Presale Week and Evaluation!

I survived presale week!  For me, it was an absolutely crazy one!  It is hard to imagine that just five day ago, no one knew where or when Duran Duran was going to tour outside of a couple random shows.  This week, we added 11 dates in the UK and a date in Germany to the previously known superbowl thing in Dallas, the Coachella festival in California and the iTunes festival in London.  In typical Duran fashion, these UK dates were put up early Tuesday morning with fan community presales beginning the next morning.  Gotta love the pressure of being forced to decide what shows to do in mere HOURS after an announcement.  There was LITTLE time to evaluate choices, discuss with friends, talk to work, anything…Now, this has been how it has been done in Duranland for so long that no one was really surprised and there were little complaints from my observations.  How sad is that?!  We are so used to being treated so poorly that we don’t even pay attention to the lack of consideration.  Clearly, in this case like so many before, the band’s management decided to announce the tour ONLY when they had to.  They put out the information only DAYS before the shows went on sale to the public.  Someone really should explain to me why they can’t give the information further in advance.  They obviously had this information before Tuesday morning.  Why wait?  I swear, sometimes, I feel like we are all being watched and they SO enjoy watching us all run around like crazy people trying to come up with a plan quickly!

As Rhonda mentioned earlier in the week, we decided to do Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London with friends joining us for three out of the four after much discussion, evaluation, quick budgeting figuring and more.  In all seriousness, I think we all aged about 3 years in just Tuesday alone!  Much of that discussion always includes buying the tickets.  Who is going to buy?  What kind of tickets should we try for?  Should we go with DDM or whatever the hell it is calling itself today?  Should we wait for the regular sale?  I’ll be honest here in saying that I have done the DDM presales more often than not and have almost always been pleased by the seats I have received.  Typically, they have been better than the seats I got through regular sales on places like Ticketmaster.  I also have to confess that the presales have usually gone smoothly for me, with being able to purchase the tickets of my choice within minutes.  I figured that this tour would be no different.  Of course, this time we knew that some other company was taking care of the tickets, which meant changes.

This presale definitely was different than previous ones.  In some ways, it was absolutely better and in other ways, not so much.  As Rhonda mentioned yesterday, part of the changes involved the VIP packages so I won’t get into those.  Yet, despite the changes in packages, it was still having to click on the package of your choice for the city of your choice.  Now, this time, most of the shows went on sale at the exact same time.  I have to wonder if that is a good idea!  Is it really smart to have all of these Duranies trying to get tickets at the same time?!  Will the system be able to handle that?  Maybe it could for 9 or 11 shows this time around but will it be able to handle 25 shows in the US?  I shudder to think about what those presales might be like.  My assessment is that this is a mistake.  For one thing, it is very difficult for people who are buying for more than one show.  Usually, I’m the one to buy the concert tickets as Rhonda picks up the hotel rooms.  That wasn’t possible this time as both of us had to buy tickets at the same time in order to get the seats of our choice.  Ugh.  Then, there was the little glitch in their system….

My little group of four felt pretty confident going into Wednesday morning’s presale.  After all, we had a solid plan with different people buying for different shows and we are experienced Duranies.  We have all done this before.  Maybe we were too confident.  Maybe we couldn’t process the possibility that it wouldn’t go our way after having to make these decisions so damn quickly.  Perhaps, the fact that we had to buy tickets at 2 in the MORNING didn’t help.  It could have been a combination of all of the above or it could have been that their system sucks.  So, I’m supposed to be buying for Birmingham.  No problem.  My friend is buying for Nottingham at the same time.  Her order goes through right away.  Yes.  We are in business.  I’m not, though.  It wouldn’t accept my card.  I tried a different card.  No luck there.  I tried my friend’s card that just worked for the Nottingham order.  No luck.  Then, Rhonda tried and had the same problem.  Much cursing continued.  We tried for a half hour and somehow, we were able to purchase the tickets of our choice.  Of course, we weren’t out of the woods yet.  We had to buy for Liverpool and London.  Oh boy…

Liverpool went fairly smoothly.  London, on the other hand, did not.  We got seats but they were just okay.  Now, I will openly admit that we are spoiled Duranies when it comes to how far back is acceptable for Duran shows.  It does not matter how far back I am for other bands but it absolutely does matter for Duran.  Obviously, part of the reason I usually go with the fan community presale is that I usually get seats in the 6th to 11th row.  Anything less than that is painful.  (See what I mean?  Absolutely spoiled we are!)  So, Rhonda and I, in our infinite wisdom, decide to try for London seats through the regular sale in order to see if we could do better.  This meant, of course, that we were up AGAIN in the middle of the night to buy tickets.  Guess what?  We didn’t have any luck there either.  Great.  Joy.  What do we do?  Go for a different package on DDM.  Guess how that went?  Like it did the first time.  The stupid system wouldn’t take our order at first.  Then, it said that they were sold out and back to not taking our order.  Eventually, we got it to go through.  Ugh.  (By the way, if you are interested in buying our extra tickets for London, they are in Block 101, row T, seats 24 and 25.  Feel free to email us:

Now, I’m utterly exhausted and part of me feels like I have already done the tour!  Would I use the fan community for the next show(s) I go to?  Unfortunately, the answer is going to be yes.  I hate the lack of time between the announcement and the presale.  I thought selling all of the shows at the same time was completely unfair to those of us wanting to buy more than one show.  I wouldn’t doubt that the system was overloaded, which caused the problems we had in buying our tickets.  I would suspect the US presales to be WAY worse.  That said, I did appreciate the fact that we now know exactly where we are sitting, which did not happen with the old system.  I also am completely thrilled with where I will be for these shows!!!  They weren’t cheap but I already know that this is a tour of a lifetime for me.  I have never traveled outside of the US for shows before.  I have never been able to.  I love the people I’m going with and cannot wait to meet people across the pond!  I believe that these new songs are going to be amazing live!  I look forward to seeing how fans there are the same/different than the fans here and so much more now that I survived presale hell 2011!


Everybody’s Gunnin’ for the VIP Section….

I realize that if Nick Rhodes were to read my blog title, he’d probably roll his eyes and say “How contrived.”  Yeah I know.  I aim to please.  🙂

I couldn’t help using the line from All You Need Is Now because there’s been some talk (as there always is) about the VIP packages available for the UK tour.  Those that buy them don’t seem to have too much trouble with the price…those that don’t are horrified by those that do.  It’s pretty much the same posts, same message boards, different year.

Before I go further, I want to acknowledge that the VIP packages *have* changed, however slightly.  First of all, I think that in most cases, they’re offering more swag with each one.  Keep in mind that in order to purchase these packages, you must be a member of – which is undergoing a series of changes at the moment.  Here’s the rundown on VIP swag:

Duran Duran Platinum VIP Experience (subject to availability)
– 1 Premium Seat in first 5 rows
– VIP Pre-show Cocktail Hour with complimentary food, wine and beer (subject to local laws & availability)
– On-site Duran Duran Concierge
– Copy of ‘ALL YOU NEED IS NOW’ SIGNED by Duran Duran
– Vintage Duran Duran T-shirt
– Duran Duran Photo Book
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Matching Lanyard
– Private Merch Area
– MEET & GREET OPPORTUNITY (limited number plus guest will be chosen at random per show) **
– BACKSTAGE TOUR OPPORTUNITY (limited number plus guest will be chosen at random per show) ** 

Duran Duran Gold VIP Experience
– 1 Premium Seat in first 10 rows
– Copy of ‘ALL YOU NEED IS NOW’ SIGNED by Duran Duran
– Vintage Duran Duran T-shirt
– Duran Duran Photo Book
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Matching Lanyard

Duran Duran Silver VIP Experience
– 1 Premium Seat
– 1 Limited Edition Duran Duran Poster 

As far as price goes – well, that’s a story in and of itself.  Topping off the selections is platinum at a “mere” 265 GBP, plus the price of the ticket.  Gold is 125 GBP + price of ticket and rounding it out is Silver at 45 GBP + the price of a ticket.  

In USD – that equals out to be $422.97 for Platinum, $199.51 for Gold and 71.82 for Silver.  

My take on it all?  Basically you’re paying $70 for a poster and a seat in the arena at Silver, in my opinion because I checked what a silver package would get you as a seat at O2, and let’s just say – you’re in the building.  That’s a start.  🙂  Some people might have been luckier than that – and to them I say a hearty “Congratulations!”   As far as Platinum and Gold go – well, there’s some argument for each of them.  On one hand, what fan wouldn’t want a meet and greet or even better, a tour of backstage?  Oh wait…that’s a “opportunity” for a tour and meet and greet.  My only real problem with this package (aside from the price, because I simply can’t see paying it…but that’s just me) is that at $500, Duran Duran needs to get on the same bandwagon other artists that are as popular as they are and offer the meet and greet to every sucker, I mean fan….that pays it.  As far as the backstage tour goes, the jury is out on that one until I find someone who gets one and they can tell me what all it includes.  I can just imagine someone walking the lucky fans back there, stand behind the stage and say “this is backstage.  No pictures.  Please take a brief second, turn around in a full circle and see yourself out.”  (I really hope not)  Otherwise, the inflated price doesn’t even begin to be justified with a pre-show cocktail HOUR (will the food improve?) with complimentary beverages, wine and beer (I wonder if they’ll still be drink tickets?), and an on-site Duran concierge.  That last one perplexes me, because I honestly don’t know what that person is really going to do.  Take care of people pushing and shoving?  Making sure everyone is having a good time??  And…isn’t that what Jenn used to do anyway???   As for Gold – this is where my money is.  No really, it is – for Birmingham.  🙂   I like the idea of the seats being good, and the swag is really cool.  Can’t wait for that signed copy of All You Need is Now, that is very, very cool.  I can do without the cocktail hour – that’s what pubs are for anyway (god I love the UK), and my luck has always been awful with meet and greets.  I’m willing to chance never meeting them, I guess.  I will just admire from afar, and enjoy the brief glances from the stage.  Those are what stay with me anyway.  I would hate to meet them backstage – have one of them decide not to bother (I am looking directly at you, Mr. John Taylor who has ducked out of more than one meet and greet….;) ), or even worse – have them be in such a rush that the moment is completely lost.  Forget that.  I like the pedestal I have them all on, thankyouverymuch.  I know I paid quite a bit for that gold package, but in all honesty – unless you’re very, very lucky – the reality is, in order to get good seats to a concert these days, you’re gonna pay at LEAST that, if not more.  To be in even on the floor at a Bon Jovi concert at the MGM Garden Arena in Vegas…and it’s a HUGE floor there, it’s $250 a seat.  Good luck actually getting those seats.  Brokers want double that, and that’s for the first risers off of the floor!  I’m sure some are saying, “But wait – Duran Duran isn’t that big, and they shouldn’t command that price point.”  Maybe not to other people Duran Duran isn’t that big, but to their fans?  Um, yeah they are.  We’ll pay ridiculous sums of money to see them…and good on the band for recognizing that and exploiting it to the edge of sanity, because it’s a BUSINESS.  It’s not charity, people.  If you don’t like it, don’t pay it – but don’t lower yourself to ridiculing those who do.  It’s not worth it.  We’re all fans, and what we pay says very little about our fandom.  I have paid about the same amount to see Paul McCartney, and yet I would be foolish to say I was one of the bigger fans there.  Hardly.  It’s just the way it is.  If you didn’t pay anywhere near $300 and have seats up front – good on you and have an excellent time.  I know I will.  

So the question for today becomes – how do I get hold of a cell phone that will work in the UK. I’m on Verizon network and my phone’s platform doesn’t work there.  I don’t want to get a brand new cell phone with a new plan since I’m on a family plan (and that whole thing is a mess to change right now), but I’m wondering if there are other options for me.  Anyone know?   You don’t have to post here – email me at!  😀

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday – this week has flown by!!  Good luck to those of you vying for general sale UK tour tickets!!  


The term “Durantard” and Why I Don’t Think it’s Friendly

I would be wrong if I didn’t say that I hate pre-sales.  I really do.  The pressure is ridiculous and when things go wrong – they go really wrong.   I always disliked the way pre-sale went through DDM because we never knew what seats we were buying until they showed up here at the house.  It wasn’t really fair that way…but I suppose that if you want to play, you gotta play the way they say.  Last night (or very early this morning, depending on where you live), the pre-sales for the UK took place, and overall – we did well.  We have tickets to all 4 shows that we desired (Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and even London), and in most cases we’re happy with the seats.  That’s not to say there wasn’t a lot of stress involved with the ticket purchasing – credit cards that should have worked were declined, and in London – the worst seats were being sold through pre-sale to all but the VIP packages.  but, we made it through and now the real planning begins, which is my favorite part of the touring process. (aside from the shows themselves, of course!)  During the upcoming weeks, we’ll be blogging about our plans, and if you have any UK traveling tips to share – please feel free.

Today however, I wanted to touch on a topic that I find one of these most distasteful things about being in the Duran fan community, and that’s the word ‘Durantard’.  I’m sure that most of our readers have either heard the term, or had it “assigned” to them on a board somewhere.   I’ve heard the term is meant in fun, and I’ve witnessed the term being thrown at someone to the point where they have left the community.  That’s really a shame.

Have you ever gone to a message board in exuberance over a new album you found at a record store, or a new poster that you managed to buy at an auction on eBay?  Have you ever posted a story about meeting the band at an album signing and talked about your emotional response to seeing them?  Have you ever screamed just a bit too loudly at a show, or worn your Duran Duran t-shirt at the wrong place at the wrong time?  Have you ever complained about the cost of tickets, or god forbid written a blog or book about the band? All of those things, and many…MANY more…will get you labeled ‘Durantard’.

First of all, if anyone wants to call me that – fine.  I don’t honestly care what anyone says about me behind my back because honestly, if you don’t have the nerve to say it to my face and be a party to my reaction – you’re a coward and I’ve got ZERO time for that.  You can’t really hurt someone when you say something about them and to them that they already know – and trust me – I know that I’m a big old dork.  If it makes other people feel better about themselves by pointing out the obvious in others…okay then.  This blog has nothing to do with my lack of love for this term being used to describe me…been there, done that, still don’t really care.

I guess that my problem with the word is that I spend a lot of time teaching my children that we don’t use words like that to describe other people.  I come down on them very hard when I hear them say that something is “gay” (that’s grounds for automatic punishment in our house) or “retarded”.  I tell them, “How do YOU know that one of your friends isn’t gay??”   Why do we want to use a term to describe someone’s sexual orientation as a derogatory comment?  As if being gay is a bad thing…and in our house…I teach my children that it is not EVER a bad thing.  The same goes for “retarded”.  First of all, my own son is on the autistic spectrum, although in his case – you’d never really know it.  He’s a bit quirky at times, but other than that, he’s your basic engineer-in-training.  (no really, I mean it.)  There are plenty of adults and kids on the spectrum that have spent their entire lives being called “retarded” when they are not…and there are still plenty of others in the world who are cognitively challenged that are being reduced to a single term as if that’s all it takes to describe who they are.   So why do we adults do it to one another?

I’ve had people say to me that it’s a friendly term.  Really?  I don’t see anything the least bit friendly about it.  It’s meant as a put-down, and not a very creative one at that.  I also think that the very people who use the term are the same ones to which it should probably be applied, because it’s the pot calling the kettle black, don’t you think?  It’s as though they’re afraid to see the same sort of over-the-top fandom in themselves, so the easiest defense mechanism to employ is one where they call attention to someone else’s behavior before someone calls it out in them.  Do unto others before they do unto you??

A lot of my friends have taken to shortening the term to ‘tard.  I myself have taken part in that, thinking that it sounded better.  I’m pretty sure I’ve even used it in this blog at one point or another.  I sat down and really thought about what I was saying, and was a bit ashamed of myself for doing so.  It’s no better, and in a lot of ways, it’s even worse.  I just don’t think any of us really stop to think about what we’re really saying when we use that term, and while I think we all should stop – I don’t think less of my friends for having called me a ‘tard at one time or another.  It’s only when we stop to consider the hurt we’re doing to others and yet still continue that I find fault.  Those of you in that category know who you are.

Granted, sometimes my friends and I will do something silly and call one another a dork or a geek.  That’s far more friendly than using an old-fashioned derogative term used to describe someones cognitive development in yet still another derogatory fashion.  We say it with a smile, and laugh at ourselves in the process.  Make no mistake, when I call Amanda a geek for putting together a tour binder complete with maps to every possible hotel, point of interest and bar in the area where we’re traveling (yes, she really does…and I look forward to seeing it in May!), I’m laughing at myself as well because if she hadn’t done one, I probably would have!  When I laugh at the idea of getting up at midnight to buy presale tickets, it’s because I know I’m going to be up with the best of them – and probably having some sort of conference to discuss strategy too.  (and I did.)  There’s a difference, and I hope that our readers understand where I’m coming from.

So yes, I’m saying that if you’re using “Durantard” – knock it off.  Grow up, grow a pair and get a little more creative.

-R (a gold certified proud dork)


And we’re off to the races for presale tickets!!!

I don’t know what the rest of the Duranie world is doing tonight, but I have not had a spare second all day since getting my first text message in the wee hours of the morning that the UK dates were posted!

All day it has been a series of back and forth messages between Amanda, myself and our friend Jessica – can we go?  Should we go?  How much is this going to cost??  Will my husband be OK with my asking for a 9 day “hall pass” from my life as mom??   And…my personal favorite “How badly do we want to beat the band up for making presales TOMORROW!”  (actually, scratch that – presales are in exactly 6 hours!!!

Really?  Is that REALLY necessary?  Do we want to kill the fans before they even have a chance of buying tickets?   Honestly.  Why do I love this band again?

So, with less than 6 hours, and one or more of those hours being spent watching The State of the Union address by President Obama….this is precious little plotting time.   My husband enjoyed my frantic phone call, casually asking how his day went.  Little did he realize that my very next sentence would be a complete blur of words and emotion…ending with my literally begging him to be the supportive husband I know he can be, and telling him “I swear I’ll never ask for another thing EVER!”   Yeah, he laughed.  Then he said “If this is what you really want to do, then I’ll be supportive.”  

Best words I’ve heard from him since “Yes, I’ll buy you a new car, now quit complaining!”   😀

The plan?  We’re hoping to secure tickets for the Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London shows.  If we’re gonna go, we’re gonna go!  We haven’t even discussed VIP yet, and with less than 6 hours to go….I guess we’d better get on it!

Only 5 hours and 56 minutes til “showtime”.  Once again, the band and their management have a fabulous sense of what the “real world” can do in a short amount of time.  I’m sending the bill for my anti-anxiety and blood pressure meds to the band, damn them!**

**As I mentioned previously….there might be cursing.  Let the games begin!!!


Parental Karma

Yesterday was my oldest child’s birthday.  She turned 14, and we spent the day at Disneyland together as a family.  Truth be told, it wasn’t just about celebrating her birthday – but it was a good excuse!  It was a really nice day, both in weather and in spirit.  While we were roaming the park, I thought about what I was like at 14.  My daughter is much more mature than I was at that age, both in looks and in her overall demeanor.  She’s honestly not very interested in the drama and the nonsense that goes on with girls her own age, and as a result she’s seen as a bit of an outcast with the other girls in her grade at school.  They sense that she’s not going to put up with them, and they also see that she’s not interested in “falling in line” after the few girls that seem to be the ringleaders, so they make it their business to make life rough for her at times.  It’s a tough age, but overall she’s doing well.  She already recognizes that the older kids (her school goes from 7th to 12th grade – basically from 12 and 13 year olds all the way up to 18 year olds) don’t care as much about what labels they wear or the insipid drama, and she longs for those years to come, and come quickly.  I keep telling her not to wish her youth away, but…she’s much different than I was at that age.  My room was covered in Duran Duran posters, and I don’t think I looked much into what my future would hold beyond the next break from school, to be honest.   On the other hand, my daughter has never even bothered putting posters up in her room!  Maybe that’s the norm for kids her age nowadays though??  She loves music, as far as I can tell by the constant iTunes receipts that flow into my inbox on an almost daily basis – but she’s very eclectic in her taste.  On any given day she’ll go from playing Florence and the Machine to Usher, Katy Perry and even Michael Jackson.  She doesn’t tend to start loving a band or an artist just because everyone else does, as is evidenced by her despise for Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus (thank goodness) and The Jonas Brothers.  In fact, that sort of thing completely annoys her.  I strongly suspect that had she been another girl at my school when I was her age, she would NOT have been a Duran Duran fan, and while that pains me…I guess I’m not surprised.  Perhaps she would have gone for them though because they were just a bit off from center, not quite mainstream, and because there were plenty of people out there that didn’t love them, she’d think they were different enough for her attention.  Hard to say.   As she was growing up and getting closer to her “tween” years, I kept waiting for her to tell me all about the band she had fallen completely in love with, and I was pretty disappointed when that never happened!  I guess I just figured that all girls find that special bond with something, but the closest we ever got was a quick and fleeting love for Twilight that ended very quickly once she realized it was no longer “special” to love the books.  There was never a rush to the grocery store magazine aisle to buy the teen mags with pinups, or requests to go to a music store (or I suppose Target or Walmart), or any begging to buy concert tickets, go to record signings, or even to wait at hotels at insane hours of the night to catch a glimpse of a band member.   What good are the tween or teen years without that sort of thing??

When I first started thinking about having a baby, I can honestly say I thought about what these years would bring.  I remembered all too well what the drama of being a teenager was like, and I had wondered how I would handle it all.  Then when we found out we were having a girl (see, even back then I had no patience, I wanted to know the baby’s sex in advance!) I was so excited, and not because of all of the cute “girl” things – but because I knew that I would be a great mom for a teenager.  I was going to be the mom to take my kid to a concert, to indulge her in a little bit of the excitement that I wasn’t able to have due to my parents strictness.  Naturally, I never thought to consider that my daughter would be nothing like I was as a teen.  That of course, is the karma of being a parent.  🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I love my oldest dearly.  She is a gorgeous human being, inside and out.  I aspire to be the type of caring person that she is.  She also has a sharp sense of humor, is extremely smart and talented…and I could go on and on.  We are almost nothing alike in some ways, and exactly alike in others, but what I’m finding more and more is that I truly admire her….even though I still think she’s completely missing the boat musically.  😀

Perhaps what I was really waiting for with these teen years was the confirmation that I was not nearly as crazy as my parents made me out to be with my obsession for Duran Duran.   Oddly, that has yet to come….but she’s only 14, there’s still time!


It’s Next Week Already!

It is Sunday.  According to my calendar, this means that it is a new week and, as many of us know, it isn’t a “normal” week as both John and Simon indicated that tour dates will be officially announced on this week.  Most people, of course, are assuming that they are only the UK dates based on Simon’s tweet where he specifically mentioned the UK and based on Simon’s recent interview where he spilled the beans about the 14 UK dates during the month of May.  Now, many people in the fan community anxiously await this announcement, including the authors of this blog!  How in the world will we survive until the dates are known?  What are you going to do to get through this painful wait?  I’m not sure what I will do as I have used up many of my tricks so far.

One of the things I typically do while waiting on tour dates is to speculate.  I like to have an idea of what they might look like.  Where will they go?  How long will they be there?  How many shows will that include?  I try to take all of the rumors and organize them.  Then, I also look at past touring history then I combine the rumors and the history to make my best guess.  Sad, isn’t it?  I want to be prepared, though, as best as possible.  Of course, saying this, I know that I will be surprised or shocked by something.  I suppose then it is a false preparedness.  It also helps make the time go faster and increase my excitement.  So, what is known about the upcoming tour?  What are the rumors?  What is the recent touring history?

Here is what I know:
Coachella Festival in California on Sunday, April 17th
14 dates in the UK in May
ITunes Festival in London on Saturday, July 16th

Some of the rumors:
Italy show on Monday, July 11th
Original rumors listed the US from March 31st and the UK/Europe starting in June
Special show in New York City based on a tweet from Wendy Laister, their manager

Touring history for the US and Europe (yes, I realize that I have left out a HUGE chunk of the world but I had to focus on what I might be able to do!)
2003: Random shows through the summer and fall in the US to equal about 4 weeks worth
2004: About 3 weeks in the UK (could this be similar to 2011?)
2005: About 11 weeks in the US (6 at one time and 3 at the other) and 8 weeks in Europe (6 at one time and 2 at the other)
2006: About 1 week in Europe and 3 weeks in the US
2007: About 2 weeks on Broadway
2008: About 6 weeks in US (4 at one time and 2 at the other) and about 7 weeks in Europe

This leads me to wonder when exactly they will be touring the US.  Will they do US around Coachella since they and their equipment will already be here?  If so, then, they better announce those dates as well.  Will they squeeze in the US dates in between the UK and the ITunes festival?  Maybe later in the summer?  Your guess is as good as mine.  (Although, if you do know something more and would like to share it with Rhonda and I, feel free to email us at  Thanks!) 

Beyond speculating about what the tour might actually look like, I have been talking to my friends, specifically my touring buddies.  Part of those conservations have included developing an ideal plan.  What does your ultimate tour look like?  Do you want to do a show in your city or one nearby?  Do you want to travel?  If so, where specifically do you want to go?  How many shows do you want to do?  Obviously, in these discussions, we are all aware that the ideal probably won’t happen as we are not financially independent and do have other responsibilities but it is fun to think about!

Now that I have used up both of these methods of distraction, I’m forced to rely on the usual methods, which include frequent check-ins on the band’s official site, other message boards, and social networking sites to try and learn the latest info!  I will also make myself available to receive phone calls, emails or text messages as it is quite possible that I won’t be the first one to get the “Official Duranie Alert”.  So, readers, how do you plan on making it through this most anxious time?  What are your secrets? 


Better/Bigger Fans?

Rhonda and I have begun posting questions over on the Daily Duranie Facebook page (come friend us if you haven’t yet!) as a means of getting to know people, starting discussion and adding information for our book.  This morning I posed a question about whether or not people are willing to travel for Duran shows after thinking and blogging about why tours matter to so many of us.  Many people answered that question.  Some people said that they have and included where they have gone and when.  Others said that they are willing but unable to go for financial, family, or work reasons.  One person got me thinking about something that I do from time to time, especially during touring season.  (Like that…it has it’s own season like the baseball season in my world!  😀 ).  Does traveling to shows make you a bigger/better fan?  What about those people who VIP?  Is that better than not?  Then, of course, I wonder who is judging.  Are we the fans judging each other?  Is the band?  Is the band’s employees like the people who work at DDM judging?  Is there a chance that someone could be TOO big of a fan?  Are there other means of showing how big of a fan you are?  Are all of those ways costly?  So many questions…

Does traveling make you a bigger or better fan?  Of course, this automatically asks the question about who is judging and by what standards.  Is this assumption correct?  Here is what I know, objectively speaking. Traveling and going to more shows might give fans a greater knowledge of the band and the fandom as a whole.  It provides the opportunity to meet and get to know more and more people.  You get the chance to see more and more shows performed live.  Then, is the knowledge and the friends that give more status, assuming that this is true?  I don’t know.  Is the assumption correct?  I definitely think that traveling to shows could give people more status both within the fan community and outside of the fan community.  I know that there are fans who get a lot of attention from other fans because they have traveled and seen a bunch of shows.  Obviously, the travelers are believed to be people who know more and who could have greater connections to the band.  Is this always the case?  I’m sure that it is not.  Yet, I’m sure that it does happen as well.  Outside of the fan community, I, personally, have seen people’s reactions to me when it comes to this question.  People are, at first, shocked when I tell them how many shows I have been to and that I have traveled to shows.  The next statement out of their mouths usually is, “You must be a HUGE fan!”  I’m never quite sure how to respond to that, which I guess leads me back to the question at hand.  Is this assumption about traveling done?  Yes, I believe that it is by both other fans and by non-fans.  Is it right?  No way.  Of course, there might be other ways that fans can be seen as “big” or “better” fans as well.

I believe that fans get placed in this bigger/better category all the time for a variety of reasons.  Maybe they do because of traveling.  Perhaps, it is because they always VIP.  Some fans might seem bigger/better because they have a large collection of something or because they can name every b-side.  Obviously, most of those means are ones that cost money.  Is that a problem?  Do you need a lot of money in order to be considered a big fan?  Of course, I also wonder if you could be TOO big of a fan.  Is traveling some cool but going to all shows too much?  Is going VIP once or twice per tour good but doing it every time appear greedy?  Could you have too many t-shirts or spend too much time online talking to other fans?  Could you have met them too many times?  Is there really a delicate balance between being a big fan and being too much of one?  Again, the same questions apply.  Who is judging?  What are the standards and is it a good thing?

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this.  Maybe everyone else in Duranland believes that all fans are considered equal.  I don’t know. If people agree that it does exist, should be changed or is there some value to this?  If not, is there someway to improve this, if it exists?  How?  So many questions…so little answers.


Why Do Tours Matter?

Tours matter.  I’m sure you are thinking that I have lost my mind a bit with that opening sentence.  Doesn’t everyone know that tours matter?  After all, it is a means of any musical artist to advertise their music (albums) as well to earn money to make new music.  I’m sure it also provides feedback to them as well.  They learn which songs really touch their fans and which ones aren’t as popular.  I’m sure that they are energized by the love and support that is shown to them, assuming they receive a decent and excited crowd.  But, why do tours matter to FANS?  Typically, for Duran Duran fans, we don’t need to be sold on their music.  Many (most?) of us have heard all of Duran Duran’s officially released material and many own copies or multiple copies of all of it.  Some fans have even heard music that hasn’t been released.  While many of us are happy to help the cause in terms of making money to be able to make more music, I doubt that is why tours matter to us. 

I started thinking about this during my long afternoon at work.  Today seemed relatively calm compared to yesterday when I received many messages and phone calls regarding Simon’s statement on the radio about the band doing 14 shows in the UK during the month of May.  Yesterday, I did not get nearly enough work done so I should have been using today’s calmness (the calm before the storm???) to catch up on work.  Instead, I pondered why so many of us are anxious to see the tour dates that are supposedly being announced on next week.  Why do we get all excited for this announcement?  Why were so many of us refreshing’s website earlier in the week to see the instant that Duran’s participation in the Coachella Festival was announced?  I suppose the fast answer to the question is that it depends on the fan.

Some fans might be solely focused on the musical element of a tour.  Perhaps, some fans haven’t seen them play live before and are hoping that this is their chance.  Again, the question could be asked of why seeing them perform live is a big deal if people have heard and own the music.  The answer here could be as simple as the fact that music performed live is pure and could be felt more by one’s soul.  It certainly can sound better than any cd, vinyl record or mp3.  A Duran Duran concert is more than just music but a performance.  Not only do you get to hear them sing and play instruments but you get to witness them interact with each other (yes, I’m thinking about JoSi here!) and with the audience.  The music and songs become personalized through the introductions, through the performance and even through visuals that might be included.  Thus, for some people, touring means seeing a damn good band play live in concert.  Other people might be thinking about other elements of touring as well.

For some fans (including the authors of this blog), touring is much bigger than the shows.  First, for us, it often means that we get to travel.  Sometimes, these travels are within driving distance but it is common for them to require an airplane to get there.  (Please note:  We are very aware of how LUCKY we are to be to be able to do this!)  This provides an escape for the daily grind of work and family.  It is a vacation of sorts as many responsibilities are left at home, including cleaning the house, preparing for meals, etc.  Personally, I know that I appreciate the fact that touring away from home has given me a chance to visit many places that I wouldn’t have before.  I appreciate being able to see other places and while I can definitely do that without shows, going on tour pushes me to go right then!  Second, and perhaps, most importantly, touring gives us a chance to get together and be with other Duranies.  Rhonda and I don’t live close and while we have visited each other in between tours, somehow it is always better with Duran shows involved.  Beyond getting to spend time with each other, we get to see other Duranie friends we have made and make new ones.  There is truly something special when Duranies are able to get together and share our excitement over the band together.  It enhances our fandom, I believe.  It makes our love for the band stronger and certainly makes it way more FUN! 

Beyond the reasons listed above, I’m sure that, for some fans, it is also an opportunity to get close to the band.  Perhaps, some people look forward to shows because it gives them a chance to win a meet and greet where they will be able to tell the band members about how much they have meant to them.  They, then, might be able to get a picture or autograph.  Maybe fans are looking to see the band outside of the venue or at their hotel for the same purpose.  Perhaps, it the chance to fulfill a dream of meeting the band.  For some people, they might hope for more than an autograph or picture.  They might desire a conversation or more as their dream might be more than brief contact.

It is definitely possible to be excited for the tour for a combination of those reasons.  For me, it is the ultimate part of being a Duranie.  While it is wonderful to hear new music and I always appreciate the work that goes into making new songs, there is nothing like a tour.  It is the chance to sing along with my favorite band as they sing my favorite songs surrounded by friends who understand my love for the band in places far away from home.  It gives me a vacation with the most fun possible!  Why do tours matter to you?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I digress….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*trying to cast aside THAT visual….*


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

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


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

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

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

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


An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!