Tag Archives: 2005 Astronaut tour

Do you remember DD playing Jacksonville in 2005?

I find myself struggling to think of something to blog about on this fine Monday morning in February. The sun is out, it will warm up to the mid-70s here at my house in the OC today….and I can’t think of a single thing to write. Even the dates in history are failing me today.

Turns out, DD hasn’t done a lot over the years on the 13th of February. They’ve played a few times, but the shows haven’t been monumental….or at least there’s nothing about them that I can really remember that needs blogging.

So, I’m going to wing it. First of all, the show in Jacksonville was towards the beginning of the Astronaut tour. If you’re like me, maybe you’re saying “Hey, wait a second – didn’t they play Japan?” The answer is, well…yes…they were supposed to, but no…they did not. There were six shows in Japan during the month of January that were cancelled. So the band went straight from their show at the Hammersmith Palais in London on January 13th to playing the show in Puerto Rico on February 8th. Then they did two shows in Ft. Lauderdale on the 10th and 11. (the one on the 10th was billed as a warm-up show), then a show in Tampa, and then the show in Jacksonville. From then on, it was a crazed ten, fairly solid months of touring. If you don’t believe me, you should check out the complete tour list on dd.com.  They did take breaks in their schedule – but only for a matter of weeks each time (for the most part).  Although, if I think back, it did seem like that entire year was all about touring. Every time I turned around new dates seemed to be announced, and friends were always planning their travel around the band.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 2005 was a good time to be a Duranie. I didn’t even take full advantage of all of the touring, in fact I limited myself to only a couple of shows, while many others I know were gone for weeks, if not months, at a time.

Jacksonville was really only the beginning, but it was what they did on this date in 2005.  Do you remember?

-R

 

Duran Duran in Puerto Rico in 2005 – Do you remember?

On this date in 2005 The Astronaut Tour made its way to Puerto Rico. Funny how I don’t even remember that date on their tour itinerary! At the time, I was busy planning my own trip to Chicago for a show in March.  The idea of traveling even farther for a show seemed pretty unrealistic.

Famous last words… although I’m trying to rein myself back in with the traveling, at least for now. My next shows are near Palm Springs – a very easy 90 minute drive for me.  That said, I’ve traveled more to see Duran Duran than I have in order to go on vacation with my husband and family.

However, back in 2005? Life was very different. I distinctly remember the argument…I mean discussion I had with my husband when planning my trip to Chicago. He felt (and still feels) that going to more than one show each tour was a waste because it’s the same show.  We compromised at one show (which I ignored. I went to two during the same weekend anyway). At that time, even flying to Chicago to see Duran Duran felt like a huge, wasteful luxury – but a trip I was more than willing to make. I couldn’t wait to arrive, see friends and go to a concert with people who didn’t take offense to my screaming in delight for the drummer. I would be with Duranies. People who understood who I was at my core.

I can’t imagine having enough nerve to have brought up traveling to Puerto Rico back then with my husband, but I know a great many Duranies traveled well beyond the shores of the US…or even the UK and Europe…to see the band at that time.

Duran Duran at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot in Hato Rey Puerto Rico, February 8, 2005.  Do you remember?

-R

Happy Early Birthday Rhonda!

I like to believe that my timing is pretty good.  If I want to be on time, I can be.  This time, though, I’m even a little early.  What am I early for?  I’m early in wishing my partner-in-crime, my fellow blogger and Duranie a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Tomorrow is the actual day but Monday’s aren’t my day to blog, typically.  On top of that, I will also be at work for at least 12 hours as I put in a full day and hold four hours of parent-teacher conferences after.  Thus, I’m using my Sunday blogging opportunity to write a little blog, celebrating not only my best friend’s birthday but also to cheer the friendship that we have.

In looking back at a friendship that began in 2004, I recognize that we have shared quite a few emotions and a number of significant events together.  I believe that strong emotions and significant experiences help to solidify friendships so that they can endure the up and down nature of life and relationships.  This blog, then, will attempt to shed light on some of those feelings and events.
Excitement:
One thing is for sure—a lot of our friendship has been fueled by our shared excitement for Duran Duran happenings.  Looking back, this began in December of 2004 when a flurry of phone calls took place surrounding upcoming tour dates supporting the reunion album of Astronaut.  I still recall the feeling of pure joy in calling Rhonda mid-day later that week to report that I indeed was able to acquire VIP tickets for us for the Chicago show in March 2005.  Of course, this type of activity has been repeated countless times since.  The most recent being when the band released the video for Last Night in the City, inspiring repeated viewing and a little video review, which you can see here:

Joy:
In many cases, those feelings of excitement translate to pure joy when the anticipation becomes reality.  For us, over the years, generally, the joy has come from screaming, singing and dancing at a Duran Duran concert.  It might even come when we squee over DoJo.  The first one was in Chicago and the last one was in Chula Vista, California, with shows in between in various locations like  the Northeast, the Southeast and even the UK.
Chula Vista
Chula Vista
 Curiosity:
Of course, our fandom has been more than video releases and concerts.  A lot of our fandom has been about talking, thinking, discussing about all things Duran.  I think of countless examples of times that we have watched or listened to something together.  Last year, for example, we exchanged a series of text messages as the lyrics to different songs on Paper Gods sunk in.  When we really paid attention to the lyrics of Last Night in the City and realized that the words described how we feel on tour, then the album began to take hold.  Years earlier, we viewed the brand new video for All You Need Is Now together, squeed in delight and picked apart the images we loved the most.  Sometimes, our need to discuss take place at strange times like when the video for Girl Panic came out.  I couldn’t wait to talk to Rhonda about how smart the video is so I called her from my classroom during my brief lunch hour.

Worry:
While our friendship has often surrounded fun and good times, we have also experienced moments of extreme worry.  We grieved when Andy left for the second time, for example.  Another instance was when we felt for that we were facing the end of Duran Duran when Simon lost his voice in 2011 and the UK spring tour had to be canceled.  There we were in the UK, having flown for four shows and getting none.  Instead of staying away from all things Duran, we ventured out to the band’s studio where we witnessed Simon explain that he didn’t think he was going to be able to sing followed by John’s look of devastation.  Like others there, we put on a brave face.  Rhonda and I did what was logical.  We went for ice cream to drown our sorrows in dairy and sugar.
Ice Cream makes it all better
We did what any heartbroken American would do. We had ice cream.
 Hard Work:
Unlike almost all of my other friendships, Rhonda and I took a very brave, but risky step to do more than just be friends.  We decided that we would work together.  Sometimes, this decision brought us closer together when we faced challenges and bonded over a shared realized that only we could understand what we experienced.  Other times, we pushed and pulled against each other, wanting to dig in our heels about something or another while at the same time reaching for compromise.  I look back at some of those moments and realize that the push and pull always brought out the best in us even if it wasn’t always easy.  Yet, we weren’t afraid to have those little disagreements, knowing that our foundation as friends was strong.  Clearly, we have worked well together on this blog, with fan events, with a convention and even with writing, despite any and all setback.  Truly, I didn’t just gain a friend but someone that helps me bring out the best in me.
Very proud
Very proud
Fun:
The thing is that a lot of friendship surrounds fun.  Sometimes, our hard work has led us to celebrate.  At other times, it is simply being together that brings fun, whether in person, on the phone or via Skype.  Luckily, many of our in person good times have been at Duran shows.  I won’t lie.  We have held many “all night parties” and enjoyed many “cocktail bars”.  At the end of day, there isn’t much better than having a vodka tonic or two and laughing over some ridiculous quote that one of us had uttered.
Durham drunk
Appreciate:
Looking at all of these emotions that we have experienced together, I also have to appreciate the little moments.  I look back at all the times we were in a car driving to or from a show.  Those moments were filled with listening to Duran while creating what we thought would make a great setlist.  Other little moments that I have enjoyed include going to art museums together, dancing to 80s music at a club, or simply talking or exchanging emails.
Our Paso Robles Setlist
Our Paso Robles Setlist
On this day then I celebrate our friendship and the person, the friend who puts up with me and who has shared all of these emotions with me.  My world would be a lot smaller, a lot less fun and a lot less happy.  On that note, then,  I wish her the happiest of birthdays and many more to follow!  I also hope that all of you wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
-A

I was in that crowd of “everybody” once

The very first time I traveled to see a Duran Duran show was in 2005. I met my friends in Chicago and saw them at the then-named All-State Arena close to O’Hare. Prior to that, the farthest I’d gone to see any band from my house in Orange County, California was probably San Diego, about 50 miles away.  So, it has only been for the past eleven years that I’ve traveled to see a band perform.

My two oldest children were eight and six the first time I left them to fly to Chicago. My absence threw the house into an uproar, as it did each time following that trip. I rearranged schedules and passed off parenting and household duties. I’d leave my role of Mom behind and sink back into the comfort of just being myself—a Duranie. In some ways it was a relief to have time to myself, and in others, I always felt like I was misbehaving or shirking my responsibilities. It was a near-constant state of emotional tug-o-war.

Despite the obstacles, I managed to see Duran Duran over thirty times in that eleven-year period. I don’t even know the exact count offhand, because for me—it doesn’t matter much.

As an aside,  I’m not great with details. I’m a big picture person. Amanda is the detail person. She takes pride in knowing those things, and I think she must like being able to give exact numbers. I’m not like that, and for a long time I’ve felt inferior to her as a result, for that and a number of other things that don’t matter right now. I’m realizing now that I’m really not inferior. I’m just me…but I digress.

My point is I’ve done a lot in a relatively short period of time. That “measure” comes from nothing but how I feel about myself. There are tons of Duranies who have gone to hundreds of shows and never miss a chance to see them. I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about ME.

I’ve definitely missed shows and tours over the years. I don’t ever try to do them all. I pick and choose. I started out doing one or two shows for a tour. It was “reasonable”. Then I went for a couple more. Maybe a long weekend’s worth. Then I traveled to the UK twice in a year, and that’s when I’d say things got out of hand. It was at the same time this blog started to gain an audience, and while leaving my house was difficult, it wasn’t impossible. I took full advantage. It was fun, I got to meet a lot of people. I like seeing people who I recognize in nearly every city. I also knew that at some point, I’d have to stop.

Thinking about the present day, I didn’t have too much of a chance to catch up on social media until yesterday evening. I checked out Twitter and Facebook, seeing that a lot of people commented on their tickets for the National Harbor shows. As expensive as the tickets might be, fans still find a way to go. I know how this is—I’ve done it many times. As one friend said as she lamented on why she caved and bought front row seats, “Seems like everyone is going.”

I’m not. I was one of those “everyone’s” once, though.  I remember getting messages, so many times over the years, as Amanda and I would announce what shows we were attending. The verbiage was always similar: people would say they were happy for us, but that there was no way they could pay that much or be gone that long, etc.

In Duranland, there are two basic public responses to those types of messages or comments: one either shows some empathy by saying they’re sorry that so-and-so can’t go, or one shines it on with a full-blown explanation of how it comes down to prioritizing, and that for you it comes down to making the band a priority.

I’ve SAID those words myself and I wish I could go back and slap myself for being such a bitch, excuse my language. Duran Duran is NOT a priority. Food is a priority. Housing, rent, etc is a priority. Your children are priorities. Children with fur are priorities. The band? That is pure entertainment. It is fun, and that is all it is. I said the line,  “I work so hard and I deserve the reward” more than once.  We all deserve a lot of things, so I need to just shut up. Not everybody gets to reward themselves, am I right?

I work my ass off every single day with homeschooling, being a housewife and all the “glory” that provides, and then working at a school. But when the money isn’t there for rewards, it isn’t there. For example, right now I work that part-time job. You’d think I would be able to use that money as “fun” money. Well, I would like to think that anyway.  I was a stay at home mom for years and years, and we made ends meet just fine. This should be extra. Except it’s not. That money – and I mean every last cent of it, goes to pay for my daughter’s housing at school. There’s none left for “fun”. I highly, highly doubt I’m alone there. I should have been a LOT more empathetic with my own thoughts and comments over the years.

Not that long ago, someone called me out here for the amount of shows I’ve done over the years. They said I’d thrown a lot of money into this. Yep, I have. I think the comment was in response to a suggestion I’d made to the band to do a residency, but the sentiment still applies. I have spent a boatload on the band. I don’t regret it. I had my fun, and I made memories that will last a lifetime. But I also recognize and appreciate that not everyone can or should spend that kind of cash. I recognize the need for Duranies to judge one another. It comes down to some sort of competition and it pisses people off to see that others can do more.

I’ll get “real” with you all about doing more. For a long time, I was convinced by the concept of “More”.  If I spent more money – if I went to more shows, if I traveled more often, if I got more front row, if I met more people, if I did more VIP parties, if I was more recognizable within the community, I’d somehow BE someone. Those things didn’t make me anything but cash-poor!I don’t know the band any better now than I did before. I’m the same person now that I was before. I’m still shy. I still have a terrible sense of self-worth. I still doubt myself on a daily basis, and I still self-sabotage.

That said, I know more people now. I’ve done a lot of writing, even though  neither of the manuscripts I’ve written have been published. I’ve seen things. I’ve experienced things. I think that as a whole, I’ve even learned things. I’ve spoken directly to Simon Le Bon and survived. The blog is recognized by many.  Doing more though, didn’t make me any more of a person. I didn’t go from being an unknown wallflower to one of the most popular and well-liked Duranies, for example. (in fact I’d say I’ve gained more than a few enemies as a direct result of this blog and my activities over the years. People don’t always love me and I know it.) Spending more on the band didn’t push me into the inner-circle of well-known fans (to the band).  I don’t have a great job, or a burgeoning career as a result of “all I’ve done“? It just made me a ton of memories…and according to my husband, slightly poorer. 🙂  (I laugh because I must – but he is right.)

So I’m not in the crowd of “everyone” anymore. I don’t think I will be for a long while. My exact words on Facebook last night were that I wouldn’t be traveling or attending a show anytime soon unless they are playing in my backyard for free or I’ve won the lottery, and that’s probably true. My two oldest are now nearly 20 and 17. One is in her second year of college and the other is in the middle of application season. I’m just hoping we can pay for school, applications and still be able to afford Christmas, to be honest. Yes, I will miss being at the shows. Yes, I will miss traveling. Yes, I will miss screaming for the band. But I’m learning that doing those things doesn’t make me a fan. They aren’t what makes anyone a fan, or what makes a good manuscript or a great blog. They’re just points along the way.

-R

 

 

Duran Duran History – Luxembourg ’05

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back 9 years to 2005 when the band was busy with the Astronaut tour, promoting the album of the same name.  During December of that year, the band played a number of shows in the UK and Europe.  This show in Luxembourg was one of them.

Here is the set list, according to DuranDuranMusic:

FRIENDS OF MINE
PLANET EARTH
ASTRONAUT
UNION OF THE SNAKE
COME UNDONE
INSTANT KARMA
SOUND OF THUNDER
HOLD BACK THE RAIN
REFLEX
INTERLUDE
POINT OF NO RETURN
ORDINARY WORLD
NOTORIOUS
NICE
SAVE A PRAYER
GIRLS ON FILM
SUNRISE
CARELESS MEMORIES
RIO

FATAL KISS
A VIEW TO A KILL
WILD BOYS

There are a couple of songs that catch my attention, including Instant Karma  and Point of No Return.  What catches your attention?

Here is a clip of Instant Karma:

-A

My Top Ten Fandom Moments

I thought this would be simple when I decided that this would be a good blog topic and one that would renew my Duranie spirit.  You see,  last week I said that I would share my top ten favorite fandom moments, which you could read about here.   Yet, it wasn’t that simple.  At times, I struggled to think of anything and, other times, I had a huge list pop into my head.  After thinking it over for a week, here is what I finally decided on.  I attempted to put this list in order with the biggest moment being last.  I doubt that I was successful, but I did try.  I will also say this.  I enjoyed doing this.  I want to see Rhonda’s Top 10 list.  I would also love to see our regular guest bloggers join in and any of our readers.  I think we could all use this right about now.

TOP TEN FANDOM MOMENTS:

10. Falling in love with the Reflex at the age of 8 in 1984
How could I not include when and why I became a Duranie?  After all, it started it all, right?  This song and video were on cThe Reflex Coveronstant rotation in the spring of 1984.  While my best friend, at the time, and I liked Duran Duran before, this song made us addicts.  We were so ridiculous that we would call each other each and every time we saw it or heard it!

 

9. John Taylor’s James Bond socks in 2006
John socksHow many of you were on DuranDuranMusic’s message boards in 2006?  If you were and are a John Taylor fan, then, you probably hung out on the thread entitled, “Church of the Bass God”.  Well, that year, the fans in that area of the board decided that we should send John Taylor socks for his birthday after he showed up wearing bright socks at the end of the Astronaut tour.  Many pairs of socks were sent, including a pair from me.  Pictures of John opening the box along with some of the socks made it back to the fans.  I was super excited to see John with the pair I had sent him!!!  Obviously, I sent James Bond socks!  That isn’t the end of the story, though.  Later, that year, at the Voodoo Music Festival, I held up a sign asking to see John’s socks.  While he looked confused as heck when he read it, he still lifted his leg.  Unfortunately, since he was right in front of me, all I saw was the bottom of his shoe!  Fast forward to December of 2007 when Duran did an in-store cd signing in Chicago.  When I got to John, I asked him about the socks.  He clearly remembered the story and knew that we also sent scarves the next year!  Very cool!

8. Walking around Birmingham in May of 2011
While my trip to the UK in the spring of 2011 did not go as planned because the shows got canceled, there was one important highlight.  This highlight happened the first full day in the UK and was wBirminghamhen Rhonda and I walked around Birmingham.  I had done some research about where key Duran related locations were.  We weren’t able to hit them all, but what we did see really helped us to see Duran Duran in a different light.  I felt like I understood the band in a different way, in a more thorough way than I did before.  It made them less celebrity and more human.

7. Seeing the band outside of their studio in May of 2011 when Simon lost his voice.  
This highlight is connected to the last one.  When we arrived in the UK in May of 2011, only the first 3 shows out of our scheduled 4 were canceled.  We held out hope that the London show might take place.  A friend of ours let us know where the band would be rehearsing.  How could we not go?  We were all the way over in the UK, right?  Of course, we would not get in their way.  In fact, we wouldn’t say anything unless they said something to us.  I just figured it might be the only way/place for us to see them.  When Simon arrived that day, he explained to the fans there, including us, that things were not looking good.  At that moment, I felt certain that this was it.  The end.  I didn’t say anything to anyone–not even to Rhonda.  I thought that if I said it, then it would be true.  I couldn’t handle that.  Yet, I had one comforting thought.  If it was the end, then, I saw something historic, something important.  I was there and we were able to give some support.  Thankfully, it wasn’t the end and Simon bounced back, stronger than ever!

6. Listening to All You Need Is Now for the first time in December of 2010
3b3ed-duranduran_all-you-need-is-nowIt is no secret that Rhonda and I weren’t wild about Red Carpet Massacre.  I was concerned that Duran might have lost their touch to make a complete, coherent album–one of quality and essential Duran elements.  Yet, they did just that with All You Need Is Now.  The album as an entire piece is fabulous.  I still think that.  It is one of the very best Duran albums ever.  When I heard this album, I knew that Duran would have a great tour and I had to do as much as I could to participate.  2011 was a pretty tough year for me (cat died, grandma died, work was awful, had to participate in protests to defend myself, my colleagues, my profession, my rights).  The only thing that kept me going was this album and the tour that followed.

5. The Chicago show in March of 2005
This was my first Duran show after the reunion.  Interestingly enough, I believed that this would be the first time to see the entire Fab Five together.  Andy couldn’t be there asIHOP his dad was very ill.  Thus, it was my first show with Dom Brown.  It was also the show that started most of my touring traditions that I still follow today, including touring with Rhonda.  What are some of those traditions?  Staying up really late, drinking all of the vodka in a city, eating at IHOP, laughing non-stop, keeping a list of quotes from the tour and more.  On top of all of that, it was a great show!

4. Hearing/Seeing Duran performance Secret Oktober live in Brighton in November 2011.
BrightonI’m sure that we have talked about this moment on the blog before.  Heck, we will probably talk about it again.  After having seen Secret Oktober appear on set lists in various cities in the Fall, we were constantly hoping to hear it as it is a favorite of ours.  When we got to the UK and to the show in Brighton, we were no longer focused on the setlist.  After having gone to the UK earlier in the year only to have no shows and having fear that we wouldn’t even make this one due to a public union strike, all that mattered to us was seeing the show.  Then, when those first notes began, I think our joy could no longer be sustained as we looked at each other and hugged.  Like goofs.  Then, we saw Nick look totally amused.  It was a moment that represents our victory by getting to see the band play in the UK.

3. John Taylor wearing the Daily Duranie wristband at his Chicago Book Signing in October of 2012.
Another moment that I have blogged about here previously.  This moment took place at John’s book signing in Chicago.  When I got to the table to get John to sign my book (and Rhonda’s!), I decided that I should give him a wristband, a wristband about this little blog.  After that, I walked away as my time was up and wasn’t going to think about it again.  I’m a dork so I had to walk past his table one more time in order to get my coat.  When I glanced John Wristbandover, what was he wearing?!  The wristband!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I never would have thought that he would have put mine on.  After all, he was given a lot of stuff.  I just assumed that he would have put it to the side.  On days and moments that I allow myself a break from reality, I imagine that it means that he is supportive of the blog!

2. Creating this blog, finishing the draft of our book and successfully organizing Durandemonium in October 2013.
ARmanuscriptI don’t have much to say about this one.  I know that Rhonda and I are a bit weird in that we have taken our fandom beyond what most people do.  We weren’t content enough just enough to be fans.  We had and have to do more with it.

1. Meeting Rhonda at the 78-03 Friends of Mine:  Duran Duran Fans Convention in New Orleans in September 2004 and other friends then since then.
At the end, when the band ceases to create new music or play shows, this is what I will hold dear.  I will hold my fDurham drunkriendship(s) dear.  What will live on will be these memories and my friendships.  After all, really isn’t that what fandom is all about?  Using an interest to make long-lasting connections to others?  Absolutely.

I encourage each and every one of you to create your list and to send it to us as a guest blog!

-A