Behind the Music

I apologize for the late blog entry today.  I wanted to wait to respond to the airing of Behind the Music, which aired tonight in the U.S.  First, let me say that I always enjoy watching shows featuring Duran and I especially like documentary-type programs.  It is pretty funny that I do since I feel like I could tell the history as well or better than the typical documentary, especially since they are pretty predictable.  Most Duran documentaries feature the following:  Why Nick and John formed the band, getting Andy from a Melody Maker ad, Simon’s audition in the leopard skin pants, the use and success from videos, Nile Rodgers, Power Station and Arcadia, Roger and Andy leaving, Ordinary World, John’s drug use, John’s leaving and now the reunion.  This was the first one I have seen since Red Carpet Massacre, however.

The original Behind the Music was one of my favorite Duran Duran documentaries as I felt like they had captured most of the important elements of their history, but, more importantly, they had captured the hysteria of the fandom and placed Duran in their rightful place, historically.  That said, I was dubious about how this new remastered one (interesting that they call it “remastered”, by the way) would be.  I enjoyed the program and was pleased to see that some of the more annoying elements of the original had been removed, including the bad rumor about Simon almost drowning during the making of the Wild Boys video.  I, of course, loved the new parts just because I’m dying for any and all footage of the band in their current state.  That said, I thought that the show’s editing and production could have been better.  They kept parts that I don’t understand.  For example, why keep Simon saying that he missed John?  That statement is out of date.  Why didn’t they ask Roger anything from their early history?  During the original, Roger did not appear but now his voice was noticeably missing.  Certainly they could have edited in some statements from him.  Overall, I just don’t feel like they blended the two parts together well.  They wanted to make it a smooth program but ignoring the fact that some interviews were done in 1998 and others in 2010 seems stupid.  Why not just have a part one and a part two?  Obviously, part one wouldn’t necessarily end the way the original ended but they could have ended part one right before the reunion and start part two at that moment.  It is a logical separation. 

The new part was mixed for me.  It started with the reunion and how the idea formed after John left.  Nick and Simon commented about how they had to tell Warren that he wasn’t a part of the future of Duran.  Simon, in particular, seems reflective about this.  Then, Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone writer, commented about how this was bittersweet for the fans as we had gratitude towards him.  Obviously, there were and are fans who love Warren and then there are others who were happy to see him go.  I’m not sure that Rob’s comment captures those feelings.  Then, the show moves forward to talk about their plan to tour and to show record companies that there was a demand for them.  This part did remind me of the excitement that the reunion, Astronaut and the tour, that followed, had.  From there, the show skimmed the surface of the controversial topics of the rejection of Reportage, Andy’s departure and RCM.  The narration did not dive into those issues and stuck to the least problematic versions.  While I understand that, in a way, I would have loved for the producers to go further, to go deeper like a real documentary.  Obviously, some interesting statements were made, but not enough to draw a serious conclusion.  First about Andy, Simon said that he was becoming very difficult to work with and that the whole band felt that.  Then, Roger said that it was a “ticking bomb” that they had all been feeling for over a year.  John ended the discussion by saying that they were moving in different directions.  Hmm…As for Reportage and RCM, the Sony executive said that they need an album with a “vibrant beat”.  Simon said that the record label didn’t “get” Reportage and the fans didn’t want RCM.  He isn’t wrong, at least when it comes to the two authors of this blog.  The show ended at the present day with Duran working with Mark Ronson on AYNIN.

I loved the ending of the show and admit to being terribly excited by what I have heard about and from this new album.  Ronson does seem to match Duran well and, clearly, he is an “ultimate Duran Duran fan”.  😀  Of course, the show leads the viewer to think that this is the time for the next wave of Duran success, whatever that might mean.  I obviously have no idea if this is true or not and won’t know for awhile.  What I’m hoping for is that this album is one that they like and are proud of.  This will help the fans to return as well.  One thing I noticed tonight was the number of fans watching and talking about it on message boards and social networking sites.  Clearly, the fans are starting to pay attention and are starting to get excited!

-A

Merch

About a week ago, Duran Duran posted a picture of John and Roger wearing new t-shirts with the upcoming album title, “All You Need is Now.”  These t-shirts were in black and white and simply had that phrase.  Today, I received an email from the ddstore, letting me know that there are new items in the store, including these t-shirts and more advertising the new album.  I immediately had to go check things out, despite the fact that I was still at work and needed to finish a report.  Like many Duranies, I saw many products that caught my attention, including those and other t-shirts, mugs, etc.  Since then, I have seen other fans react with interest, matching my own, and others who aren’t feeling it.

The fans who are not interested in the new merchandise complain that these simple t-shirts look like they could have been made at an online “make your own custom products” store.  While I can’t necessarily argue with that, I also can see why they are as simple as they are.  The title of the album and, even the little part of the song I have heard, incident a feeling of embracing the present and living in the moment.  In many ways, it is about living simply and ignoring the past and stop worrying about the future.  It suggests the need to remove all of the extras and just go with what you love best.  For Duran Duran, it is the music.  Simple as that.  If they were to have really complex designs on the shirts, wouldn’t that be going against the overall feeling and mood they seem to be trying to convey?  Shouldn’t they be simple and straight-forward?  I love the idea of embracing the now and living simply and if the shirts and album help us with that, great!  Of course, the other complaint is about how costly they are, especially at this time of year.

Duran Duran and their management aren’t stupid (although, sometimes, we have wondered).  They are thinking about making a profit like any other business.  Obviously, they want to charge a lot more than what the shirts are worth in order to make money on them.  Yes, the shipping is horribly expensive for those of us living outside of the UK.  Yet, it seems smart of them to put these items up for sale now.  They didn’t wait for tour time, which is great.  First, people are getting ready to buy gifts for the holidays and many of these items could be given for such a purpose.  Second, some people (me) aren’t that excited to buy merchandise at a show.  People don’t have a lot of extra cash at those times because they have spent the money on tickets, travel, etc.  They don’t have a lot of money for extras.  Personally, I don’t like buying t-shirts and posters at a show because I can’t stand having to carry them around.  I will and I have done it when I have had no choice but I don’t like to.  Besides, I like having t-shirts to advertise a new album for the band ahead of time.  After all, if I’m excited about it, I want others to know.  In this day and age, there are too many people out there who don’t know that this band is still around and is still releasing new music.  Wearing t-shirts help to educate the public about the current status of Duran Duran.  🙂

Therefore, based on both the fact that I like the shirts and I like to show my Duranie pride (silly me!), I’m sure that I will be buying a shirt or two.  Of course, I will also put them on my wish lists and maybe my supportive family will buy me one!  Wouldn’t that be cool?! 

-A

Do You All Know it’s Time for Holiday Music?!?

I was in the car today trying to get some shopping done before I had to go and pick up my youngest from preschool.  I was listening to one of my regular stations (I listen to JackFM in Southern CA because it’s the only station where I can hear Motley Crue in one moment and Duran Duran in the next!)  when I started thinking that it’s the week before Thanksgiving here – and that next week some of the stations out here should start playing holiday music.  My family celebrates Christmas in all it’s glory (and I mean that in the most secular way possible…), and I am known for going above and beyond in my decorating.  I love the holidays, but I pretty much detest cooking, so any motivation I can have to get in the mood to bond with my stove is very much appreciated. I suppose holiday music is one of those things!  I don’t know what prompted me, but I changed the station just to see if KOST 103.5 had started their “month of Christmas music” yet – and sure enough, they had!

Up until today, I hadn’t yet even shopped for Thanksgiving yet – again I have to mention the whole “detest cooking” thing, and at that moment I was coming back from the grocery store.  I really wasn’t feeling the holidays at all.  It’s hard for me to believe we’re already staring down the barrel at holiday shopping – so I cranked up the tunes and sure enough, I went from thinking about fall to getting excited about getting out my decorations next weekend.  (never mind the day of cooking that comes next Thursday)

As I drove home, I wondered how long it would be before I heard Do They Know it’s Christmas.  So many memories come along with that song for me.  I can remember the Christmas it came out, and how I think I drove my Dad crazy with insisting he keep the radio station in our car tuned to KIQQ (yes, this was back in the 80’s…that station is LONG gone now!) because they kept that song in heavy rotation, along with New Moon on Monday and pretty much every other Duran Duran song at the time.  I can even remember hearing it as we were out looking at Christmas lights one night, and squealing with delight when I heard Simon’s voice.  My poor father probably lost hearing that night.  🙂

To this day, I get a silly grin on my face when the song comes on the radio.  I don’t think it just signifies Christmas for me anymore – it is a dear, dear memory of my youth.  It’s a memory of Duran Duran truly being on top of the world, on my wall and in my heart.   It’s memories of going for rides in my parents green Mercury looking at Christmas lights, having my Dad tell me to “keep it down in the back!”, my mom asking me which singer was Simon for the 100th time, and hearing my younger sister groan at having to hear Duran Duran yet again.  Good times!

This year, it appears we are going to get a little something extra for ourselves around Christmas time.  While it’s pretty obvious to everyone that we’re no longer 12 years old…I wonder if we’ll always associate All You Need Is Now with the holidays after this?  I look forward to finding out!

-R

What’s the Difference?

From time to time in this blog, I’ve tried to bring up issues that aren’t necessarily central to our community, but about fandom in general.  One of those topics is fanaticism.

From the time I was a child and really became aware of what being a “fan” was all about – it became very clear to me that you can be a fan by enjoying someone’s work (whether that is a sports team, an actor, a band, etc.), and that experience can be very positive.  Somewhere along the line, however; there is a point where fandom can be very negative.  The love and appreciation for a certain entity can become something very ugly, and even dangerous.  There is a very clear difference between hanging posters on a wall and say – photoshopping pictures so that it appears that your life is somehow entwined with the obsession.  Even more drastic, there’s a difference between leaving a kind “can’t wait for the album” comment on a facebook page and writing a threatening and long winded “love” letter to the band.  I think most fans can see that difference and recognize when another “fan” has indeed crossed that line.

What tends to be more blurry, and far less black and white, is when someone who has been a fan for years starts to become frustrated with the band’s situation, or with the fact that in their opinion the band hasn’t “delivered” in many years.  What was once kind appreciation becomes anger and again, frustration.  Of course, this is much different than just not liking a specific album.  The problem is when, for the same fan, over the course of a few years or a few albums, it’s as though the band can do nothing right.  Again, many can say (and would be right and fair in saying!) that perhaps the band/artist/etc. has hit a very bad patch – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having an opinion.  That isn’t my point at all, and that’s also what makes this type of negative fanaticism difficult to identify, both in ourselves and in others.  It has much more to do with a cycle of behavior than a few flippant comments.  After all, there are many fans who haven’t liked an album or two.  There are still plenty more that joke about “Durantime”, or comment on the bands’ chances of hitting the charts again.  Those comments do not indicate the behavior of a fanatic, other than the fact that we spend an awful lot of time discussing the band!  I would assert, however that there is a distinct point when the negativity becomes much more fanatical than fan.

In the time I’ve been involved in the community, I have noticed there is a definite roller coaster feeling to this nonsense we call fandom.  There are huge highs, and very low points that can sometimes be very difficult to even out from, and gigantic hills to climb to get to the good parts.  I don’t think it’s unlike addiction, to be honest.   At first, the ride is fun – even the drop offs and hills don’t seem so bad because everything is moving so fast.  All we want to do is ride the coaster again and again.  Then slowly, we start to get tired of it all.  We only want the good parts – and yet those seem so far back, and so hard to reach in front of us that we start to hate the ride.  We want the band to play on tour so that we can feel that high again, we want to get new music because we want to feel that shiny and new feeling again and again.  The band doesn’t move fast enough to keep up with our own “needs”…and we start really getting down on the band.  Then the album comes out, and while it’s OK, it’s not exactly what we wanted.  What we wanted was back 20 years ago, or maybe we want more of what was on the last album – but in any case the current album doesn’t give us that high at all.  What’s up with that?  Then they tour, and while the shows are OK, that exhilarated feeling we used to have after the shows seems to be missing.  We want that high – desperately so – so we continue to go to show after show and still nothing.  At this point, we’re getting angry because the band just isn’t meeting our needs at all…yet we can’t seem to tear ourselves away.  We just want the band to respond correctly, and maybe if we complain loudly enough, they’ll hear and fix it.  And so the roller coaster begins again.

The trouble comes when we don’t recognize the behavior for what it really is.  As I said above, there’s nothing wrong with disliking an album or a direction the band is taking.  That’s part of the normal give and take of fandom.  There’s nothing wrong with being disappointed, and it’s very normal to vocalize that disappointment, whether that’s in a discussion with fans or on a message board.  It’s something far different when over the course of extended time there is nothing positive coming from the fandom, whether that’s in words, actions, or feelings about the band.  What is the point of being a fan if there is nothing about the band that feels positive?  It’s behavior that isn’t entirely unlike addiction, which can truly be ugly.

As usual, this subject leaves me with far more questions than answers, and is something I will continue to focus on from time to time.  What makes a self-described fan go from sincere adoration to critical on all counts?  Is it something that happens to all fans over time, or is only a select few?  Is it that longtime fans see where the band has been, and realize the fun is over and that it’s time to quit?  Why bring down the entire community if you never have anything positive to add?  More importantly, why is that these fans don’t always leave the community? Is it really addiction to the band that keeps them around, and if so – what is the real defining difference between fandom, fanaticism and addiction, or is there really any difference at all?

-R

Success?

I’ve tried very hard not to comment on the snippets of music I’ve heard so far, mainly because it’s really hard to tell how something is going to sound from 30 seconds of music.  I will say that some of the songs have really intrigued me, others have kind of just sounded good (as if that’s a bad thing, right?), and still others have me very excited.

So then why do I feel an impending sense of dread?  Isn’t every other album out there the same?  I mean – not every song on an album is going to bowl me over, and there are some I might add, that I don’t even end up liking.  That’s normal, and I know that.

The word on the boards with regard to the album seems to be fairly mixed at this point.  Some are excited, some are thrilled, some think it’s not good…etc. etc.  Each of us have our own opinions, and none of them are wrong.  I get that.  It’s hard not to feel the urge to knock fellow fans alongside the head when they openly pronounce the album as dead before it even drops though.  First question I ask is if they’ve actually HEARD the whole album, and the second question I ask is – if so, where can I grab a copy?  🙂

What really pains me though, more than any other comment, is when some gentle soul will hope that the album goes really big, and then some other genius will announce that there’s not a chance of that happening at all.  The album will never get played on radio, and therefore it’ll never chart, and it’ll fall flat like a pancake.

Really?  Is that what constitutes an album being big?  Is that what “success” really is all about?

My thoughts on that are simply that maybe it’s time that we fans get a better understanding of what success really is.  Personally, I think success has far more to do with how we ourselves feel about something in the end, rather than what recognition we receive.  My goodness, I’m a fantastic mom – I know this because, well, I have three children whom I’m raising to be amazing little people.  I don’t win awards for that, and I sure as heck don’t get a paycheck.  That doesn’t mean I’m not successful, that’s for sure.  Success for me is giving and getting love from them, and seeing them grow into the most fabulous humans.  That’s real success.   I kind of think the band is way over the idea of hitting the top of the charts. (here’s a tip for all of you fans out there – try listening to the lyrics of the few snippets we’ve had.  Really listen, because it’s not hard to hear, but you have to WANT to hear what they’re trying to say.)   I truly think they are in this for the love and joy of making music.  They want to play, they want to tour, and I would even say that they want to see all of our faces screaming for more.  Perhaps that’s success for them, these days.

After all – they said right in their press release that they’ve got nothing left to prove and everything to play for.  If that doesn’t give us an idea of what they’re after as far as success is concerned – maybe it’s really time we look at why we’re still fans after all these years.  Are we really thinking that we’re hear to see 1985 happen again?   It’s time to redefine success, and stop setting ourselves and the band up for failure before the album even drops.

Oh, and if you’ve heard that whole album and have deemed it failure…you know where to find me.  I’ll take that copy off your hands.  Ha!  😉

-R

Fever Pitch

I know that there is probably a ton of news that I should be commenting on this morning – but I’m going to be honest and say that at this moment, there is far too much rumor, not enough in the way of fact – and it’s all completely overwhelming to me for processing.  With that in mind, I’m going off on a completely different tangent today.

Has anyone out there ever seen the movie “Fever Pitch”?  Alright…probably all of you at this point.  I’m very late to the party on this one, but if you saw my kids and saw my daily schedule, you would understand.  This weekend, I had the opportunity to sit and watch the movie with my friends, who were visiting from out of town.  I had heard about this movie, and had been told that there were quite the number of parallels between the movie and my real life as a Duranie.  I have to admit I was skeptical, purely because I couldn’t imagine someone being THAT obsessed about a baseball team.  Never mind MY real life…

It became pretty clear within the first few seconds of the movie that I’d be able to identify with the main character (Jimmy Fallon).  He plays a single guy named Ben who is a school teacher, but is also a Red Sox fan.  “Fan” is probably putting it very mildly.  He’s completely obsessed, from the sheets on his bed down to the shower curtain in his bathroom and the “artwork” on his walls.   (at this point I would like to make it clear that I do NOT have Duran Duran on every wall in my house.  Only in my closet.   Hmm.  What is that really saying about me?  Another subject for yet another blog, methinks.)  Much of the movie is about how Jimmy’s character deals with his life as a Red Sox fan and how he can make that fit into his life as someone’s partner; or perhaps it’s the other way around – how his partner (Drew Barrymore) is able to deal with Ben’s life as a Red Sox fan.

Before I go headfirst into how this art imitates my life, my very favorite part of the entire movie is when Ben receives his season tickets for the year.  He’d been a season ticket holder since he was a child, and yet each year when that package arrives, he acts as though it is Christmas morning.  He races down to the UPS van, scribbles his signature on the electronic pad to sign for it, then races back up to his apartment.  He waits until his friends (all of which are fellow Red Sox fans) to get to his apartment, then he opens the package.  They all grab sheets of the tickets, admire them, and then smell them – commenting on the smell of the cardboard and ink.  This scene, fellow readers – I am very familiar with!  I know what it feels like to anticipate tickets arriving in the mail.  I know how anxious I am to open the package, and yet I want to wait to experience the moment with the very people who get me best, and I know exactly what the smell of ink on cardboard is like, and how crisp the thin cardboard feels in my hand, the bumps of the untorn perforations of the ticket stub on my fingertips, and the sharpness of the corners.  It was a scene that any fan of just about any thing should be able to recognize themselves in.

The trouble within the movie is that not everything is perfect when you are an obsessed fan.  It  is very difficult to draw the line between the fandom and normal every day life, even more so when you are involved in a relationship with someone who is not quite as big of a fan, or if you have a family.  Sacrifices must be made, and often times – it is the fandom that is sacrificed.   At one point in the movie, Ben is faced with choosing between the love of his girlfriend or the love of his team, and another character (oddly enough, it’s a kid) says to him “I know you love the Sox, but do they love you back?”

I know that question, and I know it well.  There’s an argument to be made on both sides.  To begin with, of course the Sox don’t LOVE anyone back, per se.  They are a team.  Baseball is a sport – it’s not a personal relationship; in the same way that Duran Duran are a music group and our “relationship” with them truly ends at the concert stage or CD player.  I feel 100% confident than no one in the group knows my name, and they absolutely could not pick me out of the crowd at a concert, much less love me in the way that my kids or my husband know me and love me.  The best I can hope for is a wink and a smile when I see them at a show, and that’s fine.  (to be honest, I’d be far more concerned if they DID know my name…)  That said, I’m not sure that love is really the right question to ask.  The Sox have provided the right backdrop or background for relationships to be made in the very same way that we Duran fans have our fan community.  In fact, the season ticket holders have held their same seats for so long, they’ve become a family.  When Ben comes to the opening game each year, it’s like a family reunion.  He knows not only the history of the team, but also the history behind the other fans seated around him.  He’s seen people grow up, grow old and pass on; just as those of us in Duranland have done.  Yes, we have our differences.  No, we’re not friends with every single other Duranie, but we’re still a family.  Ultimately, I believe that my fandom is part of what makes me – Rhonda – myself.  If I took that away, if I stopped being a Duranie, or stopped following the band, I would honestly be changing who I really am.  I guess that’s what happens when you follow a band as closely as I have, or as you readers have, for almost 30 years now.  Being a Duranie is a part of my personality, and I have to embrace that, or I lose my own identity.   Of course, my husband sees it far differently I am sure.  I’ve been married now for almost 16 years, and I think that for my husband, he looks at my obsession with Duran Duran as being a choice.  I “choose” to read the message boards, I “choose” to go to concerts, etc. etc.  I can’t argue that it’s not a choice (that would sound more like an addiction, and while I know many feel as though it might be at this point – I’m going with the idea that it’s not for this blog!), but I see it as the same thing as choosing to quit a career, or getting divorced at this point.  Both of those things: changing careers, getting divorced – change you as a person.  They are life changing events.  Not being a Duranie would be life changing for me at this point, even if my husband thinks I’m crazy for saying so.  (love you dear!)   As much as my crazy Duranie behavior drives my husband crazy at times, my husband wouldn’t want me to change such a big part of what makes me the person he loves anymore than I would want that for him, just as the ending resolution of Fever Pitch.  We work with what we’ve got, and apparently most of the time, it works out rather well.

The weekend with my Duranie friends is now over – I dropped all 3 of them off at the airport this morning, with agreements to have a full conference call as soon as tour dates or other equally exciting information descends upon us.  I miss the laughter of my three “sisters from other mothers” in my house, but I can’t really be that sad, our next adventure is right around the corner!

-R

Rumor Frustration

There are times when the Duran world is quiet and then there are other times when there is something happening everyday.  Now, we are in between the two.  It isn’t exactly quiet but we are still all in wait mode.  Yet, this waiting is filled with rumors galore.  It seems that there is a new rumor each day.  There are so many rumors, in fact, that it is tough to figure out what all is being speculated.  Right now, Duranland is filled with discussions regarding what songs will be featured on the physical release of the album, when and where Duran will play on tour, the status of their websites, and which record label will actually release and distribute the new album.  While I’m thrilled that the message boards and conversations with my friends are filled with discussions regarding these rumors, I know that the authors of this blog are getting sick of them.

Obviously, part of our annoyance about the various pieces of gossip is that we want to know all of this now!  We definitely want to know which record label they are going with for sure, in order to just be able to learn the news, react, make our prediction on how it will turn out for the band and move on.  As far as tour dates go, clearly, we crave knowing the exact dates and locations in order to begin plotting.  Until we know these, we don’t know how many shows we will be able to go, what kind of travel arrangements we will need to make, where and how to get tickets, etc.  On a personal note, typically, tours are when we get together in person so we would like to know how long we will have to wait before seeing each other again.  Yet, this desire to know everything immediately doesn’t explain our annoyance completely.
I am wondering why there are so many secrets regarding all of these and more.  Why can’t the band share this information with us now?  What would happen if we knew the official record label?  Would that make us buy fewer copies?  Would that stop them from getting the promotional opportunities they hope and need to have?  How would that hurt the fan base?  As far as touring goes, I understand that they might not be able to give specifics like, “On April 9th, they are playing in city A,” because they might still be working out all of the details.  That said, can’t they tell us, for sure, that they will be playing in x country between date A and date B?  What harm would that do?  Would that stop us from buying tickets or going to the shows?  Yes, obviously, any and all information is met with possible criticism and praise from the fans. Yes, the possible negative statements would last longer if information was revealed sooner rather than later.  Yet, I would like to believe that the fans could take any and all information.  We are capable of learning the truth and dealing with it.  We have done it before and do it again.  
Thus, I’m asking, begging, pleading the band to provide us with more information.  Until then, I’m going to sit in frustration and annoyance and that can’t be good for anyone.
-A

A Field Trip

Today Amanda & myself are going on a little field trip with two friends of ours to see Duran’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  For those who aren’t aware, their star is just outside of the doors to Capitol Records.  We briefly considered walking on in to Capitol and requesting that they confirm the rumors about whether or not the album is to be released on their label…but then shelved that idea in contemplation of doing a little “construction work” outside of Capitol…

we’re not doing that either, so please don’t send the cops for us.  🙂

Last night, we watched three Duran Duran concerts – one was Working for the Skin Trade, the show that was included with the remastered Big Thing package, and then Budokan from 2003.  Those shows included some of the best and worst of Duran’s history, but still very much a part of their history; the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  By going to the star today, we’re acknowledging their history, but also the fact that the band has had quite an impact on popular culture and music, despite (or in spite!)  of their not-so-glamorous or not-so-proud moments.

-A & R

Instant Connection

As you reading this blog, the two partners of this blog and their friends are all together in the first time in over a year.  The four of us became instant friends when we met each other in person at the convention in 2004.  While it could be argued that this is something unique to our friendships, I actually would argue that this is a common occurance among fans. 

Over the course of my years, I have met many people in the name of fandom.  While most of those people are part of the Duran Duran fandom, some are not.  Yet, the immediate connection has been felt, no matter the fandom.  Why is that?  Why do fans bond so quickly with other fans?  Yes, it could be said that fans typically share commonalities like race, age, gender, etc.  They may be the case but I do not believe that this is what makes the connection happen so strongly and so easily.  It isn’t that we establish our friendship on these basic, obvious elements of who we are but on something deeper, much more personal.

When someone becomes part of a fandom, it is because the object of that fandom (in our case, Duran Duran) grabbed a hold of the person, emotionally.  That band/team/author/movie/actor made us feel passionately.  In many ways, we fall in love when we become fans as we feel such extreme joy, excitement, happiness as we become more and more interested (obsessed!).  This love often translates into spending a lot of time on the fandom, thinking a lot about it, and even making a committment (in our case, that has included YEARS of being fans as well as working on projects devoted to it).  Thus, when one fan meets another fan, there is instantly understanding.  We both know how the other person feels on some level since we both love the same thing.  Often, our choice of loving this over that says something about us as people as well.

Why did we become fans of Duran?  Obviously, I can list and describe many, many reasons why we think Duran is wonderful, talented, etc.  The truth is that, for some reason, they made us feel good.  Maybe they were an escape from frustrating daily lives, for some.  For others, they represent nothing but happiness and parties.  It doesn’t matter, specifically, what drove us to love them over other bands or other things.  What matters is that we did and that decision (conscious or not) was and is personal.  It is a part of who we are in a way that is much different than what we do for a living or where we grew up.  It is pure emotion.  After all, people don’t become fans with their heads but with their hearts.  Thus, when we meet other fans, it is often like meeting people whose hearts know and understand each other already.  That may (does) sound sappy but I believe it to be true.  This heart-to-heart connection starts with the fandom, but often and easily moves into other avenues because of this instant understanding. 

-A

Nothing Left to Prove

Once again, the band trumps me.  I had a blog topic all ready for writing, then I come home and get an “Official Duranie Alert” from my writing partner, Amanda. (who is en route to the good old OC at this very moment!)  The band has put out a press release on dd.com – you can read it here.  The release date for the album has been announced, along with a lot of other juicy tidbits – including a list of titles, as well as news that the album will be released on CD and vinyl in February.  This is great news!!  So, I find myself in the position of having to rethink the blog topic for today.


The press release is decorated with all kinds of facts and figures on the band, which when one stops to consider what has been accomplished, it’s really quite staggering.  The most interesting line of the entire press release, however, is the sentence at the very end.


As this new chapter begins, they have nothing left to prove, but everything to play for. So for them…All You Need Is Now!”


Truer words have never been written.  As a fan of nearly 30 years at this point (has it REALLY been that long?!?), it is truly refreshing to see the band embracing what many of us in the community have really felt for quite a while now.  This band has nothing left to prove to any of us…fan, listener, critic, or even hater.  Their history speaks entirely for itself.  They don’t need chart topping hits to prove their worth…and this band is definitely worthy, they just needed to believe it themselves, and I think we’re finally there.  


It’s a good day to be a Duranie.




-R

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!