Media Representations of Fandom

Before I dive into today’s blog, I want to thank those people who have submitted answers to this week’s video challenge questions.  If you are interested in participating, you can find the rules and the first 10 questions here:  Friday Night Videos Daily Duranie Style Part 1.  I’m hoping that people will enjoy watching some Duran and Duran related videos over their weekend.  Perhaps, for those dealing with Hurricane Irene, it will provide a nice break from reality!  While I’m not dealing with bad weather (for once), I, too, have found a break from reality needed this weekend as it is my last official one before I return to work (teaching).  While part of my weekend has consisted in continuing to plot with my partner-in-crime, it has also been filled with watching silly movies.  This morning, I watched the movie, “Music and Lyrics.”  For those of you who aren’t familiar, it stars Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.  He is an 80s rocker who continues to perform, but at places like amusement parks and class reunions, and she is a struggling writer.  Together, they team up to write a hit song for a current big time star.  It is a romantic comedy but the love story didn’t interest me as much as the references to the 80s and, more importantly, references to fandom.

Very early on in the movie, we see this 80s star perform at a class reunion.  He has signature moves that get the women squeeing (sound familiar anyone?).  These women know all the words and sing right along with him.  (Again, don’t know where I see that in real life…)  When Drew Barrymore’s character tells her sister about this performance, her sister screams in delight and goes to change.  She returns in a low cut, tight fitting blouse.  When they enter the ballroom for this performance, she barges her way through the crowd to get to the front.  Of course, she isn’t the only fan we meet in the movie.  Another fan tells Hugh Grant’s character that his song helped her get through her parents divorce when she was like 7.  How many of us have made statements like that in reference to a Duran song or album?  Many of us, I’m willing to bet.  I suspect some of us have even had the chance to tell a band member or two as well.

These representations of fans were meant to be silly in this movie as were the references to has-beens and bad 80s hair and fashion.  That said, I wonder why fans are shown as a joke of sorts?  Why is some fan telling her idol about how a song helped her emotionally something to laugh at?  Obviously, I believe that this is due to the stigma fandom already experiences or is it a situation where movies like this make the stigma to begin with.  Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, or, in this case, does stigma or negative representations come first?  Is the art representing life or creating something new?  I don’t know the answer to this.  Yet, it made me think of other films, books and TV shows that show fandom.  One movie, Rhonda reviewed, which is Fever Pitch.  That movie focused more on the fandom than this one did.  What other movies are there that touch on fandom?  Here’s the list I have so far:  Music and Lyrics, Fever Pitch, Trekkies (examines Star Trek fans), Something You Should Know (about Duranies!), and even John Taylor’s Sugar Town.  There must be more.  What am I missing?

What about books?  What books showcase fandom?  Here, I’m not talking about the many books I have read in relation to writing our book.  I’m not looking for non-fiction, but stories in which fandom plays a role.  I just finished “Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornsby, which focused on fandom.  In fact, I started reading it in England, which assumed me to no end as the characters had gone to America to see their idol’s home country.  (Let me know if you want to hear more about that one).  I also read “How Soon is Never?” by Marc Spitz in which the characters try to get The Smiths to reunite.  There must be a ton, though, that I don’t know about. 

TV shows also show fandom.  When I think of TV shows, I immediately think of the episode of Samantha Who guest starring a Mr. John Taylor.  That episode is probably worth its own review!  What other shows had episodes about fandom?  I’m curious because I think seeing how movies, TV and books show fans and fandom will help me to really understand how and why fans have been given such a negative image.  I believe that if I know why the negative labels began, then I can figure out what and should be done about them.  So help me out here!  What are other books, TV shows and movies that show fans and fandom?  I appreciate the help in advance!!

-A

Duranie Culture

Do you think there is a Duranie culture?  For the last 11 years, I have been teaching 7th grade Social Studies and a large part of that curriculum focuses on world cultures.  Obviously, in order to discuss this topic, the students must first learn what culture is.  Perhaps, that will also help with the question I posed today about Duranie culture because I honestly don’t know.

I teach my students that culture is a way of life of a group of people who share similar beliefs and customs.  I can pull out two main parts to help with my question:  beliefs and customs.  Obviously, I think we do share similar beliefs, at least when it comes to Duran Duran.  We think their music is fabulous. I think for most Duranies, we also think that there videos are pretty great, too.  I’m willing to bet that we might also think that the band members themselves are pretty terrific.  These beliefs, in fact, are essential in the definition of a Duranie.  All Duranies think that their music is great.  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be Duranies, right?  Now, of course, this is all in the general sense.  We might not agree on which songs are the most fabulous and which songs are the least fabulous, but overall we all agree that the music is great.  Beyond the music, though, we might have lots of differences on a personal level, especially on big issues like religion and politics.  I think that is okay as many people belong to multiple cultures.  We don’t need to have similar beliefs about everything.  We just need to have similar beliefs about Duran to have a Duranie culture.  Thus, we have the first part of the definition about culture.  What about the customs?

Here’s where it is more complicated I think.  Customs are actions.  Beliefs are about what we think and customs are about what we do.  Maybe it would help to think about what are some of the things Duranies do.  Duranies talk about Duran.  They might do it on message boards, on social networking sites, or among friends.  Duranies might also spend money on Duran, including on albums, concert tickets, merchandise, and more.  Some Duranies might express their beliefs in an artistic format through art, graphics, music mixes and fanfic.  Yet, all of these things could represent just fandom, in general.  Do those actions, those customs represent something specific to Duran?

What kind of customs do people think of when they think about Duran and specifically about Duran?  In thinking about their music, their videos, their lifestyles, a few things pop up as essential Duran Duran.  First, I think about having a good time.  This is the band that claimed way back when they they wanted to be the band playing when the bomb dropped.  This is the same band who Simon often states as “the band designed to make you party”.  Even during horrible times and world events, Duran has recorded songs about having fun, about partying.  Yes, I know that they have released songs that are much more serious as well.  That’s true but those songs, those moods don’t hit me as quickly as the party, fun music does.  Most of those more serious songs are also hidden in veiled lyrics, masking the seriousness of it.  Beyond the partying, I also think of Duran as artistic.

I remember hearing Nick say something about Duran is like a multi-media corporation.  They weren’t satisfied to just make music.  They had to create small films (video) and they were concerned about fashion.  Obviously, some of the band members have dived into the art world more than others.  Nick did it with his photography and John has done his share with graphics and even acting.  I would go further to say that Duran’s artistic nature is contemporary and often thought-provoking.   An example of this, of course, is the album cover for All You Need Is Now.  They got people talking, which is part of art, in my opinion.  They don’t always go for what is beautiful but for something with more depth, more meaning. 

So, if Duran Duran’s biggest focuses are on music, art and parties, where does that leave the fans?  Do the fans participate or focus on the same things?  If not, does that mean that there is no Duranie culture or does it mean that not all fans participate in the culture?  I obviously cannot speak for all Duranies about whether or not they focus on the same things.  Personally, I admit that I enjoy a good party and love modern art.  I may not party exactly like they did or do but I like to have a good time.  The same can be said for art.  I’m not really big into fashion but really like the visual arts.  For example, if I am on vacation, it is common to find me in an art museum, especially in the contemporary arts section.    Can I live their lifestyle?  Obviously not.  I do travel some but nothing like they have or do.  I don’t have the time or the money for that.  I like staying in hotels but they aren’t always the best in the world.  For me, touring is a chance to get as close to that lifestyle as I can, in a way.  Overall, though, I feel some connection to Duran, on a cultural level as I seem to share some customs, in my own way. 

So, what about the rest of you?  Do you feel a cultural connection to these elements of Duran Duran?  Did I miss some essential Duran elements?  What if you don’t seem to have that connection?  Do you think that means that there is no Duranie culture or is it based on something completely different?  Perhaps, it is a situation where some Duranies are part of a culture and others are not.  What do you think?

-A

Friday Night Videos: Daily Duranie Style Intro and Part 1

Alright everyone, it’s time for the new challenge!  This time, we’re doing a video challenge, and it’s no holds barred!  We have a clue for every single video that the band, the side projects, or the solo projects from the original 5 members that have been done.  That means there are clues for every Duran Duran, Arcadia, Power Station, John Taylor, Simon LeBon, Andy Taylor AND The Devils video.   Bands that the members may have done production for (for instance the Dandy Warhols or Kajagoogoo) are not included.  Some clues are going to be ridiculously easy, we are sure…and some are going to be more difficult and you might even need to watch videos to find the answer.  That’s the whole point!  Too many of us have only seen the most popular DD videos, and so here’s your chance to brush up on the video history! 

Each week on Friday we will post a set of 10 clues, and then the following Friday we will post the answers to the previous 10 along with the new clues for that week.  We encourage you to have your own version of Friday Night Videos at home in order to find the answers! 

In order to keep the game going for everyone, we are asking you to either send your answers directly to Daily Duranie by commenting (we see the comments before we post, and we won’t “post” answers until the following week when the answers are posted).  You can also send us an email with your answers (dailyduranie@gmail.com), contact us on twitter (@dailyduranie), or find us on Facebook and send us a private message.  Please don’t post your answers directly on our Facebook page until we’ve posted the correct answers here first, just so that everyone has a chance to play!


What do you win?  Daily Duranie’s undying respect and some bragging rights.  That’s right – this is just for fun.  We are just fans like all of you, so we’ve got nothing to give away!  It’s a friendly game, so join right in and let’s see how well you’ve paid attention to the videos over the years!

Week 1 Questions:

1.  In which video is John wearing a red and black sweatshirt?

2.  What unreleased, yet still official video has the band sitting around a table talking while Simon (incorrectly, we might add) is lip syncing the words?

3.  What video has dominoes in it?

4.  Which video shows a phallic rocket in the background?

5.  What video has a shot straight up Roger’s nose?

6.  What video features motorcycles that none of the band are riding?

7.  What video makes you think you’ve been sent back in time to see the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine?

8.  Which video shows a man getting black marker on his bald head?

9.  Simon ages right before our eyes in this video.

10.  Which video has the band’s shirts going back and forth between white and black?

We can’t wait to get your answers and remember we will give answers next Friday to this first set!!!

A & R

I almost forgot!!

I can’t even believe this…but I almost forgot to blog today.  I don’t know exactly how it happened, between the 3 hour phone call with Amanda (no, I’m not kidding) my laundry mountain and the 40 mile round-trip to pick my oldest up from school…but I almost forgot.  I was leisurely doing my late-afternoon perusal of the various social networking sites and realized “Crap, the blog!!!”

So, here I am.  Not quite late since it’s only about 9:30ish at night on the east coast.  Definitely not early.  Not really on time, either.  So sorry!  (now you probably realize what it’s like to be one of my children, or even my husband when it comes to dinner.  *gasp*)

I have two things to talk about briefly…first of all, we’re finally getting vinyl!!  I was really becoming concerned that the band had forgotten those of us not exactly born with a silver spoon in our mouths who couldn’t afford the Super Deluxe, Stamped in Gold, Signed, Numbered, Fingerprinted with Blood, Sweat and Tears Vinyl edition that is selling for ridiculous sum of money.  Wasn’t that about $450 US or something??  Anyway, I was waiting for the Super Cheap, Not Stamped in Anything but Vinyl, Not Numbered and most DEFINITELY not Signed or Fingerprinted Vinyl copy for Regular Ole Folks edition.  I seem to recall starting to fidget about whether or not we’d ever get one ’round about April or so…then I put it in the back of my mind, next to the area where I think about cooking dinner.   Then all of the sudden I read the other day that yes, vinyl is coming soon!!

As for dinner, well…it’s coming soon as well.  Just as soon as I start considering what I can make super fast before the husband gets home.

I can’t wait to get the vinyl.  I don’t care that it’s not coming with all of the little extras, I just want a copy of the superb album I already have on CD.  That will be enough for me, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll even allow my husband to open it and play it once or twice.  Then I’ll stare at it for a while before I finally put it in it’s home, next to the rest of my collection.

Then of course, comes the subject of my 3 hour long conversation with Amanda this morning. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a real, honest-to-goodness plotting and scheming session.  Truly, we haven’t had to – we’d planned the UK trip with nary a problem until we actually GOT there and had to deal with the reality of cancelled shows.  We didn’t have to hide a thing from….certain family members who must remain nameless at this time, because he’d given his blessing extremely early and even without bloodshed!  Today however, I found myself giggling and thinking about possibilities with excitement.  I didn’t realize how much joy I get out of planning something I know I probably shouldn’t be doing!!  It’s half the fun!

What are we planning, you ask?  Oh.  Oh I couldn’t possibly say at this juncture.  All I can tell you is that if what I have in mind works, debauchery in the midwest will be imminent.  😉

With that, I must get dinner on the table.  I have buttering-up to do!!

-R

Anti-climatic?

So, who has seen the news this morning??  To begin with, I have a raging sinus headache…which is my signal that yes, Fall is indeed coming.  Ugh.

DD has announced, along with WPLJ in NYC, that they are playing the WPLJ Scott & Todd 20th Anniversary show.  According to the release on WPLJ’s website, they are “starring”….which in my head indicates that there must be other bands on the bill.  Yes, it’s at Madison Square Garden, but the show isn’t completely theirs, which makes sense in this situation.  I love the band, but the days of being able to fill MSG are probably behind all of us.

The good news (or the bigger and better news, as far as I’m concerned), is that Daily Duranie’s good friend Gimme A Wristband, along with Chekhov’s Wig are throwing a NYC-sized party the night before the Duran Duran show – I believe they are celebrating at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.  For the uninitiated, Chekhov’s Wig is a DD cover band, but they aren’t just ANY cover band – these guys take the songs and make them their own, which brings an entirely different and unique sound to the songs we know and love.  I saw their first show, several moons ago before the infamous “Fan Show” in NYC back in what, 2007?  This apparently is going to be their last performance together, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great show.

Ultimately for me, this show is a complete bust from start to finish.  At one point I was considering throwing caution to the wind and flying out, but the fact is – it’s too far to fly for a radio show.  If it were the band playing a show by themselves, even if it wasn’t MSG, I’d be far more willing to fly.  I’ve been burned by radio shows in the past, and I’ve learned to steer clear of them.  That isn’t to say they aren’t good shows, but for the semi-rabid fan who wants those really good seats and a full set unencumbered by other sure-to-be-awful bands-loved-by-radio, this probably isn’t the show to be at.  I have read that the show is to be a full set by Duran Duran, and while I have my own opinions on the idea of a “full set”….I’ll defer to the band on that. The bottom line is that I’m not reading anything that makes me excited about spending a couple grand to get myself back and forth to New York City over a three day period. I’m annoyed (with myself, mind you) that I didn’t just ignore the news of the NYC to begin with, I’m disgusted that the Chicago show dates didn’t fall on another weekend besides my husband’s birthday, I’m really pissed off that my LA tickets suck SO badly (through presale I ended up with…get this…37th row.  They’re for sale if anyone wants them!), and to end it all….the one show where I have fantastic seats – (3rd row right between Simon and Dom, which apparently is my “spot”.) Valley Center, is on none other than my daughter’s first Homecoming formal for school.  I have NO idea how I’m going to make that one work.

Batting a thousand here.

The good news?  I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and I’m still planning to go to the UK in December, where I have great seats to 3 shows.  Should I complain about the US tour?  Probably not….but I am, because I’m indeed human, and life is not always fair and doesn’t always work out as we’d like.  

Advil, please.

-R

A Personal Appeal

Today I spent the better part of my day (thus far anyway) filling out registration forms and cleaning.  You see, my oldest started high school today, and my middle one registers for junior high tomorrow.  Then he goes and gets braces in the afternoon.  As I wrote check after check (registration is getting expensive nowadays!), bracing (ha – a pun!) for tomorrows payment to the Orthodontist, I found myself daydreaming about Italy and a certain DJ who apparently moonlights as a drummer for Duran Duran.  (My attempt at humor.  Don’t say I’m not entertaining!)  I know that it’s tough to believe I’d spend time actually daydreaming about Roger Taylor…but when you’re filling out form after form of names and emergency phone numbers, then signing checks, well…what can you do?

I hate to say it, but I’m jealous.  Make no mistake, I’d definitely be willing to do the hard time and take the place of anyone who was able to make it to Roger’s gig in Sicily a week or so ago, and then again to the gig in Italy a few days ago.  In return, that person could be “treated” to a day or several in the life of the suburban American Mom.  (that sounds like the name of a  TV show that will never happen…)  Never mind his Second Life gigs…I’d get stuck behind a couch, and not even with anyone interesting – I’d be alone, trying to learn how to walk or something.  Blah.  It wasn’t enough knowing that Roger was in a beautiful Mediterranean climate, he had to even send pictures.  Not that I minded – it actually helped in my moment of weakness this morning!

My question is – when is he coming to the US to DJ, and more appropriately in my case – when is he going to come to So CA?!?   I really don’t know how Roger himself feels about California (LA to be specific), but I do know that Nick isn’t in love with the place, and I’m pretty sure Simon’s feelings are fairly similar.  I just know that Roger has never made it here to DJ as of yet, and to the best of my knowledge – he hasn’t even done a party after a show here.  (again, sadness prevails.  *sigh*)  All of that in mind, if I’m going to be completely honest here, I suppose I understand the reasons.  First of all, I really don’t think our club scene is all that fabulous.  For live music, Sunset is the place to be, but I don’t think our clubs are as consistent as say, New York City, South Beach…or just about anywhere else.  I don’t know why.  (that’s not true.  I do know.  Our musical taste here in So CA is HORRID.  That’s why…but comparatively speaking I’m a crotchety old lady compared to a twenty-something.  It’s the cross I bear. *sigh*)  Our clubs are also very far apart – we don’t have places here where several clubs are all on one street or area.  That’s the curse and the beauty of the LA area.  It’s huge and you have to have a car to get around.

My shameless appeal follows:

The bottom line here, and I know I don’t speak alone – is that we want Roger.  Please.  No, we might not be young; and no, we probably won’t ever learn not to request Duran Duran; but we can dance (I didn’t say well…), and we do know how to have a good time.  Some of us even know how to behave!

We’ve got a few good months left on MY coast before cold weather sets in (although by English standards, it’ll still be warm here in December!!!), and if you time it right, you could take another picture of your favorite view in California….laying by yet another pool tanning away!  

-R

Do pictures really provide better memories?

I saw John tweeting earlier today about the UK rehearsal gigs.  I will continue to admit that I wish I were flying out to England next week, alas, I am not.  For whatever reason, my husband is against the idea of my hopping on a plane and going.  Something about “wanting to be able to retire before death” and “money”.  What?!?

That aside, John brought up an interesting topic for this lovely Monday morning, the day before my oldest starts back to school, thus this being the last day of our summer.  He has mentioned that the band would prefer it if cameras were not used during the rehearsals.  Now, I say “prefer” because just following that tweet, John said that it was not a “rule”.  If the venues say otherwise, then of course that’s different.  In any case, his feeling (I’m paraphrasing) is that perhaps the memory of the show and the time itself would live on it’s own without the help of fiddling with cameras and other electronic equipment.  Kind of like living in the moment, so to speak.  I’m sure many fans, especially those going to these particular shows, are totally annoyed with this simple request.  They want that indelible memory.  They want to have the photo of the JoSi moment in all of it’s finery. (is JoSi an American thing or does the UK go nuts for that too?)   They want the picture I myself have never gotten of Roger twirling his stick, of Nick smirking, of Simon doing his cool karate moves at the end of Notorious.  It’s all good, and no, I can’t blame people for wanting them.

In 2006 (October, to be more precise), I flew out to Chicago to see Duran Duran play the opening night for the Sears Center.  It was a brand spanking new arena right in lovely Hoffman Estates, IL and Duran was the first band to play there and give it it’s blessing.  Due to circumstances totally beyond my control (i.e. my kids schedule), I had to fly out that morning from LAX to Chicago (Midway).  My plane was on time, but Chicago traffic was insane, and it was raining, no less.   It took far, far longer to get to our hotel than we thought, and then we had to quickly change, eat and run to the arena.  Everything took longer than we’d hoped, and we were really worried about getting in for the show on time.  In our haste, we left our cameras back in the car.  I don’t even think I had given that any consideration until we made it to our seats.  Once we lamented about the cameras, I think we all just figured that we’d just enjoy the show and try to make the memory count.

At first, I wanted to kick myself for leaving the camera in the car.  Our seats weren’t bad, and I had a direct line of sight to John (which, if you’ve been reading the blog lately – you’d know that I don’t think we’ve been on his side since!).  I seem to recall being in about the 9th or 10th row.  It could have been closer, could have been a bit further.  Regardless, the show was great and the band seemed to be full of energy.  I know that Amanda and I definitely were – we were dancing and singing the entire time.  At one point in the show, John seemed to make eye contact with us, and me – being the smart aleck I am at times – didn’t think he saw me at all, so I think I stuck my tongue out or made some sort of a goofy face.  Well, he returned the favor, at which point I wanted to crawl under the chair in front of me.   I laughed, as did he, and then Amanda and I literally sang right along with him.  Coolest moment at a show ever.   I didn’t have my camera to commemorate the moment, but I’ll never forget.  The people in front of us turned around after the show was over and said that they’d never seen two more enthusiastic fans ever, which was both funny and a little embarrassing for me – I was just thoroughly enjoying the show.  Normally I’m fumbling with my camera, waiting for the best shot, complaining that I keep getting blurry ones – and while I know I enjoy the show, I have to admit that there’s something very free about just enjoying the time and not having to worry about anything else.  Sure, I’ve heard Hungry Like the Wolf about 50,000 times now (probably more and I don’t even want to think about that), and yeah, that’s a great time for picture taking, but for some reason that night – I didn’t even miss having my camera.  I actually sang along, danced and loved it.

You know, I’ll admit something else here – even though I take my camera with me to the shows, when I look back through the shots, unless I recognize the date when the photo was taken, I honestly don’t know what show they’re from now.  I don’t have THAT many pictures of them on stage, either.  I know plenty of people that stand there during the whole show, watching it from behind the lens – and while I’m not really judging those folks, I just have to wonder if the pictures really mean THAT much to them months later?  I don’t even look at my pictures very often any more!   Back when the reunion first happened and I went armed with my digital camera to every show, it seemed SO important to have those pictures.  I was proud of what I had of them, almost as though having those pictures somehow made me feel like a better fan.  Kind of silly, really.  After a while though, and in particular after I went to that show at the Sears center, I realized the pictures are great, but if I’m only seeing the show after the fact, digitally no less – I’ve missed more than half of the point of being there.  After that show, I learned to leave my camera in my purse and do more dancing than picture taking.

I really think John’s heart, and those of the rest of the band, are in the right place on this one.  Sure, I guess some could say that they’re worried about “secrets” getting out (as to what they might have planned), or maybe they don’t want the shows recorded for fear of the sound being “rough”…but I don’t necessarily think that’s the reason in mind here.  They want fans to go and enjoy the moment.  All You Need is Now, no?

-R

Dream Setlist

Yesterday, we received a comment on a blog post that was written awhile ago.  While this isn’t surprising, it made me smile.  The comment was on the blog post about setlist reactions and the anonymous poster’s comment was all of the songs that s/he would like to hear on the upcoming tour.  I laughed–not because it is funny to have songs that you want to hear, but because that’s all the comment was!  I smiled because of the hope I have for the future.  A few months ago, I was doubting if the band was ever going to return and now people are thinking about what they want to hear live.  It got me thinking about what I want to hear.  Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge that no tour, no show is ever guaranteed and I will obviously just be glad to get a show at all.  Everything else is secondary. 

The anonymous commenter included both new songs and old songs.  Some of the new songs are songs that I think a lot of us are dying to hear, which included Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, Leopard, Runway Runaway, Mediterranea, Before the Rain and more.  I would love to any or all of these.  I actually keep a list of Duran songs that I have seen performed live.  I think, as of now, I have seen about 60 different songs performed live.  Thus, I would love to hear any of the new stuff that I haven’t heard before in order for this list to grow.  I also want to hear them because I think most of them are truly fabulous pieces of music.  I thought it was interesting that we heard the first part of the album for those spring shows (All You Need Is Now, Blame the Machines, Being Followed, Leave a Light On, Safe and Girl Panic) and was wondering if they would focus on the second half for the next set of shows.  Personally, as far as new songs go that I haven’t heard, I would really like to hear TBYSB, Leopard, Before the Rain, and Runway Runaway.  I would not turn my back if they play other ones but those are my choices unless they wanted to play the entire album.  I would really be down with that, especially if it was in order.  A Duranie can dream, right?!

The anonymous poster also stated some songs that are staples within the setlist that s/he would like to hear.  Some of those included Save a Prayer, Ordinary World and Rio.  I would suspect that some, if not, all of those will be played.  I know that some people will be thrilled with one or all of those choices while others will be begging for something different.  For me, personally, I would love to hear the following usuals:  Planet Earth, Rio, Girls on Film, Wild Boys (I know…Simon’s voice…this is the ideal setlist, silly!), Sunrise, and Notorious.  S/he also stated some songs that they have played more than once but aren’t givens like Is There Something I Should Know, Union of the Snake, Friends of Mine, Careless Memories, the Chauffeur and more.  I’m good with most of those, especially Friends of Mine and Careless Memories.  I would also include Hold Back the Rain, New Religion and Red Carpet Massacre. 

Then, of course, this person chose some songs that haven’t been played in forever or have never been played live, which included things like Land, Tel Aviv and Drug.  I would love to hear Tel Aviv live.  I’m pretty close to having heard all of the first album.  I’m just missing Tel Aviv and Nightboat, if I don’t include To the Shore.  I would be shocked if they pulled out either Land or Drug but stranger things have happened.  Of course, I make no secret that I would LOVE to hear LATE BAR.  I’m sure that has been mentioned a few hundred times on this blog!  Other rarely played or never played songs I would love to hear are Of Crime and Passion, Vertigo, and Secret Oktober. 

All in all, I think this is shaping up to being a complete setlist.  I wonder if that’s how the band does it with some new songs, some favorites, some lesser played favorites and some never or rarely played songs.  To summarize my setlist with this criteria and in no particular order: 
New songs:
1. TBYSB
2. Leopard
3. Runway Runaway
4. Before the Rain

Previously heard new songs:
5. All You Need Is Now
6. Girl Panic

Frequently played:
7. Planet Earth
8. Rio
9. Girls on Film
10. Wild Boys
11. Notorious
12. Sunrise

Less frequently played:
13. Friends of Mine
14. Careless Memories
15. Hold Back the Rain
16. New Religion
17. Red Carpet Massacre

Rarely or never played:
18.  Late Bar
19. Of Crime and Passion
20. Vertigo
21. Secret Oktober
22. Tel Aviv

I think that is pretty good for a 22 song setlist.  So, people, what is your dream setlist using the following categories and including no more than 22 songs?

-A

Expressing Fandom

I apologize for the lateness of today’s blog.  I have been busy, though.  During summer, like many people, I try to get some projects done and this summer, despite any or all of its weirdness, has been no different.  One of the projects I have done is to reorganize my Duran collection.  I wanted to get rid of one book shelf that housed some tour photo albums and get something that could display random Duran related items instead, which I did.  Then, I decided that I wanted to change the posters–not that I didn’t love that 1982 group shot but that I wanted something different.  I decided to frame the covers to the vinyl albums and place them in cool, meaningful way.  After hanging the albums today from their debut through Thank You, I’m close to finishing.  Yay!  Of course, this display is all for me as regular visitors to my house wouldn’t see it.  That doesn’t matter, though.  It makes me happy.  It is one way that I express my fandom, but there are many other ways.

Another way that I express my fandom is through writing this blog and writing the book with Rhonda.  Obviously, those are pretty significant ways.  They take a lot of time and effort.  In order to do both well, I think, requires that we are observing and/or participating in Duranland quite a bit.  If we don’t, it would be like writing about a book by only looking at the cover.  Then, of course, we like to share our ideas with the rest of the fandom and we often choose to do that by acknowledging our topics on facebook and twitter and through talking with other fans.  Therefore, writing is a huge way that I acknowledge my fandom.  Probably the next biggest or the equally largest way that I express my fandom is through my purchases.

I like to tour.  I won’t lie or deny that.  I do.  If I could tour two or three times more than what I do right now, I would.  This, of course, costs money.  Concert tickets aren’t free, but neither are hotels, gas money, airline tickets, etc.  I choose to do all of that for the love of my fandom.  It is also common for me to buy merchandise when I go to shows as well.  I have a number of Duran t-shirts, for example, which I do wear.  I have purchased a number of tour books, too.  My purchases, then, show my fandom.  Yet, of course, there are many means of expressing fandom that don’t cost much or anything.

Many people seem to express their fandom through a creative means.  Some people might try to learn Duran songs and others might try to make new remixes, if they are musically inclined.  Writers might attempt fanfiction and people who enjoy Duran and reading might go out of their way to read fanfic and comment on it.  Others may create by using a visual art, which could include actual drawing or painting but could also include computer arts like signatures and/or avatars for message boards.  I’m sure that there are many creative means of how people express their fandom that I’m missing. 

I’m willing to bet that most Duranies have some way of communicating that they are fans of Duran Duran.  What’s interesting to me is how they do that and why they choose that route?  Do they choose a way that is very open to the outside world like wearing Duran t-shirts everywhere?  Do they choose a route that’s completely private by writing poetry that is never posted anywhere?  Do they choose something that is in the middle like writing fanfic and sharing it on Duran message boards?  So, this is the question I ask today.  How do you express your fandom?  Is it open to the general public, to just other fans, or only to yourself?  Why do you express your fandom in that way?  Why do you share or why don’t you share? 

-A 

Do Male Fans Get Negative Reactions?

This week in Duranland saw more ticket purchases, more presales, more excitement about upcoming shows.  It seems to me that the only shows we are waiting for news are New York City and the re-scheduled European dates.  Those people who are lucky enough to have tickets for upcoming shows, I’m sure, are making show plans, which can include transportation and hotel as well as family and work responsibilities.  I’m no different on that front as I am not sure what I will be doing with work that day of my show, but I will have to make a decision in that regard at some point.  I’m sure others have already figured out if they plan on working or are going to try and take the day(s) off.  I always wonder how those conversations at work go once the decision is made to take time off.  Are people’s bosses accepting?  Do people tell their supervisors why they need time off?  What kind of reaction to they get from them?  What about the reactions from colleagues?  Then again, what about reactions from other family members? Do they get your fandom?  Of course, this leads me to think about reactions or questions I have had about going to Duran shows.  One question that seems to come up is, “Are there male Duranies?”  I explain that there are.  Duh.  The follow-up question tends to be, “Are they straight?”  Obviously, here, the assumption is that only gay or bisexual men would listen to Duran.  I’m sure that I could write a whole blog about why that assumption is made, but I’m more curious if these questions are asked of me, what questions are asked of male Duranies?  Do they get the same kind of negative reactions that female fans often get or is it different?

I think that most Duranies have experienced some sort of negative reaction about the fact that they are fans of Duran Duran.  I know I have.  Some of the negativity is directed at the band.  “Why would you like them?  They aren’t any good.  They don’t care about the music.  They just care about what they look like?”  Some of it has more to do with my desire to tour.  “What a waste of money!  Aren’t all the shows the same?  Why do you feel it necessary to go to all those shows?  Aren’t you going overboard?  Isn’t that a bit obsessive?”  I could go on and on.  Sometimes, people go a different route with the disdain of my being a Duranie and outright ask, “Are you a groupie?”  They aren’t meaning someone who just follows the band, people.  The assumption that a female who goes to a bunch of shows is going for one thing and one thing only, the ultimate autograph.  I’m willing to bet that most male Duran fans aren’t questioned about being groupies, but maybe there are other questions that they have to deal with.

How are male Duranies treated?  Do they have to deal with the general anti-Duran statements?  Do they have to put up with negative statements about going to shows or buying albums?  What specific negatives do they hear that female fans don’t have to put up with?  Of course, some of you might be saying that guys don’t have to deal with much of this because they don’t show their fandom as much and don’t do as much touring.  First of all, I don’t know that if that is true or not.  I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of male Duranies who show that they are fans and many also go to a bunch of shows.  However, if guys don’t show that they are fans as much or don’t go to as many shows, I would ask why.  Do they feel like they have to hide the fact that they are Duranies?  If so, what do they think will happen?  If they don’t go to as many shows as they want, why not?  What’s stopping then?  Then, I wonder how they are treated by the female fans?  Do they get negative reactions from female fans?  Are they dismissed as unimportant?  Ignored? 

I’m hoping that some male Duranies will chime in here and answer some of these questions for me.  I would like some education about what it is like to be a male Duranie and to see if they experience some of the stigma I know I have dealt with!

-A

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!