The Olympics…will they or won’t they??

We never do this.  We’re a one-blog-a-day-whether-we-need-it-or-not operation.  So, for Rhonda to be writing a second blog for the day…you need to know that this is very unofficial, yet certainly interesting breaking news.

The France show has been moved to July 23rd.  This isn’t breaking news, but still worth noting. No reason was given, and in the world of Duranie, that gives us plenty of reason to speculate…which we did.  We also know that Ronson is doing some of the music in the opening ceremony of the Olympics, set in London this summer. The date of the Opening Ceremony?  July 27th… the original date of the Carcassonne show. It isn’t difficult to see where I’m headed here…

If that weren’t enough, there have been several comments and postings all over the internet about fans receiving emails from band administration, and they were openly told that the band would be playing the Olympic Opening Ceremony. No word as to whether fans were told to keep this information quiet.  Think back to December when the fan community heard that the UK people might be in for a surprise or two, and the information seems even more solid.  Is it true?!  We will soon see.

On one hand, we all can and should be thrilled if this rumor holds true.  The entire world will be watching the Olympics, and our band will be there properly representing.  I know I will be watching.

On the other hand, once again the fans are left to speculate and find information on their own.  By this time, we’ve all gotten quite good.  We’re not the amateurs we were at the age of eleven or twelve.  Once again today our news comes not from the people who should be providing such information but from one another, collectively working together for the greater good of the community at large. Perhaps the band was asked to keep the appearance secret.  Perhaps the Olympic Committee wishes to do their own promotion work and surprise the world with what they’ve got planned.  This is fairly commonplace – most countries want to keep plans for their shining opening ceremony moments quiet.  Fair enough.  I have it on reasonably good authority that the appearance is not just rumor, but until the band confirms – I have no choice but to characterize it as rumor.  (this would be a great time for the band to make the announcement, by the way!)

The problem comes down to the dissemination of information.  The entire issue and rumor mill could have been averted had someone thought to come up with a decent reason for moving the Carcassonne show.  Even an apology would have been acceptable.  However, none of that was done.  The information was first tweeted, then put on Facebook, and to this writing – there is still no information given on duranduran.com regarding the change to the Carcassonne show unless it is buried deep within the website.  It certainly is not in the News section.  A mere oversight?  Hard to say.

Several days ago, Amanda ran a blog on Where to find the news.  I linked it so if you haven’t read it yet, here’s the chance to catch up.  It’s bewildering to me as to why, after thirty some years in the business, the band and particularly their management still do not have any idea how to handle information.  Part of me believes that the band has never thought they needed to explain themselves, and perhaps that is true.  Back when we were ten, twelve and even fourteen – we were easy to appease. A smile, an interview, a pinup, and we were good.  No apologies necessary.  Back in those days, we probably didn’t even realize what was going on behind the scenes or what changes were taking place.  Well, this is 2012.  The same rules simply do not apply.  We’re far older, far more resourceful, and far more willing to ask the tough questions and expect a reasonable answer. Sure, one can argue that this is a transactional relationship – not a two way street.  I would simply reply that after thirty years, perhaps a little more humility is in order all the way around.

The real “news” here isn’t necessarily the unsubstantiated rumor of an appearance in the Opening Ceremony, although the idea is exciting and we’re hoping it’s true.  It’s the lack of news. The lack of notice. The lack of regularity.  Rumors like this are exactly what happens when the fans are left to their own devices. I know fans can be a gigantic pain in the side of management.  I know that rumors like this probably drive them crazy.  They drive me crazy too. That is something we can all agree on.

-R

You want US concert date rumors and info??

I had a great blog about mid-life crisis all written and ready to go this morning. Then I woke up and checked my phone.  I had no less than text messages (a rarity), and three of them had to do with Duran Duran.

In case you haven’t heard yet, and I’m doubtful that’s even possible given how quickly the news is spreading, Duran Duran is playing at Ravinia in Chicago on Wednesday August 29th. This is the first date we’ve heard, and yes – Daily Duranie has spies everywhere! (I’m totally lying about that, but we will gladly take any information that anyone wishes to share, anonymously or otherwise!!)
 Let me give just a bit of background info on dear old Ravinia to set the stage. Ravinia is an outdoor venue just outside of Chicago. It’s a beautiful setting with lots of trees, a lawn area and of course a seated section. Typically people take a picnic basket and enjoy a meal before the show starts. It’s a lot of fun and a unique way to go to a concert. It’s very similar to what happens at the Hollywood Bowl near where I live in California. Due to the fact that Ravinia is seasonal and holds a special place in the heart of Chicagoland, they sell what are called donor subscriptions to seats in the venue. That means that a person can buy several tickets to shows (if not all of the shows) throughout the season and have the same seats for each show, basically. This also means that it’s very possible many of the best seats in the house will have already been sold to “donors” for the Duran show…assuming of course that the ticket holders for this show will choose to attend. That said, this show goes on sale at the Ravinia box office on April 26th.  
Of course, as soon as I logged onto Facebook this morning, the complaints began filing in.  Once again, people are annoyed that we’re getting dates one at a time verses being announced all at once.  Others refuse to believe what is absolutely good information unless the band themselves announces. (It’s ON the Ravinia website.  That’s pretty solid info if you ask me.)  Still others are complaining that it’s a weeknight, and many many more are worried about presale dates.  
Pretty standard fare for Duranies overall, don’t you think?
Naturally this one date being leaked now begs questions such as:  when are the rest of them??  There are plenty of rumors flying around, including that there will be a very limited amount of US dates for this “tour”.  I have no idea what that means exactly, other than I should probably rethink my plan to take 6 weeks and follow the band around the US. 
(I’m totally lying about taking 6 weeks, too….but it sounded good, didn’t it?)    
One thing I will say:  I’m going on vacation from July 28 through August 11th.  The band should plan accordingly, and contrary to popular belief, that does NOT mean to have a show in California during that time, thanks!  
One more thing before I leave you all for the weekend, and that’s simply that Daily Duranie has hopes of doing meetups, pre and post show dinners and drinks, and maybe even a Duranie dorm or more for these shows.  We’re hoping to bridge the gap that DDM left behind in 2005 when they stopped organizing things. As more information becomes available to us, we’ll definitely share and start planning in earnest!  
-R

Reliving last May, good news & Uberlife!

I have two topics for your reading pleasure today!  I hope everyone is doing well, and that Dubai is beautiful for everyone who has made their way by now.

Yesterday we were treated to some tasty news bytes from Duran Duran HQ as they posted a solid update on the Diamond in the Mind DVD, due to be released in early summer (of 2012!).

I saw the update just as I was typing up the blog, and while part of me wanted to comment, another part of me just couldn’t find the words.  I must give props to begin with – I’m happy to see the band (and the people doing the hard work for them!) updating as beautifully as they did on Facebook yesterday.  It was great to see where they are in the process, and I know I speak for all fans when I say that it’s great to read solid news like that when they have it to share.  Recently Daily Duranie had a bit of discussion about where fans get their news, and while it was clear that all of us have differing opinions on the subject, the important thing is that news is being shared.  I think that has to be difficult to be working behind the scenes for Duran Duran because just as you and I are learning how to utilize social media, learning of all the new ways that people can connect, contact, and engage – so is the band and their people.  While a few years ago it may have seem prudent to just throw the information up on their website, the fact is there are many more people on Facebook or Twitter now, and the information can be dispersed far more quickly.  That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t ever be posted on the website, of course not.  It just means that they are having to learn what way works best for the fan community as a whole, and yes, sometimes things don’t work as smoothly as we’d like.  Sometimes this BLOG doesn’t work as smoothly as we’d like.  It’s a learning process for all, and as much as I want to bust chops when needed, I can also appreciate that the job is difficult.    (And no…we’re not being paid by the band.  Just wanted to make that clear.  Again.)

While those words came remarkably easy, the next ones are not.  I saw that the band is going to do a documentary on 2011.  Not an easy year for any of us, really.  Naturally we all know (and lately I’ve learned even more) about Simon’s vocal problems back in May of last year.  We lived it, didn’t we?  I think it’s fascinating, if not just a little scary for me, to hear that they are going to even include some of the rehearsal footage from that time.  I know we’ve talked about this before on the blog – but Amanda and I were there.  We were standing outside (I might mention here that I was shivering the entire time, both from cold AND a good case of nervous anxiety) the rehearsal studio while the band went in to rehearse to see if they could even do the show at the O2.  By that day Amanda and I had already missed out on seeing 3 out of the 4 shows we’d originally planned.  While I was excited and nervous to even be in the presence of the band (albeit somewhat remotely as I was outside of the fence surrounding the studio and the band was inside), I felt so sick to my stomach that day.  There was just an overall gloom in the air even though the UK girls who were kind enough to share sidewalk space with us that day tried to stay as cheerful as possible.  It wasn’t long before the band came back out, a few stopping to talk from inside their cars – John being one of them, and by far the most poignant.  It was just a very, very tough day, and the idea of reliving it – well, I’m glad it’s being included on the DVD for those who weren’t there and didn’t quite believe what they were seeing and hearing online.  I still say that I really didn’t believe Simon would ever come back from that.  Thank goodness he did.

The next tidbit I’ve got is more along the lines of Direct to Fan.  Anyone ever heard of Uberlife?  It’s a new app that a lot of bands are trying out.  There are plenty of places for “hanging out” online, but this app takes a band from the online world to the real world.  Granted, I really can’t see how this would work for Duran Duran since I think they’re pretty much scared to death of their fans (we can talk about why this is the case if y’all want….but I think we all have a good idea why!)….but it IS something that could work beautifully for the fan community at large.   Here’s a couple articles on the subject along with the website:

Uberlife

Uberlife to launch at SXSW

It’s an app…and I’m kind of thinking that this is something Daily Duranie could really use…watch this space!!

-R

Tickets Tickets Tickets

Did you know that Ticketmaster desperately wants to be our buddy? Their latest and most brilliant idea yet is to be our Facebook friend. It’s not enough that Ticketmaster wants to take our last dollar (and the very next one we make as well) by inflating ticket prices by as much as 50% due to all of the convenience charges and whatnot. No, now they want to be friends.  Why?

Ticketmaster has recently started asking customers if we’d like to post our purchases to Facebook. When a customer agrees, Ticketmaster notices that they can track an additional $5.30 in ticket purchases to that posting. In addition, if we’re enthusiastic enough and post our seat locations because we want to brag that we got amazing seats even without that DDM member presale, that amount goes up to $8.00!

Did you know that the average Ticketmaster purchase is 2.7 tickets? The site already knows plenty about us, thanks to the super fancy customer tracking that is done.  (and truthfully, every other consumer based website out there does similar) What they really want to know, and why they are begging to be our friends on Facebook, is who are those other 1.7 people.  Call me fascinated.  

Read more about ticketmaster HERE.

Ultimately, the name of the game for Ticketmaster is keeping people away from secondary markets like StubHub. While I would agree that of course Ticketmaster wants our money…and customer loyalty can certainly be found through various methods, the real issue are the tickets getting to StubHub (and similar) in the first place.

The problem for Duranies is simple: we want the best seats. If DDM or the band offered the best seats to fans, and we were guaranteed to get them – I’d buy them (assuming of course that I had the funds to do so). Wouldn’t you? In my experience with DDM, however, that just is not the case.  I’m unsure of the percentages with Artist Arena (I would have to imagine that they are similar if not slightly worse), but when DDM handled presales directly, I knew that they would offer 10% of the best AND worst seats at a presale.  This was posted somewhere on the website, and I made note. For those of us who are insistent about sitting as close to the stage as possible – our choices are either to buy a VIP ticket which is at or near $300 USD (or even more!), try for a seat at the regular Ticketmaster sale, or go to StubHub. The prices fluctuate greatly because they are set by the seller, but there are good seat locations to be had, and the prices are not quite VIP level. Sure, there are plenty of scalpers that operate on StubHub.  Yes, there are plenty of reasons not to buy from StubHub, not least of which being the chance of counterfeit tickets out there, but the allure remains.

Read more about those nasty scalpers:

An interview with a scalper 

Secondary ticketing is wrong

Scalping and technology

-R

Sneak Peek of Diamond in the Mind!!!

We interrupt this edition of scandal, ridicule, news, gossip and debate to bring you special breaking Duranie news…

Diamond in the Mind footage

Go on, click on it.  You know you wanna.  I’ll wait.

For those of you out there who can’t possibly wait until “early summer 2012” for the DVD, I know you’re going to watch it again.  And again…or is that just me?  So what if a lot of it is in German and it’s interlaced with interview.  How exactly is listening to John and Nick speak on a Monday morning a bad thing???

I can’t blame you.  Don’t even begin to think I might have sat here stone-faced as I watched it…a few times.  Are you kidding?  Seeing them on stage?  Those lights?  That snakeskin patterned shirt of Simon’s?  Yep.  Brings back all the memories of seeing them in the UK last December, with none of the jet lag.  The bonus?  My bank account hasn’t taken a hit yet this morning either!

Oh, and there’s that guitar player too….gotta love Dom.  Not bad for a Monday morning.

So while you’re all watching…I’m gonna go watch too.  Again, this time with a coffee mug in hand.

(we’ll be back in the morning with more of those hard-hitting questions and debate worthy topics….but even Daily Duranie needs to take a fangirl break now and then!)

-R

To Think or Not to Think…That is the Question

For about two months now, we have been asking a daily question on our facebook and on twitter.  This daily question asks people to pick between two choices.  Today’s question was, “Would you rather watch the video for Girl Panic or the video for All You Need Is Now?”  As of this blog, like most other questions, the vote seems rather split but those who give a reason for their choice mention how they like watching the boys in AYNIN over the artistic quality of GP.  I am not surprised by this and even expected it.  With anything else in fandom, it made me think and it made me think about thinking.  It seems to me that there are fans who think about everything and fans who just go with their guts and people in between.  Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to define “think”.  In this case, I use the word “think” to mean critically think, to analyze, to seek a deeper meaning.  Obviously, I tend to do this quite a bit as evidenced by this blog and our book.  Just last night I had a friend over and we were trying to find a movie to watch.  She asked if I had anything funny.  The best I could come up with was Trekkies about the Star Trek fandom or political comedy.  Anyway, from what I can see, Duranland is made up with all three types of people.  In fact, I could argue that Duran Duran is build for all three types.

On one level, Duran Duran is for fun.  We all know this.  Goodness, Simon almost always declares that “Duran Duran was the band designed to make you party,” during the introductions at concerts.  This is also the band that said that they wanted to be playing when the bomb dropped.  Then, if you look at their catalog of songs and videos this becomes clear with songs and videos that just seem fun.  Some of the songs I’m thinking of here are songs like Rio, Electric Barbarella, My Own Way, Sunrise and lots more.  Those songs/videos can be listened to or watched just for fun, for pleasure, for enjoyment.  Added on to seemingly obvious lyrics and video images is the band itself.  Let’s face it.  For many of us, the band members were/are nice to look at.  No thinking is needed in order to determine that someone looks good!  Just like no thinking is needed to make you want to dance when you hear danceable music.  It just happens!!!  Yet, Duran Duran has always been more than this.  Their lyrics and videos do make me want to dive deeper into another layer of meaning. 

A great deal of their musical/visual catalog is built on having a surface layer and a much more in-depth serious layer underneath.  I remember seeing an interview from 2005 from the Netherlands in which John and Simon are asked about the meaning behind the lyrics to the Reflex.  John pointed out that people will continue to try to figure that out, which is very different than songs like “She Loves You” by the Beatles.  They compared the lyrics to poetry.  Many of Duran songs are such in which people can dive deeper to figure out an interpretation of what the song is about.  What is really cool about this is that people can interpret songs differently.  For example, I’m willing to bet that I could get at least 5 different meanings for a song like Finest Hour, if I asked.  Just on Monday, Rhonda and I reviewed Careless Memories.  For me, those lyrics have always reminded me of being a fan and Rhonda had never thought about that.  Neither one of us is right or wrong.  We were just had different ideas.  To me, this is the one thing I truly do love about Duran.  They don’t force you to think but give you thousands of opportunities to do so.  I would also say that the more I critically think about something, the more I appreciate it, the more I love it. 

Thus, Duran Duran gives us perfect opportunities to have fun and to think at the same time!  I can’t ask for anything more!  What about the rest of you?  Do you find yourself thinking about meanings or searching for something deeper when listening/watching Duran or are you content to just enjoy it on the surface?

-A

Anti-Fan Fans

I have a confession to make.  I like being a fan.  I even like being a Duranie.  I like Duran Duran.  I like the members of Duran Duran.  I like their music and their videos.  I like to see them live.  On top of all of that, I do many things that show this.  I am part of a writing partnership that writes daily here at the Daily Duranie.  This partnership is also writing a book about fandom.  I wear Duran Duran t-shirts and I buy Duran Duran products.  Heck, just this afternoon, I used my Duran Duran tote bag to bring my groceries home.  Yet, sometimes, I’m cautious about showing my fandom or showing the extent of my fandom.  Yes, obviously, there are many non-fans who don’t understand what it means to be a fan and why I am a fan.  Beyond that, though, at times, I feel like I can’t show my fandom around other fans, other Duranies.  There is pressure to be a “cool” Duranie.  Last weekend, I blogged about the typical fan, which I based off the video “Sh*t Duran Duran Fans Say”.  In this blog, I listed all of the different characteristics or traits Duranies have, according to that video.  My point in that blog was to show that there are contradictions and that no Duran fan exhibits all of those traits.  That said, I found it fascinating that the majority of comments about that particular blog post was from people who said that they only fit a few of those characteristics.  I don’t doubt those people.  Yet, I found myself wondering if I was the only fan who did relate to a lot of them.  While I didn’t want people to worry if they didn’t fit certain behaviors in order to be a Duranie, I don’t want others to worry if they do.  Unfortunately, I see this pressure to appear “cool”, or non-fan like within the fandom all the time.  Many of the characteristics I mentioned last week even show this pressure.

The characteristics in that video that show what I’m talking about includes the following:  “Can’t believe that others would camp out for a signing even if the person has in the past,” “Claims that they don’t do that hotel thing anymore, ” and “Claims not to be hardcore anymore because she had to grow up and move on.”  First off, am I the only one to have heard these?  I can’t be, can I?  Second, am I the first one to point out the hypocrisy in these statements?  Seriously.  It was okay to camp out in the past but not now?  Why?  What would have changed?  The only thing I can figure is that now the person thinks it is no longer cool to do that and that, somehow, she is cooler than a fan who would.  The same thing could be true for going to the hotel or being a “hardcore” fan.  I get that not everyone wants to camp out, go to the band’s hotel to wait for them, or even be as into Duran as others.  That’s fine.  What doesn’t seem fine, to me, are those who make statements which imply that others who do aren’t cool.  Obviously, a Duranie could say, “I would prefer not to go to the band’s hotel.  It makes me uncomfortable (or whatever the reason).”  Why make someone feel badly for wanting to, which is what I bet happens when someone says that they “don’t do that anymore”?  I have been in situations when people I have been with have known where the band is, but wouldn’t tell.  What is worse is that they implied that it wouldn’t be cool of me to even WANT to ask, never mind actually asking and then going. 

So why do people do this?  Why do they want to seem like non-fans even though they still like the music and the videos, etc.?  Is it because they are jerks?  Maybe some are, but I don’t think it is as simple as that.  I think it has everything to do with social status and stigma.  While we would all like to think that there is no such thing as social status within our fandom (and all fandoms), there is.  Many of us fight it but we know it exists.  For some reason, to be “cool”, to be “non-fan” like within the fandom is considered by some to be a characteristic of those with higher social status, at least on some subconscious level.  Why is that?  This is where stigma comes in.  Society, generally, looks down on fans, especially fans like Duranies.  Fans are thought to be obsessed, illogical people who are stuck in a state of childhood.  Could this attempt to appear non-fan like be to escape the stigma of being a fan, again on some subconscious level?  Is it better for people to say, “Yes, I’m a fan but I’m not like that kind of fan?”  I don’t know.  It is my theory, anyway. 

No matter the cause for what I call “Anti-Fan Fan” behavior, I want to fight it.  I want to be free to express my fandom within my fandom and I want others to do the same.  Now, that said, I’m not saying that people have the right to break into Simon LeBon’s house and wait for him.  To me, that isn’t fandom, that’s creepy and illegal.  Within the bonds of respect and the law, I think that people should be able to say that I like to wear Duran t-shirts or that I would love to see them at their hotel.  I refuse to give let society’s negative idea about fandom win.  I won’t hide who I am.  Thus, for now on, I will avoid people who make me feel badly about myself because I’m a proud Duranie and I will create as much space as I can for others to be themselves as well.

-A

Where to Find the News?!

How do you get your news on what is happening with Duran Duran?  It used to be that I would get my news from the most obvious of places:  their official website.  If I didn’t get my news there, I would get it on message boards where people would copy a news item or would give a link to a news item.  Now, I find that I rarely go look at the band’s official website.  Instead, I feel like I get all of my news on social networking sites.  Am I the only one to notice this?  It seems to me that not all of the news is even updated on the official website.  I’ll give you an example.  This week, the band announced a new live DVD that will be coming out in early summer 2012.  Where was this information first posted?  It was posted on their facebook.  Now, it is posted on their official website.  Yet, other news hasn’t.  For example, yesterday their facebook’s status talked about the show in Carcassonne, France.  Apparently, the date for the concert there has been changed from July 27th to July 23rd.  They stated that the tickets for the 27th would be good on the 23rd.  Are these announcements on facebook or twitter good enough to provide information?  Then, what about unofficial information given by…say…John Taylor on twitter?  Do his tweets fill any hole of information or are the fans still lacking information?


When the upcoming DVD title was released this week, my initial reaction was confusion.  It took me awhile to even remember anything about a new DVD.  Luckily, some of my friends had better memories so they could remind me of the details.  They reminded of when and where it was filmed and when they planned to release it.  Now, why is it that I didn’t remember these details?  It truly could be that I have been a busy, busy person who can’t remember anything unless I write it down.  Another possibility is that the information was given in a quick little status update that I just skimmed over.  It didn’t seem like much in the midst of everything else I see on facebook on a daily basis.  Is there a way that they could make it more noticeable?  I don’t know but clearly it didn’t catch my attention.  I also wonder if there is enough information given.  What format will it be released?  Just DVD?  Blu-ray?  Where and how will it be available?  Can we preorder it?  Now, I suppose this extra information isn’t that big of a deal since it is for an upcoming product but what about that announcement regarding the show in France.  How come they had to change it?  There was no explanation given.  Did people with tickets to that show get informed?  Goodness, if they weren’t paying attention on facebook, would they have even known?  This information isn’t listed on dd.com as of this blog.  What if people aren’t on social networking sites?  How will they get seriously important information like this?  A date change is a pretty significant thing, after all.

Of course, not all information shared on facebook or twitter is as essential as finding out that your concert date has been switched.  Some of the information is really just fun or just works to increase people’s interest or excitement.  For me, most of this “information” is given by John Taylor in his subtle or not-so-subtle tweets.  This week, I have to admit that I took notice of a few of his tweets, including that European dates are about to be announced and that US dates are being confirmed.  Interestingly enough, both John and the official band facebook mentioned his book this week.  John said that his book would be released after the US tour.  The band’s facebook mentioned that he would be doing some activities as part of the book launch.  Being the kind of person I am, I did look to see if I could have any hints as to when this much anticipated book might come out by checking out Amazon in both the US and the UK.  According to Amazon US, the book is titled “Love, Death and Duran Duran” and is due out September 25th.  Amazon UK has the title as “The Million Little Seductions:  A Life in Duran Duran” and is due to be released on September 20th.  Hmm…this information leads me to wonder what John will cover in the book and leads me to try and fill in the blanks about upcoming tour plans.  I enjoy this kind of information!

What is different for me between the DVD and France announcements and John’s tweets about plans for this year?  What is the same?  The news on the DVD and France are official.  In my opinion, those need to be posted in such a way that everyone can get all the facts.  Thus, social networking sites are not enough as not all people are on facebook and twitter.  The news should also be detailed as the majority of questions should be answered in that entry.  On the other hand, unofficial news or little hints of what might be coming does not need to be mentioned on the official website or in a way that grabs attention, in my opinion.  The people who like those hints also like to find them and like to try to figure out exactly what they might mean.  I do, at least.  What do you think?  Is Duran Duran means of sharing news good enough for you?  Does it work well? 

-A 

Duran Duran and The Monkees. Is there a connection for fans?

I said this on Facebook yesterday, but it bears repeating here.  I always wondered what it would be like when one of my teen idols died.  Of course you always think they’ll always be here, especially if it’s one you’ve grown up with because let’s face it – they’ve always been there.  Well, yesterday, I found out what it’s like.  As everyone who is reading already knows, Davy Jones of The Monkees died yesterday.  He was 66 years old, and although almost every article I’ve read has a different story, it seems that he died of a heart attack.

When I first heard, I was quick to dismiss the report.  “Impossible”, I wrote on Facebook.  I even said “No.”  I just refused to believe such things.  Then of course I went and searched and found entirely too many articles reporting the same news to ignore.  I can’t really explain the sadness and horror that went through me at that point. One of the first things I remembered was sitting on my parents old couch in our living room in Glendora, California where I grew up.  I was probably about 3 or 4, and every single day I would watch The Monkees with my mom at lunch time.  I have a feeling she was a big “closet” fan! I’d eat my PB&J  (That’s peanut butter and jelly) and watch the show.  This was in 1973 or 1974, so the show had long run it’s course and was in reruns. (The show began in 1966 and ran for only 2 seasons)  I didn’t know the difference.  I loved the show, and it was squeaky clean.  No wonder my mom didn’t mind watching the show with her preschooler!  I had a crush on Davy Jones before I even knew what the word meant.  The funny thing was that although it was obvious that Davy was the cute one, and I did love him – I actually loved Mike Nesmith every bit as much. (I always seem to go for the quiet underdog types!)  Regardless, they were a childhood favorite, and I own all of their albums.  I even went to see them in concert back in the 80’s when they reunited, and had planned to see Davy Jones when he came near me in concert later in the spring.  So yesterday was a shock.

I posted the news on Facebook, figuring that I’d get a few “Oh, that’s sad”, and I’d be alone in my sadness, pouring my grief into my shamrock shake over lunch.  (or is that pouring the shamrock shake into ME…??)  Oddly, more and more of my friends commented on just how grief-stricken they were by the news.  I had no idea so many of my friends, Duran Duran friends and otherwise, were as captivated by the show and music as I was!  One of my friends even commented that she thought of The Monkees as her “gateway drug” to Duran Duran.  That one thought brought a smile to my face, because that is exactly how it was.  My goodness, I was only about three years old when I watched The Monkees!  I learned about music from the show, I learned what it was like to be a teen idol, and more appropriately, how to be a fan, albeit a young fan at that!  I suppose you could say I cut my teeth on The Monkees, and I was not the only one.

It was no different on Twitter.  I was shocked by how many fellow DD fans were pouring out their condolences and grief.  One of our Twitter friends (@ladouleur_xquis) made mention of exactly what I was noticing – that a LOT of Duran Duran fans were fans of The Monkees, and suggested that might be a good blog topic, and so here we are.  What is the commonality?? I’m no expert, but I can suggest a few things:

1. A music fan is a music fan, no matter the age.  A case in point is my youngest.  She is a HUGE fan, and I’m only slightly unnerved that Big Time Rush may end up being her version of The Monkees.  She loves music.  She learns the words to songs incredibly fast – and not just Duran Duran songs either!  She knows Crazy Train by Ozzy, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, all of the Big Time Rush songs, and even I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones among many, many others.  Part of this is due to me (yep, I’m taking credit) because I listen to JackFM – the only station that will play AC/DC next to Spandau Ballet.  We don’t do Barney in my house.  My older two never took to music the way that the youngest does though, and I fully expect to be driving her to whatever band becomes her obsession.  (and I’m looking forward to it!)

2. Maybe we went for the videos even when we were young?  I loved watching The Monkees on TV, and seeing Duran Duran on TV in videos was really no different – except that I knew what a crush was by then!

3. Duran Duran is a pop band, even if we gave them fancy names like “New Wave” over the years.  Yes, it pains me to write that sometimes, but it’s the truth. The Monkees were pop as well – even if they were a bit more on the bubble gum side of things.  I think that musical taste develops far earlier than we might really think, and really – The Monkees were probably more than appropriate for my little mind at the age of 3 or 4.  I didn’t understand what Pleasant Valley Sunday meant, but I knew the words – and was allowed to actually sing them too!

4.  I can’t ignore the cute factor.  I’d love to pretend that even as a preschooler I was super scholarly and knew it was about the music, but the truth is – The Monkees were cute! They even had their own resident pinup in just the same way that we did (x5 of course).  I still went for the quiet, more serious one… hmm.

Any more to add??

Last night on Piers Morgan, he interviewed a very melancholy Micky Dolenz.  I really felt for Micky because it was very clear he was completely shellshocked.  He did his best to share some of his thoughts and memories, and I did my best not to burst into tears as I listened.  One of the things Micky shared was that the initial vision for The Monkees was to do the American version of A Hard Days Night.  This morning as I was watching Nickelodeon (remember, I’ve got a 3 year old in the house…the TV is not ever MINE…), I saw an ad for Big Time Rush’s new movie.  The music in the background?  A Hard Days Night.

*sigh*

It’ll be interesting to see how they’re viewed in 30 years.  American icons?  Forgotten disaster?  I know plenty who jeered The Monkees over the years for being corporate pop and being the absolute worst that the Hollywood “suits” had to offer at the time.  Keep in mind they were among the first, if not THE first “band” put together for the sake of a television show…and yet they found plenty of love in later years.  Will history repeat?

-R

Too Much Information (not really!)

News news news…I think I’ve got a little bit of everything to share this morning!

For those of us going through show withdrawals, a LIVE DVD of a recent show in Manchester England is coming out very soon. The DVD, titled, A Diamond in the Mind, Duran Duran – A Performance – 2011, will be released in early summer of 2012!  Hopefully it’ll tide us all over until we can get ourselves to another show, because as I am fond of saying – when the natives get restless, Duranies will eat one another for breakfast!!!  In addition, I know that David Lynch DVD of Unstaged is coming soon.  Nick…our fearless controller and keeper of DuranTime…has been mixing that in his “spare time”.  I’m hoping we see that DVD before I retire, but if not…it will still prove useful for many a Duranie drinking game, I am sure.  “When you see a hot dog superimposed on the screen, you must drink!”  Cheers!!!

Girl Panic!!  Did anyone happen to catch the interview John did for a Dubai website? One of the topics was the Girl Panic video.  So far it has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube.  John mentions that despite so many views, he doesn’t believe it’s sold even one extra mp3, then follows up by saying “you can see how the model has changed.” I see it, the band sees it, but how does one work with it?!  I’m the first to admit here, I have no ideas. I don’t understand how a video can be viewed so well and still not push sales.  It’s a good thing I’m not a manager.  Does anyone really know?  Amanda and I traded emails about this very topic last night.  I feel as though while no, the band does not need to sell as they did back in 1984 (although lets be honest here – that’d really be nice for them) – sales still matter.  Live shows are great, and sure, they could become a purely live show band and stop writing, but somehow I suspect that wouldn’t be enough.  What to do…what to do…

Warren fans take heed…TV Mania is coming!!  Anyone who has been reading Salvo’s Duranasty website (and everyone should!) knows that the day has finally come where TV Mania will be released…sometime this year. I detected a slight annoyance in Warren’s tone when he described the release as “Yeah, ten years later.”  That nasty Duran-time seems to bleed into everything, doesn’t it?  There’s no real promotion set up for this release, as Nick mentioned that he’d be touring with Duran Duran, so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.  Watch this space, as I’m sure Daily Duranie will be reviewing this project!

Dom Brown was really singing the blues several days back (corny? absolutely!!) when his hard drive, containing the brand new blues album he has been working on with his father, decided it’s time was up. Poor Dom made mention of this last night on Twitter.  “It wasn’t a good place to be for a day or so…. so reliant on technology it’s a little frightening!!” Luckily, it all ended on a good note, thanks to a marathon 16 hour mixing session to finish!  Looking forward to hearing the fruits of all of that labor, as I’m sure Daily Duranie will be doing a review (we’re going to be really busy with reviews!) as soon as the album is available!  I’ve also made a mental note to back up my computer today, thanks to Dom.  Our entire manuscript is on this laptop, and while Amanda also has a copy on hers – I worry about losing the work I’m currently revising (that blasted social network chapter!)  If my hard drive crashed right now, I’d be spending some quality time with my Grey Goose vodka and some olives, that is for sure.

In other fangirl news…I am seeing reports right now that Davy Jones, once of The Monkees, has passed away from a heart attack.  He was 66 years old.  Now, let me just share that while I’ve not mentioned this publicly, I was a HUGE FAN of THE MONKEES.  Huge.  I wasn’t even born when their show was on the air, but I watched reruns every. single. day.  I can remember eating my PB&J’s, sitting on the couch, watching The Monkees each lunchtime. (my mom was pretty cool about letting me eat in the living room, apparently)  They were truly my first “crush” I suppose…and I’ve even seen them in concert back when they reunited.  Daydream believer?  You bet…and at the age of 3 and 4 I probably thought I was going to marry Davy Jones.  It didn’t quite occur to me that there was a significant age difference and that by the time I was watching that show, he was already 5 or 6 years older than what I was seeing.  Never mind that.  I was taking that Last Train to Clarksville and I was definitely meeting him at the station, just as soon as I could read a map!   My heart is very, very heavy at the moment.  I was planning to go see him when he came in concert near me later this spring.

I’m going to go play some of my Monkees albums, and be thankful that a few of my idols are still walking this planet with me……   And they’d better KEEP on walking!

-R