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The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock and evaluate.  I thought it might be a good time for us to evaluate the blog.  While we love doing it and have no plans to stop, we also want people to enjoy it as well!!!  Since the blog was started in September of 2010, we have had a variety of blog posts.  If I had to put our blog posts in categories, I would have the following ones:  games, observation or commentary on fandom in general, observation or commentary on our fandom only, personal stories, reviews including shows, songs, albums, discussing band members, commentary on old Duran news and commentary on new Duran news.  Am I forgetting a big topic for us?

Assuming that I have the basic categories, are there things that Rhonda and I miss?  Things that we should be talking about and aren’t?  Many days, obviously, we are reacting to what is going on in Duranland or what is being discussed.  While we can’t control what is currently happening, there are days when we pick topics that we have been thinking about.  Out of those random topics, are there topics related to Duran that we haven’t covered but should?  Perhaps, there are topics that we have touched upon but should revisit it or dive into deeper?

Then, out of the categories I mentioned above, which one(s) do you prefer?  Do you like the games?  Would you prefer to read our reviews?  Do you like thinking about and discussing fandom, in general?  Do you prefer some of those more controversial topics about Duranies and our fandom?  What should we do more of?  What should we do less of?  What should we get rid of all together? 

I would seriously like to know what you think and prefer.  We will consider everyone’s opinions and preferences.  While we suspect that not everyone is going to agree, we would still like to know what people are thinking!  Feedback is important so bring it on, people!!!

-A   

The Daily Duranie’s Year End Lists

Sometimes, the band directly influences us and today is one of those times as we are following in their footsteps by doing our own year end lists!  It seemed like a good way to wrap up the year and all that it was! 

Rhonda’s list:
Best Duran Duran Moment of 2011:
Hearing the opening notes of Secret Oktober in Brighton and realizing that yes, they were really playing what I thought they were playing!  It was the only time I heard it for the entire tour…the only time I’ve ever witnessed it played live…and it was a dream come true.  I know the band couldn’t possibly have known how much I wanted to hear that song – but I owe them a million thanks for doing so.  Dream. Come. True. 

Best Personal Moment(s):   Hmm…I have several:
Watching my 3 year old dance on stage for the first time (she was a Bumblebee, and yes – she was the absolute cutest one ever!)
Seeing my son play clarinet with his junior high school band – it was surreal seeing him play after having done so myself for so many years. (and he plays MY clarinet from when I was a kid, too!)
Watching my oldest do her first musical – Anything Goes.  I loved watching her come alive on stage and seeing for myself that yes, she really does belong in musical theatre.  Very proud moment. 

World Events:
I don’t know that this really counts as an “event” as much as it was a natural disaster, but hearing about the earthquake and damage from the earthquake in Japan always sticks in my mind.  My husband traveled there quite often for work, and exactly one week prior – he was there and would not have been able to make it back home had the earthquake hit at that time (even more frightening was that he was originally scheduled to be there that week but had to move up his trip due to scheduling).  He hasn’t been back to Japan since the earthquake and tsunami.   I guess that I don’t like thinking about the political things that go on, mainly because we as humans can control a lot of that – even if we choose not to – but natural disasters like earthquakes and things we simply have no control over.  Its how we respond to those things that interest me most.

Album of 2011 (gee, I wonder….)
This really doesn’t even seem like a fair question.  While yes, the digital version of All You Need is Now was available on iTunes in December of 2010, the regular version didn’t come out until March – and so that’s what I’m counting.  Hands down for me, this is the album of the year (if not the decade).  It lived up to everything I’d hoped it would be, and the music and lyrics have added to the soundtrack of my life since then.  Did any other albums even come out last year???  😀

Single of 2011:
This is the toughest question for me out of the whole lot because I really don’t have ONE single that sticks out in my head as being best.  I really dislike conventional radio, and by nature of the beast I find that many times, the “singles” that are out there suck.  I do love the entire AYNIN album, but I don’t know if one single really made the year….except for maybe the title song, because in all honesty its how I’ve tried to take each moment of this past year.  I tend to be someone who is always planning ahead for the next thing or worrying about what I did yesterday.  This song in particular reminds me to enjoy the small milliseconds I have and to enjoy the now.  Lesson learned, thanks to Duran Duran.  Who knew the band would still be teaching me at the age of 40 or 41?

Favorite movie of 2011:
So here’s the reality:  I don’t go to the movies very often.  As in, I think I might have gone to see a movie in a theater about 5 times this year, and most of those movies were for my youngest.  So, with that in mind, my favorite movie this year was probably The Lion King in 3D.  My two older ones were fairly young when the original came out, and due to this being released in 3D version, I was able to take my youngest to see the movie.  She loved it, and I still get teary eyed.  (Yes, I really am just a sap!)  I think it comes down to the fact that I am Mommy first, Duranie second.  (Don’t ask where “wife” fits in because I don’t know that answer.  I think it depends on if I’m at home or at a show!)

Best Gig of 2011 (they say non DD – but I think we should each pick our very favorite show):
I saw a few different bands this year.  Most of them were quite good, but for me two gigs stand out above all others, and I really can’t split hairs enough to choose between the two. 
*Duran Duran, Brighton:  Standing there and realizing I’d finally made it and the band was standing in front of me, IN the UK…playing not only Secret Oktober but also Mediterranea??  Unreal.  I still get the shivers when I think of that show.  Isn’t that the high we all want??

*Duran Duran, Glasgow.  I’ve been to a couple of shows this year that really stood out in terms of sheer energy, but Glasgow completely blew me away.  I’ve never felt so much energy at an arena show – and if that was the best that it ever gets for me, it was enough.  Oh, and watching John and Dom right in front of me during Hungry Like the Wolf didn’t hurt much either.  😉

Most looking forward to in 2012:
I don’t even know.  I don’t even know if I dare say!!  I guess though I’m most looking forward to seeing friends again.  I’m hoping to get back out on the tour with Amanda – who knows where we’ll end up(!!), and I’m really hoping to make my way back over to the UK for the DD-UK convention.  I also have a few friends here that have *gasp* nothing to do with Duran Duran whatsoever that I’m looking forward to spending more time with…I’m hoping to get my portion of our book written, and I’m looking forward to going on vacation with my family for two weeks in August.   Even I need time to disconnect from the computer and cell phones for a while!  😉 

Amanda’s turn:
Best Duran Moment of 2011:
While I definitely could echo Rhonda’s in hearing Secret Oktober and I did think that was absolutely one of the best Duran moments of all time, it is hard to just pick one.  That one was definitely up there.  Honestly, I will never forget seeing and hearing the band come on stage and start Before the Rain in Brighton.  It was one of those magical moments that worked to erase everything that had gone wrong before and every moment of stress.  The lyric about “traveling to the place where all loose ends go” seemed so fitting at that moment.  Collectively, we tied those loose ends that night.  Another moment that deserves mention is Leopard (no, not Bournemouth, Rhonda, but…) in Glasgow.  It seemed like literally everyone in that venue was in sync and it created such energy.  Amazing.

Best Personal Moment(s):
Like Rhonda, I have several because I cannot choose.  I just returned from visiting my family in North Carolina and it was absolutely wonderful to be with my nieces for Christmas.  I wish that they were closer on a daily basis and wish that I could see them everyday as they are two of the funniest, smartest, sweetest people to ever cross my path!  On a different note, I was invited to one of the White House’s Holiday Receptions this year due to my political activism.  The invitation was enough to treasure but to hear the President thank me and other activists was pretty monumental.  It is nice to be recognized and appreciated for working hard.

World Events:
Some famous politician, which I can’t remember right now, uttered the phrase, “All politics are local.”  While I think this is, generally, true all the time, this year really proved it to me.  As a teacher in Wisconsin, I not only witnessed a pretty serious attack on my profession and many other similar ones, I also became part of a pretty significant response as over 100,000 people took to the streets to let our voices be heard.  This type of response was echoed in many other parts of the world, including in places as far away as Egypt and as close as Michigan and Ohio.  Even though we are no longer occupying our Capitol or protesting on a daily basis, we are still working to recall our governor and those who stood with him.  No matter what people may think of our politics, the grassroots response is something to be proud of and to be in awe of.

Best Album of 2011:
This is obviously a no brainer here.  As a Duranie, the full version of All You Need is Now made my heart swell.  Duran’s soul had been returned and they reminded all of us why we fell in love with them in the first place and why we aren’t leaving any time soon.  This album is the best of the year and one of their best, ever.

Single of 2011:
I find this category sort of strange and silly since we have constantly discussed the end of traditional singles on this blog.  Do singles even matter?  Assuming that they do and assuming that Duran sort of had three, depending on how you define it, I would have to choose the title track from AYNIN.  I love the general message but I also love the specific message to us, the fans.  We should stay with the music and let it play a little longer. 

Favorite movie of 2011:
Like Rhonda, I don’t watch a ton of movies.  I don’t take the time to do it and I certainly don’t spend the money to see any in the theater.  One movie I enjoyed seeing this year (don’t think it came out this year, though) was the King’s Speech.  I watched it on the way from the UK in May.  As a special education teacher who has had many students with speech and language impairments, I found the movie fascinating.

Best Gig of 2011:
I’m supposed to choose?!  Oh gee…I honestly can’t choose any from those 4 UK shows that I saw.  Yes, I would agree with Rhonda that the energy, the everything was working at Glasgow.  That was one show that will keep me coming back for more and more and more just in hopes that they come close to the performance we saw that night.  The crowd was equally as fabulous and it was everything that a show should be!  That said, I can’t forget about Brighton, Bournemouth or Birmingham.  Brighton’s show was one that I didn’t think that they would be able to top EVER.  They were on fire that night.  If people thought they were good in Chicago in October (and they were), they were 10 times better in Brighton, at least!  Simon, for example, seemed 10 times more energetic.  I couldn’t get over it!  Of course, that show will always be remembered for Secret Oktober.  That, my friend, was worth the wait, the expense and more.  Birmingham was also special because we finally got to see them there, in their birthplace and Bournemouth was something unique, too, because Rhonda made me laugh during Leopard.  Who does that?!?

Most Looking Forward to in 2012:
I, obviously, hope to see more Duran shows!  I also hope to hop over the pond once more to join my friends in celebrating the band and our fandom at the UK Convention!  I cannot wait!  As a John girl, I cannot wait to get my hands on that book of his!  I am sure to devour it in one sitting and then will read it again for all of the details!  Speaking of books, we must finish ours and get moving with everything else that we have planned!  Beyond Duran, 2012 is a presidential year.  Thus, I will be plenty busy campaigning not only for that race but also for US Senate, US House Rep and, hopefully, governor here.  I am hoping that the results will be such that I will have much to rejoice.

Now, we would LOVE to read your lists!  How would you summarize your 2011?!  With that, we wish everyone a happy, healthy and Durantastic 2012!!!

-A & R

Quite a Year for Duran and Duranies!

It is the time of the year when many people take some time to look back at the year, analyze it and decide how best to move forward. The band did this, to some extent, with their year end lists. (Note to everyone: Rhonda and I will do our own year end lists tomorrow.) While I could take time to look over their lists and comment on what they wrote or didn’t write, I thought I would summarize the year that both Duran and their fans experienced!

It really was quite a year!!! Obviously, it wasn’t exactly what any of us expected. Yet, looking back, I have to conclude that it was a positive year and one in which we all learned a lesson. This lesson was a very important one and one that the band was trying to teach us but couldn’t do it until the late spring and summer.

The year started out on a such a high for all of us!!! Duran had released the short, digital form of All You Need is Now in December of 2010. Many (most?) fans celebrated this release as a return to the Duran that we know and love. We had the chance to be excited about the 9 songs that we had and look forward to the full release in March. TV appearances, radio interviews and shows were also on the horizon. Everything was going super well! By the end of January, the first tour dates were released, which included 11 dates in the UK. For the two of us, this meant presales and initial plans to travel to the UK to see the band. It was an exciting time!!

February and March continued in this same path as we witnessed first interviews and TV appearances like the one for the Superbowl Fan Jam as well as the full album release! Tour dates were also released for small venues for the US. For many fans, tickets, travel plans and more were arranged to attend a show or two. Duran celebrated a significant event with the Unstaged Performance at the Mayan Theatre in LA. This performance was streamed online and directed by David Lynch. On a personal level, Rhonda enjoyed this show in person as well as another show in her area. I had the good fortune of planning a couple shows in the Midwest. It seemed like everything was going well on the Duran front. Of course, on a personal level, I was fighting for approval to take some time off of work to go to the UK. I was determined that it would all work out. Oh boy…

Spring continued to be kind to Duran as more dates were played and more dates were announced in Europe and elsewhere. It seemed like 2011 would be a solid Duran year, much like other years like 2005 or 1993. My work approval, finally, came through and we began to prepare for our trip in a serious fashion. Duran continued to play some smaller, private type gigs in Europe, including a show in Rome and a show in Cannes. We now all know what happened there. Simon sang and proceeded to lose the higher range of his singing voice. This led to initial shows being canceled for the UK, then more shows in the UK to all shows in the UK. We expressed this utter disappointment while actually being in the UK. Soon enough, all the shows in the summer were canceled and Duran’s future seemed more than uncertain. For all of us, fans, this was a very difficult time. Many of us tried to remain positive while preparing for the worst.

Then, as fall moved closer, hope began to develop. Then, Duran played some rehearsal gigs in the UK! These shows not only gave us hope about Duran’s future, they gave us hope that Duran would be willing to expand their touring setlist. Soon enough, more shows were announced in the US. Fans planned and hoped. Then, those shows happened and Simon was able to sustain his voice through full shows. We were lucky to enjoy a show or two, ourselves, as we prepared to go back to the UK for the shows we missed. By the end of the year, the band enjoyed a successful UK tour and a new video that managed to get quite a buzz in Girl Panic! More shows are planned for 2012 and the promise of even more to be announced! It is like the year had gone full circle for the band and the fans as we had experienced serious highs and serious lows.

I think that this year was a positive one for the band and the fans. The title and message of the band’s current album is to remind us all to live in the moment and to enjoy that moment. In the early part of the year, we all claimed to be doing that and maybe some of us were. By the summer, though, we learned that our fandom could suffer the greatest of losses by the end of the band as Simon’s future as a singer was in question. Luckily for all of us, Simon healed and the band came back, better than ever! Speaking for myself, this lesson of living in the moment and appreciating what I have truly was learned by this experience with Simon’s voice. Maybe all or most of the fans experienced this same lesson. While I think that this lesson was impossible to ignore for Rhonda and I due to traveling to the UK, I suspect that it was very obvious to all fans.

Now, we can look forward to 2012. While I hope that this is an exciting and wonderful year for Duran, I hope that we don’t lose the meaning we found in 2011. We need to appreciate each and every moment. We need to appreciate everything positive and wonderful that happens with the band. I’m not saying that we can’t criticize them, if needed, but we need to remember that this band won’t continue forever and that everything can change in an instant. We need to remember that all we need is now.

Catch ya on the other side!!

So this is my last blog of 2011. I must admit that the notion seems odd to me as I’m still having to remind myself not to write “2010” as the year when I fill out checks and paperwork. I’m really going to be challenged to remember 2012! This has certainly been quite a year. There are some years that I can look back with certainty and say it was a good year, or a bad year. 2011 was a bit of a mixed bag for me, and at the very least I can say it brought many surprises and emotions. I suppose it was a very full year.

Technology did not disappoint for me this year. Thanks to social networking I found my long lost four best friends from college – in fact we just got together again here at my house last night. It was a very loud, very late night! I love that our world is much smaller today than it was even a few years back, and in the period of just a few minutes I can check in with Amanda in Wisconsin on email, post a message for a friend on the East Coast of the US on Facebook, see what people in the UK are tweeting about on Twitter, and chat with a friend in South America over instant message….never mind answering a phone call from my mother who lives 3 miles from me here in California. I would say that the world has gotten much smaller and more active for me in 2011.

On a personal note, I don’t do resolutions. I need more than the empty slate of a new year ahead to motivate me, and I guess I prefer to see time as flowing from one year to the next rather than having definitive beginnings and ends. I’ve never done well with the idea of time passing, and I suppose to some extent the idea frightens me. I don’t like feeling as though time is something I’ll eventually run out. So I focus on goals and having to-do lists. I finished quite a few things on that list for 2011, and I even changed the blog so people could read it without going blind…go me! Next is to do a redesign and move it to WordPress, along with adding more content. I could spend many more hours on the blog than I have each day, so progress is slow, but it will grow in time. I want to completely finish the first draft of the book, as well. I’m hoping to find more time to play/practice clarinet as well. There are a couple of home projects I want to accomplish this year (painting my room and the upstairs hallways) as well. Once again, I have the hope of going to the UK on my list AGAIN this year…as I’m hoping to attend the DD-UK convention. My husband is SO overjoyed! Which reminds me….I need a job…or I’m going to start selling off household contents on eBay!

I wish everyone a very Happy 2012!!!

-R

Here Right Now

In keeping with the theme of their current album, Duran Duran have partnered with the Grey Area Foundation for the Arts to create a data visualization project.  All day long I’ve seen comments on Facebook, wondering what the fuss is about, and why a fan should want to be involved.

Basically, its an art project requiring participation from all over the world.  The sole purpose is to show a snapshot in time (your snapshot in time) using various themes that are posted on the site.  Its relatively easy to upload a photo – I would say that choosing the photos to upload is the toughest part, but isn’t that always the case?

I think the most intense question, as always, is the “why”.  To begin with, Duran Duran is and always has been a very visual band.  This project certainly keeps with that theme.  I can understand the partnership simply because the project is a form of participation art, and its innovative in that it utilizes the web to spread its message.  As we all should know by now, one of the major (if not the most central) theme(s) to All You Need is Now is enjoying the moment.  Live life in the moment you’re in – don’t look back, don’t look forward, just enjoy the now.  That’s what this project is to represent.  What is your NOW looking like?

I can already read the email and comments I’m going to get when I admit I’ve yet to upload a single photo myself.  I suppose the easiest thing to do would be to simply take a picture with my computer and just send it in. (Following one of the predetermined themes of course…that oddly enough coincide with many different words fans should recognize.  “Sunrise”, “Beautiful”, “Moon”, “Information”, and “Red” to name but a few of the very recognizable themes.)  I thought of doing that yesterday, and then somehow got sidetracked.  I checked the site fairly early in my day, and then again before I went to bed last night to see just how many pictures had been uploaded, and at that time there didn’t seem to be that many.  I would imagine that for many fans – the holidays are still taking precedence, and perhaps the site will see more activity after this next weekend.  For me, its simply that I’m overwhelmed by the amount of pictures I have on my computer and finding the right one(s) to send.  In short, I’m overthinking the task.  Again.   If only I’d grouped my pictures by themes such as “Sunrise”, “Moon”, “Information”…..well, you get the idea!

Upon looking around on Facebook and even Twitter, the project isn’t getting a lot of discussion.  Those that have received the email seem to be less than interested, and when met with the task of actually watching an instructional video on how to participate, most fans didn’t bother.  I can’t blame them on one hand, it’s not as though you really need to watch a video to participate (its somewhat akin to uploading a photo to Facebook), but on the other, I suspect the lack of interest is simply that – a general lack of interest beyond the music, the videos and the shows.

In all fairness, not every fan is going to be excited or interested in supporting every single project.  For example, I am less-than-excited by the “supposed (Are you reading, Mr. Rhodes?) 2012 release” of TV Mania.  I’m more interested to see if Nick will really follow through and get it released than I am by the project itself….but I’m also prepared to eat those words if need be.  I like being wrong when it comes to Nick.  We will see.  How about Drama Americana, anyone?!?  (No Nick, we still haven’t forgotten about that one!)  That aside, it would seem that anything requiring extra work of the fans, especially if a show isn’t directly involved, tends to wane in popularity.  Curiously, I have to wonder if this project will not follow the same path.  Fans tend to ask what they will get out of it, and I did see many wonder if the band themselves will follow suit and post their own pictures. (not a horrible idea – and it would definitely spur more activity)  Time will tell.

I have to commend the band for thinking out of the box and supporting art projects such as these – in this day and age – I find very, very little of that here in my country.  The arts really suffer here, and as a musician and a mother of an student who goes to an arts based high school, I applaud them.  I wish more bands and artists would partner with SCHOOLS in this nature.  That’s just a hint for something the band to consider doing in the future….

-R

What Would Duranies Do?

In a vain attempt for some peace this morning (peace from my family, that is), I attempted to escape online to Facebook for some “me” time.  Upon doing so, I checked the Daily Duranie Facebook page, and saw that our buddy Kitty from Gimme A Wristband should now also be known as Kitty from Andy Taylor’s blog.  While I pondered that progression of events with pride and joy for her, I noticed that there was in fact a new blog up on Andy’s site for today.  You can see Andy’s brand new website, along with the blog and tons of other goodies here.  The blog itself is very short, referring to yet another blog written by the folks at Gawker about the Beliebers – those lovely, lovely Justin Bieber fans.  You can find that blog here…and I strongly suggest you take the time to read because todays blog is in reference to both blogs.

To summarize and probably oversimplify a bit, the Gawker blog focuses on an event in Times Square where about 50 Justin Bieber fans (the aforementioned Beliebers) gather to do a “buy out” of a music store.  According to the blog, these buyouts are actually attributed to helping Justin’s album sales figures over the years, and his management actually goes the distance to organize these events.  Kitty in turn asks what Duranies would have done back in the day with this sort of technology (social media such as Facebook and Twitter) to allow fans to mobilize and even form troops.

Its funny because the first thought is that it would have created complete chaos, as though there wasn’t quite enough of that back in the 80’s, right?  Most Duranies (that commented regarding the blog) immediately jumped to the thought that they would have only used the technology for themselves – learning of the bands whereabouts, waiting online for interaction from them, etc. etc.  I think its fair to say that yes, much of that would have happened – but along with chaos, there could very well have been a stronger level of commitment to the cause.  We long time fans readily admit that we tried to buy everything and anything that was available for the band.  Why wouldn’t we have done the same with a little more direction and focus?  Had the band been able to actually mobilize us using social media – imagine the buying that could have been done!   I’m sure the band wonders about that at night as they’re drifting off to sleep.  If that scenario doesn’t thrill you or at least make you think a bit, let me throw another thought your way:  Why don’t they use us now?   Or DO they?


In fairness, I think the band was very late to the social networking party, and I don’t honestly understand why that was.  I think their learning curve has taken quite a while, and while I have no doubt that at least John Taylor and probably Roger Taylor, Simon LeBon and even Dom Brown are beginning to recognize the strength of the masses (that would be you and I) and the loyalty that comes out of simply acknowledging the fans as people, I don’t necessarily think any of them really know how to effectively harness the power of fandom.

What could really be done?  Granted, none of us (or at least very few!) are teenagers these days.  We all have lives that are incredibly busy beyond the world of Duran Duran.  How many of us could conceivably drop everything and run to wherever the band needed or wanted us to be within a matter of hours?  I’m positive the answer would be not many.  This is proven by the amount of times something, like perhaps a TV appearance on Jay Leno or otherwise, has been announced literally within three or four hours before “showtime”.  Less than a handful of fans are able to show within that kind of notice, and understandably so.  Social networking requires planning and it requires nearly constant attention in order for it to really work effectively – planning being the operative word. Of course that’s not always possible, but should be the exception, not the rule. With proper planning and a little “out of the box” thinking, fans could be mobilized to do similar buyouts, get togethers (to promote fans working together), showing up en masse to various events and things…and really, aren’t those things part of the fun of being a fan?  I would suggest that perhaps giving the fan base focused tasks and direction might even create or foster more loyalty in the long run.

I hate to say that Duran Duran could learn something from Justin Bieber.  In fact, I feel nauseous as I type…but the truth prevails.  There is something to be said for the strength and spirit of the Belieber Army.  While many could argue that there isn’t much stronger than the spirit of the teenage fan, I have to believe that with the right motivation and management – Duran fans could change things.  5 million views of Girl Panic could be just the beginning.

-R




  

Smile like you mean it!

Happy Day After…  or as I like to call it “The Hangover”.

One of my gifts yesterday, aside from the extra pound or so I’m sure I gained from food intake, was a DVD of The Killers Live at Albert Hall.  I’d been wanting this DVD for awhile now, so I was surprised to find it under the tree yesterday.  I watched it last night, and one of the most interesting parts of the DVD (which is fantastic, by the way – it’s the way a concert DVD *should* be done) was a section after the show where they did some behind the scenes type of footage the day before the show.  Some of the footage included some interviews with fans who had been waiting – some as long as the night before – for the show.  These fans came from all over England, Europe,South America, and even the USA.  I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the fans.

Amanda and I have always felt that Duran Duran’s fan base,our community – is very unique.  I still feel as though we truly are, if for no other reason than simply because not many bands even last 30 years, much less have a fan base that has continued with vigor right along with the band.  While I don’t necessarily know if that makes the drama that continues to fester like a bad infection within the community all that special, I do believe we’re all “super special” (read: Crazy.  Insane.  Suckers for punishment.) for continuing to stick around!  (Yes, I’ve still got my humor!)  The fans in The Killers video, while at least several *cough, cough* years younger than I, had much of the same sentiment as I do.  I found myself nodding and even yelling out “I feel your pain!!”, which thoroughly amused not only my husband (My Duranie account is STILL overdrawn!), but also my mother, my sister and my children.  Well, at least the older two.  The youngest just keeps telling me that she missed me when I was on the airplane.  My household is never boring, and I continue to entertain….

The fans continued to echo the same sentiments throughout the interview, that there was nothing quite like The Killers, and that they were worth every single penny and heartache it took to get there.  There were a couple of fans that literally quit their jobs in order to make the trip.  Their feeling was that jobs come and go, but the concert was a once in a lifetime type of thing.  I really am not sure if I’d go to such lengths – but then again, my “job” isn’t really all that easy to quit.  I’m a mom!  Of course each fan mentioned how many shows they’d been to, and how long they’d been a fan.  This amused me because most of the fans had been to somewhere between say 10 and 15 shows.  I know of fans in the Duran community that have cleared 100 shows, so you might say we had a bit of a head start.  Regardless of the short time that The Killers have really been around (since 2001), their fan base is as loyal as they come.  They are bright eyed, vibrant, and have all the hope in the world in their hearts as they follow their band – and it is very reminiscent of what I’ve seen from Duran Duran fans when we’re at our best.

After watching, I came to the conclusion that while our individual circumstances might be different, fans really are very much the same, regardless of the fandom.  The enthusiasm their fans displayed was infectious, and while I probably won’t be traveling across the continent to see The Killers like I do Duran Duran – watching the video made me miss the good times I’ve had with the friends I’ve made along the way during my times of madness as a fan.

*wipes brow*  I’ve got to either save some money or find a job!!!

Have you followed Dom Brown yet?!?  (I’m not going to quit reminding you – so go do it!)

-R

Merry Christmas, Duranland!

Today is my turn to wish people a Merry Christmas! My blog partner had the chance to do so a few days ago. I have had a lovely day so far! It started out early with opening presents, which lasted for hours! All I can say is that my nieces are spoiled! Good thing that they are good kids! The rest of the day will contain a big meal, playing games, watching movies, etc. I have been very lucky this year to have such a wonderful holiday! I hope that this blog finds you in a similar position!

Like my partner-in-crime, I will take a few minutes (or a few sentences, if you prefer) to give a few shout-outs even though she did a fabulous job a few days ago! First, I want to wish Rhonda a very happy of holidays! I’m sure that her Christmas has been busy with family functions and watching her three wonderful children enjoy their gifts. I hope that Santa was good to her, too! Maybe she will get some money for her Duranie account! (Dear Rhonda, I hope this is true as I feel more touring, more traveling in our future! That said, we have so much work to do that it isn’t funny!!! It will be a busy, fabulous 2012! I can feel it!)

I also want to wish our friends a joyful holiday as well!!! The truth is this: as much as the band keeps us interested, it is the wonderful people we have met that keeps us going as fans, as writers! This past year has been wonderful in terms of meeting people, some personally and some digitally. I know that I’m grateful for each and every one of you! Again, this makes me look forward to 2012 all the more as I hope it continues to be filled with all of the amazing people we now can call friends. Rhonda and I are SO lucky!

Lastly, there is the band. This past year has been an intense one for us, as fans. It was filled with both trials and triumphs. I know this much. They brought Rhonda and I together and have been the springboard to meeting all of you! My fandom has been renewed and intensified because of all of our experiences in 2011. I look forward to being entertained, excited, frustrated and more when it comes to Duran Duran! I hope that this holiday has been a great one for them as well. I hope that they have been able to enjoy it with friends and family as they have given us all many gifts this year!

With that, I’m off to play a game with the family! Merry Christmas, everyone!

-A

Happy Holidays from Duran

I received an email message from Duran Duran the other day as I’m sure that many of you did. In this message, they discussed their upcoming plans and included short holiday greetings from Simon, Nick, Roger and John. Now, I won’t lie. I opened the email at work and had to watch the videos, immediately. Then, I openly squeed! I’m sure my colleagues must think that I’m beyond crazy at this point. Anyway, there is much to discuss with this simple email.

As part of the holiday greeting email, the band discussed how they were taking some time to be with their families and then mentioned about their plans to keep on the road in 2012. Some of the places they mentioned were Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the US. They also mentioned something “special” for their UK fans. First, obviously, they mentioned about how they were going to take it easy for the next few weeks in order to let us know that things will be quiet on the Duran front. I’m not surprised by this since it is obviously the holiday season and since they have been busy touring for months. I’m sure that they need a break. I would! Now, of course, as a blogger I would like there to be news everyday BUT I get it completely. Might be a good time to introduce one of our games…As for the tour news, much of this information was not news at all since they have dates already in Asia, Australia and Europe. South America was completely new and I am thrilled for our friends who live in that neck of the woods. As for the US, there have been many rumors spinning. Now, we have confirmation. Obviously, we have no idea when they will be coming back to the US just that they are. That said, I will be curious as to what is the special something for the UK fans. Will this be SO exciting that I will be pushed into trying to go back?! If so, I hear that there is a convention being planned. It would be really ideal for those events to happen at the same time…just saying.

The videos were a lot of what I was expecting. Simon said happy holidays in a way that only LeBon can with a reference to Happy Nude Year. Then, Nick talked about technology as he snapped his fingers and various items would appear on the screen. So very Nick. Roger was lengthy but stayed to the party line by summarizing the year for Duran and what they are looking forward to for 2012. John’s was short but sweet. He mentioned about how he loved Christmas and wished us a good one. Nothing was out of the ordinary there. Strangely enough, when you went to the band’s official website or their twitter, another holiday message appeared. Dom recorded a holiday message as well. The official website, in fact, says happy holiday from Duran Duran then has all five of the messages listed and a picture of all 5 of them. I think this is fascinating. How come Anna did not do one? How come Saxy Simon didn’t do one? When I clicked on Dom’s message from their twitter, it reads holiday message from “Duran Duran’s Dom Brown.” He was referred to in a possessive way. Fascinating. Now, this might not mean much at all or it might. Only time will tell what it means if anything. Maybe they just want to point out that Dom is more than Anna or Saxy Simon or maybe they want us to start thinking of him as a member of the band. What do you think? Am I overthinking this? I probably am. That said, I would welcome him to the band.

Now, I should probably wrap this up so that I can join my family for dinner. Tonight will be a busy one of food, games and laughter, I’m sure. I hope that all of you as well as the band have a wonderful evening as well!!!

-A

Traveling

Today is a travel day in my world. It seems like I have been doing a lot of that lately and I have. This time it isn’t for Duran or to go to the White House (did that last week to attend a holiday reception–so cool!). It is to go to my sister’s house in North Carolina where my immediate family will gather. This is not a typical deal as it is frequently just my parents and I for Christmas as both my siblings live far away. My sister doesn’t want to travel and my brother has other responsibilities with his wife’s family. My parents and I haven’t been able to travel in the last few years as both my cat and my grandmother needed attention and assistance. Unfortunately, we lost both of them at this time last year. This means, though, that we are free to go to my sister’s.

Tonight, I will take two short flights: one to Chicago from my small city and then onto North Carolina. They will mark my 6th and 7th flights since the end of November. This is very unusual for me. Typically, I fly two to three times a year, which totals 4-6 actual flights. I have done that in a month! Let me also be clear about something here. I am not a fan of flying. I pretty much hate it. I don’t like airport food. I hate waiting but what is worse is the actual flight. I feel out of control and trapped. I have times when I do better with this than others. You might be wondering at this point why I’m sharing all of this and what the heck it has to do with Duran Duran.

Previously to 2004, I didn’t travel much AT ALL. My father worked briefly in Georgia and my sister was living in North Carolina. At that point, visiting them would be my only reasons to venture anywhere NEAR an airport. I went because I had to see my family. Then, something crazy happened. Duran Duran reunited and I was suddenly developed a strong but strange desire to see them as much as I possibly could. Thus, in the summer of 2004, I decided that I wanted to attend this crazy fan convention in New Orleans, which would require a flight. Okay. I went for it. It helped that I was traveling with someone else. There, I met lots of crazy people, including my partner-in-crime. That December, tour dates were announced. Remember that I wanted to see the band as much as I could, right? I did. I drove. I drove or rode to five shows. It seemed perfect, ideal, especially since many of my friends from the convention were going to be in attendance for some of these shows. I thought it was perfect. I could see a bunch of shows, hang with my friends and drive! After that tour, though, our group of friends planned a trip to Vegas. Duran happened to announced that they were playing some songs at a charity event there at the same time. This, again, forced me on a plane. I wanted to see my friends and Duran.

As time as progressed, I have found myself on more and more planes. Many of these flights have been for touring purposes (New Orleans in 2006, New York City in 2007, East Coast in 2008, Vegas in 2009, etc.). I have also taken flights to see my Duranie friends, including Rhonda. Then, this past year included two trips over to the UK. If someone would would have told me 10 years ago that I would have taken flights to all of these places and some of them more than once, I would have thought the person was crazy or on drugs or something. I didn’t envision myself as a traveler. I didn’t have the motivation to overcome my hatred of flying and, frankly, I didn’t know if I would like traveling all that much. As a kid, we did do vacations but most of them were small trips to places like Michigan or Missouri. They weren’t very exciting and we always drove. In fact, we drove to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Disneyworld, which were the two big vacations. I’m sure that most of that reason is because we couldn’t afford to fly as a family of 5. Nonetheless, I wasn’t used to flying and didn’t do it much at all.

Now, I still hate to fly but it has become a way more common occurrence in my life. I have discovered that I actually enjoy visiting other places (once I get there!). I also have many reasons to fly now, including my family, my friends and that band that we know and love. I’m lucky to have discovered this about myself and I’m lucky that I have had the opportunity to travel to so many great places. This fortune really has everything to do with the band. They pushed me out on a limb, out of my shell and I have become a better, happier person because of it.

-A