Before reading on, we have a recommended soundtrack for your reading pleasure today. Turn on the song “Drive By”…
It was the silliest day in April
And all throughout Daily Duranie
creativity stood still
And the clicking of computer keys
Would stretch all the way from East Coast
Back to West Coast.
And they met within cyberspace
Young man was sitting at the computer
On his way to write a fiction
Turned off Red Carpet Massacre
Turned on Pop Trash
And began to hallucinate
Out over the Duranland
He saw the ideas forming
Like great lines of lyrics
Ready to come tumbling down
Any day now
Not a day too soon
(any day now)
And as the music drifted in
From Lady Xanax
His fingers start to type
This is the story of his dream
(Euphoria, Daily Duranie Euphoria)
This is the story of his dream.
The following are excerpts from interviews published in the May 2022 editions of Rolling Stone.**
ROLLING STONE (RS): We’re here with former Daily Duranie writer C.K. Shortell for a glimpse into the workings and history of one of the world’s longest-running and most successful fan blogs. Let me start by asking–C.K.–to what do you attribute–
CK: You can call me Chris.
RS: Oh–okay…then what’s the deal with “C.K.”…?
CK: Oh, you know, just a pen name…if Nigel can become John I can become C.K.!
CK: You were asking…?
RS: Ahem…yes…well, l wanted to start by asking you how you first became associated with Daily Duranie.
CK: Well, it all started when Rhonda and Amanda–the co-founders of the blog–allowed me to write a few guest blogs.
RS: Okay, but legend has it that you really made an impression on Rhonda and Amanda at their Durandemonium 2013 Fan Convention. Tell us about that.
CK: Well…I thought it would be really cool to surprise everyone at the convention. I kept thinking and thinking…what would people want…obviously, I couldn’t get the band there, which would be the number one wish for anyone. So I did the next best thing:
RS: You got a former band member…
CK: Yes! I was able to get Sterling Campbell to do perform a live, 3 hour drums only set that included all material from “Liberty” as well as his take on classic Duran hits!
RS: And how did this go over…?
CK: People were so happy they were speechless! It was amazing! You should’ve seen the looks on Rhonda and Amanda’s faces! I knew then that this was the start of something special….
RS: I’m sure…and wasn’t there some incident…I mean, something special you did at the nightclub?CK: Yes! I worked with a producer and created a five hour Duran Duran mix for the DJ to play! It was a mash up of Silva Halo, Yo Bad Azizi, and Zoom In! They loved it! And then we ended the night by singing “Shotgun” acapella!
RS: Well that certainly sounds interesting…so was that when Rhonda and Amanda “made you part of the band” so to speak, with regard to Daily Duranie?
CK: No…funny you should say that…I didn’t hear from them for quite a while after the convention. There were server issues or something…but finally, some months later, I learned through some contacts at the Clinton Global Initiative that Amanda was going to Africa on an 18 month teaching mission. So I wrote to Rhonda—who didn’t know yet—and said, “Hey, I’m your new blogging partner!”
RS: She must have been thrilled.
CK: Oh she was! Overwhelmed, really…so that’s how it started…
RS: Now there are some who claim that you took the blog in a different direction, that somehow the true spirit of the blog was lost when you replaced Amanda…what do you say to those critics?
CK: I respect all the Amanda fans out there, I really do. And I think we have different talents we bring to the blog.
RS: Yes, that’s for sure…well, adding “Star Trek” and professional football as daily topics was certainly one direction to take “Daily Duranie” in…
CK: You’d be surprised how many Trek fans are also Duran fans! And who doesn’t like the NFL?
RS: So, initially, you and Rhonda got off to a good start, but then something happened…
RS: You knew we’d have to address this…
RS:You wanted to take “Daily Duranie” to the next level…and so you created a new twitter account that certainly took on a life of its own…Chris, let’s talk about @RhondasLap
CK: Okay—yes, this was controversial—but before you judge me, here me out…we needed money…the label was pressuring us for more blogs, more followers, more hits…it’s all about publicity…the great God publicity…
RS: I’ve heard that somewhere before…
CK: So…Rhonda and Amanda had posted all these pictures of when they would travel to shows..and there was this running gag about “Rhonda’s lap” and I thought it would be a funny persona to create…you know, like all the stuff in the car is arguing about who gets to be there-
RS: Oh, yes…sounds hilarious…
CK: And it took off…we got all sorts of followers…revenue went through the roof…Rhonda was a good sport about it…she would post tweets..the fans loved it!
RS: And did Rhonda’s and your families love it too?
CK:Um…that caused some problems.
RS: And then you got the letter…
CK: Yes…(quietly sobbing)
RS: And it said…
CK: (sobs)…terminate the relationship…unworkable gulf…Amanda coming back from Africa…
RS: And that ended your association with The Daily Duranie.
CK: (softly) I still read it. And sometimes I comment.
RS: And the cease and desist…?
CK: I had to take down the “Rhondaslap.com” url. And I’m barred from entering the states of California and Wisconsin.
RS: Well…I don’t know what to add…what a story. Thank you for your time and insight. Daily Duranie is legendary and you certainly added to its…notoriety. Any last comments?
CK: The whole experience was so…unreal…to be at the top of the world…and then banished…it makes you wonder…am I dreamin?
To be continued tomorrow…
The moral of the story is never send us a blog as a joke and assume we won’t use it to laugh at ourselves (and the band), because we will.
**For those who remain confused, all characters and events portrayed in the above blog are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons or organizations living or dead is purely coincidental.