The 30 Day “Daily Duranie” Challenge!!

Lately, we’ve seen (and possibly participated in) several daily challenges on Facebook.  We decided to come up with one of our own, and we hope many of you will go ahead and give it a whirl – we’ll be checking our Daily Duranie news feed on Facebook to see your answers!

Here are the “rules”:  Each day, you post the topic of the day as your status update on Facebook, Twitter, a favorite message board or where ever else you’d like and give your answer.  If you want to give a reason for your choice, fabulous.  If not, fine.  If you’d like to find and post a corresponding YouTube video – the more the merrier!  Please remember to give Daily Duranie credit for the challenge (only because we’d like to get the blog out to as many people as possible…not because we’re geniuses for coming up with a new challenge!), and invite your friends to read our blog and friend us on Facebook/Twitter!

1. We’ll start off easy – name your favorite DD song!
2. Name your favorite DD video!
3. The one song off of an album that should have been a single but was not.
4. In your very humble opinion, the most underrated DD song.  (this can be off of any album or be any B-side, but it must be an “officially” released song.  No demos)
5. Demo that should have made it to an album.
6. Song that shouldn’t have made it past the editing room floor.
7. The most overrated Duran Duran song/video.  (come on, you KNOW there are a few!!)
8. The video/song with the best storyline.
9. The video/song with the worst storyline.
10. John’s best song/video
11. John’s worst song/video
12. Your least favorite video.
13. Fill in the blank: If I never heard __________________________, again, it would be too soon.
14. Your favorite DD performance video.
15. Your favorite DD YouTube clip – could be an interview, talk show appearance, or anything you’d like!
16. Favorite song you’ve never heard them play live.
17. Least favorite song you’ve never heard them play live.
18. Simon’s best song/video.
19. Simon’s worst song/video.
20. The video you always forget about, but then see again and say “Oh wow – I LOVE this video!”
21. The one song you hear that always brings a smile to your face and a memory of a show you’ve been seen.
22. Song or video that most quickly transports you back to your tween-age self when you first discovered the band and fell in love.  (and if you weren’t a tween, whatever age you were when you found them!)
23. Roger’s best song/video
24. Roger’s worst song/video
25. The song that makes you feel guilty…now whether it’s a guilty pleasure or a song that makes you think dirty thoughts is entirely up to you!
26. The video or a moment within a video that makes you laugh!
27. The DD song that describes you best.
28.  Nick’s best song/video.
29. Nick’s worst song/video.
30. The one song you will never tire of hearing live.

Happy thinking!!  We can’t wait to read your choices!! – A & R


You know you’re a Duranie…

Today we’re going to do something a little different here on the blog!  All of us know what it means to be a Duranie, right?  All of us know the varying lengths we’ve gone to at times….so here’s your chance to wave that flag high and proud!   This is a bit of a game that used to be played on the message boards, and so why not do it here as well.  Here are a few of my examples – comment with a few of your own!  Keep in mind that I am poking fun at myself, my friends, and quite honestly people I don’t even know here – the point is that if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re taking it all way too seriously.

You know you’re a Duranie if/when:

1. You not only wallpapered your wall with them as a kid, you’ve still got those posters hanging everywhere/somewhere from your bedroom walk-in closet (*waves flag proudly*), to your bathroom and maybe even your work cubicle!

2. You sit in your car, stand in a store, etc. just to hear the end to ______(insert a DD song here)____ .  It’d be sacrilege to leave!!

3. Not only do you know the band’s birth dates, but you send cards and even get together with friends to celebrate in their absence!

4.  You have spent your entire family’s vacation budget for the year in order to go to the UK and see shows that didn’t quite happen the first time, so you plan to go AGAIN.  Oh wait….that’s me and MY life!!  (if you can’t laugh at yourself….)

5. You will park your computer on Twitter waiting for Simon or John to send out a tweet.  In the process though, you’ve met many new DD friends!

6. Whenever you hear a Duran Duran song on the radio, you’re convinced it’s a “sign” of something good about to happen….or that the band really IS stalking you!

7. When you’re standing in the audience for a Duran show, you’re convinced that the band is starting to recognize you.  It’s either really cool to you….or you’ve just proven that yes, there really IS a limit as to how many DD shows one should attend in a single tour.

8. Not only do you know where the band stays on tour, but you rush to book a suite at the same hotel, knowing that you might be beating them to the punch for suites!

9. You begin a ridiculously insane project to write a blog each day….oh wait…that’s me again.  Never mind.

10. You buy a tour book for a tour where you never attended a single show, just because “it’s historic!”  (truth be told – I think I own more tour books for tours I didn’t attend than those for tours I did attend!)

11. You agree to buy concert presale tickets for people you’ve never met in person, but have “spoken” extensively with online.

12. Not only have you collected each and every single for every album they’ve ever done, but you’re well into completing your collection for “international releases” as well!  (count this for albums also!)

13. You bought the Red Carpet Massacre Limited Edition Red Vinyl, even though you strongly disliked the album to begin with.

14. Whenever you’re required to come up with a screenname, password, or have a numerical combination for anything, you use the numbers “7”, “7609” and “7803” as often as possible.  Hey, at least you (and at least 35,000 other people on the planet!) will remember the code!!

15. When trying to remember numbers that are not the aforementioned “7”, “7609” and/or “7803”, you desperately try to come up with a Duran Duran connection.  For example:  Say you’re in a hotel and your room number is 725:   7-2=5….as in “the Fab 5”.   (yes, we really do this and yes, it does help us remember….You should see what I’ve come up with to remember the license plate number for my car!!)

16. You count how many times John and/or Simon has tweeted or RT’d you on Twitter.  For SOME of us, *coughs*…this is extremely easy.  For others though, you probably NEED to take a moment to count!

17. You’re buying that new “gold” membership on DDM just because of the Duran Duran fan club card that’s included…and we all know it!  🙂

18. You have more concert pictures of DD than you do pictures of your extended family.  (I almost said children here, but then thought twice.  My kids might read this blog!   Hi kids!!)

19.  Your husband/significant other knows what is coming when you call him/her at work and say “Hi dear. Are you having a great day at work?!?”

20.  You are shocked when other people sound shocked that you’re about to fly to another continent to see the band play.   (Yeah, that’s me again.  You mean normal people don’t do that?!?  How boring for them!!!)

Time for you all to come up with a few of your own to add!

-R

Is it safe to hope??

I feel like I should probably read Barack Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope, just for some additional help and spirit today!  


I’m sure everyone has seen the recent news, that Simon has been singing quite a bit, just not trying for the high notes.  I am sure that I wasn’t alone when I exhaled every last bit of air out from my body as I read that sentence.   It wasn’t quite a cleansing breath as much as it was a cleansing exhale, I guess.  It felt like I was ridding myself of the dust, cobwebs, fears, and bad vibes that have apparently been sticking with me since May.  Maybe I’ve been afraid to take a deep breath since then, I’m really not sure.  I do feel as though I’ve been living on pins and needles for a long time now though.  Even before we ever really left for England, life was pretty stressful, as it always is.  In hindsight I can see that the trip never really felt solid, for some reason.  Getting our presale tickets proved to be more trouble than normal, Amanda’s leave from work was ridiculously difficult to get approval for…the only thing that went reasonably easy was getting the “OK” from my husband, which oddly enough – is usually the one thing that is most difficult!  That moment of exhale felt especially cleansing, and oddly hopeful.


Is it fair to be hopeful at this point?  Simon is singing again.  That alone is cause for guarded optimism at the very least, isn’t it?  I’ve seen comments that we shouldn’t cheer until he’s singing ALL the notes, and while I wouldn’t dare argue, I think that singing alone is a good step in the right direction – never mind what notes he can or can not hit.  Keeping in mind that a good portion of the bands catalog is written in the upper heights of Simon’s range, it’s very encouraging to read that he’s singing. Who knew we’d ever spend so many blogs discussing Simon’s vocal chords!!   I just feel like we all could use a little hope now and then.  Sure, he may have quite a road ahead of him, and sure, it could be many more months before we hear of the band doing full shows again.  The news could always be worse, thankfully today, it’s not.

I know that today, it’s way cooler to be a cynical, unhappy Duranie than it is to be the ever hopeful and positive fan.  It’s cooler to say their albums are OK but that they’ll never reach the top again – and they’re lucky to have fans at all – than it is to say that the albums are fantastic and that you really hope to see them in the top 10 again.  I’ve never said I was cool, and you know – I enjoy myself a whole lot better when I’m feeling positive and uplifted rather than being the one to rain on everyone’s parade.  So I’m off to jump over rainbows and sprinkle flower petals as I clean my house!  -R

Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame really important?

This weekend I checked the Daily Duranie gmail after a week’s absence.  I found a lot of “junk” mail, a couple emails that needed a response of some sort, and an email containing a link to an article regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and specifically – Duran Duran’s current lack of nomination.

I’ve blogged about this subject before.  In fact, you can read my initial thoughts here.   Since that blog posting, I’ve had the chance to trade emails and posts with folks who are a driving force behind getting the band nominated.  My own personal opinion hasn’t really changed, but I have to recognize and even applaud their efforts.  Working to get the band nominated is just another facet to our fandom, and the last thing I wish is to make light of their energy, enthusiasm, and hard work.

I try to remain as open minded as possible, both in “real” life and within the blog, and as such I’m always interested in reading articles about the band, and you never know when an opinion can be swayed.  As it turns out, the article comes from a blogger for Goldmine magazine, and you can read the blog for yourself right here.   The blog sets lays groundwork as to why the band should eventually be included, and for the most part, I believe that goal was reached although my questions about the necessity remain.

Ultimately, my issues with the Hall of Fame are at least trifold:

1.  (and probably most important)  The band themselves do not care about the Hall of Fame.  They’re not interested!  I realize that’s probably a shock to many readers out there, and some are probably asking “How does SHE know?” right about now.   There was an interview done this past winter (I believe it was in December) on what I think must have been a UK morning TV program.  I am trying to find a link to the interview, and if I find it – I’ll bring it here.   There are two interviews I’m thinking of at the moment – in one of the interviews they were doing a cooking segment for some sort of holiday-ish pudding thing, and on the other, I believe they were being interviewed by someone who was a self-described huge fan for a podcast??  I’m not sure, but if anyone knows of the interviews I’m talking about, please send them my way!  The question was asked during the interview, and Simon answered.  I can’t quote him word for word without the video, but his point was that they’ve never once cared about what the critics thought, and they feel (as do I) that being nominated to the Hall of Fame is very much based on politics in the music industry.  The band hasn’t ever really wanted to be that “legitimate mainstream” band – they like being on the outskirts, in the fringe, so to speak – and in Simon’s thinking, if being nominated is important to the band, that means they would be buying into that line of thinking, which at least Simon, speaking for the rest of the band, does not.  That may be a blow to fans who are working so hard to get them nominated, but I can still understand where the band is coming from on this one.

2.  I still believe the band has more to write in their book of history.  To induct the band at this point would be underselling them, in my opinion.  I still believe that their best days may very well lie ahead, and in my opinion to nominate them now is far too soon.

3.  There are MANY other bands out there who have yet to be nominated that I really do feel have given far more to music history than Duran Duran at this point.  I know I’m not alone in saying that.  I still feel their lasting legacy lies far more with the visual media (videos) than it does with the music at this point.  Their time may eventually get here, but I don’t believe that this is their moment yet.

As I ponder this topic, the big question that comes to mind over and over is whether or not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is really that important over the long haul.  Is it going to make a difference in years to come?  Is it worth selling one’s soul over?  Part of me almost has to liken the induction to getting a star on the Walk of Fame.  Many don’t realize that it doesn’t take much to get a Star – just money of course – and these days it’s become almost a “vanity” sort of thing in Hollywood.  It didn’t start out that way of course.  Back in the “golden days”, it was a real honor to be awarded a Star, and not many had one.  Nowadays when you walk down the streets of Hollywood, you’ll see stars awarded to not only radio, TV & film stars, but even animal “actors”, and celebrities that have barely gotten to the legal drinking age, much less done work of enough substance to truly appreciate their celebrity status.  It just seems to have lost it’s magical meaning from overuse.  Of course, the R&R Hall of Fame may be different since it takes more than just money to get nominated, but the fact remains that in the end after all is said and done, it’s just another shiny plaque to hang on someone’s wall.

-R

Many Fandoms or One Fandom?

To me, fandom has always meant having a passion for something.  It goes beyond the common, ordinary “like”.  It is more intense than that.  Obviously, there are many bands that I like, but I participate in the Duran Duran fandom.  My feelings for Duran go beyond the like.  In some ways, it is like a romance of sorts as feelings are intense.  On one hand, I have experienced great joy in being a Duranie.  On the other hand, I have had times when I’m frustrated or angry.  I doubt that I’m alone in this description of fandom.  This leads me to think about people who seem to be fans of many things and when I say fans, I am meaning this definition of intense emotions as opposed to just liking something, those who participate in the fandom. 

I have been involved in a couple of other fandoms.  Obviously, I have been open about being a Sox “fan”.  Does that mean that I’m part of that fandom?  In some ways, yes, and, in other ways, I’m not.  Here’s an example.  I voted for the Sox first baseman, Paul Konerko, to make it to the All Star game, but I don’t go to Sox message boards.  I don’t really communicate with fans outside of my family.  I have been more of an active participant for a couple of other fandoms outside of Duran and the Sox.  For those, I have read message boards and talked with other fans.  I have even made life long friends that way.  That said, there has been no fandom like Duran for me.  I haven’t traveled for other fandoms and I haven’t written anything about other fandoms.  Why is this?  Is it because of the fact that I have been a Duranie for decades?  Is that the difference?  Is the difference that the other fandoms were based on fictional characters and Duran is real?  I suspect that both of those factors might play a role.  Despite these other fandoms, I don’t see myself as someone who is always involved in a fandom.  For me, because the fandoms are so personal, I think the ones that are worthy of my participation are truly few and far between.  Therefore, right now in 2011, if Duran were to stop, I wouldn’t try to find a new fandom.  I couldn’t.  It doesn’t work that way for me.  Besides, how would I replace decades of fandom and all of the experiences I have had because of it?  This fandom is irreplaceable to me.

So how about those people who are fans of many things?  What makes them tick?  Is their fandom less worthy because of their varied interests?  Let me be clear about the fans I’m talking about.  I have seen people move from one fandom to another to another to another.  For example, I knew someone who was a fan of the show, Roswell, then Harry Potter, then Twilight and now the Vampire Diaries.  She has never been without a fandom.  What about the people who do the same thing with bands?  First, it might be Duran then Depeche Mode, then the Killers, etc.  They could be a fan and be a part of those fandoms of all of those bands at the same time, too!  Honestly, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with this.  People can’t help how they feel or what they might be interested in at any given time.  Perhaps, this is similar to that romance analogy where joining a fandom is like falling in love.  Some people are very selective when it comes to getting involved, romantically, with someone and other people can fall for people easily.  Neither one is wrong, just different. 

Why do people become fans of something in the first place?  They become fans because they see something they like and someone that makes them feel good, right?  For many fans, I believe they get a little high from their fandom.  I’ll give you an example.  I bet every Duranie reading this can remember a time when s/he got SO excited by Duran.  Maybe it was the first time you heard a certain song.  Maybe it was the first time you saw them live.  Maybe it was seeing the best concert ever.  Do those moments make you want to stop caring about the band or do they make you want more?  For me, every great show makes me want more shows.  I can’t ever seem to get enough.  In this way, fandom is sorta like a drug, then, huh?  Perhaps, those people that are fans of a ton of things are always searching for that high.  Maybe, for them, the high is short-lived and only happens in the beginning of joining a fandom.  I don’t know.  Maybe being part of a lot of fandoms helps with the disappointments that can and often do follow fandom.  If you aren’t focused on one thing, it doesn’t hurt as bad if it falls apart.  For example, if I’m a fan of sci-fi TV shows, then, if one has a bad storyline, I can deal with it because other shows might have good storylines.  If I’m into bands, if one isn’t touring, maybe others are. 

I think I understand, logically, those people who are in multiple fandoms or go from one fandom to another.  They might want the high that joining a fandom gives or they might want protection from disappointment.  They might always want that distraction that a fandom can bring in their lives.  Emotionally, I admit that it is much harder for me to understand.  I have only given my heart a few times and can’t see giving it as easily in the future even though I, too, would like the highs and the protection.  I just can’t do it.  It is too personal to me or something.  Plus, let’s face it…you can’t make something excite you if it doesn’t.  I guess this means that, for now, and in the future I’ll be emotionally living and dying for what I always have, Duran Duran.  What about the rest of you?  Can you be in multiple fandoms?  Does that make you less of a Duranie?

-A

Deliveries!

I woke up this morning to news on the baby front!  Apparently, Roger Taylor became a daddy again this morning to a baby boy!  I want to congratulate the entire Taylor family on their new arrival!  Of course, like many Duranies, I’m anxiously awaiting announcement about a name!  Lucky for Roger and the rest of his family, he has some time to spend with all of them now, too.  🙂

On a different delivery note, I received a package in the mail with some merchandise from DuranDuranMusic as I had recently renewed with an upgrade to the gold package.  As I had posted before, I knew that I was going to continue to be a member there as the presales have worked for me (or more to the point–I have no luck with regular sales).  I figured that I might as well go ahead and go for the “gold” as opposed to the “silver” membership.  It is only $20 more and you get a lot of merchandise for that price.  I received the following items:  A messenger bag, a t-shirt, a bookmark, a keychain/bottle opener, a copy of handwritten lyrics to All You Need Is Now (the song) by Simon, a welcome letter with copies of signatures, and an official card.  Before I describe what I think of these items, let me first give credit to DDM in this instance as the package actually arrived when it was supposed to.  I figured that it would be terribly late like most things in Duranland. 

As for the stuff itself, I generally liked what I received.  Of course, the biggest smile and cause of an actual out loud laugh was the card that states I’m a member of the VIP club or whatever.  Many of us have joked for years about how if we said or did something negative about the band that we would lose our Duranie card.  Obviously, then, we were talking about the figurative membership card.  Now, I actually have one!  Too funny!  Thus, the band better really watch out now as I might burn the card in a fit of rage, if they piss me off too badly!  HA!  I also really liked the keychain.  It is solid with a simple Duran Duran written across it in the current font.  No one would notice it says Duran at just a glance.  It doesn’t stick out.  It is also functional!  I know as I tried it yesterday.  😉  The last small object was a metal bookmark with a pink D on it at the top.  Now, many people have or are moving away from actual books, which makes this a strange choice, perhaps.  While I have books on my iPad, I still have a ton of actual books that I need to read.  For me, then, this will be used for a little while yet.  Again, I appreciated that they kept it simple.

The larger items included a t-shirt and the messenger bag.  I suspected that I might be disappointed with these items before I had seen them and I was.  The t-shirt has the bed from the album cover and a giant D over it.  Okay.  I don’t mind the D but I think the use of the album cover shots is a bit tiring.  It isn’t too much but still.  There were lots of great band shots taken.  They couldn’t have used one of them?  I was surprised that the bed was gray and the D was in black, though.  I figured it would be pink.  I was glad about this change, especially on a white t-shirt.  On the back of the shirt, it again says something about the fan club.  Okay.  That’s fine.  I wish that the shirt material was thicker, though, especially with a white t-shirt.  While I haven’t tried the shirt on yet, I suspect that it is REALLY long.  The size was what I ordered and the shoulders and sleeves look fine but it appears to be too long.  Ugh.  That said, I’m sure that I’ll still wear it as I’m a sucker for Duran shirts.  Now, as for the bag, I was more disappointed with this because I had great hopes for it.  First, the color is…well…ugly, in my opinion.  It is off-white with a gold/brownish accent color.  The font is normal and says Duran Duran but it is in gold.  I’m not a fan.  On top of that, it isn’t huge so I don’t know how much it will hold.  The main section closes with velcro and I much prefer a zipper as I think that is more secure.  There is a zippered section in the front, which is nice, and smaller pockets on the side.  I think I could live with the design flaws if the color was different.  I will have to get over that.

The last items were the welcome letter and the copied lyrics to AYNIN.  I appreciate that they were copied onto to nice paper and were packed well so that they didn’t get bent while traveling.  It is cool to see Simon’s handwriting on the song, especially this song.  That was nice.  As far as the welcome letter goes, that’s great that I have copies of their signatures.  I already have their autographs so that isn’t a big deal to me.  I thought the content of the letter was lame.  They had the chance to talk about how much the fans mean to the band and how this fan club could bridge the gap between us, but they didn’t.  Instead, it was all about what DDM offers.  I know what it offers as I have been a member for more than half a decade.  I’m not a newbie here.  It was almost exactly like the front page of the website.  They had a golden opportunity to make the members feel special and they didn’t use it.  Instead, they continued to sell their product.  Completely lame.

Thus, overall, the package was what I thought it was going to be.  I thought there were going to be some cool things (keychain, funny membership card), some okay things (bookmark, t-shirt, lyrics), and some lame things (bag and welcome letter).  Was it worth the extra $20?  For me, I still think that it was.  What does that make me?  It probably makes me a sucker.  😀

-A

Now We Settle…

It has been about a week now since we all read/heard that Duran has been forced to postpone their summer tour.  There was a burst of shock and, now, people are coming to grips or questioning what all of this means.  While I believe that most of the fans have reacted in a kind and considerate manner as most have put their concern for Simon’s well-being first, many are still wondering what the future holds.  The specific elements of the future that they seemed to be focused on includes the future of the band, what to do about personal concert plans or the band’s tour plans. 

I have seen many people begin to question if this is the end of Duran or the beginning of the end.  I get this.  It seems that no one knows exactly what happened with Simon’s voice other than it was damaged and no one knows when it will improve, of if it will improve.  I think it is normal for people to worry because there are so many unknowns in this situation.  While Simon did have vocal issues before, he was a lot younger then.  This does not help people feel confident about the band’s future.  Do I think this is the end?  I have no idea.  I sure the heck hope not.  More than that, I’ll be beyond devastated if it is.  In fact, it is so upsetting to me that I just can’t go there in my mind.  Thus, all I can do for now, is hope for the best and offer support to the band. 

Like many others out there, as much as I’m offering good wishes to Simon and the rest of the band, I can’t help but to think about upcoming concerts.  As many of you know, we are planning on returning to England to get the shows that we didn’t get the first time we were there.  Will there be shows?  I don’t know.  Will there be shows before our shows?  I don’t know that, either.  Many others are in the same situation.  Perhaps, they bought tickets for the two US shows that are scheduled or bought tickets for the UK shows.  Maybe they wanted to buy tickets but didn’t.  The reality is this.  We may not know if they are able to play any of the scheduled shows until right before they happen.  We will not necessarily get a guarantee.  For some people, this is enough to turn them away from buying tickets.  For others, like us, we are proceeding with our plans.  One thing I learned in May is that it is always a risk to go travel or to buy concert tickets.  Things can happen.  In our situation, something happened to the band.  Next time, maybe, something will happen to me.  There are no guarantees even if Simon was 100%.  Whenever you travel, you risk something happening, something that can get in your way.  Now, I support anyone’s decision to not take that risk.  I can understand and appreciate that decision.  For me, though, I am willing to take that risk. 

While people are trying to make their own personal decisions about upcoming shows, I have seen some rumblings about the fact that the schedule now has 2 US shows and then the UK shows.  This has not sat well with all Duranies.  Some people are pointing out that the US has already had shows this year.  This is true.  Many fans in the UK point out that the next part of the tour should be there.  This is true, too.  It seems to me that this situation has opened up a constant debate within the fan community.  Why should the US get so many shows?  They aren’t from there and there are many locations that do not have nearly the same number of shows, if any at all.  What’s the answer to this debate?  I don’t think there is a good answer to this.  I wish that the band could play everywhere that there are fans.  Right now, though, I can’t help but to think that the focus should be that Simon gets better.  Shouldn’t that be the only thing we worry about?  Honestly, I don’t care if they play in Mongolia as long as they are able to play. 

As more and more time goes by, I’m sure that people will settle their own issues related to shows.  I’m hoping that the debate about US vs. the rest of the world is put aside so that we can also focus on what’s most important right now. 

No news is good news?

So today is Thursday…and I am still on vacation in San Diego. I’ve tried keeping up with the DD news this week, and that’s been very easy!

Unfortunately, the world of Duran is very quiet is week…and aside from Dom Brown’s studio mic not working…I have to think that no news is good news. I haven’t even seen anything from Roger about his newest family member arriving. I certainly hope things are going well and that he’ll share the good news soon. It’s amazing how difficult it is to find things to write about when there is no news or while attempting to blog on an iPad. I forgot my keyboard dock at home, and let me just say that I won’t make THAT mistake twice!

Everyone else seems to be off doing their own thing, enjoying their summers…which is exactly what I plan to do in a moment here. today we’re off to spend the day at Sea World. My little one is very excited to see Shamu!

Sorry for the short blog today…I’ll be back in full force on Monday! -R

I must take issue…

As much as I’ve enjoyed chatting about Rob Sheffields book, Talking to Girls about Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut , there are parts to the book that I just can’t get on board in agreement.  Throughout his last chapter, Duran Duran “All She Wants Is” 1989, Rob tends to sprinkle bits of information.  There are a few minor things that have driven me crazy…

To begin with, a “Durannie” is NOT a member of Duran Duran.  A Duranie (or Durannie if you prefer), is a FAN.  I appreciate the attempt to use the term, but the fact is – it’s damn confusing for those of us who have gotten used to hearing ourselves being called Duranies.  The band is just, well…the band!  We have cute names for them at times – like “bastards” when they’ve gone and done things that annoy us, or “the boys”…because well, it fits, but they are definitely not Duranies.  Sorry but we’re not sharing the nickname.

I recognize that the 78-03 tour was billed as a reunion tour.  I also know that the band tried not to identify themselves with the word “reunion”, because that’s exactly what John Taylor didn’t want to do.  He felt that if the band was going to reunite, they were going to go for more than just the whole nostalgia thing.  I also recognize that every critic out there desperately wants to categorize Duran Duran as JUST a nostalgia thing.  Does this have anything to do with the fact that a lot of critics are male and that they’re still jealous of this band catching the eye of every female around?  The band hasn’t gone anywhere…and they’re still not going away.  It’s only a reunion tour if they left and returned…and to the best of *my* knowledge, they never stopped making music.  Can we just get past this idea that they’re doing a come back and give them the acknowledgement that they deserve??

I can’t and won’t argue with Rob over the fact that Duran Duran are famous because girls like them. That’s pretty much fact right there, and you know – I can’t be mad about that.  What I can point out though, is that MALES are still mad about that!  We women know it, and you know what else?  We laugh about it when you’re not around, and maybe even sometimes when you ARE around.

One of the most poignant lines in the chapter is something that Sheffield wrote well before the most recent Duran drama took place, and yet it couldn’t have been more timely.  Let me quote:

“Simon still sings in the high-pitched yelp of the pop idol.  That can be a dangerous thing for a rock singer.  It’s an old showbiz truism that a low voice has a longer career than a high voice.  Even in the old-time radio days, if you were a lightweight tenor, it meant your audience would be female and that meant you would have a short run.”   (Sheffield page 257 – Kindle edition)

The reality is that I’m sure Rob wasn’t meaning the quality of Simon’s voice would downgrade to the point where he couldn’t sing; but rather that the females would eventually disappear from the audience.  Funny how that hasn’t happened.  I just found that as I read the chapter I thought about that particular section, and I suppose the gravity of what Simon, along with every fan out there has been through lately, just hit me.

Rob comments that the first time he met Duran Duran, they were called Shaun Cassidy.  I know this, because I had Shaun up on my wall until the day I took him down and replaced him with a Duran Duran poster.  Good times, good times.

The one thing that Rob Sheffield does tend to do in this chapter that chaps my hide to no end, is that he totally and completely underestimates the fans.  At one point, he mentions that no matter how big a fan you might be, you probably haven’t flipped through Nick Rhodes’s book Interference, or listened to Simon and Luciano Pavarotti sing OW as a duet.  Then he goes on to say that even a hard-core fan has to be stunned by their staying power.  To that I say “You obviously do not know the fans.”  Yes, you say that you’re a fan.  You say that you’re a huge fan.  I have no doubt (how dare I if I did!)…but I think you’re severely underestimating fandom.  Especially Duran Duran’s fandom.  You are talking about a core group of fans who have been around now for what – 30 some years?  These people aren’t amateurs, and I’m certainly not talking about myself here.  I look like a complete newbie compared to some of the fans I’ve run into over the years – and I’m not even thinking of the crazier ones!   Not only would I bet that a fair number of fans have flipped through Interference, but I would imagine that quite a few OWN the book, and some might have even gotten it signed by now.  I own an Mp3 of Simon and Pavarotti singing OW, and it’s probably one of my favorite versions of the song, believe it or not.  I know I can’t be the only fan out there that has it – I’m typically one of the last to come to the table with things like that!   But, the comment that stings the most is that last one.  Not only am I not stunned by Duran Duran’s staying power, I’m not at all surprised that critics continue to downplay them.  Why wouldn’t they – girls like them.

On that very subject of girls – let me “edumacate” you, Mr. Sheffield, about the Duran Duran fangirl.  To begin with, we actually DO wonder if the band is finding artistic fulfillment, especially when they’re putting out albums like Red Carpet Massacre.  Some of us actually care about how they must feel in real life.  You see, we’re not 12 years old any longer, although once in a while we might actually forget that when we see them at shows.  We do have our moments!  I think we started seeing them as real people after the reunion with Andy was over and the buzz surrounding the original five being back together faded behind the backdrop.  Some of us might have started before that – but I’m giving the fan community at large the benefit of the doubt and going with the lowest common denomenator.  We do care.  As for wondering about what goes on in Simon’s head….listen, some of us have spent the better part of our adolescence and then adulthood trying to understand some of the “really bad poetry” you describe in your book.  I’d say we want to know what the hell he’s thinking…but some of us are afraid to ask, and still more of us know he’d say “Sex” and grin as though we’re still 12 and he knows a secret he can’t quite share, but he’d really like to show us!  (you see, I think the band secretly still wants to believe we’re still 12 – because that way – they haven’t aged much either!)   I know you think that girls don’t like Save A Prayer.  While that might be true for ME…I’m very much in the minority on that one!  Even then, it’s not that I don’t love the song, it’s that I’m sick of hearing it – and by the way – I detest Hungry Like the Wolf.  Lamest song in the catalog, thanks.  As for wanting Simon to ooze vanity and lechery – which I would agree that he’s particularly good at – I actually prefer him most when he’s just human and real.  I have a huge amount of admiration for Simon that I never had before, and it’s because somewhere behind those leering grins and awesome karate-ish moves onstage, there’s a real human in there.  Some of us have had the opportunity to see that recently, and it’s become the silver lining for me in the midst of a whole pile of disappointment.  I might be in the minority on that one though, and that’s OK.  The next time I see Simon, it is likely to be from the audience, and I’ll appreciate those lecherous looks, the somewhat “creative” dance moves, and especially each note he sings, just a little bit more than I did before.

Yes, we care.  I loved your book, but the fans deserve a little more justice.

-R

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Works Cited
Sheffield, Rob, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love  and a Cooler Haircut, Copyright July 2010 Penguin Books Ltd, London.

Who is the “Paul” around here?

The more I think about Talking to Girls about Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut, the more I realize the book really IS about Duran Duran…or should I say the fandom surrounding Duran Duran.  The book is really excerpts about Rob Sheffield’s life, and he himself claims to be a huge Duran Duran fan, as are probably most, if not all of you who read this blog with any sort of regularity.  I find myself nodding my head in agreement after re-reading and re-hashing some of more intriguing parts of his book (to me, anyway).  One section in particular had me chuckling.  Rob writes a chapter about The Beatles, but more specifically Paul McCartney.  In all fairness here, I have to say that my all-time favorite band outside of Duran Duran is probably The Beatles.  They’re the one band I’ll never have the opportunity to see live, but I have seen Paul three times.  I don’t doubt that it’s not even remotely close to what I’d feel if I saw The Beatles themselves, but sometimes, you have to make due with what you’ve got.  And I do.

Mr. Sheffield makes some fairly outrageous claims that Paul is the only Beatle that people argue about.  I say the claims are outrageous mainly because I’ve never heard anyone argue about Paul…unless you count all of that “Paul is dead” stuff from the days of Abbey Road, Magical Mystery Tour and the White Album…but I don’t think that’s what he’s getting at here.  So yes, I think it all sounds outrageous.  Who knew?!?  According to Sheffield, nobody knows what to do with Paul.  (again, I scratch my head and keep reading.  Perhaps the answers will come to me if I read the section again!) He goes on to mention that Paul was the bitchiest Beatle, and that the other Beatles thought he was bossy.  This, I probably wouldn’t argue about.  He uses the example that in the 1990 Anthology documentaries, George Harrison “bristles” in his company.  (just for that one comment, I’m going to go and find the videos and watch them again, because now I’m fascinated.  Thanks a lot Rob.)  I do recognize though that Paul seemed to be the one to force the rest of them to get their shit together.  He was the one to tidy up, the one to finish the work and see it through.  I’m with him there, mainly because I can see the possibility.  Here is where the chapter gets funny, and yet remarkably recognizable…

“Paul is the bossy Irish sister in the Beatles.  Every Irish family has one of thse, and it’s always the oldest girl.  My cousin Graine in Dublin explained to me that this sister is called “the Alsatian,” which is the British Isles term for the breed of dog that Americans call a Doberman.”

“Any Irish brother can recognize what Paul was doing in the Beatles.  He was the Alsatian.  He kept coming up with more work for them to do, dreaming up big, daft ideas, sometimes brilliant (Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road), sometimes involving walrus costumes (Magical Mystery Tour).  He got mad if he didn’t think they were pushing hard enough.  It always cracks me up that some people describe “Getting Better” as a cheerful, optimistic song.  Nagging the other Beatles about how things could be better, a little better, all the fucking time – that sounds like Paul to me.”  (Sheffield page 154 – Kindle edition)


Hmm.  So naturally I’ve got to wonder, who on earth could be the bossy Irish, or Alsatian in our band??

Of course my mind (and yours too, if you’ll admit it!) went right for Mr. Rhodes.  The Controller. The Alien Vampire himself.  Truth be told, I’ve never seen or heard of Nick being angry.  Perhaps he does get angry, but I wouldn’t really know.  When I think of the word Doberman though, Nick’s face really doesn’t come to mind.  I can’t really think of a dog breed that is synonymous with Nick Rhodes, actually.  (perhaps that’s a good thing??)  I know just from the things Nick has said, himself, in interviews and in certain Q&A’s in the tour book for the tour that has yet to take place that he continues to seek perfection.  Not a horrible quality, but I wonder if he drives the other members of the band crazy…

So in order to be thorough and fair, I must consider the others.  What about Simon?  Well, in MY mind, at least up until May – I considered Simon to be a loose cannon of sorts.  I never knew what he was going to be like or say next.   I don’t really think of Simon as being a perfectionist – anyone who wears an eagle belt buckle one moment and a blue plaid flannel the next can’t honestly be a perfectionist, can they?  Although, he IS a scorpio, and that alone does speak volumes.  How do I know?  I *am* one.  We can be sweet one moment, and vicious the next.  Catch me on a bad day, ask the wrong question and I’ll skin you alive without even thinking.  Catch me on a good day and I’ll probably agree with you that yes, the blog is crap and that I should probably be paying people to read it.  Then I’ll thank you profusely and we’ll be friends for life.  Admittedly, sometimes I should really take deep breathing more seriously.  I would imagine that Simon can sometimes be the same, given the stories I’ve heard over the years. The trouble is, lately my opinion of Simon has changed quite a bit.  I think he might actually be far more of a grown-up than I ever thought possible.  I don’t know if it’s circumstance or if it’s that he’s really changed…or if it’s more that I’ve just never seen him outside of the US and our crazy behavior before.  So, could he be that Doberman?  Maybe…but I’m not sure.   I just can’t imagine him as the bossy one though.

Roger.  Yeah, I’m just not seeing that one at all.  I love the guy, but I don’t think he’s ever been bossy in his entire life.  I know a few fans that have had less than stellar moments with him, but ultimately I just can’t see anything more out of him than perhaps annoyance at the others for not being able to get along.  I picture Roger as the trusty Golden Retriever of the group.  He’s with them until the end, or until he just can’t take it anymore and they’ve got to retire him.  I still think of Roger as the sensible one (although I happen to know he has a crazy moment or two every now and then!), which is probably why I like him so much.  My husband is the same way.  Nope, can’t be Roger.

That leaves John.  John is emotional, and I love him for it.  I think he wears his heart on his sleeve, and while I suspect John might be just a bit high maintenance, I can’t really see him as the bossy one.  He might be the one to argue his way through situations, and he might be willing to step up and offer a differing point of view, but I highly doubt he’s the one burning the midnight oil in order to finish an album, or insisting that the band take a different direction just to keep things fresh, experimental, and new.  I think John will try new things to a point – but he still wants the band to be Duran Duran.  He seems to know they’ve got a sound that’s worth fighting for, and worth owning up to.  I wholeheartedly agree.

So I’m still sort of mulling this one over.  I really do tend to lean toward Nick, but what about the rest of you?  I hope to read your comments when I return from vacation!  Happy 4th of July to the American’s reading – enjoy those fireworks safely!!  I’ll be viewing mine from Mission Bay in San Diego!

-R
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Works Cited
Sheffield, Rob, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love  and a Cooler Haircut, Copyright July 2010 Penguin Books Ltd, London.

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!