  I recognize that people are human, even people in bands.) So, what about a regular show?  Does the crowd matter?

I have been to shows in which the audience is made of a lot of people that I wouldn’t describe as the typical fan.  At those shows, I have seen bands lose their excitement when they realized that they aren’t getting any sort of positive response.  On the other hand, I have also seen crowds lift up a band by sending them more energy.

What about the fans?  Does it matter to fans who is in the crowd?  I can only speak for myself when I say that it does.  When I’m at a Duran show, for instance, and I know a lot of people there who are as excited as I am, my enthusiasm grows exponentially.  Of course, the opposite is true when I have people near me at shows who don’t care who is playing.  I find myself having to expend some energy to ignore the lame crowd to enjoy the performance.  As much as I logically know that it shouldn’t affect my enjoyment, it does to some extent.  If I have a less than stellar experience, I’m less excited to go back.  The opposite is true, obviously.  This, in turn, could affect the bottom dollar for the next show or the next tour.

Having a lot of fans in the crowd makes me have a better show.  To me, fans can make a good show, a great one.

-A

Appreciating Duran Duran’s Ticket Buying Process

I haven’t meant to blog this late today, but I had to get enough done before I wouldn’t feel guilty for taking a break.  Needless to say, I have worked hard today, but still have more that I hope to accomplish.  I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.  Anyway, I’m pausing from all that to write this little blog post.

A week or so, I wrote a blog post focusing on new Nine Inch Nails ticket sale method, which you can read here.  I got a number of responses to it, including comments here.  Afterwards, I had lingering thoughts that I wanted to address here.  Today, I’ll show my appreciation for Duran Duran ticket sales.  Tomorrow, I dive deeper into the power of fans at shows.

Over the years, Rhonda and I have written lots about presales and buying tickets for shows.  In most cases, those ticket buying events surrounded Duran Duran shows, but not always.  Looking back, I suspect that the vast majority of reviews have criticized or complained in some way.  For example, I distinctly remember expressing quite a bit of frustration when the summer 2016 shows went on sale as Ticketmaster’s sale went less than smoothly (due to Ticketmaster, I might add).  All that stress came out at whatever blogs we wrote at the time.  Likewise, I know that we have blogged plenty of times in which we discussed the time between announcement of a show and when the tickets went on sale.  It is almost guaranteed that when Duran announces a show there will be fans who will complain about how quickly the tickets will go on sale or the timing of the sale.

In thinking about those blogs, we weren’t wrong to write them.  Ticket sale outlets like Ticketmaster can and should do a better job.  Adequate time in between press releases and sales is always appreciated.  Yet, in thinking about how other bands have sold tickets, I really am thankful for Duran’s methods.  Let’s start at the beginning.  I am so glad that they have a fan club in which the members get to buy tickets ahead of the public.  That is a super nice feature, one that does not get mentioned enough.  This fact alone means that we have better chances to get tickets and to get better tickets.

Then, I think about the VIP packages.  While, yes, one might argue that they offer the wrong things or that they are too expensive, but I am so grateful that they exist.  They have given us plenty of chances to get really amazing seats.  Has it always worked?  No, of course not.  There have been shows that we didn’t get tickets when we wanted them or didn’t get anywhere near what we wanted when it came to seat locations.  In many cases, the experience of presales have been utterly stressful.  Yet, overall, we have so benefitted from this feature.  We have been able to be up front more times than we haven’t because Duran offered that possibility through the VIP packages.  I would also say that while they are expensive, they are not as much as I have seen with other bands.

The fact that Duran does offer fan community members to buy tickets before the public as well as VIP packages has been so important to my fandom as I have been able to see fabulous shows from prime locations.  Sometimes, I think, it is super important to appreciate what we have rather than complain about the flaws.  I, for one, hopes that the band keeps these elements forever.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I would welcome positive changes but I wouldn’t want them to get rid of presales or VIP packages.  Ever.

-A