Happy Birthday John Taylor!

Is it coincidence that everyone in the band has their birthday in spring/summer besides Simon?? These are the types of things I ponder before I write the blog each day.

I don’t think I need to tell anyone whose birthday it is today. I especially do not need to tell my partner-in-crime here on the blog, since she’s been a John girl since elementary school.  Unlike the band, we do play favorites – and John is hers, which would mean to me that perhaps she would be better suited to write his birthday blog, but alas, you’ve got me instead.

I have “met” John Taylor exactly one time, and it was at the Virgin Megastore signing in Hollywood for the Astronaut album. My meeting went like this: Nick passed him the album, John (Not daring to even look up at the crowd pressing the table, and I am not passing judgement on him for this, because truth be told – I wouldn’t have looked up either for fear of passing out. Too many people, not enough space. Yes, I’m just a tad claustrophobic.) took the album, signed it, and as he passed it on to Simon, I found enough voice to say “It’s a beautiful album, John”, to which he looked up briefly and said “thank you”. Unfortunately, he didn’t know what person the voice came from and as such – he said thanks to the crowd of people swarming his tiny little spot on the table. The whole thing was so rushed anyway, but that’s what I’ve got for you on John as far as personal experience goes.

Of course, that’s with me right in front of him. On stage is another matter entirely. I don’t know John, but if I had to guess, when he’s on stage it’s when he feels the most alive, the most “normal”, and the most himself. It’s been years since I’ve actually sat or stood on John’s side of the stage, as Amanda will gladly tell you because much to her dismay – we always seem to end up on Dom’s side and she’s a John-girl, but in the few times I’ve sat in front of him, John always seems to make eye contact.

There was that time in Milwaukee back in 2005 when Amanda and I sang and danced to every single song the band played. (Wait, don’t we always do that?!?) Not only did John notice and insist we clap along with him, but people around us noticed as well. (So we were a little excited about the show…nothing wrong with some enthusiasm!) Then there was the time at the Sears Center in 2006 when we were in 9th row or something like that. I was singing my little heart out until Electric Barbarella came on. Admittedly, this is not my favorite Duran Duran tune of all time and I frowned a bit. Actually, I pulled a face and stopped moving for the briefest of moments…and during that time, John saw, and frowned right back at me. I thought to myself, “That can’t possibly mean he saw me.  Impossible.”  So I literally stuck my tongue out. (Yes, I’m a complete idiot. I dared to test the system. I know.)  Well, he stuck his out as well. Awesome. (Oh, you BET I mean that with every bit of Southern California “attitude” possible.)  I laughed, he laughed, and from there I realized I would end up in an early grave if this kind of mutual admiration continued…because I’d either die from embarrassment or have a heart attack.

In Atlantic City, I think this was late 2008, we saw them at the House of Blues. While Amanda and I would have preferred to be up closer to the stage, on this night it wasn’t really possible, and so we we back more than a few rows in the GA crowd. I know this is going to shock you all, but there wasn’t much on Red Carpet Massacre that I enjoyed, song-wise.  The one song I do love though – is in fact Red Carpet Massacre. It holds many meanings, and at the time, was very fitting for how I felt about being a fan and the fan community in general. At the beginning of the song, John claps, and I clapped with him. Well, I don’t take instruction well, apparently, because I catch John looking in my general direction. He shakes his head – and yes, I’m deluded enough to believe he’s meaning that shake of the head for ME specifically, and shows me how to clap to the song correctly. Then when I corrected myself, he smiled and winked. (I was missing the double clap. I could blame it on the significant amount of drinking I’d already done that evening, but the fact is, I wasn’t paying attention. I’m pretty sure I was looking at Dom. ) Hey, we all have our favorites!

My final example(s) would be from both the fall shows I attended as well as our little UK tour.  Once again, I’m sure I would shock you all when I say that I am ready to retire Hungry Like The Wolf permanently. As such, I wait with great anticipation each show to see if they’ll play it. Well, during the show in Valley Center, the song didn’t start off quite as I’d expected – it’s done a little differently than on previous tours, so it faked me out a bit. Of course, that was until I heard those familiar chords, in which case my heart sank once again and I probably made a face, and rolled my eyes. I know Dom saw this because he grinned. Well, John had already made his way over to Dom’s side of the stage and as they sing the “Doo doo doo…” part of the chorus, he looks directly at me and sings it, almost as though he was mocking me.  Even my husband noticed, and laughed at me. Honestly. If I could have gotten up on that stage, I’d have spanked John AND Dom in that moment. In Glasgow, Amanda and I were second row, nearly dead center, and during that same song, we had both John and Dom singing right at us and playing right in front of us. I’m sure they were taunting us…because as I may have mentioned before, I’m deluded enough to believe that.  (We ALL have our fantasies. I won’t ruin yours if you let me have mine!)

All fun and games aside, up until a few years ago – I really didn’t feel any sort of connection with John. I know the girls all loved him when we were young, and I know all the women love him now. Yes, it’s difficult not to notice how gorgeous he is, even today. I always felt he was just a little bit removed from all of us, and I never really felt like he cared. I hate to say that, especially because I am not meaning to be harsh, but out of everyone in the band – my opinion of John has changed the most over the years. It was only after he started blogging for dd.com and joined Twitter and Facebook that I really felt like I was getting a sense of who he really was beyond the stage. John seems to be thoughtful, kind…and he has a great sense of who he has sort of become over the years for the fans. He likes to tease even though he is as coy about it as any guy I’ve ever known, and I think that for the most part, he genuinely loves the fans and cares. I dare say that out of everyone in the band, he is the one who cares about his relationship with the fans the most. I value that so much. Without sounding like too much of a crazy person (Note to self: you write a blog. About a pop band. You’re an adult female.  A mom. That ship has long since sailed, lady.), I waited a long time to see any glimmer of interest, concern, or anything that even remotely rivaled a connection coming from the band to the fan base. John was the first to sort of extend that olive branch, for lack of a better description. Sure, I know it’s done as a sort of professional courtesy or promotional effort in a lot of ways, and it’s done to try and make the end sale. I still value the effort.

As I said to him today on his Facebook page, he’s been in our lives in however large or small  of a part for a very long time now. I can’t imagine what my world would be like without him in it. No, he doesn’t know me from Adam and I doubt that will change in the coming years, but he needs to know that he made a difference in the lives of a lot of people. He matters to a great many humans out there, and while I know fans can be a pain in the ass at times – we love him and wish him the very happiest of birthdays. And yes, he SHOULD be celebrating!


Ooh, in my revelry about John I almost forgot to mention that I’m going on vacation!  I’m off for a reasonably quick adult getaway with my husband for a change, but never fear – Daily Duranie will still be posting as normal during my absence, and I’ll be back next Thursday. Take care, be good humans – and I’ll think of you all often as I am lounging under an umbrella by the pool in the desert heat (we’re going to Vegas)  Mwah!

Return to Now

After the GMA appearance yesterday, I saw a flurry of posts from friends, both commending the performance of the band, and lamenting (if not panning) the interviewer for focusing on the band as though they’ve come straight from 1985 as though the band has done nary a thing since the chords of Rio or Girls on Film were recorded.

I have to be honest here, I didn’t think too much about the interview.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten so used to the band being billed as a nostalgia act that I just don’t pay attention, or if it was because it was such a joy to see MOST of my favorites on TV for an interview that I just didn’t hear what the interviewer was saying. (I’ll just say it: it’s time to include Dom in the band. He’s been around a long time and he looks like he belongs there anyway at this point. I don’t care. Send me all the hate mail you’d like…call for my public flogging. I’m going on vacation in a few days anyway, so I’m throwing caution to the wind!)  Where was I?  Oh yes, the interview.  It was only later in the day when I watched it again that I really took notice of just how intent she (Lara Spencer) was to stick to the past.  I winced a bit when she asked them how it was to get back together after thirty years, and then I had to remind myself that this was not 2003.  It wasn’t even 2005, or even 2007.  It’s 2012.  Their latest album has been out for over a year now.  She even mentioned it herself when she commented that it hit #1 on iTunes. (I’m going to be even more honest here, I don’t care if it hit that on iTunes for 30 damn seconds, I’m glad the band holds on to that.  All You Need is Now is SO worthy of that number one spot and I’ll never stop being proud of them for writing such a fantastic album.)  I just don’t understand why the press is so apt to ignore the present when it comes to Duran Duran.

Do we still live in times of backlash when it comes to this band?  Sure, they have worn and occasionally still wear make up.  Name bands who don’t at this point in time.  There’s not many.  Yeah, they’re still good looking. (thank goodness!!)  Yep, their fans are still primarily female, although there are more than a few really good men out there that love their music as much as I do.  I’m lucky to count several of them as my friends, actually!  Does that really all add up to discounting them to nostalgia?  Here’s the real question: what about their music???  When does that actually count for something?

Sometimes, I stop and wonder if any of this bothers the band.  I mean, it was one thing to be a pop idol back in the 80’s. I’ve read enough to know that the band never minded being idols to their fans, they wanted to be famous and they were willing to do whatever it took for that to happen.  (Goal successfully reached!)  I have to believe that at some point, they were hoping to be known for more than just making young girls scream.  Sure, we fans have grown up and while we might all still scream for more when we see them live on stage, their music resonates.  While we fans take them seriously (and still have fun all the while), it would seem   at least to me that the press never has.  Do you think that bothers them?

I suppose the band can either fight it or embrace it and continue to work towards whatever personal goals they have on their own. While I sit here writing and contemplating, I recognize that the press can be very much like a tidal wave, and sometimes it’s just better to let the wave do it’s thing and help you get places in the long run than fight mother nature.

While that method seems to work for the band, I know I’m not alone when I say that as a fan – it’s really tough to sit back and see the hard work of thirty years diminished to a few shining moments that happened decades ago.  It’s difficult not to feel personally affronted, and yet if it doesn’t bother the band, perhaps we need to take our cue from them.  They certainly didn’t write All You Need is Now (single) with absolutely nothing in mind.  It really is all up to us to find ourselves in the moment.  It’s never really been about what the press or critics have said about them, it’s been about you and I…and the band.


Good Morning America (and the rest of the world of course!)

It’s never a bad thing to wake up, turn on the telly and watch Duran Duran tear it up on Good Morning America. It’s one of those early morning “breakfast” TV shows I typically avoid (Ok, I’ll be honest – it has more to do with it interfering with the beginnings of my day with driving kids to school and blogging than anything else.), but today I made the exception. Besides, it’s the first Monday that two out of my three are out of school, thus I could take my time today!

The band looked fantastic, they sounded even better, and I think they’re in fine shape for a good summer of touring…as long as they’re not asked to cut the ending of Sunrise short. 😀 (What was that screech on the guitar about Dom? Yes…I think we all heard that! I’ll chalk it up to your 5am call time and some jet lag.)

If you missed GMA and want to see the interview, go here.

We all know that this summer is going to be the last of the shows for some time while the band takes something we call “a lengthy vacation” and…if Roger Taylor is to be trusted…they will get back into the studio in January to start the entire process over again. I have a few general feelings about this:

1. Extreme melancholy because I hate to see good things come to an end, even if it’s just the tour for an incredibly good album.

2. Relief for my bank account. (and my husband’s extreme patience).

3. Anticipation for a fantastic 3 or 4 city “tour” of my own later this summer as a great way to end what has been a few of the best “fan” years of my life so far.

4. Anxiety. Why? I’m Rhonda. What’s life with me without some anxiety of what comes next?!  🙂  The band makes music and I worry. It’s what I do, and I do it well.

One thing I know for sure: I still love this band, and I think it’s fair to say I love them more now than ever. Even after all of the traveling, the crazy heartache, the annoyances…I still love them and I’m still having fun. Who can really ask for more than that?

See What Unfolds – Live…

Sometimes I completely miss things. For example, I never saw that DDM had a sort of contest going for people to go and see a private show in New York City later this week. I don’t know where I was or what I was up to – but I missed the news. In my own case, it didn’t matter much because there’s no way I’m getting on a plane to fly to New York, but the fact is – I didn’t even see the opportunity come up, so it came with great surprise to me when people started announcing they’d won tickets for a private show. I thought they were talking about getting into the studio for the GMA show until someone gave me a quick run-down on the details. Not much info was making it’s way to the fans other than the show would be in the evening in an indoor venue in Manhattan. Seems reasonable, right?

Well, as Gimme A Wristband reported late last week, this show is a general admission show sponsored by Trident gum and DJ Steve Aoki for 3,000 lucky fans. As I understand, 500 tickets were given away to DDM members, with the rest of the tickets going to other people. I hope they’re fans of some sort, otherwise this could get ugly. The purpose of the show is, as it’s named, to see what unfolds. The band will play 4-5 songs, Steve Aoki will remix an original live track and the crowd will go wild. Right?

Somehow, given the various excited posts with hopes and dreams listed for all to see – I worry (see, more worrying!) that this is not quite the show fans were thinking it would be. Of course, the show hasn’t happened yet so it’s hard to tell how it will all go over, but when I’m reading things about how fans hope they play some B-sides and how “intimate” they hope the show will be for John Taylor’s birthday party with fans, it’s not hard to see that at least some may have quite the let-down coming.

Realistically though, is this any fault of the band or their “people”? I’d have to argue no. In no way have I or did I see any mention of what type of show this would be beyond the albeit very generic description of “4-5 songs in an indoor venue”. That leaves the door pretty open for interpretation, and while I do think the band could have made it a little more clear (perhaps saying that it’s a GA show for up to 3,000 people), I don’t think they intended for fans to believe they were going to get the show of a lifetime, but rather a fun opportunity to see a short performance from the band. Over the weekend I saw more than a few pointed remarks made on the band’s Facebook page or tweeted to them, requesting special perks for fan club members (early entry as well as other meet and greet requests), who, by their own accord had spent a lot of money being able to fly to NYC on relatively short notice. It’s easy to say “Buyer Beware” here, sure. The fact remains that we’re all adults, and we should all know better than to book a flight at the first mere mention of a show, even if I myself am among the very guilty at times!  Even so, should we decide to make those flight arrangements, we have no one to thank but ourselves when that “show of a lifetime” turns out to be little more than watching a DJ remix a song live in front of us. That said, it could easily turn out to be a fantastic show. No one really knows what will happen, and the potential for a good time still remains. I certainly hope that the fans who attend have a great time. The show is Wednesday night, and I hope to hear great things!

If you’re looking for a good example of what Steve Aoki might do to a Duran song – look no further.

With that, I bid you adieu, and I’m still looking for Guest Bloggers!  If you want to review a song, an album, a concert or share a rare tidbit on the band (among almost any other DD topic in the world), please – send it in because we’d love to post it here on the blog!!


Appreciating the Setlist Dilemma

For the last two weeks, our daily, or, in this case, weekly questions have focused on the setlist.  Last week, we asked people to give the top 10 Duran/Duran related songs that they wanted to hear live.  Obviously, people would want to hear more than 10 but I had to limit it in order to be consistent and in order to properly track the choices.  Then, this week, we asked which Duran/Duran related songs did people not want to hear live.  Let me clarify this question.  Clearly, any Duran is better than no Duran but there are definitely songs that people don’t like and there are songs that people are sick of (yes, obviously, this applies to those of us who are lucky enough to see multiple shows).  The reality is that Duran can only play for so long on any given night.  They have to try and appeal to both casual fans who know only the big hits and those of us diehards begging for something more obscure.  I was hoping that by asking these questions I could provide them with a real setlist that would appeal to us crazy fans.  I discovered that it really isn’t that easy to put songs in or remove songs.  Setlists are truly hard to create. 

When I asked for people’s top 10 Duran/Duran related songs to hear live, I got plenty of responses.  For the most part, I received requests for mostly Duran songs.  I suppose if I put the related songs on a different question, I would get more of those side and solo projects songs.  I didn’t, though, because this is what Duran must do.  If they put in a solo song or a song from a side project, it must go in place of a Duran song.  Thus, I chose to ask the question as I did.  Many, many, many people responded to this question.  In fact, at times, it was hard for me to keep up as I was trying to figure out not only the songs listed but how frequently each song was listed.  137 different songs were chosen!  Clearly, the band can’t play all of them.  51 of these songs were only listed by one person.  This leaves 86 songs to choose from.  86!  Most Duran setlists are 20-22 songs.  Okay, so, then, I thought I could remove the songs that people are sick of or don’t like as well, which is what I asked this week.

Of course, some people could not or did not come up with songs that they would prefer Duran didn’t play live, for whatever reason.  That said, a number of people still participated.  For that list, 72 songs were given.  Oh boy…this doesn’t appear to be an easy process.  Nonetheless, if you remove the songs that people definitely do not want to hear, I was left with 41 songs.  This is still too big.  Now, the band must take into consideration the fans who only know the hits.  In that recent interview on Loose Women, Simon mentioned about how they do about 2/3 hits and 1/3 other.  Okay.  Here is the list of 41 songs that people want to hear live.  Let’s see if it meets this criteria of percentage of hits. 

Hits/Singles:                                                                    Not Hits:
Careless Memories                                                         A Matter of Feeling
Election Day                                                                   American Science
Electric Barbarella                                                          Box Full O’Honey
Girl Panic                                                                       Beautiful Colours
Out of my Mind                                                             The Chauffeur
Skin Trade                                                                     Cracks in the Pavement
                                                                                      Cry Baby Cry
                                                                                      Faster Than Light
                                                                                      Finest Hour
                                                                                      First Impression
                                                                                      Fallen Angel
                                                                                      The Flame
                                                                                      Hold Back the Rain
                                                                                      I Believe All/I Need to Know
                                                                                      Late Bar
                                                                                      Last Chance on the Stairway
                                                                                      Love Voodoo
                                                                                      Midnight Sun
                                                                                      My Antarctica
                                                                                      (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile
                                                                                      None of the Above
                                                                                      Of Crime and Passion
                                                                                      Other People’s Lives
                                                                                      The Seventh Stranger
                                                                                      Shadows on Your Side
                                                                                      Salt in the Rainbow
                                                                                      She’s Too Much
                                                                                      Secret Oktober
                                                                                      Tel Aviv
                                                                                      The Edge of America
                                                                                      Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
                                                                                      The Valley

Clearly, we chose a lot more album tracks over singles.  We would need to add some singles back into the list.  Here are the singles that more people wanted to hear than didn’t: 

Do You Believe in Shame
New Moon on Monday
Perfect Day
Someone Else Not Me
Too Much Information
Violence of Summer
White Lines

If we add those back in, it is more even but there still are more album tracks to get rid of.  My point being that making setlists are hard.  Even if we were to finish making the setlist from these choices, would that make the casual fan happy?  While there are singles and hits on that list, the most well-known of their songs have been removed.  For example, way more fans wanted Rio, Girls on Film, Ordinary World, Come Undone and A View to a Kill removed than wanted to hear them.  Yet, those are some of the songs that a majority of those going to a Duran show would want to hear. 

I don’t envy the guys in trying to make a setlist that would make everyone happy.  I would argue that everyone is going to be disappointed in a setlist, except for those diehard fans who get a show for the first time.  That said, I think we, collectively, came up with a great list of album tracks/B-sides/demos that the band might want to check out and figure out a way to pick 2, 3, or 4 of them in their setlist for the summer.  It would make many of us happy!!!


Promotion Clips and Excitement

Could my blogs get any later in the day?  Of course, the answer is yes.  I still have over 4 hours in this Saturday.  I don’t really have a good excuse to the tardiness of this blog.  Today was the first day that I didn’t go anywhere in months.  Months.  I know that I confused my poor cat, which couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t jumping out of bed to get ready to go.  While part of me thought it might be good to take this day to get a lot done, the other part of me preferred to do not much.  I did get a few things done, in between naps (I took two!), including a few Duran related items!  First, I hooked up my new blu-ray player in order to be ready for the upcoming release of A Diamond in the Mind.  (By the way, I’m sure that Rhonda will either be entertained or horrified that it took me since the end of April to do this task!)  The second thing I did was to try to catch up on the news front, the Duran news front, that is!  Some of what I found I will be sharing here!

Obviously, part of what I learned about what has been happening in Duranland has to do that upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release.  Apparently, the band announced a digital premiere of it on facebook.  The news release can be read completely here.  I’ll summarize what I understand about it here by using those fantastic journalistic questions of who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who:  Obviously Duran Duran

What: “Duran Duran to stream their latest concert DVD, A Diamond In The Mind with EXCLUSIVE Audio Commentary and LIVE Q&A.”  As I understand it, this commentary and Q&A session will be special to this streaming, which I’m sure is done to encourage viewing.

When:  July 8th at 2 pm EST 
For some people, like me, this would be the first chance to see it and, for others, the DVD will already be available.  Again, though, I guess with the additional commentary and Q&A session, the date isn’t so important.  I do find it interesting that it is on a Sunday afternoon.

Where:  Facebook through some application called Qello.
Is this a case of Duran acknowledging the number of fans on Facebook or a case of them encouraging fans to join facebook?  Both?  No matter, I find it interesting that they are once again acknowledging social networking like they did with the youtube streaming of the show directed by David Lynch last spring. 

How:  This application, Qello, will cost $4.99 for a 30 day all access membership. 
I know nothing about this app, but it appears to be new based on this quote from the news release:  “The program launches June 18th with several weeks of festivities on the Duran Duran Facebook page, including Digital Premiere ticketing, and VIP Ticket and CD giveaways. To promote the Premiere, and make the experience more social, fans that post about the event via Facebook will gain access to a special sneak preview.”
Will this $4.99 be worth it?  Is it lame that they are charging money for this streaming?  Like many other things related to Duran, I find myself assuming that I will be purchasing this app in order to watch, assuming that I can figure out what to do when the time comes!  I’m such a sucker!

Now, if all of that didn’t get you excited for ADITM, my friend, Faby, found a lovely, lengthy preview on youtube, which I will now share with all of you after she shared with me:

Of course, beyond ADITM, there have been TV and radio appearances.  I am focusing here on the TV appearances because I haven’t been able to find many (most) of the radio interviews.  If you know where to find them, please post the link for me and everyone else!  Thanks!  As for the TV appearances, I know that Simon appeared on Loose Women in the UK.  I also read about appearances on Sky Sunrise, ITV Daybreak and CNN.  Again, I completely suck because the only one I could find was Loose Women, which I have included below.

My reaction to this clip was that it was enjoyable despite being like every other interview on TV with the list of successes in the beginning and the video montage, which, of course, included Rio!  I’m not sure what the deal was with the bananas but I like seeing the silly side of Simon!  On a more serious note, one comment I found interesting was when Simon stressed that the band only focused on the songs and not the videos, back in the day.  Of course, I think that they focused on the music more but following that statement up with the intelligence of the managers imply that the managers did everything with the video.  I always had the impression that the band gave input to the videos.  Am I wrong?  Also, on a serious note, I loved the statement about how ADITM was a celebration of being able to sing again.  On a personal level, the UK tour felt like a celebration for me, too!

Now that my blu-ray player is hooked up, I have seen that long preview, and had Simon describe ADITM as a celebration, I’m really ready to see it!!!  I can’t be the only one, right?  Right???? 


Ball of Confusion

Ball of confusion.  While the world might be that way today, that’s the way I am right now, too!  I feel like I have been in the twilight zone for the longest time and that I’m now starting to make my way back to reality.  The twilight zone doesn’t seem to be a very Duran-centric place.  As I have been moving through this alternate reality, I have had glances, glimmers, brief moments of reality that include the latest in Duran happenings.  Reality was flitting, though, and I was unable to really follow what has been going on and what I needed to know, to remember.  Now, obviously, this isn’t the first time that real life has gotten in the way of my life as a Duranie and, obviously, I’m not the only Duranie to be away from Duranland either literally or figuratively!  However, this is the most extended period of time for me since my Duranie spirit was renewed about 8 or 9 years ago.  It also is different because I write a daily blog, for crying out loud!  I’m supposed to know what is going on so that I can comment about whatever it is and how the rest of the fanbase is reacting.  It has gotten so bad that even Rhonda had to call me to ask me if I knew about that contest on DDM to see Duran perform some songs in New York City this upcoming week. 

Now, I am trying to come out of the twilight zone and am trying to come back to reality.  The reality I want to return to contains Duranland.  Here’s is what I know has happened.  I know that Duran was featured on at least one show in the UK.  I haven’t seen the video(s) so I don’t know what was said or who was on the show(s).  I know that there was some announcement about A Diamond in the Mind and facebook.  I haven’t read the details so I can’t comment on that yet, either.  I know that Dom had a birthday and John tweeted about ducks or something.  I know that there was some sort of contest regarding a performance in NYC that I mentioned above.  Next week, the band is supposed to be on Good Morning America, right?  In less than two weeks, I know that the band will begin their summer tour of Europe.  Of course, I also know that I’m supposed to be going on tour in about two months.

This upcoming tour has been a strange one for us to plan.  Part of the reason for this strangeness is how early the shows were announced and the amount of time between that announcement and the ticket sale for many of the shows.  Normally, we have a pretty simple course of action in planning a tour:  decide show(s), buy tickets, get hotel rooms, arrange transportation, set up or join meetups and more.  Now, we have tickets but we are, honestly, still deciding which shows to go to.  We have some hotel rooms and some meetups planned.  Nothing seems to be going in the right order.  Of course, just like with the news in Duranland, I am now coming back to reality.  I now will have the time to talk more with Rhonda to really plan and enjoy that planning, too!  Do you think that Rhonda could just catch me up on everything that has happened in the last few months?  Now, I know that she, too, is busy so I guess I better find another way to deal!

So, fellow fans, I ask you the following questions:  First, what news should I focus on?  What is most important to check out?  Second, where do you recommend I find the latest news?  What sites or resources do you seek out to catch up in Duranland?  Obviously, I’m hoping that with some time to catch up and some time to plan a tour with Rhonda, I can, officially, rejoin reality and instead of being a ball of confusion, I will be the ball of clarity.


Happy Birthday Dom Brown!

One thing that everyone in our fan community should know by now is that no matter how much you try, some secrets simply do not remain secret, whether intended or not! As many know by now, today is Dom Brown’s birthday (no matter how much he might have tried to keep his birthday from getting out!)…and just as Nick celebrated a milestone last week, this week it is Dom’s turn as he turns 40!  Welcome to the club, Dom! The tequila is better on this side…although it will hurt you twice as bad the next morning. How do I know that? Erm….

The first time I saw Dom on stage with Duran Duran, it was back in March of 2005. I believe that at the time, Andy was out sick with the flu, and I won’t lie – I was incredibly disappointed that he wouldn’t be at the show.  It felt very much like it had in the late 80’s and 90’s for me, where I simply tried to ignore that side of the stage and pretend Andy was still there. Of course, out of the corner of my eye I watched Dom that night at the Allstate Arena. He respectfully stood off to the side, in the darkness (no spotlights) and played his part. There was no flash, no personality in the music, although he did smile from time to time as he played. I didn’t pay a ton of attention that night, but I appreciated that someone was there to play because otherwise there wouldn’t have been a show. 
Naturally, that wasn’t the last I saw of Dom on that tour. The next night he played Milwaukee, and although Andy Taylor did come back for part of that year (the last time I saw him play with the band was in Vegas for the Agassi charity gig), Dom played quite a few shows with the band, and then in October of the following year it was announced that he would be the guitar player until further notice. I’ve told the story before of seeing him play at the Sears Center, also in Chicago, and it was that night that I felt he really became part of the band, at least for me.  
Over the years, I’ve seen many a hurtful thing written about Dom, whether it be that he’s not Andy (true), not Warren (also true), or that he doesn’t play well. (Not even remotely close to true) The one thing I can and will say here is that from day one, he’s had an impossibly difficult responsibility to handle. Can you imagine having to replace Andy or Warren?  You’ve got about half the fan community hating you upon first glance and the other half just barely willing to tolerate your presence. Not fun. He’s had an uphill battle the entire way.  I think that’s why I gravitated towards Dom, because I wanted to show him that not all fans were willing to set him aflame in some sort of sacrificial measure to get the guitar player of their choice back in the band. I wanted to give him a chance, and come to find out, I really like him.  
If I used single words to describe Dom, respectful would be at the top of the list. I’ve never once heard him ever utter a single cross word about any band member, present or past.  I’ve also never seen a single sign of disrespect towards fans, who sometimes have been a LOT less than respectful towards him at times; whether that is in regards to his role onstage or just because they think they should be allowed to treat him as a circus animal in person offstage. He seems to have time and a smile for everyone at all times, and that’s refreshing.  
I’ve seen the tide of the fans begin to change towards Dom. At first, I was pretty certain Amanda and I were among the very select few that really liked him, and most wouldn’t even dare to admit that sort of thing. I know we held up the first sign for him at a show (It was at Voodoo in New Orleans), and yes, I’m proud to say that. It’s my one claim to fame and I’m sticking with it! (You can see the sign somewhere in our little slide show that desperately needs updated off to the right) Little by little, I’ve seen more fans take the time to add him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. (Yes, I check. Yes, I need more hobbies.) I hear of less fans wanting to sell their seats at shows in favor of getting a more coveted seat on John’s side of the stage even if it’s farther back. That said, it’s still nice to know that I don’t have to fight 50,000 other fans to get a little wink or a smile from the guy, and I don’t have other girls/women threatening to throttle me for saying he’s my favorite. It’s the little things, you know.
In all honesty, I know he’s not yet an official band member and that for many – that matters.  I know of people who literally refuse to refer to him by name, saying “Who’s that?” whenever his name is mentioned. There are a ton of fans out there that refuse to believe that Andy isn’t coming back, no matter whether that fan rumor about Reportage being released next year is true or not. (I know it says that on Wikipedia. It also says that the world is going to end in 2012.  Do we really need to believe EVERYTHING that is online???) That doesn’t stop Amanda and I from believing that Dom has proven himself worthy of being on that stage, being included in the band, and we support him 100%.
Dom, Amanda & I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, that you take the time to celebrate with your beautiful wife and kids, and just remember that while turning 40 sounds ridiculous….you’re in really good company. (Says Rhonda…the resident 40-something here…)  See you in August!

Under Pressure (Yeah, I know it’s not a Duran song…so sue me!)

I think I’m getting too old for this.

By “this”, I mean the jittery nerves, the white knuckle grip on the dining room table, the constant clicking on “refresh”, and if that weren’t enough….the hyperventilating that happens when sixth row seats land in the cart, all the while thinking that second or first would be better…and that’s just when Amanda does the presales and I’m merely observing the Twitter feed!

This morning I really think I had a near-death experience. There was one point as I was sitting vigil, hitting “refresh” every couple of seconds in the moments before Artist Arena began the presales for both Atlanta and Portsmouth this morning, that I truly felt faint. I could feel the cold, numbness start to seep down over my head and face, and that’s when I realized I had completely. lost. my. mind.

It’s a band. A silly POP band, no less. (Apologies to the band.) This is not brain surgery. I am not going to die if I don’t get good seats to the show. I will still live a very full and productive life if I don’t clap with John, see Simon’s fantastic dance moves or watch Nick take pictures while playing the keyboard at the same time. Somehow in the heat of the moment though, all sanity gets lost in the shuffle.

By 8:58am my time, I was convinced I was going to need an “air sick” bag next to my dining room chair. The pangs of hunger I’d had previously were all but gone, and I could feel the cold sweat begin to break out on my forehead. My stomach was continuing to do cartwheels, and as I continued to hit “refresh”, almost convinced that my connection was down, broken or  being blocked by the Gods of Presale…suddenly tickets went live, and it was then that I thought I should have my cell phone (my mobile phone for those of you in the rest of world) next to me in case my blood pressure finally spiked enough to cause a heart attack, and I truly mean that.

Thankfully (For me. Perhaps not so much for the rest of you out there….), I have lived to see yet another presale should the band be so kind as to continue with another album and tour.  At the very least, Amanda and I have tickets to our own final two shows on this tour. In Atlanta, our reign of terror on poor Dom will undoubtedly continue, as our seats are in the 6th row on his side of the pit. Once again, I apologize. In Portsmouth, Amanda and I were lucky enough to grab third row orchestra center. No, they’re not front row, but I’m counting my blessings that I’m alive to tell about them all the same.  *Whew*

I still say I’m getting too old for this.


Make Me Smile…Hold Back the Rain!!!

My oven appears to have decided to retire.  Either that, or it’s completely dead.  I’m not really sure.  All I know is that it took about 3 hours to roast some vegetables last night, and while I’m all for slow cooking, eating after 8pm is tough when you’ve got kids that have to get up for school the next morning.  I mention this household “ailment” because in the past month, it’s been a pretty ridiculous series of mishaps.  First my refrigerator went down for the count and was fixed for nice tidy sum, and then our cat spent a week in the animal hospital – she’s now one of the more expensive pets we’ve owned.  Last week my the windshield on my beloved car cracked, and then last night it was the oven.

Thankfully, my husband is an electrical engineer and he prides himself on being able to fix just about anything. I, on the other hand, would much prefer to go out and replace the offending appliance – but with the amount of money spent on the aforementioned household issues, fixing the oven seems more appropriate at this juncture.

In the past, I’ve never really felt much guilt in planning a trip to go with friends to see Duran Duran.  I mean of course I’ve worried for the kids and there have been times when I knew I was lucky to be going (thinking back to our UK trips and especially the show in Scotland), but I also felt confident that I deserved the break.  This time, I’m not so sure.

I’ve seen the band a number of times since All You Need is Now was released.  I’ve been to the UK twice, and I have had a lot of fun.  I’ve met more fellow fans than I could have ever imagined possible, and while seeing the band has been outstanding, the experiences I’ve had with new friends is what has truly made being a fan worthwhile.  I really don’t see how one more show, or even three more shows, will really cap this whole album off any better than it already has been done.

The band said something about this tour being the tour of hyperbole.  I haven’t obviously seen every single show, but I definitely know what they mean.  In the smattering of shows I’ve attended, each one seemed better than the last.  Every night seemed outstanding, and while I am sure some folks would say the shows in Australia were best, and others would say that the shows in South America were more outstanding than ever…I think that all of the shows have truly been the best.  I don’t really see how they could get better without my being on stage right next to them…and then again, what fun would that be?  There’s something to be said for John looking down into the crowd and locking eyes with you, to be able to sing and clap along with Simon, or having Dom tower over you while playing certain guitar riffs.  Seeing Nick give a grin that you know is meant just for you doesn’t hurt, and of course having Roger occasionally stand and smile makes the entire show.  Or is that just me?  Don’t get me started on Hungry Like the Wolf, either…

It’s not as though I don’t feel like I need a bit of a break, it’s that I know that it would be easier for everyone else if I just stayed home.  There is always that nagging sense of guilt when I plan getaways for myself, and knowing that I’ve already had such wonderful trips out make me feel as though going away again is just selfish.

As I type, I’m already considering what my ticket options will be tomorrow for the presales. (Atlanta and Portsmouth Virginia)  I know I’ve yet to figure out my airfare, and we’ve still got to look into a rental car.  We have a meet up planned in Durham that sounds like it’s going to be amazing, and we’re hoping to do similar parties in Atlanta and Portsmouth as well.

I sure hope nothing else breaks around here.


A Matter of Feeling (and perspective!)

For the past couple weeks we’ve enjoyed driving our friends crazy with questions such as “If you were deserted on an island, what ten Duran Duran songs would you want with you?”  It’s been very fun reading the responses and having people curse at us for making them choose. (it’s really Amanda you’re cursing at though – these questions are her gig!) Yes, it can be painful to choose!  

For this week, Amanda decided to ask what ten DD songs you would NOT want to hear live.  I love these questions, mainly because I laugh when I read the answers.  It’s all in fun, right?  It’s not a personal affront to the band when we ask that – because although they are very kind to themselves and swear they don’t have favorites or songs they get tired of playing…I think they’re either fibbing again or they’re as alien as Nick Rhodes.    I would bet my RCM album that if I got one or more of them alone in a dark corner that they’d admit there’s at least one song they’d like to ditch for a while.  (no comments about the dark corner.  You all have YOUR nasty little fantasies and I’ve got mine!)  
Interesting enough though, some fans take it all so incredibly seriously.  While most people can certainly separate the difference in poking fun for fun’s sake or even being blunt that we’ve heard enough of certain songs to last ourselves a lifetime, there are some who insist that if you don’t love every single song as though it were your own firstborn that you simply must not be a fan.  Some are even a bit more violent.  To those few, I say perspective can be your friend.
Newsflash: you’re still a fan if you, like me, would rather go get a drink than have to listen to Hungry Like the Wolf again.  Dom Brown and his onstage delightful antics aside, of course.  (Oh wait…that’s probably just me that enjoys that sort of thing…and that’s OK…I can accept that.  It’s a tough job.)  
One thing Amanda and I have noticed since way back in our days of being on message boards is that we can go months touting the successes of the band, lavishing praise upon them and never hear a word from anyone.  Let us say one slightly negative comment, and people come out of the woodwork with hoods and pitchforks at the ready.  Fans absolutely hate to hear less than wonderful things about this band, and yet they’ve said it themselves – they’re not perfect.  Neither are any of us, and I’m really kind of OK with that.  My gosh, I make mistakes on a pretty much hourly basis around here.  I even posted a blog a few weeks ago that was about one band and named yet an entirely different band in the blog.  I’m amazing!!  It happens, and I laugh a lot at myself.  Sometimes I even cringe and worry that someone important (i.e. ALL OF YOU!) read my mistake, then I remind myself that I’m not trying to save lives here, and that this isn’t about world domination.  Well, at least that’s the story Amanda and I stick to publicly.    My point is simply that it’s OK to not love every single thing the band does and you’re not going to have that Duranie card taken away by the mere mention that you’d prefer if they never played Save a Prayer live again.  
Conversely, we as fans probably need to make more of a reminder to ourselves that others (i.e. people who are not nearly as besotted by the band) have a right to their own opinions.  Even I feel that knee jerk reaction to send a nastygram to folks who dare to say less-than-stellar comments about this band – I’m human.  We have to learn to stop ourselves, or at least take a moment to slow down before threatening violence (I wish I were kidding).  The truth is, people are going to keep hating.  It’s what they do, and all you and I can really do is spend our energy doing the things that matter most to us…and using negative energy trying to sell this band to people who refuse to get it just isn’t the best use of our unbridled enthusiasm. 
Speaking of enthusiasm, we are putting out another call for guest blogs!!  We would love to hear your own story of how you became a Duranie.  Tell us about your very first show, or your first experience meeting the band.  What about a story behind your favorite DD song, picture, video…or relate a childhood memory to the band!  Summer is coming, and we’d love to run some blogs from all of you!  If you’ve got something you’d like us to read and print – send it to dailyduranie@gmail.com  along with a thumbnail picture of yourself and a short bio.  We want to read your stories!  

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!