Round 2, coming up!!

Good morning!!  Please excuse the short Daily Duranie for today…it’s a nutty day in my house so far.  As most know, it’s the first day of school, and I’m about to find out just how “wonderful” it’s going to be spending my afternoons driving to and from school pickups.  I’d post my schedule for all of you – but I don’t want to scare anyone, including myself, away.  🙂

So the GQ awards were yesterday, and the band was looking mighty fine in their tuxes as they went in to accept their Lifetime Achievement award.  I’m still amused by the fact that if any of them could see me on any given day, they would likely yank my “Duranie” card right out of my hand. (I’m referring to the completely fictional membership card we all have as Duran Duran fans.  This is not to be confused, of course, with the absolutely real membership card one receives if they choose to fork over the now $55.00 a year to be a “Gold” member of DDM….)  Fashion amuses me, mainly because I’m about as casual and probably fashion challenged as they get.  I don’t have the time, energy or money…but yet I follow a band that arguably has hung much of their career on being fashion icons. (whether that was intentional or just coincidence!)  But, until Nick kicks me out…I’m here for the duration!  One thing that knocked me off of my chair was seeing the picture of Roger with his absolutely stunning and grown up daughter Ellea.  It wasn’t the fact that she is every bit as beautiful as her mother and father combined (and she genuinely is a perfect mix of the two in her looks!), it’s that she is quite obviously grown UP.  When did that happen?!?  I swear I was just looking at a photo of her with her mom when she was about 13… Unbelievable.  I guess it’s very similar to my experience with my oldest.  I am pretty sure when I put her to bed last night she was still 3.  Or wait….maybe that was my youngest!  🙂    That must have been a very proud moment for Roger to have Ellea on his arm and I thought it was very sweet.  The band were well deserved in their honor and from the sounds of it, they’ve had very busy days since their Bournemouth show.

Tomorrow is their next show, this time in Cambridge.  Then they follow up with two more shows in a row – Bristol on the 9th and finally Oxford on the 10th.  I would imagine this is going to give Simon (along with the rest of us) a very good idea of what touring is going to be like this time around.  Naturally I’m wishing the band the best, and hoping that it all works out as planned.  Funny how even a year ago the thoughts that something could go wrong wouldn’t have crossed my mind, and now I’m actually waiting until the weekend is over before finally booking my airfare to Chicago and the UK.  My carefree days of travel are over in many ways I suppose – although I still have longings to see the band in as many places as possible, I’m not sure that I would ever book a ticket without considering the circumstances at hand.  I miss those moments, but I really do look forward to seeing the band live once again.

With that, I’m off to begin this first day of school!  As a personal update – my son, the middle schooler, absolutely refused to get up out of bed (although he’s now up and dressed), so we’ll see how this all goes.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing updates!!

-R

One last day

It’s always nice when the “work” week begins on a Tuesday.   I woke up feeling somber and melancholy, longing for easier days.  I received some very sad news last night – my closest friend from college let me know that her father passed away that morning.  This was especially difficult to hear because for one year during school, I nearly lived at this girl’s home.  Her parents took me in and treated me as I were their own, and I mean that.  They made sure I ate, that I felt comfortable, and I even had a key for a while.  They didn’t need to do that – I did have a home of my own, but it was a fairly long drive from school and while I didn’t necessarily mind the commute, their home was much closer to Cal State Fullerton as a whole, and of course I was the best friend/sorority sister of their daughter.  Her dad was a very nice, very humble man who was already retired by the time we were in college.  As I recall he worked in the aerospace industry as an engineer (I would swear that everyone in my life as I grew up worked in that industry at one point or another), and I’ve always wondered if he and my father-in-law ever crossed paths, but I’ve never actually found out.  Janell and I eventually drifted apart due to a silly argument back during my last year of school, but I’ve never forgotten the kindness of her parents.  It broke my heart to hear the news last night, and of course my thoughts and prayers are with my “adopted” family.

This is also the final day of summer for my 12 year old son, who will begin middle school tomorrow morning.  He’s very nervous (as am I) – it’s hard enough to be 12 and go to middle school, but to top that off with having to start down one friend due to a sudden move over the summer and a bit of social awkwardness (and braces), it’s bound to be nerve wracking.  As for the mom, I’m just nervous because I’ve already had some challenges with the school over some items in his 504 plan. (My son carries a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism – which in his case requires just a few classroom accommodations – hence the “504 plan”)  The bottom line is that I want him to do well, just as any other parent would want, and I don’t care to use his plan as a crutch, but I do expect it to be respected and followed.  Simple.  Yet not so much.  *sigh*  Anyway, tomorrow is the big day.  My youngest starts preschool again as well, but somehow that’s not nearly as scary!

Middle school is a big step, and I remember my first day very well.  Middle school began in 6th grade for me, which is a year younger than my son.  I was actually 10 years old when school started that year (I have a November birthday). I’d already decided what I would wear, at the time not realizing that no matter what I chose, I would never look nearly as cool or put together as the 8th graders, and I was probably going to be ridiculed for not wearing a “designer” label on my jeans.  That would become an almost every day issue as the year went on…   Honestly I was shocked when I walked on to campus for the first time.  It was the first year I’d had my own locker, and I can remember being awake for much of the entire night before the first day of school, worrying about what I would do if I couldn’t remember the combination or get my locker to work right – those silly combination locks were sometimes touchy!  As I entered the hallways lined with lockers, the swarm of kids was nearly impossible to navigate, and while I was excited to see any face I recognized from elementary school, it was clear that school was never again to be the safe, friendly place it once was.  I remember seeing kids kissing around campus for the first time, and my shock at their open affection for one another.  I suppose I was a bit sheltered, but shouldn’t any kid be at 10?  It was only as I grew to the point where I knew my way around campus along with where to hang out at lunch (back by the band room) and where to avoid (the girls bathrooms at ANY point of the day and yes – that made for some very interesting RUNS home after school – thank goodness I only lived a block away!) that made the school year bearable by any means.  I stuck to my circle of friends, found a common interest in some sort of crazy rock band with a silly name, and spent my days wondering how I could meet and marry a drummer that was a good ten years older than I.   Thank goodness for Duran Duran, because in the three year period where I felt the least like any of my fellow 6th, 7th or 8th graders, I focused more on the band, less on my own awkward moments. (which were plenty!!)   Good times!

I’m sure my son will eventually get the hang of middle school.  The situation at our school is fairly unique in that it’s only 2 grades of kids – yet about 1500 kids go to the school, and they work on a revolving schedule.  That means the kids have 6 classes to go to every day, and each day they begin their teaching periods in a different class than the day prior.  For example tomorrow they’ll start in homeroom – that class stays the same, and then they’ll go to their first through sixth period classes (they switch rooms for each class of course).  The next day they’ll report to homeroom for 15 minutes of announcements, then go to their 2nd period class, then 3,4,5, 6 and end the day in their 1st period class.  So every day it continues from there.  It’s the only school in our area that does this, and while they tout all sorts of studies that say it works the best for all students, for my son in particular it’s a total nightmare.  It’s the whole “Autism…I need a routine that stays the same” sort of thing.  Eventually he’ll see the pattern, but let’s just say that for the first 3 weeks of school or so, we’re all liable to need medicating, and by “we” I mean ME.   So yes, I’m nervous.  I’m hopeful that he’ll settle in with a decent group of kids, and that by November I’ll be laughing at how worried I was in September.  Wish me luck!

-R

Happy Labor Day!

That’s right, today in the US we are “celebrating” Labor Day.  For most people, it means we get the day off of work (thus making it a three-day weekend) and we might have a BBQ, go to the beach or get together with friends.  That’s about the extent of the celebration for many of us.  It also marks the unofficial “end to summer” as most school-aged kids go back to school this next week, and a lot of the seasonal type things, such as maybe water parks or perhaps amusement parks and things like that, tend to scale back hours or even close for the summer after today.  So while we celebrate, many of us mourn the lazy summer days coming to an end and brace ourselves for the 10 months ahead – the dreaded “school year”, where coffee will continue to be our friend, where books that were left far behind in middle or high school will be picked back up and re-read (over the summer I read Of Mice and Men simply because the oldest had a summer reading project due on the first day back at school!), just so I can be on top of it when the kids need help on a project; or even better, I will relearn geometry.  With any luck, it’ll go better for me the second time around.  I hate proofs.

For Americans, Labor Day first began in 1882, and according to the Department of Labor website (www.www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm), “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

What I find most amusing about Labor Day, especially now that I’m a parent, is that I generally DO work on Labor Day.  I guess it was named correctly!  For instance this morning, I am working to get this blog written before my youngest has yet another potty accident, I have several loads of laundry to finish before school starts (by Wednesday everyone in my house will finally be back at school.  Now THAT will be my Labor Day, thankyouverymuch!), and I need to get the idea of planning dinner menus for the week sorted out.  But, my husband is home today, which is a bit of a treat.

The one thing I did take time to do this morning before jumping into the pile of housework awaiting my arrival downstairs this morning, was give a listen/viewing to a couple more videos from the Bournemouth show last week.  One of my most favorite songs in the Duran Duran catalog is Secret Oktober, and I’ve been begging for them to put it in the setlist for years.  Of course the band had no interest in my suggestions (can’t even begin to blame them), and up until last week, I hadn’t gotten my wish.  Bournemouth was the moment, however, and it was blessedly included in the set.  When I read the list, I was curious if they’d play it true to history or if they’d play the version they’d worked up with Warren, which I admit was not something I enjoyed.  Thankfully they played true to form, and it was a beautiful moment.  How I wished I’d been there to hear it and see it in person.

Sometimes it seems the band is guilty of not realizing that it’s not just the UK fans that are the diehards in the community.  I would imagine it’s very easy for the members to think that the US fans are in it for the pretty faces, the glossy looks, the image…and that we’re overly raucous, extremely overwhelming, and very “in your face” as fans.  That may be true, but there are many of us standing somewhere in the background of all that, daring to say we’re in it for the music.  Sure, the band is nice to look at – most certainly.  Yes, the image is fun and adds to the allure, definitely.  But, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it’s still the music that keeps us here wanting and waiting.  Not all US fans want to hear Hungry Like the Wolf 50,000 times, and quite frankly – I don’t even think they NEED to play that.  They’ve earned the right here in the states to play whatever the hell they want at a show, and I still believe that fans would line up to see and hear them do the show they want.   For example, several years back I went to go see The Cure.  I’m not a huge fan, but my husband really was at one time, and I was happy to go to a concert with him.  I had no idea what to expect, but I figured it would be a good show.  Well, Robert Smith decided he would play none of the hits that night.  Not even ONE.  He played the obscure, very dark stuff from the depths of the back catalog.  I had a hard time following along and was ready to go way before the concert ended, but remember – I wasn’t even a casual fan for the most part. I knew the hits and nothing else.  On the way out, my husband had mentioned that he didn’t know all of the songs, but a lot of them, and some one next to him chimed in and said “You have no idea how long the FANS had been waiting for a show like that.  We always have to hear the hits that made them big – and this show, well this show was for us.”  Both Walt and I had to agree with the guy.  No, we didn’t hear the songs that we might have enjoyed the most, but both of us understood what he was saying at the time – and I remember saying to the guy that I would give just about anything to have Duran Duran play a show like that.  One without the major hits, but a show that included To The Shore, Faster than Light….Khanada….Shadows on Your Side (I’m so envious of that one!!).  Can you imagine?

I know that concerts cost money, and the band has to be able to sell tickets in order to come out ahead, otherwise there’s really no point in playing.  I’d love to believe that they play for the love of playing, and I’m sure that’s still part of it – but the bottom line is that people still have to be paid.  I just wish there was a way that they could work more of these older gems into their shows at this point, and that the band could just play whatever they wanted – then again, maybe they really love playing Hungry Like the Wolf every single night??

So, on this Labor Day, I give you all permission to play Secret Oktober for yourselves, whether you’re at work or at home.  Tell them Daily Duranie said so.  See how far THAT gets ya!  😉

Happy Labor Day!!
-R 

All Night Parties…Cocktail Bars

Those lyrics have always summarized what the best touring experiences have been for me.  Yes, a great touring experience typically includes staying up late and enjoying a cocktail or 5.  ;D  I started thinking back to my most favorite touring experiences after seeing the clip of Duran performing the song where the lyric comes from and thought that now would be a good time for me to remember those times as opposed to worrying all the time about Simon. 

While I would say that I haven’t toured a ton, I would have that I have done it some.  I haven’t done it enough that I don’t appreciate when I get to do it.  It still feels like a big deal to me and I get just as excited as I once did as every tour still holds the potential to be the most fun ever!  My touring life really began in 2005, even though I had seen Duran before that.  2005 was the year in which the various elements that I now associate with touring came to be.  Before this, going to a show meant driving to the concert, seeing the show, maybe going out a little after the show and driving home.  I slept in my own bed and costs were kept to a minimum.  Then, I met some Duranies, including my partner-in-crime, and those expectations changed.  Now, touring means staying at a hotel, at the very least, and living it up.  Often, touring now includes air travel.

One of my favorite touring experiences happened in the spring of 2005.  When Duran had announced tour dates in December of 2004, I knew that I would probably be attending the Chicago show.  What I didn’t know then was how much of a party it was going to be!  Before tickets were purchased, a fairly large group of people decided to come to Chicago for this show, including Rhonda.  We all decided to get to Chicago the previous day (the show was on a Friday) to have some fun.  That Thursday night was filled with drinking at the hotel bar while waiting for each person to arrive!  Every time someone new arrived there would be much excitement and frequent reminders from the hotel staff that we needed to keep it down!  We did not get much sleep that night as we continued to enjoy the bar as well as food from nearby Steak and Shake and IHOP (my favorite IHOP, to be exact!).  The next day was filled with last minutes errands and getting ready for the show.  Clearly, we had decided then and there that our 3-4 hours of sleep were good enough!  After the show was over, we again returned to the hotel bar to celebrate a fabulous show!!  Many beverages were consumed, including a couple of special bottles of wine.  Apparently, we were also so loud that the hotel felt it necessary to close the bar!!  What was particularly interesting about this day was that we ate at 11:30 and then didn’t eat again until the next day.  Oops!  There wasn’t a lot of time for rest again as we had to drive up to Milwaukee for the next show!  This night wasn’t filled with many drinks as we drove right back down to Chicago after the show.  Did we go to our hotel to get some much needed sleep?  Nope.  We hung out in downtown Chicago.  No sleep for us.  At all.  While we did have a hotel room, we never slept in it.  We stored our luggage there.  We showered there, but we did not sleep there.  Later in the day, Rhonda and I walked around a mall in order to stay awake before her flight.  At that mall, we both swear that we heard Sunrise playing.  Although, it really could have been sleep deprivation kicking in!

We had another fantastic weekend of all night parties and cocktails in the fall of 2006.  In this case, like the previous time, we went to the Chicago show then added the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans.  We all arrived in the city on that Thursday, the day of the show.  We rushed to get ready as traffic from the airport was horrible!  Luckily, we were able to grab some dinner before the show, knowing that it was highly possible that we wouldn’t be eating until the next morning.  After this show, we decided to hit a club until about 4 in the morning.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get much sleep here either as we had to get to the airport early as we were all heading to New Orleans (different flights).  I figured that I might be able to get some sleep on the plane since the pathetic 2-3 hours of sleep weren’t going to be enough.  No such luck.  The next three nights in New Orleans were exactly as anyone familiar with Bourbon Street would expect.  There was much drinking and very little sleep.  We were often reaching for the sunrise on that trip!  One night, we were still out when all but the strip joints were closed.  Ouch.  By the end of those 4 nights, we had almost twice as many drinks as we had hours of sleep.  Good times!!

2007 wasn’t any different except that we traveled to New York City for just one show, the fan show.  While the show itself was horribly upsetting, we had a good time in the city.  We, especially, enjoyed ourselves at the fan get together at the Pyramid Club, a club that features a night of 80s music.  It was so nice to meet and party with Duranies!  We were actually pretty tired on the night of the show due to our previous night’s adventures and because we were walking everywhere!  Did I mention that I usually lose weight on tour?  I do.  I suspect that this is due to all of the walking and very little eating! 

We have been lucky enough to have more weekends like this in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  We obviously tried to have a week like this in May and are trying again for October and November.  The thing is that Rhonda and I have tried to have weekends like this in between tours.  Those non-show weekends have generally been fun, especially since they still often feature reaching up for the sunrise and consuming all of the vodka in any given city.  They aren’t as fun as show weekends, however.  Something special happens at a Duran show.  Our excitement increases.  Rhonda and I are pretty capable of having fun on our own but we both enjoy having fun with other Duranies, too!  These memories remind me of what I’m hoping for this fall.  They remind me of a quote I read from John Taylor once and it went something like this, “Did you ever have so much fun that you didn’t know if you would ever get over it?  It was like that.”  He was obviously describing being in Duran but I can use it to describe touring. 

What about the rest of you?  What are your fondest memories of touring?  Do you experience all night parties and cocktail bars like we often do?

-A

Stay with the Music…Let It Play a Little Longer…

Thursday night, Duran played the first of four rehearsal gigs.  My heart soars as I type the word, “played”.  I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see Duran play again after the cancellations in the spring and summer.  Thursday was filled with much activity in Duranland as there were fans there and the rest of us sat back and waiting for any and all reports about the show!  Now that it was a couple of days ago, like many of you, I have read many reports from those there and saw a couple of clips via youtube.  From everything I saw and heard, it sounds like it was a fabulous show and that Simon demonstrated a solid voice.  This, of course, has been greeted by much celebration throughout the community.  In fact, there seemed to be little discussion about Simon and much more discussion about the setlist.  Thursday’s setlist featured many gems, including some new songs that have never been played or rarely played, older songs that needed the dust wiped off them and some songs that they don’t play very often. Many of the old standards were not played at all. 

Most of the fans seemed excited over hearing songs like Leopard, Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, Secret Oktober, Tiger Tiger, and Shadows Are on Your Side.  Strangely enough, though, there were still many fans who complained about the setlist.  I can’t really understand that for three big reasons.  First, shouldn’t the best part about the show be that it happened at all?  They haven’t played since May and we were facing an uncertain future.  Did those fans forget that?  Or is it that they are never satisfied?  Second, it was a rehearsal gig and not a full set.  There are other songs that can be played at the next show.  This isn’t exactly the definitive setlist for the upcoming US tour.  Will they play some of these songs?  I bet they will since they are practicing them.  Will they play songs that they haven’t publicly practiced?  Quite possibly.  Lastly, it seems to me that Duranies are constantly complaining about the setlists.  Most hardcore fans want something other than the big hits.  This setlist is exactly that.  Again, I have to wonder if people would ever be satisfied.  I know that I didn’t love every song played but was still way excited about it for the reasons I have already mentioned.  They were able to play at all and they chose non-standards.  Yay!

Based on people’s reports and the setlist, I was terribly excited by the fact that it seemed that Duran had returned and returned in a way in which they will really please their dedicated fanbase.  Then, I saw Simon’s tweet about being on “vocal rest”.  Am I the only one totally worried about that?  Granted, I don’t know exactly what it means to be on vocal rest.  Does it mean that he can’t sing at all?  Does it mean that he shouldn’t talk?  Maybe to keep things to a minimum?  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, it scares me because he needed to be on vocal rest after just ONE show and it wasn’t a full show, either.  How is he going to do in a few days when they are due to perform 3 shows in a row?  How will he do with the upcoming US and UK tours? 

Perhaps, I’m being overly concerned and for no reason.  Maybe I’m trying to protect myself by thinking the worst now in case it goes badly, it won’t come as a complete shock.  It’s possible that this is just my crazy reaction after flying all the way over to the UK for shows and didn’t get any.  Nonetheless, I’m a little surprised that I don’t see many people sharing my concern.  Is it because they want to believe that everything is cool?  I can certainly understand that.  There is a part of me that desperately wants everything to be great (and maybe it is).  I can’t imagine how I will deal if it is not.  I have plans for Chicago and for the UK.  Beyond that, a lot of my life is focused on their band and the fan community.  That said, I’m sure that I’m over-reacting.  Someone please come and reassure me.  Please! 

No matter what, I will be looking forward to the upcoming shows at the end of the week.  If those go well, I will feel much, much, much better.  Then, I, too, will feel much more like celebrating!

-A

Friday Night Videos: Daily Duranie Style Part 2

It’s Friday!!!!  I’m particularly excited by that because I suffered through my first week back at work.  Now, I am sure that many of you are expecting me to discuss, comment, talk about last night’s rehearsal show (even though I wasn’t there) and I will.  I need some more time to see what people are saying!  On top of that, it’s Friday which in the land of the Daily Duranie means it is time for Friday Night Videos!!!  Thus, I’m about to do the big reveal about the first set of questions for our Video Challenge and then give you the next set!  We would like to thank everyone who sent us messages on email, on twitter, or on facebook with your answers!  It seemed clear that most people were pretty good on the official Duran videos but struggled more with the side projects and solo videos!  My recommendation, then, is to watch those first!

Now, on to the answers of the first 10 video challenge questions!

1.  In what video is John wearing a black and red sweatshirt?
Answer:  Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band-Aid.  The sweatshirt was in fact a Duran Duran one!

2.  What unreleased, yet official, video has the band sitting around a table talking while Simon is incorrectly lip syncing the lyrics?
Answer:  Friends of Mine

3.  What video has dominoes in it?
Answer:  Do You Believe in Shame?

4.  Which video shows a phallic rocket in the background?
Answer:  Some Like it Hot by Power Station

5.  What video has a shot straight up Roger’s nose?
Answer:  Planet Earth

6.  Which video features motorcycles that none of the band are riding?
Answer:  Violence of Summer

7.  Which video makes you feel like you have been sent back in time to see The Beatles Yellow Submarine?
Answer:  Someone Else Not Me

8.  Which video shows a bald man getting black marker on his head?
Answer:  Communication by Power Station

9.  Simon ages right before our eyes in this video.
Answer:  Out of my Mind

10.  Which video has the band members’ shirts going back and forth between white and black?
Answer:  She Can Rock It by Power Station

Now, on to this week’s!!!  Remember that the videos can’t be used twice so the ones listed above aren’t going to be answers.  Also, please, send us your answers via our email (dailyduranie@gmail.com), direct message on twitter, private message on facebook or a comment here!  Happy video watching!!!

11.  Which video has the crowd in 3D glasses?

12.  In which video does two different women throw the same red glove?

13.  This video demonstrates that remote controls don’t always work!

14.  Which video shows milk being spilled?

15.  This video features tribal dancing.

16.  What video shows Steve Ferrone on drums and Nile Rodgers on guitar?

17.  Which video does Nick pull petals off of a rose twice?

18.  Which video shows John putting on a tie?

19.  In which video does Simon look like he needs lunch since he is carrying around a fork?

20.  If you’ve been reading our blog, you know that Rhonda didn’t realize that Roger was in this video until recently?

Why do we love the rumor?

The following is probably going to read like a rant, and for that I suppose I must apologize in advance.  It’s a symptom of my annoyance at people and our apparent human condition.

The question I have to ask this morning is why do we fans continually feel the need to either create or perpetuate drama – whether it’s fact or fantasy, rumor or reality?  Are our everyday, regular little lives so incredibly boring that in order to have something “exciting” to discuss, we’ve got to participate in the rumor mill?

Amanda and I have been studying fans and the collective fan culture for our book.  This need to be *the* fan  or  the “number one” fan is like winning the big prize in the contest.  (and although I’m using those terms, I am in no way directing this towards someone who may have been called a “Number one” fan by any band member in particular – let me be clear about that so that no feelings, especially those of my friends, are hurt here.  It’s a generic saying in this case.)  We call it “status”, and while not all fans want to admit to caring about their status in the community, and still others just really don’t care – its still pretty common.  There’s a competitive nature in any fan community – we want to be able to say we went to the most shows, have the most pictures, etc….and yet, there’s this other side of ourselves that wants all of that just to feel validated as a fan.  A lot of fans will read and say “I don’t care about any of that” – and I really believe that’s true to some extent.  I would venture to guess that many of us want to have lots of pictures, go to lots of shows, be able to meet them often and so forth, but maybe we’re not the sharing type.  Maybe we’re content with doing all of those things, yet keeping it private.  I really don’t know the answer, only how I personally handle that sort of thing.  My answer?  I don’t brag – but I don’t have anything to brag about, either!  Perhaps I’d feel differently if I did!   Ultimately, I kind of suspect that perhaps spreading rumor and exaggerating issues we may have heard whispers about in the right circles is one way of being able to say “I know more than you.”

I’m not really a drama person.  If I want a good drama – I’ll watch a movie or read a book.  I truly dislike being in the thick of it.  It makes me feel icky, and invariably I’ll feel as though just by being a bystander I’ve somehow hurt someone.  Even commenting about it as I am today makes me feel a little uncomfortable.  It’s difficult not to occasionally make comment when the blog is centered around what it’s like to truly be a fan, since fan and drama apparently go hand in hand.  I’ve left message boards when the snippity fighting between various members has gotten too hard to ignore, and I’ve left when I’ve been dragged into things simply because I used the wrong word to describe a situation and was tackled for it as though I were in an American football game.  Don’t we have anything better to do???  Anything better to talk about???  I’ve had friends tell me that ALL women love the drama, and that’s why we can find it everywhere.  For a long time, I wasn’t sure – I really though it was just Duran Duran that created that competitive feeling, but I’ve since decided that yes – anything where women are involved tends to go that route.  Maybe a lot of women really do love the drama.  That would explain why I’ve never had many female friends.  I have a few, but I’m choosy in general and I don’t get or stay close to people that tend to drag me down.  I don’t even do the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) at school because it’s well known to be a gossip ring and there’s a big competition between the ladies to see who can be the most popular mom at school.  That’s definitely not me, and I suppose to a certain extent I’m always going to be one of the least “popular” fans, or moms, as a result.  I think I’ll survive.

There have been times where even here at Daily Duranie we’ve talked about the possibilities.  I recall a blog where Amanda discussed the eventual “what ifs” about Simon’s voice.  She wasn’t even spreading rumor – yet she was lambasted for wondering in print what would happen.  We always have a rueful sort of chuckle when we get hate mail about something that we’ve put forth in print – all we’re trying to do is get the fan base thinking a bit, and yet many people will take whatever is said on a message board and spread it EVERYWHERE as though it’s law.  I suppose our status level within the community isn’t quite to the point of respect of the rumor mill…and perhaps that’s for the best.

None of this really explains why we do it though.  Why do we love the rumor?  Your guess is as good as mine!

-R

And tomorrow, it begins!

I’m ready for this day to be over already, and I should have realized that yes, today is in fact Wednesday.  In my vast experience, I’ve found Wednesdays to be point blank stupid.  Weird, stupid things happen on Wednesdays….which are not to be confused with Mondays, which just shouldn’t exist, period.  On this particular Wednesday, I think I’m getting sick.  I should have realized something was wrong even yesterday because I just didn’t feel quite right.  I wasn’t ill, but I had no real energy in the afternoon and was ready to call it a day right around 2:30pm.  Unfortunately though, I had driving to do and dinner to get sorted, so when I finally sat down on my bed at 9:00, under the pretense that I was going to read – that lasted about 30 seconds before I shut my eyes.  A 9pm shuteye simply doesn’t happen for me around here, so I should have known something was awry.  Then this morning when I woke up to the sound of the alarm for my oldest (6:00am comes awfully early), I was still exhausted, but I didn’t feel sick.  Of course now that everyone is up and going, I feel the familiar sinus headache, congestion, etc.  Joy joy joy.

The good news is that I’m not traveling…and the bad news is that I’m not traveling to see Duran Duran.  🙂  That’s OK though, I will get more than my fair share of shows coming up here…including one I’ve been plotting with Amanda for the last few days!

Assuming that all is well with Simon and that the shows will absolutely go ahead as planned, I’ve made arrangements to get myself out to Chicago in October for couple days!  I’m excited because Chicago is my second hometown, and I’m looking forward to seeing friends and some crazy band that is apparently going to be there.  I wasn’t planning on going to this show since it lands on the same weekend as my husband’s birthday, but I am going to fly out and back before his actual birthday, so I will stay in his good graces. (thank goodness for frequent flier miles!)  I don’t have a ticket to the show yet, but I’m working on it. (and if you’ve got a good ticket you’re trying to sell, send me a note to the dailyduranie@gmail address!!)  I’m just waiting for the day when my husband announces he’s going on tour to see a favorite band of his own and he tells me he’ll be back in a month or more….. 😉  You should see the spreadsheet I’ve already had to start in order to cover all of the drop-offs, pick-ups and time tables for my kids while I’m gone…and this is for just two and a half days!!

This tour certainly feels like it’s been a long time coming, doesn’t it?  Kind of like we’ve been discussing it for a mere 9 months or so now….

I’m sure it must also feel like that for the band.  Can you imagine getting completely ready, practicing, getting everything completely organized and planned, and then ending up canceling the entire thing?  Now they’re ramping up to start the process all over, and while I am sure this is not what any of them had expected or wanted,  I have a feeling it’s all going to work out just fine in the end.

To those who are attending the UK gigs this next week: have a great time and enjoy!!!

-R (who is headed for the couch with some Ibuprofen and tea)

Do you feel that vibe in the air??

When we’re out traveling to shows to see the band, Amanda and I will get to the hotel of choice and settle in, and somewhere between the time we get to the hotel and the show, we’ll feel a distinct sense of a shift in the energy.  I don’t know how to explain it, I suppose one might say it’s merely excitement (which I’m sure is part of it), but there’s definitely a wind of change. (10 extra credit brownie…er Duranie points for the fan who can tell me the song that line came from…)  I’m not typically one for describing someone’s aura or any of that – I’m not nearly that insightful, but I do feel the excitement in the air.

Today my friends is August 30th.  I’m not just excited that a week from today ALL of my children will be back in school for the year – I’m excited that in a mere 48 hours, the band will be performing. The world will hopefully be once again put right. (World peace surely can’t be far behind? Ah well…one can dream.)  I hear the rehearsals for the rehearsals are going well and that there are going to be lots of surprises.  I’m excited for those fans who are able to attend, and I am hopeful that I’ve been friendly enough to at least some of you that you’ll remember to send your thoughts on the show to Daily Duranie!  (wink, wink!)

So, the vibe that’s in the air?  That’s not just the impending arrival of Fall.  It’s not just about going back to school.  It’s not even just about the fact that in a week, I’ll actually be able to finish a cup of coffee before my youngest insists I pretend I’m a cat with her. (the things we parents will agree to do…)  It’s that the band will soon be touring, and that is good news for ALL of us.

My best wishes to the band, and especially to Simon.  May the shows go well and that this becomes a mere blip in our memories.  What a strange year!!

-R

Rolling into September!

It’s the last Monday in August, and while typically at this point I’d be mourning the last of my “carefree summer days”…I’m actually a bit anxious for this week, and really September as a whole, to get moving here.

I’m not going to lie, the rehearsal gig shows begin this week, and I’m excited/anxious/nervous/etc to hear how they go.  What self-respecting Duranie out there, and in particular any Duranie who lost out on a show or more in the spring and/or summer and is still paying close attention, isn’t  a bit nervous?  Every time I hear that Simon is doing well or ready to sing opera I cheer, and every time I hear he’s got a sniffle, woke up in a grizzly sort of mood (and I’m not just talking about the beard and his attempt to reincarnate Grizzly Adams here), or didn’t seem “enthusiastic” I start biting my nails again.

People much wiser than I take their moments to remind that the band wouldn’t have possibly planned the shows if Simon weren’t well, and that everyone gets a cold once in a while.  I’m sure the band wouldn’t have planned the shows if they didn’t think Simon could do them – that’d be near suicide at this point and I think we’re all on that page together; and I agree that everyone gets a cold.  The trouble of course is that I remember in May how he had a cold, and look where that got us.  Besides, as I’m reminded by my own sister from time to time, I tend to be negative.  Not really though.  I’m just a realist.  AND a worrier.  The band doesn’t really have to worry much about this tour, because I’m doing that for them.  They can thank me later, and this time I won’t even charge them for this service!

Once again I find myself in the semi-precarious position of trying to play the game of planning to go to some shows, but waiting to see if the scheduled gigs take place with a fair amount of success before I go on a plane ticket buying, hotel reserving spree.  Hence, I’m ready for September to begin on a successful note.  I daresay that one might think I would have learned my lesson after the UK gigs and stopped wanting to travel to see this band, but the fact is, I have not, and I don’t apologize for that.  If anything I have even more resolve to see them play on their own soil, as well as travel to a couple of shows here in the US again.  There are many who believe that this may very well be the band’s final hurrah – the last real tour – and while I myself do not own the crystal ball that tells that future (or any future, mind you!), I believe that I’ve got to take my moments when I can get them, and make the very most of each of them.

September also marks the one-year anniversary of this blog.  For almost a year now, we’ve written the Daily Duranie each and every day (I think we’ve missed twice, both times due to circumstances beyond our control) hoping to entertain, hoping to make you think, and hoping to do our part to draw our fan community together.  It’s been a crazy journey at times, and while there have been days that I’ve sat at this table (I write at my kitchen table each day), twiddling my thumbs and sometimes laying with my head directly on the cool surface in the morning hoping that something brilliant will come to mind, most of the time I actually find something to write about!  Sometimes it’s junk, other times it’s fluff, and still other times there’s a tiny gem of hope that my college education didn’t go to complete waste.  (admittedly those times are few….)

Since it’s been a while and we’ve had some comments and questions come over the wire about who we are, and honestly what we are; let me explain.  The Daily Duranie is comprised of two fans, myself (I’m Rhonda) and my friend, partner-in-crime and fellow writer, Amanda.  We are just two ordinary, every day fans like anyone else.  We are not paid by the band, we don’t currently work in the music industry, and we get NO insider information. (but if anyone would like to hook us up, we’re all for that!)  Amanda and I are not a couple as it turns out,  we’ve been asked several times about that now.  Here come our mini-biographies:

I am actually very happily married to my husband Walt, and we’ve been married for 16 years now (I can give you the amount of months and days as well, but let’s not go that route, shall we?). I have three children who span in age from my oldest daughter who is 14, my middle son who is 12, and my littlest princess who is 3.  That’s right, I spend my days in the car and at home begging one not to pee her pants, convincing my son that there really is life beyond the computer, and trying to teach the other one not to allow anyone IN her pants.  *sigh*  It’s joyful.  My husband and I are AMAZING planners, can’t you tell?  My work, at the moment, is my children, this blog, and a book that Amanda and I are desperately trying to finish. (writers block be damned!)  That said, I have a BA in American Studies (It’s a sort of combination between history, pop culture, sociology, literature and writing.  LOTS of writing), and my degree/certification(s) in Gemology and Appraisal Studies in Decorative Arts.  My plan, prior to child #3 was to go into gem/jewelry appraisals.  Then suddenly my youngest decided to make her presence known, and my plans changed!   At some point, probably around the time my husband retires and our youngest is out on her own (I’m not even joking – it seriously is about the same time), I’ll actually do appraisals for real money.  Until then, I will do them for friends, family and pretty much anyone who asks nicely.

In her “spare time” when she’s not writing and/or touring and plotting with me, Amanda is a special ed teacher for middle school.  She works with all kinds of children with all kinds of different abilities that come from all different types of backgrounds, including both high poverty and high wealth, and quite frankly her work exhausts me and I feel less-than-productive when I complain about the troubles of only mothering three.  She also spends a fair amount of her time volunteering for various political campaigns and causes, but she can probably give you a much better idea of how she spends her days.  She truly is the more productive, attentive, educated, and organized one of the two of us, but she lets me play along anyway!

We met through DuranDuranFans.com in 2004 prior to a fan convention that was hosted by that message board.  At the time, there was a group of us who bonded through that message board, yet over time many have dropped away to have very productive lives away from the Duran Duran fandom.  Amanda and I stuck together, choosing to do mini-tours together and basically share our insanity for this band.  We used to joke about doing a book together, and then the joke became a reality, and then I had this brainiac idea last summer to start a blog.  Here we are!

The whole point of this blog is to write from the fan perspective.  We share the trials and tribulations of being a fan, what we’re thinking, what we’re trying to understand – and sometimes, we even get a little “fangirl” on you.  (For that we humbly apologize)  The blog is NOT about crushing on the band (well, not often anyway), doing the hard hitting news, finding the right people to interview (we’ve never done an interview at all, actually), or making the right connections to get us front row tickets to shows. (however, if anyone out there would like to bestow those upon us, we will graciously accept – please inquire within!)  No, the band has not ever read or commented on our blog, to the best of our knowledge.  We have even asked them not to tell us if they do read or respond, mainly because this blog isn’t about the band, it’s about the fans.  Don’t get us wrong, we would love for them to read (and we’re both certain they’ve got all the free time in the world to do so..SURE they do…), we just feel that if fans knew, hell – if WE knew – they were reading, the blog would somehow be changed to reflect that.  This is our place of honesty, of our opinions, and our concerns, whether those are right, wrong or otherwise.  You can be assured that when you’re reading something here, it’s how we really feel about something on that given day at that given time, and yes, sometimes those feelings change.   We’re not perfect, but yes – we do think we’re right, and if you want to bitch about something we’ve written, we’re going to defend ourselves just as anyone else would. Don’t like that?  Go write your own blog.  We do not get paid for our super amazing work ethic, our ideas, our stellar reviews, or the fact that we simply try to support the band even when we might like to line them up and smack each one of them.  We do this simply for fun and enjoyment.

I didn’t say we were smart.  🙂

So with that explanation in mind, if you have questions for us – send them!  We LOVE getting comments on our blog, even when they are dissenting opinions, constructive comments or even calls for our beheading.  For those who are shy or want their comments to remain private, we offer our gmail and we always make an effort to respond – dailyduranie@gmail.com.  We also welcome you to our Facebook page (we’re Daily Duranie) and Twitter – @dailyduranie .  Happy reading and we hope to hear from you!

-R

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!