Yesterday I stumbled onto a post on a message board that I can’t stop thinking about. I don’t know who posted it, but they were asking how fans would feel about an intimate show. What would we pay? What would we want for merchandise?
At first, I honestly thought the post was a big joke. I don’t know about any of you dear readers, but I am sick to death of people coming onto message boards, pretending that they are someone important and asking silly ass questions about getting a “private” show together. Here’s a clue: if I knew how to get a private show together (aside from collecting the million bucks to pay the band), I’d have already done it. I think most of us would have by now, no? So, my initial response was to point out the obvious. People pay for VIP tickets for every single show they play. In doing so, we’re paying to sit near the front (sometimes rows 1-5. other times it’s rows 1-10.) and we get some merch with the price. In the past we’ve been entered into some sort of lottery to win a 30 second backstage meet and greet with whichever band members they can drag out into the hallway to say hi and pretend they are actually interested in the fans. We all know they are not and that they’d really rather be just about anywhere else in that moment, which is EXACTLY why I never felt bad about not winning. I don’t know how many VIP tickets they actually sell for each show, but the section always looks filled when I get there. Anyway, the answer would seem pretty obvious to me – of course fans would pay for an intimate show!
Well, today I went back to the board in preparation for writing this blog, and the initial poster commented that no, the answer really isn’t that transparent. That’s when I started really thinking because maybe this person is “for real”. (Hard to believe these days, but OK…let’s just pretend he is for a second.) To begin with, this person is only talking about one show in the US and another in the UK, I believe. (Hey you, the person who is already clicking “comment” ready to tell me about how you live somewhere else in the world and that the band NEVER does shows there, much less intimate fan shows and that it’s ridiculous that the US continues to get their undivided attention….I KNOW. I’m not the organizer, I promise! I am simply answering this man’s questions here and I completely get the injustice – I really do!!) So, not only would people need to be willing to pay – I believe he threw out the number of $250 – to see the show, but they would likely need to be able to travel to see it. How many folks travel to shows? All I know is that I travel, and that there are a handful of other Duranies that I know will regularly travel for shows. I know the fan show had quite a few people traveling great distances to get to NYC. I also know that in order for ME to travel to NYC to do a fan show – it’d have to be something extremely monumental and cool because I’ve been there, done that and still have the emotional battle wounds to prove it. So do many, many others.
That brings me to what I would require if I ruled the world….or at least had control over one truly special fan show. The original question posed was would you pay to see an intimate fan show, and what about special merchandise, such as a USB drive with the show on it or something like that. I kind of have my own ideas as to what I’d like – what about you? I encourage you to come up with your own ideas. BE REALISTIC. The band is not going to agree to meet you in your hotel room after the show, nor are they going to be willing to do a private show for just you and a friend. I already asked. Ok, not really…but wouldn’t it have been funny if I had?
I will gladly direct the thread at the board I visited – it’s www.duranduranboard.proboards.com to see our lists if there is any kind of participation. Why not?
To begin with, I think a fan show that is touted as being special should truly be just that – special. What if, rather than just a show, we call it a fan EXPERIENCE? Not really a convention of sorts, but definitely something that takes place over a weekend in a cool city somewhere. (I’m not even going to begin to guess where it should be. Let’s pretend it’s somewhere we all want to go here in the continental United States) Why not work to get a group rate at a hotel – keep in mind that this is meant to be a nice weekend – not a “let’s get in, get out and do it for super cheap because we’re touring” experience. Therefore, it should be at a decent hotel, maybe even a “resort” style hotel. Yes, this might mean that you need to share your room with 3 of your best friends. For example, my husband’s company is having a holiday party. It’s at the Pelican Hill Resort here in Newport Coast, CA. It’s a pretty expensive hotel at $395 a night for a room. (told ya it’s pricey) Well, for that weekend the rate is $225. Not cheap. Not horrible if you’re sharing a room, even if it’s with 10 friends I guess, and like I said, this weekend is SPECIAL. Just think of the in-room parties you could have. 😀
So let’s say this starts on a Friday (show is on Saturday). Friday late afternoon/evening is a very casual get together in the bar downstairs. People are there, drinks are on tap (or mixed)…it’s no host so you’re on your own to pay up, but it’s about meeting other people who are there. No, I don’t know if the band is staying at the hotel, but if they are – they are smart enough to stay the hell OUT of the bar at this time. Maybe later on they’ll sneak down, who knows? Assuming the bar closes at some point earlier than we want it to – perhaps it would be fun to have a nearby club that has a Duran Duran night on tap for us. The club would need to close very late (or early) at like 4am. Then it’s a late night breakfast before we reach up for the sunrise and head back to our hotel rooms.
Saturday just after noon – maybe 1pm because we’re talking about Duran Duran here – there’s a panel “discussion” starring none other than the band. I mean all of them. (that means YOU Mr. John Taylor – everyone must be there and I promise we won’t bite.) Since this is a pretty intimate (and completely fictional at this point) weekend, I’m guessing there are only a couple hundred people at the panel discussion. I would think that in a situation like this perhaps the topic of the panel would be decided earlier, and then maybe questions could be submitted early?? I think I’m taking into account that people who would be going to this sort of thing would be polite and gracious, especially since you’ve got the band right in front of you answering good questions and talking to us as the 30 year fans we’ve been. This panel might last what – 90 minutes to two hours?
Then after the panel, there’s another get together in a bar for fans that might last a couple hours, giving just enough time to go and get ready for the show!
The show itself must be held at a venue close to the property – I have no idea where because well, this is not my job. 🙂 I’m simply the dreamer here. It should probably be walking distance, but if not – there should be chartered buses for those of us who want to go. I’m thinking of the buses we had taking us from the hotel to the grounds for VooDoo in New Orleans back in 2006. Anyone need a wristband???
Personally I think that there should be only 2-300 people max for the show, and given the type people I’m talking about here, it should be SEATED. There should be no reason for fans to have to camp outside of the venue all day to get that “front row” spot. Yeah, that means some people might be in the first row, and some will be in the last – but my guess is that with that few of people, everyone is going to have a great spot. The setlist will have been determined by the fans and Hungry Like the Wolf will have absolutely NO PLACE on the setlist. In fact, if they start to play the chords, Rhonda will give the band a very stern look and they’ll stop, smile and play Late Bar instead. (it’s MY dream people…) The types of songs I’d like (this list is not even remotely close to having everything on it – it’s a good start though):
The aforementioned Late Bar (I still love that word)
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
Sunrise (gotta have it)
Sound of Thunder
Friends of Mine
Rio (again, gotta have it)
Last Chance on the Stairway (last chance to know the words Mr. Le Bon…)
Shadows on Your Side
The Edge of America (it’s MY dream dang it….)
Make Me Smile
All You Need is Now
Red Carpet Massacre
Obviously, there are some that I couldn’t part with – but the fact is, if they don’t typically play it at a show, I’m willing to hear it, and I’m guessing that most of you are with me on that. Perhaps you have your own favorite to add – fantastic!!
After the show, we head back to the hotel to freshen up, and it’s onto another club for a night of dancing, partying and other debauchery. I don’t know that the club has to play only Duran Duran – I think it would be fun for it to be a mix, but the club should be prepared for 200 of us to descend upon it, and it should be somewhere that has that exclusive Duran Duran feel to it. Again, must be open VERY LATE…and afterwards, yet another infamous late night breakfast before back to the hotel. Does the band show? Who knows – will we bite them if they do?? I hope not.
Next morningish – it’s time for goodbyes. Maybe there could be a breakfast/lunch thing for those of us who aren’t leaving until later in the day.
One thing I forgot: special “Duran Duran experience” merchandise that is included in the cost of the experience. Hmm. What about a photo book of the show and the weekend? Signed pictures? USB of the show on some sort of cool keychain or something… I think it would be fun to have a roving photographer around the whole weekend – you get a certain amount of these casual pictures in the weekend package but if you want to order more later you can or something like that. I also think that a t-shirt for just that weekend is in order, and yes – I want a picture that isn’t going to be on any other merchandise, ever. 🙂
Yeah, it sounds a little like a convention, but I wouldn’t bill it that way and I’d make it feel exclusive, yet not stuffy. As you can see, the weekend isn’t just about having access to the band – in fact, I don’t think it should really be about that at all aside from the show and perhaps the panel discussion. It would be about having a lot of fun at a show and making a weekend about being a fan. We want the band to feel comfortable being there and know that they aren’t going to be mobbed if they walk around – the understanding being that their time really is their own, and its appreciated. It’s also about recognizing the fans and appreciating them as well though.
And now it’s back to reality….although it was fun dreaming and I’m sure I forgot about things I could have added. It’s your turn though…what would you want out of a special show, or a full weekend??