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

Emotional

I’m feeling emotional today.  Part of it definitely has to do with being exhausted from work but part of it has to do with today being the last of 4 rehearsal shows for Duran.  It sounds like the show ended a short time ago and from everything I have heard it was another smashing success!  I have seen a lot of tweets in all caps about how amazing it was, including a tweet from JT indicating that they were ready for the US part of the tour.  This, of course, is such good news.  Part of me has been definitely holding my breath, hoping that everything would be okay but trying to prepare myself for things not to go well.  All signs are pointing that everything is back on track, which means that plans can move forward.  Obviously, I love having something to look forward to and there is nothing better than having Duran shows to look forward to!  The success of these shows also indicate that Simon really is better and able to perform again!  Honestly, I didn’t know if that was going to be the case.  I’m thrilled that the shows will go on and that it seems like we can enjoy Duran for a little while longer!  That said, I am not going to lie and say that I am as excited as I could and probably should be but let me explain.

Earlier today, the Daily Duranie received pictures and updates from many of our new friends, from people we had met in the UK in May.  I loved seeing pictures of them all excited and was generally thrilled for them!  Yet, a part of me couldn’t help but to be a bit sad.  Again, maybe this is because of work and things related to that.  I think, though, it has to do with the fact that I wish that I was there.  Yes, I’m sure that there are many, many, many people who feel the exact same thing.  I think I’m feeling it intensely because these rehearsal shows were in the UK, the exact place that Duran had to cancel first.  Those cancellations includes four shows that I held tickets for.  4 shows that I flew across an ocean for.  I would have loved to have celebrated the return of Duran with the people I had met and became friends with as well.

I have attended many Duranie get togethers and parties, including a number of them before shows.  The London party we organized with Kitty from Gimme a Wristband was a first for me.  That night will forever be etched into my brain.  I remember how determined we all were to make the best of the night.  We still tried to have fun and we did, for the most part.  Yet, there was this cloud of sorts in that we had learned that the shows were canceled.  The future was unknown.  This cloud was filled with a bit of grief and a bit of fear.  Honestly, I feel a special bond with those people who I met and partied with that night.  We all experienced something together.  I remember how most of us seemed to have a moment at some point during that night.  For many of us, those moments seem to take place when a Duran song was playing and when we were dancing.  Those moments were the realization that we had lost something.  At the time, we identified that lost as a canceled show to two but now I know more.  Yes, now Duran seems to have returned and, for that, I’m extremely grateful for but we lost was more than shows and it won’t be returned as easily as Simon’s voice.  I don’t think we will ever be so carefree again when it comes to Duran.

We have all learned that we should appreciate Duran now because nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow (pun intended).  In this case, we now understand on both an intellectual level AND on an emotional level that Duran will not go on forever.  It could end tomorrow.  Yes, of course, the band may be able to continue without any other problem for a long time.  Obviously, I hope so.  Yes, the longer things go without a problem, the more secure it will all feel.  I doubt, though, that I will ever really be able to forget how I felt that night partying with my friends and fellow Duranies at the Reflex club in London. 

So, I guess I wish that I could have experienced something wonderful with all of them after sharing that tough night with them back in May.  I know that we are planning on meeting up again in December but that isn’t soon enough for me.  I have been really patient, I think, but now, I don’t know that I will be.  I still have 6 weeks until I will see the band in Chicago but a long time before I see my new friends.  While I’m looking forward to the show in Chicago, I don’t think it will be the same as when I see the band in the UK.  Maybe then, when I see them on stage there with my new friends, I will feel like I got back what I thought might be lost.  Maybe then, everything will be right again. 

-A

Friday Night Videos: Daily Duranie Style Part 3

I apologize that the blog is late today.  I am struggling with getting back into a groove with work, which has been kicking my ass.  After work today, I ran an errand and decided to allow myself a little nap.  Somehow, the alarm got turned off and the next thing I know it was an hour and a half later.  Think I was tired?  Anyway, working late hours and taking a nap equals a late blog!  Sorry.  On to happier topics, it is time for the Daily Duranie’s Friday Night Videos, or our weekly video challenge. 

Here are the answers to last week’s questions!
11. Which video has the crowd in 3D glasses?
Answer:  Too Much Information

12. In which video does two different women throw the same red glove?
Answer:  Election Day by Arcadia

13. This video demonstrates that remote controls don’t always work!
Answer:  Electric Barbarella

14. Which video shows milk being spilled?
Answer:  Get It On by Power Station

15. This video features tribal dancing.
Answer:  Lonely in Your Nightmare

16. What video shows Steve Ferrone on drums and Nile Rodgers on guitar?
Answer:  Notorious

17. Which video does Nick pull petals off of a rose twice?
Answer:  The Promise by Arcadia

18. Which video shows John putting on a tie?
Answer:  Feelings Are Good by John Taylor

19. In which video does Simon look like he needs lunch since he is carrying around a fork?
Answer:  Is There Something I Should Know?

20. If you’ve been reading our blog, you know that Rhonda didn’t realize that Roger was in this video until recently?
Answer:  Perfect Day

Thank you to those people who played and sent in answers, whether those answers were 2 or 10!  Here are the next 10 questions!  Remember videos will not be used twice so the answers listed above and the answers to last week’s challenge cannot be used for this week’s answers.   Also, please, send us your answers via our email (dailyduranie@gmail.com), direct message on twitter, private message on facebook or a comment here! Happy video watching!!!

21.  Which video shows a band playing in a darkened room except for a row of small, square windows?

22.  Which videos does it appear that Nick’s makeup gets messed up by a pair of hands?

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

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

25.  In which video does Simon end up in a bathtub?

26.  Which video takes place in a courtroom where funk is on trial?

27.  A red walkman takes center stage as the villian in this video.

28.  This video shows Roger in a bed.  Is there anyone else IN the video because Rhonda didn’t notice? 

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

30.  Which video shows a bird sitting on a person’s shoulder and then on a person’s head?

Cambridge, they’re coming for ya!

Happy Thursday!!  I feel a weekend coming on…

Before I launch into the blog, I have to give a short update on my son.  After “suggesting” that he remove himself from my vehicle yesterday in order to go to school (No really, I told him to get out of the car, otherwise I think we’d still be sitting there in the parking lot), he made it through the first day without incident.  Of course, the real test will be today…and the next 179 school days or so…  😉  You’d think I was back to taking my kindergartener for the first day of school. (for my readers who live outside of the US – it’s our first “real” year of school here for the public school system.  Prior to that is preschool, or nursery school as some call it.  Kids in the US are typically about 5 when they go to kindergarten.)  I feel a little silly, but at least I care.  He’ll be fine!

So tonight is the Cambridge show.  I know people who are already in the line, or queue (I love that word for Scrabble!) to get in to the show.  I can’t wait to hear how it went and what was played.  It’s the first night of three shows, and as much as I’m curious about tonight, honestly I’ll be more curious about the 3rd show since this will truly be a real trial for Simon.  He’ll know exactly what to expect while he’s on tour, and I’m hoping it will be an accurate indicator of his vocal chord health.  

I read a short article on Simon just this morning, thanks to Amanda who shared with me.  Here is the link for the rest of you: Simon .  In the article, Simon says his voice is back on form but the experience as a whole was “demoralizing”. (apologies for the US spelling…)  This wasn’t really a surprise to me, as from the beginning (meaning back when I was in the UK in May, particularly the day that they rehearsed and Simon came out to talk to those of us who were standing outside), I contemplated more so about how he must have felt than anything else.  That one day really made Simon seem so much more human…more mortal to me, than any thing else.  I have to liken it…to some small extent anyway…to the day that I was with my father  when he was told the seriousness of his lung disease.  It’s hard to describe other than to say that up until that point, my dad was sort of like a super hero to me.  He was Superman, and then suddenly I realized he could no longer move mountains or “save” me.  To me, Simon was the rather obnoxious frontman on stage.  The guy who acted as though of course we should love him, how dare we not!   As much as I love the band, I never loved that attitude much.  Some love that about him, and that’s OK.  That day in May changed my thoughts completely.  I’ve never seen Simon so humble, even during a moment where he could have EASILY played it all off as not being a big deal – that you know, that’s just the way it goes and the fans are just going to have to wait.  So what that people flew from all over the world to see them, right?  Well, that’s what I would have expected.  Simon made the point to come out to the sidewalk to talk to all of us, and I’ve never seen him so much like a regular person.  He almost looked and sounded broken, and definitely completely disappointed.  I’ll never forget that because contrary to what every fan might think,  he didn’t have to show us that side.  He could have played it off, never apologizing, never thinking twice about any of us out there.  Simon the frontman might have, but this Simon did not.  Was that a mistake?  No.  It’s never a mistake to be human.  The whole way through this long process of healing, I’ve wondered how much Simon worried about never getting all of his notes back.  It’s one thing to be laid off (made redundant) from work, or to change careers entirely, or to even have your instrument break and have to get a new one.  It’s a different story when that instrument is YOU and it’s all you’ve ever done.  I guess you learn never to take such things for granted – and yet it would seem to be so incredibly easy to do so when it’s your own voice.  What a real lesson to be learned.

I hope the folks in Cambridge have a great time rocking it out with the band tonight.  Be sure to send Daily Duranie a word letting us know how it all goes!!  -R

Round 2, coming up!!

Good morning!!  Please excuse the short Daily Duranie for today…it’s a nutty day in my house so far.  As most know, it’s the first day of school, and I’m about to find out just how “wonderful” it’s going to be spending my afternoons driving to and from school pickups.  I’d post my schedule for all of you – but I don’t want to scare anyone, including myself, away.  🙂

So the GQ awards were yesterday, and the band was looking mighty fine in their tuxes as they went in to accept their Lifetime Achievement award.  I’m still amused by the fact that if any of them could see me on any given day, they would likely yank my “Duranie” card right out of my hand. (I’m referring to the completely fictional membership card we all have as Duran Duran fans.  This is not to be confused, of course, with the absolutely real membership card one receives if they choose to fork over the now $55.00 a year to be a “Gold” member of DDM….)  Fashion amuses me, mainly because I’m about as casual and probably fashion challenged as they get.  I don’t have the time, energy or money…but yet I follow a band that arguably has hung much of their career on being fashion icons. (whether that was intentional or just coincidence!)  But, until Nick kicks me out…I’m here for the duration!  One thing that knocked me off of my chair was seeing the picture of Roger with his absolutely stunning and grown up daughter Ellea.  It wasn’t the fact that she is every bit as beautiful as her mother and father combined (and she genuinely is a perfect mix of the two in her looks!), it’s that she is quite obviously grown UP.  When did that happen?!?  I swear I was just looking at a photo of her with her mom when she was about 13… Unbelievable.  I guess it’s very similar to my experience with my oldest.  I am pretty sure when I put her to bed last night she was still 3.  Or wait….maybe that was my youngest!  🙂    That must have been a very proud moment for Roger to have Ellea on his arm and I thought it was very sweet.  The band were well deserved in their honor and from the sounds of it, they’ve had very busy days since their Bournemouth show.

Tomorrow is their next show, this time in Cambridge.  Then they follow up with two more shows in a row – Bristol on the 9th and finally Oxford on the 10th.  I would imagine this is going to give Simon (along with the rest of us) a very good idea of what touring is going to be like this time around.  Naturally I’m wishing the band the best, and hoping that it all works out as planned.  Funny how even a year ago the thoughts that something could go wrong wouldn’t have crossed my mind, and now I’m actually waiting until the weekend is over before finally booking my airfare to Chicago and the UK.  My carefree days of travel are over in many ways I suppose – although I still have longings to see the band in as many places as possible, I’m not sure that I would ever book a ticket without considering the circumstances at hand.  I miss those moments, but I really do look forward to seeing the band live once again.

With that, I’m off to begin this first day of school!  As a personal update – my son, the middle schooler, absolutely refused to get up out of bed (although he’s now up and dressed), so we’ll see how this all goes.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing updates!!

-R

One last day

It’s always nice when the “work” week begins on a Tuesday.   I woke up feeling somber and melancholy, longing for easier days.  I received some very sad news last night – my closest friend from college let me know that her father passed away that morning.  This was especially difficult to hear because for one year during school, I nearly lived at this girl’s home.  Her parents took me in and treated me as I were their own, and I mean that.  They made sure I ate, that I felt comfortable, and I even had a key for a while.  They didn’t need to do that – I did have a home of my own, but it was a fairly long drive from school and while I didn’t necessarily mind the commute, their home was much closer to Cal State Fullerton as a whole, and of course I was the best friend/sorority sister of their daughter.  Her dad was a very nice, very humble man who was already retired by the time we were in college.  As I recall he worked in the aerospace industry as an engineer (I would swear that everyone in my life as I grew up worked in that industry at one point or another), and I’ve always wondered if he and my father-in-law ever crossed paths, but I’ve never actually found out.  Janell and I eventually drifted apart due to a silly argument back during my last year of school, but I’ve never forgotten the kindness of her parents.  It broke my heart to hear the news last night, and of course my thoughts and prayers are with my “adopted” family.

This is also the final day of summer for my 12 year old son, who will begin middle school tomorrow morning.  He’s very nervous (as am I) – it’s hard enough to be 12 and go to middle school, but to top that off with having to start down one friend due to a sudden move over the summer and a bit of social awkwardness (and braces), it’s bound to be nerve wracking.  As for the mom, I’m just nervous because I’ve already had some challenges with the school over some items in his 504 plan. (My son carries a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism – which in his case requires just a few classroom accommodations – hence the “504 plan”)  The bottom line is that I want him to do well, just as any other parent would want, and I don’t care to use his plan as a crutch, but I do expect it to be respected and followed.  Simple.  Yet not so much.  *sigh*  Anyway, tomorrow is the big day.  My youngest starts preschool again as well, but somehow that’s not nearly as scary!

Middle school is a big step, and I remember my first day very well.  Middle school began in 6th grade for me, which is a year younger than my son.  I was actually 10 years old when school started that year (I have a November birthday). I’d already decided what I would wear, at the time not realizing that no matter what I chose, I would never look nearly as cool or put together as the 8th graders, and I was probably going to be ridiculed for not wearing a “designer” label on my jeans.  That would become an almost every day issue as the year went on…   Honestly I was shocked when I walked on to campus for the first time.  It was the first year I’d had my own locker, and I can remember being awake for much of the entire night before the first day of school, worrying about what I would do if I couldn’t remember the combination or get my locker to work right – those silly combination locks were sometimes touchy!  As I entered the hallways lined with lockers, the swarm of kids was nearly impossible to navigate, and while I was excited to see any face I recognized from elementary school, it was clear that school was never again to be the safe, friendly place it once was.  I remember seeing kids kissing around campus for the first time, and my shock at their open affection for one another.  I suppose I was a bit sheltered, but shouldn’t any kid be at 10?  It was only as I grew to the point where I knew my way around campus along with where to hang out at lunch (back by the band room) and where to avoid (the girls bathrooms at ANY point of the day and yes – that made for some very interesting RUNS home after school – thank goodness I only lived a block away!) that made the school year bearable by any means.  I stuck to my circle of friends, found a common interest in some sort of crazy rock band with a silly name, and spent my days wondering how I could meet and marry a drummer that was a good ten years older than I.   Thank goodness for Duran Duran, because in the three year period where I felt the least like any of my fellow 6th, 7th or 8th graders, I focused more on the band, less on my own awkward moments. (which were plenty!!)   Good times!

I’m sure my son will eventually get the hang of middle school.  The situation at our school is fairly unique in that it’s only 2 grades of kids – yet about 1500 kids go to the school, and they work on a revolving schedule.  That means the kids have 6 classes to go to every day, and each day they begin their teaching periods in a different class than the day prior.  For example tomorrow they’ll start in homeroom – that class stays the same, and then they’ll go to their first through sixth period classes (they switch rooms for each class of course).  The next day they’ll report to homeroom for 15 minutes of announcements, then go to their 2nd period class, then 3,4,5, 6 and end the day in their 1st period class.  So every day it continues from there.  It’s the only school in our area that does this, and while they tout all sorts of studies that say it works the best for all students, for my son in particular it’s a total nightmare.  It’s the whole “Autism…I need a routine that stays the same” sort of thing.  Eventually he’ll see the pattern, but let’s just say that for the first 3 weeks of school or so, we’re all liable to need medicating, and by “we” I mean ME.   So yes, I’m nervous.  I’m hopeful that he’ll settle in with a decent group of kids, and that by November I’ll be laughing at how worried I was in September.  Wish me luck!

-R

Happy Labor Day!

That’s right, today in the US we are “celebrating” Labor Day.  For most people, it means we get the day off of work (thus making it a three-day weekend) and we might have a BBQ, go to the beach or get together with friends.  That’s about the extent of the celebration for many of us.  It also marks the unofficial “end to summer” as most school-aged kids go back to school this next week, and a lot of the seasonal type things, such as maybe water parks or perhaps amusement parks and things like that, tend to scale back hours or even close for the summer after today.  So while we celebrate, many of us mourn the lazy summer days coming to an end and brace ourselves for the 10 months ahead – the dreaded “school year”, where coffee will continue to be our friend, where books that were left far behind in middle or high school will be picked back up and re-read (over the summer I read Of Mice and Men simply because the oldest had a summer reading project due on the first day back at school!), just so I can be on top of it when the kids need help on a project; or even better, I will relearn geometry.  With any luck, it’ll go better for me the second time around.  I hate proofs.

For Americans, Labor Day first began in 1882, and according to the Department of Labor website (www.www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm), “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

What I find most amusing about Labor Day, especially now that I’m a parent, is that I generally DO work on Labor Day.  I guess it was named correctly!  For instance this morning, I am working to get this blog written before my youngest has yet another potty accident, I have several loads of laundry to finish before school starts (by Wednesday everyone in my house will finally be back at school.  Now THAT will be my Labor Day, thankyouverymuch!), and I need to get the idea of planning dinner menus for the week sorted out.  But, my husband is home today, which is a bit of a treat.

The one thing I did take time to do this morning before jumping into the pile of housework awaiting my arrival downstairs this morning, was give a listen/viewing to a couple more videos from the Bournemouth show last week.  One of my most favorite songs in the Duran Duran catalog is Secret Oktober, and I’ve been begging for them to put it in the setlist for years.  Of course the band had no interest in my suggestions (can’t even begin to blame them), and up until last week, I hadn’t gotten my wish.  Bournemouth was the moment, however, and it was blessedly included in the set.  When I read the list, I was curious if they’d play it true to history or if they’d play the version they’d worked up with Warren, which I admit was not something I enjoyed.  Thankfully they played true to form, and it was a beautiful moment.  How I wished I’d been there to hear it and see it in person.

Sometimes it seems the band is guilty of not realizing that it’s not just the UK fans that are the diehards in the community.  I would imagine it’s very easy for the members to think that the US fans are in it for the pretty faces, the glossy looks, the image…and that we’re overly raucous, extremely overwhelming, and very “in your face” as fans.  That may be true, but there are many of us standing somewhere in the background of all that, daring to say we’re in it for the music.  Sure, the band is nice to look at – most certainly.  Yes, the image is fun and adds to the allure, definitely.  But, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it’s still the music that keeps us here wanting and waiting.  Not all US fans want to hear Hungry Like the Wolf 50,000 times, and quite frankly – I don’t even think they NEED to play that.  They’ve earned the right here in the states to play whatever the hell they want at a show, and I still believe that fans would line up to see and hear them do the show they want.   For example, several years back I went to go see The Cure.  I’m not a huge fan, but my husband really was at one time, and I was happy to go to a concert with him.  I had no idea what to expect, but I figured it would be a good show.  Well, Robert Smith decided he would play none of the hits that night.  Not even ONE.  He played the obscure, very dark stuff from the depths of the back catalog.  I had a hard time following along and was ready to go way before the concert ended, but remember – I wasn’t even a casual fan for the most part. I knew the hits and nothing else.  On the way out, my husband had mentioned that he didn’t know all of the songs, but a lot of them, and some one next to him chimed in and said “You have no idea how long the FANS had been waiting for a show like that.  We always have to hear the hits that made them big – and this show, well this show was for us.”  Both Walt and I had to agree with the guy.  No, we didn’t hear the songs that we might have enjoyed the most, but both of us understood what he was saying at the time – and I remember saying to the guy that I would give just about anything to have Duran Duran play a show like that.  One without the major hits, but a show that included To The Shore, Faster than Light….Khanada….Shadows on Your Side (I’m so envious of that one!!).  Can you imagine?

I know that concerts cost money, and the band has to be able to sell tickets in order to come out ahead, otherwise there’s really no point in playing.  I’d love to believe that they play for the love of playing, and I’m sure that’s still part of it – but the bottom line is that people still have to be paid.  I just wish there was a way that they could work more of these older gems into their shows at this point, and that the band could just play whatever they wanted – then again, maybe they really love playing Hungry Like the Wolf every single night??

So, on this Labor Day, I give you all permission to play Secret Oktober for yourselves, whether you’re at work or at home.  Tell them Daily Duranie said so.  See how far THAT gets ya!  😉

Happy Labor Day!!
-R 

All Night Parties…Cocktail Bars

Those lyrics have always summarized what the best touring experiences have been for me.  Yes, a great touring experience typically includes staying up late and enjoying a cocktail or 5.  ;D  I started thinking back to my most favorite touring experiences after seeing the clip of Duran performing the song where the lyric comes from and thought that now would be a good time for me to remember those times as opposed to worrying all the time about Simon. 

While I would say that I haven’t toured a ton, I would have that I have done it some.  I haven’t done it enough that I don’t appreciate when I get to do it.  It still feels like a big deal to me and I get just as excited as I once did as every tour still holds the potential to be the most fun ever!  My touring life really began in 2005, even though I had seen Duran before that.  2005 was the year in which the various elements that I now associate with touring came to be.  Before this, going to a show meant driving to the concert, seeing the show, maybe going out a little after the show and driving home.  I slept in my own bed and costs were kept to a minimum.  Then, I met some Duranies, including my partner-in-crime, and those expectations changed.  Now, touring means staying at a hotel, at the very least, and living it up.  Often, touring now includes air travel.

One of my favorite touring experiences happened in the spring of 2005.  When Duran had announced tour dates in December of 2004, I knew that I would probably be attending the Chicago show.  What I didn’t know then was how much of a party it was going to be!  Before tickets were purchased, a fairly large group of people decided to come to Chicago for this show, including Rhonda.  We all decided to get to Chicago the previous day (the show was on a Friday) to have some fun.  That Thursday night was filled with drinking at the hotel bar while waiting for each person to arrive!  Every time someone new arrived there would be much excitement and frequent reminders from the hotel staff that we needed to keep it down!  We did not get much sleep that night as we continued to enjoy the bar as well as food from nearby Steak and Shake and IHOP (my favorite IHOP, to be exact!).  The next day was filled with last minutes errands and getting ready for the show.  Clearly, we had decided then and there that our 3-4 hours of sleep were good enough!  After the show was over, we again returned to the hotel bar to celebrate a fabulous show!!  Many beverages were consumed, including a couple of special bottles of wine.  Apparently, we were also so loud that the hotel felt it necessary to close the bar!!  What was particularly interesting about this day was that we ate at 11:30 and then didn’t eat again until the next day.  Oops!  There wasn’t a lot of time for rest again as we had to drive up to Milwaukee for the next show!  This night wasn’t filled with many drinks as we drove right back down to Chicago after the show.  Did we go to our hotel to get some much needed sleep?  Nope.  We hung out in downtown Chicago.  No sleep for us.  At all.  While we did have a hotel room, we never slept in it.  We stored our luggage there.  We showered there, but we did not sleep there.  Later in the day, Rhonda and I walked around a mall in order to stay awake before her flight.  At that mall, we both swear that we heard Sunrise playing.  Although, it really could have been sleep deprivation kicking in!

We had another fantastic weekend of all night parties and cocktails in the fall of 2006.  In this case, like the previous time, we went to the Chicago show then added the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans.  We all arrived in the city on that Thursday, the day of the show.  We rushed to get ready as traffic from the airport was horrible!  Luckily, we were able to grab some dinner before the show, knowing that it was highly possible that we wouldn’t be eating until the next morning.  After this show, we decided to hit a club until about 4 in the morning.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get much sleep here either as we had to get to the airport early as we were all heading to New Orleans (different flights).  I figured that I might be able to get some sleep on the plane since the pathetic 2-3 hours of sleep weren’t going to be enough.  No such luck.  The next three nights in New Orleans were exactly as anyone familiar with Bourbon Street would expect.  There was much drinking and very little sleep.  We were often reaching for the sunrise on that trip!  One night, we were still out when all but the strip joints were closed.  Ouch.  By the end of those 4 nights, we had almost twice as many drinks as we had hours of sleep.  Good times!!

2007 wasn’t any different except that we traveled to New York City for just one show, the fan show.  While the show itself was horribly upsetting, we had a good time in the city.  We, especially, enjoyed ourselves at the fan get together at the Pyramid Club, a club that features a night of 80s music.  It was so nice to meet and party with Duranies!  We were actually pretty tired on the night of the show due to our previous night’s adventures and because we were walking everywhere!  Did I mention that I usually lose weight on tour?  I do.  I suspect that this is due to all of the walking and very little eating! 

We have been lucky enough to have more weekends like this in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  We obviously tried to have a week like this in May and are trying again for October and November.  The thing is that Rhonda and I have tried to have weekends like this in between tours.  Those non-show weekends have generally been fun, especially since they still often feature reaching up for the sunrise and consuming all of the vodka in any given city.  They aren’t as fun as show weekends, however.  Something special happens at a Duran show.  Our excitement increases.  Rhonda and I are pretty capable of having fun on our own but we both enjoy having fun with other Duranies, too!  These memories remind me of what I’m hoping for this fall.  They remind me of a quote I read from John Taylor once and it went something like this, “Did you ever have so much fun that you didn’t know if you would ever get over it?  It was like that.”  He was obviously describing being in Duran but I can use it to describe touring. 

What about the rest of you?  What are your fondest memories of touring?  Do you experience all night parties and cocktail bars like we often do?

-A

Stay with the Music…Let It Play a Little Longer…

Thursday night, Duran played the first of four rehearsal gigs.  My heart soars as I type the word, “played”.  I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see Duran play again after the cancellations in the spring and summer.  Thursday was filled with much activity in Duranland as there were fans there and the rest of us sat back and waiting for any and all reports about the show!  Now that it was a couple of days ago, like many of you, I have read many reports from those there and saw a couple of clips via youtube.  From everything I saw and heard, it sounds like it was a fabulous show and that Simon demonstrated a solid voice.  This, of course, has been greeted by much celebration throughout the community.  In fact, there seemed to be little discussion about Simon and much more discussion about the setlist.  Thursday’s setlist featured many gems, including some new songs that have never been played or rarely played, older songs that needed the dust wiped off them and some songs that they don’t play very often. Many of the old standards were not played at all. 

Most of the fans seemed excited over hearing songs like Leopard, Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, Secret Oktober, Tiger Tiger, and Shadows Are on Your Side.  Strangely enough, though, there were still many fans who complained about the setlist.  I can’t really understand that for three big reasons.  First, shouldn’t the best part about the show be that it happened at all?  They haven’t played since May and we were facing an uncertain future.  Did those fans forget that?  Or is it that they are never satisfied?  Second, it was a rehearsal gig and not a full set.  There are other songs that can be played at the next show.  This isn’t exactly the definitive setlist for the upcoming US tour.  Will they play some of these songs?  I bet they will since they are practicing them.  Will they play songs that they haven’t publicly practiced?  Quite possibly.  Lastly, it seems to me that Duranies are constantly complaining about the setlists.  Most hardcore fans want something other than the big hits.  This setlist is exactly that.  Again, I have to wonder if people would ever be satisfied.  I know that I didn’t love every song played but was still way excited about it for the reasons I have already mentioned.  They were able to play at all and they chose non-standards.  Yay!

Based on people’s reports and the setlist, I was terribly excited by the fact that it seemed that Duran had returned and returned in a way in which they will really please their dedicated fanbase.  Then, I saw Simon’s tweet about being on “vocal rest”.  Am I the only one totally worried about that?  Granted, I don’t know exactly what it means to be on vocal rest.  Does it mean that he can’t sing at all?  Does it mean that he shouldn’t talk?  Maybe to keep things to a minimum?  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, it scares me because he needed to be on vocal rest after just ONE show and it wasn’t a full show, either.  How is he going to do in a few days when they are due to perform 3 shows in a row?  How will he do with the upcoming US and UK tours? 

Perhaps, I’m being overly concerned and for no reason.  Maybe I’m trying to protect myself by thinking the worst now in case it goes badly, it won’t come as a complete shock.  It’s possible that this is just my crazy reaction after flying all the way over to the UK for shows and didn’t get any.  Nonetheless, I’m a little surprised that I don’t see many people sharing my concern.  Is it because they want to believe that everything is cool?  I can certainly understand that.  There is a part of me that desperately wants everything to be great (and maybe it is).  I can’t imagine how I will deal if it is not.  I have plans for Chicago and for the UK.  Beyond that, a lot of my life is focused on their band and the fan community.  That said, I’m sure that I’m over-reacting.  Someone please come and reassure me.  Please! 

No matter what, I will be looking forward to the upcoming shows at the end of the week.  If those go well, I will feel much, much, much better.  Then, I, too, will feel much more like celebrating!

-A

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!