The Top 10 Reasons Why I Won’t Be At Coachella this year (and conversely, the top 10 reasons why every Duranie SHOULD be there!!)

This has been a heavy week on the blog, so I decided to lighten things up a bit for today.  It’s good to laugh sometimes, right? I’ve had a few Duranies ask if I’m going to Coachella, and after I finish laughing and catch my breath, I calmly tell them no.  They always ask why….and so I’ve compiled a list for your reading pleasure.  However, I also am a firm believer that this is a fantastic opportunity for the band (again, see how my glass is half empty, but there’s still vodka left in there – and even an olive or two – which in my mind is very positive!), so in a style not completely unlike Mr. Nick Rhodes – I will give my reasons a good spin!

*********************disclaimer alert**************************
Before beginning, this is a reminder that the list is made in jest!  It’s meant to be fun, it’s really not meant to talk anyone out of going (except maybe to remind me, the author, of what would be waiting for me if I should get tempted.  *wink, wink*)…it’s all in fun, which we so desperately need from time to time.  Go ahead and chuckle, no one will take your Duranie card away, I promise!
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My List:
10.  IT’S A FESTIVAL!!  This means shortened set lists.  I’m a big believer in a full set list, especially when we’re talking about Duran Duran.

9.  THE LINE-UP!!  I’m not going to lie here.  There are a ton of bands in this lineup that I don’t know, and quite honestly – don’t care a thing about.  Yeah, tell me all about how I should broaden my horizons, and I’d agree – but I’d sooner start doing it in the comfort of my own home.

8. PORT-A-POTTIES!!  I don’t think you’ve really lived until you’ve had to wait over an hour to be able to utilize a port-a-potty, and yes – they really are everything (and more) that you’ve worked them up to be in your mind.  The trouble here is that I’ve already been there, done that….AND I’ve waited up to 9 hours before finding a facility just so that I didn’t lose my place in the crowd of hell waiting for the band to play. (see #3 below….)

7. LACK OF FOOD!!  Seriously, do you think you’re going to leave the crowd waiting for the band to perform in order to grab some grub??  Think again….unless you do what I did for Inland Invasion back in 2003 and sit in the very back, which is not a very Duranie place to be when the band is onstage!

6. THE SUN!!!  This festival is out just past Palm Springs, people.  It’s nothing for temps to be over 90 degrees (F) during that time of year, and it happens regularly.  If you don’t think you’re going to be dying for shade for at least part of the day, I’ve got real news for you.  Yeah, you may have been lucky one year, or for even a FEW years….eventually luck runs out and then what?  SPF 50 won’t save your soul here…

5. TOUR TIME IS COMING!!  This is where I’m placing my bets this year.  I’ve heard all sorts of things about how the band can’t/won’t play an LA date due to this Coachella festival.  I have no idea if any of it is true, but MY cards are on the UK this year.  Anything else for me is a bonus…especially if it’s not a festival!

4. TWO WORDS: MOSH PIT!!  I went to Voodoo in New Orleans when Duran Duran played there.  My cohorts and I thought we were so smart.  We didn’t pay for those silly old VIP tickets, we just got there early, spread out a nice blankie to hang out on and wait the day out in.  All was good until the band before My Chemical Romance came on.  Then suddenly we were inundated with people….and even better, when My Chemical Romance *did* come on, the pushing, shoving and crowd surfing started.  All of my GA stance skills were put to the test that day, and I’m sorry to say they sorely failed me.  I was kicked, punched, shoved and scratched.  All in the name of a mosh pit and crowd surfing.  Hey, I’m alive to tell all about it though, there is that.  🙂

Here’s some photographic evidence of the joy that was the beginning of our day (I’m not actually in this photo -which means I’m likely to upset a few people by posting this…including my writing partner, Amanda…that’s OK.  I’ll take the risk):

3. THE CROWD!!!  For somethings, only pictures will suffice.  This was shortly before My Chemical Romance started if I remember correctly:

2. SWEAT!!!  Call me a purist, but I just don’t think that the sweat from someone else’s armpit should EVER be smooshed across another persons face unless he or she specifically requested said smooshing.  (smooshed and smooshing are in fact words, mainly because I said so, thank you.)  Yet another joy of festivals that I have lived through and am now able to joyfully share with my reading audience.  Oh, and in case there’s some question here – no, I did not request the smooshing, and no, I did not know the person who did it.  However,  I did introduce myself to them afterwards, just because I felt that if we were going to start sharing bodily fluids freely – it was high time to do so.  😀

1. ANOTHER TWO WORDS: HAMSTER BALL!!!  Until the day arrives that Simon puts himself into a hamster ball like the one I have pictured here and starts walking over the audience – I’m not bothering with another festival.  When he gets the ball going, let me know – I want to be there to take pictures of that nonsense!

And now, in true Nick Rhodes fashion – I will turn all of my “my glass of vodka is half empty” into reasons why Coachella is *the* place to be for the band!!  (If you’re wondering why I keep referring to Nick – it’s because he is truly the King of PR Spin for this band.  Need evidence?  Watch every video and interview leading up to the release of Red Carpet Massacre.)  I aspire to spin as well as Nick.  If the band doesn’t work out, I’m thinking PR would be a good back up plan….

I digress….

Top 10 Reasons why every Duran fan SHOULD be at Coachella!!

10.  ITS A FESTIVAL!!  It’s a really big concert over three days.  If that’s not a party….what really is?!?

9. THERE ARE A LOT OF BANDS THERE TO DISCOVER!!!  While we all know Duran Duran is *the* band on the bill, there are a lot of other bands to listen to, learn about and listen to when they’re in the studio for 5 years working on the next album!

8. PORT-A-POTTIES!!!  Who needs bathrooms – you need something quick, and there will be tons of those port-a-potties available.  Grab yourself a Depend and be on your way, man!   Besides that, who needs to take time out for that sort of thing and lose your place in the masses??  Start limiting that fluid intake now…..

7. FOOD?  WHO NEEDS FOOD??!!  As Amanda and I well know, food isn’t necessary.  It’s all about the music!!

6. IT’S A DRY HEAT!!!  No really, it is.  You won’t even notice that it’s 90 degrees outside when you’re amongst 80,000 of your new best friends anyway.

5. THE TOUR IS COMING – IT’S THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER FOR THE BAND!!  Nothing marks the beginning of summer like a festival, and this one marks the beginning of the tour!  What a great way to “warm up” for fans than to play in front of a huge, welcoming crowd at Coachella, that way they’ll be ready to go when they start playing regular concert dates!

4. TWO WORDS: MOSH PIT!!!  How many of you have actually seen a mosh pit at Duran Duran show?  Here’s your chance!!  😀

3. CROWD!!  There’s nothing that will energize the band more than looking out and seeing 80,000 people screaming for them.  What a great place to share that energy!  The band needs that after being in the studio for so long!

2. SWEAT!!  What is sexier than sharing sweat amongst new friends – and what could possibly be more entertaining for the band than looking out and seeing that sort of craziness going on?  It’s like a massive sweat orgy…

*trying to cast aside THAT visual….*

1. THE POSSIBILITY OF SEEING SIMON IN A HAMSTER BALL!!!

Ok really.  Who doesn’t want to see that?  I don’t believe you.   😉

See, all in fun!?!  If you didn’t at least crack a smile don’t blame me.  Go get yourself a sense of humor.  Have a good weekend everyone – I hear tour dates are imminent so next week is liable to be a barrage of “What?!?  Why are they playing __________ and not ____________”  (there might even be cursing involved….)

-R

Patience is a Virtue and other lessons of the day….

Last night, I was watching V with my family, and since it started to completely gross me out and disgust me (stay with me….), I grabbed my laptop and figured I could get some work done.  Ha.  I should have known better, really.  I hopped onto twitter only to find Mr. John Taylor spouting some sort of nonsense about sticking around for the “Official” Coachella announcement (because that clearly wasn’t obvious enough for me to understand that while John had also told us all – liar liar pants on fire – it was very “unlikely” for them to play Coachella, they really WERE playing!)  I’ve got your number now, mister….  It really was *unlikely* for them to ever play Coachella, but it was also really *unlikely* that they’d ever reunite with Andy again…and they did.  *sigh*   I really need to learn how to translate Duranspeak better than I currently do.  🙂  It wasn’t long after I tweeted back that yeah, he also had to stick around so that I and 3000 other buddies of his could give him a rough time playing Coachella after telling us that it was unlikely that he said Night Tweeties.  (oh John, you’re a funny one, aren’t ya?)  I won’t go into the number of times I refreshed dd.com until it was FINALLY announced that yes, Duran Duran is playing Coachella on April 17th…nor will I go into the myriad of reasons why I am not going.  No really, I’m not going.  Festivals and I are not friends.  Regardless, I do think it’s a fantastic opportunity for them, and while I do have some serious reservations – I will keep those to myself until after the rest of the tour is announced.  John says those dates are coming next week….we will see.

While bantering to John, I my mind wandered to a written “conversation” I’d had earlier in the day with Amanda.  I’m currently working on a chapter for the book about Facebook and Twitter, and I’m brainstorming the topics that I would like to cover.  I have quite a list going, but one thing we wrote back and forth about was that because of the fact there are so many of us who have been fans since our early teens or even earlier, many of us feel as though we know them.  I would argue that yes, we do know them – we know exactly what they wish for us to know about them.  The trouble is, and I think this is a common side-effect for any long term fan, we tend to feel as though there’s a relationship between the band and ourselves, and of course – as we know once we stop long enough to think about it – it’s truly just one sided.  As I’ve mentioned before, the band doesn’t have the foggiest idea who I am.  (probably a good thing)  I will say that I’ve been to a few shows in my day, and I’ve had the opportunity to be near the front enough to gain their attention. (I’ve been taught how to clap properly to Red Carpet Massacre by John, I’ve also sang with him a time or two…I’ve had Roger attempt to throw a stick to me, and I’ve laughed right along with Dom).  That said, they don’t really know me.  I can’t imagine any of them would recognize me, and I know they don’t know my name.  I might think that I know them, but the truth is – if they saw me on the street they’d walk right past me – and rightfully so.  What really adds to the confusion of where the line between fan and friend really lies is the premise of social networking.  Sites such as Facebook and Twitter initially began as ways to maintain friendship.  You add “friends” to your facebook account, and you follow people on twitter.  At one point, celebrities didn’t really utilize either facebook OR twitter – it was about friends.  So now, we’ve got Duran Duran on facebook; John and Roger are on facebook, as is Dom….and we’ve got Dom, John & Simon on Twitter.  Even I have a hard time remembering that these guys don’t KNOW me.  I’m bantering AT them as though I’m giving a friend a hard time. (as opposed to WITH them, because, let me be honest here – they’ve never retweeted something I’ve said or even acknowledged me at all)  I would never openly tell the guys they should stop coming to facebook or twitter, absolutely not – but I do need to remind myself from time to time that I’m just a fan.  I’m one of…well…a LOT of people out there.  I suppose this topic does tie in a bit with the validation topic from yesterday, but it’s an interesting facet of what social networking sites have done to change or evolve the definitions of celebrity and fan.

Which brings me to patience, of which I have very, very little.  Not sure if any of you caught that yet. Twitter is great in that we get almost instant gratification since it takes place in “real time” – but that 140 character limit thing can be a problem.  Then there’s facebook, which is much more an “at your leisure” sort of thing.  Messages can sit in my inbox for as long as I wish, I can reply at length, and the pace is less frantic.  In the past week, Amanda and I have expanded our horizons to include a new facebook page for Daily Duranie, and quite honestly I’m amazed at the differences in the fans so far.  There are people we’ve befriended that are active both on facebook and twitter, and then there are people who seem to stay mainly on twitter and mainly on facebook. What’s really fascinating to the two of us, being the social science observers we are – is that the types of fans we find in either place truly differ quite a bit!  It is a bit early for to draw conclusions on what I’ve seen so far, but it’s fascinating that the mechanics behind each of the social networking sites attract different types of fans altogether. I suppose it makes sense, but very interesting, nonetheless.  Are you a patient fan, or more like me where you want it all yesterday?  🙂

-R

Validation

As I’ve mentioned in many, many blogs now – I’ve been a fan since 1981.  Probably not unlike many of you out there.  It all began with one song played on a local radio station (KROQ), and I’ve honestly loved them ever since.  It’s not as though Duran Duran have been the only band I’ve ever loved or enjoyed, but for me they’re the one band I will literally move mountains to figure out a way to go and see when they tour.  I just don’t have the time or energy to do that for every other band I like, and I’ve learned that I have to prioritize, as much as I might not like it.  I don’t follow other bands as closely as I do Duran Duran, and rest assured in case you were wondering, no, I don’t blog for any of them either!

I think part of my long term love is that at the time I became aware of who Duran Duran was, I was an adolescent…I was almost 12 at the time, and so I suppose you could say that Duran Duran took me through puberty.  (wow)  It would be fair to say that they were the first real “crushes” I had, and yes, I must use the plural on that because the truth is, I had crushes on each one of them over the years.  Some crushes lasted far longer than others (Roger by a landslide), and some were just fleeting (let’s just say I had a thing for Simon while he was in Arcadia), but at this point I’ve settled into being fond of all of them.  To have been a fan for as long as a lot of us have been at this point, I think it’s fair to say that they’ve been a big part of our lives for a long time – and that’s really something when you consider that most of us have had very little chance to ever really get to know them past their music.  I don’t know any of them on a personal level (and I’m not saying that I should…read on.), but yet I feel like the band is a close friend in some sense.  It’s an odd sort of “relationship”, for lack of a better word.  I’m as thrilled as anyone else when I see any of them take the time to truly talk to the fans.  We’ve come quite a long way since the days of staring into the posters on our walls, getting no real reply beyond the melody of their music, haven’t we?  Or have we?

By any account, 30 years is a long time.  My kids think it’s practically eternity.  I can understand that – when I was a teenager, I thought that 25 was old! (wow was I ever wrong!)  I feel incredibly lucky to still have the time, energy and concern to follow the same band that I did back when I was the same age as my son is now – and what’s really funny is that I look at him and realize that my gosh, when I was his age, I was already completely head over heels for Duran Duran.  They’d already served as the wallpaper for my bedroom! That’s unreal.  My oldest is about to turn 14, and at her age I was just about to suffer the heartbreak of watching Roger and Andy leave the band.  At that point, I don’t think I ever even considered what it meant to feel validated.  I just knew I loved the music, and their job was to make the music, and mine was to buy it along with everything else I could…to show the world I loved them.  At that age, I highly doubt I even gave it much thought, really.  It was a simple system.  I hadn’t ever met the band, I hadn’t ever gone to a show; in fact the closest I’d ever come at that point in time was getting their video album on VHS.  (a glorious moment indeed)  I think that during that time, my validation came from other friends – my friends still loved Duran Duran, and I knew I was a good fan because I had far more posters on my wall, records in my collection, etc. etc. than they did.  😀  Ah, the joys of being young.

So in todays world, what does validation really mean, and what importance does it really have?

For some fans, I think that validation isn’t any more or less than a great album or a fantastic concert.  For others, they want to make their fandom into a career of sorts in order to validate the time and energy they’ve spent.  (who me?!?)   For still others, they want that interaction, that acknowledgement from the band.  They want to know that they haven’t been a fan for X amount of years in VAIN.  They not only believe that the band should take the time to acknowledge their fans, but they also believe that they deserve that interaction.  They’ve waited many years between daydreaming lovingly into Simon’s eyes as they stare at the poster on their walls to actually reading tweets from him on Twitter – and they want their moment.  For the coveted few, they might get answered; but for the majority – it’s you and the poster, baby.

Sometimes I wonder what it all looks like from the bands point of view.  Several years back when I was working for Clear Static, the guys would tell me that Duran Duran’s fans were VERY overwhelming to them.  One of them used to tell me that when the fans would come at him after a show (which we did tend to do),  he would feel as though he couldn’t breathe, and not because he was claustrophobic, but because the feeling of desperation would suck all of the air and energy out of the room.  These statements were very hard for me to take in, purely because I was and am a Duranie, but I understand what they meant.  One of them told me that he pictured the situation like a huge cage fight where a box of jewelry (listen, my thing is jewelry, but this could be anything…food, money, John Taylor….whatever!) was dumped into the center of the cage and the Duranies would be fighting to get to the jewelry before it was all gone.  I took offense to this characterization to begin with, but now…I totally get it.  I can’t really argue it isn’t that way.  When you see the way it is after a show at a bar if the band has been spotted there, or if you watch twitter when John or Simon make an appearance and send out tweets, it’s our reality.

One could argue that fandoms exist at least partially because of the desperate need to feel validated.  Of course, this feeling differs in each individual, and there is a fine line between a fan who would just like a simple wave hello, and a fan that relies on constant validation as a source of self-esteem.  It’s the same fine, yet sometimes blurred line that divides fan from fanatic.

-R

So What’s This All About Anyway?

There are days, and then there are days.  After a night where I believe I got less than 3 solid hours of sleep, NOT BY CHOICE…sometimes you just have to take stock in what you’ve got going on, and be good with it.  This, my friends, is one of those days for me.   I’m sick with some strain of influenza that has decided not to let go of me just yet – courtesy of my youngest.  I’ve been sick for a week now, last week being just a bad sore throat and exhaustion and now today the congestion has hit.  It’s a wonderful day to be a blogger, and a Duranie…and a parent…but that’s another subject for another blog.

I believe we’ve been at this blog now for a bit less than 110 days – I can’t remember the exact figure in this moment.  The plan was simple: write a short article every day about being fans of Duran Duran.  It could be a commentary on the news from the fan perspective (as opposed to being unbiased reporting), it could be about a