Say the Word

Yesterday I made a passing reference in my blog to the band going to tape Late, Late Night with Craig Ferguson yesterday afternoon.  Dom, Roger and later John mentioned it in either a tweet or in Roger’s case – on Facebook.  To the best of my knowledge, there was no comment made of it anywhere else, not DDM, not DD.com and not on the band’s facebook or twitter accounts.  At the time, I do remember having a fleeting thought of “I wonder why no one said anything about it beforehand.”…but I figured that I either missed it, or perhaps it was one of those things that was truly done last minute.  That kind of thing *does* happen, as it turns out.  Previously scheduled guests cancel, they need a last minute add – and bingo – Duran Duran happens to be in California, and free to do the show.  I can certainly see that possibility, and good for them if that is the case and they were able to take advantage.  

The trouble of course is that the fans were given only an hour or two notice before the taping.  In my case for example, I can’t just drop everything and run.  If I could – I probably would be able to lay claim to having seen them many more times by now.  That doesn’t really bother me most of the time.  Sometimes yes, I wish I could go see these tapings and things, but that’s not my reality. Other fans have more time on their hands and can be flexible for these last minute announcements – but that’s just the point: aside from Roger and Dom mentioning the taping beforehand, there was no announcement.  That left just 3 fans (that made themselves known at the taping) to go and cheer for the band.  One was able to get tickets at the last minute, and the other was wait listed, but by luck was able to get in.  They sat in the last row and cheered for the band as any fan would.  I have to believe the band was happy to have someone there for them – but that still begs the question “Why wasn’t anything said?”  Sure, it could have been just as I’d thought – a last minute thing – but even so, it’s always worth putting the news out there for people to do with as they wish.  Isn’t it?
None of us know what really goes on in the band’s management.  I’m sure they are all very busy people, and chances are, Duran Duran isn’t the only band that is being managed by Wendy.  (I am sure)  They can’t spend all of their time on one band, and so during down times I am sure attention waivers and is spent elsewhere, which makes sense.  However, the band is just about to embark on a lengthy tour of the US and then the UK, and one would think that perhaps just maybe it would be a good idea to get some press along the way.  Let’s face it – much momentum has been lost since last April when Duran Duran were last in the US, and once again they are starting from zero.  Press would indeed be good here, as would letting the fans know what’s going on.  Why wouldn’t someone want fans in the audience?  Last I checked – we’re kind of loud.  So, was it left up to the band to mention the taping?  
Someone mentioned that it isn’t the band’s job to make these types of announcements to the fans – and that someone on their management team should be handling that.  Well, that may or may not always be the case.  Times are tough.  They canceled/postponed an entire summer worth of shows and the album has not truly sold outstandingly well.  It doesn’t really matter why it hasn’t sold (for the purpose of this particular blog) – but the fact is, this is not 1985 and the band is not #1 on the charts.  They are not a household name for anyone but us.  I think costs get cut where they can/should be cut, and if they haven’t needed a dedicated PR person for a while – then I don’t see the point in paying one if they felt they could handle it on their own.  Truth be told – this was ONE appearance where the band taped a single song, not ten appearances on ten different stations.  So should the band be responsible for getting the word out?  Yes.   At the end of the day, it’s THEIR band.  This is the reality of being in a band, especially today when record labels do not support the acts on their rosters the way they once did.  Before anyone mentions it, it makes no difference that this is Duran Duran who once stood on top of the charts as king.  They are no longer in that realm, no matter how much we all think otherwise.  Duran Duran has access to social networking.  Most of them have a Facebook, a Twitter or both.  Word could have gotten out.  Did it?  Maybe not as well as it should have – but let’s face it, if this was a last minute deal – it would not have helped most of us anyway, and since the show didn’t immediately air, we’ll all still see it when it does.  
That said, there are ways the band could have utilized us – yes us – the FANS.  Besides Daily Duranie (hello…we are DAILY….as in either Amanda or I sit down at the computer and types out a blog every single day), I know of two other bloggers who are dedicated Duran fans that would have gladly spread the word via their blogs, their Facebooks AND their Twitters.  I know of at least 5 message boards, and I can’t even begin to count how many fans there truly are on Facebook.  We don’t even need DDM to spread the word, we can and should be doing it ourselves in partnership with the band.  The band or the band’s DDHQ should never hesitate to send us an email here at Daily Duranie, or put out a single message on twitter and ask fans in general to spread the word.  It’s easy marketing, it’s free, and quite honestly we’re very good at it!   Although I’m sure many of us long for the days when Duran Duran really was a household name, there is something very unique, intimate and even special about being able to spread the word through such a grass roots thing like Twitter or Facebook.  Sometimes I find myself marveling at the fact that for many of us, we’ve been there – virtually by their side – this entire time, and yet it’s only just now that they’re starting to notice we’re there and are willing to reach out.  Why shouldn’t they? 
In all fairness I have no idea what happened yesterday.  It could have been anything from someone not being around to put the word out, to the band not realizing that nothing had ever been mentioned, to the band not thinking it was too much of a big deal since they only taped one single song.  The simple point I’m trying to make is that we’re somewhat of a partnership.  I don’t know a single fan who wouldn’t have been willing to send out a tweet about the appearance – or to even retweet a comment from the band.  All the band needs to do is hold out their hand and ask for help, and the fans would be ready to give them a hand up.  I don’t know, in my opinion it’s nice to feel like we really can be there to help out, even if it’s just by sending out a single “Guess what the band is doing today” kind of note.  
Sure, this blog is about the fans.  But we wouldn’t be fans without the band…and the band wouldn’t continue to exist without the fans.  Isn’t that the point?  
-R

I Feel it in the Air!

Good morning (well, it’s not noon where I live yet!) from sunny California!

I feel as though I’ve been up for an entire day already.  My “day” began while it was still dark outside at about 4:30 this morning when my darling husband got up and got ready to catch a plane.  I didn’t actually get up until about 5:30, but it’s very hard to sleep when he’s pulling out an ironing board or banging cupboards. (Really dear?  Can’t we do that at night BEFORE bed when it’s not quiet in the house?!) A lot of his job is spent on the road – so I have to be thankful when he’s not traveling and able to help shuttle kids to school; which most of the time, I am.  The other 70% of the time, it’s me – and today was my first run at doing it all under the new schedule on my own.  It was crazy, but it worked I guess.  But now of course I’ve already been awake, if not fully operational, for just about 7 hours – so to me, my day should be done.  Ha!  I can’t wait to see what I’ll be like at about 10pm tonight.  As you can tell, I’m not used to getting up before the sun!

There are definitely benefits to rising so early though.  It’s not even noon and I’ve gotten dinner going in the crockpot/slow cooker, laundry is about half finished, I’ve already driven 60 miles in my car today (Remind me again why I agreed to have the oldest at the arts high school 20 miles from the house??), and I’ve seen what the band is up to today.  Roger has been posting facebook updates – and they should probably be in the middle of filming for Late, Late Night right about now.  Which of course brings me to the blog topic….

They are in my state. 🙂

How can I not be just a teeny bit excited by that?  It’s been a long time now – and the last I saw them, they were coming out of a rehearsal studio in the UK under much different circumstances.  It’s great to read the excited tweets/Facebook updates from all of them, and I can’t help but feel good about where we are today.  It won’t be much longer before we start hearing things about each of the shows…including those that yours truly will be attending.  That my friends, is the excitement that comes with being a fan.  It’s what we all wait for and long for.  I don’t want the moment to go too quickly, because as much as I want my time to come and I sit in those 3rd row seats in Valley Center (Hello Mr. Dom Brown – I’m coming for ya!), once those shows are over, then it’s a long wait until the next time they grace us with their presence.  I want to soak in the moment.

I don’t really know what happened to me in this past week.  One week ago, I don’t even think I realized that John was home here in LA, much less that the tour would be starting.  I don’t really know why I wasn’t excited – denial maybe?  But as the week wore on and there were updates from both Roger and Dom, I realized that this is really happening.  The band really IS going to tour.  I am going to have the chance to see them again, and I’m probably even going to get my shot at seeing them in the UK.  It wasn’t until Saturday morning when I read Dom’s tweet about packing for 6 weeks that I started getting antsy – and that’s when I finally grabbed my husband’s frequent flier information and booked a ticket.  Then I started looking into UK tickets, and those are still up in the air.  Flights are fine, but Amanda and I still have some plotting to do on that end before I book a for-sure flight.  Make no mistake, we’re going to those shows – it’s a matter of when we’re coming home that’s in question.   (Imagine the phone call from the UK to my husband: “Hi dear, it’s me.  Oh I’m fine, but I wanted to let you know that Amanda and I decided to extend our trip another few days.  How many?  Um…how’s a week sound?!  We’re doing the whole thing!!”)  

Yeah.  That’s not really going to happen.  We’re talking about a day or two max here, but we can dream, can’t we??

Touring is in the air, and I can feel the excitement!  It’s a great feeling to have after a summer where it all seemed to be like a question hanging in the air.  I know that the band isn’t going to be able to tour extensively all over the world, and that for many of our readers – there is deep disappointment, and I understand.  I can’t try and placate those feelings, but I will say that if nothing else, I’m happy to see the band continuing on.  The “R” word doesn’t seem to be coming up, and that’s something to cheer about.

-R

My weekend was spent finalizing plans to sneak in a trip to Chicago, coincidentally (not really so much!) over the same time frame that the band will be playing at the Chicago Theatre.  I’ll only be there for a mere 48 hours, but it’ll be good to see friends, hang out, and if I get lucky – see the show.  I’m still looking for a good ticket, so if you hear of any, let me know!  I’ve got my flights, our hotel and even a place to go before the show on Friday night…so now it’s just finding the right ticket.  I’m excited about going to Chicago since it’s my second home and it’s the first place I saw the band with my partner-in-crime.  The city feels like home to me, so I’m really excited.

Stereotypes about Female Fans

It isn’t easy to be a female fan of a band.  I certainly have experienced some rather unpleasant looks and statements when people find out that I’m a fan of Duran Duran.  Of course, some of those negative reactions are specific to Duran Duran.  In those cases, the people just don’t like Duran so they think I’m dumb to be a fan of theirs.  Yet, beyond those Duran haters, I still get negative reactions for just being a female fan of a band.  Some people assume that this means that I haven’t grown up, at best, and others assume that I’m either a stalker or a groupie.

It seems to me that it is generally socially acceptable for girls to be fans of a musical artist in the US.  No one thinks twice if a kid says that she likes Justin Bieber, for example.  They may even find it cute that a kid would have posters of him and other merchandise advertising him.  Yet, an adult female doing something similar is thought to be weird.  While people don’t openly say that this must mean I’m immature, I have gotten statements like, “You haven’t grown out of that?”  Of course, it isn’t helped that new young artists are always advertised specifically to young people.  The assumption there is that the only market for this type of artist is young people and that young people will buy and buy and buy some more.  Heck, Duran did this themselves or allowed this to happen to them.  They were interviewed by teen magazines and allowed their image to be placed on everything from kid pajamas to a board game.  While this type of merchandise is welcome both then and now, I realize that it doesn’t help to give respect to adult female fans of theirs.  It reinforces the stereotype that female fans are stuck in some sort of perpetual childhood.  Of course, there are way worse stereotypes.

One of the most common stereotypes I think female fans experience is the assumption that one is a stalker.  Rhonda talked about the definition of a stalker in this blog post here.  The negative assumption is that female fans will do anything and everything to get to the band.  Of course, the negative assumption may not think through the action to answer the question:  Why?  What purpose would fans have to get to the band?  Do those who criticize fans as stalkers think that they are doing it because they are groupies, which I will get to in this post, or do they think they are out to get the celebrity(s) of choice?  Of course, it is possible that they just don’t understand why anyone would go out of their way to be near a celebrity.  What I find interesting about this stereotype is that I rarely if ever hear it used towards male fans?  Why is that?  Why aren’t male fans criticized for being stalkers?  Certainly, there are male fans who might show up at the band’s hotel or at their studio?  Why aren’t they stereotyped in the same way?  I also find it interesting that fans will call other fans stalkers.  Why use this stereotype?  Of course, as Rhonda pointed out in her post, the definition of stalking isn’t really clear.  So, if the definition even within fandom or Duranland, in particular, isn’t clear, why use it?  Obviously, it seems like people use it because they think it will hurt those who are being called stalkers.  Perhaps, they are using it because it is a way to show that they ARE NOT stalkers.  It is a way to show that they are different from those other fans.  Of course, the same thing happens with the other really horrible stereotype–that female fans are groupies.

A groupie is another term that has multiple definitions.  Is a groupie simply a female fan who follows a band or is it a female fan seeking the ultimate autograph?  Got me.  Obviously, well-known and proud groupie, Pamela Des Barres, wrote about being a groupie in her books.  In her situation, it was more of the later definition.  Books like hers, I’m sure, does not help the outside world understand that not all female fans are groupies.  Obviously, if people believe that all female fans are groupies, they must think that we are in it for sex as opposed to actually enjoying the music.  Again, then, I wonder why fans use this insult on each other.  Is it just to hurt the other fans?  Is it just to show how one fan is different from the other?

It seems to me that when you really begin to analyze these common stereotypes about female fans, they are all really about demeaning women as we are immature, have no life or are just seeking a sexual experience.  It can’t be that we are have a valid opinion, in which we believe that someone or something is valuable.  It can’t be that we find this band, or any other band, talented.  It can’t be that we want to just express our thoughts and opinions.  No, the stereotypes say that something has to be not quite right with us.  This leads me again to wonder why female fans use these stereotypes on each other.  What purpose does it serve?  Does it help to destroy these stereotypes or perpetuate them? 

-A

The Joys of Plotting

I love days like these!  I love days when I have all sorts of grand plans but other more enjoyable tasks get in the way.  🙂  Typically, weekends are when I catch my breath after working a long, intense week.  It is my chance to do everything not related to work, including things around the house, other projects, write, read, etc.  That was my plan for today.  Fortunately, Rhonda decided that her Saturday morning was going to be spent plotting for upcoming Duran shows!  I say that this was fortunate because it is WAY more fun to plot for Duran shows than it is to do things around the house! 

Obviously, there have been many signs to let us know that all is right in the world of Duran lately from the fantastic reports of the rehearsal shows to the fact that John Taylor is now sporting blond bangs again!  Someone on twitter even asked him about his new do and he said something about how he knew that it would get us all excited!  He isn’t wrong.  As a John girl, I couldn’t be more thrilled!  To me, it was also a good sign about the upcoming shows as I have noticed that John often changes the hair before a tour.  Then, of course, he talked about how Simon was already in the States with the others soon to be following.  Heck, even today, I saw Dom saying about how he was packing for more than 6 weeks.  Truly, it is hard to believe that they will be playing again in less than a week and that this will start off a good trek around North America.  Perhaps, these signs led Rhonda and, in turn, me to start plotting with more seriousness!

Much was accomplished today in regards to the upcoming Chicago show.  Rhonda booked her flight and we booked our hotel room!  We have some ideas of things that we want to do in the city when she is here.  I know that we mentioned wine and vinyl.  We both love going to art museums as well so the Art Institute or the Contemporary Art museums might be on the agenda as well.  One thing we talked about was figuring out dinner for Friday night before the show and to see if other Duranies want to join us.  I am hoping to find some place close to the venue and with a good variety of food and drinks.  Anyone know of any place like that you would recommend?  Anyone interested in joining us?  If I know how many of us are interested in doing dinner with us, I’m sure I could make a reservation.

Of course, once we have Chicago planned, we will turn our attention to the UK.  Right now, we are still trying to figure out flights, when to fly in, etc.  From there, we will think about hotels, trains, etc.  The thing is that it felt really good to talk about all of these plans today.  While Duranland might not be completely carefree, it does feel right at the moment.  It seems like we were holding our breath for so long to see what was going to happen next.  The fun had been pushed to the side.  While plans were getting made, they were always cautiously done.  Now, I wouldn’t say we aren’t being cautious but now the fun and excitement is coming through more. 

I’m now looking forward to the next few months in a way that I haven’t been.  I’m also thrilled to be plotting for tours once again!

-A

Friday Night Videos: Daily Duranie Style Part 4

Happy Friday, everyone!!!!  I, for one, am super duper glad that it is Friday because this work week felt like it was 3 weeks long instead of being one week long!  Anyway, I’m ready for some fun and that means it is time for a little Duran!  Yep, it is the 4th installment of the Daily Duranie Friday Night Videos Challenge!  Before my exhaustion shows too much, here are the answers to last week’s questions:

21. Which video shows a band playing in a darkened room except for a row of small, square windows?
Answer:  I Might Lie by Andy Taylor

22. Which videos does it appear that Nick’s makeup gets messed up by a pair of hands?
Answer:  Goodbye is Forever by Arcadia

23. Ropes, a compass, a wood deck…what video is this?
Answer:  Rio

24. Which video has Jane Fonda shown on screen as none other than Barbarella?
Answer:  Wild Boys

25. In which video does Simon end up in a bathtub?
Answer:  The Flame by Arcadia

26. Which video takes place in a courtroom where funk is on trial?
Answer:  I Don’t Want Your Love

27. A red walkman takes center stage as the villian in this video.
Answer:  A View to a Kill

28. This video shows Roger in a bed. Is there anyone else IN the video because Rhonda didn’t notice?
Answer:  (Reach Up For The) Sunrise

29. Fire and someone on stilts…what video is that?!?
Answer:  Serious

30. Which video shows a bird sitting on a person’s shoulder and then on a person’s head?
Answer:  Follow in My Footsteps by Simon LeBon

Now, for the next set of questions!  This is the usual drill.  Send us answers by commenting here, an email (dailyduranie@gmail.com), a private message on facebook or a direct message on twitter!  This allows everyone a chance to play without seeing any hints or answers!  Happy video watching!!!

31.  Which video features a book that shares the title with the song title?

32.  Which videos shows a little kid watching a guy try to break into a car?

33.  Which video showed someone in jail?

34.  Which video showed Simon wearing a white, winter hat?

35.  Which video has Nick on a typewriter as opposed to a keyboard?

36.  Which video uses black and white drawings of skulls?

37.  Bonfires…animals…any Duran know this one?

38.  Which video shows Simon singing on a balcony above a pool?

39.  Which videos shows an old lady sitting and drinking sherry?

40.  In which video do people eat popcorn?

Social Networking and the Fan

Back in 1993, the only way I heard about Duran Duran canceling shows on their tour was when I heard about it on the radio.   Truth be told, I don’t think I had even known they were touring – I can’t honestly remember – but I can tell you that I was in my senior year of college, my parents were in the middle of losing their home, and I had just went inactive from my sorority so that I could graduate that June.  I do remember hearing the announcement though, and while I was concerned for Simon, at the time there was no one that I could truly call or email. (email?? This was 1993. I didn’t even HAVE email!)  Just as I’m sure many others did, I moved on.  I heard later that the they started playing again, and much later, I went to another show.  I missed out on the “is this the end?” rumors, or the anger coming from the fans because their show had been postponed or canceled.  There was no way to convey concern, there was no one to worry with, and what might have been very stressful for the band truly passed me by in almost every way.  

In 2011 though, another tour was postponed.  I couldn’t escape the anger, the worry, the concern, the rumors…or the fact that I was directly impacted.  Not only could I talk to Amanda since she was standing right next to me through most of it (quite literally, I might add!), I could email, I blogged, news was begotten through Facebook and transmitted through Twitter, and I could have even marked the exact day (but alas, I did not mark the day on my calendar!)  that Simon announced that things were beginning to turn around for him.  For me personally, the episode was fairly traumatic – and I have to assume this is not only because I was there in the UK when the shows were postponed.  I knew with as much certainty as anyone else as to what was going on, and the band – bless them – seemed to be fairly forthcoming with whatever news they could provide.  The social networking phenomena worked it’s magic, and within the blink of an eye the word was spread not only through the DD community, but throughout the world.  The differences between 2011 and 1993 are evident, even if only examined through these two instances.  
This is an issue that I’ve blogged about prior, but it’s also the chapter I’m currently working on for our book.  I don’t mind telling everyone that I am having the worst time writing the chapter!  It’s completely overwhelming to me, and I don’t really know why.  I have the chapter about halfway written I suppose, but every time I open the file, I spend a good several minutes just staring at the paragraphs, and sometimes that’s as far as I get.  I do have an outline I’m working from – normally I don’t outline and the writing comes easy, but every once in a while I’ll hit a chapter like this, where the topic just feels so big and there are so many points to hit that I just can’t begin.  In this case, I did begin – it’s the continuing that’s a problem!  I’m to the point where I’m thinking it’s time to perhaps move on to another chapter and then come back to this at a later point when my head is clear.  The funny thing is that I started this chapter back in April (yes, it’s really taken that long), and then May happened – and now I can’t seem to write.  It’s very frustrating, especially when I do have an idea of what I need to convey.  The whole purpose of the chapter is to show just how much social networking has changed being a fan.  It’s intensified the entire experience on so many levels, and I suspect that if the band, or at least certain members were asked – they might even agreed that it’s changed their view of the fans as well.  
So, I’m throwing this subject out for conversation, my dear readers.  How do you feel feel about Twitter, Facebook and the like?  Do you feel like you’re better able to experience being a fan these days than back in the 80’s?  How is it different?  What do you enjoy about it?  What don’t you enjoy as much?  
I’m hoping to get some conversation going here – and then maybe I’ll have the creative juice flowing for some writing.  If you aren’t comfortable posting your thoughts for the world (and please know that Amanda and I are NOT quoting fans directly anywhere in our book), please feel free to send us a gmail.  Our inbox gets dusty in there from inactivity, and I always write back!  
Until Monday – have a good weekend!! -R

New Day, New Year

It’s kind of funny how quickly one can come down from a high with a resounding thump to the floor or reality.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  It was very nice to be met with all sorts of congratulatory comments in the morning – yes, we did make it through a year of blogs, and more importantly, we still have friends and readers!  However, as the roller coaster of life is concerned, that moment was short lived, because of course – I do have a life outside of Duran Duran, as do the rest of you. (right??)

Yesterday not only marked Daily Duranie’s first birthday, but it also was my now deceased father’s 72 birthday.  I still struggle with the notion that he’s not around for me to call and have come fix something – like the leaky water line on my refrigerator for instance, not to mention that I can’t tease him about being an old man.  I miss those moments.  My dad and I had a very interesting relationship in that we could truly dig at one another without either of us getting angry. (Getting even was another story, however!)  When he turned 50, I had a giant cake made for him in the shape of an apple.  Why?  His brother used to call him the “Little Apple” relentlessly and it truly annoyed the hell out of my dad.  So naturally, I had to have one made for him because yes, I really am that kind of daughter.  Then of course when I turned 25 and then 30 he had dozens of black balloons sent to me.  I shudder to think what he would have done for my 40th!   In any case, I think I spent much of the day wavering between smiles of joy from reading really nice things about Amanda and I, to being just on the verge of tears because I miss my dad terribly.  What fascinates me though, is that out of all of the days of the year – I started the blog last year ON my dad’s birthday.  I don’t even remember doing that!!  I guess that just goes to show that some years are easier than others…and that I really have crazy ways of diverting my attention!
Last night I spent the evening going to a parent meeting for the middle school band.  My son plays clarinet just as I do, although in his case I have serious concerns that it’s not going to stick – if I had to guess, this will likely be the last year he is in band.  He’s just not into it even though he’s got more talent in his pinky than I do in my entire body.  Band is not the easy “A” that it was when I went to middle school, that is for sure!  Not only do they have after school commitments for rehearsing (completely unheard of during my middle school years), they perform off campus several times over the course of the school year and they have several concerts through out the year.  This is where it gets dicey.  
My plan was simple:  I looked at the calendars for each child, put the dates on my own calendar, and planned my year around them, including my return trip to the UK as well as a trip I’m literally sneaking in to go to Chicago for 2 days next month.  Every single school year I go through this same exercise, feeling positive that nothing will conflict, and then almost immediately – I’m doused with a heavy spray of “F YOU” from the schools as they obliterate any plans I had for “me” time.  Between the schools and my husband, it is nothing less than miraculous that I can get out of the house at all.  Back to last night when I was given the fantastic news that not only does my son have a concert on October 20 (the date I’m to fly into Chicago), but he also has TWO concerts during the time I’m supposed to be in the UK.  They are his winter concerts, and parent help for those shows is not only requested, it’s mandatory – his grade (yes HIS grade) depends on not only his attendance, but mine.  Keep in mind that they tell you none of this when you sign up for the classes in May.  As I began to slump in my seat last night from hearing the great news, feeling extremely defeated and ready to go home and hide under my pillow, my poor son looked over at me, patted my back gently and said “Well Mom, you didn’t really want to go back to the UK, right?  Besides, you’ve seen Duran Duran a zillion times, but you’ve never seen me really play with a real band.”  
Stick that knife in and turn it just a little farther because I don’t think you quite hit my heart completely.  *sigh*
My husband of course was right beside us.  Sleeping.  Napping right away through the whole meeting.  I wanted to smack him, but I couldn’t.  We were in public.   I can’t wait to see how this is going to work out….
-R

A Birthday of Sorts!

365 days ago, I sat at my kitchen table one morning and came up with what I thought was a brilliant plan for a blog.  Why not write a blog purely from a fan perspective?  Why not commit ourselves to writing a short blurb each day on whatever we’re thinking of that day or whatever news has hit?  (I can come up with at least 3 very good reasons “why not” on my end….but as is typically I ignored my inner self telling me that I was CRAZY and went on about my day!)  So I quickly tapped out an email to my partner-in-crime and the Daily Duranie was born.

It’s been a great experiment thus far.  There have been relatively few days where I’ve stared at the blank screen for very long without an idea coming to mind, and oddly – people actually READ our blog!!  That’s probably the most surprising part of this whole experience, at least for me.  Knowing that the band is a few decades out of their heyday (yes the John Taylor pun is intended), and that the Duran Duran theme is probably not a huge marketing niche, I had no idea what to expect as far as readers. The fact is, we’ve had readers from all over the world, and while we might not have thousands of readers per day yet, we do have hundreds – and there is plenty of room for growth.  We’ve expanded to having a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and yes, we’re still finishing our first book.  I’d desperately like to blame the band for my lack of writing over the summer, but the blame squarely lies on the shoulders of my children and their demands on my time.  Silly kids, don’t they know I’m writing?!?  I keep telling them that they are keeping me from paying for their college education, but they don’t seem to understand….and of course I’m exaggerating just a bit as the lack of writing is all mine!  Another surprise for me has been our commenters.  At first, it began slowly, but more and more often people are finding the nerve to comment and disagree with us!  *gasp*  We welcome the comments, even when I’m shocked to learn that I really am the only one in the world who believes that Andy was the better guitar player, or that the band should play whatever they want at a show and forgo the hits.  (Listen people, dreams are FREE…I just happen to post mine publicly, and I don’t mind being told to suck it up and listen to HLTW.  I just turn up Secret Oktober, Late Bar or Andy’s version of Ordinary World and block out the reality.  You should try it!)  In addition to the fellow fan smackdowns that Daily Duranie receives on occasion, we also get a ton of support.  We’ve met fellow fans from all over the world, we’ve made forever friends, and we’ve even brought new friends together, all under the guise of fandom.  I don’t think Amanda and I are necessarily changing the world, but maybe we’re helping make the Duran Duran fans out there a little less anonymous to one another, and I have to say that this is one hat I wear that I truly enjoy a little more than some of the others. (those others being “housekeeper”, “chauffeur”, “referee” and my personal least favorite, “cook”)

The good news here is that this is only the beginning and I have absolutely no idea what is in store for the next year!  We’re still going to keep blogging, going to shows, and yes we’re even going back to the UK in December.  Will the band play this time?  (They had better.)  Will I freeze to death in my quest to see the band in their homeland? (Very possible)  Will Amanda and I EVER be in front row at a show? (Ha.  Dreams are still free…. but if someone wants to hook us up….)  Will the book be finished and a foreword written? (YES, even if if kills us, and I really mean that!)  Nobody knows whats gonna happen tomorrow, but Amanda and I are looking forward to finding out, and we hope that you all will stick with us for the ride.

Happy Birthday Daily Duranie!

-R

So about those rehearsal gigs!!

Anyone see any good concerts lately?

I can’t say that I have…but I definitely see that many of our readers and friends have enjoyed the UK rehearsal gigs during the past two weeks or so!

I’ve heard so many great things, from the strength of Simon’s voice, to the fantastic set lists; from the time that the band spent going out to greet fans after shows, to the few musical blasts-from-the-past that were included in the shows.  Obviously this was a triumphant time for the band as well as the fans who were able to make it to England for the shows.  Definitely a 180-degree turn from last May for everyone, and I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t know that I’ve really said much about the shows, other than from what gems I’ve found on youtube, they all sounded great.  I fell in love with Secret Oktober all over again, and I have high hopes that they’ll shock me and included Shadows on Your Side in at least some of the setlists for the North American tour beginning later this month.

There is one thing that I’d like to comment on here, because I’ve seen it mentioned over and over again, both by members of the band as well as some fans that must truly believe the rest of the world just is not as “enlightened”.  This is the one blog I’d love for the band to read…and believe.  As far as I’m aware, the “diehard” Duranie fan base can be found worldwide.  *deep breath here*  The UK hasn’t completely cornered that diehard market though, and while I realize this is difficult to believe – trust me when I break the news – the rest of us are as sick of Hungry Like the Wolf as you are when you play it.  The hits are great, don’t get me wrong, but guess what?  You’ve earned the right to play the rest of your catalog, boys.  You’ve EARNED the right to tell us all to go to hell, and play what you’d like.  I feel fairly confident when I say that chances are, we’d still come to shows.  The hits made you financially capable of continuing on for 30 some odd years now, but the rest of your music is what has kept the “diehards” around.  I should know.  I’m one of the many.  We’ve often joked about offering sacrifices to the Duranie “gods” in order to hear some of the more obscure “Duranmusic”.  Your US fans, for instance – yeah sure we all love Save a Prayer and Rio, but there are so many other great songs in your back catalog – and you’ve got a FANTASTIC new album that deserves to be played.  You have worked very, very hard for this moment, and I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.  Yes, I know that fans will miss the “hits”, the casual concert goer will miss the “hits”, but on that note – isn’t this the time to sell the fact that you’re still writing great new music?  Sell that new album by playing our faces off, play those old obscurities and shock the audience for a change.  Those of us who have stuck by you, of which there are many, will be thrilled.  Most importantly, don’t sell yourselves short by sticking to those old-standbys!

-R

Rehab

In the midst of the UK rehearsal shows came a little news item on duranduran.com.  John is helping out with the Amy Winehouse foundation.  According to the news report, which you can read here, the foundation will set up a drug treatment facility for UK teens.  John’s role is to help with fundraising, including networking with potential large donors and artists. 

I think it is great that John is taking time out of his schedule to help out with a project like this.  I have no idea if he knew her but I do know that he has received treatment for his own addictions, which is what I assume part of his motivation is.  Strangely enough, this fact about John and treatment for alcohol and drugs seems to be not always common knowledge within the fanbase as I continue to see questions tweeted to John related to drinking, in particular.  Some of the questions I have seen are things like, “what is your favorite cocktail” or “what kind of wine do you like”.  Even last week, after Simon talked about having a hangover, I saw a question to John about whether or not he, too, had one.  As someone who observes fandom, I have to wonder why some people aren’t aware of this.  Perhaps, they were thinking back to the 80s when most of us, I believe, were unaware.  Maybe, it is because they aren’t like me in that I try to know everything I can about my favorite band.  Some might even say that they have seen John drinking.

I think most fans in the 1980s were unaware of the extent to John’s drug and alcohol habits.  I saw many, many interviews “back in the day” and never knew.  Honestly, I think some of this was because I was a kid.  I didn’t know what someone who was drunk or high would look like!  I wasn’t around that at all!  Yet, looking back at some of the interviews that I KNOW my parents saw, I have to wonder why they didn’t say anything.  I watch some of those interviews now and it seems clear to me that John and the others weren’t always clean and sober.  Did I just blindly believe what I read in print interviews as most of those had Duran denying their partying?!  I think that is definitely possible.  I also think it was possible that I didn’t really care as long as it didn’t mess up the band!  Yet, the kid excuse doesn’t work today as most of us fans are far away from being kids.  Do you think people don’t know that John has worked hard to be clean and sober and stay that way because they don’t care?

It is possible that some fans don’t really care if any of them drink or do drugs.  Maybe those fans are just concerned about the music.  That’s fair.  Yet, I can’t seem those same fans, then, asking questions about John’s alcohol intake if they just focus on the music.  Okay, so maybe it isn’t that they focus just on the music but that they don’t try to find everything about the band.  That could be.  Yet, if they have been following John’s twitter, they would have seen those same questions I have seen and would have seen that John refrains from alcohol.  Of course, maybe they don’t read every tweet of his.  That’s possible.

Some people, however, will claim that they have seen John drink in the last ten years.  Okay.  That may be possible.  I don’t know.  I am not around John, which really is too bad but another story completely.  Even if that is true, I don’t understand the point in telling people this.  What good does that do?  Does it help John?  If John is trying to remain clean and sober, which I have to believe based on everything he has said in the last decade, does making that statement help with that goal?  What if John fell off the wagon once or twice?  Does mentioning it help him get back on and stay there?  I don’t think it does.  I think that we, as fans, should support him in this very difficult task.  We shouldn’t do anything that would undermine that, which would include mentioning if he did have a drink, in my opinion. 

Personally, I think John should be proud of his personal accomplishments when it comes to sobriety and I think he should be proud for trying to help others with theirs.  I think that the fans should do what we can to support both.

-A