Duran’s Singles

The Daily Duranie 30 Day DD Challenge continues to have a lot of participants, which is great!  Yesterday’s question was:  Your favorite video.  Unlike the first day’s question, this was a much closer result.  Only 20 videos were listed as opposed to the 34 different songs that were given as answers the previous day.  Obviously, many videos were left out.  Once again, Save a Prayer led the informal poll but was followed very closely by New Moon on Monday, Nightboat and Rio.  Interesting to note is that Nightboat was not given as a favorite song.  Today’s question in the Daily Duranie 30 Day DD Challenge is:  What is one song from an album that should have been a single but wasn’t?  This question has brought up some discussion and has gotten me thinking.

As previously discussed in this blog, singles used to be a big deal and now not so much.  Obviously, this question implies that, at some point, the wrong single was chosen or that another single should have or could have been released and wasn’t.  If the right singles were chosen, perhaps, more records would be sold, popularity would have increased, etc. Rhonda asked a question this morning that is a good one.  Who exactly decides the singles?  My follow-up question is why choose the ones they did?

In thinking about these questions, I started thinking about the songs that they chose.  We all know that Planet Earth was their first single.  My understanding and I could be wrong is that they thought Girls on Film would be the strongest single but didn’t want to release that one first.  This leads back to Rhonda’s question.  Who was the “they”?  I don’t have the answer for this.  I suspect that the label had a lot to say about it.  Perhaps, the band could say that they would like such and such to be the single but that the label could veto their suggestion.  At other times, the label could just pick the single.  Isn’t that what happened with Careless Memories?  We know that CM didn’t do as well as PE or GOF and I heard/read that the band blamed the label for insisting on that one.  So, what about the rest of Duran’s career? 

There were many singles off of Rio.  I have heard many times that the band doesn’t like My Own Way and that was chosen as the first single.  Maybe they still didn’t get much say then or decided they didn’t like it later.  Of course, we know that they have been successful in getting some songs released as singles.  The record label didn’t like the Reflex after Nile Rodgers got a hold of it.  Yet, the band pushed and they were right to do so as that song hit number one in a lot of places, including the US.  Singles seem to become more problematic as the career moved forward with a couple of exceptions.  There is a scene in Three to Get Ready when the band is talking about how they would like to have the next single released right now as Notorious wasn’t doing as well as they had hoped (even though it really did relatively well, at least here in the US).  Yet, it seemed that the label wasn’t on the same page.  Of course, many people have questioned the choice of Meet El Presidente as it did not do well at all.  Then again, the singles off of Big Thing and Liberty didn’t do super well, either.  Liberty, in fact, was the first album that didn’t have at least 3 singles.  Again, I’m left to wonder whose decision that was.

Then, Ordinary World and Come Undone happened.  Those singles were super successful.  Who knew or understood that these songs would be popular and would renew interest in Duran?  What criteria was used to decide these songs or any of the songs?  Clearly, these questions became more and more popular in the fan community once the band reunited.  Many have argued that Sunrise wasn’t right for the first single off of Astronaut, particularly because it was on the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy soundtrack, which had been out for a long time.  Then, others have wondered and continue to wonder about the choice in What Happens Tomorrow?  How come there wasn’t a third single off of Astronaut?  Was that a record label choice?  The questioning over singles continued and intensified during Red Carpet Massacre.  Many fans have argued that the reason that album wasn’t a success is because of the poor choice for a single.  Many didn’t like Falling Down and felt like the band should be advertising the work with Timbaland.  Again, who made that decision and why?  Again, Rhonda pointed out that now they don’t have a label to dictate, veto or compromise with.  Will this decision about singles be different now? 

No matter what happens from here.  It is obvious that the choice of singles or lack of choice of singles is a discussion that will continue within the fandom forever because it is a classic case of what-if.  I think that every fan has a criteria that she or he would like the powers that be to use when deciding singles.  Some fans want more upbeat, make you want to dance type songs and others would prefer something along the line of Save a Prayer.  The reality is that singles are supposed to get the public’s attention and to sell more albums.  That said, figuring out which songs would do that can’t be easy even though we have our opinions about it!

-A

Disrespect of Duran

Before I dive into the blog of the day, I wanted to give an update on the Daily Duranie 30 Day Challenge!  I’m completely thrilled with how many people participated yesterday and loved seeing the challenge on other people’s facebook and twitter accounts.  Yesterday’s question was:  Your favorite Duran song.  34 different songs were chosen, from what I could see.  These songs spanned the whole catalog from the first album to AYNIN and included b-sides and demos.  The most popular song on this informal poll was Save a Prayer followed closely by the Chauffeur, New Religion and Ordinary World.  Today’s challenge is:  Your favorite DD video! 

Now back to the regularly scheduled blog! 

When I became a Duranie, I was very young, during the height of their popularity when their songs were always on the radio, their videos were always on MTV and their faces were on many magazine covers.  Yet, as a kid, I remember listening to the radio and hearing the DJs just make fun of them.  I also can recall the kids at school doing this as well.  I didn’t really understand how they could be so popular, on one hand, and completely bashed, on the other.  As years went by, it continued to be obvious that rock critics and the media treated Duran badly and disrespectfully.  Now, that I’m MUCH older, I have really started to wonder why.  Yes, of course, some people might argue that it doesn’t matter and that I shouldn’t care.  Yeah, yeah.  That’s not the point of this blog post.  It isn’t about why respect matters; it is about how and why this disrespect came to be.  After doing some thinking, making some observations, reading both older and current articles on Duran, and listening to other people, I have some possible reasons.

First, Duran demonstrated a lifestyle that didn’t fit the reality of the times.  What images come to mind when the general public is asked about Duran Duran?  I suspect that the first one might be that image of them on the yacht in Rio, wearing those lovely Anthony Price suits.  Maybe then they will think of them on the beaches in Sri Lanka, which appeared to be an exotic beach vacation filled with beautiful images and champagne.  These images and more show a young group of guys with a lot of money, living what seems like a carefree, jet set lifestyle filled with travel, beautiful women and expensive suits.  Obviously, we know that there is way more to them than this but if people just wanted to look at the surface, this is what they would see in 1982/1983.  Unfortunately, this isn’t what the rest of the world was like as many parts of the world were struggling, economically and socially.  Neither the US nor the UK was free from problems.  Could it be that to some people Duran was being disrespectful to the struggles that people were going through?  Would they have gotten respect if they hadn’t shown these images in which they appeared to be made of money and didn’t have a lot of responsibilities?  I don’t know, but it certainly seems possible.  Of course, what some might not have understood is that people liked the fantasy, liked the escape that Duran seemed to show.

A second possible reason for the disrespect towards Duran is their fans.  Let’s face it.  In the early to mid-80s, most of their fans were young and female.  I think that anything that kids like gets dismissed by critics as being cheesy, unworthy.  Then, if a lot of kids like it, it must be really bad.  Why?  I guess the assumption here is that kids don’t know enough to judge what is good or bad, right?  They don’t know enough music or have enough knowledge to know, as least is the theory.  On top of being young, most of us were also female.  Could the “critics” be making the assumption that these young girls weren’t really interested in the music at all but instead were interested in Simon LeBon taking his shirt off?  Did the fans seem more interested in John raising his eyebrow in a flirty manner?  If so, I’m sure it didn’t help that the concerts were so loud that it was hard to actually hear the instruments.  I suspect that it didn’t help that Duran was splashed across every teen magazine out there and were featured on many random items from a board game to pajamas (I had both!).  Of course, we realize that these products sold and that they helped to sell albums, but, to the critics, was it enough to dismiss them without a second thought?  Would it have been different if there seemed to be more males as fans?  I remember seeing a clip in Behind the Music where Nick says something about the rock critics didn’t like them because they were for girls.  This implies that other bands that seem to be more for boys got more respect.

Speaking of that, I wonder how much of it is because Duran wasn’t more…er..uh..masculine.  They wore makeup and cared about what they looked like.  I don’t know about the rest of the world but this was a big deal in the Midwest.  I heard many comments about how they must be gay then, which, of course, meant that they weren’t worthy as blatant homophobia was alive and well.  I remember reading somewhere about how John had some anti-gay slur said to him when he first arrived in America.  No, where I am from, it was much more respectful to be someone like Bruce Springsteen, wearing jeans and looking like you work with your hands.  I’m obviously not saying that either one “style” is better than the other, just commenting that one was given respect and the other wasn’t.  Of course, even when they attempted to seem more tough in videos like Wild Boys, they didn’t.  Nick’s makeup was very pretty in that one!  I have even heard the band refer to that clip as the “Mad Max Factor” video.  Besides, a respectable band shouldn’t be worried about what they look like, right?  They should only be worried about their music or so say some people.

Their music didn’t help either.  I don’t think.  When I think back to those artists who were getting a lot of positive attention from the critics, I don’t remember a lot of them using keyboards or poetic type lyrics.  There was more focus on guitars and reality inspired lyrics, for those artists.  This situation for Duran wasn’t helped by their attention to videos.  Many established acts refused to do them, initially, and most were doing live clips, which I suppose seemed to emphasize the music.  Duran didn’t do that as they went on to make little movie like clips.  They gave images to their music.  Many of them fell in love with that but I don’t think the rock critics did. 

Many of the elements of Duran that we know and love are the exact same things that caused them to lose favor with the rock establishment, it seems.  We appreciated their style, their videos and the mysterious lyrics.  We wanted the escape from reality that they promised us when watching their videos.  The rock critics didn’t appreciate these things from what I could see.  Whether or not that matters is the topic of a different blog…

-A

Don’t forgot to participate in today’s challenge!!

Fandom is Fun!

This morning, the Daily Duranie’s twitter and facebook has been very active!  Today is the first day of our 30 day Duran challenge!  We absolutely love, love, love to hear/read other Duranies answer our question of the day and hope that the participants are bringing the challenge over to their facebooks and twitter so that their friends can read and comment, too!  Just a reminder that today’s challenge is, “Your favorite DD song.”  It seems that many people can answer this question super quickly and others are really challenged to figure out their absolute favorite.  Still, other people are picking their favorite of the day as it can change for them, depending on their moods.  As the challenge moves along, we will do our best to both remind everyone what the daily challenge is and to report back what we hear!  I’m enjoying the challenge so much and it is only day 1!

This excitement reminded me of a fact that can and does get lost in the midst of worrying about Simon’s voice, concert dates, in-fighting, and more and that fact is that fandom is supposed to be fun!  Goodness, why would we continue to be involved if it wasn’t a good time?!  Besides fun little games like this challenge, what else is fun about being a Duranie?  As I think back through all of my years as being a Duranie (which makes me feel old, by the way), I immediately think of a few really entertaining things, including watching Duran stuff with other fans, touring, meeting other fans, squeeing over pictures, learning about the band, hearing new music that really kicks ass and more. 

For me, the most fun time being a Duranie is definitely when I’m on “tour”.  Obviously, the shows, themselves, are a complete blast and really are the best 2 hours I could spend (assuming that they are good shows!).  There is way more to touring than just the show.  I love hanging out with other Duranies, including and especially, my partner in crime.  I think back to past tours and realize how many great people I have met at shows!  Seriously, how fun is it to meet and get to know other Duran fans?!  To me, it definitely feels like meeting a kindred spirit, someone who understands you without you having to explain yourself.  It is like meeting a long lost friend.  I like having those discussions about what shows you have been to, how people became fans, and more.  Of course, in many cases, surrounding those shows is usually a party!  I’m not sure how the rest of you live, but I don’t often get to party like I do when I’m with my Duranie friends!  I remember reading a quote from John once and he said something, “Have you ever had so much fun that you didn’t know if you would get over it?  It was like that.”  I think that is a perfect way to describe a good tour!  Honestly, it is this fun that keeps me going back time and time!

Of course, tours don’t happen everyday so many of us find other ways to have fun within our fandom.  Sometimes, again, if we are lucky, we are able to get together with other Duranies!  This could be something large like a convention or a meetup or just having a few friends get together to watch our favorite Duran related material.  These settings can and, often, do take on a party atmosphere as well!  I, personally, love all types of get togethers!  Conventions are super special because they take a lot of work and don’t happen very often at all.  When they do and a bunch of Duranies get together, it can be magical.  Meetups outside of tours don’t happen very much either but are still tons of fun.  Usually, for both conventions and meetups, there is a time when a little bit of drinking and/or dancing takes place.  Our fandom is expressed in that way!  Smaller, more localized, get togethers are a good time as well!  I love watching Duran related material, including classics like Sing Blue Silver to newer classics like Live from London and everything in between.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and my best friend and I would watch Duran videos for hours just to see a certain look from our favorite or to pick out a new detail!  We couldn’t get enough.

I think we are lucky to be part of a fandom in an era where fans can come together online.  We don’t have to have Duran friends nearby!  Now, we can have friends all over the world to share in the fun!  We have message boards to discuss the latest news and social networking to connect with others.  In those settings, some of the best times, for me, have been when we have a piece of good news like an album release date or when new pictures have been found.  I mean…really…a lot of Duranies like to openly squee over a new picture.  Just the other day, John tweeted some shots from the GQ photo shoot and those pictures got around quickly and there were many, many comments made about the appearance of the guys.  Some of those comments weren’t so PG rated, either!  Of course, then, many online friends get to know each other more and more, which only enhances the fun.  🙂

I believe the entertaining elements of fandom is what keeps us all going during Duran downtime, when there is bad news or when the negative elements of fandom bubble to the surface.  We wouldn’t stay if we weren’t having a good time, right?  So, what is fun for you?  What keeps you a part of the fandom?

-A

P.S. Remember to join in on the 30 day challenge!  Today’s topic:  Your favorite song!

The 30 Day “Daily Duranie” Challenge!!

Lately, we’ve seen (and possibly participated in) several daily challenges on Facebook.  We decided to come up with one of our own, and we hope many of you will go ahead and give it a whirl – we’ll be checking our Daily Duranie news feed on Facebook to see your answers!

Here are the “rules”:  Each day, you post the topic of the day as your status update on Facebook, Twitter, a favorite message board or where ever else you’d like and give your answer.  If you want to give a reason for your choice, fabulous.  If not, fine.  If you’d like to find and post a corresponding YouTube video – the more the merrier!  Please remember to give Daily Duranie credit for the challenge (only because we’d like to get the blog out to as many people as possible…not because we’re geniuses for coming up with a new challenge!), and invite your friends to read our blog and friend us on Facebook/Twitter!

1. We’ll start off easy – name your favorite DD song!
2. Name your favorite DD video!
3. The one song off of an album that should have been a single but was not.
4. In your very humble opinion, the most underrated DD song.  (this can be off of any album or be any B-side, but it must be an “officially” released song.  No demos)
5. Demo that should have made it to an album.
6. Song that shouldn’t have made it past the editing room floor.
7. The most overrated Duran Duran song/video.  (come on, you KNOW there are a few!!)
8. The video/song with the best storyline.
9. The video/song with the worst storyline.
10. John’s best song/video
11. John’s worst song/video
12. Your least favorite video.
13. Fill in the blank: If I never heard __________________________, again, it would be too soon.
14. Your favorite DD performance video.
15. Your favorite DD YouTube clip – could be an interview, talk show appearance, or anything you’d like!
16. Favorite song you’ve never heard them play live.
17. Least favorite song you’ve never heard them play live.
18. Simon’s best song/video.
19. Simon’s worst song/video.
20. The video you always forget about, but then see again and say “Oh wow – I LOVE this video!”
21. The one song you hear that always brings a smile to your face and a memory of a show you’ve been seen.
22. Song or video that most quickly transports you back to your tween-age self when you first discovered the band and fell in love.  (and if you weren’t a tween, whatever age you were when you found them!)
23. Roger’s best song/video
24. Roger’s worst song/video
25. The song that makes you feel guilty…now whether it’s a guilty pleasure or a song that makes you think dirty thoughts is entirely up to you!
26. The video or a moment within a video that makes you laugh!
27. The DD song that describes you best.
28.  Nick’s best song/video.
29. Nick’s worst song/video.
30. The one song you will never tire of hearing live.

Happy thinking!!  We can’t wait to read your choices!! – A & R


You know you’re a Duranie…

Today we’re going to do something a little different here on the blog!  All of us know what it means to be a Duranie, right?  All of us know the varying lengths we’ve gone to at times….so here’s your chance to wave that flag high and proud!   This is a bit of a game that used to be played on the message boards, and so why not do it here as well.  Here are a few of my examples – comment with a few of your own!  Keep in mind that I am poking fun at myself, my friends, and quite honestly people I don’t even know here – the point is that if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re taking it all way too seriously.

You know you’re a Duranie if/when:

1. You not only wallpapered your wall with them as a kid, you’ve still got those posters hanging everywhere/somewhere from your bedroom walk-in closet (*waves flag proudly*), to your bathroom and maybe even your work cubicle!

2. You sit in your car, stand in a store, etc. just to hear the end to ______(insert a DD song here)____ .  It’d be sacrilege to leave!!

3. Not only do you know the band’s birth dates, but you send cards and even get together with friends to celebrate in their absence!

4.  You have spent your entire family’s vacation budget for the year in order to go to the UK and see shows that didn’t quite happen the first time, so you plan to go AGAIN.  Oh wait….that’s me and MY life!!  (if you can’t laugh at yourself….)

5. You will park your computer on Twitter waiting for Simon or John to send out a tweet.  In the process though, you’ve met many new DD friends!

6. Whenever you hear a Duran Duran song on the radio, you’re convinced it’s a “sign” of something good about to happen….or that the band really IS stalking you!

7. When you’re standing in the audience for a Duran show, you’re convinced that the band is starting to recognize you.  It’s either really cool to you….or you’ve just proven that yes, there really IS a limit as to how many DD shows one should attend in a single tour.

8. Not only do you know where the band stays on tour, but you rush to book a suite at the same hotel, knowing that you might be beating them to the punch for suites!

9. You begin a ridiculously insane project to write a blog each day….oh wait…that’s me again.  Never mind.

10. You buy a tour book for a tour where you never attended a single show, just because “it’s historic!”  (truth be told – I think I own more tour books for tours I didn’t attend than those for tours I did attend!)

11. You agree to buy concert presale tickets for people you’ve never met in person, but have “spoken” extensively with online.

12. Not only have you collected each and every single for every album they’ve ever done, but you’re well into completing your collection for “international releases” as well!  (count this for albums also!)

13. You bought the Red Carpet Massacre Limited Edition Red Vinyl, even though you strongly disliked the album to begin with.

14. Whenever you’re required to come up with a screenname, password, or have a numerical combination for anything, you use the numbers “7”, “7609” and “7803” as often as possible.  Hey, at least you (and at least 35,000 other people on the planet!) will remember the code!!

15. When trying to remember numbers that are not the aforementioned “7”, “7609” and/or “7803”, you desperately try to come up with a Duran Duran connection.  For example:  Say you’re in a hotel and your room number is 725:   7-2=5….as in “the Fab 5”.   (yes, we really do this and yes, it does help us remember….You should see what I’ve come up with to remember the license plate number for my car!!)

16. You count how many times John and/or Simon has tweeted or RT’d you on Twitter.  For SOME of us, *coughs*…this is extremely easy.  For others though, you probably NEED to take a moment to count!

17. You’re buying that new “gold” membership on DDM just because of the Duran Duran fan club card that’s included…and we all know it!  🙂

18. You have more concert pictures of DD than you do pictures of your extended family.  (I almost said children here, but then thought twice.  My kids might read this blog!   Hi kids!!)

19.  Your husband/significant other knows what is coming when you call him/her at work and say “Hi dear. Are you having a great day at work?!?”

20.  You are shocked when other people sound shocked that you’re about to fly to another continent to see the band play.   (Yeah, that’s me again.  You mean normal people don’t do that?!?  How boring for them!!!)

Time for you all to come up with a few of your own to add!

-R

Is it safe to hope??

I feel like I should probably read Barack Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope, just for some additional help and spirit today!  


I’m sure everyone has seen the recent news, that Simon has been singing quite a bit, just not trying for the high notes.  I am sure that I wasn’t alone when I exhaled every last bit of air out from my body as I read that sentence.   It wasn’t quite a cleansing breath as much as it was a cleansing exhale, I guess.  It felt like I was ridding myself of the dust, cobwebs, fears, and bad vibes that have apparently been sticking with me since May.  Maybe I’ve been afraid to take a deep breath since then, I’m really not sure.  I do feel as though I’ve been living on pins and needles for a long time now though.  Even before we ever really left for England, life was pretty stressful, as it always is.  In hindsight I can see that the trip never really felt solid, for some reason.  Getting our presale tickets proved to be more trouble than normal, Amanda’s leave from work was ridiculously difficult to get approval for…the only thing that went reasonably easy was getting the “OK” from my husband, which oddly enough – is usually the one thing that is most difficult!  That moment of exhale felt especially cleansing, and oddly hopeful.


Is it fair to be hopeful at this point?  Simon is singing again.  That alone is cause for guarded optimism at the very least, isn’t it?  I’ve seen comments that we shouldn’t cheer until he’s singing ALL the notes, and while I wouldn’t dare argue, I think that singing alone is a good step in the right direction – never mind what notes he can or can not hit.  Keeping in mind that a good portion of the bands catalog is written in the upper heights of Simon’s range, it’s very encouraging to read that he’s singing. Who knew we’d ever spend so many blogs discussing Simon’s vocal chords!!   I just feel like we all could use a little hope now and then.  Sure, he may have quite a road ahead of him, and sure, it could be many more months before we hear of the band doing full shows again.  The news could always be worse, thankfully today, it’s not.

I know that today, it’s way cooler to be a cynical, unhappy Duranie than it is to be the ever hopeful and positive fan.  It’s cooler to say their albums are OK but that they’ll never reach the top again – and they’re lucky to have fans at all – than it is to say that the albums are fantastic and that you really hope to see them in the top 10 again.  I’ve never said I was cool, and you know – I enjoy myself a whole lot better when I’m feeling positive and uplifted rather than being the one to rain on everyone’s parade.  So I’m off to jump over rainbows and sprinkle flower petals as I clean my house!  -R

Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame really important?

This weekend I checked the Daily Duranie gmail after a week’s absence.  I found a lot of “junk” mail, a couple emails that needed a response of some sort, and an email containing a link to an article regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and specifically – Duran Duran’s current lack of nomination.

I’ve blogged about this subject before.  In fact, you can read my initial thoughts here.   Since that blog posting, I’ve had the chance to trade emails and posts with folks who are a driving force behind getting the band nominated.  My own personal opinion hasn’t really changed, but I have to recognize and even applaud their efforts.  Working to get the band nominated is just another facet to our fandom, and the last thing I wish is to make light of their energy, enthusiasm, and hard work.

I try to remain as open minded as possible, both in “real” life and within the blog, and as such I’m always interested in reading articles about the band, and you never know when an opinion can be swayed.  As it turns out, the article comes from a blogger for Goldmine magazine, and you can read the blog for yourself right here.   The blog sets lays groundwork as to why the band should eventually be included, and for the most part, I believe that goal was reached although my questions about the necessity remain.

Ultimately, my issues with the Hall of Fame are at least trifold:

1.  (and probably most important)  The band themselves do not care about the Hall of Fame.  They’re not interested!  I realize that’s probably a shock to many readers out there, and some are probably asking “How does SHE know?” right about now.   There was an interview done this past winter (I believe it was in December) on what I think must have been a UK morning TV program.  I am trying to find a link to the interview, and if I find it – I’ll bring it here.   There are two interviews I’m thinking of at the moment – in one of the interviews they were doing a cooking segment for some sort of holiday-ish pudding thing, and on the other, I believe they were being interviewed by someone who was a self-described huge fan for a podcast??  I’m not sure, but if anyone knows of the interviews I’m talking about, please send them my way!  The question was asked during the interview, and Simon answered.  I can’t quote him word for word without the video, but his point was that they’ve never once cared about what the critics thought, and they feel (as do I) that being nominated to the Hall of Fame is very much based on politics in the music industry.  The band hasn’t ever really wanted to be that “legitimate mainstream” band – they like being on the outskirts, in the fringe, so to speak – and in Simon’s thinking, if being nominated is important to the band, that means they would be buying into that line of thinking, which at least Simon, speaking for the rest of the band, does not.  That may be a blow to fans who are working so hard to get them nominated, but I can still understand where the band is coming from on this one.

2.  I still believe the band has more to write in their book of history.  To induct the band at this point would be underselling them, in my opinion.  I still believe that their best days may very well lie ahead, and in my opinion to nominate them now is far too soon.

3.  There are MANY other bands out there who have yet to be nominated that I really do feel have given far more to music history than Duran Duran at this point.  I know I’m not alone in saying that.  I still feel their lasting legacy lies far more with the visual media (videos) than it does with the music at this point.  Their time may eventually get here, but I don’t believe that this is their moment yet.

As I ponder this topic, the big question that comes to mind over and over is whether or not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is really that important over the long haul.  Is it going to make a difference in years to come?  Is it worth selling one’s soul over?  Part of me almost has to liken the induction to getting a star on the Walk of Fame.  Many don’t realize that it doesn’t take much to get a Star – just money of course – and these days it’s become almost a “vanity” sort of thing in Hollywood.  It didn’t start out that way of course.  Back in the “golden days”, it was a real honor to be awarded a Star, and not many had one.  Nowadays when you walk down the streets of Hollywood, you’ll see stars awarded to not only radio, TV & film stars, but even animal “actors”, and celebrities that have barely gotten to the legal drinking age, much less done work of enough substance to truly appreciate their celebrity status.  It just seems to have lost it’s magical meaning from overuse.  Of course, the R&R Hall of Fame may be different since it takes more than just money to get nominated, but the fact remains that in the end after all is said and done, it’s just another shiny plaque to hang on someone’s wall.

-R

Many Fandoms or One Fandom?

To me, fandom has always meant having a passion for something.  It goes beyond the common, ordinary “like”.  It is more intense than that.  Obviously, there are many bands that I like, but I participate in the Duran Duran fandom.  My feelings for Duran go beyond the like.  In some ways, it is like a romance of sorts as feelings are intense.  On one hand, I have experienced great joy in being a Duranie.  On the other hand, I have had times when I’m frustrated or angry.  I doubt that I’m alone in this description of fandom.  This leads me to think about people who seem to be fans of many things and when I say fans, I am meaning this definition of intense emotions as opposed to just liking something, those who participate in the fandom. 

I have been involved in a couple of other fandoms.  Obviously, I have been open about being a Sox “fan”.  Does that mean that I’m part of that fandom?  In some ways, yes, and, in other ways, I’m not.  Here’s an example.  I voted for the Sox first baseman, Paul Konerko, to make it to the All Star game, but I don’t go to Sox message boards.  I don’t really communicate with fans outside of my family.  I have been more of an active participant for a couple of other fandoms outside of Duran and the Sox.  For those, I have read message boards and talked with other fans.  I have even made life long friends that way.  That said, there has been no fandom like Duran for me.  I haven’t traveled for other fandoms and I haven’t written anything about other fandoms.  Why is this?  Is it because of the fact that I have been a Duranie for decades?  Is that the difference?  Is the difference that the other fandoms were based on fictional characters and Duran is real?  I suspect that both of those factors might play a role.  Despite these other fandoms, I don’t see myself as someone who is always involved in a fandom.  For me, because the fandoms are so personal, I think the ones that are worthy of my participation are truly few and far between.  Therefore, right now in 2011, if Duran were to stop, I wouldn’t try to find a new fandom.  I couldn’t.  It doesn’t work that way for me.  Besides, how would I replace decades of fandom and all of the experiences I have had because of it?  This fandom is irreplaceable to me.

So how about those people who are fans of many things?  What makes them tick?  Is their fandom less worthy because of their varied interests?  Let me be clear about the fans I’m talking about.  I have seen people move from one fandom to another to another to another.  For example, I knew someone who was a fan of the show, Roswell, then Harry Potter, then Twilight and now the Vampire Diaries.  She has never been without a fandom.  What about the people who do the same thing with bands?  First, it might be Duran then Depeche Mode, then the Killers, etc.  They could be a fan and be a part of those fandoms of all of those bands at the same time, too!  Honestly, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with this.  People can’t help how they feel or what they might be interested in at any given time.  Perhaps, this is similar to that romance analogy where joining a fandom is like falling in love.  Some people are very selective when it comes to getting involved, romantically, with someone and other people can fall for people easily.  Neither one is wrong, just different. 

Why do people become fans of something in the first place?  They become fans because they see something they like and someone that makes them feel good, right?  For many fans, I believe they get a little high from their fandom.  I’ll give you an example.  I bet every Duranie reading this can remember a time when s/he got SO excited by Duran.  Maybe it was the first time you heard a certain song.  Maybe it was the first time you saw them live.  Maybe it was seeing the best concert ever.  Do those moments make you want to stop caring about the band or do they make you want more?  For me, every great show makes me want more shows.  I can’t ever seem to get enough.  In this way, fandom is sorta like a drug, then, huh?  Perhaps, those people that are fans of a ton of things are always searching for that high.  Maybe, for them, the high is short-lived and only happens in the beginning of joining a fandom.  I don’t know.  Maybe being part of a lot of fandoms helps with the disappointments that can and often do follow fandom.  If you aren’t focused on one thing, it doesn’t hurt as bad if it falls apart.  For example, if I’m a fan of sci-fi TV shows, then, if one has a bad storyline, I can deal with it because other shows might have good storylines.  If I’m into bands, if one isn’t touring, maybe others are. 

I think I understand, logically, those people who are in multiple fandoms or go from one fandom to another.  They might want the high that joining a fandom gives or they might want protection from disappointment.  They might always want that distraction that a fandom can bring in their lives.  Emotionally, I admit that it is much harder for me to understand.  I have only given my heart a few times and can’t see giving it as easily in the future even though I, too, would like the highs and the protection.  I just can’t do it.  It is too personal to me or something.  Plus, let’s face it…you can’t make something excite you if it doesn’t.  I guess this means that, for now, and in the future I’ll be emotionally living and dying for what I always have, Duran Duran.  What about the rest of you?  Can you be in multiple fandoms?  Does that make you less of a Duranie?

-A

Deliveries!

I woke up this morning to news on the baby front!  Apparently, Roger Taylor became a daddy again this morning to a baby boy!  I want to congratulate the entire Taylor family on their new arrival!  Of course, like many Duranies, I’m anxiously awaiting announcement about a name!  Lucky for Roger and the rest of his family, he has some time to spend with all of them now, too.  🙂

On a different delivery note, I received a package in the mail with some merchandise from DuranDuranMusic as I had recently renewed with an upgrade to the gold package.  As I had posted before, I knew that I was going to continue to be a member there as the presales have worked for me (or more to the point–I have no luck with regular sales).  I figured that I might as well go ahead and go for the “gold” as opposed to the “silver” membership.  It is only $20 more and you get a lot of merchandise for that price.  I received the following items:  A messenger bag, a t-shirt, a bookmark, a keychain/bottle opener, a copy of handwritten lyrics to All You Need Is Now (the song) by Simon, a welcome letter with copies of signatures, and an official card.  Before I describe what I think of these items, let me first give credit to DDM in this instance as the package actually arrived when it was supposed to.  I figured that it would be terribly late like most things in Duranland. 

As for the stuff itself, I generally liked what I received.  Of course, the biggest smile and cause of an actual out loud laugh was the card that states I’m a member of the VIP club or whatever.  Many of us have joked for years about how if we said or did something negative about the band that we would lose our Duranie card.  Obviously, then, we were talking about the figurative membership card.  Now, I actually have one!  Too funny!  Thus, the band better really watch out now as I might burn the card in a fit of rage, if they piss me off too badly!  HA!  I also really liked the keychain.  It is solid with a simple Duran Duran written across it in the current font.  No one would notice it says Duran at just a glance.  It doesn’t stick out.  It is also functional!  I know as I tried it yesterday.  😉  The last small object was a metal bookmark with a pink D on it at the top.  Now, many people have or are moving away from actual books, which makes this a strange choice, perhaps.  While I have books on my iPad, I still have a ton of actual books that I need to read.  For me, then, this will be used for a little while yet.  Again, I appreciated that they kept it simple.

The larger items included a t-shirt and the messenger bag.  I suspected that I might be disappointed with these items before I had seen them and I was.  The t-shirt has the bed from the album cover and a giant D over it.  Okay.  I don’t mind the D but I think the use of the album cover shots is a bit tiring.  It isn’t too much but still.  There were lots of great band shots taken.  They couldn’t have used one of them?  I was surprised that the bed was gray and the D was in black, though.  I figured it would be pink.  I was glad about this change, especially on a white t-shirt.  On the back of the shirt, it again says something about the fan club.  Okay.  That’s fine.  I wish that the shirt material was thicker, though, especially with a white t-shirt.  While I haven’t tried the shirt on yet, I suspect that it is REALLY long.  The size was what I ordered and the shoulders and sleeves look fine but it appears to be too long.  Ugh.  That said, I’m sure that I’ll still wear it as I’m a sucker for Duran shirts.  Now, as for the bag, I was more disappointed with this because I had great hopes for it.  First, the color is…well…ugly, in my opinion.  It is off-white with a gold/brownish accent color.  The font is normal and says Duran Duran but it is in gold.  I’m not a fan.  On top of that, it isn’t huge so I don’t know how much it will hold.  The main section closes with velcro and I much prefer a zipper as I think that is more secure.  There is a zippered section in the front, which is nice, and smaller pockets on the side.  I think I could live with the design flaws if the color was different.  I will have to get over that.

The last items were the welcome letter and the copied lyrics to AYNIN.  I appreciate that they were copied onto to nice paper and were packed well so that they didn’t get bent while traveling.  It is cool to see Simon’s handwriting on the song, especially this song.  That was nice.  As far as the welcome letter goes, that’s great that I have copies of their signatures.  I already have their autographs so that isn’t a big deal to me.  I thought the content of the letter was lame.  They had the chance to talk about how much the fans mean to the band and how this fan club could bridge the gap between us, but they didn’t.  Instead, it was all about what DDM offers.  I know what it offers as I have been a member for more than half a decade.  I’m not a newbie here.  It was almost exactly like the front page of the website.  They had a golden opportunity to make the members feel special and they didn’t use it.  Instead, they continued to sell their product.  Completely lame.

Thus, overall, the package was what I thought it was going to be.  I thought there were going to be some cool things (keychain, funny membership card), some okay things (bookmark, t-shirt, lyrics), and some lame things (bag and welcome letter).  Was it worth the extra $20?  For me, I still think that it was.  What does that make me?  It probably makes me a sucker.  😀

-A

Now We Settle…

It has been about a week now since we all read/heard that Duran has been forced to postpone their summer tour.  There was a burst of shock and, now, people are coming to grips or questioning what all of this means.  While I believe that most of the fans have reacted in a kind and considerate manner as most have put their concern for Simon’s well-being first, many are still wondering what the future holds.  The specific elements of the future that they seemed to be focused on includes the future of the band, what to do about personal concert plans or the band’s tour plans. 

I have seen many people begin to question if this is the end of Duran or the beginning of the end.  I get this.  It seems that no one knows exactly what happened with Simon’s voice other than it was damaged and no one knows when it will improve, of if it will improve.  I think it is normal for people to worry because there are so many unknowns in this situation.  While Simon did have vocal issues before, he was a lot younger then.  This does not help people feel confident about the band’s future.  Do I think this is the end?  I have no idea.  I sure the heck hope not.  More than that, I’ll be beyond devastated if it is.  In fact, it is so upsetting to me that I just can’t go there in my mind.  Thus, all I can do for now, is hope for the best and offer support to the band. 

Like many others out there, as much as I’m offering good wishes to Simon and the rest of the band, I can’t help but to think about upcoming concerts.  As many of you know, we are planning on returning to England to get the shows that we didn’t get the first time we were there.  Will there be shows?  I don’t know.  Will there be shows before our shows?  I don’t know that, either.  Many others are in the same situation.  Perhaps, they bought tickets for the two US shows that are scheduled or bought tickets for the UK shows.  Maybe they wanted to buy tickets but didn’t.  The reality is this.  We may not know if they are able to play any of the scheduled shows until right before they happen.  We will not necessarily get a guarantee.  For some people, this is enough to turn them away from buying tickets.  For others, like us, we are proceeding with our plans.  One thing I learned in May is that it is always a risk to go travel or to buy concert tickets.  Things can happen.  In our situation, something happened to the band.  Next time, maybe, something will happen to me.  There are no guarantees even if Simon was 100%.  Whenever you travel, you risk something happening, something that can get in your way.  Now, I support anyone’s decision to not take that risk.  I can understand and appreciate that decision.  For me, though, I am willing to take that risk. 

While people are trying to make their own personal decisions about upcoming shows, I have seen some rumblings about the fact that the schedule now has 2 US shows and then the UK shows.  This has not sat well with all Duranies.  Some people are pointing out that the US has already had shows this year.  This is true.  Many fans in the UK point out that the next part of the tour should be there.  This is true, too.  It seems to me that this situation has opened up a constant debate within the fan community.  Why should the US get so many shows?  They aren’t from there and there are many locations that do not have nearly the same number of shows, if any at all.  What’s the answer to this debate?  I don’t think there is a good answer to this.  I wish that the band could play everywhere that there are fans.  Right now, though, I can’t help but to think that the focus should be that Simon gets better.  Shouldn’t that be the only thing we worry about?  Honestly, I don’t care if they play in Mongolia as long as they are able to play. 

As more and more time goes by, I’m sure that people will settle their own issues related to shows.  I’m hoping that the debate about US vs. the rest of the world is put aside so that we can also focus on what’s most important right now. 

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!