Going to Sit This One Out…Really?!

I’m in a mood.  Perhaps, it is because I desperately need a vacation.  Maybe, it is because this weekend is super busy for me and I don’t have much time to get things done.  Nonetheless, my mood did not improve as I ventured around Duran message boards.  It seems that there are a fair number of posters who are either not planning on buying the live dvd and/or are not planning to go to any shows, if Duran comes back to their part of the States.  What was the reasoning?  It isn’t lack of money, which would make sense to me.  It is because of the setlists that these people felt are “tired” and/or “boring”.  I’ll be the first to admit that I complain about hearing songs like Come Undone for 151st time but I can’t imagine not going to a show or not buying a dvd because of it.  To me, there is way more to a show than a setlist!  It also seems to me that people did not learn a valuable lesson last year and from other fans.

Let’s start with the premise.  Is the current setlist “tired” or “boring”?  In order to decide that, we need to analyze a current one.  Just today the band played in Singapore and here was the setlist:  Before the Rain, Planet Earth, A View to a Kill, All You Need is Now, Reflex, Come Undone, Safe, Notorious, Girl Panic, Leopard, Is There Something I Should Know, White Lines, Ordinary World, Hungry like the Wolf, Sunrise, Wild Boys, Girls on Film and Rio.  How many of those songs are standards?  I would say 11 are standards in that they play them at pretty much most of the shows.  These songs include their biggest hits from the Reflex to A View to a Kill to Rio to Girls on Film.  Then, they are playing a bunch of songs off of the new album.  This makes sense to me.  After all, isn’t the live show to advertise their current work?  I think so.  The argument could be made that they could mix those up some or choose different one.  Anyway, as of now, there are 5 new tracks on there.  That totals 16.  After that, there are a couple of songs that they seem to play for a tour and then remove, which included Is There Something I Should Know and White Lines.  That’s really it.  This setlist would equal about 2 hours.  The time playing seems fair to me.  So, the question then comes in, do they have to play so many hits?  That is debatable.  On one hand, they aren’t playing to crowds who are hardcore Duranies who own every album and who are dying to hear obscure album tracks.  They just aren’t.  So, if they don’t play any of the hits, they run the risk of alienating most of the crowd.  Could they exchange one or two hits for something a bit more unusual?  Sure.  I would like that.  Many others would to.  That said, while many of us would like something different instead of whatever track or tracks you are most sick of, there is a reason that they put setlists together like that.  I get it and accept it.  Besides to me, there is way more to a show than just the setlist.

As I explained in an earlier blog, which can be read here, there are many other factors that determine a great show for me.  Some of these other elements include the crowd, the people I’m with, and where I’m sitting.  The other most important factor that these fans seem to forget is the band.  Do they think the setlist is tired?  Are they sick of it?  More to the point, if they are sick of it, does it show?  Do they lack energy?  Do they seem not to care?  If the band comes out on stage and has a tremendous amount of energy, to me, I feed off of them.  My energy increases even with songs I’m sick of.  Goodness knows, Rhonda and I actually enjoyed Hungry in the UK and we are way sick of that one!  Do these fans really trust Duran Duran so little?  Do they really think that they can’t perform well enough, no matter if the setlist is old or not?  To me, that doesn’t seem very fan-like. 

The other part about this kind of attitude that doesn’t sit well with me is the lesson I have learned over the past year.  Last year, in May, Simon lost a third of his vocal range.  Many, many shows were canceled.  Shows I had tickets to were canceled.  I honestly didn’t know if he would ever be able to sick again.  To tell the truth, I really didn’t think he would be able to sing again.  On top of that, I truly get now that there are many, many fans who desperately want to see Duran Duran perform live, but haven’t been able to or can’t for whatever reason.  For those people, they don’t care what the setlist is.  They don’t care if some of us are sick of Hungry like the Wolf because they have never seen it performed once.  They might love to see it.  Of course, I see this attitude within the fandom on other topics besides the setlists.  I see people get annoyed at the venue choice.  I see people who can and are able to travel reasonably refuse to do it for some reason or another.  People just seem to want everything their way.  While I can understand having some demands, I don’t understand people who think that they should be able to decide everything when it comes to their fandom.  I mean…really…wouldn’t we all like Duran Duran to come place at our houses and play the setlist we give them.  I know I would, but I also understand that this will never happen.  

I guess my point is this.  Why not enjoy what you have as a fan?  Why try to be that picky about something as small as the setlist or whatever?  If you are able to get to a show, go and enjoy it.  Other people would love to be in that situation.  After all, you never know when it is going to end. 

-A


Chicago Date Reactions!

Last night after being questioned about the Chicago date, Duran Duran’s facebook status was updated to say that the Chicago show was on the continuing All You Need is Now tour but that they still had some details to work out with the promoters for that show.  I, of course, found it interesting that they did come to confirm that this date and location were true and to give an explanation as to why the information was not provided by them.  What was more interesting than that, however, as a student of fandom was the reaction from other fans.  Obviously, the reaction varied from excitement to frustration to disbelief.
Many fans were excited by this news of a date in Chicago in August.  Of course, the fans that are close to Chicago were overjoyed as were other fans that might be able to travel to the show.  The other group of people who seemed thrilled with this news are other US fans who now know that they are, for sure, coming back to the States and when.  For those fans, they want to know the rest of the dates and they want to know them yesterday!  Obviously, this Chicago date wasn’t released by Duran and the only reason the information got out was because the venue itself shared it.  August is still a long way off, a full five months away, in fact.  I get why people want the dates, though.  People want to plan.  For some people, this planning might be as simple as I need to know to ask for this date off.  For others, it might be to avoid dates for a vacation.  Still, others want to know to figure out what dates they can and will attend.  What will be interesting now that we have one date are how quickly the other dates, no matter how many or how few there are, will be released in some fashion.  Will Duran headquarters feel it necessary to speed up the process in order to control what gets out, when?  I don’t know.  I guess for those of us who are waiting for the rest of the dates, we can only hope.
Other fans used the opportunity to talk about their neck of the woods.  People commented on the status update to request shows in their location.  Some of these locations included big cities and some included smaller places or places that Duran has never played at.  Some people even suggested specific venues or dates.  Of course, many European fans were thinking about their part of the world and wondered why they haven’t received any information regarding shows there, especially since they are supposed to be happening in the summer and many were rescheduled shows from last summer.  I can understand this feeling.  If I was in Europe, I, too, would want to know the dates.  After all, everyone has to plan!  That said, I hope that they realize that the release of this US date had nothing to do with the band or their team.  It got out because of the venue.  Now, if they want to complain about the lack of dates to Europe or how they seem to be taking a long time with that in general, I totally get that!  Complain away as I’m not sure what is taking so long with those dates! 
The European fans were not the only fans to voice negative reactions.  Obviously, there are many other parts of the world that don’t have any shows to look forward to, no matter when they are announced.  Many of the fans in that situation were gracious, though, and expressed happiness for American fans.  Yet, many American fans did not seem happy, including some located in or near Chicago.  Complaints about the venue were heard.  Now, for all of the venues I have been to in Chicago, believe it or not, but I have never been to the Ravinia.  Thus, I cannot speak about the venue.  It may be a bad choice or not.  I don’t know.  Some of the criticism I saw included that the people who attend shows there are “snobby”.  Others said there are many areas in the venue where you cannot actually see the stage.  Some did not like that it would be outside.  Suggestions about other venues were made.  I can appreciate making suggestions, but this appears to be definite since the venue and many news outlets have reported this.  Duran isn’t going to change it.  Nonetheless, while reading these reactions, I cannot help but to think of the other group of fans I mentioned earlier, the fans that get no shows.  None.  Zero.  I suspect that they wouldn’t complain about the venue or location if they got even one show that they could go to.  Likewise, I’m sure that the European fans would love to have some show to plan for, no matter where it was.  At the same time, I can understand those fans that are unhappy with the venue or date.  The date isn’t great for me, either, as I’m required to be at work the next day.  A week earlier or a weekend would have made a big difference for me.  However, I do understand and acknowledge that there are fans that do not have this opportunity so I should appreciate what I have.  I have to put myself in their shoes for awhile. 
The last kind of reaction I saw was disbelief.  People doubted it because it didn’t come from Duran headquarters.  Even when they confirmed the date and location, people still question it since there was a statement made about details to work out.  Could the date fall through?  Sure.  Anything is possible.  We have learned that.  Yet, this date and location seems locked in and I bet those details are ones that we won’t even see or hear about. 
The varied reaction among Duranies tells me a lot.  It tells me that we have been doing this for a long time.  It tells me that the Duran machine isn’t always good about sharing information.  It tells me that when a show is announced, we almost all struggle to look beyond ourselves and our own wants and situations. It tells me that really not all fans are going to be happy at the same time.  It tells me that as crazy as yesterday was in Duranland, it is still the same old Duranland!
-A

The Olympics…will they or won’t they??

We never do this.  We’re a one-blog-a-day-whether-we-need-it-or-not operation.  So, for Rhonda to be writing a second blog for the day…you need to know that this is very unofficial, yet certainly interesting breaking news.

The France show has been moved to July 23rd.  This isn’t breaking news, but still worth noting. No reason was given, and in the world of Duranie, that gives us plenty of reason to speculate…which we did.  We also know that Ronson is doing some of the music in the opening ceremony of the Olympics, set in London this summer. The date of the Opening Ceremony?  July 27th… the original date of the Carcassonne show. It isn’t difficult to see where I’m headed here…

If that weren’t enough, there have been several comments and postings all over the internet about fans receiving emails from band administration, and they were openly told that the band would be playing the Olympic Opening Ceremony. No word as to whether fans were told to keep this information quiet.  Think back to December when the fan community heard that the UK people might be in for a surprise or two, and the information seems even more solid.  Is it true?!  We will soon see.

On one hand, we all can and should be thrilled if this rumor holds true.  The entire world will be watching the Olympics, and our band will be there properly representing.  I know I will be watching.

On the other hand, once again the fans are left to speculate and find information on their own.  By this time, we’ve all gotten quite good.  We’re not the amateurs we were at the age of eleven or twelve.  Once again today our news comes not from the people who should be providing such information but from one another, collectively working together for the greater good of the community at large. Perhaps the band was asked to keep the appearance secret.  Perhaps the Olympic Committee wishes to do their own promotion work and surprise the world with what they’ve got planned.  This is fairly commonplace – most countries want to keep plans for their shining opening ceremony moments quiet.  Fair enough.  I have it on reasonably good authority that the appearance is not just rumor, but until the band confirms – I have no choice but to characterize it as rumor.  (this would be a great time for the band to make the announcement, by the way!)

The problem comes down to the dissemination of information.  The entire issue and rumor mill could have been averted had someone thought to come up with a decent reason for moving the Carcassonne show.  Even an apology would have been acceptable.  However, none of that was done.  The information was first tweeted, then put on Facebook, and to this writing – there is still no information given on duranduran.com regarding the change to the Carcassonne show unless it is buried deep within the website.  It certainly is not in the News section.  A mere oversight?  Hard to say.

Several days ago, Amanda ran a blog on Where to find the news.  I linked it so if you haven’t read it yet, here’s the chance to catch up.  It’s bewildering to me as to why, after thirty some years in the business, the band and particularly their management still do not have any idea how to handle information.  Part of me believes that the band has never thought they needed to explain themselves, and perhaps that is true.  Back when we were ten, twelve and even fourteen – we were easy to appease. A smile, an interview, a pinup, and we were good.  No apologies necessary.  Back in those days, we probably didn’t even realize what was going on behind the scenes or what changes were taking place.  Well, this is 2012.  The same rules simply do not apply.  We’re far older, far more resourceful, and far more willing to ask the tough questions and expect a reasonable answer. Sure, one can argue that this is a transactional relationship – not a two way street.  I would simply reply that after thirty years, perhaps a little more humility is in order all the way around.

The real “news” here isn’t necessarily the unsubstantiated rumor of an appearance in the Opening Ceremony, although the idea is exciting and we’re hoping it’s true.  It’s the lack of news. The lack of notice. The lack of regularity.  Rumors like this are exactly what happens when the fans are left to their own devices. I know fans can be a gigantic pain in the side of management.  I know that rumors like this probably drive them crazy.  They drive me crazy too. That is something we can all agree on.

-R

You want US concert date rumors and info??

I had a great blog about mid-life crisis all written and ready to go this morning. Then I woke up and checked my phone.  I had no less than text messages (a rarity), and three of them had to do with Duran Duran.

In case you haven’t heard yet, and I’m doubtful that’s even possible given how quickly the news is spreading, Duran Duran is playing at Ravinia in Chicago on Wednesday August 29th. This is the first date we’ve heard, and yes – Daily Duranie has spies everywhere! (I’m totally lying about that, but we will gladly take any information that anyone wishes to share, anonymously or otherwise!!)
 Let me give just a bit of background info on dear old Ravinia to set the stage. Ravinia is an outdoor venue just outside of Chicago. It’s a beautiful setting with lots of trees, a lawn area and of course a seated section. Typically people take a picnic basket and enjoy a meal before the show starts. It’s a lot of fun and a unique way to go to a concert. It’s very similar to what happens at the Hollywood Bowl near where I live in California. Due to the fact that Ravinia is seasonal and holds a special place in the heart of Chicagoland, they sell what are called donor subscriptions to seats in the venue. That means that a person can buy several tickets to shows (if not all of the shows) throughout the season and have the same seats for each show, basically. This also means that it’s very possible many of the best seats in the house will have already been sold to “donors” for the Duran show…assuming of course that the ticket holders for this show will choose to attend. That said, this show goes on sale at the Ravinia box office on April 26th.  
Of course, as soon as I logged onto Facebook this morning, the complaints began filing in.  Once again, people are annoyed that we’re getting dates one at a time verses being announced all at once.  Others refuse to believe what is absolutely good information unless the band themselves announces. (It’s ON the Ravinia website.  That’s pretty solid info if you ask me.)  Still others are complaining that it’s a weeknight, and many many more are worried about presale dates.  
Pretty standard fare for Duranies overall, don’t you think?
Naturally this one date being leaked now begs questions such as:  when are the rest of them??  There are plenty of rumors flying around, including that there will be a very limited amount of US dates for this “tour”.  I have no idea what that means exactly, other than I should probably rethink my plan to take 6 weeks and follow the band around the US. 
(I’m totally lying about taking 6 weeks, too….but it sounded good, didn’t it?)    
One thing I will say:  I’m going on vacation from July 28 through August 11th.  The band should plan accordingly, and contrary to popular belief, that does NOT mean to have a show in California during that time, thanks!  
One more thing before I leave you all for the weekend, and that’s simply that Daily Duranie has hopes of doing meetups, pre and post show dinners and drinks, and maybe even a Duranie dorm or more for these shows.  We’re hoping to bridge the gap that DDM left behind in 2005 when they stopped organizing things. As more information becomes available to us, we’ll definitely share and start planning in earnest!  
-R

Reliving last May, good news & Uberlife!

I have two topics for your reading pleasure today!  I hope everyone is doing well, and that Dubai is beautiful for everyone who has made their way by now.

Yesterday we were treated to some tasty news bytes from Duran Duran HQ as they posted a solid update on the Diamond in the Mind DVD, due to be released in early summer (of 2012!).

I saw the update just as I was typing up the blog, and while part of me wanted to comment, another part of me just couldn’t find the words.  I must give props to begin with – I’m happy to see the band (and the people doing the hard work for them!) updating as beautifully as they did on Facebook yesterday.  It was great to see where they are in the process, and I know I speak for all fans when I say that it’s great to read solid news like that when they have it to share.  Recently Daily Duranie had a bit of discussion about where fans get their news, and while it was clear that all of us have differing opinions on the subject, the important thing is that news is being shared.  I think that has to be difficult to be working behind the scenes for Duran Duran because just as you and I are learning how to utilize social media, learning of all the new ways that people can connect, contact, and engage – so is the band and their people.  While a few years ago it may have seem prudent to just throw the information up on their website, the fact is there are many more people on Facebook or Twitter now, and the information can be dispersed far more quickly.  That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t ever be posted on the website, of course not.  It just means that they are having to learn what way works best for the fan community as a whole, and yes, sometimes things don’t work as smoothly as we’d like.  Sometimes this BLOG doesn’t work as smoothly as we’d like.  It’s a learning process for all, and as much as I want to bust chops when needed, I can also appreciate that the job is difficult.    (And no…we’re not being paid by the band.  Just wanted to make that clear.  Again.)

While those words came remarkably easy, the next ones are not.  I saw that the band is going to do a documentary on 2011.  Not an easy year for any of us, really.  Naturally we all know (and lately I’ve learned even more) about Simon’s vocal problems back in May of last year.  We lived it, didn’t we?  I think it’s fascinating, if not just a little scary for me, to hear that they are going to even include some of the rehearsal footage from that time.  I know we’ve talked about this before on the blog – but Amanda and I were there.  We were standing outside (I might mention here that I was shivering the entire time, both from cold AND a good case of nervous anxiety) the rehearsal studio while the band went in to rehearse to see if they could even do the show at the O2.  By that day Amanda and I had already missed out on seeing 3 out of the 4 shows we’d originally planned.  While I was excited and nervous to even be in the presence of the band (albeit somewhat remotely as I was outside of the fence surrounding the studio and the band was inside), I felt so sick to my stomach that day.  There was just an overall gloom in the air even though the UK girls who were kind enough to share sidewalk space with us that day tried to stay as cheerful as possible.  It wasn’t long before the band came back out, a few stopping to talk from inside their cars – John being one of them, and by far the most poignant.  It was just a very, very tough day, and the idea of reliving it – well, I’m glad it’s being included on the DVD for those who weren’t there and didn’t quite believe what they were seeing and hearing online.  I still say that I really didn’t believe Simon would ever come back from that.  Thank goodness he did.

The next tidbit I’ve got is more along the lines of Direct to Fan.  Anyone ever heard of Uberlife?  It’s a new app that a lot of bands are trying out.  There are plenty of places for “hanging out” online, but this app takes a band from the online world to the real world.  Granted, I really can’t see how this would work for Duran Duran since I think they’re pretty much scared to death of their fans (we can talk about why this is the case if y’all want….but I think we all have a good idea why!)….but it IS something that could work beautifully for the fan community at large.   Here’s a couple articles on the subject along with the website:

Uberlife

Uberlife to launch at SXSW

It’s an app…and I’m kind of thinking that this is something Daily Duranie could really use…watch this space!!

-R

Tickets Tickets Tickets

Did you know that Ticketmaster desperately wants to be our buddy? Their latest and most brilliant idea yet is to be our Facebook friend. It’s not enough that Ticketmaster wants to take our last dollar (and the very next one we make as well) by inflating ticket prices by as much as 50% due to all of the convenience charges and whatnot. No, now they want to be friends.  Why?

Ticketmaster has recently started asking customers if we’d like to post our purchases to Facebook. When a customer agrees, Ticketmaster notices that they can track an additional $5.30 in ticket purchases to that posting. In addition, if we’re enthusiastic enough and post our seat locations because we want to brag that we got amazing seats even without that DDM member presale, that amount goes up to $8.00!

Did you know that the average Ticketmaster purchase is 2.7 tickets? The site already knows plenty about us, thanks to the super fancy customer tracking that is done.  (and truthfully, every other consumer based website out there does similar) What they really want to know, and why they are begging to be our friends on Facebook, is who are those other 1.7 people.  Call me fascinated.  

Read more about ticketmaster HERE.

Ultimately, the name of the game for Ticketmaster is keeping people away from secondary markets like StubHub. While I would agree that of course Ticketmaster wants our money…and customer loyalty can certainly be found through various methods, the real issue are the tickets getting to StubHub (and similar) in the first place.

The problem for Duranies is simple: we want the best seats. If DDM or the band offered the best seats to fans, and we were guaranteed to get them – I’d buy them (assuming of course that I had the funds to do so). Wouldn’t you? In my experience with DDM, however, that just is not the case.  I’m unsure of the percentages with Artist Arena (I would have to imagine that they are similar if not slightly worse), but when DDM handled presales directly, I knew that they would offer 10% of the best AND worst seats at a presale.  This was posted somewhere on the website, and I made note. For those of us who are insistent about sitting as close to the stage as possible – our choices are either to buy a VIP ticket which is at or near $300 USD (or even more!), try for a seat at the regular Ticketmaster sale, or go to StubHub. The prices fluctuate greatly because they are set by the seller, but there are good seat locations to be had, and the prices are not quite VIP level. Sure, there are plenty of scalpers that operate on StubHub.  Yes, there are plenty of reasons not to buy from StubHub, not least of which being the chance of counterfeit tickets out there, but the allure remains.

Read more about those nasty scalpers:

An interview with a scalper 

Secondary ticketing is wrong

Scalping and technology

-R

Sneak Peek of Diamond in the Mind!!!

We interrupt this edition of scandal, ridicule, news, gossip and debate to bring you special breaking Duranie news…

Diamond in the Mind footage

Go on, click on it.  You know you wanna.  I’ll wait.

For those of you out there who can’t possibly wait until “early summer 2012” for the DVD, I know you’re going to watch it again.  And again…or is that just me?  So what if a lot of it is in German and it’s interlaced with interview.  How exactly is listening to John and Nick speak on a Monday morning a bad thing???

I can’t blame you.  Don’t even begin to think I might have sat here stone-faced as I watched it…a few times.  Are you kidding?  Seeing them on stage?  Those lights?  That snakeskin patterned shirt of Simon’s?  Yep.  Brings back all the memories of seeing them in the UK last December, with none of the jet lag.  The bonus?  My bank account hasn’t taken a hit yet this morning either!

Oh, and there’s that guitar player too….gotta love Dom.  Not bad for a Monday morning.

So while you’re all watching…I’m gonna go watch too.  Again, this time with a coffee mug in hand.

(we’ll be back in the morning with more of those hard-hitting questions and debate worthy topics….but even Daily Duranie needs to take a fangirl break now and then!)

-R

To Think or Not to Think…That is the Question

For about two months now, we have been asking a daily question on our facebook and on twitter.  This daily question asks people to pick between two choices.  Today’s question was, “Would you rather watch the video for Girl Panic or the video for All You Need Is Now?”  As of this blog, like most other questions, the vote seems rather split but those who give a reason for their choice mention how they like watching the boys in AYNIN over the artistic quality of GP.  I am not surprised by this and even expected it.  With anything else in fandom, it made me think and it made me think about thinking.  It seems to me that there are fans who think about everything and fans who just go with their guts and people in between.  Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to define “think”.  In this case, I use the word “think” to mean critically think, to analyze, to seek a deeper meaning.  Obviously, I tend to do this quite a bit as evidenced by this blog and our book.  Just last night I had a friend over and we were trying to find a movie to watch.  She asked if I had anything funny.  The best I could come up with was Trekkies about the Star Trek fandom or political comedy.  Anyway, from what I can see, Duranland is made up with all three types of people.  In fact, I could argue that Duran Duran is build for all three types.

On one level, Duran Duran is for fun.  We all know this.  Goodness, Simon almost always declares that “Duran Duran was the band designed to make you party,” during the introductions at concerts.  This is also the band that said that they wanted to be playing when the bomb dropped.  Then, if you look at their catalog of songs and videos this becomes clear with songs and videos that just seem fun.  Some of the songs I’m thinking of here are songs like Rio, Electric Barbarella, My Own Way, Sunrise and lots more.  Those songs/videos can be listened to or watched just for fun, for pleasure, for enjoyment.  Added on to seemingly obvious lyrics and video images is the band itself.  Let’s face it.  For many of us, the band members were/are nice to look at.  No thinking is needed in order to determine that someone looks good!  Just like no thinking is needed to make you want to dance when you hear danceable music.  It just happens!!!  Yet, Duran Duran has always been more than this.  Their lyrics and videos do make me want to dive deeper into another layer of meaning. 

A great deal of their musical/visual catalog is built on having a surface layer and a much more in-depth serious layer underneath.  I remember seeing an interview from 2005 from the Netherlands in which John and Simon are asked about the meaning behind the lyrics to the Reflex.  John pointed out that people will continue to try to figure that out, which is very different than songs like “She Loves You” by the Beatles.  They compared the lyrics to poetry.  Many of Duran songs are such in which people can dive deeper to figure out an interpretation of what the song is about.  What is really cool about this is that people can interpret songs differently.  For example, I’m willing to bet that I could get at least 5 different meanings for a song like Finest Hour, if I asked.  Just on Monday, Rhonda and I reviewed Careless Memories.  For me, those lyrics have always reminded me of being a fan and Rhonda had never thought about that.  Neither one of us is right or wrong.  We were just had different ideas.  To me, this is the one thing I truly do love about Duran.  They don’t force you to think but give you thousands of opportunities to do so.  I would also say that the more I critically think about something, the more I appreciate it, the more I love it. 

Thus, Duran Duran gives us perfect opportunities to have fun and to think at the same time!  I can’t ask for anything more!  What about the rest of you?  Do you find yourself thinking about meanings or searching for something deeper when listening/watching Duran or are you content to just enjoy it on the surface?

-A

Anti-Fan Fans

I have a confession to make.  I like being a fan.  I even like being a Duranie.  I like Duran Duran.  I like the members of Duran Duran.  I like their music and their videos.  I like to see them live.  On top of all of that, I do many things that show this.  I am part of a writing partnership that writes daily here at the Daily Duranie.  This partnership is also writing a book about fandom.  I wear Duran Duran t-shirts and I buy Duran Duran products.  Heck, just this afternoon, I used my Duran Duran tote bag to bring my groceries home.  Yet, sometimes, I’m cautious about showing my fandom or showing the extent of my fandom.  Yes, obviously, there are many non-fans who don’t understand what it means to be a fan and why I am a fan.  Beyond that, though, at times, I feel like I can’t show my fandom around other fans, other Duranies.  There is pressure to be a “cool” Duranie.  Last weekend, I blogged about the typical fan, which I based off the video “Sh*t Duran Duran Fans Say”.  In this blog, I listed all of the different characteristics or traits Duranies have, according to that video.  My point in that blog was to show that there are contradictions and that no Duran fan exhibits all of those traits.  That said, I found it fascinating that the majority of comments about that particular blog post was from people who said that they only fit a few of those characteristics.  I don’t doubt those people.  Yet, I found myself wondering if I was the only fan who did relate to a lot of them.  While I didn’t want people to worry if they didn’t fit certain behaviors in order to be a Duranie, I don’t want others to worry if they do.  Unfortunately, I see this pressure to appear “cool”, or non-fan like within the fandom all the time.  Many of the characteristics I mentioned last week even show this pressure.

The characteristics in that video that show what I’m talking about includes the following:  “Can’t believe that others would camp out for a signing even if the person has in the past,” “Claims that they don’t do that hotel thing anymore, ” and “Claims not to be hardcore anymore because she had to grow up and move on.”  First off, am I the only one to have heard these?  I can’t be, can I?  Second, am I the first one to point out the hypocrisy in these statements?  Seriously.  It was okay to camp out in the past but not now?  Why?  What would have changed?  The only thing I can figure is that now the person thinks it is no longer cool to do that and that, somehow, she is cooler than a fan who would.  The same thing could be true for going to the hotel or being a “hardcore” fan.  I get that not everyone wants to camp out, go to the band’s hotel to wait for them, or even be as into Duran as others.  That’s fine.  What doesn’t seem fine, to me, are those who make statements which imply that others who do aren’t cool.  Obviously, a Duranie could say, “I would prefer not to go to the band’s hotel.  It makes me uncomfortable (or whatever the reason).”  Why make someone feel badly for wanting to, which is what I bet happens when someone says that they “don’t do that anymore”?  I have been in situations when people I have been with have known where the band is, but wouldn’t tell.  What is worse is that they implied that it wouldn’t be cool of me to even WANT to ask, never mind actually asking and then going. 

So why do people do this?  Why do they want to seem like non-fans even though they still like the music and the videos, etc.?  Is it because they are jerks?  Maybe some are, but I don’t think it is as simple as that.  I think it has everything to do with social status and stigma.  While we would all like to think that there is no such thing as social status within our fandom (and all fandoms), there is.  Many of us fight it but we know it exists.  For some reason, to be “cool”, to be “non-fan” like within the fandom is considered by some to be a characteristic of those with higher social status, at least on some subconscious level.  Why is that?  This is where stigma comes in.  Society, generally, looks down on fans, especially fans like Duranies.  Fans are thought to be obsessed, illogical people who are stuck in a state of childhood.  Could this attempt to appear non-fan like be to escape the stigma of being a fan, again on some subconscious level?  Is it better for people to say, “Yes, I’m a fan but I’m not like that kind of fan?”  I don’t know.  It is my theory, anyway. 

No matter the cause for what I call “Anti-Fan Fan” behavior, I want to fight it.  I want to be free to express my fandom within my fandom and I want others to do the same.  Now, that said, I’m not saying that people have the right to break into Simon LeBon’s house and wait for him.  To me, that isn’t fandom, that’s creepy and illegal.  Within the bonds of respect and the law, I think that people should be able to say that I like to wear Duran t-shirts or that I would love to see them at their hotel.  I refuse to give let society’s negative idea about fandom win.  I won’t hide who I am.  Thus, for now on, I will avoid people who make me feel badly about myself because I’m a proud Duranie and I will create as much space as I can for others to be themselves as well.

-A

Where to Find the News?!

How do you get your news on what is happening with Duran Duran?  It used to be that I would get my news from the most obvious of places:  their official website.  If I didn’t get my news there, I would get it on message boards where people would copy a news item or would give a link to a news item.  Now, I find that I rarely go look at the band’s official website.  Instead, I feel like I get all of my news on social networking sites.  Am I the only one to notice this?  It seems to me that not all of the news is even updated on the official website.  I’ll give you an example.  This week, the band announced a new live DVD that will be coming out in early summer 2012.  Where was this information first posted?  It was posted on their facebook.  Now, it is posted on their official website.  Yet, other news hasn’t.  For example, yesterday their facebook’s status talked about the show in Carcassonne, France.  Apparently, the date for the concert there has been changed from July 27th to July 23rd.  They stated that the tickets for the 27th would be good on the 23rd.  Are these announcements on facebook or twitter good enough to provide information?  Then, what about unofficial information given by…say…John Taylor on twitter?  Do his tweets fill any hole of information or are the fans still lacking information?


When the upcoming DVD title was released this week, my initial reaction was confusion.  It took me awhile to even remember anything about a new DVD.  Luckily, some of my friends had better memories so they could remind me of the details.  They reminded of when and where it was filmed and when they planned to release it.  Now, why is it that I didn’t remember these details?  It truly could be that I have been a busy, busy person who can’t remember anything unless I write it down.  Another possibility is that the information was given in a quick little status update that I just skimmed over.  It didn’t seem like much in the midst of everything else I see on facebook on a daily basis.  Is there a way that they could make it more noticeable?  I don’t know but clearly it didn’t catch my attention.  I also wonder if there is enough information given.  What format will it be released?  Just DVD?  Blu-ray?  Where and how will it be available?  Can we preorder it?  Now, I suppose this extra information isn’t that big of a deal since it is for an upcoming product but what about that announcement regarding the show in France.  How come they had to change it?  There was no explanation given.  Did people with tickets to that show get informed?  Goodness, if they weren’t paying attention on facebook, would they have even known?  This information isn’t listed on dd.com as of this blog.  What if people aren’t on social networking sites?  How will they get seriously important information like this?  A date change is a pretty significant thing, after all.

Of course, not all information shared on facebook or twitter is as essential as finding out that your concert date has been switched.  Some of the information is really just fun or just works to increase people’s interest or excitement.  For me, most of this “information” is given by John Taylor in his subtle or not-so-subtle tweets.  This week, I have to admit that I took notice of a few of his tweets, including that European dates are about to be announced and that US dates are being confirmed.  Interestingly enough, both John and the official band facebook mentioned his book this week.  John said that his book would be released after the US tour.  The band’s facebook mentioned that he would be doing some activities as part of the book launch.  Being the kind of person I am, I did look to see if I could have any hints as to when this much anticipated book might come out by checking out Amazon in both the US and the UK.  According to Amazon US, the book is titled “Love, Death and Duran Duran” and is due out September 25th.  Amazon UK has the title as “The Million Little Seductions:  A Life in Duran Duran” and is due to be released on September 20th.  Hmm…this information leads me to wonder what John will cover in the book and leads me to try and fill in the blanks about upcoming tour plans.  I enjoy this kind of information!

What is different for me between the DVD and France announcements and John’s tweets about plans for this year?  What is the same?  The news on the DVD and France are official.  In my opinion, those need to be posted in such a way that everyone can get all the facts.  Thus, social networking sites are not enough as not all people are on facebook and twitter.  The news should also be detailed as the majority of questions should be answered in that entry.  On the other hand, unofficial news or little hints of what might be coming does not need to be mentioned on the official website or in a way that grabs attention, in my opinion.  The people who like those hints also like to find them and like to try to figure out exactly what they might mean.  I do, at least.  What do you think?  Is Duran Duran means of sharing news good enough for you?  Does it work well? 

-A 

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!